Everyone's a Critic

We pay up to $25 for CD reviews and up to $100 for concert reviews published in our print edition. Web-only publication pays $10 for CD reviews; $20 for concerts (+$5 for photo).

Barb Jungr's Hard Rain

Some of the righteous ones, this season, hurt to listen to. Barb Jungr’s been threshing splendor out of Dylan, Cohen, and a few others, many seasons now, and so this one comes acutely calibrated. She ...

Buzzcocks leave Belly Up breathless

English punk band the Buzzcocks performed a blistering set before an enthusiastic audience at the Belly Up Tavern. The club was packed with a mix of scene veterans who remember the band from its original ...

The Zeros score big

Local punk pioneers play The Thing at Bar Pink

“We’re the Zeros from Chula Vista, California,” said punk-rock pioneer Javier Escovedo to a packed and sweaty crowd during a “Music Thing” showcase at Bar Pink. Despite their show of local pride and deep San ...

Vance Joy's Dream Your Life Away

After hearing the catchy, upbeat song “Riptide,” fans of Vance Joy have been awaiting the Aussie’s debut album. Dream Your Life Away will please followers of his four released songs that have been circling the ...

Ty Segall is the Manipulator

Using equal measures of psychedelia and sonic breathlessness, Bay Area–based singer/songwriter Ty Segall evokes a new California dream with Manipulator. At 17 tracks, Manipulator is massive, yet light as air with an effervescent ’60s vibe. ...

The Baseball Project swings through town

Veteran-rocker supergroup slides into Soda Bar

The Baseball Project squeezed in a San Diego show before the end of the regular 2014 MLB season. The lineup for this evening featured the usual gunslingers, Scott McCaughey and Steve Wynn, alternating lead guitar ...

Atmosphere: Beats, rhymes, alcohol & women

Fight Night at the House of Blues

My last trip to catch Atmosphere at the House of Blues some five years back marked the last time I would see the enigmatic wordsmith Eyedea perform before his untimely death. Following inspired sets from ...

Fifty years of Zombies

English rock act wows House of Blues crowd with career retrospective

Sixties psychedelic pop band the Zombies received a hero’s welcome when they took the stage at the House of Blues for a 21-song set. While the venue seemed half full, the crowd more than made ...

Billy Hart's One Is the Other

“He’s not a metronome,” volunteered one of my resident jazz experts on Billy Hart, age 73, who’s logged time with Wes Montgomery, Stan Getz, Chico Freeman, and three of Miles Davis’s straightest-up hardest-rockin’ sets. And ...

Millsted's Harlem

After some bumps in the road, Millsted, a noise-punk band from Brooklyn, have hit their hardcore stride with this year’s Harlem. Vocalist Kevin Uffre is at full throttle here, and his manic shredding is matched ...

Grunge heaven, Chula Vista

I spent a small fortune on some good tickets to the Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails concert at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre. And those pricey tickets were worth every penny! If only to hear Nine ...

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition

The misogyny trilogy still rankles, lyric-wise anyway, although “All the Girls Love Alice,” which can’t even decide if Alice’s customers rank with the young girls or “middle-aged dykes,” seems to have grown some cred of ...

Sonics still got it

Garage classics wear 'em out at the Irenic

Self-described mod band the Bassics has been hugging the stage since Mrs. Magician’s set flared out. MM continues to enhance River Cuomo’s slack; slamming out catchy tunes about shopping malls and VCRs. But that’s not ...

Carnival of danger

Our border reporter braves a new Tijuana punk fest

“Someone will die,” posted Carlos Arreguin on his Facebook page minutes before the Carnavalito Peligroso I music festival began at Plaza Fiesta. The singer of the power-violence band Calafia Puta was one of the organizers ...

Hypnotic Eye, subtle thunder

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' latest rings the Billboard bell at number one

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 13th studio release is a hard-rocking, well-written gem. Petty’s first (ever!) number-one-selling record on the Billboard charts. Though a seasoned veteran, Petty’s voice sounds as fresh and rebellious as it ...

Arcade Fire lights up a Chula Vista night

Canada band encourages dress-up and dancing

On a cool August night in Chula Vista, Arcade Fire performed to an audience that ranged from children in animal costumes to hip grandparents and every kind of character, weirdo, and geek in between. Although ...

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