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

Back to profile

Stories by Andrew Hamlin

Sixteen haiku by Andrew Hamlin

Hummingbird tries to perch on two crossed branches *** Traffic lights play catch with yellow one block apart *** Tap away at her eyes long enough/// hit winter streams *** Arm unswept, stillborn shout... crows ...

June 10, 2022
Gonzo Report: Marcela Mendez’s tip with a barb at the mall

Normally, musicians are drilled in the art of capturing an audience’s attention. And if that’s your training, then performing where people don’t pay attention — and aren’t even meant to — can be a challenge. ...

The many neighborhoods of Kendrick Dial

Lyrical Groove’s Kendrick Dial, a Dallas native, came to San Diego in 2000 with the Navy. Since then, he’s called Chula Vista, Spring Valley, Downtown, and North Park home, and noted how each district boasts ...

Soda Bar scores one of only two CA Small Venue Grants

California measures approximately 163,696 square miles, and it’s home to more than 39.5 million souls. Total number of places to see music? Search me. But I’m betting a thousand would just be a start. And ...

April 21, 2022
What San Diego Reader writers would shell out cash for

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a music writer isn’t going to get rich plying his trade, but at least he’ll get free stuff: albums, concert tickets, swag, perhaps even the occasional backstage pass. ...

Renee Marie releases “Blueberry Satin” single on YouTube

“Blueberry Satin,” a new online single from singer Renee Marie, starts in a fog of minor chords and then, depending on which YouTube version you click on, moves to either an organ-and-drums riff or unadorned ...

BJ Jezbera’s mariachi-infused folk

Asked for his most colorful stories about gigging around town, singer-songwriter BJ Jezbera gives the impression that he knows just a little bit more than he’s telling. “I feel like a question like this,” he ...

Quel Bordel’s Caribbean cruise line origins

New arrivals to San Diego, musicians included, often compare and contrast where they’ve been to where they’ve landed. But Jakvoich Skolnick, who plays guitar and a few other things for Quel Bordel, has more in ...

February 17, 2022
Head Quack says “CEO sounds too boss-like”

If it looks, walks, and quacks like a certain common North American waterfowl, it’s probably just what you think it is. But when Matt Delvecchio named the brewery he co-founded Duck Foot, he was thinking ...

The secret origin of Steve Poltz’s One Left Shoe

A man who’ll throw an annual 50th Birthday Bash for himself clearly boasts a robust sense of humor. And San Diego fixture Steve Poltz, who’s observing that cracked anniversary (he’s actually turning 62) at the ...

January 13, 2022
Bart Mendoza revisits the late ’60s with new EP

“Happy Together,” performed by the Turtles, came out on Valentine’s Day 1967, and hit number one on the Billboard charts on March 25. Though it’s often covered and enshrined in film, nobody seems to notice ...

Donna Larsen wants more than Wiggles & Raffi

Donna Larsen knows singing, songwriting, producing, and promotion. But when it came to making music (and eventually books) for kids, she fell back on the most reliable test market she could find: her own children. ...

December 9, 2021
Thank God (and the Irenic) for new all-ages venue

Kyle Mcmillan has lived in San Diego continuously since 1993, and he’s been involved in local music for almost that entire time — as a musician, booker, and manager. Now he’s opening a new all-ages ...

December 2, 2021
Cultgabe’s colorless accident

Shooting his new video “Heathrow (Somebody Else)” in black-and-white might seem evocatively logical, judging from the vid’s final look. But here, 22-year-old cultgabe spills the beans: that wasn’t all on purpose. The final look, he ...

Things Spike Muellenberg lost in the fire

Mike “Spike” Muellenberg, aka Hairy Scary Spice, has given San Diego plenty of both music and laughs while out in front of the Spice Pistols: five fellows happy to be not young, not hot, and ...

November 4, 2021
October haiku suite by Andrew Hamlin

October: pilot waves to the brakeman... chilly sundown October... jelly jar upside-down by the lettuce Solstice: spinning sun moves on from the model trains One stone on the high bridge--I ponder... pocket it? Forlorn... the ...

October 7, 2021
Gayle Skidmore’s Dutch treat

Singer/songwriter Gayle Skidmore describes herself as “a San Diego native, an East County girl.” She has long loved Sarita’s and La Posta, and says she basically grew up at the Living Room on El Cajon ...

