The music scene in San Diego is in a constant state of flux: trends come and go; bands pop up, break up, and regroup; musicians leave elsewhere for greener pastures only to return later on – and venues are no different. In the last year alone, the Griffin shut down, Stingaree closed, Croce’s moved to Bankers Hill, the Che Cafe was all but evicted, the Shakedown shuttered, Brick By Brick went dark and reopened, the Void transitioned into the Hideout, and UCSD recently refused to renew the lease on Porter’s Pub. Even earlier this week, we reported that the North Park Theatre and West Coast Tavern have been sold to the owners of Santa Ana’s Observatory Club. Simply put: change in the San Diego live music scene is nothing new.
But when rumors started swirling last week that the Tin Can had hosted its last live show, patrons of the beloved club (on Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill) were surprised, and if reaction on social media is any indication, extremely disappointed. The intimate venue which replaced Brothers on Fifth in 2009 established itself around town for its daily show offerings of up-and-coming acts (Joy, Schitzophonics and the New Kinetics all played there within the last few months), some of the tastiest canned brews around and, over the last couple years, an insanely great in-house burger joint (Dood’s Foods), and spirited Monday night performances at its namesake Tin Can Country Club. Life seemed great.
The venue’s online presence dwindled however in the past couple months, with their website posting a scant December calendar after skipping November’s altogether. On Dec. 30, Justin Rodriguez, one of the Tin Can’s partners (and arguably the face of the club, as you could find him manning the bar and running sound nightly), announced on Facebook that he’d be “bartending and playing for the last time on the Tin Can stage” on New Year’s Eve.
In a statement to SoundDiego, he echoed our suspicions: “As of January 1, I will no longer be a partner at the Tin Can …. I worked there for about six years – four of them as a partner, and really just needed a change. When Patrick Conway and myself first came on as partners, we had a vision for the place which we worked hard to achieve. All things change and I ultimately felt out of line with the direction things were moving. I wish them all the best with things and enjoyed my time there.”
Rodriguez’s departure was sudden and shocking. The former Counterfit and the Western Set frontman and his Tin Can cohorts had created a musical community of like-minded individuals in the most unlikeliest of spots. To see it come to an end is admittedly disheartening.
However, there is hope: Dood’s Foods owner Tommy Logsdon has told us the show will go on – just perhaps as a re-tooled and rebranded production. According to Logsdon, the Tin Can (along with Dood’s Foods) is still currently open for business. They’ll be looking to renovate the bar and decor, but said the stage setup will remain the same. The club will also begin hosting live music again (booked by Deadphones/Cuckoo Chaos member Jackson Milgaten) on March 1, with one or two-band bills and longer sets. However, shows will take place only on Friday and Saturday nights going forward. He did confirm that the Tin Can Country Club was over, and would not be continuing at the venue.
“We’re going on a hiatus to better serve the San Diego music scene, and hit it hard when we come back,” Logsdon told us. He went on to say that they'll start offering draft beer and even though nothing’s been decided, it’s possible that a name change may be in the works.
As for Rodriguez, we wish him all the best and hope he continues staying active in the local music scene.
“I’m not sure what my next move will be,” he told us. “But I’m excited to actually have some time to myself outside of work, and am hoping to focus on my music again.”
As far as the Tin Can goes, Logsdon told us the music programming at the venue will remain similar to what it has been in the past (besides the Tin Can Country Club, of course). SoundDiego will check back in with the club closer to the re-launch date for an update.