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Stories by Jay Allen Sanford

San Diego Comic Fest — so (intentionally) not Comic-Con

The annual festival has a musical side

The fifth annual San Diego Comic Fest makes its debut in a new venue, Four Points By Sheraton, running February 17 through 20. Music-themed events will include discussion panels, a live band trivia contest, and ...

You can call her Babbalicious Neezbite

“The secret is puff pastry. But is it really a secret? A shoe would taste good inside a puff pastry.”

"I miss the ocean,” says songstress Barbara Nesbitt, who left San Diego in 2011 for the musical mind-meld that is Austin, Texas. Her new album, Right as Rain, debuted January 13, sporting production and guest-playing ...

Singer/songwriter's "Alternative Facts" finds footing online

A few seeds of humanity from Matthew Stewart

“The phrase ‘alternative facts’ immediately hit me as being very Orwellian,” says Matthew Stewart, who used the phrase coined by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway as both title and topic of a new tune currently popping ...

Record-release roundup for February

San Diego bands with new music coming out this month

Two years after their debut full-length, Hideout’s sophomore album, So Many Hoops, So Little Time, is due February 3 via Small Plates Records, preceded by singles for “Doctor” and “I Got Your Message.” 500 vinyl ...

Flingin' Swingin'

Action Andy & the Hi-Tones on kneecap bustin' vinyl

“Relampago-go Records is releasing Songs 4 Swingin’ Sinners on marble blue vinyl,” reports Andy Rasmussen of the upcoming EP from Action Andy & the Hi-Tones. It’s the latest wax offering from the band, which also ...

In-a-gadda-Sinatra

“I freak out completely whenever I see a possum. They remind me of myself in some ways.”

I first caught Jose Sinatra and the Troy Dante Inferno back at one of those mid-1980s Comic-Cons, doing a raucous lounge act that veered somewhere between Bill Murray and Tom Jones, with a touch of ...

No lunch for Lenny Morris

Singer/songwriter returns to the stage — or tries to — and finds Gigtown on the way

“Now that my son has grown older, I’m reinserting myself into the local restaurant and bar scene,” says singer-songwriter Lenny Morris, who’s kept a low profile since his 2012 release No Secret. Up until his ...

Record-releases to kick off 2017

San Diego bands dropping discs in the new year

When Grizzly Business plays a release party for Spanish Old-Fashioned on January 7 at Soda Bar, “Attendees can definitely expect a ghost of Christmas past to join us on the stage,” according to cofounder Walter ...

Now you know: San Diego singer/songer, boss juggler Sam Bybee

Sam likes open mic

"Here’s why open mics are important to me,” says Sam Bybee. “Fifteen years ago, there wasn’t much in the way of outlets for artists of any kind who were welcome to come and hone their ...

Sounds of freedom from Fishbone

Fishbone offshoot Trulio Disgracias hits O.B.'s Holding Company on Wednesday, December 28

“The very first time Fishbone played the Belly Up,” recalls bassist Norwood Fisher, “our [former] guitarist Kendall Jones jumped up and cracked his cranium on the side of one of the hanging speakers during our ...

Jingle Bell Rock

Out and about on Christmas Eve

New Year’s Eve guides are a dime a dozen, but what to do if you find yourself out and about on Christmas Eve? The Infinity stage at Pala Casino is hosting Help!, a Beatles tribute ...

Teenage singer/songwriter Marissa Grace lists her faves

Her life changed after her spoof of “Rude” by Magic earned Grace airplay on the local Jeff & Jer radio show

"I play pop rock, infused with some folk, funk, and jazz,” says La Mesa’s Marissa Grace, who started studying piano at age four. The 13-year-old took vocal lessons with local stars Eve Selis and Mattie ...

In Standing Rock, the world is the bubble

Local singer/songwriter/videographer Scott Wilson posts a short film on the North Dakota pipeline standoff

“I just got back from the Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline protests [in Cannonball, North Dakota],” says singer/songwriter Scott Wilson. “I edited a short video on the issues surrounding why they’re protesting the construction of ...

Mike Spent feels fairly compensated

Punk lifer gives up the nuclear power trade and returns to the stage

“We started in 1979 in the garage, ended in 1982, reformed in 1992, disbanded in 1997, and reformed in 2002,” says Mike Sainz, aka Mike Spent of Carlsbad punk rockers Spent Idols. “Along the way, ...

Record roundup for Christmastime

New releases from San Diego bands in time for the holidays

New releases this week include the debut full-length from local rapper (and former convicted bank robber) Manistylez, People in High Places, plus a compilation on Accretions Records featuring defunct early-2000s noise rockers Quibble and Jon ...

Where is Joe Strummer when you need him?

San Diego songsmith Jon Kanis about to drop his new album, Fundamentalism Is the Only Way

Jon Kanis spent around two years working on his upcoming full-length, Fundamentalism Is the Only Way, co-producing with Christopher Hoffee (Atom Orr, Truckee Brothers) at Chaos Recorders in Escondido. “The album was conceived to be ...

