Stories for April 2010

Friday, April 30

An Elephant’s Eye: Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka

I’d been in Sri Lanka for a week, and now a couple of friends and I are driving through the interior of the island nation. The road’s edge is lined with a string-wire fence standing ...

Wobbling

A drunken, grey-haired man wearing a red jacket wobbled through the parking lot outside of the CVS pharmacy at 1652 Garnet Street in Pacific Beach Thursday evening. A police car with two officers arrived on ...

Old Men in Chula Vista Are Different Now

I’m sitting alone in the Chula Vista library, reading a book about Jimi Hendrix, when an old man approaches me and begins to stare. He’s one of the library’s morning regulars. Most of them are ...

Emotion & Commotion

The release of Emotion & Commotion confirms Jeff Beck's legacy as one of rock's finest instrumentalists. The eclectic collection includes original instrumentals from Beck and keyboardist Jason Rebello, classic-rock and R&B covers, orchestral pieces, and ...

Mellow Edge

Norah Jones has had difficulty over the years finding the appropriate San Diego venue to showcase her music; she's performed everywhere from Cane's to Coors, where she drew a scant 6400 fans in a venue ...

Thursday, April 29

The Pits

"If they're gone, we will regret it, I promise you," said community member Frank Gormlie, urging the Ocean Beach Town Council to fight for the 185 public fire pits across San Diego, including eight in ...

Downtown Driving Guide

If you drive often in downtown, you’re probably pretty familiar with obstacles. Weekend nights offer partying pedestrians jaywalking. Early mornings throw double-parked delivery trucks and garbage trucks in your way. And if you come into ...

Modern Meets Traditional: Xiamen Island, China

Pronounced Shaw-man, Xiamen is China’s up-and-coming Hong Kong. At least, that’s what they’re aiming for on this quickly modernizing tropical Chinese island. Xiamen is a strange mix of traditional architecture and culture and evolving modern ...

Wednesday, April 28

Let the Night Fall

The mighty Tris McCall. Straight out of Jersey (City). Track one clarifies (as in butter) the narrator's inability to portray himself in life as he feels with the ultimate college radio station (which eventually lost ...

Evil Empire

“Kim Fowley is seeking groups, solo artists, composers, and lyricists who dream of international stardom,” read the large display ads running in the Reader circa late 1980. Several photos of the man behind jailbait rockers ...

Filet a La Riojana

Recipe by Chef Hugo Arroyo, executive chef, Puerto la Boca (With Roberta Cotta & Carissa Sanchez) I have been a chef since 1981. A good friend of mine was a chef, and he opened a ...

It Drops in May

Circa Now won the Freedom Sessions band competition in 2008, the same year they were nominated for Best Rock Album at the San Diego Music Awards. Among the opportunities that subsequently opened for the glam-garage ...

Davit's Weird World

“I’m kinda on rock ’n’ roll probation,” says Davit Buck, of semi-defunct San Diego band the Homeless Sexuals, which at press time was scheduled to reunite its 2005 lineup on April 23 at the Ruby ...

Indie-pendent

Kristin Gundred, late of America’s Finest City, got her showbiz start singing and banging drums with San Diego hopefuls Grand Ole Party, although she refuses any party or scene affiliation now (see below). Moving to ...

Orgy of Self-Congratulation

Fore!! Callaway Golf — the big maker of golf clubs, balls, and other accoutrements — has hit an errant shot that may plunk its shareholders on the head. The blog Footnoted.org says Callaway is “taking ...

Double Cheapburger

‘Where are you?” says Carla. “You don’t want to know,” I say. “Oh no. Not…?” “Yes, I’m afraid so.” “Not Mc…aaargh! Say the name.” “Mc…Mc…McD-d-d-d…” “McDonald’s. Say it!” It feels better when I finally blurt ...

Record-Release Roundup

The Silent Comedy will throw an April 29 shindig at El Dorado to celebrate their new album Common Faults. “Last time we hosted a party there, we surprised everyone with an impromptu acoustic performance,” says ...

Ice Cream

“It’s hot,” complained Patrick. “Ice cream?” I contemplated the calories. “You know,” I said, “if I’m going to indulge, I’m going to indulge. I want something special.” I put in a call to Niederfrank’s Ice ...

Peeping Noises, Flies, Shuddering Tongues

Hey, Matt: My son and I were in the park the other day, and we heard this very, very loud peeping noise. We finally decided the peeping was coming from a squirrel. It just kept ...

Where to take my out-of-town visitors?

“They’re coming…” Carla stares at the computer screen. Her face is like a little girl’s. “That they’d come all this way,” she says, “just for my birthday. I can’t believe it.” I’m reading the email ...

Easy Does It

This restaurant is closed. Still no alcohol license, still no menu on the website, but I finally gave in — whether it was ready or not, I had to try the Big Easy. The chef/co-owner ...

Cross Church

It is not uncommon for critics of Christian moralism to note that the Bible is chock-full of deeply immoral behavior. And that was what made Sunday’s service at Cross Church so remarkable. There, in a ...

Spirit Animals Unite

Thursday 29Ska septet the Slackers lollyskank into Casbah tonight. The Brooklyn band’s been touring and recording since the early ‘90s, keeping the ska vibe and skinny tie alive with garage-rock undertones. They’re out to tout ...

Fun raising

Politics can be fun and profitable at the same time. Just ask GOP congressman Duncan Hunter. On March 29, his reelection campaign offered special seats at a Bon Jovi concert held at Verizon Center in ...

Casting call

Hopes were high for California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission last December, when nearly 30,000 applications poured in from all over the state for a seat on the 14-member board that is to draw up new boundaries ...

Avett Brothers

North Carolina brothers Scott and Seth Avett have been playing folk-inspired music as the Avett Brothers since 2000 and rock ’n’ roll in other bands before that. Through constant touring and a series of albums ...

Graham Dechter

Graham Dechter’s jazz-guitar sound is right out of the ’30s and ’40s, a musical era that he can have heard only on disc — Dechter is in his early 20s. Dechter’s phrasing is hip, confident, ...

