<![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 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:28:13 -0700 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:28:13 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Best Shows This Week in SD]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 08:46:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/Motley+Crue+300_4948.jpg Weezer, Motley Crue, Devin the Dude -- the best shows in the region this coming week are at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Porter's Pub and all over San Diego County.

Photo Credit: Steve Covault]]>
<![CDATA[There's Nothing Routine About This Band]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 07:31:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/The+Routine.jpg San Diego band the Routine, who are about to play the Belly Up with English Beat, talk about why they're able to play the blues.]]> <![CDATA[Get a Burrito With Your Pizza]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 07:46:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/teenageburritos.jpg+-+Copy.jpg

On Sunday, we follow in the path of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and spend a day to honor pizza. A whole day to thank our lucky stars that Luigi's brought great sliced pizza to our 'hoods, for being open late, and when they're not, knowing you could find their extra slices at your favorite dive. Today is Luigipalooza at the Golden Hill location of Luigi's, with live music and cheap slices all day long. Of course, many of our favorite bands are employed by the spot, so we can't blame them for setting ambiguous band order, but you should just hang out as long as you can and catch Teenage Burritos, Grand Tarantula and Grammatical B, to name just a few. Later in the night, catch Municipal Waste at the Casbah or the Tontons at Soda Bar to make your night complete. 

Sunday, July 27:

  • Luigipalooza 10 Year Anniversary of Luigi's, featuring Teenage Burritos, Shark Blood, Death Eyes, Grand Tarantula, Grammatical B, Viv Vates, Clean Room, Mucho Macho @ Luigi's Golden Hill (all other locations closed Sunday, no to-go orders or deliveries, bands not necessarily listed in order of appearance)
  • Municipal Waste, to the Point, WitchHaven, Eukaryst @ Casbah
  • The Tontons, Tiger and the Teller, Marqay @ Soda Bar
  • #SDCC X-Box Lounge @ Seaport Ballroom 2nd Floor, Grand Hyatt (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: GodzillaCon @ Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center Lawn (free, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Fox FanFare @ Lawn Between Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center (open to the public)
  • #SDCC: San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina ‘Perk Up’ lounge (2-6 p.m.)
  • Rat Sabbath feat DJ Ratty @ Bar Pink
  • Highrise Productions presents It's Our Time, featuring Fuzz Huzzi, Dante's Boneyard, Lions Named Leo, Permacrush, Vlad Arthur, Willie Psycho @ House of Blues (7 p.m.)
  • The Radioactive Chicken Heads, Jedi Elvis @ 10th Avenue Theatre
  • Vaud & the Villains @ Belly Up
  • Gustavo Romero @ La Jolla Athenaeum
  • Jacquie Lee, Will Champlin, Dia Frampton, Christina Grimmie, Jake Worthington, Jake Barker @ San Diego Civic Theatre
  • DJ Jeff Terich @ Whistle Stop
  • Kris Bradley @ Tin Roof (4 p.m.)
  • Random Radio @ Tin Roof (10 p.m.)
  • Evan & Saba, John Dorman @ Sycamore Den
  • Intervention with Manufactured Superstars @ Float, Hard Rock Hotel
  • The Robin Henkel Band @ Lestat's
  • The Voice Tour @ San Diego Civic Theatre
  • Damballas Toybox, Eden H, Craig Shannon @ The Bancroft
  • Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, Chase Rice, John Pardi @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
  • Stelita @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (11 a.m.)
  • U-Nam @ Humphreys Backstage Live (7 p.m.)
  • Destructo Bunny @ Winston's (2 p.m.)
  • Smokey Hoof @ Winston's (5-8 p.m.)
  • OB-o-ke @ Winston's (10 p.m.)
  • Sunday Funday @ 98 Bottles
  • Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Acoustic @ Sycuan
  • For the love of Austin Speed @ Kava Lounge
  • Cool Band Luke @ Gallagher's Irish Pub (3 p.m.)

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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 Teenage Burritos ]]>
<![CDATA[RSVP NOW! SoundDiego LIVE 8/29 at Bar Pink!]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:14:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/174*120/NQ2C9069Barbarian_2_2.jpg
We're taking July off to recharge, but SoundDiego LIVE is coming back to North Park on Friday, Aug. 29!
Yep, that’s right: For the next installment of our FREE monthly live-music bash, we'll be holing up at Bar Pink (on 30th St. and University) for a party hosted by 91x's Robin Roth.

If you're like us, you want to know one thing: Who's headlining? Ask and ye shall receive: Barbarian! The local garage surf/pop group has been making major waves not only in San Diego but nationally as well. Being hand-picked to tour the U.S. with Bat for Lashes will do that for a band! Rumors are, they're also primed to drop a new album fairly soon -- and you're sure to get a taste of the new material at our party.
"Barbarian have a post-punk pop feel with elements of psych and surf rock," 91x DJ Robin Roth said. "They're the perfect soundtrack to summertime."
We'll also be featuring the fuzz-rock trio Buddy Banter as well. The group has been on fire as of late, scheduling shows with everyone from Diarrhea Planet and GRMLN to the Appleseed Cast. Their 2013 album, "Paradise Thrillz," even made our Best of 2013 list -- read about their sun-shiny rock goodness here.
Roth is convinced the the lineup is perfect for summer: "The combination of Barbarian and Buddy Banter, who’s influences include the Strokes and the Pixies, will make for a great SoundDiego LIVE -- hot August nights always make for some incredible shows, so there's nothing better than when they're free and include awesome bands."
And if you were wondering: Yes,our sponsor Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey will, naturally, be hosting a happy hour starting when the doors open at 8.
And 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 for their ride home from SoundDiego LIVE that night.
So go ahead, San Diego, and make the right call – go big at SoundDiego LIVE on Aug. 29 at Bar Pink: RSVP here now!

Photo Credit: Dan Chusid]]>
<![CDATA[Poway Teen Is All That Jazz]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:01:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/189*120/Jackie+Foster.+photo+by+Steve+Abruzzo.jpg

Teenage vocalist Jackie Foster, a recent graduate of Poway High School, just won a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass.

Foster is the recipient of the Lollapalooza/Berklee Endowed Partnership, which represents an ongoing effort to recruit more rock-oriented talent to the school primarily known as a jazz institution. The teen was selected following a grueling search process that involved auditions and interviews in 20 U.S. cities.

"My goal within the next few years is to do whatever I can to build my skills and get noticed," Foster said this week. "Berklee has the top facility and training in the world for contemporary music, and I will be surrounded by extremely talented peers and master professors. I've been singing since the age of 6 by starting in musical theater (CYT). Since then, I have been trained in all genres, including classical, pop, R&B, rock and most recently, jazz."

I confess to having a certain ignorance of the music scene in Poway, but Foster set me straight:

"They have a wonderful music program.... Poway is swarming with talent, and I got to better my understanding of classical music and theory with my national-award-winning choir and further my love for musical theater by participating in lead roles of our school’s productions," Foster said. "Poway also has a great instrumental jazz program, and since they knew I loved to sing, I was able to enjoy four years as a lead soloist at many of their performances."

So is she ready for the infamously frigid Boston winters?

"I am in love with the city, and I was able to visit Berklee students in the month of February," Foster said. "It wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be. Layers is the key! I knew I wanted an urban environment, and Boston will give me that, plus a climate change! I love San Diego and know I will likely wind up in Los Angeles in the future, so for now a beautiful change of scenery is just what I need."

The North County singer isn’t lacking ambition or confidence: "My dreams and aspirations are to become a professional vocalist, recording my own music and touring the world," Foster said. "I have big dreams to become famous one day, and I know that if I put in the effort that I have done so far, nothing can stop me."

 Robert Bush is a freelance jazz writer who has been exploring the San Diego improvised music scene for more than 30 years.

Photo Credit: Steve Abruzzo]]>
<![CDATA[Do it for the Kids]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 10:49:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/DSC02051.JPG

All your media coverage this week has been dominated by Comic-Con information and a who's who of celebrity sightings. For all intents and purposes, Saturday is the last hurrah for 2014, loaded with parties most of us can't even stand around and pretend to be invited to. So you can wander around downtown and still do the CC thing, but we recommend taking a break and supporting a mainstay in San Diego: The Miller Family's Alex's Lemonade Stand. Supporting a national charity that raises money for childhood cancer, the Lemonade Stand outgrew the Miller's home, so this year you'll find it at the Masonic Lodge parking lot across the street from Rosie O'Grady's in Normal Heights. Support a great cause and catch live music from Josh Damigo, Spero and Jimmy Ruelas. By night, find the Comic-Con event of your liking, or catch a show with the Muffs and the Loons at the Casbah, Emily's Army and Grand Tarantula at the House of Blues or welcome back Brick By Brick with a show with the Burning of Rome. 

Saturday, July 26:

  • Alex's Lemonade Stand, featuring Josh Damigo (4-6 p.m.), Spero (2:30-4 p.m.), Jimmy Ruelas (12-1:45 p.m.) @ Masonic Lodge (3366 Adams Avenue, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • The Muffs, the Loons, Aquadolls, the Touchies @ Casbah
  • Soda Bar presents Emily's Army, Grand Tarantula, Groms @ House of Blues Voodoo Room (7 p.m.) -- watch our Grand Tarantula Spotlight clip here
  • DJ Logic and the Earful @ Winston's (9 p.m.) -- read our interview with DJ Logic here
  • Say Anything, the Front Bottoms, the So So Glos, You Blew It! @ House of Blues
  • The Burning of Rome, Sanguindrake, Mursic, Spero @ Brick By Brick
  • Donovan Frankenreiter @ Harrah's Resort Southern California
  • Yacht Rock Vol. 6 Happy Hour, with DJ Claire @ Whistle Stop (5-8 p.m.)
  • Jimmy Ruelas @ Seven Grand
  • Janet Robin, Caroline Corn, Raelee Nikole @ Lestat's
  • The Montalban Quintet @ Bar Pink
  • Make Out Monday @ House of Blues
  • Pine Mountain Logs, Horn If Your Honky @ Belly Up
  • Booty Bassment @ Whistlestop (9 p.m.)
  • Slightly Stoopid, NOFX, Stephen Marley, the Expanders @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
  • #SDCC: Wired Cafe Lounge @ Omni Hotel Pool Terrace (invite only, 11 am-5pm.) 
  • #SDCC: Heroes Brewfest, feat. Vokab Kompany, DJ G-Roy @ Embarcadero Park North (VIP, 3-7 p.m.; general admission, 4-7 p.m.)
  • Hills Like Elephants, River City, Soft Lions @ Soda Bar
  • #SDCC: The truTV Impractical Jokers Tour, featuring the Tenderloins @ San Diego Civic Theatre
  • #SDCC: NBC Digital Network Party @ Hotel Solamar Rooftop (invite only, 7 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Marky Ramone's Wild Night, featuring the Black Mambas, Gizzelle Andrea Becerra, Marky Ramone DJ Set @ Til-Two Club (ticket Information)
  • #SDCC: "Star Trek" 2009 Movie Presentation, with live soundtrack performed by San Diego Symphony @ Summer Pops, Ebarcadero Marina Park South
  • #SDCC: Thrilling Adventure Hour and Welcome to Night Vale @ Spreckels Theatre
  • #SDCC: Opposition Rising, Disaster Strikes, ArtoWar, Haruka, Black Heads @ YardHouse (4th & Broadway)
  • #SDCC: EW's Annual Party @ Float, Hard Rock Hotel (invite only, 9 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Stay Strange Presents Deviancy & Delinquency Art & Performance by XR @ Space 4 Art (7 p.m.)
  • #SDCC 20th Century Fox Annual Comic-Con Party @ Pizzeria Mozza (invite only, 7:30-9:30 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Fox FanFare @ Lawn Between Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center (open to the public)
  • #SDCC: San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina "Perk Up" lounge (2-6 p.m.)
  • #SDCC:  ArtExpoSD @ Wonder Bread Factory (121 14th St, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: GodzillaCon @ Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center Lawn (free, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • #SDCC X-Box Lounge @ Seaport Ballroom 2nd Floor, Grand Hyatt (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Barrio Art Crawl @ Barrio Logan (3-6 p.m.)
  • Mark Miller @ Tin Roof (7 p.m.)
  • Chamber Band @ Tenth Avenue Arts Center
  • Model Talk, the Daydream @ Across the Street, Mueller College
  • Lee Coulter, Dawn Mitschele @ Java Joe's/ArtLab
  • Sensory Station, Pictures From Eden, Opus of Era @ Tin Can
  • Scion, Blackcast, Until the Sunrise, Full Moons Eve @ Epicentre
  • Bixel Boys @ Bang Bang
  • Irieality, Project out of Bounds, Sound Lupus, Seedheads, Revival, Melapelus @ SOMA
  • Guides, Sound Lupus, Buddy Banter, Causers @ The Bancroft
  • Patrick Berrogain @ Croce's Park West
  • Temple of the Dad @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (5 p.m.)
  • The Farmers @ Humphreys Backstage Live (9 p.m.)
  • Heavy Metal Swapmeet After Party, with Nukem, Infernal Conjuration, Memory, Christ Killer and more @ Tower Bar
  • Burning Down @ Winston's (5-8 p.m.)
  • Sid Vicious. Rico De Largo @ Fluxx
  • Lorenzo Antonio @ Sycuan
  • Robert Dove Sextet @ 98 Bottles
  • International Youth Symphony @ California Center for the Arts Escondido
  • Artificial Intelligence @ Kava Lounge
  • CJ's Rock & Roll Explosion, DJ Chelu @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Brothers Gow @ 710 Beach Club
  • Sol Sacrifice @ Tio Leo's
  • DJ E & Yodah @ Henry's Pub
  • Pat Travers, Seventrain, Vaseline (STP tribute), the Roni Lee Group @ Ramona Mainstage
  • Reggae Summer Splash, featuring Temple of Roots Zion Love Soundsystem, Blackheart Warriors with Full Regiment @ World Beat Center
  • The Greg Douglass Band @ V Lounge, Viejas Casino
  • Caliber @ V Lounge, Viejas Casino

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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[An Earful of Logic]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:11:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/189*120/logic01_credit_michael_weintrob.jpg

Jason Kibler (aka DJ Logic) is not your typical DJ. The Bronx native’s nearly 25-year career is every bit as eclectic as his massive record collection.

Starting out in early '90s R&B’ers Eye & I, Kibler formed a life-long friendship with Living Colour’s Vernon Reid after the guitarist guested on one of the band’s tracks.

The two would pair again on Kibler’s true debut, the hip-hop/jazz mash-up of 1999’s "Project Logic," and once more with their partnership in the Yohimbe Brothers.

But it was Logic’s work on Medeski Martin and Wood’s 1998 Blue Note debut, "Combustication," that cemented the DJ’s readiness to collaborate with musicians from any genre. And he’s stayed true to the philosophy, working with everyone from the Grateful Dead and Christian McBride to Charlie Hunter and G. Love.

“It’s always good to see musicians and DJs collaborating,” Kibler recently told SoundDiego by phone from New York. “And it’s great when it goes both ways – DJs learning the music, and musicians learning aspects of DJing. It’s good to see that whole thing gel. Growing up, I had a keyboard and I played clarinet. I’ve always been excited about collaboration. It’s an incredible feeling to contribute ideas to something musically amazing.”

Kibler’s most recent collaboration finds him paired with the Earful - a San Diego funk collective featuring members of the Mars Volta and B-Side Players. Nominated for Best Jazz Artist at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards, the Earful are ending their current West Coast tour with shows featuring Logic. That includes a tour-closing stop on Saturday at Winston’s Beach Club in Ocean Beach.

“I’ve known those guys for a while now,” said Kibler. “I’m a big fan of their music and a big fan of the guys in the band. Plus, the timing was right for us to do something this summer.”

Kibler is already working on follow-ups to last year’s releases of "Are You Ready," a more hip-hop-centric solo album, and "Chillin’ in Batumi," an album he made with Georgian pianist Beka Gochiashvili. DJ Logic dates will continue throughout the year, and the turntablist is always working on a steady stream of remixing and production work.

“I just take it as it comes,” he said. “There’s a lot of music out there. I’m always interested in learning, no matter how much I do, or how many styles I play. I’m always keeping it open to exploring more and more, and challenging myself. I just love music.”

