Back to profile

Stories by Andrew Hamlin

Billy Hart's One Is the Other

“He’s not a metronome,” volunteered one of my resident jazz experts on Billy Hart, age 73, who’s logged time with Wes Montgomery, Stan Getz, Chico Freeman, and three of Miles Davis’s straightest-up hardest-rockin’ sets. And ...

Late-night Nirvana

RedRumsey’s hazy and macabre memories of old SD.

“I found a dead body in the doorway. It was gone in the morning, and no one believed me.”

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition

The misogyny trilogy still rankles, lyric-wise anyway, although “All the Girls Love Alice,” which can’t even decide if Alice’s customers rank with the young girls or “middle-aged dykes,” seems to have grown some cred of ...

I need a bigger amp!

Nik Turner, Hawkwind founder, amphetamine mystic of space rock, nominally of England but probably from a few solar systems over, has been known to sport full-head makeup, paisley camouflage, and alien armature. But according to ...

Ian Anderson's Homo Erraticus

Ian Anderson’s second solo album since quietly deep-spacing the Jethro Tull band moniker, and to boot his third excursion into his avatar Gerald Bostock, a child prodigy turned troubled adult. Only this time Bostock mostly ...

Potluck with Tori Amos

“I usually am backstage furiously learning something before I walk on.”

Unraveling the Lovebirds

“Not sure if there was a specific point. Just like loads of relationships...it kind of gradually happens before your eyes but when the time came it seemed to come from nowhere.” That’s Lindsay White, half ...

Dizzy for Neruda

San Diego jazz guitarist and singer Chuck Perrin admits that he wasn’t initially transfixed by the poetry of Pablo Neruda. “I do not speak Spanish,” he explains, “[so] I didn’t really come to appreciate the ...

People just call me "Lee Fields"

Soul-funk cooker brings his Memphis stew to Casbah Monday night

Lee Fields, bringing his stomp-down soul funk revue to the Casbah on June 30, doesn’t so much mind being called “Little JB” — in homage to James Brown, in whose shadow all soul-funk revues do ...

More on the midway

They’re a working band. But they’re still in high school. They’re coming to the San Diego County Fair this year. Twice. And, they are not afraid to bossa nova. Half Moon Portrait, with guitarist/singers Ari ...

Devo from the ground up

“We were self-effacing metrosexual Yoni worshipers who always left our hotel rooms clean.”

Forged in the horror of the Kent State shootings, bolstered with bracing irony and a handful of religious and pseudoscientific screeds, Devo (short for “de-evolution”) took showmanship, synthesizers, and science fiction to the masses. They’re ...

Guided by amp buzz

Dayton, Ohio’s Guided by Voices burst onto the indie scene in 1994, though obsessives and the faithful will note that they’d been together 11 years by that point. After decades of chaos and ever-shifting lineups, ...

John Newman's Tribute

John Newman’s debut opens with a slow string section, a voice that sounds like the singer reading out great acts of ages past, and an electronically whirl-winded “Crystal,” from the AT&T Natural Voices® synthesized voice ...

Buzzo’s new voice(s)

Recalling previous trips to San Diego with his long-running, ever-heavier band the Melvins, Buzz Osborne, coming to the Casbah on June 10, tells the Reader that he remembers “lots of [gigs] over the years but ...

Theater 101 with Howlin’ Rain

Asked the origin of his signature stage move, combining an upstrum with a backwards stagger, Howlin Rain’s Ethan Miller specifies: “You gotta try and let yourself be natural and find some natural swing...with your playing. ...

My name isn’t Julian

“Yeah, I’ve played a few times,” recalls Sean Lennon, of gigging in San Diego. Lennon, now touring behind his new album Midnight Sun, his newest collaboration with his girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl under the name ...

The classic, current Drake Bell

Jumble the letters of Drake Bell’s name and you can spell “rockabilly”

Former TV star (Drake & Josh, filmed in San Diego)–turned–plunking tunester Drake Bell has a new persona ready to spit-shine: rockabilly boogie! He took some questions from the Reader over email. What are your memories ...

Drake Bell's Ready Steady Go!

The Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon,” with its grousing about the taxman taking “all my dough,” might refer on the sly to Drake Bell’s ongoing bankruptcy, just as sardonic observations elsewhere on the glitter life sound like ...

William Shatner's Ponder the Mystery

Let’s assume he’s serious. Simplifies matters. And unlike his previous, Seeking Major Tom, this one has no well-known originals to brain-sprain yourself over. He’s by turns polemic, stumbling, provocative, gravely. You need his grit, too, ...

Craft/science

After four EPs and three full-lengths, the Dum Dum Girls, masterminded by Dee Dee Penny (née onetime San Diego resident and Grand Ole Party drummer Kristin Welchez, aka Kristin Gundred), seems poised to go ubiquitous, ...

School of Rock's sympatico vibe

Asked why San Diego’s School of Rock chose to open an new branch in Encinitas, music director Tyler Ward credits popular demand and sympatico vibe. “We have recently had tons of requests from families in ...

Animated Numan

Synthesizer maestro and resident alien of alienation, Gary Numan’s music was, and is, dark, strong, and rich — goth when goth wasn’t cool. He took time from touring behind his new album, Splinter (Songs from ...

Carla Bley's Trios

Pianist/composer Carla Bley, 77 years old now, knows outrage and energy; her early masterwork Escalator Over the Hill ends with repetition infinite — or at least, until the needle punches through the lock groove at ...

