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Stories by Dave Good

Huge, gritty garage rock

In The Whale also sounds like so much more than just one guitar and one drummer

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) ...

Cheech and Chong doing Big Hair-era covers

Anything that goofs metal’s inherent lies is funny

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 ...

Friends said she sounded like a dude

The Last Gang: Three-chord punk kids who grew up listening to the hardcore

“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. ...

Electric folk, the kind that gave Seeger the shakes

These are noble days for Willie Nile

“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 ...

Part of the grand inventory

Vincent Herring plays it like the music never died

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 ...

JD McPherson, keeping the rebellion alive

He perfected that three-chord frenzy that stems from hormonal urgency

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 ...

Las Rosas - straight out of the '60s

About as intellectual as a Facebook meme

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 ...

Right time, right place, right friends

Madeleine Peyroux is the anti-Billie, the anti-Edith

When Madeleine Peyroux comes around this time, she’ll be travelling light. It’s a trio gig with guitar, acoustic bass, and her voice to support the jazz-and-blues singer’s 20 years of recordings. I think her own ...

The Surfaris know you want to feel good

"Wipe Out" starts with the mother of all drum solos

“Our career was a skyrocket.” It’s Bob Berryhill, the last original member of the Surfaris, phoning the Reader from his home in Laguna Beach. “We started in December of 1962.” The band was Jim Fuller, ...

Hot Snakes slither back to San Diego

"I think I still know all their songs by heart."

“Hot Snakes?” my pal said. “I totally loved that band. Are you going?” That’s been the standard comeback among friends who were club-age back during the 1980s and 90s, when San Diego’s indie punk scene ...

The British Breakthrough Act of 2007 is back

The Fratellis' split didn't last

Just as Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny, and Tommy were not really Ramones, Jon, Barry, and Mince Fratelli aren’t related, and they aren’t Fratellis. It’s an inside joke. Remember the bad guys in The Goonies? That’s ...

Pink Talking Fish nails the tricky Triple Tribute

I half-expected to see flying pigs during their Floyd covers

The name of the band says it all: Pink Talking Fish is three tributes in one. The band re-creates the music of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, and Phish. But not by playing one song at ...

Megadeth metalman captivates classical crowd

"Many of us got into classical guitar because we were listening to all kinds of metal bands."

“Andres Segovia on steroids.” Shred metal guitarist and Megadeth front man Dave Mustaine’s own words, when asked to describe bandmate Kiko Loureiro. That would have been back in 2015, following the announcement that Loureiro had ...

Hipsters with guitars

This is likely the future, music that will not go easily into a simple category

Fruition is a five-piece act that is often labeled a bluegrass-alt country-jam band, and depending on one’s point of reference, the band can fit into any or all of those genres. Fruition’s three-piece vocal harmony ...

The California Honeydrops get a little love

For this band, there was no other choice but to make this music

Livin’ for today / singin’ for tomorrow... Is it safe to say that some of the world’s best New Orleans-style funk and soul bands come from the West Coast? Probably no. But our track record ...

Keeping blues out of the Museum of Past Glory

Southern Avenue's name is a nod to Stax Records

The last time the soul band Southern Avenue blew through town, I commented in these pages that maybe a decade on the road would put grit into their sound. Sounds like they’ve done it in ...

Power and bombast gained with age

Dirkschneider never really stopped rocking

As the gods of metal age: the short list includes Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Black Sabbath, Udo Dirkschneider, and those other German head-bangers, the Scorpions. Most of these bands have retired, thought better of ...

San Diego's jazz people

Robert Dove, Holly Hofmann, and more on the state of local jazz

“There’s live jazz every night here in town.” When I arrive, Robert Dove, a tenor sax player, a jazz guy, is waiting at the Ken Club’s bar. We pool our resources: between us, $22 dollars. ...

Gigs in the retirement digs

"It's consistent work, if they like you."

“It’s like no other scene. It’s an audience that’s appreciative,” Peter Marin says, “but, in another way.” Marin, 63, is a jazz singer. He performs at venues throughout San Diego, including senior retirement homes. “For ...

