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Stories by Jay Allen Sanford

Quentin Tarantino meets the Doors

The Frets, E.N. Young, Dirty Sweet, Danger Field, John Mayall

Originally based in Pacific Beach and known as Lad’s Holiday, indie-alternative group the Frets formed in late 2015 when founding members Liam Wilkes (a native of Manchester, England) and Cody Seeger met via Craigslist. Their ...

Live Five: La Jolla High alumni

Avenue Army, Ten Bulls, Los Lobos, The Paladins, Low Volts

“Avenue Army relocated from Saint Paul, MN to San Diego specifically because they felt that their sound would fit nicely in Southern California, and because they strongly felt that this was the place to build ...

Big in Spain: The Loons and The Rosalyns rock León

New Spain label compilation records also feature Skid Roper and Manual Scan

San Diego acts remain big in Spain, a longstanding trend that arguably kicked off when the Zeros stormed out of Chula Vista in the late 70s. The influential punk band has a new single on ...

Moving and grooving with San Diego Autism Society

Chadwick Stokes, Parker Meridien, Vokab Kompany, Hullabaloo, Cardinal Moon

Most bands favored by Deadheads are content with providing psychedelic spinners with the requisite groove to get their tie-dye twirling. Chadwick Stokes likes to use his folky jam band style to educate, engage, and yeah, ...

Renegade country stars

TSOL, Sickstring Outlaws, Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, Beat Farmers Hootenanny, Chase Morrin Trio

Local concert attendees now pushing their fifties still swap war stories about the times that T.S.O.L. (which stands for True Sounds of Liberty) played around town at punk-friendly places like the Adams Avenue Theater and ...

Mrs. Henry, Jack Daniels, and Dr. Feelgood

A whirlwind 48 hours in New York City

“It was sponsored by Jack Daniels, who put up money and booze so we could do this thing, and as you can imagine that night was a whiskey-soaked endeavor,” says singer-guitarist Daniel Cervantes of Mrs. ...

Mission Hills – don't be fooled

Book lovers, architecture, Oakley Hall, Francis Parker, Five Points, South Mission Hills, Jerry Schad's view, the ultimate Halloween house

Book-lovers chew the fat at the Mission Hills Library His watch tells him 6:45. This Mission Hills branch stays open tonight — it’s Monday. He slaps the book closed, reshelves it, glances to his left. ...

Vision of a Sweaty world

El Vez, Keith Sweaty, Stick Figure, The Steely Damned 2, The Schizophonics

An El Vez show is like a cross between an Ike and Tina Turner Revue, a Tom Jones Las Vegas gig, the LSD episode of Dragnet, and Elvis Presley’s 1968 comeback special. The self-proclaimed “Mexican ...

Christmas Cash

Berkley Hart Christmas, Cash’d Out Christmas, Danielle Forsgren & Joe Savant, Cattle Decapitation, Pony Death Ride

Jeff Berkley and Calman Hart, aka Berkley Hart, have long been staging occasional themed concert programs. “We do it just to put a different spin on things,” says Hart. “For New Year’s 2001, we did ...

Murderers of Love Motel EP based on the short stories of guitar maker Creston Lea

Songs are “slices of some characters’ lives.”

Based in Carlsbad, Americana band Murderers of Love features singer-songwriter and graphic designer Jaimie Muehlhausen, a one-time open mic host at Drowsy Maggie’s (which helped launch Steve Poltz and Jewel). His new five-song EP Motel ...

All-female, non-fictitious band

Second Chance Benefit, Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, Gary Heffern’s Last Waltz Screening, Kiefer Sutherland, Hellyeah

Second Chance San Diego will be raising funds and awareness to stop the cycle of incarceration and poverty with a packed bill that includes Deep Sea Thunder Beast, Hurricane Kate, Black Cat Sabbath, and headliners ...

DJ GarGar’s unconventional San Diego band samples

The Beautiful State draws from No Knife, Buck-O-Nine and others

“I made a new record with Talls from the KneeHighs that we’re releasing December 6,” says Edgar Alminar, aka DJ GarGar, one half of the Beautiful State. The duo builds multilayered hip-hop tracks from recorded ...

Prison songwriting workshops

Astra Kelly, Rebecca Jade, San Diego Beatles Fair, Pink Froyd, Eyedress

Astra Kelly began her singing career after taking note of Chicago’s subway performers while en route to her job. Already trained in classical and jazz guitar, and with a few pointers from a veteran subway ...

