Readers of CityBeat's blog, Lastblogonearth.com, learned this three weeks ago, but for the rest of you: Troy Johnson, who's been CityBeat's music editor since the paper first hit the streets on Aug. 21, 2002, has resigned from his post and this week started his new job as senior editor at Riviera magazine.Troy has said that his interest in heading out to the clubs to cover the music scene several nights a week has waned recently, and he wanted to hand the reins over to someone with the same fire in the belly he once had.
Our new fire-loaded belly belongs to Nathan Dinsdale, who starts work for CityBeat on Nov. 15. Nathan comes to us most recently from the Santa Fe Reporter, where he was a staff writer. He's also been an associate editor at the Syracuse New Times and a music editor at The Pitch in Kansas City. And if you must know, he says he nearly drowned in a septic tank when he was 5.As for Troy, we wish to acknowledge his five years of top-notch writing and guidance of our music section. As many of you know, Troy was the editor of SLAMM magazine, which CityBeat swallowed whole. We smartly kept him on as music editor, and he responded by turning CityBeat into what we believe is the tastemaker in San Diego for up-and-coming new bands. His annual Great Demo Review has become a must-read institution-and not just because it turned former CityBeat contributor Seth Combs into the most hated man in the local music scene.We'll miss Troy's creativity when it comes to story-brainstorming sessions (hey, man, we're still waiting for that feature on albino jockeys), as well as his dried-in-place post-surf hairdos, and his peculiar contributions to our special issues will be a hard act to follow.
Thanks for the great work, brotha, and good luck at that snooty glossy. Cheers to you.
—David Rolland and the crew
Notes from the smoking patio'It's been a crazy week, so hard to be away from the ones you love in a crisis like this. A big chunk of my hometown of San Diego burned down this week.' So wrote Jon Foreman, who is out on the road with his band, Switchfoot, on his blog during last week's wildfires. 'Seeing my hometown really come together and help each other has been great.' Many San Diego bands were forced to watch news reports helplessly from the road. 'It's so crazy and weird to be removed from the immediate danger but still sort of affected,' said Grand Ole Party singer/drummer Kristin Gundred. 'Brandon's [Welchez of The Prayers] parents live in Fallbrook and obviously have evacuated.' Others were part of the half-million people evacuated from their homes. Dynamite Walls returned to San Diego from their tour and three-day stint at CMJ on Oct. 21, only to have to evacuate the next morning. Frontman Tom Pritchard left his home in Encinitas to assist his family, who were evacuated from Fallbrook. 'We left the hill for dead, but fortunately the house was saved.' Because of the fires, many shows were canceled or postponed. The Casbah was dark Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The Belly Up was closed Monday through Thursday. Other events proceeded as planned but adapted to the situation. Cover Me Badd's music-trivia night became a benefit for fire victims. Spell Toronto's CD-release party at Beauty Bar was canceled. The new release show will be at The Casbah on Nov. 17 with Calico Horse and The Silent Comedy and will also benefit fire victims. On Sunday, The Casbah hosted the final Visual Underground and T-shirts were sold to benefit fire-victim charities. A couple of Halloween-night shows are worth highlighting. First, catch a show at Black Box Recording Studios featuring Sirhan Sirhan and Prize Country. The night will kick off their tour and will feature music from Sirhan Sirhan's upcoming album, to be released early next year. Also, Grand Ole Party are fresh off their national tour with Rilo Kiley and will return to The Casbah with The Sess, The Muslims and The Glossines before heading off to the U.K. for some final dates with Rilo Kiley. This show will likely sell out, so get those costumes together and get there early. MS/sirhansirhan, MS/prizecountry, MS/grandoleparty.