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Stories by Jay Allen Sanford

Syncopated space rockers

Progressive rock occasionally goes overboard with showy virtuosity and enough time-signature changes to induce epileptic fits. But contemporary Rush-loving, concept album-inclined bands are gaining popularity once again. One instrument endemic to the genre is the ...

Lee Coulter, born with swagga

“I was never fired or anything. I like to think that’s because I’m too pretty.”

“Most of my songs consist of simple lyrical concepts in the form of a melodic pop song, broken down with raw, acoustic production,” says soulful troubadour Lee Coulter. “Then I like to change it up ...

Long-distance monkey

“Coinciding with reestablishing the band and calling off our indefinite hiatus, I finally came to terms with the fact that these feet will never fit into corporate shoes,” says singer/guitarist Johnny Rukkus, whose band Monkeys ...

Hot leather

“These songs are more of a coming-of-age progression with the band,” says Nathan Joyner of Hot Nerds’ upcoming three-song EP, Self Titled. “They bridge the gap between the last split 12-inch we put out...and the ...

Chase that bunny

“This has been in the making since last August, but we couldn’t say anything until all of the higher-ups approved,” says singer/bassist Danny Tatulli of Danny & the Tramp, whose song “Chase That Bunny” was ...

Record-release roundup

This week’s new releases include First Flask from barroom rockers Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas, as well as a four-song EP from boogie masters Shakedown Daddies called Shake’n. Reunited bluegrass stars Nickel Creek will drop A ...

The Brothers Gow, true bros who are going somewhere

Drop out, rock out.

“Move to San Diego as soon as possible, and don’t waste your time anywhere else.”

Dazzling musical feats

“For me, this concert began about four years ago, when I was wondering to myself if it might be possible to gain access and play artistically with the Giant Dome Theater at Reuben H. Fleet ...

Gender-blending Sisters

“Most of the songs on this album were written while I was recovering from a major injury,” says singer/songwriter Sherri-Anne of Sister Speak’s upcoming debut full-length Rise Up for Love. “I broke my pelvis and ...

Elephants in the room

“After splitting ways with our old label,” says Hills Like Elephants frontman Sean Davenport, “we were told, even though it was them saying they didn’t want to work with us, that we were ‘in breech ...

Aural gravy

“We’re re-releasing digital formats of defunct San Diego bands, to bring their music back to life,” says Stephanie Rose, production manager at Aural Gravy Records. “We’ll be releasing one album per week, beginning in March, ...

Record-release roundup

Cult DIY rocker Gary Wilson, soon to play Poland’s Off Festival, has a new seven-inch out this week: “Sea Cruise” b/w “I Just Want to Hold You in My Arms Tonight,” both from his upcoming ...

A bunch of animals: critter-named bands in the Local Music Database

Locals who favor fur and feathers

As we’re building up the 3,700-plus band pages in the Reader’s Local Music Database, we occasionally notice some surprising statistical anomalies. This week, let’s look at a few of around 160 local bands and performers ...

2014 Guide to the Arts in San Diego

A palette of possibilities

Our affinity for artistic expression sets us humans apart from all other animals. We continue to find innovative ways to communicate our complex emotions and philosophical reflections. Though it is inarguably enriching to appreciate works ...

Partied with Page

“We’re just a rock band with a very heavy groove,” says Sledd guitarist Kevin Michael. “We have a modern sound, but we don’t sound like any of the other contemporary groups because we pull from ...

Music you can touch

“This album is intended for aging art-punks who complain about bearded bands and [for] teenage listeners realizing blog culture sold them a bill of goods,” says Aaron Poehler, whose post–punk rock full-length Dietrich, co-created with ...

Meet Cherries Jubilee, Zachary Deak, Broken Stems, and more

Newest bands added to the Local Music Database

The Reader’s Local Music Database now has over 3,700 individual band pages, covering performers from the 1950s through today. Most pages also include custom-created band histories, membership rosters then and now, discographies, MP3s, videos, links ...

God’s sense of humor

“I know that, when with Fleetwood Mac, we played San Diego back in the late ’60s, but I don’t remember much about it, except it was in a large hall of some kind,” says Jeremy ...