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

Photo Credit: Michael Weintrob]]>
<![CDATA[MGMT Rock the Midway]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:45:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MGMT_102466965.jpg
Comic-Con is in full swing and that means a projected 130,000 extra people will be in San Diego this weekend. Make your plans accordingly and join in on the madness, whether it is inside the convention center, around it or beyond.
On Friday, the Cult plays as part of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's Summer Concert Series. The show is free with track admission and you can grab more info here; Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton takes over Embarcadero Marina Park South; the White Buffalo headlines at the North Park Theatre; CraveOnline is doing a party with MGMT live and a Grimes DJ set on the USS Midway and it is invite only; the Fear FestEvil After Party with Exodus, Kirk Hammett is at F6ix and it is RSVP only; Flying Lotus headlines a sold-out show at the Casbah; Goo Goo Dolls play at Harrah’s So Cal; Banyon featuring members of Jane’s Addiction (Stephen Perkins) and more takes over Winstons; and Guttermouth is at Soda Bar.     
Saturday, the undead will walk the streets of the Gaslamp, as the 8th annual Zombiewalk takes over downtown San Diego. Get all the details here. Later that night, you can get your dance on with Club Sabbat at Numb3rs and the themed event “Nightwalkers vs. Daywalkers. Live music options include Vokab Kompany at Embarcadero Park North as part of the Heroes Brewfest. Slightly Stoopid, Nofx and Stephen Marley hit Sleep Train Amphitheatre; The new and improved Brick by Brick presents the Burning of Rome, SanguinDrake, Mursic and Spero; Donavon Frankenreiter plays at the Events Center, Harrah's Resort SoCal; Marky Ramone’s Wild Night with Gizzelle & Black Mambas is at Til-Two; Say Anything takes over House of Blues; Hills Like Elephants, River City and Soft Lions are at Soda Bar; Emily’s Army, Grand Tarantula and Groms play the House of Blues Voodoo Room; and the Muffs, the Loons, Aquadolls, and the Touchies are at the Casbah.
On Sunday, Intervention at the Hard Rock Hotel features Manufactured Superstars. It’s also the 10 year anniversary of Pizzeria Luigi and to celebrate, Luigipalooza will be happening all day long at the Golden Hill location with live performances from Teenage Burritos, Grand Tarantula, Shark Blood, Grammatical B and more. Later that night, the Casbah hosts Municipal Waste, To the Point, Witchhaven and Eukaryst; For the Love of Austin Speed, with all proceeds going to his recovery, is at The Kava Lounge; and the 19-piece New Orleans orchestra and cabaret act Vaud and the Villains take over the Belly Up.
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.

<![CDATA[SD, Where the White Buffalo Roams]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:21:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/whitebuffalo.jpg

It's hard to write about Jake Smith, aka the White Buffalo, without mentioning to his physical stature. He's an imposing figure, and the man and his guitar are better suited to outlaws and roadhouses than poets and coffee shops. He has developed quite a following from his records and from his music placements in "Sons of Anarchy." It's fitting that he's performing at the North Park Theatre, as it was just last year that he headlined Rocktoberfest in the theatre's parking lot. Meanwhile, Flying Lotus and Peaking Lights will perform for a sold-out crowd at the Casbah, Guttermouth will destroy Soda Bar, and the Cult are at the track for the Del Mar Summer Concert Series. Friday's especially coveted tickets, though, are for MGMT and Grimes on the USS Midway, but tickets are scarce and the waiting is long, so good luck with that one.

Friday, July 25:

  • Casbah presents the White Buffalo, Jonny 2 Bags @ The North Park Theatre
  • Flying Lotus, Peaking Lights, Maria Minerva, M Geddes, Mirage @ Casbah
  • Chris Tucker @ San Diego Civic Theatre
  • Guttermouth, Western Settings, the Dirty Nil, Skipjack @ Soda Bar
  • The Cult @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Summer Concert Series
  • Soda Bar presents GRMLN, Buddy Banter, Same Difference @ House of Blues Voodoo Stage (7 p.m.) -- read our interview with GRMLN here
  • Bonkers! Dance Party @ Bar Pink
  • Wild Child, Jumping Jack Flash @ Belly Up
  • Seaway, Stick Up Kid, Candy Hearts, Driver, Friendly With Age, Short Stories, It All Starts Here, the Plague, Between Us, the Rebound, Heavyweight @ Epicentre
  • Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, Sarah Donner, Birdie Rae @ Tin Can
  • Garfunkel & Oates @ House of Blues (6 p.m.)
  • Nena Anderson @ Java Joe's (ArtLab)
  • Goo Goo Dolls, Plain White T's, Daughtry @ Harrah's Resort Southern California
  • #SDCC: Wired Cafe Lounge @ Omni Hotel Pool Terrace (invite only, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 
  • #SDCC: CraveOnline’s "The Last Ship" Comic-Con Party, featuring MGMT, Grimes (DJ set) @ USS Midway (invite only)
  • #SDCC: 4TH Annual Comic-Con Nerd-a-Thon, featuring: MC Frontalot, MC Lars, Schaffer the Darklord, Dr. Awkward, Devil's Playground Burlesque, Chamber Band @ The Merrow
  • #SDCC: @Midnight Live with Chris Hardwick @ Balboa Theatre
  • #SDCC: Danny Elfman's Music From the Films of Tim Burton @ Summer Pops, Ebarcadero Marina Park South (8 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Tested.com presents Incognito: A Celeration of Cosplay @ Sidebar (free, open to the public, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.)
  • #SDCC: Fox FanFare @ Lawn Between Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center (open to the public)
  • #SDCC: GeekNation's "Showrunners, the Movie" party @ Quality Social (RSVP only)
  • #SDCC: Fear FestEvil After Party, with Exodus, Kirk Hammett @ F6ix (must have RSVP)
  • #SDCC: Rock the Con 2014,  featuring Gunner Gunner, Dynamo Fixx, the Rooms, and DJ 1979 @ The Lower Left (465 17th Street; all ages; $10 with CC badge, $15 general admission; 5 pm. to midnight)
  • #SDCC: Funko FunDays @ Wyndham Bayside (8-11:30 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Geek & Sundry Lounge @ Jolt'nJoe's (open to the public at 10 a.m. daily)
  • #SDCC: Adult Swim Fun House/Meatwad Full Dome Experience @ Tailgate Park (18+, tickets distributed at noon daily, open from 3-10 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: ArtExpoSD @ Wonder Bread Factory (121 14th St, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Hollywood Babble-On, with Ralph Garman & Kevin Smith @ House of Blues(11 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina ‘Perk Up’ lounge (2-6 p.m.)
  • #SDCC X-Box Lounge @ Seaport Ballroom 2nd Floor, Grand Hyatt (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: GodzillaCon @ Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center Lawn (free, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Flash Bash, presented by Buzzfeed and the CW @ Altitude Sky Lounge, Marriott Gaslamp (RSVP required, 5-8 p.m.)
  • #SDCC Nerd Machine's 5th Annual Nerd Party @ Petco Park (invite only, 10 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: "Outlander" Premiere @ Spreckel's Theatre (invite only, 8 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: SyFy Sharknado 2 Party @ LoungeSix, Hotel Solamar (RSVP required, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
  • #SDCC "Bates Motel" Party by Playboy and A&E @ Seventh between Island & Market (invite only)
  • #SDCC: Invaded By Unicorn, featuring DJ Dand, Divadanielle, Lee Reynolds, Porkchop, Erik Nelson, Witness Protection, Will Levine, Jaykwon, Matteisenberg, the Beat Bandit @ Spin (unicorn cosplay encouraged)
  • Soul Organization @ Seven Grand
  • Cookie Monsta, Zomboy, Eptic Convulsic, DJ Marcadelic, Kontusion, Havoc SD @ Somewhere Loud
  • Ruby & the Red Hots @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (5 p.m.)
  • Beta Maxx @ Humphrey's Backstage LIve (7pm)
  • Deep House Night @ The Hideout
  • El Consumption, City Tribe, Splavendar @ Sycamore Den
  • A Distant Calm, Kardashev, Roar Like Me, Resomation @ SOMA
  • The Darlings, Jason Cruz, Howl & the Pullmen @ Porter's Pub
  • Tribute Rebels @ Dizzy's
  • Aiden James, Mike Bailer @ Lestat's
  • Crown Town @ Tin Roof (10 p.m.)
  • Kris Bradley @ Tin Roof (7 p.m.)
  • Pentagrams and Daisies, Fictitious Dishes, International Dips---, Badabing @ The Bancroft
  • Lee Churchill @ U-31
  • Philem, Nukem @ Brick By Brick
  • Atomic Groove Christmas in July Happy Hour @ Belly Up
  • Tegan Taylor Band @ Croce's Park West
  • Rattle Rockin Boys, the Firecrackers @ Tower Bar
  • Banyan (featuring members of Jane's Addiction, KDTU) @ Winston's
  • Never Pass Go @ The Shakedown
  • DJs Lil Smile and Jeff "Guero" Graves, Kumbia Kult, Dr. Seussio @ Til-Two Club
  • Gloomsday, Shiva Trash @ Whistle Stop
  • SKAM Artist 10 Year Anniversary, with Big Syphe, Craig Anthony, Eric D Lux, Justin Credible, Melo D @ Fluxx
  • Lee K, Andrew Decade @ Bang Bang
  • Moonlight Serenade Orchestra @ Crystal Ballroom (414 N. Magnolia, El Cajon)
  • Antarmartin Aggregation tribute to Eric Dolphy @ 98 Bottles
  • The Return of HYPE @ Kava Lounge
  • Makeda's Birthday Celebration, with Toombao @ WorldBeat Center
  • Wild Nite @ Tio Leo's
  • Full Moon Fever, DJ Arox @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Club Musae @ Boar Cross'n
  • Russell and Brian Barbarin @ 710 Beach Club (5-8 p.m.)
  • Open Arms, Paper Lanterns @ 710 Beach Club
  • The Buckleys @ V Lounge, Viejas Casino
  • Powerhouse @ V Lounge, Viejas Casino

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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: White Buffalo]]>
<![CDATA[The GRMLN Invasion]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:30:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GRMLN+Hooded+Collective+Press.jpg

Opening shows can be difficult for bands. Most audience members aren't usually there to see openers and have little interest, if any, in becoming actual fans. The majority of folks won't even show up to the venue in time to catch early sets -- and the ones that do, physically radiate with the glow of hope that every song they play will be the last song they play.

Of course, that's not always the case. As a musician, I've played plenty of shows where folks stop praying for your sonic assault to end, and end up actively enjoy the music. That's the dream, right there. For what it's worth, GRMLN -- the Orange County-based garage pop punk band who headline the House of Blues Voodoo Room on Friday, July 25 -- seem to have a knack for doing just that.

After seeing the quartet open for Tijuana Panthers at Soda Bar last year, they frankly stole the show. I was immediately turned and gave in to the summery, energetic wall of catchy hooks and '90s-era melodies, the passionate onstage swagger -- heck, even the name (as a child of the '80s, the 1984 film "Gremlins" will always hold a particularly soft, furry spot in my nostalgic heart).

"I was running around my neighborhood one day and just thought that the name was cool," GRMLN guitarist/singer Yoodoo Park told me. "And it reminded me of a nasty creature that was shunned from people and society -- and I felt like that ironically during the time I was writing and recording the songs, so I kept it."

The band's 2010 debut EP, "Explore," was more of a solo project for Park and his brother, Tae San Park, and decidedly more dreamy than their 2013 full-length follow up, "Empire." That record bobbed along with a fun yet nervous energy; angst-riddled anthems about disparate youth, girls and uncertain futures married the melodic pop worship of early Weezer, and Ty Segall's reckless fuzz fits.

"I’ve been getting a lot of comparisons to bands from the 90’s like Dinosaur Jr.," Park explained. "But I usually flip around with my musical influences because I have gnarly A.D.D. when it comes to stuff like that."

GRMLN's new album, "Soon Away," releases Sept. 5 via Carpark RecordsThe comparisons will surely keep coming, as the band's new album, "Soon Away," is scheduled for release via Carpark Records on Sept. 5 (pre-order it here). Leadoff single "Jaded" sounds as heavy as anything they've dropped to date, with subtle nods to Hot Rod Circuit and the Get Up Kids (listen to it here).

"This album that I wrote is a lot heavier and darker compared to the stuff that I put out before -- both lyrically and sonically -- and that was just a natural shift I went through the past few months while writing. My [songwriting] is usually 'free-write,' so if I have a chord progression that I like or a melody that I like, one or the other dictates the direction of the song depending on my mood."

Even though success seems to have had the band's name from the get-go, it hasn't always been very easy for Park.

"Being born in Japan while having a Korean background, I have this whole cultural identity crisis thing all the time. Especially having Asian public figures in media today being portrayed in movies and entertainment as the 'second-rate' actors (meaning, rarely seen in leading roles in movies -- unless they’re the 'comedic/nerdy Asian') prevents the new generation of Asian-Americans to have role models that they can personally identify with, or look up to. Growing up, I didn’t have any actors, musicians, or public figures that could help me culturally identify with myself (at least in America). Because of the lack of these public figures with Asian backgrounds, it is hard for the newer generation to look up to and follow in the steps of predecessors in 'American' entertainment and music. People these days see bands like the Strokes, or every other band, fronted by a 'white' singer -- so hopefully people can be inspired seeing a 6’5" Asian dude yelling his voice out on a stage for a change. After all, race has nothing to do with success -- only if you let the judging get the better of you."

Thankfully, he doesn't seem to let it faze him. GRMLN is on a furious upward trajectory, and even though everyone around him seems to know it, Park's not about to kick back and chill out: "I feel like there's way more to be accomplished, so I can’t really slack off."

Soda Bar Presents GRMLN at the House of Blues Voodoo Room on Friday, July 25 with Buddy Banter. Tickets are $10 and available here.

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

Photo Credit: Hooded Collective]]>
<![CDATA[OK, Go Already]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:09:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/okgo_VMAs.jpg

Comic-Con is in full swing, and there are plenty of off-site events for the public on Thursday, including Linkin Park's free show at Petco and the Aquabats 20th Anniversary show at House of Blues, but I would still say it's worth the drive to the Belly Up to catch the Rube Goldberg-loving antics of OK GO. Elsewhere, the Casbah kicks off Four Nights of the Con with Boris, and the North Park Theatre welcomes the steampunk set with a set by Steam Powered Giraffe. Then again, maybe you just want to get away from it all at a fun dance party with Okapi Sun at Bar Pink. So much to do in one night, the choices really are endless.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 (Comic-Con):

