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Anaheim-based rapper Phora gets real in the Voodoo Room

Phora connected with fans, his “family” to use his words, with intimacy in the House of Blues’ Voodoo Room. At a time in hip-hop when artists are preoccupied with describing often fictitious material possessions and ...

Miguel's provocative Wildheart might make you blush

The Grammy-winning R&B artist takes the stage at the Observatory on Tuesday, September 1

Warning: listening to Miguel’s Wildheart in mixed company might make you blush. On his third album, the R&B raconteur advances from 2012’s sultry, Grammy-winning “Adorn” to “the valley,” a triple-X homage to SoCal’s porn capital. ...

If tears were good luck, Morrissey would be rich

Oh wait, he is rich — a report from night number one at the Observatory

Given his penchant for last-minute show cancellations, the last thing that San Diegans with Morrissey tickets wanted to see four hours before show time was an e-mail with “Event Update” in the subject line. Thankfully, ...

Metz concerts not for the weak-stomached

Canadian noise-rock trio mercilessly pummels a Casbah crowd

A live performance by the Canadian noise-rock trio Metz is a force to be reckoned with; in fact, it’s not something that can be handled by the weak stomached. Metz is a band that plays ...

Dr. Dre is still in the game

Is Compton the comeback record of the year?

You may wonder, What does a 50-year-old millionaire have to write and rap about? On his first album in 16 years, Compton, Dr. Dre realizes youth is behind him and doesn’t try to portray himself ...

Bingo Ringo, by Half Japanese

Jad Fair's back with more of the lo-fi irreverence he's famous for

When noise-punk band Half Japanese formed in a Maryland bedroom in 1975, Kurt Cobain was just a kid. But by Nirvana’s In Utero tour in 1993, Cobain had sought Half Japanese as openers. Since its ...

Thievery Corporation sets the pace at Del Mar

World-music group bridges the divide between the elites and the cheap seats

In an elite atmosphere, bohemia gathered. On a recent Friday at the Del Mar Racetrack the unlikely mélange of horseracing and the anti-fascist world music of Thievery Corporation created a temporal space in which one ...

Kate Pierson's Guitars and Microphones

B-52s singer's new solo record revolves around positive activism

“Mister Sister,” hymn to a cross-dressing or possibly transgendered “you” who escapes to “everyone’s party wish list,” makes even more sense in the wake of the Surpreme Court decision in June, which applied specifically to ...

Headtripping with Tame Impala

The Australian psych-rock band brings its Currents tour through town

The Observatory in North Park continued its winning streak of knockout concerts by playing host to Australia’s Tame Impala on a sweltering August night. It was yet another sellout show for the venue, and the ...

Another One by Mac DeMarco

Indie hit's mini-LP burbles with drowning keys

Short and sweet is Mac Demarco’s Another One. Recorded in his New York apartment, you feel at home with melodic songwriting and romantic forget-me-nots. The eight-song “mini-LP” owns the typical joyful quirkiness of its predecessors, ...

Adolescents full of fire

Skate-punk mainstays run the 35-year gamut of hits

Orange County skate-punk band the Adolescents always puts on an energetic show, even after 35 years of running the gamut of punk hits. The band was full of fire as they played tune after tune ...

Blackalicious bounce into Belly Up

Gift of Gab kept the crowd hyped, showed how he earned his moniker

DJ Artistic and Sleeping Giant Music are known for high-quality hip-hop artists they hand select. Tonight was no different, as veteran hip-hop duo Blackalicious rocked an enthusiastic crowd in Solana Beach’s Belly Up Tavern. Emcee ...

Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves

Country singer follows up her Grammy winning debut with wit and wisdom

Despite her sweet melodies, Kacey Musgraves wrote about one bleak way of life on her 2013 record Same Trailer, Different Park. The record brought her Grammy awards and with them the pressure to be the ...

Tame Impala's new Currents

Australian psych-rockers squeeze fresh juice from synths

Back with John Lennon-esque vocals and dreamy, psychedelic overtones, Tame Impala returns with their third LP, Currents. The Australian natives have a knack for creating music that is both retro and remarkably modern and relevant. ...

Rocket men

Astronauts, etc launch at Seven Grand

Anthony Ferraro deserves a mighty high-five for coming up with a band name so perfectly representative of the music he creates. His five-piece band, Astronauts, etc, specializes in the mellow, spaced-out pop that AIR has ...

Wild Nights by Pins

British female band Pins pines for love lost by rocking a second solid studio effort

The British band Pins works the smooth and jagged angles that intersect dream-pop, shoegaze, and garage punk to create a stylized sophomore record. Wild Nights thematically glorifies universal moments of lust and danger; later, when ...

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