For those who eat, breathe and sweat (eeeeewwww) local music, here's a roundup of some of the best local shows not included in “If I Were U” or our rundown of CD-release parties (below):
Beauty Bar flaunts local wares on back-to-back nights with the latest KPRI Homegrown Live showcase (featuring Republic of Letters, Emery Byrd and Astra Kelly & The '47s) Friday, Feb. 29, and a dual bill of Red Feathers and The Prayers Saturday, March 1. Meanwhile, the funkateers in Al Howard & K23 Orchestra make their triumphant return to San Diego with a Feb. 29 show at the Belly Up on the same night that your friendly neighborhood surf-rock zombies (The Creepy Creeps) haunt Bar Pink Elephant.
Lest the kiddies get left out, the under-21 set can head to Epicentre to swoon over indie pop (Get Back Loretta, The Silent Comedy, Scarlet Symphony, etc.) on Feb. 29 before engaging in a little primal-scream therapy with Wages of War, Terrorspell and His Irate Life (among others) March 1. Not to be outdone, SOMA tantalizes the teenyboppers with its own mild (Bedford Grove, Anglin, The Wrong Trousers, etc. on Feb. 29) and spicy (The Dajjal Persona, The 25th Hour, Of Hearts & Shadows, etc. on March 1) shows. And now I'm craving burritos. —Nathan Dinsdale
Catch and release
It's a busy week for local musicians releasing fresh material with at least five bands and/or solo acts shoving their babies out into the wild.
First up, This Holiday Life and Writer both celebrate new releases at their Feb. 27 show with Red Letter Agent and Andrea Hamilton at U31 (3112 University Ave.) in North Park. THL unveils its full-length album, The Beginning of the End of the World (highlights include “Friendly Fire” and “A Yes Not a No”), before heading east for a three-week tour while Writer releases a two-song, 7-inch vinyl album called Don't Wake the Sun.
Next up, Richard Thompson celebrates the release of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (billed as a “jazz journey through the haunting melodies of Negro spirituals”) on Feb. 29 at Dizzy's space at the San Diego Wine & Cultural Center (200 Harbor Drive). Thompson—a jazz pianist and San Diego State University music professor, not the famed British guitarist of the same name—will perform alongside drummer Russell Bizzett, bassist Bob Magnusson and saxophonist Sam Newsome.
On March 1, local eclectic trio The Turtle Project hits up Lestat's to commemorate the release of Intopaz on San Diego indie label Tangled Records. The album, which features a blend of jazz, rock and folk on songs like “Taking it On” and “Magic Eight Ball,” marks the debut for the Project, fronted by vocalist/guitarist Jason Yamaoka (aka “Jason Turtle”) and also featuring bassist Jim Krooskos and drummer Dave Pshaida.
Finally, on March 2, San Diego (via San Francisco) singer Deborah Flores joins the fray with a show at Anthology (1337 India St.) celebrating her own debut, Step Aside. The album features a mix of R&B/soul originals (like “Sneakin Around” and “Move Your Body”) and covers, including Stevie Wonder's “Do I Do” and the Bill Withers standard “Ain't No Sunshine.” —Nathan Dinsdale
View from a stool
Initially (and unjustly) categorized as one of many footnotes to the recent pack of post-punk revivalists, Liars have always been willing to take the road less traveled. The band seems to be indie rock's foremost contrarians—each album has moments of transcendent beauty, often tempered by a destructive tendency, bordering on nihilism. They build you up, Buttercup, just to let you down.
On stage, however, it's a different story. Their show at The Casbah on Feb. 21 was proof that the band is among the most captivating live acts on the planet. Singer Angus Andrew started the concert sitting on a stool due to nagging back ailments, but it took only about a song and a half for him to get around to stalking the stage like an escaped mental patient. At one point, this prompted an intoxicated fan to yell out, “How's your back?” only to have Andrew respond with “It fucking hurts!”
Andrew is at least 6-foot-6 (maybe even taller) and incredibly slim, which only highlights his imposing antics. With his arms locked and stretched forward and an exaggerated, toothy grimace on his face, he did several of his best Frankenstein's monster impressions, followed by one of those dog head shakes that involve whipping one's noggin from side to side in a rapid motion like a golden retriever in the rain.