  • OK GO, Miles Hendrik @ Belly Up
  • Boris, Mustard Gas and Roses @ Casbah
  • Steam Powered Giraffe @ The North Park Theatre
  • #SDCC: The Aquabats 20th Anniversary Tour, Koo Koo Kanga Roo @ House of Blues
  • Okapi Sun, Ishi, We Are Sirens @ Bar Pink
  • Sir Daniel, Third Eye Command, DJ Woody the Homewrecker @ Soda Bar
  • For We Are Friends, Stephen and Zooey, Serovox @ The Merrow
  • Tori Amos, Trevor Moss, Hannah-Lou @ Humphreys Concerts By the Bay
  • Lazy Cobra, Red Wizard, Supersonic Dragon Wagon @ Tin Can
  • Trouble in the Wind @ Boar Cross'n
  • Kenny Eng @ Java Joe's
  • #SDCC: Wired Cafe Lounge @ Omni Hotel Pool Terrace (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.., invite only) 
  • #SDCC: Adult Swim Fun House/Meatwad Full Dome Experience @ Tailgate Park (18+, Ttckets distributed at noon daily. Open from 3-10 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: MTV’s Fan Fest, feat G-Eazy and Linkin Park @ Petco Park (free; first come, first served with CC badge. 7 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Nerd HQ Fan Party @ Petco Park (9 p.m., free)
  • #SDCC: GodzillaCon @ Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center Lawn (8 a.m. to 8 p.m., free)
  • #SDCC: Walker Flash Mob @ Petco Park
  • ArtExpo VIP Party @ Wonder Bread Factory (4-9 p.m., 121 14th St.)
  • #SDCC: w00tstock @ Balboa Theatre
  • #SDCC: San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina ‘Perk Up’ Lounge (2-6 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: BOOM! Studios 9th Anniversary Drink-Up @ Odysea Bar, Hilton Bayfront (9 p.m., open to the public)
  • #SDCC: Video Games Live @ Summer Pops, Embarcadero Marina Park South
  • #SDCC: Fox FanFare @ Lawn Between Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center (open to the public)
  • #SDCC: Qanvas By Quiznos @ Space 4 Art (RSVP, hosted food and beverage, 21+)
  • #SDCC: Witches of East End Party @ The Tipsy Crow (RSVP, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.).
  • #SDCC: The Kings of the Con @ Coyote Ugly (9 p.m., invite only)
  • #SDCC: Geek & Sundry Lounge @ Jolt'nJoe's (open to the public at 10 a.m. daily)
  • #SDCC: "Sin City 2" party, featuring SuicideGirls Burlesque @ Float, Hard Rock Hotel (invite only, 7-10 p.m.)
  • #SDCC X-Box Lounge @ Seaport Ballroom 2nd Floor, Grand Hyatt (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Scholastic Party @ Hotel Palomar SummerSalt Pool (RSVP, 7-10 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: ComiXology Co-Sponsors the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Comic-Con Welcome Party @ Westgate Hotel (8-11 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Showtime "Penny Dreadful" Party @ US Grant Palm Court (7-10 p.m., invite only)
  • J-Mann @ Tin Roof (8 p.m.)
  • Allison Lonsdale, Eben Brooks,Adam Sakellarides @ 10th Avenue Arts Center
  • Drum Wars @ Brick By Brick
  • Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular @ Valley View Casino Center
  • Tyler Boone (CD release), Rachel Ann Weiss, Savanna Shai @ Lestat's
  • Andre Damar, Vince Staples, Skeme, Audio Push, Black Resume @ Porter's Pub
  • Le Ra, Bixby Knolls, Tactical Fever, Dead Ghosts @ The Bancroft
  • Inxec, Jon Dadon, Jimbo James, Mike Lepiere @ U-31
  • Danny Green Trio @ Croce's Park West
  • Valerie Pierce @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Vagaond Swing @ Winston's
  • Timothy H, Fish Tacos @ The Shakedown
  • Deniz Koyu @ Fluxx
  • Charity Strike @ Bassmnt
  • Astrojump with Kill Quanti DJs @ Whistle Stop
  • Soulfly, Lody Dong, Dark Measure @ Ramona Mainstage
  • The Little Kings @ Tio Leo's
  • DeepHaus @ Kava Lounge
  • King Scha Scha @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Live Band Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[Time to Say Your Prayers]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:57:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/gnsf108-Prayers-Gothic+Summer.jpg
Dave Parley and Rafael Reyes, better known as Prayers, have done it again with an eye-catching black-and-white music video for their new single, "Gothic Summer."
The cholo-goth electronic duo from both sides of La Frontera take you for a ride on a '58 Chevy Fleetside lowrider truck, into the 'hood where life and death is real. But don't worry: Reyes' bodyguard, Sean, is in the back of the truck to protect ya neck. Despite the ominous song title and lyrics, the theme is brightened with the chorus being sung by Reye's real-life nieces and nephews. The heart-thumping electric keyboard intro grabs you by la oreja. It's a "Gothic Summer," baby.
Reyes, a veteran Sherman/Grant Hill Park gangster, sings about the brotherhood: "Esoteric tendencies, fire in my veins/If you ain't with us, then you're one of them/Known to fight for nothing/Known to fight for less/So many doing life/Yet the neighborhood forgets/ Santa Muerte, won't you sanctify their names?"
"Gothic Summer" is easily one of San Diego's best summer music releases. The video was shot at Mount Hope Cemetary, where Reyes' dad is buried. You can see Reyes paying respects to his father's tombstone, and his brother from another mother, Parley, comes to support him in his mourning. The brotherhood between Parley and Reyes is clear. Later, two groups of "little warriors" appear on opposing sides of the cemetery with water balloons to fight each other in good, clean fun. The video gives you a little bit of the 1979 flick "The Warriors" and the prophetic reflections of Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan. It serves as a good reminder that where there's turmoil or loss, there's an opportunity for people to come together …. and ride off into the sunset in a killer hydraulic lowrider truck to pick up ice-cold paletas in Chicano Park.
Watch the "Gothic Summer" video here. You can purchase Prayers' "Gothic Summer" EP here.  Rafael Reyes will be signing his book "Living Dangerously" on Friday at SD ArtExpo at Wonder Bread Factory 121 14th St. from 5-6 p.m. Prayers will also have their music featured in the film, "Dark Progressivism: On Rupture to Rebellion"

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: a still from "Gothic Summer" music video]]>
<![CDATA[9 SD Bands That Need to Reunite]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:06:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pinback-Del-Mar-Lead-Edit.jpg
With beloved San Diego rock bands like Rocket From the Crypt, Louis XIV, Mrs. Magician, the New Kinetics, and Dirty Sweet making headlines these days by reuniting, it got us thinking: What other local bands need to make another run at it?
This is, admittedly, a difficult list to assemble, since everyone typically enjoys nostalgic connections to different acts for personal reasons. We did our best, however, to highlight nine bands from America's Finest City that we would love to see take the stage again. There are countless others, of course -- this list could have easily been five times as long -- but if you've got a group in mind that needs to reunite, comment below and let them know!

  • Black Heart Procession: We're not sure if the band (which has featured members of Modest Mouse, the Album Leaf, Rocket From the Crypt, Ugly Casanova, Three Mile Pilot and others) are entirely broken up or not, but we haven't heard from them in four years. That's more than enough time to include the guys on this list -- their dark,gloomy version of indie rock is sorely missed.

  • Counterfit: The closest we get to hearing any form of indie rock/emo group Counterfit these days are the rare Justin Rodriguez acoustic performances at the Tin Can Country Club shows (a venue he actually owns) and guitarist Daniel Reed's new hard rock group, the Gods of Science, who played a SoundDiego LIVE event in January. We'll definitely be at those shows, but we'll always be hoping for the real thing.

  • Crash Worship: There was/is nothing like the industrial/noise/live performance art band known as Crash Worship, which broke up in 1999. Due to their extreme live shows (sex, nudity, explosives, mysterious liquids showered on audiences, etc.), the group was eventually banned from several cities across the country. We think the bans have probably been lifted at this point -- so the time is ripe for a return, eh?

  • Cuckoo Chaos: Sunny indie pop quintet Cuckoo Chaos broke up this past December to pursue a different artistic direction as the moody indie rock Deadphones -- which ended up calling it quits, too, before stirring again. C'mon, guys. Don't make us beg.

  • The Dragons: Helmed by hometown musical mainstay Mario Escovedo, the Dragons were punk at its best but they broke up in 2005. Those of us longing for a comeback lost our minds at their reunion show during the Casbah's 25th anniversary in January, but we need more.

  • Drive Like Jehu: Every one of our staff members led off with one name when asked which San Diego bands need to reunite: Drive Like Jehu. These angular, spastic post-punks were the real deal. With vocalist Rick Froberg now fronting the Obits and guitarist John Reis spending his time producing records, leading the Night Marchers and reforming Rocket From the Crypt, it doesn't look like we'll be seeing these guys together anytime soon. But one can dream. Oh, and, hey, while we're at it, we'll throw Hot Snakes and Pitchfork in with this, entry too.

  • Heavy Vegetable: The last we heard from Heavy Vegetable, which was one of Pinback frontman Rob Crow's first bands, was 2000's "Mondo Aqua Kitty" collection of B-sides and rarities. We think it's time for this progressive/math/garage rock band to get heavy again.

  • Noise Ratchet: These guys made a name for themselves nationwide by flailing themselves across stages, writing killer rock hooks and getting signed by Rick Rubin -- only to disband shortly thereafter, with two members forming Delta Spirit and guitarist Roger Molina playing in Creature & the Woods. Coincidentally, both Noise Ratchet and Counterfit played their final San Diego show on Dec. 11, 2004, at El Cajon's Ground Zero club.

  • The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower: Fans of this band's spastic punk/hardcore sound wept and gnashed their teeth when they called it quits. Legendary for their indendiary, confrontational shows, we're hoping they start plotting again.


Links to some of our other lists: 

Photo Credit: Ryan Cowen]]>
<![CDATA[The Road to Shelter Island]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:03:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Lyle+Lovett+%284.15.11%29.jpg

There is definitely a buzz in the air as San Diego's biggest week kicks off with preview night. For those of you not diving into the night for collectibles, there's still life all over San Diego to enjoy. Soda Bar hosts the awesome Birds of Chicago, while Casbah has a grouping of pop-punkers of yesteryear performing in new projects. Jimmy Cliff will bring the reggae love to Belly Up, and Miss Erika Davies and Midnight Pine team up for a sweet night at Whistle Stop. Still, I always make Lyle Lovett my top pick because he's amazing, he's legendary, and maybe one day someone will hand me tickets to his annual trek to Humphrey's By the Bay.

Wednesday, July 23 (Comic-Con Preview Night):

  • Birds of Chicago, the Lovebirds @ Soda Bar
  • Matt Pryor (the Get Up Kids /the New Amsterdams), What's Eating Gilbert (featuring Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory), the Josh Berwanger Band (the Anniversary/the Only Children) @ Casbah
  • Lyle Lovett & His Large Band @ Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay
  • Jimmy Cliff, DJ Carlos Culture @ Belly Up
  • Erika Davies, Midnight Pine @ Whistle Stop
  • The Nardcast presents Comic-Con Meets North Park, featuring Hocus, Shady Franco, Glass Spells, DJ Pocket @ U-31
  • Vangelis Acid, featuring Vytear, Engineeer, MaxBetta/gEars, '60s Residue @ The Merrow
  • H.A.M. featuring DJ L @ Bar Pink
  • Hello Penelope, Ranger, Creature & the Woods @ Tin Can
  • On Fifth, Caitlin Ashley, Darius Degher, Jerry Giddens @ Lestat's
  • Bon Affair presents Rachel Ann Weiss @ Whole Foods (Del Mar)
  • #SDCC: Wired Cafe Lounge @ Omni Hotel Pool Terrace (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Invite only) 
  • #SDCC: Comic-Con Kickoff Party @ Hotel Solamar (9 p.m. to 12 a.m.; RSVP required)
  • #SDCC: GodzillaCon @ Hilton Bayfront/Convention Center Lawn (8 a.m. to 8 p.m., free)
  • #SDCC: Craft/Art, featuring Jen Vaughn (Avery Fatbottom), Eric Johnson (Rex Mundi), Rafael Navarro (Sonambulo), Jeremy Cox (Vampyrates) @ Stone Brewing Tap Room (795 J St., 7-10 p.m., continues till midnight next door at Rare Form)
  • #SDCC: Dim Mak Comic-Con Party, with Yolanda Be Cool, Klever, All Gold @ Stingaree Guest House 
  • #SDCC: Gabe Eltaeb's Comic Kickoff Fundraiser @ Bar Basic (9 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: Hop-Con 2.0: The w00tstout Launch Festival, with guests: Drew Curtis, Wil Wheaton, Greg Koch (Stone Brewing CEO) @ Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station (7-10 p.m.)
  • #SDCC: 2nd Annual Enchantment Under the SDCC @ Henry's Pub (8 p.m.)
  • Moonpool @ The Shakedown
  • Nathan Collins @ Croce's Park West 
  • Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam, featuring Bruin @ Seven Grand
  • Maztek @ Kava Lounge
  • The Tighten Up! @ El Dorado
  • Records With Roger @ Bluefoot
  • Open Mic with Jefferson Jay @ Winston's (6-9 p.m.)
  • Sully Band @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Trunk Slammers @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Future Wednesdays @ Kava Lounge
  • 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.)

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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[Jessica Hernandez Shares Her "Secret"]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:08:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GNSF104-JessicaHernandez.jpg

If you didn't check out Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas on July 13 at Soda Bar, you missed out on a spiritual reawakening of the senses.

To describe the show, I'd have have to use rapper Bun B's audacious vocab -- the concert was Chuuch! Without all the preachy sermon, Hernandez gave us the gospel of her life through song and virtually every performance was accompanied by her blazing trombonist, John Raleen, and a fiery organ thumping from Taylor Pierson. The Detroit band left every ticket-holder breathless and feeling guilty for tithing only $8 for such an energetic and soulful performance. 

Hernandez, a petite musical gangstress, rocked many instruments, everything from guitar to drums to tamborine. As is her signature, she was dressed in thrift-shop chic, wearing a red plaid pleated miniskirt topped with a cropped sweater, white knee-high socks and black Mary Janes. Hernandez even chopped her long black mane to a medium cut for this summer's tour. The Mexican-Cuban-American looked like a gothic Cleopatra schoolgirl who could star in a Kill Bill flick. Her weapon of choice: a microphone. 
The Motor City songstress touched on themes of the heart in "Caught Up," which was written for friend going through an emotional divorce from a husband. Hernandez is a modern-day feminist with songs to both be empowered by and to reflect on. She has self-confessed self-taught music skills and a love for community instilled by parents' and Cuban grandmother. 
It was a diverse crowd at Soda Bar rangin from 21 to fiftysomethings. While we waited for the band to arrive, an older gentleman, who told me he saw the band play at Bar Pink in March, mistook my cameramen and for members of the band's entourage. We were flattered by thought, though. He later told us he thougth the band was “ridiculously good.” 
Hernandez has the billowing, gut-wrenching chops of an Adele, the blues of an Amy Winehouse sans the drug-rehab drama and the feel-good spirit of  Selena's “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” complete with dance moves. That's not to say that Hernandez is a goody two-shoes; in fact, she does touch on substance abuse in “Young, Dumb and Drunk.” As she explained to me in our SoundDiego TV interview, which will air this weekend, "Everyone has a 'secret evil' side to them."
During the night I noticed one fan, Luis Ramirez, sitting in one of the booths with his crutches laid out and foot propped up on the seat. Two songs into the show, the 25-year-old picked the crutches up and made his way closer to the stage.
"About a month ago, while YouTube surfing, I stumbled on Jessica's videos and thought she was pretty cool," Ramirez said. "I almost didn't come to the show because two days ago, I broke my foot. But here I am and glad I came because the show was awesome.”
Hernandez performed 12 tracks, including one from her upcoming full-length debut, Secret Evil, which drops Aug. 19 on Instant Records. At Soda Bar, Hernandez exorcised our demons and prepared us for the next week. Not bad, for a Sunday-night show. 
Stay tuned for GN$F!'s exclusive interview with Jessica Hernandez on SoundDiego this Saturday night. Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas return to San Diego for a show on Sept. 5 at the House of Blues. Stay tuned for info 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: Instant Records]]>
<![CDATA[Upside Down With OK Go]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:33:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/228*120/ok_go.jpg

I first saw OK Go when they pulled into San Diego State's Open Air Theatre in 2007 with Snow Patrol and the Silversun Pickups. It was a perfect evening: The sun had burned out, a chilled  wind casually weaved through the outdoor venue, and stars began to flicker in the sky. As far as indie-pop rock goes, the sounds emanating from the stage couldn't have mirrored the surroundings any better.

"That is actually my fondest memory [of playing San Diego]," OK Go's bassist, Tim Norwind, told SoundDiego. "We were on tour with a particularly fun group of people -- and great bands. Sometimes you tour with bands and they keep to themselves more, and you gotta respect that and let people have their privacy. But that tour, and that show -- it was like summer camp."

I distinctly remember when the band (who headline the Belly Up on July 24) launched into "Oh Lately It's So Quiet" -- my favorite tune from 2007's "OK No" album -- I squeezed the hand of the girl next to me (it was my girlfriend at the time; calm down, folks) and soaked it in. OK, as you've probably gathered, I'm kind of a sap. I'm a sucker for melody, harmony and all the gooey stuff that goes into catchy music. Not always, mind you, but enough to know that OK Go make stellar pop music (as well as videos -- you may have seen "Here It Goes Again" on MTV) and have been traversing that road since their 2001 self-titled debut record.

Unsurprisingly, Norwind shared the same enthusiasm for the craft.

"We're lovers of pop music -- we're really into melody and harmony," Norwind said. "We're also big fans of production and get obsessed with the sonic character of the music in the studio. I think we could write things that don't have a ton of melody and harmony, but we've always liked pop music as a broad definition."

