View from a stoolThere's a palpable anti-Pacific Beach bias at CityBeat. It's real, and it must be acknowledged. So, then, how did I end up in College Party Zone West on Saturday night? Just desperate for something to do, I guess, and that's where my less-judgmental friends were hanging out.
The first stop was the second-floor Pacific Beach Shore Club, where coastal partiers hang at large picnic tables, chow on some pretty decent beach-bar grub and groove to a crowd-pleasing beat-enhanced DJ mix of stuff like Nirvana, Jurassic 5, Journey, Bon Jovi and Neil Diamond.
In P.B., even Uptowners out of their comfort zone can find amusement watching the young, hormone-crazed locals do their thing. Our group stared in giddy amazement as a petite beach bunny bobbed and grinded on her dude's denim-covered crotch for more than an hour. That guy's balls would surely feel like they were in a vice for a week, we predicted.
From there, we walked two blocks over to 710 Beach Club, which was filled to capacity when we arrived. Split Finger, the local rock-reggae-ska seven-piece was on stage. Split Finger's music won't blow any minds; there's nothing original in it, but it's ideal for a beach bar packed with college-age drinkers—there's something about a horn section that hits the spot. Their cover of The Police's “So Lonely” was fantastic. Artie Walsh, 710's general manager, flashed a big grin and an eye-twinkle when horn players Johnny “Trombone” Ralston and Bob Rissolo mounted stools across the room from the stage and blared remotely. Split Finger usually draws about 150 people, he said, but they eclipsed that number this time—never a bad a thing for a bar manager.
Hell, I might even go back to P.B. It was actually sort of fun. Just don't tell anyone I said so.—David Rolland
The tour on which Drew Andrews, Matt Resovich and Andy Pates are about to embark reads like a what's-where of refined European places—Luxembourg, Geneva, Vienna. The trio, three-fourths of the guys who back Jimmy LaValle when he takes The Album Leaf on the road, are doing their own thing with three weeks of shows abroad, starting with a March 18 performance in Hamburg. It'll be the group's second live show—the first one happens at Whistle Stop Bar on Wednesday, March 12, at 9 p.m. “It's the first show and only show in the states,” Andrews said. But, he added, “there might be more in the future.”
The trio—whose music can be described as minimalist, introspective and impeccably orchestrated—has no formal name (Resovich composes film-score instrumentals under the name Roll Film), but they're calling the outing the From the Shade Tour. Andrews and Resovich, both multi-instrumentalists, are doing solo sets and also performing as a duo. Complementing their music will be Pates' film projections and lights.
You can take a listen to two of Andrews' songs and two Roll Film songs at www.myspace.com/fromtheshadetour.
Andrews, who also plays in Via Satellite, said he and Resovich (who also performs with The Black Heart Procession) started working on solo projects a couple of years ago to fill time during The Album Leaf's breaks from touring. While it's not completely unheard of for a U.S. band's first tour to be 15 gigs in Europe—the majority of them headlining slots—Andrews says the fact that the three have been with The Album Leaf for more than four years helped solidify their reputation.
“It just shows that you put enough years into something, people respond to it,” he said.—Kelly Davis
If you're wondering where the hell top local bands like Transfer, Grand Ole Party and The Muslims are this week, the answer is Austin (see our SXSW feature here). But that hardly means the week's a wash locally. The latest 91X Loudspeaker showcase (featuring Misdelphia, The Napoleon Complex and The Material) sets up shop at U31 on March 12.
On March 14, The Roman Spring, The Airlines and Secret Apollo hit up the Kensington Club while Lestat's offers a triple-shot of indie hip-hop featuring locals The Kneehighs and Bad Credit along with L.A.'s Digital Unicorn. Also on March 14, alt-poppers bill (note to musicians: Enough already with the lowercase band names) celebrate a new lineup and a new album (End of the Hits) at the Whistle Stop.
Lanterns and Scarlet Symphony join Massachusetts shoegazers Daysleeper at Che Café on March 15 before a pair of new jazz albums (Friendship and Remembrance from Rick Helzer and John Stowell and Point of Contact from Ellen Weller, Bob Weller and Mark Dresser) are unveiled on March 16 at Dizzy's (San Diego Wine & Culinary Center).
Local bands eager to hit the road might learn a cautionary tale from Hapatco and the band's current U.S. tour supporting Louis XIV. First, opening act Carolina Liar pulled out halfway to the first tour stop in Tucson. Then, on March 7 (the tour's third day), Hapatco's Derric Oliver and Louis Caverly discovered that their alt-Americana trio had abruptly become a duo. According to Oliver, drummer Jeff “Stinky” Aafedt (formerly of The Rugburns) left the tour, and, presumably, the band, overnight.
“No note, no call, no nothing. Got his drums out of the trailer and split,” Oliver relates in a Blackberry message.
Oliver and Caverly have soldiered on, in some cases driving all night to reach shows in Texas (where, Oliver says, the pair “kicked ass… armed with only an acoustic guitar and fiddle”), Alabama and Georgia while renaming themselves The Los Dos Bros. Considering the pair has 18 more shows lined up between March 12 and an April 10 House of Blues homecoming, I don't have the heart to point out that their new band name translates to The The Two Brothers.—Nathan Dinsdale
The Kinsee Report
Last Thursday night, San Diego soulful hip-hoppers Black Cotton invited friends, family, MySpace junkies and me to a listening party introducing their new album, Don't Miss Your Flight. At the house party hosted by Khalif Barnes (who grew up in Spring Valley and now sports No. 69 for the Jacksonville Jaguars), ladies in heels balanced delicately on the carpeted living-room floor of Barnes' parents' house, and guys dressed to the nines got down to the sounds of the new album—a nice combination of R&B and hip-hop with lyrics about love, life, parties, soon-to-be-found success and, of course, how much better their rapping skills are than other posers. Black Cotton is made up of three local childhood friends, MCs Jimbo Slice and Leo Nardo and music producer Marre-L.
Friday night, Larry Baza and Tom Noel celebrated the grand opening of their new venture, Noel-Baza Fine Art and India Street Gallery (2165 India St.). Before opening the gallery, Baza was the associate director of Sushi Performance and Visual Arts Gallery and director of Brushworks Gallery, among other things. Noel, too, has worked in the private and commercial art world for the last 23 years, most recently as the managing partner of Fingerhut Gallery in La Jolla. The partners—in both business and life—have more than enough experience, and it shows.
Alongside pieces by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Picasso and other 20th-century masters, the two presented Mundos Intimos/Intimate Worlds, a gorgeous exhibition featuring San Diego artist Marianela de la Hoz, whose delicate egg tempera paintings are so small and detailed that Noel and Baza provided magnifying glasses for guests. Speaking of guests, Derrick Cartwright, director of the San Diego Museum of Art, was in attendance.
Later Friday night, DJ Wero (aka Jesus Lopez of Radio Global and part of DJ duo Loud Noises! played The Lobby, Tijuana's newest Friday club night, which is usually held in the front room of MultiKulti on Avenida Constitucion between Sixth and Seventh Streets in downtown TJ. But, due to “permitting problems,” according to promoters, it was moved to LF Bar down the street that night. As usual, Wero absolutely killed it, and even though LF was too small for the crowd, people crammed onto the dance floor to sh-sh-shake it to the electronic stylings of the mix master. —Kinsee Morlan