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Stories by Jay Allen Sanford

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

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

Funk-filled

Boney James, David Crosby, Pale Waves and Magpie Salute

Funk-filled

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. ...

Comic-Con

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 ...

Naughty antics

“I just thought they had a lot of talent for being so young"

Local teen band Ignant Benches is already enjoying some lucky breaks, thanks to the producer of their first professional recordings, Brian Karscig, whose group Louis XIV was once named one of 10 Artists To Watch ...

Lou Curtiss kept the music alive

RIP Folk Arts Rare Records co-founder

He championed young Tom Waits and countless others

Soft and dangerous

In This Moment, Shortly, Birdtalker, Todd Rundgren

Few metal bands take their theatrics as seriously as LA’s In This Moment, who have been known to wear costumes themed to the music, with masked guests onstage enacting bits of scene-setting that make performances ...

July's local record roundup

“There’s not going to be as many big, jammy guitar solos"

The Donkeys will play a two-night record release party at the Casbah on July 6 and 7 for their album Sun Damaged Youth, produced by Jason Quever, who worked on their debut full-length and covered ...

Less whimsical and more muscular

Ceramic Animal, Dale Watson, Mat Kearney, Monster Magnet

To call Ceramic Animal mere psych-rock is to unfairly relegate them to the same paisley parking lot spinners who never figured out that Their Satanic Majesties Request was just the Stones mocking them and their ...

People who like rock, dancing, and fun

"We never considered ourselves broken up, just not all in the same city"

“Our last album came out before Youtube was invented,” says Dan Nordheim, guitarist-keyboardist for the Blanks. “We got our start in Michigan, during the garage rock revival of the early-to-mid 2000s, and released a few ...

Don't Get To Know Jeffrey Joe Morin

All-star tribute concert and album release July 17

Locals gather to pay tribute to local mentor

Styx returns to rock opera

Plus Alan Parsons, Greensky Bluegrass, the Lil Smokies, and Ghost

A little over 20 years ago, when a bunch of Hit Parader contributors pooled writeups for a 20 Best Debut Albums of All Time feature, I took a lot of flack for doing mine on ...

Breaking local music news

From singing robots to opera singers

“The robot and I are heading into the studio next month to start recording a series of themed EPs,” says SDSU English department alumnus Michael Buchmiller, aka Professor B. Miller, the mastermind behind the Satanic ...

Rapper XXXTentacion killed in Florida

Told San Diego attacker "Next time make sure you kill me so I can't talk"

From North Park assault victim to Florida murder victim

Sometimes you just gotta move to Austin

Matthew Logan Vasquez, Thrice, King Khan & The Shrines, Dawes, Dermot Kennedy

After a decade spent in the frontman slot of mainstream rock bands like the mostly-local Delta Spirit, as well as Middle Brother (featuring members of Dawes and Deer Tick), famous former neighbor Matthew Logan Vasquez ...

Guitars amble and shimmer, drum tracks roll out like bubbles

Covet, Patrick Sweany, Florence & the Machine, Troye Sivan, Clan of Xymox

Based around Oakland and San Jose, “adventure math rock” band Covet features Yvette Young and David Adamiak, who together make sounds best described as music to watch dragons and hobbits by while you test a ...

Record roundup - local releases coming your way

Sue Palmer, Lower Left Jazz Trio, Sometimes Julie, Wayne Riker

On June 20, music teacher and Guitar Player magazine columnist Wayne Riker drops his Blues Breakout EP, which he describes as “a 25 minute-plus, five track instrumental guitar journey through a compendium of blues tributaries, ...

"Music that's made for having fun," plus other stuff

Eric Paslay, Daedalus, Anderson East, Honne, Shannon & The Clams

In an age where major labels seem the last and least likely place for new talent to develop, it’s a surprise when a big concern like EMI Nashville actually backs a winner that nobody saw ...

My Taylor and Telecaster remain friends

Dusty Best still playing the hell out of it

“Before the recent eruption, when the trade winds would die down, the smoke from the volcano would wrap around the island, and eventually make it to Kona,” says one-time O.D. Corral guitarist Dusty Best of ...

Breaking local music news

New bands, cancelled tours, upcoming albums, more

Newest happenings in the local music scene

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