Dedicated to classics and hits.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
More like I Love You But I've Chose Coldplay and Sigur Ros. Did I mention: SOLD OUT CASBAH SHOW? You go, Secretly Canadian(not canadian, but from indiana? ohio?).
Cat Dirt wife and I rolled over to Kensington to check out the Sess at a house party. The Sess are groovy. They play four times a month in town. They have a pysch rock vibe that, personally, I think would appeal to a wider audience. For now, they're playing in front of college students at a house party. I love the Sess. We saw them a couple weeks ago at the Ken, and the sound was terrible. Last night, the sound was great.
The Sess are a four piece- both of the guitarists sing, and the drummer and bassist help out with assorted yips and hi-yahs during the show. They gave crowd members percussion insturments to use- one cat was rocking a tambourine. I'll put the pictures up when I get home from work(yeah- check the timestamp of that post).
Something that I like about the Sess is that it's indie rock, but a variant that is in particular vogue at the moment- well I guess pysch rock is hot. I dunno. I like the sound being energetic rock, but not punk nor god rock nor metal.
Their Demo/CD "Everybody Wants a Little Ching Chong, Ching Chong" is great.
Contrast that to ILYBICD(correct acronym?) at the SOLD! OUT! Casbah. I won my tickets on San Diego Serenade, didn't expect it to sell out, but given how I made my way there I have to wonder how many tickets were given out by the record company. The crowd was a little more, shall we say, bridge and tunnel, then one might expect for indie darlings ILYBICD. They sound like Sigur Ros and Coldplay. Not like a "cross" between those two bands, they just sound like those two bands. Personally, I've seen Sigur Ros three times already and don't feel the need to "extend the brand". As for Coldplay- I have a weakness for them, but only on FM radio.
Let me make an observation about derivative sounds in pop music: I have no problem with it. Pop music recycles sound and ideas like the rest of the world. I think when a certain band monopolizes a particular sound in the name that Coldplay has done for soaring, mor brit rock, it makes it more difficult for bands following in their footsteps. No- wait- I meant it makes it MUCH MUCH EASIER, but I don't have to like them.
It's like when Cat Dirt wife and I went to see Doves last year at the HOB(SD), we thought we'd be into it, but weren't, because they sound like Coldplay.
So blame Coldplay.
Posted by catdirt at 8:31 AM
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
These guys have San Diego on lock down. This is the second weekend in a row they've pulled this crazy shit- right? I'll check the archive for that. Hey- Plot's last album came out on Relevation records, and now they're back on locally owned Art Fag- run by Mario Orduno(see thursday). And we all know that the Prayers is Plot's attempt to have a more "rock" sound. Am I right about that? Then there's the Vultures project- also on Art Fag. And then peep the "Some Girls"-- another plot side project? These are like, enough plans for world domination. Fifty on Their Heels played Casbah earlier this year with The Prayers and Sirhan Sirhan- fuck, that was a line up, right there. And it was free. So, I'm mulling this list. Not sure about that friday night four band bill at the Ken. I haven't been to Transport in forever- always a good time. I dunno.
Mario Orduno(Owner, Art Fag Records)
Sir Charles(Plot, Some Girls)
The Kensington Club
The Prayers @
w/ DJ Gabe Vega & Saul Q.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Before I say anything that could POSSIBLY be construed as dismissive or insulting to anyone: I had great fun last night. I could spend days or weeks just talking to music professionals about what it is, exactly, they do. Last night was only two hours long but I gladly would have cancelled all my appointments for today and spent the night chatting.
Who is Nettwerk? They are Canadian record label/artist management firm from Vancouver(eh). The evening went from seven to nine. The first hour was spent listening to Terry, the president(?), spiritual leader(?) of Nettwerk give his vision pitch. Did I mention you can download this same speech via a podcast on your website? You can.
Terry spent his alotted time outlining his vision of a musical future where music would be unchained from cds and spread out into the world. In a certain sense, Nettwerk puts it's money where its mouth is: last year they broke with the RIAA over the music consumer lawsuits.
