Tori Roze Wraps a Love Blanket Around San Diego's Soul
Three and a half years ago, singer/songwriter Tori Roze played her first show with her current backing band The Hot Mess at the now defunct Portugalia in Ocean Beach.
“The owner loved the turnout, so we made it a weekly Wednesday night event,” says Roze. “We moved it to the Ruby Room on Tuesdays in June because Portugalia unfortunately closed down after being open for 8 years. The theme is generally female fronted bands, but there is so much male talent out there that we have honorary men bands. I use it as a platform to get performances out there that people wouldn’t normally get to see or know about it. I play out a lot and go to shows a lot so I gather all these random talents and throw a party.”
Talents past at Roze’s “Ruby Tuesdays” include Veronica May, Sister Speak, Steph Johnson, The Cathryn Beeks Ordeal, Josh Damigo, Christy Bruneau, Starcrossed, Nick Z, As Human (aka RYAT), Steve Harris (Styletones), and Bitter Sober.
“Bitter Sober weren’t a band until I randomly booked them one night,” says Roze. “They quickly snowballed and became very popular and got signed.”
Entry to Ruby Tuesdays is a suggested $3 donation which goes to the artists, but don’t let a lack of cash keep you from checking out the event.
“The reason it’s suggested is that if people are broke, we understand,” says Roze. “We don’t want you to miss out. It’s a bummer to make art inaccessible to people just because they can’t afford it.”
I caught Ruby Tuesdays last week when a trio known as Harley’s Monster aka The Beef Wellingtons aka bLUMPy played a mad set of improv free jazz on wandering bass (multi-instrumentalist Harley Magsino is originally from the Philippines, has his Masters from SDSU, and used to play with Hectic Watermelon), utterly unrestricted keys (bUk FiDy is a “failed politician who has returned to music with a vengeance”), and spot-on traps (Isaac Crow is a San Diego native currently working on his Masters at SDSU) which often lapsed into volleys of electronic-style drum and bass and break beats.
Check out bLUMPy with Tori Roze and the Hot Mess tonight with a free show at Bar Pink.
“Tori Roze and the Hot Mess got back from a West Coast tour last month,” says Roze, who will be recording her sophomore album in the next few months. “We discovered lots of new bands along the way, so we’re getting them down here to play with us. Next year, the night goes biweekly with drink specials and dress up themes. We’re gunna jazz it up quite a bit.”
A multiple San Diego Music Award nominee, Roze laments the tendency towards genre biases in the local music scene.
“It’s hard being a soul based band in San Diego because we're not indie rock,” says Roze. “We play a lot of house parties, but we don’t get a lot of love from venues. So we’ve banned together as a collective with people like the Styletones, Stevie and the High Staxx, the Amanda Wagner Band, Nick Z, and Rob Deez to book shows together.
“Not only as the leader of my band, but as a manager, booker, and promoter, what I’m trying to do is get us all together to listen to good music at good venues. I want to pull together all these scenes that are seemingly separate and share the love. That’s where I’m coming from with Ruby Tuesdays. It’s a big, wet blanket of love.”
Get under the covers on December 27 with a Karina Frost CD Release party and performances from Lillian Lefranc, Destructo Bunny, and Lyrical Groove.