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Local music news from Hot Snakes, Justin Pearson, Reverend Stickman, and more

Secret Fun Club, Rebecca Jade, Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, Chad Farran, Carnifex, STP, Frights, Warish, more

Hot Snakes, sad braids.
Hot Snakes, sad braids.
Past Event

Hot Snakes

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+

Rick Froberg and John Reis have spent most of their adult lives playing together, from Pitchfork in the ’80s through Drive Like Jehu, and then Hot Snakes, which Reis formed while his band Rocket from the Crypt was between record labels and minus its longtime drummer. Reis started his own label Swami Records and recorded several songs with Delta 72 drummer Jason Kourkounis, soon recruiting Froberg as vocalist for the project that evolved into the debut Hot Snakes album (and first Swami release), Automatic Midnight. They seemed to be on the rise with followup releases, earning Best Punk Album at the 2005 San Diego Music Awards, though the band split soon after.

A few reunions were staged over the years, with a new full length finally appearing in 2018. Four 7-inch singles are being released in advance of their next album, beginning with “Checkmate” (their first new song since 2018) b/w the previously unreleased “lost” track “Not in Time,” and the just-issued “I Shall Be Free.” A short warmup tour hits the Belly Up on Thursday, March 12, with Reis and Froberg accompanied by bassist Gar Wood and drummers Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba.


A documentary is in production about Justin Pearson, vet of local groups such as Crimson Curse, All Leather, the Locust, Holy Molar, Head Wound City, Some Girls, Swing Kids, and Retox. Pearson’s most recent band projects include Planet B with Luke Henshaw and Dead Cross, featuring frequent bandmate Gabe Serbian along with Michael Crain on guitar and Dave Lombardo on drums. The film, Don’t Fall in Love With Yourself, explores his life from childhood tragedy through an appearance on The Jerry Springer Show and his role in the local music scene. Interviewees include Dave Lombardo, Eric Paul, Gabe Serbian, Bobby Bray, Travis Ryan, Jeremy Bolm, and Alexis Marshall, and other material is sourced from dozens of VHS and mini-DV tapes recorded over three decades. Pearson’s Three One G Records label, whose signees include punk jazz saxophonist Ill Saint M, formerly known as IllStM, is also covered in the film.


“I’ve been spending much of my creative time working with Bahman Violin and Dan Ochipinti on a brand new original musical theater production, Refugee Songs, after we received a grant from UCSD,” reports Reverend Stickman. “In addition to recording a soundtrack EP for the show with Mystic Groove Collective, I’m also working in the studio again with my friend and co-producer Bob Bartosik... I recently bought an electric sitar/guitar which I have been exploring. I am now ready to gig with the Mystic Groove Collective, Sita Rose and TJ Moss, Ari Marsh, and others who appreciate the exotic sound it creates.”


Superunloader drummer Chad Farran just released his first solo album since 2012, After All, featuring guest players such as Chris McGreal and Jimmy Lewis of Superunloader and David Carano of Wise Monkey Orchestra. "Think if Paul Simon and Paul McCartney started a band with James Mercer and Dan Auerbach," says Farran. "It might sound something like this. The twelve songs on the album talk of relatable subjects such as growing old, falling out of love and being addicted to cell phones. I wanted to create an organic sound to tell simple stories that people could relate to. Everything was based on life experiences and recorded in my home studio on real instruments played by real people. One song tells the tale of a friend and I driving to San Francisco through the night on psychedelics. Let’s just say the Grapevine will never look the same again.”


Secret Fun Club’s song “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” featuring Carrie Gillespie Feller is featured on the new Cramps tribute album from Three One G Really Bad Music for Really Bad People, which also includes tracks from fellow locals Retox, Qui, and others.


Rebecca Jade was seen during the TV broadcast of the Oscars ceremony singing backup for Elton John. P.O.D. drummer Noah "Wuv" Bernardo Jr. has teamed up with members of Flyleaf for a new band called Belle & the Dragon. Jacob Turnbloom has a comedic new video for his track "Ride Past the Waves of the Future."


Past Event

3TEETH and Carnifex

  • Thursday, April 16, 2020, 8 p.m.
  • Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+

The latest Carnifex lineup change finds lead guitarist Jordan Lockrey (who joined in 2013) out, with Devildriver's Neal Tiemann taking his place on their upcoming tours with 3TEETH (hitting San Diego's Brick by Brick on April 16) and Thy Art Is Murder.


