4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Gonzo Report: Chasing Capo Kelley, Mark Fisher, Wise Monkey Orchestra, Electric Waste Band & others at OB Street Fair

Surveying the scene

Bill Walton goes from making shots to calling them.
Bill Walton goes from making shots to calling them.

Following a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the OB Street Fair and Chili Cookoff returned on June 25 for the 42nd time. Fair food, street vendors, a chili cook-off, the OB Dirty Bird Wing Eating Contest, a Hamburger Eating Contest sponsored by Hodads, plus three stages of continuous music and performers playing at or in front of local establishments. Someone else can tell you about the food. I chased the music.

I arrived a tad after 11 to catch Capo Kelley on the main stage. They have a Southern California beach reggae sound. I don’t want to insult them by saying they remind me of Slightly Stoopid, but they remind me of Slightly Stoopid. But with a stronger bass sound. The main stage was set up at the end of Newport, down by the pier and beach: a serene backdrop of ocean, surfers, and bikinis. A beer garden, adjacent to the main stage, beckoned. I had brought my own beers, stashed in a cooler in my backpack, but I figured I’d visit the beer garden to try and procure a cup for my beers. Once inside, I tried to get a “water cup,” but the attendant said she could sell me a water bottle or cup for $5, while alcoholic beverages were $10. I opted for the latter, and bought two drinks: Bud Seltzer and Vodka Lemonade. Might as well get some refreshment inside my overpriced cup.

After that, my friend and moseyed down by the pier for some seclusion; we smoked marijuana out of a glass chillum. I saw others with blunts and joints. The smell of marijuana covered the smell of pee nearby to where we were sitting.

The next stop was in front of The Raglund to see guitarist extraordinaire Mark Fisher. As I approached with my friend, I saw him messing with his equipment. He looked up and said, “Hi, glad you guys are here. This crowd is dead and ain’t got no soul. Do you guys have any requests?” My friend threw some dollars in his guitar case and requested “Shakedown Street.” Fisher followed that up with “Scarlet Begonias” then went right into “Fire on the Mountain,” before finishing with a riveting version of “Axis Bold as Love.”

I headed back to the main stage to see Wise Monkey Orchestra. I’m honored to say that guitar player David Carano is a former middle school classmate of mine; we met in Sixth Grade Camp, and he was already playing guitar back then. He’s very well versed in all types of music. The band’s vocalist is Alley Stewart; she had one of the sexiest and most powerful stage presences I’ve ever seen. Her voice was strong, her moves smooth yet deliberate, she moved with confidence, sauntering and jumping around like she was the boss of it all. Can’t discount the deep grooves and great tempo of Chad Stewart on bass, and props to Andy Geib on trombone and Tim Nunnink on saxophone for lending some funk but I had to tip my cap to Danny Campbell on drums and Ed Fletcher on percussion, especially since they both played with multiple bands that day: Danny with Wise Monkey Orchestra and Electric Waste Band, and Ed with those bands plus Capo Kelley. Real endurance on a hot day. They finished their set off with a very sexy cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.” Official quote from Andy Geib: “The crowd was fucking awesome and rocked out until the last note!”

Now it was time to get prepared for Electric Waste Band. For this, your correspondent found the ubiquitous weed insufficient; instead, a handful of Psilocybin an hour before showtime and let’s go. As much as I don’t usually like to be around a bunch of people while tripping out; I felt it appropriate this time, knowing I’d be surrounded by my brethren and sistren. And while you don’t need psychedelics to enjoy the music, they do enhance the experience, especially when it’s the music of The Grateful Dead. EWB is an OB institution; you can see them every Monday evening at Winstons. But the main stage made it special: rich, poor, young, old, bikini girls, body odor, and freaks unite!

Basketball legend and Dead superfan Bill Walton showed up on stage to play shot caller. Guitar player Robert Harvey explained to me later, “Bill usually shows up to any particular gig with an idea of an opener and perhaps two or three in a row to start. For the OB Street Fair, Bill called the ‘Women are Smarter’ opener. From there he has over 1000 Dead shows worth of experience to tap into when calling the tunes. And then after we’re done playing the initial tune(s), he has several more ready to offer. I don’t recall the set list at the moment so I can’t comment on the rest of his calls. However, there have been multiple shows where he’s called songs that I would never think to play and then we look back at the set list, it’s an amazing show. He clearly gives some forethought to the songs he’d like the band to perform.”

