<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - SoundDiego]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/blogs/sounddiego http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:04:20 -0700 Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:04:20 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[MTV VMAs 2015: Best Moments ]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 21:54:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-485987428+1.jpg The best pictures and moments from the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MTV VMAs Red Carpet: Best and Worst Dressed]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:00:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-485984216.jpg All the best and worst looks from the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[A Big Spoon Full of Kaaboo]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:31:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/asasaasSpoon.jpg

When Spoon take the stage on Day 2 of Kaaboo, it may be the last time that you see them for a while. They’re nearing the end of the record cycle for their 2014 release, “They Want My Soul,” and it’s time to step back, pour some energy into other projects, and refocus. But the band isn’t going anywhere, as multi-instrumentalist Eric Harvey tells SoundDiego. Co-founder and frontman Britt Daniel has been writing new material, and Spoon are already playing one of those new songs live -- we may even get a preview at Kaaboo. But it’s time for a break, and we should be grateful, because it’s time away, time spent on other ventures, that allows Spoon to come back to us with exactly what we’ve been waiting for -- even if we don’t know what that is yet.

Enter here to win four tickets to Day 2 of Kaaboo to see Spoon, Zac Brown Band, Counting Crows, Slightly Stoopid, the Roots and so many more! We draw a winner on September 8, so enter now!

That’s what happened when they stepped back after “Transference” released in 2010. It was an adjustment, not only for fans but also for the band. And that’s where our conversation with Harvey, who speaks quickly and willingly, begins. Read on.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz: You’ve been with Spoon for more than 10 years now. At what point did this become a full-time job for you?
Eric Harvey: I joined the band in 2004, and then we were touring pretty solid on “Gimme Fiction” the latter half of 2005, so I was able to make it a full-time job pretty soon after joining the band. There were certainly times where I was doing freelance gigs here and there. Between 2011 and 2014, Britt was doing Divine Fits, and Spoon wasn’t doing anything, so it was full-time job for a while and then it very, very abruptly ceased to be. It’s a weird thing, being in a band, because it kind of comes and goes. Even now we’re at the tail end of this record cycle. And I’m definitely going to be doing other stuff outside of Spoon.

HLS: Was that an adjustment at all, having to go on a break?
EH: It was weird in 2011 or whenever we finished the “Transference” tour. It was definitely a little bit of an identity crisis because I got really used to doing this thing all the time, and it was who I was. And Britt came up to me one day, and he was sort of frustrated with a lot of things at that point and just said, “I think this band should go away for a while.” I couldn’t immediately grasp what that meant. It wasn’t really up for discussion, you know? In a sense it was good; we’re all a little, you know, worn out.

HLS: Aside from Spoon, you released a solo album, "Lake Disappointment," a few years back. Is there any chance of a follow-up record?
EH: Yeah, definitely. I’m kinda writing -- there are a couple of different veins of music right now. I’d really like to do another solo record. When I do that, it ends up coming out as fairly introverted singer/songwriter material, which isn’t something I’m completely satisfied with. I have a lot of musician friends, and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with people and looking forward to doing something that’s a new project or band, just to keep it interesting.

HLS: Do you have any sense of whether something is “good” before you put it out there?
EH: Well, the solo record was the first thing I really released. I have a lot of other stuff kickin’ around. You know, by the time you’re finished with something, you’re probably so close to it that you don’t have a lot of perspective on whether it’s “good” or not. But that last record, when I put it out I had some misgivings. But now that I have some distance -- people seem to like it. It’s nice to get your feet wet so that when you do something else it doesn’t feel like… You’ve already put yourself out there a bit. I felt a certain amount of pressure that I’d put on myself, and it wasn’t even really there. So I think I’d be fairly relaxed about putting something else out ’cause nobody really cares, you know? At the end of the day. It’s not like you’re a surgeon with someone’s life in your hands.

Spoon perform at Kaaboo on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. For festival and ticket information, visit kaaboodelmar.com

Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, 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: Tom Hines]]>
<![CDATA[Win an Ariana Grande VIP Experience!]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 08:32:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/ariana-grande.jpg

Princess of pop Ariana Grande will roll into Sleep Train Amphitheatre next month, and to celebrate, SoundDiego is giving away a VIP experience!

That’s right, you and your three besties will rocking box seats after you park VIP style on Sept. 9, when the former Nickelodeon star drops “Bang Bang,” “The Way,” "Problem” and the rest of her hits.

Enter NOW to win an Ariana Grande VIP Experience!!!

Grande -- who’s known for her musical collaborations with everybody from the Weeknd to David Guetta to her ex, Big Sean -- hasn’t mentioned any famous guests yet, but, who knows? Maybe she’ll bring out Prince Royce, who’s providing musical support on the tour, for a duet.

To duplicate this experience would cost $800, so be sure to enter to win NOW!!

<![CDATA[Miley Cyrus' Wacky MTV VMAs Outfits]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 21:15:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-486018870.jpg Host Miley Cyrus kept the outfits coming at 2015 MTV Video Music Awards – each one wackier than the last.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SoundDiego Set List: Aug. 30-Sept. 12]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 10:18:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Weezer+Del+Mar+Track+Marissa+8.2.14+%2827%29.jpg Live Nation helps us highlight the best shows coming to San Diego -- including Weezer, Atlas Genius, Chris Brown and Ariana Grande.

Photo Credit: Marissa Carter]]>
<![CDATA[Fighting Friction Go for Broke]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 09:18:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fighting+Friction+SD.jpg Local alt-rock band Fighting Friction explain the meaning behind their song/video for "Broken Stars" in this week's Spotlight segment. Be sure to catch them Sept. 1 at Soda Bar.]]> <![CDATA[And the Band Plays On an On]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 09:06:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/ONANON_Wittig+Red+025.jpg

It's been a couple years since the Casbah has been graced by the tantalizing and dreamy synth pop of ON AN ON, so you definitely need to catch this Minneapolis trio while they're in town tonight. Around town, Incubus and the Deftones share the big stage at Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Austin's "psychedelic party folk machine," Calliope Musicals, headline Soda Bar, and our friend and massive supporter of local music, Tim Mudd, celebrates his birthday with a show at Sycamore Den.

Sunday, Aug. 30:

  • ON AN ON, Eliot Sumner, Dosh @ Casbah
  • Incubus, Deftones, Death From Above 1979, the Eeries @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre
  • Calliope Musicals, Splavender, the Sinclairs @ Soda Bar
  • Earl Zero, the Delirians, 7 Seal Dub @ Worldbeat Center
  • Labor Weight, Paper Days, Essex Class @ Legend Records
  • Point Break Live Can You Keanu? @ Belly Up (SOLD OUT)
  • Pants Karaoke @ The Hideout
  • Tim Mudd, Podunk Nowhere @ Sycamore Den
  • Ashley Raines and the New West Revue, SABA @ Lestat's
  • Dave Good's JazzJam @ Java Joe's
  • SNBRN @ Bang Bang
  • Lady Princess & Fine Print Promotionz @ U-31
  • GIo and Diamond @ Croce's Park West (noon)
  • Todo Mundo @ Croce's Park West (6 p.m.)
  • Stellita @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
  • Tony Exum @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (8 p.m.)
  • Open Mic Comedy @ Tower Bar
  • Jose Sinatra's OB-O-ke @ Winston's
  • Open Mic Comedy @ Til-Two Club
  • Sunday Funday Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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: Wittig Red]]>
<![CDATA[Metric Have It Made in the Shade]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:02:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Metric+SD.jpg The band Metric talked tour, future plan and more with SDdialedIn's Rosemary Bystrak before their show with Imagine Dragons at Viejas Arena.]]> <![CDATA[Party Like It's 1989]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 13:30:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-484816706.jpg

So little Miss Tay-Tay is in town. We've covered it extensively, so if you have tickets, congratulations, and don't forget your earplugs -- which you'll need to silence the screams of children, not for the music. For the rest of you looking for live music in town on Saturday, there are some free and cheap options that are noteworthy. With artists like Chunky Sanchez, R&B performer Goapele and Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact, the Imperial Avenue Street Festival is a local street fair not to be missed, and definitely is at the top of the food chain of all the San Diego festivals for best food. Meanwhile, on the other side of downtown, the Brew and Food Fest takes over Waterfront Park, though on this brutally hot weekend, it will be disappointing to any families hoping to cool down in the fountains. By evening, Gingger Shankar continues a residency at Bar Pink, the English Beat play a sold-out show at the Belly Up, and the Casbah hosts San Diego Freak Out with five of the best frenetic bands around.

