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Stories by Barnaby Monk

Like two violins doing it

Plus Volar Records turns six, celebrates at Whistle Stop; and another San Diego Freakout at Casbah

Thursday 27So, the Melvins/Big Business gig sold out Casbah Thursday night. Go ahead, take a minute.... Okay? Okay. The power-pop singer/songwriter Thomas Walsh, aka Pugwash, is a hit in his native Ireland, where he’s flourished ...

Calliope Musicals brings a confetti cannon to a fun fight

Plus the Cure Undercover at the Office and Lee Scratch Perry goes Super Ape at Belly Up

Sunday 30From Austin, Texas, the “psychedelic party folk and disco honky-tonk” sextet Calliope Musicals head west and hit Soda Bar on Sunday. NPR’s “All Songs Considered” says of the traveling circus, “Who brings a confetti ...

Mr. Smiths comes to town

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

Thursday 20Former Smiths frontman Morrissey checks into the Observatory for two nights of pouty — and often hilarious — pop crooning Thursday and Friday nights. Morrissey is touring in support of his latest comeback, World ...

Savages, Villains, and Bandits

Plus King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Black Cobra slither through town

Sunday 23The new ladies of London punk, Savages, are touring through town this weekend. The impact of Siouxsie Sioux and Joy Division on Savages’ sound on their breakout debut Silence Yourself is a minor speedbump ...

Tiki Oasis and Berserktown

Plus White Mystery, Fu Manchu, and the Heaters hit town this week

Thursday 13Sounds like the Flintstones meet the Jetsons at this year’s Tiki Oasis, as the annual cocktail-nation confab promises to premodernize “Tomorrowland” style. “We here at Tiki Oasis will take you on warp speed from ...

Screaming Females, Parliament Funkadelic, Metz

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

Sunday 16Straight outta Berserktown: art-punk Canada band Fucked Up will be missing the Royal Trux set at the Observatory Sunday night because they’ll be playing Casbah. The post-core six-piece is touring in support of Glass ...

Welcome to rock and roll heaven...

with Coliseum, Delta Saints, Tame Impala, and Hurray for the Riff Raff

Sunday 2Welcome to Rock and Roll Heaven, Steve Rodriguez. The Dragons/Saint Shameless bassist passed away last week leaving a gaping hole in the San Diego music scene, and he will be memorialized as he should, ...

Stiff Little Fingers, Lucy's Fur Coat, Yeah Buddy!

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

Thursday 30From Northern Ireland, ca. 1977, Stiff Little Fingers were a Clash-grabbing lot that played punk through their homeland’s “troubles.” Over the years, the Fingers held onto the Irish but tossed the punk for power-pop ...

Boston Melt Banana, Cymbals Eat Guitars

...and the best of the rest in San Diego clubs this week, July 26-29

Sunday 26On Sunday, South Sudanese soul-rapper (and former child soldier) Emmanuel Jal’s at Soda Bar. Jal raps in Arabic, English, Swahili, Dinka, and Nuer, and he is touring in support of his new joint, The ...

The way of the shred

What's happening in San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, July 23 through 25

Thursday 23Double double trouble. No, I don’t have that In-N-Out urge, there’re a couple double bills in town Thursday night, and as of this typing I haven’t decided which one to rock. Sticking with the ...

Built to be awesome

Monk's crunks for the weekend of Thursday, July 16 through Saturday the 18th

Thursday 16We haven’t been out to the beach in a few weeks, so how about a night at O.B. rock spot Winstons and a trip to the “Fro Zone,” where local five-piece AJ Froman rock ...

Gab goes ham

Blackalicious, the Femmes, Corey and the Castaways, and Wildhoney hit San Diego this week

Sunday 19Sunday-night splits, I hate ’em. Anyway, easy pickins as Cheap Trick sold out the Belly Up, so if you didn’t get tix to that, the Violent Femmes is the call. They play the Open ...

Trans Am and Chrome, Rosalyns and Chinese Rocks

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

Sunday 12Post-rock pioneers Trans Am pull into Casbah Sunday night after likeminded locals Sleeping People. Life Coach (Phil Manley of Trans Am) and CBOT and the Paperwork are also on the bill. Trans Am is ...

Talk nerdy to me...

