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Stories by Dryw Keltz

Streaming with the Electric Waste Band

Friday the 13th of March capped off a week that most Americans will never forget. The NBA had shut down the remainder of their season that Wednesday, and the NHL followed suit the next day. ...

May 21, 2020
Lorena Gonzalez’s AB5 bill cuts music instructor pay at San Diego Music and Art Company

When California enacted Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) at the beginning of 2020, the music industry braced for a heavy shake-up. The law created a new standard (the ABC test) that employers would have to meet ...

PB Cantina hosts virtual open-mic with Be.Live

The world of live music came to an abrupt halt in mid-March as concerts large and small were canceled. While most of the local attention centered on the postponement of major events such as Coachella ...

April 23, 2020
The young and clueless years of the Mother Hips

The Mother Hips formed in Chico, California in the early 90s. They were operating against the grain from the start — most of the bands in their college town were playing covers. They set out ...

April 9, 2020
Lou Curtiss tells his own story

Yale Strom first learned of Lou Curtiss back in the 1970s. He attended the folk festivals that Curtiss held annually at San Diego State University. Strom’s father encouraged Yale to ditch high school to attend ...

Marisa Dabice: people see it as brave

The Philadelphia-based punk four-piece Mannequin Pussy had two albums under their belts before they were signed to famous hardcore label Epitaph and released 2019’s Patience — which required just that. The album gestated for three ...

March 26, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2016

Tijuana destroys Spanish and English “Tengo que ir hacer laundry, then I have to study en la biblioteca,” I’m paraphrasing what the Latina students in my college sounded like. My first real encounter with Spanglish ...

March 22, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2015

Cartel tunnels to Otay Mesa are infrastructural marvels The amount of warehouse space in Otay Mesa has nearly quadrupled since the mid-’90s, and the expansion has been almost as frenetic in Garita de Otay. Forklifts, ...

March 21, 2020
Buck O Nine’s Jon Pebsworth talks “third-wave” in Pick It Up! Ska In The ’90s documentary

Longtime Buck-O-Nine lead singer Jon Pebsworth pops up as a talking head in the new documentary Pick It Up! Ska In The ’90s. The film details the history of ska music while concentrating on the ...

Reader writers attempt to tone up

High on fitness Patrick Henderson Pyles Peak Corner of Golfcrest and Navajo Drives Mission Trails Cowles Mountain is a very popular, very crowded hike — especially if you’re taking it from the Golfcrest/Navajo staging area. ...

March 11, 2020
South Park: not cut by high-volume road

North Park and South Park – say goodbye to 30th Street as it is The main roadway connecting North and South Park may be on the eve of a massive transformation. Councilmember Chris Ward is ...

Resurrection of Louis XIV

Dishwater was in the midst of one of their greatest scores when the band began to fall apart. Guitarists Jason Hill and Robbie Dodds had become more interested in country music driven by the likes ...

February 27, 2020
Path to North Park granny flats not easy

North Park residential housing lots often feature a diverse array of habitats crammed into a space intended for a single home. An old, craftsman house may be complimented by a granny flat behind it or ...

February 24, 2020
RC Krueger and the Villains Records story

Escondido native RC Krueger got heavy into music circa eighth grade. A No Knife record from his friend’s step-brother sealed the deal. It opened up a new world of music that he could enjoy as ...

February 20, 2020
How Coronado Yacht Club fends off the public

The Coronado Yacht Club is nestled in a cove on the northwestern end of Glorietta Bay, where where it is flanked by neighbors such as Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill and the Coronado Municipal Golf Course. ...

February 12, 2020
The peculiar genesis of Super Buffet

Pete Bayard had performed in a series of bands in St. Paul, Boston, and New York City before he landed in San Diego and started playing in the local outfit Inigo in the mid-2000s. He ...

January 23, 2020
Salton Sea land owners may luck out

Richard Snow may live in Spring Valley, but he has owned property near the Salton Sea since the early 90s. What initially drew him to the area was flight. He was part of a small ...

