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Stories by Jay Allen Sanford

Zen-sounding lyrics and flashcard-ready artwork

Mae, Magic City Hippies, Future Generations, Justin Timberlake, White Denim

Formed in Norfolk, Virginia in the early 2000s, underground-experimental rock trio Mae named their just-released album, somewhat haughtily, Multisensory Aesthetic Experience. That might lead one to expect a noisy and probably pretentious band, perhaps playing ...

Aboriginal Beatle Puppies

Record roundup with Yale Strom, Mount Pleasant, Bruin, Stevie Salas, Richard Filaccio, and Low Volts

Klezmer musicologist Yale Strom has a new album with his Broken Consort, Shimmering Lights, featuring traditional Yiddish, Ladino, and Hebrew Khanike songs inspired by the sounds of Morocco, Poland, Spain, and elsewhere. "We have a ...

Casbah turns 30 with weeks-long celebration

Pivotal local acts from the ’70s through ’90s will stage rare reunions

Countless local bands made their first mark at 2812 Kettner, the original Casbah locale opened in 1989 with fixtures purchased from a defunct Farrell’s ice cream parlor that for some reason sported at least one ...

Flannel-bearing northerners

Melvins, Corrosion of Conformity, Zomboy, Kikagaku Moyo

Everyone talks about how influential the Melvins were to the music made by subsequent generations of sludge and alternative bands, but less discussed is their influence on fashion and the way musicians are perceived by ...

Intercontinental collaboration

San Diego’s Quel Bordel unite with BandàpArt to form French-English folk punk supergroup

“After all these years on the road together, we’ve come up with a few original songs, and we’re finally releasing an EP with three originals and one cover,” says singer-guitarist Jake Skolnick of BandàBordel, a ...

Soul light

Emily King, the Bad Plus, Red Dragon Cartel, Lady Lamb

The Music Box has been stepping up with contemporary high profile acts this year, and their 2019 schedule continues the trend toward currently charting, buzz-heavy acts, especially light soul and radio pop singers like Emily ...

Last Waltz from the Voice of San Diego

Gary Heffern’s Last Waltz, Blackberry Smoke, Lettuce, Dream Theater

Even though he’s been living in Finland for the past few years, Penetrators singer Gary Heffern will forever be the Voice of San Diego to just about anybody who went clubbing around town in the ...

“Rational Discourse is Gay”

Anal Trump’s first 100 songs

Anal Trump, Rob Crow’s not-so-secret collaboration (under pseudonyms) with Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan, dropped their album The First 100 Songs via Joyful Noise on Election Day. It features selections from each of their previous EPs ...

Cheers without the beers

Jefferson Jay produces animated Christmas series with cast of actors with challenges

“We’re producing the first animated series with a cast of actors with challenges, The Hunt For the Great Christmas Tree,” says singer-songwriter Jefferson Jay of the project he’s writing and directing. “I was working at ...

San Diego’s greatest raucous rockabilly

Paladins, Peter Murphy and David J, North Mississippi Allstars, Kiss

A case can be made that the Paladins is greatest band ever to come out of San Diego. If by greatest, you mean most dedicated to a musical cause (in their case, raucous rockabilly), longest-lived ...

Prison bars and guitars

Local musicians teach San Ysidro prisoners how to play the blues

“Being with the prisoners was a very rewarding experience,” says acoustic blues singer-guitarist Robin Henkel of volunteering for Jail Guitar Doors, a guitar and songwriting workshop then held at the East Mesa Reentry Facility, a ...

Liquid light shows on spinning mirror balls

Poolside, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Districts, Still Woozy, Smokey Robinson

What do you get when you cross the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack with the Grateful Dead? Disco jam band Poolside shines their liquid light shows on spinning mirror balls, creating a syncopated psychedelic sound that ...

Jolar shutters nude dancer booths at College Grove

"Convoy is going to be flooded with girls"

"Jolar just let all the girls go and they are getting rid of the booths," reports a former employee of the longtime College Grove adult boutique where women have been performing private nude dance shows ...

Record Roundup: After (h)Ours with Jessica Lerner, more

Hargo, Midnight Track, Lexington Field, the Lulls, Josie Day, Unwritten Law, more

Due in November from Midnight Track, Lexington Field, the Lulls, Josie Day, Unwritten Law, more

One-note joke

Unearth, Okilly Dokilly, Atmosphere, Naked Giants

Inspired by what’s become known as the New Wave of Swedish Death Metal, Unearth debuted out of Boston in the early 2000s as kind of an entry-level Pantera, but with more denim and less leather. ...

