<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - SoundDiego]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/blogs/sounddiego http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:39:04 -0800 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:39:04 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[A Gift for SD Music Fans]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:48:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/We-Are-Scientists2.jpg

You just made plans for Jan. 30, San Diego.

How do we follow up our blowout bash with Mariachi El Bronx in North Park last month? How about a FREE show with the party-rock band We Are Scientists, and a pair of 2014 San Diego Music Award winners.

That's right, the boys famous for feuding with Morrissey last year that SoundDiego TV featured in a pair of Sessions segments (and interviewed) are returning to San Diego for a bill they're sharing with San Diego's Schitzophonics and Nicky Venus. Nobody's more looking forward to this show more than than 91x Loudspeaker host Tim Pyles, who will be hosting the party next month, which, by the way, kicks off this time at 9 p.m.


"Great NY-based band with a touch of dance -- I have been a fan since I first heard 'Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt' in 2005 and remember seeing the first show they played in town," Pyles said. "Although based in NYC, the band has origins in Southern California, first meeting in Pomona and I'm excited I get to bring them onstage!"

Fresh off opening up 91x's Wrex the Halls mega-event at Valley View Casino Center -- and a 2014 San Diego Music Award for Best Hard Rock act --- Schitzophonics will be the main music support at what is turning into an annual event during the Casbah's anniversary month shows.

"The guitar player in this band comes from another planet," Pyles added. "They sound like MC5 slept with Jimmy Hendrix and the Stooges. The dude is a magician with his guitar -- watch the sleight of hand and don't be mystified: Every note you hear is played by him! No backing tracks!

Between sets on the main stage at Kettner Boulevard, fans can orbit the Casbah's Atari Lounge, where Nicky Venus, aka Nick Venti, will be owning the dance floor. He also went home a SDMA in October -- in his case, for Best Pop artist.

"How does one go from drums to frontman?" Pyles wondered. "When the drummer from Republic Of Letters decides to go solo! The band has an '80s vibe with nods to Erasure, Human League, Tears for Fears, Pet Shop Boys, New Order -- you get the picture."

With three bands scheduled to play, you won't go hungry for music, but you still might get thirsty. Don't worry, we've got you covered: Get there early and you can enjoy a VIP happy hour presented by Jack Daniel's, starting at 9 p.m.

On the off-chance you enjoy all that delicious whiskey a little too much, we've got you covered there, too. The fine folks from Uber will be on hand, giving you a $20 credit on your first ride if you use our "sounddiego" promotional code.


Photo Credit: We Are Scientists]]>
<![CDATA[Live: In This Moment]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:52:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/In+This+Moment+AM+%2827+of+36%29.jpg Metalcore band In This Moment brought a carnival of madness through San Diego's House of Blues on Dec. 14.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[Win a Weekend in Vegas to See the Roots!]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 12:34:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/The-Roots-hi-res-copy.jpg

And you thought the party was ending on New Year’s Eve.

How silly you were, because 2015 is the Year of the Dog -- hair of the dog, that is! -- and you and seven (count 'em, SEVEN) of your bestest friends are chasing it to Las Vegas to see the Roots from the "Tonight Show" perform at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 3!

Enter HERE for your chance to win EIGHT tickets to see the Roots perform at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas in Las Vegas, two nights at the Linq Hotel, $400 in gift cards and a private bowling lane during the show!

But wait, there's more! There will be four rooms at the brand-spanking-new Linq Hotel waiting for you and your friends (all seven of 'em) for two nights -- check out of the real world and check in to the Linq on Friday, Jan. 2, and don’t you come out until Sunday, Jan. 4. Except for the show, of course, which you'll want to attend, because it's the Roots, dude. And you have eight tickets to see the neo-soul icons! Jimmy Fallon's house band?! Questlove?!? THE ROOTS!!!

But hold up. The lucky winner also scores one of only 32 coveted private bowling lanes during the show PLUS four $100 gift cards good for food and drink at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas.

Yes, yes, this is a whole lotta exciting numberage to digest. Here's the breakdown:

  • A block of four rooms for two nights at the Linq Hotel (Jan. 2-4)
  • One private bowling lane for up to eight people at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on Jan. 3 during the Roots show
  • Four $100 gift cards good toward food and beverage at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
  • Four pairs of tickets (eight total) to see the Roots at the Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 3

In all, it's a package worth more than $3,500. Not a bad way to ring in the New Year -- just use the buddy system to avoid any incidents, a la "The Hangover."

The contest ends on Dec. 26 at noon, and you can't win if you don't enter -- so do it here and do it now!

Enter HERE for your chance to win EIGHT tickets to see the Roots perform at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas in Las Vegas, two nights at the Linq Hotel, $400 in gift cards and a private bowling lane during the show!

<![CDATA[Mars Attacks]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:23:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Ziggy-Shuffledust-and-the-S.jpg

Friday night, the Casbah continues a tradition celebrating the birthday of Gary Shuffler as he transforms into David Bowie, or, rather, the leader of Ziggy Shuffledust & the Spiders From Mars. This is an epic night annually, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more fun way to spend a Friday night. For the all-ages set, SOMA has a superb lineup of local acts, while across town, you can catch the Loons at Til-Two, the Paper Thins at Tower Bar or the return of Where's the Band? at the House of Blues with Thrice's Dustin Kensrue and friends.

Friday, Dec, 19, 2014:

  • Ziggy Shuffledust & the Spiders From Mars, Chinese Rocks, DJ Mike Delgado @ Casbah
  • Lobster Party, Inspired and the Sleep, Paper Days, Bakkuda, the Chili Banditos, Big Bad Buffalo @ SOMA
  • The Paper Thins, Telling Lies, Swift Beats @ Tower Bar
  • Where's The Band? with Dustin Kensrue, Dan Andriano, Casey Crescenzo, Matt Pryor @ House of Blues
  • Willi Watson, Ypsitucky, Jake Loban & the Bender Band @ Soda Bar
  • Royal Heart, Chocolate Revolution @ The Merrow
  • Eukaryst, Sentinel @ Brick By Brick
  • Grex (SF), Nathan Hubbard/Passengers, Blackberry Tongues (LA), Tan Tien @ Bancroft
  • The Peripherals, Granpadrew, Luke Johnson @ Tin Can
  • The Loons, Schitzophonics @ Til Two Club
  • Turn It Loose with Mr. Blow @ Bar Pink
  • Atomic Groove, Who's Bad @ Belly Up
  • Besos de Coco @ Croce's Park West
  • Common @ Fluxx
  • Funks Most Wanted, DJ Lya @ Gallagher's
  • Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, Nancarrow @ Cheers (Ramona)
  • Hip-Hop Roots @ The Hideout
  • Dylan Gardner, Josh Damigo @ House of Blues
  • Lee K, Boys Don't Disco @ Bang Bang
  • Winter Wonderland @ House of Blues
  • Lotus the Band @ Humphrey's Backstage LIve
  • My Name Is You, Katie Leigh & the Infantry @ Lestat's
  • Jon Runion @ Sycamore Den
  • 12th Planet, Antiserum, Starkey, DJ Beatnick @ Bassmnt
  • Serious Guise @ Tio Leo's
  • Kid Wonder @ U31
  • Red Not Chili Peppers, Concrete Project @ Winston'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: Tim Pyles/@thelocalpyle/@casbahsandiego]]>
<![CDATA[Holiday Cheer Leaders]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:57:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Gabe-Vega.jpg

Friday, Ziggy Shuffledust & the Spiders From Mars, Chinese Rocks and DJ Mike Delgado take over the Casbah for Gary Shuffler’s birthday; Where’s the Band? with Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), Casey Crescenzo (the Dear Hunter), Matt Pryor (the Get Up Kids) and Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit) hits the House of Blues; The Downs Family, Tiny Frank and Masteria are at the Ken Club; Eukaryst headline at Brick By Brick; the Loons and Schitzophonics are at the Til-Two; and Willie Watson plays at Soda Bar. Get your dancing fix with F---ing In the Bushes, featuring DJs Rob Moran and Daniel Sant at the Whistle Stop; 12th Planet at Bassmnt; Naughty Elf Invasion at the Kava Lounge; and Lee K at Bang Bang.

Saturday, Big Sandy & His Flyrite Boys, Sleepwalkers and the Jive Bombers are at the Casbah; Erik Canzona & the Narrows, Gloomsday and Second Cousins take over the Hideout; Subtropics, Shady Francos and the Cardielees are at the Tower Bar; and the Chop Tops, Hard Fall Hearts, Embalmers and the Blackjackits hit Soda Bar. Dance options include Donald Glaude at Bassmnt; Seria Star at the Kava Lounge; '80s vs. '90s with DJs Gabe Vega and Saul Q at the Whistle Stop; Neon Beat -- the best and worst of the '80s -- at Bar Pink; and Therapy at the Bancroft.

Sunday, Soundrange presents a holiday matinee at the Casbah with Subsurfer, Neighbors to the North, Shake Before Us, DJs Ladypills, Bettie Blue and Robert Been. Later that night, the Downs Family, Saint Shameless and Martin and the Big Nativity Scene take over the Casbah for the Dublin Mob Choppers Christmas Party; and Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Interrupters and Oceanside Sound System are at House of Blues.

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: Gabe Vega]]>
<![CDATA[Live: Phillip Phillips]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:02:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Phillip+Phillips+RIMAC+Bolger+12.5.14+%2814%29.jpg Phillip Phillips made San Diego his 'home' on Dec. 5, much to the delight of a packed RIMAC Arena crowd. Saints of Valory opened.

Photo Credit: Connie Bolger]]>
<![CDATA[It's a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod World]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:00:45 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Casbah-shot.jpg

San Diego has been glistening at night, and for us night owls, the sparkly lights are a reminder that there is still life in this city despite inclement weather, chilly nights and that urgent desire to nestle at home under a warm blanket. If you take a leap of faith, you'll be transported on Thursday back to an era ruled by mods on Vespas, with their smart clothes and intellectual conversations. Manual Scan have been performing for a couple decades, though not so much in recent years, and it's an amazing thing for the young'uns to see Bart Mendoza, who spends most of his time writing about local music, actually being local music. Around town, catch Corners at the Hideout, Stephen Rey at Sycamore Den or step out of the zone and catch Gilbert Castellanos at Croce's Park West or a hip-hop show at Winston's in OB.