The Stone Temple Pilots acoustic tour of North America was canceled due to new lead vocalist Jeff Gutt suffering a severely herniated disc. Once Gutt recovers, they still plan a tour of Australia with Live and Bush, and summer tour with Nickelback.


The Frights will be appearing at the BottleRock Napa Valley festival, running May 22 through 24 and headlined by Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks, and the Dave Matthews Band. A video is streaming online for their new single "Leave Me Alone."


Having just toured Australia for the third time, Falling Doves will also soon visit hit China, Turkey, Dubai and South America for the first time, as well as returning to the UK, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Italy, Mexico, France, and Germany.


SDSU English Department alumni Michael Buchmiller, aka Professor B. Miller, and his singing robot SPO-20 have a new Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra video for their track “Abraham Lincoln,” from the album Conjure the Paranormal.


Warish, fronted by singer-guitarist Riley Hawk (Petyr), son of skateboard star Tony Hawk, is on tour with the Black Lips, promoting a new single, “Woven.”


"We've been working on our full length over the past year," reports the Kabbs, whose newest single "Something to Lose" precedes a full-length due in Spring.


The upcoming Wavves tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 2010 album King of the Beach kicks off April 10 in Phoenix, Arizona and wraps May 28 in Los Angeles. The album will be rereleased by Fat Possum Records April 10 as a purple kush vinyl with alternate art that was originally slated to be the cover, before it was scrapped and a bonus 7-inch with “Mutant” and “Stained Glass (Won’t You Let Me Into Yr Heart).”


Switchfoot is already celebrating the one year anniversary of their Native Tongue album with a 5-song Reimagine/Remix EP, featuring "re-imagined versions of select songs." Electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling contributes "Voices," for which she also directed the accompanying music video along with Joshua Shultz, and other contributors include Brent Kutzle (One Republic), Will Chapman (Colony House), John Painter on horns (Fleming and John), and Mason Self. The band also shared a music video for the new version of "Wonderful Feeling."


Mike Pinto has a new single, “Come a Long Way,” featuring Jack Johnson’s drummer Adam Topol, as his band embarks on a tour that wraps May 30 in Ohio.


Whitney Shay

  • Sunday, June 28, 2020, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+

Whitney Shay's release show for her Stand Up album happens March 26 at the Belly Up and features the 44's and the Anthony Cullins Trio. NOTE: THIS PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN CANCELLED


A new album from the Watkins Family Hour, Brother Sister, drops April 10 via Family Hour Records/Thirty Tigers, the first release from the former Nickel Creek siblings in five years. Produced by Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Mandy Moore, J.S. Ondara), it features seven original songs co-written by Sara and Sean Watkins as well as three new covers: Courtney Hartman and Taylor Ashton’s “Neighborhood Name,” Warren Zevon’s “Accidentally Like A Martyr” and Charley Jordan’s “Keep It Clean,” which features guest vocalists David Garza, Gaby Moreno, and John C. Reilly. A single for "Fake Badge Real Gun" debuted at Billboard.com.


The new Gloomies album, Are We Getting Better, is being promoted with singles for “Moonlight” and “Sick Like You,” a video for "Nightlight," and a new single for "Sideways," which frontman Andy Craig describes as "A hazy and fuzzy reflection on feeling lost in your own life...the song captures the depth of intense, muted emotions surrounding this notion of aimlessness, which can so often be as anxiety-provoking as its lyrics suggest."


In addition to the Cardiac Kidz' recent 40 Years of Punk CD, a new album on local Blindspot Records called Empty Chairs spotlights the power pop punk side of the group, featuring two new songs and a track previously only found on a compilation, with all original recordings dating from 1976 - 2018.


MohaviSoul's fourth full-length, Live at the 42nd Annual Huck Finn Jubilee, includes three new original songs written by Randy Hanson, Mark Miller, and Orion Boucher, as well as a cover of the Waylon Jennings classic "Lonesome, On’ry and Mean."


The title track of Manganista's new Hillbilly Bomb Shelter album is "about a couple of hillbillies who stumble across a bunch of old underground bomb shelters," says Matt Rhea. "They decide to fix up the bomb shelters and sell them to doomsday believers. Dave Talbott painted the album art and kept the theme going from our last two releases."


Tracy Wooley of Beehive & the Barracudas, who also played with Tourettes Lautrec and Tammy Faye and for a time adopted the pseudonym Tracy Haze, has passed away. The Hurricanes’ guitarist “Blonde” Bruce Thorpe — once the subject of a song by the Mississippi Mudsharks — has also died.

