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Stories by Dave Good

Best Reader stories from 2017

Spruce Street suspension bridge brings out demented thoughts It’s early, the marine layer still a veneer over the city, when we park the car just shy of the suspension bridge. The day promises to be ...

March 28, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2014

Udo was gone Despite the occasional car and North County bus whizzing by, they rode in perfect harmony, each rider knowing when it was time to pick up the pace or leapfrog to the front. ...

March 15, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2012

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney roots deep and wide in San Diego It is Matt Romney who takes public credit for calling his part of the Romney clan to San Diego County. “My wife and I ...

March 8, 2020
Barrio Logan: if you want color

Jack's island: jewel of Barrio Logan Sometime this year, the city council is expected to decide whether to accept a low-ball $30,000 offer for the nearest thing Barrio Logan has to a flat iron building, ...

Mission Hills – don't be fooled

Book-lovers chew the fat at the Mission Hills Library His watch tells him 6:45. This Mission Hills branch stays open tonight — it’s Monday. He slaps the book closed, reshelves it, glances to his left. ...

They named Mt. Helix after a snail

“I hear them screeching” Frank Arredondo has seen them, romping down his La Mesa street as if they owned it: coyotes. “I sit out on the front porch, and I smoke and drink coffee. Usually ...

October 9, 2019
San Diego altruists

“After I graduated from high school, I went to Honduras. I stayed for a year in a little neighborhood where I developed relationships with teenagers, and moms at home taking care of their kids. These ...

July 24, 2019
San Diego Reader 2019 Music Issue

Guitar bands spotted in the wild Here’s a fun-fact: contrary to popular opinion, guitar-based bands aren’t on the endangered species list. They may not generate the national coverage they once did, but if you venture ...

March 27, 2019
Could be wood frame house in Alabama, but it's El Cajon Blvd. storefront

“If you want, I’ll give you a hug,” a tall man with silver hair says to a seated congregant. “I give man hugs,” the silver-haired man says after the two have bro-hugged. It’s noon on ...

Sugaray Rayford’s Electric blues: a heavyweight jam with Al Kooper, Slash, Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell and others

Sugaray Rayford is a heavyweight of the electric blues. Born in Texas, the 6’5” Rayford has said that by the age of four, he was in church seven days a week, singing in choirs. His ...

March 7, 2019
Lettuce the band: “let us” play with celebrities like Dave Matthews and Lady Gaga

“Brings forth a new vitality to classic funk.” That say-nothing dash of corporate-speak was lifted from the Lettuce band’s own bio. Try this instead: Lettuce the band sets classic funk on fire, and from the ...

February 28, 2019
“Feral” blues rocker Tinsley Ellis rivals early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton

It’s like the Holy Grail, the search for one’s own musical identity. Then again, if individuality is even possible in this era of over-saturation, does it matter? Blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa is huge box office ...

February 21, 2019
New and nuanced with Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan

Good plain rock and roll. And that’s no small achievement, considering that by now, every possible note and chord combination has likely been played. Nothing new to be done. And yet, somehow, Pedro the Lion ...

February 14, 2019
The connection between The Band’s Rick Danko, and Danko Jones

Canada: some of our better rock and rollers from over the years have come from up north. Joni Mitchell, Barenaked Ladies, Neil Young, Rush, Tokyo Police Club, Arcade Fire, and Ronnie “The Hawk” Hawkins, to ...

February 7, 2019
Turkish for ‘turquoise’

“Dirty funk” is how one critic described the Turkuaz package. Some might call them blue-eyed funk, which is not meant as a pejorative statement. Unlike funk’s originators, Turkuaz inherited, rather than politicized a rarefied kind ...

January 31, 2019
The 78's traditions resonate

“There’s a lot of good shit happening right now.” Whitey Morgan says this in answer to my question about the present-day state of traditional country music. “Sometimes, I see three generations of families at our ...

January 24, 2019
Plain heavy-metal fun

They’re not a spot-on imitation of their namesake band, but was that ever the idea? Judas Priestess is plain heavy-metal fun — five gifted women metal-heads who deliver a shot of club-sized Judas Priest. Priestess ...

January 17, 2019
Instant hit

It’s all true, Charlie Rae says, the story about how a random passerby recorded her one day while she was busking, uploaded the performance to YouTube, and 500,000 hits later, she was a social media ...

January 10, 2019
Sarcastic adenoidal madness

Les Claypool: unless you were a diehard Primus geek, I doubt you can remember the names of the other two guys who were in that band. Claypool is another thing entirely. As Sting was to ...

December 27, 2018
Curious blips and scratches

Stephen Bruner, from Watts, California, grew up in a musical home. Both his father and his brother are heavy hitters who earned their reputations performing as sidemen with frontline jazz artists. But Bruner’s childhood is ...

December 20, 2018
Stoner rock

Even though the calendar proves otherwise, the members of Fu Manchu, a San Clemente band that dates back to the 1980s, seem not to have aged much. Still sporting the Vans skater gear and way-long ...

December 13, 2018
Brothers to Brotherhood

Chris Robinson is long of beard and graying, but still in possession of the skills that pushed his old band the Black Crowes to another level entirely. Back then, in front of the Crowes, Robinson ...

December 6, 2018
Improbably seasoned

Blues music is appreciated even in the most un-blues-like corners of the world. North Dakota, for example. It may be possible to trace the radiation of that music into such desolate territory back to a ...

November 22, 2018
Close and distant

By the time Chan Marshall reaches San Diego as her alter ego Cat Power, she will have released Wanderer, her first album of new music in six years. The reviewers at Pitchfork gave it a ...

