Levi, “social chairman” of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Cal State San Marcos, says, “Most of the students don’t live within a five-mile radius of the campus. There isn’t much to do on campus. We don’t have a football or basketball team.”
To create a social scene, Levi and the band Morning Riot staged eight off-campus parties within the past eight months. The events featured DJs, a live set by Morning Riot, and alcohol. They charged admission ($5 for women, $10 for men), and guests could only get in if they were dressed according to the prespecified theme (pajamas, sports uniforms, devils and angels, pilgrims and Indians, or Greeks in togas).
“It was an excuse for young people to show up with as little as possible on,” says Morning Riot drummer Josh Ahrend. The Jumping Turtle was rented out for the first four events, he says. When the parties outgrew the San Marcos club, they looked for a bigger venue.
“After being rejected by 20 to 30 places, I finally found Kaito in Encinitas,” says Ahrend. He says the band and the frat staged four parties at the 250-capacity sushi restaurant.
“Every event had a line of people around the building.” The last party was held on February 16.
“It was, like, 200 people over capacity.… The whole place was like one big mosh pit. There was so much condensation, you could write your name on the windows. There was so much moisture that our equipment started shorting out and we kept getting electrocuted.… There was vomit inside and outside. It was so packed that one girl had an anxiety attack. They had to call an ambulance.…
“There were undercover officers busting kids for drinking. I don’t know how they slipped in. I think there were, like, five people cited. The next thing you know, the cops showed up. At one time I saw eight cop cars, but I think there was more. They came inside and started clearing people out. It was over by 11:05. We were only into our fourth song. When they cleared everyone out, the place was in shambles.… The two midgets and the dominatrix we hired to perform never got to go on.”
Ahrend says that the owners of Kaito had sold their business and liquor license to another company and that February 16 was their last night in business. (The restaurant’s website, however, indicates that the restaurant planned a move to a different Encinitas location.)
ABC administrator Robin Van Dyke admits that ABC investigators were present but she won’t disclose why they were there or how many under-age citations were given out. She confirms that Kaito’s liquor license was being sold but that any ABC-related penalties must be addressed by the old owners before a transfer is allowed.
Attempts to reach Kaito management were not successful.
– Ken Leighton
Muse from Beyond Newish neighbor David J has reunited with Bauhaus multiple times and is planning a Love and Rockets reunion, but first there’s his musical about the life of Edie Sedgwick, which debuts March 6 in L.A.
“It’s part one-woman show [and] part rock concert, replete with avant-garde minimalist staging and video imagery,” says J on his blog of Silver for Gold (the Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick), which he wrote and directs. Sedgwick is best known as Andy Warhol’s onetime muse whose beauty and descent into tragedy have become the stuff of pop-culture legend.
“Writing Silver for Gold,” says J, “it felt as if I had entered into a subtle psychic relationship with this beautiful dead girl, and she was actively encouraging me to write. She became a bright light that glowed all the brighter whenever I started to create. It was as if she was feeding on the attention. This might sound highly fanciful, but that is how it felt. Edie was enduring in her ultimate role, that of the muse.”
Some incidental music for the production was provided by Marcelo Radulovich, of the local Trummerflora arts collective.
During his local residency, David J has DJ’d at clubs and sat in with a local Bauhaus tribute band at the Casbah. He mentored local singer-songwriter Renata Youngblood and recorded with her, reportedly playing her debut EP for Bauhaus front man Peter Murphy at the 2005 Coachella music festival and thus landing her an opening slot on Murphy’s subsequent solo tour.
Silver for Gold (the Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick) debuts March 6 at the Met Theatre in Hollywood and will run through March 16.
– Jay Allen Sanford
Box-Office Surprise “The show was fabulous, and the venue is fabulous,” says “Melanie” of the February 8 Tab Benoit show at Anthology. She says she loves just about everything about the 300-capacity supper club and music showcase in Little Italy, but she wasn’t too happy about a box-office surprise.
“I was there for the second show. We waited in line and paid cash for the tickets. When it comes time to pay, there was a $3-per-ticket service charge.”
She recalls the ticket price being advertised as between $10 and $27.
“When I asked about it, there was this guy who worked there named Roy who told us it was to pay for three ‘beautiful women’ who worked the door. That’s not exactly what I wanted to hear.…
“I just think it should have been advertised that tickets start at $13. Besides, if they are going to use that money for nice-looking people, get some hot guys down there, goddamn it.”
