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Stories by Robert Duffy

Collecting Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle will forever be associated with the ’80s, but that's not her fault. After hitting the ground running with the Go-Go’s, some thought Carlisle'd be barefoot minus her band. Tis true that some of ...

November 25, 2016
Captain Hook walks on water

A marathon set of Joy Division and New Order classics by Manchester legend Peter Hook as the U.S. votes itself to hell is the only cure for the surrounding catastrophe. After a subtle start, “Ceremony” ...

Be Here Now — is it really that bad?

The Emperors New Clothes, the musical starring five working-class lads from Manchester, mega millions, and an Escobar of cocaine recording at Abbey Road. What could possibly go wrong? Seemingly everything. Time has not been kind ...

October 28, 2016
The Who. The Hits

Thirty-four years after their first farewell, mod-rockers the Who hit San Diego on their latest (rescheduled) swan song. With only two surviving members, this really could be the last time… Okay, it's not the classic ...

Paul Weller — Modernist with a capital M

Don’t you just love places that charge $18 for two cans of PBR? Me neither. North Park’s Observatory played host to a visit from the modstar, Paul Weller. It’s been a long time since he ...

October 16, 2015
A Space Modyssey

Most artists 38 years into their career have long slipped into something more comfortable — classic album tours. Not Paul Weller, since 2008’s 22 Dreams he’s shown he doesn’t know what laurels are, never mind ...

June 12, 2015
Noel Gallagher's Chasing Yesterday — to kick its arse

Elder statesman of British rock Noel Gallagher has ignored the speculation of an Oasis reunion to concentrate on making new music rather than backtracking. However, “Riverman,” the opening scene of the cinematographic Chasing Yesterday, is ...

April 10, 2015
Loons get loose

Kicking off the head-trip that is the Loons’ Inside Outside Your Mind, “Siren City” engages with its hypnotic riff and upbeat melody, cruising comfortably detached from the surrounding pandemonium. Snapping at its heels is “Moon ...

March 14, 2015
Touched by the hand of Mod

“Mod” has often been described as a “broad church.” Ask ten of its disciples to define it and you’ll get ten different answers, or forty. Well, a lot suffer from Quadrophenia, don’t you know. From ...

March 4, 2015
Trip the Light Fantastic

Erstwhile New Order member Peter Hook let his Light show shine in San Diego for the first time. It must have been a bitter pill when the band he cofounded reformed without him or his ...

December 6, 2014
Love Revisited revisits Forever Changes

Love guitarist Johnny Echols returns to San Diego to perform the classic Love album Forever Changes. Echols took time out to answer a few questions for the San Diego Reader. SDR: What do you think ...

November 20, 2014
Johnny Marr's Playland

Since the demise of the Smiths, Johnny Marr has worked on collaborations with feverish intensity, so it was no surprise that it took so long for his debut solo record to happen, but it is ...

November 14, 2014
While the Cat's away, where will the Brits play?

Hollywood’s British pub the Cat and Fiddle will be ringing orders for the last time at its present location on Sunset Boulevard on December 15. The building’s owners have negotiated a new tenancy agreement with ...

November 11, 2014
Report from Tiki Oasis

The last chapter of 2014’s beat-novel party “Tiki Oasis” continues the theme with pop artists the Loons, Love Revisited (with Johnny Echols), and “Dirty Water” legends the Standells. The Loons are gearing up for the ...

August 21, 2014
Divide and Exit by Sleaford Mods

The current foul-mouthed darlings of music press from London to New York, Nottingham’s Sleaford Mods, have unleashed their eighth album, Divide and Exit. From the same neck of the woods as Robin Hood, Sleaford Mods’ ...

June 21, 2014
Got the Bugg?

Jake Bugg has now joined the long list of greats to come from Nottingham — Robin Hood, Alvin Lee, and me. ;-D Bugg performed a short in-store acoustic performance at M theory in Mission Hills, ...

March 20, 2014
Beady Eye's BE

Hopefully Liam Gallagher wasn't serious when he claimed Beady Eye would be "bigger than Oasis." He must realize he’s pissing in the wind with that one. While their debut album was a decent collection of ...