Thursday, Dec. 18:

  • Manual Scan, NE1, The Bassics @ Casbah
  • Corners, Subtropics, Tropical Popsicle @ The Hideout
  • Stephen Rey & the Sextette @ Sycamore Den
  • 3LAU @ Fluxx
  • DJ Girth @ Bar Pink
  • Open Mic Night @ Tin Can
  • Lee Foss @ Bang Bang
  • Local Rhythm @ The Bancroft
  • Snails @ Somewhere Loud
  • Charlie Recksieck, Destinie Gardner @ Lestat's
  • HIM @ House of Blues
  • Children of the Cave, Alice @ Brick By Brick
  • Convulsic @ Somewhere Loud
  • Gilbert Castellanos & the Park West Ensemble @ Croce's Park West
  • R- Tyme @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Left In Company, Lana Shea, Ciz Flow, Mr. Acks, Atlantis Rizing @ Winston's
  • VAMP end-o-the year party @ Whistle Stop
  • Urbnlgnd, Galangsta, Nico Lumious, Party Wave @ Atomic Gaslamp
  • Kindle to Ember, DJ Reefah, TRC Sound System @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Nathan James Holiday Party @ 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.

<![CDATA[NYE 2015: Midnight Music]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:14:39 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NYE-Times-Square-3.jpg We've been listening closely to the party scanner -- and found the best NYE shows in SD to hit.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Iration Nation]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:45:27 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Iration+SD.jpg Santa Barbara's sunny reggae outfit Iration made it out for the pony races at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, where we caught some of their set for SoundDiego.]]> <![CDATA[Honky-Tonk Holidays]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:01:45 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Nancarrow+CountryFest+6.21.14+%287%29.jpg

OK, OK, maybe the outlook for music isn't so bleak as the holidays approach. On Wednesday you can have a local face-melter of a night with Ghetto Blaster at the Casbah, or check out some of Jake Najor's new tunes with Taurus Authority at Bar Pink. Things get a little bit country at the Belly Up with Nancarrow, Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash and Brawley. If you're looking for a touring act, check out Soda Bar for L.A.'s Francisco the Man, who just released a debut on Fat Possum and are being hailed by blogs like Consequence of Sound as a band to watch. Plenty of choices to get you over the midweek hump. 

Wednesday, Dec. 17:

  • Ghetto Blaster, Madly, Moonshine @ Casbah
  • Taurus Authority @ Bar Pink
  • A Country Christmas with Nancarrow, Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, Brawley @ Belly Up
  • Francisco the Man, Sundrop Electric, Philosopher's Ray Gun @ Soda Bar
  • Bitch Please ('90s hip-hop/R&B) @ The Hideout
  • Christmas with Lunasa featuring Karan Casey @ Califronia Center for the Arts, Escondido
  • Caroline Corn, Tim Connelly, Ilya Shatov @ Lestat's
  • Chans Valdez @ Croce's Park West
  • Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam @ Seven Grand
  • The Tighten Up! @ El Dorado
  • Records with Roger @ Bluefoot
  • Skank Roots Project, SM Familia with DJ Carlos Culture @ Winston's
  • DJ Tiki Thomas & Mikey Ratt @ Tower Bar
  • Willovealot @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • The Fooks @ Henry's Pub
  • DJ Christopher London @ Henry's Pub (9:30 p.m.-close)

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: Marissa Carter]]>
<![CDATA[Twin Peaking]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:52:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Twin+Peaks+SD.jpg Up out of the valley came Chicago's Twin Peaks, brandishing garage rockery and party-time tunes for one of our SoundDiego sessions.]]> <![CDATA[Mark Dresser Quintet Transcends]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:41:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/dresser5brosscrop.jpg

OK, so I go to a lot of jazz shows (more than 500 in the last three years), and for the most part, they are all excellent -- it's a testament to the kind of musicianship that is required to play that music. Sometimes, though, the music is so transformative that it transcends the limits of prose, regardless of the number of superlatives one can pile into a review.

That's exactly what happened on Dec. 12 when the Mark Dresser Quintet laid it down at Dizzy's.

Dresser's music for five players has always represented something special in his catalog. Inspired initially by the groundbreaking work of jazz firebrand Charles Mingus, Dresser has extrapolated that concept into a breathtaking extension that pushes the limits mercilessly while keeping one foot firmly grounded in the blues.

His latest incarnation of the MDQ features four all-star players in flute-wonder Nicole Mitchell, trombone explorer Michael Dessen, powerhouse pianist Joshua White and the cliché-free drummer Kjell Nordeson.

The night unfolded with a wonderful five-way feature for each musician, beginning with White, whose manic, circular velocity created a melodic cell that traveled next to Nordeson's mallet-driven gestures on cowbells and miniature bongos. Then it was Dresser, opting for a woody tone and buzzing arco, where the choice notes stirred up molecules in the listener's chest. Mitchell hissed breath through her flute and activated soft whistle-stops. Dessen picked up on the breath as generator concept with percolating sputters. Then all five jumped on the ostinato-based "Flocus," where melodies layered across each other as the dynamics heaved and swelled.

Next up was a new composition, "The Hobby-Lobby Horse," which opened on Dresser's string slaps and violent pizzicato. The horns orbited lines around the gravity of the bass until uniting on pointed unisons that were dazzling. It seemed like the melody just kept expanding until Dessen broke free with blue warbles, while Mitchell soared and cooed. White appeared to toggle between soft touches and fearsome pounding as Nordeson kept a quiet fire burning throughout.

I have heard Dresser's metric-modulated-blues "Digestivo" a dozen times before, but the version unveiled on Friday night was a stunning tour de force from the very first measure. Mitchell made the incongruous notion of blues-piccolo seem inherently natural with startling intervallic leaps and judicious chromaticism. White delivered a synapsis of jazz piano history that shifted from the barrelhouse to the Baptist church to an assault-with-a-deadly-weapon charge that drew rapturous applause.

This was an environment that Dessen was born to thrive in, and he did not disappoint, logging in with blustery, x-rated commentary ladled direct from the gutbucket. Then it was Dresser, all alone, winding in grainy orbits around a serpentine groove that lurched and lunged. It may well have been the most satisfying single performance I've ever witnessed. Yet the evening was still young.

Next was a brand new dedication to the late Daniel Jackson, "Two Handfuls of Peace," a staggering elegiac beauty that began with a melodic purity that evoked the gifts of Billy Strayhorn before sailing into the uncharted waters of multiple voices of unresolved agitation. Even though "Not Withstanding" has a metric premise that might confound Albert Einstein, the net result was a wonderfully organic construct that had me dancing in my head. It also afforded Nordeson the spotlight to assemble an essay of monstrous intensity following the dazzling duo of Mitchell and Dessen that opened the piece. White took the baton from the drums and proceeded at breakneck velocity, weaving in and out of traffic before yielding to the composer, whose double- and triple-stop layered solo danced around the staggered groove created by his hissing breath.

This was an evening of creative music that swirled in apogee around the pull of the conventional -- connected yet unbound, where the deeply lyrical rubbed against the jagged edge undaunted, both concepts emerging stronger from the encounter. I doubt it gets much better than this.

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

Photo Credit: Brian Ross]]>
<![CDATA[Ready, Setzer, Go!]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 09:18:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/240*120/Brian-Setzer-Orchestra-01.jpg

The days are getting shorter and shorter as we approach the winter solstice, and of course the holidays are just around the corner, which means fewer touring acts rolling through town. Tonight, Brian Setzer and his orchestra perform a sold-out holiday extravaganza at the Belly Up, which should certainly be a hoot. Echo Park psych warriors Mystic Braves appear at the Casbah if you want to rage, and for a fun chill night, catch Surefire Soul Ensemble at the Hideout.

Tuesday, Dec. 16:

  • The Brian Setzer Orchestra: Christmas Rocks Extravaganza @ Belly Up
  • Mystic Braves, Muscle Beech, Swift Beats @ Casbah
  • R.A. Rosenborg, Big Bloom, Astral Touch @ Soda Bar
  • Tiki Tuesday with Mr. Adrian Demain & Ms. Susannah Kurner @ Bar Pink
  • Surefire Soul Ensemble @ The Hideout
  • Backwater Blues Band @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Super Buffet, Super Groupie, Flakes @ The Merrow
  • Revolution @ Croce's Park West
  • The Village Squares @ The Loft, UCSD
  • Meeting of the Meyends with Crucial Blend, Destructo Bunny, WorldClassHumans @ Winston's
  • Theo & Zydeco Patrol @ Tio Leo's
  • Videodrome @ Whistle Stop
  • Train of Thought @ Queen Bee's
  • DJ Ramsey @ The Office
  • Big City Dawgs @ Henry's Pub
  • 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.

<![CDATA[The Dark Corners]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:15:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/corners2.jpg

The perfect soundtrack to these chilly December nights shows up at our doorstep on Dec. 18. No, it's not getting dropped off by sleigh or slid down the chimney with care, but rather it skids into town via rusty touring van. Making that dreary trek south down the I-5 to San Diego, Corners -- the equally morose Angeleno foursome -- will be ushering in a slightly less festive mood at the Hideout.

The group (composed of band mastermind and vocalist Tracy Bryant, bassist Jeffertitti, guitarist Rob Cifuentes and drummer Rick Mabery) released their sophomore full-length, "Maxed Out on Distractions," on Lolipop Records earlier this year, and it's nothing short of a gothic masterpiece.

However, it's is a far cry from their 2012 debut, "Beyond Way," which at that time was all Bryant and bong-water surf-pop. After the addition of Cifuentes and Mabery, Corners started sounding like a legit band and less like the home-cooked ramblings of a '60s primal-pop enthusiast.

So it's no surprise then that their sophomore record reflects those changes overall -- delightfully ditching trippy sunshine vibes for a hard, monochromatic mood.

The band now inhales the bleak goth-rock smoke of Joy Division and the Cure and cuts it with the post-punk energy of Bauhaus and Killing Joke. The sticky icky guitar-centric musings of their prior efforts get traded for synthesizer-led doom 'n' gloom -- all steeped in darkroom solitude.

"Distraction" is a heady mix of druggy desolation and overcast grittiness -- and for those of us who are happy only when it rains, the record provides some relief from the unrelenting pleasantness of America's Finest City.

So forget the yuletide carols and eggnog and breakout the eyeliner instead -- Corners are set to switch the colorful glow of the season for a more severe lighting on Thursday.

