Richard Aguirre says he approaches things differently than his uncle, City Attorney Mike Aguirre. Yet, Richard says they are "on the same mission. He works from the top down. I go from the bottom up."
Aguirre attempts to make a statement with the five-year-old "beach funk" group he named the Karl Marx Band; at shows, he passes out "The Capitalist Manifesto," his self-published booklet.
"All we are is anti-Bush and pro--working class people," says Aguirre. "I have a nonprofit 501C3 [organization] called Find the Flowers. It was named after my first album. We want to raise money and build 100 libraries in Latin American villages. We want to give them computers and show them that they shouldn't be slaves to corporations like Del Monte and Dole."
The group has yet to build a library, but Aguirre says, "We have a couple thousand in the bank. It's hard to raise money; people are broke."
Aguirre earned a degree in geography from UC Berkeley. Other than his college years, he says he's lived in OB all his life.
"[San Diego] has all the great things of a left-wing city, except for the people. When I moved back from Berkeley, I thought I had moved to hell. So many capitalists had taken advantage of every little piece of heaven we have."
Are there any counterculture OBceans left in OB?
"Yeah, there's, like, 27 left, and we all know each other."
In the past year, the Karl Marx Band has been playing Humphrey's Backstage Lounge, a few miles from OB's jam-band haven.
"I don't play clubs that rip off the artist.... Now it seems like playing music is all about the collection of money. A musician's role should not be to sell alcohol so the bar owner can live in a mansion.... It seems like they're upscaling OB. The other night I went to one place I won't mention that sold Newcastles for $8.25."
The Karl Marx Band appears June 22 at Humphrey's Backstage Lounge.