April 22 Crossword Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 2. Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 2. Ron Akers, Sabre Springs, 2. We need a hockey team. Woody Anderson, Carmel Valley, 2. I thought that the Lone Ranger said Hi-Ho Silver? Mary Arana, ...

April 22 Brainstorm Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Pensquitas, 2. Ed Barno, San Diego, 2. Did Leo have a friend named Rex? Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 2. Relative: a person you don't want to lend money to. Ben Espe, Mission ...

April 22 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 2. Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 2. "Obama-care" was manure, allowing "tea party" to mature into party… Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 2. Faith. Hope. Love. Loren Boyer, El Cajon, 2. Finished sex-rehab. ...

Historic Papers in the Wind

Bidders at the auction of the now-dissolved James S. Copley Library, held at Sotheby’s in New York City on April 14, drove the price of a 75-word letter signed by one Button Gwinnett to a ...

Gay Cops Stay Undercover

Thirty-Five Years AgoI am (choose one or more) appalled, outraged, amazed, mystified, annoyed; at the review of the recent Frans Brueggen/Alan Curtis concert, done by one J. Saville. Although I could not attend the concert ...

Creative Concepts

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. — Oscar Wilde ‘See how calm that water looks? That’s because it’s a long exposure. ...

Nine Haiku

Spring: lovers hammering together their broken bed — So much work to do I begin by putting it off — Noticing everybody in the bar has missing teeth he leaves early — Next to the ...

Letters

What An Insult I was insulted by your article “Broken Skull, Broken Heart” (Cover Story, April 22). I was one of the physicians caring for Dorian. The derogatory depiction of his medical care and physicians ...

Stay There

I mentioned last week that I was on my way to Point Reyes. There’s a birding festival headquartered in Point Reyes Station, a small, unincorporated town set next to the park. Bird festivals are everywhere, ...

Mason Valley Truck Trail

Two hundred thirty-eight years ago, a small party led by the Spanish Colonel Pedro Fages chased after army deserters from the Presidio of San Diego, trekking through a narrow declivity known as Oriflamme Canyon on ...

Craig Stories, Act 1

Craig Noel died in his home on April third. He was 94. Friends remember the Father of San Diego Theater. THE PERSONConrad Susa, composer. Craig was my deep soul brother. I first met him at ...

Solid Geometry

Had I consented to watch my DVD screener of The Square, there would have been more than a couple of days left in its solo week at the Ken Cinema before I could say that ...

Devilution

The Casbah was the epicenter of seismic activity as Archons, Abrupt, Bison B.C., and Black Cobra conspired to collapse the Midtown venue. The night's most cataclysmic activity, however, came from Oakland’s trio of doom High ...

The "D" Word

“We thought about calling it 'soapbox derby night,' but [then] we thought 'open-mic night' might be more politically correct,” said director of City Planning and Community Investment Bill Anderson. This first open-mic meeting, held April ...

Escondido's Moral Minority

Escondido resident and president of the Chamber of Citizens, Lisa Prazeau, is calling on Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler and city councilmembers Dick Daniels, Sam Abed, and Marie Waldron to stick up for fellow councilmember Olga ...

Monday, April 26

Knife vs. Gun

Eight to ten squad cars from the San Diego Police Department raced down Alabama Street in the minutes after 11 am on April 26. The police were responding to an incident at a residence on ...

Friars Road Chase

On Sunday, April 25th around 3:30 pm a female motorist was rear ended on Friars Road while in the left turn lane to Southbound 15 by a pick-up truck with two male occupants. In their ...

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Arizona

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is located in Coolidge, Arizona, about an hour’s drive from either Phoenix or Tuscon. It’s believed that this ancient structure was occupied by one large family of the Hohokam society. ...

Americans in Cuba?

It’s easier for Americans to get to Cuba then you might think. There are several points of departure – one of the best is Cancun, Mexico, offering daily flights to Havana. With an abundance of ...

The Lindo Lake Goose

We have a delightful park here in East County San Diego known as Lindo Lake. As lakes go it's small but often visited. The walking path around the lake is approximately 1-1/2 miles and most ...

Sunday, April 25

Shift's End

The Star Bar starts to get a little crowded by noon. I went back in and all I knew was two things. I knew that Hank was broke and he would ask me for money, ...

Saturday, April 24

Tipping Them and Tipping Them

During their April 20 meeting the Chula Vista City Council approved the posting of signs prohibiting the use of alcoholic beverages at Rienstra Park. The issue first came forward from members of the South Bay ...

Six Bars Left

Tourist-tempting bars along TJ’s Avenida Revolucion have been shutting down, one by one, in rapid succession. This remarkable phenomena is due to warnings issued by the US State Department regarding the public safety aspects of ...

Craigslist Tips Them Off

A suspected burglar was arrested after a random tandem bike ride in El Cajon on April 22. The 35-year-old parolee allegedly marketed the stolen bicycle on Craigslist after the owners reported it stolen from a ...

The Shore Club's Deck

Chaos befell the April 21st Pacific Beach Town Council meeting when 35-year Pacific Beach resident Scott Chipman raised the issue of the Shore Club alcohol license/deck expansion, an issue Chipman felt was a land use ...

Watch for the Blondes

Two women broke into a home in Fletcher Hills on the morning of April 8. While the neighbors were on their way to work, two blonde women driving a white Ford F150 with gold Eddie ...

Jazz Classic

Golson is the composer of at least eight jazz classics that are played every night by jazz musicians all over the world. At age 81, he looks and plays like someone 20 years his junior. ...

Friday, April 23

Chula Vista Drag

A 17-year-old male's joy ride ended in a clash with police and a crash at a golf course just before midnight on April 20. The owners of the stolen blue Volkswagon Passat hadn't reported the ...

Wake Up the Nation

Modfather Paul Weller's influences since the Jam, the Style Council, and his solo output have been eclectic in taste but consistent in quality -- from the Who to the Modern Jazz Quartet to Steve Winwood. ...

