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Album

Album cover

Rock and Roll Part 3

TRACK 1: “Remember the Look”

SDR: This has a cool ‘50s dragstrip Link Wray sound. Why do you think a genre like surf music still has such cultural longevity?

SKID: That’s interesting to me that you hear surf guitar, when in reality, there is no surf guitar on this whole CD. I think you hear the surf guitar because you expected to hear surf guitar, knowing that for years I’ve had a surf instrumental band called the Shadowcasters. I hear this song as a psychedelic pop song, with fuzz guitar and feedback.

As for the longevity of the surf guitar sound, it simply feels good in your ears. That reminds me of when I went to Europe for the first time with Mojo Nixon, and we stayed for a month at a guy’s house in Holland who worked for the record company. This was around 1987, way before the movie Pulp Fiction came out and used “Misirlou” as its them song.

Anyway, I had brought with me a handful of old surf instrumental 45s, just in case I met up with someone to trade with. I never did trade, but I remember playing the single of “Misirlou” by Dick Dale for our gracious house-sharing Dutch friend. He had never heard of surf music before but, after hearing the record, he said – in his thick dutch accent – “I don’t know this music, but it is GUUUUUDE!”

******************************************************

TRACK 2: “Downtown Down”

SDR: Your take on country seems more sagebrush ‘n’ saddle than good ol’ boy redneck. Is that from growing up in the wild west instead of down south?

SKID: Country?! Are we listening to the same song? To me, this has a spooky organ-flavored Doors sound to it.

It was inspired by the downtown San Diego of my youth, when I had to take the bus to get to the thrift stores and old book stores near Broadway. Before the 1980s redevelopment homogenized everything down there and kicked the bums uptown, downtown San Diego was full of interesting sights and experiences for a teenager too young to drive.

As for country music, I’m definitely a Hank One [Williams Sr.] kind of guy.

******************************************************

TRACK 3: “Monday Afternoon”

SDR: Are you secretly a polka player?

SKID: I wanted a spaghetti western feel on this one. There are foot stomps instead of a bass drum, and a very nifty baritone guitar solo inspired by old Johnny Horton records. The chorus repeats “Waddle Deddeh” over and over. He was a local politico I remember as a kid. I always liked his kooky name, and thought it should be in a song. So now it is!

By the way, this is one of those rare songs where everything in the lyrics is true. I was going out with a girl who wanted to go to San Francisco. On a Monday afternoon, she announced to me that we had toi break up. Her best friend secretly told me it was because she wanted to visit her ex-boyfriend in ‘Frisco with a clear conscience.

I was not sad when, later, I heard that she crashed her car on the way up the coast. Karma.

************************************************

TRACK 4: “Hope”

SDR: Do you ever aspire to do a wholly hip-hop track?

SKID: No, I don’t really care for hip-hop. I love a melody too much, although this song is all spoken word.

I was probably inspired by listening to an early LP by the Last Poets. They were the precursor to ALL rap and hip-hop. I put in congas and maracas with bongos, and an African wooden slit drum. It’s more like beatnik poetry than anything.

*************************************************

TRACK 5: “Skid Drive”

SDR: Nice surf groove here….

SKID: Again with the surf guitar? This has a nice Freddy King feel to it. I used a Fender Telecaster with an old small Airline amplifier, so it has a natural slight dirty distortion and punch. No surfy reverb on this one.

I love to play this song live, ‘cause it has a couple of fake endings, and people on the dance floor don’t know what to do. And then, when it finally ends for real, they keep dancing! It never fails!

**************************************************

TRACK 6: “Party Lights”

SDR: When covering older songs by others, do you use a lot of vintage analog equipment?

SKID: This is the only cover tune on the whole CD. It is a song from the ‘60s, originally done by Claudine Clark. I wanted it to feel like New Orleans, so I played two snare drums rat-tat-tatting along through the whole song. Joyce Rooks sings a purdy duet with me here, with backup vocals by Jose Sinatra and gumbo sax provided by Johnny Viau.

**************************************************

TRACK 7: “Drunk, American Style”

SDR: This reminds me a bit of Country Dick and the Beat Farmers. Intentional?

SKID: Not intentional, believe me. But you might be a cult with one member, if that’s what you hear. Do you also hear surf guitar?

Ironically, I’ve never been drunk in my life.

**************************************************

TRACK 8: “The Return of Rodan”

SDR: You say in this song that you think Rodan is so much cooler than Godzilla. Tell us why?

SKID: When I was a kid, the Rodan movie was truly scary to me. It’s laughably corny now, but when you’re a child, you don’t see crappy scenery and a man in a lizard suit.

