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Stories by Jay Allen Sanford

“She brings me merch from Sombrero just because.”

Multi-instrumentalist Mario Rubalcaba has played with everyone from Thingy and Spider Fever to a 2002 regrouping of Battalion of Saints. He’s featured on a new edition of the outsider music podcast created by Three One ...

May 26, 2022
Two years later, they’re finally pulling Ana out of the river

Founded by singer-bassist Sol Turpin (40 Oz to Freedom), a San Diego native, Safety Orange followed their raucous debut full-length Life as a Fish with the equally rollicking Troll Rock High, earning themselves sponsorship deals ...

May 19, 2022
Vintage local concert archive surfacing online

Recently, I was browsing vintage local concert footage on Youtube and discovered a relatively new user in the process of uploading dozens of San Diego concerts secretly videotaped in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. ...

May 15, 2022
Parade of Horribles: from Oceanside to Temecula

“My street is super mellow,” says Oceanside singer-bassist Jason York, “and you can just stand in the middle of the road without too much traffic bugging you, other than the people that live here cruising ...

“Shouting like a newborn from the safety of modernistic caves”

“It was so rad hanging with Tony Hawk,” says 27 year-old singer Dani Miller, whose band Surfbort recently released a video for their track “Open Your Eyes” featuring the members battling local skateboard legend Hawk. ...

Trash cans make the best percussion instruments

Alt-rockers Delta Spirit learned their trade by playing a local club circuit that included the Beauty Bar, the Sports Club, and the Ken Club. They first garnered attention while touring with Tokyo Police Club, Clap ...

May 5, 2022
RIP Locust innovator Gabe Serbian

Locust member Gabe Serbian reportedly passed away on April 30. "This world will miss Gabe as a friend, family member, musician, and artist," posted The Locust online. "He will continue to live on in so ...

April 30, 2022
The long-awaited return of the Snodgrass

“My debut album was lost to the unforgiving digital gods due to a fried hard drive in 2001, so I’ve come out of a 20-year slumber to start making music again,” says Jordan Snodgrass, whose ...

April 28, 2022
Pulp comics, videogame music, and psychotronic cult films

Singer Christopher Dale performed in bands like Grays Well and Superdoo, before becoming a solo artist and racking up nearly a dozen San Diego Music Awards nominations. Dale recently filmed an appearance in Santa Cruz ...

April 28, 2022
Opened for the Jonas Brothers in Chula Vista

The daughter of pianist, composer, and conductor André Previn and jazz singer Betty Bennett, Alicia Previn is a classically trained violinist who studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has played with ...

Drummer Wade Youman’s multi-generational collaboration

“I’ve been seriously, with all heart and soul, committed to my local community for over 30 years,” says drummer Wade Youman (Unwritten Law, Demasiado, North Korea), whose new band Spray Allen is an alternative rock ...

A direct reflection of the heavy times

A new single and video were produced for the new Wild Wild Wets track “Say So,” from their upcoming first album in four years, Love Always. The video was created using vintage 1980s video switchers ...

April 14, 2022
What San Diego Reader writers would shell out cash for

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a music writer isn’t going to get rich plying his trade, but at least he’ll get free stuff: albums, concert tickets, swag, perhaps even the occasional backstage pass. ...

“Some stories close and personal, some completely fictitious”

Hip-hop group San Diablo Allstars will drop a new album around early May, currently being mixed and mastered with a new member in place of the late Van Bates, aka Black Hesher, who died in ...

April 7, 2022
Fine Then’s local finds

Work on the new album from Fine Then began on March 16, 2020, the day of the first covid stay-at-home announcement. Hugh J. Noble (Slum Summer, Seance Weather), who cofounded the band with Andrew Fitzgerald ...

A Drunkard’s Dream of Eagles and Last Waltzes

Americana band Mrs. Henry is teaming up with a fellow local, Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin, for a live project called Drunkard’s Dream Arts & Music Festival. Tempchin is best known for penning “Peaceful Easy Feeling” ...

March 31, 2022
“You choose love and they choose chaos”

Chris Leyva, who grew up in Mexico City, also books bands at venues around town and co-manages the Black Cherry Group. His group Falling Doves will release a new album via local label Pacific records ...

March 24, 2022
Ocean Beach summer of ’79

This is a story about the summer of ‘79, but it starts a year earlier, circa mid-’78. That’s when I first drove into San Diego. Within minutes of my arrival, I was almost murdered — ...

40 years after XTC’s famous San Diego concert farewell

“I recall the show went very well, the band seemed to be in good spirits,” remembers XTC drummer Terry Chambers about the final concert that band ever played — in San Diego, circa March 1982. ...

March 17, 2022
From a Weezer tribute to fronting Smash Mouth

A vet of local bands such as Secret Seven, Divided by Zero, Ghoulspoon, and octogenarian Weezer tribute Geezer, Zach Goode has been announced as the new lead singer of 1990s alt-rock icons Smash Mouth, replacing ...

Endeavors of kinship and collaboration

Last year, Ethan Miller and his band Howlin Rain released their sixth studio album, The Dharma Wheel, which they described as “a six-track, 52-minute dive into a joyous fantasy realm of exaggerated present.” Having recently ...

