The story of I-15, what DNA tells us, San Diego freeway landscaping, Old Town man tells of WWII massacre, San Marcos schools, men and their frisbees
Allan Peterson 8:30 a.m., June 15
Two different events to consider tonight: Sounds Like San Diego at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad is a fundraiser with over a dozen local performers, performing the biggest and best known tunes ever to come out of San Diego.
However, over at the Belly Up, there's a great sounding grrl power gig with San Diego chick rocker (and Runaways songwriter) Roni Lee playing a set with former Michael Jackson/Jeff Beck guitarist (and one-time San Diegan) Jennifer Batten, along with Sara Groban and opening act Stone Horse.
Sounds Like San Diego is an all-age event, with featured performers to include Jack Tempchin, Joey Harris, Scott Mathiasen, Neon Cough, Marie Haddad, Bart Mendoza & True Stories, Patric Petrie, Kevin Martin, Billy Fritz, Kelsea Rae Little, and the Comeuppance, among others.
"Current performers will play hits made famous by San Diego artists from 1955 through 2010," says event organizer Bart Mendoza.
I've seen the list of songs and which performers will be tackling each, but I'm not allowed to give away any secrets -- suffice to say there are some all-star winners planned for the evening. "I want there to be surprised faces if at all possible," says Mendoza, "plus there may be some last minute song changes."
I CAN reveal that bassist Billy Fritz (the Coyote Problem, Peter Hall) has already let slip online that he's taking part in a version of “Have You Seen Her Face.” by former San Diegan Chris Hillman (the Byrds, etc.). And with Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin on the bill, seems a sure bet he'll do his Eagles megahit "Peaceful Easy Feeling"...
Roni Lee began her career in Hollywood as lead guitarist for Venus and the Razorblades, a rock band created by Runaways mastermind Kim Fowley that would team up with Van Halen as their opening act for a number of shows. Lee talked about those days in various Reader interviews, including recent chats with Dave Good (http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...) and Bart Mendoza (http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...).
The band also opened for Devo and many others. Van Halen later recorded the Razorblades’ song “Young and Wild.” Although the band wouldn’t have any chart success, they released one of the earliest U.S. punk singles, “Punkerama,” in 1977. At the time, Lee was roommates with Runaways Joan Jett and Sandy West. “I Want to Be Where the Boys Are,” co-written by Roni Lee and Kim Fowley, became a regular part of the Runaways’ live set, being included on the 1977 Live in Japan album and in the 2010 Runaways biopic, sung by actress Kristen Stewart. In 2011, “I Wanna Be Where the Boys Are” was covered by punk band F-13 on a Runaways tribute disc.
Lee arrived in San Diego in 1984 to settle down with her family at the tail-end of a career that had seen her perform in latter-day versions of Steppenwolf and Spirit, as well as record an as-yet-unreleased album under the band name Touch, backed by the original Heart rhythm section.
Hard rock guitar goddess Jennifer Batten lived in San Diego between 1969 to 1984, and from there she went on to see the world, touring and playing onstage with Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck, and Slash. Um, not all at the same show, tho, holy fuggit, we’d buy those tix --
Batten released her solo CD/DVD WhatEver in 2009. After doing three world tours with Michael Jackson, she holds the distinction of having performed for around 1.5 billion TV viewers in 80 countries, when she appeared with Jackson in a Super Bowl performance.
Roni Lee tells the Reader "We just met a few weeks ago when she joined me in stage in Portland. We had a great time, so we decided to do more shows together. It's actually odd that we haven't met before."
And if that's not enough to get you to the Brick, "Joining us onstage will be the violinist from Lost In the Trees, Rock Band violin goddess Jenavieve Varga," says Lee. "She is a concert-level lovely that played with us in Portland and had so much fun, she is doing it again!"
So which show gets the either/or nod? Well, having seen the Sounds Like San Diego list of unannounced guest stars ("stars" being the operative word) AND the proposed song list, I've gotta give it to this one, tho on any other night I'd probably be up front for Roni Lee's sure-to-be-stellar set.
Plus, proceeds go to help out the Museum of Making Music, which was already one of my favorite places in the entire county even BEFORE they let me play the sounds of sci-fi on their Theremin!