Of Note

Charlie Arbelaez, explosive bebop alto saxist

The liveliest of jazz jams happens on Friday nights in La Mesa. A chance move brought it here: “I lived just up the hill, off University Avenue,” says Charlie Arbelaez, 27. Recently out of the ...

Dive Bomber is seasoned and solid. And painted.

I’m always curious to view how the national press responds to San Diego bands. For example, this July, when Kris Keyes dressed as his alter-ego Nomad the Painted Man and roamed the streets around Comic-Con, ...

Chinese Rocks Johnny Thunders–style

“I’m a girl impersonating a guy who dressed kind of like a girl.” And so it begins with Diana Death, a local guitarist and club deejay who also fronts what is possibly the only Johnny ...

36 Crazyfists brings metal you can almost sing along to

When you read about the history of this Alaskan metal band, you have to wonder whether they borrowed their name from Jackie Chan and the 36 Crazy Fists due to the underdog-comes-from-behind plot of the ...

O’Death keeps busy in October

I haven’t heard anything this unselfconsciously makeshift since Jake LaBotz got the notion to tour his own acoustic madness via a series of tattoo-parlor mini-concerts across the country. Some label the alt-country band O’Death a ...

The Melvins are the grungiest of them all

Sure, grunge is long gone, but the grungiest of them all, a sludge-metal band that many consider to have been the musical point of detonation that created the grunge movement, never got that memo. The ...

Now they are just Rubblebucket

Rubblebucket is a Brooklyn band with its roots in the South. You could pick John Brown’s Body, or a house party, as their starting point. Trumpeter/singer Alex Toth and singer/bari-saxist Kalmia Traver (she also goes ...

Soul to the Nth Power

The Nth Power is a Louisiana soul band that debuted at the 2012 Jazzfest, held annually in New Orleans at the Fair Grounds Race Course. They are Weedie Braimah, Nate Edgar, Nikki Glaspie, Nigel Hill, ...

American Aquarium on the distractions of living in the digital age

BJ Barham, the songwriter and front man for American Aquarium, checks in with the Reader from Charlottesville, VA. He says the band has a couple of days off before heading up to Washington DC. This ...

Gov’t Mule thrives on spontaneity

Gov’t Mule, basically a canvas for the guitar of Warren Haynes, is celebrating 20 years as a band. Warren Haynes calls the Reader from a spot on the road an hour north of New York ...

The Paws like the lo-fi indie-rock

The guys in Paws like the lo-fi indie-rock of the 1990s. And why not? At their respective ages, the ’90s scene is vintage. They’ve not been around too long, having released their debut seven-inch single ...

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