Everyone's a Critic

New Kids on the Block: The Main Event

Pop group joins the crowd at Viejas Arena

It was about halfway through New Kids on the Block’s two-hour set at Viejas Arena that a female fan ran past security guards and onto the stage, only to be corralled and removed seconds later. ...

They Might Be generous Giants

Alt-rock act plays two sets, two encores, and even buys the beer!

Solana Beach got a treat with two full sets and a double-dose of encores from popular alt-rockers They Might Be Giants. The band had no problem filling the extended time by taking a heaping helping ...

A Fool to Care, by Boz Scaggs

I first saw Boz Scaggs in 1966 at the Matrix in San Francisco. He was playing in a jazz-rock combo with some cat named Steve Miller. Fast-forward 50 years and they are both award-winning senior-citizen ...

Show thief!

Conrad Tao runs away with the entire evening at San Diego Symphony

Conrad Tao stole the show twice on Saturday, May 2, at Symphony Hall. He tore the place apart with the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 and then upstaged that monster with the conclusion of Prokofiev’s ...

Death Cab for Cutie's latest turns up the synth

With its upbeat melodies buoying angst-filled verses, Kintsugi provides a familiar view.

“How could something so fair be so cruel?” Ben Gibbard asks on the lead single of Death Cab for Cutie's first studio release in nearly four years. With that question, “Black Sun” sets the tone ...

Helmet's thinking-man metal enlightens Belly Up

Happy birthday, Betty!

Entering the Belly Up while Helmet performed their classic album Betty was like walking into a ’90s time warp. Front man Page Hamilton, the only original member of the band, has changed very little in ...

Blue Largo swings into Tio Leo's

Local dance band recalls golden age of jazz and blues in the Southland

There are a number of swing-dance blues bands performing in Southern California, but none more genuine than San Diego’s own Blue Largo. On dance night at Tio Leo’s, guitarist Eric Lieberman and his versatile lineup ...

Neil Diamond's Melody Road

"Nobody dies. Nobody takes drugs. No sobs in the darkness."

“Would that make it a better song?” Lou Reed asked a caller into an NYC radio show. Caller wanted to know if the dead girl in “Street Hassle” was real. Lester Bangs didn’t print the ...

Evermotion, by Guster

Boston band drops out of college rock

Continuing to chip away at their college rock roots, Guster's Evermotion further obscures the band's acoustic guitar and bongo-backed beginnings. The opener, “Long Night,” provides an overture of sorts, lulling the listener in with dreamy ...

Antemasque provides sonic spark to combustible Belly Up crowd

Former Mars Volta duo strip it down and turn it up

When guitarist and vocalist Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes gets onstage, things get weird, and Sunday night’s opening performance was no exception. With the casual mannerisms of a human-hearted automaton and a fierce stage ...

Noel Gallagher's Chasing Yesterday — to kick its arse

Elder statesman of British rock Noel Gallagher has ignored the speculation of an Oasis reunion to concentrate on making new music rather than backtracking. However, “Riverman,” the opening scene of the cinematographic Chasing Yesterday, is ...

Bouncer-friendly Punch Brothers tuck 'em in at the Observatory

Here’s a phrase that’s probably never been uttered by man: “the banjo player with mystique.” That’s Noam Pikelny in a nutshell. Decked out in a white suit, Pikelny’s deep voice and deadpan banter served as ...

The Zombies come to life at Bar Pink

Tribute show features Sixties-influenced San Diegans

On taking a run at the Zombies, Bart Mendoza (who orchestrated the tribute show) relates, “As a kid, I was intrigued by the way they dressed. Paul Atkinson was my inspiration — I wore a ...

Hozier by Hozier

With a chorus reminiscent of classic Elton John and viral video amassing more than 100 million YouTube views, “Take Me to Church” quickly placed Irish singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne (aka Hozier) on America’s musical pulpit. While ...

Immediate masterpiece at San Diego Symphony

Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony was an instant classic at release

"There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of Men for this treachery." I'm going to switch up that Tolkien quote and say, "There is no sufficient honor in Elvish, Entish, or the ...

Arcade Fired Will Butler has a new Policy

Butler brother's solo debut a whimsical mix of musical styles

On his solo debut, Arcade Fire’s Will Butler attempts to scramble out from the behemoth shadow of his indie-rock super group. But the dreamy rock feeling that flows so freely from his previous band does ...

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