Hooked on accordion

Flogging Molly's Matt Hensley skated into his unlikely career

You could call this story “Just Being There.” It’s about how Matt Hensley, from Vista, went from pro skater to being a working member of Flogging Molly. “The only odd thing,” he says by phone, ...

You can’t not look at Langhorne Slim

Don’t wait for a yodel. It will not come.

“Life is confused,” Langhorne Slim sings, “and people are insane.” Slim’s a 37-year-old singer/songwriter oft-branded as alt country. “Can we be happy for a while/ Can we just sit down and shut up and smile?” ...

Responsible to the blues

Janiva Magness: “I didn’t want to do it. What if I suck? What if I don’t suck?”

Readying to tour in support of her newest release, Love Is an Army, Janiva Magness checks in from her Culver City digs. We talk about artistic development. Magness is a blues singer. Electric blues at ...

Grails not nearly as shape-shifty as prog rock

Concert experience a bit like trying to learn a foreign language

Right about the point when you’re thinking this is a band that should have never left the garage, Grails delivers. The band has a sound that is its own: in this case, nuanced, shadowy, ominous ...

Pure Prairie League's pop-radio sugar

Cheery bluegrass contrast with hangdog vocals made "Amie" hit

Possibly the most baffling love song ever recorded comes out of Ohio. It was released sometime during the early 1970s, and just about anyone from back then will know these words: “I can see why ...

Each chord as delicate as a prayer

Pianist Mike Wofford's astonishing background

Your basic acoustic piano is a bunch of wires strung at varying degrees of tension across an iron frame sandwiched inside of a wooden box for resonation. One controls said machine via 88 keys laid ...

Kung Fu's new funk jam

Festival fave to bring the chops to Winstons

Live electro-fusion throwdown: in the band Kung Fu’s own words, they describe themselves as a part of the new-funk movement. Not that funk didn’t need revising — it did. Consider that the funk of old ...

Labels come and go, John Hiatt stays

Belly Up show with the Goners features Sonny Landreth

You can’t make this stuff up. John Hiatt, from Indianapolis, left home as a teen troublemaker in a rock band. He landed work in Nashville — not as a dishwasher or a grocery bagger, but ...

Anthony Smith eases up on piano, reinvents himself in New York

Deep into the vibes

No, not a CD-release party, although jazz music will be played live. It’s a book-signing party, the author of which is central to the band. Anthony Smith’s back in town after four years in New ...

Don't call it an open mic. It's a jam

How the heavy cats do it

Jams at the Kraken, Mr. Peabody's, Cafe La Maze, Pal Joey's, Prohibition, Bourre, Panama 66, Proud Mary's, Border X, Navajo Live, and Downtown Cafe.

Petty gig at Casbah

Local supergroup and guests pull together tribute show

It was a dark month, October. When reports of Tom Petty’s sudden death got leaked by the press, the loss felt personal. In the minutes and days and weeks to follow, Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s ...

The Croce vision

Stride-piano weaponry defines the man and his sound

Alas, the public imprint from having notable parents. I’d resolved not to make mention of mother Ingrid, the famous restaurateur, nor Jim, the famous singer who died in his prime. But in the end, I ...

L.A. Witch to fly in to the Casbah

Expect many, many minutes of reverb

“Expect 30-something minutes of reverb,” L.A. Witch frontwoman/guitarist Sade Sanchez has said of her band’s debut release. The L.A. music scene has long gone stale, but with this kind of raw music coming out today, ...

High-schooled Starcrawler

Arrow de Wilde’s a student of the craft of making frenzy

It’s almost as if Starcrawler read the list of how to be a ’60s American garage rock band. Loud-ass lead guitarist with much skill and many exciting poses? Check. Smokin’ rock and roll rhythm section ...

Coco Montoya, the last guy you should copy

Left-handed guitar with a right-handed neck — "I had no idea"

Some years ago I was invited to sit in on a masterclass taught by blues guitarist Coco Montoya. I play blues sax. Possibly the organizer thought I’d gain some new insights. “I bet each of ...

Andrew McKeag Band: Just call it "dad rock"

“There was a time when loud music was acceptable.”

