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Stories by Dave Good

Happy Fangs' first record could be its best

If you asked me to make a top ten list of my favorite bands of the year thus far, this San Francisco–based garage band would be somewhere near the top. Happy Fangs’ first full-length CD ...

Studios for let

Where to book your next project

Sure, you can self-record your album in your bedroom with a laptop, some software, and a few decent mics. Or, you could go the traditional route in a recording studio. But where to book your ...

Bands to watch

Anyone who has flipped through the music section of the Reader has seen the names of countless local acts listed under the banners of countless venues. In fact, there are so many bands in this ...

Happiness is Taking Back Sunday

You remember your first high school crush, yes? Who doesn’t recall that queasy over-the-falls feeling that percolated in the back of your head like some form of madness? Well, as a band, that’s where Taking ...

Jazz Vespers

“This was Big Jerr’s idea.” Archie Thompson takes a break from rehearsal for a recording session in the chapel at First Presbyterian Church downtown. He’s talking about Jazz Vespers, where each service begins with a ...

Even Antarctica

Tim Mudd gets up at 4:30 every morning and begins writing music in his University Heights home studio. Mick Van Dyck of North Park carves blocks of recording time out of his work days. Chris ...

Mac Sabbath does Black Sabbath McDonald’s style

Not a fan of Black Sabbath? Not to worry. That line is long and includes everyone from the religious right to certain members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who made the heavy-metal ...

The Stone Foxes find their own way in

“I killed Robert Johnson with strychnine.” It’s a clever first-person accounting of the vaunted blues man’s death at the hands of a cuckold who slipped the singer a bad bottle of whiskey on the sly ...

Kate Voegele, like a female Bon Jovi

Let us count the many ways that “Hallelujah” has been covered over the years. A throng of dissimilar artists have taken a shot at that magnum opus, including Tim Buckley, Il Divo, John Bon Jovi, ...

Swami’s new trip

John Reis waxes surf rock

“I think people make up their mind whether they’re going to like something before they even hear it.”

Party like it’s 1982 with a new Motet

For those of you who missed out on acts like the Bar-Kays, the Dazz Band, Cameo, or the whole of the semi-disco dance floor ’80s in general, there’s the Motet. Some of you have not ...

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 ...

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