Parts of his speech resonated with me, but it's much easier to have a grand vision when you manage/release records by artists like Avril, Coldplay and yes, the Barenake Ladies. Some of us are just trying to book a goddamn show in Portland, OK fancy pants mcgee?
It was all good though, I ducked out to the fabulous bar(we were at the La Jolla Hilton- nothing says independent rock like the La Jolla Hilton, am I right?) after ten minutes, had a stiff drink, and when I came back, Terry sounded like he was making a lot of sense.
After Terry had finished, we broke into little groups with their own titles and speakers. Topics included: running a record label, touring, tv/radio(ha-HA!), the REAL Nashville(according to Hallornan, "Nashville has the best scene in America right now."), "DIY"(not really sure what that meant in the context of this particular firm), Publishing(where the REAL money is in music, according to Terry) and some other stuff I don't remember.
So, obviously I did "running a record label" first and "touring" second. One of the key concepts that both mini groups emphasized is that you have to generate a critical mass of fans for your music by giving the music away. If enough people in a different markets like you, eventually people will begin to contact you. That sounds a little mysterious to me, I'm more interested in forcing the issue, but it sounds like you can't. Unless, say, you have a half million dollars to use to promote, say, Avril.
Nettwerk made a big deal about emphasizing the difference between them and a major label and my response to them is: What, really, is the difference between you and a major label besides the fact that you diss the RIAA. Isn't a "major label" someone with the national and international contacts to "break" an unknown or little known artist. Isn't that what you do? Isn't that what a major label does?
Honestly, I'm not really concerned about getting Fifty on Their Heels placed on the next season of Scrubs. I'd rather focus on getting them more all-ages shows in the San Diego area. But maybe that's because I lack the right "vision".
Regardless-- if anyone hears of a similar opportunity like this one in or around the souther california area, let me know. it was a very special evening and I thank the crew at 949: Hallornan, Owen Salerno, Tim Pyles, the morning show guy(Garrett?). You guys are great and I thought the whole experience was fantastic.
Oh- and I'm giving away five free cds today- just send your address. it's your reward for reading this.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
June 2: FLAGSTAFF, AZ - HOTEL MONTE VISTA
June 4: ALBUQUERQUE, NM - ATOMIC CANTINA
June 5: DENTON, TX - ANDY'S BAR
June 6: LITTLE ROCK, AK - WHITEWATER TAVERN
June 7: URBANA, IL - CANOPY CLUB
June 8: PITTSBURGH, PA - LAVA LOUNGE
June 9: NYC, NY - THE DELANCEY
June 10: AKRON, OH - LIME SPIDER
June 12: CINCINNATI, OH - COMET BAR
June 13: OMAHA, NE - OLEAVER'S PUB
June 15: DENVER, CO - CRICKET ON THE HILL
June 16: SALT LAKE CITY, UT - KILBY COURT
June 17: LAS VEGAS, NV - BEAUTY BAR
I would flip that schedule- go through vegas first, on the theory the later in the year, the hotter.
I would do: vegas, slc, den., omaha, CHICAGO, cleveland, nyc, dc, (nashville? ), okla city, albu, phoenix.
It's quite an event, the "Thursday Night Thing" AKA TNT at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Located between the trolley tracks and the train tracks, the Museum of Contemporary Art certainly occupies a location unique among San Diego's civic institutions. The location seems to have been a throw in by the developers of One America Plaza, and while it may make for an awkward museum going experience, the plaza serves as a decent concert venue.
TNT is a free, all ages event- though the margaritas being sold did a brisk trade throughout the night. The *free* *all ages* aspect of the night guaranteed a hefty turn out, and indeed, there were, to my estimate, close to three hundred people watching during the appearance by Transfer, slightly less for both Fifty on Their Heels(people coming) and UV Tigers(people going).
