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Stories by Barnaby Monk

Why?, Vinyl Junkies, Dead Deer, and Boxmasters

Thursday 30“I don’t have a record player,” I shouted at Yoni Wolf over the Spaceland cocktail table that served as his merch booth. It was 2008, and I was in Silverlake because Why?’s Elephant Eyelash ...

March 29, 2017
Teenage Fanclub, Xiu Xiu, Spanish fuzz nuns

Thursday 16She won’t be forced against her will/ Says she don’t do drugs but she does the pill/ Oh yeah...Oh yeah. That lyric from the song “The Concept” helped propel the fuzz-tone earworm and its ...

March 15, 2017
Boytoy, Planet B, Wu-Tang, and Wand

Sunday 19Grrrl presents Brooklyn’s Boytoy at Blonde Bar Sunday night. NYLON called Boytoy’s debut, Grackle, “catchy, fun, and addictive, floating somewhere between ’60s surf jams and ’90s grunge rock,” while Rolling Stone suggested we, “stretch ...

March 15, 2017
Davina & the Vagabonds, Meat Puppets, Anna Meredith

Sunday 12From Scranton, scruffy punk-rock four-piece the Menzingers will headline sets by Rozwell Kid and Jeff Rosenstock at the Irenic in North Park. The Menzingers are touring in support of this year’s Epitaph set, After ...

March 8, 2017
Social D, Big Thief, Japandroids

Thursday 9In mid-’70s D.C., around the same time “Tricky Dick” was making tapes, so was hard-rock guitarist Punky Meadows with his glam-metal band Angel (“The Tower,” anyone?), which would be discovered by Gene Simmons and ...

March 8, 2017
Stevie Nicks, Pretenders, a Redwoods Revue

Thursday 2One of the Big Rock Shows to hit town this week pairs Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Stevie Nicks and the Pretenders at Viejas Arena at SDSU. This tour, which was supposed to ...

March 1, 2017
Desert Daze, Shins, Six Organs

Sunday 5There’re two Big Rock Shows to choose from Sunday night, as funk-rock Angelenos the Red Hot Chili Peppers take the stage at the Valley View Casino Center at the Sports Arena end of the ...

March 1, 2017
Cheetah Chrome, Alejandro Escovedo, Priests

Sunday 19Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz of Cleveland originals the Dead Boys will headline Hideout sets by our own punk-rocking Zeros and Widows. Mr. Chrome and Mr. Blitz are celebrating 40 years since the release ...

February 15, 2017
Weyes Blood, Slim Cessna, Adam Ant

Thursday 16I get the feeling the Southern gothic author Flannery O’Connor would have dug Natalie Mering’s Weyes Blood output, particularly last year’s Front Row Seat to Earth, an alt-folk collection that is writerly — beautiful ...

February 15, 2017
Fox Mulder, Night Vale, Lucero

Sunday 12“I want to believe” in David Duchovny’s musicianship. The FBI special agent went rogue and dropped a folk-rock record called Hell or Highwater in 2015. The label, Thinksay, compared the collection to Leonard Cohen, ...

February 8, 2017
Lemon Twigs, Molochs, Boogarins

Thursday 9“They’re very cute. I think they have an amazingly bright future,” says Elton John about brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, the talented singer/songwriters behind Lemon Twigs. In fact, much of the UK — where ...

February 8, 2017
Down by Law, Revivalists, the Nots

Sunday 5Dave Smalley and his Beantown punk band Down By Law set up at Soda Bar after Pulley, Skipjack, and Hurricane Kate blow through the Normal Heights nightspot. Smalley had a chat with the Reader’s ...

February 1, 2017
Lotus and El Ten Eleven, Metalachi, Sweet and Tender Hooligans

Thursday 2The Philly-based “jamtronica” band Lotus last year released their most stripped set yet in Eat the Light, the album’s name and rhythmic dance vibe a nod to new-wave icons the Talking Heads’ Remain in ...

February 1, 2017
Segall, Lamkin, Leithauser

Thursday 26“Rad and Awesome had a baby,” says da Donks’ Facebook page. San Diego’s desert-rocking Donkeys clop into Casbah Thursday night. Da Donks dropped a doozie of a disc last year in Midnight Palms, an ...

January 25, 2017
Sunday's punk day, Run the Jewels on Monday

Sunday 29Sunday’s punk day, as Death Eyes and Stalins of Sound rage under the spire at Tower Bar...and Age of Collapse and Endless Nameless spin a pit at Whistle Stop.... Something more subtle? Dreams Made ...

January 25, 2017
Lucinda Williams takes Highway 20 to Solana Beach

Sunday 15Grammy-winning, gold-record-selling Americana artist Lucinda Williams is out to tout her 12th studio set, The Ghosts of Highway 20. Paste magazine calls Williams “the patron saint of busted love and broken dreams” and praises ...

January 11, 2017
Schizos and Creeps

Thursday 12San Diego garage wreckers the Schizophonics will headline sets at Belly Up Thursday night. If you’ve yet to catch Mr. and Mrs. Beers’ special brand of soulful blues-rock, you’re missing one of the best ...