The Obama effect

Interview with U.S. president gets local 'tween singer some internet love

As revealed in the recent Reader cover story “What WikiLeaks reveals about San Diego,” former Blink-182 player Tom DeLonge is apparently obsessed with interviewing federal and military bigwigs about the truth behind UFOs. However, local ...

Now you know: The Lulls

...the calm after the storm of Ed Ghost Tucker

"Our music is something like surf rock meets shoegaze, but there’s a lot more to it than that,” says singer/guitarist Rutger Rosenborg of the Lulls. “It’s a little post-punky and ambient, but it also has ...

Happy Ron Hill's happy hips

San Diego singer/songwriter finds new life with a new hip

“I’ve lived most of my life with extreme tension and pain in my body due to the lack of a hip socket on my left side,” says singer-songwriter Happy Ron Hill. “Sitting up would make ...

Lucy Ring's spaghetti western

"We’re all big fans of trippy filmmakers like Alejandro Jodorowsky and David Lynch"

“We changed our name to the Lucy Ring because Sean Cox started playing with us, and he was so good, he quickly began singing some lead,” says bassist/singer David Hyman of the band formerly known ...

It's not Ben, it's you

Ashen Earth drummer Ben Wilson comes clean: “I was a philosophy major in college and I am a huge nerd.”

Inspired by Swedish and Polish death metal, Ashen Earth founders Jeff Meredith (vocals) and David Cox (guitar) have taken their fascination with bands like Bloodbath and Decapitated and matched it with the prog leanings of ...

November record-release roundup

Disks due to drop from San Diego bands

Crooked’s To the Dancing Ground EP premieres October 29 at the Whistle Stop. “This one has nine original songs and one old-time tune,” says bassist/singer Chad Pittman. “We’ll play it from front to back...our music ...

Reggae boom

San Diego reggae bands land on Billboard charts

The so-called “San Diego sound” has at times been described (usually by non–San Diegans) as pop punk (Blink-182, Pierce the Veil ), Christian rock (P.O.D., Switchfoot, As I Lay Dying), screamo (Far, My American Heart), ...

Radio Moscow, dialed in

San Diego psych-rock trio plays this year's Desert Daze

“It’s actually kind of strange how the band ended up here,” says Parker Griggs of Radio Moscow. The psychedelic-blues/hard-rock trio was founded in Story City, Iowa, before moving through Eureka and then Humboldt County. “Our ...

Add some Phantoms to your day

Local quartet will punk-up ’70s-inspired glam rock at Casbah's Anti-Monday

Victor Penalosa has played multiple instruments in a number of area bands, with a partial list including the Burrito Brothers, the Melanies, Sidewalk Scene, Riot Act, Unruly Bangs, Baja Bugs, Got it Covered, ADD/C, the ...

Blackwater crash recovery

When one band stalls another starts for Syren Franco

“As of now, all the songs we were ready to record had to be rewritten musically,” says frontwoman Syren Franco, whose Jamul-based Blackwater Prophecy was recording their second album earlier this year, a symphonic rock ...

Fall record releases from San Diego bands

Our monthly record-release roundup looks at what's coming in October

Punk rockers Just In Case will release Prior Knowledge via Rdub Recordings on September 27, with a single for “Profiles” now available. The debut self-titled full-length from Oceanside prog-reggae quintet Fluid Foundation premieres October 8 ...

Poison Headache's feel-good Phil

“I can appreciate daddy long legs because they kill bigger and worse spiders, so we’re cool.”

"It’s aggressive and energetic music,” says Wovenwar’s Phil Sgrosso of his new side band Poison Headache. “Something your parents would think is total crap, but that’s sort of the point.” The busy singer/guitarist/bassist has had ...

The price of music promo

Singer Debora Galan finds out it's not All About Love

Debora Galan’s new full-length All About Love was originally planned for release as an EP in 2013. However, “I had to make changes in the production team after investing considerable funds and re-do some of ...

Ypsitucky — goes with everything but hip-hop and reggae

El Monte Slim finds a fiddle, a new name, and a new twang

‘We came together while playing in El Monte Slim, and when that was put on hold almost two years ago, we just decided to keep it going with Heather Vorwerck on fiddle full-time,” says Ypsitucky ...

Allison's shock factor

Allison Adams Tucker punks-up her jazz show

“Wanderlust was created to be a musical travel postcard of sounds and images from around the world in six languages,” says Allison Adams Tucker of her third full-length, which debuts September 16 at North Park’s ...

Duping songumentaries

Golden Hill–based band Duping the Public is recording — everything!

“We’ve been doing these song releases we coined ‘songumentaries,’” says Duping the Public singer/violinist Angie Walton. “We did our first release ‘Cold Sweet’ with Chris Hoffee at Chaos Recorders, and we just finished recording our ...

Stacks of September records

San Diego bands' back-to-school music

On Friday, August 26, the Fremonts will debut their new blues-roots record, Alligator, at Tio Leo’s, while reunited punk rockers New Addiction premieres their Filters CD at Soda Bar, for a bill that includes One ...

