Belly Up Presents Pato Banton
British pop-reggae star Pato Banton will headline the latest in the Belly Up’s livestream series on November 13. The longtime regular at the Solana Beach club first arrived on many people’s radar back in the mid-1980s, when he turned up as a guest singer with pop-reggae crossover act UB40, as well as in hit collaborations with David Hinds of Steel Pulse, and with Ranking Roger of The Beat and General Public. Banton’s first solo album displayed his fondness for a two-tone jingle-style pop approach to island music, including a team-up with mainstream icon Paul Shaffer, then just settling in to his nightly TV gig with David Letterman. The ‘90s found Banton’s star rising, as he became more of a pop act and turned up in various projects with Sting and others. Throughout the past two decades, he’s been scoring chart hits in his native Britain and finding his island jam band welcome on a worldwide touring circuit that has seen him play San Diego no less than a dozen times in the past eight years.
Casbah Presents Brendan Benson
Local venue the Casbah will be one of the beneficiaries of a November 14 livestream concert by occasional Raconteur Brendan Benson, who will perform with a full band at the 5 Spot in Nashville, Tennessee. The multi-instrumentalist co-founded the Raconteurs in Nashville with Jack White in 2005, with their first three full-lengths all hitting the top ten of the U.S. album charts, culminating with their most recent release Help Us Stranger, which topped the U.S. charts last summer. Benson’s solo career predates the Raconteurs by nearly a decade, having kicked off in the mid-1990s with his debut album on major label Virgin Records, One Mississippi. Despite featuring several songwriting collaborations with hitmaker Jason Falkner (Jellyfish, the Three O’Clock), the record failed to sell and the label dropped him. He didn’t turn up again until 2002 with his Lapalco album, which really began to take off after the White Stripes covered his track “Good To Me,” and “Tiny Spark” was heard in multiple feature films. He recently released his seventh solo album, his first in seven years, entitled Dear Life.
Concerts in Your Car: Bush
The Del Mar Fairgrounds has adopted the drive-in theater format for a series of concerts that on November 20 will include 1990s alt-icons Bush, a band from England who were pretty much ignored in their native country but were revered, at least for a while, in the States. Their pop-grunge template was set on their chart topping 1996 album Razorblade Suitcase, with singer Gavin Rossdale bringing his Marc Bolan-esque looks and vocal warble to wall-of-sound attacks that sounded for all the world like getting drunk and dropping a tab of acid inside one of Pearl Jam’s guitar amps. The band split in 2002, and Rossdale later became somewhat of a tabloid figure, thanks to marrying No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani, who ended up ditching him for country music star Blake Shelton, which must still hurt (Stefani and Shelton announced their engagement on October 27). Bush reformed in 2010 and has released several more albums since then, including this year’s The Kingdom, which includes a track heard on John Wick: Chapter 3 called “Bullet Holes.” In addition to the twelve new tunes, the Bush website includes a download version with two bonus songs, “Live Another Day” and “Beware False Prophets.”
Concerts in Your Car: Kaskade
Described by The New York Times as “the new face of electronic dance music,” Kaskade will play the parking lot of the Del Mar Fairgrounds on November 21. Born Ryan Gary Raddon, the golden age DJ is on a seven-date drive-in tour, having first risen to fame from 2009 through 2013 while making number 51 on DJ Mag’s 2009 list of Top 100 DJs and being named America’s Best DJ twice in DJ Times (2011 and 2013). The Grammy-nominated producer has earned several top ten Billboard charting singles, as well as collaborating with stars such as deadmau5 and singers Tamra Keenan, Haley Gibby, and Sunsun. Among around a dozen full-lengths over the course of his career, his 2015 album Automatic includes collaborations with Galantis and John Dahlback, and he recorded a holiday album in 2017 called Kaskade Christmas. His newest, released earlier this year, is called Arkade Destinations Living Room. The third entry in his Destinations compilation series, it includes guest appearances from Al Gore Rhythm, Zendlo, Finnstagram, Lipless, Mr. Tape, and Late Night Alumni.
Concerts in Your Car: Yachtley Crew
The final Del Mar drive-in concert of the month on November 25 features L.A. based Yachtley Crew, which has made a lucrative career paying tribute to and poking fun at soft ‘80s and ‘90s radio rockers. Setlists feature the expected selection of studio slickers, such as Toto, Hall & Oates, Elton John, and of course the patron saint of yacht rock, Christopher Cross of “Sailing” fame (who we almost lost this year to COVID-19). The band has played unlikely but popular residencies at both the Viper Room, where River Phoenix once OD’d on the sidewalk, and at Disneyland, where they replaced a popular barbershop quartet who’d been at the park nearly since its inception before being forced into early retirement by the popularity of the Yachtley Crew show. After all, it’s one of the few places where you’re likely to find a bunch of people singing along enthusiastically with the theme to “Greatest American Hero” (“Believe it or not, I’m walking on air, I never thought I could feel so free…”), with few of them even remotely aware of the all-but-forgotten TV show from which the schmaltzy hit tune sprang.