Record-release roundup

Schitzophonics have a record-release party set for February 8 at the Casbah, on a bill that includes Neighbors to the North, Amerikan Bear, and Gloomsday. “It’s a three-song seven-inch that Munster Records is putting out,” ...

Local band ch-ch-changes: Flaggs, Entre-P, Get Groovin’, more

New this week in the Local Music Database

With over 3,700 band pages in the Reader’s Local Music Database, we’re constantly chronicling updates and changes, from albums dropping or in progress to current video releases, breakups and reunions, plus new and departing members. ...

You stay strange, San Diego

Marcelo Radulovich and Enrique ‘Bugs’ Gonzalez made a record, Nohayquepreocuparsepornada, “a bit of rock, noise, quirky pop, funk, drone, no-time-signature ambience, shades of jazz, acoustic and electric, all wrapped up and served as songs, with surreal stories and observations as lyrics, in English and Spanish.”

New song reviews & new band reports

This week in the Local Music Database

We get a lot of MP3s sent for review by performers in the Reader’s Local Music Database, which currently features over 3,700 band pages along with related discographies, videos, songs, links to Reader articles, and ...

Record-release roundup

Steve Poltz has recorded a new duet version of the hit song he originally wrote with Jewel, “You Were Meant for Me,” with Valencia, Spain–based singer Soledad Vélez and produced by six-time Grammy Award–winner Chris ...

New Bands to Know: Weight of the Sun, JuJu Satori, S.M.C. and more

This week’s additions to the Local Music Database

Every week, we add around a dozen acts, new and old, to the Reader’s Local Music Database, which currently features over 3,700 band pages along with related discographies, MP2s, videos, links to Reader articles, and ...

Deja Voodoo is just pure shredding

Interview with Taz Taylor, whose 2014 album Deja Voodoo won’t include any vocals — just pure shredding, metal heads! Deedle-eedle-eedle-eedle-leedle-dee-dee!

All-girl bands: San Diego’s history of chick-rock groups

A selection of groundbreaking girls from the Local Music Database

Among the 3,700-plus band pages in the Reader’s Local Music Database, there are a surprising number of local-centric all-girl groups. Occasional Rugburn Gregory Page is actually the son of a member of one of the ...

Steam Powered Giraffe: Wired wrong

“We’re a musical pantomime troupe,” says Christopher “Bunny” Bennett of Steam Powered Giraffe. “Most know us as ‘those singing robots.’

Record-release roundup

The new year is kicking off with a herd of earworms, including the debut full-length from jazz-funk dancehall drifters Mafard, whose first single, “Finger Lickin’ Chicken Pickin’ Mexican,” has been stirring the controversy pot. An ...

Wizards, Horses, and Weisses: Local bands worth watching in 2014

Most recent pages added to the Local Music Database

While adding new and old ensembles to the Local Music Database (now containing over 3,700 band pages), we’ve come across some interesting new groups worth watching in 2014, Here are the top picks, followed by ...

Local venue report

Liquor mysteries, live stages closing, and new concert venues on the rise

Lots of changes happening 'round our town’s live venue circuit, not the least of which is the much lamented loss of Croce's downtown. Look for its newest incarnation in Bankers Hill, Croce's Park West, set ...

Kick out the jams

The Casbah is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month with a slate of local-centric reunions and all-star jams, and it’s hard to pick just one night worth showcasing. For my money, the January 17 Penetrators ...

Weird ride home

The roots of Drunkin’ Punkin’ Idiots (aka D.P.I.) go back to early 2002, when their original bassist and singer were both working at Pride, an O.B. surf shop. In short order, their debut self-titled CD ...

America’s Finest Christmas songs

If you’re going to be in sunny San Diego for Christmas, here’s a playlist of local-centric holiday tunes. The newest, “Please Santa,” was just released as a free download from Flaggs, a relatively new ensemble ...

More local bands with similar names

Most-used phrases among 3600 San Diego band names

Among the 3600 or so San Diego band names we’ve chronicled over the years, certain key phrases seem most popular. Some are understandable, like 19 with “west” in their names (look at our locale) and ...

