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Stories by Dryw Keltz

Sonics' sound grounded in garage

After career flying jets, Rob Lind pleased to be back on sax

In the late ’60s, Rob Lind joined the Navy and became an aircraft-carrier pilot. He flew in the Vietnam War, and he followed his love of aviation into a long career as a commercial pilot ...

Pile on fast food and the van problem

East Coasters roll into Soda Bar

Rick Maguire started Pile as a solo project in the late 2000s. Legend has it that the name was inspired by the metaphorical pile where Maguire’s rejected songs from his previous band were amassed. Over ...

Califone’s own thing

A living room be intimidating

Ever since he relocated from Chicago to Los Angeles, Califone’s Tim Rutili has found himself in San Diego often. He is close with locals Little White Teeth and estimates that he has played about six ...

Dedicated to Darius

Scott Kannberg's record for his longtime go-to drummer

It’s been eight years since Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg’s last solo album, The Real Feel, was released. In the interim, his old band, Pavement, reunited and toured, he became a father, he relocated from Seattle ...

Bleached doesn’t adapt so easily to standard genre classification

"We’re in a band…to play for everybody. Not just 21 and over."

Los Angeles’ Bleached played South By Southwest last month where they were pleasantly surprised by a less claustrophobic atmosphere. According to guitarist Jessie Clavin, “The traffic wasn’t as horrible. I guess there was a big ...

Fanclub lets the flannel fly

Scottish alt-rockers Teenage Fanclub deliver the hits and Here to Belly Up

Touring in support of their 2016 album, Here, the Scottish alt-rock band Teenage Fanclub marched into the Belly Up and delivered a set composed of fan favorites. Fittingly, the band started with “Start Again” off ...

Smells like pot and anxiety

Matt Molarius's home studio is second only to Audio Design

Transfer’s Matt Molarius is a current player and ringleader for the Redwoods collective of bands. What’s your favorite local band? “Is this a trick question? All of the bands on our label.” What’s your favorite ...

Build the soccer stadium

Q&A with Dawn Mitschele

Dawn Mitschele is a local singer/songwriter who splits time between going it solo and the Cardinal Moon. What’s your favorite local band? “Redwoods bands and Oh Spirit.” What’s your favorite local venue? “Music Box.” Do ...

Casbah tattoo

Al Howard encourages you to give Jordan Andreen your money

Alfred Howard plays instruments you’ve never heard of and serves as house scribe for various Redwoods acts. What’s your favorite local band? “New Kinetics or Drive Like Jehu...” What’s your favorite local venue? “Casbah. Always ...

Local DJs drive me insane

Adam Gimbel: "Being entertaining that many hours a week is a thankless job."

Adam Gimbel is an occasional gunslinger for Rookie Card and a full-time Geezer. What’s your favorite local band? “I’m way biased since I filled in as the Schizophonics’ bassist for a month, but besides being ...

Didn’t miss a beat

After the show, anything goes for Lety Beers

Lety Beers is the drummer-in-chief of the Schizophonics, the Rosalyns, and the Little Richards. What’s your favorite local band? “Tie between the Loons and Creepy Creeps. Always lifts up the spirit when you see these ...

Less cowbell

Danny Ellis's favorite things

Daniel Ellis is the Splavender mastermind who utilizes his synesthesia super-power to his creative advantage. What’s your favorite local band? “Spooky Cigarette because they showed me a style of music I wasn’t aware of. At ...

Teenage song stew

Scottish alt-rock band Teenage Fanclub returns with Here

Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque was the platter that Spin magazine deemed their Album of the Year in 1991. At the end of those 12 months, pristine harmonies complemented by fuzzy guitars beat out grunge (Nirvana’s Nevermind), ...

Hold Steady hangover

Alt-rock's urban poet Craig Finn on rolling solo

Craig Finn of the Hold Steady is playing a string of dates opening for Vancouver’s Japandroids. For these shows, he has recruited a trio going by the name of the Uptown Controllers. During a stop ...

Then the circus came to town

Why roots-rocker Alejandro Escovedo bailed on Austin

Roots-rocker Alejandro Escovedo jumped ship from his longtime base of Austin, Texas, to what would be considered a less-hip locale — Dallas. So, is this the Lone Star State version of ditching San Diego for ...

Punk-rock Patriots

Dave Smalley and Down By Law will rock Soda Bar on Super Bowl Sunday

Dave Smalley is about to roll through San Diego with the same line-up of Down by Law that played on 1994’s Punkrockacademyfightsong. The band has gone through its fair share of membership fluctuations over the ...

