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May 06, 2006

More Street Scene Bands

UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

If you're trying to keep an eye on Street Scene bands and rumors, you can check out the listings at Pollstar where bands have started to pop up as playing the Street Scene. The CityBeat has already reported that The Futureheads, The Editors, Bad Religion, G Love, Matchbox Romance and Michael Franti & Spearhead are all playing this years festival, and right now Pollstar shows two other bands, neither of which I am familiar with: Bedouin Soundclash and Rock Kills Kid. I will leave it up to you to decide if they are worth it, please report back to me if they blow you away. 100% based on the myspace page, however, it is obvious that Rock Kills Kid opts to blow, rather than blow away.

I've also emailed the good people at Street Scene, hoping for some inside scoops on bands they have lined up and maybe for some tickets to give away to you readers. We shall see if that works out.

May 05, 2006

Amplify SD


Amplify SD is a new online radio station that the UT has started to give exposure to local artists and artists who will be coming to town. Obviously it will be a bit unfocused, and it warns:

The music on AmplifySD reflects a wide range of San Diego music and artists. Some lyrics may be offensive to some listeners. Listen at your own risk!

But it's a good idea. You can listen live with a built in flash player or thru itunes, windows media player or real. Artists can also submit their CDs to get played on the station at the below address:

Amplify SD Radio c/o Marc Balanky P.O. Box 122512 San Diego, CA 92112

Online radio stations like this are always a great idea, but I think that devoting a radio station to something as all encompassing as a city's entire music scene has its downsides. For example, the first song playing when I went to listen was Kill Me Tomorrow - Put The Time Machine In Your Mouth I, which resulted in me closing the player faster than I would have if the picture you find by googling "Lemon Party" had been sent to me by a friend at work. (and evidently there is more than one part to this song cycle). The lack of a "skip" button could prove to be a major inconvenience, since the tenuous thread of "all these bands are from the same town" is unlikely to have that devoted of a following. It's still great exposure and a decent shot at hearing something new that you like.

After listening to a few songs, I heard one by Convoy called "Goodbye Everybody" that sounded promising but cut out after a minute, and a band called Bunky playing a song called "Baba" that wasn't that bad. I'm signing off while Eve Sellis sings "Room at the Top." Signing off this entry, and signing off the online player because this song is god awful and I expect the acoustic strumming to break out into full on Bonnie Tyler power ballad mode any minute. Enjoy your weekend.

Amplify SD address: http://www.signonsandiego.com/sosdradio/

May 04, 2006

Radiohead Tickets On Sale Saturday at 10 AM, Not Friday...


So I wrote this whole thing, but then saw on Radiohead's site and at ticketmaster, that tickets go on sale Saturday, 10AM, not Friday, 10 AM like the full page ad in the CityBeat would have us believe.

That's right. Unless the band somehow swings back through town for Street Scene and featured guests include Jeff Mangum on Fake Plastic Trees and My Bloody Valentine wailing on The National Anthem, with a reincarnated Jam Master Jay on the Wheels of Steel, this is probably the best outdoor concert San Diego will get all summer. It's funny, the band came through here in 2004, our first summer out here, and it barely raised my eyebrows. Maybe it's withdraw of awesomeness that makes this seem very exciting.

So yeah, tickets, Saturday, 10AM for shows on June 26th and 27th. It's at Viejas Concerts at Bayside, which is evidently behind the convention center. Deerhoof is the opening band, and I don't think I like them too much. Other shows on the tour got The Black Keys, we traded Kick-Ass for artsy-unlistenable. The outdoor, downtown nature of the concert also leaves itself open to the Rolling Stones effect for those that can't snag tickets, ie the sound will be audible from areas beyond the ticket going limits, and there will undoubtedly be a sizable crowd gathered to mooch the muddle music.

Over at The Rawking Refuses To Stop are the three new songs that I already mentioned that Thom and Johnny debuted at a recent concert. Interesting stuff, but not the best recordings. Listen there, and read about them here.

Bad Sinatra Vol. 1

Bad Sinatra - Get it?

Frank Sinatra has more than one box set of recordings that consists of over a dozen CDs. This is a staggering amount of recordings, even for one of America's most beloved entertainers. The duration of his career would be similar to Michael Jordan pressing on for eight more seasons with the Wizards, or a desperate Ray Manzarek trying to dig up Jim Morrison's body and attaching strings to it to perform a reunion tour Weekend At Bernie's style. Some things just go on for too long, or are so sprawling and prolific, that there are bound to be some missteps.