I recently found a video of The Crawling Eye, a scary old movie about aliens from another planet who land in the alps. It’s silly now, a giant eye with tentacles, menacing people from a cloud. I remember being terrified when I saw that movie as a kid on a Saturday afternoon at the Bay Theater in National City.

I love the nervy two-note guitar solo in this song, with atmospheric flute in the background.

***********************************************

TRACK 9: “Jennifer Johnson”

SDR: This has kind of a Gary Puckett/Union Gap vibe.

SKID: Now it’s Gary Puckett, not surf guitar? I wrote this song a few days after meeting her years ago. I played and sang it to her over the phone. She didn’t believe that I wrote it for her, she thought I just stuck her name on someone else’s song. She ended up marrying my old drummer from the Whirlin’ Spurs and moving to Los Angeles.

I like the way Jose Sinatra and I harmonize like Campfire Girls on the la-la-la bridge.

**************************************************

TRACK 10: “Prism Walls”

SDR: What southern country rock bands or performers most influenced you, and in what way?

SKID: What drugs were you on when you listened to this one? Influences? Dan Hicks, PF Sloan, and Larry Storch [F Troop]. Maybe Dylan and Gomer Pyle.

****************************************************

TRACK 11: “The First of Shadow”

SDR: So you like Dixieland hony tonk?

SKID: Well, it does have a nice drunken trombone, provided by Steelbone Cook. I don’t mean that he was drunk when he did it, but I told him to ply like he was at a party.

I also came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea in the studio: Flip the tape over and record the trombone so it will end up backwards. As it turns out, backwards trombone sounds exactly like a regular trombone! Who-da thunk?

*****************************************************

TRACK 12: “Puttin’ Up a Fence”

SDR: Having just put up a fence to keep my neighbor’s crazy killer dogs out of the yard, I’ve been humming this one all day.

SKID: I played a bunch of these songs for Buddy Blue a few years ago, and this was his favorite. I actually heard him singing it to himself when he didn’t know I was there.

********************************************

TRACK 13: “I’ve Heard Everything”

SDR: Love these rolling keyboards. Synth, organ, or ???

SKID: I recorded the whole album at Hit Single in El Cajon, and they have a Hammond B2 there, so that’s what I used. I guess it’s one less as good as a B3. That’s a dumb musician joke…

Here’s an interesting story: I don’t really play piano or organ, but I wanted this song to have organ on it with a nice cheesy solo. I bought a crummy old Yamaha organ for five dollars at the swap meet, so I could figure out what notes sounded good for a solo.

I practiced along with my cassette for a week and got pretty good at it. When I came into the studio to record my big solo, Randy Fuele, the engineer, gave me the news that I was playing in the key of D sharp, and the song was in D. My cassette player had speeded it up by a half tone, and I learned my parts in the wrong key.

“Not to worry,” he said. “Since we’re using tape, I’ll just speed up the machine so the song will record in D sharp!” Hooray for old school technology!

TITLES
1. REMEMBER THE LOOK
2. DOWNTOWN DOWN
3. MONDAY AFTERNOON
4. HOPE
5. SKID DRIVE
6. PARTY LIGHTS
7. DRUNK, AMERICAN STYLE
8. THE RETURN OF RODAN
9. JENNIFER JOHNSON
10. PRISM WALLS
11. THE FIRST OF SHADOW
12. PUTTIN UP A FENCE
13. I'VE HEARD EVERYTHING

1.REMEMBER THE LOOK 2.DOWNTOWN DOWN 3.MONDAY AFTERNOON 4.HOPE 5.SKID
DRIVE 6.PARTY LIGHTS 7.DRUNK, AMERICAN STYLE 8.THE RETURN OF RODAN 9.
JENNIFER JOHNSON 10.PRISM WALLS 11.THE FIRST OF SHADOW 12.PUTTIN UP A FENCE
13.I'VE HEARD EVERYTHING

CREDITS
Recorded and mixed at Hit Single Recording Service, El Cajon, California.
Produced and Arranged by Skid Roper. Engineered by Randy Fuelle.
Mastered by Phil Rockhold. The Players: Skid Roper: Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin,
Organ, Harmonica, Percussion & Whistling; Chip McClendon: Fender Bass &
Adhesive; Joel Kmak: Drums & Teen Appeal; Joyce Rooks: Vocals; Jose Sinatra:
Vocals; Johnny Viau: Sax & Flute; Steelbone Cook: Trombone; Mojo Nixon:
Bongos. All Songs Written by Skid Roper, & © King Timahoe Music, BMI.
Except Party Lights, Claudine Clark, Rambed, BMI. Cover art & design:
Skid Roper. Graphic layout: DuanEdwarDimock. CD packaging: [email protected]
Thanks to Mike Trahan, Chris Davies & Charles Woolsey Lyon IV
[email protected]