Saturday, Aug. 29:

  • Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, Vance Joy @ Petco Park
  • Imperial Avenue Street Festival (12-8 p.m., free, all ages) 
  • Brew and Food Fest 2015. featuring Down North, the Routine @ Waterfront Park
  • San Diego Freak Out, featuring Wild Wild Wets, JJUUJJUU, Muscle Beech, Shady Francos, Burning Palms @ Casbah
  • Gingger Shankar @ Bar Pink
  • The English Beat, Warsaw Poland Bros, DJ Unite@ Belly Up (sold out)
  • Vicetone @ Bassmnt
  • Glenn Thomas Band, the Bottled Spirits @ The Balboa
  • Geoff Muldaur @ AMSD
  • Fartbarf, the Stalins of Sound, Digital Lizards of Doom @ Soda Bar
  • Secret Society Scooter Club 32ns Anniversary, featuring the Hi-Tones, Los Kung Fu Monkeys, the Bassics @ Irenic
  • Downs Family, the Sidewalk Scene, the Joel Nowak Experience, Social Spit @ Che Cafe
  • Collie Buddz, Don Carlos, Marcia Griffiths, Inna Vision @ Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre, Oceanside Pier
  • Josh Nelson & Tyler Blanton @ Dizzy's
  • Tribal Theory @ Embarcadero Park North
  • EC Twins @ Omnia
  • Cut Snake @ Bang Bang
  • Rock the House, featuring Ozzmania, the Blackout, Pyromania @ House of Blues
  • Groove International: Sound the Groove @ Voodoo Room, House of Blues
  • La Neta, with DJs Boogie Buba & the Office Twins @ The Hideout
  • Preston Morrill, Contrvbvnd, Gorilla Disco, Adam Bomb B2B Silent Riot, Grant Rebound, Zempra b3b Realzona @ SOMA
  • D.I., the Infidelz, Surrounded By Thieves, Dead on the Wire @ Brick By Brick
  • Community Center, Nick Crook, Jill and Kate @ Lestat's
  • Allegra Duchaine, Veronica May @ Java Joe's
  • Booty Bassment, with DJs Dmitri and Rob @ Whistle Stop
  • Sinners Rage, Unicorn Death, Too Fast for the Devil, Mohave Green, Bedlams Edge @ The Merrow
  • DJ Bodyrawk @ U-31
  • Nina Francis @ Croce's Park West (12 p.m.)
  • Afrojazziacs @ Croce's Park West (7 p.m.)
  • The Farmers @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • The Natives, Policias y Ladrones, Chango Rey & His Broken Heart Beat @ Tower Bar
  • Ocean Boogie @ Winston's
  • Raise the Guns, Eukaryst, Voice of Ruin, Monarch @ Til-Two Club
  • Adam Salter @ El Dorado
  • Savi @ Fluxx
  • Dante Fire @ Tio Leo's
  • Barely Alive, Astronaut, and Dodge & Fuski @ Somewhere Loud
  • Destructo Bunny @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Triloc, LIVN, the I-Ways, Seedheads @ 710 Beach Club
  • Skynyrd’s Innyrds, Artimus Pyle, the Cory Wilkins Band @ Ramona Mainstage
  • Martin Campbell meets Sergeant Pepper @ Spin

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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[CRSSD Festival Announces More Acts]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 12:21:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/175*120/Banks+Jillian+Banks.jpg

Need even more reasons to soak up the indie/electro vibes of CRSSD Festival this year? If the Flaming Lips, TV on the Radio, Panda Bear, St. Lucia and Big Data aren't reason enough to head to Waterfront Park Oct. 11-12, then maybe the plethora of just-announced acts will be: Banks, Nicolas Jaar, Cashmere Cat, Autograf, SNBRN, Classixx, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Autograf and more are now slated to join the already impressive lineup.

Basically, it doesn't matter what kind of music you're into: There's dancing to be done and good times to be had.

And hey, we've got to admit, it's been a minute since we first saw Banks (at last year's 91x Wrex the Halls) and we're more than a little excited to be able to see the darkwave/electro songstress in action again. 

If you remember, when CRSSD debuted in March, 15,000 people poured into San Diego's Waterfront Park (doing some estimated $64,000 in damages) to see Empire of the Sun, Chromeo, Hot Natured, Strfkr, Odesza and a whole lot more at the sold-out festival. After only seven months off, it's back and has the potential to be even better.

But you gotta turn out to get turnt. Tickets are onsale here.

Full lineup for CRSSD on Oct. 11-12 (in alphabetical order):

  • Alunageorge
  • Andhim
  • Anna Lunoe
  • Autograf
  • Baio
  • Banks
  • Ben Klock
  • Bicep
  • Big Data
  • Blone
  • Bob Moses
  • Bonobo (DJ set)
  • Cashmere Cat b2b Trippy Turtle
  • Claptone
  • Classixx b2b Holy Ghost
  • Client Liaison
  • Coyote Kisses
  • Cut Snake
  • Detroit Swindle
  • DJ Tennis
  • Gallant
  • Giorgio Moroder
  • Golden Features
  • Goldroom b2b Le Youth
  • Hayden James
  • Hercules & Love Affair
  • Humans
  • Jacques Greene
  • Jai Wolf
  • Jamie XX
  • Jonas Rathsman
  • Justin Jay
  • Klatch
  • Lee K
  • Mano Le Tough
  • Matoma
  • Maya Jane Coles
  • Monakr
  • Monkey Safar
  • Nicolas Jaar (DJ set)
  • Oliver Nelson
  • Panda Bear
  • Playmode
  • Redlight
  • Route 94
  • St. Lucia
  • Swimm
  • Tchami
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Todd Terje
  • Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (DJ set)
  • Touch Sensitive
  • Toyboy & Robin
  • TV on the Radio
  • Wax Motif
  • Wild Nothing
  • Zhu

CRSSD Festival brings the Flaming Lips, TV on the Radio, Maya Jane Coles, Jamie XX and others to Waterfront Park on Saturday, Oct. 10, and Sunday, Oct. 11. The event is 21+, and tickets are onsale at crssdfest.com now.

Photo Credit: Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for ELLE]]>
<![CDATA[What Stars Will Join Taylor Swift in SD?]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 19:14:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/169*120/GettyImages-484882224.jpg Superstar Taylor Swift brought some unforgettable -- and some surprising -- guest singers onstage during a five-night run of the "1989" Tour in Los Angeles. She'll play Petco Park on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taylor Swift at Petco Park: Parking & Transit Tips]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:32:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_907327701687_edited-1.jpg

Mega pop star Taylor Swift will perform at Petco Park on Saturday and those heading to the sold out concert should have a game plan for parking and getting to the big show in busy downtown San Diego.

Petco Park officials encourage concert guests to arrive downtown early. Parking lots near the ballpark will open at 12 p.m. Gates to the stadium will open at 5 p.m., and opening acts – Vance Joy and Shawn Mendes – are set to perform at 7 p.m.

Besides ballpark-adjacent lots, more than 2,500 spaces will be available at the following parking lots and garages: 707 Broadway; Horton Plaza; San Diego Convention Center (Harbor Drive); and Hilton Bayfront (Harbor Drive). These lots can be accessed via the Front Street exit from southbound Interstate 5 or the Cesar Chavez Parkway exit from northbound I-5.

More downtown parking information can be seen here.

To avoid traffic and parking delays, concert guests should also consider using public transportation, including the trolley.

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), says it will run added special event trolley service on Saturday specifically for the Taylor Swift concert, scheduling extra trolleys to accommodate the large crowds.

Though park and ride lots with free parking are located along trolley lines, MTS says parking will be limited – especially because there’s also a San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks game at Qualcomm Stadium at 5 p.m., which will pack the park and ride lots and trolleys with even more passengers.

For this reason, MTS suggests concert guests catch their ride on public transit early. All three MTS trolley lines provide direct service downtown, stopping near Petco Park.

The Green Line will increase trolleys to a 7.5-minute service schedule from Qualcomm Stadium to downtown San Diego from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Green Line trolleys will depart from the 12th & Imperial Transit Center and Gaslamp Quarter Station every 15 minutes during and after the concert, headed to Santee, with the last one leaving at 12:51 a.m. The Green Line will offer additional late-night service from the Gaslamp Quarter Station to San Diego State University to accommodate students.

The concert is expected to end around 11:15 p.m. MTS says the last trains on the Blue and Orange Lines will depart one hour after the concert ends – both from the 12th & Imperial Transit Center (Blue Line at 12:15 a.m.; Orange Line at 12:18 a.m.).

The Blue and Orange Line trolleys will depart all stations every 15 minutes before and after the concert as well, MTS says.

Those heading to the concert can also avoid trolley ticket lines and speed up the boarding process by buying and storing trolley passes on their smartphone using MTS’s free mobile ticketing app, mTicket.

Additionally, North County Transit District (NCTD) Coaster trains with service to downtown will depart Oceanside at 1:50 p.m., 3:34 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. ahead of the concert. The Coaster will also offer a special return northbound train leaving from the Santa Fe Depot after the concert ends.

Petco Park officials say the venue’s new security screening process will be in effect during the Taylor Swift concert. All guests will be screened through metal detectors before entry and will be asked to divest themselves of cell phones, cameras and other metal objects before passing through the screening areas.

Petco Park officials say backpacks no larger than 16” x 16” x 8” will be permitted inside the stadium. All bag and purses will be inspected upon entry.

Though phones and small, non-professional cameras are allowed inside the venue, tripods are selfie sticks are banned. All banners, signs and flags brought in by fans must be smaller than 18” x 24”, according to Petco Park rules.