“I don’t like to be told to turn my amp down.” This is Andrew McKeag on the phone. “People don’t understand how much fun it is to hear a loud rock band.” Some of you ...

Single-minded Joshua White

“I don’t like saying the word ‘jazz.' I play music."

“It’s a celebration of my new music,” is how pianist Joshua White describes 13 Short Stories when he checks in by phone. “The new album, it tells a story of the band, of us as ...

Troubling lullabies by Chad VanGaalen

"You’d like us on top of a cake/ But you won’t let me take a bite.”

Chad VanGaalen’s got a troubling voice. The Canadian singer/songwriter sounds like a cross between another Canadian named Neil Young and a smoke alarm. He uses that singing voice to bait a listener into simple-sounding little ...

Tal's got serious jazz-fusion chops

Bass prodigy tries on the singer/songwriter hat

Who didn’t see it coming? If you witnessed Tal Wilkenfeld in concert with Jeff Beck in the past couple of years and thought of her as the bass player, you were only partly right. Yes, ...

Global worming

No eyes, two lungs, five hearts, $25 a bucket.

The road to Sharon’s Worm World is in turn blacktop, gravel, then finally Ramona dirt. Sharon McLaughlan, the worm farm’s founder and namesake, is waiting at the crest of the dusty lane that ends at ...

Son Little's 21st-century blues

Electronica, loops, and beats partner with dated reverberations

Blues for millennials. Which is another way of saying blues for an audience that doesn’t necessarily dig the blues. Or gospel either, for that matter. No bad on millennials. Blues, gospel, and soul is not ...

Band name and credo rolled into one

The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die

Different, yes, but not so much so as to strand a listener in that “I want to like this band, but...” purgatory. The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to ...

Mastodon helps let out the scream

Count on "survivor bond" after House of Blues show

I used to think the Black Crowes were a loud band until I experienced Mastodon. The back story: I’d been granted a working-category stage pass back when San Diego still hosted Street Scene weekend concerts. ...

Repurposeful Rising Appalachia

Sisters weave folk and bluegrass with jazz, hip-hop, and Southern gospel

“I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin’/ Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world.” Not surprised to hear Bob Dylan early in the soundtrack of ...

Walter TV channels ABBA

But the haunted-house version of the ’70s Swedish pop quartet

I’m going out on a limb to say this, but I hear echoes of ABBA here and there in Walter TV. Which is not meant as a bad thing. In fact, it’s the haunted-house version ...

Len Rainey, here when Mission Valley was hopping

Bassist and band to bring a lot of R&B, some soul, and rock to Adams Avenue

“They’ve been calling me blues all these days,” says Len Rainey. “But I do a lot of R&B, some soul, some rock. I even used to play jazz fusion,” he says, sounding a little surprised ...

Toadies unzip the bodybag

Play Belly Up Saturday with Local H

“The band never went all the way away.” Vaden Todd Lewis would know. As one of the Fort Worth band’s founding members, he is also one of its survivors. The band broke out in 1994 ...

Southern Avenue, streetwise beyond their years

"Truth, honesty, pain, love, growth, and peace through our music.”

Southern Avenue is the name of a street in Memphis. On it, at 1932, is Soulsville, the original home of the legendary Stax Records. It is also the name of a band, a brand new ...

A swim with the Sharks and Dennis Quaid — CANCELED

A celeb band that won't necessarily trip your odious meter

After publishing this preview, the Dennis Quaid and the Sharks show was canceled so a benefit could be held for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Art imitates life, which is busy imitating art: not exactly ...

No one calls Thundercat Stephen Bruner

Call him a mighty fine R&B and funk singer instead

Thundercat claims Miles Davis as an inspiration, along with jazz bassist Ron Carter and a pianist named Mary Lou Williams who was mostly active during the golden era of jazz, but you’d have to dig ...

U.S. Bombs target Soda Bar

The less you have to say about this band, the better

If there is any truth to the rumor, the last thing Joey Ramone heard in this life was U2’s In a Little While. He died in a New York hospital in 2001. But, there are ...

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