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The Cool Bus Needs a Push

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The Cool Bus Needs a Push

Rosemary Bystrak

Hanging out with friends on the Cool Bus. A former school short bus never felt so cool.

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Without going into some long-winded history of my experience with a group of San Diegans that call themselves "the Fast Crowd" or those who were known back when "The Punkboard" was the place to find underground shows, I will say that there is a small group of people in San Diego that still dominate.

There can be a random show and all of them show up. There are bars where they work, and it feels like this great underground secret, which is why, by merely writing about them, I will be cast out once again after spending years trying to gain their trust. These people were regulars at Scolari's, and when that bar closed, they splintered into a beer crowd and a show crowd. As they've grown older, they're less seen; however, their one retaining force is the "Cool Bus."

Basically, this crowd, when they decide to go out, goes hard. They kicked in some money and bought a short school bus, and Bear Paw takes the helm to drive the crowd around safely from venue to venue. The one time I was allowed on the bus, I snapped some photos and was basically told that I was never allowed to post the photos on my blog, but as the bus is breaking down and is jointly owned, I'd say that I would only like to help raise funds to keep the "Cool Bus" going. Tonight you can join the Fast Crowd at U-31 and show your support for their cause and help raise funds to fix their short bus. Believe me, the fact that this group of people has a designated driver makes San Diego safer for all of us.

Wednesday, Aug. 25 :

  • Benefit for Bear Paw and the Cool Bus, with Behind the Wagon, Sunnyside, SD County Club, Batmen, Tiny Knives @ U-31
  • The Kabbs, Death Eaters, Grand Tarantula @ Casbah
  • The Howls, Little Hurricane, Taming the Fox @ Belly Up
  • Chris Isaak, Mia Dyson @ Humphreys Concerts By the Bay
  • John Mayer, Owl City @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
  • Commune Wednesday, featuring Beat Panther, DJ Andrew Decade @ Bar Pink
  • Array Orchestra, Vaginals, Beatless, Mermaid, Trashaxis @ Tower Bar (benefit for DIY Radio 106.9)
  • Oh Air Night, Space Nature, Samhears @ Soda Bar
  • Tiny Knives, Batmen, Dan Padilla, Extra Sex @ Che Cafe
  • Dead Animal Mod, Warring States of Mind, Foreign Films @ Beauty Bar
  • The Mashtis @ Riviera Supper Club
  • Allie Moss, Joe Gil, Justin Tarwick @ Lestat's
  • Eric Lindell @ Winston's
  • Sara Petite @ Humphreys Backstage Live
  • Rock 105.3 and 101 KGB present: Steel Panther @ House of Blues
  • Young and Broke with DJ Crystal Mess @ Tin Can
  • Luscious Noise @ Anthology
  • Knockout Bell, DJ Gonzo @ O'Connell's
  • Lady Dottie and the Diamonds @ Gallaghers
  • The Getdown, the Bombpops, Roadside Affair, Bankers Hill @ Ruby Room
  • Roxy Monoxide @ Tiki House
  • Stealing Gadsby, Metatonic, Live Hip Hop @ Dreamstreet Live
  • Gilbert Castellanos with the New Latin Jazz Quintet @ El Camino
  • Christopher Dale, Robin Henkel, Charlie Recksieck @ Postcards Bistro, Handlery Hotel
  • Fuzzy @ Croce's
  • Citizen Band @ The Stage Saloon
  • Silence Betrayed @ Boar Cross'n
  • Icebox @ 710 Beach Club
  • DubDorado Presents: Steady, Kelly, Mr Biggs, Head$hake, Austin Speed @ El Dorado

Rosemary Bystrak writes about the San Diego music scene, events, and sometimes whatever creeps into her head on her music blog San Diego: Dialed In. Check it for even more listings. Follow her updates at or submit your music listings.

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