Dear sticky-fingered street thugs: We here at CityBeat (being the "lowlifes unite" rag that we are) understand the economic hardships you are encountering and aim to write enthralling treatises on your plight, but we would like to request that you refrain from stealing from musicians. Like our pals Hot Like (A) Robot, young whippersnappers who were making great music until you, Mr. Street Thug, ripped off $3,000 worth of bass equipment from their van.
May we point you, instead, to golf resorts, where really expensive bags with shiny new irons and woods belonging to affluent gentlemen are laying around-unwatched? Or possibly you could just gank a Benzo and really make some dough, possibly appearing like a populist freedom fighter in the process. There is nothing remotely populist about stealing from broke-ass, "May I get you some more coffee, sir?" musicians. We sincerely hope, Mr. Street Thug, that you find your inner worth and develop higher aspirations.
In related news, there was a brow-furrowing moment of worry for Mission Beach's "Why do we always get the bad rap?" music venue, "Canes. Before New York post-punk hipsters Interpol went on for their sold-out show last week, the band informed club management that a guitar had been stolen. This was especially disconcerting for 'Canes since Interpol gave them strict stipulations about which pretty mod gals and which goodie-bringing mod boys are allowed backstage.
The club was immediately elevated from yellow to orange alert, and red-jacketed security behemoths frantically searched the premises and conversed with each other in conspiratorial tones. Only to find out, minutes later, that Interpol's guitar tech had apparently smoked a fat blunt... and completely forgot that he had packed up the guitar and put it back in the tour bus.
We knew that the split between P.O.D. guitarist Marcos Curiel and the band wasn't amicable, but we didn't want to air dirty laundry. That is, until we see the laundry hanging on someone else's line. In a recent interview with MTV, Curiel lobbed some stones the way of his former bandmates, saying that he was fired from the band, with religious beliefs being part of the problem.
"It got pretty sticky at the end about, "You need to prioritize where you're at with your music and where you're at with your walk with God,'" Curiel told MTV News. "I'm like, "You guys are tripping, dude. I just want to be an artist, and if I can't have that freedom, I just want to fly.'"
Though P.O.D. has always asserted that their music and their religious beliefs should be taken separately ("Do you walk into In-N-Out, a Christian business, and order a "Jesus Malt'?" vocalist Sonny Sandoval quipped to me last year), it appears that among the band, adherence to the Christian lifestyle is a rule for membership.
Curiel also told MTV that he was tired of "putting on a mask in front of fans and then behind the scenes acting like someone else." He questioned fans who had already began to disavow Curiel's side project, The Accident Experiment, because he was collaborating with non-Christian members of Sprung Monkey ("rock it like a porn star/slap a little ass" ring a bell?).
"I'm sitting there going, "Dude, what do you think P.O.D. does behind the scenes? Do you think they're angels?'" Curiel told MTV.
It just goes to show that you can always count on God and Yoko Ono to mess things up between the bros.
Say goodbye to small-time
We've now reached that remorseful parting where scrubby O.B. kids realize Jason Mraz doesn't belong to them. Of course, Mraz, though gratefully acknowledging the now-defunct Java Joe's coffeeshop as his spiritual marketplace and origin of his musical mojo, never thought he belonged to anyone. (They never do.)
But open-mic regulars-who saw the lanky, mole-spackled sweetvoice when the only other patron was mole-looking Java Joe himself-tend to claim ownership under Grass Roots Fan Rule IV.245G. The rule clearly states that if you gave the guy a smoke outside a crappy bar in your hometown, you have more inalienable rights to claim him than, say, anyone from Sydney, Australia. Sydney, I say, because an Aussie newspaper recently raved, "If Rocket doesn't make Mraz a star, there is no justice."
And while O.B. fans may think Rocket sounds like Elektra Records took the snippers to Mraz' dangling participles and airbrushed his preternatural acoustic talent, Rollingstone.com likes the kid enough to post a live video version of a performance of the song "Remedy." If he didn't have such a brash and lovely girlfriend, we'd predict Mraz would be cooing up next to an H-Wood starlet sometime soon. With his full-length video for "The Remedy" nearly complete, world domination is around the proverbial corner.
Half of the equation
After the Incredible Moses Leroy and the group's mastermind, Ron Fountenberry, parted with their drummer just days before they were scheduled to perform at the Casbah as the "Soft Lightes" a few weeks back, a pertinent question to the young man's career arises. Will this studio whiz kid ever find a live band that makes good on the promises of his kitschy pastiche albums?
Fountenberry almost didn't get signed to Ultimatum Records because, though his bedroom recordings were amazing, his live show was underwhelming. It's gotten better, but with new hirings, firings and tweakings, you've got to believe that time is running out on Moses to get it together live. That is, unless their new album, due in a month or so, shatters industry minds and a bigger label hires Fountenberry the necessary remaining live parts.
San Diego gets hip with the blip
San Diego's electronic scene is quickly elevating itself from "Tootsie Roll"-playing generica to cutting-edge club nights. This is a sure sign that San Diego is slowly emerging from its rote habit of beach-party-bingo bands, and embracing urbana. Oh, little Diego's growing up. Already with a cutting edge, semi-local record label,Imputor?, clubs like Rich's (Electroluxe), Tantra West, Montage and 4th and B are bringing some of the best electronica acts to town soon, including Fischerspooner, Mt. Sims and DJ Keoki. And one of San Diego's leading underground electronica labels, Om Records, will be holding a monthly residency at The Onyx Room, inaugurating the joint with Chicago's deep house man, DJ Mark Grant on March 7. Pacifier sales in the area are expected to spike in coming weeks.