Hiroshima Mockingbirds – Til-Two Club, San Diego – 4/9/16


OK, so I think I’ve got this figured out now.  Jon Bonser, the drummer for The New Kinetics and Soft Lions (on the right), wanted to play guitar.  And Brian Reilly from the New Kinetics (center) felt left out with only one band. So in order to resolve these issues they obviously needed to form a new band – and call it the Hiroshima Mockingbirds.  Makes sense to me.

This was the third time I’ve seen a debut show in the past month (including Creepseed and Cardinal Moon) and like the other two, if they hadn’t told us it was their first set we never would have guessed.  Everything about the HM’s made it seem like they’ve been around for awhile and will be around for some time.  They fit perfectly into the indie/garage scene that is revitalizing rock n’ roll on a local and national level.

For at least twenty years now I’ve heard and read that rock is dead or dying (fuck you Gene Simmons) but when I see a set by a new band like the Hiroshima Mockingbirds I know that I’ve got nothing at all to worry about.

Here’s a video of “Jonny’s Trees”: Hiroshima Mockingbirds at the Til-Two Club

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.

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.

Birdy Bardot – The Casbah, San Diego – 2/24/16

Birdy Bardot10I won’t pretend to understand how all the members of local super-group, Birdy Bardot, are interrelated.  It seems that every San Diego musician of note is in at least 3 bands and this group has collected many of them together. I do know that the creative duo in the group are Birdy Bardot, who also sings for of my favorite San Diego bands, The New Kinetics; and the indefatigable Al Howard, who must be in at least 27 bands including: The Heavy Guilt, Midnight Pine, Dani Bell & the Tarantist, Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact, Cardinal Moon and Black Sands.

Birdy Bardot14

I have wanted to catch Birdy Bardot ever since I read a great feature on them late last year in CityBeat magazine (check it out here).  It was only after reading that article that I went to my first New Kinetics shows and I was curious to how the same singer would front both the frenetic garage rock of NK and the retro/psychedelic influence promised in the CityBeat piece.

It turns out that Ms. Bardot handles both styles with ease and though there is not a lot of overlap in sound, she does seem to lose herself in the songs in both configurations.  Where the New Kinetics are all about raw, relentless energy, Birdy Bardot is a much more restrained affair.  Though the group does let go and rock out, like on the track “Hearts and Smoke”, it’s really just enough to provide a contrast to the soulful, torchy atmosphere created throughout the rest of the set.

Birdy Bardot16

The 7 pc band (which is a lot of players on a pretty small stage) creates a sound and mood on stage that mixes a lot of influences without ever camping out in any one style.  There’s touches of the blues, hazy psychedelia, retro-60′s pop and even some alt-country.  Mixed together, Birdy Bardot – both the band and the singer – put on a fantastic show and will clearly be a mainstay of the resurgent San Diego music scene, and hopefully can find a way to break out and receive more national, and even international, attention.

Check out Birdy Bardot and her label-mates at Redwoods Music/Birdy Bardot

Here’s my video of “Candlelight Vigils” from that night.