Everyone's a Critic

The London Suede's aquatic Night Thoughts

Contractions and negatives in song titles — “Don’t Know,” “Can’t Give,” “What I’m Trying” — convey the anguish

We won’t have the new Meat Loaf until the kids go back to school this September, so lucky for us the Suede decided to carry on in the face of lineup changes and, dare I ...

The soft, loud, soft, really loud Wye Oak

Baltimore indie-rock duo packs 'em in at the Irenic

Wye Oak is a Baltimore indie-rock duo formed in 2006 whose music ranges from laid-back and spare to noisy guitar freak-outs. They showcased these dynamics mid-set at the Irenic with the galloping soft/loud/soft/really loud structure ...

Yoni & Geti park the Testarossa at Casbah

Why? trio lights a fire under Chicago rapper Serengeti

Serengeti and Yoni Wolf’s second collaborative full-length, Testarossa, is a concept album speaking to the difficulty inherent in maintaining a relationship across distance, specifically in a profession requiring perpetual travel, and of the longing, infidelity, ...

Once in a Blue Moon no soothing tonic

Robert Nix's latest adds muscle-tone to art-rock

Robert Nix is a Canadian composer and multi-instrumentalist whose recent album, Once in a Blue Moon, highlights a man adding muscle-tone to the business of art-rock. Acquainted with absurdity and valuing the artist impulse to ...

One hot Headache

Aussie pub-rockers Royal Headache get Soda Bar bouncing

Before Royal Headache started their set, I spotted their bassist, Joe, taking a stab at the NFL Blitz ’99 arcade game nestled in the club’s main room. Perhaps he was using it to learn the ...

Com Truise's sci-fi saga continues

With Silicon Tare, the electronic artist brings the space traveler to an intriguing place

Com Truise is the electronic project of Seth Haley, a former DJ who employs an arsenal of synth patches and drum machines to create a heady mix of ’80s-inspired sci-fi music. By pitch-bending and layering ...

Stage sick — Flight of the Conchords

Music-comedy duo use the sore throat for comedic effect

Musical-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords didn’t care that several fans in the front row had brought small children to their sold-out gig at San Diego State: nothing was going to stop them from boasting ...

Buckethead — mad scientist of electric guitar

Worshippers wore buckets on their heads, played along on air guitars

Without a live band, Buckethead kept the packed Music Box of hardcore fans salivating over his axe handling. A souped-up guitar capable of making you breakfast and doing the dishes, buzzed, ripped, soared, and dominated ...

Chili Peppers' Getaway doesn't get too far

SoCal funk-rock act stays in its safe zone but gets high marks for revitalized production

Following the commercial high-water mark of Red Hot Chili Peppers' By the Way, it's been a decade plus of funk-rock mediocrity from an aging band with a formulaic sound. The average listener's impression of the ...

Claypool + Lennon = Delirium

Monolith of Phobos builds on '70s psychedelia

The quirky darkness off Les Claypool (Primus) blended with the experimental flair of Sean Lennon creates the mind-altering experience of the Claypool Lennon Delirium — it sounds as if the Beatles and Pink Floyd had ...

Fusion nostalgia with Al Di Meola

...and there's no better band leader to get you there

Jazz-rock guitarist Al Di Meola brought his Romantic Warrior Meets Elegant Gypsy Tour to the Music Box for a standing-room-only exercise in fusion nostalgia that leaned heavily on crowd favorites. Di Meola’s concept has always ...

Unreleased master — Herbie Mann at the Whisky, 1969

Pop songs become springboards. Into the air, a double-flip, then deep down.

Coltrane was dead. And flautist Herbie Mann's band didn't boast the jaw-dropping hive mind of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet. What Mann had was a splendid band of creative misfits. Among others: incendiary guitarist Sonny ...

Takin' It to the Fair with Michael McDonald

Doobie Brother infuses jazz and his husky voice into classic rock favorites

“Nothing says rock ’n’ roll like whipping up the crowd with a bingo game,” quipped Michael McDonald, referring to the pre-show entertainment at his San Diego County Fair appearance. Actually, one might argue that the ...

Impossible Kid worth the wait

Aesop Rock's latest parallels an old-school rap record

The Impossible Kid hits harder than any other Aesop Rock record. The rapper adds to his vocabulary palate with the usual flow of intelligent well-executed rhymes, blowing any mainstream rapper out of the water. None ...

Switchfoot — a perfect kickoff to summer

Alt-rockers highlight opening night at the Fair

San Diego natives Switchfoot made a triumphant return to the main stage at the San Diego County Fair. Opening night saw the band in fine form as they delivered a tight set of favorites and ...

Nanana — Chica Diabla do what they want

Local punk'd-rock quartet drops a dilly of a debut

Have you spent years lamenting the fact that this city doesn’t have a worthy Joan Jett/Runaways/Donnas-style female-fronted rock-and-roll juggernaut to call our very own? Well, lament no more. Chica Diabla has arrived and they have ...

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