“Carlsbad’s gotten ugly,” says a musician who supports himself by playing music in Carlsbad clubs. Following noise complaints by nearby residents, the City of Carlsbad is enforcing a new entertainment ordinance that went into effect February 1. Two venues — Hennessey’s Tavern and Finnegan’s — were told two weeks ago to cease hosting live bands and deejays and to reapply for a new entertainment license.
Andy Davis, owner of Carlsbad’s Mas Fina Cantina, says the ordinance sets a 65-decibel threshold for ambient noise outside of clubs.
“The cops stopped by my place last weekend with their [sound] meter,” says Davis. “They told us they were just doing a dry run with it. That night we just had a jukebox. We turned it down a couple notches. We had the door closed, all the windows closed, and we were way over the 65-decibel maximum. The meter showed we were at 80 decibels, and that was just with people on the patio out front. There was nothing else I could do to make it quieter.”
The noise restrictions could impact Coyote Bar and Grill, Boar Cross’n, the Ocean House, and the Alley.
Davis says Tom Giblin’s Irish Pub is being sold due to the regulation crackdown. The pub has been known to present Irish bands on weekends. Owner Ned Giblin, who owns and operates two other restaurant/music venues in Escondido and Fallbrook, did not respond to messages.
Carlsbad police officer George Zavala oversees the new sound-enforcement ordinance. A call to him requesting comment was not returned.
— Ken Leighton
Pulled Axl After Velvet Revolver canceled their sold-out February 7 show at House of Blues, the band released this statement: “Following Velvet Revolver’s performance [February 6] in Los Angeles, lead singer Scott Weiland voluntarily entered a rehab facility. Tonight’s scheduled performance at San Diego has been postponed.”
The band canceled a four-date Australia tour to begin February 15 as well.
When Velvet Revolver appeared in San Diego last September, the band headlined at Coors Amphitheatre; the House of Blues nightclub has a 1000-person capacity. Some cynics wonder if the planned summertime reunion of Weiland’s most successful band, Stone Temple Pilots, may have had some bearing on the canceled show. Insiders say that STP will get between $150,000 and $200,000 for each STP performance and that the HoB payday was a small fraction of that amount.
HoB talent buyer Candace Mandracia says the band’s agent assured her that the San Diego House of Blues show will be rescheduled. Velvet Revolver management offered no other information.
Another insider believes that the rehab reason may be legitimate and not a ploy.
“That [February 6] L.A. date was at a music-industry convention. It was for the C.I.C. [Concert Industry Consortium]. I’m sure Scott just got around some old promoter friends, partied, and woke up the next day with a hangover and decided he’d rather go to rehab than drive down to San Diego. Plus, I don’t think he wants to screw up again and tell the DeLeo brothers for the 47th time that he has to cancel STP gigs because of his abuse.”
Former San Diegans Robert and Dean DeLeo cofounded STP with Weiland.
— Ken Leighton
Will Thrash for Shoes “Tony [Hawk] took [skateboarding] into the homes,” says Nihilist singer/bassist Loren Tipton. “We represent the dark side of the skate industry.”
Tipton’s speed-metal band attracted the attention of Volcom last year; the Costa Mesa–based company — which started out selling snow, skate, and surf apparel — put Nihilist on two different tours.
“We toured Europe last summer,” says Tipton. “A month later we toured the whole East Coast. They paid for the whole thing. We go to Athens in May.”
Tipton says the arrangement is a “handshake deal” whereby his band gets to play outdoor gigs and club dates connected with Volcom-sponsored events. Nihilist gets exposure and a connection with the action-sports industry, but the band isn’t getting rich off the deal.
“They pay for the tour. Depending on each show, we might get a cut of the door.”
Apart from the action-sports side of the company that Nihilist is working with, Volcom Entertainment’s bands (Valient Thorr, ASG, and Year Long Disaster) get the benefit of tour support, music videos, and recording for the company’s record label.
“We are working on it,” says Tipton about the possibility of Nihilist joining the Volcom Entertainment label. “I think they are interested in us. But that’s a whole separate budget.”
Besides Volcom, Nihilist has a sponsorship with DC Shoes. The band gets shoes but no dough.