Petco Park officials say concert attendees with field seats should enter the ballpark through the Western Metal Breezeway on Tony Gwynn Drive or the Park Boulevard gate. Guests with tickets in all other seating areas should enter through the Gaslamp, East Village and Home Plate gates.

For more details on the Taylor Swift concert at Petco Park, click here.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Longtime San Diego Radio DJ Dies]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 12:58:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sue-Delany-KGB-DJ-FB-photos.jpg

Sue Delany, one of the most recognizable voices in the history of San Diego radio, has died.

Staff at KGB-FM confirmed Friday that Delany passed away this week.

Many who lived in San Diego in the 1980s and 1990s would recognize Delany’s sultry voice. She was a constant on the rock music station. She also co-hosted a morning show with Jeff Prescott.

Her husband, Doug Leighton, updated friends on Delany’s passing through a Facebook post.

The woman he called “my love, my world for 12 years” had been living with a number of health issues, he said.

“Finally her body could not sustain any longer,” Leighton posted.

If you remember listening to Sue Delany on KGB or 91X, leave a comment below.


Ed. Note: NBC 7 incorrectly stated Delany worked as an intern with KCST-TV. We regret the error.

Photo Credit: Facebook photos]]>
<![CDATA[Santana Reunites Original Band]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:19:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Carlos-Santana.jpg

The musical icon Carlos Santana is giving a formerly homeless man a new shot at an old dream.

Santana, who lived in Tijuana while growing up, has recorded a new album with original members of his band including Marcus Malone, a percussionist who was living on the streets of Oakland until the two were reunited by KRON reporter Stanley Roberts by chance.

Roberts was filming a story about illegal trash dumping in Oakland in December 2013 for his "People Behaving Badly" segment when he encountered Malone among the ruins, stopping to talk to him. He soon learned (and later verified) that Malone was an original member of the Santana Blues Band.

After Roberts' report aired, Santana took to the streets of East Oakland to try to locate Malone. After a few failed attempts, his manager contacted Roberts via Facebook. Video of Santana and Malone subsequently reuniting thanks to Roberts went viral.

Santana soon told CNN that he had written a song called "Magnificent Malone" for Malone to record with him, but Malone told Roberts in August 2014 that it hadn't yet happened, he was still on hard times and he had a "new distance" between him and Santana.

“I’m keeping the faith that whatever has created this new distance between us, too shall pass," Malone wrote. "I know that he’s a champion of righteousness and a highly spiritual man and a supporter of many humanitarian causes. So to entertain that this was a publicity stunt is unfathomable.”

Luckily, it wasn't.

"It sounds great," Santana told Billboard of the new album, which completed recording this year. "There's so much energy. The songs are so vibrant and I'm really, really grateful. It's just been a great joy all the way around and we can't wait for people to hear it."

Other band members on the project include Greg Rolie and Neal Schon, who both went on to form Journey.

Santana said that the album, which will be released under the name Santana IV, is scheduled to be mixed next month. He hasn't announced a release date, but he told the publication that he will tour with the group in 2016.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sprung Monkey Business]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:56:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WEB_SDTV_011814_SPRUNG_MONKEY_1200x675_121014851612.jpg

The other day I was reminiscing about 1994: Jon Stewart had just retired from "The Daily Show," but back then, he was hosting a show on MTV. My friends and I all ditched school because they were filming MTV Spring Break in Mission Bay, and we had to see Jon Stewart. He filmed two shows: One with The Lemonheads as the musical guest, and  the other with Rocket From the Crypt. We held our front-row-in-the-sand seats until the tapings ended, then raced over to a tent, where South Bay's own Sprung Monkey were playing another taping. That the band has survived more than two decades is pretty amazing, and it's respectable that they never forget their local roots and where they came from. On Friday, Sprung Monkey perform at the Casbah, and it is probably going to be slightly insane. Around town, the Flatliners play at Soda Bar, Slightly Stoopid's C-Money gets down at Winston's, and Weird Al is at the track.

Friday, Aug. 28:

  • Sprung Monkey, Authentic Sellout, Trelic, Processor @ Casbah
  • The Flatliners, Spanish Love Songs, Western Settings, the Sheds @ Soda Bar -- watch our Spotlight segment on Western Settings
  • C-Money and the Players Inc. @ Winston's
  • '80s vs. '90s @ Bar Pink
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Summer Concert Series
  • The English Beat, SoCal Vibes, DJ Unite @ Belly Up
  • Atomic Groove Happy Hour @ Belly Up (5 p.m.)
  • The Bad and the Ugly, Their Wedding @ The Balboa
  • Sweet Beautiful Chaos @ Rosie O'Grady's
  • Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, Helsott @ Brick By Brick
  • Joe Bonamassa @ Humphreys Concerts By the Bay (sold out)
  • Homeshake, Sheer Agony @ The Hideout
  • The Good Mad, Nina Francis, Savannah Philyaw @ Lestat's
  • Peggy Watson, David Beldock @ Java Joe's
  • Groove International: Sound the Groove @ House of Blues
  • Glass Spells, Le Chateau, Nite Lapse, Astral Touch @ The Merrow
  • DJ Bacon Bits @ U-31
  • Allison Adams Tucker @ Croce's Park West
  • Pop Vinyl @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Christ Killer, Fantasy Arcade, No Martyr, Bastardsect @ Tower Bar
  • Rubber Biscuit, the Jive Bombers @ Til-Two Club
  • The Beat Kitchen, Charlie Rock & QSTN @ El Dorado
  • The Broken Stems @ Bahia Belle
  • Volar Records 6 Year Anniversary, featuring Teenage Burritos @ Whistle Stop
  • Open (formerly Blue Rhino) @ Tio Leo's
  • Marrakesh with Chachi @ Fluxx
  • Trent Cantrelle @ Bang Bang
  • Junior theDISCOpunk @ Henry's Pub
  • A-Trak @ Omnia
  • Funk's Most Wanted, DJ Arox @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Acoustic Happy Hour with Adam Block @ 710 Beach Club (5 p.m.)
  • Pleasure Victims, the Contenders @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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[Solana Beach's Got the Beat]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:39:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/EB1.jpg

On Thursday, the Melvins and Big Business play a sold-out show at the Casbah; Quel Bordel are at Seven Grand; Arms Away headline at Bar Pink; John Nolan, Little Heroine and Jimmy Ruelas hit Soda Bar; Old Tiger, Little Red Lung, Creature and the Woods and Marqay are at the Merrow; and Pugwash, the Loons and the Cherry Bluestorms take over Til-Two. Dance options include Krewella at Omnia and Ghastly at Bang Bang.

Friday, the English Beat headline Night 1 at the Belly Up; Sprung Monkey, Authentic Sellout, Trelic and Processor take over the Casbah; Weird Al Yankovic plays at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club as part of the Summer Concert Series; the Flatliners, Spanish Love Songs, Western Settings (check out our Spotlight segment) and the Sheds are at Soda Bar; Volar Records 6-Year Anniversary bash featuring Teenage Burritos is at the Whistle Stop; Rad Fest II is at Queen Bee's; and Glass Spells, Le Chateau, Nite Lapse and Astral Touch are at the Merrow. Get your dance on with ‘80s vs. ‘90s at Bar Pink; A-Trak at Omnia; or Trent Cantrelle at Bang Bang.

Start off your Saturday with the free all-ages Imperial Avenue Street Festival, Carlsbad Music Festival or the Brew and Food Fest at Waterfront Park. Later that day, Arts & Amps features Little Hurricane at the Karl Strauss Brewery in Pacific Beach. Elsewhere, Vance Joy opens for Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes at Petco Park. At the Casbah, the San Diego Freak Out features Wild Wild Wets, JJUUJJUU, Muscle Beech, Shady Francos and Burning Palms; Night 2 of the English Beat is at the Belly Up; the Secret Society Scooter Club celebrates its 32nd anniversary with Action Andy & the Hi-Tones, Los Kung Fu Monkeys and the Bassics at the Irenic; the Tribute to the Saints with the Downs Family, the Sidewalk Scene, the Joel Nowak Experience and Social Spit hits the Che Cafe; Fartbarf, the Stalins of Sound and Digital Lizards of Doom are at Soda Bar; D.I. headlines at Brick by Brick; and Grizzly Business, the Sinclairs and Does It Explode are at Tree House. Hit the dance floor with Club Sabbat’s Naughty School Girl night at Numbers with DJs Calypso, Vaughn Avakian and yours truly; EC Twins double down at Omnia; Booty Bassment will be at the Whistle Stop; Cut Snake is at Bang Bang; and Vicetone head down to Bassmnt.

On Sunday, Incubus, Deftones, Death From Above 1979 and the Eeries take over Sleep Train Amphitheatre; On an On, Eliot Sumner and Dosh are at the Casbah; and Calliope Musicals, Splavender and the Sinclairs hit Soda Bar.         

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 or submit your DJ listings here.

