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Stories by Jay Allen Sanford

RIP Mark Goffeney: Big Toe bassist never let disability hold him back

Bassist/guitarist Mark Goffeney, who was born without arms and played with his feet, reportedly passed away on March 2 at the age of 51. He and his wife were found dead in their El Cajon ...

March 5, 2021
Reelin’ in the Years: footage fetish

“We feel very strongly how important footage is and why it needs to be preserved,” says David Peck, president of local Reelin’ in the Years. Founded in 1992, Reelin’ maintains and licenses over 30,000 hours ...

March 4, 2021
Southeast San Diego storytelling

Rapper Jack King, aka Parker Edison, is a TedX speaker and a member of the award-winning rap-jazz group Parker Meridien. He came to local notice in Parker & the Numberman, who earned a Best Hip-Hop ...

March 4, 2021
Chula Vista’s avant garde

Guitarist Louis Valenzuela is a vet of adventurous bands such as Áfrojazziacs (fusing contemporary and traditional Cuban, jazz, funk, reggae, cumbia, salsa, and Afro-beat), Juice Box (founded by drummer/composer Matthew Smith), the Humankind (R&B, soul, ...

February 25, 2021
Horror punk

Scott Mercado (aka Manuok) is a vet of local bands such as Via Satellite, which he cofounded, as well as touring or recording with the Black Heart Procession, Mr. Tube & the Flying Objects, the ...

February 18, 2021
Fire leaves Valentine Byrne’s house uninhabitable

“It was pretty ironic, losing our home during a stay-at-home order,” says Valentine Byrne, who was recording an EP last April when disaster piled on top of pandemic. “I’ll never forget receiving that phone call ...

Nothing friendly about Hillcrest's Friendship Hotel

The untold stories about Hillcrest’s Friendship Hotel would probably read like William Burroughs’ dream journal. Once a nurse’s dorm for the nearby hospital, by the turn of the 21st century the two buildings across the ...

February 17, 2021
Live in the Mojave Desert

Singer-guitarist Esteban Rene attended boarding school in Ensenada, while bassist Beto Bautista grew up in Tijuana. Rene met Bautista while working for Hornblower Cruises and the duo formed the Slashes. They have a new album ...

February 11, 2021
Hardcore vegetarian metal

According to alternative-indie rocker Be Mine Phantom Valentine, “BMPV incorporates post-punk guitars with a full range of synths and haunting organs. The name was inspired by phantom valentines who perform anonymous acts of kindness.” A ...

February 4, 2021
Che Underground web archive gets untangled

“I really thought I’d build a simple archive and hoped that a few of the old crowd would turn up to participate, but within a year, we’d located most everyone involved,” says Matthew Rothenberg, co-founder ...

Spike Lee directed video

Metal-punk band Low and Be Told was founded by singer Doug Thompson (the Marsupials), bassist George Vidaurri (Uncle Joe’s Big Ol’ Driver), drummer Darrin Lee (Tragic Tantrum), and guitarist Frank Blackcat, who was recently replaced ...

January 28, 2021
Comedic singer-songrhymer

18 year-old British-American folk-pop singer-songwriter Pip Lewis started writing, recording, and mixing her own songs around two years ago, with her debut singles “Frown” and “What’s A Dream?” Her debut EP Pathos was released in ...

January 21, 2021
Liquid Blue stays international with livestreams

“Liquid Blue had been on a streak of performing at least a hundred shows every year since 2000,” says Scott Stephens of his group’s pre-Covid run. “2020 was the first year the band hasn’t played ...

January 21, 2021
Eddie Vedder streams a Bruce Springsteen cover

Singer-songwriter duo Monica Sorenson and Rick Walker began collaborating in 2012, going on to form Sometimes Julie, a hard-driving rock band with blues and Americana influences. A self-taught musician on guitar, bass, and keyboards, Walker’s ...

January 14, 2021
What it means to be a cholo: Top 5 local videos of 2020

Despite the pandemic lockdown, locals have managed to shoot and release some terrific music videos this year, and Belladon is responsible for one of them. Their performance video for “Haisa” was taped August 2 as ...

January 7, 2021
Plunderbund shoots new video at Slab City and Fiesta Island

Based in La Jolla, Plunderbund (defined in the dictionary as “a league of commercial, political, or financial interests that exploits the public”) is a power trio playing alternative and power pop tunes, often with a ...

Daughters of Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie walk into a bar run by Jim Croce’s widow

The local School of Rock is where Jordan Krimston got his start with bands such as Pandemonium and Lua. “The more important things that I think students usually take away from School of Rock are ...

December 31, 2020
Musician Daniel Isle Sky ascends to new heights

“I broke my hip bone while rock climbing in Zion National Park in Utah,” reports singer-songwriter Daniel Isle Sky. “I was rescued by a [National Park Service] helicopter the next day. A surgeon in St. ...

December 24, 2020
San Diego Reader writers alone at Christmas

Christmas Jerk I managed to avoid being homeless on Christmas Eve 1979, but just barely. Unemployed since that summer, I found a cheap flophouse on 12th and Island where 70 bucks a month got me ...

December 23, 2020
1980’s Fade to Black: The best thriller you forgot about finally gets its due

Fade to Black has long been one of my favorite movies about the movies. I was lucky enough to see it new in 1980, a number of times, thanks to having just started work at ...

