<![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 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:23:07 -0700 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:23:07 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[9 SD Bands That Need to Reunite]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:41:23 -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[Time to Say Your Prayers]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:52:32 -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 "Gothic Summer" here. You can purchase Prayers' "Gothic Summer" EP 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: a still from "Gothic Summer" music video]]>
<![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[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[Jessica Hernandez Shares Her "Secret"]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:54:08 -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[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]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 15:31:13 -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]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 08:45:18 -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]]>
<![CDATA[Octagrapes of Wrath]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:14:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/IMG_1045OctaGrape_2_2.jpg

It was a pretty wild last couple days in San Diego, and with Pride this weekend and Comic-Con right around the corner, this just might be the busiest time of year. Which, of course, is great news for music fans. Tonight at the Casbah, Octagrape headlines an all local show with Oh, Spirit! and Big Bad Buffalo. I wrote about them just as they were going on their first tour, and now they're back. Since they're all high-schoolers, you'll have to say hi to them as they wait outside the venue for their set. Meanwhile, Soda Bar hosts a local lineup as well, including the Darrows, whom we haven't heard from in awhile, so it's also a local lineup worth checking out. Zoo performs at the Hideout, Josh Damigo performs his usual Monday at House of Blues, and the Merrow gets into the live action with Urizen. 

Monday, July 14:

  • Octagrape; Oh, Spirit!; Big Bad Buffalo @ Casbah
  • Fantino, Family Thief, the Darrows @ Soda Bar
  • Zoo, Weird Candle @ The Hideout (9 p.m.)
  • Monday's No Longer Suck with Josh Damigo @ House of Blues
  • Urizen (TX), DR. Awkward, Vic Viper, Space Chainsaw @ The Merrow
  • Wreckord Mania feat. DJs Nate "Macho Man" Bohy, Queen Aida, the @Largester @ Bar Pink
  • Benefit Bingo with Craig Science @ The Hideout (7 p.m.)
  • West City Big Band Tribute to Gary LeFebvre @ Dizzy's
  • Rum Rebellion, Abject, At Fault, Acousticidal Tendencies @ Tower Bar
  • Joey Molinaro, Platypus Egg, Penis Hickey @ The Bancroft
  • Velvet Cafe @ Alexander's (30th & Upas)
  • The Tin Can Country Club feat. Ashley Pond @ Tin Can
  • Cadillac Wreckers @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Wheels of the Industry @ Live Wire
  • Open Mic hosted by Chad Taggert @ Lestat's
  • Electric Waste Band @ Winston's
  • Battle of the Bands @ 710 Beach Club
  • 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 DJ Qenoe @ U-31
  • Trivia Night @ Whistle Stop

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[Touchin' on 'Trane]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 13:17:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/franklinbw.jpg

The return of the Henry Franklin Quartet on July 8 to the Saville Theatre on the campus of San Diego City College as a part of Jazz 88’s continuing concert series represented a welcome treatise of hardcore jazz values – all delivered with a post ‘Trane expertise that few are able to match. Many are called, as the saying goes, but few are chosen.

Each member of Franklin’s group emerges from a wellspring of experience, which includes associations with Freddie Hubbard, Willie Bobo, Pharoah Sanders, Rashied Ali, Poncho Sanchez, Joey Defrancesco, Vinny Golia and Bobby Bradford.

The wisdom of such cumulative experience was evident from the very first bar of Monk’s “Eronel,” when pianist Theo Saunders delivered a smoking essay on jazz piano history, followed by tenor saxophonist Chuck Manning’s balance of running the changes and R&B eruption – especially when the drums of Ramon Banda thickened the atmosphere with fireworks.

It was on the group’s heady incantation of “Lonnie’s Lament,” that the evening reached its apex. This classic Coltrane piece is very hard to put your own stamp upon – but from the moment Franklin began his a cappella prologue of pensive, yearning double-stops and strumming – yielding to deep bowing on the rubato reading of the melody – a reverie potent enough to mesmerize was set. The subsequent move into doubletime found Saunders racing through blue modes and deft quartal harmony while Manning twisted toward hoarse screams in wicked exchange with Banda’s vituperative barrage.

