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Stories by Bart Mendoza

Mike Ruggirello's Theory Thursday

“We want to be the next Wayne’s World,” says Mike Ruggirello of online music TV program Theory Thursday. Best known as guitarist with the rock bands Fusebox and Dark Lumen, Ruggirello and a guest are ...

June 7, 2018
R.I.P. San Diego 2017

The grim reaper took its toll on the music world in a major way this year and San Diego was no exception. Here’s a look back at those we lost in 2017. ➢March 22, Bob ...

December 27, 2017
Lost to 2016

The grim reaper has taken a major toll on the world’s music community this year and San Diego has been not been exempt. Here’s a look back at those we lost in 2016: January 2, ...

December 28, 2016
America's finest variety show

Local talk show Tonight in San Diego kicks off its fourth season on Monday, April 11, in a new location, the Raw Space Theatre on First Avenue downtown. Organizers recently concluded a successful Kickstarter campaign, ...

Deaths in the San Diego music family in 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, we look back at the local musicians who have passed away over the past 12 months. January 12, Garrett Smythe, aka drummer Tank Johnson of Deadbolt. February 5, Professor ...

December 30, 2015
Liquid Blue covers the Earth

While most bands these days have trouble getting out an album every few years, Ocean Beach–based Liquid Blue is in the midst of a series of albums that will see a different-themed release each month ...

August 12, 2015
Bo Diddley’s pick stolen

According to Folk Art Rare Records owner Brendan Boyle, on the morning of February 25, a framed piece of San Diego music history was stolen from the walls of Folk Arts Rare Records. The missing ...

Indie city

After taking 2014 off, the music and arts street fair IndieFest returns in a new location, City Heights Urban Village (3795 Fairmount Avenue), on March 28. The event started in 2004 as San Diego Indie ...

March 25, 2015
Teen Burgermeisters

While “Burger Revolution” sounds like it might be the latest craft-beer eatery, it is a concept from Fullerton-based Burger Records that invites local promoters to throw concerts or other music-related happenings in their towns on ...

Floating Flogging festival

Carlsbad resident and accordionist Matt Hensley is preparing for a new album with his band Flogging Molly. “We have been meeting in Detroit for writing sessions,” Hensley tells the Reader. In the meantime, on March ...

February 25, 2015
A kidney between friends

“I am asking my friends to help me at this scary time,” says bassist David Ybarra. The 51-year-old South Park resident has been a mainstay of San Diego’s music community since the early 1980s, a ...

February 11, 2015
Spark up the flute

Los Angeles–based jazz-fusion flute player Tim Weisberg may not have ever resided in San Diego, but he credits the city as having had an impact on his career, at the beginning and recently. Appearing at ...

January 13, 2015
Ure legacy

If Midge Ure were a fictional character in a movie about musicians, his real-life career would seem nothing short of impossible. Most performers would give their right arm to have one successful group, but Ure’s ...

January 7, 2015
Let’s spend the night...

The Casbah’s annual Rolling Stones–themed “Exile on Kettner” was retired last year after two decades, but the venue plans to keep the tradition of playing Stones music on Christmas Eve at least one more year. ...

December 17, 2014
Save the date, you're all on the guest list!

For San Diego’s music insiders, one of the top events each holiday season is the annual party held by music magazine San Diego Troubadour. This year, on December 21, and for the first time, the ...

December 14, 2014
Buzzcocks leave Belly Up breathless

English punk band the Buzzcocks performed a blistering set before an enthusiastic audience at the Belly Up Tavern. The club was packed with a mix of scene veterans who remember the band from its original ...

September 26, 2014
This rock floats

On Friday, September 12, the Mission Bay–based classic sternwheeler William D. Evans will be transformed from a wedding and meeting venue into a floating concert, the second annual Rock the Boat festival. The brainchild of ...

September 10, 2014
Fifty years of Zombies

Sixties psychedelic pop band the Zombies received a hero’s welcome when they took the stage at the House of Blues for a 21-song set. While the venue seemed half full, the crowd more than made ...

September 5, 2014
Sweet sates Solana Beach

Pop artist Matthew Sweet played a 15-song show and 2-song encore to a partisan, enthusiastic crowd that seemed to know the words to every song. Sweet has been a regular visitor to San Diego since ...

January 10, 2014
In memory of...

Taking into account three passing’s in December 2012, the past 12 months have seen a depressingly large amount of the area’s musicians and associates leave this mortal coil. Here the San Diego Reader pays tribute: ...

December 8, 2013
Don't sing with your mouth full

It’s no secret that music and food are a good match, so aficionados may want to check out the second volume of the Listen Local cookbook, featuring 75 recipes and 30 tunes from San Diego–based ...

November 14, 2013
San Diego's Berkley Hart re-create The Last Waltz

On Saturday, November 16, the 809-seat Poway Center for the Performing Arts will be the site of, The Last Waltz, a re-creation of the last concert by the Band, as filmed by Martin Scorsese in ...

November 14, 2013
Filmload of Nothing

Twenty San Diego bands featured in filmmaker Craig Rian’s independent film There Is Nothing Out Here, which premieres Thursday, November 7, at the Whistle Stop in South Park.

November 6, 2013
This year's best local music: One week later and right on time

The 23rd Annual San Diego Music Awards took place October 16 at Humphrey’s by Bay before a sold-out crowd of 1344. Presented by the nonprofit San Diego Music Foundation and organized by Kevin Hellman, the ...

October 17, 2013
Savage rocks the boat

Red Not Chili Peppers bassist Jonathan Savage organizes “Rock the Boat,” a paddleboat cruise party on Mission Bay to benefit Marine veterans.

September 25, 2013
Phantom feeling groovy

South Bay drummer Victor Penalosa scores full-time gig with San Francisco’s Flamin’ Groovies.

