<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - SoundDiego]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/blogs/sounddiego http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:57:57 -0700 Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:57:57 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[A Garage 2 Glory Rock Throwdown]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:02:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/garage2glorypheasants.jpg

Mayday! Mayday! When the New Kinetics and Hit Dog Hollar bombard the Hideout for SoundDiego LIVE on May Day (er, May 1), they won't be the only bands attacking the stage with their rock & roll histrionics throughout the night -- they'll be followed by the victor of this month's Garage 2 Glory competition!

That's right, in addition to two killer headliners, a Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey hosted happy hour and 91x's Robin Roth as the perfect party host -- our regulars know no SoundDiego LIVE event is complete without our beloved contest where we pit two local bands against each other in an online musical death match. SoundDiego fans vote for their favorite, and the winning act plays at SoundDiego LIVE. This month, the battling bands are the Pheasants and Badabing -- and both are guaranteed to bring the ruckus. 

VOTE NOW: Pick your favorite band for Garage 2 Glory

The Pheasants are a throwback rockabilly/garage rock duo that gets down and dirty in the best of ways -- and usually do so in extravagant, Thanksgiving-themed costumes complete with pilgrim garb and Native American headdresses. The band's self-titled debut album, released last April, is a collection of nine high-energy, fuzz rock thumpers.

However, don't print up the Pheasants' SoundDiego LIVE all-access passes yet -- they face some serious competition from local buzz band duo Badabing, who take a slightly different approach to the classic rock band duo sound. Instead of pummeling drums accompanied by the usual guitar player/singer, the band eschews the six string altogether for thunderous bass, courtesy of Tom Lord (who also provides the low-end rumble for the Schitzophonics). The garage rock drum n' bass duo has become well known around town for their rabble-rousing shows.

Two duos enter but only one duo shall emerge victorious. To vote for this month's Garage 2 Glory band, click here. The winner will be decided April 29 at noon, and you can vote once a day until the contest ends. 

We'll be thrilled to have either band on the bill, but no matter who ends up playing, you don't want to miss the May 1 SoundDiego LIVE throwdown at the Hideout! Make sure you RSVP for the party here

<![CDATA[Live: Dave Mustaine & the San Diego Symphony]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:08:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Dave+Mustaine+and+SD+Symphony+%2816+of+55%29.jpg One of thrash-metal's guitar pioneers, Dave Mustaine, joined the San Diego Symphony for a special performance April 12.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[RSVP NOW! SoundDiego LIVE 5/1 at the Hideout!]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:36:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*247/sounddiego_newk_poster_re_f.jpg
We took a month off to regroup, but SoundDiego LIVE is coming back on May 1 on the Boulevard!
Yep, that’s right: For our next installment of our FREE monthly live-music bash, we'll be holing up  between Normal Heights and North Park at the Hideout on El Cajon Boulevard, at a party hosted by 91x's Robin Roth.

Who's headlining, you might be wondering? Well, wonder no more: The New Kinetics! The local garage pop band with a huge retro sound straight out of the '60s is back after a too-long hiatus with a new EP and a new bass player, Joshua Kmak (from the NFormals). It'll be thrilling to see them take the stage again and if there's one thing we're sure of: They'll get your body moving.
"Many San Diegans (including myself) were surprised when the New Kinetics announced last year that the band was no more. Their last few shows in town were sold-out, frenzied testaments to their high-energy garage rock bravado. So when we got word they had reunited, we jumped at the opportunity to snatch them up for our next SoundDiego LIVE at the Hideout! We couldn’t be more thrilled to have them back."
Not only will we have the New Kinetics tearing it up, we'll be featuring Hit Dog Hollar.
"The Hit Dog Hollar boys were born and raised in San Diego, and word is they've been working on their debut album," Roth said. "You can't go wrong with with a band that stomps the blues and a night of Jack Daniels."
In addition, our Garage 2 Glory competition is back! The Pheasants and Badabing will both be slugging it out online before one of them emerges victorious and lands a spot on the show. The Pheasants, an energetic garage-rock duo, are known for dressing in outlandish costumes before taking stages with equally wild songs. Badabing, another rock duo (we're sensing a theme here), go in a different musical direction, consisting of only drums and bass. Unsurprisingly, they've got an intriguing, unique sound. We're big fans of both -- who will you choose? Of course, oour sponsor Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey will, naturally, be hosting a happy hour before the show begins.
To help you enjoy that happy hour, we're proud to remind you we've partnered with Uber, which will be on site the night of the party for a safe-drive-home service. All customers new to Uber will be able to get a $20 credit on site toward their first ride, and if they're already an Uber customer, they can get a $7 credit toward their ride home from SoundDiego LIVE that night.
So go ahead, San Diego, and make the right call – go big at SoundDiego LIVE on May 1 at the Hideout: RSVP here now!
<![CDATA[Kings of the Hill]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:51:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*122/150725467cypresshill.jpg

It has been a busy week for shows, as some of the Coachella bands are playing in San Diego in between the two weekends.

Thursday, Bryan Ferry is doing a sold-out show at Humphrey’s Concerts By The Bay; Bombay Bicycle Club is at the Belly Up; and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plays at the Casbah. Elsewhere, Cypress Hill hits House of Blues; the Midnight Pine plays at the Hideout; and 91x’s Third Thursday at the Hard Rock Hotel’s 207 features Femme & Misun with DJs Adam Salter and Gabe Vega. It is free with your RSVP here.

Friday, Bear Hands, Hills Like Elephants and Jesika Von Rabbit play a sold-out show at the Casbah; the Wailing Souls play at the Belly Up; Tropical Popsicle, Wild Wild Wets, the Electric Magpie and Slow White are at Til-Two; Christ Killer has their CD Release Party at the Tower Bar; and you can get your dance on at Bang Bang with Classix and F**ing In The Bushes takes over the Whistle Stop with your fix of Brit Pop.
Saturday is Record Store Day and there are plenty of places in San Diego to show your support including M-Theory, Spin, Cow, FeeLit, Lou’s and Off The Record. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts take over Harrah’s; the Expendables and Seedless play at House of Blues; Caravan Palace has a sold-out show at the Belly Up; Kids headline at the Che Cafe; Nations Afire (members of Ignite and Rise Against), Assuming We Survive and Bankers Hill take over Soda Bar; Badabing plays at the Tin Can; WL (ex-members of Blouse), Colleen Green and Lube are at the Hideout; and at the Casbah it’s the New York Night Train’s Soul Clap & Dance Off. On the DJ tip, Contemporary Menswear and Boys Don’t Disco take over Bang Bang, ‘80s vs. ‘90s with DJs Gabe Vega and Saul Q is at the Whistle Stop; Neon Beat with the Best and Worst of the ‘80s hits Bar Pink; Maystar’s Fashion Whore is at U-31; and Awakening Saturday at Bassmnt features EDX and Christina Novelli.
Have a great Easter weekend and I’ll see you on the dance floor! 

Robin Roth is a familiar voice in the San Diego scene. She is on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 91X, plus she promotes and spins all over town. Follow Robin on Twitter @robin_roth or submit your DJ listings here.

Photo Credit: Jason Kempin]]>
<![CDATA[Win Journey/Steve Miller Band Tix!]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:24:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Journey-Logo.jpg
Arena-rock gods Journey and the Steve Miller Band are making their way to the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in San Diego, and SoundDiego’s giving away tickets.
Both bands -- along with special guests Tower of Power -- will be hitting the stage in South Bay on May 15, so you’ve only got until May 6 to enter to win two lawn passes to the show.

Bay Area rockers Journey resurrected their fame during the San Francisco Giants World Series run in 2012, when the ball club picked the band’s ‘80s monster hit "Don’t Stop Believing" for its theme song. Of course, the group is also known for dozens of songs, including "Wheel in the Sky," "Faithfully," "Any Way You Want It" and many others.
Journey shares their hometown of San Francisco with their tourmates in the Steve Miller Band, who first broke out big in ‘70s with hits like "Space Cowboy," "Take the Money and Run" and "The Joker."


Photo Credit: ]]>
<![CDATA[A CoachellaGram From SoundDiego]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:53:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/smcoachella3.jpg Take a look at Coachella 2014's Weekend 1 through the lens of SoundDiego blogger Scott McDonald.]]> <![CDATA[SoundDiego Music On Air]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:28:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/plasmatv.jpg

April 8: "True Love" by Ekolu, featuring Fiji -- Hear It / Buy It

March 31: "A Day Dream" by Herschel Abram -- Hear It / Buy It

March 31: "Running From the Police" by Matt Commerce -- Hear It / Buy It

March 5: "Higher Than Clouds" by Anuhea-- Hear It / Buy It

March 5: "Drive" by Dropjoy --Hear It / Buy It

March 4: "Higher Than Clouds" by Anuhea-- Hear It / Buy It

March 3: "I Wanna Be There" by Anuhea-- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 26: "Money in My Pocket" by ATO-- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 26: "Simple City" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 24: "Chocolate Love" by Herschel Abram -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 24: "Lost Chord" by Republic of Letters -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 17: "Take Me On" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 17: "Drive" by Dropjoy --Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 10: "Higher Than Clouds" by Anuhea-- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 10: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 10: "Good Vibration" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 10: "Appetite for Gold" by Dropjoy -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 5: "Acoustic Dreamscape" by Patrick Yandall -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 5: "Jah Love" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Feb. 3: "Fruitful Days" by Big Mountain -- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 27: "Fallback" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 27: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 15: "You Got Me" by Gonzo -- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 13: "Fallback" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 13: "Make You Fall in Love With Me" by Josh Damigo -- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 13: "Cali Love" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 10: "Simple City" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 6: "Left Coast Sunshine" by Jesse LaMonaca & the Dime Novels -- Hear It / Buy It

Jan. 6: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Begin 2013

Nov. 25: "Jah Love" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 20: "12 Steps" by Patrick Yandall -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 18: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 13: "New Day" by Big Mountain -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 12: "Darling Funk" by Mad Traffic -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 11: "The Wind" by Big Mountain -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 8: "Vibes Up" by Big Mountain -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 7: "California's Gold" by Chris Wilson & Planet Earth --Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 7: "Always" by Dropjoy --Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 6: "Here I Go Again" by Anuhea -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 5: "Fall Back" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 4: "Don’t Lose Hope" by Josh Damigo -- Hear It / Buy It

Nov. 4: "Say You'll Stay" by Melissa Polinar -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 31: "Appetite for Gold" by Dropjoy --Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 29: "18" by Dropjoy --Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 22: "Don’t Lose Hope" by Josh Damigo -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 22: "12 Steps" by Patrick Yandall -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 21: "Left Coast Sunshine" by Jesse LaMonaca & the Dime Novels -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 21: "Make You Fall In Love With Me" by Josh Damigo -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 21: "Love Is Strong" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 21: "Feels So Good" by Marlon Dane -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 21: "Simple City" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 10: "Simple City" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 7: "You Got Me" by Gonzo -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 7: "Jah Love" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 7: "Fall Back" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 3: "Control the Club" by ATO-- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 3: "Good Time" by Rockus -- Hear It / Buy It

Oct. 1: "Sir Mango" & "La Jolla" by Patrick Yandall -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 30: "Slow Goin" by Josh Damigo ft. A.J. Croce -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 30: "Don’t Lose Hope" by Josh Damigo -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 30: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 26: "Flexin" by Lea Love -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 25: "Fall Back" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 24: "Make You Fall In Love With Me" by Josh Damigo -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 23: "Fall Back" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 20: "I Love You Girl" by Ekolu-- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 19: "Talk Like a Pirate Day" by Clint Perry & the Boo Hoo Crew -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept.19: "Ekolu Music" by Ekolu -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 18: "Simple City" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 18: "Fallen For You" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 13: "Fall Back" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 13: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 10: "Simple City" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 9: "State of Where I Am" by Safety Orange -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 6: "I Love You Girl" by Ekolu -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 5: "A New Day" by Patrick Yandall -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 3: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Sept. 2: "Fall Back" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 20: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 22: "Higher Than Clouds" by Anuhea-- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 21: "Along the Way" by Ashley Matte -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 21: "New Day" by Big Mountain -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 20: "Fall Back" by Abrina ft. Baby Bash-- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 20: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 19: "Déjà Vu" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 19: "Take Me On" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 9: "Time and Company" by New House -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 6: "Eternity" by Krystle Cruz -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 5: "Home on Time" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 5: "Close" by J Grace -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 5: "Flexin" by Lea Love -- Hear It / Buy It

Aug. 5: "Take Me On" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

July 29: "Wherever They May Be" by Ashley Matte -- Hear It / Buy It

July 29: "Over You" by Nena Anderson -- Hear It / Buy It

July 29: "Promises" by Nena Anderson -- Hear It / Buy It

July 25: "Soul Grind" by Patrick Yandall -- Hear It / Buy It

July 25: "Here I Go Again" by Anuhea -- Hear It / Buy It

July 24: "Flexin" by Lea Love -- Hear It / Buy It

July 24: "Déjà Vu" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

July 22: "Anywhere I Go" by Slightly Stoopid -- Hear It / Buy It

July 19: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

July 18: "Flexin" by Lea Love -- Hear It / Buy It

July 17: "Crown Royal" by Anuhea -- Hear It / Buy It

July 12: "Closer to the Sin" by Slightly Stoopid -- Hear It / Buy It

July 12: "Weekend" by Through the Roots -- Hear It / Buy It

July 11: "New Day" by Big Mountain -- Hear It / Buy It

July 11: "Time and Company" by New House -- Hear It / Buy It

July 10: "Flexin" by Lea Love -- Hear It / Buy It

July 9: "Rusted Story" by The Black Seeds -- Hear It / Buy It

July 9: "Higher Than the Clouds" by Anuhea -- Hear It / Buy It

July 5: "Shooting for the Sun" by Josh Damigo -- Hear It / Buy It

July 4: "You Got Me" by Gonzo -- Hear It / Buy It

July 3: "Keep it Real" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

July 3: "Anywhere I Go" by Slightly Stoopid -- Hear It / Buy It

July 2: "Left Coast Sunshine" by Jesse LaMonaca & the Dime Novels -- Hear It / Buy It