The ‘Trane connection continued with a spine-tingling look into “Soul Eyes,” where Manning’s burnished purring locked into Franklin’s sonorous whole-notes over Banda’s whispered brushstrokes and Saunders’ lush piano harmonies.

There are still few things more affective than a group of musicians who can traffic in the spirit of John Coltrane’s music while avoiding the trap of its letter – which is why folks like the Henry Franklin Quartet are essential components to the continued health and development of the art form.

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

Photo Credit: Barbara Wise]]>
<![CDATA[The Legacy of Nicky Venus]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 11:17:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WEB_NICKY_VENUS_SOUNDDIEGO_071214_1200x675_303367747531.jpg In this week's SoundDiego Spotlight, Nicky Venus talks about splitting off from his other group, Republic of Letters, while taking a look at the creation of his own "Legacy."]]> <![CDATA[SoundDiego Set List: July 13-19]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 11:40:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/178*120/166472893.jpg In this week's SoundDiego Set List, we take a look at must-see shows in SD including MKTO, Jurassic 5, Everclear and more.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pretty in Bar Pink]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 10:32:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/bp44.jpg

The seven year itch; seven years of bad luck; seven deadly sins -- I don't know why we associate the number seven with negativity, especially when seven is such a perfect age for a bar. I remember going to an event about eight years ago at this bar called Dino's, and thinking to myself, "this is a really cool space if someone did the right thing to it." And then a group of friends who'd bartended together for years in OB got together and bought the bar. The Pink Elephant was born, and though they had to change names because of some sleazy nightclub on the east coast throwing their weight around, we would've all probably just used the shorthand of Bar Pink even if they hadn't officially changed the name. Seven is a good year, for sure. It's old enough to be an institution and necessity on nights out, often as the first and last place you hit after a bar crawl through North Park. For bringing cheap drinks, a cool vibe, an open environment that welcomes all types, for booking cool shows and keeping them mostly free, and for being instrumenatal in North Park's renaissance -- tonight, we celebrate Bar Pink.

Sunday, July 13:

