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Christmas haters

The sun appears stuck from Dec. 22-24

"I hate Christmas music” is a phrase I’ve heard often over the years. What’s to hate? Three-four time? Angels? Babies? The rebirth of the sun? I’m going to poke the dragon of PC-culture and suggest ...

Zen-sounding lyrics and flashcard-ready artwork

Mae, Magic City Hippies, Future Generations, Justin Timberlake, White Denim

Formed in Norfolk, Virginia in the early 2000s, underground-experimental rock trio Mae named their just-released album, somewhat haughtily, Multisensory Aesthetic Experience. That might lead one to expect a noisy and probably pretentious band, perhaps playing ...

Unleash the fire

Castle’s raw, stripped down approach is often compared to early Rush

Castle’s video for "Deal Thy Fate," the title tune of their new album, shows them mostly romping under Mojave heat near the band’s pad in Joshua Tree; but it throws in some eerie things materializing ...

Brothers to Brotherhood

This is a jam band with the Grateful Dead’s fingerprints all over it

Chris Robinson is long of beard and graying, but still in possession of the skills that pushed his old band the Black Crowes to another level entirely. Back then, in front of the Crowes, Robinson ...

Aboriginal Beatle Puppies

Record roundup with Yale Strom, Mount Pleasant, Bruin, Stevie Salas, Richard Filaccio, and Low Volts

Klezmer musicologist Yale Strom has a new album with his Broken Consort, Shimmering Lights, featuring traditional Yiddish, Ladino, and Hebrew Khanike songs inspired by the sounds of Morocco, Poland, Spain, and elsewhere. "We have a ...

New beginning for Dewey Defeats Truman

"We realize how fun it is to play music again.”

For a decade bassist/singer James Reader and drummer Scott Frazier were in two different “Casbah bands” that went on to get national buzz: Red Dye No. 5 and, later, Dewey Defeats Truman. The 1995 Red ...

Casbah turns 30 with weeks-long celebration

Pivotal local acts from the ’70s through ’90s will stage rare reunions

Countless local bands made their first mark at 2812 Kettner, the original Casbah locale opened in 1989 with fixtures purchased from a defunct Farrell’s ice cream parlor that for some reason sported at least one ...

Flannel-bearing northerners

Melvins, Corrosion of Conformity, Zomboy, Kikagaku Moyo

Everyone talks about how influential the Melvins were to the music made by subsequent generations of sludge and alternative bands, but less discussed is their influence on fashion and the way musicians are perceived by ...

Bass therapy

Music gives bassist Marilyn Quinsaat a new lease on life

“I was having dinner and drinks with a friend when all of a sudden, I started to feel numb,” recalls bassist Marilyn Quinsaat (Sequin in the Sky, Sock Monkeys) of the night her life changed ...

Intercontinental collaboration

San Diego’s Quel Bordel unite with BandàpArt to form French-English folk punk supergroup

“After all these years on the road together, we’ve come up with a few original songs, and we’re finally releasing an EP with three originals and one cover,” says singer-guitarist Jake Skolnick of BandàBordel, a ...

I teared up at Kelli O'Hara

Matthew Morrison's glamorous masculinity

I had heard the name Kelli O’Hara but I had never heard the Tony Award-Winner sing until Tuesday, November 27, at Symphony Hall. About 30 seconds in, my eyes were tearing up. Her first song ...

Improbably seasoned

Kid Jonny Lang didn’t sound like a kid

Blues music is appreciated even in the most un-blues-like corners of the world. North Dakota, for example. It may be possible to trace the radiation of that music into such desolate territory back to a ...

Soul light

Emily King, the Bad Plus, Red Dragon Cartel, Lady Lamb

The Music Box has been stepping up with contemporary high profile acts this year, and their 2019 schedule continues the trend toward currently charting, buzz-heavy acts, especially light soul and radio pop singers like Emily ...

El Ten Eleven’s double-necked axe

“I had to come up with my own techniques and tunings for playing both necks at the same time.”

Playing guitar and bass more-or-less at once, in real time, with only two hands, might strike one as a strenuous proposition. But Kristian Dunn, of instrumental duo El Ten Eleven, makes it work. With a ...

Jazz Marine

Trombonist Matt Hall’s journey to San Diego

“It’s all because of music, really,” explains trombonist Matt Hall, contemplating the journey that brought him from East Tennessee to San Diego. Hall has been playing the trombone since he was 10-years old and it ...

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