Back to profile

Stories by Barnaby Monk

Brassy Budos, salty Clams...

...and a whole mess of other jams in the San Diego clubs this week

Thursday 31Brooklyn-via-Minneapolis alternative act the Hold Steady have held steady to their punk’d-rock form, churning out guitarist Tad Kubler’s brand of beery-brawny rawk while frontman Craig Finn sing-speaks his beery-brainy poetics, mini-epic tales of the ...

My Spoon is too big!

This week's really big rock shows for you really-big-rock-show-goers

Sunday 3There’s an early show (4p) out at Tower Bar by 30-year-strong garage punx M.O.T.O. (Masters of the Obvious). Later on you get a reunited Last Years as well as the Ferments and Badabing...or head ...

Jedi Elvis, Foxy Meatloaf, and a man called Alice

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

Sunday 27Classic-rock-radio staples Boston play Pechanga (Temecula) on their Heaven on Earth tour. If you’re hoping to catch the Beantownies, this’d be the place, as their Wednesday-night show at Humphreys is sold the fug out. ...

Yogging with Monk

...and rocking the clubs this weekend

Thursday 24“Lines like, ‘You’re a bad-hearted boy trap, baby doll, but you’re so damn hot,’ are enough to make you despise the English language.” Ah, the band that Pitchfork loves to hate, Chicago-born and bred ...

Hillbilly boogie, Chain Gang Daydreams, one-man's carnal carnival

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

Thursday 17Yeehaw — there’s gone be a barn-burner at Bar Pink Thursday night when SanFran “hillbilly boogie” band Jimbo Trout & the Fish People surface at the NoPark hot spot. Trout and the Fish are ...

Ché's final day and Johnny's birthday

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

Sunday 13Sunday will see the Ché Café’s final show for the foreseeable future. They’re billing it as the “For the F!!!ing Kids” show and the band list is generous. The big dill starts at noon. ...

The throwbacks, the Get Backs, and the grande dames

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

Thursday 10Throwback Thursday! You’ve got psychedelic SanFran band Jefferson Starship landing on the Belly Up stage. Jefferson Starship came out of the wreckage of Jefferson Airplane in the early ’70s, presenting more radio-friendly fare such ...

Kiss my axe

It's classic-rock radio week, with Kiss, Def Leppard, and the Nuge

Sunday 6The Big Gig this week’d be the classic-rock radio “Heroes 2014” tour, featuring the not-so-heavy metal Def Leppard and glam-metal band Kiss, down at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chulo Veesta. Yes, it’s the ...

Ronnie, Rusty, Nipsey, and Ringo

...and where to rock your Fourth o' July barbecue bib

Thursday 3Beyond the beehive, the ex-Ronnette/ex-Mrs. Phil Spector, Ronnie Spector (“Be My Baby,” “Walking in the Rain”), is enjoying a ride on the retro gravy train, rocking a haystack hairdo and touring behind her new ...

Skate-rat rappers, Southern Culture chicken chuckers — a Bujwah Bonanza!

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

Thursday 19When L.A. underground cult rapper Murs signed to TechN9ne’s Strange Music, it seemed inevitable he’d collaborate with the label’s Miami-based house band ¡Mayday! for a West-meets-East coast rap record. It was. He did. It’s ...

Portlandian punks, Tweak Bird brothers, World Cup Suckers

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

Sunday 22The U.S. men’s soccer team plays Portugal at 3p on the big screen at Whistle Stop Sunday. As I type this we’re still a few days away from their opener against Ghana’s Black Stars, ...

Cramps in les catacombs, two cows in the garage

Ohio's representing in town this month, and lots more...

Thursday 12From Bordeaux, France, pushing needles into the red with cracking guitars, electro-rock garage-punks the Magnetix (Looch Vibrato on guitar, Aggy Sonora on drums) bring what they dub “rock monster” to Bar Pink. The pair ...

Failure, Daddy-o!

...and the best of the rest around town Sunday through Wednesday, June 15–18

Sunday 15Happy Father’s Day, daddy-o's. You got a bunch of funyuns to choose from: L.A. alt-rock act Failure (“During their seven-year tenure in the ’90s, they recorded with Steve Albini, toured with Tool, and covered ...

King Buzzo's acoustic machine kills artists

Plus Wild bands, Blood Brothers, and blown-cone goth Babies

Sunday 8It’s “wild” night in Normal Heights, as Soda Bar stages Wild Ones with Idyll Wild. Wild Ones is a five-piece dream-pop band from Portland in Oregon. Idyll Wild are “a band of ghosts from ...

Lost and found in Detroit

Plus dance jams, rebel rock, a record swap, and one hard-headed woman

Thursday 5After years of anonymity, toiling in Detroit as a day laborer, singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, who had released two LPs in the early ’70s (Cold Fact, Coming from Reality) and then was rumored to have ...