October 7, 2021
Brock Scott’s bootleg photography book

Brock Scott’s mission was to get those band photos. He had no photo pass and no permission to take a camera inside any given venue (this was years before camera phones). But he had his ...

September 9, 2021
Noah Lekas turns Sage into Sounds

Poet and performer Noah Lekas, late of Wisconsin, more lately of North Park and Vista, says that the work of combining his poetry with the sound from local musicians just flowed naturally. “I’ve always been ...

August 26, 2021
Paige Koehler expands her network at PB’s Garage Mahal

Ocean Beach singer-songwriter Paige Koehler kept things in the city when it came to recording her debut EP, Sorry I’m Late. “My EP was recorded at [Kearny Mesa's] Defiant Robot Studios in 2019-2020,” she says. ...

Elisia Savoca: the “Shower Singer”

Singer-songwriter Elisia Savoca, currently living in L.A. but raised in San Diego, has no qualms about being known as the “Shower Singer,” a sobriquet bestowed by her beloved father. Everyone has to start somewhere, and ...

July 15, 2021
Chuck Charles and the Bigfellas band: Steely Dan for the Pabst Blue Ribbon crowd

When it comes to gigging in San Diego, Chuck Charles, once-and-future doyen of the Bigfellas band, gives due love to the Belly Up, Humphreys, and Anthology. But certain odder moments stick sticky-er in his mind. ...

July 1, 2021
What does Tijuana’s DFMK stand for?

The men of Tijuana’s punk quartet DFMK — the letters stand for “doing fucking meth kills” on days when they don’t stand for “don’t fuck my kids” — allow that their hometown can get a ...

Fandango at the Wall film fascinates

When it comes to the San Diego/Tijuana community, retired librarian Jorge Francisco Castillo counts himself pretty well settled in. He eats at Tacos el Gordo, plus Ranchos and El Zarape in North Park. He takes ...

June 3, 2021
Sound Talent Group pivots to podcasts

When the virus response clamped down on fleshy, sweaty, side-by-side public outings, the local branch of entertainment agency Sound Talent Group had a backup plan ready to go — to cover the local scene with ...

May 20, 2021
Sharon Katz: on the train of peace

Sharon Katz has gone all over the world promoting peace, love, and unity. She performed for Nelson Mandela. She jumped out of airplanes in South Africa to rock the vote in that country’s first multi-racial ...

Tour San Diego venues past with Devon E. Levins

Devon E. Levins of Morricone Youth has played just about every kind of rock and roll, and just about everywhere in San Diego’s city limits. “The last night of the old Casbah was memorable in ...

April 22, 2021
Cheyenne Benton’s love/hate relationship with the San Diego County Fair

Cheyenne Benton loves the San Diego County Fair. Except when she hates it. “One of my best stories would have to be when I was performing at the 2019 fair,” she recalls. “We got to ...

April 8, 2021
City Windows: straight outta Ida

“One particular gig we did at Tower Bar in Summer of 2019 really sticks out in my mind. We had just finished up recording our debut EP Oxbow and were feeling really great about what ...

March 25, 2021
The Thieves About come across hobo code in Encinitas

“The Thieves About” could suggest a phrase lacking one final noun. But as singer/guitarist J Scott Gavin avows, the name came about from a little boys love for locomotives. “My son was obsessively into trains,” ...

March 11, 2021
Thousand Below miss the road

Looking back on the virus, the ones of us who survive will of course, each have a story to tell, starting with the first signs, first erosions. San Diego’s Thousand Below found themselves, with bleak ...

February 25, 2021
Folk Uke’s own theory of relativity explained in “Small One”

“We like to huff on gas lamps. It’s addictive. No one talks about it.” Amy Nelson’s account of her love for the Gaslamp Quarter, might seem slightly suspicious. But it’s a splendid introduction to the ...

February 4, 2021
Real J. Wallace: beyond comprehension

“I was raised in San Diego, and one of my most memorable [memories] is being six, and my Mom taking me to my Auntie’s AA meetings. We sat in a circle and I thought that ...