  • Bar Pink Seven Year Anniversary feat. Schitzophonics and DJ Ratstar @ Bar Pink
  • For The F---ing Kids Fest: Danny Tanner, Retox, San Diego's Finest, Big Bad Buffalo, Crime Desire, Jehovas Fitness, the Frights, Jacob Turnbloom, Kids, Sledding With Tigers, Age of Collapse, Watercolor Paintings, La Bella, Signal Man, Left Eye, Witch Prayer, Diva Cup, Good Grief @ Che Cafe (Show starts at noon)
  • MKTO, Action Item, Tiffany Houghton @ House of Blues (read our MKTO interview here)
  • Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact, Javier Escovedo @ Soda Bar
  • Steely Dan, Bobby Broom Organi-Sation@ Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay
  • Spliff Hemingway, Preacher vs Choir, Generik & Anek @ Kava Lounge
  • Intervention with Morgan Page @ Hard Rock Hotel
  • Luv Madonna @ Balboa Theatre
  • An Evening With the Pettybreakers @ Belly Up
  • Pants Karaoke @ The Merrow
  • Hideout Karaoke @ The Hideout
  • An Evening with Big Decisions @ Sycamore Den
  • Little River Band @ Sycuan
  • Salsa Sundays @ Tio Leo's
  • Karaoke @ Analog
  • Sunday Sessions with Rod Piazza @ Winston's (3:30pm)
  • Ernie Halter, Trent Hancock @ Lestat's
  • Reggae SD @ U-31
  • Molly Tuttle Trio @ Croce's Park West
  • Jason Brown @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (10 a.m.-2 p.m. brunch)
  • Jerome Dawson @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Modern Day Moonshine @ Gallagher's Irish Pub (3pm)
  • Sunday Funday Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club
  • Reggae Sundays @ 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: John Audley]]>
<![CDATA[MKTO: Lost and Found]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:16:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/191*120/MKTO+profile+picture.jpg
Like a lot of folks, I had quite the love/hate relationship with the ABC television show "Lost." Season after season (sometimes on a per-episode basis), I'd throw my hands up, bang my head against a wall and cry out, "I am done with you!," only to return the next week. I soldiered on -- compiling a detailed, lengthy journal of questions and mysteries from the show (didn't everybody?) -- and six years after the program first aired, it promptly came to an end with a thud.
You can imagine my anxiety when faced with the prospect of speaking with Malcolm Kelley, one-half of the pop musical duo MKTO -- which is scheduled to headline the House of Blues on Sunday -- and the actor who played the character Walt Lloyd on "Lost."
Walt, as he was affectionately known, was a 10-year-old boy with magical, psychic powers who disappeared from the show after the second season, save for a couple brief cameos in later years. The reason? He grew up too fast. Basically, by the time the third season started filming, he just looked too old to play a child.
Luckily for Kelley, he oozes talent. After "Lost," he went on star in a vastly popular Nickelodeon show, "Gigantic," with his future bandmate, Tony Oller. The guys struck up an incredible friendship, and, after discovering their combined talents for writing and singing, the two formed MKTO. Lest you think Oller and Kelley are actors trying to play musicians, take a look at the videos for just a few of their successful pop/R&B singles, "Thank You," "Classic" and "God Only Knows."
The group is poised for huge things, with its self-titled debut album reaching No. 1 in Australia upon its release in January, ever-upward-spiraling YouTube video streams and a tour with Demi Lovato on the way. The two may be as photogenic as they come, but they've got the artistry, performance and singing chops to boot.
Kelley took a moment out from the tour to discuss how MKTO came together, who he'd love to perform with and what it was like growing up as an outcast.
Dustin Lothspeich: You're probably sick of hearing this at this point, but I'm a huge fan of the show "Lost" and I'm kind of starstruck, being able to talk to Walt Lloyd on the phone right now. Do you get that a lot?
Malcolm Kelley: [Laughs] Thanks man. You know, some people make the connection, some don't. It just speaks to how good the show was and how much fans connected with that character.
DL: Harold Perrineau [the actor who played Walt's dad on "Lost"] even appears in the video for "Thank You" -- how did that happen?
MK: Our [music video] producer, Evan, was a big fan of the show. He was like, "What if Harold was in the video!?" It was a good time. It was great to have him there and adding him in to the video was definitely a nice twist; a cool tie-in for the fans. 
DL: You and Tony met in 2010 while filming "Gigantic" for Nickelodeon. Your characters play best friends. Are you actually best friends in real life?
MK: Yeah! That's one of the reasons we started doing this thing. It was completely organic. The TV show didn't push this thing on us. It's not fake at all. We just clicked, and you know, he's my boy. We used to live together, we hang out -- we're working together all the time. When it started, we just wanted to make music together -- music is something that can put you in a good place or put a smile on your face.
MKTO (Tony Oller, left and Malcolm Kelly)DL: The name MKTO is based off your initials but it also stands for "Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts." You've said that refers to "the kids we were in high school." It's hard to imagine you guys as outcasts in high school. Was it really that bad?
MK: Well, when you're a kid, you've got a lot of people focused on what they hear or whatever they think is cool. And being young when I started acting, some people didn't know how to handle it. People can come off as really rude. You know, Tony grew up in Texas, and acting and singing and entertainment isn't really on the forefront there. It's more about sports. Acting or singing isn't as cool as playing football or basketball, and people can be rude about it. We relate to that. School prepares you for the future, and it's where you learn that "Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you." That's what we wrote "Thank You" about: We started playing guitar one day and then started adding words, and it became a song about speaking for our generation. There are a whole lot of different people in the world, and whenever someone says something rude, just try to be calm about it. Be calm and say "thank you" instead of throwing out cuss words and escalating it.
DL: So is acting on the back burner at the moment?
MK: It's our first album, so you definitely wanna be everywhere you can be, and do everything we can for it. But once you find that balance, you can focus on both. We look at JT [Justin Timberlake] and how he balances film and music. That's the kind of thing we're looking to do.
DL: You've done some big tours with Emblem3 and Demi Lovato -- just huge pop stars. What were those tours like?
MK: Tours are crazy. Emblem3 was definitely a good time -- and those were our first shows together. Now we're heading out on our first headlining tour, and it feels amazing. We've got a tour with Demi Lovato coming up, and it's really exciting. We'll be playing big arenas -- I mean, we've got a show at Staples Center, which is crazy -- bringin' it back to the hometown, you know?
DL: If you could perform a show with anyone, who would it be? What's your ideal lineup?
MK: That's tough. It'd have to be a two-day festival or something [laughs]. Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, Snoop Doog, Justin Timberlake, Lorde -- man, we love so many artists out right now; the list could go on and on. 
DL: You've got a few singles out like "Classic," "Thank You," "God Only Knows" -- what's your favorite track on the album to perform live?
MK: I love performing all the songs. If I had to choose one, I think "Classic" just has so much energy, and with it being on the radio, people are more familiar with it. Man, when the first 10 seconds start, and people start going crazy -- it's an amazing feeling.
DL: There are few things like the day your first album comes out: Did you have a sense of accomplishment when it dropped?
MK: Oh, yeah. It was great. We first released it in Australia -- and it was surreal. We did sold-out shows there, and it was just amazing. Then it released here in the States -- and when your friends can go into a store and pick up your album, it's amazing. When you can go out and put on a show for people that love you -- it's a great feeling. We always feel like we're kind of the underdogs, though.
DL: Really? Have you gotten a lot of criticism for jumping from acting to music?
MK: Well, we haven't gotten much, really. But over the years, there have been a lot of actors who've jumped into music, and, you know, it doesn't always work out for everybody. But, hey, we love to prove people wrong and we're having a great time.
MKTO headline the House of Blues on Sunday, with Action Item and Tiffany Houghton opening. Doors are at 6 p.m. and the show is all ages. Purchase tickets here.

