Andrew Hamlin

Latest Articles

Durans' empty chair

How the British pop band still records, tours without a dedicated guitarist

Duran Duran, still Duranimal after all these years, brings their new multimedia blitz and their new album, Paper Gods, to the Sleep Train Amphitheatre Tuesday, August 2. From his home near Hammersmith, London, drummer Roger ...

In the flow with Sonny & the Sunsets

"Yeah, it would be fun to live in San Diego like those two…"

When not writing, singing, sharing one-act plays or investigating psychic phenomena (see below), Sonny Smith from Sonny & the Sunsets stumps for his new album Moods Baby Moods. The band hits Soda Bar on the ...

Unreleased master — Herbie Mann at the Whisky, 1969

Pop songs become springboards. Into the air, a double-flip, then deep down.

Coltrane was dead. And flautist Herbie Mann's band didn't boast the jaw-dropping hive mind of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet. What Mann had was a splendid band of creative misfits. Among others: incendiary guitarist Sonny ...

From Europe to Elysium

Al Di Meola talks fusion music and its classical ties

From the streets of Jersey City came guitarist Al Di Meola, who toiled in the fusion group Return to Forever, at age 20, and eventually went solo, combining rock, jazz, classical, and electronic approaches. He ...

San Diego psych-rockers Earthless and Harsh Toke split sides

Acid Crusher/Mount Swan due to drop May 27

It might have been fate, it might have been celestial machinations, it might have been the two bands’ mutual love, but Earthless and Harsh Toke, two of the heaviest, THC-est bands on the San Diego ...

Industrial-strength Filter

Cleveland band's coming through town with Crazy Eyes

In 1987, R. Budd Dwyer, state treasurer of Pennsylvania, climaxed a press conference by killing himself with a revolver. Filter’s signature tune, the facetious-but-still-regretful “Hey Man Nice Shot,” released in 1995, is about Dwyer, who ...

Resident Putin

The Residents are not who you think they are — wait, who do you think they are?

Two key points about the Residents: nobody knows who they are after 40-plus years (though they’ve taken to calling the three people on stage “Randy, Chuck, and Bob”), and they always employ masks, costumes, and ...

Rocket From the Tombs reduces "Sonic Reducer" — again

Black Record covers covers

“You’re not my friend/ and that is fine,” croak-warbles David Thomas for starters. Circa 35 years ago, longtime Thomas-watcher Greil Marcus summed up the then-new music of Thomas’s Pere Ubu band, as someone who’d been ...

Joy sounds insane

San Diego psych-rock trio talks about their new record release

Heavier, and, I must say, humbler than ever, San Diego’s own Joy comes fulminating back with their latest platter, Ride Along! Originator Zachary Oakley took some queries via email. The new album’s out on 4/29. ...

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