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Stories by Dave Good

Sweet suite

How it all started, the composition of a ballet by a career jazz musician: “I have a daughter,” Charles McPherson tells the Reader by phone from his Talmadge home, “who’s a dancer with the San ...

Not a punk-rock film

“The first record I ever bought?” deadpans John Reis. “It was the Jackson Five’s ‘ABC’.” Sure enough, there’s a faded purple copy of it on the table next to a child’s plastic phonograph player. “I ...

March Fourth! to the Belly Up

Like no other marching band you’ve ever seen: March Fourth! blends elements of the horn-band ’70s with gospel, funk, jazz, rock, and the circus into a marching band that does not actually march. This begs ...

Tower of Power has new music coming

Forty-six years. “Actually, 46 and a half,” Doc Kupka says by phone from New York. He’s the baritone sax player and cofounder of soul band Tower of Power, which started in Oakland, California. I wonder ...

Don’t rule out the Flesh Eaters

It’s far too soon to rule out the Flesh Eaters. By now, the band members are all on the verge of being old, but no matter. What they bring to the stage is about 200 ...

Ancient rock music

When guitarist Sergio Estrada and the band Relax Max take the House of Blues stage January 9 with fellow rockers the 6ONE9 band and Madman and Arena, he expects to see a lot of his ...

Chain and the Gang at the Hideout

Crime rock from the nation’s capital! No, it’s not a new genre, but more of a joke thing from a rock and roll front man with an excess of dynamism. You get the feeling that ...

Phaser finger

In December, Timothy Joseph took over as host of the Local 94/9, a radio show on FM94/9 that features local bands. This, following long-time show host Tim Pyles’s move to the Loudspeaker, also a locals-only ...

Cash’d Out Christmas with Rosie Flores

A double-header with Cash’d Out and Rosie Flores for your holiday pleasure. Cash’d Out is a Johnny Cash tribute act. They’ve been around San Diego now for close to a decade. For what it’s worth, ...

Going once, going twice...

“Is that the actual key?” Eric Denton says with obvious delight. “And it still works?” It does. “We should raise the price,” he says, only half joking about the $99 price tagged onto an old ...

I make 300 cups of coffee every day. I get $9 an hour plus tips.

News from the Fight-for-Fifteen front

Minimum wage is not meant to be a living wage.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are a Vespa motor scooter on nitro methane

Some things don’t change. Even into their 50s, Dicky Barrett and Joe Gittleman and the band they started 30 years ago still seem like an ongoing frat-house party. After all, it was the Mighty Mighty ...

Mursic: strange name, great band

The first time I heard Mursic was at a coffee shop in La Mesa. No, they weren’t performing there — Clay Hackett, a drummer, had saved some of their demo tracks to his iPad. He ...

Bebel Gilberto made bossa nova popular in America

Bebel Gilberto was born in New York in 1966, two years after a jazz record titled Getz/Gilberto made a style of music called bossa nova wildly popular in America. At the Grammy Awards in 1965, ...

Charlie Arbelaez, explosive bebop alto saxist

The liveliest of jazz jams happens on Friday nights in La Mesa. A chance move brought it here: “I lived just up the hill, off University Avenue,” says Charlie Arbelaez, 27. Recently out of the ...

Dive Bomber is seasoned and solid. And painted.

I’m always curious to view how the national press responds to San Diego bands. For example, this July, when Kris Keyes dressed as his alter-ego Nomad the Painted Man and roamed the streets around Comic-Con, ...

It’s a six-string thing

“It’s called the San Diego Guitar Society, and it’s an idea I’ve had for a while.” Mark Langford sits in his office at Rock and Roll San Diego and tells the Reader about his latest ...

Chinese Rocks Johnny Thunders–style

“I’m a girl impersonating a guy who dressed kind of like a girl.” And so it begins with Diana Death, a local guitarist and club deejay who also fronts what is possibly the only Johnny ...

Doing sound could be reckless

If it’s good, credit the band. If it’s bad, blame the sound guy.

...in the ear of the beholder.

Something for the kids

“I like Christian rap. I love hip-hop,” says Quincy Brown, 14. “Tupac is my idol. I love Tupac. The way he sings about the women in his songs? Like, he’s not a gangbanger, he’s a ...

36 Crazyfists brings metal you can almost sing along to

When you read about the history of this Alaskan metal band, you have to wonder whether they borrowed their name from Jackie Chan and the 36 Crazy Fists due to the underdog-comes-from-behind plot of the ...

O’Death keeps busy in October

I haven’t heard anything this unselfconsciously makeshift since Jake LaBotz got the notion to tour his own acoustic madness via a series of tattoo-parlor mini-concerts across the country. Some label the alt-country band O’Death a ...

Back where I started

“They were saying back in 1974, when I started working at Jazz 88.3, that jazz was a dying thing. It’s not.” This month, on-air jazz host Gary Beck celebrates a 40-year association with the San ...

Legally Homegrown

“I left KPRI for a few reasons. The biggest,” former Homegrown Hour host Cathryn Beeks tells the Reader, “is that I wasn’t going to be able to play and represent all genres of our San ...

The Melvins are the grungiest of them all

Sure, grunge is long gone, but the grungiest of them all, a sludge-metal band that many consider to have been the musical point of detonation that created the grunge movement, never got that memo. The ...