March 10, 2022
Scott West’s Abbey Road adventure

“I wanted to work with Miles Showell at the hallowed Abbey Road Studios in London, because he is perhaps the best mastering engineer in the world right now,” says Scott West about recording his new ...

March 3, 2022
“Reinventing the past through sonic manipulation of 1s and 0s”

Singer/bassist Jin Salamack was originally from Hawaii before relocating to San Diego and co-founding pop-punk band Wanted Noise with San Diego singer-guitarist Suryendra Sherman. A seven song EP called Plate Lunch was released in 2017, ...

“Everybody ends up making these Faustian bargains”

From 1978 to 1985, James Call played with local punk icons the Penetrators. “Morgan Miller III and I have just finished the first issue of a new project, 2021 Book 1,” says Call of the ...

February 24, 2022
The Che Underground’s Children of Nuggets

“The Ché Café scene did so much to shape us as people and performers, but didn’t leave much of a historical record,” says former Noise 292 guitarist Matthew Rothenberg. Founded in 1980 as an all-ages ...

February 17, 2022
Getting jobs in screamo, psychedelia, funk, noise rock, and hip-hop

April 1 will see the release of the sixth studio full-length from the Greyboy Allstars, Get a Job: Music from the Original Broadcast Series Soul Dream, released via the band’s own Knowledge Room Recordings label. ...

February 17, 2022
“Being on stage empowers alternative girls and non-binary people”

Founded in Chula Vista, rock trio Los Saints features first-generation Mexican-Americans, including frontman Angel Mariscal, guitarist Gianluca Exposito, and drummer Emiliano Garcia. Their debut singles “I’m In Need” and “As Bad As the First” were ...

“The Lumberjack has arrived”

Americana fiddle rockers Lexington Field specialize in punked up versions of classic traditional Celtic tunes like “The Wild Rover,” “The Old Black Rum,” “Pretty Irish Girl,” and “Molly Malone,” as well as original songs such ...

Peer into the Justin Pearson documentary Don’t Fall in Love With Yourself

“To be honest, when asked to describe my music, I won’t describe it,” says Justin Pearson. “I think words, specifically genres, are limiting and misleading. However, when I get asked what kind of music I ...

Slightly Stoopid's 2005 marketing, Earl Thomas prefers San Diego to Memphis

Not So Stoopid "What do indie musicians and Tupperware have in common?" That's what an article in the June 20 issue of Newsweek ponders as it suggests local O.B. reggae-rockers Slightly Stoopid have tapped into ...

January 29, 2022
“When the world is full of butterflies and sunshine again”

“I started performing music in public during my high school years and had a successful band in Cleveland, Ohio back in the 1970s called Buckeye Biscuit,” says light classical jazz guitarist Ron Franklin. “We’re mentioned ...

Tamar Berk doesn’t need your permission

While still living in Chicago, singer-songwriter Tamar Berk played in power pop group Starball, known for their 2001 track “New Year’s Day” (“I wanted to write a holiday song”). She movied on to an electro-punk ...

January 20, 2022
The sometimes unpredictable path to motherhood

Academy Award-nominated Andra Day began singing at Chula Vista’s First United Methodist Church, then studied music at the School of Creative and Performing Arts. Her 2012 cover of Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best” peaked at ...

What winners of those KSON, KCBQ, KGB give-aways got

It feels good to be a winner. Who doesn’t love being the best — or at least the first, or the luckiest? People congratulate you, make you feel special and singled out. And you get ...

Julia Sage’s huge learning curve

A songwriter since early childhood, Julia Sage plays Chilean folk, blues, and Americana. She performs bilingual songs as a solo artist, as part of Grampadrew’s Flim Flam Revue, and with her band the Bad Hombres. ...

January 6, 2022
“We Are Our Computers’ Genitalia”

The Frequency Conspiracy features members of Raven, Last in Line, 24-7 Spyz, and Seventrain. Their Quarantine Covers album contains “Sailing” (Christopher Cross), “Carry On Wayward Son” (Kansas), “Life in the Fast Lane” (Eagles), “Hell Bent ...

January 6, 2022
RIP Famous Former Neighbor Betty White

Online newspaper editors have been sitting on prepared obituaries for part-time Rancho Santa Fe resident Betty White, who just passed away at age 99, for as long as there's been an "online." The Reader has ...

January 2, 2022
Direct from Dandy’s Stardust Dive

“This album has been a long time in the making,” says Julia Sage of her new full-length Desnuda. “We recorded three of the singles a long time ago now. ‘Ni de Aquí, Ni de All ...

December 30, 2021
Stills and Nash saw what David Byrne missed

Since 1991, Kearny High grad Marc Intravaia has been collaborating musically with Eve Selis, who won Best Americana or Country at the 2008 San Diego Music Awards. “The best thing about maintaining a musical collaboration ...

Drone machines shaking the entire warehouse

Mechanical engineer and musician Tristan Shone is the man behind the industrial drone-doom one-man band Author & Punisher. A new album called Krüller is due February 11 via Relapse Records, featuring newly upgraded musical machines, ...

December 23, 2021
Masked Singer Surprise: Jewel bets on the Queen Of Hearts

Fronted by Canada-born Sherri Anne, Sister Speak combines alt-blues rock with world music. “The idea was a collaboration of musicians supporting the expression of the woman’s voice through music,” says the spokesperson for local Taylor ...

December 16, 2021

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