Achy breaky feet
I'm not a dancer. When I do dance—typically after absorbing a Bacardi IV drip—the result is something between bad performance art and an epileptic seizure. So it was with trepidation that I agreed to go line-dancing on a recent Wednesday night at In Cahoots (5373 Mission Center Road).
The invitation—extended by a friend, Garrett, and accepted excitedly by my wife—was the cordial equivalent of asking if I wanted my self-esteem repeatedly kicked in the groin with steel-toed cowboy boots. Well, sure. Sounds like, um, fun.
My plan was to drink beforehand. A lot. Unfortunately, we arrived just as the free lesson began. I figured it fortuitous that I was learning the two-step and not other dances—like the “Dallas Shuffle” or the “Cowboy Cha Cha”—that would have ended with me in the hospital nursing a dislocated hip.
Turns out, the two-step is a misnomer. My first dancing partner—you rotate partners frequently, like a Hee Haw version of speed dating—was a Swiss miss who didn't speak any English beyond “no English.” But she still grasped the instructions—left/right, left, right, face, spin, return, left/right, etc.—better than I could.
I succeeded only in shuffling awkwardly, stepping on toes, kicking shins and running my partners into people while desperately trying to keep time to The Bellamy Brothers' “Redneck Girl” (sample lyric: “Gimme, gimme, gimme a redneck girl”).
When the lesson was over, I retreated to the bar to immediately erase my affront to country dancing with cheap whiskey and beer, arguably the most redeeming quality of In Cahoots. The bar—which kicks off its 16th anniversary celebration on Thursday, Feb. 21—has an informal dress code (no backwards hats, tuck in your shirt, etc.) that runs contrary to the country bars I grew up in, where manure-splattered jeans are accepted, if not encouraged.
But this is a city country bar—kind of like a two-story Texas Roadhouse with all the corresponding decorative accoutrement (neon beer signs, cow skulls, NASCAR memorabilia, etc.)—and city rules apply.
“This is more like… country fusion,” Garrett explained.
It's also something of a meat market with the cowgirls outnumbering the cowboys by a healthy 10-to-1 margin, though that ratio evened out as the night wore on. And by then the cheap drinks had begun to chip away at my apprehension.
But line-dancing isn't something you pick up mid-stream. As such, I was content to watch the veterans kick, stomp, shuffle, spin and clap on the crowded dance floor as “Watermelon Crawl” and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” blared overhead.
Finally, when Clint Black's “A Good Run of Bad Luck” came on, I seized the opportunity to two-step (or trip) my wife around the dance floor. It wasn't pretty, but it was kind of fun.
That enthusiasm was momentarily replaced by confusion when the DJ played some club tracks before the twang returned in earnest.
By that point, we were ready to call it a night. Maybe it was the whiskey, but the experience wasn't entirely horrifying. I kind of enjoyed it. I might even do it again.
Nah, just kidding. It was the whiskey. —Nathan Dinsdale
Rockin' the gold teeth
Although their lineup of in-store concerts was sporadic in the final months of 2007, Access Hip Hop (1537 Garnet Ave.) is picking up the slack in the still-fresh New Year with an excellent series of shows, giving locals a chance to see their favorite underground groups for free. CityBeat shot a call over to the shop to find out why the Access folks have hosted so many touring acts and found out that they've been working with the promoters at Static Lounge (634 Broadway) to snag some of the crews involved in the club's new Thursday-night hip-hop-focused Urban Underground series.
In addition to recent shows by Chicago's Typical Cats, Ubiquity Records producer/MC Ohmega Watts and Thirsty Fish of L.A.'s renowned Project Blowed, Access will continue to host performances through February and March. At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, original old-school MC Busy Bee the Original Chief Rocka drops rhymes and good vibes, followed by a session from Living Legends' own Eligh and Lucky at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 1. Word is that the Eligh show will be packed, so either get there early or break your piggy bank so you can shell out the 10 bucks to see his proper concert later that night at Winston's in Ocean Beach.—Todd Kroviak
Local blogs, SignonSanDiego's Street and this paper have written about Beauty Bar's (4746 El Cajon Blvd.) recent staff change. Booker Erica Jessup jumped ship a couple months ago for new North Park venue U-31, and Sara Knook stepped in to take Jessup's place. After a short transition period, Knook is on point—the club has dates booked almost solid through May.
