Back to profile

Stories by Jay Allen Sanford

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

What does KOD mean to you?

J. Cole, Omar Apollo, Jade Bird, Timbiriche, and The Flatliners, plus Young Thug

J. Cole’s KOD Tour pulls into Viejas Arena on August 22, promoting a same-named full-length released in April with a title said to either stand for Kill Our Demons, Kids on Drugs, or King Overdosed, ...

Düüns played for tweakers and random desert people

Also: Plunderbund, Haydo, Jamul, more from the Local Music Database

New band pages are added each week to the Reader's Local Music Database. It now numbers over 4900 entries, each with custom written bios, discographies, a local Video Jukebox, over 1,300 playable MP3s, more than ...

Three decades of liquor, women, drugs, and killing

Eddie Spaghetti celebrates 30 years of Supersuckers

It’ll be a few months before Chicago-based doom metal band the Skull releases their sophomore album, The Endless Road Turns Dark, so your first chance to hear a selection of tracks may be when they ...

Jimmy Ovadia's concert art

Painter wears out van touring with bands

“Highway 70, Utah, miles from anywhere, Jimmy [Ovadia, performance artist] driving and me taking sleep break, and there goes the back left tire blow,” says tour consultant Chris Warner of the May 7 mishap on ...

Not conned

Dennis Quaid's had a couple of toes dipped in the music pool since 1987

Headquartered in Sweden, but sporting two British members, Hillbilly Moon Explosion is celebrating 20 years of playing jump blues, swing, and barroom rock ‘n’ roll with a tour that hits Soda Bar on June 9. ...

What is the sound of one Monroe clapping?

"New" version of '80s new wave heroes the Monroes

The Monroes are back - well, one of them, anyway

Country music was a bad word

Surviving Dils co-founder Chip Kinman on the legacy of cowpunkers Rank and File

“When we started Rank and File, nobody was blending country with anything remotely hip or alternative,” according to Chip Kinman, who says the band he formed with his brother Tony after their punk group the ...

RIP Tony Kinman of the Dils

Local punk and Americana pioneer passes

Local music scene in mourning for cowpunk pioneer

Record roundup

Danny Green, Southern Reign, Kamau Kenyatta, Jeff Denson, more

Panama 66 in Balboa Park will host the release party for jazz pianist Danny Green’s fifth studio album, One Day It Will, which includes contributions from both his jazz trio and a string ensemble. To ...

Never mind the songs, it's the lineups that are on shuffle

A whole lot of Yes men are coming to town

Even the most die-hard Yes fans are probably confused about two different bands hitting the road this summer with productions billed as Yes 50th Anniversary celebrations. Having hosted dozens of members over the years since ...

RIP "Kitten" Johnson of CYKA & Pharmacy

Longtime local's unexpected passing

"Kitten" Johnson's unexpected passing

Up-and-comers and come-back-arounders

Cults, Gin Blossoms, Brian Setzer, Ugly God, Faust

It’s worth noting that San Diego has developed an interlinked web of small to mid-size music venues that share promoters and book shows at each other’s rooms. Casbah Presents has a particularly fertile relationship with ...

Happy Ron Hill's raspy voice

"Breathe that fresh air, we got plenty to spare"

“I’ve been playing this song for years, literally a thousand times, and it’s probably the second most popular of all my songs,” says acoustic troubadour Happy Ron Hill of his new studio recording and video ...

RIP Ukulele Ray, inventor of the lunchbox uke

Fender's first ukulele rep passes away

Fender's first ukulele rep passes away

Meet the Exbats

Ukulele ditties, then punk

“The moment we heard them, we loved them,” says Jaye MacAskill, one half of local comedic rock duo Pony Death Ride, of why she and her husband Joe arranged to bring Arizona's the Exbats to ...

Gym Class Heroes' Never Ending Summer

This is one of those shows where you’re probably a lot better off arriving early than staying late

For the last few years, after over a decade of nearly-annual Humphreys appearances (and a couple of side trips to the long-gone Anthology), smooth jazz cat Lee Ritenour has been staging most of his local ...

Will Live steal the show from the Crows?