Begged for His Life

A Vista man who befriended a fellow marijuana user reported being robbed by his new acquaintance in Vista on Thursday, San Diego County sheriff's investigators said. Officers were called to the 1200 block of Buena ...

Thursday, April 22

Fetching La Traviata

The opening performance of Verdi's La Traviata at the San Diego Opera started with a hiccup but ended on several high notes. The show was delayed due to the last-minute substitution of conductor Karen Keltner ...

Groovy Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is probably the grooviest city in the Northwest, if, for no other reason, because of the Ken Kesey statue on town square. The Chief was dead when the statue was cast, a security guard ...

Someone's Gotta Do It

Jeff Trevethan, a man living homeless in San Diego, appeared before the City Council to comment on his personal difficulties with trying to remove human waste and animal feces that remain uncleaned in the streets ...

Is This Thing On?

On Monday, April 26, San Diego's City Planning and Community Investment Department is sponsoring a "Community Plan Update Open Mic Meeting" in the Santa Fe Room of the Balboa Park Club from 6 to 9 ...

Ol' Blubber Where Art Thou?

A man carrying a large ice chest filled with ice, a large can of Crisco, a few small plastic bags, rubber gloves, and a rubber spatula. My first thought was why is this man about ...

Rumbling Rain

What one foot pedaling into and around Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach on a Wednesday evening between 3pm and 8pm might incur is some local specialty cuisine, organic pastries, unique handcrafted jewelry, jamming music, street ...

Hueso Pays Up

During the April 20 city council meeting, council president Ben Hueso agreed to purchase a prepaid parking card from a downtown San Diego resident. Brian Murphy purchased a prepaid parking card to use on downtown ...

Wednesday, April 21

Broken Skull, Broken Heart

My wheels stopped at a crack. I didn't.

Inside the Live Wire, it was dark and dingy, and the music was cranked to 11, just the way I remembered the place. Only half of the six red vinyl booths were occupied. Five friends ...

The Brutalist Bricks

"When the café doors exploded, I reacted to...reacted to you," sings Ted Leo in his nasal-core croon over James Canty's distorted guitar strum before the drums, a loping bass line, and Leo's triple guitar strum ...

High-Five Your Neighbor

The sold-out Belly Up show saw a front-row throng of doe-eyed hippy chicks in tangled hair casting quixotic glances at Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros singer Alex Ebert while eight other performers sing and ...

Wreck the Rec?

In recent months, the Lemon Grove city council has looked at ways of reducing the deficit. Projected revenues for fiscal year 2010-’11 are $11.8 million, while expenditures are projected to be $12.7 million. On April ...

From Rocking to Writing

Rock & Roll Rip-Off, the second novel in a San Diego–based rock ’n’ roll mystery trilogy, was released last week. “The first book, Rock & Roll Homicide, introduced Little Italy musician-turned-detective Jason Duffy, investigating the ...

Here's the Deal: Tin Can Ale House

The Tin Can Ale House sits near a tranny bar and a liquor store at Fifth and Fir in Banker’s Hill. Look for the mural of a giant octopus sinking a galleon. Parking isn’t a ...

The Check Will Never Be In The Mail

‘Not my responsibility’ is the answer I get wherever I turn. When a government agency incorrectly collects taxes, why will no one accept responsibility?” said Kathy Casey, as she peered through black-rimmed glasses at the ...

Damned If Do, Damned If Don’t

In the financial industry, deregulation has been a disaster. So has regulation. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. In the past decade, the big Wall Street banks have concocted one highly complex swindle ...

A Winner

The Academy Award for foreign film is historically a hard one to handicap. That’s because the voters in that category must meet the requirement of actually seeing the nominees, all five of them, in effect ...

Resistance...Now!

Thursday 22Dark prince pronoun HIM will conjure His Infernal Majesty with metal riffage at House of Blues tonight. The Finnish five-piece just released their seventh studio set for Sire called — set a spell — ...

Help Wanted

Thirty-Five Years AgoLooking for work in San Diego these days is a full-time job in itself, with all the attendant frustrations. Only the paycheck is lacking. With the state, you have a big advantage if ...

Fear the Light

The “ghosts” in Henrik Ibsen’s drama don’t go bump in the night. But they’re just as haunting. Only Mrs. Alving sees them. For 19 years she fought to keep her public image from collapsing. Pressures ...

Pecks of Pickled Peppers

Who’ll be the winner of Szechuan Idol? The two local finalists for the most authentic Szechuan food in San Diego are Ba Ren and Dede’s. After thoroughly enjoying Dede’s (reviewed 10/22/08), I was eager to ...

Cornerstone Church

“Relevant teachings by Pastor Ed Turley,” advertised the Cornerstone Church website. “If you can’t use it on Monday, he won’t say it on Sunday!” The banners hanging on the walls at the church on Sunday ...

Team-Building Republic

“It was a monumental effort and the best time we’ve had recording to date,” says Republic of Letters drummer Nick Venti on their debut album Painted Hour. “We really wanted to push our sound on ...

Hay Day

Beautiful, the fourteen-hundred-pound round bale of sweet brome the grower and I roll from the back of his truck against the usual tree. The geldings can hardly contain themselves. They smelled and came running across ...

European Procession

It’s been five months since the Black Heart Procession returned from their last European tour. Later this month, the dark knights of indie rock are taking off for another 28-date run through Europe to promote ...

Stars on Ice

“Festivals can be real freak shows,” says singer Matt Burke of electro-soul act Vokab Kompany, who just booked Irvine’s Lightning in a Bottle Festival over Memorial Day weekend. “Like, with literal freaks.” He cites as ...

April 15 Crossword Contenders

Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 1. Sheila Agahan-Price, Oceanside, 1. Ron Akers, Sabre Springs, 1. If you love NY so much go home! Woody Anderson, Carmel Valley, 1. Padres-Nice home opener but save some runs for ...

April 15 Brainstorm Contenders

* Flo Abena, Rancho Pensquitas, 1. Ed Barno, San Diego, 1. This could throw you for a loop. * Harry Chiou, Mira Mesa, 1. Happy Earth Day Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 1. Iron and steel ...