CityBeat managed to catch up with the born-and-bred San Diegan during some of her rare downtime. Knook recommended checking out electro-hipsters Ultraviolet and Hypercrush on Friday, Feb. 22, hip-hop/rock hybridists Tally Hall on Thursday, Feb. 28, and the KPRI Homegrown show on Friday, Feb. 29, featuring local artists Republic of Letters, Astra Kelly and Emery Byrd. The KPRI show features a hosted bar from 6 to 9 p.m., with free drinks by P.I.N.K Spirits. Count us in.
If you're a fan of venue hopping—and have nowhere important to be on a Tuesday morning—Beauty Bar will host a DJ set by Brooklyn drone band A Place to Bury Strangers (think The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine) on Monday, March 3. The band starts the night at The Casbah as part of Tim Pyles' Anti-Monday League—a weekly showcase featuring local and national bands.—Todd Kroviak
Even more beautiful
CityBeat's annual spring fashion issue will hit the street on March 5. The issue's models are all local musicians. You'll have to grab yourself a copy to see who we included, but we'll leak at least one name: Amanda Suter from The Viewmasters, she of the flaming red hair, impeccable vintage garb and House of Magenta Tarantula jewelry line. Get a full-on view of Suter and The Viewmasters on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Bar Pink Elephant (3829 30th St.), where they'll be opening for San Francisco's Her Grace the Duchess. And, on Feb. 28, Suter will host the second-ever Shake Shack, her last-Thursday-of-the-month club night, also at Pink Elephant. This go-round features live music from Astra and DJs Siavash, Jeff Graves and Tijuana's Astronauta Jackson. —Kelly Davis
Last Thursday, an odd, poorly written post appeared on craigslist: “Bands Read San Diego Reader being hit with lawsuit!!!!!!!!!” (Yep—nine exclamation points). Here's the body of the post:
“The owner of the San Diego Reader has been hit with a lawsuit due to an article by none other then [sic] Ken Leighton. Its [sic] public record. If you are in a band and have also been slandered or have had false things written about you, and it has damaged your reputation, Please [sic] contact us and our attorney will be in contact with you. The case goes to court in March in San Diego.”
CityBeat tried a couple of times to contact the post's author, but the e-mail was bounced. A search of the San Diego Superior Court index revealed that no lawsuits had been filed (as of Feb. 19) against Blurt columnist Ken Leighton, the San Diego Reader or its editor/publisher, Jim Holman.
On Monday, we sent Leighton an e-mail, asking if he could elaborate. He got back to us asking for more information—he hadn't heard about the craigslist post.
So, is this for real? Who's the mystery band? Whatever it all means, we have one word of advice to the post's author: it's libel that you're allegedly alleging, not slander. Slander is when someone says something false and defamatory about another person (remember it this way: “slander” and “say” both start with an “s.”) Libel involves writing something false and defamatory. So, if you're going to accuse Leighton of anything, it's libel.—Kelly Davis
Update: Ends up there is a lawsuit filed against Reader editor Jim Holman (Leighton's boss) in small-claims court. Rosey Bystrak, author of local-music blog sddailedin.com, managed to get a response from the craigslist poster (our e-mails bounced immediately). Delmus Jeffrey, a local music promoter, told Rosey that he's tired of Leighton writing false things about local bands and other San Diego music industry folks and then not following up with correct information. I sent Jeffrey an e-mail asking if Leighton had written an article about him that he felt was libelous (to prove libel, a plaintiff has to demonstrate that his reputation or livelihood has been damaged by information the writer knew—or should have known—was false). Jeffrey said Leighton wrote a story about his company, Who's Got Riffs, in July 2007. —K.D.
Saturday night fight
A few eclectic things to do this Saturday, Feb. 23:
Masked madness: Violinist Paul Dateh and hip-hop DJ Inka One will provide the soundtrack for Mystique Carnival, a night featuring masked models in everything from lingerie to tuxedos, belly dancers, Venetian stilt walkers and more at Aubergine (500 Fourth Ave.).
Mix-up madness: SFiNX Productions (www.sfinx.com), one of downtown's most persistent event promoters, will celebrate the birthday of Omid, one of its founders, by inviting Los Angeles' mash-up mix master DJ Spider to
Stingaree (454 Sixth Ave.). Free until 10 p.m.La Mesa madness: San Diego's female-fronted punk band The New Forward will play the tiny stage at La Mesa's famous dive, Joe n Andy's Hole in the Wall (8344 La Mesa Blvd.).—Kinsee MorlanSend tips to email@example.com.