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

Photo Credit: Columbia Records]]>
<![CDATA[Detroit's Next Big Thing]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 20:10:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GNSF104-JessicaHernandez.jpg

This Sunday, Detroit's next big thing, Jessica Hernandez, will have you saying, "Dios Mio!"

The Mexican-Cuban-American blues rocker has the feel-good soulful chops of an Amy Winehouse minus the in-and-out drug-rehab blues. Hernandez has the work ethic necessary to make it in the music industry. She recently told "Paste" about her passion for being on the road. "My friends and family tell me, 'I don’t know how you tour so much. It must be sad, to be gone all the time and be in a van with six stinky boys, sleeping in hotels and on floors.' But to be honest, I'm happiest when I'm touring, even if we play a small show to five people in some town in Indiana."

Hernandez is a self-taught musician who plays everything from piano to guitar to, most recently drums. So don't question the technique nor her roots. I recently tweeted her, asking if she's a fan a fellow Detroit Mexicano Rodriguez. Hernandez tweeted back, "I most definitely am a big fan. ;)"

Growing up in Detroit's historic Mexicantown district, Hernandez almost settled on the idea of working at her parent's bakery, but a love for fashion (she's a savvy thrift-shop fashionista; see Instagram) took her to Columbia College in Chicago to study design. She changed her major once she realized her heart was in music. Since 2008, the first-generation Mexican-Cubana has been honing her musical craft through lots of trial-and-error and adjusting her songwriting skills for the better. 

"I'm first-generation America -- my father came from Havana," Hernandez told Detroit's Metro Times. "There was a lot of Latin music around the house growing up. Michigan's weird, because every Cuban knows every other Cuban. If a new Cuban moved into the area, my grandma's the lady that finds them, brings them to the house and throws parties for them, just because they're Cuban. It's pretty ridiculous. She's always inviting everybody to everything. So I was definitely surrounded by that culture."

Hernandez's upcoming full-length debut, "Secret Evil," is being crafted with Grammy-winning Argentinian producer Milo Froideval, who was hand-picked by Hernandez. It's a savory record filled with blues rock, gypsy and Latin influences, and will be out on Aug. 19, through Instant Records.

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas perform Sunday at Soda Bar. Puchase tickets here. Follow her on Instagram 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: Blue Note Records]]>
<![CDATA[Tommy Ramone, Last of the Ramones, Dies: Associate]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 10:29:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP02031803299.jpg

Tommy Ramone, a co-founder of the seminal punk band the Ramones and the last surviving member of the original group, has died, a business associate said Saturday.

Dave Frey, who works for Ramones Productions and Silent Partner Management, confirmed that he died on Friday. Frey didn't have additional details. Ramone was 65.

