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Stories by Chad Deal

Adam Gnade finds love in this meatgrinder called life

“‘America,’ in the post-colonial sense, was a slaughterhouse from the get-go.”

According to Adam Gnade’s latest album, Life Is the Meatgrinder That Sucks in All Things, recent American history is split into two distinct parts: before and after September 11, 2001. The spoken narrative serves as ...

Party at the snakes' place

Rock in a rocky and snaky place

"We got any locals here?” one of the Widows asks to scattered whoops of recognition. “Thank you for coming out from under your rock.” Two hits on a snare drum and a brass crash. The ...

Liberty lunch for the office crowd

Officine Buona can get you out the door in 30 minutes

You have a choice of about 30 eateries at Liberty Public Market, but if you’re taking a quick workday lunch break you’d do well to check out neighboring Officine Buona Forchetta, a recent expansion of ...

Pig meets ramen

Tajima and Carnitas’ Snack Shack join forces

Tajima’s new Adams Avenue locale, discreetly lodged between a French bistro and a coffee house, was thoroughly covered by Reader writer Patrick Henderson shortly after it opened. New since his visit, however, is a flash-in-the-pan ...

Hand-pumped, bellows-powered

“Most people practicing yoga don’t know Kirtan exists."

“The Kirtan scene [in San Diego] is pretty small,” says Tom Warner, bassist in Pilgrimage of the Heart Kirtan Band, which has performed on over 400 occasions throughout Southern California. “Most people practicing yoga don’t ...

Banzai! Dollar Bud drafts when the Pads win

Equal parts tiki lounge, sports bar, and surfer haunt

Cousins Chad Cline and Jason “Rocky” Nichols come from a long lineage of dives. Their great-grandfather purchased the Waterfront Bar (whose liquor license dates back to the end of Prohibition) around the late ‘60s. While ...

The Routine flits between genres with bass

To share stage with Chali 2na's funk at Music Box

About seven years ago, Jamie Minotti of the Madero Group management outfit teamed up with several promoters throughout town to produce the Ocean Beats series, a forum for electronic bass music that had hitherto been ...

This way to the Donkey Show in North Park

Tamarindo gives shout-outs to the flavors and aromas one finds anywhere from Tijuana to San Juan to Buenos Aires and beyond.

Everyone knows that gringos going gaga for Cinco de Mayo is stupid, but new North Park neighbor Tamarindo takes it in stride, cheekily dubbing the day’s drink special “The Donkey Show.” It’s a nod to ...

Shades McCool, lighthearted nihilist, at your service

"I have little interest in trying to be deep or poetic."

Bob Baker’s Auto Group, Mossy Nissan, Drew Ford, Toyota of Escondido... The manic anthems of San Diego auto commerce are forever seared into the brains of anyone who spent time near a radio in the ...

Hangin' with Mom at South Park Abbey

Wings smoked and fried, 4-buck beers, Skerry Pickles...

The locale on the corner of Grape and Fern was built in the late ‘40s as a laundromat and went on to operate as a thrift store, a lighting store, and a “Cuban restaurant with ...

Paradox Effects — serious gear for those who play

"That's our robot," built from a streetlight, a heater, old speakers, and hoses

The workshop of Paradox Effects looks a lot like what you might picture when you imagine “Tijuana do-it-yourself boutique guitar pedals.” The low-ceiling warehouse overlooks TJ’s affluent Hipódromo neighborhood from the lower-class residential hillside of ...

Maybe the best surf-and-turf taco in town

Marinated flank steak, juicy shrimp, cilantro, tomato, onion, avocado, gooey cheese, and a splash of crema on a corn tortilla.

Tamarindo North Park Latin Kitchen and Bar Last month, Tamarindo debuted at the former site of North Park landmark Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge. The locale serves inventive agave and sotol cocktails (Mark Broadfoot of ...

In-Ko-Pah 4 a go

Rock out in the whipping wind above Ocotillo

For the past four years and for the price of a few burritos and a couple beers, Jim Ko-Pah’s and John Ko-Pah’s high-desert “High Jinks” has been one of San Diego’s best kept secrets among ...

Batman and Rodin — welcome to Perry Vásquez's world

"Today, the meaning of corruption hasn’t changed but there is a new cast of villains."

Artist and musician Perry Vásquez recently released a concept album designed to prod at the listener’s sense of morality, justice, and personal responsibility. The Gates of Heck began as a visual arts project in 2008, ...

There she is: Star Bar

Celebrating 43 years young

It’s hard to believe that any dive worth its weight in spilt Schlitz has survived the past few decades of redevelopment in the Gaslamp with any semblance of integrity left intact, yet there she is: ...

The Hot Nerds blend includes sarcasm

“Being inside your head too much is kind of what the record is about, just sabotaging yourself...”

