Back to profile

Stories by Dave Good

Bebop revivalist Miguel Zenón

Throwback jazz with a Latin twist hits ArtPower at UCSD

Miguel Zenón is not your grandmother’s jazzman — so many of them are, for better or worse. Ever since a handful of the perkiest among them invented bebop in the 1940s, followed by the next ...

Music before poetry for Robert Pinsky

Former poet laureate tours through town behind his Poemjazz

It turns out that Robert Pinsky is also a sax player. We spend minutes talking about the beloved Buescher 400 series tenor sax he once owned but that got stolen. “Tenor sax,” he tells me ...

When life hands you Lemon Twigs...

...join the pop-rock fun at Casbah this Thursday

The Lemon Twigs sound like a rough cut of the Beatles from way back before the Fab Four had gotten tight from playing all those marathon gigs in Germany. Throw in some Bay City Rollers, ...

Revivalists or revitalists?

Indie rockers who have discovered soul and R&B and, in their own DIY way, have revitalized that music

The Revivalists (no, they don’t live up to their name, but we’ll get to that later) are among the crop of indie rockers who have discovered soul and R&B and in their own DIY way, ...

Lemuria — violence with a smile

...feel-good indie-rock punk-pop with a garage band’s sense of the disorganized

The word “lemuria” can mean many things. Lemuria is a Belgian band, for example, or was a religious holiday celebrated in ancient Rome, or is a song title recorded by a Swedish symphonic metal band ...

Goodbye Terrible Youth, hello American Wrestlers

St. Louis-via-Scotland indie-rock act sets up at Soda Bar Thursday night

“A few steps behind the times” is how one reviewer describes the band American Wrestlers; the comment is spot-on. Who uses a drum machine anymore, right? Or, a timeworn tape recorder? There are a few ...

Thank You Scientist's lab rock

Stranger Heads Prevail at Casbah on Wednesday night

You could possibly generate earthquakes with this band’s music cranked at high volume. It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard, unless you listen to the Beatles and Kansas and Genesis and the Mars Volta and Frank ...

The many sides of Ariel Levine

From Bon Scott's Big Balls to Bowie's boas

“We’re gonna do the album from start to finish,” Ariel Levine tells me by phone from his Middletown apartment. Levine is a singer/composer/guitarist transplant from New York. “I’ve lived here for five years now.” The ...

Slow Hollows' new-gen new wave

L.A. act brings back hook-heavy synth-pop

Rock radio in the years leading up to Van Halen was overwhelmed with the sounds of a format called new wave, otherwise known as synth pop. A lot of that music was exported from Britain. ...

Punk-rock revivalists Barb Wire Dolls

Soda Bar stages the Greek five-piece on Thursday night, December 22

They’re a good three decades late to the dance, but don’t paint them into the retro corner. This is a living, breathing band, fresh, and coming off the launch pad as if they could restart ...

Dandy Warhols' dandy ear candy

The Portland band will slather Distortland all over the Belly Up stage on Thursday

“I never thought you’d be a junkie/ because heroin is so passé.” Who would think to give the smack nation its own pink and yellow television-style game show, complete with burning luxe cars, dancing syringes, ...

Steel Wheels grind into town

Roots group rolls with the hype into Brick 15 Sunday night

Fiddle music played by four traveling Mennonites. Put it that way and you might think that the Steel Wheels would not be a band that could chart and get radio play after scoring accolades at ...

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Tele Novella's macabre pop

...tastes like Halloween candy

Another band that’s in lust with the pop music of the 1960s. And why not? It was good material, and most all of it distinctive. Tele Novella has been compared to the girl groups of ...

Soul man: Lee Fields & the Expressions

Soul singer Lee Fields brings his Special Night tour to Belly Up

A hit with the younger crowd — this, after four decades of pounding the road and getting older all the while. Lee Fields is 65. And the irony is, the better he gets, the more ...

Gogol Bordello: not boring world music

Gypsy-rock big band rolls the caravan into the Observatory Saturday night

From a handwritten “artist statement”: “Gogol Bordello’s task is to provoke audiences out of post-modern aesthetic (illegible word) into a neo-optimistic communal movement towards new sources of authentic energy.” This, from a singer/songwriter and former ...

Elektric Voodoo's sonic hoodoo

Guitarist Scott Tournet of Grace Potter & the Nocturnals has a new San Diego band

It wasn’t long ago that a fellow musician and I were having coffee near Cowles Mountain and trying to figure out Scott Tournet’s new project. We’d both listened to his new album with his new ...

