Guitarist Bill Reynolds of the garage-surf band Lo-Fi Nipple describes how they prepared for this Saturday's show at Strangers in El Centro.
“We sent them a box of CDs to give out before we got there,” Reynolds says. “We don’t sell CDs after a show. We do the opposite. Tim Kerr of this old punk band Big Boys/Poison 13 said the best way to do music is to figure out a way to do it so you don’t have to worry about the money.”
...by Lo-Fi Nipple
Reynolds did it by becoming a teacher and launching Professor Presley, an educational tool that teaches history through rock. “It’s like if the Ramones hijacked the Schoolhouse Rock bus and drove it into a ditch.”
Lo-Fi Nipple cofounder singer/songwriter/guitarist John Finkbiner went on to launch the Stereotypes with producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Kamoo of Earthling Studios in El Cajon. That collaboration led to the release of a series of critically acclaimed albums and the creation of audio tracks for commercials, movies, and TV songs.
Lo-Fi Nipple was created by Reynolds and Finkbiner for a one-off Fourth of July party in their native Encinitas in 1997. That kicked off a ten-year run playing bars “along Highway 101 from O.B. to Hollywood.”
The project has been dormant partly because the funky Leucadia scene that nurtured them has changed.
“We played the Leucadian on Halloween right before they lost their music permit,” says Reynolds of the Coast Highway venue that pulled the plug on live bands four years ago. “That was our go-to location. We could roll our amps there from our homes. We once broke their one-night alcohol-selling record. We lost our home-court advantage....”
As Greater Encinitas has become overrun with more upscale hangouts, Reynolds says its hard to find the funk.
“Peabody’s [in Encinitas] wanted us to sign an agreement that we wouldn’t do the shenanigans that trashed the Leucadian: no throwing tortillas at ceiling fans...and they are still trying to kill music at the Kraken [in Cardiff] and that place has been there 40 years.”
Lo-Fi Nipple may be the last band standing that played the Belly Up’s Tuesday-night local-band showcase called Neighborhood Watch that ran from 1997 to ’99.
“We won the ‘Band of the Month,’ and we lost ‘Band of the Quarter’ to a really good Prince cover band.”
This week’s shows mark the first time they play “El Niño,” a song Reynolds and Finkbiner released last year — Mudsliding down the hills, the beach is eroding away/ Be careful what you wish for, El Niño is coming your way/ Homes are sliding down the hills and the rivers overflow/ Ocean Beach and Venice, which pier is next to go?
“We jinxed El Niño by making that song. I guess you could say we saved everyone from all the mud and destruction.”
Finkbiner and Reynolds reunite for their first shows in three years for Lo-Fi Nipple’s “West Coast Tour,” which includes Thursday, August 4, at Til Two and Friday, August 5, at Peabody’s in Encinitas.