OK Go's bassist Tim NorwindWhile a lot of their songs are undeniably catchy, the group (which also counts guitarist/singer Damien Kulash, guitarist Andy Ross and drummer Dan Konopka as members) don't exactly fit into the mainstream version of pop music. You probably won't find OK Go sandwiched between Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake on the radio. But they're also too big to get relegated to independent radio stations that cater to college crowds, etc. So where do they fit in?

"I can't spend too much time wondering [about it]," Norwind said. "As far as our career is concerned, we've paved a path that's the most interesting to us and feels best at the moment. If you look at all of the albums, there's definitely a bit of different styles and production -- but, at the core, it's us. Damian's voice helps to tie the style-jumping together. That's really the most constant thing. But I think, if we ever cared about it all, it was during the early days. We were a little self-conscious. We were four guys, and it was like, 'OK, you play bass, you play guitar, you play guitar, you play drums,' and you write songs based around that setup. That whole thing started falling apart by the second record -- we got less conscious and started writing songs that just felt right in the moment. We dropped the idea that it had to sound like something that four guys could pull off onstage. We'll figure out how to pull [the music] off live later."

OK Go will get the chance to do just that when the quartet pulls into the Belly Up on Thursday in support of its new four-song "Upside Down" EP. As a precursor to a proper full-length, "Hungry Ghosts," due out this fall via their own Paracadute label, the new funk/pop/dance songs fall right in line with the musical evolution the band started in 2001 -- but they also sound familiar enough to feel right at home.

In other words, they sound great. But enough talking about it -- just go, OK?

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

<![CDATA[There Goes the Neighbourhood]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:43:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/the+neighbourhood.jpg

So you thought, "Oh, it's just Tuesday. I'll take it easy so I'm all rested up for Comic-Con." Well, think again, because there are some great shows around town. Personally, I can't wait to see Cayucas again. The band has been through a few times in the past couple years, and it's building steam, for sure, and their frenetic and catchy music will definitely put you in a great mood. Meanwhile at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU (yes, that is now the full name), the Neighbourhood headline a show with the support of Danny Brown, Travi$ Scott and the not-to-be-missed White Arrows. It wasn't long ago that the Neighbourhood were opening at House of Blues, then after a sold-out headlining show there, the OAT is the next level for them. Up-and-comers the Crookes perform at the Voodoo Room at House of Blues, Chromeo does a special DJ set at Fluxx put together by Energy 103.7  to help promote an upcoming show at SOMA, and Shaggy -- your '90s throwback for the night -- performs at the House of Blues. 

Tuesday, July 22:

  • Cayucas, Hands, Idyll Wild @ Casbah
  • The Neighbourhood, Danny Brown, Travi$ Scott, White Arrows @ Open Air Theatre
  • The Crookes, Caught a Ghost, the Soft White Sixties @ Voodoo Stage @ House of Blues (7 p.m., all-ages)
  • Energy 103.7 presents Chromeo (DJ set), Erick Diaz @ Fluxx
  • Shaggy, Tribe of Kings @ House of Blues (6:30 p.m.)
  • The Slashes, Sleeping Ghost @ Sycamore Den
  • Emerald Rats, Witness 9, Vegetarian Werewolf @ Soda Bar
  • Old Man Johnson @ Bar Pink
  • Doobie Brothers, Billy Thompson @ Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay
  • Aquile @ Tin Roof (9 p.m.)
  • DJ Handsome Skeleton (Jeff Terich of CityBeat) @ The Hideout
  • Gunner Gunner, Dirk McGreggor (Clockwork) @ The Merrow
  • Badabing, Late Night Racket, Lucky Lucifer @ Tin Can
  • Billy Thompson Band @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Subdvsn @ Winston's
  • Bayou Brothers @ Tio Leo's
  • Videodrome @ Whistle Stop
  • DJ Ramsey @ The Office
  • Big City Dawgs @ Henry's Pub
  • High Tech Tuesdays @ Kava Lounge
  • Open Mic/Open Jam @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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[Cayucas Shine on the Casbah]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:06:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/cayucasmain2.jpg

Zach Yudin tried to get away with just sampling summer sounds. But what started as a casual graze of classic surf records quickly turned into a full buffet of brightly hued, sunny groove tunes united under the Cayucas name. Fronted by Yudin, the SoCal band play thick cuts of vintage sunshine practically made to skewer and slow roast -- more sweet than savory, more tender than chewy. But whatever your flavor, Cayucas is sure to indulge a musical barbecue at the Casbah on Tuesday, July 22.

The group’s 2013 debut LP, “Bigfoot,” is the pinnacle of easy listening. It’s best consumed in the background, letting the honeydew beats bathe you in good vibes as Yudin’s lyrics, widely nostalgic for what he identifies as poignant moments in his youth, prickle your own golden memories. Here, he doesn’t break pace with the mellow once as he speaks on his new material, the fake Hanson fan club he started in middle school, the high school years that never left him, and more.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz: Cayucas started as a solo project -- how has it grown?
Zach Yudin: It was songs that I had written, and once the album was recorded -- I recorded the album on my own, me and my brother [Ben] recorded it -- after that, we put a band together.

HLS: So then going forward, as far as songwriting, is that going to still be mostly on you?
ZY: I think it will continue to just be mostly me.

HLS: Is that something you've already started working on -- another record?
ZY: Yeah. Yeah, me and my brother have been writing songs. I think basically since January we've been recording song ideas and stuff.

HLS: Are you starting to see a theme or narrative develop at all?
ZY: Mmhmm. Yeah.

HLS: Is there anything you can share as far as that goes?
ZY: Well, I think, I'm not really sure what will happen at the end, ya know? Hard to say. Themes are along the same line, maybe a little bit more mature, a little bit more in detail on this album and less summery nostalgia, more -- just something a little different.

HLS: And how did that come about? A distinct move on your part of just a natural progression in your music making?
ZY: Yeah, I think it was just a natural progression. I guess after writing the first album, I was feeling a little tapped, and I was really clueless as to another album. But I think as long as you continue to just jot down ideas or making yourself write, you feel sort of -- after a while, you start start coming up with song ideas and stuff, and sort of a theme and things like that. But I think as long as you're writing daily or continue to write, things will sort of progress.

HLS: You used to be more interested in writing hip-hop lyrics. And then there was this sort of transformation at some point, and you've landed on this really, as you said, kind of nostalgic sound. So, I was wondering, where did all the rap go?
ZY: [Laughs] In high school I had turntables. I was wanting to be a DJ. But in college, I think I was mostly focused on making electronic dance songs. So, I think -- I don't know -- it'd be nice to bring the hip-hop back into things at some point.

HLS: A Macklemore collaboration or something.
ZY: Exactly. Exactly what I was thinking.

HLS: You said "Bigfoot" is kind of like summery nostalgia, and I'd say that it is in both sound and content. How did you come to revisit that period in your life, the younger years?
ZY: Yeah, well, I think what ended up happening was I was writing some songs, and I was sampling some old vintage sounds in the very beginning, and once I started making these little tracks, I was thinking about what sort of things to sing about, and then sort of felt like I wanted to sing about high school, and being sort of summery. I just had the summery vibe, so I went down that path.

HLS: Does high school still continue to influence you significantly?
ZY: Yeah, because for me, like looking back on childhood, teenage years, into college, it's kind of crazy how certain moments are so poignant. And they're just ingrained in your memory. So I just find that stuff interesting, sort of to write about. But high school was fun for me. I wasn't like anything special, just a standard guy who played soccer and golf, and I was in the radio club.

HLS: Do any of those memories come to mind specifically?
ZY: Well, I mean, that’s sort of what the songs are about. Like "High School Lover." There was a girl -- technically it was junior high -- but we had this pretend fan club for the boy-band Hanson. And I'm not sure how it started. She was sending me letters from the fan club -- they were fake letters that she was sending to Hanson that were going to my address. At the end of every letter, they said call this number or something. This was a girl that I knew -- she played bass, and we hung out a lot for like a month straight. She was sending me all these letters, and at the end of summer she came up to me and she's like, "Did you get all the letters that I sent?" And for some reason I said, "No." So I thought that was kind of weird. I'm not really sure why I was avoiding her.

Cayucas plays the Casbah on Tuesday, July 22, at 8:30 p.m., $12, 21+. Hands, Idyll Wild 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: Ericka Clevenger]]>
<![CDATA[Live: Jefferson Starship]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:58:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/Jefferson+Starship+Covault+Belly+Up+%2818%29.jpg Jefferson Starship touched down at the Belly Up July 10, with the Tilt's Jesse Malley and Jeff Irwin opening.

Photo Credit: Steve Covault]]>
<![CDATA[Kawehi's High-Wire Balancing Act]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:47:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/185*120/kawehi+press+photo.jpg

As usual, there's a ton going on tonight -- Burger Records Night at the Hideout has the perfect lineup (with Cool Ghouls, Kids In Heat and Muscle Beech) to breath some life into those intolerable Monday blues. But if experimental music is more your thing, don't miss Kawehi at Soda Bar tonight. A one-woman act that uses various loopers and devices to create a wall of sound to rival any typical four-piece band, she recently got rave reviews for her intriguing cover of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" (which you can watch here). Can't decide where to go? The good thing is that Soda Bar and the Hideout are mere steps from each other. Check out both!

Monday, July 21:

  • Kawehi, Nicky Venus @ Soda Bar (watch our SoundDiego Spotlight with Nicky Venus here)
  • Nightmare & the Cat, Kristeen Young @ Casbah (CANCELED DUE TO ILLNESS)
  • Brothers Grim @ Tin Roof (10 p.m.)
  • Burger Records Night feat. the Cool Ghouls, Kids In Heat, Muscle Beech @ The Hideout
  • I Am the Albatross (Austin, TX), Dropjoy, Foreign Suns, Jaaaws @ The Merrow
  • Monday Night Mass with Husky Boy All Stars @ Bar Pink
  • Benefit for Paul Kimbarow @ Belly Up
  • Monday's No Longer Suck with Josh Damigo @ House of Blues
  • The Tin Can Country Club feat. Jimmy Ruelas @ Tin Can
  • Michele Lundeen @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Wes Marahas @ Tin Roof (8:30 p.m.)
  • Kova @ Tin Roof (5 p.m.)
  • Velvet Cafe @ Alexander's (30th & Upas)
  • 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 Saul Q @ U-31
  • Trivia Night @ Whistle Stop
  • 710 Battle of the Bands @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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: Press Photo Courtesy of flemingartists.com]]>
<![CDATA[SoundDiego Set List: July 20-26]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 11:14:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Temper+Trap+Michel+Dussack+%282%29.jpg There is plenty to do in San Diego this week, including must-see shows by the Neighbourhood, the Cult, the Muffs and more.

Photo Credit: Michel Dussack]]>
<![CDATA[The Attack of Grand Tarantula]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 11:23:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Grand+Tarantula.jpg Local garage rockers Grand Tarantula get extra-dimensional while talking to SoundDiego about writing cool songs, having a good time and their video for "We're Gonna Get You High."

Photo Credit: Rosemary Bystrak]]>
<![CDATA[X Mark the Spot]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 10:35:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/164*120/IMG_3381XExene_2_2.jpg

This weekend has been crazy! Hopefully you still have some energy left in you for Sunday's happenings. The second day of SD Pride finishes today at Marston Point at Balboa Park and by the looks of yesterday, it will once again be packed to the gills. By nightfall, the Liquorsmiths perform a quiet set at Sycamore Den, Natural Child get it on at Soda Bar, and Zongo Junction get groovy at Casbah.

Sunday, July 20:

  • SD Pride with Deborah Cox, Voice of Pride Winner, Charice, Ryan Cassata, Alex Newell, Lady GaGa Tribute, Vinita, Women's Drum Circle, SD Women's Chorus, San Diego Gay Mens Chorus @ Marston Point, Balboa Park
  • Zongo Junction, Afrolicious, Tori Roze and the Hot Mess @ Casbah
  • Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield, Neil Giraldo @ The Event Center, Harrah's Resort
  • X (acoustic), Sean and Zander & O @ Belly Up (sold out)
  • Natural Child, the Abigails, the Paragraphs @ Soda Bar
  • The Liquorsmiths, Travis Hayes @ Sycamore Den
  • Rat Sabbath feat. DJ Ratty @ Bar Pink
  • Summer Pops with MarchFourth Marching Band @ Embarcadero North
  • Pier Pressure SD Yacht Party with Posso @ Spirit of San Diego
  • Now That's What I Call Poetry @ The Hideout (5 p.m.)
  • Hideout Karaoke @ The Hideout (9 p.m.)
  • DJ Beatnik @ Summersalt Pool, Hotel Palomar
  • Kim Anh @ Ivy at Andaz
  • Pants Wedding Party Karaoke @ The Merrow
  • Intervention @Float, Hard Rock Hotel
  • Sean Flinn & the Royal We, Mike Genovese, Travis Luce @ Lestat's
  • Raggae SD @ U-31
  • Patrick Berrogain @ Croce's Park West
  • Michele Lundeen @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Daikaiju, Round Eye, Dinosaur Ghost @ Tower Bar
  • OB-o-ke @ Winston's
  • Doc Jam 2014 with The Doc Jam Band, Otto and the Valentines @ The Shakedown
  • Badass Bingo @ Til-Two Club
  • Action: Fierce!- Pride Closing Party WITH DJs Luis Perez, Obra Primitiva @ Spin
  • Karaoke @ Henry's Pub
  • I West Radio @ Kava Lounge
  • So Cal Vibes (3pm) @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Sunday Funday Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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: Dan Chusid]]>
<![CDATA[Andy Grammer Keeps His Head Up]]> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 10:29:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/andy_grammer_-sml33.jpg

Few would take a look at pop star Andy Grammer -- or listen to any of his music, for that matter -- and think: This guy's a busker. But, sure enough, the smooth-voiced and extremely photogenic singer/songwriter (who headlines the House of Blues Saturday night) got his start doing just that on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. 

"When I was younger, I did the open-mic circuit, and I used the Promenade to really develop myself," Grammer told SoundDiego. "I'd play one song and everybody would stop, and then I'd play a different song and nobody gave a crap. It was a good way to find out what my sound was. If everything dropped off and stopped, I'd probably still go out and play a little bit. I don't know if I would do it again, day-in and day-out though -- it's a serious hustle [laughs]."
Since 2010, the hustle's been a little different: Grammer's opened for Plain White T's, Natasha Bedingfield and Colbie Caillat, performed on "The Rachael Ray Show," saw his self-titled debut album land on the Billhoard Hot 100 chart its first week of release and filmed a video ("Keep Your Head Up") with Rainn Wilson, who played everyone's favorite deranged co-worker, Dwight Schrute, on NBC's "The Office." Somehow, Grammer managed to stay impossibly upbeat about life.

"My goal about being positive is finding something about life that resonates with people," Grammer said. "Life is hard, man. On an average day, there are parts that are super brutally hard and parts that are great. I just try to write songs about all those different parts. My analogy for [writing], which I probably use too much, is this: When Newton had an apple fall on his head, he wrote out what gravity was and everybody was like, 'Yo! Totally! That's exactly what happens to me all the time!' [laughs] You have to write songs like that -- songs that connect with people in a big way."

The singer hasn't had any trouble connecting with audiences, as evidenced by the millions of YouTube video streams that continue to pile up. But, as with other artists who had immediate success, following that up can prove challenging.

Andy Grammar's new album "Magazines or Novels" is due out Aug. 5"It's interesting: With the first album, I had an album of songs that came to me when they came to me, but for this second album, it was like, 'Hey, we need songs,' and there was a calendar, and we needed them by a specific date," Grammer said. "I think that's the main idea behind the 'sophomore slump.' You're really shoved into a timeline to create art, but art is not really a timeline situation. I wrote 50 songs for this record, didn't have what I needed, so I wrote another 50 -- and now I am super proud of this record and ready to share it with the world."

The new album "Magazines or Novels" drops on Aug. 5, so it will be interesting to see if Grammer sticks with the style of production and songwriting he employed on his debut or if he plots a different course. He believes it's the latter.

"The first record was probably a mix of John Mayer, Lauryn HIll and Coldplay," Grammer said. "This one's a mix of the Lumineers, Macklemore and Drake. I had a lot of fun with it."

But what's with the title? Aren't we talking about music here?

"To me, 'Magazines or Novels,' is the way -- as a culture -- we're listening to music right now," Grammer said. "Either I dig into it like a novel, or I flip through it like I would a magazine. I hope I've made an album that is worthy of grabbing your attention but holding it as well. I got some s--- for naming it that, but I don't care, man [laughs] -- it's cool."