A.J., Allah-Las, accordion punk, Tune-Yards

...push play on the pod for music clips of Monk's gig picks

Sunday 1San Diego son A.J. Croce has been touring in support of this year’s well-received smorgasbord of songcraft Twelve Tales. Easy to understand why all the different flavors (jazz, folk-pop, blues, and rootsy rock), as ...

Mountaintops, Meatmen, karaoke, air guitar

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

Thursday 29Canadian communal rocker Stephen McBean (Black Mountain, Grim Tower, Godspeed!, Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Tra La La Band, etc. etc.) just dropped a new Pink Mountaintops disc called Get Back, which sounds like the ...

Protomartyr's Under Color, Bowie's Undercover

...and the Eagulls have landed

Sunday 25Sunday’s in play if you’ve got a three-day weekend. And if you do, have I got a show for you: out to tout my early pick for 2014’s record of the year, Under Color ...

Play Hide and Seek with the Rosalyns, drop in with Gang Green

...and get down in Pioneertown with Freaks for the Fest

Thursday 22The all-star garage group the Rosalyns (featuring members of the Loons, the Schitzophonics, Gore Gore Girls, New Kinetics, and Chinese Rocks) will headline sets at Casbah after Diddley Daddies, Grim Imperials, and Two Wolves ...

Situation: Awesome

...with Red Fang, Band of Skulls, Black Flag, and giant sandworms!

Sunday 18The “Situation: Awesome” tour reaches UCSD, as Portland’s stoner-metal quartet Red Fang takes a bite out of Porter’s Pub Sunday night after Big Business and American Sharks. Red Fang is out to tout this ...

Louder than bombs

...with violin pop, Saber Tooth rock, and boho folk

Thursday 15K Ishibashi has violined for indie songsmiths Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and Atlanta psych-pop band of Montreal, and he fronts the Brooklyn new-wave group Jupiter One. Under the moniker Kishi Bashi, the 38-year-old multi-instrumentalist ...

Don’t let the Ché Café get punked by budget cuts

UCSD’s historical venue needs “critical renovations”

In a press release dated today, May 12, the Ché Café collective is calling for community support in the University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB) vote for a budget plan that may close the venue for ...

M is for the Many shows in San Diego...

...O is for the Ones I picked for you!

Sunday 11Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Love, Barn. I can do that because I run this joint.... “Remember the old Fleshtones song ‘The Girl From Baltimore’? Well, here she is! Her name is Lisa Doll and ...

What's new, pussycats?

...all the hip-hopping punk-n-roll you can handle

Thursday 8Trip-hop poet Yoni Wolf of Why? will play Ché Café with his protégé, Serengeti. Wolf had been on tour with his full band through April, but in May stripped down to “rap-only” dates, on ...

Cinco Mysterioso and soaking in the Sixties

San Diego club dates Sunday, May 4, through Wednesday, May 7

Sunday 4The Bad Plus will teach the new jazz math at the Loft at UCSD. The Minneapolis three-piece is best know for turning pop and classic rock into bop. Their reimaginings know no limits, as ...

Atomic Dog, Radioactivity, Over-Gain Optimal Death

...and the 4-1-1 on all kinds of music fun

Thursday 1“Tear the roof off the sucker!” The brassy mothership blasts off at House of Blues Thursday night as far-out bandleader George Clinton and his funky bunch, Parliament Funkadelic, take the downtown stage for a ...

Part giraffe, part zebra, part woot-woot!

...and Creeps and Schitzos on tap at this week's Reader on Tap

Thursday 24Local electro-pop tribal-dance duo Okapi Sun will play a CD-release for their full-length debut, Techno Prisoners (sounds like take no prisoners) at Casbah. Dallas and Leo have been banging out hook-filled dance tracks since ...

The eternal muse meets the difficult monkey

...and a surefire litmus test for bands you've never heard of

Sunday 27Tower Bar’s got a BBQ matinee starting at 4p, with Seattle-based “love punk” four-piece Damage Done and our own Beside Myself and Caskitt...after that, go home and change your sauce-stained shirt (slob), and head ...

In the San Diego music clubs Sunday–Wednesday, April 20–23

Sunday 20When you’re done being Easterly Sunday, mashing all them ’mallow peeps and jelly beans, get out to Casbah, where Leopold & His Fiction will split a bill with Soft White Sixties. Fueled by peanut ...

In the San Diego music clubs Thursday–Saturday, April 17–19

Thursday 17Like a psychedelic Elvis one minute and Chuck Berry on a blues-punk bender the next, New York City staple Jon Spencer and his Blues Explosion — the irrepressible, irreplaceable rock-rolling backbone Judah Bauer and ...

In the San Diego music clubs Sunday–Wednesday, April 6–9

Sunday 6Casbah stages War on Drugs Sunday night. Critics are swooning over this year’s Lost in the Dream CD, for its “rust-belt-rock-like-the-Boss!”–ness. Except Adam Granduciel, he’s the main War on Drugser, has less of a ...