January 11, 2017
Bowie and Brown Sabbath

Sunday 8In celebration of the late, great David Bowie’s birthday (he would have been 70), Casbah stages Ariel Levine, who will perform Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, in its entirety, and Bowiephonics, the Schizophonics’ take on ...

January 4, 2017
The Devils and Fu Manchu

Thursday 5The Year of the Devil begins in earnest Thursday night, when rootsicana band Devil Makes Three takes the stage at the Observatory and the “Devil’s 3 Way” hits Casbah. I jest, they’re not so ...

January 4, 2017
Barb Wire Dolls, Bowie, and El Vez

Thursday 22Wouldn’t be Christmastime if hometown hit Gary Shuffler (Honey Glaze) didn’t don his “screwed-up eyes and screwed-down hairdo” as Ziggy Shuffledust. If you’ve never seen a Shuffler tribute, which includes Bauhaus, Queen, and GNR, ...

December 21, 2016
George Clinton, Henry Rollins, OFF!

Sunday 25Monk’s listless list: my annual Christmas insert where I admit what sucked up most of my time listening-wise this year. Yes, I use the very scientific method of naming my bests by what I ...

December 21, 2016
Dandys, X, Blasters, and Bey

Thursday 15L.A. cow-punk originators X — about to turn 40 and featuring the original lineup of John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebreak — will rock the Casbah for four nights, Thursday (with ...

December 14, 2016
Sunday's Giant Surprise, Anti-Monday bands, three guys called Mordecai, and Manual Scan

Sunday 18Giant surprise for all you area shoegazers, there’s a Grade A shoegaze group in our midst called Giant Surprise, and their debut’s got the goods, blamming blown-cone songs that are speak-sung in that ’gazer ...

December 14, 2016
Jonny Lang, Jonny Richman, Shelters, and Wild Child

Sunday 11Underground hip-hop hits Casbah Sunday night, when Doomtree’s Sims splits the spits with Chicago-based mash-up Air Credits (Hood Internet and ShowYouSuck)...Swedish new wavers the Sounds (think: Blondie) set up at House of Blues Sunday ...

December 7, 2016
Spits or Tijuana Panthers, Beck or Pere Ubu

Thursday 8Tomas Kalnoky, the Czech-born Jersey boy who fronts the ska-punk collective Streetlight Manifesto, will take the all-ages Irenic stage as indie-folkie Toh Kay. The stripped-down trio is in the middle of its Return to ...

December 7, 2016
Gemma Ray, Peter Murphy, Lee Fields

Sunday 27Bronx-born rapper Kool Keith (aka Dr. Octagon, Dr. Dooom, Black Elvis, etc. etc.) hits House of Blues on Sunday. Keith told a reporter recently that he has so many guises that “I don’t even ...

November 23, 2016
Karl Denson, Nik Turner sax attack

Thursday 24Happy Thankszzzzzz... Friday 25“‘Brown Sugar.’ That’s a blast. I love playing it. I’ve got that solo in it. But being there, hanging out with those guys? That’s just surreal.” That’s Karl Denson talking to ...

November 23, 2016
Lord Mayall, Lord Stax, Red Fang and the Man in Black

Sunday 20The 83-year-old British bluesman John Mayall was the leader of one of the more prominent ’60s blues groups, the Bluebreakers, which included in its ranks over the years a shifting lineup of musical greats, ...

November 16, 2016
Mad Doctors, Moon Hooch, Night Beats, and Neko Case

Thursday 17“We are all (mal)practicing doctors in various fields. Dr. Applebaum is a surgery ‘specialist,’ Dr. Park is a veterinarian, and Dr. X — well, that is undisclosed for various legal reasons,” the Mad Doctors ...

November 16, 2016
Dictators, a coupla hip-hop hits, and Colleen Green

Sunday 13Known in 1974 New York City as the Dictators, the proto-punk band is “the connective tissue between the eras of the MC5, Stooges, NY Dolls, and the punk explosion of the mid to late ...

November 9, 2016
A guitar Planet, a Gloomy Place, Posies, and Om

Thursday 10Japan post-rock bands Lite and Mouse on the Keys (which sounds like an iffy translation but is actually a nod to composer Zez Confrey’s “Kitten on the Keys”) will set up at Soda Bar ...

November 9, 2016
Sunday night soloists Ty Segall, King Tuff, and Cairo Gang

Sunday 6Ty Segall, King Tuff, and Emmett Kelly (Cairo Gang) fill a solo-Sunday-nighters bill at the Hideout. Mr. Segall’s latest, this year’s Emotional Mugger, is a satisfyingly noisy garage-psych affair, as is almost everything produced ...

November 2, 2016
King Khan and BBQ times two

Thursday 3By the time you read this, Crawler follower, I will be in a meat-sammy stupor and have a beard full of barbecue sauce as I watch the stars pop over Pappy & Harriet’s in ...

November 2, 2016
Haunted hotel Halloween at the Lafayette, Casbah style

Sunday 30Eighties new-wavers Psychedelic Furs play Belly Up in Solana Beach on Sunday night. The English act is still anchored by brothers Richard (singer) and Tim Butler (guitar) and still trades in their imminently dance- ...