Makes perfect sense. Guess we won't be seeing him on the promenade any time soon.

Andy Grammer headlines the House of Blues on Saturday with Kris Allen and Trevor Davis. The show is all-ages; tickets are available here.

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

Photo Credit: Courtesy of MSOPR]]>
<![CDATA[Natural Child's Play]]> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 10:38:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/161*120/NaturalChild_byIranzuMorras.jpg

OK, so imagine that the Black Lips, Wavves, Growlers and Deer Tick all had this massive musician orgy -- Willie Nelson might have even jumped in, who knows? It was one of those things -- and straight from the birth canal of bad choices gone so good came Natural Child. Like a damn sonic boom. These are some Southern-rock boys with swagger, riding boozy licks all the way from Nashville to punch you in the face, then kiss it better this Sunday at Soda Bar.

Their terrible twos were pretty fantastic: Natural Child formed in 2009 and spent a solid two years on the road, writing, scratching and then releasing two albums just months apart in 2012.
"For the Love of the Game" and "Hard in Heaven" mesmerize the way a campfire soaked in whiskey eyes does -- without trying. That’s when it was just the three of them -- Wes Traylor (bass/vocals), Seth Murray (guitar/vocals), and Zack Martin (drums) -- humpin’ across the country in a van, playing 200 shows a year. They ran all the time -- and fast -- because they had just found their feet.

But something changed. They wanted more, to emulate a sound they’d been listening to a lot in the van, those give-it-all performances of the ’70s helmed by the likes Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. And so Luke Schneider joined on pedal steel and Benny Divine mastered some mad ivories. Together, the fivesome made "Dancin’ with Wolves," a step-creep of a record released earlier this year that plays pace with their earlier rowdy charm but fleshes out the story more, paying tribute to influences over a span of rebel waltzes.

Who the wolves are in this particular rebel dance, well, that’s TBD by those who shell out $8 this Sunday. That’s less than you paid for that tall-boy PBR last night, but what you get is way damn cooler (and far more satisfying, particularly with lyrics like "Don’t the time pass quickly when you're making love?" delivered without much sugar). Let these Nashville rockers make the cheapest love to your ears that money can buy on a Sunday night.

Natural Child plays Soda Bar on Sunday; doors are at 8:30 pm, $8, 21+. The Abigails and the Paragraphs 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: Iranzu Morras]]>
<![CDATA[Thanks for Liking Our Face, San Diego]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:02:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SoundDiego+LIVE+Tin+Roof+6.27+%28109%29.jpg

It's been four years since we started up SoundDiego, and it's hard to believe the reception we've received within that time: More than 25,000 fans on Facebook and 7,000 followers on Twitter! We’ve been stoked to bring San Diego the music coverage it deserves.

To celebrate, we'd like to say thanks by giving away SoundDiego T-shirts and a bunch of other swag to two lucky winners! Enter now for your chance to win right here.

We recently aired our 100th episode of “SoundDiego” TV  -- which is something we're particularly proud of. We've had some of the biggest names in music on our show, as well as some of the best and brightest hometown talent. We can’t wait to bring you more!

So, remember: Keep it tuned to NBC 7 after Saturday Night Live for our weekly show, and be sure to visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date on everything going on in America's Finest City! For savvy iPhone users, go ahead and download our FREE app right here -- so you can just carry us around in your pocket.

Thanks again, friends -- it's been fun, and we're only getting started.

Photo Credit: John Audley]]>
<![CDATA[You Gotta Have Art]]> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 08:53:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/EVERCLEAR.png

A lot of big-name acts and outdoor events fill the calendar this Saturday. Pride takes over Marston Point -- the west side of Balboa Park -- with entertainment all day long, Hess Fest takes over Grim Avenue between University and North Park Way, and something called Bravefest, which appears to be acts that are mostly "internet famous," takes over Qualcomm Stadium. Regular venues are on fire, too, with the Dwarves and the Queers back for Night 2 at Soda Bar, Bob Log III -- the one-man percussion powerhouse who generally sings inside a miked motorcycle helmet -- performs at the Casbah, and lovers of Bob Marley's "Legend" can hear the full album performed by the Wailers at the Junior Seau Amphitheatre at the Oceanside Pier. Even the casinos are in on the music action, with '90s throwbacks performing at Harrah's Resort Southern California. It's a good day to find your passion and enjoy the fun, with events all over town.

Saturday, July 19:

  • Bob Log III, Badabing, the Department of Descriptive Service @ Casbah
  • Dwarves, the Queers, Masked Intruder, the Atom Age @ Soda Bar
  • Hess Fest (Hess Brewing anniversary party) @ Grim Avenue, North Park
  • SD Pride, with Robbie Rivera, TyDi, Luis Perez, Ruby Rose, DJ Ideal, Chris Cox, Britney Spears tribute concert, the Cliks, Diversionary Theatre, Dan De Leon @ Marston Point, Balboa Park
  • Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6, Spacehog @ Harrah's Resort Southern California
  • Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny Unity Group, Sonny Emory @ Thornton Winery (Temecula)
  • Under the Sun Fest, featuring the Wailers performing Bob Marley's "Legend" @ Junior Seau Amphitheatre, Oceanside Pier
  • Andy Grammer, Kris Allen, Trevor Davis @ House of Blues
  • The Heavy Guilt @ Winston's (9:30 p.m.)
  • Bravefest, featuring Midnight Red, Nash Grier, Cameron Dallas, Jeffrey Miller, Brandon Bassr, Alli Cattt, Lele Pons, Kenny Holland, Grant Lands @ Qualcomm Stadium
  • Gregory Page @ Lestat's (9 p.m.)
  • Fender Stratocaster Event @ Guitar Trader (free, live performances)
  • Neon Beat: Best & Worst of the '80s @ Bar Pink
  • Bad Cop/Bad Cop, the Bombpops, Western Settings, News From the Front, the New Addiction @ Til-Two Club
  • Pink Ribbon Riot @ House of Blues
  • '80s vs. '90s: Gabe Vega & Saul Q @ Whistle Stop
  • Don Carlos, C-Money & the Players Inc, Daniel Bambaaa Marley @ Belly Up
  • Nikno @ Rich's
  • Soulkiss SD Pride Event @ The Hideout
  • Pushaz Ink Artist RJ, Polyester the Saint @ Porter's Pub
  • Birdzilla @ Tin Can
  • DJ Loczi @ Hard Rock Hotel
  • Allison Lonsdale, Eben Brooks @ Lestat's (6-8 p.m.)
  • Calibrate Me, Eye the Realist, Ramona's Flowers, Radio-Active, Nightmare's Riot @ Epicentre
  • "SiVa" release party, featuring Freddy Lanuza, Frankie Sarmiento, Mikey Manglicmot, Chris Barger, Celeste Lanuza @ Dizzy's
  • So This Is Suffering, Wrath of Vesuvius, A Truth Betrayed, Hannibal, Zone 7 @ SOMA
  • AK 1200 @ The Merrow
  • On the Ground, SuperNothing, the Sculpins, Unit F, Evacuate, @ The Bancroft
  • Von Kiss @ U-31
  • Dru Hill, Silk, Shai @ Pala Casino
  • Irving Flores @ Croce's Park West
  • Y3K @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (7 p.m.)
  • Gino & the Gunmen @ Tio Leo's
  • Detroit Underground @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (9 p.m.)
  • Idols Plague, Hemorage, Feral Depravity @ Tower Bar
  • The Kevin Lofthus Project @ Winston's (5-9 p.m.)
  • Aether Kora, Kulteir, Death Measure, Daemos, Til All Are One, Cult Vegas @ The Shakedown
  • Brett Bodley @ Fluxx
  • Swanky Tunes @ Bassmnt
  • Darryl Walker @ 98 Bottles
  • Boogie @ Kava Lounge
  • Noise Makerz, Kahi Lofa, DJ Chelu @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • P.O.B., Wasted Noise @ Boar Cross'n
  • Back to Black, Deeper Purple @ 710 Beach Club
  • Overdrive Pride with DJ Nina Flowers, Andrew Gibbons, Tristan Jaxx @ Spin

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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[Upcoming Concerts]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:34:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/161424949.jpg Some of the names playing San Diego stages this summer may surprise you, including the Black Keys.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for NARAS]]>
<![CDATA[SoundDiegoGram Gallery]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 15:35:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*160/1051375114471867555306521233746330n.jpg Photos of the San Diego music scene, sent to us by you on our free iPhone app or via Instagram with the hashtag #sounddiego.

Photo Credit: sounddiego/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[On the Road to Summerland]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:02:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/51803902.jpg
It seems like Everclear has always been a fixture in my life. Sure, I've listened to their albums and heard the hits like "Santa Monica" and "Father of Mine" on rock radio -- but throughout my formative years, I grasped and held on to the band's music the way a child would a beloved, frayed-around-the-edges teddy bear.
The band (who bring their Summerland Tour with Soul Asylum, Spacehog and Eve 6 through Harrah's Resort SoCal July 19) have always penned brutally honest, hard rock anthems about rough relationships and broken homes. Before I had hit my teen years, I'd already moved around the country with my single mother -- often camping out in dark, damp trailer parks and taking over "new kid" labels in various schools for a couple weeks at a time until we ended up moving again just to repeat the cycle all over.
No matter the constant new faces, the bullying, the uncertain homes, food and future -- I always had Everclear, my headphones and my Sony DiscMan. Their 1995 album, "Sparkle and Fade," was my religion. I literally wore out the first copy I had on CD (on CD!). By the time 1997's "So Much For the Afterglow" record had come out, I had finally established roots -- I had lived in one place for more than a year; I had made friends; kids weren't throwing basketballs at my head as I walked by the courts at lunch; things seemed like they were on the up and up. And even though my life wasn't in tatters, the band's music still resonated all the same.
Everclear guitarist/vocalist and primary songwriter, Art Alexakis, has always had a way with words even though he's been singing about challenging subject matter since the '80s.
"'Father of Mine' was a super heavy song. I argued against it actually," he recounts. "I just thought it was too intense for a single. I thought it would either fail miserably or connect in a big way." Alexakis lost his argument but won the gamble, as millions of people who ever dealt with an absent parent, or a struggle at home, felt an inherent bond with the massive hit.
Even though it was sometimes difficult for me to articulate myself clearly due to incapacitating fanboy-dom, I was lucky enough to speak with Alexakis before their show -- and asked him all the questions I had wondered about while wearing out my "Sparkle and Fade" CD.
Everclear's Art AlexakisDustin Lothspeich: I'm a huge fan. You must get that a lot but it's very true for me. I hope that's not off-putting to start an interview that way [laughs].
Art Alexakis: Well, first off, thank you so much. That really means a lot to me. It makes me feel kind of embarrassed -- I'm not a gusher [laughs] -- but I truly appreciate hearing that my music has connected with other people. I mean, I believe all art is a selfish thing. You express what you're feeling or thinking but then hope, at the end of it all, you connect with other people.
DL: Do you get that a lot?
AA: Yea, but it depends on the age group. I do get that a lot for "Sparkle and Fade,"  "So Much For the Afterglow," and "Songs From an American Movie." I think I hit my mark and connected to people a lot stronger than I thought I would. I feel really blessed.
DL: Well, you write hard rock songs but some of them also have a very poppy feel. Do you think that works against you in today's rock scene?
AA: My music has been a perfect blend of everything I love. Punk, rock, pop (I'm talking the Beatles) - I think popular music is really interesting stuff but it just doesn't latch on and have any hold that you can connect to. When it comes to me, for lasting impact, I like harder rock & roll. I like it with some melody. I think all the guys and gals in the '90s, we all grew up in the '70s with Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Cheap Trick, Kiss, Journey and all that stuff -- heavy rock with a melodic edge. Then we took it through R.E.M., the Replacements, Husker Du, the Pixies, Jane's Addiction -- it set up the '90s alternative thing. It ran the gamut.
DL: So, not really a fan of today's pop music?
AA: Sometimes it's just frosting, no cake -- pure frosting. I get it, pure sugar tastes great, but the first six times you hear it, you're good.
DL: Do you think your new work is on par with stuff on "Sparkle and Fade"?
AA: Well, we just finished a new record and it's honestly heavier than ["Sparkle and Fade"] -- big guitars, dark lyrics and it's very contemporized, production-wise, with the drums and vocal sounds. But it's an old school Everclear album. It's just more grown up. I'd like to think I'm a lot more grown up. I'm older for what that's worth [laughs].  If you think you're reinventing the wheel, you're lying to yourself. It's rock & roll -- every note has been played a million times before. It's just how you put 'em together.
DL: Do you ever feel any pressure to live up to prior success with your new material?
AA: I feel pressure to live up to what I think is good. If I think it's good, it'll go on the record. It's how I've always felt. Do I feel like I have to live up to "Santa Monica"? To be honest, I feel like I've written much better songs than "Santa Monica" like "Jackie Robinson" from our last record -- that no one heard 'cause no one bought the record. Well, I guess 25,000 isn't "no one" but it'd be great to hear some new Everclear on the radio, and new Soul Asylum, Eve 6, Spacehog -- all the bands on Summerland -- we're still real bands. That's my criteria. I don't do "moth ball" bands. I don't want bands to come out of hibernation and wait for royalty checks. These bands are still doing what they love to do.
DL: Was that the main idea behind putting Summerland together?
AA: Well, yeah. There's a huge amount of people that wanna hear this music and these bands. It just makes sense. I try to give people value; I have kids, a family -- I understand value. We've got low ticket prices, and I kept them low on purpose. I want to provide for the bands and the people -- bands with a bunch of hits, still vibrant, still making music, they play short sets -- it's a three hour show with four bands and they have to play the hits. Most importantly though, they gotta sound like the hits. I want the people in the crowd to sing along. These are sing-alongs. We were in the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland -- that's the place in the movie, "Spinal Tap," where they're wandering around lost in the basement trying to get onstage --and it's a Tuesday night, during a thunderstorm, damn near sold out, and 1,600 people were singing along from first song to last song. That's a rock show.
The 2014 Summerland Tour with Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog stops at Harrah's Resort SoCal Saturday, July 19. Tickets are available here.

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hiperboreal Celebrate 'La City']]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:43:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GNSF109-Hiperboreal-Tijuana125Birthday.jpg

Nortec Collective's Hiperboreal will be in town Friday, July 18 for a special DJ set at “Celebrate Tijuana in San Diego” at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The party will be featuring the authors of coffee-table book, “Tijuana/22000”; the re-edited history book, “Tijuana 1964"; along with the guest of honor, Tijuana's Mayor, Dr. Jorge Aztiazaran Orci.

The culture-filled evening will be totally Tijuana: Photography slideshows of the city, tequila tasting by Tequila El Cachanilla, the original caesar Salad recipe (for those that don't know, it was invented in Tijuana), local craft beers from BCB Brewery and Cerveceria Tijuana -- and last but not least, music by Tijuana's very own Hiperboreal of Nortec Collective, and DJ Mateo.
In April, Hiperboreal (meaning "beyond the north") released the dicey, but quasi glam music video for “La City.” Vocalist Radha Murillo sings the chorus in perfect Spanglish, “La City will be less fun.” The song off their upcoming, as-of-yet untitled full-length. Despite its funky, electronic disco feel it's actually a song in memoriam to their close friend and writer, Rafa Saavedra, who passed away last year.
“'La City' is an homage to our drinking nights and fascination we have with Tijuana,” explains PG Beas, producer and composer of Hiperboreal. “Genuine cantinas like El Copa Cabana (or 'El C.C.'), where we shot the video, is bizarre and genuine. They have an impressive jukebox: You can listen to every norteno and banda music as you'd expect, but you can also listen to Kraftwerk, Iggy Pop, Bowie, Daft Punk. Plus, the Latin crooners like Sandro de America and Camilo Sesto.”
Hiperboreal is currently on tour with an eye-gasmic set titled, “-Humans + Machines,” and will feature their new track, “La City,” just to keep you anticipating that new-new
Hiperboreal will feature a part of that set at “Celebrate Tijuana in San Diego” at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. More info here. Watch “La City” 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: Nortec Collective: Hiperboreal]]>
<![CDATA[Siempre con Marisela ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:38:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/245*120/GNSF106-Marisela-Houseofblues.jpg

On July 18, the legendary and exquisite Spanish-language singer Marisela will be romancing your memories at House of Blues.