Corners play the Hideout on Dec. 18, with Tropical Popsicle and Subtropics. Tickets are $8, and the show starts at 9 p.m. -- for more information, go 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 Corners]]>
<![CDATA['Ryan Tears of Joy]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:22:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ryan+Adams+Getty+Photo+2.jpg

San Diego is full of great music almost all of the time, but every once in awhile, there's a particular show that you just have to see -- you buy tickets the minute they go on sale, then you wait months, living your life as usual, when finally the day comes. That's how it's been waiting for Ryan Adams' Symphony Hall show. There are probably a lot of superfans like me. My very first Casbah show ever was of Adams' band Whiskeytown. I've tried to see him every tour through San Diego, which frankly hasn't been many: there was a show at 4th & B, another at Balboa Theatre after "Ashes & Fire" was released, and maybe a couple others over the past 18 years or so. After his recent self-titled release, fans are overjoyed, and no doubt tonight's show is going to be something special. I'd suggest leaving your cameras at home, as he tends to have strict restrictions on cameras, recordings, and cell phone–use throughout his shows.

Monday, Dec. 15:

  • Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis @ Symphony Hall
  • Weight of the Sun, Mursic, Future Age @ Casbah
  • Scuffs, Causers, Ash Williams @ Soda Bar
  • Gary Hankins @ Tin Can
  • The Husky Boy All Stars @ Bar Pink
  • Dre Trav, 18Sense, Sauvy and more @ The Hideout
  • Nina Francis @ Croce's Park West
  • Breakthru Entertainment @ House of Blues
  • Motown Monday with DJ Artistic & friends @ Whistle Stop
  • Velvet Cafe @ Alexander's (30th & Upas)
  • Metal Mondays @ Brick By Brick
  • Ruby & the Red Hots @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Wheels of the Industry @ Live Wire
  • Electric Waste Band @ Winston's
  • Dub Dynamite @ The OFfice
  • Acoustic Night/Industry Night @ Henry's Pub
  • Lee Churchill @ U-31

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[Live: 91x's Wrex the Halls 2014]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:44:00 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/91x+Wrex+The+Halls+AM+%2868+of+78%29.jpg Killer bands like Cage the Elephant, Interpol, Spoon and Schitzophonics made this year's Wrex the Halls one for the books -- plus 91x brought in a special guest!

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[Here Comes Tiger Claus]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:19:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/187*120/old+tiger2.jpg

As we're sure you're aware, it's that time of year again, when everything seems a little brighter, a little busier and just a tad more festive. There are those who love the holiday season and those who don't, but everyone loves spending time with family and friends, though not necessarilly while listening to mind-numbing holiday music

To prove we're not just a bunch of humbugs, we'd like to turn your attention to a new Christmas single by the local indie pop band Old Tiger. Singer and guitarist Dustin Lothspeich actually contributes here at SoundDiego, and even though he's an extremely swell guy, we had no idea he had a thing for Christmas tunes until, without warning, he dropped the band's sugary single, "The Best Part of Christmas," on our earholes yesterday. [Listen to it here]

"I've always loved Christmas music," Lothspeich said. "As soon as it hits Dec. 1, I put that stuff on repeat. I've definitely driven my fair share of co-workers insane." 

Old Tiger's new Christmas single, "The Best Part of Christmas"Needless to say, we're lucky he uses headphones at work now. While everyone's heard "Jingle Bell Rock" a jillion times, "The Best Part of Christmas" is a fresh slice of candy cane pie. It starts off unassumingly enough -- Lothspeich hams it up as an old-timey crooner, waxing poetic about carolers, the season of giving and "ribbons and bows." But out of the blue, the trio (also comprised of bassist Matt Phillips and drummer Eric Boone) busts into a joyous romp, complete with sleigh bells, organ and a bouncy surf beat.

"I think it has the feel of some of the classic R&B Christmas songs from the '60s," Phillips said. "The stuff that Phil Spector did with groups like the Ronettes is always my favorite."

Indeed, it's got an old-school sound -- similar to what we heard from the band on its 2013 San Diego Music Award-winning album, "Love Have Mercy." But the best part about "The Best Part of Christmas" (yeah, we did that), is that Old Tiger are donating every dollar made through the song's sales to the San Diego Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a nonprofit that provides a "home away from home" for families with children being treated for serious, often life-threatening conditions at local hospitals.

According to Phillips, donating the proceeds to the RMHC was really the only route to go: "It is the season of giving. As a new dad, I can't think of any better way to give back than to help kids who are battling illness."

Good call, guys. Count us in too.

Be sure to visit the band's Bandcamp page to purchase the song, and contribute to a worthy cause.

<![CDATA[Coffee Talk With Josh Damigo]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 09:37:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Josh+Damingo+SD.jpg This week, we shine our SoundDiego Spotlight on doting singer/songwriter Josh Damigo and his brand new video for "Just Give Me a Call."]]> <![CDATA[SoundDiego Set List: Dec. 14-20]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 09:27:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ryan+Adams+Getty+Photo.jpg This week's Set List includes Ryan Adams, 3Lau, and more -- find out which shows you can't afford to miss!

Photo Credit: Photo By Paul Thomas]]>
<![CDATA[Return to Sender]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 08:48:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Nena+Anderson+BellyUp-0161.jpg

It has been a great weekend for music around town and tonight the great options continue. At the Belly Up, the very special For The Sender project continues with a holiday show. Started by Alex Woodard, this is a beautiful night of acoustic singers, including Nena Anderson, and Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek fame. Meanwhile, Casbah goes electronic as College performs, with San Diego's own Nicky Venus opening up the show. Howie Day is a good call at House of Blues, just don't expect to get a straight version of "Collide," as he tends to talk through it or make up joking lyrics for it.

Sunday, Dec. 14:

  • For The Sender Holiday Show with Alex Woodard, Jordan Pundik, Molly Jensen, Nena Anderson, Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins @ Belly Up
  • College, Nicky Venus @ Casbah
  • Howie Day @ House of Blues
  • LA Escalera Records Xmas Party @ Soda Bar
  • Santa Clause, Madrost, Waste Aways @ Tower Bar
  • San Diego Gay Mens Chorus @ Balboa Theatre
  • Yung Lean, Sat Boys @ Porter's Pub
  • Sharam @ 207, Hard Rock Hotel
  • Rat Sabbath @ Bar Pink
  • In This Moment, Twelve Foot Ninja, Starset @ House of Blues
  • The Big Decisions @ Sycamore Den
  • Lorraine Castellanos, Spanish Sundays @ Croce's Park West
  • Park Karaoke @ Hideout
  • Black Widow Tour @ House Of Blues
  • Scott West Bday Bash @ Lestats
  • Jose Sinatra hosts O.B.-o-ke @ Winstons

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[Live: Ace Frehley]]> Sat, 13 Dec 2014 14:09:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Ace+Frehley+Ramona+12.6.14+%2823%29.jpg Ace Frehley, aka Kiss' own "Spaceman," rocked and rolled a packed Ramona Mainstage all night long -- sans the makeup.

Photo Credit: John Hancock]]>
<![CDATA[Upcoming Concerts]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:32:26 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DNC-THUR-P7.jpg Some of the names on the way to San Diego stages may surprise you -- Foo Fighters, for example.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Good Moon Rising]]> Sat, 13 Dec 2014 10:11:35 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Dead+Feather+Moon+the+Office+Halloween+SoundDiego+LIVE+%2814%29.jpg

Don't let the rain stop you from having a great time on Saturday -- there are so many great shows. My Brightest Diamond play at the Casbah -- with our favorite Island Boy opening -- and at the Merrow, Dead Feather Moon play their last show of the year. Cosonauts get freaky at the Hideout, while skate punk is not dead at Soda Bar, with Fenix TX. Add the Seks' album release at Tower Bar and all the others down the line, and you have yourself a might fine Saturday night.

Saturday Dec. 13:

  • My Brightest Diamond, Island Boy,DJ Heather Hardcore @ Casbah
  • Dead Feather Moon, Whiskey Circle, Taken By Canadians @ The Merrow
  • Casbah presents Cosmonauts, Burnt Ones, Amerikan Bear @ The Hideout
  • Fenix TX, Future Crooks, Reason to Rebel, At the Premier @ Soda Bar
  • The Seks (album release), the Touchies, Too Fast for the Devil, Zombie Barbie, Pharmacy, DJ Diana Death @ Tower Bar
  • Strung Out, H2O, Skipjack, Somatic @ Brick By Brick
  • The Spill Canvas, My Body Sings Electric @ Porter's Pub
  • From First to Last @ The Epicentre
  • The Milkcrates DJs @ Bar Pink
  • Twisted Relatives @ Boar Cross'n
  • Patrick Berrogain, John Reynolds Quartet @ Croce's Park West
  • Charles Owens @ Dizzy's
  • Kid Ink @ Fluxx
  • Sheila E @ Sycuan Casino
  • Schitzophonics, Singles, Octagrape @ Tin Can
  • Terravita @ Somewhere Loud
  • EDX @ Bassmnt
  • Patrick Topping @ Bang Bang
  • Deacon @ Kava Lounge
  • Lexington Field @ The Rabbit Hole
  • KL Noise Makerz, DJ Chelu @ Gallagher's
  • Dat Phan and Friends @ Lestat's
  • San Diego Gay Men's Chorus @ Balboa Theatre
  • Allison Adams Tucker, the Tritones @ The Loft
  • Maragold, Nill Brosh Band, RDG @ Ramona Mainstage
  • The Shallow End (CD release), the Romeo Complex, Daddy Issues, the One and Onlys @ SOMA
  • Mochilero All Stars, DJs King Dutty & Erny Earthquake @ Til Two Club
  • Full Strength Funk Band @ Tio Leo's
  • Booty Bassment @ Whistle Stop
  • Dead Winter Carpenters, Frances Bloom Band @ Winston'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: Vito Di Stefano]]>
<![CDATA[Fixing to Get Wrex-ed]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:18:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Interpol+Cropped.jpg

Tonight, 91x Wrex The Halls takes over Valley View Casino Center with Cage the Elephant, Alt-J, Interpol, Billy Idol, Spoon, Banks, and local favorites Schitzophonics. Plus, an encore performance from Schitzophonics in the arena club after the show. Doors are at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m. Text "times" to 33911 for set times and grab your last minute tickets here! Elsewhere, Pepper plays a sold-out show at the Belly Up; The Icarus Line is at Soda Bar; Leave the Universe headlines at SOMA; Skamania "A Tribute To John Holt" is at the Merrow; and the Tower Bar Records Showcase features Shake Before Us, the Lumps and Kids In Heat.

