Title: Blog San Diego
Author: Eric Nielsen, Keith Boyd, Krista Nielsen, coeditors
From: Ocean Beach
Blogging since: March 2005
Post Date: December 27, 2006
Post Title: Post-Christmas e-mail from L.B. Children awake -- 5:20 a.m. Present opening completed -- 5:48 a.m.
First argument about a toy -- 6:14 a.m.
Tree on curb -- 8:17 a.m. (I have a thing about getting rid of the tree.)
First, "I'm bored" -- 11:36 a.m. Still waiting on first toy broken....
Post Date: December 17, 2006
Post Title: New Vinyl Radio Album in the Making From Andrew: Hey, BSD, we just went in for two nine-hour recording sessions with Mike Kamoo at Earthling studios over the weekend and laid down some killer material. I'm talking eight or more different guitars, several amps, several keys.... It's an all-out rock album that's the real deal, man. This was one of the funnest, rawest, most energetic and ripping recording sessions ever...done live to reel-to-reel tape. Everyone pulled it together. I'm surprised what we were able to create. I can't wait for you to hear it. Our constant search for a new drummer is still in the works, and it's looking like Morgan might fill in at our next Casbah show on Jan. 8, which will be Tim Pyles's opening night in January. He'll be booking the Monday shows there, calling it the Anti-Monday League, similar to what he did at the Beauty Bar when he put together the Local Poprocks shows.
Post Date: December 12, 2006
Post Title: Rafter: Music for Total Chickens Rafter is a San Diego legend, crafting his music intertwined with the good people of SD for years. If you don't know Rafter, you probably know one of the projects he's worked on or starred in. They include so many notable San Diegan and national acts that it's impossible to do justice with a list, but here goes: Black Heart Procession, Castanets, Maquiladora, Bunky, Suftjan Stevens, The Fiery Furnaces, etc... My shorthand interpretation of Rafter's SD story goes like this: Rafter moves down to SD to start working on some jingles with that fella from Trumans Water, Glen Galloway (who fronts his own amazing thing now called Soul-Junk). I guess Glen had a list of corporate contacts and Rafter had the sounds, and they banded together to form Singing Serpent. As it says in Rafter's bio for this disc, if you've seen the last few Olympics or Super Bowls, you've heard his music.
They moved into a studio downtown by City College and got the Singing Serpent studios going, hiring all sorts of good people and creating all kinds of things that hard work blessed with the right alchemy can create, and started doing lots of ads. All the while, he was working on recording, mixing, and mastering the best of SD's music scene at night.
Rafter started Bunky with Emily Joyce, did a bunch of albums and shows. They sold their building downtown and relocated Singing Serpent to another SD locale, where they create magic still. Forgive my haziness, for I only know some things for sure. I'm around, but not necessarily down.
There's something about Rafter's good karma that has helped to propel him to these lofty heights. It's my feeling that in the indie music scene, the more you do for others, the more comes back to you. No one else is going to help you push your underground, twisted music venture into something more than your personal dream, except for the other indie players who can vouch for and give credibility and expertise to your projects. Almost no one in this town has the reputation for giving that Rafter has. He loans out equipment, offers advice on the phone, masters records, helps with composition, mixes tracks, and sits with songs to find their true sounds. He helps the artist to better understand what it is that they do and to articulate that truth.
This album does something I've not yet heard from Rafter. This album pushes the instrumentation and song structure deep into short songs, packed densely with many different sounds.... You hear many other artists in there, like Radiohead and Mogwai. The longest song on the disc is a 4:03 track called "Boy," which incorporates many of the ideas into one piece. You get some Beatles sounds, some whacked-out drums, distorted instrumentation, and then a slide into one of the most beautiful outs available today.
Post Date: July 17, 2006
Post Title: Ten Places in SD You Shouldn't Forget 1. Queen Califia's Magic Circle: This homage to the mystical back-story of the land of California is just amazing. The fact that it's in a dry and dusty park in Escondido just adds to the charm.
2. Sunset Cliffs: From the waves to the surfers to the fishing boats to the "green flash," this is what San Diego is all about.
3. Swami's Beach: It is awash in good vibes and uncluttered by beach-town nonsense.
4. Mount Soledad: On clear days, you can see from Tijuana to Catalina.
5. Spruce Street Suspension Bridge: The first time I saw it, I couldn't believe some government agency hadn't come in and shut it down for being too much fun.
6. Balboa Park: Balboa Park is the living, breathing heart of this city.
7. The Silver Strand: This strip of land between South Bay and Coronado is a seldom-visited treat.
8. Cowles Mountain: The view from the top is exhilarating and worth the effort.
9. Descanso Falls: While these falls aren't enormous, they offer a little swimming paradise in the backcountry.
10. The Badlands in Anza-Borrego: Imagine those drippy sand castles you made when you were a kid. Now blow that up to monster size and extend it for miles on end.