Downsize the NFL?

Maybe after the Super Bowl

Here’s a fun fact: the Los Angeles Chargers might sell out some games in 2017. They are likely to pull off this seemingly impossible feat by aiming small — as in 30,000 fans small. That’s ...

Like a dodgeball ninja

Deception and blood on the gym floor.

If you mention dodgeball to someone over 18 years of age the most likely response will be to either praise or denigrate the 2004 film of the same name starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. ...

No OFF! switch

Hardcore survivors/revivers can't seem to take a break

Hardcore revivalists OFF! are supposed to be on hiatus right now, but the band has unexpectedly switched ON! ahead of schedule. “We’re supposed to be on a year-long hiatus and we are, maybe, seven months ...

X times 4

L.A. cow-punk band X turns 40 next year, celebrates with four nights at Casbah

Anybody who caught X when they were wee lads playing shows in Los Angeles circa 1977 is about to feel old: X is on the brink of turning the big 4-0. “The reason we’re doing ...

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 ...

Don't call Black Sabbitch a tribute

...they are the female version of Black Sabbath

It’s not often that a band is born out of a name, but that was the case with Black Sabbitch. “We were just goofing around one night and someone said the name ‘Black Sabbitch,’ and ...

Twenty-four-string stew

Only four guitars will do for the big rock that is Diarrhea Planet

If one were to travel back to when AOR guitar-rock ruled the charts, they would have a difficult time tracking down a band that featured four guitarists. Welcome to the 24-string world known as Diarrhea ...

Rocket From the Crypt up from the crypt

Punk-rock big band headlines Casbah's Halloween bash at the Lafayette

Rocket From the Crypt played their “final concert ever” at the Casbah’s then-annual Halloween party at the Westin Horton Plaza in 2005…so it was only fitting that the beast be brought back to life to ...

Will soccer save golf?

Yes, footgolf is angering also

Hole 5 at the Balboa Park Golf Course is a sloping nightmare. Option one is to drive your ball a bit to your left where it will (hopefully) come to a rest on the edge ...

Life's a risk, dog

L.A. punk four-piece FIDLAR brings Too to town

It’s not often that you catch up with the lead singer of a punk band that’s shopping for tortoise food, but that’s just how Zac Carper rolls. He’s a character. His dad, John Carper, is ...

That ain't the Yawpers

Denver-based cowpunk trio keeps country gritty

When imagining a band composed of two acoustic guitar players and a drummer, most would envision some sort of mellow country or folk group. That ain’t the Yawpers. The Yawpers play acoustic guitars, but they ...

Rest in peace, Elizabeth B.

Chica Diabla singer succumbs to cancer, leaves a legacy of rock-n-roll bravado

Elizabeth Borg, the lead-singer of local rockers Chica Diabla, has passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Borg was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, which, at the time, she appeared to have ...

Canada band Sloan averts disaster in San Diego

Singer Chris Murphy deems the evening "awesome" from the stage

In the 1990s, four Canadians known collectively as Sloan took their home country by storm with a collection of albums that fused the alternative nation with the paramount aspects of classic rock. The group never ...

Punk-rock stable Milo Aukerman

Descendents frontman chucks the UCSD science degree and rejoins the band

When most people go to college it’s not a huge deal. When Milo went to college it changed the world of punk rock forever. His institution of choice was our own UCSD. Besides hitting the ...

Mekons in the woods

A Ship in the Woods brings the British cow-punk band to town

San Diego is in for a treat when cow-punk band the Mekons plays in Escondido on September 25 at the new home of arts collective A Ship in the Woods. Mekons singer/guitarist Jon Langford figures ...

Out of the Redwoods, into the Midnight Pine

New self-titled record shows growth for the dark-Americana artists

The local Redwoods music collective merges the creative energy of the Elephant Six movement with the hired-gun musicianship of the Wrecking Crew. All the Redwoods projects, however, are anchored by the words of percussionist/lyrical scribe ...

Punk dreams come true

Punk Rock Karaoke's Greg Hetson talks about his human jukebox

Greg Hetson cut his punk-rock teeth playing in Redd Kross and the Circle Jerks before embarking on a nearly 30-year run with Bad Religion. Hetson recalls shows at the local Jackie Robinson YMCA as being ...

