Everyone's a Critic

Talk of claws, casseroles, confinement, and alcohol

Barrence Whitfield's back Under the Savage Sky

Won’t say the guy’s name, but he was a drug dealer with a name fitting that occupation. He held down an all-nighter DJ slot at the campus station, and I sat up with him once ...

Space-age gunslinger rocks SDSU

My Morning Jacket's generous set

My Morning Jacket’s Jim James looked like a space-age gunslinger on this evening at SDSU’s Open Air Theatre. He sported a black leather trench coat throughout the show. It was outlaw badass and the perfect ...

Paul Weller — Modernist with a capital M

The modfather's visit to Observatory North Park reviewed

Don’t you just love places that charge $18 for two cans of PBR? Me neither. North Park’s Observatory played host to a visit from the modstar, Paul Weller. It’s been a long time since he ...

Kyle's Smyle shines

Next-gen hip-hopper hits on his debut

There’s a new school in hip-hop — one heavy with live instrumentation and musical experimentation, containing the energy of gospel choirs and a glimmer of positivity unheard since the days of the Native Tongues posse. ...

Van Halen and Crazy Dave

"...acting like a possessed matador one minute and a martial arts master the next"

“Halloween is around the corner. How many of you are going as me?” David Lee Roth asked the crowd at Van Halen’s Sleep Train Amphitheatre show. While the singer’s quip yielded the biggest chuckle of ...

Eagles of Death Metal and the seven-year itch

Hughes and Homme go Zipper Down

The Eagles of Death Metal has never been a band that cares much about being labeled irreverent. With tongues firmly wedged into their cheeks, Jesse Hughes (on vocals and guitar) and Queens of the Stone ...

May the Force be with Titus Andronicus

...and not the police force

The Titus Andronicus van rolled into town on the same night as the Foo Fighters traveling circus. Whereas Dave Grohl and Co. most likely played to a sold-out Sleepy Train Amphitheatre, Patrick Stickles and his ...

Little change in the Dead Weather

Supergroup's latest still sounds like a Jack White project

The Dead Weather open up their third LP with "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles).” It’s a robotic but robust mixture of screeching vocals from Alison Mosshart (The Kills), and the repetitive rhythm from Jack ...

They invented punk rock

This Is the Sonics

Something burning this white hot, might out-vie language itself. For those joining us late, the Sonics started out in Tacoma, Washington, as teenagers. They invented punk rock — and anyone who doesn’t believe that can ...

Lucy's last show

"...until the next one, anyway"

The last time Lucy’s Fur Coat played at the Casbah, I left in an ambulance. At the time, band members were promising it would be their last-ever show, and an enthusiastic crowd was going to ...

Wavves' slavves come out to play

Nathan Williams brings the band home for one night in North Park

A rainy night in North Park failed to keep the punk-rock masses away from the Observatory for Wavves’ San Diego tour stop. After a rollicking set by Chicago rockers Twin Peaks, Nathan Williams unleashed his ...

How far is FKA Twigs willing to go?

If the British singer's latest, M3LL155X, is any indication, quite far

There’s good reason FKA Twigs commands a captive audience. The young British singer, songwriter, and dancer has been winning accolades since her debut, LP1. Her eye-popping music videos are often overtly sexual, without revealing anything, ...

Weezer plays the hits

...closing out 2015 at the Del Mar races

Weezer doesn’t need to play non-hits. As the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club closed the shed on 2015, thousands of 18-and-ups amassed before the Weezer “W” hung behind the stage. No stranger to Del Mar, Rivers ...

Summer of Love — the gospel

Vanilla Fudge's Spirit of '67 injects new life into some classics

The rap is short! That’s a sop to you “rap-is-crap”-ers out there (God, so tedious). The rap is also funny and over after the first cut, so it’s out of the way quick. More urgent ...

"Wildheart" Miguel funks up the Observatory

...with a two hour set of electrifying funk-rock and sexy slow jams

One of the best concert experiences is when you catch an artist at that pivotal moment when your gut tells you he or she is on the cusp of going Big Time. That’s how I ...

Foals deliver London thunder on their latest

Oxford alt-rock act masters the slow build on What Went Down

Foals have long departed the skeletal, math-rock sound that filled their 2008 debut Antidotes. On their latest release, the Oxford natives show maturity and growth, as What Went Down displays their current state; an abundance ...

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