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Shades McCool, lighthearted nihilist, at your service

"I have little interest in trying to be deep or poetic."

Tony Gidlund: "Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people."
Tony Gidlund: "Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people."

Bob Baker’s Auto Group, Mossy Nissan, Drew Ford, Toyota of Escondido... The manic anthems of San Diego auto commerce are forever seared into the brains of anyone who spent time near a radio in the past 30 years or so.

For better or worse, local man of mystery Shades McCool saw it fit to reinvent these hyper-masculine mantras to a backdrop of chugging metal riffs, sizzling guitar solos, machine-gun drumming, and power-shouts apparently cultivated at the Crossfire Conservatory of Hard Rock. He calls it “The San Diego National Anthem,” but why in Cal Worthington’s hallowed name does this monstrosity exist?

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“Because it must,” says Shades McCool, better known behind the black mirrors as Tony Gidlund, “and because I love San Diego and stupid jokes. Once I started imagining it, I had to bring it to life.”

Which begs the question: Is Shades a post-everything nihilist? Is this life a goddamned joke?!

“Yes and yes,” Gidlund contends. “I sometimes think Shades is a satire of a normal band. I kept seeing the same version of an indie rock band and it felt very stale to me. Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people. I also think most lyrics are boring and I have little interest in trying to be deep or poetic. I think about jokes and comedy a lot, so I designed my music to be an extension of myself. At this point, for me to write straight, serious songs would feel inauthentic.”

The lighthearted departure from Gidlund’s past work with Fever Sleeves and Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place sees Shades joined by backing trio the Bold Flavors: Brian Garbark (Modern Rifles) on drums, Daryl Thompson (Modern Rifles) on bass, and Taylor Semingson on keyboard, plus one-off guest guitarist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos, Goblin Cock) on shreddage and production by Ben Moore. Look for a full album and a couple music videos soon.

“I originally wanted to have a different lineup for every show since I know all these great players,” says Gidlund. “but the current lineup is just too perfect to mess with.”

Place

Casbah

2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

Pledge your allegiance to Shades McCool during the Dizzy Spells showcase at the Casbah on Monday, June 19.

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Tony Gidlund: "Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people."
Tony Gidlund: "Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people."

Bob Baker’s Auto Group, Mossy Nissan, Drew Ford, Toyota of Escondido... The manic anthems of San Diego auto commerce are forever seared into the brains of anyone who spent time near a radio in the past 30 years or so.

For better or worse, local man of mystery Shades McCool saw it fit to reinvent these hyper-masculine mantras to a backdrop of chugging metal riffs, sizzling guitar solos, machine-gun drumming, and power-shouts apparently cultivated at the Crossfire Conservatory of Hard Rock. He calls it “The San Diego National Anthem,” but why in Cal Worthington’s hallowed name does this monstrosity exist?

Sponsored
Sponsored

“Because it must,” says Shades McCool, better known behind the black mirrors as Tony Gidlund, “and because I love San Diego and stupid jokes. Once I started imagining it, I had to bring it to life.”

Which begs the question: Is Shades a post-everything nihilist? Is this life a goddamned joke?!

“Yes and yes,” Gidlund contends. “I sometimes think Shades is a satire of a normal band. I kept seeing the same version of an indie rock band and it felt very stale to me. Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people. I also think most lyrics are boring and I have little interest in trying to be deep or poetic. I think about jokes and comedy a lot, so I designed my music to be an extension of myself. At this point, for me to write straight, serious songs would feel inauthentic.”

The lighthearted departure from Gidlund’s past work with Fever Sleeves and Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place sees Shades joined by backing trio the Bold Flavors: Brian Garbark (Modern Rifles) on drums, Daryl Thompson (Modern Rifles) on bass, and Taylor Semingson on keyboard, plus one-off guest guitarist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos, Goblin Cock) on shreddage and production by Ben Moore. Look for a full album and a couple music videos soon.

“I originally wanted to have a different lineup for every show since I know all these great players,” says Gidlund. “but the current lineup is just too perfect to mess with.”

Place

Casbah

2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

Pledge your allegiance to Shades McCool during the Dizzy Spells showcase at the Casbah on Monday, June 19.

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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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