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Stories by Dryw Keltz

Expiration dates are for suckers, not Supersuckers

Eddie Spaghetti talks country, walks rock and roll

The Supersuckers have drifted back into country mode on their new album, Holdin’ the Bag. It’s the first time the band has released a country collection since 1997’s Must’ve Been High. “We were on tour ...

A man called Car Seat Headrest

Bedroom rocker and internet hit Will Toledo on tour

Car Seat Headrest is drawing comparisons to underground band Guided By Voices for the stage-via-bedroom (in GBV’s case it’s a basement, actually) nature of their music. Guitarist, singer, and band mastermind Will Toledo has been ...

What did you get?

San Diego musicians remember weird gifts past

’Tis the season for giving and receiving. No matter what your holiday is — Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus — gifts are bound to be exchanged, though levels of merriment may vary. Often gifts will be ...

Cracker, Camper, and the Sharknado debate

Camper will be tackling its 1988 album Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart in its entirety

David Lowery’s dueling musical outfits, Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, are in town to play their annual year-end concert at Belly Up on Sunday. The decade-long tradition, however, features a twist this year. Lowery tells ...

Seven Grand returns to its whiskey atmosphere

North Park bar unplugs and refurbishes

One of the unique gems of the North Park music scene has gone dark. The stage in the back room of Seven Grand is no more. “I felt our music program was amazing, but we ...

Clashing at the Office

Undercover crew and a variety of local singers do Joe Strummer proud

The Office’s undercover series attacked the Clash on the chilly last night of November. The hologram of Joe Strummer was unavailable this evening, so a variety of local singers took on the role of the ...

Zoom Zoom

X guitarist Billy Zoom is back in business after cancer scare

X guitarist Billy Zoom was diagnosed with bladder cancer this past July. The band performed summer shows with Texan Jesse Dayton (who’s played guitar for Willie Nelson, among others) sitting in while Zoom commenced treatment ...

San Diego rockers invade Spain and Italy

Robert Lopez and friends bring a Schizophonic Little Richard to Europe

Last month, a San Diego traveling circus invaded Spain and Italy to perform a run of shows. The three-act tour, which featured the Little Richards, Schizophonics, and Diana Death y Sus Novios, benefitted from the ...

James and the giant bass

Yo La Tengo's James McNew talks "stuff like that there"

In 1990, Hoboken natives Yo La Tengo released Fakebook — an album composed of cover songs, reworked tunes, and a handful of original compositions. 25 years later, the band is revisiting that template with Stuff ...

Chango voodoo

Local indie act Botanica Chango plays a record-release at the Irenic on November 4

Josh Becker (aka Chango Chango) from the group Botanica Chango sums up his band’s sound as being “voodoo pop.” What is voodoo pop? Well, let’s examine “BB and the Beat,” currently available on the band’s ...

Space-age gunslinger rocks SDSU

My Morning Jacket's generous set

My Morning Jacket’s Jim James looked like a space-age gunslinger on this evening at SDSU’s Open Air Theatre. He sported a black leather trench coat throughout the show. It was outlaw badass and the perfect ...

Belegarth is an interesting beast

Sign a waiver, grab a sword

Going Medieval in North Park.

Mudhoney likes it small

Seattle grunge band plays Casbah behind their new record, Vanishing Point

Steve Turner met Mark Arm in the fall of 1982. They were introduced by a mutual friend (Alex Shumway) at a concert. According to Turner, Shumway said, “Stevie, this is Mark. He’s straight-edge too,” which ...

My morning walk with Jim James

My Morning Jacket frontman talks Waterfall, recording gizmos, and walking for inspiration

In late 2013, My Morning Jacket set up camp north of San Francisco in Marin County to begin recording the collection of songs that became The Waterfall. The band selected a new studio called Panoramic ...

May the Force be with Titus Andronicus

...and not the police force

The Titus Andronicus van rolled into town on the same night as the Foo Fighters traveling circus. Whereas Dave Grohl and Co. most likely played to a sold-out Sleepy Train Amphitheatre, Patrick Stickles and his ...

Dangerous bike spots + safer routes

Cycling out of harm’s way

There's nothing wrong with taking the long way home.

