Everyone's a Critic

Are you a Belieber?

Pop star Justin Bieber makes his apology record with Purpose

He’s the bad boy you love to hate. Well, when Chris Brown isn’t around, anyway. And most of the time Justin Bieber easily earns that reputation. With Purpose, his fourth album, he wants to change ...

Bowie's Blackstar closes the curtain

An entrancing final act for the constant chameleon

Ever so strange and always unique is David Bowie. After 26 genre-jumping albums spanning over nearly 50 years, the constant chameleon released his 27th and final album, Blackstar, which landed on his birthday, January 10, ...

Ty Segall and the Muggers accost Belly Up

In keeping with the new record's title, Emotional Mugger was seen in Solana Beach

Ty Segall and the Muggers absolutely defiled the elegant Belly Up stage with a robotic sludge-rock display of psychedelia that they vomited into the crowd, causing a transfixed batch of humans to go haywire. Witnessing ...

Open Mike Eagle and Serengeti join forces as Cavanaugh

...and press the right buttons on conceptual debut Time and Materials

For two artists who met back in the early '00s at Southern Illinois University and have undeniable chemistry as indie rappers with a penchant for exploring human sadness with wit and humor, it's surprising that ...

It's the end of the world as Muse knows it...

The setlist pulled the most paranoid and apocalyptic songs from their seven albums

It was the end of the world inside the Valley View Casino Center, and the audience couldn’t have been happier. The destruction and mayhem was courtesy of British space rockers Muse, who are currently on ...

Crushing it with Octagrape

Locals drop a 19-song rock bomb with Aura Obelisk

The new Octagrape album is like a long run on a breezy day, twisting and turning around corners, through alleyways, main roads, and side streets. Despite shortness of breath and sore muscles, you feel cleansed ...

Stuck in 1975

...at Observatory North Park

Droning sounds start to build before The 1975 came onstage at 9 p.m. Shrieks from fans filled my ears as the frontman, Matthew Healy, came out with his bandmates. It felt as if I was ...

Nothing Cheap about these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers

Cheap Trick kicks down the hits and fistfuls of guitar picks at Belly Up

Two days before learning they would join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2016, Cheap Trick brought their classic power pop to the Belly Up. The band opened the show with the ...

Tim Flannery gets Americosmic on Three Ring Circus

Former baseballer swings for the fences with his genre-defying latest

Three-time World Series champion Tim Flannery’s newest album, Three Ring Circus, is his best. His all-star band the Lunatic Fringe, featuring Douglas Pettibone, Dennis Caplinger, and Dean Smith, helps Flannery come into his own on ...

Reverend Horton Heat fires up the Observatory

Psychobilly trio soundtracks a mosh — with Christmas tunes

Considering that his band’s set list included songs with titles like “Marijuana” and “Bales of Cocaine,” you’d think that Jim Heath would have had some pretty crazy stories of debauchery on the road to share ...

One night in a Tijuana parking garage

Rumble Fest stumbled but went the distance, and then some

More than a dozen Baja and southern California bands came together atop a parking garage for Rumble Fest Tijuana. The second edition of the DIY-defined event offered a location that’s also the best view in ...

Music Complete a slow obsession

New Order still hooks without Peter Hook

They’re missing Peter Hook. Without his bass leading the charge or waiting to, everyone lays back. Cool lapsing into cold. Heatless — but seamless — groove slipping between disco, disco with electronica synth touches, razor-chop ...

And After That, We Didn't Talk

Hip-hop anomaly Goldlink's latest is a dancer

Goldlink was establishing himself as a thoroughbred in the Tumblr generation when he became a 2015 XXL Freshmen. With one previous release under his belt, the 22-year-old dance-rap artist has made a name for himself ...

Clashing at the Office

Undercover crew and a variety of local singers do Joe Strummer proud

The Office’s undercover series attacked the Clash on the chilly last night of November. The hologram of Joe Strummer was unavailable this evening, so a variety of local singers took on the role of the ...

Not just Beirut, but Gibraltar and Holland

Zach Condon's latest, No No No, travels the world in 29 minutes

A disclaimer: heightened anticipation gave this album, upon first listen, the sonic equivalent of rose-colored glasses. So what’s with the eagerness for Beirut’s first record in four years? Perhaps it’s tied to the first single, ...

Three-guitar Heart attack

The Wilson sisters cash in at Harrah's with a brief but rocking set

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2013 inductees Heart performed about a dozen of their own songs over an hour-long show, including hits such as "Kick It Out," "Heartless," "Straight on," "These Dreams," "Crazy on ...

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