I read a book once by Jacob Slichter, the drummer for 90’s alt-power-pop band Semisonic, called “So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star”. It was an interesting peek into what it was like to try to make it as a rock band. The times are quite different now with the fracturing of the record company model and the emphasis on social networking etc – but the energy and passion of the musicians is still the same. This new band from LA, Greyface, reminds me of that story and the effort it takes to break out to a wider audience. Check it out!
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 →
Check out this cool track from new Los Angeles indie/alternative band Greyface. This simultaneously chill but driving track is off their upcoming debut album, Greyola, which will see its release on February 10th. More on Greyface soon…
The next band up, after Retra, was Mittens. I had heard quite a bit about Mittens and now I know what all the fuss was about. Mittens’ blend of ’60s girl group sounds, ’90s alt-rock (think Cardigans not Smashing Pumpkins – though I have no doubt that Paul Mitten could unleash some great Billy Corgan riffs!), and modern indie pop really was just as good as I was warned it would be. Continue reading →
On a recent Friday night I was in the mood for new music and this show at The Kava Lounge looked interesting. I had heard of Mittens and The Fresh Brunettes but didn’t really know anything about them and I had no idea who Retra was. But I love checking out new bands so I headed on down to Kettner.
First up was Retra, who I soon found out is a relatively new band featuring Haven Blue on vocals, James Howard (Imagery Machine) on guitar , Chris Gorrie (Boychick, Giant Surprise) on bass, Carmen Martinez (Boychick) on drums, and Martin Sohikish (who didn’t play this night) on keys and guitar. Continue reading →
Did you like the 90′s? I really liked the 90′s. Apparently so does The Palace Ballroom, an indie/post-grunge/melodic alt-rock band from San Diego. And really, fuck it, don’t worry about genres or labels or styles – just click the arrow, turn your volume up, and rock out…
It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Garbage’s debut record came out. I remember being blown away the first time I heard it and i still turn the volume knob clockwise anytime I hear a Garbage song!
On this night the band was every bit as powerful, and Shirley Manson was just as captivating, as the first time I saw them back in the 90′s. This time out they were scheduled to play their entire first album. That was reason enough to get excited – but then it got even better! Since this was the first show on the tour we didn’t know what other songs they would be playing to go along with the full album.
I only found out the day before the show that Phantogram was opening forMuse at the San Diego Sports Arena the next night. Since I enjoyed their 2014 album, Voices, I made sure I arrived early to catch their full set.
I believe that I usually have a pretty good feel for how big a band is, but I have to admit to completely underestimating Muse. I figured the group was huge in Europe but had a somewhat lesser appeal and following here in the states. Apparently I was wrong. Very wrong! The English trio (along with a touring keyboardist/guitarist) played to a sold out, rapturous audience at one of San Diego’s biggest venues and absolutely killed it! The crowd was on their feet, jumping, screaming, and singing along to nearly every song. This was the first time I have seen a show “in the round,” with the band placed in the center of the arena, and it makes me wonder why more artists don’t do this. The setup really engaged the fans on the floor and made it so that there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.