So to capitalize on this, every time my iTunes shuffle hits up on a particularly lousy Sinatra song, of which there are far too many as it is on my computer, I've been dragging it over to a Bad Sinatra playlist. It is ever growing, and I'm always amazed to see some of the territory he thought it natural or necessary to venture into. Disco, Cartoon songs, Neil Diamond...But as bad as it all is, a lot of it has its own unique charm, and that's what makes it worth sharing. So stay tuned for future installments, but check out these for now:

-Until The Real Thing Comes Along : This was the first one on my playlist. Upon listening to it again just now I thought I might have made a mistake , but in the last minute or so, Mr. Sinatra makes a reference to a 80s pop culture icon (Hint: It is Mr. T) that just vaults it into the realm of "rewind...oh my god, that's what I thought he said!"

-The Coffee Song : Sinatra rhymes Tomato with Potato. Date her with Perculator. He sings "They put coffee in the coffee" and "Coffee pickles well outsell the dill". As obviously slapped together quickly by Sinatra, and apparantly Dr. Seuss' retarted stepson, as "The Coffee Song" is, the band still manages to bring it, breaking for an extended solo passage, and Sinatra sings with highly caffeinated enthusiasm. This is "Good" bad.

-Bein' Green : This is "Bad" bad. Unlistenable. And yes, it's that Bein' Green song.

-Mrs. Robinson : You can just imagine Frank going into the studio, angry at these disrespectful rock and rollers for climbing the charts without regard for how to actually sing a song, thinking "I'm gonna show them how to sing a song." And then emerging from this recording session thinking he had done just that, while his cronies slapped him on the back and said "You done it Frank, these kids'll never last." You can also imagine the failed inventor, sitting at home alone and miserable hearing this song and deciding that a fantastic product called "Karaoke" needed to be unleashed upon the world.

And just becuase it obviously isn't all bad, here's one of the best: The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.

May 03, 2006

San Diego Summer Festivals: The Good, The Bad and The Unannounced Lineups


UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

The Independence Jam full lineup has been announced, as have the ticket prices. A ticket, with fees, will cost you 45 dollars. I was wavering, because contrary to my drunken source's reports, Spoon was not involved, so the Flaming Lips are the only band I would particularly want to see. $45 dollars also seems like it should be better applied towards more than half of your Street Scene ticket. But then I saw on the FM 94.9 homepage that the show "Benefits FM 94.9's 'About The Music' Fund." In that case, I will take 12 tickets. Nameless, purposeless funds are always a great way to rally the masses around your cause. It would be even cooler if they just lopped off the second 2/3rds of that quote to make it just "Benefits FM 94.9"

Moving on to Street Scene, the festival has a myspace page, where a large number of people are currently speculating or suggesting acts they would like to see. Kicking this about with some friends last weekend in the Mission Bay Hilton hot tub, we were at a loss for how to put together a solid, unique festival this year. Obviously, you want to have a band like The White Stripes was last year, a huge name with credibility. The candidate for this position we thought of was Radiohead, since they are touring this year, but they are coming to San Diego in June, so an August reprise would be unlikely. The Strokes also probably fit this position in a lot of people's minds, but are pretty boring live and aren't particularly a great outdoor festival band.

Then you have reunion acts, like the Pixies last year as well. Who is out there that I'd like to see play a comeback show, and who would choose the Street Scene as the place to do it? Credibility acts like Spoon or the Flaming Lips are for most festivalgoers to ignore while 311 or Social D plays. The Flaming Lips playing at the above Indy Jam means this is unlikely as well. You can always count on some interchangable rap and punk acts to fill things out, and it seems like you could probably count on Damian Marley being there this year.

I'm not really sure how I'd go about assembling my ideal line up. There seem to be so many festivals these days that it's important to try and do something unique from the others, but there's always bound to be some overlap. In the years that I've lived out in San Diego, the festival has moved from downtown, rapidly reduced in size and scope, and abandoned all pretense of being about diversity or home grown talent and instead opted to feature Wyclef, Jack Johnson and the Black Eyed Peas. Of course, as far as I'm concerned these all balanced out just fine if you can convince The White Stripes or The Flaming Lips or Radiohead to come play, the acts always overlap anyways. But what haven't I mentioned that could potentially be the highlight of this years show?

The multiple Radiohead mentions probably got you excited, so over at The Rawking Refuses To Stop are three new songs that they debuted at their last concert. Go nuts.

May 02, 2006

Landon Aaron needs our help

This guy got dicked over by his High School and got detention for celebrating National High Five Day. People should call them and let them know how ridiculous that is: www.nationalhighfiveday.com

Two SD Bands With Sweet Guitar Solos

Not enough local bands email me to tell me about their shows or MP3s, and I'll be damned if I dip my toe into the uncharted waters of venturing out to venues completely blind. We've all been there, usually when you move to a new town, or start school somewhere. One new friend convinces you to just head out to a club where an unknown band is playing, or go see a movie that you never even knew existed. In an effort to prove your open mindedness to this free spirit, you go along, and by the end of the worst two hours of your life you are fairly sure that you never want to speak to that person again, but iyou know with absolute certainty if you ever hear the phrase "going in blind" again in your life, you will render the person saying it unable to participate in an activity in any other manner than that for the rest of their life. (If you couldn't tell, I recently got burned going into something blind. It was a movie, and it was called Brick. You know how ignorant people look at a Jackson Pollock painting and say 'My five year old could have done that?' Well your average ninth grader absolutely could make a better movie than Brick. Never in my life have I regretted not chosing to go see Phat Girlz more.)