Fanboy film shot at Ken Club, Whistle Stop, Black Cat

Besides managing the Casbah, Ben Johnson has played in local bands (the Long and Short Of It, Hostile Combover, Grammatical B), and he’s authored a couple of books (A Shadow Cast In Dust and Blood ...

December 12, 2019
Swedish Models focus efforts in the studio

Circa 2007, members of Ocean Beach-based rock acts Vinyl Radio and Cape May united to start a new project — the Swedish Models. According to guitarist Andrew Bernhardt, the band was a collection of “thrashy ...

John Doe and Tom DeSavia gather stories for Under the Big Black Sun

X bassist/vocalist John Doe has spent a large chunk of the last five years taking a trip down memory lane. In 2016, his book Under the Big Black Sun, which explored the early days of ...

November 21, 2019
Golden Hill’s Iacon Sound recording studio closes

The physical location of Iacon Sound is history. The Golden Hill studio that also housed six rehearsal spaces was shut down at the end of September after the building’s ownership changed. Their lease expires at ...

Eight straight nights of San Diego live music

I moved to San Diego in 1998 and started going to shows immediately. Live bands were simple to find any night of the week. These days, it’s a hair more difficult. DJs have become a ...

November 13, 2019
San Carlos – nice two-story homes

The misbegotten children of San Carlos San Carlos in 1960 was a series of tract homes out in the boonies. There were plenty of hills, trails, and wilderness for a young boy to run wild. ...

Jarabe Mexicano, Bob Marley, and the guts to protest

A couple years back, Jarabe Mexicano was approached by producers who had heard their rendition of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up.” In their live set, the song snippet served as a transitional element. Their ...

October 17, 2019
The life of Liz Borg

“I decided I wanted to start a band after my kids all grew-up and left the house,” Rachel Enyeart explains. “I knew Liz Borg, because our husbands were in a band together, Whole Hog. One ...

Julian – chock full of history

Appellate court turns back Hosking's fake cattle ranch Inhabitants of Julian who oppose the development of 1416 acres of local back country have a newfound victory to celebrate. An appellate court has reversed the decision ...

Archie Thompson's portfolio of songs with Archer and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

Archie Thompson grew up in a very musical family. He had two brothers, and all three of them played multiple instruments. His oldest brother, Mike, was a musical prodigy who eventually landed a gig playing ...

October 3, 2019
Titus Andronicus enlist Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould as producer of An Obelisk

Titus Andronicus is in the midst of a 63-date North American tour that has brought the band to cities that don’t often fall in the path of traveling rock acts. Besides the usual stops such ...

September 19, 2019
The Louisiana Purchase

The Louisiana is a mixed-use complex on the corner of Louisiana Street and University Avenue in North Park. There is a hip restaurant (Louisiana Purchase) on the bottom level that, according to its website, “was ...

September 17, 2019
The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle embraces fantasy with In League with Dragons

In League with Dragons, the new LP by the Mountain Goats, began its life as a concept album. John Darnielle, the band’s chief architect of songcraft, had grand plans for a fantasy rock opera that ...

September 12, 2019
Bleached and sober

Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough is a fitting title for the new Bleached album. The release marks the first time the Clavin sisters (Jennifer and Jessie) have written and recorded an album completely sober. ...

August 29, 2019
North Park storefronts take on Faulconer and Ward

It’s tough to believe at this point, but North and South Park made it through about four months of 2019 before terms such as floating parking, sharrows, bollards, and NIMBY entered their daily lexicon. The ...

Dennis Sheridan and the record that wrote itself

Ryan Jubela owns Masters Kitchen and Cocktail in Oceanside. Earlier this year, he asked Dennis Sheridan if he wanted to play an acoustic gig at his restaurant. Sheridan took the offer as a challenge. He ...

