Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Lyla Jett says she moved to San Diego in 2017 to expand her musical opportunities. She’s gone on to perform at local venues such as the Music Box, Sea World’s Seven Seas Festival, and downtown’s Indigo Hotel, where she held her first single release party in January, just before the pandemic shutdown put an end to further launch plans. Calling herself a “live looper,” in performance she favors using a loop pedal to layer on melodies, percussion, bass, and harmonies with her electric guitar. Her new single “P.O.V.” - currently streaming on all platforms - kicks off drenched in reverb, quickly establishing a dreamy groove that sways as if in a beachy breeze. If you always wanted to take someone with the sharp pop chops of Ariana Grande and Xanax her down to something even a Deadhead can spin to, this is your jam. She’ll perform at the ongoing Seaport Sessions series on Thursday, June 11, with the set livestreamed on the Seaport Village website.
Pony Death Ride
“We have finished our new album, release date to be determined,” states comedic rock duo Pony Death Ride, “but we did make a video for the first single, ‘Cuddle Party!’ Wanna get weird? Look up the actual rules for a cuddle party. Wacky. The video was put together by our video guy Jeff Forrest. The kid - and star - of the video is maybe the greatest kid ever!” The band, founded in 2009 and featuring husband-wife team Jaye and Joe MacAskill, also has a video from late last year called “Ancestry.com Christmas” which was built from an oft-putting collection of real-life portrait photos acquired via online searches. “We threw together this slap dash video of scary relatives, not ours. It’s cute, and really the best we can do until we do a real video.” This week, the group is offering a half off sale on their entire streaming catalog, charging around ten dollars for all their records on BandCamp (use code neverpayretail).
Born in Mexico and raised in San Diego, Latin singer Frankie J was known as Cisko during the four years he spent with the Spanish-singing Los Kumbia Kings, led by A.B. Quintanilla, brother of murdered tejano pop star Selena. Going solo, he grabbed the brass ring on his first go-round with his 2003 debut, What’s a Man To Do?, which featured the hit “Don’t Wanna Try.”
His second English-language album, the RIAA platinum-certified The One, was released in 2005, hitting number three on Billboard’s R&B albums chart. Its first single, “Obsession (No Es Amor),” featuring Latino rapper Baby Bash, reached number five on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks and number four on the Pop 100 Airplay charts. The song “How to Deal” was also a hit, and his 2013 album Faith, Hope y Amor was nominated for a Grammy Award. A duet album with Baby Bash called Sangria was released in 2017, and last year he was featured on Carlos Santana’s track “We’re Still Here Together.” Frankie J has a new album, Canciones Que Recuerdo (Songs That I Remember), covering tracks made famous by José José, Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernandez, and Selena.
The lone early-‘80s hit enjoyed by locals the Monroes, “What Do All the People Know,” is covered on a new single from former Runaways singer Cherie Currie, who has also worked with local Roni Lee. However, the current version of the Monroes isn’t just cruising on the fumes of the song that once landed them on The Merv Griffin Show. In 2017, original Monroes songwriter Bob Monroe announced a new band called the Remnants, featuring singer-guitarist Ronny Jones (Aircraft, Black Bambi), singer-guitarist Barry Scott (the States), drummer Bobby Sale (Rick Elias Band, Pink Floyd Experience), and keyboardist-songwriter Dave Pomeranz. The following May, he announced that the same lineup would henceforth be calling themselves the Monroes. The same day, a new track called “Welcome to the Show” was posted to YouTube (a song already posted the previous April as a Remnants recording, with no mention of the Monroes). More new Monroes music has since emerged, including “Midnight in Hollywood,” “Good Thing God Will Forgive You,” and “I Could Sing.” Last month, the band (now apparently with Dave Hart on keys) debuted a new single and video for “Caught in the Balance.”
Founded in 2019 and nominated Best New Artist at this year’s San Diego Music Awards, progressive hard rock and metal band Overfall has been playing around town at venues such as Navajo Live, Dirk’s, and Alibi La Mesa. Fronted by theatrical singer Kathleen McDowell Takahashi, they just dropped their debut single “Not Alright” on all digital outlets. The song’s evolution has been tracked over the course of several live performance videos posted on YouTube during the past few months. Showing a little more decisiveness and confidence with each successive rendition, it brings to mind formerly local powerhouse Benedictum, as well as Girlschool and even a bit of Queensryche’s short dip in the prog pool. The band, whose Youtube channel also includes performance covers of tunes like “Man in the Box” by Alice In Chains and Soundgarden’s “Outshined,” reports that they’ve tracked several more original songs at guitarist-singer Asa Worcestor’s home studio and at Superior Sound.