The engine behind Chicago Transit Authority

...is now the engine behind California Transit Authority

They started in college in 1967 as a Top 40 cover band. They called themselves the Big Thing. There were seven of them, and their original songs showcased the opposite sides of the band: tight-assed ...

Library lets in the noise

"Checked Out" experimental music fest plugs in at the downtown branch

“No, this is not the sort of thing that you’d expect to hear in the library.” Laurie Bailey is the arts, music, and recreation librarian at the Central Library in East Village. She’s talking about ...

Marc Ford's gut-level Americana

Black Crowes guitarist turns to The Vulture

By the time Marc Ford hits Ramona, his new album, The Vulture, will have been released. And some of the critics who had written him off before are now saying he’s making the best music ...

Brian Jenkins answers the camera's call

Another San Diego musician moves from the music studio to the movie studio

“I think I’m done with music. I’ve taken it as far as I can.” Riot House Records label owner and bassist/guitarist Brian Jenkins has joined the growing list of hometown musicians-turned-filmmakers with the release of ...

Holy Sons is about facing your personal reality

Emil Amos of Grails and Om brings his solo thing to town

Are we all not musical descendants of the Beatles? Or, have too many spins of Abbey Road left an indelible impression on one’s ability to hear music in any other way? There’s a distinctive Fab ...

Banjo maestro Danny Barnes

Barnes brings his four-string thing to Brick 15

And now for some banjo love: many have tried to make that instrument cool and failed. Danny Barnes, 55, from Temple, Texas, claims to not be affected by the limitations of it. And there are ...

Peter Sprague's guitar knows no genre

Sprague will be joined by vocalists Leonard Patton, Nina Francis, and Gregory Page at Java Joe's on Sunday

Peter Sprague alone on the small stage is enough. But double down by putting the show in an arts venue where there is no bad seat, and add Leonard Patton, Nina Francis, and Gregory Page ...

Cosmonauts launch A-Ok!

Orange County indie act hits the Hideout Monday night

As a recording unit, Cosmonauts are so tied in to pop culture’s past that they sound like many eras and genres all at once. The dudes can shift around from jam-band stuff not unlike demos ...

Dried Up: Gardeners in the drought age

Gardener war stories in the age of drought

Drought cost him 20 percent “Here? I do the trimming, the fertilizing, watering, and so on. This client, a commercial storefront on Herschel in La Jolla Village, wanted to save on watering, so they had ...

The Naked and Famous streak through town

Indietronica band out of New Zealand brings this year's Simple Forms to the Observatory

When that whole indietronica thing broke big, it was everywhere. It seemed oddly familiar, and friendly, as if it had always been around. It hadn’t, of course. Part of it was media push: during the ...

Manual plan

Bart Mendoza on the longevity of San Diego's super mods Manual Scan

“This is the one that officially makes me feel old,” Bart Mendoza says. Manual Scan, the band he started right out of high school with a few of his friends, will play their 40th anniversary ...

An injection of Seratones

Shreveport pop-rock group brings their wake-up call, Get Gone, to town

The Seratones, from Shreveport, Louisiana, are touring now in support of their debut album Get Gone. Each of the bandmembers has managed, in their short lifetime as a functioning unit, to incorporate at least half ...

Elephants at rest

Hills Like Elephants' frontman and drummer take a call from New York

“Sean Davenport and I decided to move to New York.” Michael Alan Hams offers this as the main reason behind Hills Like Elephants’ recent disbanding. Two days after the August 25 release of Tacet, the ...

Kalabash turns one

La Jolla music and art school celebrates a year and expands horizons

“I’m a songwriter,” Natasha Kozaily explains. “And when I teach music to my private students, I encourage them to write songs.” Not so much the method-book approach, the 30-year-old says about the curriculum at the ...

Sam Outlaw's crooked country

If you can't beat 'em... Country singers are setting up at rock clubs

Sam Outlaw, the country singer from Los Angeles, presents something of a cultural paradox. Country-music haters complain that their music’s lost whatever authenticity it may have had back when Merle Haggard and Patsy Cline and ...

How many does it take to run a Blonde?

Blonde Bar's Allen Colaneri says group-think is why the new venue's an early success

“End of an era. The neon sign is up for grabs. If interested email,” @BarDynamiteSD tweeted on August 10. A couple of weeks later, the new construction dust had barely settled inside the dance club ...