"You’re just in time for the cupping,” Hot Nerds keyboardist Alia Jyawook says as I enter Modern Times Beer in Point Loma. Images of medieval hack medicine and bizarre sex moves flash through my mind ...

Festival of Dead Deer reunite for a night

...a Three One G/Planet B night at Blonde Bar

“We just want to do one more proper show before we get older,” says Festival of Dead Deer guitar/vocalist Michael Crain. The LA-based trio put out an LP on San Diego’s Three One G Records ...

Clutch Bar’s Bar Monster requests you stay off your phone

“You can drink alone at home. We’re here to talk.”

Were it not for the name and the salvaged “CUSTOM SERVICE” sign overlooking the pool table, you might not guess that the Clutch was once an auto shop before becoming a neighborhood bar in the ...

Seemed sketchy

Jeff Trageser's show routine

Jeff Trageser is the Open Oscillator electronic open-mic host and bassist of indie act Takahashi. Local band? “Lucy’s Fur Coat.” Live band? “The Incredible Moses Leroy and the Softlights.” Local album? “In A Safe Place ...

A style of music I wasn’t aware of

Glen Galloway has a fiery gospel record in the works

Glen Galloway of Singing Serpent Studios has been playing with Sumatraban and Error Massage in the absence of Octagrape mate Jason Begin (the Donkeys), who relocated to New Mexico. Tyler Ward of Octagrape and Glen ...

Fast, punchy, straight to the point

Chances are good that you will see Justin Pearson at Kindred.

Three One G label owner, promoter, bassist, and vocalist Justin Pearson has been wrapping up a Dead Cross LP on Ipecac Recordings with the addition of Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, Fantômas) on ...

Noise at the library

Sam Lopez's sacred albums

Sam Lopez is a promoter, label owner, and noise musician. Local artist? “I’m very partial to the artists who have had releases on [my label] Stay Strange — Monochromacy, Xavier Ramirez, and Michael Zimmerman.” Live ...

Get your head caved in

Short answers from Space Time curator Xavier Vasquez

Projection artist (RETOX, Die Mißbildungen Des Menschen), videographer, musician, and Space Time curator Xavier Vasquez... Local band? “RETOX, Hexa, Gloomsday, Schizophonics, Monochromacy.” All-time local band? “Black Heart Procession.” Venue to perform/host? “The Casbah, the Hideout, ...

Open Oscillator host Jeff Trageser talks sonic 'tronics

Electro-noodle

“We weren’t connected to the electronic scene in San Diego when we started in January 2015, but we really dug the vibe of the ‘singer/songwriter’ events like Grampadrew’s Flim-Flam Revue,” says Jeffrey Trageser, host of ...

Sip pulque, wait for wings to sprout from back

They say it’s the drink of the gods.

Long before Tecate roja and caguamas of Indio dominated Mexican bartops, Aztec priests, warriors, and sacrificial victims sipped a milky agave wine called pulque. Fabled among its acolytes as a wellspring of fertility and divine ...

The Würm has turned

Kid606 on the San Diego underground

“I was always under age when I lived in San Diego, so venues were mainly Ché Café, Soma, WorldBeat Center, and the occasional DIY thing,” says Miguel Trost de Pedro, aka Kid606, a 37-year-old electronic ...

Because We Love You Fest fertilizes TJ’s subterranean scene

Friends from both Californias get together for 18 hours

Experimental music rarely goes as planned. Often, that’s the point. Sometimes, nothing happens at all. Just ask John Cage. One thing’s for sure: it’s a gamble. It’s downright audacious first-date material. Most people find it ...

Lap up the Dog's Brew

From Moondoggies to premier beer destination

When 22-year-old college student Brett Miller and partner Dean Marchant bought the bar at 4479 Everts Street in 1989, it was hemorrhaging money due to poor and often absent management. While pursuing his degree to ...

The Room splits the difference between art and stupidity

Meanwhile! Sports! Water!

Attending a midnight screening of 2003 cult film The Room is kind of a train wreck, if train wrecks were accompanied by group chants, spontaneous games of football, and multiple plastic spoonados. It’s widely regarded ...

Say something

Tijuanese artists use their work to make people think

The story of Coyote begins with a horse. A Trojan horse. The year is 1997. A ten-year-old Daniel Espinosa weaves through traffic at the San Ysidro Port of Entry to get a closer look at ...

Home & Away surpasses Old Town average

A neighborhood pub in a touristy area

If ever there were a compelling reason for San Diegans to hang out in Old Town, it’s Home & Away at the former location of Kelly’s Pub. For about two years now, locals and tourists ...

Classic Emerald Isle pub in the middle of Normal Heights

Sign up for some of the sloppiest karaoke in town

“God invented whiskey to keep the Irish from ruling the world,” as Ed McMahon once said, but that hasn’t stopped them from exerting a considerable influence over Normal Heights nightlife. A Guinness-branded butcher board along ...

