Big Bloom – Ché Café – March 24, 2016

Big Bloom closed out a show at the Ché Café Thursday night after sets by San Diego’s Spooky Cigarette and Brooklyn’s Haybaby.  This was the second time I have caught Big Bloom and I still can’t figure out what kind of band they are.  They seem to be pushing and pulling themselves in different directions – from song to song and even within a song.  It is fascinating to hear different genres and influences come to the surface and then morph into something else.  Classic rock, surf, psych, metal and garage all take turns to create interesting songs and a dynamic performance, all with singer Katie Howard’s impassioned vocals laid over the top.  With such a big and varied sound I’d really love to catch this band on a bigger stage and with a much better sound system then the Ché Café has to offer.  But really – catch this group if you can – on any sized stage!

Here are two songs from this performance:  Venus / Step Up to My Face

Haybaby – Che Cafe, San Diego – March 24, 2016

Hay Baby 02

I went to the Che Cafe tonight (for the first time) to see local favorites Big Bloom but was also impressed with the performance of Brooklyn band Haybaby.  This guitar/vox, bass and drums trio would be hard to put into any one genre. Really, they seemed like a noisy/poppy/indie rock band that is willing to go anywhere the song takes them.  The rhythm section of Sam Yieldon bass and Jeremy Duval on drums was locked into a groove on most songs, allowing the singer/guitarist, Leslie Hong, free reign to just go apeshit over and around whatever they were laying down.

Haybaby, who are apparently quite busy in the Brooklyn club scene, have been on tour for a while now, including a stop at SXSW – though according to Yield, they had to miss some shows due to flooding along the way. He also said that though the band has toured before, this was their first trek to the West Coast and from one venue to another they’re never sure what they’ll find or how many fans they’ll play for. He did say that Haybaby gives the audience everything they’ve got whether it’s 100 fans or just 7 people checking them out. I’d like to see this band again, but next time with better lighting and sound than the Che offers.

Video:  Check out the song “Her” from this performance.

Links:  Haybaby website / Haybaby facebook

Hay Baby 01


Spooky Cigarette – Che Cafe, San Diego – March 24, 2016

Spooky Cigarette

San Diego’s Spooky Cigarette opened for Brooklyn band Haybaby at the Ché Café last night.  This band shows an obvious love of late 70′s/early 80′s post-punk/no-wave, combining distorted and often discordant keys, melodic guitar and bass, staccato drumming and almost atonal (and also distorted) vocals in a sound that is a real throw-back to the art-rock of those earlier times.  It would really surprise me if these guys weren’t really into Joy Division and early New Order and it’s fun to watch and listen to younger bands mine those influences.  And while the mostly awful sound system found at the Che was not doing them any favors, Spooky Cigarette still put on a great show and I hope to have a chance to catch them again soon.

Spooky Cigarette facebook page.

The Bad Vibes – Soda Bar, San Diego – 3/17/16

I didn’t know much about The Bad Vibes before this show but I plan to rectify that soon. This San Diego quintet just killed it on the small Soda Bar stage!  They played a hard rocking bluesy set that covered a lot of ground; fans of psych, doom, heavy metal and even jam bands will find a lot to like here.  There was a gothic darkness just below the surface of their songs, reminding me a lot of the atmosphere created by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

Check out this video of  “Vulture Blues” from this show.

The Bad Vibes on facebook and bandcamp

Sheila & the Rainbow Colored Trash Bags

Last night was the last show, at least for now, for Matt’s inventively named band of psychedelic garage rockers. He says he’s moving back to England but he hoped to return some day to play more music here in San Diego.  Last night he was joined by the Josh’s, Rudiger and Kmak, who helped Matt go out in a blaze of garage rock glory as he bashed out riffs so hard on the last song that he broke half the strings on his guitar. Bon voyage Matt!

Check out Sheila & the Rainbow Colored Trash Bags here on their bandcamp page

Creepseed – The Casbah, San Diego – Mar 14, 2016

In keeping with the tradition that practically all San Diego musicians of note must be in at least three bands, Josh Kmak of The New Kinetics and Shady Francos launched his new band, Creepseed, earlier this week at The Casbah.  Joining him were O (fluff, Makeup Sex, Reeve Oliver, Systems Officer etc etc) on guitar; Josh Rudiger (Shady Francos, Sheila + the Rainbow Colored Trash Bags) on drums; and Ana Y (Makeup Sex, Spin Records) on bass.

Though they were the first of three bands that night (in support of Fred & Toody of Deadmoon fame) there was a good sized, enthusiastic, crowd on hand to catch the debut performance of this new band.  You would never know this was their first show though if Kmak hadn’t told us, though that shouldn’t be too surprising considering how much experience all the musicians have.  Kmak led the band through an energetic set of songs that combined elements of garage, surf and 50’s influenced rock.  The songs ranged from a mid-tempo modern take on Ricky Nelson or Buddy Holly to all out rockers with the band locked into a groove, bashing out riffs with a squalling lead guitar laid over the top.

Joining Creepseed for a few songs were Brian Reilly (The New Kinetics, Hiroshima Mockingbirds) who tried to contain himself on the slower song “This Dream I Dread”; and  Pat Beers (Schizophonics), who just barely contained himself (compared to his typically unhinged style) who came out near the end to help Creepseed close out a very successful first show. Hopefully we will see more of this new band in the months to come!

Video of “This Dream I Dread”

Facebook for Creepseed


Creepseed – “This Dream I Dread”- The Casbah 3/14/16


Josh Kmak of The New Kinetics and Shady Francos has a new band, Creepseed. This video is from their debut performance at the Casbah.  Joining Josh in Creepseed are O from fluff and the Makeup Sex, Josh from Shady Francos and Sheila & the Rainbow Colored Trash bags, and Ana from The Makeup Sex and Spin Records.  Sitting in on this song is Brian Reilly of the New Kinetics on the right.

The Heartaches – The Casbah, San Diego – March 14, 2016


Tonight was a reverse order concert for me as I came to see the first group up, the debut of Creepseed.  My plan was to stay and watch a couple songs by the second group, San Diego’s The Heartaches, and then take off unless they were really good. All I can say is that by the time they got to the chorus of their first song, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere during this set!

Somehow I had never heard of this band of garagey punk rockers who have been around since 2002. Apparently I need to pay better attention to what’s going on, since The Heartaches put on a blistering set full of massive riffs, shouted choruses, endless energy and just enough melody to attract more than just a punk audience.  The Heartaches seem like a real throwback group as I could hear influences from throughout punk’s early history – from the early days of The Damned and The Clash overseas to The Ramones and Dead Kennedys on this side of the pond.  All of it delivered with a ferocious attack on dual guitars, bass and drums and fronted by a singer with enough energy to power The Casbah’s sound system on his own.

Don’t make the mistake I did – check out The Heartaches – and for god’s sake, don’t look at your cell phone while they’re playing!!

Here’s a video from the show (don’t know the name of the song)

Birdy Bardot – “Possibilities” – A Red Trolley Show


This video is just another reminder of why I love music.  A great song played in a unique way in an unusual setting.  San Diego’s Birdy Bardot play their song “Possibilities” while riding the trolley (with passengers on board of course!) in San Diego.

Check out the Birdy Bardot website for more.