Ultravires for the ultra-dire
"The doctors have told her that it's a miracle she's even alive," said Aimee Harlib, frontwoman for local band the Ultravires, referring to her friend and former co-worker, Alana Pedros. Pedros, a 16-year-old Oceanside High School junior, was struck by a drunk driver on Oct. 16 and suffered serious injuries, including internal bleeding, a broken leg and pelvis and trauma to her head and eyes. She may be permanently blind and faces months of painful and expensive physical therapy.
The driver fled the scene but later turned himself in.
Pedros has five siblings, all of whom are supported on their parents' modest income. Pedros' friend, another young girl, was also injured in the accident, suffering a broken pelvis.
Harlib has organized a benefit show for Pedros and her family, set for Nov. 6 at the Los Flores Church of the Nazarene (1400 Las Flores Drive in Carlsbad) from 3 to 9 p.m. The Ultravires and Thee Corsairs will perform along with founding Rugburn Robert Driscoll, who teaches English at Oceanside High. Harlib says the school has been plagued by a number of sudden deaths in the last several months-another student was struck and killed in a crosswalk just last week.
Donations are requested, and money will also be raised through a bake sale and raffle, with prizes donated by Lou's Records, Toy Machine, Death Box, Alva skateboards, Surf Bowl, 101 CAFE, Hershel's Deli. Other North County companies have been signing up and donating every day.
"[Pro-skater] Jamie Thomas just donated a skateboard that we're going to put up on EBay," Harlib said. "The show of support from the community has been absolutely overwhelming."
Harlib says the event will be teen-oriented, and drunk driving and other issues will be addressed. Counselors will be available on site, and Harlib hopes doctors will give Alana permission to attend as the guest of honor.
Anyone willing to help has been urged to contact Pastor Ben George at 760-473-4614 or Harlib at email@example.com.
In happier Ultravires news, the band will play at the New York International Music Festival (a year-old industry showcase that runs concurrently with the New York International Film Festival). Their first recording, Destination, was released last summer.
"I was planning another two-month tour across the country and was actually more than halfway booked up," said Mary Dolan. Then "I just had this sense that I shouldn't go. I just felt like it was wrong somehow." Dolan, once a staple of San Diego's coffee house circuit, is describing why she quit music four years ago.
"The business of music gets old and ugly," she explained. "I walked away in the first place because I was tired. I felt like I was getting kind of burned out on music. I thought that might refresh things for me."
Dolan went back to school-she now has a bachelor's degree in religious studies and is working on her master's in library sciences-but this week makes a welcome return at Acoustic Expressions in North Park on Nov. 6 for the release of her new album, Little Flowers.
"In going to school, getting regular jobs and in working with a spiritual director, I was able to separate from the business of music, and I realized that it was the business that was draining my creativity," she said. "It was beyond being no fun anymore-it was almost a kind of torture had stopped making music for the love of it. I was doing it to get somewhere or make X amount of dollars."
Frankenstein's fresh duds
Even in mild San Diego, winter sucks when you're broke and unprepared. That's why former Allotic drummer Steve Silva-now front man for the band Casanova Frankenstein-is organizing a clothes drive to get winter clothes to those who can't afford 'em. Silva is collecting clothes at his day job (Phil's BBQ in Mission Hills) and says he'll even come to your house and pick them up: just e-mail him at casanova
Silva will collect through Thanksgiving and donate everything he gathers to Salvation Army. "I understand some people are uncomfortable giving to faith-based organizations, and if that's the case, I just encourage everyone to give to somebody, anybody," he said.
Silva says his departure from Allotic was amicable and admits his new project also involves some new threads: "I admit it's kind of a vanity project, I'm singing and playing guitar and will probably record everything myself. It's an opportunity to rock out and sing really high and wear tight vinyl pants."
Casanova Frankenstein will also play as a live unit once Silva finishes recording in January.
After years as the funnest band that's a bit too ADD to record, Bunky has finally finished their debut album, to be released on New York label Asthmatic Kitty, home to Sufjan Stevens and other San Diegans, The Castanets and Liz Janes. Also, last week we chided genius boy Raymond Raposa for planning to move The Castanets to New York. Turns out the band's publicist fed us false information. Ray says he's going east for a few months, but he shall return. Look for an upcoming review of the new Castanets album in The New York Times.