October 26, 2016
Jacuzzi Boys, Jimmy Whispers

Thursday 27Get your recommended daily allowance of country-fried jams and greazy beats when the Distinguished Delinquents tour graces the Casbah stage Thursday night. The Delinquents be the roots-rocking country-blues trio from Nashville, Indiana, Reverend Peyton’s ...

October 26, 2016
Pink Dots, Goblin Cock, Helado Negro, and Tobacco

Thursday 13When Syd Barret took to his garden shed and my Piper at Gates of Dawn and Madcap Laughs cassettes were played out, I deliriously drowned in the Legendary Pink Dots catalog, born again to ...

October 12, 2016
Flock of Dimes, Gang of Four, Screaming Females

Sunday 16Wye Oak’s lady part, the singer/shredder Jenn Wasner, has released a solo set under the name Flock of Dimes, a synth-pop record called If You See Me, Say Yes. I haven’t heard it, but ...

October 12, 2016
Kula Shaker, Dirty Pennies, the Palms, and Lita Ford

Sunday 9English “raga-rock” band Kula Shaker had a nice run in the UK in the ’90s, playing a psych-bent Britpop that read mystic and included Indian instruments such as sitar, tamboura, and tabla. Touring in ...

October 5, 2016
Kamasi Washington, Tears for Fears, Mystic Braves

Thursday 6The folk-rocking British band Mumford & Sons has made the most of its knack to update the past by lending their Brit-pop genes to American roots music for something we like to call “fiddle-faddle.” ...

October 5, 2016
Bunnymen, Cosmonauts, Shonen Knife, and Sia!

Sunday 2Formed in Liverpool in 1978 by singer/guitarist Ian McCulloch and guitarist/programmer Will Sergeant, Echo & the Bunnymen list toward the darker end of the new-wave spectrum. Their signature track, “Killing Moon,” off of 1984’s ...

September 28, 2016
Cosmos, Okkervil, El Ten Eleven

Thursday 29Actors Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline made a baby, Greta Kline, aka Ingrid Superstar, aka Frankie Cosmos, a talented singer/songwriter of the NYC anti-folk variety. Lyrically charmingly verbose but musically concise, Cosmos writes poetry ...

September 28, 2016
Sebadoh hits Adams Ave. and Cymbals Eat Guitars

Sunday 25Adams Avenue will see a set by indie-rock mainstays Sebadoh on Sunday. It’s about 20 years since their lo-fi goodies Bake Sale and Harmacy came out, so I expect/hope we’ll be hearing a lot ...

September 21, 2016
Trail of Dead at Soda Bar, Keith Morris and Peter Case at Whistle Stop

Thursday 22Source Tags & Codes is one of those records that inflates your perception of the rock album. It’s a living, breathing thing that its creators, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of ...

September 21, 2016
Dinosaur Jr., Animal Collective, Cold War Kids

Sunday 18From Norway, indie-pop quintet Highasakite visits the Soda Bar Sunday night behind this year’s Camp Echo record, which Pop Matters says “would be a largely forgettable collection of mood-heavy, danceable synth-rock,” if not for ...

September 14, 2016
Guerilla Toss, Kraftwerk, Bob Log III

Thursday 15I’ve got a funk-punk itch that can only be scratched by Guerilla Toss. The Brooklyn-via-Boston band’s label, DFA, describes their sound as “new age rage.” I’m listening now, and a-yup. So visceral, so good. ...

September 14, 2016
Zombies, Blondie, Midnight Pine

Thursday 8The English psychedelic-pop group the Zombies, best known for ’60s radio hits “Tell Her No,” “She’s Not There,” and “Time of the Season,” last year released the warmly received Still Got That Hunger record. ...

September 7, 2016
Spotlights shine on the Casbah stage

Sunday 11Brooklyn’s “sludgegaze” trio Spotlights will be the gig to see this week. Touring in support of this year’s very recommendable set of slow-core heaviosity (think Hum, Melvins, Bloody Valentines), Tidals, is the husband-wife team ...

September 7, 2016
Yes Kills La Bamba

Sunday 4The tastemakers at Pitchfork sum up the garage-rock duo the Kills’ fifth release, saying, “Ash & Ice is the Kills’ first album in five years and encompasses everything they’ve done before, as well as ...

August 31, 2016
Awesomefest, TeePee revue, Flamin' freakin' Groovies

Thursday 1This year’s DIY punk-rock riot Awesomefest 10(!) kicks off on Thursday night at Soda Bar with a primer for the three nights to come. “It’s the pre-party to the main party...duh!” says the Soda ...

August 31, 2016
Atomic Bitchwax, Jagwar Ma, Pinkish Black

Sunday 28“Super Stoner Rock” Jersey boys Atomic Bitchwax shine the Soda Bar stage with their “gargantuan riffs and jaw-dropping psych sonics.” The trio is touring in support of last year’s Gravitron, which according to music ...

August 24, 2016

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