Upcoming: Big Sam's Funky Nation, Tory Lanez, Fear, Counting Crows, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

If ever a band name fully complied with all truth in advertising laws, it’s Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Titular singer-trombonist Big Sam Williams is indeed large, both physically and sonically, there’s Bootsy-level funk afoot, and ...

Memorable brushes with fame

San Diego musicians recall meeting famous colleagues

We asked several locals to share their most memorable brushes with fame. Dave Gladish (Ristband): “I once met Rickey Medlocke of Blackfoot and Skynyrd in the Fort Myers airport. I told him I was playing ...

N-E-1 , anyone?

Tower Bar show reunites ska rockers for fourth time in three decades

“We were good, and we joined lots of people having fun in SoCal back in the early ‘80s,” says sax player Eddie Croft of vintage new wave-ska rockers N-E-1. “There was a scene that we ...

Boredom births "Big Booty Butt Cheeks"

Jumbotron showed up late for their own awards ceremony

“We were the dumbasses who showed up late and missed the presentation of our award,” says Edgar Alminar of electronic hip-hop duo Jumbotron, this year’s San Diego Music Awards winner for Best New Artist. Based ...

Meghan Trainor offers No Excuses

She had enough momentum to avoid the Best New Artist kiss of death

The Channel 93.3 Summer Kick Off Concert at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre on May 11 is headlined by The Chainsmokers, Miguel, and Ne-Yo, but oh-so-identifiable pop singer Meghan Trainor will be filling an awful lot of ...

Remembering Snoop Dogg's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night

Chula Vista police formed a skirmish line on stage

For a while in the early 2000s, weed-loving rapper Snoop Dogg avoided the San Diego area. Really, who could blame him, after the first date of his 2001 Puff Puff Pass tour ended early, with ...

Record Release Roundup: Spice Pistols, Teenage Burritos, more

plus: Brian Jones Rock 'N' Roll Revival, MC Flow, and Berkley Hart

The release party for Punchcard’s new full-length, Making It Great…Again, takes place Friday, March 30, at Til Two. “The album focuses on the idiocracy of the American public,” says singer-guitarist Chris Vanoli, “allowing Donald Trump ...

Well Well Well - $6 cover art

Recording in L.A. was foreign to them

“We plan on releasing two EPs this year, with a couple of songs premiering every month until May,” says guitarist Seton Edgerton, one half of folky synthpop duo Well Well Well. The Poptimism EP was ...

The Grateful Dead get the evil beard treatment

Roots of Creation's Grateful Dub gets a live show, plus Violent Femmes, Poptone, and more

Psychedelia and reggae: they usually go together as seamlessly and happily as rhythm goes with blues, as Clapton goes with Cream, as A Day at the Races goes with A Night at the Opera. So ...

The easiest instrument in the world to play

“Nothing difficult in wiring a lunchbox at all"

“Ukulele is the easiest musical instrument in the world to learn and play,” says Ukulele Ray, Fender’s first sponsored ukulele artist. “With a single finger on a single string, one can create a chord, with ...

Trashcan Sinatras — the best of Groucho Marx and Tom Lehrer.

Plus Circles Around the Sun, Ariel Pink/Nick Hakim, the Floydians Ocean Alley

Two different types of psychedelic jam bands seem to fancy themselves heir to the devotional horde of Deadheads still willing, even anxious, to rejoin their tie-dyed and squinty-eyed brethren at the electric altar: those who ...

Alex scores!

Local music teacher soundtracks local-centric film short

“I’m producing and scoring the music for my first ever indie film short as part of the 60 day San Diego Film Con Challenge,” says multi-instrumentalist Alex Guillen. “It’s a timed competition called True San ...

Earthless sings of Black Heaven

Heavy-duty three-piece set to release first album with vocals

“Heaven is thought of as this beautiful paradise in the clouds, which may very well be true, but all I see is black,” says Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell of the title to the band’s upcoming ...

Rick Springfield brings The Snake King to the Embarcadero

Plus new shows from lovelytheband, Prong, Jackson Browne, Joe Bonamassa

Life has been good to “Jessie’s Girl” singer Rick Springfield. So good that, despite not charting a U.S. hit since Ronald Reagan was president, the Australian rocker is headlining a two-night stand at Embarcadero Marina ...