July 2: "A Taste of Fame" by O.K.I.M. -- Hear It / Buy It

July 2: "I'll Never Love Again" by Diversifyd -- Hear It / Buy It

July 1: "Don’t Lose Hope" by Josh Damigo -- Hear It / Buy It

July 1: "Gabriel's Strut Dub" by The Black Seeds -- Hear It / Buy It

June 27: "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

June 27: "Say You'll Stay" by Melissa Polinar -- Hear It / Buy It

June 26: "Time and Company" by New House -- Hear It / Buy It

June 26: "Déjà Vu" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

June 21: "Take Me On" by the Green -- Hear It / Buy It

June 21: "This Road" by Melissa Polinar -- Hear It / Buy It

June 18: "Free Up The Pressure" & "New Day" by Big Mountain -- Hear It / Buy It

June 11: "Free" by Adolescence -- Hear It / Buy It

June 11: "Higher Than the Clouds" & "Mr. Mellow" by Anuhea -- Hear It / Buy It

June 11: "Take Me On" & "Something About It" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

June 6: "You Got Me" by Gonzo -- Hear It / Buy It

June 4: "Perfectly Distracted" by Melissa Polinar -- Hear It / Buy It

June 3: "Along the Way" by Ashley Matte -- Hear It / Buy It

June 3: "She Knows" by Marlon Dane -- Hear It / Buy It

June 3: "Eternity" by Krystle Cruz -- Hear It / Buy It

May 31: "Wade in Your Water" by Common Kings -- Hear It / Buy It

May 30: "Left Coast Sunshine" by Jesse LaMonaca & the Dime Novels -- Hear It / Buy It

May 30: "Higher Than the Clouds" by Anuhea -- Hear It / Buy It

May 30: "Natural Creation" by Safety Orange -- Hear It / Buy It

May 24: "Reggae Party" by Tribal Theory -- Hear It / Buy It

May 24: "Moving On" by Anuhea -- Hear It / Buy It

May 23: "Sweat" by Abrina -- Hear It / Buy It

May 23: "Only With You" by Matt Commerce -- Hear It / Buy It

May 23: "Wake Up" by The Green -- Hear It / Buy It

May 23: "Time and Company" by New House -- Hear It / Buy It

<![CDATA[Blues Explosion Set to Detonate]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:25:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/bluesexplosion300.jpg

As the second weekend of Coachella approaches, San Diego continues to enjoy the artists who have come down between the weekends. Bombay Bicycle Club has a nearly sold-out show at the Belly Up, while Bryan Ferry has a fully sold-out show at Humphrey's By the Bay. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion return to San Diego with an intimate show at the Casbah, and Cypress Hill will certainly smoke out the House of Blues. Our smaller venues have great options, too, like the Midnight Pine at the Hideout (they're also at Bar Pink earlier in the evening), and Foreign Suns at Seven Grand. Why wait for the weekend to rock out?

Thursday, April 17:

  • Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Shockwave Riderz @ Casbah
  • Casbah presents Bombay Bicycle Club, Royal Canoe @ Belly Up (loft seats available. Call box office for tickets)
  • Bryan Ferry, Dawn Landes @ Humphrey's By the Bay (sold out)
  • Cypress Hill @ House of Blues
  • The Chop Tops, Hard Fall Hearts, the Gore Horsemen @ Soda Bar
  • The Midnight Pine @ The Hideout
  • Foreign Suns, Strange Creature @ Seven Grand
  • Femme, Misun, DJ Adam Salter, DJ Gabe Vega @ Hard Rock Hotel's 207
  • The Heartbeat Trail, Midnight Pine @ Bar Pink
  • Julieta Venegas @ The Show Palace, Oceanside
  • Tom Guarna (CD release) @ Dizzy's
  • Trio Gadjo, Hillbilly Stephen Rey @ Sycamore Den
  • Poontang Clam, Slutty Hearts, Johnny Polygon @ Tower Bar
  • The Art of Surfing @ The Loft
  • Marcela Mendez @ Analog
  • Lifeblood Harmony @ Mandell-Weiss Theatre, UCSD
  • OB Hip-Hop, with Parker & the Numberman, Sojourn, Atlantis RIzing @ Winston's (9:30 p.m.)
  • All Star Jam hosted by Howard Cowen @ Winston's (6-9 p.m.)
  • Blackbird Raum, Pagan Funeral, Lynched, Winterbloom @ Che Cafe
  • The Desolaters, Porter-Belles Explosion, Zack Oakley @ Tin Can
  • The Sovereign Sons & Daughters Tour with The Coffis Brothers @ Lestat's
  • Zombie Barbie, Cedar Fire, BatBoat @ The Merrow
  • Lee Churchill @ U-31
  • Astrojump with Kill Quanti DJs @ Whistle Stop
  • Gio Trio @ Croce's Park West
  • Ruby & the Red Hots @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Mercedes Moore @ Tio Leo's
  • Darkwave Garden @ The Shakedown
  • Kataklysm, Aborted, Dead Serial Killers, Mysidia, Gravespell, Dark Measure @ Ramona Mainstage
  • Lucky Date @ Fluxx
  • Moonlight Serenade Orchestra @ Crystal Ballroom
  • Metal Night @ The Shakedown
  • The Ragga Tones, DJ Reefah, TRC Sound System @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Live Band Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Courtesy JSBX]]>
<![CDATA[Temples Worship]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:25:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/168*120/Coachella+2014+Day+2+Band+Daytime+%287%29.jpg

Every so often, a band comes along that's so good, it doesn’t matter how or when it ended up on our stereos -- all that matters is that it did. Temples, the U.K.-based psych-pop quartet, is one such band.

Originally begun in early 2012 as a home-recording project for guitarist/singer James Bagshaw and bassist Thomas Warmsley, the music caught the ear of Heavenly Recordings, which released the band’s debut single, "Shelter Song," later that year. Fast-forward to 2014, and Temples have now played such major festivals as Reading and Glastonbury, opened for the likes of Suede and Kasabian, released their debut album, Sun Structures, to critical acclaim and embarked on their first North American headlining tour, which will bring the them to the Casbah on Wednesday night.

In short, the record is phenomenal. The most obvious recent comparison is Tame Impala, who mine a similar territory of psychedelic indie rock but seemed to lack -- or actively discard -- an ear for hook-heavy pop songwriting. Temples are not weird for the sake of being weird; they write melodic pop songs hidden underneath a psychedelic expanse. Grandiose statements be damned: Sun Structures might as well be the very-belated follow up to the Zombies’ 1968 masterpiece, Odessey and Oracle.

Swirly, hypnotic pop nuggets like "The Guesser" and "Colours to Life" sound as if they were recorded at Abbey Road Studios in between sessions for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band and went unreleased in an oversight of epic proportions. Mesmerizing background harmonies and echoed guitar leads accompany the Lennon-esque tone of Bagshaw’s vocals and deep, pounding drums that reverberate across the tracks. The fact that the album was recorded entirely at home with relatively cheap equipment makes it all the more endearing.

Sandwiched between Coachella performances, the band visits San Diego for the first time, and as expected, the show is sold out. We were lucky enough to chat recently with Bagshaw  about the band’s instant success and where it goes next.

Dustin Lothspeich: The band started as a home-recording project. It’s definitely changed, yeah?
James Bagshaw: Yeah, we didn't think of it as anything other than just recording music. We didn't expect to get offered gigs. Certainly, early on we didn't even think about that. But we knew that what we recorded felt good, if you get what I mean.

DL: The band has really blown up. Have you been able to reflect on what's happening around you?
JB: Yeah. Some days it seems crazy, and other days it seems kind of normal. I guess what we try to do is try to detach ourselves from the music and try to think of it as people who are into us -- they’re into us for the music we create. I think that's sort of the sacred thing here. I think the music seems to transcend across people, and that's great. Obviously, it's our work, but we're not spokesmen, in that sense. The music does the talking.

DL: It will probably get even crazier. Is there still a "We've got to conquer America!" mentality as a British band?
JB: [laughs] I don't know. I think that's all a bit of bulls---, anyway. I think people put too much pressure on themselves -- like, "You've got to break America!" I don't care what we do because musically, from the forefront, we're confident about what we do, in that respect. We're not going to try to change things or write singles that will break us stateside or anything like that. I think if it translates across the whole of America, we definitely wouldn't resent America for it. We'd embrace it, and we'd be very humbled by that kind of love.

DL: Well, everyone seems to love you guys. Even [the Smiths guitarist] Johnny Marr and [Oasis guitarist] Liam Gallagher have praised the band in the press. How do you feel about that?
JB: I think to people who aren't in bands -- or to people who are in bands that only play in pubs every so often -- to them, it seems like more of a big deal. I mean, it's obviously nice to get credit for anything we do. It’s only a positive thing. But it doesn't make us feel like we can kind of relax and take that for granted. For us, it's very humbling, and they're people who we certainly look up to, especially as younger musicians and people in bands. It's great -- I'm glad they've heard the music and they like it. People need to speak out about things if they're passionate about it, whether they love it or hate it.

DL: People are definitely passionate about the album. The term psychedelia will inevitably be thrown around when discussing it. Does that bother you guys?
JB: Yeah. I think we have a pop sensibility in our songwriting. Psychedelia is in there, of course; it's an influence from the production point of view. But we like that they’re basically pop songs in the disguise of psychedelia. I think there are psychedelic elements. We like a bit of Motown as well, certainly with the rhythm section. There’s also some Scott Walker, with the big, orchestral, cinematic, croon-ery kind of music. I'm in no way a crooner [laughs], but there are elements of that in there. 

DL: What kinds of things influenced Sun Structures?
JB: We're influenced by many things: film, music, art, literature, poetry. Personally, when writing, I don't listen to a lot of music. I won't listen to any songs for a few days in the moment of writing because I think you do kind of, without even knowing it, subconsciously get influenced by it. I like the idea of being very pure and in the moment. If you're a musician, you're influenced by what you hear. I don't like to bombard myself with ideas from other groups because you'll end up with a compromised version of what you're trying to say.

DL: The record sounds very warm, like it’s been sitting on a turntable for the past 40 years.…
JB: Well, our whole album was recorded on our laptop. We're not purists in any way. I think there are so many positive things that come from digital recording and analog recording. We love both ways. People say '60s music was recorded kind of badly or sounds kind of harsh to your ears. To me, that was when music was recorded at its best. Nowadays, you get a producer and you get his sound; you don't get the band's sound.

DL: So you won’t be heading into a big studio any time soon?
JB: The best recording studios are the worst recording studios. There's too much stuff to play with. People will plug in a microphone into a preamp and tell you, "This is the best vocal sound you can get," and I think it's a lot of bulls---. For our whole record, the vocals were recorded with a 70-pound mic. It kind of puts all that bulls--- under the carpet. We're very proud of the record. I wouldn't change anything about it; all the imperfections are perfect.

DL: What are we in store for on the next one?
JB: For the next record, it'd be nice to get a real orchestra. That might be cool. That's one thing you can't do at home -- unless you've got a big mansion, which I certainly haven't.

Dustin Lothspeich plays in Old Tiger, Chess Wars and Boy King. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.

<![CDATA[A Night of Coachella Sideshows]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:19:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WEB_SDTV060113_BONOBO_722x406_32035907693.jpg

If ever there was a night to plan ahead, this is that night. We're exactly in the middle of Coachella weekends, so pretty much any Coachella band playing San Diego on Wednesday is sold out. There's the amazing Bonobo playing to a sold-out crowd at the Belly Up, while Temples will make the crowd worship them at the Casbah. Humphrey's hosts Broken Bells, which is as good a reason as any to bust out the kayaks and canoes, while 91X hosts a Next Big Thing show at U-31 with somekindofwonderful. Still, if you want to avoid crowds and hype, head to the Tower Bar to visit my friends from Denver known as the Knew. It's an awesome night all around; it's just too bad you can't be at more places than one at a time.