December 18, 2020
Neo-beat poetry

The titular frontman of the Scott West Band has recorded with guest contributors such as Cake bassist Gabe Nelson, Lee Rocker (Stray Cats), and Prairie Prince (The Tubes, Jefferson Starship). Since the early 2000s, he’s ...

December 17, 2020
Nick Mason just released the best Pink Floyd solo album you never heard

When I first bought my tickets to see Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets last year, I admit my expectations were low. I’ve seen Pink Floyd’s 75 year-old drummer in his prime, first on opening night ...

December 12, 2020
Billboard Heatseekers

Indie electronic pop-rock singer-guitarist Heather Nation was already writing songs for bands while still a teenager, with her first recording studio session taking place while still in high school. She’s a founding member of synth-pop ...

December 10, 2020
Ron Steven Houston: I’m not the driver

Originally from West Monroe, Louisiana, Ron Steven Houston is best known from his time playing with the Sickstring Outlaws, whose album Johnny Drank Jack was nominated Best Local Recording at the 2013 San Diego Music ...

December 10, 2020
What's happy about San Diego happy hours

The dreaded Purple Tier was back. This would be the final weekend before the most severe social distancing rules would again suspend indoor operations at restaurants and bars on November 14, potentially shutting down countless ...

December 9, 2020
A postmodern eclectic

San Diego Music Awards nominee for Album of the Year, Hemisphere draws on rock, pop, jazz, fusion, and metal for inspiration. Their new album American Dreams includes guest players such as Grammy winning percussionist Tommy ...

December 3, 2020
SPG turns RPG into BFD

Local costumed band Steam Powered Giraffe just released a somewhat astonishing record that could prove to be their breakthrough. If it's not their Sgt. Pepper, it's at least their Rubber Soul. At the moment, their ...

Duet with dad

Hip-hop rocker Black Hesher, producer J. Andrew, and Michael Fairchild of the Spice Pistols have formed San Diablo Allstars, with a single for “Hatchback” now streaming. A debut album drops December 4 on 8-track tape, ...

November 26, 2020
Pony Death Ride: the Unthemed theme

“We’re in Vermont,” says newly relocated comedic rock duo Pony Death Ride. “Seems neat. Met some musicians. We’ll never like the band Phish or the Patriots football team. We’ve made these promises to ourselves.” The ...

November 26, 2020
Steampunk robot creations at the San Diego Zoo

The Zappa family moved to San Diego in 1954, where 13 year-old Frank began buying used records in a retail nook in the Maryland Hotel. One day, he spotted a record sale sign at a ...

November 19, 2020
Hey, Chels’ Ricky Schmidt goes solo

Ricky, the new solo project from Ricky Schmidt (Western Settings, Hey, Chels), has an 11-track solo album called Palm Trees dropping on November 13. “Palm Trees encompasses mid-2019 to pretty much the present time for ...

November 12, 2020
Is this the end for Winstons in OB?

"This kind of announcement is not easy, especially during a stressful time like this," according to an online post from Ted Wigler at Ocean Beach nightclub Winstons. "And since there is no way to sugarcoat ...

November 5, 2020
Smokelines bring fiery lyrics

“Smokelines is the product of our regional, cultural, and musical differences,” says San Diego-born Skylar Blaze Star, one half of a new musical duo with New Yorker Faith Gara. “We’ve combined my west coast sunset ...

Cardinal crowdfunding

“Yes, the world has come undone a lot these days, but we are all in it together, and music helps get us through,” says Cardinal Moon by way of introducing their new album Come Undone, ...

November 5, 2020
Your mom has cancer, your love is in prison, the difficulty of twins

Mom's Cancer A comic exorcises Bryan Fies’s demons. If your mom were diagnosed with cancer, how would you deal with it? Comic creator Brian Fies decided to use sequential art to help cope and deal ...

November 1, 2020
Race in 19th century San Diego, Marilyn Monroe in Coronado, early drive-in theaters

None Darker Than Me Racial obsession in 19th-century San Diego People of color were beginning to move into Sherman Heights and Golden Hill. There were colored Civil War veterans who lived in Golden Hill — ...

October 31, 2020
Acoustic entertainment and catered meals

Cathyrn Beeks first earned local notice in JunkQueen, the Gandhi Method, and her own band The Ordeal, as well as for launching her series of Listen Local band showcases around town and taking a turn ...

October 29, 2020
Ryan Bowers’ posthumous collaboration with Crhymes

Based in southeast San Diego, Cesar “Crhymes” Tellez first made his mark with Sicko Records and DagoSD.com, as well as hosting a Friday night Imperial Beach event called Club DagoSD and collaborating with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. ...

Like a Maggie’s Positively Leopard-Skin Homesick Blues

“I’m putting out a new album this month,” says Bigfellas co-founder Charlie Recksieck, aka Chuck Charles. Bigfellas is known for bawdy tunes like “I Wish That I Were Gay” and their offbeat banjo cover of ...

October 22, 2020
Reader writers' music picks, San Diego's history of punk, singer bred in TJ's Zona Norte

Soundtrack: Reader writers tell what music they would take to a deserted island The Woes Of A Woman In Love — Barbarella; Notes Give Pathos to Clouds — Laura McNeal; Trouble Man — Dodie Bellamy; ...

October 19, 2020
Live from the Inner Change coffeehouse in Pacific Beach

Hugh J. Noble is a songwriter, musician, and singer from Wymeswold in the UK, currently living in San Diego (“There wasn’t much else to do in Wymeswold”) and a member of Slum Summer. “Since I ...

October 15, 2020

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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