Everyone's a Critic

Point Loma Opera Theatre's radio operetta

Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief is cheeky, clever, and sometimes funny

Having gone on an unscheduled rant about opera and higher education let us return to the performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief by Point Loma Opera Theatre. Director, Jordan Miller, ...

Depeche Mode — bleeding black hearts upon their sleeves

English alt-rock band gets in the Spirit of the times

In a world that seems to be crumbling, where the bad guys have won and are beginning to remake the planet to fit their greedy agendas, art has become more valuable than ever. With their ...

Umphrey's McGee hypnotizes Observatory

Reeling in the years with the progressive jam band

As far as concert performances go, Umphrey’s McGee can run hot and cold. Sunday night, they were on fire. Normally reminiscent of a free-form rock group like Phish, Umphrey’s McGee brought their sound down to ...

A deep performance at the La Jolla Symphony

Verdi Requiem has the power to move us

As the text “libera me” hung in the air no one applauded. The tone evaporated and still no one applauded. I was sitting on my hands because I was caught up in the sacred feminine ...

Fanclub lets the flannel fly

Scottish alt-rockers Teenage Fanclub deliver the hits and Here to Belly Up

Touring in support of their 2016 album, Here, the Scottish alt-rock band Teenage Fanclub marched into the Belly Up and delivered a set composed of fan favorites. Fittingly, the band started with “Start Again” off ...

Minus the Bear, minus the freshness

Seattle indie act's Voids is void a new formula

Let’s make this clear: “indie rock” is a sterile phrase. And whether you want to use it to refer to lo-fi Sonic Youth-offshoot noise bands, ’80s revival — “Hey, look we use synths!” — bands, ...

Shins return to sound if not form

Indie rockers' Heartworms better than the band on this night

The Shins’ return to San Diego after a five-year hiatus — for two nights at the Observatory — was special for more reasons than just the long absence and mini residency. To start, for many ...

Return of the Gold Dust Woman

Stevie Nicks and Pretenders pack the house at Viejas

Stevie Nicks fans waited in anticipation for months after an extension of Nicks's 2016 tour was announced last fall. When her show arrived in San Diego at SDSU’s Viejas Arena on March 2, the performers ...

H.P. Lovecraft churned out fiends

Fungi From Yuggoth and Other Poems read by William E. Hart

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) lived whenever possible in Providence, Rhode Island (although a short-lived marriage dragged him scraping and screeching to NYC for a jaunt). He grated through poverty, obscurity, frustration, nursing his personal obsessions ...

A childlike concert at San Diego Symphony

How do you make Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 fresh and new?

When it comes to concerts of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, the one turned out by the San Diego Symphony on March 4 was special. Never in my life could I have imagined anyone conducting like ...

Dave Wakeling beats back the storm

The English Beat hits with the hits

Despite a torrential downpour, fans packed the Belly Up in Solana Beach for a fun-filled evening with the English Beat. Just shy of his 61st birthday, Dave Wakeling acted like an old-time vaudevillian as he ...

Alison Krauss's woeful Windy City

...your grandma will probably love it

There exists a battle in the arts: the duality of the pure and the commodity; the passion and the product. This, certainly, is no different with records. There are ingenious albums, those that have the ...

Slim Cessna's hillbilly hootenanny

Gothic Americana act takes Soda Bar a little higher

How does one begin to describe Slim Cessna’s Auto Club? The band, forming 25 years ago in Denver, defies categorization, though many have tried. Some have labeled their sound — a wickedly enchanting mix of ...

Ryan Adams writes freely on Prisoner

The singer/songwriter's latest takes on heartache with '80s guitar cheese

We’ve seen a variety of outfits from singer/songwriter Ryan Adams throughout his expansive career. Never shy of being experimental, if you are able to get past the dismay of his Taylor Swift cover album, we ...

Don't sleep on Iron Reagan

Crossover Ministry's a political pizza party

Dropping two weeks after the inauguration of Donald Trump, crossover thrashers Iron Reagan’s new record, Crossover Ministry, couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Eschewing the typical pizza-party fare of many crossover bands (with ...

Blind Boys of Alabama still hungry after 80 years

"The Blind Boys of Alabama like to eat."

Maybe someone warned him about the Belly Up Tavern’s location in laid-back Solana Beach. Maybe it was the venue’s seated-show setup. Maybe it was because his group was playing on a Sunday night. Whatever it ...

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