Wednesday, April 16:

  • Temples, Drowners @ Casbah (sold out)
  • Bonobo, Nite Jewel @ Belly Up (sold out)
  • Broken Bells, Au Revoir Simone @ Humphrey's By the Bay
  • 91X Next Big Thing presents Somekindawonderful, Semi Precious Weapons, DJ Mike Delgado @ U-31
  • The Knew, Dustin Lovelis, Spells, DJ Mikey Ratt @ Tower Bar
  • Chrome Sparks, Pal&Drome, Tiger Milk Imports @ Soda Bar
  • Little Climbers, Songery @ The Hideout
  • Stevie & the Hi-Staxx @ Bar Pink
  • The Shifty Eyed Dogs, Jeramiah Red, Ben Powell @ Tin Can
  • Josiah Leming @ Lestat's
  • Nora Germain @ Croce's Park West
  • Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam @ Seven Grand
  • The Tighten Up! @ El Dorado
  • Club Kingston presents SoCal Vibes, Sandollar, DJ Carlos Culture @ Winston's
  • DJ Heather Hardcore @ Til-Two Club
  • West of 5 @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Drinkabout/Brewers Soundtracks @ Whistle Stop
  • Kahgoo, River Up Hill @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Club M.A.W. @ Henry's Pub
  • Future Wednesdays @ Kava Lounge
  • Joe Cardillo @ Wonderland Ocean Pub
  • Open Mic @ The Merrow
  • Open Mic/Open Jam @ 710 Beach Club
  • Johnny Tarr (7:30-9:30 p.m.); DJ Christopher London (9:30 p.m.) @ Henry's Pub
  • Christopher Dale @ Tio Leo's

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

<![CDATA[SoundDiego LIVE's Going to the Dogs]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:49:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2014-04-12-20h27m36s210.jpg San Diego's Hit Dog Hollar will howl at the moon on May Day at SoundDiego LIVE -- get on the guest list here: http://bit.ly/P3wJmr]]> <![CDATA[Live From New York]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:02:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Peelander+Z.jpg

There are so many great shows this week, and Tuesday night is no exception. City & Colour return to San Diego with a headline spot at Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay, or you can catch the kooky weirdness of Peelander-Z at Soda Bar. Mogwai perform at Belly Up, with just a few tickets available, and the legendary Mobb Deep perform to a sold-out crowd at the Casbah in honor of the 20 year anniversary of their record, The Infamous. If you want to check out some of San Diego's rising stars, come by The Loft at UCSD where I'll be judging a Battle of the Bands with the winners earning a spot on this year's Sun God Festival.

Tuesday, April 15:

  • Mobb Deep, Young Farrow, Parker and the Numberman, DJ's Artistic & Tramlife @ Casbah (sold out)
  • Casbah presents Mogwai, Majeure (AE Paterra of Zombi) @ Belly Up
  • Casbah presents Peelander-Z, the Touchies, Pleasure Fix @ Soda Bar
  • City & Colour, No @ Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay
  • Sun God Festival Battle of the Bands @ The Loft (Tim Pyles and I are judges!)
  • Sound Lupus, the Cobra Las, the Nearly Deads, Quad IX @ Tower Bar
  • Tiki Tuesday @ Bar Pink
  • Kid Wilderness, Joe Clarke Band, Dangerdanger @ Tin Can
  • Lisa Hilton @ Saville Theatre, San Diego City College
  • Soda Bar presents I Am the Avalanche, Diamond Youth, Turnover @ Che Cafe
  • Jesse Davis @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • The New Division & Prgrm, Pal&Drone @ Winston's
  • Michelle Lundeen @ Tio Leo's
  • Train of Thought @ Queen Bee's
  • The Band Slint's documentary, Breadcrump Trail @ Whistle Stop
  • DJ Ramsey @ The Office
  • Big City Dawgs @ Henry's Pub
  • Terry James, NoNDescript, eSeMCy, 3XR, Paulo @ Kava Lounge
  • Soul Shakedown @ The Shakedown
  • Reggae Night @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

<![CDATA[A Look Back at Coachella 2014]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:53:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Coachella2014LanaDelRey1.jpg
It’s inevitable. Every year after Coachella’s first weekend wraps, the death knell of the festival is shouted from a flock of online rooftops. Armchair quarterbacks of all shapes and sizes try to out-snark each other in deriding the three-day event: It’s too corporate; too crowded; too passe; too mainstream. This game is nothing new.
And honestly, it wasn’t difficult to call Coachella out this year. Along with the annual list of gripes, the OutKast reunion was a total bust, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler talked smack and Justin Bieber showed up. Combined with the onslaught of pictures clogging music sites and newsfeeds documenting half-baked celebrities hanging out, or scantily clad Orange County trust-fund brats getting wasted, I can sympathize with the distain.
But love it or hate it, the center of the musical universe was in Indio this weekend.
Sir Paul McCartney takes in the first weekend at Coachella.Not only was Sir Paul McCartney taking in the desert action, the weekend’s surprise performer list read like a super-sized fourth day of the music and arts fest - Janelle Monae, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Too $hort, Busta Rhymes, Gwen Stefani, Mary J. Blige, Drake, Childish Gambino, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Diplo, Debbie Harry, and Slash all made appearances.
Yet all of it -- the bonus unannounced super-star guests, as well as the varying subjects of detractors -- has very little impact on what makes the festival great.
Almost all of the talk (good or bad) surrounding the festival each year deals with the last two hours of performances. But it’s in the 10 hours prior where you find the heart of Coachella. It’s a conundrum. Do you skip the long list of incredible acts that start at noon each day to save enough energy to be present for the possibility of a Jay-Z appearance, or do you check out all of the smaller acts and hope you can rally for the show closers? Not many can do it all. I choose the latter.
I won’t recap the laundry list of amazing acts I took in on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday was incredible. Stay tuned for my photo gallery coming later this week. 
Starting at 12:50 p.m., I was lucky enough to catch sets from J Roddy Walston & the Business, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bombino, Poolside, Courtney Barnett, Chance the Rapper, Frank Turner, Superchunk, Aluna George, Neutral Milk Hotel, Little Dragon, the Toy Dolls, Lana Del Rey, John Newman, Disclosure, and Motorhead.
That’s a complete gamut of genres from rock, jazz, and world, to pop, rap, and punk – not to mention that it’s representative of artists from 5 different countries.
Courtney Barnett had one of Coachella's breakout performances.And if you’re a music fan, that’s all you can ask for. Sure, Bombino’s absolutely electrifying afternoon set or Courtney Barnett’s breakout performance is going to get lost among the hype of Beyonce dancing with her sister. That’s how the mainstream works. But if all you can find to complain about is a take on what the media is shoving down your throat, then you’re missing the point.
Like anything, Coachella is what you make of it. And if you take risks on acts you may not know, or shift your focus away from the bright lights, there are rewarding experiences everywhere you turn in Indio.
At the end of the day, I see almost a quarter of a million people making a tremendous effort (time, travel, money, planning) for the right to sit and do nothing but listen to music for three days. And to me, that trumps everything else.
Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com
<![CDATA[Vanessa Zamora's “Te Quiero Olvidar” Contest]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:26:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*125/Vanessa-Zamora-fiestadelsol-GNSF.jpg

Tijuana's latest indie "It" girl, Vanessa Zamora recently posted a contest on her Facebook page challenging her fans to produce a lyric video for her new single, “Te Quiero Olvidar.” She says, “I want to involve my fans in a creative way.”

The singer-songwriter first caught fellow Baja musician and Latin Grammy-winning Carla Morrison's attention when Zamora did a cover of one her songs on YouTube. Since then, she's been attracting listeners with her lead single, “Correr,” from her anticipated upcoming debut, Hasta la Fantasia. And her latest single, “Te Quiero Olvidar,” is no different -- you can easily see the praise she's been receiving from fans on her Facebook wall. The single already been streamed 7,000 times with 400 downloads. Last year in July, Zamora had 14,138 likes. Today, she's amassed twice that number with 30,397. 

These social media rankings should give her fans with video editing skills extra incentive to step up to the “Te Quiero Olvidar” lyric video challenge.

“The winner will get my album for free,” Zamora explains. “And I upload his/her video to my official YouTube channel with their credits, and I will send a personal letter to the winner!” Most importantly, the winner gets exposure to her social media network.

The contest deadline is Monday, April 21. The lyric video must be produced by someone over the age of 13, and the content must be original work using the lyrics to “Te Quiero Olvidar.” For more contest rules go here

Dita Quinones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino, Filipino and Hip-Hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, San Diego CityBeat and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter or on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Zamora]]>
<![CDATA[Stars at Coachella: Katy Perry, Paris Hilton & More]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:51:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/coachella-katy-perry-credit-Frazer-Harrison.jpg Music fans weren't the only ones in attendance over the weekend at Coachella -- big-name celebrities joined in the action too.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Coachella]]>
<![CDATA[Coachella 2014: Day 3]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:57:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/170*120/Coachella+2014+Day+3+Nighttime+%2875%29.jpg Coachella's first weekend ended on a high note, as big name acts and guest performers packed the festival. ]]> <![CDATA[Elephants Gone Wild]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:25:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Cage-the-Elephant2.jpg

At risk of harping on Coachella, this is what we call between-Coachellas. Now that the famous festival lasts for two weekends, cities in a certain radius benefit from bands needing places to play. There are quite a few of them making rounds in San Diego this week, like the sold-out Cage The Elephant show tonight at Belly Up. Fortunately, San Diego has made a niche for fun times on Monday nights, and by all accounts, Proud Mary was incredible last week at the Casbah and should be even better tonight. Make the rounds with Tin Can Country Club or check out Vertical Scratchers at Soda Bar: Only you can make a choice to love your Monday.

Monday, April 14:

  • Casbah presents Cage the Elephant, Juliette Lewis @ Belly Up (Sold Out)
  • Proud Mary, Saint Shameless, Vaya Futuro, Ape Machine @ Casbah
  • Vertical Scratchers, Octagrape, the Cardielles @ Soda Bar
  • The Tin Can Country Club Showcase feat. Gayle Skidmore @ Tin Can
  • Monday's No Longer Suck with Josh Damigo and Guests @ Voodoo Stage, House of Blues (Free, All Ages)
  • Wreckord Mania with DJs Nate "Macho Man" Bohy, Queen Aida, The Largester @ Bar Pink
  • Soul Party with Stevie Harris @ The Hideout
  • SiLM, Half Shadow, Space Missionary @ Che Cafe
  • Velvet Cafe @ Alexander's (30th & Upas)
  • Robin Henkel @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Wheels of the Industry @ Live Wire
  • Open Mic hosted by Chad Taggert @ Lestat's
  • Electric Waste Band @ Winston's
  • Dub Dynamite @ The Office
  • Kinetic Soul with Antonio Aguilera, Joey Jimenez, Jonny Tarr @ Henry's Pub
  • Karaoke @ Til Two Club
  • Karaoke @ Coyote Bar & Grill
  • Industry Night with Kid Wonder @ U-31
  • Trivia Night @ Whistle Stop

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

<![CDATA[Coachella 2014: Day 2]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:50:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/484509043%281%29.jpg Day 2 of Coachella picked up right where the first day left off -- and featured a few megastar guest performers - including Beyonce - for good measure.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Coachella]]>
<![CDATA[Day 2: The Art of Coachella]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 11:53:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Coachella+2014+Friday+April+11+Spaceman.jpg

I want to talk about all of the new amazing art out on the Coachella campus, but first I need to make a quick amendment to my Survival Guide from a few days ago. Don’t know how I could have forgotten it, but a bandana has to be added to the list. It might even have to be at the top. But unless you like ingesting anywhere from about four to nine tablespoons of dust and dirt, a quick trip to the 99¢ store is one of the smartest pre-festival moves you can make.

Now, while music is always the big draw in Indio (read my Day 1 review here), the art is a close second. And this year is better than ever before. In past years, favorites like the Tesla Coil, the Coachella Snail (whose picture even made the 2014 wristbands), and the gigantic, illuminated, origami bird have enlivened the festival grounds. But other than Robert Bose’s ever-present Ballon Chain, all new installations were added this year.

Poetic Kinetics’ "Escape Velocity"Poetic Kinetics’ "Escape Velocity" is a huge, mobile, model of an astronaut that (slowly but surely) moves around the polo fields before settling in one spot each day. While it’s quite something to see the thing crawl across the desert skyline, get closer and you’ll see that the enormous creation has some amazing intricate details - moving fingers on each of its massive hands and the shield of its mask that is actually a LED screen playing ethereal images. I’ve seen countless people get horizontal to take a picture looking up at it. And without a doubt, it’s a big favorite of those indulging in mind-altering substances as well.

Alexis Rochas’ "Lightweaver" art installation at 2014 CoachellaWalking into the festival this year, fans are greeted with Alexis Rochas’ "Lightweaver." A twisted, geometrical installation, it looks like a neon-colored roller coaster from a Nintendo racing game. Like so many of the larger pieces, it serves as a gathering point for people who have been separated from their groups. I’ve heard “Meet me at the pretzel” quite a few times this year. 

Mike Grandaw’s "Caterpillar" is a king-sized, wooden model of the larval insect that uses palm trees for antennae and thousands of flower boxes (filled with all kinds of plant life) as skin. Inside, there are benches to sit on and it provides welcome shade during the hottest parts of the day. 

Christain Ristow’s "Becoming Human" art installation at Coachella 2014Alongside the astronaut, the other guardian of this year’s campus is Christain Ristow’s "Becoming Human." The colossal, red-clay-colored robot sits in the middle of the field attempting to pick up a flower. It also serves as a meeting spot, but the robot’s silhouette (especially against the lights of Coachella's mammoth ferris wheel) is something to behold. 

These are just a few of this year's installations. I’m sure many will be replaced in 2015. That art is even part of the equation in Indio has a lot to do with the festival’s wild popularity. It’s not just the transitory nature of the art and the knowledge that it may be gone as soon as you are. It’s that Coachella puts so much time and effort into creating this wild pageant of non-musical attractions that endears it to patrons. The combination of artwork, installations, and music combine for an experience that is unlike any other. And it’s the reason, even though my feet hurt and I still feel like I have sand in my teeth, that I’ll be back next year. 

Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com
<![CDATA[No Pilot? No Problem]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 12:08:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2014-04-12-20h26m38s61.jpg The guys from Plane Without a Pilot stop by Societe Brewing and talk with SoundDiego about doing what they love: Riding skateboards and rocking out.]]> <![CDATA[Coachella 2014: Day 1]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:53:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Coachella+2014+Friday+April+11+Crowd+Photos+%2825%29.jpg Take a journey through the people, art and performances from Day 1 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Warning: adult images).]]> <![CDATA[SoundDiego Set List: April 13-19]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 11:24:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Lolla_3_CageTheElephant5.jpg This week promises some stellar shows -- we shine the spotlight on five you just can't miss.