April 15 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Flo Abena, Rancho Penasquitos, 1. * Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 1. First militias were only for national defense, not states defenses! Bliss Beedle, Encinitas, 1. Never leave me. Loren Boyer, El Cajon, 1. Nice ...

Happy Pill

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. — Albert Camus I stole a glance at the elderly couple seated to my left and wondered what they were in for. Dementia? ...

Rogue Wave

“The future isn’t what it used to be,” sings Zach Rogue in “Good Morning (The Future)” from Rogue Wave’s new album, Permalight. His voice sounds high and sweet and so much like Ben Gibbard’s that ...

Earl Thomas

In Pikeville, Tennessee, near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Earl Thomas is money. It is a small town, explains his friend Michael Kinsman, and aside from a bluegrass performer or two, no one has ever made ...

Indian Creek Loop

Spring is finally arriving in upper-elevation San Diego County. At mile-high elevations you can find lingering bursts of wildflower color amid the somber pines and bright-green black oaks. For a wide-ranging introduction to this mountain ...

Letters

His Class Average Is Still Okay Up to now, Don Bauder has been doing low-A and high-B work in his columns covering the ongoing financial disaster. But in his April 15 column, he flunks the ...

I Got Punked in Tijuana

Five years after we first met in France, my dear friend Aurelie finally made good last week on her promise to visit me in America. Trotting away from the baggage claim at LAX, suitcases in ...

On the borderline

The campaign of ex–Safeco Insurance lobbyist and former assemblyman Juan Vargas, now running for state senate, got $1500 on April 5 from ex–city schools superintendent Alan Bersin. The Point Loma resident was recently named head ...

Best eaters money can buy

There may be no free lunches in this world, but free dinners are another matter, at least when the City’s bond underwriters are picking up the tab and the diner is Jay M. Goldstone, top ...

4 Hands

Keyboardist Bill Travis is a prog-inclined solo musician from Escondido. His 2009 release Eclectic Collection showcases his trippy and meandering soundcapes, which pulse and drone before exploding into Floydian bombast. Travis’s instrumental track “4 Hands” ...

Anybody Who Is Sick

“We got evicted from P.B. for having six of us living in a two-bedroom place,” says Chris Jones. “We built bunk beds to fit everybody. Our crazy-old-lady landlord lived in the backyard. She accused us ...

Animal Fat & Plant Oil, the Tooth Fairy

Dear Matthew Alice: I cook a lot, and when I do I always wonder why fat from animals, like butter or lard, are solid, but fat from plants is liquid, like olive oil or canola ...

On the Way to Pt. Reyes

If you’re driving north on I-5 and make the left turn onto I-580 heading toward the Bay Area, you may notice, just before you climb the last slight grade into Hayward, a prosperous suburb by ...

The Tijuanense Identity

Despite the fact that crime accosts daily life (we’re rather unaccustomed to guns and cadavers), some tijuanenses bicker about who is to be called a tijuanense and who is not. Is living in Tijuana enough ...

Tuesday, April 20

Spirited Debate

During last week’s mayoral debate, a potential problem for developing Chula Vista’s bayfront was revealed. In June, Chula Vistans will vote on Proposition G. Proposition G is supported by the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. ...

Earth Lovers and Baby Killers

Thousands of people flocked to Balboa Park on Sunday, April 18, to celebrate EarthFair 2010. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the celebration, billed as "The world's largest annual environmental fair" by event producer ...

Women and Country

I guess it's in their DNA. There must have been a Yiddish progenitor of Dylans Bob and his son Jakob sitting around campfires with cowpokes singing and strumming. First came Bob's "Lay Lady Lay," and ...

Monday, April 19

Rob and Run

On April 19 at approximately 11:15 a.m., robbers hit the Citibank branch located in the Rancho San Diego shopping center on Avocado Boulevard and Highway 94. With the parking lot bustling with many patrons of ...

What in the Worm?

On April 14, while walking at the edge of the water in Mission Beach, I came across a strange creature that had washed up on the sand. Unsure as to whether or not this tangerine-sized, ...

Into the Swarm

Walking at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, I neared the corner of Balboa Avenue and Kearny Villa Road and noticed a large cloud of movement. I thought they were just flies, but as I ...

Crime Prime Time Yet to Begin?

A recent article in the weekly El Informador ponders the problems inherent with the introduction of ex-cons into the general population; concern grows in Tijuana as 10 to 15 California convicts are deported daily from ...

Mount Huang, Anhui Province, China

Having two weeks to kill in China, my group of friends and I decided to brave a train/backpacking trip from Shanghai to Huangshan National Park in Anhui province. We took an overnight regional train (about ...

Sunday, April 18

Through Swirling Dust and Thunder

Twelve young ladies gathered in Ramona on April 17 to vie for one of four positions on the royal court of the 2010 Ramona Rodeo season. Through the swirling dust and thunder of pounding hooves, ...

Glacier National Park: Untouched Beauty

There are few national parks that can compare to Glacier in the northwest corner of Montana. With 13 campgrounds and over 700 miles of hiking trails, there’s no shortage of natural beauty at your fingertips. ...

Saturday, April 17

Curfew Confusion

On Friday, April 16, Sandra McBrayer from The Children's Initiative, a local nonprofit agency that "works to improve the well being of children and youth" in the county, presented the San Diego County report card ...

Get Money This Way, City

On June 4, 2008, James Olson appeared before the San Diego City Council to discuss the lack of citations issued to pet owners who bring their dogs to Pacific and Mission Beach boardwalks during restricted ...

Friday, April 16

Need More Cops

On April 15, at approximately 8:40 p.m., an SDPD van and patrol car arrived at the CVS pharmacy located on Garnet Avenue. As I approached the three officers standing in the parking lot outside the ...

Dollar Days Done?

Yellow Cab of Tijuana has hung a sign from its border cab lot to let riders know that it has halted a month-old program that offered one-dollar group-rate rides from the border to downtown. Yellow ...