Stickles's march to the sea

"If the guitar is not loud enough, then my brain is louder, and it’s not gonna work”

"Tell the world my story. Nobody believes me. They think I’m bullshitting them.” The story Titus Andronicus mastermind Patrick Stickles is referring to is a complicated one. Much of it is peeled away within the ...

You are what you eat

...says Gateway Drugs, who have dad's "knack" for rock

When you think of family bands, groups such as the Osmonds, the Bee Gees, and the Jackson 5 come to mind. A young quartet from Los Angeles has emerged on the sibling band scene, though, ...

Wavves' slavves come out to play

Nathan Williams brings the band home for one night in North Park

A rainy night in North Park failed to keep the punk-rock masses away from the Observatory for Wavves’ San Diego tour stop. After a rollicking set by Chicago rockers Twin Peaks, Nathan Williams unleashed his ...

El Niño from hell

Wavves plays psych-rock for the surf and skate set

The seas may have been calm for Wavves in 2014, but the San Diego band is about to hit the West Coast like El Niño from hell, with a new album, V, hitting the shelves ...

Mr. Tube talks Freddie Feelgood and Flying Objects

Pall Jenkins shares his muse — a Chinese chatting ex-con train conductor and TV repairman

Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects is back in action supporting their first new record since 2006’s Listen Up. The local 11-piece continues their tradition of “Mexican funk music” on their new disc, No Wrongs, ...

The woman singing in the kitchen

Acoustic duo Triumph of the Wild chase big dreams out of their little town

“[Anza] is a tiny town at the top of the mountain in between Temecula and Palm Springs,” says Christy Barrett. “There’s a Dairy Queen when you pass through, there’s a Mobil, there’s a Circle K, ...

Headtripping with Tame Impala

The Australian psych-rock band brings its Currents tour through town

The Observatory in North Park continued its winning streak of knockout concerts by playing host to Australia’s Tame Impala on a sweltering August night. It was yet another sellout show for the venue, and the ...

Vinyl ruins

There may be some gold records to be found in Thrift Trader's giveaways

As previously reported by the Reader, the mezzanine in the Hillcrest location of Thrift Trader collapsed early in the morning (around 4 a.m.) on June 22. The collapse was due to the weight of vinyl ...

L.A.'s Aggrolites take the stage at Belly Up Friday night

Dirty reggae

A couple of years after forming in 2002, the Aggrolites put the pedal to the metal. They commenced a grueling concert schedule that would take up nearly a decade of their lives. “We were constantly ...

Rocket men

Astronauts, etc launch at Seven Grand

Anthony Ferraro deserves a mighty high-five for coming up with a band name so perfectly representative of the music he creates. His five-piece band, Astronauts, etc, specializes in the mellow, spaced-out pop that AIR has ...

Down to Cow

Hanging in an O.B. record shop, Al and Birdy hatch a album

A couple of years ago, Birdy Bardot went on a cross-country road trip but eventually found her way back to Ocean Beach. Upon her return, she began trekking down to Cow Records on Newport Avenue, ...

Vinyl avalanche!

Hillcrest Thrift Trader breaks records — a lot of them

Around 4 a.m. on Monday, June 22, a mezzanine in the Hillcrest location of Thrift Trader (1644 University Avenue) collapsed — apparently due to excessive weight from old, boxed vinyl records. Merchandise and debris from ...

The ebb and flow of Surfer Blood

Indie rockers return from major-label land, drop 1000 Palms

After playing together for a year, indie-rock act Surfer Blood released their debut, Astro Coast, in early 2010. More touring and festival appearances followed before the band signed to Warner Bros. and released the follow-up, ...

Ten years — Clap Your Hands!

Indie-rock act Clap Your Hands Say Yeah celebrates its decade-old debut at Casbah on Friday

Dude, you are old. One of the first underground hits born of the internet is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Slap those palms together in honor of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s debut album tour! So, ...

Spoon: a spectacle in lights

Lucky for Britt, Dryw's going to give him another chance...