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Hot Snakes, sad braids.
Hot Snakes, sad braids.
Past Event

Hot Snakes

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+

Rick Froberg and John Reis have spent most of their adult lives playing together, from Pitchfork in the ’80s through Drive Like Jehu, and then Hot Snakes, which Reis formed while his band Rocket from the Crypt was between record labels and minus its longtime drummer. Reis started his own label Swami Records and recorded several songs with Delta 72 drummer Jason Kourkounis, soon recruiting Froberg as vocalist for the project that evolved into the debut Hot Snakes album (and first Swami release), Automatic Midnight. They seemed to be on the rise with followup releases, earning Best Punk Album at the 2005 San Diego Music Awards, though the band split soon after.

A few reunions were staged over the years, with a new full length finally appearing in 2018. Four 7-inch singles are being released in advance of their next album, beginning with “Checkmate” (their first new song since 2018) b/w the previously unreleased “lost” track “Not in Time,” and the just-issued “I Shall Be Free.” A short warmup tour hits the Belly Up on Thursday, March 12, with Reis and Froberg accompanied by bassist Gar Wood and drummers Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba.


A documentary is in production about Justin Pearson, vet of local groups such as Crimson Curse, All Leather, the Locust, Holy Molar, Head Wound City, Some Girls, Swing Kids, and Retox. Pearson’s most recent band projects include Planet B with Luke Henshaw and Dead Cross, featuring frequent bandmate Gabe Serbian along with Michael Crain on guitar and Dave Lombardo on drums. The film, Don’t Fall in Love With Yourself, explores his life from childhood tragedy through an appearance on The Jerry Springer Show and his role in the local music scene. Interviewees include Dave Lombardo, Eric Paul, Gabe Serbian, Bobby Bray, Travis Ryan, Jeremy Bolm, and Alexis Marshall, and other material is sourced from dozens of VHS and mini-DV tapes recorded over three decades. Pearson’s Three One G Records label, whose signees include punk jazz saxophonist Ill Saint M, formerly known as IllStM, is also covered in the film.


“I’ve been spending much of my creative time working with Bahman Violin and Dan Ochipinti on a brand new original musical theater production, Refugee Songs, after we received a grant from UCSD,” reports Reverend Stickman. “In addition to recording a soundtrack EP for the show with Mystic Groove Collective, I’m also working in the studio again with my friend and co-producer Bob Bartosik... I recently bought an electric sitar/guitar which I have been exploring. I am now ready to gig with the Mystic Groove Collective, Sita Rose and TJ Moss, Ari Marsh, and others who appreciate the exotic sound it creates.”


Superunloader drummer Chad Farran just released his first solo album since 2012, After All, featuring guest players such as Chris McGreal and Jimmy Lewis of Superunloader and David Carano of Wise Monkey Orchestra. "Think if Paul Simon and Paul McCartney started a band with James Mercer and Dan Auerbach," says Farran. "It might sound something like this. The twelve songs on the album talk of relatable subjects such as growing old, falling out of love and being addicted to cell phones. I wanted to create an organic sound to tell simple stories that people could relate to. Everything was based on life experiences and recorded in my home studio on real instruments played by real people. One song tells the tale of a friend and I driving to San Francisco through the night on psychedelics. Let’s just say the Grapevine will never look the same again.”


Secret Fun Club’s song “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” featuring Carrie Gillespie Feller is featured on the new Cramps tribute album from Three One G Really Bad Music for Really Bad People, which also includes tracks from fellow locals Retox, Qui, and others.


Rebecca Jade was seen during the TV broadcast of the Oscars ceremony singing backup for Elton John. P.O.D. drummer Noah "Wuv" Bernardo Jr. has teamed up with members of Flyleaf for a new band called Belle & the Dragon. Jacob Turnbloom has a comedic new video for his track "Ride Past the Waves of the Future."


Past Event

3TEETH and Carnifex

  • Thursday, April 16, 2020, 8 p.m.
  • Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+

The latest Carnifex lineup change finds lead guitarist Jordan Lockrey (who joined in 2013) out, with Devildriver's Neal Tiemann taking his place on their upcoming tours with 3TEETH (hitting San Diego's Brick by Brick on April 16) and Thy Art Is Murder.