At the age of 15, she was groomed for pop stardom by award-winning vocalist Marco Antonio Solis (“El Buki,” and former boyfriend). The Mexican-American vocalist has stood the test of time and is etched into the memory of many Latino music listeners, including myself. Growing up in the '80s to an immigrant Mexican mom who loved music, we'd religiously watch “Siempre en Domingo” for all its concert greatness, and cruise around from one errand to another listening to all the hits in her brand new powder blue hatchback Datsun equipped with a state of the art, get this, AM/FM cassette player. One musician who made frequent appearances on both my mom's TV and tape deck included: Marisela.

In 1985, I remember my mom tearing the plastic shrink wrap off Marisela's "Completamente Tuya" cassette tape and sliding it into the player for the first time. It wasn't long before I knew the lyrics and able to identify her signature voice. Marisela was so iconic -- she defined the fashion and sound of '80s Spanish-language love ballads. Her pensive, but fierce pose against a bold cotton candy pink backdrop wearing dramatic big hair and Nagel-like make-up became one of those unforgettable album covers from my childhood.

As a child watching her perform on TV show, “Siempre en Domingo” was fascinating. For many, she became known for her fashion sense as the Latin Madonna. Marisela is the Iron Lady of Spanish pop music as proclaimed in her hit song, “La Dama de Hierro." To describe her: She's got the vocal chops of a Kim Wilde, with the charming seducing personality of a Marilyn Monroe, and some of the revamp fashion sensibilities of a Madonna. She's revered by many vocalists, including the late Jenni Rivera, who turned into a gushing fan when she shared the stage with Marisela to cover “A Escondidas” in their native Los Angeles at Nokia Theatre.

Despite her run-ins with the law due to substance abuse, Marisela continues to persevere and is beloved by fans worldwide. Her long-lived career has spanned three decades with hit records. Allmusic.com reports she has recorded 17 albums, but her iTunes discography says otherwise with over 30 albums to purchase (if only Marisela would make an official website site to confirm). In 2010, her greatest hits album "20 Exitos Inmortales" won two Latin Billboard awards.

“Like” Marisela on Facebook here. She performs with Angel Lopez on July 18 at House of Blues. Purchase tickets 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: Marisela]]>
<![CDATA[Mitchy Slick's Calling]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:08:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MITCHY+SLICK.jpg

Sometimes artists develop a signature style --a distinct sound in music, a unique voice for a writer, a look or point of view from a photographer. Othertimes, artists choose to reinvent themselves, with musicians switching genres, writers changing mediums, and photogs shifting perspectives.

San Diego rap godfather, Mitchy Slick, has done a little of both on his recent "Call of Duty" mix tape. In terms of perspective, Slick stays true to his Southern California gangster roots with stories of urban survival ("Klack Back") and weed anthems ("Power").

But it's on songs like "Coulda Been You" and "Get Away" where Mitchy Slick shows some of the latter. Switching up his point of view from block soldier to offering a, rather down-to-earth, peek into what's it's like being a high profile rapper from Southeast San Diego. His strong suit has always been story telling, painting vivid pictures of turf wars, hustling and street life. But on this outing, it's his level of self-awareness that takes front and center.

"Get Away" finds Slick reflecting on the dark side of success. The side where old friends expect new handouts, trips to the mall are a no-no, and young approaching fans require split second decision-making skills. But while "Call of Duty" is an intense offering, it isn't all paranoia and over-the-shoulder glances either. "She Active" is a mid-tempo Bonnie and Clyde-type narrative about a young women who doesn't stress Slick, keeps a pistol at her side, eats good, and hits the gym -- serving as the perfect riding companion for Mitchy as he weaves through back streets dodging cop cars and the long arm of the law.

Futuristiks provide the majority of production on the mix tape, handling five out of eight songs. Where some of Slick's other work is steeped in West Coast g-funk (think "Triggeration Station" or "Yellow Tape" synth lines and squeals), Futuristiks offer a much different musical palette. Channeling the best bits of Just Blaze with hard hitting drums and large sounding samples, it's a nice fit that allows Slick to stretch and showoff his range.

With over a decade making records under his belt, this new release finds Mitchy Slick in familiar, street corner territory but it also reflects a tremendous amount of growth, both musically and in terms of content. There aren't too many successful rappers that reveal the personal trappings of success like he does here. While most are content to hide behind champagne and celebration, Mitchy does something a little different. "Call of Duty" isn't a complete reinvention or transformation -- but it is an impressive, honest outing that reveals all that glitters isn't gold. Sometimes, in fact, it's just plain old pyrite.

J. Smith, aka 1019, is a San Diego native, rap fan and one half of the rap duo Parker & the Numberman. You can follow him on Instagram at 1019_the_numberman or on Twitter

<![CDATA[Friday Night Live]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:44:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pinback-Del-Mar-Lead-Edit.jpg

As I've been saying all week, the music scene in San Diego is on fire. There are so many shows, events and awesomeness all over the city. It's Pride weekend, so it's a great time to show your support of the diversity of San Diego, but also remember that there will be thousands of people out and about, so give yourself extra time to get to your destinations and expect incresed traffic wherever you might roam. The Casbah is sold out on Friday, with a special performance by Pinback, but fret not if you didn't get tickets, because they're going on tour and will be back at the House of Blues in October. Racing season started on Thursday, and the Summer Concert Series kicks of with Jurassic 5. Soda Bar hosts the first of two nights with the Queers and the Dwarves, Craft Spells perform at the Hideout, and, of course, the Pride of Hillcrest Block Party kicks off on Friday as well. So much to do, so many choices, but save some energy for the rest of this chock-ful weekend.

Friday, July 18:

  • Pinback, Life @ Casbah (sold out)
  • Summer Concert Series, featuring Jurassic 5 @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
  • Casbah presents Craft Spells, The Bilinda Butchers @ The Hideout
  • The Queers, Dwarves, Masked Intruder, The Atom Age @ Soda Bar
  • Pride of Hillcrest Block Party feat. Tarryn Manning, DJ John Joseph, DJ Dirty Kurty, Nikno @ Hillcrest (University Avenue & Normal Street)
  • Ghetto Blaster, Peace Creep @ Tower Bar (9:30 p.m.)
  • Buck-o-Nine, Voodoo Glow Skulls @ Ramona Mainstage
  • Mr. Blow & Friends @ Bar Pink
  • Old Man Wizard, Wayfarer, Dreadnought, Man vs. Man @ Tower Bar (6 p.m.)
  • Alter Der Ruine, Mr. Kitty @ Ken Club
  • The Highwayman, the Tilt @ Belly Up
  • Mickey Avalon @ Stingaree
  • Jesse Cook @ Humphreys Concerts By the Bay
  • The Midnight Pine @ Sycamore Den
  • F---ing in the Bushes, Rob Moran @ Whistle Stop
  • Marisela, Angel Lopez @ House of Blues
  • RF7, Riotgun, Los Brigands, Masaker 69, Brutus Punk-Band, Massakro & Subject to Citation @ The Shakedown
  • Melissa Aldana, Crash Trio @ La Jolla Athenaeum
  • Youth Jazz Ensembles @ Dizzy's
  • Banker's Hill Pride Kickoff Party, featuring Needledick DJs @ Tin Can
  • Pullman Standard, Leave the Universe, the Shallow End, H-Street, the Young Gents, Paper Days @ SOMA
  • Look Up Here, Cardboard Truckers, Soul Juice, Future Age, Aqua Rhythm @ Epicentre
  • Cody Lovaas, Aaron Bowen @ Lestat's
  • Bearracuda San Diego Pride!, with DJ Paul Goodyear @ The Merrow
  • Robin Hill, High Anxiety, Bobby Joe Ebloa & the Chicken MacNuggets @ The Bancroft
  • Kid Wonder @ U-31
  • Triumph of the Wild Boy, Lisa Sanders, Brown Sugar Hayes @ Templar's Hall (Old Poway Park)
  • Curtis Taylor Quartet @ Croce's Park West
  • Monette Marino @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Detroit Underground @ Tio Leo's
  • Norris Reed backed by Roots Covenant @ Winston's
  • Happy Hour with the Brokers @ Belly Up
  • Mila Ruiz, the Mighty Rulers, Sir Skankalot, Go-Go Guillermo, King Dutty @ Til-Two Club
  • Diamond Pistols, Tristan D, Rktr, Pornscore, Stillwell, Haterade, DJ M.a.d.e., ElezD, Preston Morrill, 2Xcited, Horge, Max Gavin, Joaquin Limon, Contrvband, D-fect, Data Drain, DJ Adam Bomb, Osbahr, DJ Carson, Virtual Boys, Steradiant, the Pineapple Society, Khopper, Shayota @ Somewhere Loud
  • Oliver S, Lee K @ Bang Bang
  • Lady Cellie & Roots High Power Sound System, DJ Carlos Culture @ World Beat Center
  • Shift @ Fluxx
  • Fury @ Kava Lounge
  • Cash Cash @ Bassmnt
  • Moonlight Serenade Orchestra @ Crystal Ballroom
  • Black Mambo @ 98 Bottles
  • Andy Mauser (7 p.m.); Ass Pocket, Whiskey Fellas, DJ LYA @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Club Musae @ Boar Cross'n
  • Casey Turner @ 710 Beach Club (5 p.m.)
  • Hirie, Piracy Conspiracy, Kush County @ 710 Beach Club
  • Bill Hardt KIcks Off Pride Weekend, with Shane Stiel, Alyson Calagna, Dan Slater, Danny Verde, Marcel Hetu vs. Taj, Wayne G, Rosabel @ Spin

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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: Ryan Cowen]]>
<![CDATA[Live: Brad Paisley]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:25:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Brad+Paisley+7.10.14+Hancock+%2816%29.jpg Chula Vista's Sleep Train Amphitheatre hosted a country music spectacle on July 10 with Brad Paisley, Randy Houser, Leah Turner and Charlie Worsham.

Photo Credit: John Hancock]]>
<![CDATA[El Mato un Policia Motorizado Defy Norm]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 19:26:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GNSF105-+El+Mato+un+Policia+Motorizado.jpg

Headlining the Mucho Summer's July bill is newly-signed Nacional Records artist from Argentina, El Mato un Policia Motorizado (yeah, it's a mouthful of a name and a sure way to practice your Espanol). EMUPM's name derives, funny enough, is from a subtitle gone wrong while watching the American film “Die Hard.” The band's latest single, “Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes,” is a strong conscious ode to domestic violence victims -- a very beautitful thing to come from five young male rockers. It's music video is a breathless cinematic take on the secretive lonely perils of intimate partner violence with several woman.

EMUPM has easily become one of the most acclaimed and critically praised groups in Argentina, and with their latest album, also one of the most important acts in South America. Celebrated as “Ambitious and Bold” by "Rolling Stone Mexico," the band will make their indie label debut with “La Dinastia Scorpio” on July 29 through Nacional Records. They will also do a short U.S. tour, with a stop here on July 17 at local venue, Til-Two. And even more endearing to know about the band, their Facebook “About” section reads: Cambiar el mundo (translates: change the world).

“La Dinastia Scorpio” maintains its signature charm while adding intricately crafted melodies and profound-yet-simple lyrics that range from confrontational politics to the perils of love, all written by the band’s vocalist Santiago Motorizado, who is an independent leader of thought in his own country.

EMUPM has already played three times at premier mammoth music festivals including, Barcelona's Primavera Sound; Brazil's Porao do Rock in Brasilia; and Mexico's Vive Latino. They have also made their way to the states playing at SxSW, so it's a matter of time before they become Latin indie household names. Trust, when a band does well overseas, the U.S. music aficionado will catch on, too.

El Mato un Policia Motorizado performs at Til-Two on July 17 with Glasmus (Tijuana), Eric Curiel (Tijuana), Tigria (Mexico City) and Dorothea (Guadalajara). For more info on the event 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: El Mato un Policia Motorizado]]>
<![CDATA[Blues Legend Johnny Winter Dies at 70 in Zurich]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:30:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/johnny-winter-488139451.jpg

Texas blues legend Johnny Winter emblazoned himself into the world's consciousness with his tattooed arms churning out lightning-fast guitar riffs and his striking long white hair flowing from under his cowboy hat.

His contrasting appearance and devotion to the blues pioneers of the 20th century turbo-charged a career in which he emulated and, ultimately, championed, his childhood hero Muddy Waters and other icons. Winters carved out a wide niche — and became an icon himself — starting in the late 1960s and 1970s with a sound that blues and country singer Tracy Nelson, prominent during the same era with her band Mother Earth, described as "Texas second generation."

"He did not overplay, like a lot of white blues guitarists," she said of Winter, who collaborated with the likes of Waters, John Lee Hooker and Jimi Hendrix. "His tone was a little more modern, more electric, but I could see the influences. He stayed faithful. People idolized him."

Winter's representative, Carla Parisi, confirmed Thursday that he died in a hotel room just outside Zurich a day earlier at age 70. The statement said his wife, family and bandmates were all saddened by the loss of one of the world's finest guitarists.

The cause of death was unclear and authorities have ordered an autopsy, said Zurich police spokeswoman Cornelia Schuoler. She said investigators are mainly looking at "medical causes" and there is no indication that anyone else was involved.

Winter was a leading light among the white blues guitar players, including Eric Clapton and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, who followed in the footsteps of the earlier Chicago blues masters. He idolized Waters — and got a chance to produce some of the blues legend's more popular albums. Rolling Stone magazine named Winter one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.

Music writer Fred Schruers said Winter played a major role in introducing the blues to a new audience.

"The real legacy of Johnny Winter is that he brought the blues to an audience in tie-dye that might otherwise have neglected the entire genre — and his timely work producing Muddy Waters only deepened that contribution," said Schruers, author of an upcoming biography of Billy Joel.

Winter had been on an extensive tour this year to celebrate his 70th birthday. His last performance was on Saturday at the Lovely Days Festival in Wiesen, Austria.

He had recently announced that he would follow up his 2011 album "Roots" with a new studio album, "Step Back," in September featuring collaborators such as Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, Joe Perry, Dr. John and Joe Bonnamassa.

John Dawson Winter III was born on Feb. 23, 1944 and raised in Beaumont, Texas. He was the older brother of Edgar Winter, who like him was an albino, and rose to musical fame with the Edgar Winter Group.

"Made my first record when I was 15, started playing clubs when I was 15. Started drinking and smoking when I was 15. Sex when I was 15. Fifteen was a big year for me," Winter recalled with a laugh in a documentary released this year, "Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty."

"I love playing guitar. It's the only thing I've ever really been great at," he said.

His career received a big boost early on when Rolling Stone singled him out as one of the best blues guitarists on the Texas scene. This helped secure a substantial recording contract from Columbia Records in 1969 that led to an appearance at the Woodstock Festival and gave him a wide following among college students and young blues fans.

He was one of the most popular live acts of the early 1970s, when his signature fast blues guitar solos attracted a wide following. Crowds were dazzled by the speed — and volume — of his guitar playing, which had its roots in urban blues but incorporated elements of rock 'n'roll. But his addiction problems with heroin during that decade and later battles with alcohol and prescription medication also drew attention.

Winter performed often with blues and rock singer Janis Joplin and the two became close during the 1960s.

Among the blues classics that Winter played during that era were "Rollin' and Tumblin'," ''Bad Luck and Trouble" and "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl." He also teamed up with his brother Edgar for their 1976 live album "Together."

He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1988, and his devotion to the music never wavered.

"To me, the blues has more emotion in it than any other music I've ever heard," Winter told Guitar World. "You can tell that the people that sing and play the blues mean what they are saying."


Gregory Katz in London and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Back on the Chain Gang]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:08:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/170*120/450205638.jpg

San Diego is gearing up for Pride weekend, and you can kick it off on Thursday night with a fun party at House of Blues featuring a ton of tribute acts, including homages to Elton John, R.E.M., Lady Gaga and others. You can buy tickets or call your friend who knows someone, because I hear there are a lot of free tickets floating around for this one. Meanwhile, Soda Bar hosts Glass Spells -- not to be confused with Craft Spells, who are performing Friday at the Hideout -- Jimbo Trout & the Fishpeople party it up at Bar Pink, and Planes Mistaken for Stars rock the Casbah. The hot show for the cool kids, however, is probably the Chain Gang of 1974. Do yourself a favor and RSVP with the free link below, then catch the free shuttle from U-31 in North Park so you don't have to worry about parking downtown. Empires and Nicky Venus open the show. All around, it should be quite a night.