In the San Diego music clubs Thursday–Saturday, April 3–5

Thursday 3The Two-Headed Cheetah Tour comes through town tonight, as U.S. punk progenitor Cheetah Chrome (Rocket From the Tombs/Dead Boys) and L.A. punk revivalists the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs take the stage at Soda Bar. Chrome is ...

In the San Diego music clubs Thursday–Saturday, March 27–29

Thursday 27Grease-punk preacher Reverend Horton Heat will wrap up his short week at Casbah Thursday night. Heat’s touring in support of his latest rockabilly record, Rev, and will headline sets by death-o-billy Danes Nekromantix (they’ve ...

In the San Diego music clubs Sunday–Wednesday, March 30–April 2

Sunday 30I’m just going to go ahead and call Saintseneca my surprise find of the week. These ANTI- folkies from Columbus, Ohio, are all kinds of weird Amerikana, in the vein of Violent Femmes and, ...

In the San Diego music clubs Sunday–Wednesday, March 23–26

Sunday 23From right up the road in Long Beach, garage-pop trio Tijuana Panthers will play Soda Bar behind last year’s well-received release Semi-Sweet. A record, according to the band, that captures their “nice-guy angst.” I ...

In the San Diego music clubs Thursday–Saturday, March 20–22

Thursday 20Texas alt-rock vets the Toadies hop into Belly Up on the 20-year anniversary tour of their commercial breakthrough, the platinum-selling Interscope set Rubberneck. This summer the band’s re-releasing the collection with five more songs ...

In the San Diego music clubs Sunday–Wednesday, March 9–12

Sunday 9From Chicago, heady-metal trio Russian Circles spin into Casbah Sunday night. The post-rock instrumentalists are touring in support of last year’s critical hit Memorial, a record that out-explodes Explosions in the Sky, pummels the ...

In the San Diego music clubs Thursday–Saturday, March 6–8

Thursday 6From Oakland, producer-musician Matthew Melton (ex–Bare Wires) and his latest “lo-fi-glam-garage-pop” project Warm Soda pour their sticky goodness on the Hideout stage Thursday night. Warm Soda’s 2013 set, Someone for You, arcs from the ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, March 2–5

Hit play on the podcast for clips of the bands!

Sunday 2The Wailers will be at Belly Up on Sunday, celebrating the 30th anniversary of reggae staple Legend. Among the greatest of all greatest-hits collections, Legend holds the distinction of being the second-longest-charting record in ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, February 27–March 1

Hit play on the podcast for clips of the bands!

Thursday 27“If you didn’t see me then you weren’t on the dance floor.” It’s no surprise that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., the Detroit indie-pop duo’s Beach Boys-meets-Ghetto Boys ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, February 23–26

Sunday 23Jagjaguwar artist Stephen McBean (Black Mountain) and his other other other Canada band Pink Mountaintops set up at Soda Bar Sunday night. The Mountaintops are touring in advance of April’s Get Back release. They ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, February 20–22

Thursday 20Blue Note buffs, one of the vintage label’s lions of the electric organ, Dr. Lonnie Smith, will wheel his Hammond B3 into the Loft at UCSD. Whereas his soul-jazz forebear Jimmy Smith’s greazy riffs ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, February 16–19

Sunday 16For fans of the hippy-dippy brand, Boston band Quilt has a new record out on the flavor-of-the-day Mexican Summer label. It’s called Held in Splendor and is getting all kinds of press juice for ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, February 13–15

Thursday 13Former guitarist of the Gun Club, Cramps, Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds, and one-time president of the Ramones Fan Club, Cali native Kid Congo Powers and his Pink Monkey Birds swing into Casbah Thursday night. ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, February 9–12

Sunday 9Soda Bar serves Woolen Men. (It’s true.) Woodsist’s windows-down daytrippers do the label proud with their galloping garage-rock sound and off-key, out-of-time, sing-along-with-me singer. Like listening to a young Michael Stipe fronting the dBs. ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, February 6–8

Thursday 6Barcelona band Delorean pulls their stainless-steel dance-rock act into Casbah Thursday night. One of Spain’s most popular underground bands, the quartet “takes cues from their native Balearic beat, Madchester house, techno, and R&B, to ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, February 2–5

Sunday 2It’s Super Bowl Sunday, dontchaknow. For you humans not into it, here are a few “fit-in” talking points: “I hope the Broncos win. That means the Chargers were knocked out by the Super Bowl ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, January 30–February 1

Thursday 30Punch-drunk poet Phil Alvin brings his barroom-rocking Blasters to Soda Bar Thursday night. Alvin and his younger brother Dave gave L.A. a taste of American Music in the early ’80s, a record that pricked ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, January 26–29

Sunday 26Gary Heffern & Friends will play a matinee (starts at 2p) at the Middletown mainstay with sound collagist and ex–San Diegan Robert Turman, Black Tango, and Social Spit, and I understand they’ll also be ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, January 23–25

Thursday 23The Casbah crowd will be celebrating the club’s 25-year run as San Diego’s credible showcase of up-and-coming alternative bands and a must-play stage for many underground and international acts. The Birch North Park Theatre ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close