Photo Credit: Meredith Gregory ]]>
<![CDATA[Behind the Vale]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 10:33:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mikivale-kway-722.jpg

Perhaps today is a recovery day from Coachella or something, because there just aren't that many musical options around town tonight. There's a solid acoustic lineup at Lestat's, Che Cafe hosts a heavy rock show for the kiddos, and Break Anchor lead a punk night at Soda Bar. For your positive vibes, however, maybe it's time to visit Kava Lounge for Miki Vale, who's continually recognized at the San Diego Music Awards.

Sunday, April 13:

  • Miki Vale @ Kava Lounge
  • Break Anchor, Plane Without a Pilot, Ash Williams @ Soda Bar
  • Thy Squid, I Trust You To Kill Me, Suffer Along, Groms @ Che Cafe
  • Trent Hancock, Kenny Eng, Rob Deez @ Lestat's
  • Rat Sabbath feat. DJ Ratty @ Bar Pink
  • Thunder Road @ Belly Up
  • So Cal Vibes: Charity Event @ Gallaghers
  • Stellita, Jason Brown @ Humphrey's By the Bay
  • John Scofield @ Price Center Ballroom, UCSD
  • Club 80's @ Ken Club
  • Spring Pig Roast @ Summersalt Pool, Hotel Palomar
  • John Scofield Uberjam Band @ The Loft
  • Opening Day of Intervention @ Hard Rock Hotel
  • Jose Sinatra hosts O.B.-o-ke @ Winstons

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Kway]]>
<![CDATA[Coachella 2014: Friday Night Lights]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 15:09:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/166*120/484303111retitled.jpg

Hot. Hot. Hot. It was blazing out on the polo fields on Friday. But it certainly didn’t seem to affect performances. There were some amazing sets on the inaugural day of Coachella 2014.

One-time San Diegan Dee Dee Penny led the Dum Dum Girls through a blistering set on the Outdoor Stage during the hottest part of the day. She was rocking the same sheer/pasties top and short-shorts that she did on her tour kickoff at the Casbah a few weeks ago, but given the extreme heat, it just seemed practical (see our photo gallery from Day 1 of the festival right here). 

Aussie trio Jagwar Ma didn’t wear anything quite as fashionable, but they still had the entire Gobi Tent singing and dancing to songs from their stellar debut, Howlin.

I wondered how long it would take Harlem rapper A$AP Ferg and his crew to remove the white camouflage ski masks they took the stage in, and the answer was: not long. I was impressed that they stuck to their initial game plan, but maybe next weekend they’ll switch it to fashionably coordinated sun hats or swim trunks. Ferg also provided yesterday’s best moment of unintentional hilarity when he went straight from the incessantly repeated “I f——d your b—h and she sucked my d—k” chorus of “Dump Dump” straight into asking the crowd to raise their hands and pray to Jesus. Awesome stuff.

I thought the Goldenvoice people were crazy for putting L.A. collective Grouplove on the Coachella Stage, but I was wrong. They held their own and then some. As far as pure energy is concerned, the band was unmatched yesterday.

Triple sister act Haim came close, making the very most out of their late afternoon set. Honestly, I didn’t think much of the group, but I’ve been converted. Danielle Haim is a full-on rock star.

Coachella first-timers Jon Spencer Blues Explosion were fantastic as usual and even threw in a Beastie Boys cover of “She’s On It” for those of us old enough to remember the movie Krush Groove.

I heard there were a bunch of celebrities milling about, but I didn’t see many. I did spot Daryl Hannah watching Aloe Blacc’s superb afternoon set. And I caught Skrillex taking in Bonobo’s Mojave Tent masterpiece from the front row.

Kate Nash, Neko Case, Ellie Goulding, Broken Bells and the Knife were all great, but the set of the day went to Minneapolis’ the Replacements. As the newly un-retired rockers took the stage, I heard one fan screaming, “Yes! I’ve been waiting over 20 years for this!” That’s a lot to live up to, but Paul Westerberg (wearing a suit and a bow tie no less) and the boys did that -- and more. They were funny, irreverent, and most importantly, sober and focused enough to play a tight set that ran through highlights from their entire catalog. I wish they were playing all three days.

Back at it today. Wish me luck.  

Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com

<![CDATA[Keeping Up With Eric Curiel]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 15:37:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GNSF87-EricCuriel.jpg

You can't talk to Tijuana musicians without hearing the name Eric Curiel. And it's likely you'll see the Tijuana-born-and-raised beatmaker's name in credits for several bands -- five to be exact, including: Shantelle, Electric Healing Sound, Dancing Strangers, Piel Divina and Perros Cobardes. These are all legit buzz bands, which makes him the hardest working man in Tijuana's indie music scene.

His band Shantelle recently opened up for legendary pioneering '90s shoegaze en Espanol band, Los Planetas -- a pretty historic concert being that it was their first time performing in Tijuana ever. That night, I praised J., of Los Planetas for their influence on the bordertown musicians, including Shantelle. J. replied, "Shantelle is amazing. I'm happy they're opening up for us." 

To Curiel's credit, there is something very special to the music he's creating post-Los Planetas within Tijuana. The inevitable will happen, Curiel will fly as a solo artist in June with psychedelic pop album, La Llamada de lo Ideal. For now we can vibe out to the album's lead single, "...de tu Corazon," which just just dropped on SoundCloud -- but the question remains: What happens now?

Dita Quinones: 
Does this mean you're done with Dancing Strangers, EHS and Shantelle?
Eric Curiel:  I'm still playing in all the bands, including Piel Divina and my other electronic solo project, Perros Cobardes.

DQ:  Why the ellipses in the lead single "...de tu Corazon" title?
EC:  I just thought "En el Fondo de Tu Corazon" was too long, which was the original title.

DQ:  Will "...de tu Corazon" have a music video?
EC:  Yes, the video should come out next week. It has a lot of references of psychedelic culture, which is what kinda inspired me to write the song.

DQ:  Who's collaborating with you on your solo debut?
EC: I pretty much played all the instruments.

DQ: Dios mio! You're putting in work.
EC: It's a guitar record, really. It's my main instrument. I also played bass, synths, sampler, drum machine and percussion. The drum kit is played by Ensenada recording engineer, Jorge Santel. Some synths are played by Saulo Cisneros on the album's first track.

DQ:  Where are you recording?
EC:  The record is already finished. It's a 10-track album. I recorded three songs at Saulo Cisneros' home studio in Tijuana. The other seven, I did in Ensenada at Armonia Producciones with Jorge Santel.

I actually see some parallels between you and Kanye West, if that makes any sense. Has all your numerous band collaborations finally compelled you to break out on your own since you can do it all anyways?
EC:  Well, yeah. Playing in all those bands and collaborating always inspires me, and I really think I learned a lot from those experiences. I suppose the same way Kanye did with Jay-Z and all those great rappers.

Who's your favorite rapper?
EC:  Tupac is the best! And I like Kanye West a lot –  since The College Dropout.
DQ: Nice!

What's next for you?
EC:  I'm planning for a June solo tour in Mexico. Expect to see me playing the songs with an electric/acoustic guitar and a looper pedal to create musical atmospheres. On May 31, I'm playing at a festival in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

Eric Curiel performs Saturday in Tijuana at El Tinieblo Bar with Machino. Follow Eric Curiel @PerrCobs.

Dita Quinones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino, Filipino and Hip-Hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, San Diego CityBeat and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter or on Facebook.

Photo Credit: courtesy of Eric Curiel]]>
<![CDATA[Midnight Rambers]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 09:25:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Nashville-Rambers.jpg

If you're reading this post on Saturday, I suppose it's safe to assume that you're not at Coachella. Perhaps you're like me and thought that Couchella was more rewarding ... watching bands stream in hi-def online or on a plasma screen, seeing incredible performances without the heat and sweat and your agoraphobia taking over. Or maybe you just know that San Diego has enough going on to meet your musical needs. On Saturday at the Casbah, Nashville Ramblers return. Over the past 20-plus years, the band has gotten back together once or twice a year, and along with Schitzophonics and the Scouse Gits, this will be a good night for some beers and shots, or shots and beers. If you're a fan of the Tin Can Country Club, catch some of those regulars over at the Black Cat on University or get your fix of punk at Soda Bar. Or, there's always Couchella.

Saturday, April 12:

  • Nashville Ramblers, Schitzophonics, the Scouse Gits @ Casbah
  • Trail Duster, Fast Heart Mart, Jonny Wagon, GrampaDrew @ Black Cat
  • Stitches, Stalins of Sound, Midnight Eagle @ Soda Bar
  • Everybody Knows, Playfight, Still the Sky's Limit, Resonance, Porch Lights, Andrew Justin, Honorable Mentions @ Epicentre
  • Lush, JoshthebeaR @ The Merrow
  • Hexxers, Northern Tigers, Los Apaches, Fugitive Fleas, DJ Mongo Style, T Murder and Chango Rey @ Tower Bar
  • Gregory Page @ Lestat's
  • Tiger Heroes, Chasing Norman, Santana Brothers @ The Loft
  • Milkcrates DJs @ Bar Pink
  • Super Diamond, Trial By Fire @ Belly Up
  • Nat King Cole Tribute: Ramsey Lewis, John Pizzarelli @ Balboa Theatre
  • Decoded @ Last Call
  • Gavin Hardkiss @ El Dorado
  • Foam n Glow @ Somewhere Loud Event Center
  • Dj Sid Vicious @ Fluxx
  • Ottly Mercer, DJ Chelu @ Gallagher's
  • Sister Speak, Monette Marino @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Kenny Eng @ Southpaw Social Club
  • Dante's Boneyard @ Hard Rock Hotel's 207
  • The Mentals @ Wong's Dragon Room
  • Zig Zag Jones @ 710 Beach Club
  • Millionaire Beach Bums, Parkway Avenue, Rockin' Rangers, Four Elements, Sunday Evening @ SOMA
  • Chica Diabla, Mittens, Focke Wolves @ Tin Can
  • Saul Q @ U31
  • Ten O'clock Room, Ocean Boogie @ Winston's

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Nashville Rambers ]]>
<![CDATA[Symphony of Destruction]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:03:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/davemustaine.JPG

For fans of the thrash-metal band Megadeth, it shouldn’t have been too surprising to hear that the group’s frontman and electric guitar virtuoso, Dave Mustaine, would be joinging the San Diego Symphony for a one-night special performance. After all, this is the same man who wrote "Symphony of Destruction" – one of the band’s biggest hits. It only makes sense.

Originally the lead guitarist for metal legends Metallica, Mustaine was infamously given the boot in 1983. He went on to form Megadeth the same year -- and has enjoyed quite the storied career since, selling more than 50 million albums worldwide and garnering 11 Grammy  nominations.

Known for being one of the most outspoken and polarizing figures in the metal world -- and also, more recently, for comments on religion and politics – Mustaine will put the talk to rest on Saturday, when he steps onstage with the orchestra at Copley Symphony Hall for "Symphony Interrupted" as a guest guitar soloist on Vivaldi’s "Summer" and "Winter" movements, from The Four Seasons, and J.S. Bach’s "Air on the G String." The symphony’s website also promises a special encore performance at the show, which might just appeal to Megadeth fans in particular.

Thankfully, the guitarist took a few minutes out from preparing for the upcoming sold-out show to discuss how it came together and how he hopes his fans behave themselves in a classical music setting.

Dustin Lothspeich: How did this collaboration happen?
Dave Mustaine: The idea was a combination of mine and a friend in England: Dan Campbell. We presented it to Tommy Philips [the San Diego Symphony’s director of artistic planning]. I’ve always thought that metal has a very classical element to it, a very thematic element. A lot of classical pieces tell great stories.

DL: Have you always appreciated and listened to classical music?
DM: To a degree. I’d be lying if I said I had a bunch of classical music on vinyl in crates. But I had such a passion for this project -- and now it’s gone even farther than I’ve ever imagined. This all just goes to show: Anything you set your mind to, you can do.

DL: Did you have a role in choosing the different classical pieces you’ll be performing?
DM: We picked a couple of different songs, and after I dug into the ones I thought of ... they just weren’t as exciting. When you listen to classical music, you don’t always remember who the composers are. There are millions of renditions by different performers. Some of the songs, though, I’ve heard forever. We talked about doing some improvising, like soloing over "The Ride of the Valkyries." Vivaldi is so magical. The emotion there is so incredible in some of his works.

DL: Do you think it’ll be an event you’ll be taking part of again?
DM: Well, we initially were doing a one-off kind of thing. Usually when they do these performances, they keep a lot of sections closed off -- but, because of the demand, they’ve had to open all the sections at Copley. So we’ve discussed doing more stuff in the future.

DL: How do you think metal fans will feel being in a classical music hall?
DM: It’ll be interesting to see. It’ll be like putting two trapezists in midair; there’ll be a lot of differences of opinions. As long as our fans can get along, it’s going to be wonderful.

DL: Was it challenging, switching from metal guitar playing to playing in a classical style?
DM: I think this will be natural for me. There are some people who think Bo Jackson was a showoff because he played baseball and football, but I think he was great at both. Deion Sanders did great at both, too, but then again, you put Michael Jordan in baseball and he sucked. Baroque was the original metal. When you’ve innovated an entire guitar style in metal, this kind of playing isn’t too difficult.