A particularly Spielbergian stage show

Thumpasaurus, Parquet Courts, Andrew McMahon, New Kids on the Block

L.A. punk-n-funk rockers Thumpasaurus are the musical answer to the question “What if Pee Wee’s Playhouse had a house band featuring Parliament Funkadelic, led by Captain Beefheart?” Expect a particularly Spielbergian stage show when the ...

The Silent Comedy: writing songs in the midst of dark days

“‘Help, help is on the way, but not today’ is about as hopeful as we get.”

“The hardest thing about being in a band with your brother is that you have a lifetime of history that colors every situation,” says Joshua Zimmerman of spending around a dozen years in the Silent ...

Gift Machine: “We approach this with an almost religious fervor”

“Musical monks will be on hand to bless copies”

“We checked prices for Abbey Road, and it actually wasn’t that much more than the services that we have used in the past,” says Dave Matthies, singer for the Gift Machine, of how their upcoming ...

Too filthy for phonics

Wheeler Walker Jr., Brockhampton, Thou, Matt Nathanson

Kentucky smartass Wheeler Walker Jr. returns to the North Park Observatory, where his appearance late last year sold out, for a November 30 set that happens to coincide with the release date of his third ...

Man-of-a-thousand-bands plays Halloween show

Pinback, Jakubi, Kyle Craft, Morrissey, Magic Giant

It’s been around 20 years since Pinback first started making noise around town, though recordings tend to be infrequent due to the many musical projects of its members, especially man-of-a-thousand-bands Rob Crow. It’s been a ...

The Morlocks drop their first album in eight years

And other music news from Greg Laswell, Rick Elias, The Silent Comedy and Tori Roze

Breaking news RE Rick Elias, the Penetrators, Tori Roze, Red Dragon Cartel, more

The Poison king by way of persuasion or dissuasion

Bret Michaels, Steven Van Zandt, Barry Manilow, T.S.O.L.

The Poison king by way of persuasion or dissuasion

Astra Kelly's horrific dating story

"It honestly felt like I was being energetically sexually assaulted"

Astra Kelly's horrific dating story

Record Roundup - local releases coming your way

League of Assholes, Meidai, Riston Diggs, more

Slabratory, Jonathan Karrant, Blue Largo, League of Assholes, Meidai, Riston Diggs, more

Something more to talk about than sex and sand

¡MayDay!, Deap Vally, Wingtip, Queen Naija

Something more to talk about than sex and sand

Self-proclaimed “cholo goth”

Bells Atlas, Prayers, Goldfish, Kuinka

self-proclaimed “cholo goth”

Bahman Sarram's life in exile with Mystic Groove Collective

Removal of Obstacles is “my journey, of fleeing a land ripped apart by turmoil and political and social revolution"

Mystic Groove's Middle Eastern-influenced jazz fusion and folk

Lost local bands of the 60s/70s - The Hard Times

Discovered by Dick Clark, produced by Mama Cass, gone after 1 album

From Dick Clark's TV show Where the Action Is to the Union Gap

From the Age of Aquarius to the Dawn of Disco

Three Dog Night, Helio Sequence, Ghostemane, Skating Polly

From the Age of Aquarius to the Dawn of Disco

Live one-takes

“Artwork will be done by a local artist after listening to the album"

Live one-takes


Boney James, David Crosby, Pale Waves and Magpie Salute


Canadian Sister Speak German

Touring Cologne, Falkenberg, Leipzig, Berlin and Canada

Canadian Sister Speak German

Rise of the Wyvern dragon

"He just powered through the session"

Things were looking bright for Dolan Brotherhood in early 2015. Founded by surviving members of A New Day Mile, and named after that band’s late drummer Frank Dolan (who passed away in 2011 from esophageal ...

As clear and obvious as a pair of sandals and a tie-dye t-shirt

Terror, Lemon Twigs, Michigan Rattlers, Meteors

Hardcore and metal concerts have long been a staple at Soma, dating all the way back to its original locales around town, and people are still talking about the time that Terror played there in ...

