Hey, Chels
  • Hey, Chels
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Squarecrow

Squarecrow

Photograph by Ricky Schmidt

Gay Agenda

Gay Agenda

Photograph by Brandon Oleksy

Past Event

La Escalera Fest 8

  • Friday, April 12, 2019, 7 p.m.
  • Space, 3519 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+

This year’s La Escalera Fest takes place over four days (April 11–14), at six locales in San Diego and Tijuana, with over fifty band performances, many of them local acts. Host venues include Tower Bar, Space Bar, the Office, Bar Pink, Amplified Aleworks, Soda Bar, and Tijuana’s Moustache Bar. One of the most promising shows happens at the Soda Bar on Friday, April 12, where Nothington (who last played San Diego in early 2018 for Awesome Fest) will stage one of the final dates of their farewell tour. Also appearing is the Gay Agenda, which calls itself a homo riot hardcore punk outfit. Members include David Hurtt (Stalins of Sound), Luis Soraire (Temblad), Matt Penning, and Garrett Ficacci. “The band was the brainchild of David Hurtt from some years ago, wanting to create heavy punk music while being unapologetically, irreverently, and identifiably queer,” according to Ficacci. A self-titled EP was released in February 2018. The Soda Bar bill also features Heck Yes, the Dodges, Demasiado, Despero, Matt Caskitt & the Breaks, and Mercy Music.

Hey, Chels

Hey, Chels

Past Event

La Escalera Fest 8

  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, 7 p.m.
  • Office, 3936 30th Street, San Diego
  • 21+

La Escalera presents Hey, Chels at the Office in North Park on April 13. “There’s two shows going at the same time, but the bands overlap, so you can pretty much go back and forth and see all the bands if you plan it right,” says singer pianist Jacque Mendez. “If you’ve never been to a fest like this before, it’s really neat. You get to see a ton of bands really fast. It’s more bang for your buck, and you get to discover a bunch of music you otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s even set up so you don’t really have to miss any bands, if you’re extra motivated.” The self-titled debut Hey, Chels EP, produced by Patrick Ryan Heaney (Cage the Elephant, Cold War Kids, the War On Drugs), was released on vinyl earlier this year via La Escalera Records, Wiretap Records, and A-F Records. The Office party includes False Positives, Se Vende, Micah Schnabel, Moosejaw, Bastards of Young, Problem Daughter, and Western Settings.

Squarecrow

Squarecrow

Past Event

La Escalera Fest 8

  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, 7 p.m.
  • Bar Pink, 3829 30th Street, San Diego
  • 21+
Past Event

La Escalera Fest 8

  • Sunday, April 14, 2019, 6 p.m.
  • Moustache Bar, 1250 Calle Madero, Tijuana
  • 21+

Ramona’s “melodic punk” band Squarecrow will play two La Escalera sets: Bar Pink on April 13 and Tijuana’s Moustache Bar on April 14. “It’s a marathon,” says singer-guitarist Todd Allen, “so the trick is remaining sober enough to play some songs and sing along with your friends. There’s no competition. The better the other bands do, the better we do. The more the audience sings along, the more it transforms from us playing to you into us playing with you. It’s everyone’s job to keep the energy up.” The band lineup for Bar Pink features Mables Marbles, Slumped, Divided Heaven, Dewey Defeats Truman, Signalman, Pity Party, and Decent Criminal. The Moustache Bar will host two stages, one indoors and another outside, with Squarecrow playing inside alongside Paper Bag, No Talent, 22 Missiles, Despero, Los Alex, Slumped, and Todo Mal. The outdoor bands include Signalman, Pity Party, Problem Daughter, Mercy Music, DFMK, Western Settings, Decent Criminal, and one of the most prolific La Escalera performers, Micah Schnabel, slated for three separate Fest appearances.

Micah Schnabel

Micah Schnabel

Past Event

La Escalera Fest 8 Brunch

In addition to the Moustache Bar, Micah Schnabel appears Saturday afternoon at the Office, and will perform a brunch set at Amplified Ale Works at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, April 14. Schnabel is best known from Two Cow Garage, an Americana rock band with just over a half dozen albums to their credit since forming in 2001. With their last release dating back to 2016, followed by the loss of guitarist Todd Farrell Jr. (now focused on his group the Benchmarks) and drummer David Murphy (who quit in 2017), it seems the Two Car Garage may have closed for good. Lead singer-guitarist Schnabel is in the perfect position to launch a successful solo career, as he preps an upcoming full-length called The Teenage Years of the 21st Century, previewed last month with a single for the track “New Shoes.” The East Village brunchtime bill at Amplified includes Regan Ashton, Thomas House, Ricky Schmidt, Brendan Scholtz, and Blind Mountain Holler.

Scott Worthington

Scott Worthington

Photograph Courtesy Bonnie Wright, Fresh Sound

Past Event

Fresh Sound: Scott Worthington

  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
  • White Box Theater, 2590 Truxtun Road, Studio 205, Building 176, San Diego
  • $10 - $20

La Escalera isn’t the only music fest unfolding this week, there’s also the newest edition of Bonnie Wright’s adventurous Fresh Sound series, which has relocated from Bread & Salt to Liberty Station’s White Box Theater. Experimental bassist Scott Worthington appears Tuesday, April 16, with a presentation he calls Ground Bass, featuring music for bass and electronics composed by Jenny Olivia Johnson, Julia Wolfe, Alexandra Gardner, and more. Having first discovered electronic sounds during a college music festival, Worthington has gone on to perform, compose, and commission electro-acoustic music for the bass that aspires to expand the accepted boundaries and limitations of both his acoustic instrument and the technology that enables its sound output to be transformed and even transcended. His most recent release from last year, Orbit, is a trip through the Twilight Zone with three orchestral-ambient tracks, opening with the 11-plus minute “A Time That Is Also a Place” and closing with an ethereal 21-minute mantra called “A Flame That Could Go Out.”

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