Photo Credit: Gwendolyn Jackson]]>
<![CDATA[Between the Buried and Me Live at the Observatory]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:41:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Between+The+Buried+And+Me+%2833+of+45%29.jpg North Carolina's Between the Buried and Me reportedly took their name from a Counting Crows' lyric, though nobody would confuse the two bands. Check out the prog metal Tarheels at the Observatory in San Diego.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA["Swift" First Responders Pre-Party]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:56:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_636080119486.jpg

There’s no bad blood in San Diego on Saturday -- even though it’s when T. Swift herself takes over Petco Park and there just aren’t enough seats for everyone to get in on the action.

But even if you didn’t score tickets in time, you can still join in the party. On Saturday, Aug. 29, the Fire Family Foundation and Rialto Fire Department host a Taylor Swift pre-concert party at the Residence Inn Downtown/Gaslamp from 4 p.m. until the concert ends -- and it won’t cost you a thing. The Residence Inn’s Bar Vie is going all out to honor the pop princess with a slew of Taylor Swift-themed beverages. The kicker? All firefighters, police officers and active and retired military personnel get a free drink!

Plus, the Rialto Fire Explorers, who strutted their best T. Swift stuff in their own rendition of “Shake It Off” to raise funds for the Fire Family Foundation, will be there for a “stuff the boot” fundraiser. Throw in enough cash and maybe you can persuade the Local 3688 to bust out a live version of the song… One can hope!

The San Diego Fire Department will be there with their heavy rescue rig, and there will be a drawing for an framed, autographed photo of Taylor Swift, gift baskets and more.

Proceeds benefit the Rialto Firefighters Community Giving Fund, as well as the general efforts of Fire Family Foundation, which offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities throughout California.

The Taylor Swift pre-concert party happens at the Residence Inn Downtown/Gaslamp on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Put Some Sunday in Your Thursday]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 09:05:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/john+nolan.jpg

King Buzzo and crew are back in town, but since their show at the Casbah is already sold out, I thought I would get a little nostalgic because I don't know what punk, pop-punk, hard core or post-hardcore you latched on to as a teen, but I certainly had my angst and plenty of music to go with it. But as I've gotten older -- as we all get older -- the things that gave us angst might not any more, and so we hope that our musician heroes grow up with us, too. At Soda Bar on Thursday, you can see singer/songwriter John Nolan, which might not instantly ring a bell, but if you're a fan of Taking Back Sunday, you're certainly familiar with his searing vocals. Meanwhile, around town, Los Lonely Boys return to the Belly Up, Arms Away and Wages play a rare midweek show at Bar Pink, and the Heart Beat Trail get intimate at Sycamore Den.

Thursday, Aug. 27:

  • Melvins, Big Business @ Casbah (sold out)
  • John Nolan, Little Heroine, Jimmy Ruelas @ Soda Bar
  • Arms Away, Wages @ Bar Pink
  • Los Lonely Boys, Cleopatra Daughter @ Belly Up
  • The Heart Beat Trail, Ashley Pond @ Sycamore Den
  • Old Tiger, Little Red Lung, Creature and the Woods, Marqay @ The Merrow
  • UV Clothing (release party) @ The Hideout
  • Mason James, Caitlin Ashley @ Lestat's
  • Steve Harris and Friends @ Java Joe's
  • Groove International: Reveal Talent @ House of Blues
  • DarkWaveGarden@ The Bancroft
  • Throwback Thursdays @ U-31
  • Curtis Taylor Quartet @ Croce's Park West
  • Walter Gentry @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Plastic Pinks, the Bolos @ Tower Bar
  • Open Jam Session @ Winston's (6-9 p.m.)
  • Scott Pemberton Trio, the Alpine Camp @ Winston's
  • Pugwash, the Loons, the Cherry Bluestorms @ Til-Two Club
  • The Tighten Up, Kid Wonder@ El Dorado
  • Tritonal and Cash Cash @ Omnia
  • Ruby Rose @ Parq
  • Ghastly @ Bang Bang
  • Rock Out Karaoke @ Tin Roof
  • The Fremonts @ Tio Leo's
  • Vamp @ Whistle Stop
  • Vibes Up Strong, TRC Soundsystem, DJ Reefah @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Arsenio Hall @ Sycuan
  • Junior theDISCOpunk @ Henry's Pub
  • Liquid Courage Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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[LIVE: LeAnn Rimes]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 09:30:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/IMG_1181+copy.jpg No one was feeling "blue" when country star LeAnn Rimes joined the San Diego Symphony for a Summer Pops performance on August 21.

Photo Credit: Connie Bolger]]>
<![CDATA[All That Jazz]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 06:23:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/sdmtIMG_8510.jpg

There are plenty of shows at fun bars to whet your whistle this Wednesday night, but one in particular is very special. For nearly three years on just about every Wednesday, a grouping of jazz musicians would gather at Seven Grand with Gilbert Castellanos at the helm of the Jazz Jam. Along with open jams, there were collaborrations with local bands, and you never knew what you were going to get but would always leave with a smile on your face. Wednesday is the final night this will take place at Seven Grand, and while we'll still have Mr. Castellanos at various venues in San Diego, this is one weekly gathering that will surely be missed, so drop by and bid farewell. Around town, the Soaks headline the Whistle Stop for another Commune Wednesday, while Badabing rocks the Casbah, and Le Ra leads the pack at the Office.

Wednesday, Aug. 26:

  • Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam @ Seven Grand
  • Commune SD Featuring: The Soaks, the Kabbs, DJ Mike Turi and more @ Whistle Stop
  • Badabing, Well Hung Heart, Mr. Clit & the Pink Cigarettes, Omega Three @ Casbah
  • Melvin Seals & JGB, the Tommy Mitchell Show @ Belly Up
  • Be Calm Honcho, AJ Froman, Botanica Chango, Kevin Burke @ Soda Bar
  • Le Ra, Bruin, Dinosaur Ghost, DJ Ryan Hand, DJ Mike Delgado @ Office
  • Funk'd Out Wednesday with DJ L @ Bar Pink
  • The Blacked Out Tour with Moonshine Bandits, Jelly Roll, Crucifix, J.Gamble a.k.a. Pruno @ Brick by Brick
  • The Dirty Work, Scarlet Vice, Rebel Hotel @ The Merrow
  • Black Cobra, Biera, Dhatura @ The Hideout
  • Joe Bonamassa @ Humphrey's by the Bay (SOLD OUT)
  • JammingOut @ Salvation Alley, House of Blues
  • Draft Week, Alcatraz Garden @ Lestat's
  • Pat Downling @ Croce's Park West
  • Isreal Maldonado @ Java Joe's
  • Kizomba Nights @ U-31
  • Open Mic with Jefferson Jay @ Winston's (6-9 p.m.)
  • Club Kingston five-year anniversary party with Maiz and Dj Carlos Culture @ Winston's
  • Shootdang, John Underwood, the Bone Garden @ Tower Bar
  • Viscera Trail, Devolving Messiah @ Til-Two Club
  • Godspeed McQueen, Bedlahms @ Boar Cross'n
  • Same Pace Band @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Wildside @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • U.HU.RU, Gabonano, Zochi, and Dunga @ Kava Lounge
  • Wu Tang Wednesday @ El Dorado
  • Open Mic/Open Jam @ 710 Beach Club
  • Gino & the Lone Gunman @ Tio Leo's
  • A.O.K. Musik @ Henry's Pub

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

Photo Credit: Courtesy SD Music Foundation]]>
<![CDATA[Ximena Means It]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 11:00:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ximena+Sarinana+SD.jpg Mexican alternative singer/songwriter Ximena Sarinana talks with SoundDiego's Dita Quinones about her forthcoming album and more before her recent San Diego Civic Theatre performance.]]> <![CDATA[Great Scott!]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:07:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/163*120/Jill+Scott+Bos.jpg

It's a Tuesday night in San Diego, and for those of you who love midweek shows, there are a few options to keep you entertained. Best band name of the week goes to Melbourne's psychedelic-rock outfit, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, who are playing at Soda Bar, while the Merrow has San Francisco's Painted Palms, locals Barbarian and the Gloomies to rock your night. If you want to have a night of face-melting burl, check out Oxnard's Nails of Southern Lord Records, with Death Eyes and Crime Desire rounding out that lineup. ListenLocal is back at House of Blues, while Miss Jill Scott has sold out Humphrey's, and Masked Intruder play Tower Bar.

