After a two-year break, North County math-rockers Japandi are getting back together for a couple of shows during the winter holidays. They'll play at Ché Café on Friday, Dec. 21, and at Soda Bar on Saturday, Dec. 22.
Known for their ambient textures and improvisational, razor-sharp riffs, Japandi has built a devoted cult following since forming in 2004. Though the band hasn't been active in recent years—two members no longer live in San Diego, and everybody's been busy with other bands and projects—guitarist George Pritzker says the reunion is happening by popular demand.
"We've been asked to play shows continually for the last two years, and it's just never been a possibility because we've all been doing these other projects," Pritzker tells CityBeat, noting that Soda Bar booker Cory Stier has been especially enthusiastic.
Eight years is a long run for any band, and Japandi almost called it quits in 2005, playing a farewell show at Epicentre. But they ended up releasing two more CDs, 2007's The Great Dinosaur Mystery and 2010's Decorative Duck. To get back in the mood this time around, they'll get together to rehearse in October and mull over ideas via email for new parts and possibly new songs.
"We definitely get along. We're all good friends," Pritzker says. "But we're all very picky in terms of songwriting."
As I reported last month, indie-rockers Pinback caught a thief who tried to steal one of co-founder Zach Smith's basses during a show. Instead of pressing charges, Smith decided to let the thief go. Now, it looks like he's being rewarded for good karma.
Shortly after the incident, CityBeat received an unsigned package in the mail containing a padded envelope and a note asking that it be forwarded to the band. I sent it to drummer Chris Prescott. Inside, he found three gift cards to Guitar Center (I don't know how much they're worth) and an anonymous note that said, "You were wronged. You forgave, Zach."
Who sent the letter? Prescott wondered if it was the thief himself. "The person who sent the note knew that Zach didn't press charges," he says in a Facebook message, noting that I initially reported that the thief had been arrested. "It's a weird ending to a weird story."