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SISD: What’s Up This Weekend?! April 25 – 26

We made it, y’all. The weekend is upon us and if you haven’t sealed up your plans yet we’re here to help…

Kim Fowley Tribute: A Labor of Love
Saturday, April 25, 2015
The Casbah 8:30PM $10 Donation

11169422_10205839272317586_170043368088544529_nThe name Kim Fowley may not be at your top-of-mind awareness, but if you’ve ever held up a lighter (old school) or your cell phone’s flash feature at a show, listened to the Runaways, KISS, Frank Zappa, Helen Reddy and countless other artists, or seen the movie about LA’s KROQ’s iconic personality Rodney Bigenheimer AKA ” Rodney on The Rock” you’ve been influenced by Mr. Kim Fowley.

A son of Los Angeles, his high school contemporaries at West University High were Jan Berry and Dean Torrance (Jan and Dean) Nancy Sinatra, Ryan O’Neil, Bruce Johnston (Beach Boys) and Sandra Dee, not too shabby. By the time he was 20 years old he already had served time in the military; he then went on to work in the music industry in various capacities: he was a band manager and publicist, a record producer and promoted the #11 hit “Cherry Pie”. Pretty impressive work for someone who couldn’t even legally get into a bar,right?

In the 1970s Fowley had the idea of putting together an all girl group and even put an ad in a local fanzine but didn’t get any replies. As fate would have it, he then met a teenage Joan Jett and soon he was responsible for the formation of The Runaways. Fowley produced some of their albums and contributed lyrics to various songs, but The Runaways were largely in charge of their own music and sound.

Fowley, whose career was prolific as it was colorful, lived in 38 USA cities and 22 additional countries since 1964.

Fowely served as co-producer/co-publisher for many successful records. Just a short list of those he shared song writing credits with are: Cat Stevens, Warren Zevon, KISS, Alice Cooper, Kris Kristofferson and Helen Reddy. His solo musical efforts include Outrageous, I’m BadWildfire – The Complete Imperial Recordings 1968–69 and almost all of his albums have become coveted among ardent fans in both reissue and bootleg formats.

From the ’70s to the mid 2000s Fowley became more and more interested in television, radio, and motion pictures and served as in multiple roles in a wide range such as: producer of music segments, composer, co-writer, interview subject, actor, and vocalist.

This barely scratches the surface of how talented he was and how many hats Mr. Fowley wore over the years in the music industry. From the late ’50s until 2014 Fowley was working tirelessly on his passions, and there were many, including a forthcoming book. Fowley passed away in January of this year due to cancer.

When asked about Fowley, friends paying tribute to him this Saturday night at the Casbah it isn’t solely his music or vast talent they talk about. They reminisce of a close friend that will be dearly missed and someone that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Mike Stax, frontman of the Loons, had this to say about Fowley:

“Kim was a visionary and a rock & roll giant who left footprints that go all the way back to the late ’50s. He was a good friend and close confidante for over 15 years. We learned so much from Kim and will forever be in his debt. I miss his humor and our long surreal phone conversations. Saturday night is our chance to pay him back just a little of what he gave us, and to pay tribute to some of the great music he left behind.”

Talented musician and ardent local music advocate, Bart Mendoza, of True Stories shared this memory of Fowley:

“I had a chance to work with Kim at San Diego Music Thing (2010) and was very impressed with how he interacted with the musicians there. We had conversations about the music business, life and more- among other things, over dinner (his treat) he gave sage advice on the biz which I took to heart and has proven to be quite helpful. Why it’s important? I’m a fan of his music, amazed by his accomplishments and he gave me good advice – I owe him.”

San Diego Music Award Winner, Pat Beers, of The Schizophonics recounted his and wife/band mate, Lety Beers’, brief time with Fowley:

“We were lucky enough to get to know Kim a bit last November, and he was one of the funniest and most articulate people I’ve ever talked to. It’s sad that someone so unique and colorful is gone. His footprint on rock and roll history is monstrous, and we want to do some of his songs justice on Saturday.”

