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).

Cheek to Cheek, by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

Cool crooner and shock popper an unlikely, entertaining pair

In a smoky, darkened nightclub, the stage is bare save for two figures singing in the gloom. A woman sits playfully at a piano as her partner sips a scotch on the rocks and smiles ...

Kasabian rattles the rafters at House of Blues

(1) Kasabian likes their drums really loud. (2) Kasabian likes their bass even louder. That being said, people really got into Kasabian’s set as they moved to the hard beats that this British six-piece can ...

Lorde rains in the Open Air

New Zealand teen sensation applies herself at SDSU

At 17, Lorde may not quite yet be old enough for college, but if the native New Zealander eventually decides to attend in the U.S., don’t be surprised to find her at San Diego State ...

Paperback Ghosts, by Comet Gain

Another engaging chapter by the British indie folkies

With Comet Gain's seventh album, Paperback Ghosts, the British indie-pop band stays true to its soaring folk and soul melodies with honest, straightforward lyrics. The album was inspired by the changes of autumn — specifically, ...

The Kooks cut two ways at House of Blues

If fans who turned out for the Kooks’ sold-out show at the House of Blues weren’t sure whether the British indie-rock band’s recent turn toward a more danceable sound was an accident, drummer Alexis Nunez’s ...

Erasure's Violet Flame

Vince Clarke promises us a disco extravaganza on this tour, and truth to advertising, this new set’s got plenty of shake. The slip-sliding slightly less-than-booming bass beat, a legacy from the new EDM and the ...

Prince's Plectrumelectrum

His royal badness is back and rockin' yo ass

Songwriter, producer, guitarist, and one of the hardest-working men in modern music, Prince, this week released two powerhouse albums, the solo Art Official Age (reviewed in a companion piece) and Plectrumelectrum, with his band 3RDEYEGIRL. ...

Prince's Art Official Age

Two new Prince records reviewed

The dichotomy of Prince’s sensual, yet electronically futuristic solo album Art Official Age reflects the artist’s inner search for happiness as he tries to adapt to a changing world. The opener, “Art Official Cage,” is ...

McCartney: “Out There,” right here

The "cute" Beatle lights up East Village with song and sparklers

A crowd of 42,000 people descended on East Village and packed Petco Park for Paul McCartney's "Out There" tour. It was a sold-out wall-to-wall love fest. Concertgoers looked blissed out over getting the chance to ...

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 ...

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