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Stories by Mary Leary

Now you know: Flower Animals

Nineteen-year-old North Park native Gonzalo Meza recalls his garage-rock initiation: “I heard the White Stripes’ ‘Dead Leaves and Dirty Ground’ on my sister’s MP3 player in 2005. It sounded like nothing I’d ever heard. A ...

David Bowie at the Thrift Trader?

Whether or not drivers are visually disturbed by the strobe light punctuating Hirsch the Machine Hirsch’s performance, few of those passing the El Cajon Boulevard/30th Street intersection are likely to pin it to Thrift Trader’s ...

Tacocat's NVM

Never heard Tacocat before. First impressions of “Bridge to Hawaii”: (1) I’m getting impatient with the song’s two resounding opening guitar chords, cringing at the prospect of overdramatized, underwritten music...is there going to be a ...

Yello aspirations

(Charles)Book&Record’s Zack Wentz and wife Shelby create a song using Yellofier (an app), part of a contest orchestrated by the band Yello.

The indelibly linked Greg Friedman

Truckee Brothers bassist Greg Friedman releases solo album Can’t Talk Now.

People, Hell and Angels, by Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix has been dead 43 years – and continues to be represented by a seemingly infinite stream of releases. If his Age of Aquarius idealism has been muddied, he can’t be held accountable for ...

Vinyl exposure

Jason “Blackie” Blackmore set to release film titled Records Collecting Dust, mostly interviews with San Diegans talking about their record collections.

Creedle dreams

Performer/poet Jimmy Jazz publishes new edition of book titled Cadillac Tramps.

Foolish Blood by Two Hours Traffic

It’s embarrassing to admit I’ve never heard of a band that’s been around since 2002 — which convinces me its winsome sound transcends “noteworthy,” demanding “essential” status — unless that sound is so good that ...

Skyfallout

Christian Motos’s new release includes a song that didn’t make the Skyfall soundtrack.

Lost Animal's Ex Tropical

A synth player who leaves a popular Aussie band, St Helens, to explore the possibilities of himself with his machines? Sounds like a fairly risky set-up. But the short-lived indie band’s ex-songwriter/singer/guitarist/keyboardist has crafted a ...

The Complete Columbia Albums Collection of Sarah Vaughan

I purchased After Hours, one of the four freshly minted CDs in the Complete Columbia Albums box, many years ago, on vinyl. Shouldn’t having the original — the cover of which is minutely replicated, as ...

Tucson, by Giant Giant Sand

Rarely has a format seemed as fitting as “country rock opera” does for Giant Giant Sand’s meshing of folk/jazz/rock/blues/country with offhand theatricality. Based on the group’s most dependable obsession/location — the Southwest — Tucson is ...

Treatment Bound: A Ukelele Tribute to the Replacements

Ukulele-based covers might seem to bypass an essential element in the Replacements’ mix of yearning with bravado — Paul Westerberg and Co. were rockers, albeit of a power-pop persuasion. But Nashville-based duo Bright-Little-Field’s homespun approach ...

We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash

Recorded at Austin City Limits last April, We Walk the Line effectively lobbies for posthumous 80th birthday bashes. Brandi Carlile’s opening tear through “Folsom Prison Blues” convinces us she can at least imagine shooting “a ...

Buffalo Killers' Dig. Sow. Love. Grow.

I’ve only heard one other Buffalo Killers record, 2011’s 3. I’m thinking this one shows a steady rise into the classic-rock stratosphere. From the first ringing chord and cymbal crash, Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. is ...

Adams Avenue Old Folker

San Diego folk music archivist/godfather steps back into the committee to organize the Adams Avenue Roots Festival.

Giving Thanks to the San Diego Music Foundation

From the appreciative letters that San Diego elementary school students have sent to the San Diego Music Foundation: “Dear Mrs. Taylor, Thank you for the beautiful guitars that you gifted us. We are very greatful. ...

