Dirty Pennies – Bad Machine – Jan. 14, 2017

Video

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

New Regime 01

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

wimps open for Katie Von Schleicher at the Soda Bar

I was 21 years old when MTV started back in 1981 and it was pretty awesome back then. Before that all we got was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and Burt Sugarman’s Midnight Special. Those were great shows but only filled 2.5 hours per week on Friday and Saturday nights. We all know that MTV doesn’t really do music videos anymore and the format went relatively dormant for a long time. Then YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo and others came along and music videos have once again become an important part of presenting and marketing a song.
That’s a lot of words to say that this song and video by wimps, a 3-piece punk rock band out of Seattle, is pretty fucking rad! Check out the video and then go see wimps play the Soda Bar Wednesday night when they open for Katie Von Schleicher...

 

Katie Von Schleicher, wimps + Gravyyard play the Soda Bar

I know everyone is wondering, “what show should I go to Wednesday night this week – there’s no one playing that I’ve heard of…”

The answer is easy – get to the Soda Bar to see Katie Von Schleicher,wimps and Gravyyard. This will be one of those shows that you can’t believe you saw at a venue like the Soda Bar (and don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the Soda Bar, but it is astonishing that bands like this, especially together, are playing such a small venue).

There – problem solved. See you there!!

In the meantime check out this video from Katie’s new album Bleakspoitation on Ba Da Bing! Records

 

The Who Hits 50! + Slydigs – San Diego – May 27, 2016

The Who has been one of my favorite groups since I can remember knowing about rock ‘n’ roll.  I can recall the first time I heard Quadrophenia in junior high and it has been in my main listening rotation ever since.  In high school “Baba O’Reilly”, from Who’s Next, was still played regularly at school dances and when I got to college my roommate had a GIANT promo picture of the cover art from Who Are You hanging in our dorm room.  I’ve seen The Who several times, including a trip to The Forum in the mid-’70s and the Quadrophenia tour just a few years ago.  Including this last show, if I close my eyes and just take in the music I don’t feel that the passage of time has diminished their power and musicality at all.  Sure, it’s not the same without Keith Moon and The Ox, but with Zak Starkey  on drums and Pino Palladino on bass the creative duo of Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey have found very capable substitutes.

Continue reading