A lot of Grammys in the Tedeschi Trucks family

Country-rock couple brings the award-winning big band to Copley Symphony Hall

For those among you who never had the pleasure, the Tedeschi Trucks Band is about as close as you will ever come to approximating a 1970s spectacle known as the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. ...

Voice of rock Glenn Hughes

Hall of Fame bassist visits Brick by Brick

Who does Deep Purple, Stevie Wonder, and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi all have in common? That would be Glenn Hughes, the singing bassist from Los Angeles by way of England. One loses track of how ...

D Generation is a band for our times

New York '90s punk throwback act as relevant as ever

The sound of being pissed off, along with bad hair, leather jackets, black T-shirts, craftily damaged jeans. Rebellious vocals, same timeworn guitar chords, and the old one-and-three ground-pounders coming off the drums. Sound familiar? Not ...

How broke are you?

On the water, underwater. The pride, the shame, the debt.

A stray dog for Christmas Without a safety net: JoAnne (not her real name) earns $12 per hour driving a shuttle for a major auto dealer. She also drives Uber and Lyft on the side ...

Take that slow ride with Foghat

British hard-rock band bellies up to Belly Up

Through classic-rock radio’s reliance on one song, over the decades Foghat has been reduced to a footnote in the pantheon of rock and roll. Listeners young and old seem never to tire of hearing, yet ...

Folk Violator Kurt Vile

The Violators tour through town in support of this year's trip, b'lieve i'm goin' down

Yeah, that’s his real name. Kurt Samuel Vile, from Philadelphia, fronts a psych-pop band called the Violators and he plays his guitar with banjo-like sincerity. That was his first stringed instrument, the banjo, and he ...

Gary Clark Jr. — not your daddy's blues

Two sets of Sonny Boy Slim at Humphrey's this week

Although you wouldn’t know it by the way he plays the blues, Gary Clark Jr. calls Michael Jackson’s Bad tour one of his earliest musical influences, perhaps the first big push that had him playing ...

The Jayhawks regroup, record

...and tour through town behind this year's Paging Mr. Proust

Yes, they are getting on in years, but, somehow they don’t sound like it. Indeed, the Jayhawks — now touring in support of their latest release, Paging Mr. Proust — could just as well be ...

Bad Suns rise on the Open Air stage

Los Angeles alt-pop four piece drops Disappear Here this year

“Superstars in the making,” is what Los Angeles tastemakers KROQ radio once called them. Bad Suns is a young band (ages range from 20 to 23), and they started in a garage in a Los ...

Teenage blues

Minors in a Major Key play for music scholarships in the name of Candye Kane

“Candye Kane was a great musician.” Guitarist Serena Geroe, age 15, admits she never saw the late blues diva perform live but says she follows her on YouTube. In July, the band that Geroe fronts, ...

Death-jump blues rocker "Hot Rod" DeMink

Local showman plays a death-defying freebie at House of Blues

Something to see, when the dude pulls off a headstand using his big fat red Gibson as a counterbalance, and not missing a beat while grinding out a note-for-note textbook-perfect guitar solo. The deep back-bends, ...

Janey's deeper tensions

The Tree Ring's Joel P. West finds a future in film

“Joel was once the director of photography on a film about a guy who had a watermelon for a head,” filmmaker Jared Callahan tells me by phone from Atlanta. Joel P. West, member of local ...

Back on the road with Joe Pug

The folk-singer's latest Windfall

He was about to quit music three years ago, the folk singer Joe Pug claimed to anyone in the media who would listen. And, there were many. A couple of years earlier he’d ditched school ...

The restless mind of Sonny Smith

SanFran band Sonny & the Sunsets brings Moods Baby Moods to Soda Bar

Sonny Smith seems like one of those individuals who has no trouble whatsoever bending people to their various whims. One example: half a dozen years ago, the Bay Area author/songwriter/filmmaker invented 100 bands, none of ...

Mundell Lowe and television jazz

San Diego notable plays a freebie at the Handlery

An 80-year gig: jazz-guitarist Mundell Lowe was with Peggy Lee at the White House in 1970; he played Playboy Jazz in the ’80s when it still meant something; spent years as music director with the ...

Before there was reggae there was reggay — and there was Toots

Toots & the Maytals take the stage at the Observatory Wednesday night

Toots and the Maytals have been coming around for so long now that news of their arrival is taken in stride, much like the way one might embrace a change of season or impending weather. ...

Gory reunion

Get the details on Diana Death's Gory Details

“I’m getting my old band back together.” Diana Death is jet-lagging from her recent trip to London and back. She tells me the original plan was to travel as part of the El Vez Punk ...

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close