Tuesday, Aug. 25:

  • Jill Scott, Tish @ Humphrey's by the Bay (SOLD OUT)
  • Nails, Death Eyes, Crime Desire @ Casbah
  • Tiki Tuesday @ Bar Pink
  • King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Mild High Club, Amerikan Bear @ Soda Bar
  • Painted Palms, Barbarian, the Gloomies @ The Merrow
  • HI, Prem, Christine Parker @ Belly Up
  • Trapped with TrapNthatAzz and DJ Ramsey @ The Office
  • ListenLocalSD.com presents Justin Myers, Marklyn Retzer, Lindy Crandall, RatTooth, Noble War @ Salvation Alley, House of Blues
  • Missy Andersen @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Masked Intruder, the Maxies, the Blackjackits, Cruz Radical @ Tower Bar
  • John Reno @ Croce's Park West
  • Open Mic Hosted by Gaby Aparicio @ Java Joe's
  • Meeting of the Meyends @ Winston's
  • Videodrome @ Whistle Stop
  • Zydeco Blowout Dance Party @ Tio Leo's
  • Train of Thought @ Queen Bee's
  • Rockabilly Tuesdays with Big City Dawgs @ Henry's Pub
  • High-Tech Tuesdays @ Kava Lounge
  • 710 Country Night @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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, 30 Aug 2015 09:06:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/189*120/1535306.jpg Some of the names on the way to San Diego stages may surprise you -- Neil Young, for example.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Michael McGraw Video Premiere: "Directions"]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 10:31:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Michael_McGraw_Directions_1200x675_511208515865.jpg Local alt-country singer/songwriter Michael McGraw finds "Directions" and solace in dark, lonely spaces. Be sure snag his new album, "So Few Places to Run and Hide," at McGrawMusic.com. ]]> <![CDATA[SoundDiegoGram Gallery]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:10:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*160/114173261606425276280134909487708n.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: sometimesjuliesd/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Scratching Nervous Wreckords]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 09:01:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tg115.jpg

It's time to get back to the weekday grind, but luckily our little music scene doesn't really care when you have to work or not. Monday you can catch a great local lineup at Anti-Monday League at Casbah with the Nervous Wreckords and Lord Howler rocking your night, or head to the Hideout for Boy Chick and Future Age. Soda Bar loves their "low-fi post-punk," so there you can get your dose with Michigan's Trancers, or perhaps you're looking for a bigger and more chill show with Diana Krall at Humphrey's. Over in North Park, the Office has Splavendar, and Tori Roze is at Bar Pink to round out this Monday night.

Monday, Aug. 24:

  • The Nervous Wreckords, Lord Howler, Ape Machine, Black Pussy @ Casbah
  • Boy Chick, Future Age, Nature Thief @ The Hideout
  • Trancers, Groms, Bad Kids @ Soda Bar
  • Diana Krall @ Humphrey's by the Bay
  • Soultry Monday with Tori Roze & the Hot Mess @ Bar Pink
  • Mirror Mondaze with Splavendar, Balms, Quali, the Bassics, DJ Mike Delgado @ The Office
  • Matt McAndrew, Josh Damigo, Family Thief @ The Merrow
  • Makossa Mondays @ Seven Grand
  • Mic Check Monday with OB Mic and YP @ Gallagher's
  • Liz Grace Duo @ Croce's Park West
  • Rewind Mondays @ Salvation Alley, House of Blues
  • Velvet Cafe @ Alexander's (30th & Upas)
  • Metal Mondays @ Brick by Brick
  • Mercedes Moore @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Wheels of the Industry @ Live Wire
  • Open Mic @ Lestat's
  • Delta Blue Monday with Shane Hall @ El Dorado
  • Electric Waste Band @ Winston's
  • Acoustic Night/Industry Night @ Henry's Pub
  • Industry Night with Kid Wonder @ U-31
  • Industry & Local night with DJ RoyAle and friends @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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[Not So Quiet on the Western Settings Front]]> Sun, 23 Aug 2015 11:22:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Western+Settings+SD.jpg Western Settings are one of San Diego's best when it comes to punk rock -- but they also know a thing or two about burritos. See 'em at Soda Bar on Aug. 28. ]]> <![CDATA[SoundDiego Set List: Aug. 23-29]]> Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:45:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-481344808.jpg Live Nation helps us highlight the best shows coming your way, including Taylor Swift, Painted Palms, Chayanne, Chris Brown and more.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LIVE: Morrissey]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 14:04:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Morrissey45.jpg Panic on the streets of San Diego: Morrissey, the iconic Smiths frontman, treated the Observatory North Park to a long-awaited show (the first of two) on Thursday, Aug. 20.]]> <![CDATA[Savage Sunday]]> Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:25:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/166525317.jpg

It's a big Sunday in San Diego, as the hot ticket in town is for the sold-out Savages show at the Casbah. The ladies of the band had a huge debut in 2013 and the show sold out in a heartbeat, so no doubt there will be a gaggle of people begging for entry. Around town, however, there are plenty of shows to appeal to the music fan, including blues-rocker Patrick Sweany at Soda Bar, nine-time Grammy-winner Natalie Cole returns to Summer Pops at the Embarcadero, and Grampadrew joins up with other Flim Flam Revue artists Matthew Strachota and Gregory Michael Thielmann at Sycamore Den. For an extra special fun night, check out Vaud and the Villains at Belly Up.

Sunday, Aug. 23:

  • Savages @ Casbah (sold out)
  • Patrick Sweany, Little Helen Rose @ Soda Bar
  • Natalie Cole @ Summer Pops, Embarcadero Marina Park South
  • Grampadrew, Matthew Strachota, Gregory Michael Thielmann @ Sycamore Den
  • Rat Sabbath @ Bar Pink
  • Vaud and the Villains @ Belly Up (An Evening With)
  • Lecrae, Graham Saber @ Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay (General admission/standing only)
  • Phora @ Voodoo Room, House of Blues
  • Pants Karaoke @ The Hideout
  • Firestarter, Survay Says!, DON, Kitty Plague @ Brick By Brick
  • Peach Kelli Pop, Groms, Nimzo Indians, T. Rexico, Boychick, Cheeks, Nancy Sin and more @ Che Cafe (3 p.m.)
  • Haven, Nightstands @ Lestat's
  • Dave Good's JazzJam @ Java Joe's (2 p.m.)
  • Open Mic Hosted by Isaac Cheong @ Java Joe's (6:30 p.m.)
  • Reggae Sunday feat Arise Roots, Synergy, African Postman @ U-31
  • Tim Doyle @ Croce's Park West (noon)
  • Besos de Coco @ Croce's Park West (6 p.m.)
  • Stellita @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (10 a.m.)
  • Marcus Johnson @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (8 p.m.)
  • The Reverberations, the Schizophonics, Kids In Heat, Los Seafinks @ Tower Bar
  • Jose Sinatra's OB-O-ke @ Winston's
  • Open Mic Comedy @ Til-Two Club
  • levandis- soulchild @ Kava Lounge
  • The Reel Deal @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Sunday Funday Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LIVE: The B-52s]]> Sat, 22 Aug 2015 09:06:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/B52s+AM+%2812+of+40%29.jpg The B-52s turned Humphrey's By the Bay into one giant "love shack" on Aug. 15.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[Kharmicel Chameleon]]> Sat, 22 Aug 2015 14:06:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jsmith.jpg

On "Natural Law of Attraction," by Aki Khalaq and the Blak Prints, rapper Aki Kharmicel sheds the protective battle armor of his last release, "AAAK," for a smoother, kinder persona -- one that finds him flirting with women wearing hula-hoop earrings and singing about romance over his signature dusty-soul production.

The game of love can be fun to play but hard to master. It holds true for men and women equally, as relationship experiences are something we all have in common. It's also that idea that holds "NLOA" together, whether he's anticipating a lady's smile on "URSMILINGFACE" or telling a victim of domestic violence to "LETITGO" and leave her abuser, Kharmicel's approach, even though out of tune, is sincere -- and he sings about desire, longing and mistreatment with equal conviction.

Even though Aki wades into R&B territory on "NLOA," he does squeeze in a rap verse or two, all stuffed with syllables that are slow and nonchalant. Those verses take a backseat, however, playing a supporting role for his Dudley Perkins-like vocals, with one rap verse every three or so songs.

In typical Kharmicel fashion, the beats knock, with his low-fi, low-end rumble made from chopped samples and looped voices sounding like Madlib on lean. Records are pitch-shifted and slowed down -- way down. It's a foundation of sound built on vinyl digging and Screw tapes.

"BAKHOME" is the brightest spot on "NLOA," with Aki Khalaq singing an off-key interpretation of Prince's "Pop Life." It's broken and lonely, enhanced by his tone-deaf vocals, an original take on the original song and stands as the album's breakout moment.

On "Natural Law of Attraction," Kharmicel explores new terrain. He's restless, stepping just outside of his comfort zone. Based on the strength of his creative will (plus some all-important heart), he pulls it off.

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

Photo Credit: Kurtis "3rdRail" Solis]]>
<![CDATA[Last Chance to Feel Like a Woman?]]> Sat, 22 Aug 2015 08:31:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Shania-Twain.jpg

It's a jam-packed day of activity and music this Saturday afternoon and evening. The bay will be alive in Chula Vista for Harborfest, and Mira Mesa has its own beer fest. Legend Poncho Sanchez performs at Ramona Mainstage, and Shania Twain makes a victory lap with her farewell tour at the Valley View Casino Center. The Casbah goes mod with the Loons, and Whiskey Shivers get a little bit country at Soda Bar. The Observatory shifts gears with rapper Snow tha Product, and Leann Rimes returns for a second night with Summer Pops.