The Stone Temple Pilots acoustic tour of North America was canceled due to new lead vocalist Jeff Gutt suffering a severely herniated disc. Once Gutt recovers, they still plan a tour of Australia with Live and Bush, and summer tour with Nickelback.


The Frights will be appearing at the BottleRock Napa Valley festival, running May 22 through 24 and headlined by Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks, and the Dave Matthews Band. A video is streaming online for their new single "Leave Me Alone."


Having just toured Australia for the third time, Falling Doves will also soon visit hit China, Turkey, Dubai and South America for the first time, as well as returning to the UK, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Italy, Mexico, France, and Germany.


SDSU English Department alumni Michael Buchmiller, aka Professor B. Miller, and his singing robot SPO-20 have a new Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra video for their track “Abraham Lincoln,” from the album Conjure the Paranormal.


Warish, fronted by singer-guitarist Riley Hawk (Petyr), son of skateboard star Tony Hawk, is on tour with the Black Lips, promoting a new single, “Woven.”


"We've been working on our full length over the past year," reports the Kabbs, whose newest single "Something to Lose" precedes a full-length due in Spring.


The upcoming Wavves tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 2010 album King of the Beach kicks off April 10 in Phoenix, Arizona and wraps May 28 in Los Angeles. The album will be rereleased by Fat Possum Records April 10 as a purple kush vinyl with alternate art that was originally slated to be the cover, before it was scrapped and a bonus 7-inch with “Mutant” and “Stained Glass (Won’t You Let Me Into Yr Heart).”


Switchfoot is already celebrating the one year anniversary of their Native Tongue album with a 5-song Reimagine/Remix EP, featuring "re-imagined versions of select songs." Electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling contributes "Voices," for which she also directed the accompanying music video along with Joshua Shultz, and other contributors include Brent Kutzle (One Republic), Will Chapman (Colony House), John Painter on horns (Fleming and John), and Mason Self. The band also shared a music video for the new version of "Wonderful Feeling."


Mike Pinto has a new single, “Come a Long Way,” featuring Jack Johnson’s drummer Adam Topol, as his band embarks on a tour that wraps May 30 in Ohio.


Whitney Shay

  • Sunday, June 28, 2020, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+

Whitney Shay's release show for her Stand Up album happens March 26 at the Belly Up and features the 44's and the Anthony Cullins Trio. NOTE: THIS PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN CANCELLED


A new album from the Watkins Family Hour, Brother Sister, drops April 10 via Family Hour Records/Thirty Tigers, the first release from the former Nickel Creek siblings in five years. Produced by Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Mandy Moore, J.S. Ondara), it features seven original songs co-written by Sara and Sean Watkins as well as three new covers: Courtney Hartman and Taylor Ashton’s “Neighborhood Name,” Warren Zevon’s “Accidentally Like A Martyr” and Charley Jordan’s “Keep It Clean,” which features guest vocalists David Garza, Gaby Moreno, and John C. Reilly. A single for "Fake Badge Real Gun" debuted at Billboard.com.


The new Gloomies album, Are We Getting Better, is being promoted with singles for “Moonlight” and “Sick Like You,” a video for "Nightlight," and a new single for "Sideways," which frontman Andy Craig describes as "A hazy and fuzzy reflection on feeling lost in your own life...the song captures the depth of intense, muted emotions surrounding this notion of aimlessness, which can so often be as anxiety-provoking as its lyrics suggest."


In addition to the Cardiac Kidz' recent 40 Years of Punk CD, a new album on local Blindspot Records called Empty Chairs spotlights the power pop punk side of the group, featuring two new songs and a track previously only found on a compilation, with all original recordings dating from 1976 - 2018.


MohaviSoul's fourth full-length, Live at the 42nd Annual Huck Finn Jubilee, includes three new original songs written by Randy Hanson, Mark Miller, and Orion Boucher, as well as a cover of the Waylon Jennings classic "Lonesome, On’ry and Mean."


The title track of Manganista's new Hillbilly Bomb Shelter album is "about a couple of hillbillies who stumble across a bunch of old underground bomb shelters," says Matt Rhea. "They decide to fix up the bomb shelters and sell them to doomsday believers. Dave Talbott painted the album art and kept the theme going from our last two releases."


Tracy Wooley of Beehive & the Barracudas, who also played with Tourettes Lautrec and Tammy Faye and for a time adopted the pseudonym Tracy Haze, has passed away. The Hurricanes’ guitarist “Blonde” Bruce Thorpe — once the subject of a song by the Mississippi Mudsharks — has also died.

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