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Stories by Barnaby Monk

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 ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, January 19–22

Sunday 19Goofy Canada band Jelly Boyz will play the Ché Café campus collective on Sunday. The blink-y quartet’s just out of high school with eight ears dialed deftly (and deafly, given the volume) into ’90s ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday-Saturday, January 16–18

Thursday 16“Part art project, part band,” according to Crooks on Tape’s (ex-Enon, -Braniac) one sheet. The L.A.-based improv-pop trio will take the stage at Soda Bar behind their Misra debut Fingerprints, a psych-pop set that ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, January 12–15

Sunday 12Tennis anyone? Denver-based marrieds Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley have apparently docked the breezy Cape Dory skiff-pop for darker waters. Last year’s Young and Old, recorded with Black Key Patrick Carney fuzzed up the ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, January 9–11

Thursday 9Nineties-grade alt-rockers No Knife culled a biggish but brief career from angular slash-and-burn pop deconstructions that evoked, at turns, the Clash, Fugazi, Archers, and Mission of Burma, but Mitch Wilson’s first-person lyrics and emotive ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, December 29–January 1

Sunday 29Sunday’s a tough Crawler call, cuz as Cracker and Camper Van pull into Belly Up Tavern for a night of fun punk’d alt-rock favorites...closer to home, the Gene Taylor Blues Band, featuring fellow Blaster ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday–Saturday, December 26–28

Thursday 26Gearing up for New Year’s Eve, here’s a good way to work off that holiday roast beast and work on that woozy two-step, as psychonaut beach-goth boys the Growlers bring their first Fat Cat ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, December 22–25

Sunday 22For the first time ever again, human jukebox El Vez and rockabilly filly Rosie Flores join forces at Casbah for the annual Mexmas show — ¡Christmas con queso! According to the Casbah’s billing, “Perhaps ...

In San Diego clubs Sunday-Wednesday, December 15-18

Sunday 15Mika Miko’s Jessica and Jennifer Clavin are Bleached, a duo that distills scuzzy guitar-pop on its Dead Oceans debut Ride Your Heart. It’s a driving, darling racket of ’60s girl-group revisionism that has rock ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday-Saturday, December 12-14

Thursday 12For all you tent-pitching, rock-climbing, star-gazing, firepit-blazing, punk-rock throwback barbecue fanatics, first-wave punks the Weirdos will headline a high-desert dust-up at that rock-roll pork-pit of Pioneertown, Pappy & Harriet’s. From late-’70s Hollyweird, John and ...

In the San Diego Clubs Monday–Wednesday, December 9–11

Monday 9Canada band Dinosaur Bones rattles into Soda Bar Monday night behind its latest, Shaky Dream. This is Dave Good’s Of Noted show this week, but I couldn’t not add this cut-n-pastable from Allmusic: “[Shaky ...

In the San Diego clubs Saturday & Sunday, December 7 & 8

Saturday 7Casbah and Daydream Nation host another Vinyl Junkies afternoon of quaffing and record-swapping to the tunes of special guest DJ David J (Bauhaus, Love & Rockets). And then on Saturday night, it’s San Clemente ...

In the San Diego clubs Thursday & Friday, December 5 & 6

Thursday 5It took buds Pete Yorn and J.D. King, both accomplished singer-songwriters, ten years to make a record together, but when they did, as the Olms, it came pretty quick. The pair reportedly sneezed out ...

Monday–Wednesday, December 2–4, in the San Diego clubs

Monday 2From Leeds, England, DJ George Evelyn, aka Nightmares on Wax, and our own beats-down trio Illuminauts split a bill at Belly Up. Sample-happy producer Evelyn released his first set of funk jams in five ...

Saturday & Sunday, November 30 & December 1,
in the San Diego clubs

Saturday 30From the same ’70s SoCal scene that gave us Black Flag and Circle Jerks came Redd Kross. But Jeff and Steve McDonald’s punk’d rawk quartet is (technically) the last band standing, and if last ...

Thursday & Friday, November 28 & 29, in the San Diego clubs

Thursday 28Gobble till you wobble, Crawler followers, ain’t a darn thing I can see that warrants bumbling around town all tryptophan’d out. Besides, no better show than the Thanksgiving family eruption. Wait for it... Friday ...

