Lost somewhere in all the Amy Winehouse hype and Kanye West hoopla surrounding last week's unveiling of Grammy Award nominations was the fact that one of San Diego's own got a nod. As I Lay Dying earned a nomination in the “Best Metal Performance” category for the band's first single (“Nothing Left”) off their latest album, An Ocean Between Us. “I thought someone was pulling my leg,” vocalist Tim Lambesis said in a statement following the announcement. “Who would have thought you could play metal and still make your parents this proud? Now I'll have to go out and rent a tux to wear for the third time in my life.” As I Lay Dying will face stiff competition from a field that includes another Metal Blade Records band (King Diamond) in addition to Slayer, Shadows Fall and Machine Head. The winners will be announced during the Grammy Awards broadcast on CBS, Feb. 10. www.asilaydying.com.
If you caught the early fall advertising campaign by Old Navy, no doubt you heard Staten Island singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson's single “The Way I Am.” Lyrics like “If you are chilly, here, take my sweater,” were an inviting lead-in to winter shopping, but the performance also has a local connection. The video for “The Way I Am,” currently getting significant play on VH-1, features actors dressed as clowns. Among them is Greg Laswell, the 2007 San Diego Music Awards “Song of the Year” winner, who can be seen kissing Michaelson in the video. Laswell will be heading to the U.K. in early 2008 along with Cary Brothers, Tom McRae, Jim Bianco and Meiko. www.greglaswell.com.
Mike Keneally, the local music icon and renowned Frank Zappa amigo, has been keeping himself busy these days. In addition to his involvement with the local chapter of the Paul Green School of Rock Music (see our feature on Page 28), Keneally is a “member” of the animated band DethKlok featured on Metalocalypse, the Adult Swim show on Cartoon Network. The band—and the show—have become so popular, in fact, that the real-life version of DethKlok (which also includes Keneally) recently finished a 12-stop national tour and has been invited to open for Megadeth on an upcoming tour. In the meantime, Keneally will finish his run as music director for the San Diego School of Rock this weekend with two afternoon performances at the Epicentre as he and his students play '90s cover songs by the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Radiohead and more. www.keneally.com.
Sunday, Dec. 9, will be remembered as the day the music died. Or, at least, the last day you could have heard local pianist Kevin Cavanaugh perform one of his funky piano renditions of indie-rock classics at the Turf Club.
Cavanaugh—who also performs with the retro lounge trio Blue Velvet—ended his nearly six-year run as a local cult fave (for his piano covers of Morrissey songs, among others) at the Turf with a last going-away performance before the Michigan native packed his bags and moved back east.
The Modlins have been hard at work recording their second full-length album of 2007. The fruits of their labor can be heard on their new disc, With Friends Like These, which will be available for sale during two CD-release shows this week. Thursday night, they'll be in Los Angeles at the Silverlake Lounge with fellow San Diegans Swim Party before returning to San Diego on Friday for a show at the Whistle Stop Bar with Joanie + Secretaries. www.themodlins.com.The Vision of a Dying World is also releasing a new EP to follow up the full-length the band released earlier this year. Word about the band has begun to spread beyond San Diego with The Vision recently being named “Undiscovered Band of the Month” by Filter magazine. The EP, Skelephone Call from the Eastern Side, will be released on Single Screen Records, co-run by Vision guitarist/vocalist “Action” Jackson Milgaten and Craig Barclift of local power-punk band The Power-Chords. Pick up a copy of the EP when the band performs with The Sess and Red Feathers at The Tower Bar this Friday night. www.thevisionofadyingworld.com.