Nihilist has had the same lineup for five years. Tipton, 28, says his is the oldest band among a thriving thrash-metal scene that includes Damcyan of Santee, Immolated Seraphim of Chula Vista, and Keaper of Carlsbad.
“A lot of thrash bands are starting to grow their hair out. The whole thrash thing died out in the early ’90s. I started to see it come back in the last two years. All the old iconic metal bands like Slayer and Overkill are putting out albums and touring again. People are sick of nu metal.”
Nihilist appears at the Jumping Turtle on March 14.
— Ken Leighton
Her Bloody Valentine One year ago today, A.M. Vibe vocalist Lisah got her throat slit.
“It was the end result of a horse accident,” she says. “My C4 and C5 discs were touching each other, and I had spinal stenosis, which means my spinal cord was being smashed. You couldn’t even see the protective canal around my spinal cord.” Doctors told her that the wrong movement could cause crippling damage.
“The only option was spinal fusion surgery, unless I wanted to live a sedentary life. But I was very concerned about my vocals. My surgeon told me they’d be cutting through or very close to a nerve that affects my vocal cords and voice box. He couldn’t guarantee that my voice would go back to normal.” While awaiting her operation, she says she “…lost all the strength in my arms and hands, and trying to play guitar was brutal. I had to sit down to play, and eventually I had to stop playing at all.”
On February 14, “They [doctors] went in through my neck to my spine. Afterwards, I found out that they discovered a piece of my crushed disc lodged in my spinal cord, which could have paralyzed me for life just from turning around or bending over.”
A year later, she says, “No harm was done to my vocals! Sometimes my shoulders and neck get tired.… I have a titanium plate in my neck, and sometimes I can feel it in there behind my esophagus — especially when I laugh really hard, then I can totally feel it.”
— Jay Allen Sanford
Good Rap “It almost seems like people and the media are more concerned with which [hip-hop] artists are going to jail and rehab, rather than the positive contributions they are making to society,” says rapper/emcee Miki Vale. “As far as mainstream hip-hop artists, there are actually a lot who are making charitable contributions: Nelly, David Banner, Talib Kweli…Master P and his P. Miller Youth Centers are designed to take kids off the streets and provide education and financial literacy.”
Master P — a onetime San Diego Stingrays forward (as Percy Miller) — has also headed up several benefits for New Orleans flood victims. Vale, meanwhile, has cofounded the local UPliftment Project.
“[It’s] a series of events that showcase artists we feel are not only extremely talented but are also socially aware and using their music as a tool to spread a positive message. All the money raised from these events is donated to charitable organizations like the International Rescue Committee and the FTP [Feed the People] program.” FTP volunteers such as Vale gather every other Sunday to walk the streets and deliver bagged lunches to the homeless.
Vale’s debut album is set for release next month. Early Sunday morning (1:00 a.m.), she plays Andrea Rushing Fine Arts Gallery in North Park with DJ Slopoke.
— Jay Allen Sanford
The Obsession Is Over “All the money I make on CDs or shows up until April is going towards getting me to Bolivia,” says Poway-based singer/songwriter Katie Christine Smith. “I’m going there to help out with feeding the hungry, working with indigenous Indians, and teaching the youth about living healthy lives.” She estimates her cost for the trip at around $2000. “Also, I’m learning music in Spanish so that I can sing down there, too.…
“I’ve been listening to Mexican music since I was 11. I used to be obsessed with the singer Selena, and I memorized all her songs. Since then, I’ve been following a lot of awesome Hispanic musicians, like Juanes and Julieta Venegas, so I can sing in Spanish. I just need to learn the songs. I’m actually writing my own songs in Spanish, too! I just have someone who is fluent read over the lyrics, to check the grammar and stuff.”
In Bolivia, Smith will be working with Shield of Faith Ministries, as well as several members of the Rancho Bernardo church she attends, Maranatha Chapel.
“I’m not worried about bringing my guitar on the trip,” she says. “I’ll just pray it doesn’t get stolen. It’s nothing fancy to begin with. I’ve never owned an expensive guitar.”
— Jay Allen Sanford