Saturday, join me for Club Sabbat at Numb3rs with both rooms for your dancing fix. DJs Dark Angel and Drew Harlander round out the lineup and you can get more details here; Booty Bassment hits the Whistle Stop; and the 9 Year Anniversary of MayStar’s Fashion Whore is at U-31. Elsewhere, My Brightest Diamond, Island Boy and DJ Heather Hardcore are at the Casbah; The Slabby Holidaze Show with Strung Out, H2O, Skipjack and Somatic is at Brick by Brick; Dead Feather Moon, the Whiskey Circle, and Taken By Canadians hit the Merrow; Fenix TX, Reason To Rebel, Future Crooks and At the Premiere take over Soda Bar; Erik Canzona & the Narrows play at Rosie O’Grady’s; Cosmonauts, Burnt Ones and Amerikan Bear are at the Hideout; and The SeK’s Album Release Party is at the Tower Bar with friends Pharmacy, Too Fast for the Devil, the Touchies, Zombie Barbie and DJ Diana Death.

Sunday, College and Nicky Venus hit the Casbah; the For the Sender Holiday Show benefiting the Switchfoot Bro-Am Foundation features Jon Foreman, Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory, Jack Tempchin, Alex Woodard, Graham Nancarrow, Molly Jensen and Nena Anderson at the Belly Up; Howie Day plays at House of Blues; and Caskitt, Western Settings and Rebels and Traitors play a free show at Soda Bar as part of the La Escalera Records Xmas Party.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on the dance floor!

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

<![CDATA[Ooh La Las]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 08:51:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WEB_SDTV_101213_ALLAH_LAS_722x406_53942339650.jpg

It's finally Friday and I am really excited to catch this year's Wrex The Halls at Valley View Casino Center. While it's true I've never particularly loved the Sports Arena for its bouncy walls, the lineup this year is stellar and honestly the best part of the show is who you might run into while you're there. It will be my first time seeing Billy Idol, but all of the other acts I've seen at least a couple times each and they give it all at every show. For Wrex The Halls, bands tend to play abbreviated sets, which means all the best radio hits you can squeeze into one night. If you want to keep it small, Allah-Las have a sold-out show at the Casbah, the Icarus Line play at Soda Bar, and Behind The Wagon get boozy at Bar Pink.

Friday, Dec. 12:

  • 91X Wrex the Halls with Cage the Elephant, Interpol, Alt-J, Spoon, Billy Idol, Banks, Schitzophonics @ Valley View Casino Center
  • Allah-Las, Tashaki Miyaki, DJ Brian Clinebell @ Casbah (Sold Out)
  • The Icarus Line, Zig Zags, Zodiac Death Valley @ Soda Bar
  • Pepper, the New Movement, New Fund Beat @ Belly Up (Sold Out)
  • Behind the Wagon @ Bar Pink
  • Tower Bar Records Showcase: Shake Before Us, the Lumps, Kids In Heat @ Tower Bar
  • Godhammered, Contortion, Beheading the King @ Brick By Brick
  • Stormy Lights Opening Party @ Whistlestop
  • Atomic Groove @ Belly Up
  • Teagan Taylor Trio @ Croce's Park West
  • Mark Dresser Quintet @ Dizzys
  • Crystal Kingdom, All Gold @ Fluxx
  • Twisted Relatives @ Gallaghers
  • Dane Drewis @ Tin Roof
  • Sabo, Dink, Delia Ros, Mett, Andre Sito @ The Hideout
  • Brendan McCreary, Blazing Rays of the Sun, Rob Deez @ Lestat's
  • Skamania @ The Merrow
  • Subtropics, Hindu Pirates @ Planet Rooth Design Haus
  • Josh Garrels @ Ramona Mainstage
  • Leave The Universe. Brokem Lips, Johns Last Ghost, Digital Lizards of Doom, Cramer Creative @ SOMA
  • Does It Explode, Arms Away @ Sycamore Den
  • Brian Ellis Ellis Reflection, XL Middletown & Moniquea, Zackey Force Funk, Turqouise Summers @ Til-Two Club
  • Other Bodies, Party Gardens, Mystercave @ Tin Can
  • Emancipator, Sugarpill, Patricio @ Spin
  • Blue Rhino @ Tio Leo's
  • Ryan Hemsworth, Meishi Smile @ Bang Bang
  • The California Honeydrops @ Winstons
  • Loudpvck @ Bassmnt
  • J Stalin, Philthy Rich @ Porter's Pub

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["Must-See" Jazz Concert Weekend]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:19:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/177*120/Dresserbrosscrop.jpg

Jazz fans and lovers of fine music in general can treat themselves to an early Christmas gift this coming weekend by taking in two stellar shows at Dizzy’s (4275 Mission Bay Drive) in Pacific Beach.

These shows involve San Diego master pianist Joshua White, providing even more incentive to witness both performances and affording the listener an opportunity to hear Mr. White thrive in wildly divergent contextual situations.

On Friday, it’s a rare hometown show by the Mark Dresser Quintet that is guaranteed to dazzle anyone looking for music with an adventurous edge – performed by five virtuoso players with international stature. Dresser is considered the world’s finest bassist by many people in the know – and if you live in San Diego without absorbing the Dresser experience – you should fix that immediately. It will be impossible to think of the bass in the same way afterwards.

On trombone is Michael Dessen, a player with an astounding emotional and technical command who always brings the house down. A very special guest is the phenomenal flute innovator Nicole Mitchell, who recently moved from her home base in Chicago, where she served as the first woman president of the legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians organization to take a teaching position at UC Irvine. Mitchell’s move to Southern California is an incredible stroke of luck for everyone who loves creative music.

Rounding out the group is the singular drum explorer Kjell Nordeson, who migrated from Sweden to obtain his doctorate at UCSD; and of course, White, who I consider the most exciting pianist on the planet.

Dresser has written a bunch of new music for the band, and this could very well be the leading contender for “concert of the year.” Don’t miss it!

On Saturday, LA saxophone legend Charles Owens returns to Dizzy’s with an all-star ensemble consisting of White on piano, Marshall Hawkins on bass and Brett Sanders on drums.

I saw this group about six months ago and was completely blown away. Owens is one of the few cats who can operate in that post-‘Trane 1960s modal style with complete authenticity. It is always cause for celebration when Marshall Hawkins plays in town. This man began his storied career in 1964 with Shirley Horn, and was a member of the 1960s Miles Davis Quintet.

Hawkins has his own, instantly identifiable sound, and he’s one of my very favorite bass players. On drums, Brett Sanders has an incredibly deep groove – his sense of swing and ride cymbal articulation is nothing short of sublime.

And then of course, there’s White, who will be playing music of a completely different nature than what he’s doing with Dresser – yet in both cases, he will reflect what’s happening around him and still maintain a singular personal presence.

I know where I’ll be this weekend. What about you?

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

Photo Credit: Brian Ross]]>
<![CDATA[Down in the Deltas]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:37:59 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Jessica+Hernandez-7624.jpg

Casbah is once again being graced by the legendary band X, and once again, this one is completely sold out. Sometimes you have to pay attention to get ahead of the good stuff. Fortunately there are other great options tonight, like Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, who made their network TV debut last week on "Letterman," or the Soft White Sixties who sound just like their name and play to an all-ages crowd tonight at the Loft at UCSD. For bizarre bookings of the night, see Coolio at Tin Roof downtown, or get in the holiday spirit with Venice tonight at the Belly Up. Plenty of great shows to get around to if you're feeling the midweek blahs.

Thursday, December 11:

  • X, the Blasters, Otis @ Casbah (sold out)
  • Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, Kera and the Lesbians, Social Club @ Soda Bar
  • The Soft White Sixties, the Verigolds, Emilio Cazares @ The Loft, UCSD
  • The Venice Christmas Show, Paul Cannon @ Belly Up
  • Coolio @ Tin Roof
  • Frankie Ballard @ House of Blues
  • Privatized Air, Hocus Focke Wolves, Broken Lips @ The Merrow
  • The Songs of Kate Smith with Stephanie Blythe, Craig Terry @ Balboa Theatre
  • Night Owls @ La Jolla Athenaeum (7:30 p.m.)
  • 80s Night with the Latin Lovers @ The Hideout
  • Kool John @ Porter's Pub, UCSD
  • Fanny & the Attaboys, Alright @ Sycamore Den
  • Moonshine Bands, Big B, Demun Jones @ Brick By Brick
  • Caitlin Bird, Kennady Tracy, Sophia Bacino @ Lestat's
  • DJ Fishfonics, DJ Nvious @ U-31
  • Rob Thorson Trio @ Croce's Park West
  • Walter Gentry @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Psydecar @ Winston's
  • Blue Largo @ Tio Leo's
  • Michael Woods @ Bassmnt
  • "TABLED"- Live Reading of Die Hard by Local Comics @ Whistle Stop
  • DJ Antonio Aguilera @ Henry's Pub
  • Three Finger Lid, Ismael & the Peacemakers, DJ Reefah, TRC Soundsystem @ Gallagher's Irish Pub
  • Live Band Karaoke @ 710 Beach Club

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

Photo Credit: John Hancock]]>
<![CDATA[Return to For the Sender]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:14:19 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/forthesender1.jpg

Though it may not feel like San Diego is in the middle of winter, rest assured the holidays are coming, and you can warm your soul to the cozy coos of the For the Sender crew, back for a special holiday show at the Belly Up on Sunday, Dec. 14.

Singer/songwriter Alex Woodard got inspiration for the For the Sender series -- for which he writes songs about and in response to letters he receives -- from a fan who sent her own letter. "She said she felt like my songs were pieces of myself that I was putting out there in the world," he told SoundDiego earlier this year, "and she wanted to give me a piece of herself in return. Along with it, she included a letter that she had written to her soul mate. [Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek and I] wrote a song about it called 'For the Sender,' about how this letter in particular was like a prayer. It was more for the sender than the receiver. That was kind of the genesis for the whole project."

For the seated holiday show on Sunday, which benefits the Switchfoot Bro-Am Foundation, Woodard is again joined by musical friends and collaborators Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory, Molly Jenson, Graham Nancarrow, Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, singer/songwriter Jack Tempchin (of the Eagles fame), Nena Anderson of Brawley and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. Woodard said that the show will feature seasonal tunes that connect to the For the Sender songs, along with some letter readings by the authors.

When last we spoke with Woodard, he had just released the second installment of his For the Sender trilogy, which hit close to home with the story of beloved and recently departed San Diego reporter Loren Nancarrow. The corresponding show included a performance by the broadcaster's son, Graham.

Now, Woodard finds himself in the middle of the final book/record combo, which is based on a series of letters that a soldier in Vietnam wrote to his young wife back home. "For the Sender: Love Letters from Vietnam" (working title) is set to release on Veterans Day next year.

