Tijuana's burgeoning music scene has long suffered from a lack of venues for punk, indie and underground bands. The legendary Iguanas, which hosted major acts like Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana (yet was open to smaller bands), has been long closed and other venues are primarily bars that allow an occasional concert.
Local punk band Bumb-klaatt-which has two members living in Tijuana and two in San Diego-is hoping to assuage this situation by opening a club of their own, called El Guano.
The club is located just over the border on the path most tourists take as they walk to Revolución, which should appeal to TJ-wary American music fans and visiting bands. In a series of mostly Bumbklaatt-booked, highly successful shows at Tilly's (Seventh and Revolución), the band has proven that fears of bandito raids, Federale shakedowns or even fistfights are unfounded since Tilly's started hosting music a year ago.
Low operating costs (rent, an extra fee equivalent to a cabaret license, per-show permits and security) have made it possible to impose a flat $5/50-peso straight charge for all shows, and the members of Bumbklaat are optimistic that this will be enough to cover their own costs and meet the guarantees of larger bands interested in playing. As in all virtuous punk- rock DIY endeavors, they ensure that profit is not a concern.
El Guano hosts its first show Dec. 10, featuring From Ashes Rise, No Hope, X Forever True X, Gluttony and Bumbklaat themselves. Bands interested in playing El Guano should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Year-long benefit plans scrapped
Jeff Fishel, 16-year-old frontman of the band Black Republic, set a lofty goal when he started putting together a compilation to benefit Stand Up For Kids, a nationally-acclaimed, non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to helping homeless youth. More than a dozen local bands showed interest, with some-Allotic, Life Crisis, The Mice, Spazboy and 3 Against 1-going as far as donating money to get the project off the ground.
After a year of trying, Fishel has abandoned the project and is returning the bands' money.
"Basically, I haven't gotten as much help as I had hoped," he says. He was working with Scott Raynor (ex-blink-182 drummer who is very involved with SU4K) and Wade Youman (Unwritten Law drummer who helped make Ganeshfest '03 a SU4K benefit) to establish "Turn Up the Volume," a branch of the organization that would use music to raise funds and awareness.
"It was kind of doomed from the start," Fishel says. "I was really learning as I went along and didn't realize I should've guaranteed the bigger bands first." He says Against Me and UL had shown interest and he was planning on contacting other bigger bands. "They take a lot longer to communicate and get their stuff in. As it is, I had all the locals ready but was having problems getting a hold of the bigger bands, 'cause they're all touring and stuff."
Fishel hopes to try again in the near future.
Wanna be a DJ? Pokez (947 E Street in the East Village), the best place to earn scene points while scarfing down soyrizo, is opening its turntables every first and third Thursday of the month to anyone with the yen to spin. DJs are allowed 30- to 45-minute sets. Good advice: show up early.
Update on Convoy: Sean Cornell, former bassist for the band, has joined the new blues-based rock project started by the members of Lovelight Shine, called Dirty Sweden. Convoy guitarist extraordinaire Robbie Dodds has also left the band. The remaining members-vocalists-guitarists Brian Karscig and Jason Hill and drummer Mark Maeggart-are currently focusing on their garage-rock side project, Louis XIV, the CD release party for which will be held at the Casbah on Dec. 12.
The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966, a DVD produced by local music archivists David Peck and Jon Kanis of Reelin' in the Years Productions was awarded the 2003 "Keeping The Blues Alive Award." The awards are presented annually by the Washington, D.C.-based Blues Foundation, though this year's ceremony will be held in Memphis on Jan. 31.
Anyone needing to get in a few good deeds before Santa's final tallies might want to check out a Xmas Benefit on Dec. 4 at Humphrey's Backstage Lounge. Clubgoers will be treated to sets from Carol Ames, Sven-Erik Seaholm, Carlos Olmeda, The Ghandi Method with Chuck Schiele, Vertibird, Peter Bolland & the Broken Hills, Dave Howard, The Cat Mary, and Danielle Lo Presti & the Masses. Proceeds from the show will benefit Stand Up For Kids. 619-224-3577.
The Hard Rock Café in La Jolla will host a fundraiser of their own on Dec. 5. Proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Firestorm 2003 Firefighter's Fund, with Tomorrow's Son providing live music. 858-454-5101.
Plans are also underway for the Hard Rock chain to seriously expand their presence in San Diego. If all goes accordingly, by 2006 there will be a Hard Rock Hotel-an 8-story hotel/condo space with retail stores, located on 5th Avenue, just north of the Convention Center.
Blink-182's eponymous new album entered the Billboard charts on Nov. 25 at No. 3, with sales of 313,000 copies in the first week. On the same day, the album also entered the Canadian charts at No. 1, the band's second album in a row to do so.
Nickel Creek's latest video for "Smoothie Song," from the album This Side, features a cameo from Metallica's Rob Trujillo. This week the clip climbed to No. 6 on the CMT Network Top 20.
Not sure how this works, but San Diego instrumental band Raymond DiGiorgio Group (RDG) won an award for "Instrumental Album of the Year" at the 2003 Los Angeles Music Awards. The band performed their tune "Grandpa Mark" at the ceremony, and also received a special award for "Best Independent Instrumental Release of the Year."
Jazz favorites The Peter Sprague Band will perform a special concert showcasing the music of Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley, Dec. 6 at On Broadway in Downtown. 619-231-0011.
A shopping mall might seem to be the least likely place to catch early-rock or swing music these days, but Jump Jones, featuring former Big Time Operator trumpeter Jamie Tobitt, will literally be taking their music to the masses when they perform at various Nordstrom's locations this month. They'll be at the North County Fair store on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. and at the Horton Plaza location on Dec. 13 from noon to 4 p.m.