Comic-Con's on you, San Diego, recalibrate your cool at Casbah, Soda Bar, Hideout, and Brick by Brick

Thursday 9Aquabats frontman Christian Jacobs is also co-creator of The Aquabats! Super Show!, an Emmy-winning cable TV show that “follows a musical group of amateur superheroes as they haphazardly defend the world from villains and ...

Whibley, Woods, Wauters

...plus Picturebooks, Fairy Bones, and Veruca Salt in San Diego clubs this week

Sunday 5The ex–Mr. Avril Levigne, Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley is back with the living, apparently, after an alcohol-related near-death experience last year, and the “underclass hero” is now plugged into the Happiness Machines, a new ...

Sannhet gets me

Plus holiday hoodoo from Redwoods Records, Operation: Mindblow, and Don't Tread on the Tower Bar

Thursday 2Brooklyn-based post-metal band Sannhet gets me. Not lyrically, there are none. I mean rhythmically. The instrumental trio just happens to play in my circadian rhythmn. The tones on this year’s very recommendable Revisionist (for ...

Ramones Under Cover

Plus Two Cow Garage, Jacco Gardner, and Tanya Tucker in San Diego this week

Sunday 28Speaking of the rurals, Micah Schnabel of Bucyrus, Ohio, and his Two Cow Garage pull into the Tower Bar Sunday night for a night of rust-belt rock that “takes the twangy melodies of vintage ...

Paisley underground rising

Casbah's got a killer three-night run, with Head Wound City, the Pandoras, and John freaking Doe

Thursday 25From the hinterlands of the shape-shifting freak-folk scene, singer/songwriter Andy Cabic and this year’s version of his SanFran band Vetiver take Complete Strangers to the Irenic. Unlike genre heavyweights Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart, ...

Popsicle punk

Go old-school with dear old dad and the Misfits, Slaughter & the Dogs, Gang Green, and Guttermouth

Sunday 21Happy Father’s Day, Popsicle! Why don’t you and dear old dad go check out his favorite horror-punk band, Misfits, when they take the stage at Observatory North Park on Sunday after She Demons and ...

Death Valley Girls, Dead Feather Moon, Deadbolt, Dead Ricardos, Johnny Deadly

...and among the living: Steve Earle, Brian Wilson, and Rhett Miller in San Diego clubs this weekend

Thursday 18“Everybody’s got to be in a gang,” posts “doom-boogie” girl-boy band Death Valley Girls. The Hollywood-rock gang hits the Hideout Thursday night behind their “dystopian future-punk” EP Electric High. Spinning the title track as ...

Jonathan Richman and a band band band called And And And

Plus Lil' Wayne, DMA's, Amerikan Bear, and UK Subs in the clubs this week

Sunday 14Charlie Harper is the punk-rock Robert Pollard. He’ll just keep writing songs and then dropping LPs when he has enough of ’em. Harper’s English street-punk quartet UK Subs drifts into Soda Bar behind this ...

Warlocks, Goatwhore, and Gaslamp Killer

...descend on San Diego this weekend, as well as Paul Collins, Clap Your Hands, and a Walkmen

Thursday 11Bomp! Records is one of those fringe-rock labels that inspires cult-like trust, fanatacism even (I’ll leave it to you to look up their roster), so when they dropped the Warlocks’ first full-length, Rise and ...

Gumbo metal!

Plus Bob Log, Chris Owens, and Barb Wire Dolls in San Diego clubs this weekend

Thursday 4Gumbo metal! “Driven by doom and hard Southern living,” Crowbar’s latest, Symmetry in Black, starts with a slow, sludgy roux and then snaps your neck with hardcore heat. And only a metal band from ...

Everybody's gotta be in a gang

Death Valley Girls get it right...plus Sam Prekop, Kooks, and my day at the Fair with Cheap freaking Trick

Sunday 7The Sea and Cake’s master baker Sam Prekop sets up at Casbah on Sunday behind his latest Thrill Jockey disc The Republic, which, according to the label’s one-sheet, “showcases Prekop’s talent for creating expressive ...

Stones rolling into Petco

Plus GBH, Smiths Undercover, Gary Wilson, and Mystic Braves in San Diego clubs this week

Sunday 24“The master of the pan flute,” Zamfir, plays a three-hour tribute to the whimsical tunes of Gilbert and Sullivan at Petco Park Sunday night. Tour reports say the 74-year-old Romanian pop star “totally shreds ...

