It's truly the end of an era. Rich Horowitz and Phil Galloway, founders of underground music mecca, Off The Record, sold the store this past Dec. 18 to locals Kurt and Nina Peterson. Word is that the store will keep the same focus it has had since OTR opened way back in 1978-an eclectic mix of indie, jazz, oldies and other genres, catering to more than just the top 40.
Throughout the past two-plus decades, OTR has been an invaluable resource for both music fans and musicians, a meeting place where you can find local music, the latest flyers and opinions on what's good lately. The Hillcrest location is the last of the three stores that OTR had at its peak (College and Encinitas were the other two), and it's almost frightening to think of what effect its closing would have had on the local scene.
Luckily, the Petersons plan to keep things business as usual. It's also good to know that in-store performances-which in the past have included Blur, Nirvana, Rocket From The Crypt, The Negro Problem and many others-will continue, and the staff will remain the same.
We'd like to pause for a cosmic moment to thank Horowitz and Galloway for their immeasurable service to San Diego's music community. Besides being truly good people, their devotion to the music scene was unwavering, and we wish them wild wealth, exorbitant fame and lifelong happiness.
-Alan "Scoop" Stevens
According to 94.9FM assistant program director Michael Halloran, the Incredible Moses Leroy's lovable sugar-pop song, "Fuzzy," is being used in a national ad campaign for Vespa scooters. So as yesteryear's chosen form of loner transportation makes its triumphant return, the affable IML will be the soundtrack of your new mod existence. Moses frontman Ron Fountenberry gets the award for best use of the commercial world. Two years ago, his messy afro and bespectacled mug was plastered all over the world for the GAP clothing line. Fountenberry is done recording Moses' new album, which will be released later this year.
Box Car Racer has committed to making a second album, to be recorded after blink-182 is finished recording their new release. Box Car has taken to playing Barry Manilow's "Mandy" in concert, and the song may even make the record, according to a friend of the band. Going out on a limb, we at Locals Only predict that MCA record executives will panic as the next blink-182 album sees comparably smaller sales, although it will still spurn 4,000 radio singles and Mark Hoppus will sing a karaoke version of one of their hits on an upcoming episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer-before he whisks off the blood sucking superhero-ette for a long night of mutual masturbation.
Convoy has a new video of their song "Air Traffic Control" up on their website, www.convoy
music.com. Reportedly, the video was filmed after an all-night excursion in Chicago, after which they played a radio show for Q101FM. There are many rock 'n' roll philosophies confirmed by the video, including: 1) no matter the cancerous outcome, rockers look cool smoking; 2) rockers have never really understood how to tie a tie; 3) wearing sunglasses inside not only indicates stardom, but also hints at dangerous drug elements; 4) carrying a stickered guitar case through any airport will undoubtedly get you laid; 5) no matter what, black and white is always cooler than color; and 6) "Air Traffic Control" is a nifty little tune.
Agent 51 recently played Tony Hawk's Christmas party, no doubt regaling a gaggle of skate, surf and Hollywood stars. The buzz is big on Agent's new album, to be released soon on Encinitas-based Surfdog Records (www.agent51rocks.com).
Relatively new on the San Diego scene, indie-chick trio the Glossines are getting airplay on the legendary U.K. radio show hosted by John Peel. Reportedly, one of the gals in the band waited outside of Peele's studio and personally handed him a copy of their new album. Radio play on Peel's show isn't to be underestimated-the show, along with KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic," ranks among the most influential music radio shows in the world. Muchos congratos to the gals, who (to dumb it all down for reference's sake) are a vixen-ish cross between Sleater-Kinney and Bratmobile. Check 'em out when they perform at the Casbah on Jan. 22 with the Bangs (www.theglossines.com).
Who knows if she'll bring oversized teddy bears and live swans, but Icelandic goddess Björk will be performing in the über-small confines of San Diego's own lesbian bar, the Flame in Hillcrest. We're not sure how or why these things happen-but the cult of Björk is no doubt salivating all over their copies of Vespertine. The show will be on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets are only available through DJ Brian Pollard's Klubs.com and at the Flame itself ($40 in advance and $50 on the night of the show at the door... yeah, right). A "big star, small joint" event like this hasn't happened since Eddie Vedder pulled a surprise gig at the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas in 1999. For more info, visit www.klubs.com.
Jason Mraz is featured on the cover of the new issue of CMJ Monthly. The title: "Jason Mraz loves sex." Mraz is quickly emerging as one of the strangest sex symbols we've seen. When a pasty, skinny kid from Mechanicsville, Va. can wear a mesh hat sideways and be seen as one hot bitch, the world is changing for the better (www.jasonmraz.com).
Interesting tidbit: the painting on the cover of Unwritten Law's last album, Elva, was done by a San Diego artist named Mark Baldwin. UL's vocalist, Scott Russo, has the original painting hanging in the living room of his new home, just around the corner from the gold record they received for the "black album." UL will release their all-acoustic album, "Music in High Places" on Jan. 21 (www.unwrittenlaw.com).