Shot on Scene
Gabe Vega (right) and Saul Q are DJ versions of The Pied Piper of Hamelin: Wherever they go, the kids follow. This photo was taken at U-31 last Friday night during Feel the Noise, Vega and Saul Q's weekly dance party that's been bringing people out since 2007. The boys are also responsible for Transport at Whistle Stop Bar, where they play electro and old-school hip-hop every first Saturday of the month and do an '80s-versus-'90s dance-off every third Saturday. Keep an eye on Mister Saul Q: Later this month, he's putting on something called Part of the Birthday Fiesta Never Dies, a two-day b-day bash at U-31 (Jan. 23) and El Dorado Bar (Jan. 24). The latter kicks off his weekly Saturday-night sessions at El Dorado, the new Downtown saloon-style watering hole that kicks major ass. —Kinsee Morlan
The Enrique Experience
Dubbed by his website, PBmillionaire.com, as “San Diego's hottest millionaire,” Iowa-born Jim Lawlor—who made his fortune by inventing a pair of special safety goggles used for spray painting—is single and available, and he wants everyone to know it.
Under the “What They Say” section on his site, Jenny, a girl Lawlor once dated, writes a testimonial of sorts and, amid other niceties, writes, “He's more than just financially well hung.” Interested girls can scroll through this and other selling points while Coldplay's “'Viva la Vida' (aka 'When I Ruled the World”) streams loudly from the site.
Lawlor, who lives in Pacific Beach and, in 2006, built a house outfitted with stone veneers that he calls “The Castle,” is equal parts Bruce Wayne and Hugh Hefner. Through his fledgling web-based TV series, Meet the Millionaire, he's out to find a Mrs. Right who not only looks the part but is socially aware, as well.
“‘Millionaire' is a very powerful word,” said Lawlor, surrounded by a bevy of beauties—10 strong—as he munched on some nachos at a casting call he held last week at PB Bar & Grill. “And it doesn't mean just being wealthy, but someone that has overwhelming fulfillment and gives back to the community, as well.”
Impeccably dressed in a tuxedo, his lavender bowtie and vest popping against his perfectly tan skin, the millionaire arrived at the bar accompanied by his full-time photographer, as well as two of his four secretaries. “Some people might be offended by my lifestyle,” he said, “but I think if they really knew me, they'd find out that I'm really real and down-to-earth.”
Along with the web show, Lawlor is holding auditions for an upcoming photo calendar.
Claribeo, 21, heard about the event through an ad on craigslist that described working with the well-to-do bachelor as “nothing short of spectacular.”
“I was looking for a part-time job and I came across it and was, like, ‘Hey, this is interesting,' and I've always wanted to do modeling, so why not give it a try?” she said.
Lawlor's New Year's resolution?
“Enjoy, but don't over-indulge. It's more work when you're wealthy to discipline yourself than it is when you're poor,” he said. And, of course, he plans to continue to host lavish parties at The Castle, but he'll have to be careful with that because, according to one of his secretaries, “the neighbors have been complaining.”
What, no moat?—Enrique Limón
Jesus “Joaquin” Isordia, 24, a guitarist for several Tijuana bands, most recently Nuestra Sangre, a hardcore metal band that was set to go on an international tour, was shot to death in front of his apartment in Tijuana on Dec. 29. Isordia, who lived part-time in San Diego, also delivered CityBeat newspapers for the last three-and-a-half years.
Friends and family say he was washing his truck when a car drove by and opened fire. Isordia's mother, Maria Haro, says her son lived near known drug dealers, and she suspects rival dealers are responsible for the shooting. “He was a hardworking person who loved music,” Haro says. “He lived in Tijuana to be closer to his bands…. He loved his music—it was his passion.”
A new Nortec Collective side-project has been formed called Hiperboreal + Clorofila and will release a debut early in 2009. The music is in the vein of Nortec and fellow side-project Bostich + Fussible, combining northern regional Mexican music and electronica. Pepe Mogt (aka Fussible) says Nortec members will focus exclusively on their side projects in 2009, but the Collective itself is alive and well despite the recent departure of founding member Roberto Mendoza (aka Panoptica).
As a woodwind player associated with local progressive jazz collective Trummerflora and an assistant professor of world music at nearby Palomar College, Ellen Weller has made a living from her passion. So it's not surprising that her sons—bassist Danny and drummer Charlie—have followed their mother's lead, studying at the New England Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music, respectively. Ellen's husband Bob is a well-respected pianist and drummer who's performed with jazz masters Mose Allison, Herb Ellis and Joe Pass. The clan will perform as the Weller Family Quartet at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at Dizzy's at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, Downtown. The cross-generational show should display how the young composers (Danny and Charlie are still in their 20s) have blossomed under the tutelage of their parents.—Seth Combs, Kinsee Morlan and Todd Kroviak
View from a stool
“Sometimes you just gotta suck it up and play,” a musician friend of mine said as we watched Danielle Stech-Homsy (who performs experimental trance-like tunes under the name Rio en Medio) pack up her gear after a one-song Dec. 30 performance at the Soda Bar.
The crowd at the bar was a little loud, but when you're a fairly unknown musician who's performing with nothing but a ukulele, it's hard to not hear people ordering drinks and socializing over pool. After Rio en Medio stormed off the stage, much of the crowd of 20 or so people who came to see her stood shaking their heads at her diva-like behavior.
As she sulked awhile and then packed up a van with tourmates The Lickets (who also gave a rather uninspired performance), a woman approached me and asked whether Rio had played yet. After I explained what had happened, she replied, “Fuck her. Who the fuck does she think she is? Mariah Carey?”—not realizing that the singer could likely hear her as she sat in the van waiting to leave.
Lucky for those who stuck around, local experimental trio The Vaginals played a laser-light-accompanied show with bizarre and sometimes lovely noodling in the vein of Captain Beefheart and Deerhoof. After them, the all-female Bitter Sobber played a full set (and a one-song encore) of earnest pop songs that were both exhilarating and touching. Maybe it was the music, maybe they were happy to see anything after Rio's performance, but the audience seemed much more interested. —Seth Combs
The DJ's corner
DJ pseudonym: CROS1
What he plays: Hip-hop, soul, R&B and funk.
What's going down: When CROS1's not busy running his two Armory Survival Gear stores Downtown and in Pacific Beach, he's at U-31 every Thursday night for a new weekly '80s and '90s night with DJ Artistic.
What's coming up: Starting Jan. 18, CROS1 will be spinning every Sunday at Sin Niteclub for Reggae Sundays with Shotta Crew, and starting Jan. 17, he'll be spinning every Saturday night at the new 18-and-up venue Submission Nightclub (the old Jade Theater at 701 C St., Downtown).
Look out: Don't miss CROS1 and House of Rep's SD Beat Battle Round 4 at Riley's Sports Lounge (2901 Nimitz Blvd., Point Loma) on Jan. 30. The competition pits music producers against one another and ends when one of 'em is voted the best. “It's similar to an MC battle, but with beats,” CROS1 explains.—Kinsee Morlan