Elder's Dead Roots Stirring

What the heck does “dead roots stirring” mean? Is it meant to evoke horror? When one stops and considers, dead roots stirring could be kind of horrible. But it’s never made sense to over-analyze stoner ...

If You Want Blood, You Got It

On November 8, Cherry Bar owner James Young flew the hard-rocking San Diego band Bloody Hollies to Melbourne for two shows. Guitarist Joey Horgen describes the junket as “a test run” for an alliance between ...

Donkey Jacket, by Henry's Funeral Shoe

Only a few of the “crank-it” tunes on this album fit the implications of its name, which references Welsh mining apparel. "Mission & Maintenance" is one of those. "Be Your Own Invention" leans on a ...

Slo Jam at New Expression

Directed by Chris Aquavella, 14 mandolin players and three guitarists pluck and strum the poignant notes of “La Frisonette.” Avoiding the black-and-white depictions of Robert Johnson and Leadbelly lining the walls, I imagine sitting in ...

Latebirds — Last of the Good Ol' Days

An inveterate Band whore, I was initially motivated to give Latebirds a spin by Levon Helm's presence (along with Benmont Tench, Nels Cline, Minnie Driver, and Kris Kristofferson) on the bonus disc, Woodstock Sessions. And ...

Superhero Sound Artists

“Within a seated arrangement, the audience witnessed these works in pitch dark.” Larry Caveney is describing audio events he’s produced in his Alabama Street garage in North Park. Caveney launched “the Garage” events in 2009. ...

Call It Macaroni

Last time I saw Aaron Bowen, in 2007, he didn’t seem particularly happy. Now, seated at my dining-room table with his wife Kate, the Sweetwater High alum is beaming. “I was very depressed. My outlook ...

Gary Holt's Grandmother Test

After decades of choral experience that included singing with the Tucson Boys Chorus and at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Missouri, Gary Holt became artistic director for the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus in ...

Till We're Old and Gray

Blackout Party singer/songwriter Brian Holwerda chats with me between waiting tables at Café Japengo and finishing BP’s second album, Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed. “In my late teens I played in a band called Fine ...

Comical Bahamas

Valhalla High grad and college dropout Matt Bahamas (née Barajas) cites “babes” as a major inspiration: “Here in San Diego, they’re wearing low-cut shirts and short skirts...turning heads. The chase is the most fun, and ...

The Local Fuzz by the Atomic Bitchwax

Despite the standard '70s instrumentation, tricky rhythm burps manifest right out of the gate. It's not quite "math rock" but counterpoint enough to bring King Crimson and Polvo into the conversation. Chris Kosnik's soaring, echo-layered ...

Imported Coulter

For Lee Coulter, who was originally inspired by Simon and Garfunkel and Back to the Future (“I played the tennis racket to the soundtrack”), it’s about the music. And producing. And giving “Rockstar 101” lessons ...

Train-Wreck Rock at Pink Punk Lotto

“It’s time to get weird! Play with strangers! Feel like part of a kinky experiment!” reads the poster for Pink Punk Lotto. A few days before the showcase, rocker, DJ, and PPL organizer “Swami” John ...

Chad Vangaalen's Diaper Island

Unusual title. Strange artwork — foliage sprouting from several depictions of a naked figure wearing an expression of shock, pain, or bemusement. A pleasant, elementary riff ("Peace on the Rise") repeats for two minutes, prompting ...

Michael Tiernan: Unstuck from the Ugly

On March 30, Michael Tiernan blogged, “I launched Project Strong this past Tuesday, the day of my brother’s birthday, and I’ve already received tons of interested people who will be contributing content for the video. ...

Arrayist Visions

Bill Wesley moved to San Diego from Missouri in 1974. The then-teenaged Wesley created light shows for Blue Cheer and Vanilla Fudge, with projectors that he “modified so I could use foot switches to turn ...

It's a Nicey Nice World

Since October 2010, Joyce Rooks has driven her cello from Oceanside to Marcelo Radulovich’s studio in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Jim Call brings a theremin from Lemon Grove. Wherever the trio sets up, it’s a Nicey Nice World. ...