Thursday, July 17:

  • The Chain Gang of 1974, Empires, Nicky Venus @ 207 Hard Rock Hotel (shuttle from U-31 departs at 9 p.m. The show is free before 10:30 p.m. with RSVP) -- watch our Spotlight profile of Nicky Venus HERE
  • Glass Spells, Avid Dancer, Bulletproof Tiger, Letters From Readers, Cobra Kills DJs @ Soda Bar
  • Jimbo Trout & the Fishpeople @ Bar Pink
  • Pride Pre-Party, with Lady HaHa (Lady Gaga tribute), Kenny Metcalf as Elton, Murmur (R.E.M. tribute), Erasure-esque, Not Exactly Mau5, Skrillish @ House of Blues
  • Planes Mistaken for Stars, All Eyes West, I Wish I @ Casbah
  • Henry Kapono & Band, Kevin Miso @ Belly Up
  • Happy Together 30th Anniversary Tour, featuring Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron, Mark Farner, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, Gary Lewis & the Playboys @ Humphreys Concerts By the Bay
  • Pete Stein, Matt Strachota, Luke Andrew Johnson @ Sycamore Den
  • No Name Gang, Memory, Axis of Death @ Tin Can
  • Some Ember, Body of Light, DJ Mario Orduno @ Whistle Stop
  • Samantha Aiken Band, Eliza Vera Band, Savannah Philyaw @ Lestat's
  • Inspired and the Sleep @ Boar Cross'n
  • The Swank Bastards, Midnight Fiend, Rip Carson @ The Bancroft
  • Illuminate- Pro K vs. Casa Nouva, with Dirty Prado, Fr3nzy, Strvnge Cloudz, Nats Beats, Nat Z@ U-31
  • Gio Trio @ Croce's Park West
  • Asher Perez @ RIMAC Arena
  • Tommy Black @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Darkwave Garden @ The Shakedown
  • El Mato a Un Policia Morizado, Dorotheo, Glasmus, Eric Curiel @ Til- Two Club
  • Justin Prime @ Fluxx
  • The Fremonts @ Tio Leo's
  • Contemporary Menswear @ Bang Bang
  • The Spazmatics (8 p.m.), Kenny & Rob (8 p.m.) @ Tin Roof
  • Hazmatt, DJ Reefah, TRC Soundsystem @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Live Band Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club
  • IZAN pre-album release @ Spin

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taking Belly Up By the Antlers]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:11:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*121/the_antlers.jpg

Put ’em in mustaches and call them Dalí, because the Antlers don’t make music, they create dreamscapes. The compositions -- both airy and heavy, tangible and vastly mind-f---ing -- explore darkness with a nod to the light, not in a hopeful way, necessarily, but with something akin to science-minded curiosity.

The Brooklyn-based trio experiments with both sound and self, pushing sonic and personal boundaries to explore each, using the lens of the other. Come Wednesday, July 16, the Antlers will focus that lens on San Diego, when they take the Belly Up stage by swoon.

What started as a solo project for frontman Peter Silberman nearly a decade ago has grown to include multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci and drummer Michael Lerner. They have helped move the Antlers from sparse, folksy strum-hums to unconventionally expansive tracks with enough swirl and falsetto to prickle the back of your neck. But this isn’t a space odyssey, and the Antlers’ music isn’t so far gone as to alienate all but the supreme (and supremely high).

Probably best known for "Hospice" (an effort earned the group comparisons to Arcade Fire) -- on which Silberman uses cancer and its creepingly slow death as an analogy for his then-relationship -- the Antlers turned industry heads again in 2011 with "Burst Apart," an aptly titled stand-alone triumph of a different spirit.

Last month, however, saw the release of the Antlers' most lush record to date: "Familiars" is anything but for Silberman, who uses lengthy tracks to remember himself by taking stock of who he is now. The variation on introspection is informed by Aldous Huxley’s final novel, "Island," wherein Silberman met the idea "that who you are is not necessarily who you’ve been." And so Silberman -- aided by Cicci’s worthy instrumental exploration and Lerner’s grounding drum work -- set out to see who he has become. 

Go see for yourself at the Belly Up on Wednesday night.

The Antlers play the Belly Up on Wednesday at 9 p.m.; $15; 21+. Thus Owls 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: Marc Lemoine]]>
<![CDATA[Requiem for Charlie Haden]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:01:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/charlierafarivas.jpg

"I always dreamed of a world without cruelty and greed, of a humanity with the same creative brilliance of our solar system, of an America worthy of the dreams of Martin Luther King and the majesty of the Statue of Liberty." -- musician, dreamer, and American legend Charlie Haden, 1937-2014

On July 11, bassist Charlie Haden passed away after a long struggle with post-polio syndrome. He was 76.

In a year punctuated by loss, this one is particularly sad for fans of jazz and improvised music. Haden was a giant, a musician who defined and redirected the entire course of his instrument. His singular approach to the double-bass could easily be identified in just one note; such was the strength of his sound.

Sound. That’s the first thing you think of when Haden comes to mind. He had the unique ability to imbue every note with the weight and gravity of his humanity. He chose his notes carefully and always managed to cull the profound ones. He played slower and with more deliberation than almost anybody, even while navigating the twisting turns of bebop. A Haden solo would invariably draw the listener’s focus into the microdynamics of his inevitable logic.

Check out some of Haden's performances on YouTube:

"Lonely Woman"

Keith Jarrett : Retrouvailles avec Charlie Haden avant l'album Jasmine

"Our Spanish Love Song," with Pat Metheny

Haden's musical career began at the tender age of 2 in 1939, singing on his parent’s radio show, which was broadcast on KMA from the family farm in Shenandoah, Iowa. Stricken with bulbar polio at the age of 15, Haden’s singing days were over, but he had already discovered the bass by then, and upon graduation from high school, he saved his money from a job selling shoes until he had enough to board a Greyhound bound for Los Angeles in order to explore jazz -- which he discovered over the radio.

Although he was completely self-taught, Haden had no problem finding work in the bustling LA scene, gigging with Art Pepper and Hampton Hawes almost immediately, ultimately making the connection with the scorned iconoclast Ornette Coleman -- a connection that continues to reverberate in the music world today. 

Haden was the perfect grounding agent for Coleman’s loosely tempered, non-chord-based music. The bassist's sense of metric time was very strong to begin with and became as certain as an atomic-clock by 1960. Together with trumpeter Don Cherry, and drummers Billy Higgins and Ed Blackwell, the Coleman group arrived in New York in 1959 to both considerable acclaim and controversy. Although the jazz community was wildly divided on the value of Coleman’s work, Haden was often invited to perform and record with a who's who of modern jazz cognoscenti: Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and Tony Scott all hired him.

In the ensuing years, associations with Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny raised Haden’s public profile, and in the late '70s he formed a Coleman repertory band, Old & New Dreams, with alumni Cherry, Dewey Redman and Ed Blackwell. The very first time I heard Charlie Haden play live was with this band, and it absolutely changed my life. There was something transcendent going on, and that gig still resonates with me more than 30 years later.

Haden’s stature as a man of principal was equal to his musical depth. He spoke out in favor of civil rights and against the war in Vietnam long before doing so was popular or convenient, and in 1971, when he dedicated a piece of music to the black revolutions in colonial Africa, he was detained, interrogated and briefly imprisoned in fascist-era Portugal.

You can and should read all of that in any of the dozens of tributes that are everywhere on the Internet now. I keep coming back to the sound. No one could make the bass sound like Charlie Haden. You didn't need to read about his humanity to understand him, because his humanity was crystal clear in every note. Deep and sonorous, Haden’s sound penetrated the sonic curtain and lingered in the brain. He made the whole instrument sing -- every creak of finger upon wood, every rattle of gut and steel on ebony, rang with the purity of intention. He figured out how to imitate whale songs with his bow -- and to hear his "Song for the Whales" on the epochal "Old & New Dreams" album is to be transported, literally, into the depths of the ocean where you feel each call coming at you; somehow, you can even feel the water in this magical performance done without overdubs or studio trickery.

And that's just one moment in a lifetime of sonic achievements.

Listen to "Lonely Woman" to understand how the history of the bass's role in jazz changed forever. Listen to "Ramblin" to hear Haden's early hillbilly roots; listen to the solos on "Survivors Suite" for their bone-chattering clarity; listen to "Our Spanish Love Song" for the deep romance.

Listen. Because that’s what Charlie did at the virtuoso level. Everything he was able to accomplish musically came from a capacity of profound listening. The great classical and free-jazz bass explorer Bertram Turetzky told me, "His ear is just incredible. He hears things coming from around the corner." Haden’s ability to listen deeply made him the ideal duet partner, the pared-down instrumentation allowed each performance to become a true conversation, and if you are looking for supreme examples of musical conversation, his duets with Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Hank Jones, Kenny Barron, Archie Shepp and Ornette Coleman, to name a few, are not to be missed.

Haden himself remarked to Musician Magazine in the '80s, "Sometimes I think about hearing music through someone else's ears and it frightens me -- if someone wanted to torture me, they could force me to hear music through Ronald Reagan's ears. He must be tone deaf."

In the mid-1980s, Haden moved to Los Angeles and, at the suggestion of his wife, Ruth Cameron, put together an LA group dedicated to exploring standards and film music, the remarkable Quartet West, with saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Allan Broadbent and drummer Larance Marable. They went on to record close to a dozen albums, several with strings, that are unparalleled in beauty and attention to detail.

When Haden was still finalizing the personnel for Quartet West, he brought an earlier version of that concept to Elario's in La Jolla, featuring San Diego pianist Mike Wofford and guitarist Peter Sprague.

"I really dug working with Charlie, and he had a way of setting up the music vibe so that going slightly 'out' was encouraged," Sprague said. "I loved the blend of freedom, stretched harmony, and then in the next moment, straight-up folk-y major chords. It was a special moment to play that week in La Jolla with him."

Hearing Haden with those cats in the intimate atmosphere of a small club is another piece of magic that I will never forget. So in these days following his passing, I’m doing a lot of listening to Haden's immense contributions -- all of those wonderful Ornette Coleman recordings on Atlantic from the late '50s on; the Keith Jarrett collaborations, the work with Pat Metheny, and Old & New Dreams -- listening, and reliving, those moments of seeing him live.

I did not know Charlie Haden. I never got to meet him, shake his hand, tell him how much his music meant to me, but his work connected me to my humanity, and that body of work, that singular, magical sound will live forever.

The world is a poorer place now that Haden is gone, but it is also immensely richer because he was here.

 Robert Bush is a freelance jazz writer who has been exploring the San Diego improvised music scene for more than 30 years.

Photo Credit: Rafa Rivas]]>
<![CDATA[What About Bob?]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:04:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Robert+Francis+DSC00769.JPG

There are some really solid shows on Wednesday night, so I would suggest stepping away from the couch and getting out of the house for some live music. At Humphrey's, catch crooner Chris Isaak, or check out Babes at Soda Bar. The Belly Up hosts the always-awesome Antlers with opener Thus Owls, a duo formed in Sweden and based in Montreal. My heart, however, belongs to Robert Francis & the Night Tide. The singer/songwriter is one of my Top 5 in the genre, but don't expect a soft show, because he's known to really let loose. I would also recommend getting to the show early for Maxim Ludwig, who did a residency at the Casbah a couple years ago and is an incredible and engaging performer. It's definitely a great night for music all over town.

Wednesday, July 16:

  • Robert Francis & the Night Tide, Vikesh Kapoor, Maxim Ludwig @ Casbah -- read our interview with Robert Francis HERE
  • The Antlers, Thus Owls @ Belly Up
  • Chris Isaak @ Humphreys Concerts By The Bay
  • Babes, Jara, Prgrm @ Soda Bar
  • The Paragraphs, Flaggs @ Daley Double Cocktail Lounge @ The Saloon
  • The Fat Kids, the Village Squares @ The Hideout (9 p.m.)
  • Island Boy, Emerald Rats, Citrus @ U-31
  • Stevie & the Hi-Staxx @ Bar Pink
  • The Routine @ Tin Roof
  • Nothingful, Fat History Month, Dust From 1000 Yrs, Crooked Rulers @ Til-Two Club
  • Trevor McSpadden, Scott Rankie, Clint Davis @ Tin Can
  • Lovelight Open Mic @ The Hideout
  • Marc Encabo @ Croce's Park West 
  • Among the Giants, Foreign Suns @ The Shakedown
  • Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam @ Seven Grand
  • The Tighten Up! @ El Dorado
  • Club Kingston presents Rian Basilio & the Roosters, DJ Carlos Culture @ Winston's
  • Wildside @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • The Trackdown Band @ Gallagher's Irish 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 is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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[Live: Steve Martin @ Humphrey's]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:31:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Steve+Martin+7.1.2014+Alex+Matthews+%2829%29.jpg You could say the stage banter was a bit funnier than usual when Steve Martin headlined Humphrey's By the Bay.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[The Heavenly Robert Francis]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:30:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Robert+solo+2+credit-DanaPoint.jpg
Every once in a while, a song comes along that seems to speak to every living cell in your body -- the instrumentation, the melodies, the lyrics -- everything seems to connect to your being like a strip of Velcro that you don't want to peel off. I can count the number of songs I've had that reaction to on one hand. Robert Francis' "Junebug" is one of them.
I was actually turned on to the indie pop singer/songwriter (who headlines the Casbah Wednesday) by SD:Dialed In's Rosemary Bystrak when she was imploring friends not to miss his performance in town a couple years back. I clicked on the official video's link, and before I knew it, the jump down the Internet rabbit hole had left me experiencing a cathartic moment with a beautiful pop tune about a long-lost lover. She's a smart one, that Rosey.
Francis is a curiosity: His music is constantly evolving while still sounding warmly familiar, and it's never been more apparent than on his latest studio album, "Heaven." Released June 3 via Aeronaut Records, the 13-track record is a melting pot of influences and genres: "Emily, I've Been Meaning to Call" had me doing a double-take to make sure Bob Dylan wasn't guesting; "Baby Was the Devil" conjures up Bruce Springsteen, complete with Clarence Clemons-esque sax solos (R.I.P., Big Man). The album wraps up his catchy pop melodicism in an alt-country bow a la Tom Petty ("Take You to the Water") and, on the title track, even tackles the Grateful Dead's sound on 1970's "American Beauty" album.
Following the progression that started with his 2007 debut album, "One By One," 2009's "Before Nightfall" (featuring "Junebug") and 2012's "Stranger in the First Place," "Heaven" settles into a nice groove, with Francis crafting some of his most-memorable and endearing material to date.
I got a chance to speak by phone with the man himself and asked him what's it's like writing pop songs these days, quitting music altogether and the one, lingering relationship that just won't go away. 
Dustin Lothspeich: You’re playing here with your new band, the Night Tide, on Wednesday. Any particularly great memories from the Casbah?
Robert Francis: Yeah, I’ve got a few. Even if I haven’t been necessarily playing some of my best shows there, I’ve caught some of my favorite shows at the Casbah before. I saw Charles Bradley there, and he blew my mind. It always feels close to home. I moved to Laguna not too long ago, so oftentimes I’ll go to north San Diego, and surf and spend the day there.
DL: I read that you used to live in Michigan. I spent a couple years there when I was younger and loved it. How was your time there?
RF: I can’t say I was living there so much as I was on an extended stay. I was there for a little over a month or two months. That was a period during my life when I wanted to completely stop playing music. After "Strangers in the First Place," I had been on some tumultuous projectile -- the tour ended in Europe and everyone went home, and instead I flew to Milwaukee. I took the Muskegon Ferry over to Michigan, and I stayed with this girl who I had met one time, and we ended up taking a road trip to [Michigan's] Upper Peninsula, and [I] kept traveling with her for a little while. Once I hit Copper Harbor, which is the most northern part separating Michigan from Canada, I called my manager at the time and told him I wasn’t going to be doing music anymore. We parted ways. I basically resigned. That was actually a time where I was kind of over it.
DL: That must have been tough.
RF: Yeah. I think when I was playing the final show of the tour, we were in Zurich, and I was looking around me onstage -- I was with some of the best session musicians at the time -- and the level of the musicianship was just something else … but there was no connection. All of a sudden, I felt this pain in my heart. I felt like whatever we were communicating wasn’t getting across to the audience. I think it made me want to chase the camaraderie that real bands have. When you’re a hired gun, you’re not as invested in the music. With this band, there’s a palpable feeling that the audience really responds to. We’ve been getting the best reactions from performing live that I’ve ever gotten.
Robert Francis' "Heaven," available nowDL: So are they pretty active in the songwriting process then, or were you writing alone?
RF: Well, I’d finish writing a song and take it to them, and they’d help me go through it. In the past, "Before Nightfall" was the only record I’d made like "Heaven," where the band has kept me from second-guessing myself and from experimenting too much, and getting too separated from the song. It's really important to work with people who keep you honest and keep you looking after the original intent of the song, or getting too far away from it. They definitely helped with that.
DL: I’m sure it can be tough to stay focused -- you cover a lot of ground, genre-wise on the album, but it's balanced really well. Was that on purpose?
RF: I wish I could say that was my master plan. I dunno ... I just felt like each song we picked as the final songs for the album were the best representations of who I was at that moment. It felt natural. I couldn’t leave any one of those songs off the record.
DL: Do you prefer one style over the others?
RF: It’s hard -- if anything, that’s something that people really like me to deliver ... or my biggest criticism: that I’m all over the place or that I’m not very linear. I love so many types of music, I feel like I could really just go in one direction if I wanted to, but I don’t know if I want to do that. I really love great pop music, I love the blues, I have an affinity for jazz and classical -- there’s all these things that I love; I just can’t pick.
DL: Well, the good thing is you don’t have to. Did you ever feel any pressure to keep putting out singles like "Junebug"?
RF: Yeah, that was part of the reason I had a falling out with Atlantic. They wanted five more "Junebug" songs. It's always nice to hear your song on the radio, but for the most part, I fought so hard for my albums that I don’t want to be a singles-driven artist. For better or for worse, I've sabotaged some parts of my career to fight for the albums themselves.
DL: When you listen back to some of your own songs -- like "Perfectly Yours" or "Love Is a Chemical" -- do you ever think, "These could be huge hits, too!"
RF: For me, those are like songs I would've wanted to hear come on the radio, like if I was at a party or if I was with some girl -- and, yeah, a lot of the songs I write are pop songs at their core. It's hard to straddle the line, though. I feel like it's very easy to write a pop song but it's hard to write a pop song that I'd feel comfortable playing [laughs].
DL: Pop is a bad, three-letter word now [laughs]. Do you ever think about that while writing?
RF: That's always been my worry, and a lot is due to my core group of friends who are hard on me when it comes to my music. They want to see the best out of me. Any time I've sort of leaned toward something more accessible, they're not so nice about it [laughs]. For a long time, I used to really care, but I think I've proven myself and now I feel like I'm comfortable; I'm not worried if I get a bad review or somebody didn't like something. I don't have that fear anymore.
DL: One of the best songs on the new album is "Emily, I’ve Been Meaning to Call," which has a big Bob Dylan flavor to it. Was he a reference?
RF: I'm a huge Dylan fan, so I'm sure it snuck in there somewhere. The original version of that song was more in line with something off of Brian Eno's "Another Green World" album -- and as we were mixing the record, I decided to strip everything away and then go record it like how it is on the album. That was just the purest delivery of the song. It was kind of an afterthought, but that's one of my favorite tracks on there.
DL: Do you ever know what you're writing about as it's happening, or is it something you reflect on later?
RF: When writing, so much of it is stream of consciousness and capturing a feeling as it comes into you; using your pen to bottle it up and put it into a song. When it hits, it hits. I'm not even aware of what I'm doing during most of the duration of creating the song. A lot of songs, I'll finish it and look back and reflect on what I’ve just written, and because it came from within, I don't necessarily have the ability to interpret what I just did. 
DL: There is a pretty constant theme of relationships that end badly. Are girls just breaking your heart left and right, or what? Should we be worried about you?
RF: [Laughs] I don't know! I would have never done this in the first place had I not gone through this one relationship, which opened up that songwriting part of my heart and brain. It made a world of difference. That's what helped me to write in the first place. My second record, "Before Nightfall," was written mainly about that relationship. "Strangers in the First Place" was written differently -- those songs were active attempts to write poetry and see what comes, and put it down. But they're mostly about that one relationship -- all the other relationships have orbited that one.
DL: Do the women in your life ever get worried that you keep writing about that one relationship?
RF: Uh, yeah [laughs]. I wish I could say they weren’t worried … but they are [laughs].