X squared

Plus Rezillos, Blues Explosion, Sage Francis, and Sleeping People in San Diego clubs this weekend

Thursday 21From Edinburgh, Scotland, circa 1978, comes first-wave punk band the Rezillos. Singers Fay Fife and Eugene Reynolds comprise the core of the group known more for its new-wave leanings than thug-punk screaming. Part B-52s ...

The Waterboys went to Nashville

...to bring you Modern Blues... Plus Lord Huron, Ex Hex, and Noel Gallagher this weekend

Thursday 14So, the American West’s answer to Mumford & Sons, Lord Huron, has sold out the Observatory, but someone(s) from that band will be spinning at Whistle Stop afterward. I’ve seen that a few times ...

Acid Mothers, kitchen jams

Plus Hutch, Kathy, Speedy Ortiz, Flaggs, and Miss Pussycat in San Diego clubs this week

Sunday 17Hutch and Cathy of the Thermals play Soda Bar Sunday night after S (Jenn Ghetto) and Allie Goertz. Catch up with Hutch and Kathy — and Hutch and Kathy — in this week’s Dryw ...

Have a Sonic Mother's Day!

Plus Dead Meadow, Deftones, Xiu Xiu, and Ex-Cult in San Diego clubs this week

Sunday 10Happy Mother’s Day, mother f!!!er. Seriously, though, call your mom.... And then Sunday night, from Tacoma, Washington, garage-rock originals the Sonics will be at Belly Up. That is all. Wait, no it isn’t. Buy ...

Bummers, Gators, and air guitarers

Plus Slow Magic, Prayers, D.O.A., and Growlers in San Diego clubs this weekend

Thursday 7Last year our “mysterious unknown friend” Slow Magic got busy, playing over 100 shows and festivals behind his handmade masks and draped in colorful cloths. The DJ will synthesize his mixes with live drumming ...

Austin gets Levitated, San Diego gets Kaboo'd

They Might Be Giants, Taurus Authority, Lightning Bolt, and Thee Oh Sees in San Diego clubs this week

Sunday 3Johns Flansburgh and Linnell make up East Coast odd-rock act They Might Be Giants, this year celebrating 35 years in the music-making biz and a new record (their 17th!), Glean. Catch up with the ...

The Soft Moon at Casbah, the stars of In-Ko-Pah

Plus Bright Light Social Hour and Neil Hagerty find the Hideout this weekend

Thursday 30From Richmond, Virginia, heavy psychedelic experimenters Inter Arma explore The Cavern at Soda Bar Thursday night. The single, 45-minute take drags Floyd and Zeppelin through the sludge, with the occasional acoustic rinse à la ...

After a year of Undercover at the Office, Zeppelin will bring it on home

Plus Waxahatchee, Buck 65, and Helmet does Betty in San Diego clubs this week

Sunday 26The lovefest surrounding Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee would be concerning if she weren’t so rock solid, as far as human artstic types go. This year’s Ivy Tripp, like 2013’s Cerulean Salt, is a killer record, ...

Casbah crowd honors Hollywood impresario Kim Fowley

Plus the punky-tonk Lydia Loveless and resurrected Dead Milkmen in San Diego clubs this weekend

Thursday 23“I grew up on an 80-acre farm, literally a farm girl, feeding cattle every day. That’s always going to be a part of me, but I don’t necessarily want to perpetuate the country music ...

Can't buy a thrill like a Steely Dan!

...or Sebastian Bach! Plus Drive-By Truckers and Young Fathers in the clubs this week

Sunday 19I know it’s cool to hate on Steely Dan, but I can’t and won’t. Yes, I’m about to share — siddown! It’s summer 1970-something and we’re in my cousin Phil’s converted attic bedroom playing ...

Coachella spillith over

Ride, Ratatat, Cribs, Clean Bandit, Belle & Sebastian cut through town

Thursday 16Britgaze band Ride rides in from Coachella to play Humphrey's by the Bay Thursday. As far as the fuzztoning and moaning English acts of the era go (Mary Chain, Bloody Valentine), Ride was a ...

Jehu sells out — twice!

...and the best of the rest in San Diego clubs Sunday through humpday

Sunday 5L.A. show band Vaud & the Villains will perform their latest jazzy noir at Belly Up Sunday night. It’s like dinner theater without the garlic mash. I’ve never been because I’ve never been that ...

