Everyone's a Critic

Sonics still got it

Garage classics wear 'em out at the Irenic

Self-described mod band the Bassics has been hugging the stage since Mrs. Magician’s set flared out. MM continues to enhance River Cuomo’s slack; slamming out catchy tunes about shopping malls and VCRs. But that’s not ...

Carnival of danger

Our border reporter braves a new Tijuana punk fest

“Someone will die,” posted Carlos Arreguin on his Facebook page minutes before the Carnavalito Peligroso I music festival began at Plaza Fiesta. The singer of the power-violence band Calafia Puta was one of the organizers ...

Hypnotic Eye, subtle thunder

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' latest rings the Billboard bell at number one

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 13th studio release is a hard-rocking, well-written gem. Petty’s first (ever!) number-one-selling record on the Billboard charts. Though a seasoned veteran, Petty’s voice sounds as fresh and rebellious as it ...

Arcade Fire lights up a Chula Vista night

Canada band encourages dress-up and dancing

On a cool August night in Chula Vista, Arcade Fire performed to an audience that ranged from children in animal costumes to hip grandparents and every kind of character, weirdo, and geek in between. Although ...

The Hold Steady hold up

...despite the missing piano man

Cheap Girls got the crowd warmed up for the Hold Steady. The trio from Lansing, Michigan, fueled by Ian Graham’s crooning vocals, was a throwback to ’90s alternative rock, most notably the Smoking Popes — ...

Curtis Harding's got Soul Power

Curtis Harding's neo-soul debut is multi-faceted — complex yet easygoing. It sounds as if Harding's been a successful solo artist for decades, not a man whose recent gig was as backup for CeeLo Green and, ...

We Are Only What We Feel, by NONONO

Synth-pop alive and kicking on Stockholm band's debut record

The verdict is in: synth-pop is here to stay. We Are Only What We Feel, the debut album from Stockholm based NONONO, does it wisely. The album features crisp, polished melodies and enticing beats. Given ...

OK Go showers hot fans with confetti

Thanks to an unusually hot Belly Up Tavern, fans attending the club’s OK Go concert may have felt during the show like they would need to rinse off once they got home. The band, however, ...

Ultraviolence, by Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is an enigmatic figure, unable to be imitated, and befitting someone on their own, she’s lonely. Ultraviolence threads that feeling — a seedy, hyper-romanticized sense of isolation and loss — inflating it ...

Too Short in your whip?

Rapper pumps up Extreme Autofest to ear-ringing effect

I've been following Too Short since I was hella young, and tonight, after listening to his raps about bosses, biatches, and Oakland, his music never gets dated. Even his newer music (2012) is reminiscent of ...

Cher and Cyndi Lauper turn back time

Ageless pop stars pack the Valley View Casino Center

Cher's Dressed to Kill farewell tour, with Cyndi Lauper as the "special guest," sold out the Valley View Casino Center in the Midway District. But right before the event, "obstructed view" seating was released and ...

Lily Allen's Sheezus

After five years away from the spotlight, Lily Allen has a lot to catch up on. For her homecoming record, Sheezus, the U.K. pop star spends a good time getting reacquainted with the current pop ...

Ian Anderson's Homo Erraticus

Ian Anderson’s second solo album since quietly deep-spacing the Jethro Tull band moniker, and to boot his third excursion into his avatar Gerald Bostock, a child prodigy turned troubled adult. Only this time Bostock mostly ...

World Party trio stirs Solana Beach

Wallinger and company re-imagine the hits

World Party concluded its U.S. tour with a dynamic performance at the Belly Up Tavern. The Karl Wallinger–led trio transcended the expectations of the crowd, which led to several standing ovations. Wallinger, comfortable in his ...

Off the chain, in the flow

A rambunctious festivus finishes this year's Mainly Mozart Festival

The final concert of the Mainly Mozart Festival was off the chain. "Off the chain" — what does that even mean? From Urban Dictionary: "Out of control, wild fun. Just like when your pitbull gets ...

Mystic Braves delivers sounds of summer to Soda Bar

“One more! One more!” A packed Soda Bar begged the evening’s headliners Mystic Braves to continue playing as their hour-long set neared its end. Eager to continue, the Los Angeles–based quintet responded without missing a ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close