Terrin Durfey, whose battle with cancer was detailed in CityBeat two weeks ago, died early Tuesday morning, Oct. 28. The local musician, former frontman of Boilermaker and Jade Shader and touring keyboardist for Pinback, was 34 years old. He leaves behind his wife, Adrienne, and 6-year-old son Dakota.
Durfey spent his last few days comfortable and surrounded by friends and family. On Friday night, drifting in and out of sleep, Durfey awoke to find his room packed with bandmates.
“You guys are all here?” he asked. “Yeah, man, we're having a party!” joked Pinback's Rob Crow. Without missing a beat, Durfey responded, “I'm having a party in my pants!”
He was famous for his juvenile sense of humor, which included hilarious prank calls to his pals. But more than that, he was kind-hearted, a hard worker, a talented musician, a loyal friend, an adored son and a top-notch husband and father.
At a recent Casbah benefit show for Durfey, wife Adrienne, tears welling, said she'd felt guilty about leaving her man for the night. But Durfey had told her to go and have fun. Always have fun.—AnnaMaria Stephens
Jack Black won't be there, but the Paul Green School of Rock will perform a benefit show at House of Blues from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, to support the San Diego branch that helps fund scholarships for children's music and arts education. The “Make Rock a Reality” event will feature kids who won a scholarship essay contest and who have been training to perform at the show. Along with raffles and silent auctions, the winners (all between 7 and 18 years old) will play songs by The Beatles, James Brown, The Clash, Led Zeppelin and The Who. Admission is $20.
Local drummer Tim Newton schooled the competition on Oct. 14 and was crowned the county's best drummer at the Murray Drive Guitar Center's 20th Anniversary “Drum-Off” competition. Newton will now try to win two more drum-off competitions on a path to the January finals in Hollywood, where he would be eligible to win $45,000 in cash and prizes. Past winners have gone on to work with artists like Prince, Mars Volta and Jay-Z. —Seth Combs
Making things cool
Locals first heard of Franki Chan back in 2003, when he contributed punk-rock-ified illustrations to the short-lived weekly newspaper Fahrenheit. Chan, a comic-book fan and music fiend from Seattle, moved to Los Angeles, where he became a popular underground DJ and all-around hipster hero. Photos with Paris Hilton on Facebook? Check. Palling around with all the coolest bands? Check. Trucker hat and thick glasses? Well, you get the picture.
These days, Chan has parlayed his connections and innate coolness into a business called IHEARTCOMIX! that, it turns out, doesn't have all that much to do with comics (though Chan does attend Comic-Con every year without fail).
“IHEARTCOMIX! comes out of an era where I was booking shows and drawing the fliers for the shows and DJing at the shows,” Chan explains. “We're a record label, a promo company, a marketing company and a blog. We find and discover new artists and things and make them cool. And we do that through actively being involved with those things.”
Chan is currently touring the U.S. with Parisian labelmate DJ Toxic Avenger and Chicago-based party blogger-photographer Everyone is Famous. “We're DJing, having fun and basically trying to spread the awesomeness of IHEARTCOMIX!,” Chan says. “I view my job as DJ to make folks dance, and I know that Toxic does, too. We'll also have a merch booth and a megaphone—crazy stuff.”Chan is planning to show up on Halloween, Friday, Oct. 31, at UCSD's newest performance space, The Loft, dressed as red-white-and-blue Captain America. “I feel like Obama's going to win, and in 2009 our main focus is to make the United States cool again,” he says. “The last eight years have totally sucked.”
But can a slender hipster kid really pull off a buff superhero? “Hey, I've got some guns,” laughs Chan. “I'm skinny but that doesn't mean I can't feel the spirit.”—AnnaMaria Stephens
The Enrique Experience
Muscle bros in Dockers and tramp-stamped beach blondes alike ran for cover as the undead rose up and invaded the Gaslamp last Sunday, clutching cans of Chef Boyardee and Spam for a zombie walk and food drive benefiting the San Diego Food Bank.
The walk—held in observance of World Zombie Day—made a stop at the Stage Saloon, a newer Downtown watering hole with narrow mausoleum-like brick walls. Everybody from zombie housewives to reanimated clowns and even an undead Charlie Chaplin boogied down. There was a reveler wearing a tie-dyed shirt with fake blood all over his chest. “I'm a bleeding heart liberal” he said.The flesh-eating crowd rocked out with their guts out thanks to the stylings of local garage-punk rockers Zombie Surf Camp.
“Looking out at the crowd and seeing so many zombies was awesome; usually our shows are crowded by the living,” vocalist Moon Zoggy told CityBeat after the show, adding, “To us, it was the equivalent of The Beatles playing in Liverpool.”
After the set, organizer Jennifer Muzquiz took center stage to announce a set of door prizes.
“Brains, brains!” the audience members demanded.
“Halloween is my favorite holiday, so tonight was like porn to me,” said Muzquiz, who started the local walk (www.myspace.com/sandiegozombiewalk) after moving from L.A. a few years back.
Just as a zombie mosh pit was forming, a lady selling flowers from a bucket made her rounds. Surprisingly she made it out alive, but she didn't sell any roses. Um, yeah, wrong crowd, honey.—Enrique Limón
After homework is all finished
What started as a Christmas present of a small, cheap plastic keyboard quickly became Chase Morrin's lifelong dream and obsession. At 9 years old, Morrin started playing the keyboard and creating his own compositions. A year later, he asked his parents for lessons and has been playing the piano and writing music professionally ever since.
The kid's already got style. When Morrin gets behind a piano or keyboard, he makes sure to wear his signature black bowler hat while his nimble little fingers zip effortlessly across the keys. He currently plays with four different bands, including The Jazz Ensemble and The Jazz Ensemble Combo, two big-band jazz groups under the direction of Vince Greco.
“He's extremely good,” says Greco of Morrin's skills. “Extremely good—way beyond his years. Highly respected, by not only just the kids, but the professional musicians he works with.”
Fresh out of an after-school history study group, Morrin, now 15, told CityBeat about his newest project, Latin Connection, a Latin-jazz ensemble made up of fellow teen musicians Michael Valentini, David James, Daniel Feldman and Chris Burgess.
“I met the drummer at a public-library concert playing solo piano,” Morrin says. “This British kid came up to me and gave me his whole résumé. I called him a couple days later, we jammed together and he ended up being this absolutely incredible drummer.”
Soon after that first session, Morrin and the drummer, Feldman, started Latin Connection by rounding up some of the best young musicians they knew. Now just a little more than a year old, the band practices a few times a week and gigs almost every week, too.
“I guess you could say we're pretty serious,” says Morrin, who admits that his mother and the saxophone player's mother help them score the gigs and handle most of their public-relations and promotion. “My mom does most of the website stuff, too—she's pretty savvy with that stuff. It's kinda nice.”
From 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, Latin Connection will play at Dizzy's, Downtown). Morrin says they'll play a few original compositions, jazz standards and Latin arrangements. Check www.myspace.com/chasemorrin and www.dizzyssandiego.com for details.—Kinsee Morlan