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A Scribe Amidst the Lions used to be called Split Infinity -- the band changed the name after discovering it was claimed by several other groups, not to mention a series of novels. "We're the original bad-luck band," says singer-guitarist Kristofer Towne. "If there's a way to step in crap, we usually find it."

Towne, guitarist/keyboardist Adam Jacobs, and bassist/singer Bob Garrity moved from Minnesota to San Diego in 2001, hooking up with local drummer Nate Ball. The band just finished recording their second album, Sunken Cities, at Sushifish Studios in Mission Gorge, planned for a winter release. They appear September 22 at O'Connell's Pub and September 28 at the Kensington Club. The quartet answered most of our queries collectively.

WHAT'S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

1. Miles Davis, Dark Magus ("Filled with heavy, psychedelic jams. It's intense, live, and ahead of its time.")

2. Jeremy Enigk, Return of the Frog Queen ("We're inspired by his solo stuff, as well as his music with Sunny Day Real Estate and the Fire Theft.")

3. Pink Floyd, Meddle ("Amazing album from one of the best bands ever.")

4. Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea ("Twisted lyrics and haunting melodies.")

DESERT-ISLAND DVDs?

1. 28 Days Later ("Who's not interested in life after doomsday? Zombies plus rage-infected monkeys.")

2. The Usual Suspects ("Keyser Söze stole our hearts.")

3. Pink Floyd at Pompeii ("Whoaaa.")

4. Amélie ("Great cinematography and storyline.")

5. Wonder Showzen ("Odd, disturbing, and hilarious spoof of TV kid shows.")

FAVORITE TV SHOWS?

1. Hell's Kitchen ("Dramatizes the entire human food chain.")

2. 30-Minute Meals with Rachael Ray ("She provides innovative insight into turning your leftovers into gourmet masterpieces.")

3. Family Guy ("Random, mindless hilarity is always good.")

4. Whose Line Is It, Anyway? ("There's nothing as funny as unscripted humor.")

BEST LOCAL EATERIES?

1. "The Hash House in Hillcrest, because their hash is the best! Plus, getting a Bud in a bag for breakfast is always a good time."

2. "The Westgate Café downtown, because the staff is so friendly and cheery, and the food is amazing."

3. "Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest makes the best pizza in town, and they have a very clean bathroom."

BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?

"Apathy. People -- especially television-bred Americans -- are not as concerned about political issues as they should be."

BRUSH WITH CELEBRITY?

Towne: "I think I saw Tom Hanks on the sidewalk in Ocean Beach."

ANY SUPERNATURAL ENCOUNTERS?

Garrity: "As a child, I recall being abducted by aliens. Then I vaguely remember being delivered back to my room, as the lyrics 'Oooh, child, things are gonna get easier' were sounding. I was alone and crying with the lights on."

Jacobs: "Sure, I encounter Bob Garrity at least three times a week."

FINISH THIS SENTENCE: "IF I WERE A RICH MAN..."

Garrity: "...I'd open a restaurant in Amsterdam."

Towne: "...I'd buy my own presidential election."

Jacobs: "...I'd change my pants more often."

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