The rest of the band remained stoic and shadowy, as if all of this was completely normal. So it's safe to say that it is normal, at least for Liars, which means that whenever you to see the band (which you should do immediately) there is sure to be similar acts of rock 'n' roll dynamism.—Todd Kroviak
The man behind the curtain
Perhaps you remember infamous coffee monger and music promoter Joe Flammini, who opened Java Joe's café in Poway in the early '90s. It was in that café where many local legends, such as John Katchur, Jeff Berkley, Steve Poltz and Gregory Page, gathered and performed on a regular basis. It was there, also, where Jewel got her start in the music business. It was during an open-mic night, the story goes, when Frank Drennan invited the shy, unknown songbird onto the stage.
Java Joe no longer has his coffeehouse venues, but he does have a Songwriter's Showcase to promote, a free, all-ages event featuring Page, Katchur, Lisa Sanders, Christopher Dale, Barbara Nesbitt, José Sinatra, Phil Harmonic, Carlos Olmeda, Dave Howard, Berkley Hart, So Far So Good, Sven Eric Seaholm, Grass Gypsys, Royal Campaign, David Beldock, Pic Kastner, C.J. Hutchins, and Erica Davies. The showcase happens from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, March 1, at The Handlery Hotel (950 Hotel Circle North). —Edwin Decker
Rookie Card frontman (and occasional CityBeat contributor) Adam Gimbel claims he penned “the world's most well-known Leap Year anthem” (and, no, Feb. 29 isn't his birthday). While Gimbel's claim is impossible to verify, Leapzine.com lists only two Leap Year theme songs—RC's 2/29 being one of them. The tune—with its jangly Sonic Youth-meets-Dinosaur Jr. thing—is catchy enough. Sample lyric: “So you think it's rough being born on Christmas? Try coming out on a day that doesn't exist.” The song's on the band's MySpace page: www.my space.com/rookiecard.On Thursday, Feb. 28, at Gimbel's monthly Cover Me Badd music trivia night at Whistle Stop Bar in South Park, Rookie Card will perform their tune, and any Leap Year babies who show up get a free drink. According to Leapzine, one out of every 1,461 people celebrates a Leap Year birthday (4 million people worldwide), so we're unscientifically guestimating that there are something like 8,213 Leap Year babies in San Diego. We'll go out on a really long limb and guess that of those, something like 2,700 can drink legally. Let's just hope they don't all show up at once. —Kelly Davis
Last Thursday, local artist Acamonchi stenciled, stamped and painted the skin of a beautiful, nearly nude model at Human Canvas, a must-see Thursday-night live-art event that happens again with artist Lyte from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Confidential (901 Fourth Ave.) then goes into hibernation until this summer.
The dudes at Heavy Press (2312 El Cajon Blvd.), one of the city's more affordable places for printing needs (read: they print tons of club flyers and posters for local bands), will open up the shop for a little customer appreciation. At 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29, Bartender's Bible, Sangre & Sangre and Silverbird will play, and Bill Pierce will curate a show featuring local artists.
Our favorite midnight maven, MayStar, just can't give up her pet project, Fashion Whore. No longer at The Brass Rail in Hillcrest, you can find the fashion-centric club every fourth Friday of the month at the 18-and-up venue Static Lounge (634 Broadway). And, for one night only, Friday, Feb. 29, Fashion Whore will head south to Tijuana's newest hotspot, The Lobby, located between Sixth and Seventh on Constitucion.
From this week forward, Mario Orduno and Brandon Welchez of the punk-rock club night Skull Kontrol will be playing records (pretty much anything but electro) at Starlite Lounge (3175 India St.) every Tuesday night. Orduno describes the duo's tunes as “post punk” and “weird pop.”
Glory Bound Productions, the brainchild of longtime Live Wire manager Matthew Fraynd, is trying out a new monthly night at Bluefoot Bar & Lounge (3404 30th St.) called Dead Flowers, which will happen the last Friday of every month and feature a live acoustic set by local music makers followed by danceable DJ sets. First on the bill for Friday, Feb. 29, is an acoustic set by Mike Flynn followed by a DJ battle between Morgan Young and Mike Taylor.—Kinsee Morlan