In the San Diego clubs Monday–Wednesday, November 25–27

Monday 25From Denver in Colorado, traveling troubadour A. Tom Collins hits Soda Bar with Stick & Poke, “a boozy, moody record of stomp-and-wrangle-worthy anthems for the Now Times.” According to the barsite, Collins is a ...

In the San Diego clubs Saturday & Sunday, November 23 & 24

Saturday 23After an appearance at ATP’s flipside festival I’ll Be Your Mirror in May (at an English palace with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs!), San Diego grindcore quartet the Locust are still airborne and swarm Porter’s ...

In the San Diego clubs Thursday & Friday, November 21 & 22

Thursday 21What do you get when you fLUF up your Olivelawn with Trumans Water? Yuh-huh, Octa#Grape. The blown-cone quartet is about as dissonant as a band can be and still sing and bring the hook. ...

In San Diego clubs Monday–Wednesday, November 18–20

Monday 18One of the Crawler’s favorite L.A. acts, the alt-rock trio Nightmare Air drifts into Soda Bar Monday night. Bassist/vocalist Swaan Miller and guitarist Dave Dupuis (Film School) throw down layers of lush harmonics that ...

In San Diego clubs Saturday & Sunday, November 16 & 17

Saturday 16Soda Bar serves up Beverly, Mass six-piece Caspian Saturday night. The experimental instrumentalists this week released (Hymn For) The Greatest Generation, an EP of elegiac rock songs using the basic tools of the trade, ...

In San Diego clubs Thursday & Friday, November 14 & 15

Thursday 14Japan is an island nation of way over a million personhoods whose main export is noise rock. No, it isn’t, but with recording/touring acts such as the Boredoms, the Acid Mothers collectives, and Melt-Banana ...

This weekend's live music in San Diego, November 9 & 10

Saturday 9Portland’s Blitzen Trapper hits Porter’s Pub at UCSD Saturday night. The alt-country quintet is out to tout its seventh studio set, VII (I feel ya), on which the band pulls back the reins on ...

Live music in San Diego (and a bit beyond) Monday–Wednesday, November 11-13

Monday 11Hip-hop hits Ab-Soul and Joey Badass, released last week from a St. Louis jail after being busted at one of their Smokers Club Tour stops, file into Soma Monday night with Underachievers and Chevy ...

In the San Diego clubs Thursday and Friday, November 7 & 8

Thursday 7“Country western acid punk, if you need to put a label on it.” Like a lot of citizens of our galaxy, I came to Meat Puppets by way of Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged set, on ...

This week in the San Diego clubs, October 31–November 6

Thursday 31Scream, Dracula, Scream! Happy Halloween, creepy Crawler followers. The big gig’s at House of Blues tonight, as John Reis’s reunited brass-punk act Rocket From the Crypt takes flight from the downtown rock spot’s mainstage. ...

This week in the San Diego clubs, October 24–30

Thursday 24I missed this year’s SDMAs. Security didn’t see the humor in my Psycho Tim Pyles “getup.” To be fair, they saw the humor — they loved last year’s Zombie Mikey Esparza — they just ...

This week in the San Diego clubs, October 17–23

Thursday 17If life were lived at 33 rpm, Jim Putnam’s music would be universal. His original Radar Bros. were at the forefront of slo-fi, their Singing Hatchet an essential set to get and get. I ...

This week in the San Diego clubs, October 10–16

Thursday 10The Residents of Amsterdam. With 40 records and 34 “Premonitions” over 33 years, the experiment that is the Legendary Pink Dots continues tonight at Casbah. Avant-gardeans Edward Ka-Spel and Phil (“the Silverman”) Knight are ...

This week in the San Diego clubs, October 3–9

Thursday 3Light ’em up and watch ’em rock, pop, and roll. From Laramie, Wyoming, Fat Wreck recording artists Teenage Bottlerocket shoot into town and go off at Soda Bar behind their fifth, Freak Out!, which ...

This week in the San Diego clubs, September 26–October 2

Thursday 26Rough-hewn folkies Woods will be at Casbah Thursday night. The Brooklyn band behind the reedy falsetto and shambolic ’60s psych-guitar of frontman Jeremy Earl has grown by one, a full-time drummer, tightening the seams ...

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