"The book will focus on veterans issues and what we do (and don't do) as a country for our servicemen coming home," wrote Woodard in a recent email exchange. "The soldier tried to fill the holes he had when he came back with some destructive decisions, which cost him his life. His daughter answered the letters he wrote from Vietnam to work through her grief and then sent them to me -- beautiful and powerful stuff."

The For the Sender holiday show takes place at the Belly Up on Sunday at 7 p.m., $18-$20, 21+.

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.

<![CDATA[Peter Evans Thrills at the Loft]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:10:39 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/192*120/pevansbrosscrop.jpg

New York trumpet virtuoso Peter Evans dropped into town this week and was able to assemble a dynamic group composed of bassist Mark Dresser, drummer and vibraphonist Kjell Nordeson and percussionist Steve Schick for an inspiring, all-improvised set at UC San Diego's the Loft on Dec. 7.

Evans began pushing tiny whimpers out of a piccolo trumpet, offset by Dresser's creaky overtones and the click-clack sonata of the twin drummers. The trumpeter turned up the heat with an increasingly violent series of rhythmic sputtering synched to the roiling barrage of Nordeson and Schick on a jagged metric grid. Dresser surfaced with bow as drumstick, striking the strings in concert with Schick's guira scrapes against his huge concert bass drum.

Schick is an internationally famous contemporary-classical percussionist, and it was fascinating to hear him navigate the twisting currents of free improvising -- but like all free improvisations, success is contingent on the ability to listen and respond in the moment, and all four of these cats were on equal footing in those terms. Nordeson, Schick and Dresser consistently upped the ante with dynamics that rose and fell like the trunk of a barrel-chested smoker for Evans, who responded on the Bb trumpet with blistering velocity, multiphonics and circular breathing.

Dresser's independent two-handed tapping defied all tonal expectations for the bass, and when Nordeson switched to vibraphone, a new melodic component emerged, sounding roughly like Milt Jackson on amphetamines. In a moment of pointed silence, Schick rubbed both palms in circular motion across the bass-drum head, with the visual effect of a man smoothing a table cloth and the sonic effect of fine sandpaper on wood.

There was the constant free-market bartering of ideas that nurtured and inspired wild moments of timbre manipulation, like when Evans buried the microphone into the bell of his trumpet and proceeded to dazzle with a looped-percussion sound produced by rapid flutter-tonguing. Similar close-miking strategies elicited a tortuous whining grind that sounded like Minnie Mouse with her tail caught in the garbage disposal. All in all, this four-way exchange made for one of 2014's most thrilling concerts.

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

Photo Credit: Brian Ross]]>
<![CDATA[Burst into Tears for Fears]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:55:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/195*120/tffmetcalfe.jpg

It had to be about the summer of 1985. I was 9 years old at my first-ever tennis camp -- there were kids of all ages, all the way through high school. I was the youngest, and I was in awe. The teenagers seemed so cool, and I distinctly remember telling my mom after my first class that we had to buy the Tears for Fears cassette because that's what everyone was talking about and listening to. So here it is, nearly 30 years later, and this amazing band is touring and playing the very small (relatively speaking) Belly Up to a very sold-out crowd. And oh, how that 9-year-old girl in me just wants to hear "Shout" or "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" in person. Around town, Merle Haggard performs at California Center for the Arts, Escondido, with the awesome Jamestown Revival opening, while Celtic Woman takes over the Civic Theatre, and Til-Two hosts a benefit for the original dirty rapper Blowfly along with Too $hort. Eclectic options, for sure.

Wednesday, Dec. 10:

  • Tears For Fears @ Belly Up (SOLD OUT)
  • Merle Haggard, Jamestown Revival @ California Center for the Arts, Escondido
  • Celtic Woman @ San Diego Civic Theatre
  • Blowfly, Too $hort, Rap Sabbath, DJ Unite, Mr. Henshaw @ Til-Two Club
  • Lexington Field, Quel Bordel, the Whiskey Avengers @ Casbah
  • Rubberneck Lions, Vinyl Mill, Boychick, Project Analogue @ Soda Bar
  • The Burning of Rome @ Porter's Pub
  • Boxcar Thief, My First Circus, Deadbrokedown @ The Merrow
  • DJ Grand Masta Rats @ Bar Pink
  • Creepers (Deafheaven side project), Shmu (Zorch Side Project) @ The Hideout
  • Hungry Cloud Darkening, Marcus Rubio @ Che Cafe
  • Black Cobra, Wolvhammer @ Brick by Brick
  • Lindsey Stirling, Mat Kearney @ House of Blues
  • Lindsey Saunders, Mason James, Nina Francis @ Lestat's
  • Kyle Myers @ Croce's Park West
  • La Niche featuring DJ V Rock with Paul Lopez @ U-31
  • The Fooks @ Henry's Pub (9:30 p.m.-close)
  • Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam @ Seven Grand
  • Records with Roger @ Bluefoot
  • Ras Ijah & Judgment Band with DJ Carlos Culture @ Winston's
  • The Ratts Revenge, DJ Tiki Thomas & Mikey Ratt @ Tower Bar
  • Pop Vinyl @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Red Hand @ Boar Cross'n
  • Wu-Tang Wednesday @ Whistle Stop
  • Johnny Tarr @ Henry's Pub (7:30-9:30 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.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Live: San Diego Jazz Fest 2014]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:40:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/San+Diego+Jazz+Fest+%281+of+45%29.jpg Featuring veterans and newcomers alike, the 35th Annual San Diego Jazz Fest & Swing Extravaganza was held Nov. 26-30 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[Bush Frontman to Play Free Set]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:54:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/110308-Scorpios-Gavin-Rossdale.jpg

The holidays are pretty OK. Sure, sometimes they bring out the aggressive drivers, the pushy shoppers, the Chrismas sweaters, but they also bring on the warm and fuzzies and the gooey, do-goody goodness of altruistic intent. Where music is concerned, that means FM 94/9's Cans 4 Bush, a.k.a. Gavin Rossdale of Bush, playing an unplugged set for the mere price of one pound.

We're not waxing British on you -- bring at least one pound of nonperishable foods (hell, throw in an extra pound, why don't you), which will be donated to the San Diego Food Bank, to gain entrance to the Lafayette Hotel in North Park on Thursday, Dec. 11, when Rossdale takes the FM 94/9-sponsored stage to play an acoustic set.

It's all part of FM 94/9’s Can Diego food drive. No matter what you bring, get there early -- doors are at 6 p.m. and admission is limited to capacity. For details on the initiative and other ways to donate, visit the radio station’s events page.

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: Getty Images for Esquire]]>
<![CDATA[Bossa Bebel]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 09:34:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/bebelgil11.jpg

It's a great night to class it up as Brazilian bossa nova singer Bebel Gilberto performs an intimate show to a seated audience at the Belly Up. Recording with her parents at the tender age of seven, Gilberto has spent her life honing her craft and delighting audiences worldwide with a style that is distinct and certainly unique. Around the rest of town, it's all about local music, with Alive & Well and Subsurfer rocking out at Soda Bar, Surefire Soul Ensemble setting the Hideout ablaze and Marujah, who've been making a local splash lately, taking the helm at the Casbah

Tuesday, Dec. 9:

  • Bebel Gilberto @ Belly Up (SOLD OUT)
  • Alive & Well, Subsurfer @ Soda Bar
  • Surefire Soul Ensemble @ The Hideout
  • Marujah, Speaker in Reverse, Zombie Barbie @ Casbah
  • The Lower 48, Plane Without a Pilot, Eliza Rose Vera @ The Merrow
  • Adrian Demain's Exotica-Tronica @ Bar Pink
  • The Cadillac Wreckers @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Ruby Duo @ Croce's Park West
  • Bayou Brothers @ Tio Leo's
  • Train of Thought @ Queen Bee's
  • DJ Ramsey @ The Office
  • Big City Dawgs @ Henry's Pub
  • High Tech Tuesdays @ Kava Lounge
  • Soul Shakedown Tuesdays @ The Shakedown
  • EDM Tuesdays @ 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.

<![CDATA[Live: Issues]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:31:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/ISSUES112914_020.jpg Metalcore outfit Issues worked through a headlining set at House of Blues on Nov. 29, with I Killed the Prom Queen and Ghost Town opening.

Photo Credit: Philip DeFalco]]>
<![CDATA[The SoundDiego Record Club]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 11:10:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Flaggs+Press+Photo+Enlarged.jpg

The SoundDiego Record Club features some of the best new musical releases from around the county. Read on and listen in. As always, be sure to support our local artists and purchase their music -- and if you can, go see them at a show.

"Pride" EP
Spero, released Nov. 11

On their sophomore release, Spero have crafted a cohesive Mobius strip of an album with "Pride." Clocking in at 25 minutes, the record's six songs range from funeral procession folk dirges to sepia-toned barroom brawl blues bombs and fuzz rock explosions. The atmospheric, somber affair sounds painstakingly pieced together; the throbbing, tremolo guitar of "Better Man"; the percussive hi-hat and stick-click intricacy of "Can't Get More"; the sprightly piano on "Friend" -- all contributing to the songs' surprisingly svelte transitions. Indeed, most of the tracks are shape-shifters -- starting as one thing and eventually launching into another, as though the band (vocalist/guitarist Jesse Hofstee, vocalist/pianist Hillary Laughery, bassist Nick Hankins and drummer Ryan Malette) has some kind of musical attention deficit disorder. Spero, "Pride" EP -- out nowIt works to their advantage: Instead of drowning in the pool of blues/rock bands that started popping up like bad acne after hearing "I Got Mine" by the Black Keys, Spero confront the burden of the stale genre head on and brush it off. Case in point: "Talking Up," which begins with a lurching stomp and leans into a slow, distorted bass line that plays over swampy electric piano. It could have easily ended up with some boring, mainstream radio–ready chorus but instead erupts into a cavalcade of swirling organ and crunchy guitar riffage -- all while Laughery snarls and spits her way through volcanic refrains of "So go on/And look me in the eye/And do what you do best/Lie." They're some of the most vitriolic, embittered vocals that have echoed through San Diego in a while. After the soaring slide guitar of the closing track ("They Say") settles, an all-too-brief atmospheric piano (reminiscent of Elliott Smith's "Bye") concludes the record and perfectly bridges the end of the EP with the beginning notes of the first track -- an endless loop, if you will. Which ain't a bad idea at all, considering you'll most likely have "Pride" on repeat. [Buy it here

"Beach in Her Hair" EP
Flaggs, released Nov. 19

Last year, when Flaggs dropped their debut self-titled EP of infectious garage rock, the trio had the look of a fashion-forward motorcycle gang -- complete with matching denim vests and black leather jackets. Of course, the members (guitarist/vocalist Lindsay Matheson, bassist Leslie Schultze and drummer Matthew Franco) couldn't be more removed from hardened "Sons of Anarchy"–style bikers, but they still had a refreshing air of camaraderie and bravado about them. They were a team; a family, if you will -- and they had swagger. Flaggs, "Beach In Her Hair" EP -- out nowWith the departure of Schultze and the subsequent addition of not one but two new members (bassist Philip Kufek and guitarist Dagart Allison), their sophomore EP is the sound of a group that's rolled with the punches and ended up with a slightly tighter uppercut of their own as a result. And even though they may not be rocking coordinated outfits anymore, they still got that swagger in spades. While Matheson's cool, angelic vocals are as firmly in place as on their debut, they're accompanied this time around by a slightly more fleshed out sound. Handclaps join in on the bouncy surf beat of "Got You Down" (watch it here), while the entire sugary pop tune gets slathered in a hearty helping of deep reverb. This is what Best Coast's follow up to their "Crazy for You" album should have sounded like. The band takes their surf attitude from the garage to the beach with the appropriately named title track, where sweet-sounding background harmonies lead candied choruses to the sand. "Crash and Burn" closes out the EP, and it's one of their best: A straight-ahead garage-rock smackdown that finds Matheson trading her honeyed coo for a biting snarl -- it'd make the Runaways proud. Earlier this year, the band promised us a true full-length album, but all we got was this short, three-song collection. Teasing is good and all, but we can only wait for so long -- especially when the appetizer to the main course is as tasty as "Beach in Her Hair."