For the Birds

There have been moments in Frisell's career where he may have been the most startlingly original guitarist in jazz; on this night, he sounded like Jerry Garcia on Thorazine. The concert began with 10 minutes ...

The Mashtis

What initially presents as a rather unremarkable collection of subdued sounds with thoughtful, poetic words rewards re-listens by gradually fanning out like a deck of lovingly drawn oracle cards. Guitarist/singer Itai Faierman ("storyteller" seems as ...

What's So Funny?

With a repertoire dating back to the late ’70s, Elvis Costello's stop at the Balboa Theatre featured an eclectic mix of old, new, and rare. Playing in a solo, mostly acoustic setting, the U.K.-born singer-songwriter ...

Thursday, April 15

Evil Pimp

A would-be TJ pimp was popped by the policía for “privó de libertad” (depriving of liberty) a female minor and raping her several times over a period of days in an attempt to cajole her ...

They’ve Got to Be Removed

The Sixteenth Avenue sidewalk — between Market Street and Island Avenue in the East Village — is known around the neighborhood as a hangout for the homeless. At night and on most days, they can ...

I don't know where I live

I don’t know where I live. I may know my street address; my city; my zip code, the color of my house and its location relative to the other houses on my block. I don’t ...

The Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

Do you long for an excursion into a world rich with mystery and a healthy dose of the supernatural? On a nondescript street in San Jose stands one of the most fascinating homes in the ...

Wednesday, April 14

Cortez' Compadre

Inside Centre City Development Corporation's fourth-floor meeting room on Wednesday, April 14, downtown developer Peter Janopaul took the podium to address the corporation's real estate committee. Janopaul spoke to the objections that a handful of ...

Trash-Canned

“I’m actually of Syrian descent, which as of now is still on the U.S. list of terror-encouraging countries,” says singer-songwriter Malek Zavaro. “Which is B.S.” The 30-year-old Usher-inspired crooner was in grade school when his ...

Here, Kitty Kitty

“We were originally called Kitten’s Pharmacy back in the ’90s,” says singer Kathleen “Kitten” Johnson of Pharmacy, the reunited power-pop band she cofounded with bassist Sean Siever. “Sean had a lot of music history and ...

In San Diego, I can plant almost any grape I think will work, and nobody's going to call me crazy

1. Beginnings When Miles the wannabe novelist sets out for his winey holiday in Sideways — the film that did for California Pinot Noir what E.T. did for Reese’s Pieces (kids, ask your parents) — ...

Double Standard, AJIZZAREALISM, and Greg Gibson

Artist: Double StandardSong: “Rock and Roll Is Evil” Heard by: Matt Ward, Normal HeightsIt had a late-’70s kind of rock sound. I kept thinking of a lot of bands like Diamond Head, Motörhead — the ...

Four and Sixty

“The world is so strange,” says Lauren Kinhan, the “new girl” of New York Voices who has been with the quartet for 18 of its 22 years. Kinhan and the other three members have almost ...

Big Iron

Chris and Becky Brown, owners of Oceanside’s Fire Water Saloon and Pier View Pub, are set to host downtown Oceanside’s Big Iron Music Festival, a ten-hour event boasting “babes, bands, beer, bikes, and booze.” “The ...

Scads

We seem to have entered a brief period of frenzy between the pre-Oscar stasis and the slow summer pace of one blockbuster per week. I’m keeping up as best I can. Kick-Ass. Alias Smart-Ass, a ...

Bounty Hunters

Thirty-Five Years AgoTwo of the most popular recovery agents around San Diego are these two black guys named Mike and Bill. (Anonymity is so important to them that Mike’s business card says only “Mike.”) They ...

Almost Famous Assassin

“Vinnie Cavarra and I both worked at Guitar Trader,” remembers Thom Beebe, “and we were talking to [KGB DJ] Jim McInnes about forming a band. We were going to do a spoof on [’80s-era club ...

Lakeside Christian Church

I arrived early for the 10:40 a.m. contemporary service at Lakeside Christian Church; Bible study was just finishing up its session in the dim adobe (!) church. (The two arched alcoves in the sanctuary were ...

Dry Clean Green

“I’m noticing more and more dry cleaners using ‘green’ cleaners, or organic cleaners,” says friend Bernice. “Does that mean I need to set aside more money for dry cleaning?” “By 2023,” explains gal-pal Sarah, “the ...

No Place for Sissies

The young and still-untamed St. Augustine supposedly said it: “Oh God, make me chaste, but not yet.” That should be the City of San Diego’s slogan. In February of 2008, independent budget analyst Andrea Tevlin, ...

Surprise! A Present from Sempra

When the October 2007 Witch Creek fire, which began northeast of Ramona, advanced as far as Kim Crosser’s address in Rancho Santa Fe, there was a chance to save his home. It didn’t happen. Afterwards, ...

Treed Cats, "Good" Money, Quicksand

Heymatt: If cats are smart enough to get up a tree, why aren’t they smart enough to get down again? — Cat Fancier, via email Well, actually they can get back down again. They just ...

April 8 Crossword Contenders

Charlotte Brown, Clairemont, 14. I did it! Marvin A Brown, Clairemont, 14. Happy birthday Marie. Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 14. The lesser of two evils?-Pick the one you haven't tried. Betsy Cory, Chula Vista, 14. ...

April 8 Brainstorm Contenders

Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 6. Temptation doesn't knock-I gave it my door key Glenn A. Walker, Pacific Beach, 6. Another test? Again, not really a puzzle. * Ed Barno, San Diego, 5. Palmisty could come ...

April 8 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 14. When ground shakes, means another quake, has rocked our state Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 14. Living with a saint is living hell. Alford Claiborne, Encanto, 14. Hard was evil ...

Patriotic Swill

Friday, April 9, 10:01 p.m. Maybe seven partygoers have arrived at Carlos’s house on Esther and El Cajon Boulevard. Jason plays a song by the Asylum Street Spankers on the piano while I stock the ...

