- Thursday, March 5, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
1337 India Street,
“Our music has been described as Quentin Tarantino meets the Doors, with beachy elements nodding to the late Dick Dale,” according to Mdrn Hstry, which started blending live music and performance art in 2017. “This psychedelic disco-punk five-piece aims to make live music an audio/visual experience with the use of stage props, tripped out video mashups, and old TV sets. Show-goers find themselves rubbing elbows with the singer [Jesse Orlando], as he joins the crowd for large portions of the set.” Currently up for Best Rock at this year’s San Diego Music Awards, they dropped a ten-song album in January called TV Talk, financed via GoFundMe (“we raised ten percent of our goal on the first day”), which as of this writing has earned around 15,000 streams, as well as a specialty beer celebrating its release brewed by Amplified Ales. A single is available, “Audobahn,” which the band describes as “a chest pumping high octane disco-punk free for all,” and the video for “Remance” was shot at Bar Pink. The bill includes the Unlikely Candidates and Castlecomer.
A native of Durham City in northeast England, British songwriter Dave Humphries has been around long enough to have collected four rejection letters from the Beatles’ Apple Records. Humphries’ appearance at the local BeatleFair allowed him to meet and play with a figure from the Beatles’ past, Tony Sheridan, for whom the Fab Four played on their first-ever recording, “My Bonnie,” credited to Tony Sheridan and the Silver Beetles. Humphries talked Sheridan into co-writing and recording a song in Mission Hills for the title track of his 38 Days CD (with recording made easier due to Sheridan’s longtime keyboard player Wolfgang Grasekamp living in La Mesa). Sheridan also appears on five songs on Humphries’ album And So It Goes, produced by Mike Kamoo (the Stereotypes) and Grasekamp at Kamoo’s Earthling Studios and featuring local guests like Bart Mendoza (the Shambles) and Todd Hidden (Rockola). The album received airplay on BBC Radio Merseyside’s Juke Box Jury, in a show hosted by Spencer Leigh, documentary writer and author of the Merseybeat book Let’s Go Down to the Cellar.
If Styx is missing having their former flamboyant frontman Dennis DeYoung at the helm, you’d never know it, as they’ve managed to carve out a successful niche among classic rock fans who support both tours and new music with a new singer. DeYoung has also found favor on the road, although with a tendency to cruise on the fumes of his hitmaking Styx days, as evidenced by going an entire decade with only one new album, Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx Live in Los Angeles (and that wasn’t even his first Music of Styx album). It’s true that his compositions, while maybe not the best Styx songs, were certainly among their best-selling: he wrote seven of the band’s eight top-ten singles. He may be unlikely to ever go back to attempting anything as brash as a new singing-robot concept album (which is basically what broke up Styx at the time), but DeYoung does have a brand new full-length, 26 East: Volume 1, the title referencing his childhood Chicago address. It features a guest appearance by Julian Lennon on the nostalgic track now streaming, “The Good Old Days.”
Music of Cream
- Sunday, March 8, 2020, 7 p.m.
868 Fourth Avenue,
Fifty years on, the music of rock’s first supergroup power trio Cream - originally known by the original hipsters with a wink and a nod as THE Cream - is possibly more popular than ever. Witness the recent all-star tribute to drummer Ginger Baker, where co-founding guitarist Eric Clapton was backed by Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters in place of Jack Bruce and Baker’s son Kofi on drums (spoiler alert – Waters was the weak link). I checked out several user-generated videos of the event on YouTube, mainly hoping for a good recording of the Traffic reunion with Steve Winwood joining them, and at first I thought everyone on stage was singing off key: the vocals sounded terrible. Then I realized that all the videos were saturated in the sound of the audience singing along – quite badly – with songs known by heart, thanks to their omnipresence on whatever local radio stations provided the soundtrack for their youth. For this tour, the aforementioned Kofi Baker is joined onstage by Eric Clapton’s nephew (by marriage) Will Johns, along with musicians Sean McNabb and Chris Shutters.
- Monday, March 9, 2020, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
One of the brightest ’80s pop hits to come out of San Diego, “What Do All the People Know” landed the Monroes on the Merv Griffin Show, as well as opening slots for Greg Kihn, the Motels, Rick Springfield, Toto, and others. They were invited to record a song for a Yoko Ono tribute album, got listed in Billboard as a “Top Album Pick” and, locally, landed a tune called “Stones against the Rain” on 91X’s Sand-Aid benefit album for African famine relief. Then, their label sold their contract to a label with no interest in them, and the band’s prospects looked bleak. They were even sued over their name by another Monroes, temporarily forcing them to adopt the moniker Man to Man. Members began dropping out, and various versions of the Monroes played under that name until the group dissolved completely around 1988. In 2017, co-founder and chief songwriter Bob Monroe announced a new band called the Remnants, featuring the brother of original Monroes guitarist Rusty Jones, although no other original Monroes were involved. The following year, the Remnants changed their names to the Monroes, and changed the credits to online demos for songs like “Welcome to the Show” from the Remnants to the Monroes as well. Lost Dakota headlines.