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

Photo Credit: Photo By Tristan Loper]]>
<![CDATA[Molotov Monday]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 09:52:53 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/168*120/molotovband1.jpg

Monday came far too soon, but find some relief in the music offerings. For starters, the incredible Molotov return to San Diego with a show at Porter's Pub. Despite some incorrect postings that said the show was at the North Park Theatre, you can be sure the rock en español band will draw plenty of fans from both sides of the border. Meanwhile, local favorites Augustana return to town with Scars on 45 at the House of Blues, while Anti-Monday League keeps the Casbah cooking with the Routine, and Gabrielle Wortman–fronted Smoke Season brings the spirit of Silverlake to Soda Bar.

Monday, Dec. 8:

  • Molotov @ Porter's Pub, UCSD
  • Augustana, Scars on 45 @ House of Blues
  • The Routine, Taurus Authority, Mimi Zulu @ Casbah
  • Smoke Season, Yoya, Citrus @ Soda Bar
  • Abrams, Fantasy Arcade, Cryptic Languages, Deep Sea Thunder Beast @ Tower Bar
  • The Tin Can Country Club @ Tin Can
  • DJ Girth @ Bar Pink
  • Underpass, Prayers @ The Hideout
  • The Palomar College Big Bands @ Dizzy's
  • Metal Mondays @ Brick By Brick
  • Velvet Cafe @ Alexander's (30th & Upas)
  • Kid Wonder @ U-31
  • Mark Fisher @ Croce's Park West
  • Kristian Nairn @ Bang Bang
  • Chet Cannon @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Hip Hop Mondays @ Gallagher's
  • Wheels of the Industry @ Live Wire
  • Electric Waste Band @ Winston's
  • Dub Dynamite @ The Office
  • Acoustic Mondays/Industry Night @ Henry's Pub
  • DJ Brett Bodley @ Fluxx

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: LatinContent/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The 'AAAK!' Attack of Aki Kharmicel ]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:36:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/aki-kharmicel-722.jpg

Aki Kharmicel claims he hasn't stopped recording in 17 years. He likes to make beats, and he likes to record. He likes Texas rap records. He says he developed his slow, murky sound purely by "accident."

He lives on a quiet street in a single-family home. He has a yard and a lawn. His house is gated with an old Mercedes Benz sitting in the driveway. It's welcoming, though tucked behind a waist-high gray fence. The interior of his house is neat and organized with dark wood floors. Just through the kitchen sits "The Boiler Room," his man cave; a relaxed sound studio with shelves full of tapes, records and recording gear, a couch for company and a TV. It's his home studio that looks and feels like the most lived-in part of his house.

A non-stop rapper and beat maker, he hasn't taken a break from recording since a yearlong hiatus in 1997. He likes to produce on drum machines -- admitting that he owns a total of eight -- but says, at the moment, his favorite is his MPC 2000. It's the drums and the way the 2000 allows him to loop them. They come out smoother on that machine. It's a process he says he stumbled on by necessity.

Wanting to make beats but not knowing how to loop sounds, he taught himself how to chop samples and in the process, he was able to find his own voice.

"In all honesty, a lot of the s--- that I did was just an accident," he says. "Just being in the studio with samples, f---ing with s--- and then from there it's like, 'Oh, I like this s--- that I just made, I'm gonna make more s--- like that.'"

As an artist, he's dedicated and as a fan, he's been into music for as long as he can remember. In high school he says, "I got a lot into Texas rap." After buying an early album by Houston's Scarface, he was all in. Finding other Rap-A-Lot artists to listen to, like the Geto Boys, and his favorite, Gangster NIP. Eventually, he went on to buy most of the label's catalog. He's a completest and it's evidenced not just in his Rap-A-Lot stories but also in the music collection that lines his studio walls.

He doesn't just have Redman's first album. He has most of them. Not just one Wu-Tang album -- but all the Wu-Tang albums. So too is his own musical output, with work that comes in volumes; full albums complete with aliases, story lines, and "aka's." There's early work under the name Akbar Sun. The rap-centric projects as Kennuf Akbar. His "Brazier Than Batman Lewis" series -- volumes one and two -- and lately he's even taken to singing about love as Aki Khalaq & The Blak Prints [watch here].

But on his most recent release, "AAAK!" as Aki Kharmicel, he's all smoldering rap grit and compound syllables -- rapping over slow, muddy samples and distorted kick drums. It's an album void of any hint of love, rather full of piss and vinegar. One that finds Kharmicel with little time for the timid and no compassion for the weak. If Aki Khalaq is him in search of love, than "AAAK!" is its polar opposite. It's 'no cares given,' and his best 'F-you!' persona.

He explains it like this: "I kinda patterned it as a B-budget horror movie, because I feel like my beats and rhymes is killin' n-----, so the 'AAAK!' aspect of it is the screams of killin' wack n----- style."


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: Adrian Cordova]]>
<![CDATA[SoundDiego Set List: Dec. 7-13]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 09:02:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Interpol+Cropped.jpg We break down the best must-see shows coming your way this week in our very own Set List -- including 91x's Wrex the Halls.]]> <![CDATA[Loosen Up at the Social Club]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 09:08:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Social+Club+SD.jpg This week, we let loose our SoundDiego Spotlight on San Diego's own Social Club -- and their addictive brand of indie rock. See them at Soda Bar on Dec. 11 with Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas.]]> <![CDATA[The Ataris: Game On]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 10:30:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/251*120/The+Ataris+Press+Photo.jpg

It's Sunday Funday and what is more fun than seeing the Ataris at the Casbah?! I could hardly believe when I heard they'd be gracing the small club, and everyone should take advantage for this rare opportunity to see them so up close and personal. Still, if that isn't your jam, perhaps you'll enjoy the sweet tunes from local singer/songwriter Tristan Prettyman, who plays with Eric Hutchinson at House of Blues, legendary performer Judy Collins at the Belly Up, or Pink Martini, who headline the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Sunday, Dec. 7:

  • SONO Fest & Chili Cookoff @ 32nd & Thorn (11 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • The Ataris, the Gods of Science, Floodlove @ Casbah
  • Tristan Prettyman, Eric Hutchinson, Nick Howard @ House Of Blues
  • Edvin Marton @ MCASD
  • Judy Collins @ Belly Up
  • The Grouch & Eligh, CunninLynguists @ Porter's Pub, UCSD
  • Blue Velvet @ Bar Pink
  • 94/9 Presents: Suicidegirls, Blackheart Burlesque @ House Of Blues
  • Pink Martini @ California Center For The Arts, Escondido
  • Patrick Berrogain, Spanish Sundays @ Croce's Park West
  • Abstrack, Peach @ Sycamore Den
  • Holiday Vintage Swap Meet @ Til Two CLub
  • 2 Chainz @ Fluxx
  • Pants Karaoke @ The Hideout
  • K.Flay @ House Of Blues Voodoo Room (free)
  • Jesse Davis, Big Daddy Orchestra @ Humphreys Backstage
  • Mason Reed, Skyler Lutes @ Lestat's
  • Peter Evans Quartet @ The Loft, UCSD
  • Cannabis Corpse, Mammoth Grinder, Inanimate Existence, Witchaven @ Soda Bar
  • Jose Sinatra hosts O.B.-o-ke @ Winstons

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[SoundDiegoGram Gallery]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 09:06:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*160/1084420115193282483215571368651555n.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: scotteight24/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Night People Occupy the Loft]]> Sat, 06 Dec 2014 11:05:36 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/200*120/dmbrossCROP.jpg

Joe Garrison’s composing and arranging for large ensembles has been a consistent source of inspiration for local jazz audiences -- especially in the last few years -- upon the wings of Night People, an orchestra of extraordinary color and depth that also serves as a showcase for the solo powers of some of San Diego’s most talented improvisers.

Garrison’s music is constantly evolving, often subject to last-minute changes and ideas culled from the moment, but there is also a unifying consistency in the creative ways he organizes sound and pairs instruments from opposing extremes into glorious slices of ambiguous harmony that balance consonance and dissonance in equal measure.

Night People’s Dec. 2 show at UC San Diego’s the Loft was well attended, expertly performed and enthusiastically received. The 18-piece ensemble featured a rhythm section comprised of pianist Lynn Willard, guitarist Tonga Ross-Ma’u, drummer Charlie Weller and the twin basses of Doug Walker and Chris Duvall; breathtaking harmonies were often achieved through the efforts of Kirk Johnson on flute, Scott Paulson on oboe, Ariana Warren on bass clarinet, Connor Hughes and Ian Tordella on saxophones, Derek Cannon and Doug Meeuwsen on trumpet/flugelhorn and the magnificent trombone threesome of Jordan Morita, Bryan Smith, and Brian O’ Donnell.

Special guests for the evening were Kamau Kenyatta on soprano saxophone, Dave Millard on alto violin and bass flute and Chris Warren on live sampled electronics. Warren’s bass clarinet spun around the room through electronic manipulation as the whole orchestra riffed outside gestures before leaping into the head of "Casi Cada Dia," a melody greatly enhanced by lush orchestration and liquid solos from Millard and Kenyatta.

