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Robert Oppenheimer is Dr. Atomic

A symphonic representation of an opera about a complicated man

The San Diego Symphony gave a performance of John Adams’s Dr. Atomic Symphony over the weekend of December 3 and 4. It was a great performance but it left me realizing just how rich is ...

Peter Doherty and the sickness of celebrity

Libertines/Babyshambles singer gets contemplative on solo effort, Hamburg Demonstrations

Peter Doherty’s Hamburg Demonstrations shows us that there is beauty in our imperfections. His second solo acoustic album brings with it folky vibes and a refreshing confessional tone. These songs show us a side of ...

Camila Meza a double threat

Chilean singer/guitarist wows a capacity crowd at Bread & Salt

Currently based in NYC, Chilean musician Camila Meza made her San Diego debut on December 3, with a two-set house-capacity performance at the Athenaeum’s new Logan Heights outlet in the multi-arts venue Bread & Salt. ...

In Standing Rock, the world is the bubble

Local singer/songwriter/videographer Scott Wilson posts a short film on the North Dakota pipeline standoff

“I just got back from the Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline protests [in Cannonball, North Dakota],” says singer/songwriter Scott Wilson. “I edited a short video on the issues surrounding why they’re protesting the construction of ...

Sixteen-year-old jazz drummer talks practice routine, future plans

Steele drums

Although 16-year-old percussionist Johnny Steele is a committed jazz head, he actually caught the drum bug when his dad took him to his first concert at the age of eight to see the Canadian prog-rock ...

Josh Kmak on the mend

Garage-rocker reaches out in depression, finds salient support on social media

Josh Kmak says his commitment to making music both helped and hurt him through a very dark time. The multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter sits in occasionally with the Schizophonics and has played with the New Kinetics. He ...

Mike Spent feels fairly compensated

Punk lifer gives up the nuclear power trade and returns to the stage

“We started in 1979 in the garage, ended in 1982, reformed in 1992, disbanded in 1997, and reformed in 2002,” says Mike Sainz, aka Mike Spent of Carlsbad punk rockers Spent Idols. “Along the way, ...

Prayers for the Sioux

Cholo-goth singer Rafa Reyes visits Standing Rock

Prayers frontman Rafa Reyes was one of many musicians among the thousands protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline near Bismarck, North Dakota. “I didn’t tell anybody. I just woke up the day after Thanksgiving and took ...

Steel Wheels grind into town

Roots group rolls with the hype into Brick 15 Sunday night

Fiddle music played by four traveling Mennonites. Put it that way and you might think that the Steel Wheels would not be a band that could chart and get radio play after scoring accolades at ...

Spits or Tijuana Panthers, Beck or Pere Ubu

...and the best of the rest in San Diego clubs this weekend

Thursday 8Tomas Kalnoky, the Czech-born Jersey boy who fronts the ska-punk collective Streetlight Manifesto, will take the all-ages Irenic stage as indie-folkie Toh Kay. The stripped-down trio is in the middle of its Return to ...

Jonny Lang, Jonny Richman, Shelters, and Wild Child

...plus the best of the rest in San Diego clubs this week

Sunday 11Underground hip-hop hits Casbah Sunday night, when Doomtree’s Sims splits the spits with Chicago-based mash-up Air Credits (Hood Internet and ShowYouSuck)...Swedish new wavers the Sounds (think: Blondie) set up at House of Blues Sunday ...

Martha Argerich honored at Kennedy Center

Argentinian pianist makes a rare public appearance

I have an golden excuse to mention pianist Martha Argerich. On December 5 she was honored with a Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award. The Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS December 27, at 9 ...

San Diego Symphony and the astral plane

A singularity-esque performance of Gustav Holst's The Planets

Sometimes, in a live performance, a conductor will downplay “the big tune” in a symphony performance. Sometimes, in a live performance, a conductor will elevate and revel in “the big theme.” We gratefully received the ...

Allison Adams Tucker and the JazzKatz Orchestra

...and other jazz happenings around San Diego December 5–11

Monday 5 The Mikan Zlatkovich Trio plays acoustic jazz fusion at Eddie V’s Seaport Village (789 W. Harbor Drive) at 6 p.m. No cover. Tuesday 6 The Mikan Zlatkovich Trio play acoustic jazz fusion, this ...

Bruno Mars's immersion into the culture emulated

Dance-pop artist's 24K Magic is catchy but cliché

Bruno Mars embraces a lavish lifestyle on his newest release, 24K Magic. The album, with sounds from ’70s funk to ’90s hip-hop, contains synthesizers, sensuality, and sexism. Even when the tempo drops, this album retains ...

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