Intoxicating Suds and Gastroenteritis

A genealogy of Dead Rock West and its crew of hard-/punk-/folk-rock collaborators would gobble twice the space allotted for this emission. To the (momentary) point: since 2003, Frank Lee Drennen and Cindy Wasserman have often ...

Will Work for Music

On April 27, Charlene Lain, a friend of local soundman/roadie Carlo Dimaggio, used Dimaggio’s email address to relay a message to several contacts: “For those of you that have not heard and were close to ...

Harpo Hangs with Spinal Tap

When he realized I was at Eleven to cover that evening’s show, Mark “Harpo” Delguidice’s face lit up. Although the Myspace for Harpco, his “folk/rock/blues/Americana” band, waxes wise-ass (“We vowed to forge ahead to become ...

A Round and Around at Swedenborg Hall

Podunk Nowhere duo Heather and Johnny Janiga found out about Songwriters Acoustic Nights at a Gregory Page show. The Janigas were promptly invited to take seats at the monthly musicians’ gathering, which features the “Writers ...

Time Traders, by the Peter Green Splinter Group

Respectful (albeit soulful) backing vocals and laid-back, loping resolutions on the first couple tracks of this reissue (originally released in '01) seem a lifetime from Peter Green's stints with the Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac. And ...

Craig Oliver and Volar Records

I met Craig Oliver at a scorching rock spread (Oh Sees, So Cow, and Bare Wires at Bar Pink). Unless he’s pouring lager and adjusting sound at the Whistle Stop, Oliver’s at just about every ...

Bar Pink Goes Gaga for Gorbel

You'd think Cupid had put the kibosh on former Texas Is the Reason bassist Garret Klahn's new project. Dean, Bar Pink's dedicated sound jockey, fords the challenge of balancing Klahn's acoustic with John Herguth's electric ...

Mario Orduno’s Golden Ears

There’s something touching about being allowed into Mario Orduno’s circle. It’s not the first time Art Fag’s 36-year-old founder’s been approached by a journalist. After a couple weeks of postponements and awkward pauses, he admits ...

For the Ghosts Within

Robert Wyatt, an art-rock category-confounder who sometimes lists toward the traditional, weaves seemingly disparate strands into this set of haunting sob-songs, jazz standards, and originals. Cello, alto sax, and strings throw washes of color behind ...

Joe Mariglio and George Foreman — Sonically Searing

Burning Meat, Ominous Roar

Several people jumped when Joe Mariglio coaxed claps of thunder and ominous roars from a laptop at North Park’s Thumbprint Gallery in December. For Mariglio, a Ph.D. candidate at UCSD, the merging of digital audio ...

Bloodflowers Bring Boogie Addiction to Soda Bar

Bloodflowers cut into the first song like it's a Porterhouse, they've all been starving, and all they have is a jagged plastic knife. Like heavy metal, but it's less predictable ’cause it's mostly three times ...

Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White

I'm hoping there's no statute of limitations on how many pieces including Hector Penalosa and the Escovedo family I can write. Because if these guys continue pumping out seminal So. Cal. rock 'n' roll fluids, ...

Can You Hear Me See Me Now? by Quinn Marston

Textured, moderately echoed/fuzzed guitar meshes with Quinn's I-have-a-caramel-in-my-mouth vocals and wide-(NYC)-eyed intonations irresistibly. Yeah, it sounds kinda ’90s, but in a "I miss the verve and innocence we took for granted" way. Liz Phair's thoughts ...

Shamble and Stomp at Eleven

"There's more than four people here — this is awesome!" exclaims Mark ("Harpo") Delguidice, responding to a sizable conflagration of four-to-the-floor tribes that refuse to retire on their respective reservations: to hell with fickle trends ...

Lord Howler and the Dragons Cause Pileup at Eleven

A lot of women like the Dragons — so many that even though I've staked out a prime spot, I regret running outside for a smoke — when I return, 10 minutes before show time, ...