January 24, 2014
Not so Tame Impala hits House of Blues

Australia’s finest, Tame Impala, gave all in the house an early surprise by joining opening act Jonathan Wilson onstage for his final number. Wilson and his band had played a solid set, although for most ...

June 7, 2013
A beautiful Ugly Things weekender

Three days of long nights, and the perpetrator is a fellow ex-pat named Mike Stax. The 30-year anniversary of Stax’s magazine, Ugly Things, was celebrated by players past and present. Santa Ana’s the Neumans kicked ...

May 31, 2013
Townshend, Daltrey, & Co. deliver Quadrophenia to Valley View

Forty years after the album’s release, the Who have hit the road with Quadrophenia, a tale of Jimmy the Mod’s identity crisis, as told by rockers of stadiums. From ambient opener “I Am the Sea” ...

February 8, 2013
Lonerism, by Tame Impala

Lonerism is the second outing for the brainchild of Perth’s Kevin Parker, for it is he who composes, produces, sings, and plays (almost) everything on Tame Impala records. He’s even responsible for the sleeve photography. ...

January 11, 2013
Mod-father Paul Weller — supersonik at the Greek

Most artists 35 years into their career have long since slipped into something more comfortable, like complacency. Not so for Paul Weller, as his latest, Sonik Kicks, proves he continues to push his own musical ...

October 26, 2012
Shocking Video: Skateboarding Veteran Run Over

Shortly before 2.00 a.m. on September 6, Brian Wayne Conner, a 36-year-old paraplegic who had no legs due to a war injury, was badly injured while riding his skateboard and attempting to hang onto the ...

September 12, 2012
Bus Rider Breaks Window, Flees

Early morning on August 8, passengers onboard the 35 bus from Old Town to Ocean Beach had an unexpected delay. A woman on the bus decided to smash one of the vehicle’s windows with her ...

August 8, 2012
Noel Gallagher Gives the People What They Want

Unshackled by the name “Oasis” and the tacky label “Britpop,” Gallagher senior hits the road to promote his first solo outing. At a surprisingly less than full house, Gallagher opens with a lithe, acoustic-y version ...

May 2, 2012
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Ex-Oasis guitarist/songwriter Noel Gallagher returns shooting from the lip with his solo debut. Already a U.K. number one and outselling Liam's Beady Eye by two to one, the elder brother appears to be on top ...

November 13, 2011
One Loud Legacy

Singer Gary Heffern is on a visit from Finland for a Penetrators reunion show. As stalwarts of the San Diego music scene fill the Casbah, an air of expectancy hangs heavy. Have they still got ...

April 9, 2011
Let England Shake — a Bouquet of Barbed Wire from P.J. Harvey

Polly Jean Harvey returns and sounds positively (Kate) Bush–whacked on her eighth and most commercial album since Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea. From the nursery-rhyme chant of the title track, it rarely ...

March 28, 2011
Ex-Oasis in Different Gear, Still Speeding

When big brother Noel Gallagher, the chief songwriter, quit Oasis, the jury was out on how little bother Liam and the remaining members would survive. Apart from the erstwhile Noel, they return as Beady Eye. ...

February 28, 2011
The Jam's Sound Affects — 30th Anniversary Edition

Thirty years ago, the Jam was on top of their game and regularly saw the top of the U.K. charts. But Paul Weller had become tired with the “Jam sound” and wanted to break away. ...

January 18, 2011
Manic Street Preachers' Postcards from a Young Man

The Manic Street Preachers previous album had new music set to old words written by their missing and presumed-dead guitarist Richey Edwards. It seemed like a swansong, an apt epitaph to their body of work. ...

October 3, 2010
American Spiritual

Recently nominated in the “Best Rock Album” category by the SDMA for debut Of Monarchs and Beggars, Dirty Sweet deliver the goods again with follow-up American Spiritual. “You've Been Warned” is a country strummer with ...