A beautiful, pensive tension permeated "South Door," with the higher textures of flute and oboe toggling against the lower colors of the trombones, creating an irresistible format for the creative expressions of Cannon's flugelhorn, Morita’s trombone, Tordella’s alto saxophone and Willard’s flexing keyboards. Millard’s extended, unaccompanied bass-flute introduction to "Sun Soul," (for Daniel Jackson) was raw, vital and almost unbearably revealing, and the amount of orchestral deviations Garrison could layer over the one-note-pulse of the twin basses was the fodder for which deep sighs are created.

Willard created a hypnotic marimba/kalimba groove to underpin "And the Moon Be Still As Bright," volleying off the riffs of Ross-Ma’u and leading off a string of strong solos that cycled through Tordella, the dueting 'bones of Smith and O’ Donnell plus electronics, and ending on the Elvin Jones-like drum soliloquy from Weller, which provided the connective tissue into "Cuando la Lluvia," beginning with Johnson's dramatic flute essay and continuing with Meeuwsen's electronically enhanced trumpet solo, the outside energy of Tordella's alto and the slippery reverberations of Ross-Ma's guitar spot. The whole thing bounced off of the wah-wah chords of Willard, reminding me of Joe Zawinul's protean churn.

Kenyatta returned for a lithe spin on "8/89," which finally unleashed the monster bass section of Walker and Duvall, who soloed with deep, dark pizzicato while backing each other up with a bluesy turnbacks and in-the-pocket ostinato.

Night People represent a true creative labor of love. The countless hours of such a large number of busy musicians devoted to preparing this music are a genuine testament to the genius of Mr. Garrison, and the joyful noise they create is nothing short of astonishing.

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

Photo Credit: Brian Ross]]>
<![CDATA[Night Moves]]> Sat, 06 Dec 2014 10:35:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/Moving+Units+Press+Photo.jpg

There are so many good shows on Saturday that your head might start spinning. On the indie side of things, Horse Feathers return to the Casbah with music that will take you into your own wonderland of bliss. Meanwhile, at Brick By Brick, Moving Units are set to destroy, along with All Leather, Qui and the locals Secret Fun Club. Some say the show of the night would be Pallbearer, a doom-metal band that produced the album of the year, according to Decibel magazine. KPRI has its annual Holiday Soiree at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, with O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson. If you're in the holiday spirit, head over to South Park for their Walkabout and catch some tunes by the likes of Harpo, Bloody Mary Bastards and others on the corner of Juniper and Ivy. With all this great stuff around, you definitely have to get out of the house and tickle your eardrums.

Saturday, Dec.6:

  • Vinyl Junkies Record Swap, with DJs Bart Mendoza, Mario Escovedo, Matt Molarius, Thaddeus Robles, Brian Carver, DJ Pokkey & Robinson Wigfall with MPC @ Casbah (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • South Park Walkabout. Bands: Harpo, Bloody Mary Bastards, Juju Satori, the Basics, Madly @ Stage at Juniper & Ivy. 30th and Juniper and Fern, South Park (6- 10 p.m.)
  • Horse Feathers, The Midnight Pine, Sara-Jackson Holman @ Casbah
  • Casbah presents Moving Units, All Leather, Qui, Secret Fun Club @ Brick By Brick
  • Casbah presents Pallbearer, Solstafir, Mortals @ Soda Bar
  • KPRi Holiday Soiree, with O.A.R., Matt Nathanson @ California Center for the Arts, Escondido
  • David Benoit @ Poway Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Montalban Quintet @ Bar Pink
  • Ace Frehley, Taz Taylor, RDG @ Ramona Mainstage
  • Equipto @ Porter's Pub
  • Billy Bones, Dead on the Wire, Kids in Heat, the Sold @ Tower Bar
  • Northern Soul @ Til Two Club
  • Jimmy Lewis (Superunloader), Steve Barto & His Bartones, Blitz Bros, Dead McMahon @ 710 Beach Club
  • Claudia Villela @ Athenaeum La Jolla
  • Piracy Conspiracy @ Boar Cross'n
  • DJ Man Cat @ Sycamore Den
  • Joey Earnest, the Living Strange, Top Notch @ Che Cafe
  • Mark Fisher, Gilbert Castellano & the Park @ Croce's Park West
  • Charlie Arbelaez, Matt Hall @ Dizzy's Jazz
  • The Savage Young, the Feds, Stained Glass, Windows, Family Thief, Nightstands @ Epicentre
  • Crystal Kingdom, Sid Vicious @ Fluxx
  • Julian Jordan and gLAdiator @ Bassmnt
  • Zen Freeman @ Bang Bang
  • Jahko Beats, DJ Chelu @ Gallaghers
  • Rhythm and Bass DJs @ Hideout
  • Michele Lundeen, the Farmers @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Rob Deez, Isaac Cheong, Chad Taggart @ Lestat's
  • ASCE presents Awkwafine, Junoflo @ The Loft
  • Lenzman @ The Merrow
  • Emmure, the Acacia Strain, Fit for a King, Kublai Khan, Sylar, World of Pain @ SOMA
  • Cheapest Trick @ Tio Leo's
  • Hoppy Yoga, Keri Friends @ Winston'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: Moving Units]]>
<![CDATA[Locals Nominated for 2015 Grammys]]> Sat, 06 Dec 2014 10:42:55 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/176*120/IsMG_8793SaraWatkins.jpg

Several musicians with San Diego ties were honored Friday, when the nominees for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards were announced.

Nickel Creek, who originally hail from North County, snagged two. Nominated for Best Americana/Roots Performance for their single, "Destination," and Best Americana Album for "A Dotted Line," they're in line to hopefully add to a couple trophies to the Grammy they won in 2003 for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

In addition to his group's nominations, Nickel Creek mandolinist, Chris Thile (who grew up in Oceanside), also came up big on Friday. His recent collaboration with bassist Edgar Meyer received nominations for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album and Best Engineered Album Non-Classical for their album, "Bass & Mandolin," as well as Best Instrumental Composition for the song, "Tarnation."

It seems as though the Recording Academy has a thing for instrumental albums made by San Diegans: World-renowned bassist Nathan East -- who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from UCSD and has recorded or performed with Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, George Harrison and Daft Punk (among others) -- was also nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for his 2014 solo self-titled debut full-length, as well as Mindi Abair for her "Wild Heart" album -- on which San Diego drummer extraordinaire Jake Najor performed [read our SoundDiego interview with Najor].

Another artist with local ties that made the nominee list is Anoushka Shankar, Ravi Shankar's daughter and half-sister to Norah Jones. Her 2013 release, "Traces of You," (which also features vocals from Jones on three tracks) was nominated for Best World Music Album. She grew up in Encinitas, attended San Dieguito High School Academy and has previously worked with Sting, Thievery Corporation, Lenny Kravitz, and Herbie Hancock. Also nominated in that same category: Carlsbad resident Wu Man. The pipa player collaborated with Luis Conte and Daniel Ho on the "Our World in Song" album.

"Juke Joint Chapel," the most recent album by famed blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite is up for Best Blues Album -- and was produced by Chris Goldsmith, who works at the Belly Up and is already a multiple Grammy Award-winning record producer. He's also worked with Blind Boys of Alabama, Aaron Neville, Chrissie Hynde and Ben Harper -- and spearheaded the Belly Up's recent foray into the online music merchant market, with their Belly Up Live series [read our article about it here].

Artists with local ties were also recognized in some of the jazz categories, including 2013 San Diego Music Awards Artist of the Year Gilbert Castellanos, who, as part of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, was nominated for "LA Treasures Project" in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. Also getting in on the act was former San Diegan Gregory Porter, who guested on Dianne Reeves' "Beautiful Life" album, which got a nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. SoundDiego jazz blogger Robert Bush also noted that guitarist/composer Peter Sprague contributed to Reeves's album as well, with a co-writing credit on one of the songs on "Beautiful Life."

San Diego aside, the nominations rolled in for some of music's biggest names, as expected.

British newcomer Sam Smith and Beyonce — the most nominated female in Grammy history — are the current leaders at the Grammy Awards with five nominations each.

Smith and Beyonce will likely earn nominations for Album of the Year, the top award, when the Recording Academy announces that category's nominees Friday night on "A Very Grammy Christmas" (9 p.m., CBS).

Smith is the real leader so far: He's up for key awards such as Best New Artist and Song and Record of the Year for his hit, "Stay With Me."

Beyonce, surprisingly, was not up for Song or Record of the Year. Her nominations include Best Urban Contemporary Album for her fifth album, as well as R&B Song and R&B Performance for "Drunk in Love."

For song and record of the year, Smith's "Stay With Me" will battle Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" and Sia's "Chandelier."

Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" is nominated for record of the year, while Hozier's "Take Me to Church" is up for Song of the Year, a songwriter's award.

Azalea, the Australian newcomer, earned four nominations, including Best Rap Album for "The New Classic," Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Fancy" and Best New Artist, pitting her and Smith against pop/rock trio Haim, UK synthpop band Bastille and country singer Brandy Clark.

Usher, Jack White, Miranda Lambert and Eric Church also earned four nominations each. Church and Lambert, both nominated in all four country categories, will compete for Best Country Album, along with Clark, Dierks Bentley and Lee Ann Womack.

Sia, who also earned four nominations, had a breakthrough this year with "Chandelier" after writing songs for other singers, from Rihanna to Beyonce to Katy Perry.

Smith's five nominations include Best Pop Solo Performance and Pop Vocal Album for his debut, "In the Lonely Hour," one of the year's top-selling albums. The big-voiced singer will battle Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Coldplay in the latter category.

Pharrell earned three nominations, including best urban contemporary album for "Girl," where he will battle Beyonce's surprise album. The pop queen is also nominated for Best Surround Sound Album for "Beyonce" and Music Film for her "On the Run" tour with Jay Z. Beyonce has won 17 Grammys so far.

U2's "Songs of Innocence," originally released for free to iTunes users, is up for Best Rock Album. Other nominees include Beck, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Ryan Adams and the Black Keys.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett's duets album, "Cheek to Cheek," is nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, where it will compete with Barbra Streisand's duets album as well as efforts from Annie Lennox, Johnny Mathis and Barry Manilow.

The soundtrack for "Frozen," the year's top-selling album, earned three nominations in the music for Visual Media Category, including Best Compilation Soundtrack, Score Soundtrack and Song for "Let It Go."

The late Joan Rivers earned a nomination for best spoken word album for "Diary of a Mad Diva."