Anja Stax – who will be belting out bass lines with both the Loons and The Rosalyns – reminisced fondly about Fowley:

“Kim has been part of our lives for a long, long time and was a great friend, mentor and supporter to us. We loved him like family. It’s gonna be a fun night under sad circumstances.”

Stax is right. Under the circumstances it will be a fun night. It will likely be a night that no one will ever forget. The night will be full of friends old and new, music, laughter, stories and more music and the laying of plans to make even more music. I like to think that Fowley would approve of Saturday night’s activities. If you’d like to join in be at The Casbah at 8:30PM and be ready to be impressed, the line-up to pay tribute to Fowley are among San Diego’s finest.

– Natalie Watson Webber

In addition to this incredible tribute show Little Italy’s ArtWalk and Adams Avenue Unplugged will take over their respective neighborhoods for daytime music lovers.

One of our favorite spots for Unplugged, the Ken Club has several highlights worth mentioning:

Saturday, April 25

The Whiskey Circle from 3 – 4:15 p.m., followed by Black Market III from 4:30 – 5:15 p.m.

Sunday, April 26

Amanda Portela and Kenny Hill from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., followed by Taken by Canadians from 4:45 – 5:45 p.m.

For a full schedule click here.

And for San Diego Uptown News’ recommendations click here

For more interviews, song obsessions, and musical musings with Sounds in San Diego follow along on Facebook or get tweety with us on Twitter.

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Help Triumph of the Wild kickstart their new album

Triumph of the Wild need a hand getting their next record “We Come With The Dust” made: a hand with some cash in it.

Photo by Matt Phillips

Photo by Matt Phillips

The San Diego duo’s Kickstarter campaign has less than a week to go to get their project funded. With the money raised, they plan to press vinyl, make CDS, and create merch and artwork for the album.

So why help them out?

First of all, the band’s folk-country-blues sound is addictive and enthralling when you see and hear what the two can do.Christy Barrett is lead vocalist, percussionist and sometimes-kazoo player. Ryan Schilling adds backing vocals, a kick drum and guitar. The musical equivalent of rubbing your tummy while patting your head.

For a small pair, Barrett and Schilling craft this big sound full of vintage elements, reminding me of my favorite records growing up. Barrett’s soulful vocals with their subtle sultry rasp spring to memory my mom putting on “Cheap Thrills” by Big Brother and the Holding Company while Schilling’s harmonica work reminds me of all the Neil Young vinyl my dad would play.

Give “Simple Rider” from their last release a spin for a taste of their magic:

A big part of Triumph’s style comes from their time on the road. They’re quick to point to their travels throughout the US as a huge influence on their music and you can hear it in the Southern charm of their songs.

In the unmastered, unreleased snippet of “Brown Dog Blues” below you can hear Barrett flexing her pipes to capacity:

Head over to SoundCloud to sample some more of the band and more importantly visit their Kickstarter to learn more about their process and what’s to come for the band. Contribution levels start at a mere $5 (which includes a digital copy of the band’s last album and latest single). For a digital copy of the new album (a week before release) it’s only $15.  I’m partial to the $30 level which includes vinyl and digital copies plus a signed Triumph of the Wild poster.

For more interviews, song obsessions, and musical musings with Sounds in San Diego follow along on Facebook or get tweety with us on Twitter.

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Special Friday Find – An event for charity at The Hideout

3519 El Cajon Blvd has had many music venue faces over the years, and it’s the Hideout that has crafted a great formula for entertainment there. Somewhere between a woodsy mountain cabin feel, and a hidden speakeasy vibe, the Hideout’s fun ranges from Pants Karaoke Sundays, to Trivia Thursdays, and live music on weekends. With talented bartenders and friendly neighbors, the Hideout is a great bar to be in any day of the week.

This weekend the Hideout is hosting a special event alongside its weekend music lineup. On behalf of the charity Mama’s Kitchen, Sounds in San Diego, San Diego Young Philanthropists, and Owl and Bear are bringing a holiday food drive to the Hideout. And for every non-perishable food item brought in between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., receive a $1-off drink ticket that is redeemable all night. Take advantage of this generous offer by arriving early with a stack of food cans, or some PB & J, and stay all night for the music events Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend, December 19-21. Friday and Saturday have a $5 cover after 9 p.m.