"Nazi" attendees ousted from City Heights concert

"It's aways a good night when Nazis get kicked out from Tower Bar!"

"They were picking fights before they even got inside"

Lost local bands of the 60s/70s - The Brain Police

"The Who demolished part of our P.A. system"

Self-titled album recorded in La Mesa in 1968 sat on a shelf for over 30 years

Mr. Sensitive Guitar Guy

Langhorne Slim, Suffocation, Krisiun, Soreption, Mowgli's, Emily Kinney

If ever an act needed to be seen live to be appreciated for all they have to offer, that’d be Langhorne Slim, who treats every stage like a pulpit and leaves every attendee feeling born ...

Coming soon to a music player near you

Jonny Wagon and the Tennessee Sons, Joe Garrison, Frights, Captain Viejo, Becca Jay

The debut record from Jonny Wagon & the Tennessee Sons, Feels Good to Be Alive, mastered by Grammy winner Gavin Lurssen, drops August 17 at the Casbah. Regarding the title, “Suicide took the life of ...

Lost local bands of the 60s/70s - Tim Dawe & Penrod

Weekly time capsule rediscovering dusty jewels

Zappa almost turned this theoretical nuclear physicist into a rock star

This just in

Breaking news on Forest Grove, Little Dove, the Frets, Psychosally, more

“The Dabbers are still here, just on mini-hiatus while we make and record new jams as Forest Grove,” says bassist-singer Shelby Gubba-Reiner of her new band with guitarist Zack Wentz (Kill Me Tomorrow) and drummer ...

Topping the Spotify charts in over 20 countries

Maggie Rogers, Pink Talking Fish, Beartooth, Film School

I was hearing about “Give a Little,” the poppy new hand-clapping earworm by 24-year-old Maggie Rogers, for several days before I finally gave it a spin. Fearing another Meghan Trainor/Cher Lloyd knockoff like “Dog Years,” ...

Jim McInnes booted via Facebook from Jazz 88.3

Every Shade of Blue loses its DJ

"I have just found out that, after 12 years, I have 'retired' from Jazz 88.3."

Expanding the dancefloor boundaries

Thievery Corporation, Jerry Paper, Prophet, Yndi Halda

For over 20 years, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton have been expanding the dancefloor boundaries of EDM as Thievery Corporation. Though early efforts were paint-by-number exercises in straight dub and acid jazz, their evolution toward ...

Local record release roundup

“As twin brothers, Jonathan and I share similar higher levels of consciousness”

Americana band Golden Howl (formerly Golden Hour) premiers their debut EP Mighty Mighty, recorded with Jeff Berkley (Berkley Hart), August 1 at the Music Box, where they’ll be joined by new bassist Jeff Johnson (Veronica ...

Giggling and gurgling as they frolic

Shonen Knife, Escape the Fate, Dia de los Deftones, Goblin

The very first description I ever heard of Shonen Knife, back in the mid-80s when they were still a cult-ish underground sensation, is the one that remains for me the most accurate. I was working ...

Guitar geek

His first instrumental album features him playing guitar on all tracks

Mando making metal

Long before American Idol, X-Factor, and So You Think You Can Dance

Swingin’ Utters, Gregory Alan Isakov, Dance With the Dead and Paula Abdul

For a while, it didn’t look like San Francisco punk rockers Swingin’ Utters would survive into the new century. Founded in the late 80s (though not named Swingin’ Utters until 1994), their glory days included ...

Would Mozart do karaoke?

“I’m not claiming to be the greatest artist, but I come with full heart."

There are currently around two dozen recurring open mic events around town, including at Navajo Live, Java Joe’s, Midnight Jack’s Echo Room, Capri Blue, Spacebar Café, Pal Joey’s, the Merrow, 1st Street Bar, and Mr. ...


It's that time of year again...

You don’t need no stinkin’ badges What’s a poor unlucky muggle to do now that Comic-Con passes have become more expensive than Batmobile rims, and harder to pick up than Thor’s hammer? Not to worry, ...

Re-imagining cinema soundtracks

Morricone Youth, Nina Nesbitt, Exploded View, Mutual Benefit

Although they’re usually considered a quintessential NYC art-rock band specializing in re-imagining cinema soundtracks, Morricone Youth actually has roots in mostly long-gone San Diego groups such as Rust, Creedle, aMiniature, Crash Worship, and one of ...

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