March 13 2013 03:29 PM

Punk dive will keep its edgy vibe, current owner says-plus, more music news

Ted Thompson, owner of The Shakedown Bar
Photo by Jill Holslin

Sports Arena punk-rock dive The Shakedown Bar is changing owners. Ted Thompson, the bar's owner, tells CityBeat that he's selling the venue to North County booking agent Anilee Griffin, formerly the general manager at Flying Elephant Pub & Grill in Carlsbad.

Thompson says he's selling the place so he can spend more time with his 6-year-old son and focus on going to school and organizing shows. The bar's sale is in escrow, and Thompson says ownership will officially change hands at the end of March.

Griffin declined to comment because she hasn't taken over yet, but Thompson says local punks needn't worry that the place will lose its mojo. He and booker / bartender Josh Barnes will continue to work at the Shakedown, and he says Griffin is a fan of the bar.

"She'll keep it alive, man. She's all into punk rock, rock 'n' roll," he says. "We're going to pass the torch."

Opened in 2010, the Shakedown has been a prime spot for punk shows and skate jams— there's even a skateboard ramp in the back of the bar. But Thomp son's looking forward to bigger things happening there, noting that he's been working on a limited budget.

"I lived in the back for almost two years," he says. "I slept in the office with a little space heater. It was a lot of fun."

Singer-songwriter Josh Damigo made his NBA debut in Los Angeles last Sunday, singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the game pitting the Lakers against the Chicago Bulls game at the Staples Center. He says the performance went well, but he did briefly space out at one point. "I was at ‘ramparts' and I couldn't remember what came next," he says. "Was it ‘ramparts red glare'? Was it ‘ramparts we watched'? What was it?" As payment, he and his bandmate, guitarist Mike Husoski, were given a $200 bar tab, a luxurious breakfast and courtside seats. "It was a free courtside NBA game for singing the national anthem," he says.

Email or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.


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