November 21, 2018
From Chula Vista keggers to the big leagues

Right around the Millennium, it was a good time for rock and roll music. The early 2000’s saw a trend of hybrid bands that mixed hardcore, punk, hip hop, and grunge. Nu Metal, or Rapcore ...

November 15, 2018
The latest spin on America’s oldest music

Some have tried it with two and made big noise, but trios are the foundation of rock and roll. Consider the Wombats, Cream, Nirvana, Motorhead, the Beastie Boys, ZZ Top, Green Day, the Black Rebel ...

November 8, 2018
No-frills four-on-the-floor roots rock

William Clark Green from Flint, Texas is a country music band leader with a rock-and-roll heart. Not recycled Top 40 rock made into country music with a violin and a string of clichés for words. ...

November 1, 2018
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band: country blues’ lethal weapon

I’m guessing it’s not easy to be the Reverend Peyton. His particular apple fell from the Charley Patton tree of the blues, and though it may have bounced, it did not bounce far. Patton, who ...

October 25, 2018
Halloween comes every day for Michale Graves

It’s a familiar face, albeit one decorated from ear to ear in fright makeup. Some of you may remember Michale Graves from the Misfits. Graves, from New Jersey, won the audition for lead singer in ...

October 18, 2018
More skate park or Whole Foods than faux vampire

Some of the best rock music has been made in California. The Growlers are the present-day sum of that Golden state legacy. Imagine the Heartbreakers, but with random hints of surf rock, garage rock, British ...

October 11, 2018
Ozzy Osbourne: the Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is road-dogging it

So many years, so much Ozzy. He’s the guy who famously chomped a bat on stage, a story that’s been told and re-told so many times now over the years that it’s become myth. Then ...

October 3, 2018
50 years of East L.A. blues-rock

50 years of East L.A. blues-rock

September 27, 2018
San Diego's young guitar heroes

“Six. Four. Seven,” the man at the microphone shouts like a preacher. He holds a red raffle ticket up in the air. Proud Mary’s is a Kearny Mesa restaurant, and tonight it’s loud and packed ...

September 26, 2018
Dean Ween's high school heat and weirdness

Dean Ween's high school heat and weirdness

September 19, 2018
In underpants and a jumbled falsetto

Too offensive for print

September 13, 2018
Who pays attention to the bass player?

Who pays attention to the bass player?

September 6, 2018
Feels just like home

Feels just like home

August 30, 2018
They didn’t know we were seeds

“They tried to bury us / But they didn’t know we were seeds.” Hometown Latin-American rockers Jarabe Mexicano re-worked the old Bob Marley protest song “Get Up, Stand Up” and released their version of it ...

August 22, 2018
A little yes, a little no

Joachim Cooder released Fuchsia Machu Picchu earlier this year. It’s an EP he says was inspired by his daughter, who is now three years old. The songs layer instrumental sounds, some recognizable and some not. ...

August 16, 2018
Darkness as always

“I don’t want to try to explain my songs,” Lemuria’s Sheena Ozzella sings. Dark, but not hardcore – that’s Lemuria. “Omitting you, I get to brood in Diogenes’ tub,” Diogenes being the ancient Greek cynic ...

August 9, 2018
Alien and familiar

Buyepongo is about as multi- everything as you can get: multi-lingual, multi-instrumental, multi-cultural, multi-genre. It boils down to the music and rhythms of Central America, but by way of Long Beach. Cool jazz meets merengue, ...

August 2, 2018
"A complete other zone from the rest of music"

“It sounded like they were in a complete other zone from the rest of music.” Neil Young wrote these words in his autobiography Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream. He wrote them about Givers, a ...

July 26, 2018
Warm, dark saxophone sounds

“There are more people playing jazz music at a higher level than ever before in the history of jazz.” That’s Ian Buss’s answer when I ask him about choosing a career playing straight-ahead jazz music ...

July 19, 2018
Huge, gritty garage rock

Lilyhammer was a Netflix series about an American mobster who chose Norway when he entered the witness protection program. There, the mobster (played by Steven Van Zandt of The Sopranos and E Street Band fame) ...

July 12, 2018
Cheech and Chong doing Big Hair-era covers

Heavy metal hasn’t been this much fun since Van Halen made it music that a person could sing along to. In general, the genre takes itself far too seriously. Metal music comes couched in grand ...

July 3, 2018
Friends said she sounded like a dude

“Good music for bad people,” is how Brenna Red once described her band’s oeuvre. The Last Gang is an Orange County punk trio born almost an entire generation after the West Coast’s punk scene faded. ...

June 28, 2018
Electric folk, the kind that gave Seeger the shakes

“Me? I’m in a rock and roll band.” Willie Nile sings that line from “Sweet Jane” almost as good as did the song’s creator, Lou Reed. Now 69, Nile, looks like he could be Reed’s ...

June 21, 2018
Part of the grand inventory

Vincent Herring is a part of the grand inventory of straight-ahead jazz alto saxophone players. His is not a name that leaps out, perhaps, which reduces Herring’s significance not one bit. The trouble with the ...

June 14, 2018
JD McPherson, keeping the rebellion alive

What came to mind the first time I heard JD McPherson’s band? My childhood. He reminded me of being four years old and leaving out of Texas in ‘57 with my mom and the music ...

June 7, 2018
Las Rosas - straight out of the '60s

In 1964, the Kinks invented garage rock. Even though garage was more or less finished by 1968, the concept never really went away. Las Rosas, a Brooklyn trio, knows this. The heart of that ancient ...

May 31, 2018

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