Dirty Pennies – Bad Machine – Jan. 14, 2017

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Dirty Pennies, a rock band from San Diego, California play their new song, “Bad Machine” at the Ray at Night street festival in North Park. This song, written only two weeks prior and performed only once before, was created as a reaction to what our whole political process has become and is perfect timing considering the controversies surrounding the incoming president. Continue reading

wimps – The Soda Bar, San Diego -June 29, 2016

[photos by Happy Place Media

After guitarist Rachel Ratner announced they were going to play “a bunch of songs in a short amount of time”, wimps, a 3-piece punk band from Seattle,  launched into “Vampire,” a short, relentless blast of rock ‘n’ roll which as far as I can tell is about being a vampire (or not!). Continue reading

Tacocat – The Soda Bar, San Diego – July 20, 2016

With song titles like, “Men Explain Things to Me”, “FDP” (first day period) and “Hey Girl” (about dudes that cat-call), it’s clear that Tacocat, a 4-piece punk/pop/surf band from Seattle, are not writing songs for me (a 56-year-old man who still likes early Blue Oyster Cult).  But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate their surf-inspired melodies, clever lyrics and infectious energy.  Continue reading

Joe Jackson – Spreckles Theater, San Diego – June 18, 2016

Like many others there are certain bands, and songs that draw me back to very specific memories.  I was 19 when Joe Jackson‘s first album, Look Sharp!, arrived in the spring of 1979.  I was just finishing my freshman year at UCSB and music was undergoing an upheaval.  I arrived at my dorm the previous fall listening to bands like Rush, Queen, UFO and Blue Oyster Cult.  I was aware of punk rock and new wave but just hadn’t really been exposed to it.  But as that first year in college went along there were a lot of different sounds blasting out of the dorm-room doorways.  Blondie, The Boomtown Rats, Elvis Costello, The Records, The Beat (Paul Collins‘ version), The B-52’s were competing with the classic and hard-rock records I grew up with.  And this record by Joe Jackson just seemed to cement it all together, sending me down a power-pop/new wave rabbit hole that I didn’t emerge from for a few years. Continue reading

The Joy Formidable – The Irenic, San Diego – July 20, 2016

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The Joy Formidable, a Welsh band that mixes elements of 90’s alt-rock (Garbage, Cranberries), shoegaze (Slowdive, Lush) and modern all-over-the-place indie rock, played the Irenic this week for a good sized and very enthusiastic crowd.  Sometimes I wonder how groups like this get discovered by so many people.  There is really no rock-radio or video channel supporting bands like this but tours with groups like Muse and Editors must have helped them build a solid following. Continue reading

The New Regime – The Irenic – July 20, 2016

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According to the bio on his FB page, Ilan Rubin from San Diego, has played with Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves and Paramore.  I didn’t know all this when I arrived half-way through his band The New Regime’s set opening for Welsh act, The Joy Formidable, at The Irenic in North Park. Continue reading