Tribute to Billie Holiday

Mad Hat Hucksters, The Rosalyns, Billie Holiday Tribute, Unsteady, Angel Olsen

The San Diego Jazz Fest & Swing Extravaganza runs November 27 through December 1, with multiple stages hosting over two dozen acts, including Dan Levinson, Molly Ryan, John Royen, Katie Cavera, Carl Sonny Leyland, Marty ...

Spiritual Motels: making sense of the world with Super Tiny Disappearing Oceans

“This album covers a lot of emotionally heavy stuff like mental health, addiction, existence, and relationships”

“Our music draws from singer-songwriter, indie-folk, country, spoken word, and electronic influences,” says singer-songwriter Amy Day, one half of the Spiritual Motels. “Our sound has been compared to the Head and the Heart, the Avett ...

Spandex-filled

Beekeeper, Ace Frehley, Pinback, Crocodiles, Jimi Hendrix Celebration

Female-fronted heavy metal death rockers Beekeeper came together in 2010 when Ally Levine (Sumu Pitchayan) and Dylan Marks (Eukaryst) found themselves bonding over albums like Slayer’s Show No Mercy and Sepultura’s Arise. Citing other influences ...

Tie-dyed and squinty-eyed music of the Grateful Dead

Lost Monarchs, Social Spit, The Sleepwalkers, Sacha Boutros Trio, Bill Walton and Electric Waste Band

“This will be our first full-length album, which we have assembled as a sort of concept album,” says Ben Ringgenberg of the Lost Monarchs’ release party for Eye on the Sun. “The album title takes ...

Local guitarist debuts as new Black Crowes member

Joining Crowes for 30th anniversary reunion tour

The Black Crowes played their first show in six years on Monday, November 11 in New York City, with the founding Robinson brothers now backed by an all-new flock of Crowes including local Earthless guitarist ...

Kate Bush Dance Party

Blueish: Jews & the Blues, Tim Flannery, Baby Bushka, Cardiac Kidz, Augustana

SDSU’s Jewish Studies Program presents a concert in celebration of the intersection of Jews and Blues. Local performers, well versed in ethnic music and the blues, will be playing songs with lyrics sung in both ...

Tron-meets-Devo style insectoid

Music news from The Locust, Happy Ron Hill, Eve Selis, Weatherbox, Ariel Levine, Cage, Sluka, Tom Waits, more

The Locust, who recently reunited and played their first gig in four years at the Desert Daze Festival, released a typically bizarre video for their track “Recyclable Body Fluids in Human Form.” The band also ...

Soda Bar 10 Year Anniversary celebration

Old Man Wizard, Soda Bar 10 Year Anniversary, Dia De Los Deftones, Glory, Matt and Kim

Specializing in metallic prog perfect for a smoked-out fog, Old Man Wizard was founded in late 2011 by singer/guitarist Kris Calabio and bassist/guitarist/violinist/singer Andre Beller (both of Platypus Egg), along with drummer/keyboardist/singer Francis Roberts (Dread ...

Pedigreed B-listers

Peter Tosh Birthday Celebration, Rocket From the Crypt, Stay Strange: Checked Out 2019, Ed Kornhauser, Sara Bareilles

The talent lineup for this year’s Peter Tosh Birthday Celebration may be populated with second stringers in today’s ever-growing reggae scene, but at least several are pedigreed B-listers whose roots date back to Tosh’s own ...

Inspired by movies, Mrs. Magician’s Jacob Turnbloom releases first solo LP

Cemetery Luau will be released on his own Cheddar Goblin Records

“This is my first official solo studio recorded LP,” says Mrs. Magician singer-guitarist Jacob Turnbloom. “Started writing in summer 2018, started recording on October 19th. Ten original songs and one cover [Squeeze’s ‘Up the Junction’], ...

Elizabeth Borg’s birthday gig

The Drug Hunt, Lana Del Rey, Chica Diabla, Irving Flores, UFO

Alt-country blues rockers the Drug Hunt were originally known as Bad Vibes. After releasing their album No One’s Safe, they signed to local Blind Owl Records earlier this year and changed their name to the ...

Ambassador of the Beatles

Falling Doves frontman Chris Leyva models for Stu Sutcliffe statue

San Diego keeps turning up in the Beatles story, from George Harrison’s part-time residence at a North County meditation retreat (as well as staying with Ravi Shankar while working with the sitar master in Encinitas), ...