August 28, 2010
(Bad) Luck of the Irish

After 3:00 a.m. in front of the O.B. International Hostel on July 22, a trio of female holiday-makers from Dublin, Ireland, were robbed at gunpoint. The women, all in their 20s, said they were talking ...

A Modlin Affair

As the curtain is about to fall on the Modlins, they say goodbye with the release of not one, but two new studio albums. At showtime, fans old and new pack the Tin Can as ...

July 6, 2010
Like a BBQ Gone Wrong

At around 8 p.m. on July 1, flames rose from the abandoned former Great Brakes warehouse, located at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and B Street. The smell of burning rubber and the sight of ...

Red Dissolving Rays of Light

The third album from San Diego garage-rockers the Loons is their first on L.A.-based cult label Bomp! Opening with a ’60s-style R&B stomper, “Between Grey Slates,” they take us on a trip to the terraced ...

June 16, 2010
Wake Up the Nation

Modfather Paul Weller's influences since the Jam, the Style Council, and his solo output have been eclectic in taste but consistent in quality -- from the Who to the Modern Jazz Quartet to Steve Winwood. ...

April 23, 2010
Mission Completed

Traveling on the back of last years double disc Communion, psyched out Swedes Soundtrack of Our Lives set up church at a packed Casbah. Singer Ebbot Lundberg was greeted like a new messiah. With his ...

March 2, 2010
The Postals

San Diego punk quartet the Postals has finally signed, sealed, and delivered its debut, jamming 17 songs into 26 minutes. On opening, the incendiary instrumental “7.62 Madness” goes off like a letter bomb and sets ...

February 7, 2010
My Re-Generation

Local mods Manual Scan regrouped as part of the Che Underground’s annual reunions show at a packed Casbah. As Cherry Red records are about to reissue their back catalogue in Europe, it's a timely reminder ...

February 2, 2010
Interstellar Overdrive

Created in San Diego in 1995, the Loons have since become one of the best genre bands in the country, with their faithful take on Sixties psychedelic pop. A Tio Leos full house was treated ...

December 2, 2009
Brighter Day

British singer Noel McKoy has been on the fringes of the soul and acid-jazz scenes since the late ’80s. In the early ’90s he fronted the James Taylor Quartet. This year McKoy released his solo ...

November 21, 2009
Never Cry Another Tear

Former New Order singer-guitarist Bernard Sumner debuts his new outfit, Bad Lieutenant, with Never Cry Another Tear. In the ranks of BL are New Order conscripts Stephen Morris and Phil Cunningham, but anyone expecting a ...

November 16, 2009
Journal for Plague Lovers

The Manic Street Preachers' latest culls lyrics from the unearthed notebook of their former guitarist Richey Edwards, who vanished without a trace in the mid '90s after the band released their tragic masterpiece The Holy ...

November 11, 2009
In and Out of Control

Whenever a major label drops a band, there's a feeling that the artists are living on borrowed time. Danish duo the Raveonettes, who parted company with Colombia Records after failing to take the world by ...

November 5, 2009
Trick-or-Treat, Dirty Sweet!

East Village hot spot El Dorado Cocktail Lounge played host to Dirty Sweet’s sold-out Halloween bash. The band was ghouled and tuxed-up for the evening and kicked off an 11-song set at 11 p.m. The ...

November 3, 2009
The Fountain

Liverpool's Echo and the Bunnymen present their 11th studio album, The Fountain, which is their fifth since reforming in 1997. In a career spanning 30 years, singer Ian McCulloch states that this one's the bands ...

October 27, 2009
Communion

Swedish psych rockers the Soundtrack of our Lives deliver their fifth studio album, and it's no understated affair, with 24 songs spanning two discs. On Communion, the sextet's soundtrack is the late ’60s, without sounding ...

October 21, 2009
Glitz Fizzle

Emergency medical and fire crews were called to San Diego’s downtown nightclub On Broadway in the early hours of Saturday, August 15. According to witnesses at the venue, a fight broke out that left at ...

Smoking Trolley

At approximately 9.15 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, as an M.T.S. Blue Line trolley en route to Old Town arrived at the Civic Centre stop, commuters onboard were forced to evacuate the train as smoke ...

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