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Stories by Ken Leighton

Rhymes about guns

"I’m just speaking about urban life. I’m a storyteller, nothing more."

This is the first weekend that Brandon Duncan has seen his family since June 17, when he was taken from his Lincoln Park home and booked into the George Bailey Detention Center. His grandfather died ...

Extension accord

Two ill-fated UCSD music venues, Ché Café and Porter’s Pub, appear to be back in business. The Ché Café is a 35-year-old nonprofit run by a student collective with support of well-connected student alumni. Since ...

Q is gone, Fresh Air survives

KPBS drops show once hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, accused of sexual assault

Former rock singer Jian Ghomeshi was fired by Q producer CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) in October when former lady friends claimed he got violent with them during sex. San Diego’s top-rated public radio station initially ...

Resurrection buzz

Could 2015 be the year that Street Scene (or something like it) comes back to life? The resurrection buzz comes with the arrival of the Kaaboo Festival September 18–20 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The ...

The Koala and Charlie Hebdo

Former UCSD editor talks about "Jizzlam" issue that followed 9/11 attacks

The closest thing San Diego has had to French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo would have to be the Koala, UCSD’s sometimes profane student-run humor paper. Twelve people, including key Charlie Hebdo staffers, were murdered this ...

I am the Delta Lady

Joe Cocker lifted Rita Coolidge

“Joe was very private, almost shy. I think the reason why he drank and did the other stuff was to bring himself out.”

Observatory North Park

O.C. interest purchases North Park Theatre

The story of the Observatory’s arrival as one of Orange County’s top music venues started when a computer systems installer named Jon Reiser decided he had grown out of the 300-capacity Detroit Bar, a club ...

Two new stages

A new venture called Quartyard will take over two-thirds of a downtown city block and present live concerts May through October. Attendees will be served by a full-bar, beer gardens, and food trucks. Quartyard is ...

Our plan Everything

Touring bands and booking agents will tell you local opportunities are few compared to the thriving hard rock scenes in L.A., the Bay Area, or Texas. But the five guys in A New Challenger Approaches ...

Maybe the city council called the DEA

Clinic about to get raided

Five employees and a manager at Chronic Pain Releaf were recently given misdemeanor citations for working at an unlicensed business according to Oceanside Police spokesman Lt. Leonard Cosby. He says they were cited under Oceanside ...

No twang in paradise

Americana singer/songwriter Mark Stuart has ricocheted between Austin and San Diego. The homegrown founder of Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash first relocated to Texas eight years ago. “Everything except the music scene is wonderful in ...

Enter Entercom

“This market can't sustain a winning sports team, let alone two or three sports radio stations.”

Could wide receiver Eddie Royal replace “Royals” by Lorde? Could Brandon Flowers of the Chargers take the airwaves from Brandon Flowers of the Killers? Local radio stations KSON, KIFM, and FM94/9 were sold on Monday. ...

Mainstream U.

UCSD administration first took aim at the Ché Café, and now it has its sights set on Porter’s Pub. “It’s like they’re giving themselves chemo but killing off all of the wrong organs,” says a ...

Zero-tolerance Oceanside

Pot shop allegedly reopens under a different name

The day after the City of Oceanside closed the Nature’s Leaf marijuana dispensary on October 31, city attorney John Mullen drove by the shuttered business near the intersection of Interstate 5 and Hwy 78. “I ...

Bad publicity

Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan raps about gang life, but he had never been to jail until June 19. “I just got out of the shower and was headed to work,” Duncan, 34, tells the Reader ...

Cookie Monster rock

Call it “screamo” or call it “post hardcore,” locals Focus in Frame say they have no intention of backing away from the guttural groans that identify many modern metal bands. Detractors slag the incomprehensible singing ...

Pulso del Barrio

B-Side Players founder Karlos Paez makes it clear that he’s a benevolent bandleader. He’s still friends with his former B-Side bandmates. All 52 of them. “We just had our 20th reunion at the Belly Up,” ...

