Everyone's a Critic

Mogwai's Rave Tapes

What happens when a notable ’90s post-rock band gets in a head-on collision with a pile of synthesizers, you ask? The album Rave Tapes, by Scottish mainstays Mogwai. The first release by the group since ...

Sun Kil Moon's Benji

Recording as Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek’s new album, Benji, walks a fine line between tear-jerk confessionals and R. Kelly–style stream-of-consciousness stories. The everyday recollections of “Ben’s My Friend” feel kind of like Kozelek’s own ...

Tacocat's NVM

Never heard Tacocat before. First impressions of “Bridge to Hawaii”: (1) I’m getting impatient with the song’s two resounding opening guitar chords, cringing at the prospect of overdramatized, underwritten music...is there going to be a ...

Carla Bley's Trios

Pianist/composer Carla Bley, 77 years old now, knows outrage and energy; her early masterwork Escalator Over the Hill ends with repetition infinite — or at least, until the needle punches through the lock groove at ...

The quasi-religious experience of Oneothrix Point Never

In a nondescript church with high ceilings, listeners assume a wide variety of positions; some sit cross-legged on the floor and some lie on their backs, some close their eyes and some stare catatonically. Other ...

Broken Bells' After the Disco

Wondertwins James Mercer (the Shins) and Danger Mouse (recent producer of every band in the universe) have once again transformed into Broken Bells to deliver full-length number two to their eager listeners. Unfortunately, this one ...

Switchfoot's arena-sized set at Casbah

The Casbah’s 25th anniversary, celebrated throughout the month of January, featured some of San Diego’s best bands from years gone by, playing the way we remember them: a little too fast, a little too sloppy, ...

The River & the Thread, by Rosanne Cash

This is Rosanne Cash's first collection of original material in eight years. The daughter of country-music royalty, Cash is done writing songs about her rebellious youth and her traumatic marriage to Rodney Crowell. Although she ...

Blue Öyster Cult takes no prisoners at Sycuan

Thud! Thud! Monstrous footsteps echo throughout the room. “Oh no, can it be,” singer Eric Bloom’s voice quivers. “Rising out of the Pacific Ocean, he lurches his way toward San Diego!” The footsteps grow louder ...

Johnette Napolitano packs the Griffin

The Griffin was packed for Johnette Napolitano’s Friday night date. We arrived after the opening acts, so fans had their spots staked out — as usual, big and tall “gentlemen” stood up front. We saw ...

Wig Out at Jagbags, by Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

California native Stephen Malkmus has added a deep-cut notch to his indie-rock belt with the release of Wig Out at Jagbags. Jagbags is SM’s sixth release with the Jicks and it reveals a certain comfort ...

Distruzione Totale by Anti You

Hundreds of crust-punk enthusiasts showed up to Tijuana’s El Tigre bar for a night of total destruction. The bands DLT, New Breed, and Pornoestereos, from Tijuana and Mexicali, started the show before punk quartet Anti ...

Beady Eye's BE

Hopefully Liam Gallagher wasn't serious when he claimed Beady Eye would be "bigger than Oasis." He must realize he’s pissing in the wind with that one. While their debut album was a decent collection of ...

Hypnotic Califone

Califone's show at the Soda Bar fell on a Sunday night, five days after New Year's Eve. The event was a mellow "last hurrah" for the holiday season. A subtle transition into the standard workweeks ...

Harsh Toke's Light Up and Live

San Diego’s own, here, live for the fumes. They live for each new spume. Imagine that perpetually smoking RV from Breaking Bad and substitute some stinky green, which at least won’t kill you quite so ...

M.I.A.'s Matangi

M.I.A. has once again delivered an engrossing platter of ear candy with her latest effort Matangi. From the opening of “Karmageddon” through the closing track “Sexodus,” M.I.A. brings the listener along as she dominates the ...