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

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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

Coming soon from Dublin – Sing Street

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This movie is MaxSounds approved!  I had a chance to see a preview of Sing Street, a movie about a bunch of Irish teens starting a band in the early 80′s.  Awesome music from the period to go along with a charming story.  Thanks to Anders Wright, film critic for the UT San Diego, for the invitation.  Keep an eye out for Sing Street in the theaters soon!

Built to Spill: The Casbah 2/15/16

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Indie rock stalwarts Built to Spill played back-to-back sold out shows last week at San Diego’s venerable rock club, the Casbah. This quickly became a tough ticket to get as the band typically plays much larger venues when they hit town.  The Casbah can fit only 200, and even with two shows, demand easily exceeded supply.  The Casbah has a reputation though for punching above its weight and the band apparently likes the venue as they have played there several other times throughout the years.

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And really it was great to see a band of such stature in such an intimate setting. The crowd was responsive and enthusiastic throughout the performance and the band responded with a 1:50 set (which is long by Casbah standards) that included at least half of the new album, last year’s excellent Untethered Moon.  One of the highlights from that record was “So” which included a typical Doug Martsch guitar freak-out to start the song before settling into a riffy, melodic groove.  For an encore – and by encore I mean the band leaves the stage and walks out to the sidewalk until they are called back in – they performed an epic, slow building, version of “Time Trap” off of 1999′s Keep It Like a Secret.

If I were to find fault in the show it is that they performed as a 3-piece with only Martsch on guitar.  As good a guitar player as he is, and he is really good, he can’t play two guitars at once.  One of the strengths of BTS is the interplay between multiple guitars, both with a lead over the top of a rhythm guitar or with intertwining leads as on the aforementioned “Time Trap”. Hopefully next time around the band will be back to full strength, but either way I’ll be there wherever they decide to play.