Shameless plug: Wednesday night's show (March 26) featuring Transfer, Get Back Loretta and Sea of Cortez at Anthology commemorates the release of CityBeat's annual local-music issue. But, lest we hog all the glory, the show also marks the unveiling of Anthology's new “Late Night Live” rock series. The show costs a cool $10, but if you can get to www.sdcitybeat.com and click “promotions” by 3 p.m. Wednesday and sign up for the “contest” (look for the photo of Transfer), you can get in free.
Other top local tickets include a Friday, March 28, affair with Grand Ole Party, The Muslims and Red Feathers at Che Café. The show—featuring three of the city's buzziest bands—is a send-off for GOP's national tour, which kicks off April 2 in Denver and meanders until the band returns to Cali for an April 27 appearance at Coachella. Also on March 28, 102.1-FM KPRI's Homegrown Presents features its latest showcase of local talent (The Big Time Mega Show, Anna Troy, Astra Kelly & The 47s, Saba and Guava Belly) at the “new and improved” O'Connells.
At 4 p.m. on March 30, local Loretta Lynn reincarnation Sara Petite celebrates the release of her latest album, Lead the Parade, at the Belly Up. Later that day, the radio wars continue at The Casbah with the latest Local 94/9 showcase featuring The Modlins, Anna Troy, Echo Revolution and Secret Apollo celebrating the release of the San Diego music compilation Staring at the Sun VI.
In addition, 94/9 is making its own contribution to lost productivity during the NCAA basketball tournament. If you're like me, your college basketball bracket is already irrecoverably fucked (thanks, Georgetown). But all is not lost, thanks to 94/9's “March Music Madness” tournament.
The 94/9 online tourney bracket pits 64 of the best bands from the last 38 years in four musical “regions”—the '70s, '80s, '90s and '00s—with each band seeded accordingly (For instance, No. 1 Radiohead versus No. 16 local boys Pinback in the '00s region). Bands with the most votes advance.
Last week's first round featured some expected blowouts (Nirvana eating Cake, Pearl Jam aborting The Offspring) and some surprising upsets (Devo whipping The Beastie Boys, The Velvet Underground bloodying Pink Floyd). The second round begins (live and online) Thursday, March 27, at 2 p.m. Among the compelling match-ups, Nirvana takes on Sublime, The Clash spars with The Velvet Underground and David Bowie battles Jimi Hendrix. Alas, my music bracket is also already screwed—I totally had Oingo Boingo going all the way. www.fm949sd.com.—Nathan Dinsdale
Friday night at...
A guy walking from the patio courtyard to the indoor bar at Point Loma's The Pearl Hotel bar smacked into a panel of glass that he mistook for an open doorway. He insisted that he wasn't soused; it was the clean glass. He got some laughs and that's about it. You can look silly at The Pearl and it won't scar your ego; maybe that's because the hotel/restaurant/bar resembles your cool gay uncle's retro abode more than it does a, well, hotel/restaurant/bar.The former motel on Rosecrans, refurbished and reopened last year, has going for it a mid-century/modern/organic décor unlike anything else around these parts. There are quartz rocks embedded into an interior wall, bathroom sinks that resemble driftwood (but are a sturdier material) and shag carpet in a den-like alcove—where you can lounge on pillows and play board games—that looks like a sandy beach.
Also going for it is the seating—surprisingly plentiful with four-tops near the bar, sectioned-off nook areas in the shag-carpet lounge, a private outdoor dining room that fits eight, plus a dozen or so tables and two cabanas around the centerpiece saltwater pool. Above the pool is a movie screen, where, on Wednesdays, The Pearls hosts Dive In Theater (for this week's films, see our “On Screen” listings). Until recently, the pool was only for hotel guests, but now it's open to anyone who buys at least a drink.
