Andrew Hamlin

Andrew Hamlin
Andrew Hamlin likes to photograph shoes and write about dog shit. He was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, where he resides today. He attended the Evergreen State College, where he wrote and edited arts coverage for the Cooper Point Journal. He is the film critic for the Northwest Asian Weekly, and he’s published arts coverage and criticism in the San Diego Reader, Village Voice, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, Goldmine, and other publications. He misses Helen Wiggin. Hamlin’s website is

Articles by Andrew Hamlin

Worst-ever touring stories from Caspian

“We got chased out of Milan by the Russian mob one time.”

“If one word sticks in my mind about shows in San Diego, it’s ‘sweat.’ We all get pretty soaked during shows, because we love to get into it. But San Diego is always next-level.” Jonny ...

Queensrÿche: The music between the notes

“It’s the subtleties that make it great”

Queensrÿche, who will be 40 years into their prog-metal run by the time you read this, are painfully aware that they’ve got some members from the classic years who aren’t around anymore; and some songs ...

"Everyone thought we were sellouts" - the Penetrators' punk POV

Gary Heffern recalls San Diego’s punk heyday of the late 70s and early 80s

An interview with Gary Heffern of the the Penetrators. What are your best, worst, and oddest stories of playing San Diego over the years? The best times were the early days, people don't realize the ...

Grossmont College’s Raul Sandelin releases short film on Gary Heffern

“When hardcore kicked in, the innocence and joy of just being yourself became lost.”

Heffern’s a hugger. “The best times were the early days. People don’t realize the hours of rehearsal and also how many parties and benefits we did… Country Dick Montana and I were on our usual ...

The “Bubblegum Doom” of Fox Medicine

The music’s odd, but the band claims a whole aesthetic unto itself

Two-piece glam thrashers Fox Medicine only have one San Diego gig to recall. But they made that one memorable. “San Diego has an impressive music community, and for my tastes, it’s a goldmine of nonconformist, ...

Ten haiku by critic Andrew Hamlin

Poplars line far too long a short walk to the lake Train switching tracks never finishes... world spring run down Anubis, white-eyed in obsidian, glares — pinned to his wall Moon silver the samurai’s hilt ...

Brainstory record at Diamond Mine Studio for Big Crown Records

Charles Bradley, Chicano Batman, Black Thought, and numerous other artists cut records there

“One time it took me three hours to get to a gig in San Diego, and I was super late and we played for three people.” Brainstory drummer Eric Hagstrom hopes to improve that figure ...

Kiyoshi: rooted in the groove

“My heart is in inspiring others to be better versions of themselves.”

Asked where to draw the line between soul and hip-hop, San Diego’s Kiyoshi is quick to say he doesn’t see any such line. “They are one,” he affirms. “In hip-hop, there is soul. Hip-hop is ...

Thousand Below’s The Hangover moment

“We called the cops and they thought we had stolen the baby”

They rock. They roll. They shred. They mangle. But one thing you don’t expect from Thousand Below, your favorite San Diego post-hardcore slamdown quintet, is finding a home for an abandoned baby in Austin, Texas. ...