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Stories by Dave Good

Current Swell rocks folk

Music journos have called Current Swell Vancouver Island’s answer to surf rock. Originally a backyard party band from Canada, they gelled into something (give or take a few personnel changes) and then gained an audience ...

That’s too loud!

Kimm Rogers comes out of retirement.

Rogers is learning that her current hometown is not the easiest place to restart one’s career.

Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil sounds down home

To criticize the progressive whitening of the blues, a trend that may have gotten jump-started during the electrified 1970s, would be pointless. African-American origins notwithstanding, blues audiences have shifted away from those roots, as have ...

Vinyl Faults

“I was hoping by now to be able to describe more of the details,” Joshua Zimmerman tells the Reader, “but I have to keep it a little vague.” His band, the Silent Comedy, recently recorded ...

Doyle Bramhall II music is a train that runs right on time

The job of any Texas blues-rock guitarist is to rise above all other such Texas guitarists that came before him or her and, good lordy, that deck is stacked. The Lone Star State has given ...

Karl Denson's surreal universe

Local saxman rolls with the Stones

Rolling Stones fans will see a familiar face onstage when the band kicks off its 2015 tour at Petco Park in May — local saxophonist Karl Denson. A veteran by now of quick tour hops, ...

SoKo mines her psychic backyard

The two SoKos: first, there’s a dream-pop side where sensory input is reduced to a simple trickle of fragile chords and a voice that sounds as if filtered through layers of gauze, or, the darker ...

And the winner is...

If rock and roll doesn’t work out as a career for Rich Varville (ex–Trailerpark Rockstar), maybe rock videos will. On March 7, Varville took home Best Director honors at the San Diego Film Awards for ...

Two saxophones and a drummer — that’s Moon Hooch

Two saxophones and a drummer — that’s Moon Hooch from Brooklyn. Michael Wilbur, one of the sax players, calls the Reader from a tour stop in Pennsylvania. “We’re looking forward to getting out west,” he ...

Honeyblood is juicy rock for women

Credit to whoever at Fat Cat Records saw through the lo-fi veneer of Honeyblood’s self-made release and heard the songcrafting for what it was: money. Honeyblood wasn’t actually trying to be scuzzy. One mic and ...

Say it ain’t so

Entertainers comment on the idea of a Chargers-Raiders stadium in Carson

In February, the San Diego Chargers dropped a bomb when they announced plans to build their own stadium in Carson, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. This, in the midst of ongoing negotiations with the ...

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, ...

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