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Franky Perez banks on the ‘anti-Bieber’

Franky Perez and his Vegas band FXP will be on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Thursday, playing as the band for a 15-year-old Los Angeles singer Ellen wants to "introduce to the world."

Perez co-produces and co-writes for young singer-songwriter Jackson Guthy at L.A.’s Velvet Hammer studios. Jackson’s debut single, "Loving," comes out Thursday.

To help the songwriting process, Perez plays basketball with Jackson, bounces on a trampoline and skateboards.

"If we get stuck, we jump on skateboards. I haven’t skateboarded since I was 16 years old, but I’m up for the challenge," Perez says.

A friend of Jackson’s family sent a demo to Ellen. She loved it and called Jackson personally to invite him on her show — but at first, he sent her call to voice mail because he didn’t recognize her number.

"Jackson! I can’t wait to introduce you to the world," Ellen said on Twitter last week.

Perez says the teen writes mature songs "three times his age." And because they’re singer-songwriter style, they aren’t popified, a la Justin Bieber.

"I wanted to go anti-Bieber — no programming, no beats, no voice compression," Perez says. (Snippets are at Jacksonguthy.com.)

Perez’s debut was for Atlantic records a decade ago. More recently, he became the guitarist in Scars on Broadway, the offshoot of System of a Down.

He also was hired to sing in Velvet Revolver for a few months until the act split. He still works with Velvet’s solo stars — Slash, Duff McKagan, Dave Kushner and Matt Sorum. And he’s a utility singer in Dave Navarro’s Camp Freddy.

You can see Perez and FXP Sundays at the Palms and Wednesdays at Red Rock. The Red Rock gigs move to Saturdays in May.


Wednesday is April 20, aka 420, the unofficial holiday for people who huff pot smoke into their trippy lungs.

"(Weed) does have powers to be used with reverence," says Brad "Daddy X" Xavier of the pot-advocacy/hip-hop band Kottonmouth Kings, which performs Saturday on Fremont Street. The band has created the literally minded tunes "4-2-0," "Where’s the Weed At," "Bong Toke," "Bong Tokin’ Alcoholics," "Gravity Bong," "The Munchies" and "Let’s Do Drugs."

But Daddy X doesn’t recommend pot for everyone.

"I’ve seen people totally spiral out of control on pot and ruin their lives, and go financially upside-down and can’t function," he says.

"It doesn’t work for a lot of people. If you abuse anything, it will abuse you — going from alcohol to prescription drugs to too much Coca-Cola or too much coffee."

Daddy X himself quits the weed for long stretches when "I like to clear my head and I like to function."

Still, band mate Lou Dog says Nevada is silly for not legalizing pot for the economy, tax dollars and the fun of it.

"It’s interesting to me that in a state where gambling and (prostitute) sex and 24-hour alcohol is legal, marijuana isn’t quite legal, even though there is medical marijuana," he says.

The group’s new EP is "Legalize It." They headline "Rock the Block the Ganja Daze 420 Celebration" with Everlast, Big B and Ekoh at 5 p.m. Saturday on Fremont ($25-$30).

Daddy X says it’s OK if you dig on Kottonmouth Kings without toking dope.

"I like Jimmy Buffett, but I don’t drink margaritas," he reasons.


Olivia Munn and Selita Ebanks will be at club Pure tonight for an alcohol promotion after a 10:30 p.m. carpet.

Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Contact him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

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