Confronting our collective sickness

Safety Orange, Okilly Dokilly, Thee Dark Ages, Peter Sprague Trio, Deaf Club

Island reggae band Safety Orange was founded in 1996 by singer/bassist Sol Turpin (40 Oz. to Freedom), a San Diego native, with guitarist/vocalist Greg Karlo (who once played with Turpin in a Cure tribute band). ...

Notes from Kaaboo Del Mar’s Discovery Tour

Sweet Tooth, Fuzz-Huzzi, N-E-1, Greta Van Fleet, Tegan & Sara

Sweet Tooth is not to be confused with Matt Silvia’s defunct San Diego band once known by the same name. This fairly new Sweet Tooth is a trio featuring Jacob Schrimpf (vocals, guitar), Trevor Barber ...

Cathryn Beeks’ 20 Years Here ode to San Diego

She will relocate to Lucerne Valley in the Mojave Desert, but SD’s Calamity will continue to rock

“I moved to San Diego in November of 1999, and I’ve absolutely loved living and working here. I found and married the man of my dreams here,” says Cathryn Beeks, who played with the Gandhi ...

The Barbra Streisand of rock

Lenny Kravitz, Buck-O-Nine, Dead Feather Moon, Trouble in the Wind, Strawberry Moons

It can be hard to take Lenny Kravitz seriously. It didn’t help that, straight out of the gate, the first thing most of us heard about him in the late ‘80s (when he was still ...

Something akin to a live action Disney movie as imagined by Salvador Dali

Diego’s Umbrella, Blood Ponies, Bostich & Fussible, The Routine, Whitney Shay

Although this column tends to focus on homegrown acts, and Diego’s Umbrella certainly sounds like a locally coined band name, the gypsy rockers are actually from the Bay Area. Still, they certainly wouldn’t look out ...

SSI release Resurrectionem Ex-Mortuis on Shepard Fairey’s Obey Records

Fairey will also help with prizes planned for a remix competition SSI is doing with software company Native Instruments

Electronic rockers Sonic Solutions Inc features two Encinitas brothers from an earlier band called Physics, John Goff (drummer and bagpiper for Crash Worship) and Will Goff, who plays guitar and keyboards. When Physics split, Jason ...

As I Lay Dying dropped from Resurrection Fest

And other music news from Pathology, Schizophonics, Chon, Deaf Club, and the Swedish Models

Spanish organizers of the 2019 Resurrection Fest have dropped the reunited As I Lay Dying due to negative backlash over singer Tim Lambesis’ conviction and imprisonment for trying to hire an undercover police officer to ...

Happy birthday John Cage

Toy Piano Festival, Brian Wilson & the Zombies, Peter Pupping Band, Blues Against Hunger Jamboree, The Loons

Since 2000, the UC San Diego Library has hosted the Toy Piano Festival to pay homage to the birthday of experimental composer John Cage, who wrote “Suite for Toy Piano” in 1948. Its Geisel Library ...

Death metal-lite

Pathology, Angels & Airwaves, Just in Case, Alice in Chains, SM Familia

Heavy metallers Pathology used to be a local joke. Formed in 2006 by Dave Astor (the Locust, Cattle Decapitation) and Levi Fuselier (Disgorge), later joined by fang-wearing vocalist Matti Way (Disgorge, Liturgy), they quickly found ...

Record Release Roundup: Jordan Krimston ready to Turn the Page

Big Bad Buffalo & Miss New Buddha vet going solo in September

Jordan Krimston is a vet of bands like Big Bad Buffalo (whose 2012 debut self-titled three-song EP was released while Krimston was still in high school), Band Argument (an analog-digital hybrid), Weatherbox, and Miss New ...

Queen of Steam

Javier Escovedo, Michele Lundeen, Happy Ron Hill, Sara Watkins, Jason Hanna

DIY lounge rocker Gary Wilson headlines an all-local bill that also features Javier Escovedo, whose musical family members include Alejandro Escovedo (No Depression magazine’s 1998 Artist of the Decade), and brothers Coke, Peter, and Mario. ...

RIP Billy Bacon of Forbidden Pigs

Founding singer/songwriter/bassist/frontman had just moved to Nebraska

William Seth Russell, aka Forbidden Pigs founder, singer/songwriter, bassist and frontman Billy Bacon, passed away Tuesday evening, August 20. "Last time I spoke with him, he was planning on selling his place in Texas and ...