A question of safety...and address

UCSD close to getting its way with the Ché Café, but the collective is resolute

UCSD pulled the trigger last week. The school went to court November 19 to obtain a writ of possession for the Ché Café, to evict the collective that has operated the café and venue for ...

Acústico sidecar

The 13 years Ken Horne played guitar in the Dragons made that dirty glam-rock band a vital part of San Diego’s home team. They released seven albums and played alongside Mastodon, X, and went on ...

Thanks to the hookah

The Red Eye Saloon in Fallbrook followed the trend of many local nightspots when it stopped hiring live bands two months ago. But right next door, a new kind of music venue has sprung up, ...

Red rover, red rover, send Timmy back over

Alt-rock radio jock Tim Pyles is "coming home"

After eight years hosting FM 94/9’s Sunday night show The Local Pyle, which featured San Diego bands, Tim Pyles dropped a bomb on his bosses yesterday when he told them that he was leaving 94/9 ...

Shakedown shutdown

Singer/guitarist Travis Wheeler recalls the first time his punk/metal band Stealth Jackson tried to play the Shakedown. “The show was canceled because there was no electricity. It was, ‘Sorry, no show tonight.’ But it was ...

Radio free Roatán

If life hands you lemons...go buy a radio station in paradise. Keith Miller discovered a few months ago that the shrinking local radio industry that had employed him for 25 years had shrunk him out ...

Homosexual detester says what?

College board candidate "would make many people feel uncomfortable.”

“Satan is attacking our family by perverting the concept of marriage, which God created to be between one man and one woman only.” This is not a rant from a fundamentalist church in Alabama; it ...

Now you know: Tribal Theory

Southeast San Diego band Tribal Theory has managed to squeeze two tours of Guam and Hawaii into their nine-year career. The reggae-rock band, inspired by the Pacific Island sound, is presently putting together another working ...

Pull the plug

“Thought this day would never come, but after 22 years as main house band at Dick’s Last Resort San Diego, our run is ending in two weeks, Private Domain lamented on its Facebook page on ...

Oceanside pot dispensary forced to close

City attorney claims victory as another weed provider opens shop

While it may be getting easier for some marijuana dispensaries to stay open in San Diego, Halloween is the drop-dead date for one Oceanside storefront that has defied efforts to kill the business for almost ...

Q pop-culture radio show ousts its host

Jian Ghomeshi, the "cool guy on an otherwise stodgy network," caught with his pants down

It’s tough when you’re a public figure and you admit that you enjoy kinky sex. It’s even tougher when you’re, uh, in public radio. That awkwardness became a binational reality Sunday when it was announced ...

USS Halloran

San Diego’s on-air Energizer bunny is still going and going... But now he has a louder bass drum. Mike Halloran, the DJ who has always said he cared more about the music he played than ...

Judge rules against Ché

Attorney Bryan Pease considering grounds for an appeal on behalf of the collective

Superior court judge Katherine Bacal ruled Tuesday that the UCSD Board of Regents could evict the student collective that has been operating the Ché Café for 34 years. Once the written decision is issued, the ...

Bigger than KOGO and KFMB

Catholic KCEO to double wattage by end of year

Pro sports figures have long been major players in San Diego radio. John Lynch was a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker before getting into radio management and launching San Diego’s first sports and modern rock stations (Mighty ...

Raze the arena?

On October 6, reporter Joe Lewis filed a report on 10News about the Valley View Casino Center. Lewis quoted the mayor of National City, who six years ago said, “The facility is in terrible condition ...

Hold on to that Fallbrook Hospital toe tag

Struggling facility to rely on Tri-City and Palomar Health for ER

With the Fallbrook Hospital facing a loss of $6 million that is growing at a clip of $500,000 a month, the directors of Fallbrook Healthcare District voted on Wednesday, October 8, to pull the plug ...

Full-blooded American redneck

Russel Hayden sings backup and plays lap steel, banjo, and harmonica for local country band Nancarrow. He started playing locally in a late-’80s punk band called P.S. Your Cat Is Dead. Having toured the world ...