At 9p.m. Friday night, the Hideout features Hip Hop Roots. Originating in Las Vegas, and spreading along the west cost, Hip Hop Roots brings a wide array of dj’s, emcees, graffiti artists, beat-boxers, b-boys, & more! This is a street groove that can’t be beat.

On Saturday, the Hideout is hosting a line-up of local bands for indie music lovers and dancing soles to adore. And these bloggers have before!

The opening act, Gloomsday, has received much love here at Sounds in San Diego. This duo layers a reverberating garage rock sound with an intense San Diego double overhead surfer punk vibe. This opening set is a warm follow up to a day in the wintery cold Pacific.

The indie folk stylings of Second Cousins beautifully blend guitar, banjo and mandolin in a sensual spirit that perfectly suits the Hideout’s den-like wooden body. Read more here…

Erik Canzona and the Narrows will headline Saturday night. Erik Canzona stole many souls in the San Diego music scene singing poignant melodies for the Heavy Guilt. And his personal project with the Narrows extends his musical talent into elegant song writing that is simultaneously ethereal and fervently heart gripping.

Here’s my favorite Narrows song, Electric Chair.


And Sunday really is a fun day with “Now That’s What I Call Poetry” at 5 p.m. and “Pants Karaoke” at 9 p.m. The Hideout will also be serving free Luigi’s Pizza after 9p.m.

Since we are so fortunate that a heart felt lyric and rhythmic melody can feed a soul with a full belly, this weekend at the Hideout, we offer an opportunity to help feed those who are hungry. Come, bring along a can of food, celebrate the weekend, and help another. There’s nothing better.


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Where You Want To Be: Food for Live Grooves – Dec. 19, 20 & 21 at The Hideout

More info to come on this food drive at The Hideout sponsored by San Diego Young Philanthropists, Sounds in San Diego (hey! that’s us!) and Owl and Bear and benefitting Mama’s Kitchen.

Mark your calendar and we’ll see you this weekend!

More info from MeetUp.com here.


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Friday Find – “Pharoah” by Ed Ghost Tucker – 11/21/14

The San Diego music scene offers endless opportunities to celebrate the end of a week. So when a friend said she needed a night out, and wanted to go to Soda Bar on Saturday, I couldn’t hesitate to make it a date. Soda Bar is a reliable venue for great live music, especially featuring local talent. And since my friend’s music taste is sufficiently trustworthy, I didn’t need to preview the lineup to commit. Upon a quick peak at the Saturday night schedule though, I was delighted to discover Ed Ghost Tucker is performing the headlining set to kick off their new EP, Channels. Loving their artistic live musical performance, I’ve danced off the edge of my seat awaiting this EP release.

This vivacious foursome was instantly infections with their track, Devils, recorded at Lost Ark Studio in September 2013. I can’t spread enough love for that dark pop tune, but today’s Friday Find features another favorite, Pharoah.

Pharaoh opens with a sophisticated a cappella rhythm, proving this dynamic vocal trio of singer songwriters can do more with a song than just harmonize. While elegantly blending instrumental melodies, Ed Ghost Tucker’s playful musicality spans an indie pop style ranging from a touch of twang to new wave. Their poignant lyrics and spirited precision, fervently set to an irresistibly upbeat dance pace can tickle every soul to sway and move their feet. Having enjoyed Ed Ghost Tucker’s evolution over the past year, their recorded set of six songs on Channels will be a treat to download at the end of a night of dancing.

So come out to Soda Bar on Saturday, and come early to hear the hypnotic electro pop from Nick Venus, and the indie pop trio Beginners, from Los Angeles. The infectious energy from these talents will feed our spirits long enough to cook a turkey all day on Thursday.

