An arrest has been made in the Aug. 8 shooting death of The Abuse frontwoman Paulette Valenzuela at her apartment in Point Loma. Samuel Horn, 21, was picked up by authorities in the beachside town of Rosarito, Mexico. Horn was quickly extradited back to San Diego. Two benefit shows will be held in Valenzuela's honor next month-at Dream Street on Sept. 3 and Brick by Brick on Sept. 18. For updates, visit www.theabuse.com.
College radio on FM?
San Diego has good college radio stations with a long history of supporting great music-but without an FM signal, only the technically savvy and highly motivated can hear them. Up north, however, it's a different story. Santa Monica City College's KCRW can be heard throughout the Los Angeles area and is renowned for a playlist that doesn't suck. Their syndicated radio show, “Sounds Eclectic” has become an empire unto its own, breaking new bands and spawning compilation albums that pair live tracks by stars like Beck and Patti Smith with selections by small-timers like Badly Drawn Boy and Tom McRae.
For two years, KCRW has had a signal based out of Lemon Grove in San Diego, audible on 89.9FM. The low-powered signal is usually hard to pick up unless you're in the central city, but the summer of 2004 has been a different story; KCRW seems to be coming in loud and clear in most San Diego areas.
“Apparently, some people in San Diego can actually pick up our signal,” says station representative Debbie Adler, who explains a change in the weather is radio listeners' good fortune. “The signal hasn't changed at all, but apparently the strength is determined by weather patterns. Something to do with the heat layers in the atmosphere. Who knew!”
With increased clarity and newfound fans, the station has also begun to ramp up their presence in the San Diego music scene. On Aug. 7, they promoted indie bands Ratatat and dios malos at the Casbah. It marked the first “KCRW Presents” show put on in San Diego (the program is in place in other markets nationwide).
“We have a lot of listeners and subscribers in San Diego, and we have a strong online presence. It makes sense that we support shows there, by bands that we're playing,” said Nic Harcourt, KCRW's iconic DJ and host of “Sounds Eclectic.”
Harcourt doesn't see their local activities as a threat to local stations per se.
“We're not really trying to compete with anyone, just do things with artists that don't get regular airplay on San Diego stations,” he remarked, noting the “KCRW Presents” events will be sporadic. “We're not starting this thinking, we'll do ‘so many' shows, but if artists whose music we're playing are going to San Diego and we can be involved, then we'd like to be.”
Adler also noted that the clarity of their 89.9 signal may not last forever, either. “Our engineer says to expect it to get weak for a few months this fall,” she said.
Assault and battery
The brilliantly conceived Rock 'n' Roll Lotto, held July 28 at the Casbah, accomplished its primary goal of raising money to help pay the medical bills of paralyzed bassist, Brian Barabee (The Long and Short of It).
For the event, San Diego musicians tossed their names into a hat and were randomly selected to form seven veritable local supergroups. In addition to raising close to $2,000 for Barabee, organizers hoped the cross-fertilization would help local musicians get out of their respective boxes.
The buzz about town remains the show-stealing performance by Assault Shaker, a bed of strange fellows that included Rookie Card's Adam Gimbel, The Deere Johns' T Bone, Sleeping People's Joi Concepcion and Jason Corbin of Bartender's Bible. Their crowning moment was “Down Like Danzig,” a little ditty about the notorious recent video on the Internet in which Glen Danzig is K.O.'d backstage after picking a fight with the wrong dude (the mammoth frontman for hardcore band, North Side Kings.)
The song included the classic line, “Standing tough and tall/ at five-foot-three/ that's a long way to fall,” and the repeated refrain “Fuck you, motherfucker” (Big Glen's fateful words right before he hit the floor).
Video of “Down Like Danzig” can be found at www.mvideojukebox.com, which is a site worth checking out for free videos of dozens of local and out-of-town bands. You can read about the Danzig-dropping back story at www.azpunk.net.
No word on if Assault Shaker will reunite, but at least one Rock 'n' Roll Lotto band will be making an encore. The Who-Tang Clan, a tribute band dedicated to The Who (Barrabee's favorite band) will be returning to the Casbah Aug. 21 in support of the Sweet and Tender Hooligans (Smith's tribute) and Joy Revision (we'll let you figure that one out yourselves).