DL: So it wasn’t challenging to learn the classical works you’ll be playing?
DM: I’m self-taught. I climb up sheet music; it takes me three years to learn "Chopsticks" [laughs]. But if I write it myself, no, it’s not challenging. For the two movements, they have a lot of switching between minor and major progressions. In metal, we tend to stay more in the minor chords rather than the major chords. But if I didn’t look at this as something I know I could do, then it could be daunting. For me, guitar is guitar, and it’s what I do. It’s fun for me.

DL: Do you think electric guitar should have its own place in an orchestra?
DM: No, I don’t. I don’t think it deserves a permanent place because it’s a fretted instrument. Electric guitar should only "appear" in an orchestra. And to have some dude with a bow tie, with a hollow-body guitar, playing jazz chords over that music -- that ain’t cool. If you got a guy who shows up as a soloist in a performance spot, they’re carrying the weight. There are a lot of purists that would agree. too.

DL: Will we see any Megadeth songs performed or will you only be playing classical works?
DM: Well, you know, I’m not gonna rule anything out. We’ll do something, and it’ll be cool. By way of keeping everything original and new -- and constantly pushing the envelope – we’re trying not to mimic anything anyone else has done.

DL: Does this type of performance carry any extra weight because it's not a typical metal band?
DM: I think, on the surface, people would assume the way an orchestra operates would be foreign, but when you’re a band leader, there’s a lot of common ground. A conductor can play all the different instruments in the orchestra; I can play bass, drums and electric guitar. So if you start thinking like that, you can make the connection. This is going to be very challenging for me, but I know I can do it. I’m very confident. I know the orchestra is going to be fantastic. And I know our fans: Even if I went out there and fell on my face, our fans would go, "Great style, Dave" [laughs].

Dustin Lothspeich plays in Old Tiger, Chess Wars and Boy King. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.

<![CDATA[The Coachella Matchups of 2014]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:04:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP90885634543.jpg

And in this corner…

Every year, a few days before Coachella kicks off, festival promoter Goldenvoice releases set-times for the upcoming three days of shows. It’s a great way to get the schedule going for your weekend, but it comes at a price. Inevitably, two (sometimes three!) of the bands you want to see are playing at the same time. Occasionally, you can split the difference. But as the crowds and sun take their toll, the 50/50 becomes increasingly difficult and decisions have to be made – especially given that only a handful of bands get more than an hour to play. Most acts only get between 30-55 minutes on stage. And that’s if they’re on time. It’s a conundrum, but it does let you know where your loyalties lie.

  • Round One (Friday) - The Cult vs. The Knife: The recent announcement that Coachella photographers will not be allowed to shoot the Cult from the photo pit tells you all you need to know about the British rock band – they’re old. But still, Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy have an undeniable chemistry and have written some great songs. I’m still planning to see the theatric weirdness of the Knife’s Swedish siblings, but who knows what will happen if I hear some “Wild Flower” on the wind. 

  • Round Two (Saturday) – Muse vs. Pet Shop Boys vs. Nas: Muse is one of the most popular bands in the world right now. And headlining a major festival like Coachella comes with certain responsibilities. The Muse show is sure to be big, and involve impressive visuals. Not to mention a few surprise elements. That said, Nas is my choice here. Nostalgia tugs at me to sing “West End Girls” with the Pet Shop boys – a staple of my youth. But after seeing Nas’ recent performance with Q-Tip and the Roots on Jimmy Fallon, I was reminded just how commanding of a performer Mr. Nasir Jones really is. And there are sure to be a few surprises in store with Nas’ midnight set as well.    

  • Round Three (Sunday) – Disclosure vs. Motorhead: I love Disclosure. I named their 2013 debut, Settle, the best record of the year and remain completely entranced by it to this day. However, we’re talking f-----g Motorhead here. The whipper-snappers of Disclosure will be around for years to come. Who really knows how long the world will have some Lemmy in it. This one is a no brainer. The only card to play here is the “Ace of Spades.”
Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com

Photo Credit: Invision for Virgin Mobile]]>
<![CDATA[Be a Dodo]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 08:17:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Dodos1.jpg

For the past few years, indie-rock lovers of San Diego have had a love affair with San Francisco's Dodos. They've played places like Sushi Art and the Casbah on numerous occasions, and with their 2013 release of Carrier, the band continues  to release great albums, proving that it's in it for the long haul. On Friday, you can catch them at the Loft at UCSD if you're lucky enough to score a ticket to the tiny space. Around town, catch a solid local lineup at the Casbah headlined by the Beautiful View, or see Brothers Weiss as they return from tour with a show at Soda Bar. 

Friday April 11:

  • The Dodos @ The Loft
  • The Beautiful View, Takahashi, Neighbors to the North, the Paragraphs, Subsurfer @ Casbah
  • Brothers Weiss, Jackson Price, Diamond Lakes @ Soda Bar
  • Howie Day @ House of Blues
  • Soda Bar presents Movits! @ The Irenic
  • Euphoria Brass Band @ Bar Pink
  • Two Wolves, Low Volts @ Whistle Stop
  • Everlong, Blink-180TRUE, Hey Ho Lets Go @ The Merrow
  • Super Diamond, Betamaxx @ Belly Up
  • Saline Solutions, Lightning Starts Fire @ Lestats
  • Pato Banton @ Back Stage at Azabache (1628 Palm Ave.)
  • Fall City Fall, Wrath of Vesuvius, A Truth Betrayed, Of Hope and Heresy, Roar Like Me!, Shadow of the Martyr @ SOMA
  • Art: Destination: Lost @ Subtext
  • Allison Adams Tucker Quartet @ Croce's Park West
  • Bang Data with DJ Chucuchu @ Ken Club
  • Kid Songs @ Dizzys Jazz
  • Nothinghead, Chinchin, Optometrist, Riboflavin, Yung Bros @ Epicentre
  • DJ E-Rock @ Fluxx
  • Black Market III, DJ R2 @ Gallagher's
  • Turnpike Troubadours, Low Volts @ House of Blues
  • Backwater Blues Band, Detroit Underground @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Counterpoint Culture, the Broken Stems @ Pacific Beach Cantina
  • Jiri Cafourek @ Hall of Nations
  • Kenny Eng, Joe Cardillo @ Bootlegger
  • The Music of 1967 @ 98 Bottles
  • Keiko Matsui @ Ramona MainStage
  • Devastators, Indubious @ 710 Beach Club
  • Idols Plague, I Trust You to Kill Me, Titanarum, Ramp Locals @ Tower Bar
  • Artifact, Slow Season, Loom @ Tin Can
  • DJ 1979 @ U31
  • Project out of Bounds, Arise Roots, DJ Carlos Culture @ Winston's

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Chris Maroulakos]]>
<![CDATA['For the Sender' Returns With Nancarrow’s Story]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:52:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/alex+woodard+-+for+the+sender.jpg

Though he’s still up onstage, Alex Woodard isn’t at the center. Not physically, anyhow. He stands to the side of a band he’s sourced, guitar in hands, to tell others’ stories. It’s a first for the musician, whose career took him to every corner of the nation before the Long Beach native settled in San Diego some 15 years ago. It was here that he became the nucleus of something much larger than his own story, here that he found the makings of For the Sender.

It started with a fan letter from a widow, which Woodard answered by way of song. Two years later, Woodard finds his way through five more letters in a second book/record installment released last month, For the Sender Love Is (Not a Feeling). On Friday, New Found Glory frontman Jordan Pundik, singer/songwriter Jack Tempchin (of Eagles fame) and others will join Woodard at the Star Theatre in Oceanside for a benefit show to celebrate the letters, their writers and the stories therein, including that of recently deceased broadcaster Loren Nancarrow.

For a man who claims to have struggled connecting with people, Woodard can talk. But more than that, the man can relate. Here, he hits on how he let go of his own pride, how he ended up collaborating with Nancarrow’s son, who’s on Friday’s bill, too, and why this couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz: Can you give me some background on the For the Sender project for those who aren’t familiar?
Alex Woodard
: Sure. I had been kind of going through a low point, and I had received this letter from a fan that was just beautiful. She said she felt like my songs were pieces of myself that I was putting out there in the world, and she wanted to give me a piece of herself in return. Along with it, she included a letter that she had written to her soulmate. She writes him every year since he passed away and leaves it for him somewhere special. And this year, instead of leaving it for him, she sent it to me. And it was just so beautiful. It wasn’t really about loss so much as it was appreciation. I showed that letter to Sean Watkins [of Nickel Creek], who was living in my back house here at the time. We wrote a song about it called "For the Sender," about how this letter in particular was like a prayer. It was more for the sender than the receiver. That was kind of the genesis for the whole project. And once my radar was up for these letters, they just started coming in, and before I knew it, I had an album’s worth of songs and a group of letters. I wrapped my story through that -- my story of having a go at the music business and having some success, and things kind of falling apart, and then a rebirth of sorts that this project gave me.

HLS: There’s a line in the book that says you’ve "woven [your] own journey" through these letters and songs. What do you mean?
AW: In the new book, all these letters and songs had the same thread of love as an action, something you do and not as a feeling. That’s why I ended up calling the book For the Sender of Love Is (Not a Feeling). Right around when those first shows [to promote For the Sender] ended, I got a horse. I thought I knew what I was doing with her. The first time I rode her on my own, she threw me, and I broke a couple discs in my back. I remember lying there in the dirt, looking at her, and she was looking at me like, "What happened?" And I was thinking, "What happened?!?" And the story of learning what happened and why she started to behave that way and rebuilding trust is the story that wraps through the letters and the songs. It was a pretty amazing discovery for me, of how these small things that we do for each other really end up mattering. It reminded me of these letters, because that’s what they’re about -- they’re about people doing really extraordinary things in what seem to be really ordinary moments. It’s what you do that ends up mattering. It’s not what you feel -- you know: Emotions come and go, right? With all of us, they’re always changing. What ends up mattering is what you do for each other.

HLS: You’ve been in North County for about 15 years now. How has this landscape informed your compositions?
AW: The most obvious way is that this area has given me these people to collaborate with. It was very organic the way this whole thing happened. That "For the Sender" song was the first time I had ever been involved in the writing of a song that I didn’t sing. Sean Watkins ended up singing it. It was kind of this whole crazy process for me of letting go of my own attachment. You know, in this business, that’s what you do, right? You go out and tour, and it’s your name, and it’s my name on the album -- I’m the one pushing everything and singing my stories -- and for once it wasn’t about me anymore. And that was really liberating. It was quite a transformational moment for me as an artist. This area, it’s given me these people to write with, and I feel like that wouldn’t have happened anywhere else. It happened here.

HLS: Can you take me through the songwriting process for this album?
AW: The way that I work by myself -- if I read one of these letters, a line usually pops out at me, and I’ll have a guitar in my hand, and I’ll just start. Everything will come at once, both the lyric and actual music. With other people, it’s different. You have to adjust. Jack Tempchin kind of works that way. We’ll sit on the couch and just start trading things back and forth. But Jordan’s more of a -- you know, he’s a pop-punk guy, right? -- so he runs around the room screaming [laughs]. So when we started doing stuff together, he would just kind of walk around my living room, and I’d be playing and trying to keep up with what he was hearing, basically.

HLS: One of the letters in your book and corresponding songs on your album tells the story of San Diego’s Loren Nancarrow. How did that relationship transpire?
AW: Loren heard about this first For the Sender book, and he wanted to cover it. And we just struck up a friendship while he was trying to develop this story -- and right in the middle of that, he was diagnosed. He sent me an e-mail soon after he found out, and I had the idea that maybe he could move from doing a story on it to being a story in it. His kid, Graham -- he’s a singer/songwriter who’s kind of starting out now -- he happened to be opening for me at a show down in San Diego that same week that I heard. So Loren was there, and I talked to him. By that time, he couldn’t really write, so his daughter Hannah typed [the letter] out for him. I invited Graham over here, and we did it. We wrote the song and then we recorded here too. There’s this video on YouTube of us recording the song -- ’cause we did it live with my band and Graham -- and Loren showed up. So it’s really a pretty touching video of this father seeing his son follow his dream. It’s pretty cool.

HLS: It sounds like a very heavy experience. How has your songwriting been affected by that?
AW: It’s definitely expanded it, because I’m writing with other people because they’re challenging me, and I’m challenging myself. And the subject matter, they are heavy, and it’s emotional, but there’s always this kernel of hope in there, right? In these letters, there’s this idea that something beautiful is going to come up from loss. So I don’t get too bogged down, I guess, in the weight of how emotive it is, because when you hear these songs and look in the book, they’re not about loss as much as they are about what’s coming next and the healing process. If anything, writing about these kinds of subjects has just grounded me more in the idea that we’re all part of this same conversation and the same story, because everybody’s got something -- you do, I do, we’ve all got something. We just call it by a different name.

HLS: It's pretty incredible, for those who can relate. Out of it comes this relationship you may not have had otherwise. For you, it seems it's given you this chance to explore this other side of humanity that you didn’t have before.
AW: That’s it. Growing up, I didn’t really connect to a lot of people, and it wasn’t really for lack of trying. I wasn’t exactly an introvert, but I was a shy kid, and I was quiet. So when I started doing music and writing songs, it was a huge relief for me because I could put all this stuff out there and realize that other people felt the same way, so there’s a connection. And then with this project and writing about these stories, it even further drives the point home with me that we’re all connected and we all have different roles, and however you are is all right -- everyone has a different place at the table. I feel like paying those dues [as a singer/songwriter] prepared me for what we’re doing now. I was with Graham today. He’s a talented kid, and we were talking about that exact thing -- how he’s just starting out on this journey and how you gotta do it, man, you gotta get your feet on the ground and get out there and see what happens, don’t get too married to goals or outcomes.