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Friday Find -Endless “Summer Day” by Amerikan Bear 11/17/2014

Life offers its greatest experiences when things don’t go according to plan. On this particular Friday, not only did plan A to road trip to my next race fail, but so did the backup idea to drive to Pappy & Harriet’s and dance to favorite local artists, Transfer, Barbarian, Madly, and Low Volts, while celebrating my friend’s birthday.

Fortunately, in this great town of ours, the weather provides tons of sun to light a run toward the next challenging goal, and a culture full of phenomenal music to dance to here at home.

Still craving an open road and starlit November sky, I scoured the music scene and found Tower Bar’s garage style, surf rock line-up for tonight. This is a genre to satisfy any road trip accompaniment in wheels going anywhere or nowhere. So this week’s Friday Find features Summer Day, by Amerikan Bear.

This five man band from Encinitas, melds 60’s psychedelia, soul, and surf rock in a musical styling that would feel at home on the soundtrack for Endless Summer. What could pair better with this Santa Ana induced November summer weather, and rock n’ roll a chill night into a hot weekend? Juxtaposing Bear’s visceral cry, “The love that leaves me in the dark,” Summer Day musically fills a hopeful California mood while vocalizing a heart haunted as darkly as Omar Veyeta’s rattling guitar riffs.

Along with Amerikan Bear’s set tonight, Tower Bar has matched more great live music that includes Los Angeles based Jesus Sons, Moonshine, settled here in San Diego, and Dark Seas from Salt Lake City.  This will be a garage rocking, dive bar, good time to electrify anyone’s soles also found on an unexpected road this weekend.

I hope to see your dancing shoes tonight at Tower Bar, too.

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Friday Find – San Diego Music Award Nominees – 9/12/14

The end of voting season for the San Diego Music Awards is in sight – it closes Monday, Sept. 15 to be exact. And while I devoted a much bigger section to this last year, this year seems to have snuck up on me. So this Friday Find is dedicated to some nominees (and snubs) that myself and fellow SiSD writers would like to recognize. Check out the tunes and dates to see the bands – some of them will be popping up this weekend for San Diego Music Thing.

Screen shot 2014-09-11 at 10.09.46 AM

Vote here for your favorites and we’ll see you Monday, Oct. 6 at Humphreys by the Bay for this year’s award show.

Our picks…

Best New Artist – The Matt Smith Neu Jazz Trio – by Sandy Myskowski

Looking at the nominees this year for the San Diego Music Awards, there are some tough decisions to make. One for me however, is pretty easy: Best New Artist. While I adore more than one band on this list, I’m casting my vote for The Matt Smith Neu Jazz Trio. So for this week’s Friday Find I’m featuring my favorite tune, “Pack Your Bags,” off their album “Shorthanded.”

These talented local boys, each musically trained in SoCal, show how well the Left Coast jazz scene can hold its own in the genre borne over a thousand miles away. Drummer and front man, Matt Smith, paints an elegantly complex backdrop with each stroke on those skins. While Ed Kornhauser’s sway of sweet piano melodies tickle eighty-eight keys, with a touch as strong and tender as the man. And Mack Leighton’s five-finger runs through the frets of his bass could steal and steady a heart’s beat along any road.

Matt Smith’s polyrhythmic compositions are stunningly executed in this trio’s sophisticated, synchronized groove, creating delightful modern jazz that inspires a mind seeking adventure and a spirit willing to dance.

Catch them free every week, hosting the Sunday Jazz Jam at 98 bottles, 2-5pm.

Best Live Band – The Burning of Rome – by Jen Van Tieghem

I must concur with Sandy that some of these categories make for terribly tough decisions. Best Live Band is an interesting category in that there are so many different genres in the mix. The mesmerizing qualities of one nominee (see enchanting jazz/soul singer Whitney Shay) are diametrically opposite another (see wild campy surf/rock theatrics of The Creepy Creeps, who look to repeat after winning last year’s prize).