Local rappers soundtrack New York tagger

San Diego Film Fest selection utilizes local artists

City Heights–raised D. Dove has been rapping since she was 14. “There’s not a lot of opportunity. Besides the sheer number of other MCs in San Diego, this is simply a hard city to break ...

Rooster House?

It’s now up to Kodiak, a five-man punk-metal band from North Park, to keep a local tradition alive. For more than ten years the loft above the bar formerly known as Scolari’s Office has been ...

Rewritten Law

It is not surprising that Unwritten Law is still going. The pop-punk band had radio hits (“Seein’ Red,” “Up All Night,” “Save Me [Wake Up Call]”), six albums, Warped Tours, and plenty of fans who ...

Back in the air!

Steve West brings his Sunday morning classic-alternative show to FM 94/9

No one has lasted longer on the local radio airwaves than Steve West. On Sunday, the Resurrection Sunday cat begins another life, resurrecting himself with a new show on FM 94/9. The British-born West, inspired ...

Band on the border run

Radios Silent, four straight-ahead rockers whose members reside in Point Loma, Tijuana, and Ensenada, embrace the idea that being a borderland band means twice the opportunities. A recent weekend saw them play Friday at the ...

Pop goes the Groupie

Austin Steele owes his neighbor. Before his pop band even had a name, Unwritten Law frontman Scott Russo would invite the 16-year-old singer/guitarist and his band over to record at his home studio. “I knew ...

Hip-hop U

While much attention has been given to the plight of the Ché Café, the larger Porter’s Pub (550-person capacity) has been proceeding with little fanfare, presenting national artists, often to a packed house. In the ...

Ché Café digs in its heels, lawyers up

Attorney Bryan Pease says UCSD colluded to decertify the on-campus co-op.

The attorney who helped stopped the removal of the seals from Children’s Pool in La Jolla, has signed on to halt the removal of live music and healthy food from the Ché Café, UCSD’s 34-year-old ...

Heavy metal hits hip-hop backstage

Live Nation cancels Sleep Train hip-hop concert because of "an active investigation" into last week's backstage murder

The canceled hip-hop show that was supposed to happen Saturday, August 23, at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista may trigger some big changes in the concert industry. Headlined by Wiz Khalifa, the “Under ...

Fast-track Frights

Singer/guitarist Mikey Carnevale has no idea why the Frights was nominated as Best Live Band for this year’s San Diego Music Awards. The punk trio from Poway has no dancing go-go girls, matching suits, or ...

Baja’s next big thing?

Like most people who live in Calexico — the border town about 90 miles east of San Diego — Anthony Ramirez often heads south to the much larger Mexicali, on the other side of the ...

They are killing the Walrus

Goo goo g'joob

The tusked mascot tasked with filling San Diego’s airwaves with oldies is getting harpooned. The station will soon be rebranded as the New Max 105.7. The Walrus handle was installed five years ago by then-station ...

Rock ’n’ roll therapy

Singer/songwriter Josh Blevins knows Gunner Gunner’s reputation as the band that really hustles with posters, social media, and intense person-to-person lobbying. Blevins tells the Reader that it’s the best way to keep getting the prime ...

This man could shoot you

"I’d say 80 percent of the wheelchair off-ramps between San Ysidro and Oceanside were cut out by me.”

Steve West and 91X part company

Longtime alt-rock radio personality and Resurrection Sunday host on his departure

With posts decrying “an end of an era,” and lamenting “there goes our music,” social media was reacting to veteran DJ Steve West’s surprise separation Wednesday from 91X. West joined 91X a month after 91X ...

Amy and Freddy and Charro and Ethel

“If I was a drag queen, my name would be Sheeleeta Corndog.”

“Reality shows aren’t real,” says Amy Armstrong, who was given a unanimous thumbs-up by the judges on America’s Got Talent and was promised on air to move on to a third competition in Las Vegas. ...

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