Saturday, Aug. 22:

  • Chula Vista HarborFest @ Bayfront Park
  • Poncho Sanchez @ Ramona Mainstage
  • The Loons, the Rosalyns, the Bassics, Gloomsday @ Casbah
  • Whiskey Shivers, Lexington Field, Ypsitucky @ Soda Bar
  • Gingger Shankar, DJ Mike Delgado @ Bar Pink
  • Mira Mesa Festival of Beers, featuring the Routine @ Mira Mesa Community Park (8575 New Salem St..)
  • Shania Twain, Gavin DeGraw @ Valley View Casino Center
  • Feeding the Soul, with Bushwalla and Tolan Shaw @ Goat Hill Park Oceanside (5-10 p.m.)
  • The Best of the Garden State: Livin' on a Prayer, Thunder Road @ Belly Up
  • Snow tha Product @ The Observatory North Park
  • Leann Rimes @ San Diego Symphony Summer Pops, Embarcadero Marina Park South
  • Adeumazel, Obtuse Goose @ The Balboa
  • Victis, Amygdala, All My Wishes, Left Astray, 1972AndesFlightDisaster @ Che Cafe
  • P.O.D., Hoobastank, Media Lab @ House of Blues
  • So This Is Suffering, Triumph Over Shipwreck, Lifelink, Samsara, On Broken Knees @ SOMA
  • Tribe of Kings present Wheel Up @ The Hideout
  • American Wrecking Company, Machinage, Radiodrone, Fused By Defiance @ Brick By Brick
  • Mike Hood, Captain Viejo @ Lestat's
  • Dead Rock West @ Java Joe's
  • Oliver Dollar @ Bang Bang
  • Booty Bassment @ Whistle Stop
  • Cody Canada & the Departed, the Shifty Eyed Dogs, the High Rolling Loners @ The Merrow
  • Junior theDISCOpunk @ U-31
  • Patrick Berrogain @ Croce's Park West (12 p.m.)
  • Blue Largo @ Croce's Park West (7 p.m.)
  • Detroit Underground @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Black Majik Acid, Loom, Flying Hair, Great Electric Quest @ Tower Bar
  • Kitten With a Whip @ Winston's (5-8 p.m.)
  • Elev8 @ Winston's
  • Sleepwalking @ Til-Two Club
  • Jason Waterfalls, Abjo, Julz @ El Dorado
  • Tay James @ Fluxx
  • Full Strength Funk Band @ Tio Leo's
  • Jason Ross @ Bassmnt
  • Sunnery James, Ryan Marciano @ Omnia
  • Wild Side, DJ Chelu @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • The Routine, Lucky & Lana, featuring Luckyiam of the Living Legends @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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: Eric Jamison/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Magic at the Westgate]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:22:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/bonniegil.jpg

There are certain rooms that tend to encourage magic -- and in San Diego, no room encourages more of it than the tiny, acoustically pristine Plaza Bar at the Westgate Hotel downtown. Each Friday evening, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos brings a different trio into the Westgate, and, without rehearsal or preparation or even charts, he leads by listening first -- and the degree of communication and intimacy engendered in these situations can only be believed by actually witnessing it for yourself.

I was expecting nothing less than a transcendent experience on August 7, when Castellanos convened with legendary bassist Marshall Hawkins and the ever-explosive piano man Joshua White.

I wasn’t disappointed.

White had a notion to perform a rarely heard Thelonious Monk tune, “5-Spot Blues,” so he sang the theme, while the leader verified the changes, all of this pulled off over whispers before the audience could even figure out what was going on.

Of course, none of this would have even mattered were it not for the glorious sound of three cats inhabiting the moment: Castellanos delivering a masterclass in the subtle execution of vibrato; Hawkins and White teasing rhythms through elaborate improvising schemata; and finally settling on a bowed bass solo that seemed to stretch the zenith of the creative mind.

Next up was “On the Trail” from the "Grand Canyon Suite," and from the beginning, one thing was perfectly clear: The ideal of intuitive communication was alive and kicking in this room. There were times I believed that each player had occupied the brain of the other -- that’s how quickly the ideas were bouncing.

Castellanos is a master of the blues, and his plunger-mute essay on Monk’s “Green Chimneys,” exploiting gurgling multiphonics, dipped straight into the gutbucket without relief. White responded with amazing classical flourishes, all tied to the inevitable logic of true genius. Meanwhile, Hawkins traced his every move with a dogged yet joyous determination.

Taken at a pace slow enough to melt away hearts and inhibitions, Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” was all smoldering romance, and the Hawkins solo that followed was so pure and intense that my eyes commenced to water. White and Castellanos each took the tune into the edges of the cosmos, but the spirit of Duke was never far away.

There’s always been an adage in jazz that each solo should endeavor to tell a story -- that ideal was constantly in play at the Westgate, which became a sanctuary for communication at the highest level and a forum for real life stories.

 Robert Bush is a freelance jazz writer who has been exploring the San Diego improvised music scene for more than 30 years. Follow him on Twitter @robertbushjazz. Visit The World According to Rob.

Photo Credit: Bonnie Wright]]>
<![CDATA[Wizard of Moz]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 09:00:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Vieux+Farka+Toure.jpg

The weekend is finally here, although if you've been following along, it's been a pretty amazing week in music. Friday is Night II of Morrissey at the Observatory, and based on reviews from last night, it is definitely a hot ticket. Meanwhile, the Casbah has a special show with Vieux Farka Toure, son of Grammy winner Ali Farka Toure and known for his amazing guitar work. At the Ken Club, locals AJ Froman are blowing minds, and Soda Bar has a fun night with our good friends Tropical Popsicle. LeAnn Rimes is in town at Summer Pops, Big Mountain are at Belly Up, and Pepper are at the races.

Friday, Aug. 21:

  • Vieux Farka Toure, Steph Johnson @ Casbah
  • Morrissey @ Observatory North Park (sold out)
  • Tropicle Popsicle, Lowlands, Vowws, Angels Dust, DJs Craig Oliver & Richie Lauridsen @ Soda Bar
  • Turn It Loose @ Bar Pink
  • Leann Rimes @ San Diego Symphony Summer Pops, Embarcadero Marina Park South
  • Pepper @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Summer Concert Series
  • Atomic Groove Summer Groove Series #7 @ Belly Up (5 p.m.)
  • Big Mountain, the Devastators, DJ Carlos Culture @ Belly Up
  • Distorted Awareness, From Chaos and Heaven, Johns Last Ghost @ Che Cafe
  • Shai Halud, Lions Lions, Mandala @ SOMA
  • Night Owls Member's Choice @ La Jolla Athenaeum
  • AJ Froman, Butler, the Wind Playing Tricks @ Ken Club
  • Sean Danielsen (of Smile Empty Soul), Permacrush @ Brick By Brick
  • Fantasy ('90s R&B) @ The Hideout
  • Phili Villalobos @ Lestat's
  • Gregory Page @ Java Joe's
  • Arch Enemy, Born of Osiris, and More! @ House of Blues (1 p.m.)
  • Groove International: Sound The Groove @ House of Blues Voodoo Room
  • Jazz Jam with Herb Martin & Friends, the Society Boys @ California Center for the Arts, Escondido (free, 7 p.m.)
  • Pink Boombox Burlesque Presents: The Family Jewels @ The Merrow
  • Fearless Leader (Washington), Minor Plains (Washington) @ The Bancroft
  • Lee Churchill @ U-31
  • Teagan Taylor @ Croce's Park West
  • Juice Box, Little Dove @ The Balboa
  • Trade Winds @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (5 p.m.)
  • Beta Maxx @ Humphrey's Backstage Live (9 p.m.)
  • DJ Little Fists @ Tower Bar
  • Subdvsn, Ana Sia @ Winston's
  • Colour Vision @ Bang Bang
  • Mike Delgado @ El Dorado
  • Reflectors, New Dogs Old Tricks @ Tio Leo's
  • F---ing int the Bushes @ Whistle Stop
  • E-Man, Create Purpose Fashion Show @ Fluxx
  • Tritonal, Cash Cash @ Omnia
  • Lookas @ Bassmnt
  • Eric D-lux and DJ Five @ Parq
  • Junior theDISCOpunk @ Henry's Pub
  • Legends of Metal, DJ LYA @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Thompson Square @ Sycuan
  • Club Musae @ Boar Cross'n
  • Cody Canada & the Departed, the Shifty Eyed Dogs, the High Rolling Loners @ 710 Beach Club (5-8 p.m.)
  • Way Cool Jr. @ 710 Beach Club (9 p.m.)

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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[Pepper Spices Up the Track]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:24:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Pepper_the_Band.jpg

Friday, the Best of San Diego Party is at Liberty Station; Night II of the sold-out Morrissey shows takes over the Observatory North Park; Pepper play at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club as part of the Del Mar Summer Concert Series; Vieux Farka Toure and Steph Johnson are at the Casbah; Big Mountain, the Devastators and DJ Carlos Culture hit the Belly Up; and Tropical Popsicle, Lowlands, Vowws, Angels Dust and DJs Craig Oliver and Richie Lauridsen are at Soda Bar. Dance options include F---ing In the Bushes at the Whistle Stop; Mike Delgado at El Dorado; Yolanda Be Cool and Colour Vision at Bang Bang; Lookas as Bassmnt; and Tritonal and Cash Cash at Omnia.