New band alert: punk band Spacehorse has just been christened, and the lineup looks like a doozy. Russell White (Champagne Kiss, ex-Camera Obscura), Matt Anderson (ex-Heroin, Clikitat Ikatowi) and Scott Bartilonni (ex-Clikitat Ikatowi). The band will record next month for Gravity Records and plans to tour Europe soon.
Rock band Dorado Gold continues to be a band to watch, and, apparently, the members of Yellowcard agree. Yellowcard held a contest during their concerts this summer, asking unsigned bands to drop off demos. From more than 7,000 submissions-judged by band members, A&R reps and industry bigwig types-Dorado Gold was selected as one of 10 finalists. The rest of the competition will be decided by public voting, and fans can vote DG starting Nov. 15 on www.purevol
ume.com. The winner will be signed to Takeover Records (owned by Yellowcard guitarist Ben Harper) and get a spot on the Yellowcard 2005 tour, Hurley clothing sponsorship, full merch set-up from Al Design, radio promotion with DJM, advertising budgets and a bunch of other beneficial crap.
San Diego Troubadour Magazine unveils a website this week, geared to traditional music from gospel and folk to bluegrass and jazz. With an emphasis on local artists and music history, the publishers hope www.sandiegotrou
badour.net will become a one-stop resource center for San Diego folk slingers.
If you missed this year's San Diego Music Awards, you can catch a broadcast of the event on Channel 4 San Diego Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. (it will re-air through the month). This is essential viewing for local music fans, with one of the best lineups ever. Included are The Locust, Scarlet Symphony, AJ Croce, The Album Leaf, Tristan Prettyman and Deep Rooted featuring Mr. Brady and Johaz. Also performing are Lifetime Achievement Award winners Charles McPherson (alongside Gilbert Castellanos) and the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers, which counts Double Eagle guitar shop proprietor Ed Douglas, Hearts and Flowers guitarist Larry Murray, former Byrd Chris Hillman and former Flying Burrito Brother Kenny Wertz among its distinguished membership.
Proving she's not quite star acting material, Jewel has turned to toons. She's developing a new series for Nickelodeon called Punk Rock Angel Girl, collaborating with former Marvel Comics writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
In other benefit news, The Misfiends (a Misfits cover band featuring members of The Mice, Dogmatic and Skipjack) and supporting acts Hervana and Major Threat raised more than $200 for the San Diego Center for the Blind during a Halloween fundraiser at Scolari's Office. Each sporadic Misfiends performance is a benefit, with the band raising money for breast-cancer research and other charitable organizations in the past.
Local bands hoping to showcase at next year's South-by-Southwest music conference and Dionysian orgy need to get their shit together. Applications for the March 16-20 festival are due Nov. 8. Online applications are available at www.sxsw.com, and interested parties need also submit a press pack with a CD (at least three original songs), a photo and a biography.
If you managed to miss The Dragons during their 13-year reign as one of San Diego's most rambunctious live acts, all is not lost-the band's farewell performance at The Casbah has been saved for posterity and will be released on DVD. Gearhead Records is also releasing the final official Dragons recording-a vinyl single of "Dirty Bomb" with the b-side "Save a Smile," a previously unreleased tune from the band's Sin Salvation sessions. In related news (pun intended), the mayor of Austin, Texas, has declared Nov. 4 "Alejandro Escovedo Day." Alejandro of is the brother of Dragons frontman Mario Escovedo.
A version of Rosie & The Originals' "Angel Baby" is one of the bonus tracks on this month's reissue of John Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll. Ringo Starr also has a new DVD, Tour 2003, which includes a documentary partially shot at Humphrey's.
A new live album by Iron Butterfly-recorded on a tour of Holland and England earlier this year-is due out Oct. 30.
Don't forget to check out the Nov. 4 episode of Fox TV's The O.C., which will include the Album Leaf track "Eastern Glow." The band also recently licensed its music for use in an upcoming Hummer ad, plus an upcoming Starbucks compilation album. Can you say "co-opt," Johnny?