Fortunately, here I am to recommend to local bands to everyone, and just in time for some kick ass shows. First up is Firethorn, who played at the Tiki's local showcase last week, which I missed, but also are playing at Blind Melon's tomorrow with Vintage Honey. Firethorn I guess you could say are rooted in punk, but obviously they're not so far into the realm of punk where I would not be mentioning them on this website. In the way that Nirvana was punk, in terms of heavy power chords, and frayed vocals, that's how Firethorn is punk. Not shouting indistinguishably and generally making everyone miserable around them. Both Reflecting Pond and Make Me Cry on their myspace page capture this kind of spirit, and both feature promient guitar solos that hopefully wail even harder at Blind Melons.


Next is Road Noise. I met the guy front and center in this picture on National High Five Day, and as soon as I found out he was in a rockabilly punk band, I knew it couldn't miss. This was before I even saw him in the White Suit and cowboy hat. Road Noise has four songs from their demo up on the internet, and while the recording mix isn't the best I've ever heard, I think that the energy that the band undoubtedly has in a live performance is adequately conveyed through the singers voice and the spot on extended guitar solos. They will assuredly deliver the goods when they rock the Parkway Bar in La Mesa on May 13th. My favorite song is Daddy's Drunk, but three more are available online as well, BEG, Rumble Town and Three On A Tree.


May 01, 2006

Scratch Arthur Digby Sellers off the "References to Use in Band Names" List


I recieved the above poster (click on it for a bigger image) for my birthday. It's pretty sweet, they're individually printed by hand by the guy who runs F2-Design, and he has several awesome designs for bands of varying decrees of fame. The Mountain Goats are a band that has forever endeared themselves to me, for the sole reason that John Darnielle wrote me back within like an hour and a half to politely decline my invitation to compose an original song for the National High Five Day soundtrack however many months ago. You know you've made the big time when you merely responding to someones email, even if to decline whatever offer/invitation/scheme they are proposing, makes their day.

When I opened the poster, I noticed the small text below the enormous "MOUNTAIN GOATS" that read "The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers." This seemed very familiar to me. I thought that it was maybe the name of a Mountain Goats EP, or his tour. It's the kind of name that you feel like you've heard a few years ago, when you were supposed to be paying attention in English class, or maybe some kind of buffoonish, aristocratic monocle wearing cartoon character. Both would seem to be likely Mountain Goats references. Fortunately, my neighbor, (who minutes later collapsed into the bushes on my patio), was able to identify Arthur Digby Sellers as a minor (ie comatose) character in The Big Lebowski. Husband of Pilar, father of Larry, ADS was confined to an iron lung and did not speak in one of the post popular cult classics of all time, thus cementing his fate to 100% absolutely have a band named after him somewhere down the line. (Next up: Salacious Crumb)


And The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers are just that band. It's safe to say that since they are on my wall, and named the way that they are, that I was rooting for myself to like them. Fortunately, the autoplay song on their Myspace page, "Lisa", is the kind of low key, string-laden song that doesn't suck, and I think it has made me a fan. What does it remind me of? Several bands you've heard that decided to just be slightly wierder. No dumbing anything down, no "The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers will change your life" effect. In fact, all three of their streaming myspace songs sound completely different from each other. I say listen to "Lisa," and if you're intrigued, go to their official homepage where you can download one of their entire albums for free. It's called Psalterie, I just got it, and I'm gonna see what sticks with me from it. You might not be as inclined, since you don't have the band up on your wall. But then again, you haven't gotten any emails from the Mountain Goats lately either, have you?

The first song on the album is called On The Occasion Of A Departure. Download it.

April 30, 2006

Independence Jam Bands Revealed


I've never got to reveal a secret on here before, and I guess most people will read this by the time that the bands are already announced, but someone who works at 94.9 told my friend the bands that will be playing 94.9s Independence Jam. And if you can't trust third hand information delivered to you anonymously over the internet, what can you trust? So the bands are gonna be The Flaming Lips, Spoon, We Are Scientists, and "some other band." I had hoped that I would get another shot at the Flaming Lips after some unfortunate setbacks at last years Street Scene put a damper on the enjoyment of their show. It's undoubtedly one of the greatest experiences you will ever have at a concert, and Spoon was pretty sweet too, based on the five minutes of them we saw at the Street Scene as well. Sounds like it will be a good show, as long as Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs doesn't show up and put the microphones in her mouth and run around screaming into them.

Based on the Flaming Lips tour dates page, I surmise that the concert is on May 24th and is at the SDSU open air theater. Maybe this wasn't the biggest secret after all. Nevertheless...

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