Shot on Scene by James Norton
Last Sunday, the Super Bowl was the main event, but in San Diego, a close runner-up was Beauty Bar's third-anniversary party with bands The Modlins and Darker My Love and a slew of DJs, including Corey Biggs, Andrew Decade, Adam Salter and others. All the scenesters were there, including Shark Attack's Mike Delgado (right) and Alexa (left). Has anyone ever been to Beauty Bar and not seen Delgado, who never seems to leave home without a hoodie?—Kinsee Morlan
The Enrique Experience
What could be better than Super Bowl Sunday? Mötley Crüe Monday, of course. The 1980s hair band—partially responsible for the hole in the ozone layer—kicked off their 28-city “Saints of Los Angeles” tour in our fair hub, draining the county's bandana and animal-print-leggings supply.
The near sold-out crowd—a menagerie of past-their-prime-groupies and barbed-wire-armband-tattooed rockers—included bassist Nikki Sixx's main squeeze and L.A. Ink star Kat Von D.
“San Diego, you pretty fuckers, how are you doing?” singer Vince Neil asked the multitude of misfits gathered at SDSU's Cox Arena as he took the stage. The pyro-extravaganza included classics such as “Dr. Feelgood,” “Primal Scream” and “Same Ol' Situation,” during which a collage of girl-on-girl XXX clips and images of the Pentagon were intertwined with a montage equating Hitler to Queen Elizabeth II (take that, Madonna!) shown on three large screens.
The visuals were a nice addiction, except during the less-cutting-edge digital moments that resembled early Windows 97 screensavers.
The evening reached its climax when (cue the lesbian porn) the band played “Girls, Girls, Girls.” A duo sitting next to me, made up of a Daisy Duke-shorts-wearing cougar mom and her 'tween daughter, really got into it. The youngster practiced her best stripper moves on the black steel handrail as momma looked on with a tear in her eye and a proud gaze that read: Baby, after this I'm taking us to get our clits pierced.
At one point during the show, drummer Tommy Lee pulled out a bottle of Jägermeister and, after taking a good swig, passed it on to the audience. “Make sure those guys back there get a shot,” he said, pointing toward the nosebleed section.
Groupies who dared sip the community bottle take note: Next time, skip throwing sexy bras on stage and launch some Valtrex instead (those nasty cold sores in This is Spinal Tap are more than just spandex-metal lore).—Enrique Limón
Bicoastal rehearsals have begun for 1980s cult rockers Noise 292, who're getting back together for the Che Underground reunion planned for late May—not at Che Café but, rather, at The Casbah. While insurance issues have shuttered the Che temporarily, Noise 292 founder and CheUnderground.com blogger Matthew Rothenberg says the group “is trying to set something up with Che Café” to coincide with the Casbah show, as well.
Goblin Cock, the faux-metal band fronted by Rob Crow of Pinback, have released a music video for their song “We've Got a Bleeder.” The clip was directed by local musician and Starlite co-owner Matt Hoyt and can be seen on the band's MySpace page.
Deep Rooted have also released a music video for their new single, “Billie Jean Theme.” The Michael Jackson-sampling song is featured on the hip-hop group's new self-titled album (released Jan. 27), which received a glowing review on hip-hop website Okayplayer.com. The group will play an album-release show Saturday, Feb. 7, at U-31.
Rockers The Soft Pack (formerly The Muslims) have signed to Kemado Records and will release their debut album sometime in 2009. The New York label is also home to bands like The Sword, Vietnam and Dungen.
Zack Wentz (Kill Me Tomorrow) and Shelby Gubba (ex-Braaiins!) have started a new band called The Dabbers. No music has been posted to their MySpace site, but they already have shows planned, opening up for Fucked Up at The Casbah on Feb. 4 and for Street of Little Girls at The Ruby Room on Feb. 15.—Seth Combs and Will K. Shilling
Indie-rock mayor No. 2
Former Mayor Dick Murphy and his appreciation of Pavement ain't got nothin' on current Mayor Jerry Sanders.
A spokesperson for Sanders says hizzoner is one of those “in-bed-by-9 types,” so it would therefore surprise the mayor's mouthpiece that he made it all the way past two songs from headliners The Black Heart Procession last Thursday night at The Casbah.
That's right, Sanders made his first-ever appearance at the venerable club, and his presence prompted a whirl of whispers among the assembled hipsters. Sanders' party included his pal, Superior Court Judge Mike Smyth, and his wife Nora; ubiquitous security dude Odie Gallop; and Sanders' wife Rana Sampson.
In fact, it was Sampson's friendship with bass player Kevin Stram of second-billed Buckfast Superbee that brought them to The Casbah. About eight years ago, Sampson said, Stram sold her a new ride at North Park's Motorsport Scooters, and they've been pals ever since. The mayoral missus clearly dug Buckfast's radio-friendly-rock sound, bobbing and dancing throughout the set while Sanders stoically sipped Guinness. For his part, Sanders, famously a fan of Pink Floyd, said he was impressed with Buckfast's energy and was especially awed by the substantial pipes of Lisah, singer for opener a.m. vibe.
How did The Casbah's largely counter-culture crowd react to San Diego's Republican mayor? A number of people came up to tell him he's doing a good job, he said. “But I don't believe them,” he added.
Moments later, as if on cue, a lanky, clean-cut young man approached Sanders to shake his hand and tell him he's doing a good job. Sanders smiled, thanked him and took another sip of Guinness.—David Rolland
View from a Stool
The Loft @ UCSD was the perfect Friday-night location for an inoffensive, albeit rather good, band like Low vs Diamond to play alongside Strokes bassist Nikolai Fraiture's new solo project (the cleverly titled Nickel Eye)—the crowd was young and ready to cheer just about anything on. A Che Café show this was not.
“Wow, I like that. A crowd that claps on their own,” said Low vs Diamond guitarist Anthony Polcino as the band launched into “Don't Forget Sister.”
Still, the appreciative audience notwithstanding, this is a group whose sound is ready-made for arenas and way too big for small venues. But you have to start somewhere, right?
Strangely, the band didn't play what could be considered their most popular song (“Heart Attack”) and were all set to leave the stage until the crowd started screaming for it. It's a lovely song, but I got the impression that the band is tired of it.
If Low vs Diamond is ready for success, then it would seem Fraiture is already over it. The Nickel Eye album marks what seems to be the billionth Strokes side / solo project since the band's last record in 2006. With a haircut straight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Fraiture made a clear case as to why his band needs to reunite ASAP. Armed with an underwhelming voice and a hodge-podge of musical influences, he tried his best to channel Bob Dylan with “Back from Exile,” which clearly lifts the tune of Dylan's “Hurricane.”
“Hello, motherfuckers, 'cause I'm back from exile,” he sang, the crowd cheering as the monotone words left his body. Was he ever in?
But that's what this show was all about. A band desperately trying to escape exile and reach superstardom, and a guy whose already tasted it and who's now trying his best just to get by. —Seth Combs