“It's a plus-minus kind of thing,” said Chuck Perrin, owner of eclectic downtown nightspot, Dizzy's about why he's decided not to book shows on days the Padres are playing.
Dizzy's is located on Seventh Avenue, a few hundred yards from the edge of Petco Park. One might expect that with such a close proximity to the Padres Palace by the Sea, Dizzy's would benefit from 20,000 or so baseball fans streaming into downtown on game days.
Perrin said that's not the case.
“Don't get me wrong,” he clarified. “I'm bullish about what's going on downtown. The area has really transformed into something special. But the baseball fans aren't interested in music, and our regulars have a hard time getting down here whenever there is a game. We've tried different things, different start times, different music, and the decision was kind of obvious.”
Perrin doesn't see the situation as negative, however.
“It's not like the Padres actually play that many games here a year,” he noted. “And the tradeoff that we have with the expanded parking on other nights is more than worth it.”
Realizing today's stimulation junkies often crave more than a simple art show or watching a band, promoters are creating events such as the Museum of Contemporary Art's “Thursday Night Thing” that combine the two, with twists. Another will be “Blam II,” at Club Montage on Wednesday, Aug. 18. The show features nine bands, dozens of artists, spoken-word performers, DJs and a handful of short films (the short film is the new light show). It's the second run at what organizers hope will become a quarterly event. All profits go to the bands.
4th & B will be hosting a free local music showcase Aug. 20, featuring Diego Roots, Twenty Year Fix, The Perils Of Being, and Fono. It's hoped that this will become a regular event, so come on down and support your favorites.
Gary Puckett fans will find his 1968 rendition of The Beatles “Lady Madonna” included on the free Fab Four tribute album included with this month's Mojo magazine.
Singer-songwriter Cathryn Beeks' open-mic night can now be found at Hennessey's (4650 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach). The Wednesday night event is open to everyone from comedians to bands, but sign-ups have to be done in advance. Performers get a free drink, which is a better deal than most open-mic nights around this town.
M-Theory Records has one of the best in-stores in recent memory set for Aug. 22 when Louis XIV joins former Bauhaus/Love and Rockets bassist (and current Encinitas resident) David J and upstart singer-songwriter Renata Youngblood from 7- 9 p.m. Afterwards, David J will head across the street to play a DJ set at the Whistlestop. Both events are free.
After performing “Down” on last week's Fox-TV Teen Choice Awards, blink-182 won two trophies-for “Choice Love Song” (“I Miss You”) and for “Choice Tour” (their recent jaunt with No Doubt).
Nickel Creek's appearance on KPBS Soundstage is Aug. 19.
New this month is “Threek” the debut album from funk jam band Bred ‘n' Buddha. The group's guitarist Ian Wright recently did session work for Alfred Howard's upcoming solo CD, “14 Days of the Universe in Incandescent Bloom.”
The Classical Arts Symphony Youth Orchestra, directed by Reginald Clews is now registering students for the 2004-2005 season. Young musicians will take part in a series of rehearsals culminating in a showcase recital. Just like their rock 'n' roll counterparts, there will also be a bit of touring involved, with a show in the Bay Area among the highlights. Call 760-479-2458 for more information.
A night of seeing the San Diego Symphony can set ya back a pretty penny. Plus, there's that stuffy warning on their website FAQ stating dress at their normal venue-Copley Symphony Hall-ranges from business casual to eveningwear (What, no club gear? What if we wanna back dat azz up to some Pyotr Ilyich?). For the adventurous, there's a better way to get a taste of the symphony experience-at its “Free Concert On the Waterfront” on Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Embarcadero Marina Park South. It should also be good for diehard Orchestraheads, as the season doesn't officially begin until Oct. 2 and this show offers a first glimpse of new director, Jahja Ling. The show will feature selections by composers Aaron Copland, John Williams, Leonard Bernstein, Tchaikovsky and the aforementioned Ilyich.