Tommy Ramone, a drummer, co-founded the Ramones in 1974 in New York along with singer Joey Ramone, bassist DeeDee Ramone and guitarist Johnny Ramone. All four band members had different last names, but took the common name Ramone.

The band influenced a generation of rockers, and their hit songs "I Wanna Be Sedated," and "Blitzkrieg Bop," among others, earned them an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Clad in leather jackets and long black mops of hair, the group of motley misfits started out in legendary New York clubs like CBGB and Max's Kansas City, where they blasted their rapid-fire songs.

Since its debut album in 1976, the band struggled for commercial success, but they left a formidable imprint on the rock genre. Though they never had a Top 40 song, the Ramones influenced scores of followers, including bands such as Green Day and Nirvana.

Even Bruce Springsteen was moved. After seeing the Ramones in Asbury Park, N.J., Springsteen wrote "Hungry Heart" for the band. His manager, however, swayed him to keep the song for himself and it became a hit single.

The Ramones' best-known songs reflected their twisted teen years in Queens: "Beat on the Brat," ''Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," ''Teenage Lobotomy," ''Sheena Is a Punk Rocker."

The Ramones disbanded in 1996 after a tour that followed their final studio album, "Adios Amigos." A live farewell tour album, "We're Outta Here!", was released in 1997.

Johnny Ramone, whose birth name was John Cummings, died in 2004 of prostate cancer. Joey Ramone, whose real name is Jeff Hyman, died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer. Dee Dee Ramone, whose real name is Douglas Colvin, died from a drug overdose in 2002. Tommy Ramone was born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary.



<![CDATA[You Gotta Go, Bro!]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 18:28:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Switchfoot-blurb1.jpg

I know enough hipster music snobs who will instantly eye roll with any mention of the word bro, even if they're really just a bro in disguise, hiding in skinny jeans. Bro or not, Saturday is the annual Switchfoot Bro-Am surf contest and concert at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The weather has been perfect, and the ocean is warmer than usual, so a free show on the beach is pretty sweet. But mostly we support the event because it's never a bad thing when local boys make big and give back to their community through philanthropy and raising money for charities. This year, the event has partnered with the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, which supports many local charities that make a difference through the use of the ocean, including AccesSurf, Boarding for Breast Cancer, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Life Rolls On and more. You really can't beat that. By night, get ready to party at the House of Blues with La Roux, join Get Back Loretta at the Casbah, or catch the final show ever at AMSD with Led Kaapana.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014:

  • Switchfoot Bro-Am, featuring Switchfoot, Run River North, the Futures League, Cody Lovaas, Ideasia @ Moonlight Beach, Encinitas
  • La Roux, Big Data @ House of Blues
  • Get Back Loretta, the Palace Ballroom, Flaggs, Neighbors to the North @ Casbah
  • Led Kaapana @ AMSD (Acoustic Music San Diego)
  • No Know, Penis Hickey, Trash Axis @ Che Cafe
  • Hedonism, with John Bishop- Pride Pre-Party @ The Merrow
  • Behexen, Night Bringer, Ritual Combat, Infinitum Obscure, Vesterian, Verrater @ Til Two Club
  • Luv Madonna, a concert performed by the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus @ Balboa Theatre
  • Poems & Love Sonnets of Pabla Nerudo, with improvised jazz, featuring UCSD professor emeritus of music & contrabass pioneer Bert Turetzky, bilingual songstress Coral MacFarland Thuet, Grammy-winning pianist/composer/arranger Kamau Kenyatta, and poet/interpreter Chuck Perrin @ Dizzy's
  • Hit the Lights, Outlook, Such a Mess @ Epicentre
  • Gary Shuffledust (David Boey tribute), Malchicks @ The Hideout
  • George Tandy, Jr @ House of Blues, Salvation Alley
  • MilkCrates DJs @ Bar Pink
  • Todo Mundo, Sister Speak @ Winston's (9:30 p.m.)
  • Bleeding Through, Winds of Plaque, Scars of Tomorrow, Lionheart, Seconds Ago @ SOMA
  • Mari Black @ San Dieguito United Methodist Church
  • Lee Foss, Lee K @ Bang Bang
  • Wynonna Judd @ Pechanga Resort & Casino
  • The Amalgamated, Mochilero All Stars (members of 2000 Tons of TNT/Ottley Mercer) @ Tin Can
  • Josh Damigo, K.C. Harris, Nathan Diller @ Lestat's
  • 2ToneDisco @ Hard Rock Hotel
  • Keyes @ Ken Club
  • Ashley Wallbridge, Christina Novelli @ Bassmnt
  • Maystar Fashion Show, Saul Q @ U-31
  • Joe Garrison @ 98 Bottles
  • Patrick Berrogain @ Croce's Park West
  • Lotus the Band @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (5 p.m.)
  • PopRx @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (9 p.m.)
  • Cold Stare, Down for Life, the Hardknocks, Pissed Regardless, Footsoldier @ Tower Bar
  • Booty Bassment @ Whistle Stop
  • David Page @ Winston's (5-8 p.m.)
  • Total D @ The Shakedown
  • Left4Dead @ Tio Leo's
  • City Reef @ Boar Cross'n
  • DJ Ikon & Ricky Rocks @ Fluxx
  • Open Arms (Journey tribute), DJ Chelu @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Random Radio, the Big Lewinsky, Indiana Jonesin @ 710 Beach Club
  • Summer Time Shindig @ Spin
  • Private Domain, Makai @ Viejas V 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: Switchfoot]]>
<![CDATA[Kiss: Alive!]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 16:48:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Kiss+Sleep+Train+7.6.14+Marissa+Carter+%2831%29.jpg Starchild, the Demon, Spaceman and Catman melted faces when Kiss rock & rolled Sleep Train Amphitheatre all night on July 6.