Guided by Pollard

At over two hours with two encores, you got to wait for the GBV nugs

In 2014, five guys played the Belly Up under the moniker of Guided by Voices. A pair of these musicians was present at this year’s show — Robert Pollard (singer) and Kevin March (drummer) — ...

Welcome to the Pearsphere

New Orleans punk four-piece sets up at Soda Bar on Saturday

New Orleans–based quartet Pears is a modern spin on the punk bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s — groups such as the Victims Family, Nomeansno, and My Name, bands that employed the Minutemen’s ...

Corporate (park) jams

Pitbull Audio puts its gear where its parking lot is...and lets bands play it

Pitbull Audio opened their National City storefront in 2014. They’re an independent musical instrument and pro-audio retailer that has to compete with big-box chains, such as Guitar Center and Sam Ash. One of the methods ...

This Broncho has a reverb tank

Tulsa quartet tours through town behind this year's sticky 'gazer Double Vanity

Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Broncho has traded in the new-wave sound prevalent on their last album, Just Enough Hip to Be a Woman, for a reverb-drenched collision of ’80s synth-rock and dreamy shoegaze. With three LPs out, ...

Half-hour of free Descendents therapy

After 12 long years, SoCal punks return with Hypercaffium Spazzinate

The first Descendents album since 2004’s Cool to Be You blasts out of the gates with a pristine five-song run of classic ‘Dents goodness. The cream of the crop is “Victim of Me,” an 97-second ...

One hot Headache

Aussie pub-rockers Royal Headache get Soda Bar bouncing

Before Royal Headache started their set, I spotted their bassist, Joe, taking a stab at the NFL Blitz ’99 arcade game nestled in the club’s main room. Perhaps he was using it to learn the ...

Erg-onomics

Mikey Erg gets back to writing and rocking his own music

For eight years Mikey Erg played drums and wrote a bunch of songs for the Ergs!, a hyperactive punk band born and bred in New Jersey. Since their breakup in 2008, he has spent most ...

Between Hell and the Bollocks with Chica Diabla

“Every time we get momentum going, my stupid cancer thing happens and I’m, like, ‘Oh, my god!’”

Chica Diabla vocalist Elizabeth B. and bassist Rachel Bunz had a homespun, three-song demo of material in the can when their future drummer happened upon a posting they had placed on Craigslist. “I moved out ...

Royal Headache and festivals for fuel

Aussie indie act storms our shores on the way to Pitchfork

Though they come from “the land down unda,” Australia’s Royal Headache has been growing a loyal following in the states. That’s not bad for a quartet two LPs into the game. The group is about ...

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 ...

Nothing like a headbanger

After a mugging in Oakland, Nothing's Nicky Palermo releases his best record yet

Domenic “Nicky” Palermo began recording songs as Nothing about five years ago in Philadelphia. He was depressed and in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Nothing’s initial demo couldn’t be deemed a “bedroom project,” as ...

Shadowy shows

From Kids in the Hall to the Hideout — follow the Shadowy Men

The instrumental trio Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet are best known for penning the theme song to the Kids in the Hall sketch comedy TV series. Even though the Shadowy Men were in the ...

Nanana — Chica Diabla do what they want

Local punk'd-rock quartet drops a dilly of a debut

Have you spent years lamenting the fact that this city doesn’t have a worthy Joan Jett/Runaways/Donnas-style female-fronted rock-and-roll juggernaut to call our very own? Well, lament no more. Chica Diabla has arrived and they have ...

Alt-rockers still paddling despite "Nada Surf"

New York–based band was told their brand came with "a certain lack of success"

Nada Surf first gained national recognition in 1996 when the video for their song “Popular” went into heavy rotation on MTV. As a result, the group toured their debut album, High/Low, heavily, but when it ...

California Beach Slang

Two live acts with Casbah written all over them...

Before Beach Slang played, patrons at the Casbah were treated to a new supergroup of sorts in the backroom. The trio brave enough to call themselves “California” includes one member of Green Day (Jason White) ...

Beach Slang campfire test

Philly quartet rides a rising new record into town to play Casbah Friday night

After releasing a pair of EPs, Beach Slang dropped their debut album, The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us, last October. A couple of months later, the band watched as it ...

The Ramones of post-rock

Jazzy Tortoise takes The Catastrophist to Belly Up on Tuesday

Jeff Parker officially joined Tortoise on January 1, 1997. He had been playing in an unofficial capacity with the band for some time before that. He sat in during hometown gigs in their native Chicago ...

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