The Grammy Awards will air live Feb. 8 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Dan Chusid]]>
<![CDATA[Live: Cake]]> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:44:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/CAKE_AM+%2813+of+30%29.jpg San Diego had its Cake and ate it too when the alt-rock band fed musical musings to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club on Nov. 29.

Photo Credit: Alex Matthews]]>
<![CDATA[Rapper Facing Gang Conspiracy Charges for Lyrics]]> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 08:24:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tiny+doo.JPG

A San Diego rapper is facing "criminal street gang" conspiracy charges in nine shootings but not because of any direct involvement. He is facing prison time because of his lyrics.

A judge set a trial date Thursday for 33-year-old Brandon Duncan, aka Tiny Doo, who is charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit a felony with a criminal street gang. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2015, when he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Duncan, who prosecutors say was part a of a Lincoln Park gang, was one of 15 people charged in a San Diego police crackdown aimed at disrupting local gang activity. Gang-related shootings started increasing in southeast San Diego in 2012 and peaked in 2013 with nine shootings, according to the district attorney’s office.

While some of the defendants face charges directly related to the nine shootings, such as attempted murder, all of the defendants are charged with conspiracy counts, according to the complaint.

Duncan profited from these gang activities through album sales, even though there is no evidence connecting him to the actual shootings, according to the DA's office. He is being charged under Penal Code Section 182.5, which California voters passed in 2000. The DA sums up the statute this way: “If you are a documented gang member, and you benefit from or promote the activities of the gang, you can be held responsible for crimes the gang commits.”

To be found guilty, prosecutors must prove a suspect is an active gang member, that he or she had “general” knowledge of the gang’s activity and that he or she profited, assisted or benefited from the activities. A suspect does not have to be directly involved with the crime to be found guilty.

Those benefits could be economic, like album sales, or intangible, like respect, according to prosecutors.

“How can someone benefit from a gang shooting unless you wanted that person dead also?” said Brian Watkins, Duncan’s defense attorney. “That's the only way you can benefit from a gang shooting, but the district attorney's office admits that Brandon Duncan had no involvement in the shooting or even knowledge of the shootings. There's no way you can benefit from something you didn't even have knowledge of.”

As part of Duncan’s preliminary hearing, prosecutors presented his rap lyrics and social media pictures to demonstrate his participation in the gang. Bringing in the lyrics, they say, is not unusual.

But Watkins argues this is highly unusual because his songs were just artistic expression and had nothing to do with the shootings. The album was made in 2012, before the 2013 shootings.

“That’s putting a real black eye on our justice system,” said Watkins. “I mean, to imprison someone for 25 years to life because of artistic expression is something not even the worst communist regimes have done, as we look very bad, or I should say the district attorney’s office looks very bad across the nation, as well as internationally.”

As for his involvement with the gang, Watkins told NBC 7 that Duncan has associated with the Lincoln Park gang because he grew up in the area, but Watkins disputed that the defendant is a member.

Steve Walker, communications director for the DA’s office, admitted this is a difficult case, but after weeks of testimony, the judge found that there was enough evidence to send Duncan and the other defendants to trial.

“It’s important for the community to understand that this case is not about punishing someone for rapping and it’s not a First Amendment issue,” said Walker in a statement. “This case is about protecting our neighborhoods by taking violent gang members off the streets and holding them accountable for the crimes they commit using a law that voters passed and the court has recognized as constitutional.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Super Heroes]]> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 09:04:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/051209+Supersuckers+722.jpg

December is a time to enjoy traditions. December Nights -- the weekend formerly known as Christmas on the Prado -- is back. I tell you this as a music blogger because if you choose to go, you'll definitely need an after-event cocktail, and if you choose not to go, you will still need to be mindful of traffic that snarls from all directions into the park, sometimes extending all the way to state rout 94 on the south and Interstate 8 on the north. Of course, the good rock shows, like the Supersuckers at the Casbah or the Burning of Rome at Soda Bar, should be unaffected for the most part because of their start times, but plan ahead anyway. Meanwhile, the Merrow hosts a great show with most of l the Al Howard bands you could dream of, but again, plan your adventure strategically to avoid park traffice. There are, of course, plenty of shows all over -- a couple at UCSD, Brick By Brick and places like Sycamore Den, Seven Grand, Tower Bar and the Til Two that should all provide great entertainment and no major traffic nightmares to ruin your festive spirit.

Friday, Dec. 5:

  • Supersuckers, Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, Screamin' Yeehaws @ Casbah
  • The Burning of Rome, Gods of Science, Shady Francos @ Soda Bar
  • Black Sands, Birdy Bardot, Midnight Pine, the Heavy Guilt, Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact @ The Merrow
  • First Friday with DJ Artistic and NosuckerDjs @ Bar Pink
  • Phillip Phillips @ RIMAC Arena, UCSD
  • Tony Ferrari @ Porter's Pub, UCSD
  • Hard Fall Hearts @ Brick By Brick
  • Cassanova Frankenstein, Starless, Justin Rodriguez, Dagart @ Sycamore Den
  • The Dustbowl Revival, the Routine @ Seven Grand
  • Moodswing King, Cedar Fire, Death Eyes, Nothinless, DJ Unite, Mr. Henshaw, Pelengue, Sesh @ Tower Bar
  • Memory, SentineL, Dark Measure, Gravespell, Seraphic Disgust @ Til Two Club
  • Dave Scott Duo @ Croce's Park West
  • Rob Thorsen, Kiefer Shackleford, Fernano Gomez @ Dizzy's Jazz
  • Buttons (Hutton from Shining Through), Julia Stine, Gilbert Ortiz, Ana Aguilar @ Epicentre
  • Sage the Gemini @ Fluxx
  • DJ R2 @ Gallagher's
  • Pcom Party @ Hideout
  • Breakthru Entertainment @ House of Blues
  • Y3K, PopRx @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • NTNT, Bakkuda @ Lestat's
  • The Chainsmokers @ Bassmnt
  • The Snykes, Abadeer, Voltage Control, Glass Daggers, Ink, Empty Spaces @ SOMA
  • Yesterday (Beatles tribute) @ Sycuan
  • Leon's Old School Karaoke Show @ Tio Leo's
  • Martin & the Big Nativity Scene, Richie & his Flying Guitar, Breaker, Santa @ Winston'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: Supersuckers]]>
<![CDATA[Live: Fleetwood Mac]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 12:52:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/Fleetwood+Mac+Viejas+Arena+Covault+%2821%29.jpg Fleetwood Mac put the rumours to rest -- they're back and better than ever! The reunited legendary rock band took over Viejas Arena on Dec. 2.

Photo Credit: Steve Covault]]>
<![CDATA[You Can Call Him Al]]> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 09:50:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Al+Howard.jpg

Friday, one of my favorite people in San Diego, Al Howard, is having his book release party at the Merrow, and the evening will feature performances from local bands the Cold Fact, the Heavy Guilt, the Midnight Pine, Erik Canzona & the Narrows, the Black Sands and Birdy Bardot. Elsewhere, the Burning of Rome, the Gods of Science and Shady Francos take over Soda Bar; local singer/songwriter Gregory Page and Tom Brosseau perform at the Museum of Making Music; Hip Hop vs. Punk Rock is at the Tower Bar; and Supersuckers, Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs and Screamin’ Yeehaws are at the Casbah. Head to Bang Bang to get your dance on with Goldroom + Boys Don’t Disco; and the Chainsmokers take over Bassmnt.

Saturday, start with the Vinyl Junkies Record Swap at the Casbah. Later that night, join me at Club Ascension as the Kava Lounge celebrates its 10-year anniversary all month. DJs Dark Angel, LadyNoir and yours truly will be spinning the best in dark underground music -- you can get more details here. Zen Freeman is at Bang Bang; and Gladiator & Julian Jordan hit Bassmnt. Get your live-music fix with Moving Units, All Leather, Qui and Secret Fun Club at Brick By Brick; Billy Bones is headlining at the Tower Bar; and Horse Feathers, the Midnight Pine and Sara-Jackson Holman are at the Casbah.

Kick off your Sunday fun day with the SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-Off event in North Park, which will feature the Creepy Creeps, Unsteady, the Bed Breakers, the Loons, the Rosalyns, the Nards and more; K-Flay and Night Riots play a free show at the House of Blues in the Voodoo Room; the Ataris, the Gods Of Science and Floodlove take over the Casbah; Tristan Prettyman and Eric Hutchinson are also at the House of Blues, on the main stage; or you can check out Bar Pink’s Cool Yule Holiday Prom

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: Rosemary Bystrak]]>
<![CDATA[Brick House]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:57:38 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/DSC02056.JPG

There is a long tradition of acoustic musicians playing "in the round" in San Diego. To be honest, I don't know where it started or who started the idea, but I do know that it has lived on for several years because of people like Cathryn Beeks, who helps book, coordinate and get the word out about such performances. When Brick By Brick closed months ago, it appeared that the tradition had flickered out and would be no more. Fortunately, the venue has re-opened and under new owners, who appreciate the value of a home-grown music scene, and the in-the-round tradition lives on. On Thursday, you can catch performances by such amazing musicians as Berkley Hart, Josh Damigo, Nena Anderson and others at Brick By Brick. Around town, FMLYBND are at Soda Bar, Robert Cray plays to a sold-out crowd at the Belly Up, and the Hideout and Sycamore Den host worthy offerings this Thursday night as well. The Casbah is closed for a private party, so you'll have to get your fix this weekend instead.

Thursday, December 4:

  • Calman Hart and Jeff Berkley, Steph Johnson, Nena Anderson, Lindsay White, Suzanne Harper, Jeffrey Joe, Podunk Nowhere, Christopher Dale and Josh Damigo @ Brick By Brick
  • Casbah presents FMLYBND, the Wild Wild @ Soda Bar
  • The Robert Cray Band @ Belly Up (sold out)
  • Manufactured Superstars @ Bassmnt
  • Step Rockets, Paper Days @ The Loft
  • Lyrical Groove, Dove n Sky, Clemenshine, Sereba Elisheva @ The Hideout
  • Casanova Frankenstein, Ave Grave, NYX @ Sycamore Den
  • Connor Correll @ Lestat's
  • Jonnae, Peach, Dauzat St. Marie, Corina Rose @ The Merrow
  • Dj Bacon Bits @ U-31
  • Allison Adams Tucker @ Croce's Park West
  • The New Joy Band @ Humphrey's Backstage Live
  • Slower @ Winston's
  • Dirty South @ Fluxx
  • Rockin Aces @ Tio Leo's
  • Goldroom (DJ Set) @ Bang Bang
  • Brando, Hula Guns @ Boar Cross'n

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]]>