Tequila tubbing

Tequila and hot tub dim the memory of calamitous 2016

if you paid any attention to the reductive echo chamber of social media last year, you’d know that 2016 was without a doubt the most merciless hope-strangler in all recorded history. For one thing, just ...

Lapping it up with Christina Ricci and Blondie

An homage to dying your hair, early NYC punk, and Blondie’s Camp Funtime T-shirt

At the unruly age of 16, the former Bar Dynamite bleached its mop and jutted its chin as Blonde Bar. Open since August, Blonde channels a ’70s CBGB into modern day through the punk-rock patchwork ...

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Mutt and meat in Fallbrook

Arrive early for Firehouse Que and Brew's daily lunch specials

Like most of the county, Fallbrook has been plagued by fire throughout its history. Most recently, over 200 structures were destroyed in the 2007 “Rice Fire,” which found the region’s resources spread thin for a ...

Jacumba really is out here

Everything about it oozes mystery and intrigue.

Jacumba is at the epicenter of an ongoing struggle for economic revival tempered by a grassroots commitment to natural preservation.

Get an early start on tomorrow's happiness at Krakatoa

Coffee, rotating beers, and hippie-tinged potions

Over at Here’s the Deal we often revel in the local nightlife, but what about you day-drinkers out there? Krakatoa is the kind of place that allows one to feel validated — nay, vindicated! — ...

That sacred union of beef, bun, and other junk

Burgers as comfort food

The hamburger’s toothsome alchemy has enchanted appetites everywhere since first materializing during the late 1800s in Connecticut, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas, New York, San Francisco, or Germany, depending on whose historical account one is to believe. ...

Tijuana speakeasy Nortico’s drink should be outlawed

Bar reflects the bounties of the Cali-Baja region

“This is an homage to Tijuana’s golden era, which was Prohibition time in the States,” says Nórtico owner and chef Ruffo Ibarra, who unveiled the West Coast–style speakeasy hidden within his restaurant Oryx Capital last ...

Tribute pays tribute to the world’s best pizza

Get a slice of hospitality

Tribute Pizza has been in soft opening mode for the past month or so, but this review begins about two years earlier. The setting is BLVD Market, San Diego’s premier prepared-foods monthly on El Cajon ...

Fluxing Quantum's recipes

Biochemist Martin Beaulieu leaves big-pharma biotech for small-batch beers

Quantum Brewing is going thorough a phase of uncertainty. The owners have changed, the beers are changing, and even the name is liable to change. Martin Beaulieu became officially entangled with the two-year-old brewery last ...

The surrealist did it

Foray into a suburban jubilee of vanilla expressions

One does not simply accompany their mother to an arts festival in Orange County without reverting to a cynical state of adolescence, while at the same time joining in the postmodern chuckle of it all. ...

A well-meaning gringo in Tijuana

One dish, one drink at a time, south of the fence

A few months teaching English in Colombia did little to prepare me for the elaborate linguistic pozole that stews in the streets of Tijuana. When I moved south of the fence three years ago, I ...

People have attacked us. It didn't end well for them.

Xtreme vigilantism

It’s 11:06 on a Saturday night and the superheroes are plotting outside the Hall of Justice on Broadway. “We’ll drive up Golf and meet the foot-patrol at Sixth and Lima,” says a large figure in ...

Escondido impromptu

EEGsynth jaw-jamming in the woods of Escondido

A crowd has gathered around Per Huttner. He stands upright in a dark room, not moving, eyes fixed on a white sheet of paper in his hand, wires snaking from his skull. Doctor Stephen Whitmarsh ...

Fun things to do in San Diego

A million things under the sun — we offer a few (some indoors)

County Administration Center Waterfront Park In 2014, 12 acres of former parking lots were converted into a public park facing San Diego Bay. Running both north and south of the county government headquarters established in ...

Dance your acid off

Kava Lounge's experimental electronic showcase turns two

“It’s pretty humbling when big names agree to come play our event here at the Kava Lounge,” says Tyler Detweiler, whose live, hardware-based electronic music monthly, Acid Varsity, curates members of veteran acts, such as ...

Surf and salad

Tijuana is exploding with vegetarian and vegan restaurants

Tijuana is an undeniable pescaterian paradise. Seafood influences from coastal states such as Sonora, Sinaloa, and Nayarit are well suited for the warmer climate of the North, making for adventurous reinterpretations of Sea of Cortez ...

Chiquibaby’s isn't trying to be anything but a bar

An evening of obscure karaoke corridos and two buckets of beer

San Diego is home to a number of Mexican bars that follow more or less the same format. You’re probably already familiar with it. You can hear the corridos blasting from blocks away. Buckets of ...