HLS: That’s gotta be cool to see where you’ve been through him as he’s going through it.
AW: Yeah, absolutely. You feel like you got somewhere [laughs].

HLS: So what can the audience expect for the show on Friday?
AW: You know, I have to tell you, I’ve never been involved in anything like it. And it’s going to be special on Friday because all the letter writers -- except the woman who lost her kid at [the mass shooting at the school in Newtown, Conn.] -- will be there at the show. So each letter writer will read their letter set against a video presentation. As part of this project, I went to everyone and surprised them with their songs. We have guerrilla footage of all that on our iPhones, so I edited all that together. And then immediately after, we will play the songs about the letter. That’s how the evening will unfold. And we’re gonna have a couple surprises that people will be stoked about.

All proceeds from the For the Sender Love Is (Not a Feeling) show benefit Feeding the Soul and ECOLIFE, at the request of Loren Nancarrow’s family.

Alex Woodard and guests perform at the Star Theatre in Oceanside on Friday at 7 p.m.; $25; all ages.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, recently moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.

<![CDATA[Rockin' Robin]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:24:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Robin-Roth.jpg
While many of us in San Diego are making the trek to the big festival in the desert, those staying in town can enjoy a plethora of fun things to do this weekend.
Friday night dance shenanigans include Halo and Jon Dadon at Bang Bang On the live-music tip Two Wolves and Low Volts take over the Whistle Stop; the Beautiful View, Neighbors to the North, Takahashi, Subsurfer and the Paragraphs play at the Casbah; Movits! headline an early show at Soda Bar (moved from the Irenic) and then a late show with Brother Weiss, Jackson Price and Diamond Lakes at Soda Bar; the Dodos play at The Loft (UCSD); and Super Diamond and Betamaxx are at the Belly Up (Saturday's show is sold out).
On Saturday, I’ll be hosting Club Sabbat at Numb3rs with DJs Drew Harlander and Dark Angel in the front room and Doktor Zayus in the back room (get more info here). At Fluxx, Rob Zilla celebrates the Big 4-0 with DJ Sid Vicious; Gavin Hardkiss hits El Dorado; and Booty Bassment takes over the Whistle Stop. At  the Tin Can, its Chica Diabla, Mittens and Focke-Wolves; Gone Baby Gone will perform a free show during Ray at Night; Gregory Page plays at Lestats; the Stitches headline at Soda Bar; and the Casbah features Nashville Ramblers, Schitzophonics and the Scouse Gits.
Sunday, Smooth Harbor Yacht Club play at the Hotel Palomar’s SummerSalt Pool Lounge as part of the Spring Pig Roast, and later that night at Soda Bar, check out Break Anchor (featuring Jason Navarro of the Suicide Machines), Plane Without a Pilot (Spotlighted this week on SoundDiego TV) and Ash Williams. 
Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on the dance floor.

Robin Roth is a familiar voice in the San Diego scene. She is on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 91X, plus she promotes and spins all over town. Follow Robin on Twitter @robin_roth or submit your DJ listings here.

Photo Credit: Hardy.com]]>
<![CDATA[Casbah's Yacht Rock Cruise]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:50:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/yacht-shutterstock_93951232.jpg

There are some really awesome shows around town on Thursday, including one by my friends Saint Motel from LA, who will play at the Loft, and Ghoul at Soda Bar and Tyrone Wells at the House of Blues. However, I'm focusing on my broke friends, instead: the ones who call to ask for free tickets, the ones who say they can't go out because everything is too expensive, the ones who say there's nothing going on in this town. To all of you, I say, "Bah!" As in Casbah. Start your night at MaryJane's Underground at the Hard Rock Hotel, where Tim Pyles hosts live music with Sundrop Electric and St. Cloud Sleepers. There are hosted beverages for a stretch if you RSVP. From there, head to the Casbah for a free show by Smooth Harbor Yacht Club. I've mentioned them before, and now word is spreading that they're one of the most fun bands to see live, in part for their yacht-rock selections of songs, and in part because they dress the part, but mostly because these are actually serious musicians we know from other great local acts who are genuinely out to have a fun time. And on Thursday, you can see Smooth Harbor Yacht Club for free, with or without your Members Only jacket.

Thursday, April 10:

  • Smooth Harbor Yacht Club, DJ Claire @ Casbah (free show!)
  • Saint Motel, Rainbow Jackson @ The Loft
  • MaryJane's Underground, with Sundrop Electric, St. Cloud Sleepers @ MaryJane's, Hard Rock Hotel (free, hosted 619 Vodka with RSVP from 8-9 p.m.)
  • Tyrone Wells, Ty Mayfield @ House of Blues 5th Avenue Sidestage
  • Ghoul, Iron Reagan, Occulist, They Feed at Night @ Soda Bar
  • Smoke Season, Jacuzzi Hi-Dive, Smoota @ Bar Pink
  • Mrs. Henry, Shawn James & the Shapeshifters, Luke Johnson @ Tin Can
  • LED presents Netsky @ Belly Up
  • The County Fair, Grizzly Business @ Sycamore Den
  • Sometimes Julie @ 98 Bottles
  • Paul Van Dyk @ Bassmnt
  • Burnt, Candy Warpop, Hakura @ The Merrow
  • Blue Largo @ Tio Leo's
  • Pro K vs Thrillz, Erik Salagan, Darklord GOB, Ryva, Osbahr & JesusdaPnk, BM & EVM @ U-31
  • Steph Johnson @ Croce's Park West
  • Juio Iglesias @ The Event Center, Harrah's Rincon Casino
  • So Say We All @ Whistle Stop
  • Subdvsn @ Winston's
  • Smiths Night @ El Dorado
  • Tarik @ San Diego Museum of Art
  • Bare @ Fluxx
  • Moonlight Serenade Orchestra @ Crystal Ballroom
  • Sevendust @ Sycuan
  • Metal Night @ The Shakedown
  • Kingz Land, DJ Reefah, TRC Sound System @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Live Band Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[P.O.D.'s Sonic "Boom" Heard at Harley-Davidson]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 10:29:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-00004.png Chula Vista's own Payable on Death played "Boom" and other fan favorites at the grand opening bash for San Diego Harley-Davidson's new showroom.]]> <![CDATA[Coachella Survival Guide 2014]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:35:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Coachella-blurb-generic.gif
Yeah, it’s that time again -- the back-to-back weekends of Coachella have returned.
Indio has some amazing acts this year, along with nearly 100,000 fans a day. Whether it’s your first time in the desert or you’re refining a yearly pilgrimage, SoundDiego wants to help.
Here are 10 rules to live by at Coachella 2014:
1. Hydrate. Heat stroke is no fun. This seems like a simple one, yet every year the first-aid tent is a sad tale of broken festival dreams. You’re allowed to bring a plastic, refillable water bottle into the festival, or once you’re inside, trade 10 empty bottles for a fresh, cold one. (And you can always buy them for $2 a pop.) There are no excuses for failing this basic golden rule.
2. Go see the Pixies. Talk about an upgrade! When set times were announced on Tuesday, ticket holders rejoiced after seeing that the seminal Boston quartet had been quietly added to Saturday’s lineup. The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas was also added, but we won’t scold you for missing him.
3. Don’t talk to anyone holding a microphone about bands. At last year’s festival, and more recently at South By Southwest, Jimmy Kimmel sent a correspondent to mess with camera-hungry attendees by chatting them up about bands that don’t exist. They’ll be out there looking for suckers again. Don’t be one of them.
4. If you break rule No. 3 -- and we strongly advise against that -- make sure you only answer questions about bands you actually listen to. Even if you have to say, "I have no idea," 10 times in a row, do it.
5. Use sunscreen. This seems about as basic as it comes, but I still see people on Saturday and Sunday looking like John Candy in Summer Rental. It’s the desert. Do your skin a favor and put it on.
4. Check out the art. Sure, bands are the big draw out in Indio, but festival organizers always do an incredible job providing attendees with the best in high-concept installations. New things are added every year, and they’re listed in the program. Plus, it just wouldn’t be the same without things like the Tesla Coil or gigantic, mechanical snail out there.
5. Don’t get too wasted. This isn’t a lecture, just a call to use some common sense. Have fun but remember that Coachella is a long, physical experience under the hot sun. Go beyond your limits and it can get dangerous. Not to mention that every person there has a smartphone and is just waiting to capture an idiot doing something stupid. Don’t be the star of their movie. Even if you bypass an emergency situation, you definitely don’t want to end up like this.
6. Go see the Knife. That one goofy friend of yours might be trying to drag you to the Cult but don’t let him. He’s going to bring up the Electric album over and over again, and maybe even start singing "King Contrary Man." Resist. Go see the Knife for no less than a half-hour, and then, if you absolutely have to, make your way over to the Cult. They still won’t have played "She Sells Sanctuary" or "Love Removal Machine," and, really, that’s all you need to see.    
7. Bring your phone charger into the festival. Standing in the mile-long charging station line is a drag. Really, the self-service stations aren’t much better, but they’ll save you some time.
8. Don’t underestimate the upside of getting a locker or bringing your own hand sanitizer. You just don’t want to end up asking questions like, "Where the hell did I leave my backpack?" or "What did I just stick my hand in?"
9. Check out the Sahara Tent. Make your way down to the never-ending dance party at least once over the weekend. It’s a completely different world and a total people-watching paradise -- and it goes the other way as well. If all you do is hang in the Sahara all weekend, "roll" over to some of the other stages and check out a few bands. Diversify.
10. Comfortable shoes. I know it’s difficult for some to ignore fashion, but nothing will put a damper on the Coachella experience faster than a pair of incessantly barking dogs. It doesn’t matter if they’re Crocs, Moon Boots or bunny slippers --  if they make your feet happy, wear them. At this point, if snowshoes made my feet feel the best, I’d rock them without thinking twice.
Safe travels and see you in the desert! 
Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com


<![CDATA[8 SD Acts That Could Play Coachella]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:02:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/LittleHurricane.HOB.Hancock+%286%29.jpg

It’s always a little disappointing when, every year, the Coachella lineup is announced and there’s only one or two acts with San Diego ties. Don’t get us wrong -- we love that we are represented at all, but given that the music festival seems to take place nearly in our back yard, we wish some of the excellent bands in our vibrant scene would get an invite. 

And that got us thinking: Out of all the stellar bands here, which ones could be playing Coachella? Well, our picks are below. As always, this was a tough list to put together and could have easily been filled out with a ton of other great local artists. Who do you think should be playing the great gig in the desert? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Griever: Metal isn’t represented in a big way at the annual Indio music festival, but that needs to change. Why shouldn’t it be? And who better to usher in that change than the Escondido-based hardcore metal band Griever. We never knew North County had this kind of beastliness lurking about.

  • Ilya: Back from a seven-year hiatus, one of San Diego’s finest post-rock bands with a flair for haunting vocals and beautiful atmospherics just released its new album, In Blood (watch our recent SoundDiego Spotlight segment with the band here). We were left stunned at their April 5 record-release show at the Irenic -- and have a feeling Indio audiences would be, as well.

  • Little Hurricane: With its new album, Gold Fever, due out April 29, this retro blues rock duo would have been a perfect fit for this year’s lineup. We were actually surprised when they weren't on the flyer.

  • Northern Tigers: Do yourself a favor and listen to Northern Tiger’s infectious garage-pop single "So What" right now and try not to become addicted. Just try it -- we double-dog dare you. Afterward, let us know which stage the Tigers should be playing. We’re going with the Gobi Tent.

  • Off!: When you’re not traipsing around that polo field in the desert, looking for $10 water or waiting to see a hotly anticipated buzz band, sometimes you just want to let loose in the most basic way possible. Bring the Off! punk quartet to the festival’s main stage and prepare to lose your s---.

  • Schitzophonics: If you’ve seen guitarist/singer Pat Beers perform at a Schitzophonics show, you have most likely had your mind blown by his guitar histrionics. If they were to ever play Coachella, you’d hear the sound of 50,000 hipster heads exploding (also, read the SoundDiego Record Club review of the band's new single here).

  • Tom Waits: Every year, there are rumors that Waits has finally signed on the play at the Empire Polo Club -- and, every year, we're let down. Quite frankly, if the growling, gravelly voiced singer/songwriter ever does show up, the place would become even more of a circus than it already is. His fans would go nuts.

  • Dum Dum Girls: How this beloved New Wave/garage-pop band led by the inimitable Dee Dee Penny has never played the festival is beyond us. What’s that? They’ll be there this year? Well, hey, at least we got one!

Here's a few of the other lists we've put together:


Photo Credit: John Hancock]]>
<![CDATA[People's Party]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:09:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Foster-the-People1.jpg

There are a few bands in recent history whose popularity skyrocketed almost overnight. It wasn't too long ago that Foster the People performed their first show in San Diego to a few dozen people at the Soda Bar. Just a couple months later, the band was all over alternative and Top 40 radio stations with "Pumped Up Kicks" and have since sold out venues in town like the House of Blues and even SOMA. The band is back now with a sophomore release, and I respect their tour routing for hitting the Belly Up instead of larger venues they probably could've filled quite handily, because it means they're taking the time to work the new material so it can become as ubiquitous as that first album. Their show is sold out, but given their past trajectory, I'm confident in saying that if you don't have tickets for the show, they'll probably be back before you know it.