Now they are just Rubblebucket

Rubblebucket is a Brooklyn band with its roots in the South. You could pick John Brown’s Body, or a house party, as their starting point. Trumpeter/singer Alex Toth and singer/bari-saxist Kalmia Traver (she also goes ...

Transatlantic ambitions

“I only use Da Mama Tokus because Facebook wouldn’t let me have Mama. I’m Mama Tokus.” She corrects a visitor while seated across the way from the convention center. Tokus has just finished a show ...

Soul to the Nth Power

The Nth Power is a Louisiana soul band that debuted at the 2012 Jazzfest, held annually in New Orleans at the Fair Grounds Race Course. They are Weedie Braimah, Nate Edgar, Nikki Glaspie, Nigel Hill, ...

American Aquarium on the distractions of living in the digital age

BJ Barham, the songwriter and front man for American Aquarium, checks in with the Reader from Charlottesville, VA. He says the band has a couple of days off before heading up to Washington DC. This ...

Heff’s unholy dreams

“I find most books of poetry suffocating and stifling,” Gary Heffern emails, “so it was important to me to add all the artwork and pictures in order to allow the reader some time to breathe, ...

Lacy to the rescue

“For the past four or five years, I’ve done a lot of charity shows.” Country-rocker Lacy Younger works on an iced decaf and brings a visitor up to date on her career. In jeans and ...

Gov’t Mule thrives on spontaneity

Gov’t Mule, basically a canvas for the guitar of Warren Haynes, is celebrating 20 years as a band. Warren Haynes calls the Reader from a spot on the road an hour north of New York ...

The Paws like the lo-fi indie-rock

The guys in Paws like the lo-fi indie-rock of the 1990s. And why not? At their respective ages, the ’90s scene is vintage. They’ve not been around too long, having released their debut seven-inch single ...

Folk Arts V

“Right here? This is the shop’s fifth location.” Earlier this summer, Brendan Boyle bought out Folk Arts Rare Records, founded nearly half a century ago by Lou Curtiss. Inside the new location on El Cajon ...

Buenos Avenue freeze-out

“The reaction has, by and large, been great.” Clay Hackett checks in with the Reader to talk about his newest creation, the Catalyst. “The Catalyst is an online magazine that covers [San Diego] rock and ...

Music Thing lands whale of a deejay

“I’ve actually been in San Diego twice in the last three weeks.” It’s Moby on the phone, checking in with the Reader ahead of his appearance as keynote speaker at the seventh annual San Diego ...

Feverish sounds of Slow Magic

One day, someone will figure out how to record the feverish sounds and music that we imagine we hear in our dreams. Until that advent in technology, we’ll make do with Slow Magic. He’s a ...

Wil Blades, the future of the Hammond

At first, it was a money thing, admits Wil Blades, of the organ. A die-hard guitarist from his teens, Blades was studying music at Berklee College when he chanced upon the mother of all electric ...

We beat the big boys

The sounds of construction, not jazz, resonate in Mark DeBoskey’s office. Any week now, the entirety of KSDS Jazz 88.3, some 500 square feet of studios and cramped admin offices, will move into a spacious ...

Reunite Like Jehu

It almost seemed like a prank, the Facebook announcement that Drive Like Jehu planned to reunite, at least long enough to play one free show on the big concrete stage at the Balboa Park Organ ...

Shake Before Us blends the old

A contemporary rock-and-roll band using vintage gear from the 1960s — but not to make modern music so much as to keep that old party going. Shake Before Us are like the ’60s never ended. ...

Far Out Fangtooth to Creepoid

“We’re in the middle of one of our longest drives on this tour.” Nick Culp checks in by phone from somewhere up in Canada to talk about his recent move from Far Out Fangtooth to ...

Charitable Stones

Stones ink an axe for local teens.

“I was blessed to meet Mick Jagger’s assistant through one of our Photocharity board members.” Jeffrey Sitcov calls the Reader to talk about his latest good fortune: a pair of electric guitars, each one autographed ...

Reunite Like Jehu

"Dude, we gotta do a Jehu show with the organ... It'll be like jamming with Godzilla."

It almost seemed like a prank, the Facebook announcement that Drive Like Jehu planned to reunite, at least long enough to play one free show on the big concrete stage at the Balboa Park Organ ...

The Sonics invented punk

Seen recently on the Sonics Facebook page: “NEEDED: reliable, professional man-with-van for our August 15/16/17 dates in Los Angeles and San Diego for our upcoming shows. Must have a reliable, working, clean 15-passenger van and ...

Italian for circus

“We’re opening a café in the side yard. Actually, it’s a mobile coffee cart with outdoor seating.” Valerie Power checks in to tell the Reader about new plans involving the Technomania Circus, which she and ...

Itai Faierman gets uncomfortable

When I first heard the master tracks from Itai Faierman’s latest band, Speaker in Reverse, I was afraid to ask who was handling the vocals, lest I offend. You’d think I’d know his voice after ...

The Clams have an antique tone

Shannon and the Clams create little madhouse videos that both entertain and leave a viewer glad the real world is the way it is. Shannon Shaw’s a cherubic blonde with dark and artsy deliriums. In ...

Hard to swallow

“The letter came registered mail — signature requested on July 3.” It was an eviction notice. Katie Halvin says it gave her until November 1 to vacate her Parkway Bar. She and her husband Doug ...

Shape & Sound: Welcome to Sax Diego

The instrument is a reflection of the performer.

“It sounds like a human voice,” Weiss says, “because that’s your breath coming out of it.”

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