One local promoter says service charges have become more common.
“It started about five years ago; it’s just the newest trend to develop another revenue stream. House of Blues does it. The Sports Arena has a $3.50 service charge. Qualcomm and Coors also charge a service charge for every ticket they sell.”
The promoter says that many artists appear for a set guarantee versus a percentage of the door (whichever is greater). Because the service charge is not part of the advertised ticket price, the venue does not have to pay the artist a percentage of that fee.
“This way it doesn’t get reported [to the artist’s agent] in the gross revenue of the show,” says the promoter.
Melanie says, “I’m self-employed, and I have to watch my money.… To me, a service charge is if you go through Ticketmaster.”
Anthology general manager Michael Miller responds: “That service charge helps us combat our overall costs like the hardware and software and other costs to produce those tickets and the costs of personnel [to handle ticketing].” Regarding Melanie’s complaint: “It is very understandable. It does throw a lot of people off.”
– Ken Leighton
Don’t Tax Me, Bro! Come tax time each year, accountant Roger Garay advises many local musicians (whom he prefers to keep anonymous).
“Many performing artists are self-employed independent contractors, sometimes by choice and sometimes by default, and [they] receive Form 1099 at year end, reporting their compensation. Other performing artists are paid as employees of the venues where they perform and receive a Form W-2 at year end, reporting their compensation and the amounts of taxes withheld.…
“The reporting rule is that if you pay someone $600 or more over the course of the year, you must issue a Form 1099.…
“I [have] heard many complaints about some venues giving out Forms 1099 instead of W-2s at year end. Everyone complained about having to report their income at all.… I believe, however, that the best of all worlds is enjoyed by the artist who receives Form 1099.… It opens the door for them to file a Schedule C – like any other business – and take legitimate deductions that would not be available to them filing as W-2 employees.”
Consultations with Garay are done in person, over the phone, and via email. He charges $120 per hour, billed in 15-minute increments from the start of the session. The first half hour is free.
“No, you cannot have a free daily 29-minute consultation, phone call, [or] email.”
– Jay Allen Sanford
Phoo Fightin’ Typo Haters When the Foo Fighters play Cox Arena on Monday, March 3, “All backstage passes must be approved through the Foo Fighters’ tour manager. Any retarded house or venue passes are null and void. The old ‘résumé on a rope’ is not permitted.” Regarding advertising, “Any misspellings or other stupid typos will set the Purchaser back $100, to be paid to Foo Fighters tour manager at settlement.”
Backstage, “Artist shall not be required to share dressing room with any other performer, except Supergrass, Oasis, or maybe Led Zeppelin.… Any strange or lingering odor should be dealt with and covered up wherever and whenever possible.” Also, “Venue employees hanging out with no apparent job or making out with girlfriends or boyfriends (aka the town census backstage) is not fun for us either, especially when people are paid to be working.”
Finally, “Any photographer left in the [stage-front] barrier after three songs is no longer welcome in the building.”
– Jay Allen Sanford
Not Sweet on San Diego Ninety-one years ago today – 2/28/17 – blues legend Jelly Roll Morton played a San Diego gig, according to Morton biographers and Sandiegoconcertarchive.com. Several historians speculate that this concert, at an unnamed local venue, led to an offer of steady gigs in L.A., prompting Morton to relocate to the West Coast in the summer of 1917.
In 1921, Morton was performing regularly at the Kansas City Bar in Tijuana. Two of his most revered songs were written there: “The Pearls” and “Kansas City Stomp,” named after the bar.
According to Dead Man Blues author Phil Pastras, “His trips to San Diego and south of the border had something to do with the Hollywood crowd as well, especially after Prohibition set in. That is where the crowd would go to drink and party. They had a race track, and gambling and booze was legal, so that is where the crowd went.” San Diego had outlawed cabaret dancing in 1917, and the federal government banned alcohol in 1920.
In 1921, Morton and a small orchestra were scheduled to perform at the U.S. Grant Hotel. Band member Dink Johnson later claimed the band was fired by the hotel management because Morton sat at the piano and played with his legs crossed, ostensibly offending white patrons. Morton, however, later told an interviewer that he canceled the gig himself after finding out an all-white band playing at the hotel was being paid twice the fee his band had been offered.
– Jay Allen Sanford