LYRICS
1.
REMEMBER THE LOOK I remember the look - the look upon her face
And her smile makin me smile Slow motion sadness has taken its place Haven't
seen that look in such a long while I remember the look - sure fire from
the start And her glance sayin it all That double whammy went straight to my
heart Blind and deaf and dumb, I just had to fall I remember the look - I
remember I remember the look - I remember I remember the look - that gaze of
mystery And warm hands over my back That look etched forever in my memory
But I know it's too late to ever go back I remember the look - I remember I
remember the look - I remember
2.
DOWNTOWN DOWN Dreary old bus stop - brain freeze just wont stop
And I'm downtown - downtown - downtown Oh, I'm downtown - feelin down
Broken down shopping carts - island of broken hearts I'm downtown - downtown -
downtown Yeah, I'm downtown - feelin down Diesel fumes, light poles - old
papers, pot holes Empty store people like square pegs in round holes Who
wander on the avenue of lost souls Feels like a Monday - cupid is D.O.A. And
I'm downtown - downtown - downtown Oh, I'm downtown - feelin down

3.
MONDAY AFTERNOON Feelin good on that day - we had lunch at our
cafe You were drivin all the way on Monday afternoon Now you don't call at
night - you turned left and I turned right When we had that little fight on
Monday afternoon Thinkin things were right as rain - the smiles smothered any
pain I watched it swirl right down the drain on Monday afternoon I told
myself it's ok - I don't need you come what may Foolin myself all the way on
Monday afternoon Waddie Deddeh Waddie Deddeh........ I listened for that
golden chord to guide me as my spirit soared Instead, you tossed it overboard
on Monday afternoon Swapped I love yous from the start - parried round and
played our part but you played croquet with my heart on Monday afternoon
Waddie Deddeh Waddie Deddeh........ Feelin fine on that day - we had lunch at
that cafe But you were drivin all the way on Monday afternoon Now you don't
call at night - you turned left and I turned right When we had that little
ol' fight on Monday afternoon

4.
HOPE One bent and weary one-eyed jack sifting for a hand Two
silvery sentinel statuettes serenade the band Three therapeutic theramins still
pray for a downbeat Four old tarnished trolley tracks poke up through the
street Five jewel encrusted scepters hidden in a pouch Six left over lincoln
logs lost inside the couch Seven stolen golden idols under the dynamo Eight
unheard of brothers of Curly, Shemp and Moe Hope Nine unscrupulous
goldsmiths overcharge the meek Ten fair weekend weather girls foretell it twice a
week Eleven modern maji muse, now too wise to fool Twelve tired tricycle tires
at the bottom of the pool Thirteen tardy ticket takers, some, left in the
lurch Fourteen swingin southern bells a-pealing in the church Fifteen basalt
blue bathespheres off to plumb the sea Sixteen of Mother Theresas kids seek
rock and roll, part three Hope Seventeen multi colored marbles scattered
in the dirt Eighteen hologramic hobos too systemized to hurt Nineteen gone
glissandos glide in the land of midnight lies Twenty mad midget wrestlers
scare up a big disguise Twenty one empty corncribs disregard the facts Twenty
two city sidewalks simply lead to cul de sacs Twenty three darkened dervishes'
spin for all the world to see Twenty four hours a day I dream of wingless
victory Hope Twenty five framed fatalists lay in state beside the moor
Twenty six fiends in freight cars wont be wondering what for Twenty seven sad
DeSotos sit way out by the power lines Twenty eight well read librarians
calculating unpaid fines Twenty nine black leather satchels with tanned and
tasseled tips Thirty Nehru straightjackets with matching Freudian slips Thirty
one suave suburbanites do more than laws allow Thirty two true believers sing
behind the gospel plow Hope Thirty three lucky losers leave mis-quoting
Aura Lee Thirty four future ex-wives pray out at the fever tree Thirty five
bad bold buccaneers sharpening their swords Thirty six half-hollowed logs play
augmented chords Thirty seven stairway steps made from discarded pews
Thirty eight fists of fury fly making page six news Thirty nine three card monte
rubes with clouded optic nerves Forty poetasters scat - basting straights
and curves Hope Forty one cunning racers stop and pose for all to watch
Forty two pistoleros report carving one more notch Forty three divining rods
waiting for the call Forty four brown basket weavers sit in front of city hall
Forty five wishful thinkers jog heading for the coast Forty six jackhammers
peal to promote the Holy Ghost Forty seven laughing lemmings just can't see
the thirteenth floor Forty eight self-fulfilling prophets saunter through
the door Hope Forty nine restless ne'er-do-wells try to scam the mall Fifty
curious coyotes wailin at Waylon Jennings wall Fifty one flagrant semaphores
now carpeting the van Fifty two troubled truants get a Death Valley desert
tan Fifty three venus flytraps bloom alluring without fail Fifty four blind
sightseers collate return to sender mail Fifty five lawn jockeys standing
blameless in the cove Fifty six holy scapulars left in a filbert grove Hope
Fifty seven gray bowery rats, set for a dumpster full Fifty eight capricious
cads crash a midwest tractor pull Fifty nine nighttime glory hounds just
repacked their bags Sixty cans of goose grease obscure the shoeshine rag Sixty
one partial Greecian urns from the Punic war Sixty two preacherless
parables stashed behind the outhouse door Sixty three smoldering oracles, stoked
and kept alive Sixty four bars of Soul Supreme on Gladiola Drive Hope
5.
SKID DRIVE