Record-release roundup

Blues-rocker Laurel Sorenson will debut her See What You Got EP with a free all-ages concert on December 20 at Seaweed and Gravel, an Encinitas motorcycle/vintage clothing/surf shop. Attendees are asked to bring a new, ...

San Diego supergroups invade the Local Music Database

New ensembles mixing and matching players from established bands

The most recent band pages in the Local Music Database include several new “supergroups,” mixing up players from established — and mostly still extant — ensembles. Jack City Blues Band plays boogie, jump, swing, and ...

Chasing Gregory Page

“The moment I came to San Diego, when I asked about making an album of music, Gregory Page was the man everyone remembered,” says singer/songwriter Tom Brosseau, whose upcoming album, Grass Punks, includes a song ...

Prog-rock on the prairie

“It’s a concept album, with a storyline that goes with the music,” says Chapman Stick player Tom Griesgraber, whose newest collaboration with Bert Lams (California Guitar Trio), Unnamed Lands, is a prog-rock western set in ...

Getting to know Jaws of Terror, Alley Cat Street, Champ, and more

New bands in the Local Music Database

These are the most recent band pages in the Local Music Database, including old acts newly added and brand new ensembles. Jaws of Terror is fronted by Leighton Koizumi, who first came to local notice ...

Ten best Frank Zappa albums for people who think they hate Zappa

A beginner’s guide to the one-time Grossmont High/Mission Bay High music star

A lot of my friends, including/especially those with musical tastes as refined and open-minded as my own, say they’re baffled by my love for the music of Frank Zappa. However, once a discussion starts revealing ...

Local bands with same (or similar) names

Browsing the Local Music Database, you’ll see that our fine(st) city has several same-or-similar named bands. Entre-P, aka Alvin "Entre-P" Shamoun, is a Rancho San Diego hip-hop artist (not to be confused with fellow San ...

To Zak, by John Lennon

Zach Goode, formerly of Ghoulspoon, now fronting Secret Seven, tells the story of sending away for a John Lennon autograph before he was shot to death. The envelope came back in the mail — with the autographed photo — days after Lennon was assassinated.

New This Week in the Local Music Database

3600 San Diego bands, 8900 musicians, 3700 albums, and more

The Reader’s Local Music Database includes profiles, discographies, music, and concert dates for over 3,600 San Diego bands, all searchable by name, genre, etc, covering the music of our city from the 1940s through this ...

Record-release roundup

Prog-influenced electronic trio Hanging From the Rafters will play their debut album Box of Songs at the release party slated for Wednesday, November 27, at Tin Can Ale House in Bankers Hill. “All the songs ...

Trumpeter C-Money talks Batman, public office, and vodka and grape juice

Social music.

“Why not let the good news be heard just as much as we freak out about whatever witch-hunt the media is onto today?”

New & noteworthy San Diego Bands

These are the most recent bands added to the Local Music Database: Hitmakers, with a sound falling somewhere between punk, pop, and new wave, were one of the earliest San Diego punk bands, circa late ...

Poor me...some coffee

Singer/guitarist Jonny Cuz of Se Vende says his band recently did their first gig in two years because he and bassist Collin Smith were in jail. And they’re recovering addicts. The future is bright.

New This Week: Recent Additions to the Local Music Database

Most recent entries among over 3600 local bands and 8900 musicians

Here are the newest (and sometimes oldest) bands to be added to the Reader’s Local Music Database [http://www.sandiegoreader.com/music/], which includes profiles, discographies, MP3s, and concert dates for over 3,600 San Diego bands and more than ...

Bunny call

“We all had ‘Dick’ names, too,” recalls Nino Del Pesco of his onetime Snuggle Bunnies bandmate Dan McLain, aka Country Dick Montana. “It was a real wild time, especially at the Spring Valley Inn on ...

Greg's mantra

Guitarist goes zen in Escondido on November 3

“They’re like the Led Zeppelin of mantra music, an extraordinary group of musicians who have accepted me into their musical world, despite all evidence being against it,” says Lake Hodges guitarist Greg Douglass of his ...