Promises of paralysis and LOUDness

Record releases for month of March

Earthless will return to the first stage they ever played for a two-night release party at the Casbah on March 2 and 3, to launch their Black Heaven album. “Expect a sensory overload,” says guitarist ...

Welcome to the End of the World: Dead Milkmen to play Belly Up

Plus Dua Lipa, Anvil, and Murder City Devils, all in S.D.

It’s been around three years since the Dead Milkmen last came to town to play the Belly Up, and their just-announced tour will be heavy on tracks from their first new release since then, last ...

Dude, the official Zappa band is going to happen

"My eyebrows went up" — Frank's hologram to tour

“The image of Frank won’t be onstage the entire time,” says guitarist Mike Keneally of the just-announced Frank Zappa Hologram Tour, featuring Keneally and other former Zappa band members. “The concept as Ahmet [Zappa, Frank’s ...

The Moonwalkers are in town. And that’s not all.

San Diego also welcomes Jessie Ware, the Head & the Heart, and G.B.H.

Until a few weeks ago, it would have been easy to write off Detroit psychedelic rockers Moonwalks as just another DIY club crawler with too many guitar pedals and too little inspiration. The bass-guitar-drum trio ...

No more tears: Ozzy Osbourne will play Mattress Firm

38 Special, Xylouris White, and King Tuff also coming to town

Tickets go on sale Saturday, February 17, for Ozzy Osbourne at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre on October 9. The occasional Black Sabbath frontman says he’s quitting the road after his upcoming solo trek around the world, ...

Primus and Weird Al Yankovic are coming to town (not together)

Plus the Oh Sees, Eric Andersen, Bob Log III

Weird Al Yankovic brings his Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour to Humphreys on May 12. The road trip’s moniker refers to the fact that he’ll mostly be doing original songs, not parodies, and is leaving ...

David Byrne and others coming to San Diego

Time to Stop Making Sense

A lot of people will tell you that Stop Making Sense, featuring the Talking Heads, is the greatest concert film ever made. But that would seem to presuppose that one is already a fan of ...

“Jungle Love”? Racist? Aw, man...

Greg Douglass defends the Steve Miller song he defined with his riff

“Jim Cooper appears to be a nasty sexist pig who, if what his accusers are saying about him is true, should be driven out of office on the next livestock car,” says onetime Steve Miller ...

Imagery Machine recasts

New song every month, a step away from reggae sound

“We’re going to be releasing a new song every month in 2018,” says Imagery Machine singer Jennie Lynn. “We call the project the Monthly Machine…. The band came to the conclusion that trying to put ...

J-Pop fans can thank Tim Mays

Chai at the Casbah, Casey Hensley at the Belly Up, Alvvays at the Music Box, and Jack White at Viejas Arena

J-Pop fans can thank Tim Mays for finally bringing Chai to the Casbah on March 12, where the four-piece female band from Nagoya City, Japan, will make their San Diego debut. Chai’s memorable single and ...

They said they’d only reunite “When Hell freezes over.”

Catch shows by the Eagles, Psychedelic Furs, Kyle Craft, Pale Waves, and Lido Pimienta this year

For most locals who spent time in our cars listening to the radio in the ’80s, one could almost guarantee that any skip across the dial would find the Psychedelic Furs oozing out the back ...

It's good to be King Taylor Project

"We all have a big part in writing new music for the band.”

“The band started as something Josh and I joked about when we got engaged, that we were starting a ‘King Taylor project’ together,” says singer Sandi King of her collaboration with singer/guitarist Joshua Taylor. The ...

Local record releases in January

From traditional blues to songs "about things that keep me up at night"

Brazilian imports by the Salton Sea

"I got stuck inside the Taco Tuesday lifestyle.”

“We’re three foreigners playing punk-rock music in America,” says Fernando Nepo of O.B. trio Sameland, who all grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. “Back in 2010, I had just finished college and I wanted to ...

Get $5 off any Reader event

Sign up for our email list to get your promo code