This year my money is on The Burning of Rome- the band put out a killer album in May, have been touring at a break-neck pace with some big name artists, and pour out their heart, soul and blood (the lattermost, literally) at live shows. With the most nominations overall, they better be taking home a few of these suckers – this one has their name all over it. It’s nearly impossible for a video to do the band’s charisma justice, but I’m fond of this recent snippet from The Troubadour which captures the climactic finish of “Animal” from their latest “The Year of the Ox”:

In reality you should really just see them live if you haven’t (Adams Avenue Street Fair, anyone?)  and if you have…. well, you probably already voted for them. HIGH FIVE!

Our snubs…

Best New Artist – Viva Apollo – by Jen Van Tieghem

I don’t envy the group that puts these nominations together, and yet here I am questioning their choices. The Best New Artist category has some great selections, but one topping my list would be Viva Apollo whose EP Skeletons showcases a wide-range of talents of a band on the brink. More on that here. Take a listen to “Earthquake” with all its haunting power:

After you write this band into your ballot catch them at The Merrow on Tues. Sept. 16 with a couple other great bands, Saint Diego and Social Club.

Our confusion…

Best Live Band – Tough call… – by Natalie Watson Webber

Tough call to be sure,-there are so many amazing, talented, high energy, engaging bands that perform here in San Diego night after night. Some of them are:

Rocket From The CryptSchitzophonicsSlightly StoopidThe Burning of RomeThe Creepy CreepsThe FrightsThe Silent Comedy and Whitney Shay.

While others were tragically omitted such as The Touchies, Shake Before Us, The New Kinetics, Gloomsday, Badabing, duping the public, The Mittens, Uniform Victor, Chess Wars, Neighbors to The North, Transfer  and one of my all-time SD faves The Baja Bugs.

Now, I get that this can’t be a catch-all category and it can’t be a million nominees long but if it really *is* “an honor to be nominated” then this is the category to open the barn door for- in my opinion.

From what I gather musicians do what they do because they love it. While some shine in the studio, some are lovely lyricists and some are masters of melodies- during live performance is when the magic happens.

From what I’ve seen the process to get to the stages takes a lot of hard work in rehearsal, getting the gigs, and then you’ve gotta convince folks to actually come out and see you. After you promote, promote, promote and create the right set list you gotta knock it outta the park musically and win over audiences with charisma and passion. If that weren’t enough while you’re at the gig you need to worry about how to get patrons to stay for your set if they’re on their way in or out from seeing their friend’s band. (I probably haven’t even scratched the surface but I hope I did some justice to all the hard work you all do.) Finally it’s in the magical moment when the artist shares their creations with the rest of the world when it *now* becomes all of ours.

Tragic is the band that are masters in the studio, but fail to enrapture an audience and get them up on their feet or let alone tap their toe (*hint to you guys: don’t quit the day job). Live performance is where casual listeners turn into, not only fans, but advocates for your band. It’s where first love blooms, old love is given a second, third, fourth chance, it’s why we’re all out there to be a part of something that is just a bit more than guitars, a bass and a drum, keys and an amazing “frontperson”.

We’re all in it for the magic that music makes us feel when it is shared with family, friends, strangers, or even strangers who may come to feel like family someday. And these feelings of community and serendipity only happen live. There’s an intangible give and take, an ebb and flow, a unique energy that sparks between performers and audience members that makes us all hunger for more, which is why we care, why we support our scene. It’s why this category is tough because we’re lucky in this town,-we’ve got a lot to be thankful for- we’re blessed with wordsmiths and people who are craftsmen at their instruments and have charisma to spare. San Diego is brimming with talent.

This “live” stuff ain’t easy and each genre has it’s own super stars I’m sure of it. Why not have sub categories like they do for all the others? Can you see any point in comparing say Joshua White’s  genius at the piano with the blunt-hurricane-force that is Pat Beers (Schitzophonics) on his Stratocaster of mass destruction? Yeah me neither.

But I still voted and you should too and don’t stop until Monday, Sept. 15! Click here to do so. If you’re looking for inspiration check out any of the bands that I listed above- you can’t go wrong.

For more interviews, song obsessions, and musical musings with Sounds in San Diego follow along on Facebook or get tweety with us on Twitter.


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