Ken Leighton

Ken Leighton contributes regularly to the Reader's Blurt music column.

Articles by Ken Leighton

Jason Lee in orchestral ecstasy

"I wrote 11 different charts. It took me three months.”

“When Metallica [played with an orchestra], it blew me away,” says Jason Lee, a veteran rocker who has fronted the surf-guitar-inspired Riptides for 13 years. Lee took the orchestral plunge with his other band called ...

Vandals on the straight and narrow

“We’re playing a cruise ship with the Offspring and the Buzzcocks."

Orange County proto-punkers the Vandals haven’t had a new member since 1989. Joe Escalante joined shortly after the band formed in 1980. “If you told me back then I’d still be playing in my 50s ...

Virtual Strangers see bluer grass in Nashville

"All they can think of when they hear it is hillbillies and blacked-out teeth.”

Mike Tatar has been proudly playing bluegrass for 40 years, in spite of the hayseed prejudice. “I know a lot of [venue owners] who say, ‘I love your music in general,’” he says. “But they ...

Warpath follows ancestors, inspired by Pantera

“We’re in that dog-eat-dog industry. Everybody in rock has a gimmick."

If you’ve ever hiked in the woods near Julian, you’ve seen those holes in hillside boulders where the native Americans used to grind acorns for food. Dean Osuna, drummer of hard rockin’ Warpath, explains what ...

Vista councilman regrets leash-free vote

John Franklin aims to get Buena Vista Park ordinance rescinded

On August 22, the Vista City Council approved a one-year experiment to allow unleashed dogs at the “Trails” area of Buena Vista Park in Vista’s Shadowridge area. Its passage allowed dogs to legally run free ...

Cattle Decapitation rolls through Deathfest

“It’s a mellow community based on a brotherhood or sisterhood.”

It’s unusual that a local band can share stories about their latest tour to Europe. Cattle Decapitation, the extreme metal band that goes whole hog to support animal rights and other environmental issues, did its ...

Seems any band can work with Joe Troutman

"They had to remove their swastika belt buckles before we let them back in.”

Joe Troutman, one of the few local independent music promoters, has outlasted most the venues he’s booked over 16 years. North County’s Jumping Turtle, Royal Dive (formerly owned by this reporter), Metaphor Café, Del Dios ...

Click on this for Zex allegations

Pitchfork punked by Oceanside label's Canadian band?

A bizarre rift between Oceanside-based Magic Bullet Records and one of its bands, a Canadian four-piece punk band named Zex, makes one wonder if there was a real label-versus-band issue or if the beef was ...

Mex med-metal Thanatology gets the gig

"They come out wearing scrubs and then they bust out with ripping grindcore."

Although they’ve dressed up like doctors onstage during their 18 years as a band, don’t expect any messy Gwar-like antics from Thanatology. “We try and set ourselves apart from that cliché that many bands have ...

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