Ever attended a show alone (you confident person, you) and witnessed a band that was too damn good to describe to friends? Ever swilled so many Steinlägers you couldn't recall how scintillating Har Mar Superstar's back hair was? Some Casbah regulars can relate, and the club feels your pain.
For the past few years, The Casbah has partnered with eMusic Live.com, and artists can contact the club beforehand to arrange a video and audio recording of their show. For the willing (read: bands confident they don't suck live), the performance is webcast in real-time and then archived for free access on eMusic's website. At the show, an eMusic rep also burns a few audio CDs for the band to sell or just play in the van as their Perrier-drinking, born-again drummer drives 'em to Phoenix or L.A. or whatever ass-pocket they play after glorious San Diego.
The service is free for bands-save for emotional cost you'll incur if it's the one show when your bass amp blows, your singer doesn't take his meds and you flub that guitar part... again.
So far, over 100 local and national acts have been captured for digital posterity-yet the service remains largely unknown to musicians and fans. So consider this a very press release-ish article for what we think's a good idea.
M-Theory Music has exclusive brick-and-mortar rights to sell the audio CDs (single discs are $10, doubles are $15). So far, their racks include such CDs by Billy Midnight, The Dirtbombs, The Handsome Family, Kill Me Tommorrow, Lucky Jeremy, Matt Curreri, Mojo Nixon, The Mr. T Experience, North Atlantic, Operatic, Scarlet Symphony, Scott H Biram, The Sights, Sin Sin 77 and Year Future.
The CDs are also available at other online music shops, including iTunes, BuyMusic, MusicNet and Napster. Interested bands should contact eMusic's rep Emily Joyce (also of beloved local band, Bunky) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Man puts free music on website
Hundreds of thousands of songs on an easy-to-find website-mp3.com was a boon to independent artists all over the world. But when the San Diego company fell victim to its own faulty business plan, CNet bought their assets and promptly deleted the music. Now, a former mp3.com employee has taken it upon himself to fill that void.
Ian (TK) launched ACME noise.com in early February and so far has signed on about two dozen bands, most of which are based in San Diego or L.A.. While that number may be a spec of sand on the expansive beach that was mp3.com, the site seems to have its heart in the right place and is offering users free, unlimited uploads and downloads. Since no-cost exposure and distribution are good in most everything except STDs, we recommend artists sign up because ACME could be an online music hub of the future (in which case it'll likely fall victim to its own faulty business plan and eventually be bought by CNet, but we digress).
As if recently losing a guitarist wasn't enough, moody alt-rockers Ilya now face a formidable challenger to their name. Last week Virgin Records began a worldwide publicity push for the single, "They Died For Beauty (Revised Version)," by a Bristol, England band named... Ilya. The bands share a few similarities-both are female-fronted and specialize in dreamy, ambient rock. So it'll be interesting to see if San Diego's indie David can stave off the major label Goliath, but with the British Ilya less than a year old, our counterfeit pesos are on the locals.
Condolences to the friends and family of the Pedro Escovedo, beloved patriarch of San Diego's first family of music, who passed away Jan. 14 in La Mesa. Mr. Escovedo considered becoming a singer in the 1940s, but instead settled down with his family, a decision that has affected music fans for generations. He instilled a love of music in his children, including Mario Escovedo (The Dragons), Alejandro Escovedo (Rank & File/True Believers), Javier Escovedo (The Zeros), Pete Escovedo and Thomas Escovedo (Santana/Azteca), as well as grandchildren Shiela E. and Peter Michael Escovedo, musical director of TV's Wayne Brady Show. We at Citybeat offer the Escovedo family our deepest sympathies.
Increasing the guy's goofy, ambivalent sex appeal, Jason Mraz sports a milk mustache in this month's Rolling Stone. When you sell a million records, you're a star-when you become the new "Got Milk" poster boy, you are a god (or at least an iconic human with strong bones). The date for Mraz's appearance on NBC's American Dreams is now set for Mar. 28.
The Truckee Brothers, featuring Christopher Hoffee and Patrick Dennis have added a rhythm section and done become a band. The newcomers are former Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash and Loam bassist Clark Stacer and ex-Elgin Park drummer Matt Lynott. The new lineup premieres Feb. 27 at Lestat's.
Singer-songwriter Jamie will hold a CD release party for her new album, Music from a Love Shared on Feb. 25 at Dizzy's. Jamie-a local gal adept at both guitar and violin-will be the focus of the show, but she's pulled together an all-star lineup for the event, including trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, saxophonist Joe Marillo, bassist James East, guitarist Fred Benedetti and pianist Mikan Zlatkovich on piano.
The Coaster Saloon in Mission Beach was recently voted one of the top 20 dive bars in America by Stuff Magazine and, beginning in March, will add two more nights of live music to its existing open-mic Thursdays. The bar promises to never charge a cover and has booked some good shows already, such as the June appearance by The Beat Farmers. For a full schedule, visit www.coastersaloon.com. Musicians interested in playing should contact entertainment coordinator Cathryn Beeks at 619-227-6524.
Finally, CityBeat is planning an "All Local Music" issue (we promise to think of a wittier title) on March 31. So send us your stuff. We want music from San Diego artists off all stripes, whether it's a beautiful digi-pack album of quasi-Celtic-metal-funk or a demo of your classic-Uzbekistan-alternative burned to a blank Staples CD and wrapped in grandma's doilies. We're gonna try and review them all. But do it quick-our reviewers' CD trays are filling as we speak.