The Loons played a bad show while Brian Wilson looked on.
- Friday, January 17, 2014, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
The Casbah is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month with a slate of local-centric reunions and all-star jams, and it’s hard to pick just one night worth showcasing. For my money, the January 17 Penetrators reunion will probably outshine all the others. Not only because Pens frontman Gary Heffern, flying in from Finland, told me it will probably be his final San Diego performance, but the packed bill also features Sunset Strip–inspired retro-rockers Sidewalk Scene, a set from the Executives, and perhaps our city’s most underrated purveyors of Pretty Things/Yardbirds–inspired mod-lovin’ psychedelia, the Loons.
“We play psychotic beat music, tapping into the most exciting elements of mid-to-late ’60s rock and roll and channel it into new, intense, original songs of our own,” says bassist/singer Anja Diabolik, who cofounded the band with hubby Mike Stax (the Crawdaddys) in the mid-1990s. “We find it a lot more interesting than opting to be a mere ’60s garage-band jukebox.”
For once, you’ll get no argument from me!
WHAT’S ON YOUR TURNTABLE?
1) MC5, Back in the USA. “Their second album and my favorite. It doesn’t get any better than ‘Lookin’ at You.’”
2) 13th Floor Elevators, The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. “Real psychedelia, Texas-style.”
3) The Misunderstood, 1966 Recordings. “Glenn Campbell, not the Rhinestone Cowboy guy, transforms the steel guitar into a psychedelic hurricane of sound.”
4) The Monks, Black Monk Time. “This German-American über-beat crossover masterpiece from 1966 is still ahead if its time.”
5) The Outsiders. “I love everything recorded by this old-fashioned ’60s-era band from Amsterdam.”
HOW OLD-FASHIONED ARE YOU?
“I don’t think girls are supposed to pay for dates.”
GOT ANY GOOD ADVICE?
“The late Rob Tyner of the MC5 said it best when he sang ‘Kick Out the Jams.’ Words still worth living and playing by.”
MOST VISITED WEBSITES?
1) “Facebook is convenient to have all your friends from near and far at the same place.”
2) “Craigslist is great for searching for ’60s clobber and furniture.”
3) “RetroRenovation is the place for obsessive ’60s interior design and more.”
4) “Etsy has more of all of the above, which is great because eBay sucks.”
BEST THING YOU EVER WON?
“A San Diego Music Award. No, just kidding. Anybody can get one of those.”
WHAT’S YOUR POISON?
4677 30th Street, San Diego
“The Lemondrop Martini at Jayne’s Gastropub in North Park is the best drink on the planet!”
FIRST BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?
“An Enid Blyton kids’ book called Mallory Towers, which concerns English girls at boarding school playing tricks on their teacher. My first grown-up book, though, was probably Stephen King’s Nightshift.”
TOPICS FORBIDDEN AT YOUR FUNERAL?
“Flutes, the Grateful Dead, and for sure don’t mention the war. Any war.”
WHERE AND WHEN WOULD YOU SET YOUR TIME MACHINE?
“I’d go to London and L.A. in 1966 with an unlimited amount of money, to purchase clothes and records and see bands.”
FAVE CELEB ENCOUNTERS?
1) “Brian Wilson was watching us play at the Troubadour many years ago. Unfortunately, we sucked super bad that night.”
2) “I had some great conversation with Michael Davis, bass player of the MC5, about music, life, politics, and history. What a cool guy. R.I.P.”
3) “I’ll never forget meeting Roky Erickson [13th Floor Elevators] at a kid’s ice cream social show in L.A. and having our then-five-year-old son getting his favorite record signed by him. The record was Easter Everywhere and he played it to shreds. Roky was so cool with the kids. It was very touching.”
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. I got roped into this by a bunch of first-graders at the time and, two minutes into this ‘chipwreck,’ I wanted to slash my wrists and cry hysterically. I still have issues dealing with it, as you can tell. Crappy, auto-tuned music, a lame story, and badly animated cartoons. Need I say more? Even the kids admitted it was lame afterwards.”
LAW YOU MOST WANT TO SEE CHANGED?
“Ban all guns. For obvious reasons.”
SOMETHING YOU NEVER RUN OUT OF?
“Red currant jelly.”
BIGGEST LIE YOU EVER TOLD?
“Great set. You guys are really tight.”
WHO SHOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?
THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
1) “I did special-effects makeup for a couple of English B-movies.”
2) “I make the best schnitzel.”
3) “I’m a book and history nerd and know more about the Tudor and Victorian era London than Henry VIII or Charles Dickens.”