6.
PARTY LIGHTS I see the lights, I see the party lights They're
red, blue and green Oh, everybody in the crowd is there But you wont let me
make the scene Mama dear, tell me, do you hear? They're partyin tonight I
tell you I can't sleep because across the street Woh oh, I see the party lights
Mama dear, looka here, looka here There goes Mary Lou I see Betty and Joe
and Tommy and Sue And there goes my girlfriend, too Hey, Mama dear, looka
here, looka here I'm feelin kinda blue They're doin the Fish, the Twist,
the Mashed Potato, too And I'm here lookin at you

7.
DRUNK, AMERICAN STYLE Johnny likes his liquor when he wakes up
in the morning And he likes a drink or three when he goes to sleep at night
Johnny needs a backbone when he's feelin down and dingey And an attitude
adjustment can only make it right We get drunk, American style - oh, drunk,
American style Suzie wears her fashions with her trendy beer goggles on And
she sells her seashells just to pay her bills and dues Suzie has a six-pack
in between her Mustang buckets And her hobby seems to be collecting different
502s We get drunk, American style - oh, drunk, American style Bobby rides
his barstool after working ten to seven And his automatic pilot seems to
bring him home to bed Bobby got off easy when he wrecked his Plymouth Duster
Maybe next time he might kill someone or even wake up dead We get drunk,
American style - oh, drunk, American style Mary hides her bottles in the
closet and the dresser And in paper bags in places where nobody ever goes
Daytime finds her sippin right along with all her stories On the TV and nobody
sees so no one ever knows We get drunk, American style - oh, drunk, American
style

8.
THE RETURN OF RODAN There's an ugly creature just lookin for some
fun He's cruisin 'round the heavens sendin people on the run Well, Rodan's
nasty, mean and evil - the hippest monster that's around You'd better run
for cover - downtown Tokyo's comin down Now Rodan is the best of all those
Japanese monster pests He can fly and scream and spit fire and scare the
population Better than all the rest 'cause he's a prehistoric monster And the
toughest pound for pound You'd better run for cover - 'cause downtown Tokyo's
comin down Now Mothra wasn't cool - Guidra? A three headed fool Gamera
was a funky flyin turtle who should go on back to school Because now Rodan's
back in action and you'd better be shelter bound Say you'd better run for
cover - downtown Tokyo's comin down Rodan can't beat Godzilla - that's what
some people said But he could drop a big fat flyin Pterodactyl turd Right on
Godzillas head Because he's nasty mean and evil - the hippest monster that's
around You'd better run for cover - downtown Tokyo's comin down I say you'd
better run for cover - downtown Tokyo's comin down

9.
JENNIFER JOHNSON Two laughing blue eyes are pullin me in Girl,
now really you are under my skin I can't keep hiding away in my cave Cause
fortune should favor the brave I was afraid then of rollin the dice What's so
hard about breakin the ice? Honesty should be the name of the game And
Jennifer Johnson's her name Sha la la la........ Her lips were glistening, I
bent close listening To hear her every word The lights were dimming and the
band was swimming All the right ingredients were stirred Sha la la
la........ Her smoothe complexion was makin me think Goof that I am, I knocked over
her drink Right off the table and on to her dress And really makin a mess I
was worried that I'd blown everything Don't talk with your hands now, you
dumb dingaling Awfully sorry, I've gotta be daft Don't worry about it she
laughed Sha la la la........