January 28, 2021
El Cajon classmates Robert Houghton, Roger Anderson, Andrew Hamlin on Lester Bangs

Lester Bangs, El Cajon Kid These “great man” theorists see Lester as self-made and El Cajon actually was a hindrance. Those of us from El Cajon, especially those who knew him well, have a much ...

January 24, 2021
Twelve Haiku by Andrew Hamlin

Consider a life in the time it takes your phone to wink dark *** On the prison camp raining and then not raining *** September... he yawns like a lion with his frosty beard *** ...

January 15, 2021
River Sultan’s Chopin dreams

River Sultan remembers his arrival in San Diego even more vividly than most folks. “July 19, 2000,” he nails it down. “I was 10 years old. I remember the date because I had a small ...

January 14, 2021
Satin Nickel’s Shadow of Doubt debut recalls musical theater

San Diego musicians don’t often count off their seminal musical influences in terms of musical theater. But La Mesa-raised Morgan Hollingsworth — the son of Grossmont High’s drama teacher — loved musical theater before practically ...

December 31, 2020
Gary Wilson’s Tormented new album

Gary Wilson’s new album is Tormented. Which is not to say that Gary Wilson himself — notorious denizen of San Diego’s weirder side — is necessarily tormented. Although he came reasonably close to going over ...

Body Salt writes leaf-songs

“The worst experience we’ve had playing a show was also one of the best,” says Jonathon Bruhin, half of San Diego’s Body Salt. “It was our very first performance at a large private gathering in ...

December 3, 2020
Dance away heartbreak with SIDNĒ

“Not being able to find a waffle with whipped cream after playing a show in Las Vegas. Do your research if you’re ever in Vegas looking to eat a waffle at 1am.” That’s local singer/songwriter/producer ...

Colin Jones: back from Australia

Colin Jones, local slinger of blues shot through with ’90s rock — or is it the other way around? — picks up music, and influences, on the fly. But from his peripatetic childhood, he’s used ...

November 5, 2020
24 Hour Fitness was my bathroom

Ricky Schmidt, bassist of local band Hey, Chels — comma included — never expected a giant German stinky dog to cross his path. But life is full of surprises. “Day two [of the tour] took ...

October 22, 2020
almost monday’s gig stories

Rock bands’ wild-gig stories often involve violence, mayhem, destruction, and the scream of police sirens. For San Diego’s (intentionally non-capitalized) almost monday, nuptials tripped them up. “The worst story we have,” relates singer Dawson Daugherty, ...

October 8, 2020
The evolution of Belle and the Dragon’s “Trees” video

Belle and the Dragon’s new video “Trees,” shot in Barrio Logan, evolved from the confluence of two situations: An inability to emulate John Travolta’s swagger; and a lust for the perfect vegan taco. “Originally I ...

Ten plague haiku by Andrew Hamlin

Third week of the plague pile-driver bangs tempo for the brave builders Third week of the plague the crows — hungry, perhaps...? voice discontent Third week of the plague, but dog shit on the sidewalk ...

August 20, 2020
Road stories from Tyson Motsenbocker

Tyson Motsenbocker’s worried about the virus, and who isn’t? But he’s looking forward to playing shows when he can, showcasing his new album Someday I’ll Make It All Up To You. He was kind enough ...

“Medicine Show” webcast showcases Mrs. Henry’s puppeteering

The virus got so serious, so quick, that they ended up playing only one show of their projected spring tour. What’s a meticulously-planning band to do when they suddenly can’t play live? In the case ...

August 6, 2020
Museum of Making Music Carlsbad nears renovation completion

Carolyn Grant, executive director of the Museum of Making Music Carlsbad, came to music early and passionately. “This involvement [with playing music] is actually the core purpose of my life. As an older adult my ...

July 23, 2020
Stones tribute Jumping Jack Flash has a Spinal Tap moment

Playing Keith Richards for a living isn’t always a rock star trip, as Young Hutchinson, from Stones tribute band Jumping Jack Flash, can attest. A county fair stopped the Flash mid-set — for the sake ...

Mark Dresser’s musicianship cuts through it all

He played San Diego County Mental Health and watched a patient attack another patient during “Freedom Jazz Dance.” He went back to San Diego County Mental Health and made it through a “chilled” set of ...

July 2, 2020

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