Pop fell away from the heart

Asked how San Diego treats his now-L.A.–based band Xiu Xiu, singer Jamie Stewart tells the Reader via email: “It has been mixed. There have been shows that were totally sold out and the people were ...

Harsh Toke's Light Up and Live

San Diego’s own, here, live for the fumes. They live for each new spume. Imagine that perpetually smoking RV from Breaking Bad and substitute some stinky green, which at least won’t kill you quite so ...

Earth’s fastest violinist

Juilliard-trained David Garrett won’t talk about departing the Royal College of Music in London after one semester, but he can play 13 notes in one second and is scheduled to play Balboa Theatre on January 26 — so what’s the big deal?!

Ratt gets ready to roll

On San Diego: "What happened to this place?"

Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy talks about the ’80s San Diego glory days…but — BUT! — the band is getting to roll again. Can’t keep a good Ratt down. Take note, so-called “pest controllers”!

How My Heart Sings by Bill Evans

The bassist Scott LaFaro, whom Evans lost to a car crash prior to recording this, was staking out entirely striking counterpoint on his instrument, so anything without him was likely to seem a letdown. Evans ...

Snow Globe, by Erasure

“Loving Man,” with its ecstatic gender-blurring one minute (“I’m A boy/I’m a girl/Who has everything”), bipolar furor at rejection the next, and frustrating refusal to climax musically, sounds dragged in from another project, matching the ...

Ubu is the idea

Pere Ubu can and have been praised for their salvo of dark matter fired from America’s heart (their native Cleveland) starting with their first single “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” in 1975. They bring their Lady ...

Julian Lennon's Everything Changes

Almost every rhyme, predictable. Almost every sentiment, common (hopefully). But I am behind this one, and you should be, too. For commonality and for predictability, actually. Because rock and roll has come around to the ...

Black Sabbath's 13

They wouldn’t shell out for Bill Ward. That’s one obscenity. He’s the drummer for Sabbath, dunderheads, pull out the purse. Only excuse I can think of is Tony Iommi thought maybe he was down for ...

Rock 'n' roll protoplasm

Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes guitarist Rick Froberg bashes and embraces San Diego.

Rub my sticks

Earthless drummer Mario Rubalcaba talks about the band’s new release, From the Ages. He also insists “That we are not a stoner rock band.”

OMD's English Electric

Slow. Dissolve. As opposed to slow dazzle. Cinematic synth-pop owing at least as much to German Expressionism as the actually Krautrock Kraftwerk they salute through synth and textures. Impeccable ‘tis, in counterpoint and timbre, to ...

Night, by Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt’s sounding more like Patty Griffin than ever, and the choice of a Griffin tune to this singular mind-meld of classical piano (Simone Dinnerstein) and whatever it is Merritt does, seems to wink conspiratorially. ...

Joan Armatrading's Starlight

I cannot believe she programmed those drums (not to mention everything else) all by herself. They sound live, crisp, and swinging, ever more complex with each listen. I better believe, though, that after 33 years ...

Lester Bangs, El Cajon kid

Interview with Grossmont College’s Raul Sandelin, who is near completion of the film A Box Full of Rocks: The El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs.

Miles Davis Quintet — Live in Europe 1969

Smeary, I was going to say. But smeary implies an overall indifference to control. This stuff, collected from 1969 in Europe, demonstrates control on multiple levels — if it achieves smeariness, it does so if ...

Beth Orton's Sugaring Season

“Alive, alive, alive, alive/ Alive, alive, alive, alive-o/ Alive-o,” she finishes. And if that sounds too simple, remember it’s shorn of her melody. Remember, too, that after Boston, after Waco (again), after Washington D.C. (why ...

Further Explorations: Corea, Gomez, and Motian

Drummer Paul Motian died in New York City in 2011, on the 48th anniversary of John Kennedy’s assassination. He carried one cymbal around with him for the last 30 of his 80 years on Earth, ...

Rosie Flores has something to hide behind

Rosie Flores apologizes for not making her scheduled gig at Queen Bee’s last year, but she got a counteroffer to play with Chuck Berry at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

John Cale's Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood

John Cale is not psychic! (Unless he is.) The man couldn’t have predicted Steve Albini’s second-motioning those mundane haters of Cher’s “Believe”; but he intuited that tipping point where the hip(sters) went (reflexively) bleech at ...

Scott Walker's Bish Bosch

Seventeen years ago I put on Scott Walker’s album Tilt for the first time; the real-life Phantom of the Opera began to sing as I watched a storm overtake a city center, from my picture ...

Aqualung at 40...You Poor Old Sod

The famous title track scared the shit of me as a kid, still alarms me, and was, of course, meant that way. The “aqualung,” I’ve finally decided, signifies the title wino’s capacity to live under ...

Om, by John Coltrane

“It’s very short, as I recall,” said the resident jazz expert in my life, about McCoy Tyner’s piano solo in this half-hour spiritual yearning — recorded in 1965 but not released until 1968, a year ...

Bossa Nova on the Breeze

Fabiana Passoni moves to Oceanside with her triplets.

Miles Davis Live in Europe 1967

So, Wayne Shorter remembers how he’d step up to the mic and the rhythm section — that’s Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, Tony Williams on drums — would mostly or even almost ...

Anton Barbeau's Empire of Potential

So, he's recutting almost everything here even though he didn't lose the rights to his songs to himself — just because he can. That's an Ant man for you. Opener "Losing You Makes Crucifixion Easy" ...

New New Music

UCSD composer, performer, and teacher Christopher Adler talks about San Diego New Music, a local nonprofit.

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close