Everyone's a Critic

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 ...

Borderland Noise

Keeping Tijuana weird

The second installment of Borderland Noisefest landed at La Caja Fuerte, a newer venue in the art and culture passageway of Pasaje Rodriguez, Tijuana. Featuring bands and projects from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tijuana, ...

Ladies and gentlemen, Leon Bridges

Debut Coming Home is a triumph of Soul

Soul to soothe the soul. That’s what Coming Home, the debut album of 25-year-old Leon Bridges, is and does. When you listen to this album you can appreciate the sound of actual instruments being keenly ...

Gregg Allman rambles to the County Fair

Timeless tunes bring our reviewer back to childhood

Thanks to my older brothers, I developed an early appreciation for the Allman Brothers Band’s Southern rock as a child in the 1970s. Some 40-odd years later, hearing “Statesboro Blues” or “Ramblin’ Man” brings me ...

Drones, by Muse

Heady, heavy trio try their hands at concept rock

This is the album Muse was built to make. Bombastic, hard-hitting, and pretentious (in a good way), Drones takes the trio’s brand of paranoid space rock and brings it to an all-new level of science-fiction ...

The confounding Brian Wilson

Beach Boy brings a big band and a big bag of hits to Humphreys by the Bay

So what if Brian Wilson took the stage 15 minutes earlier than scheduled? Or if he performed 50-year-old songs in their original key, even though some of the notes are by now a little out ...

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