Two poems by Kim Addonizio

On Opening a Book of Photographs I look at them until I feel immune, a pile of bodies photographed by Lee Miller, nineteen forty-five, their strewn limbs, at first random, now obviously framed — four ...

Dum Dum Girls

The Dum Dum Girls look cool, like a 1960s Catholic-school girl gang hiding switchblades behind their Danelectro guitars. But let’s talk about how they sound. From their earliest home-recorded singles in 2008, the Dum Dum ...

Rafter Roberts

Sounding as free-spirited as Brian Wilson and as tight as anything from the Tom Tom Club, Animal Feelings — the latest from Rafter Roberts — comes off like a white guy’s take on Parliament-Funkadelic, a ...

Fisherman's Camp Loop

After the series of rainstorms we experienced this past winter season, Riverside County’s San Mateo Canyon is brimming with a cold, sparkling stream. The surrounding hillsides (all a part of the Cleveland National Forest) have ...

Comebacks

Comebacks from illness, comebacks from addiction, comebacks from a broken heart, comebacks from lousy parents… Then, there are sports comebacks, and more rarified still, professional, big-time, sports comebacks. A great comeback requires a great fall. ...

Letters

Best Story Ever Man, this is the best story ever — “Want to Be Sent Home in Pieces?” (Cover Story, April 8). I give you guys a ten. Dr. Greenthumbvia voicemail Loved “Pieces” I just ...

Nearly New York

“Real pizza?” says Jeremiah. “The first five years I was out here, I had it flown in from New York.” Good Lord. Some guy in South Park is having his pizzas flown in from the ...

Upside Down in the Crescent City

About six months ago, “Tin Fork’s” Ed Bedford reviewed Indigo Café and liked it. He mentioned that half the dinner menu consisted of New Orleans classics but tried none of them, sticking to the real ...

Hot in the City

My boyfriend asked me why women think firemen are sexy, so I explained the pole theory: Men love women who slide down poles, and women love men who slide down poles. Subject dropped. — Terri ...

Live Fast and Die Beautiful

Thursday 15I’d say you got to go see Los Angelino psych-folk ensemble Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes up at Belly Up, but the show’s done sold out. I guess you could go stand on ...

Music Man's World

Larry Zeiger says it was he who gave pop star Adam Lambert his first studio break. Lambert, who graduated from Mount Carmel High School in Rancho Peñasquitos in 2000, recorded a song for Zeiger’s musical ...

Lost Playground

A temporary fence was installed last month around the playground at Pier View South (south of the pier) to keep the kids off of the equipment. Winter storms resulted in lost sand and revealed the ...

Three-Legged Race

Dozens of Chula Vista residents gathered inside a small auditorium at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library on April 12 to witness the three candidates for mayor -- incumbent Cheryl Cox, councilmember Steve Castaneda, and ...

Monday, April 12

Coffee Party Pooper

The San Diego chapter of the Coffee Party drew close to 100 people to a discussion with Democratic congressman Bob Filner on April 11 at Queen Bee's Art and Cultural Center in North Park. Attendees ...

Tippy Truck

On April 12, a little before 2:00 p.m., the driver of a construction truck with a heavy load of concrete and wood debris failed to negotiate the curve of the Broadway off-ramp from eastbound highway ...

Shards of Mayhem

Diminutive, 68-year-old Polish free-jazzman Tomasz Stanko led a new quintet of 30-something Scandinavians through a thoughtful, occasionally fiery 90-minute set. Stanko has come a long way from when he was initially dismissed as a Lester ...

Malaikat Dan Singa

"Dammit people, I am NOT up here casting spells!" my band teacher often brayed when rehearsals got stuck. Arrington de Dionyso, though, just might be casting spells. Sure sounds like it. He sings everything on ...

New York Voices

When was the last time you went to the symphony to hear an electric guitar riffing over the orchestra? Or a conductor introducing a musical number in a tunefully improvised a capella (when he isn't ...

Savannah, Georgia

I was pressed for time. Only one afternoon to enjoy historic Savannah. So no museums. No carriage rides. No pints at the local pubs. Only one option: Walk around. But somehow this was enough. I ...

Sunday, April 11

Absolute Zero

On their debut prog-y concept album, Louisiana-based metal quartet Tetrafusion dare to depict the life of the universe -- sans vocals! Not only are they up to the task, they have created a tour de ...

Volume Two

Actress Zooey Deschanel has nailed a role that legitimizes her as a singer-songwriter, not just some hipster starlet testing her cred. Backed by songsmith M. Ward, She & Him's new LP is loaded with stripped ...

Funny, Microtonalism

The eight members of the Hutchins Consort schlepped their fiddles to the Encinitas Public Library to give a demonstration of microtonalism. They play instruments built by the late Dr. Carleen Hutchins to cover the entire ...

Saturday, April 10

Go Slow: Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker is a sleepy backwater island nestled between the Belize coast and Belize Barrier Reef. With warm waters, cool breezes and friendly locals, it’s a little slice of Caribbean paradise – too small to ...

Jerry Said “No”

About 75 people attended an April 10 meeting of the San Diego chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) at the WorldBeat Center. "We're going to start pushing a lot ...

Pedicabs in Peril

J. Howard, a pedicab driver from downtown San Diego, spoke before the San Diego City Council during the public comment portion of their April 6 meeting: “We’re talking about one death that was listed as ...

Super Outreach

San Diego Unified School District's search for a new superintendent continues. On April 8, nearly 50 educators, parents, and school district staff assembled inside Porter Elementary School's auditorium in southeast San Diego for the first ...

Thursday, April 8

Wake Up, Speak Up

The sole action item on the April 7 agenda of the park committee responsible for the governance of Kate Sessions Park was a proposed change to the park’s current 12-hour alcohol ban to a 24-hour ...

Insane...Mindless Bureaucracy

A lack of overnight parking spaces on Eureka Place near Holiday Park has been troubling residents in the area. Dean Russell, who resides in a nearby apartment, has been trying to convince the City to ...