Start off your Saturday with the Mira Mesa Festival of Beers -- featuring the Routine -- or Harborfest at Bayside Park. Later that night, the Loons, the Rosalyns, the Bassics and Gloomsday are at the Casbah; Le Chateau and Flaggs take over Park & Rec; P.O.D., Hoobastank and Media Lab are at House of Blues; and Whiskey Shivers, Lexington Field and Ypsitucky play at Soda Bar. Get your dance on as I host Club Sabbat at Numb3rs with DJs Dark Angel and Severin. Other options include Booty Bassment at the Whistle Stop; the Final Elev8 at Winstons; Jason Ross at Bassmnt; Oliver Dollar at Bang Bang; and Sleepwalking at Til-Two.

Sunday, Savages take over the Casbah; Vaud & the Villains hit the Belly Up; Grampadrew, Matthew Strachota and Gregory Michael Thielman are at Sycamore Den; and the Reverberations, Schizophonics, Kids In Heat and Los Seafinks play at the Tower Bar.

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 or submit your DJ listings here.

<![CDATA[LIVE: Wiz Khalifa]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:47:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Wiz+Khalifa+AM+%2819+of+33%29.jpg Sleep Train Amphitheatre got painted "Black and Yellow" when Wiz Khalifa dropped in for a blistering show on August 8.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[Rocky's Back on the Street]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 08:15:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/rockyvotolato2.jpg

So it begins. The first of two sold-out nights of Morrissey at the Observatory and calls from every long-lost friend who has my phone number asking me for tickets. But I shall not oblige, because sold out is sold out. And besides, there are plenty of other worthy musicians in town, including the Drums -- another show that's sold out -- Esperanza Spalding at Summer Pops (read our interview here), Soft Lions at Soda Bar, and Holychild at the Loft at UCSD. But if you've ever read anything I've ever written, you know that I have an eternal soft spot for Rocky Votolato. His latest record, Hospital Handshakes, is beautiful and heartbreaking and hopeful, and in between tour stops, Rocky has been visiting injured veterans in hospitals who are suffering from PTSD. With Dave Hause and Chris Farren of Fake Problems opening this show, not even Moz could make me miss Rocky's show on Thursday at the Casbah.

Thursday, August 20:

  • Rocky Votolato, Dave Hause, Chris Farren @ Casbah
  • The Drums, Froth @ The Irenic (sold out)
  • Morrissey @ The Observatory North Park (sold out)
  • Holychild, Nothing Special @ The Loft, UCSD
  • Soft Lions, Globelamp, Garden Echo @ Soda Bar
  • Esperanza Spalding @ San Diego Symphony's Summer Pops, Embarcadero Marina Park South -- read our interview here
  • Kevin Cavannaugh's Morrissey Piano Bar @ Bar Pink
  • The Palms, the Midnight Pine, Taming the Fox @ Belly Up
  • Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club's Adios Tour, featuring Omara Portuondo, Eliades Ochoa, Guajiro Mirabal, Barbarito Torres, Jesus "Aguaje" Ramos @ Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay (sold out)
  • Landis, Fusebox @ Sycamore Den
  • Saxon, Armored Saint, Symbolic @ Brick By Brick
  • Amy Obenski, Kevin Pugh @ Lestat's
  • Steve Harris and Friends @ Java Joe's
  • Punchcard, Just In Case, Somatic, Arson Academy @ The Merrow
  • Club '80s @ The Bancroft
  • Throwback Thursday @ U-31
  • Gilbert Castellanos & the Park West Ensemble @ Croce's Park West
  • Los Hollywood @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Ragan, Nasty Dilemma, Age of Collapse, Victis @ Tower Bar
  • Open Jam Session @ Winston's (6-9 p.m.)
  • Open Beach Hip-Hop Night @ Winston's
  • Rockin Aces @ Tio Leo's
  • Jae Murphy @ Fluxx
  • Dash Berlin @ Omnia
  • Rock Out Karaoke @ Tin Roof
  • Astrojump, Kill Quanti DJs @ Whistle Stop
  • DJ Reefah, TRC Soundsystem @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Liquid Courage Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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[LIVE: Alabama Shakes]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:42:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/300_6148.jpg Alabama Shakes rattled SDSU's Open Air Theatre on August 12, when singer/songwriter Blake Mills opened.

Photo Credit: Steve Covault]]>
<![CDATA["Variations" on a Theme]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:50:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/henshaw-serbian.jpg

Producer Luke Henshaw and Gabe Serbian (of the Locust, Zu), who's been lauded as one of the best drummers around, have released an instrumental album, "Variations in the Key of the Afterlife" -- and it's a laid-back, cosmic ride full of mellow grooves and space funk.

If there's a sliding scale of modern instrumental musicians and albums -- with Brian Eno on the far left, the sample-based work of producers like DJ Shadow and his "Endtroducing....." debut in the middle, and the prog-rock efforts of a band like Tortoise with their "TNT" album at the far right -- that's where "Variations in the Key of the Afterlife" would fit, with songs that unfold, dissolving from didgeridoos into slow-rolling strings and from subtle synth lines into bleeding horns [listen here].

They're in pocket though, so even when they are exploring, they're still going somewhere. There's no wandering; they don't get sidetracked. Ideas are developed, toyed with, then resolved. They get in then get right back out.

If Brian Eno was making music for airports, then Henshaw and Serbian are making songs for soundtracks. Full of rhythmic head-nodders, cinematic and big, with titles like "Orbital Sequence" and "The Chase Scene," "Variations" seems ready-made for a film.

And just like any good movie follows a story arch -- conflict, climax, conclusion -- "Variations" follows a similar model, with the sleepy haze of "Drifting Back Home" closing out the album. It's quiet, calm and chill; the perfect backdrop as credits roll.

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

Photo Credit: DJ Sesh]]>
<![CDATA[Metzin' Around]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 08:55:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*122/metz-2015-elinorjones.jpg

One of the things I really love about being involved in music is seeing so many of my friends succeed in different areas of the business, when once upon a time they were just fans hanging out at the old Soma or Casbah or Beauty Bar, all trying to find their niche. One friend in particular interned in radio, started DJing at small clubs, moved to L.A., started managing bands, then tour managing, and now is an agent. I may not keep in close touch with those friends, but through social media, I get a grasp of what to watch out for, what new trends are happening in music, and which bands might be the next big thing. When I saw him gush about Metz, I was pretty happy because I was already scheduled to sell merch for the band [read SoundDiego's interview with frontman Alex Edkins]. Their show is Wednesday at the Casbah, and if my friend is still as visionary in music as he was when we met more than a decade ago, this is a show not to be missed. Of course, there are plenty of other choices, like George Clinton at House of Blues, Leon Russell at the Belly Up, and the genre-defying music of Chilean-born, German-raised Matias Aguayo at Soda Bar [read SoundDiego's interview with Aguayo here].

Wednesday, Aug. 19:

  • Metz, Retox, Hot Nerds @ Casbah
  • Leon Russell, Venice's Mark & Michael Lennon @ Belly Up
  • Matias Aguayo, Echo Park Social Club, DJ Viego Lowbo @ Soda Bar
  • Ilya Shatov, Noble War, Gideon's Army @ The Merrow
  • Fear Control, A Hero Within, Malison, Steeltoe @ Brick by Brick
  • George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic @ House of Blues
  • Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam @ Seven Grand
  • Jamming Out @ Voodoo Room, House of Blues
  • Liz Grace Duo @ Croce's Park West
  • Billy Bacon @ Tio Leo's
  • Tropical Wednesday with Mo Lyon @ U-31
  • Open Mic with Jefferson Jay @ Winston's (6-9 p.m.)
  • Club Kingston Presents: Ease Up with DJ Carlos Culture @ Winston's
  • The Ratts Revenge: DJ Tiki Thomas and Mikey Ratt @ Tower Bar
  • Walter Gentry @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Dzeko and Torres @ Omnia
  • Ciarrai @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • West Coast Wednesday @ El Dorado
  • Open Mic/Open Jam @ 710 Beach Club
  • A.O.K. Musik @ Henry's Pub

Rosemary Bystrak is the publicist for the Casbah 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: Elinor Jones]]>
<![CDATA[Esperanza Spalding Joins SD Symphony]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:54:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/esperanza-spalding-photo-by-johann-sauty_8x10.jpg

For her latest project, Grammy-award winning musician Esperanza Spalding (2011 Best New Artist) combines poetry, motion, narrative and an ongoing personal examination into a sprawling work titled "Emily’s D+ Evolution." In a special collaboration with the San Diego Symphony, Spalding will expand this latest work with an orchestral touch. I caught up with Esperanza (whose middle name just happens to be Emily) to see how this idea evolved.

Robert Bush: Can you describe your new project so that our readers -- many of whom will be cheering you on -- have an idea what to expect?
Esperanza Spalding: Emily represents a certain aspect of me that I enjoy getting in touch with to explore some additional aspects of performance, incorporated into my vision as an artist. But even if you didn’t know any of that, or know who I was, you could still come to the performance and you would hear really great songs, which have a lot of energy. The music is really centered around the poems -- it’s poetry based, and some of it is performance based. We’re working on staging the songs as we sing them, and down in San Diego, you’ll hear us with a full orchestra. That’s the best I can describe it right now.