The shrooms kicked in midway through the set. I closed my eyes and opened my ears to the music and became a dancing bear. I opened my eyes and saw the colors of a rainbow jumping out of the instruments with each note. Next thing you know, my vessel had landed in “Terrapin Station” and my trance was interrupted by some unexpected major sound bleeding. Just a momentary setback. We all wanted more. Bill Walton wanted one more. But the mainstage MC cut them off, and that was that.

Walking down Newport, I stumbled upon another band, this one not on the fair’s official lineup: Hang Zeros, letting us know that surf music is not dead. The energy there was rough, hot and sexy — as were the woman in attendance. Pigtails, baseball caps, and scowls. (The woman who fell while dancing at the end of their show comes to mind.) Bopped up to Winstons, caught the last few songs of Velzy through the open window. They were finishing off their set with Strokes and White Stripes covers; very high energy band with a quick-witted singer.

My feet tired and sore, I took seat at the Artist Alley Stage at Cable and Newport. Sitting there resting, I noticed the ground was still moving, and shifted my attention to the poster art, handmade jewelry, crafts, tie-dyed shirts, and the music of Verado, coming from the stage. They sounded like the love child of Led Zeppelin and The New York Dolls had a lovechild, and despite sound issues, they managed an awesome rendition of “Don’t Change.” Then it was time to get back to the main stage to see Sandollar , a local band whose debut album hit number seven on the iTunes Reggae Charts. Their sound encompasses reggae, soul, funk, Latin and even southern rock. A woman set up her easel on the side of the stage and set about painting the OB skyline overlooking the pier, while the guitar player brought out a joint over a foot long. He passed it around the band then to the crowd, which ravaged it. As one guy hit it, he commented, “Does anyone have Covid?” Then he took another hit before passing it around.

As Sandollar played an encore, the sun sank and the moon rose, and my trip subsided. Time to leave. Oh wait! Got to catch the Hips finishing up their set in front of the Raglund. The street was rocking and dancing to “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles. They finished off a wonderful day of music. I was not able to catch all 18 bands (to say nothing of the side acts), but felt very glad about the ones I did see. I didn’t even mind that there was too much reverb and feedback during some shows. To quote Bill Walton at the end the Electric Waste Band set, “We all won, and everybody wins.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

L.A.Times reporters knock Patrick Soon-Shiong's daughter

Blocking of Illumina-Grail deal casts cloud on Scott Peters money raising
Bill Walton goes from making shots to calling them.
Bill Walton goes from making shots to calling them.

Following a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the OB Street Fair and Chili Cookoff returned on June 25 for the 42nd time. Fair food, street vendors, a chili cook-off, the OB Dirty Bird Wing Eating Contest, a Hamburger Eating Contest sponsored by Hodads, plus three stages of continuous music and performers playing at or in front of local establishments. Someone else can tell you about the food. I chased the music.

I arrived a tad after 11 to catch Capo Kelley on the main stage. They have a Southern California beach reggae sound. I don’t want to insult them by saying they remind me of Slightly Stoopid, but they remind me of Slightly Stoopid. But with a stronger bass sound. The main stage was set up at the end of Newport, down by the pier and beach: a serene backdrop of ocean, surfers, and bikinis. A beer garden, adjacent to the main stage, beckoned. I had brought my own beers, stashed in a cooler in my backpack, but I figured I’d visit the beer garden to try and procure a cup for my beers. Once inside, I tried to get a “water cup,” but the attendant said she could sell me a water bottle or cup for $5, while alcoholic beverages were $10. I opted for the latter, and bought two drinks: Bud Seltzer and Vodka Lemonade. Might as well get some refreshment inside my overpriced cup.

After that, my friend and moseyed down by the pier for some seclusion; we smoked marijuana out of a glass chillum. I saw others with blunts and joints. The smell of marijuana covered the smell of pee nearby to where we were sitting.

The next stop was in front of The Raglund to see guitarist extraordinaire Mark Fisher. As I approached with my friend, I saw him messing with his equipment. He looked up and said, “Hi, glad you guys are here. This crowd is dead and ain’t got no soul. Do you guys have any requests?” My friend threw some dollars in his guitar case and requested “Shakedown Street.” Fisher followed that up with “Scarlet Begonias” then went right into “Fire on the Mountain,” before finishing with a riveting version of “Axis Bold as Love.”

