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Stories by Dryw Keltz

Local cops have a soft spot for pop-punk?

San Diego may never get the national recognition of being a trendy musical hotbed alongside the likes of Seattle, Austin, and Brooklyn, but for the adventurous fan seeking quality indie and garage rock, the city ...

Wiggin' out at Casbah...

...with Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Similar to Stephen Malkmus’s old band, Pavement, there is a Replacements-like quality to the Jicks’ live sets. They can be the best band in the world on one night, and they can be the worst ...

True band love

For fans of ’90s indie-rock, Speedy Ortiz sounds like more than a throwback. They come across as an authentic representative of that musical era. The tangled guitar lines, which always seem to find their way ...

Jim’s got Jimbo’s number

When Jim Heath adopted the name “Reverend Horton Heat” in the ’80s, he didn’t have high hopes for his particular brand of “rock and roll influenced by mid-century American music, especially rockabilly.” “When you’re in ...

Sun Kil Moon's Benji

Recording as Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek’s new album, Benji, walks a fine line between tear-jerk confessionals and R. Kelly–style stream-of-consciousness stories. The everyday recollections of “Ben’s My Friend” feel kind of like Kozelek’s own ...

What goes around...and around

Return of the cassette tape.

Just when you thought it was safe to throw out that old cassette deck, it appears as if magnetic tape is making a comeback. Nestled in a nook in the southwest corner of M-Theory Music ...

Broken Bells' After the Disco

Wondertwins James Mercer (the Shins) and Danger Mouse (recent producer of every band in the universe) have once again transformed into Broken Bells to deliver full-length number two to their eager listeners. Unfortunately, this one ...

Hypnotic Califone

Califone's show at the Soda Bar fell on a Sunday night, five days after New Year's Eve. The event was a mellow "last hurrah" for the holiday season. A subtle transition into the standard workweeks ...

Don't think Parquet Courts is a silly band

Donuts only

Andrew Savage says his band Parquet Courts is no joke, but they like to joke around. He says he never thought Light Up Gold would be reissued and they’d be touring it.

Dear Santa...

San Diego musicians are asked what they want for Christmas. Among desires: guitar pickups, Pabst Blue Ribbon, skateboard, Harley-Davidson, a four-week Tahitian vacation…

Bad Religion's Christmas Songs

If you want to put a little skip into Santa's step this holiday season, throw on Bad Religion's new album, Christmas Songs, to greet him as he slides down your chimney. You read correctly, Bad ...

File under “Genuine”

How did the band X come to establish an annual holiday show in San Diego? This year they play the Belly Up on December 8.

Pearl Jamming Viejas, intimately

You know a band is gigantic when they refer to a concert at Viejas Arena as being “intimate.” When Eddie Vedder announced this to an audience of 12,000 fans, he was not joking. Circa 2013, ...

Meat Puppets: Just a band

Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, the Meat Puppets were originally a hardcore band when they formed in 1980. From the start they mixed a little country weirdness into their sets, and, soon enough, this weirdness became ...

One less bad rock band

Primary influences are cited as being “hard times, shitty jobs, and crappy girlfriends.” Add to this concoction the dynamic duo of Merle Haggard and the Replacements and you have the basic formula for El Monte Slim.

Worship rock

Hailing the Lord and rock and roll at the same time.

Musicians Bill Maeda, Kenrick Buchanan, and Anthony West play in bands at San Diego churches. It is believed that worship rock is here to stay, due to the youthful congregants’ interest in music.

Quadra-guitar party jam at Soda Bar

Whereas the early ’90s were all about 20-somethings drowning in a sea of grunge, the onset of this decade seems to find its youngsters awash in a sea of folk and indie-pop. So it was ...

Tickled Again by Rocket from the Crypt

Rocket From The Crypt played a small, secretive show at Bar Pink earlier this year, but their concert at the Del Mar track was the first RFTC reunion show in San Diego truly open to ...

Bread & Salt & Bonnie

The Wright stuff — Fresh Sounds in Barrio Logan

Musicologist Bonnie Wright moves her cutting-edge Fresh Sounds series to artsy enclave Bread & Salt in Barrio Logan.

I Hate Music, by Superchunk

In 2010, Superchunk came back from an "extended hiatus" with the aptly titled Majesty Shredding. Now, after a three-year hiatus, the Chapel Hill fearsome foursome returns with I Hate Music. Apparently the hatred of music ...

I make me nervous

Former 91X DJ Marco Collins is nervous about the upcoming release of The Glamour and the Squalor, a movie about the early ’90s rock scene in Seattle, which he helped usher in.

Pythons, by Surfer Blood

In the world of Surfer Blood, major-label maturity seems to mean stripping away the reverb that drenched your first album and, lyrically, graduating from middle school to high school. Anybody who bought this album on ...

Steve Miller — the dude abides

The first stop of Steve Miller's 2013 summer tour at the San Diego County Fair was everything one could ever wish to witness at a classic-rock concert — bacon-wrapped foodstuffs, random horses, fair-game carnies, nine-dollar ...

The Thermals burn through the Casbah

A decade into the game, the Thermals have become an afterthought, taken for granted by many rock critics and musical outlets. They never had a radio hit or took risks with their sound. And yet ...

Something in the air

Interview with Jason Farnan (aka Lieutenant Facemelter, the 2010 and 2012 San Diego air-guitar champion) about this year’s U.S. Air Guitar competition.