Lights, Camera, Inaction

For two years, Ed Kravitz, webmaster for Imperial Beach government watchdog website saveIB.com, has fought with city officials over streaming Imperial Beach City Council meetings on his website. When I.B. city councilmembers and Mayor Jim ...

Suspect Solution

A massive proposal for Chula Vista’s bayfront will leap forward on May 4, when an amendment to the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan and final environmental impact report go before San Diego port commissioners. The ...

Wednesday, April 7

Avenue of the Giants, California

The bus spit me out in the small lumber town of Rio Dell. It was nearly 3 p.m., but the weather was fair and my demeanor expansive. I called my mom and ate a few ...

Gang Mentality

“I say a lot of crazy shit that pisses people off,” says Tha Core front man Crhymes, “so regular radio isn’t gonna play my shit. DagoSD.com goes out totally uncensored to around 60,000 hip-hop peeps ...

Jerry’s money

This March 26, as in years past, San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders filed an annual Statement of Economic Interests, required under state law, listing something called Maxxum Equity Fund, which the statement identifies as a ...

VNV Nation

Euro futurepop duo VNV Nation picks up where New Wave left off, but the VNV approach adds weight and heft to the otherwise limp-wristed dreck that pop radio drowned in back in the ’70s and ...

Cheap Trick

On a recent episode of the radio show Sound Opinions, rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis talked about the brilliance and occasional cheesiness of Cheap Trick. To illustrate the former, they mentioned phenomenal classics ...

April 1 Sudoku Contenders

Evil Joe Arbusto, Rancho Penasquitos, 13. "Manufacturing, commodities, jobs, rebuilding infrastructure must return 2 our shores !" Loren Boyer, El Cajon, 13. RNC took the whole front row of my favorite club! Jean Bradley, Spring ...

April 1 Brainstorm Contenders

* Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 5. I am absolutely intolerant of intolerance and moral absolutism. * Douglas Meyers, La Mesa, 5. Specific expertise or Googling does not a good puzzle make! Thelma Strickland-Hicks, Del Mar, ...

April 1 Crossword Contenders

Charlotte Brown, Clairemont, 13. Happy birthday, Janet. * Marvin A Brown, Clairemont, 13. Common-gimme a shirt!! Joseph Ciprian, Little Italy, 13. Why'd the tulip marry the mushroom?-He was a fungi. Betsy Cory, Chula Vista, 13. ...

No Dragons

Cygnet Theatre is fast becoming Sondheim Central. Their Little Night Music captivated audiences, they are stage reading/singing Passion on April 12 and 13, and their current Sweeney Todd threatens to blow out the doors at ...

Action Man

“Look at my boys!” says David Dadon. His son Barry is busy at the cash register. Jacob’s in the kitchen. “Barry’s the business genius,” David says. “Jacob’s the chef. He graduated at the top of ...

Media Hawk, April

Zero Tolerance, Few Details Apparently, some of the kids at Thurgood Marshall Middle School held a “Bring Your Guns to School Day” on Thursday, March 18, but the administrators were less than impressed with the ...

For Deora

“I’ve been doing benefit concerts for the past few years for the Flight 93 Memorial project,” says Greg Keiling. “One of my good friends, a person I used to work with, was a passenger. Her ...

Bake the Tapes

Seventies punk band the Cardiac Kidz are back at it. “We’ve been rehearsing for a month, just to see what comes of it,” said singer-drummer Jim Ryan. Other original members include guitarists Billy Williams (rhythm) ...

Bouillabaisse

Recipe by Fabrice Hardel, executive chef, Westgate Hotel. I’ve been cooking since I was a teenager and have worked all over the world. I started cooking in France and then England and then worked in ...

The Pack Represents

Dude, your band’s from where? Ah, yes, the local music coverage angle that never quits: debate over claimed/perceived/insufficient geographic affiliation. San Diego CityBeat scribe Todd Kroviak weighed in last Wednesday (3/31) with a column entitled ...

Jehovah's Witnesses Bancroft Congregation

Boys dressed in suits and ties greeted me at the door to the Lamar Kingdom Hall on the evening of March 30. Inside were more boys in suits and ties and girls in dresses, all ...

Two poems by Nicanor Parra

Acacias Strolling many years ago Down a street taken over by acacias in bloom I found out from a friend who knows everything That you had just gotten married. I told him that I really ...

Right Between the Hits

Thirty-Five Years AgoCarlos Santana sauntered quietly onto the stage of the Sports Arena. A sole purple spotlight centered on his diminutive frame as he bowed for five seconds in silent meditation. Santana, resplendent in an ...

Swimming Pools and Chlorine

“Mommy, my eyes don’t hurt!” My ten-year-old had just finished a three-hour session in a neighbor’s pool and, lo and behold, her eyes were not red, not stinging. “It’s because I have a saltwater pool,” ...

Poet of Joy

By the 1880s, Renoir was well established and well to do. He’d already fought what he called les combats de l’impressionisme and triumphed as the impressionist with the most glamorous palette, the sunniest disposition, and ...

Shooters

This year’s prize for most unusual source of income reported by a member of the San Diego City Council has to go to the Seventh District’s Marti Emerald, who reports selling her “personal gun collection” ...

Road to the poorhouse

Two weeks ago the South Bay Expressway, run by a subsidiary of Australia’s Macquarie Infrastructure Group, filed for bankruptcy, a victim of high gas prices and generally recessionary times. But before it went officially broke, ...

Anniversary Issue

Today marks 20 years writing this column. Follows is where it started, taken from a column I wrote in April of 1990. *** The jukebox plays, I had a girl, Donna was her name, followed ...

Want to Be Sent Home in Pieces?

At 3:39 a.m. on January 7, 2007, Columbia Street was almost deserted. Little Italy had been plagued with car burglaries — “It got where you couldn’t drive too many of the streets down there without ...

Los Peñasquitos Lagoon

Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, one of San Diego County’s largest coastal wetlands, spreads far and wide in Sorrento Valley, between La Jolla and Torrey Pines. Nearly all of this marshy area belongs to Torrey Pines State ...