Wednesday, April 9:

  • Casbah presents Foster the People, Young and Sick @ Belly Up (sold out)
  • Kodiak, Gone Baby Gone, the End @ Casbah
  • Jeffertitti's Nile, Jail Weddings, Shiva Trash @ Soda Bar
  • Amigo, Candy Warpop, Tactical Feever @ Tin Can
  • 20XX Party @ Bar Pink
  • Chihiro Yamanaka & Her Trio @ Dizzy's
  • Small Disaster @ Seven Grand
  • Lovelight Open Mic @ The Hideout
  • Kyle Myers @ Croce's Park West
  • Cobra Heart, ViiCES, Prayers, Pal & Drome @ U-31
  • Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam @ Seven Grand
  • The Tighten Up! @ El Dorado
  • Records With Roger @ Bluefoot
  • Open Mic With Jefferson Jay @ Winston's (6-9 p.m.)
  • Club Kingston presents Roots Covenant, DJ Carlos Culture @ Winston's
  • DJ Heather Hardcore @ Til-Two Club
  • Wu-Tang Wednesday with DJ Cros-One @ Whistle Stop
  • Scott Pemberton Trio, Mudgrass @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Club M.A.W. @ Henry's Pub
  • Future Wednesdays @ Kava Lounge
  • Joe Cardillo @ Wonderland Ocean Pub
  • Open Mic @ The Merrow
  • Open Mic/Open Jam @ 710 Beach Club
  • Johnny Tarr @ Henry's Pub (7:30-9:30 p.m.)
  • DJ Christopher London @ Henry's Pub (9:30 p.m.)
  • Christopher Dale Acoustic @ Tio Leo's

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Samaria Daniel]]>
<![CDATA[The Fresh Sound of Singing Reeds]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:06:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bush-image.jpg

My admiration and appreciation for concert promoter Bonnie Wright’s Fresh Sound series continues to soar -- there simply isn’t anything like it -- and the April 2 duet performance by multi-reed virtuoso’s Marty Ehrlich and Ned Rothenberg upped the ante of previous highlights in astonishing and transformative fashion.

I came very close to missing this concert. Spending five hours in an airplane (90 minutes of them stranded on the tarmac in Houston due to computer problems), then discovering that my luggage had been lost left me in no mood to extend my sleep deprivation. But when was I ever going to get the opportunity to experience the music of these two masters again? Reluctantly, I dragged my sorry self to the Loft at UCSD.

One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Ehrlich and Rothenberg opened the evening with a Bb clarinet duet titled "Warm Tremor," and I was immediately drawn into the fascinating sonic contrasts between the two. Wrapping around each other with dark swirls, pad-popping and keening vocalizations, each reedman alternated between free-flowing lines and a grounding ostinato. Ehrlich then played a solo feature dedicated to Bob Dylan, "Lay Down a Weary Tune," and the degree of nuance he elicited -- slinky arcs from simmering chocolate to strangled yelping and plaintive vibrato -- erased all weariness from my consciousness.

Both of these cats are tone sculptors nonpareil, Ehrlich, in my mind, extending the Eric Dolphy tradition of intervallic melodicism, while Rothenberg seems to be coming from the Anthony Braxton field of microstructures and coruscating timbral acidity.

On his first solo exposition, Rothenberg wound his alto saxophone through undulating long-tones, assembling uninterrupted fractal collages through circular breathing, gradient degrees of multiphonics into a breathtaking showcase. Especially gratifying was the duet on "Bright Canto," a quirky ballet of aggressive counterpoint anchored by Ehrlich’s foghorn bass clarinet, and an improvisation inspired by a preconcert warmup at Wright’s Mission Hills home dubbed "Channel the Gorge," which featured Rothenberg’s ghostly shakuhachi flute hovering above Ehrlich’s oversize licorice stick. It all came to a boil on Ehrlich’s tribute to the ailing Arthur Blythe, "12 for Arthur." Ehrlich strapped on an alto saxophone while Rothenberg manned the bass clarinet for a wonderfully swinging romp that evoked the Middle Eastern vibe of Blythe’s "Odessa," from the shattering Lennox Avenue Breakdown album.

The concert concluded with Rothenberg’s nod to the iconoclastic Albert Ayler, "Future Folk," which balanced the honey with the cider as each musician explored parallel conversations in slightly tangential dimensions. It had the reverential sonority of an elegy on the surface -- with a dark current of turmoil gurgling just beneath.

This amazing collaboration will not soon be forgotten by this weary traveler.

<![CDATA[Ain't Life Grand Tarantula?]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:15:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/grand+tarantula1+722.jpg

If you're looking for some fuzzed-out frenetic tunes, Soda Bar is your spot on Tuesday. We haven't seen Grand Tarantula in a while, which is enough reason to drop by, but stay for the fuzzy stylings of Burnt Ones and have a drink or two with the guys of Wild Wild Wets to escape the Tuesday blues. The bar is air-conditioned, so even if you just need a place to cool down, this is definitely your spot to beat the heat.

Tuesday, April 8:

  • Burnt Ones, Grand Tarantula, Pez Headz, Wild Wild Wets DJs @ Soda Bar
  • Shane Hall & the Diabolicals, Sound Lupus, the Whiskey Circle @ Casbah
  • Jesse Nova @ Alchemy
  • Local Brews, Local Grooves, featuring Craig Morgan, Chad Warriz, Mini Mega @ House of Blues Voodoo Stage
  • Tiki Tuesday @ Bar Pink
  • Markus Schulz @ Bassmnt
  • Art Show @ Tin Can
  • Craig Morgan: The Journey Tour 2014 @ House of Blues
  • Protomartyr LP listening party @ Whistle Stop
  • The Mike Dillon Band, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey @ Winston's
  • The Mud Bugs @ Tio Leo's
  • Train of Thought @ Queen Bee's
  • #Tr@pped with DJ Ramsey @ The Office
  • Rockabilly Tuesdays @ Henry's Pub
  • Forces of Light, Kombat, J-Splat & Ghost Strype @ Kava Lounge
  • Metal Night @ The Shakedown
  • Reggae Night with DJ Non Profit @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Bryan Wingen]]>
<![CDATA[Kiss-ing Black Lips on Music MonDaze]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:05:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/219*120/041209TopEnt1.jpg

By this time next week, my feet will hurt, I’ll be dangerously sleep-deprived and the first weekend of Coachella 2014 will be in the books. Instead of playing it smart by resting up and buying new tennies, however, I spent Saturday and Sunday at shows – good ones.

Punk rock goofballs Black Lips closed out the first leg of their new tour with an epic performance at the Belly Up on Saturday night. Their career-spanning set whipped the sold-out crowd into a frenzy from start to finish, and fellow Atlantans, all-girl three-piece the Coathangers, were close to perfect in the opening slot. We shot what is sure to be an incredible SoundDiego segment at the show, so stay tuned for that in just two short weeks.

Last night, I made the trek to the Casbah to check out another sold-out show from Philadelphia’s the War on Drugs. Frontman Adam Granduciel made good on the promise of the band’s critically acclaimed new album, Lost in the Dream, with a near-perfect set of spacey noodlers and mid-tempo chuggers (read our SoundDiego record review here). They only have those two cards up their sleeve, but do know how to use them well. 
• Think the controversy surrounding Kiss’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is silly? Want to give the band some advice first-hand? Need some new reading material? You’re in luck. Kiss singer/guitarist Paul Stanley will be at Warwick’s in La Jolla signing copies of his new memoir, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed,” on April 17 – one week after the band is officially inducted. A copy of the tell-all book, two tickets to the signing, and the chance to not only get it autographed, but be so close you could run your fingers through the iconic front man’s chest hair, can be yours for just over $30.     
• Not everything on April Fool’s Day was a joke. Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact released their self-titled debut and it’s no laughing matter. Channeling everyone from Candi Staton and Betty Davis to Morcheeba and Brightback Morning Light, these 12 tracks of soul and funk are stunners. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. It’s available now here.
• Unless you were fast on the draw, you won’t be checking out Arctic Monkeys this summer. The band recently sold out August dates at L.A.’s Staples Center and San Diego’s Open Air Theatre in two hours. So unless you feel like traveling to Indianapolis or Cleveland, start buttering up that one friend of yours who paid attention to the on-sale and had her credit card at the ready. 
• Local indie/pop rockers Oh, Spirit (featuring the Blackout Party’s Jesse Bowen on bass) just released their new single, “Price of Love,” last week. It’s taken from the band’s soon-to-be-released EP.
• New albums this week from: Black Label Society, Highasakite, Holy Mountain, John Frusciante, King Dude, Liam Finn, OFF!, Protomartyr, Ratking, the Faint, The Mary Onettes, and Young & Sick.
Show of the week: If you’re not headed out to the madness in Indio, check out Movits! at the Irenic on Friday. The Swedish hip-hop trio should be almost as enjoyable as OutKast and far less crowded. Tickets are available here
Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giving the People What They Want]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:25:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/IMG_7814SharonJones_2.jpg Before Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' incendiary performance at the House of Blues, FM94/9 radio host Tim Pyles talked with the soul goddess about her recent battle with cancer -- and how she's back and better than ever.

Photo Credit: Dan Chusid]]>
<![CDATA[Proud Mary Keep On Burnin']]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 10:25:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/198*120/proudmarycropped.jpg

San Diego is always growing and shifting, people leave while others decide to relocate and call it home. Such is the case for the UK's Greg Griffin of Proud Mary. With a successful band across the pond, he's decided, at least temporarily, to call San Diego home. He's dipping his musical toes in the water, and with the help of members of the Silent Comedy, will be bringing his soulful folk sounds to the Casbah for a mini-residency. You can catch Proud Mary tonight for Anti-Monday League, along with Dr. Seahorse and Tiger & the Teller. Your best Monday night bet for sure.

Monday, April 7:

  • Proud Mary, Dr. Seahorse, Tiger & the Teller @ Casbah
  • Lures, Trips, the Swift Beats @ Soda Bar
  • The Tin Can Country Club Showcase feat.Clint Davis @ Tin Can
  • Ones to Watch with Skype Presents Kid Ink - My Own Lane 2014 US Tour, King Los, Bizzy Crook @ House of Blues
  • Earphunk with Brothers Gow @ Gallagher's
  • Monday Night Mass with the Husky Boy All-Stars @ Bar Pink
  • ABBA Mania @ Belly Up
  • Soul Party with Stevie Harris @ The Hideout
  • Velvet Cafe @ Alexander's (30th & Upas)
  • Spring Fest Happy Hour @ The Loft, UCSD
  • Mondays no longer suck! Featuring Josh Damigo and San Diego's premier acts @ House of Blues
  • Wheels of the Industry @ Live Wire
  • Open Mic hosted by Chad Taggert @ Lestat's
  • Electric Waste Band @ Winston's
  • Dub Dynamite @ The Office
  • Kinetic Soul with Antonio Aguilera, Joey Jimenez, Jonny Tarr @ Henry's Pub
  • Karaoke @ Til Two Club
  • Karaoke @ Coyote Bar & Grill
  • Industry Night with Lee Churchill @ U-31
  • Trivia Night @ Whistle Stop

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Proud Mary Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Ed Ghost Tucker Make a Splash]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 11:49:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/bp15.jpg We take a look at "Sofia," the splashy new music video from local indie pop band Ed Ghost Tucker -- while discussing how they almost never became a band.

Photo Credit: John Audley]]>
<![CDATA[SoundDiego Set List: April 6-12]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 11:25:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/199*120/fosterthepeople.nbcsd3.jpg This week promises some pumped-up shows including Foster the People and Kid Ink -- watch our Set List for all the details!

Photo Credit: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lost in the War on Drugs]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 10:54:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/thwarondrugsadamgranduciel.jpg

Truly great albums all seem to have one thing in common: They sound better while traveling. Of course, listening to a favorite record at home is enjoyable and all, but pop that same music in your car stereo and it will take on a whole different feel. The good ones become better: They're more memorable, more moving -- more of everything. The "car test" is even a common practice among bands during the recording process -- until songs sound good while driving around, they're just not done.

Lost in the Dream, the excellent new album from the War on Drugs, who play the Casbah on Sunday, comes to life within this concept. It's an album made, perhaps entirely by mistake, to soundtrack a journey. 

The 10 songs on the new full-length (buy it here) bound along with some kind of locomotive urgency -- like they can't wait to get where they're going -- while occasionally meandering in space after running out of steam. Indeed, half the record's tracks wander for more than six minutes, an homage to a time when pop records were dominated by the folk ethos that music existed mainly as a vehicle for storytelling.

That's not the only similarity between Lost in the Dream and, say, Bob Dylan: It's a veritable forging of Dylan's 1997 atmospheric return-to-form Time Out of Mind and the thematic melodrama of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. -- both records that also sound more at home on the road than they do on any audiophile's home stereo system. 

Even though this album has its share of long-running epics, they're never tedious or heavy-footed. Singer/guitarist Adam Granduciel co-wrote these songs with his touring bandmates (pianist Robbie Bennett and bassist Dave Hartley), and you can definitely hear the collaboration: Instrumentation and lyrics share equal amounts of space in these restless, fluid tales -- one never overwhelming the other. Abstract excursions ("The Haunting Idle," "In Reverse") exist next to the pulsing, energetic waves of "Burning" and the unbridled recklessness of "Red Eyes" (listen to it here).

There's a clear '80s theme surging throughout the album, with the lead-off track "Under the Pressure" sounding uncannily similar to Don Henley's "Boys of Summer." But it's not a complaint -- it's a welcome familiarity. Whatever the influences -- whether it's Granduciel's Dylan-esque syllabic emphasis or the digital drum machines that echo the percussion of Tom Petty's "Don't Come Around Here No More" or Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" -- they only serve to enhance the album's warm melodies and even more-inviting ambience.