From Venice Beach: Shriners, Dustbowlers, and Vinyl Junkies

Plus jazz cooker Karl Denson remixes Run DMC at Belly Up this weekend

Thursday 2The gf and her bff are pleased as punch with their pair of sold-out TV on the Radio @ Observatory North Park tickets, thanks to yours true. I handed them over when I saw ...

Pile into Soda Bar

Plus Hinds, Soko, Schlomo, and Nirvana Undercover!

Sunday 29Spanish band Hinds hits the Soda Bar Sunday night after our own Muscle Beech and Geyser House. Hinds is from Madrid and is formerly known as the Deers, which NME had hailed as “Europe’s ...

Double Burgerama!

...with a side of South by Southwesters

Thursday 26South by Southwest has let out and it looks like everyone’s heading west. So, put your head on a swivel, Crawler follower, here they come... Nashville’s “modern classic rock” duo Jeff the Brotherhood got ...

X meets Mr. Hitchcock

Plus Black Rivers, Jeff Tweedy, and Gang of Four

Sunday 22X’s John Doe and Exene Cervenka join Robyn Hitchcock for one of Belly Up’s “Evening With” seated shows. Be aware, there’s no opening act at these things and you should be seated by 8p ...

Wild in the streets

Punk rock karaoke, indie-rock dark matter, and an experimental guitar show

Thursday 19Casbah’s culled some indie-rock dark matter for Thursday night, a curious double bill that surprises and then you’re, like, Oh yeah. Singer/songwriter (emphasis on writer) Joseph D’Agostino and his band of Jersey boys Cymbals ...

Shamrock 'n' roll this St. Patty's Day

Plus blasts from the past with Kevin Seconds, Ani DeFranco, and Juliana Hatfield

Sunday 15From Sacramento-via-Reno, punker-turned-trubadour Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds) plays Bar Pink with local flim-flammer Grampa Drew and Matt Strachota (Long and Short of It). Seconds last year released New Year’s Rulins, “songs inspired by Woody ...

Single Mothers unite!

Plus Twin Shadow, Dengue Fever, and Naomi Punk

Thursday 12Before frontman Drew Thomson hooked up with Single Mothers, he spent a year as a gold prospector in a town called Swastika. (You can’t make this stuff up, people.) But the vein Thomson tapped ...

You need A Place to Bury Strangers, goth bot

...and the rest of the highlights from Sunday night through humpnight

Sunday 8I’ve been poked a lot lately about the Districts, a Smalltown, Pennsylvania–based four-piece that takes its folk-rocking seriously. The music-making/vocalizing part, that is, the touring of which is a carnival of sorts. These boys ...

Tweak, Tap, Viet Cong...

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

Thursday 5Tweak Bird bird bird, bird is the word... Now that you’ve got that stuck in your head (you’re welcome), I’ve got to tell you, Crawler followers, we have got one wicked week of shows ...

The joy of No Joy

Plus Colleen Green, the Crocs, Nathan Williams's Spirit Club, and Swervedriver!

Sunday 1He was a hardcore Bad Brain. Now a solo-roller, rasta-punk frontman H.R. hits Brick by Brick behind his new joints, Quest, recorded with the DC rocksteady crew the Scotch Bonnets, and H.R. & Dubb ...

Deap Vally rawk, Gulf Coast soul, Six Organs psych-out

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

Thursday 26The band that crochets together, stays together. The hard-rocking duo Deap Vally — Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) and Julie Edwards (drums, vocals) — met stitching and bitching in Silver Lake before becoming the throwdowningest ...

Swami's surf report

...plus Hopeless Jack, Eddie Spaghetti, and Meghan Trainor

Sunday 15Swami John Reis & the Blind Shake catch a wave to Casbah behind their brand-new instrumental-rock record, Modern Surf Classics. Catch up with Reis in last week’s “Swami’s new trip” feature in the Reader. ...

Cupid sent me

Cro-Mags, Stone Foxes, Dodos, and the best of the rest in San Diego clubs this weekend

Thursday 12John Joseph “Bloodclot” McGowan and his New York City metalcore crew Cro-Mags set up at Soda Bar after hardcore border band Bumbklaat and punk quartet Nerve Control. DJ Heather Hardcore will spin ’round sets. ...