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Mother Hips

The Mother Hips can sound a bit like the Eagles or the Byrds or even as psych-rock as Wilco. There are these nice, occasional arena-rock riffs, scaled way down to club size, and now and then some Beach Boys seep through the everyman’s bedrock of the Mother Hips’ sound.

I know this description appears headed toward the warm beer-and-a-shot glaze of blue-collar classic rock, but no. The Hips do their own liberal thing. Their songs are weighty moments that lodge in your memory, unlike the use-once-and-dispose-of sound that has overtaken much of the rest of indie rock. Solid, engaging recordings and lots of touring has earned them fans and gained the band critical acclaim. They didn’t get much in the way of radio play, but documentaries have been made about them. The problem is that they went on a long vacation right after they released what critics applauded as their best album, 2002’s Green Hills of Earth, and they stayed gone for about four years.

The Mother Hips formed while in college in the Bay Area. They were in the right place at the right time: they reached an audience that bought their self-released product and attended their shows in large numbers. They have had a few major record deals in their time but seemed to do better when left to run their own show. That makes them a true indie-rock band, at least in spirit.

The loyal fan base they left behind was still waiting when they returned and began writing, recording, and touring again. Pacific Dust, a continuation of their steady progression from country rock to roots rock, was released in the fall of last year. They may be the most famous California band that was never really famous.

Or, the Whale and Billy Midnight also perform.

MOTHER HIPS: Belly Up, Saturday, February 27, 9 p.m. 858-481-8140. $16; $18 day of show.

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The Mother Hips can sound a bit like the Eagles or the Byrds or even as psych-rock as Wilco. There are these nice, occasional arena-rock riffs, scaled way down to club size, and now and then some Beach Boys seep through the everyman’s bedrock of the Mother Hips’ sound.

I know this description appears headed toward the warm beer-and-a-shot glaze of blue-collar classic rock, but no. The Hips do their own liberal thing. Their songs are weighty moments that lodge in your memory, unlike the use-once-and-dispose-of sound that has overtaken much of the rest of indie rock. Solid, engaging recordings and lots of touring has earned them fans and gained the band critical acclaim. They didn’t get much in the way of radio play, but documentaries have been made about them. The problem is that they went on a long vacation right after they released what critics applauded as their best album, 2002’s Green Hills of Earth, and they stayed gone for about four years.

The Mother Hips formed while in college in the Bay Area. They were in the right place at the right time: they reached an audience that bought their self-released product and attended their shows in large numbers. They have had a few major record deals in their time but seemed to do better when left to run their own show. That makes them a true indie-rock band, at least in spirit.

The loyal fan base they left behind was still waiting when they returned and began writing, recording, and touring again. Pacific Dust, a continuation of their steady progression from country rock to roots rock, was released in the fall of last year. They may be the most famous California band that was never really famous.

Or, the Whale and Billy Midnight also perform.

MOTHER HIPS: Belly Up, Saturday, February 27, 9 p.m. 858-481-8140. $16; $18 day of show.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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