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Stories by Dave Good

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 ...

Acid-funk Allstars

Greyboy, Denson, Vokab, Belly Up

Doubtless that anybody in the Green Circle Bar in San Diego in 1993 heard a future Rolling Stone when the house deejay introduced his latest project, a collaborative between the turntables and live music he ...

Junk-shop glam band Giuda

Rockers from Rome touring behind their latest, Speaks Evil

This band Giuda is for real. No, not a sardonic comedy act, although when I first heard them I thought they were jesting a couple of my favorite eras in pop music — punk and ...

It's a new Nada day

New Yorkers Nada Surf continue their alt-rock ride

They got older. And as a band, they got better. But, where does Nada Surf fit into the bigger picture today? There’s good argument that Nada Surf is a one-hit wonder. Lightning struck only once ...

Hello, my name is Tom Brosseau

One-time local folkie returns to play Java Joe's

And now, here’s Tom Brosseau on the radio, on NPR, and while a listener does not straightaway recognize the cadence and distinct voice, there comes that smile of recognition when the identity is finally laid ...

John "Swami" Reis produces compilation record of 22 San Diego bands

More bang bang for your buck

The Schizophonics blast the compilation Hardcore Matinee wide open with a two-minute scree of post-punk rock violence called “Red Planet,” which sets the tone for the 21 original tracks to follow from hometown artists such ...

The Guitar Shorty story

The backflipping bluesman from Texas

David William Kearney, from Houston, tells many entertaining stories about music-industry luminaries such as Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy and Guitar Slim, and for all I know, they’re true. Even though his own star never ...

Texas Music Hall of Famer Augie Meyers

Keyboard great joins Action Andy & the Hi-Tones at Ken Club Saturday night

The keyboard player from a long-defunct San Antonio band digs deep into his memories to come up with the last time he played San Diego. “I think it was back in the ’90s,” says Augie ...

Rock, cook, and roll

Local musicians perform in the kitchen

Fat Lando’s Chili 2 cups corn 2 cans kidney beans 20 oz can tomato sauce Chopped tomatoes Onion – one cup chopped Garlic – to taste Bell peppers – two cups chopped 1 pound ground ...

The Funk Ark lands in San Diego

D.C.'s global funk journey makes a stop at Soda Bar Sunday night

Don’t let the name the Funk Ark fool you. Taken together, the words funk and ark imply some kind of salvage of the old-school (James Brown, P-Funk, Maceo Parker). Not the case. The Funk Ark ...

Record Dust redux

Jason Blackmore finds crew and cash to back Records Collecting Dust II

"Records Collecting Dust is a documentary centered in San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles,” says Jason Blackmore. “Those were the three cities I focused on the first time around, on the underground punk-rock scene ...

The multitasking Mr. Boyle

Folk Art Records owner on what Record Store Day has in store for him

“That would be the goal that I’d like to achieve. Longevity.” Brendan Boyle bought Folk Arts Rare Records from the owner/founder, Lou Curtiss, who was an old man at the time of the sale. Boyle ...

Carl Saunders schools SDSU

Jazz trumpeter blows into town for two shows on Thursday, April 14

No, jazz is not dead after all. While a fairly recent Nielsen rating revealed that jazz listenership in America had sunk to a comatose low, I predict that the art form will survive well into ...

The Music Band from Music City

Nashville-based classic-rock trio wakes up laughing

If all goes according to plan, by the time Music Band plays here in April, their debut full-length will be a couple of weeks old. For reasons unknown, the band picked April Fools’ Day as ...

Pellet-gun parrot popper perplexes police

Residents rattled. Big rewards offered. Killer remains at large.

Who’s killing the great parrots of Ocean Beach/Point Loma?

Eat at Shady's

Shady Franco Josh Kmak talks bubbles and spurts

“I’m gonna just lose it. I’m gonna give people a reason to talk about what they saw.”

