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When the Black Heart Procession plays the Casbah on March 12, about nine months will have gone by since the locals played their hometown. The show will be on the eve of the band's jaunt to the South by Southwest music festival (which they haven't played in over five years).

Pall Jenkins likens his band's infrequent San Diego appearances to "gourmet dining. You don't go and do it every night." Jenkins says there's a practical reason for their elusiveness.

"In the last year and a half [collaborator] Toby Nathaniel got married and moved to Portland," Jenkins says. "Then we kinda went down a little bit and did other things while life happened. That's really the main reason. Not everyone's in town at the same moment."

Jenkins and the rest of the band spent roughly eight months writing and recording a new album (The Spell, due out May 9) because they had to fly back and forth between San Diego and Portland. Jenkins says his other band, Three Mile Pilot, has begun to write material for their first new album since their 1999 singles collection, Songs from an Old Town We Once Knew. The album, which members will work on between Pinback and Black Heart tours, is due out early next year on Chicago's Touch and Go Records.

Regarding Three Mile Pilot, Jenkins says, "It's not really to cash in. There's nothing to really cash in on.... When Three Mile Pilot was functioning, we weren't doing as good as we do nowadays with our other bands."

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