Rookie vamp

Interview with Encinitas resident Nathan Young about his storytelling showcase called VAMP, held at the Whistle Stop in South Park.

Jamming econo

San Diegans Chris Wilson and Joe Cardillo raised $6029 on Kickstarter to finance a low-frills tour of the U.S.

The Terror by Flaming Lips

What does a Flaming Lips album written and recorded in a matter of days sound like circa 2013? Pretty much as one would expect: loose, psychedelic, jam-heavy, and LOUD! For all the complaints leveled at ...

Hip-hop Bunny

O.B. resident rapper James Deans, aka Destructo Bunny, spends much of his time these days booking hip-hop shows in San Diego and his hometown of Merced. In San Diego, he has arranged shows at Anthology, ...

Cult of Living Colour rocks Belly Up

The last time I saw Living Colour was a clip of them performing on the Arsenio Hall Show. They played “Cult of Personality” and tore down the house. Arsenio was elated. This was the late ...

A rose for Moz

Fresh off a food-fueled feud with late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Morrissey rolled into town and delivered a rocking set at the Balboa Theatre downtown. Appearing forlorn as usual, Morrissey kept the ranting against ...

Light Up Gold, by Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts' Light Up Gold is all sorts of what indie-rock should be heading toward in 2013 — clever lyrics, catchy song craft, infectious hooks, and an irresistible, giddy feel. It's like a stoner trapped ...

X mass at Casbah

The punk-rock masses came out for a pre-Christmas “X mass” at the Casbah. It was a different type of spiritual gathering than your traditional church service, but for those of us that worship at the ...

A Thing Called Divine Fits

A Thing Called Divine Fits could also be called a thing that Britt Daniel (Spoon) and Daniel Boeckner (Wolf Parade) came up with during downtime from their full-time bands. A Thing Called Divine Fits could ...

Mike Watt and the return of Hyphenated-Man

Mike Watt and his loyal Missingmen landed in San Diego for a second time this year to deliver an encore performance of the band's rock opera Hyphenated-Man. The trio tore into the piece with a ...

Not your grandaddy's Jason Lytle

Ex-Grandaddy mastermind and current Montana mainstay Jason Lytle played an intimate show at the Casbah for a modest crowd on a late October night. Though there were probably 30 or so heads at the club, ...

Divine Fits fits our Monday night way of life

As part of an on-going concert series sponsored by Filter magazine, Divine Fits rolled into San Diego for the first time with a free set for anyone willing to brave a late Monday night. Though ...

Dinosaur Jr. delivers "Sludgfeast" to Solana Beach

The big question when seeing Dinosaur Jr. is always "To earplug, or not to earplug?" On this night at the Belly Up, I decided to strike a happy medium. I set up camp at the ...

Redd Kross' Researching the Blues

The last album by Southern California alt-rockers Redd Kross came out in 1997. Fifteen years later, we finally have a follow-up. You know music has been sliced, diced, and sub-genred to death when a straight-up ...

Class Clown Spots a UFO, by Guided by Voices

The second of three Guided By Voices albums arriving in 2012 is 21 songs strong in under 40 minutes. That means each track is clocking in at an average of less than two minutes. Good ...

The Tarnished Gold, by Beachwood Sparks

Whoa...a new Beachwood Sparks album in 2012? Where in the world did this come from? Perhaps it’s from a universe in which every band owes a substantial debt to the Eagles, the Grateful Dead, Gram ...

Waters's Wall Live — a Good Old-Fashioned Ear-Ringer

Once you have seen enough live rock and roll, you learn that the best part of a set is the spontaneous moment all the players onstage click on something completely unplanned. Roger Waters's touring production ...

fIREHOSE Rages Full On at Belly Up

As a gift to the good people of San Diego, the reunited fIREHOSE crammed a Belly Up set between their two Coachella weekend appearances. The band walked onstage with little fanfare to set up some ...

The Mashti's Little Journey

Itai, Erica, and Neil are no longer the Mashtis. The band has apparently called it quits after a notable three-year run. The seven-inch “A Canopy of Sundays” and the complimentary digital EP included for free ...

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks deliver on Mirror Traffic

What happens when you let Beck produce an album by Malkmus and the Jicks? Wowee Zowee part deux, apparently. Fans of the beloved 1995 Pavement disc will rejoice at the haphazard, attention-deficit feel of Mirror ...

Human Meat Grinder

Situated in an undeveloped dirt lot known as the Los Angeles State Historic Park, on the outskirts of Chinatown, the 2011 FYFest was a filthy, sweaty, ear-battering affair. The line-up listed heavily toward the punk ...

Join Us, by They Might Be Giants

Early copies of They Might Be Giants’ last CD, The Else, came with bonus disc Cast Your Pod to the Wind, a grab bag of 23 songs collected from the band's podcasts. The freebie proved ...

Trout Fishing at Casbah with the Fresh & Onlys

When the Fresh & Onlys hit the stage, there were only about 30 people in the room. Another Monday night at the Casbah. Early in the set, singer/guitarist Tim Cohen busted a string on his ...

Rock and Roll Submarine Docks in San Diego

Urge Overkill is unlike any other touring band in the United States. Most national touring acts play a couple hundred shows a year and skip San Diego every time; Urge plays about ten shows, but ...

In Thermals Watching Thermals

Fans flocked to the Casbah on one of the first chilly nights of the season to catch Pacific Northwest trio the Thermals. It was a rare instance that found many locals in thermals while watching ...