Everyone's a Critic

Trip the Light Fantastic

Joy Division/New Order founding member Peter Hook has the floor

Erstwhile New Order member Peter Hook let his Light show shine in San Diego for the first time. It must have been a bitter pill when the band he cofounded reformed without him or his ...

Redeemer of Souls, by Judas Priest

A wonderful friend of mine, gay, wants to know what the new Judas Priest album is all about (lyrically). I tell him that (lyrically) it’s about blood, glory, bloody glory, steel blades, fighting and dying ...

Primus rocks the Chocolate Factory

Claypool and crew put on "kind of a play" at Cal Center for the Arts Escondido

“I know we’re Primus and we suck,” said frontman Les Claypool, to cheers from the packed California Center for the Arts in Escondido. “But if you want to yell and scream, get it out of ...

Run the Jewels put a beat on Porter's Pub

El-P and Killer Mike make for a weaponized rap attack

“This place is ratchet as f##k!" exclaimed a damp El-P to the Porter's Pub crowd, summoning cheers from the dank pit of restless angst. The recently formed duo Run the Jewels, an amalgam of former ...

We Are Nots, by Nots

Slow songs are overrated

Any band that says they’re punk but then tries to sneak in a slow song — imposters. If you’re looking for authentic, brazen punk, the four women in Nots have it. There’s a bold intensity ...

Johnny Marr's Playland

Since the demise of the Smiths, Johnny Marr has worked on collaborations with feverish intensity, so it was no surprise that it took so long for his debut solo record to happen, but it is ...

JW-Jones has got your blues right here!

Canada band heats it up at Tio Leo's

If you haven’t heard about Canadian bluesman JW-Jones, you’ve got to get out more. The Ottawa guitarist picked San Diego as the last stop on a ten-day West Coast romp and he made it perfectly ...

Skies clear as Switchfoot lights up Open Air

Alt-rock hits wind-down tour as they wind-up a hometown crowd

With a only a few stops left on their tour in support of this year’s Fading West record, alternative-rock band Switchfoot was embraced by their hometown crowd at SDSU’s Cal Coast Open Air Theatre. Not ...

Ariana Grande's My Everything

Pop singer Ariana Grande used her theater-kid talent to prove herself competent in her debut Yours Truly. Though her vocal chops were well represented, the singer played it too safe to impress. A year later, ...

Sister Angela

Opera production supports opera company.

Suor Angelica is not among Puccini’s most popular operas. On Sunday night, about 400 or so of us were wondering why, because it was fantastic. The performance was at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in ...

Experience Hendrix aligns the stars

The Experience Hendrix tour made a stop in San Diego county at Harrah's Resort in Valley Center, and the nearly three-and-a-half-hour show would've made Jimi proud. Guitarists Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), Kenny ...

Bite the Hand, by Three Minute Tease

Anton Barbeau’s second album with his Three Minute Tease (no hyphen) comes dedicated to his great friend and all-around under-hyped genius, Scott Miller (late of Game Theory, late of the Loud Family, late of the ...

Cheek to Cheek, by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

Cool crooner and shock popper an unlikely, entertaining pair

In a smoky, darkened nightclub, the stage is bare save for two figures singing in the gloom. A woman sits playfully at a piano as her partner sips a scotch on the rocks and smiles ...

Kasabian rattles the rafters at House of Blues

(1) Kasabian likes their drums really loud. (2) Kasabian likes their bass even louder. That being said, people really got into Kasabian’s set as they moved to the hard beats that this British six-piece can ...

Lorde rains in the Open Air

New Zealand teen sensation applies herself at SDSU

At 17, Lorde may not quite yet be old enough for college, but if the native New Zealander eventually decides to attend in the U.S., don’t be surprised to find her at San Diego State ...

Paperback Ghosts, by Comet Gain

Another engaging chapter by the British indie folkies

With Comet Gain's seventh album, Paperback Ghosts, the British indie-pop band stays true to its soaring folk and soul melodies with honest, straightforward lyrics. The album was inspired by the changes of autumn — specifically, ...

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