August 22, 2019
Appellate court turns back Hosking's fake cattle ranch

Inhabitants of Julian who oppose the development of 1416 acres of local back country have a newfound victory to celebrate. An appellate court has reversed the decision by the county board of supervisors which would ...

August 20, 2019
Wonderfront: Ernie Hahn’s homage to Street Scene

Kaaboo filled a void when it landed in Del Mar in 2015. San Diego once again had a major music festival. This November, the Wonderfront Festival will give San Diego a second music festival — ...

August 15, 2019
San Diego rat tales

A few weeks ago, I was startled to find an unwelcome visitor climbing up a wall inside our North Park garage—a rat. My wife and I had dealt with mice at our last house (also ...

INUS: Education with a Power Point presentation

Bobby Bray spent over a decade singing and playing guitar in the Locust —a well-known local hardcore act that, by comparisom, transformed fellow hardcore acts into Wham. The Locust specialized in a calculated lunacy that ...

August 8, 2019
Morgan McRae’s plan for Headphone and Foxhole Studios

Many musicians seem to stumble into their profession. Morgan McRae was not one of these. He had a plan from the start. While attending St. Louis University he studied piano and business management. He is ...

June 27, 2019
The High Gallery catalyst

For ten years, Mark “Busfare” Wiskowski played bass in the local cover band the Jones Revival. This ended about two years ago when the band, according to Wiskowski, “fizzled out.” About five years into his ...

June 20, 2019
Whether to kill San Diego mountain lions

At approximately 2:30 pm on May 27 (Memorial Day), a 4-year-old boy was attacked by a mountain lion in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. The child survived the attack and was transported to Rady Children’s Hospital ...

DJ Roob’s Not So Serious Radio calls it quits?

Rob Blackwell discovered KEXP about twenty years ago. He was visiting a friend in Seattle and was blown away by the radio station they were listening to in his car. When he returned home, he ...

May 30, 2019
New Rightovers’ album, Die Cruisin’ hits ’90s vein

Chris Holmes and Matthew Baab grew-up going to indie and punk shows in the 1990s. The music seeped into their souls, and eventually played a major role in the songs that they contributed to the ...

May 23, 2019
North Park and South Park – say goodbye to 30th Street as it is

The main roadway connecting North and South Park may be on the eve of a massive transformation. Councilmember Chris Ward is spearheading an ambitious plan to improve the bikeways on 30th Street that run from ...

City College prof collects rainwater on Mt. Helix

Chris Baron purchased a home on Mt. Helix in 2007. The house sat on a half-acre of land, so he would have a rather large canvas to work with when it came to landscaping. He ...

April 9, 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
Ranch Guejito opens doors to San Diego mountain bikers

On Saturday, March 16th, the San Diego Mountain Bike Association’s Ride the Rancho event gave cyclists a rare opportunity to explore a property where visitors are seldom permitted, Rancho Guejito. The ranch is an enormous ...

How Bang Bang Jet Away’s “Cocaine Company” landed a top spot on 91X Loudspeaker

Hotel St. George formed in 2007 and was kaput five years later in 2012. “Yeah, I got frustrated that we stayed at the same level for a long time,” singer/guitarist Matt Binder explained. “There wasn’t ...

February 28, 2019
30-year-old Guitar Trader commercial outtakes with Mojo Nixon, Country Dick, Rolle Love, Thom Beebe and more now on YouTube

Near the end of 2018, an artifact of the San Diego music scene from over 30 years ago began making the rounds on local social media. It was a collection of outtakes from a series ...

February 21, 2019
The loony and chaotic ways of On Drugs

When Derek Housh, Cameron Gates, and Elias Avila started creating music together it was noisy experimentation for the most part. A plan was launched for the trio to relocate to Maryland, but Gates and Avila ...

February 14, 2019
Performance Bicycle Shops shutting down – what does it mean?

The retail apocalypse has caught up with local cyclists. All of the Performance Bicycle shops in the United States are in the midst of store-closing sales. The San Diego region had six stores between Chula ...

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