Letters

Beatle Booster Thanks much for the short piece on Brian Ellis (“Boundless,” Music, April 1). One thing I have learned from decades of reading music journalism is that performers who publicly disrespect the Beatles are ...

Lend Me a Fiver

Thursday 8The China Invasion tour, featuring garage-pop trio Carsick Cars, hits town tonight. The Beijing band’s ‘07 s/t debut caught the eye, er, ear of Thurston Moore, and the cats played some dates with SY ...

Forget the Titans

Something to live for (now that March Madness has passed): the new Alain Resnais film, Wild Grass, new as of the Cannes film festival last May, has popped up on the Landmark schedule for the ...

Stoners Now Rockin'

“Drugs used to do for me what a phone booth did for Superman,” says Gary Lee Ernst, singer and guitarist for Christian rockers In the Midst 777. “I was in and out of jail about ...

Life as Workweek

It is an age-old cliché that when in the process of shuffling off this mortal coil, one’s entire life flashes before one’s inner vision (“eyes,” they say, but I assume “inner eye” is what is ...

Where the Wild Things Are

Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings. — Evan Esar The sky was clear and the air was an agreeable 68 degrees — ideal conditions for visiting the zoo. When I ...

Broke Cities (including this one)

Those euro-zone countries get everything backward — working to live instead of living to work. That’s what we smug Americans think. Take Greece. It has promised too much too soon to its pensioners, whose average ...

Sly Smart-Meter Swap-Out

Chris Faust thinks San Diego Gas & Electric’s approach to installing the new, much-ballyhooed smart meters isn’t “smart.” In fact, he alleges, it’s dishonest — part of the utility’s campaign to raise rates whenever possible ...

Tuesday, April 6

Chelsea's Voice

On March 30 at 6:30 p.m., a large crowd of people gathered at the Maranatha Chapel in Rancho Bernardo for a public forum hosted by Kelly and Brent King, the parents of murdered teen Chelsea ...

Tijuana Temblor Report

When that 7.2 earthquake shook Tijuana on Easter Sunday at around 3:35 p.m., this reporter was crossing the Tijuana River on the pedestrian bridge. Upon reaching the upper deck on the western side of the ...

Apocalypse Youth

In a March BeatCrave interview, Lanterns guitarist-vocalist Lowell Heflin expressed the band's collective admiration for the Ramones and the Clash, then went on to share how the local foursome got "really hard..." into Sonic Youth ...

Boom Boom Pow

The Black Eyed Peas opened their 17-song set with, appropriately enough, "Let's Get It Started," and the song got the job done, as it just got better from there. Fergie was given the stage to ...

The Mercury Albums Anthology

So maybe manager Kim Fowley did want to sheath them in transparent togs and call the whole thing statutory rape. That's one of many myths you won't find addressed in Bud Scoppa's liner notes, settling ...

You Feeling?

Lord Howler played their third show to a crowded Bar Pink. A Flying V and a left-handed Les Paul harmonized leads over driving, Van Halen bass. “Let's get it on!” Front man Charlie says. “This ...

More Meter Management

A year has elapsed since Mayor Sanders last pushed the Parking Utilization Plan, an initiative to increase parking rates and extend hours of enforcement of the city's parking meters. In Hillcrest, residents and business owners ...

Monday, April 5

Ushuaia, Argentina: the End of the World

Paddling and swimming in the cool waters, the white tuxedoed chests of the Gentoo and Magellan penguins are at home near the southernmost part of the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. The capital of Argentina’s Tierra del ...

Sunday, April 4

Wave of Concern

On April 2 at 12:30 p.m., I witnessed an adult male physically abuse his son, who was about two years old; a second, seven- or eight-year-old son was also present at the Wave House in ...

Congratulations

If MGMT's first album, Oracle Spectacle, was fine wine, then sophomore set Congratulations comprises the dregs. The album lacks the pop appeal and cocaine bass lines that commercial radio has become addicted to. The nine ...

Saturday, April 3

Desert Treasure

Deep in the rugged expanse of Carrizo Gorge in the Anza-Borrego Desert, there is a small cave with pictographs that few have ever seen. The area is surrounded by large unstable mountains, choked with catclaw, ...

Found: More Downtown Parking

Downtown San Diego has earned a reputation for having little street parking available when you need it. When a “Public Parking” sign appeared last week at the driveway of a privately owned lot on Tenth ...

20-Year-Old Male + Slingshot = Trouble

A man flagged down SDSU police near the corner of Campanile Drive and Montezuma Road on the morning of March 31. He told officers that possibly a bullet had shattered his right passenger window as ...

Bring on the Freaks

Rolling Stone recently pronounced freak folk dead. Perhaps, but no one told Devendra Banhart. Charismatic, unpretentious, waif-like, and prone to effeminate arm flailing, Banhart culled songs from his past, most of his latest release, What ...

Delphi: Sanctuary of the Ancient Greeks

In the shadow of Mount Parnassus amid olive, pine and cypress trees stands one of the truly sacred spots of the ancient world. About 2,000 feet above sea level, Delphi is one of the best ...

Thursday, April 1

Fool's Day Swim

On a beautiful April 1 at Sunset Cliffs, where Osprey Street meets the sea, two teenage girls leaped from a well-known rock ledge and into the water. With the strong waves consistently crashing into the ...

Not Satisfying, Not Delicious

He's the original Willy Wonka, the reluctant Dr. Frankenstein, and the sassy, drunk "Waco Kid." Gene Wilder, on a tour to promote the release of his newest book (What Is This Thing Called Love?), made ...

When the Sex Stopped

A health-department raid on “hooker bars” in TJ’s Zona Norte and in eastern Tijuana pulled some 230 sex workers out of circulation early on March 30. The surprise raids occurred en masse at around 1:30 ...

Springfield, Illinois: the Hidden State Capital

Presented with a two-hour delay for my Springfield flight, I made the best decision that any rational person of age would: I paid a friendly visit to the airport pub. “Where are you from?” I ...

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