Lost in the Dream is a marriage of ideas and formats that work together to serve the overall feel of the work as a whole; it's not about the end result but, rather, the journey there -- much like a road trip.

The War on Drugs headline the Casbah on Sunday, with White Laces opening. Doors are at 8:30 p.m.; 21+. The show is sold out.

Dustin Lothspeich plays in Old Tiger, Chess Wars and Boy King. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.

Photo Credit: Jason Kempin / Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Blackout Party to Remember]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 10:56:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DSC06200+-+Copy.JPG

The San Diego music scene is vast and covers many genres, but one incredible thing about our scene is the way it can come together when someone is in need. Today, a great lineup of bands are uniting to raise money for Bea Corona who has been battling brain cancer. She recently underwent surgery which removed 90% of the tumor, but will undergo chemo and radiation therapies to fight the remaining cancer. There will be free pizza, a raffle with some great prizes, and of course, awesome music. By night, the War On Drugs perform to a sold-out crowd at the Casbah (read our show preview here), the Frights take the stage at Che Cafe, and Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas performs at Humphrey's by the Bay.

Sunday, April 6:

  • Benefit for Bea featuring Blackout Party, Behind the Wagon, Masteria, Sleeping Ghost @ Bar Pink (2:00 p.m.)
  • Rat Sabbath featuring DJ Ratty (10:00 p.m.) @ Bar Pink
  • The War on Drugs, White Laces @ Casbah (Sold Out)
  • The Frights, Great Ghosts, Wide Streets, the Pilgrims, Suzys Dead @ The Che Cafe
  • Rob Thomas @ Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay
  • 2nd Annual Brew Classic @ Mission Bay/Crown Point
  • Lime Cordiale, Ed Ghost Tucker, Social Club @ Soda Bar
  • Rome, Aloha Radio @ The Belly Up
  • Devon Jane @ San Diego Civic Theatre
  • Eats Everything, Lee K @ Bang Bang
  • Mark Fisher Trio @ Croce Park West
  • Pants Karaoke @ The Merrow
  • Ace's Jam Session @ Gallagher's Pub
  • Aubrey Fay (10:00 a.m.), Michael Paulo (8:00 p.m.) @ Humphrey's Backstage
  • Natalie Emmons, Mike Genovese, Whetherman @ Lestat's
  • Rump Shaker w/ DJ Artistic, Tramlife, Artform, DJ L @ U-31
  • Jose Sinatra hosts O.B.-o-ke @ Winston's

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Rosemary Bystrak]]>
<![CDATA[Upcoming Concerts]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:04:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP208166347222.jpg Some of the names playing San Diego stages this summer may surprise you, including Nine Inch Nails.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Live: Delta Rae]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:05:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/DeltaRae.ConnieBolger.HOB+%283%29.jpg Delta Rae, a band that combines blues, country and folk rock, headlined the House of Blues on a bill shared with Joshua James.

Photo Credit: Connie Bolger]]>
<![CDATA[Are You Feeling Ilya?]]> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:49:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/ILYAnbc.png

My eyes are popping out of my head just sifting through all of the incredible events and shows happening on Saturday. I'll probably spend the first part of my day at the Vinyl Junkies Record Swap at the Casbah, where our  own Robin Roth and Daye Salani will be spinning alongside No Knife's Mitch Wilson, Brian Karscig of the Nervous Wreckords and Dale Crover of the Melvins. By night, I think I'll go to the Irenic to see the return of San Diego's Ilya, who have adjusted their lineup and released a new record, In Blood. Of course, there are plenty of shows even after that, so perhaps Oh, Spirit at Soda Bar or the newly reformed New Kinetics at the Casbah are calling my name. Hopefully you can find some great options tonight that call your name.

Saturday, April 5:

  • Vinyl Junkies Record Swap, with DJs Daye Salani, Brian Karscig, Mitch Wilson, Robin Roth and Dale Crover  @ Casbah (11 a.m.  to 5 p.m.)
  • Casbah presents Ilya (CD release), Champ, Arms Away @ The Irenic -- watch our Spotlight segment with Ilya here
  • Casbah presents Black Lips, the Coat Hangers @ Belly Up
  • The Cult, Prayers @ Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay
  • The Long and Short of It, Sailor Mouth, Gods of Science @ Tin Can
  • Oh, Spirit; Diatribes; Michael McGraw & the Butchers @ Soda Bar
  • The New Kinetics, Gloomsday, Schitzophonics, the nFormals @ Casbah
  • Dinosaur Ghost, Vinyette @ Bar Pink
  • V Elements Festival, with the Routine, Emancipator, Slow Magic, Orgone, Particle, DJ Logic, Ana Sia, Emancipator Ensemble@ Liberty Station
  • Heartsounds, Success!, the Mighty Fine, Western Settings, Londons Falling, Shinjoku Riot, Caskitt @ Til Two Club
  • The Suicide Chords, My Elysian, Vattica (CD release), Neo Geo @ The Merrow
  • Zucchero @ Balboa Theatre
  • Club Ascension 8 Year Anniversary @ Kava Lounge
  • Boonie Walker @ Bang Bang
  • DJ Loczi @ Hard Rock Hotel
  • Los Tigres Del Norte @ Valley View Casino Center
  • Beatles vs Stones @ The Events Center, Harrah's Rincon Casino
  • Snow Tha Product, Caskey @ Porter's Pub, UCSD
  • Creepshow, Phenomonauts, Rat City Riot, the BlackJackits @ The Shakedown
  • Penis Hickey, the Cardielles, Vela Toem, Some Kind of Lizard @ The Tower Bar
  • Alan Reid and Rob Van Zante @ San Dieguito United Methodist Church Hall
  • Eion and Kendra @ Analog
  • 145th Street @ 98 Bottles
  • Matt Hall's Bebop Explosion, The Tim Lin Quartet @ The Loft
  • The Great Work, Paper Days, VJJ, Bad Viiibes, We Care @ The Che Cafe
  • Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, Vince Staples @ Worldbeat Center
  • Agua Dulce @ Croces Park West
  • DJ Ikon @ Fluxx
  • Sand Dollar, DJ Chelu @ Gallagher's Pub
  • Cancer Can Rock, featuring Mystery Skulls @ House of Blues
  • Cosmic Thing @ House of Blues
  • The Farmers @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Heart Pharmacy, Digital Lizards of Doom @ Lestat's
  • Stu Hamm @ Ramona MainStage
  • Latex Grenade, Miles to Nowhere, Dana Henry @ 710 Beach Club
  • Face Your Maker, Peace In Terror, Head of the Hydra, Impale Thy Neighbor @ SOMA
  • Mr. C, David Scuba, Dance Spirit, Jon Dadon & Jimbo @ Spin
  • The Reflectors @ Tio Leo's Lounge
  • Lee Churchill @ U31
  • Zach Deputy with C. Money and the Players Inc. @ Winston's

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events and general musings about life in San Diego on San Diego: Dialed In. Follow her updates on Twitter or contact her directly.

Photo Credit: Nicola Wilson Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Black Lips Service]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:09:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/177*120/Black+Lips_by+Mick+Rock1edited.jpg

The Black Lips know how to talk dirty to the attention-starved, their guttural music a promise hissed in the ear of the needy. And they’re a damn good time. Any band write-up includes stumbling descriptions of on-stage nudity, kissing, urinating, or vomiting. Maybe there’s mention of clubs banning the group for those very antics; of bassist Jared Swilley and guitarist Cole Alexander, who formed the Black Lips back in their middle school years, getting kicked out of high school. But it’s not who Atlanta’s rockers are anymore -- at least, not entirely. Equal parts pop wild, dirty blues, and garage punk, the Black Lips are still here for a good time and a great show, and on Saturday, April 5, the Belly Up becomes their playground.

They’ve been at this for 15 years now, no longer inexperienced teens figuring out instruments behind a veil of show-making entertainment (Alexander has said that they studied James Brown to that end). The release of last month’s Underneath the Rainbow, produced by the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, captures the band’s persona, probably because they didn’t try too hard to do it. That’s not to say they don’t care. But these guys are organic, not overly calculating in studio, with Swilley, Alexander, Ian Saint Pé (guitar) and Joe Bradley (drums) each bringing the songs he wrote to record, and together finding the album therein. The result hurts at times, the way music is meant to -- pulling at something unrecognizable or forgotten, enticing you to listen on repeat if only to figure out what the hell they’ve hit on.

Maybe it’s not as serious as all that. But the speak-sing vocals and hypnotic guitar charm regardless, as do the Southerners themselves -- however unconventionally. Here, Swilley talks travel, sunken treasure, chivalry, and more from the road en route to Solana Beach for tomorrow night’s show.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz: With tours to the Middle East, India, and the like taking the Black Lips to six continents, you guys must enjoy the travel aspect of touring. Where else do you want to go?
Jared Swilley: I’d really like to go more into Southeast Asia, like Malaysia and Indonesia. We’ve gotten a lot of response from there. Also I’d like to get more into South America. We just did Bogotá for the first time, which was really awesome.

HLS: How was Columbia?
JS: Oh, it was great. It’s crazy going to a place that you’ve never been to before, and you don’t know if anyone knows you. But all these people knew about us, and we made a lot of friends, and they showed us around. It was awesome. That’s the great thing about getting able to travel in a band -- like with a band. When you go places, you’re not just a tourist. It’s like you’re meeting these friends for the first time, and they kind of show you the ropes. It’s really fortunate being able to travel like that.

HLS: That’s gotta be one of the perks of being on the road so much.
JS: I mean, it’s cool. You meet people’s families, their parents, hang out at the bars they go to. Yeah, it’s really nice.

HLS: Congrats on the new album, by the way. It sounds darker than previous records. Where does that come from, or would you disagree?
JS: I’m not sure. I thought it sounded kind of darker, but I don’t really know why. We never really have a concept for a record or talk about where we want to go with it or anything. It’s just basically everyone writes their songs, and when it’s time to go into the studio, we record all the songs that everyone’s been writing and just pick out the ones that sound the best. So there’s not really rhyme or reason to it. I do think it sounds a little darker, but I’m not sure why or where that came from.

HLS: Did you guys spend much time in the studio for this one?
JS: So this record and the last record are probably the ones that we spent the most time in the studio with. But it’s still not that long. I’d say maybe we did 20 days or something like that, maybe a little more. But usually we’re pretty quick in the studio. But we try now to spend a little more time. We used to just do it out of sheer lack of funds and resources, so we’d have to go in and do it as fast as we could because we didn’t have any money to record. Now we can take our time a little more -- if we don’t like something we can do it over.

HLS: Is there anything else you thought you might do other than write music? You started when you were pretty young.
JS: I’m glad that I fell into this profession, because there’s a bunch of others that I don’t think I’d be very good at. I guess maybe be an explorer or a treasure hunter, something like that.

HLS: There’s good money in that.
JS: Yeah, there’s still three million sunken ships that haven’t been discovered yet in the Atlantic Ocean alone. So think on that a little bit.

HLS: How does being from the South come out in your music?
JS: It’s where pretty much pop music came from. You had all these cultures coming together in one place at a certain time, forced to be together, so all this music just got mixed up and then you had this crazy brew of gospel, country, and blues, and then came the rock and roll. You kind of grow up with it there. My father was a minister in a gospel church, or is, and my grandfather as well, and all my uncles, so I grew up singing church songs. I think there’s a big musical tradition down there.

HLS: Gospel has influenced a lot of musicians -- not always necessarily the religious aspect, but the community.
JS: The thing I love about gospel music is you can’t get anything musically more honest and raw and open and intense as that. Even the best rock and roll song in the world is still distinctly about some chick or cruising around on a Friday night. Gospel music, these people are singing about their relationship with God. You can’t really get more passionate than that, because you can’t recreate that belief with that much conviction thinking about something else.

HLS: You guys are known for your stage antics, and it’s easy to write off bands that entertain well as just being a fun time. Have you had to reckon with that in the past?
JS: I think the records speak for themselves. It would be easy write us off if we weren’t actually making good songs. But as far as all that goes, a lot of it’s drummed up, like stuff you read, and a lot of that stuff we did when we were teenagers, and there wasn’t that many people watching. We did that in the beginning just to put on a good show because we weren’t very good at playing, and we’re still just trying to put on a good show that’s entertaining. Basically all we’re going to do is go out there and make everyone have a really good time. That’s all that counts.

HLS: Do you guys still have the Black Lips Fan Hotline?
JS: Oh yeah, we used to have that because there was this phone company -- I guess they were trying to become like a hip phone company -- and they gave us a free phone. Since we couldn’t split one phone between four people, we just turned it into a hotline when we were on tour, and we’d just talk on the phone to fans all day.

HLS: Did you get some weird ish from that?
JS: Yeah, really weird. We got a suicide call -- that’s when we pretty much stopped doing it, because that was really creepy. I don’t know, it might have been a prank, but they seemed pretty genuine about it. But most of the time, it was like probably a teenage girl that would call, and they'd be like, "Hello? Is this the Black Lips?" And you’re like, "Yeah," and then you’d hear a bunch of laughs and then just a hang up. But it was cool, we’d give dating tips; guys would call up and ask for tips on how to get chicks. We’re pretty good at that, so we gave like fatherly advice. We’d give like restaurant recommendations, and be like, oh, well take her to this place and then pull her chair out for her, hold the door open.

HLS: That Southern thing coming through.
JS: Yeah, well, that’s chivalry.

The Black Lips play the Belly Up on Saturday, April 5, at 9 pm, $20, 21+. The Coathangers open.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, recently moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.

Photo Credit: Mick Rock]]>