Welcome to the neighborhood
Scolari's Office, the North Park dive-cum-underground mecca that has helped nourish the seeds of the San Diego music scene the last few years, had to suspend shows after March 25 because authorities were tipped off that the venue hadn't renewed its cabaret license.
The debacle stems from a familiar scenario: a new neighbor willingly moves in next to an established nightclub and starts complaining about the noise. Police informed manager Sandy Scolari that the new neighbor had filed complaints and had done research to discover that the bar's license to host live entertainment was due for renewal Feb. 28.
"The only thing [the neighbor] really accomplished was to let us know our license had expired," Scolari said. "He's called the health department, the fire marshal, the police, practically the army on us, but we do everything right here so we really have nothing to worry about."
Scolari said she never received a renewal notice because some of the bar's mail was accidentally forwarded to a Las Vegas address, but she takes full blame for the oversight.
"I'm just especially sorry to all the bands that couldn't play," she said. "Especially two touring bands that showed up because we weren't able to let them know ahead of time."
Authorities finished their final inspection of Scolari's Office Monday. The venue should have its license back and resume bands by press time.
Live music, karaoke two nights a week and occasional DJs or open jams have elevated the dingy bar from a place where hard drinkin' old timers go to polish off their long-overworked livers to a hotspot for local music and favorite stop for many a touring band. Scolari said the financial impact of losing two weekends of potentially big shows is huge.
She also said the authorities have been extremely helpful in getting the bar back on track.
"We have a lot of licenses to renew every year and they all have different expiration dates. The neighbor really has little to do with it-I messed up and I won't let it happen again."
San Diego ripe for reality TV
The Learning Channel will be stopping by the Coaster Saloon this Saturday night to shoot an episode of Lost Loves Reunited.
"The TLC crew were scouting locations for different tapings in the L.A. and San Diego area," said Cathryn Beeks, publicist for the Coaster Saloon and member of local singer-songwriter trio The Gandhi Method. "They stopped into my best friend's bar in Del Mar, who told me they were looking for stories about lost loves. I sent them a little somethin' about a boy from New York that I had met at my open mic a few months back. I told them he and I connected here on the West Coast but because I'm afraid to fly and he's such a busy session player, blah blah blah."
The show's producers loved the story and signed her up. TLC will come to San Diego the morning of April 10 and film a "day in the life" at Beeks' home, then follow Beeks to her friend's bar in Del Mar, where she will "get some therapy about my flight anxiety," she said. Finally, they will end at the Coaster Saloon.
Anyone wanting to take part is advised to head to the Coaster Saloon for a 6:30 p.m. taping. The Gandhi Method will back Beeks for four songs at 7 p.m., and Hudson River will play after the film crew leaves.
"The next day I fly to New York and hang out for a day until Jimmy [the "lost love" in question] has his day filmed," Beeks said. "Then we will have our reunited day and later that night I'll sit in with him and his band at The Knitting Factory.
What's in the special sauce?
One of the boys from blink wants to get all up in your fish taco.
In the rare event that dick jokes lose their economic viability, drummer Travis Barker has a contingency plan-he's opening a Wahoo's Fish Taco store in Norco, located about an hour-and-a-half north of San Diego on Interstate 15.
Barker's taco store will be located next to an Active Ride Skate Shop on Hamner Avenue in the self-proclaimed "Horse Capital of America." It's part of a business agreement between Active and Wahoo's to open up a one-stop Bro Cal culture market likely to become a sweet mecca for river-bound, tribal-tatted bleach boys and girls gone wild.
Barker may have missed his own opening had it not been for an unfortunate accident: the band was forced to cancel dates in Japan, Australia and Hawaii after he injured his foot down under March 12. The band hits the road again April 22 with The Used and Taking Back Sunday, and will co-headline a tour with No Doubt beginning June 1.
Retroactively big in Japan
Most people know Chuck Perrin as the proprietor-doorman of Dizzy's nightclub in downtown or as a performing artist with a mix of jazz and spoken-word releases to his credit. But Perrin actually had a recording career that began back in 1968 as part of the brother-and-sister folk duo Chuck and Mary Perrin. The pair was a hit regionally and pressed their own now highly collectable discs on Perrin's own Webster's Last Word record label. Last week, the duo's earliest recordings were re-released by a British label, Revola.