Tom Brosseau’s and Sean Watkins’ Carter Family tribute

New album is the first to introduce the songs of Joe and Janette, the only children of A.P. and Sara Carter

“Of the hundreds of songs the Carters produced, only a small lot of them are performed or even recorded,” says acoustic crooner Tom Brosseau, whose album with Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), In the Shadow of ...

Soulful contemporary bluegrass

MohaviSoul, Lady Brain Presents, Woodstocked, Boris, Justin Hayward

Founded in Ocean Beach seven years ago, MohaviSoul is an original, soulful contemporary bluegrass band rooted in folk and Americana. Their festival-friendly sound is anchored by the songwriting and singing of West Virginia-raised Mark Miller ...

Flutology

Holly Hofmann Trio, Supersonic Dragon Wagon, Action Andy & the Hi-Tones, Mighty Untouchables, Big Time Operator

Holly Hofmann began her music education in Cleveland at age five by picking up a child’s flutophone, playing along with her jazz guitarist dad. She’d go on to win Best Jazz at the 2008 San ...

Jay Allen Sanford and the Reader

Before Gaslamp, San Diego drive-in theaters, Pacific Comics, girlfriend as felon, Mission Hills Halloween house, bootleg confessions, Jolar Cinema

How Sanford came to the Reader: I was still in the comic book publishing biz (Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics, Carnal Comics) when I spotted the notice in a 1994 Reader offering $500 for local music ...

Electric hoedown with hillbillies on steroids

Sickstring Outlaws, CJ Chenier, Iration, Beach Punx Fest IV, Mrs. Henry: The Last Waltz

Influenced by Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, and similar renegade country stars, Sickstring Outlaws call themselves “hillbillies on steroids” and describe their live show as an “electric hoedown.” Frontman Ron Houston started off as an ...

Iration and Chali 2na guest on reggae band Hirie’s latest

And other new releases from Carnifex, Pathology, Vokab Kompany, Crimson Moon, and Warish

Carnifex’s seventh studio album World War X, which drops August 2 via Nuclear Blast, will be supported on the Summer Slaughter tour with the Faceless, Rivers of Nihil, Nekrogoblikon, and Brand of Sacrifice. The first ...

Westgate Hotel’s rooftop Sunset Poolside Jazz Series

Steph Johnson Band, Lenny “Fuzzy” Rankins, Roky Erickson Tribute, A.J. Croce Plays Croce, The Drums

Gilbert Castellanos curates the Sunset Poolside Jazz Series on the rooftop of the Westgate Hotel, where colorful sundowns more than make up for blighted views of the nearby all-but-abandoned Horton Plaza. This edition features singer/songwriter ...

Warholian comic strip drawings

The Paragraphs, Manual Scan, Hullabaloo, Sue Palmer, Prxzm

Based in Encinitas and Carlsbad, the Paragraphs were founded in early 2009 by Mike Hunt (drums) and Jesse Lee Hofbauer (vocals, guitar). After two initial releases (2009’s Gallows EP and 2010’s Hey! EP) and a ...

No Comic-Con pass, no problem

See Animaniacs in Concert, Rave of Thrones, Exodus, David Newman, Conan O’Brien and more

You don’t need a Comic-Con pass to enjoy related events around town this week. On Thursday, July 18, Animaniacs in Concert features Rob Paulsen, the voice of Pinky from Pinky and the Brain and Yakko ...

Comic-Con – 50 years in San Diego

The cosplayers, homeless at the Con, Balboa Park's shrine to Comic-Con

The real stars of Comic-Con By Jay Allen Sanford Not long ago, few had ever heard the word “cosplay.” Nowadays, pretty much any pop culture convention will be overflowing with costumed role-players posing for snapshots ...

Bonsall – suburbia's edge

San Luis Rey Downs track and golf course, fossilized bison, Highway 76 widened, Vessels Ranch, the Hank Show

Lilac fire survivor comes to the races On December 7, 2017, horse trainer Joe Herrick said, “Hell came to town.” Herrick was was involved in trying to rescue 450 thoroughbred horses caught in the raging ...

Klezmer with Hasidic nigunim, jazz, classical, Balkan, and Sephardic motifs

Yale Strom & Hot P’stromi, The Silent Comedy, Golden Howl, Bonneville 7, The Lucy Ring

As part of the Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, violinist and ethnic music archivist Yale Strom and his band Hot P’stromi will perform with local guest players including Fred Benedetti (guitar), Gunnar Biggs ...