On the first date of a two-night stand at the Observatory North Park, Spoon delivered their trademark indie art-rock, complemented by a spellbinding light show that was one of the coolest this reporter’s seen at ...

Experimental Rentals

Mad scientist Matt Sharp's ever-changing band comes to town

Back when Matt Sharp was playing bass in Weezer, he got bit by the creative bug and decided to do an album of his own songs. Soon enough, the new venture needed a name. After ...

Two-thirds of the Thermals have a secret past

Hutch and Kathy were playing folk first

Casual fans of the Thermals may be surprised to learn that the duo at the core of the punk-leaning trio, Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster, recorded an acoustic folk album about a year before the ...

They Might Be generous Giants

Alt-rock act plays two sets, two encores, and even buys the beer!

Solana Beach got a treat with two full sets and a double-dose of encores from popular alt-rockers They Might Be Giants. The band had no problem filling the extended time by taking a heaping helping ...

Betty turns 21

Helmet to play album in its entirety on tour

In 1992, New York–based alt-metal band Helmet released its major-label debut, Meantime, which featured the single “Unsung.” The song’s video was in heavy rotation on MTV. The following year, Helmet released Betty, an album that ...

Your chance to end up on the Drive-By Truckers’ next record

Acoustic drive-by

In 2008, the Athens, Georgia–based alt-country act Drive-By Truckers took a different musical trip. They toured with acoustic guitars, sat down for the performances, and road-tested material that would end up on 2008’s Brighter Than ...

Bouncer-friendly Punch Brothers tuck 'em in at the Observatory

Here’s a phrase that’s probably never been uttered by man: “the banjo player with mystique.” That’s Noam Pikelny in a nutshell. Decked out in a white suit, Pikelny’s deep voice and deadpan banter served as ...

Creeker punches it up

To say Chris Thile is interested in music would be akin to saying that boxing is reliant on punching. The guy is obsessed. He was born in Oceanside in 1981, and he told the Reader ...

Swervedriver — sneaky good

British shoegaze greats kick off their tour at Casbah

Swervedriver arrived in San Diego for the first date of a tour in support of their new album, I Wasn't Born To Lose You. Absent when they hit the stage was long-time bassist Steve George, ...

Wired for sound

Music venues as a metaphor for The Wire

Last year was a bloodbath for local music venues. So before we start our rundown of venues rocking 2015, we would like to pay homage to our fallen comrades of 2014, the clubs that won’t ...

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 ...

Nasty, beautiful, Swervedrivery

The 1990s shoegaze band Swervedriver may have reformed in 2008, but it took them seven years to pull together a record. “I think it was Jimmy [Hartridge, guitarist] and Steve [George, bass player] that initially ...

Khatib the killer

Garage-rock done right on this three-band night

Fans of rock via the garage were treated to a night of the genre done right with this triple-header at Casbah. First up was one of the local bands of the moment, Shady Francos. The ...

There’s gonna be a resolution

New year, new resolutions. Whereas “normal humans” resolve to accomplish goals such as losing weight, swearing less, and cutting back on alcohol, musicians come from a different mindset. They’re “cut from a different cloth,” as ...

All you want for Christmas

Wages are stagnant, album sales miserable, and download revenues a joke. In this harsh, wintry economic climate, musicians are more dependent than ever on Santa Claus to deliver the goods. Circa 2014, it seems as ...

Bacon, lettuce, and tornado

Looking for an off-the-wall gift for your white-elephant holiday party? Get to Lou’s Records in Encinitas and pick up one of their random mystery boxes. Each box costs $5 and contains around 30 compact discs. ...

Rocking the half-pipe

Cass McCombs is a road dog. On tour, he has witnessed a mix of cultures across the U.S. and often travels solely for the sake of learning about a new regional music scene. Though he ...

Need a good face-melting?

Purling Hiss was spawned in an incestuous Philadelphia music scene. It was just another band in the stew. Whereas other scenes would fall apart with too many cooks, the City of Brotherly Love apparently embraces ...

More punch to the gut

Ben Johnson holds the unique position of watching rock shows for a living and occasionally gracing the same stage. He has walked through the door at the Casbah hundreds of times to clock in for ...

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