Robert Francis & the Night Tide headline the Casbah on Wednesday, with Vikesh Kapoor and Maxim Ludwig opening. Tickets are $10 and available online here.

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

Photo Credit: David Kitz]]>
<![CDATA[The Che Cafe Lives to Fight Another Day]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:48:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Frights+at+the+Che.jpg
The screeching you hear are the wheels of the Che Cafe's eviction train coming to an abrupt halt.
SoundDiego confirmed via court documents Monday that in a July 10 hearing, Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager issued a ruling that temporarily prevents the University of California, San Diego from evicting the all-ages Che Cafe music venue, which would have required the nonprofit collective to vacate the building by July 14.
In an important legal victory for the Che Cafe, the venue will be allowed to operate in the building at least until a preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for Aug. 1. A court will hear arguments in a breach of contract lawsuit filed by the Che's legal counsel, Andrea Carter, against the University Regents (and UCSD) on July 7. Additionally, the co-op will not be required to vacate the building for 30 days after the hearing, so it appears that the Che Cafe will still be in operation until Sept. 1 at the very least.
The lawsuit makes two main assertions: The university is in breach of a space-agreement lease it signed with the Che Cafe in 2006, and that the university has denied the venue's dispute resolution and actively avoided an extension of the lease by exacting influence on the student-led Graduate Student Association (GSA) to decertify the club as financially unsound.
"We are arguing that the Che Cafe has holdover status based on the fact that they're seeking a lease extension, and there was a dispute resolution initiated," Carter said on Friday morning. "Therefore, pending the resolution of the dispute, they should have holdover status and continue under the lease without it being terminated. The second thing is that the university is saying the Che doesn't have an extension -- but the only reason they don't have an extension is because the university's delay, and lack of cooperation, is undermining [the Che's] ability to secure one. They aren't meeting with them, they actively work against them -- and then they issue a termination notice for not having an extension in place."  
Attempts to contact the university have not been returned.
A lease extension could have been granted by the UCSD's GSA, which certifies that all campus cooperatives are financially sound and acting in the best interests of the students -- but that extension for the Che Cafe never came. In fact, the GSA passed a resolution not to endorse the co-op's continued operation.
Carter has a theory on why they never received that endorsement.
"The student board has been corralled and influenced by the university," Carter said on Friday. "Most of these students don't have their own agenda, and so they're easy to sway. If the university gives them a budget, they're not going to push back against a staff member or an administrator. The university legal counsel was helping draft their resolution at their meeting -- when these students are supposed to be neutral representatives."
Over the years, the nonprofit collective has booked shows at the tiny venue with such high-profile acts as Nirvana, Jimmy Eat World, Billy Corgan, Bon Iver, Bright Eyes and Green Day -- before those acts had broken, of course. But the site of thousands of all-ages punk, metal, indie-rock and hip-hop shows (among other social events) has seemingly always been a hot-button issue at UCSD, and has faced existential crises before -- most recently in 2012. The club had fallen behind on insurance payments, and in order to stay open, had to raise $12,000 immediately, a story covered by San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Union-Tribune. However, the university's recent efforts to shutter the venue have proven to be largely effective (we've reported on them extensively) and have placed the Che Cafe at the center of a battle between music fans, the community, the school and students.
The Aug. 1 hearing may resolve some of these issues, but, if it's anything like the long history of the Che's battle for survival, it will only offer another look at the next hurdle in the venues's fight for existence.

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

Photo Credit: Rhyan Santos, courtesy of the Frights]]>
<![CDATA[Barbarians at the Keg]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:01:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Barbarian+Oysterfest+2014+%281%29.jpg

The Casbah will be packed to the brim tonight as 91x brings another Next Big Thing show, this time with Meg Myers. Besides bringing artists that they're regularly playing on air, these shows are only 91 cents, so demand is always high and you should get there early if you want to see this artist on the rise. If you'd rather enjoy some beer with one of San Diego's great bands of the last couple years, head up to the Belly Up for the beer fest and Barbarian. Meanwhile, Tin Roof -- where we had our last SoundDiego LIVE party -- has Lady Dottie every Tuesday, Tiki Tuesday at Bar Pink is going to be hopping, and Goatwhore will melt faces at Soda Bar.

Tuesday, July 15:

  • 91x Next Big Thing presents Meg Myers, Gayle Skidmore @ Casbah (No presale. First come, first served. $1 at the door.)
  • Beer Fest, with Barbarian, DJ Man Cat @ Belly Up
  • Lady Dottie & the Bootleggers @ Tin Roof
  • Tiki Tuesday feat Alvino & The Dwells @ Bar Pink
  • Casbah presents Goatwhore, Lord Howler, Eukaryst @ Soda Bar
  • The Wicked Tongues, Andrew Begin, Time Cat @ The Merrow
  • Bat Lords, Chinese Rocks, the Pheasants @ Tin Can
  • Backtrack, Harms Way, Expire, Bitter End, Suburban Scum, Downpresser, Iron Mind, Will to Die @ House of Blues
  • Jesse Davis@ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Theo & Zydeco Patrol @ Tio Leo's
  • Big City Dawgs @ Henry's Pub
  • DJ Ramsey @ The Office
  • High Tech Tuesdays @ Kava Lounge

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah and The North Park Theatre, and 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: John Hancock]]>
<![CDATA[Blink-182 Plot Return]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:11:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/TRAN+-+Blink+182-23.jpg
It's been nearly three years since Blink-182 dropped their last studio album, 2011's "Neighborhoods," but according to the band's guitarist/co-singer Tom DeLonge, the wait for new material should be over soon.
In a briefly-worded caption on an Instagram photo posted early Monday morning, DeLonge wrote: "Rehearsals start today…and yes there will be a new album #SorryForTheWait #Blink"
Any news out of the Blink camp is good news, as only a few years ago, fans were uncertain if they'd ever hear from the band again after they announced an indefinite hiatus in 2005. When they returned in 2008 with a tour and plans to record a new album, all seemed right with the world.
Their last studio album picked up where 2003's self-titled record left off. The music -- still catchy and filled with great pop punk hooks -- was darker and more reflective. Gone were the fart jokes and the juvenile puns ("Take Off Your Pants and Jacket," etc.) -- instead, lyrics dealt with confusion, loss and death. "MTV News" called the album, "the bleakest thing Blink have ever done." The band has shown a dedication to evolving as musicians and as they've gotten older, the lyrical themes have understandably changed over time. That's alright with us -- after all, we're getting older too.
Regardless of the recordings, witnessing Blink-182 (which also consists of bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker) live in concert is an epic spectacle of raging pop riffs, funny stage banter and chest-rattling energy. If DeLonge's message is any indication, we're in store for more shows and a new album -- which has us absolutely giddy.
What's our age again?

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

Photo Credit: Anthony Tran]]>
<![CDATA[Early Birds Snap Up Paul McCartney Packages]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:02:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/paul+mccartney2.jpg
It’s been almost four decades, but for some San Diego fans, the wait is over: A few lucky San Diegans – and perhaps some out-of-towners – bought tickets on Monday to see Sir Paul McCartney’s Out There tour at San Diego's Petco Park on Sept. 28.
Those planning to go all-out for this historic event who are also American Express card holders or fans registered with Paul McCartney.com, began snapping up packages on Monday morning that included swag, special privileges and other goodies. Those tickets range between $655 to $1,500, depending on the package purchase.
The American Express Gold Hot Seat package includes one premium price level 1 ticket, exclusive merchandise item, and a collectible laminate for $655. The Hot Sound package includes one premium price level 1 ticket, special entrance, access to soundcheck, pre-show hospitality reception, exclusive merchandise item and collectible laminate for $1500. The Front Row package includes all the amenities of the Hot Sound package plus onsite check in staff, and a front row side section ticket for $2,000.
Tickets go onsale to the general public starting at 10 a.m. on Friday -- go here for more information. The show will be set in center field, with field seating and all seating sections open to the public except outfield seats and the Park of the Park section (which would be behind the stage). Nosebleed seats in the the upper deck start at $23 and go up to $63. Individual mid-level seats are $128.50 and field level seats are $99.50 each. If you're like us, and need to be as close as possible to Macca, on-field tickets range from $153.50 to $253.50.
San Diego Padres season-ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets before the general public as well, beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
"This is our 10th anniversary at Petco Park and there is no bigger name in music," San Diego Padres President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Dee said during their video press conference for the show. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate that anniversary than hosting the great Sir Paul McCartney. Anyone who's seen Sir Paul live, knows his performance is much more than a concert."
For the first time since 1976, San Diego will get that chance. Whatever seat you end up in, the show is guaranteed to be phenomenal.Good luck and we'll see you there.

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

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Music Thing MonDaze]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:03:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/bp108.jpg

"Game of Thrones" is over. The Fab Fair is over. World Cup is over. Depressingly, that means summer is half-over. But with the races (and shows) in Del Mar, Comic-Con, San Diego Music Thing, Awesome Fest, and much more local goodness still to come, it’s time to get our priorities straight for the few weeks of lazy days we have left. Here is some music news to get your week started off right.

• San Diego Music Thing just announced their first round of bands, and it’s impressive. In addition to a bunch of Angeleno national acts that include Deap Vally, La Santa Cecilia, Dengue Fever and Liars, locals Ed Ghost Tucker, the Midnight Pine and Oh, Spirit will round out a roster of dozens. Not to mention that Moby has been announced as the Music & Media Conference/Festival’s featured speaker. It all goes down Sept. 11-13 and tickets are on sale now here
• Comic-Con is almost upon us. And if, like me, you were completely left cold by the announcement of weed-snitches Linkin Park and Wesleyan “rockers” MGMT as highlighted Con performers – or worse yet, having the ever-fascinating Grimes added, only to find out she’s merely doing a DJ set - there may be hope. Thrash-metal vets Exodus have been announced as part of a bill that will also include Kirk Hammett of Metallica. The Bay-Area moshers have reunited with vocalist Steve Souza, and provide a desperately needed alternative to the so-called “big” acts.  
• Jesse Hofbauer of the Paragraphs has some new projects in the works. He recently started playing drums in a band called Brando, and also started a one-man project called Sleep Document -- which has a debut release scheduled for July 29. Don't worry, there's plenty of this guy to go around, apparently: Don’t miss his main squeeze, the Paragraphs, when they play with Flaggs at the Saloon in Encinitas on Wednesday, or their show with Natural Child at Soda Bar Sunday. 
• In 'San Diego bands that are breaking up, getting back together or changing names’ news: Family Wagon is now the Young Wild. Read the SoundDiego interview with them here.
• Surf punk kids the Frights have a new split EP with Los Angeles garage rockers Death Lens and it comes out on Postmark Records July 22. But you can pre-order it here.
• Local metal trio Old Man Wizard is heading out on their first tour. They kick things off on Friday at Tower Bar. The 14-date West Coast swing will wrap up on August 2 in Los Angeles.  

• New records tomorrow from Anna Calvi, Dead Fingers, Fink, Jungle, Morrissey, the Mother Hips, Pennywise, Plastikman, Rise Against, Sebastien Tellier, Trampled By Turles, Weird Al Yankovic. 

Show of the week: Jurassic 5 at the Del Mar Summer Concert Series on July 18. This is just an awesome way to kick off 4 o’clock Fridays at the racetrack. The four MC/two DJ collective reunited at last year’s Coachella and is currently taking the show on the road. I don’t think I’ve anticipated a concert “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” this much since Sonic Youth played in 2002.  
Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com

Photo Credit: John Audley]]>
<![CDATA[Live: REO Speedwagon]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:30:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/REO+Speedwagon+Del+Mar+Fair+7.2.14+Bolger+%2812%29.jpg Fans just couldn't fight the feeling that they were lovin' every minute of the REO Speedwagon show at the San Diego County Fair on July 2.

Photo Credit: Connie Bolger]]>