The Pearl hasn't yet been taken over by the Downtown crowd, and maybe it never will. There's no pumping DJ—only something called “Groove 24/7” that's piped through speakers (including in the bathrooms). Drink prices can verge on Downtown levels ($14 for an Imperia vodka martini with tasty bleu-cheese-stuffed olives), but there's also an eclectic wine list with affordable options. And there's snacks, too (or “nibbles,” as the menu refers to them). Yay for snacks!The bar closes at midnight (on this particular night, last call came at 11 p.m.) which is a plus for the hotel's guests—we've heard stories about Downtown hotels/restaurants/bars where guests are kept awake by throbbing bass and “Whoo-hoo!” until well after 2 a.m. Speaking of rooms, if midnight hits and you've had too many, and if one of the hotel's 23 rooms are available, it's yours for $79. —Kelly Davis
Let's get digital
Swarms of noise-loving, synth-punk-junkies are descending on Tijuana this weekend for what is destined to be a speaker-shattering set by German electro duo Digitalism, at Lobby (Ave. Constitución, between Sixth and Seventh). Recently gaining stateside recognition with appearances at 2007's Coachella and 2008's SXSW festivals, the Digitalism boys, Jens “Jence” Moelle and Ismail “Isi” Tuefekci, got their start in 2004 as coworkers in a Hamburg record store. Having been inundated with heaps of lackluster and mind-numbingly repetitive house and techno albums week after week, the music hucksters decided to create their own sound by heading into the studio together. Remix upon booty-shaking remix resulted, including reworked tracks by The White Stripes, The Cure, Cut Copy and The Klaxons. Jence and Isi caught the attention of several indie labels along the way, including tres-hip French label Kitsuné, which signed on to release six of Digitalism's tracks as singles over the following three years.
With a sound often referred to as the audio offspring of Daft Punk, it's not surprising that Virgin Records, Daft Punk's label, agreed to release Digitalism's first full-length album, Idealism, last year. A fluctuating mix of vocal indie-rock and glitchy, static-y, dance-floor-ready beats, Idealism quickly found its way onto the same play lists as LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver and Justice's † albums.
Though Saturday's show at Lobby is only a DJ set and not a live performance, Digitalism fans should still expect a full-on dance party. Rumor has it these guys really tear it up at the decks; and with local faves Horse, Loud Noises and Saul Q spinning the opening sets, you know you're in for a good night. —Justin Roberts
And in other news
Nightlife magnates EnDev Enterprises (owners of Bar West, Stingaree, The Witherby and SideBar) are making some changes—their newest business venture, Universal, the nightclub on the corner of Vermont and University Avenue in Hillcrest, and the attached DISH restaurant will open Friday, April 11, with a reelection fund-raising event for Mayor Jerry Sanders. Presumably, someone in the Sanders camp wears Diesel jeans, blazers, ironic screen-printed T-shirts and the latest shell-top Lacoste shoes (read: someone over at City Hall is pretty cool). If you're willing to shell out the $100 for tickets, you're invited.
CityBeat did a quick walkthrough last week, and we see potential for a sophisticated yet fun lounge that features lots of booths for you chillers, a nice-size dance floor roofed by an LED-lit ceiling for you dancing Debbies out there, and a bar decorated with gold-plated driftwood for those of us who like to drink in style. Come April 17, Universal will be open to the general public.
Meanwhile, EnDev closed the doors to SideBar two weeks ago. Any surprising reopening ideas? Not really. Sources say we should expect something high-design with a Vegas/L.A. type vibe. But then again, you never know what these EnDev people have up their diamond-studded-cufflink sleeves.
And in other news, the local hip-hop scene just got a lot mo' betta. After being discovered by hip-hop giants Digital Underground at a Mission Beach barbeque at age 16, San Diego-born Young Mass has been gigging with the group ever since. Last month, though, Digital frontman Shock G announced it was time to disband.
Young Mass is back in S.D. now, working on solo stuff. Last Tuesday, the 22-year-old performed in celebration of his newly released self-titled album at Top Notch Tuesdays, DJ Tre's new weekly night at Morena Club featuring both live and spun hip-hop and R&B. The album is a compellation of Mass' older tracks—but maybe the repackaging will help his catchy-as-hell songs—like “Let That Knock,” which recalls the smooth, cool-as-fuck West Coast sounds of greats like Tupac—finally penetrate the mainstream airwaves. At the very least, local hip-hop heads should recognize that there's a young genius in their midst.—Kinsee Morlan