Secret Fun Club
Sitar master Anoushka Shankar takes the stage April 18 at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center. Shankar and her family moved to Encinitas in the early 1990s, while her father Ravi Shankar worked as a professor of music and guest lecturer at SDSU. The elder Shankar frequently hosted musical collaborator and former Beatle George Harrison at their local home, where a sign was posted on the door reading “Please ring the bell only thrice. If no one opens the door, please leave your name and address...the door will not be opened on Mondays and Thursdays.” Inside, Ravi and Anoushka would spend those days immersed in devotional study of both the sitar and the history of Indian classical music, which Anoushka has gone on to master well enough to deftly fuse its rigorous adherence to tradition with freeform jazz and Spanish Flamenco music. A 1999 honor graduate of San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, Anoushka Shankar’s most recent album, Land of Gold, reached number five on the U.S. World chart.
Secret Fun Club
- Friday, April 19, 2019, 9 p.m.
9143 Campo Road,
Secret Fun Club will debut new songs when they play the Bancroft on April 19. They began as an experimental bass and drum noise band utilizing old tube electronics and modern computer sound manipulation, originally featuring members of Some Girls and Dead Ghosts. Now distilled down to a duo featuring Sal Gallegos and John Rieder, their upcoming album 101 features local guests such as Justin Pearson (Dead Cross, the Locust, Retox), Sam Lopez (Zsa Zsa Gabor), and Esteban Flores (Monochromacy). Recorded in San Diego with W.T. Nelson (Geronimo, Bastard Noise) and his collection of Trogotronic synth gear, and mastered by their former guitarist Nathan Joyner (Some Girls, All Leather), it will be released digitally on May 17, with a smoke-colored vinyl edition also available. Song titles give a fair idea of what to expect: “Pat Minotaur,” “Scott Baiowülf,” and “Pariah Carey” -- all three of which the band tells the Reader will be performed at the Bancroft - as well as “Ted Nugent Was Goth in High School” and an eleven and a half minute jumbo jam track, “Black Metal to English Dictionary.” The bill includes Bastard Noise, Those Darn Gnomes, Happy Pill Trauma, and Speculum.
Runaways songwriter Roni Lee plays a free show in San Marcos at Biggs Harley-Davidson on April 20, where early arrivals will be treated to free hot dogs and burgers. "This show is showcasing my new configuration of all-girl power," she says of her group, which includes Rhythm Turner (Rhythm & the Method, Dragon Tree), Michele Whitlow (Up in the Irons, Wild Nights), and Jules Whelpton (Fairplay, Daddy Issues). "The band plays from 12-3pm, and if any riders feel inclined, they have a ride beginning at 10am to Yogurt Palace." Lee began her career in Hollywood as lead guitarist for Venus and the Razorblades, a rock band created by Runaways mastermind Kim Fowley that sometimes hosted Van Halen as their opening act (Van Halen later recorded the Razorblades’ song “Young and Wild”). In the late 70s, while roommates with Runaways Joan Jett and Sandy West, Lee co-wrote “I Want to Be Where the Boys Are” with Kim Fowley, a song later included on the Runaways’ 1977 Live in Japan album and in the 2010 Runaways biopic, sung by actress Kristen Stewart. Lee went on to perform in latter-day versions of Steppenwolf and Spirit, and recorded an ill-fated album with a band named Touch, backed by the original Heart rhythm section. After relocating to San Diego in 1984 to settle down with her family, she maintained a low profile for several years before resurfacing with a series of new releases and performances, including backing a May 2013 comeback gig staged by former Runaway Cherie Currie at Brick By Brick. Lee recently founded her own label, Play Like a Girl Records, and recorded a new album titled Heroes on Sunset.
Jazz Appreciation Month is being celebrated with a series of community award shows and spotlights featuring local musicians at Christian Fellowship Congregational Church, with jazz pianist Joshua White being honored on April 21. According to the Emerald Hills church, known for its ongoing Jazz Vespers series, “The Reverend Doctor J. Lee Hill, Jr. will lead his diverse and faithful congregation to honor and celebrate local jazz personalities who have contributed historic and cultural significance to the local jazz community in San Diego and throughout the world.” That honorific would certainly seem to apply to White, who’ll also be appearing April 26 at La Jolla Community Center, where he’ll present a tribute to the music of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart. Accompanied by bassist Dean Hulett and drummer Tyler Kreutel, samples will be performed from among the celebrated duo’s 28 stage musicals and more than 500 songs, including “My Heart Stood Still,” “My Romance,” and “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered.”
- Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 8 p.m.
1337 India Street,
Superorganism, appearing April 23 at Music Box, is a quirky art-pop outfit with players hailing from England, South Korea, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Formed in early 2017 and featuring several former members of the occasionally controversial Eversons (accused by some of being offensive and misogynistic), they earned a surprising amount of ink on the release of their first single, “Something for Your M.I.N.D.” Known for using offbeat items such as apples, soda cans, toy cars, and straws as (somewhat) musical instruments, they first played locally in Oceanside this past September for Indie Jam, touring in support of a self-titled debut album, released last March. Their sophomore local appearance is an 18-and-up Little Italy bill that includes an opening set from Simpson.