10.
PRISM WALLS You have seen 'em rise - you have watched 'em fall
When they hit the bottom they are very small What goes up must come down it's
true Hey, watch out, it might come right down on you We try hard to win -
we don't wanna lose And when it happens you really got the blues Win some,
lose some, so the saying goes Old lady fate can pop you in the nose And
that's the way the story goes when you're Tryin to live in this crazy world
Yeah, that's the way the story goes when you're Livin in this fickle world
In the darkest night you can still depend There'll be a brighter day right
around the bend Just like time spent in the dentists chair Wont be so long
'til you're outta there And that's the way the story goes when you're Tryin
to live in this crazy world Yeah, that's the way the story goes when you're
Livin in this fickle world

11.
THE FIRST OF SHADOW Pickin up the side road to Little Walters dream
Lost to a chromatic heart, or so it seemed Reaching to the bottom for oh, it
must be years For a trusted rusty pocket knife to scare away the fear Your
winning smile turned into a frown See it, hear it, baby's comin down Adam
was ribbed in Eden - Abel, Eve and Cain Went looking for new ancestors and
heard the snake complain Turning into Tarzan for special discount rates He
climbed so high to pick the lock on Heavens pearly gates You might be forever
Limbo bound All I know is baby's comin down They kicked your can of
centipedes into a drainage ditch 1600 pairs of legs doin the tin can twitch I
heard you cryin, sighin go away and shut the door And you said that you can't
find your innocence anymore Have you checked the city lost and found? You just
might find that baby's comin down You'd better call your mama and tell
her how you are It's been too long a waitin - have you gone too far? Can't you
go back home again? I hoped you could You know you've spent too many murky
miles in the mud Hold on tight when Mother comes around She'd like to see
her babies comin down I joined the hustler singin 8 ball corner pocket
blues Now's your chance for all you billiard fans to take your cues It's
elimination time I heard somebody understate While the bogus rogues all scattered
lookin for a greener slate Was that an adverb or a proper noun? And in
conjunction, baby's comin down Plug in your electric saw tooth - let it hum and
whine Feel the vibrations and make your magic sign Conscience overheating -
coolerator, thirteenth power Inside the law library way beyond the midnight
hour Pray, tell me how you train your velvet gown Tell you somethin, baby's
comin down School was out of session so you stopped your learnin ways We
saw the Moving Sidewalks through the psychedelic haze Stumbling round the
funhouse, avoiding all the pain Upstairs through the basement, umbrella'd in
the rain Rolled in from Austin,Texas underground Heard them singin Baby's
Comin Down Grandma cuts her coupons and delights in savin souls Grandpa tries
to read the daily paper full of holes The kids all do the Zombie - it's the
latest thing And long distance kinfolk don't know what's happening It's all
relative down around this town They all heard that baby's comin down Put
your tender tootsies in you hightop tennis shoes And march right down the
alley to the trashcans you use Raise you dented garbage lids - hold one in each
fist Then crash them hard together - I'm sure you'll get the gist Better
move your can when trashday comes around Your ever lovin baby's comin down
12.
PUTTIN UP A FENCE I'm puttin up a fence To keep you people outta
my yard Puttin up a fence - puttin up a fence To keep you people outta my
yard I'm puttin up a fence To keep all you dogs outta my yard Puttin up a
fence - puttin up a fence To keep all you bad dogs from Comin over and
decoratin my yard I'm puttin up a fence To keep all you kids outta my yard
Puttin up a fence - puttin up a fence To keep all you kids playin ball And
ridin bikes and stompin on My grass and messin things up Outta my yard I'm
puttin up a fence To keep everybody outta my yard Puttin up a fence -
puttin up a fence Gonna keep everybody outta my yard

13.
I'VE HEARD EVERYTHING I heard you're all alone again Just like it
was the day we met You've been pushed aside For someone new Just like you
cancelled me, I'll bet Now, you've come round to tell me that You want me
baby, back to stay What a priceless joke for chokin on Somebody has learned
the hard way I can't hear you anymore I can't hear you anymore I can't
hear you anymore I can't hear you anymore 'Cause I've heard everything Nothin
left to hear now Go ahead and tell me lies And pretend to disappear now I
can't hear you anymore 'Cause I've heard everything I thought it was
forever then And together we would always be But things don't always follow plans
And we would have to wait and see Now, the everlovin table's turned & your
words tell me you want me back I just might break out laughin now 'Cause that
monorail Has jumped the track

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