Photo Credit: Marissa Carter]]>
<![CDATA[A City in the Cloud]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:01:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CN_GemmaHarris_3_092.jpg
Summertime is in full swing and July boasts two huge upcoming events in San Diego – Pride Weekend and Comic-Con. Make your plans accordingly, and take in some live music and dancing this weekend. 
Friday night some legendary artists make their way to San Diego – Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band play a sold-out show at Humphreys Concerts By The Bay and Cher with special guest Cyndi Lauper are at Valley View Casino Center; the Reverend Horton Heat headlines at the Belly Up; at the Casbah, check out Okapi Sun, the debut of Madly, Seattle buzz band the Fame Riot and Kevin Martin in the Atari Lounge; Cloud Nothings with the Wytches play a sold-out show at Soda Bar; Deadbolt and El Monte Slim invade the Whistle Stop; the Growlers take over the North Park Theatre for a sold-out show; Drop Dead Dames Burlesque Revue, Two Wolves and Low Volts are at the Hideout; and Manuok, Little Tybe and Life play at the Tin Can.
Saturday, the free all-ages Switchfoot Bro-am is at Moonlight Beach with live performances from Switchfoot, the Futures League, Run River North, Cody Lovaas and Idesia. Another daytime event that you can check out is She Fest at the North Park Community Park; and Dive Day Club with Ookay is at Harrah’s. More live music to be had at the Hideout with the David Bowie tribute Ziggy Shuffledust & the Spiders from Mars; Get Back Loretta, the Palace Ballroom, Flaggs and Neighbors to the North are at the Casbah; the Legend Records’ 2 Year Anniversary party is at Tango Del Rey; and La Roux & Big Data hit House of Blues. On the DJ tip, join me for Club Sabbat at Numb3rs with special guest DJ Xian from Los Angeles Darkside in the front room while Severin keeps it old school in the back room. Grab more details here; Maystar’s Fashion Whore is at U-31; Booty Bassment with DJs Dimitri and Rob is at the Whistle Stop; and Lush presents Hedonism with Jon Bishop at The Merrow.
On Sunday, Intervention features Morgan Page at Float at the Hard Rock Hotel; For The F---ing Kids Fest with Danny Tanner, Retox, San Diego’s Finest, Big Bad Buffalo, and more is at the Che Cafe (a judge stayed an eviction notice for the club and shows will now continue there through at least Aug. 1); and later that night, celebrate Bar Pink’s 7th Anniversary featuring Schitzophonics and DJ Ratstar at Bar Pink.
Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on the dance floor!

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

Photo Credit: Gemma Harris]]>