Cream of the L.A. pop-rock crop — the Shelters

One of Tom Petty's favorite new bands plays Belly Up Tuesday night

Enough bands like the Shelters, and Los Angeles could come back to its former glory days as the bull’s eye of the rock-and-roll business. It used to be that way until the digital age scrambled ...

The far-from-fragile Glassjaw

New York's post-core four-piece plays the Observatory Thursday night

No, Glassjaw didn’t invent post-hardcore, but neither did they damage it any during the two decades they’ve been around. If anything, the band’s impact has been dazzling but infrequent, due for the most part to ...

Lute love

San Diego Guitar Festival adds another stringed thing

“This is the monster-truck version of the lute.” Kyle Patterson grins. “It’s a lot louder than your standard lute.” On his smartphone, he has a photo of a type of lute known as a theorbo ...

That's Colonel Wilkes to you

Southern-gothic singer/songwriter J.D. Wilkes hits the Hideout on Monday

J.D. Wilkes is a backwoods renaissance man. The singer/banjoist/harmonica player may have invented punk bluegrass when he fronted the Legendary Shack Shakers and later, a tamer version of that same ethic with his wife in ...

Ukes for Ukraine

Local musician Quinn Boylan volunteers vacation time and little guitars

“Do I play the ukulele? Yeah. I actually do,” Quinn Boylan, the former Tan Sister Radio bassist tells the Reader. “When I was coming up with this project, I decided I’d better learn how. It’s ...

The cult of Magma

Interplanetary band lands at Brick by Brick on Tuesday

Magma sounds like a mini-opera company performing the music of Yes or King Crimson. But that doesn’t come close to describing the complete package. The full Magma ride is about prog rock with drums, electric ...

Scott Tournet's starting from scratch

Former Nocturnals guitarist debuts his Afrobeat-inspired Elektric Voodoo

When Scott Tournet last checked in with the Reader, it was three years ago. He’d moved to San Diego from his native Vermont the year before and he’d recently recorded his first solo album at ...

You could learn to be a rock star

From seminars to jazz camps to rock-n-roll schools

It’s worked out that way so far for a 2012 San Diego Reader notable band: “All three of the kids in Big Bad Buffalo were students here,” School of Rock regional music director Tyler Ward ...

A man called Diane Coffee

Shaun Fleming's alter-ego plays the Hideout Saturday night

A ’60s-ish rock-and-roll experience that recalls Phil Spector and doo-wop and leisure suits and even a slew of one-hit-wonder bands from back in the day are somehow updated and given present-day indie-rock treatment in this ...

Itai's ah-ha moment

San Diego singer/songwriter hangs up his rock and roll costume

Last summer, San Diego singer/songwriter Itai Faierman had a new band and a new record. Critics called the band (Speaker in Reverse) his best effort yet. The six-piece delivered a lean, stripped-down song collection that ...

Hard to walk away from the 6ONE9

San Diego's hard-rock mainstays call it a day...

After 16 years in San Diego as a band, tours of Asia, an appearance at San Diego’s one and only Super Bowl, and numerous hometown gigs, the ’80s metal cover band 6ONE9 is calling it ...

Grunge-punk trio Sharkmuffin set up at Soda Bar Wednesday night

Brand-new group getting lots of attention

“It could be a cute girl who plays pool pretty well,” one of the members of Sharkmuffin told a reporter in answer to a question about the band name that some think of as slang ...

Paula Boggs Band comes to town

Former Starbucks executive shares her new soul-folk brew at Winston's in O.B.

I had to ask — what did Paula Boggs’s dad say when she announced that she was ditching her career as lead counsel for the Starbucks corporation in exchange for a career as a musician? ...

Blues Hall of Famer John Hammond Jr.

...descended from one of America’s wealthiest capitalists

Inside the protected and ever-dwindling world that is modern blues music, John Hammond Jr. is a rock star. In a notable career that spans back to the 1960s, the Blues Hall of Famer and Grammy ...

Itchy, scratchy, catchy Glasmus

Borderland goth-rock band finding its niche in San Diego scene

Itchy, scratchy techno-tronica that makes my eardrums feel mistreated. Glasmus has that, along with the capacity to re-create the sounds of a ’90s Tijuana disco band. Or weird polit-tronica: “New World Odor,” for example, is ...