I headed back to the main stage to see Wise Monkey Orchestra. I’m honored to say that guitar player David Carano is a former middle school classmate of mine; we met in Sixth Grade Camp, and he was already playing guitar back then. He’s very well versed in all types of music. The band’s vocalist is Alley Stewart; she had one of the sexiest and most powerful stage presences I’ve ever seen. Her voice was strong, her moves smooth yet deliberate, she moved with confidence, sauntering and jumping around like she was the boss of it all. Can’t discount the deep grooves and great tempo of Chad Stewart on bass, and props to Andy Geib on trombone and Tim Nunnink on saxophone for lending some funk but I had to tip my cap to Danny Campbell on drums and Ed Fletcher on percussion, especially since they both played with multiple bands that day: Danny with Wise Monkey Orchestra and Electric Waste Band, and Ed with those bands plus Capo Kelley. Real endurance on a hot day. They finished their set off with a very sexy cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.” Official quote from Andy Geib: “The crowd was fucking awesome and rocked out until the last note!”

Now it was time to get prepared for Electric Waste Band. For this, your correspondent found the ubiquitous weed insufficient; instead, a handful of Psilocybin an hour before showtime and let’s go. As much as I don’t usually like to be around a bunch of people while tripping out; I felt it appropriate this time, knowing I’d be surrounded by my brethren and sistren. And while you don’t need psychedelics to enjoy the music, they do enhance the experience, especially when it’s the music of The Grateful Dead. EWB is an OB institution; you can see them every Monday evening at Winstons. But the main stage made it special: rich, poor, young, old, bikini girls, body odor, and freaks unite!

Basketball legend and Dead superfan Bill Walton showed up on stage to play shot caller. Guitar player Robert Harvey explained to me later, “Bill usually shows up to any particular gig with an idea of an opener and perhaps two or three in a row to start. For the OB Street Fair, Bill called the ‘Women are Smarter’ opener. From there he has over 1000 Dead shows worth of experience to tap into when calling the tunes. And then after we’re done playing the initial tune(s), he has several more ready to offer. I don’t recall the set list at the moment so I can’t comment on the rest of his calls. However, there have been multiple shows where he’s called songs that I would never think to play and then we look back at the set list, it’s an amazing show. He clearly gives some forethought to the songs he’d like the band to perform.”

The shrooms kicked in midway through the set. I closed my eyes and opened my ears to the music and became a dancing bear. I opened my eyes and saw the colors of a rainbow jumping out of the instruments with each note. Next thing you know, my vessel had landed in “Terrapin Station” and my trance was interrupted by some unexpected major sound bleeding. Just a momentary setback. We all wanted more. Bill Walton wanted one more. But the mainstage MC cut them off, and that was that.

Walking down Newport, I stumbled upon another band, this one not on the fair’s official lineup: Hang Zeros, letting us know that surf music is not dead. The energy there was rough, hot and sexy — as were the woman in attendance. Pigtails, baseball caps, and scowls. (The woman who fell while dancing at the end of their show comes to mind.) Bopped up to Winstons, caught the last few songs of Velzy through the open window. They were finishing off their set with Strokes and White Stripes covers; very high energy band with a quick-witted singer.

My feet tired and sore, I took seat at the Artist Alley Stage at Cable and Newport. Sitting there resting, I noticed the ground was still moving, and shifted my attention to the poster art, handmade jewelry, crafts, tie-dyed shirts, and the music of Verado, coming from the stage. They sounded like the love child of Led Zeppelin and The New York Dolls had a lovechild, and despite sound issues, they managed an awesome rendition of “Don’t Change.” Then it was time to get back to the main stage to see Sandollar , a local band whose debut album hit number seven on the iTunes Reggae Charts. Their sound encompasses reggae, soul, funk, Latin and even southern rock. A woman set up her easel on the side of the stage and set about painting the OB skyline overlooking the pier, while the guitar player brought out a joint over a foot long. He passed it around the band then to the crowd, which ravaged it. As one guy hit it, he commented, “Does anyone have Covid?” Then he took another hit before passing it around.

As Sandollar played an encore, the sun sank and the moon rose, and my trip subsided. Time to leave. Oh wait! Got to catch the Hips finishing up their set in front of the Raglund. The street was rocking and dancing to “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles. They finished off a wonderful day of music. I was not able to catch all 18 bands (to say nothing of the side acts), but felt very glad about the ones I did see. I didn’t even mind that there was too much reverb and feedback during some shows. To quote Bill Walton at the end the Electric Waste Band set, “We all won, and everybody wins.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Farhad Bahrami brings a world of music to Grossmont College

“There are notes between E and E flat that aren’t there on a guitar or piano”
Next Article

L.A.Times reporters knock Patrick Soon-Shiong's daughter

Blocking of Illumina-Grail deal casts cloud on Scott Peters money raising
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close