I.B. Strong

Rock trio Abner represents for the South Bay

“We recorded our first EP in May at King’s Ransom Studios in Lakeside with Jeff Sers, who’s been fighting cancer for the past couple years,” says Adam Baez, one-third of the grungy goth rock trio ...

Dark-rock duo Blood Ponies tracking that fuzz all over town

Feral ponies

"Our music is dark, heavy post-punk, made by two people who make a surprising amount of noise," says Jeff Terich, who partners with Candice Renee in Blood Ponies. “It sounds best at night when our ...

What do Marilyn and Snoop require backstage?

Big star riders

Before Marilyn Manson makes his appearance at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on Wednesday, August 17, his backstage rider specifies that “All rooms shall have private flush toilets (Porta Johns are specifically not acceptable).” In addition, “Promoter ...

Big Bang dreams

Matt Rhea and Manganista's Shooting at the Big Bang Seams

“The album took over eight years to complete,” says Matt Rhea of the Manganista’s upcoming full-length, Shooting at the Big Bang Seams. “What seemed like a good idea four or five years ago didn’t always ...

San Diego bands releasing records in August

Summer spike sees new Meeks, Blink, GonjaSufi, and Chica Diabla

New recordings are dropping all over town on Saturday, July 30. Encinitas-based punk reggae rockers Hazmatt has a CD-release party planned for Mr. Peabody’s in Encinitas. Sight Unscene’s third full-length, While the World Unfolds, drops ...

Wartime on the boulevard

Riston Diggs finishes his military stint and is ready to rap

La Mesa–based MC Riston Diggs (the Known Unknowns) recorded his debut album, The Blvd Experience, following the completion of a nine-year Navy career where he served as an aviation administrator. I asked him about the ...

John Meeks, darkly

San Diego Music Award winner tosses the genre

“I’ve spent the past couple of years trying to slither out of my Americana, old country skin and get a little less genre-specific,” says John Meeks, who won Best Americana or Country Album at the ...

Events you can come to without a Comic-Con pass

Con and on and on...

You don’t need a Comic-Con pass to enjoy these Con-themed music events around town. Darkwave Garden at the Bancroft has a costume dance party planned for Thursday, July 21, as do other weekend DJ events ...

Summer records by San Diego bands

The season's start sees new releases by Big Bloom, Kneehighs, and Freedom Fries

Country Rockin’ Rebels will play two release parties for Ride Rebel Ride, with an acoustic set at Rosie O’Grady’s July 1 and an electric gig at Mother’s Saloon on July 22. Levi Dean & the ...

Switchfoot switches gears this year

Guitarist Drew Shirley talks up a cause, the new album, and a record-release at sea

It’s easy to forget that multi-platinum alt-gospel rock act Switchfoot was an indie band from its recorded debut in 1997 all the way through 2003. The glory days came with their major-label releases such as ...

Horse with no permit

Former GG Allin bandmate talks busking in San Diego

“Federal law says we can busk, ’cause we’re entertaining for tips, not panhandling, or begging,” says Brian Demers, who used to play guitar in GG Allin’s hard-rock band Malpractice but now can be found busking ...

Jakob Nowell's Sublime dad

The son of a reggae-rock father fronts the Law

‘Our very first show in 2013 was with Mike Watt & the Missingmen,” says Law frontman Jakob Nowell, son of the late Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell. The 21-year-old, who grew up in San Diego, was ...

O.B. Doves

Chris Leyva and his Falling Doves make a Hollywood record

“I just could not make another band with people in every other band, which is what San Diego will do to you,” says Chris Leyva, whose group Falling Doves features two locals (him and Oceanside ...

Vintage Henry

Mrs. Henry goes "one-hundred percent analog" on new double-record set

“We recorded this album one hundred percent analog with engineer Jordan Andreen at Audio Design Recording here in San Diego,” says Daniel Cervantes of Mrs. Henry’s upcoming self-titled two-volume set. “Tracked on vintage gear, while ...

June 2016 record releases by San Diego bands

Here's what's coming this summer

Marcelo Radulovich has a new release this week, Insomnia Party Feathers, issued under the moniker Son of Radul. “It hops around various genres, instruments, and languages, with six songs in English, six in Spanish, and ...

Eaten by Canadians

San Diego band Taken by Canadians releases its creepiest set yet

Based in Oceanside, Taken by Canadians features fiddler/keyboardist Anna Zinova, bassist Marco Savoia, drummer Tristan Faulk-Webster, and singer/guitarist Ben Ambrosini, who’s currently prepping Oceanside’s Silver Cloud Lounge for a grand re-opening. “We Eat You Like ...

Gone Baby Gone's latest, Love Stories, inspired by local band gossip

Just like high school

“This album is self-released, because DIY is how we roll, baby,” says Gone Baby Gone frontwoman Veronica Collins (aka Dizzy). “Not to say we wouldn’t love to have someone take us under their wing and ...

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