"There weren't a lot of people releasing music on their own in those days," said Perrin. "But I think it holds up well, it's very atmospheric."
The duo released two albums, Brothers and Sisters and Next of Kin, as well as two singles and a couple of songs on a compilation album before signing to Sunlight Records in 1971.
"The music has been having a resurgence, mostly in Japan," remarked Perrin. "There was a lot of interest in maybe re-releasing the albums and the interest spread here. A guy who works for EMI and an offshoot label called Revola decided to do it."
The label has released an anthology that includes both albums plus the compilation tracks, and Perrin is pleased with the response so far, particularly from fans in the Far East.
"There is a really big contingent of Japanese fans that e-mail me and know about all these things," he said. "The first day, they sold out at the HMV [music store] in Tokyo."
Josh Hale, who once held washboard playin' duties in East County's best (and maybe the world's only) jug-core band Kolob, is running for California State Assembly as the Libertarian party candidate for District 78. Though affiliation with Kolob is probably political suicide, the band has offered their services to aid his campaign. Kolob plays next at The Liar's Club in Mission Beach on Cinco de Mayo.
Spell Toronto will be playing every date of the 2004 Vans' Warped Tour this summer. The band is representing and raising funds for StandUp For Kids, a national organization (begun in San Diego) dedicated to helping homeless youth. Three months on the road with the so-called punk rock summer camp ain't cheap for small bands, even with some support of a large venture like Warped. So the band will be doing a series of fund-raising shows to finance their journey (check their site, www.spelltoronto.com, for dates). The Warped Tour launches in Houston, Texas in late June.
Reeve Oliver will also play the Warped tour July 28 through Aug. 8. No surprise, since bassist O has so many high-profile friends in the skate-punk world he could probably get himself booked as the singer of The Offspring.
Jason Mraz will sing the national anthem to patriotically christen Petco Park on Thursday. Mraz also shows up in a four-page spread, complete with bikini-clad models, in the current "Spring Fashion" edition of Rolling Stone.
Vintage rockers The Bad Apples have changed their name to The Jersey Thursdays.
Apparently, the fact that no one saw the film Race with the Devil has paid off, as Jewel has been cast in another movie. Java Joe's fave female singer will appear in Wave, due out in 2005. Jewel has also signed an exclusive worldwide deal with L'Oréal Feria hair color products, and the TV commercial for the campaign began airing on March 14, using the track "Yes U Can" from Jewel's latest album 0304. You can catch the former Ocean Beach grunt on ABC's The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour, April 11
If you were at Switchfoot's Nov. 7 Soma show, you might be able to spot yourself in the audience shots on the band's new concert DVD, Live in San Diego, out last week on Columbia. The group's newest album, The Beautiful Letdown, was certified platinum earlier this month.
Aspiring musicians wanting to break into the downtown scene take note: Café 828 (located at 6th Avenue and F Street) has just added a regular "Jazz Jam Session" Friday evenings beginning at 9:30 p.m.
This month, Volume 3 of British music mag Q's "50 Years of Rock 'n' Roll" series includes two locals. Look for info on Ratt and former Smiths manager Ken Friedman.
The long-delayed CD-release party for hard rockers Siren's Wail will now take place April 9 at 'Canes.
On April 13, Santa Barbara-based Loud and Clear Records will release San Diego is Burning, a compilation album featuring the cream of San Diego's alternative music crop. Look for tracks from No Knife, Kill Me Tomorrow, Via Satellite, Goodbye Blue Monday, Waterline Drift and Blackheart Procession and more. Half of the proceeds go to the Humane Society, but the label is foregoing its half of the proceeds made at the April 23 CD-release party at The Casbah in order to raise money for Tim McCormick, the local artist who was injured in a robbery in March.
Children's music star and North County resident Buck Howdy heads to Washington D.C. this weekend to be part of the entertainment at Sunday's traditional Easter Egg hunt on the south lawn of the White House.
Surfing songstress Tristan Prettyman will be hitting the road with G. Love and Special Sauce in mid-April to accompany the Philly-based trio on a two-week jaunt through the Dirty South and the Midwest.