RB: I saw an interview earlier this year where you said you weren’t sure who Emily was. Are you any closer to figuring that out?
ES: I think we surprise ourselves sometimes, with our capacities, our qualities, and it’s a similar experience with Emily. It’s a way for me to explore more about myself too through that process. I’ve definitely learned more about myself -- but I continue to be surprised. I don’t want to say that it’s been tumultuous, but there’s a lot of motion, a lot of change happening within the project. I had a feeling that might happen, that’s why I wanted to tour it upfront of the album, because I wanted to figure out what we’re doing. And it’s ongoing, too, it’s not like, "I know who she is -- we’re done." Sometimes you need a metaphor or an abstraction to describe something better or more accurately than an analysis of it. I am experiencing that process, the unpacking of it. It’s evolving as my understanding of this project and this character grows.

RB: Does the idea of collaborating with the symphony intimidate you?
ES: Not at all. Hey, I’m over the moon. I’ve been communicating a lot with the arranger [Bruce Donnelly], and we are gonna have a lot of fun! I know that much. We’ve been throwing ideas back and forth, and figuring out ways of unpacking the music, and using that incredible format of the orchestra. I never thought that would be an aspect of this project, but when the San Diego Symphony reached out to see if I wanted to do this, I wasn’t going to say no. It’s been a really beautiful partnership, and we haven’t even played a note! So I’m really excited. This is a special one-time deal. Maybe we’ll all want to do this a bunch more, but to me, this is very special. I’ve never performed my compositions in front of a symphony before.

RB: You seem to have grown up surrounded by music and instruments, and I know you played violin, oboe and clarinet -- what was it about the bass that made you lean toward it rather than those instruments you already played?
ES: What really struck me when I picked up the instrument was the culture around it -- the concept of this music -- improvised, jazz music. I felt like I had found my people and my calling. I recognized that, "Oh my god, this is what I want to do." Just in terms of the sound of the instrument, I had a very strong visceral reaction. Now I realize, after playing for 15 years, that it’s very balancing -- there is a healing. I wasn’t conscious of that when I picked it up, but now I get a lot more out of it. It’s healing. It’s medicinal to me.

RB: Were there vocalists back in the day who were important to you that are still important now?
ES: Of course, but I wouldn’t know how to begin listing them now. I’m interested in being heard as me when somebody comes to my performance. People are always going to read into wherever they think you’re coming from, but for this project, it’s really important that people come unprepared, in terms of not bringing expectations. I really hope people are able to hear it for what it is. What’s interesting to me about art in general is what people bring to it.

RB: Since your career took off, I can’t help noticing that a lot of young women seem to be taking up the bass. Does that feel gratifying to you?
I don’t know about that. That could just be the way that you see it. Well, it’s a doorway for anyone to get in touch with their creative potential. It doesn’t have to be girls; it doesn’t have to be bass. What I’ve experienced is that there are just more women doing everything. I grew up playing in orchestras where most people were women. It was only when I got on the East Coast, in the environment of Berklee, that it became a big deal that I was a woman. And I’m like, "Where have you guys been?" [Laughs]

RB: I caught your duet last year on the "Tavis Smiley" show with Wayne Shorter. What does it feel like to play with a cat of his stature?
ES: Well, I had a great time, but I just felt like there were so many other bass players I would have rather seen do it. I can think of at least five other players I would have preferred to watch. But spending time with Wayne in any context is the funnest, most inspiring, most expanding experience ever. He is the best; it’s so amazing to be around him. I’ve been very, very blessed in this lifetime to be able to spend some time with Wayne, and whether its playing or hanging, there’s nothing I’d rather do in the whole, wide world -- except maybe watching him play.

Esperanza Spalding performs with the San Diego Symphony on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. Tickets are available here.

 Robert Bush is a freelance jazz writer who has been exploring the San Diego improvised music scene for more than 30 years. Follow him on Twitter @robertbushjazz. Visit The World According to Rob.

Photo Credit: Johann Sauty]]>
<![CDATA[Matias Aguayo: All in the Voice]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:14:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*166/matias-aguayo+copy.jpg

What’s in a voice? When it comes to electronic music, it’s often an afterthought. The voice isn’t an integral or intrinsic aspect of much EDM these days. Much more attention is focused on a killer beat or a mind-melting drop. If there is a voice, it usually comes in the form of pugnacious proclamations (“Turn down for what!”) or soothing singing (often female) to balance out what is an otherwise primal musical exercise designed primarily to get people to move.

While Chile-born, Germany-raised Matias Aguayo is known as an electronic musician, he is a bit of an iconoclast in the scene. Sure, he’s great at crafting a danceable beat, but for him, the voice is everything. One could even say he’s a little obsessed with the sounds that come out of people’s mouths.

“I have this problem,” says Aguayo, speaking to SoundDiego from his home in Cologne, Germany. “Sometimes I ask a person on the street for directions, and when the person answers and describes the way, I get so fascinated by the melodies or the way the person describes the place that I forget what they said. It’s really embarrassing. I’m quite fascinated by the melodies that are formed unconsciously by people. Obviously as we speak throughout our lives and we train this skill every day, we become virtuosos of speech. We make pauses. We stress things. We go up with the voice and down with the voice. So when you really start to listen to people speak, you’ll see that it’s music. I find it to be very inspiring.”

A “virtuoso of speech” is an apt enough description for Aguayo’s approach to music. Since the late '90s, he’s been creating music that is both highly distinctive and unidentifiable. Yes, it is electronic-based music, but it’s so much more. Ask someone to describe Aguayo’s music and it’s rare you’ll get the same answer twice. Tribal but technological. Refined but chaotic. And it’s all rooted around the voice. Yes, he sings on many of the tracks, but listen closely and you’ll find that there are voices everywhere. Choruses of sampled snippets of shouts, cries and yelps that add up to a larger sound. It’s as if Aguayo is playing the part of the mad Pied Piper and, behind him, are the gleeful town’s children, yelping and screaming at the prospect of the candy mountain in the distance.

“When I start to compose a vocal melody, I start with the speech and try to turn into a melody,” says Aguayo. “In general, I don’t like the impression that when I do music, I’m inventing something. It’s more that I’m repeating something or listening to something that is already there. If you go to a park and listen to the birds, you’ll find a lot of melodies there that you don’t need to invent. The same goes for if you pass by a children's playground. It’s like a little orchestra. The observation and reinterpretation of something that is already there.”

Nowhere is this approach more evident than on Aguayo’s 2013 release, “The Visitor.” The result of a year’s worth of globetrotting and musical collaboration in places like Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Medellin, it’s definitely Aguayo’s most worldly album, but not so much that anyone would ever be tempted to call it “world music.” Presented in both English and Spanish, songs like “Dear Inspector” loop multiple snippets of sound and voice samples into a collage of syncopation that is underscored by a steady, almost indigenous beat. Even the songs sung in English are heavily accented, with Aguayo’s voice resembling what can almost be described as a rather formidable James Bond villain on “By the Graveyard” and the sexy, nearly rapped opening track, “Rrrrr.” Aguayo says that traveling has always been musically inspiring.

“It wasn’t such a conceptual thing. It was more just the nature of things happening,” says Aguayo, whose parents brought him to Germany when he was young, claiming political asylum in order to escape the rule of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. “We did move around a lot, and I did recognize that for myself, for my work and for what I love to do, that it’s very useful. To have different backgrounds and to have new contexts… When it comes to travel, if you put yourself in a new musical situation, and you don’t know how you’ll react to that, it’s that moment that great surprises happen.”

One of the more memorable of those new musical situations came in 2011, when Aguayo collaborated with NYC experimental rockers Battles, singing lead vocals on the band’s single, “Ice Cream.” More recently, he worked as a participant in a new project called Rio Negro from two Columbian artists, Sano and Gladkazuka, which Aguayo describes as “danceable, but deep and dark modern dance music” influenced by salsa and boogaloo rhythms. He’s also “ambitiously and intensely” working on a new full-length LP to be released in 2016.

It’s very easy to see Aguayo continuing to make his own brand of electronic music and developing a devoted following of fans who embrace his unique approach to collaboration and experimentation. And while said experimentation might dissuade some of the more traditional EDM hardliners, Aguayo maintains that he’d rather make music that’s both bold and beatific. Something that makes you dance but also makes you think.

“I do it for the people, and I hope they like it, but I’m not doing this out of ambition. I’m doing it out of necessity,” says Aguayo. “I had to learn very early to not care so much about what people think about me or what I do. This has been very useful in my musical life. If people see me as the guy who plays weird music, I don’t care. I feel very safe or happy with what I do. I don’t care, because it gives me so much joy.”

Matias Aguayo plays Soda Bar on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 9 p.m., $12-$14, 21+. Echo Park Social Club, DJ Viejo Lobo open.

Seth Combs writes about music for local and national publications. You can follow him on Twitter at @combsseth.

Photo Credit: Katharina Poblotzki]]>