The versatile Devotchka

Four players, 12 instruments, their own odd universe

A band named “Girl”: at least that’s what the group’s members (none of whom are Russian, by the way) claim Devotchka stands for in that particular language. No, this is a four-piece based in Colorado, ...

Rolling green

Cathryn Beeks converted an old bread truck into a mobile recording studio and more

“This area is my mobile studio,” Cathryn Beeks says, sitting in the forward passenger area inside an old bread truck painted lime green and black. On Facebook, the singer/songwriter/show producer now also lists her occupation ...

The Sabbitch is back

All-female Sabbath tribute rocks Soda Bar on Saturday

Over the years, Black Sabbath has proven to be an easy mark for the creative tribute band. In a recent issue I wrote about Mac Sabbath, a bona fide tribute that, while keeping the music ...

Los Lobos survives

...with a Mexican-American take on jazzy-bluesy-funky rock-and-roll

Alas, once again Los Lobos got snubbed by the nominating committee that oversees who does and who does not enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fans have expressed indignation via social media, but ...

Honky-tonk outsider Wayne "The Train" Hancock hits town

The Texas twanger brings the juke joint to Soda Bar Friday night

Wayne Hancock. His nickname is “the Train,” and his act is what remains of honky-tonk, a scarce form of entertainment these days. In truth, honky-tonk defines a type of venue and an era more than ...

White Buffalo roams in the shadowy parts of life

Jake Smith tours town in support of his latest, Love and the Death of Damnation

The White Buffalo and Jake Smith are one. It’s not an alter ego so much as a nickname that stuck. When he calls the Reader from his home in Los Angeles, I ask him about ...

The holy grail of Christmas presents

Model railroading is the world's greatest hobby

The Internal Revenue Service is on fire! Red-and-blue emergency flashers scat about the structure, but this is a fire that will never, ever be put out. “As you can see,” Nick Pecoraro offers, “the firemen ...

Musicians making movies

We got robot...

What do Stewardess bassist Grant Reinero, Vinyl Junkies record-swap founder Eric Howarth, No Knife’s Brian Desjean and Mitch Wilson, Rebecca and Demetrius Antuna from art-metal band Kata, and Ghetto Blaster guitarist John Cota have in ...

Forty years of Robert Cray

Blues slinger more of a singer?

Forty years of Robert Cray: all the while, some among us are waiting for that guitar of his to quicken into flames, rather than smolder like last night’s fire. Not a very heroic guitar hero, ...

Urban agriculture is what we call it

“I’m not a farmer. I’m a community organizer."

Cats are a problem. We gotta enclose the areas where we’re growing.” Diane Moss breaks it down for a visitor. “You gotta be careful with your compost. It’s composting,” she explains, “and that brings the ...

Honky-tonker Nikki Lane

Country-rock outlaw wants All or Nothin'

Yep, it’s country music through and through, with plenty of South Carolina drawl, reverb, guitar twang, and liberal amounts of pedal-steel guitar to close the deal. But don’t be fooled by Nikki Lane’s alt-rock roots ...

Holly Golightly Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

British duo the Brokeoffs play Casbah Saturday night

When finally we connect by telephone, Holly Golightly is in transit somewhere in Minneapolis, recovering from two weeks of road flu. The conversation is abbreviated by random bouts of coughing. The Brokeoffs — two people, ...

Houndmouth rings the Band's bell

Indiana Americana coming to Belly Up Friday the 13th

Houndmouth is one of those bands for which the songs seem to play themselves, minus fanfare or any particular direction. That’s an illusion, of course. The melodies and the storylines rise above the sloppy musicianship ...

Roots Covenant is me

San Diego reggae band on the trials of being a San Diego reggae band

“The scene here’s really healthy,” says Mike Benge. The Helix High School band director is talking about the popularity of reggae music in San Diego. “It’s one of the more healthy music scenes here, next ...

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