September 11, 2013
Empty nesters open Craftlab Gallery

Craftlab Gallery in Oceanside opened its doors on April 6 with a solo exhibition by San Diego artist and musician Fernando Apodaca.

Carl Durant is heading back to Belgium

Belgian singer-songwriter Carl Durant, a mainstay of the local circuit for the past several years, is heading home. Durant arrived with his wife in San Diego during 2002 to work at an early-stages startup company ...

April 24, 2013
Real housewives, fake band

Tim Foley is best known in San Diego as a multi-instrumentalist performer with the Celtic-folk group Skelpin and for his solo work, but for his appearance in the upcoming season eight of Bravo television’s reality ...

December 19, 2012
Dizzy's sculpts its new space

Jazz nightspot Dizzy’s found a new home in the showroom at San Diego Jet Ski Rentals in P.B.

October 31, 2012
Dancing with Myself — International Swingers at Brick by Brick

The June 28 show at Brick by Brick by new supergroup the International Swingers, featuring bassist Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), drummer Clem Burke (Blondie, the Romantics), lead guitarist James Stevenson (Generation X, Gene Loves Jezebel), ...

July 5, 2012
Straight Up Forgotten

The Taz Taylor Band reassesses, remixes, rereleases Straight Up.

June 6, 2012
Dusting Off the Big Ol' Driver

Ex–San Diegan alt-rockers Uncle Joe’s Big Ol’ Driver are returning to the studio for the first time since 1995. The new recordings will feature frontman Andrew McKeag, guitarist Dave Jass, bassist George Viduarri, and original ...

April 18, 2012
The Mutual Admiration Society of Tilbrook and Poltz

While some artists choosing to open a tour in San Diego might do so for the scenery or weather, Squeeze cofounder Glenn Tilbrook’s reasoning for his band coming to town on April 10 at the ...

April 11, 2012
Page's Six-String Sibling

Gregory Page’s music may not have troubled the charts just yet, but the same doesn’t hold true for his acoustic guitar, a 1953 Guild M-20. Long his favorite instrument, Page recently learned that the guitar ...

April 4, 2012
Keys to the Soul

After 22 years, the Soul Persuaders played their final show on January 19 at Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge. The band started in 1989, fronted by Steve and Mark Siers, as a side project to their long-running ...

January 25, 2012
Whisky in a Barrel

On December 7, Queen Divas of the Universe hosts a CD-release show at Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge, for their debut album All Wrapped Up in Christmas. The band consists of three music vets: bassist Shaaron Hancock-Schuemaker ...

November 30, 2011
Reelin’ in the Years' Profit of the Heart

Music and DVD sales continue their downward spiral, but San Diego–based video archive company Reelin’ in the Years has had a banner 2011. Over the past two months, RITY has released nine DVDs, including titles ...

November 22, 2011
Occupy San Diego Inspires Get Back Loretta Song

Singer-songwriter Kevin Martin, frontman for Get Back Loretta, is best known for his Beatle-esque melodies. Indeed, the Vista resident’s new solo album is titled Throwback Pop. However, the Occupy San Diego movement has inspired Martin ...

October 19, 2011
Art and Sound on Common Ground

“It seems natural that music and art go together,” says Irradio frontman Dan Dasher. “There is a big art scene in San Diego but not too many people know the names.” Dasher and co-coordinator Brigitte ...

August 31, 2011
Going Mobile with Alan Sanderson

Recording technology has become more portable than ever, but Grammy-winning producer Alan Sanderson was still surprised when he received a call to engineer a vocal recording at Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn prior to America’s concert ...

August 24, 2011
Humphries at Humphrey’s: Cats 'n' Jammers

On June 14, British-born Hillcrest resident and singer/songwriter Dave Humphries will perform at the opening of the Humane Society’s new North County small-animal facility. Located at 572 Airport Road in Oceanside, the new 30,000-square-foot building ...

June 8, 2011
Fat 'Daddys

San Diego’s Crawdaddys are reforming for a pair of shows this year. On June 10, the band will headline the sixth annual “Go Sinner Go” festival in Spain. Then, on September 2, the band will ...

May 25, 2011
Requiemme Bags Bug

Former Dragons frontman Mario Escovedo has expanded his Requiemme Management to include a record label of the same name, distributed digitally by music publishing giant Bug Music. On May 24, the label will release its ...

May 25, 2011
Guitar Grab at 4th&B

Downtown nightspot 4th&B has among the most stringent security measures of any local venues, including a pat-down on entry, surveillance cameras, and security roaming inside and outside the club. On February 11, however, none of ...

Seven Degrees

Matthew Rothenberg would like to put San Diego’s music scene on the map. And the rest of the world’s as well, with a new website called Scene Roller. “It’s a group-driven, grassroots, music-history machine,” said ...

March 30, 2011
Fable of Reconstruction

There is no shortage of tribute bands in San Diego. However, only one, Murmur, a new tribute to R.E.M., was built by an agent around the looks of its front man, in this case North ...

January 5, 2011
San Diego Indie Fest Can Kiss the Mature Audiences Goodbye

The six-year-old Indie Music Fest will be moving from North Park to the NTC Promenade at Liberty Station for the next event, March 12 and 13, 2011. While the first day will be music-based, the ...

The Grass Is Totally Greener in San Diego

While there has been an exodus of musicians from San Diego in recent years — including Anya Marina, Barbara Nesbitt, the Album Leaf, John Miller, Kim Divine — musicians are also relocating to San Diego. ...

September 15, 2010
Superhero Power

After five years, six tours, and over 150 shows, indie pop quartet the Modlins are calling it a day following a final performance at the Whistle Stop on August 20. During its run, the prolific ...

July 14, 2010

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