91X was there with a merch tent: memo to other bands making their first appearance at a 91x sponsored event- don't tell Dave that you want to sell your bands cds at his merch tent- that is his turf and he does a good job. My favorite part about the merch tent was the Sauza Tequila rep brought over a butt load of *free* Hawthorne Heights CDs. People always go for the free stuff, man. Even though it was free Hawthorne Heights cds.
Inside, there were three seperate installations- one downstairs and two upstairs. The inside highlight was the tiny orchestra. Apparently, they had a theramin(?)(that weird sounding thing you hear at the beginning of the Beach Boys song "good vibrations) rocking, so you know that was cool.
Outside, Fifty on Their Heels took the stage at 8:15 PM. They opened with the "hit single": Occupation(done been played four times in a row on 91X's "Loudspeaker" Show). The crowd was rapt with attention. Junior but on a restrained performance. Those who have attended one or the other of the Casbah appearances know how OUTRAGEOUS Junior can be on stage, but tonight it was limited to a bit of speaker climbing and a touch of crowd interaction.
I've noticed that the band is introducing more of their new compositions into their set. All the more reason to purchase the CD- some of those songs have long disappeared from the set list, and you're going to want to remember all of the tracks well into your dotage. I don't know the names of the new songs yet- they were received well. I'd wager that few, if any, in the ground knew which were the old songs and which were the new.
Fifty on Their Heels wrapped up to mild applause and it was onto Transfer. Or should I saw, "local rock band Transfer". Appearing as a semi-secret "special guest" there were on the heels of their SOLD! OUT! record release party at the Casbah. Of course we all know that the capacity of the Casbah is 300+, so as a would-be record executive, that is impressive. Also- we know that Transfer is headlining that $20 ticket show at the San Diego Office of the House of Blues- with Emery Bird and Cash'd Out(A Johnny Cash "tribute" Band?). So- I mean, Transfer is a big deal here. This was the first non-myspace listen, and Transfer definetly rocks. And by rock I mean guitar solos, the whole nine yards.
I see on their myspace that they are heading all the way out to New York this year, so they clearly have their act together. Much of the crowd appeared to be Transfer fans- t-shirts were purchased, applause was generated. Transfer's fan base appeared to be composed almost entirely of sold, respectable san diego folk: ball caps, jeans tucked into shirts, multi generational. There is no doubt in my mind that Transfer has an avid local following- probably one of the biggest for a band of their (two year old) age.
I should insert here that the sets of Transfer and UV Tigers were accompanied by the- um- "vjing" of Visual Underground. And here I would like to interject my only bit of harsh criticism of the night: To the dude who announced transfer- the one with the Visual Underground t shirt on( I could tell because they were projecting his image on their screen): There were THREE great local bands there that night- the one that played BEFORE you did your little dip shittery, and the two after.
Just because you couldn't be bothered to do your lame as shtick for Fifty on Their Heels doesn't mean they weren't part of the night. Visual Underground is lame, and they have an attitude besides.
The final act was *new* *buzz* *band* the UV Tigers. My guess is that they will be signed to a major label and opening for the Tiger Army or Social Distortion on tour within the calendar year. Might I suggest HellCat Records(owned by ex-Rancid Tim Armstrong) or Time Bomb or Epitaph?
They reminded me of other local *buzz* *band* Sirhan Sirhan. The crowd seemed pretty tuckered out from the Transfer set, and cognizant of the thursday(school night)ness of the event, but maybe that was just me
All in all the night was a splendid success. Props: Jamie, for setting it up, Rosie, Nelise and crew, those guys who were at the CHOB show, local luminaries Troy "City Beat" Johnson, Vega and Saul and the Security Guards for keeping things tight.
Special Gas Face to: The Visual Underground, who are not nearly as cool as they think they are.
As I was walking out of the Civic Center Plaza in San Diego to my bank down the street, I passsed the venue known as "Fourth and B". For the first two or three years that I was in San Diego, I would regularly confuse Fourth and B with On Broadway. Now I know the difference: On Broadway is the place that gainfully employs man-about-town Morgan "High Octane" Young, Fourth and B is the place that's being driven out of business by the House of Blues.
Anyway, I saw there on the marquee that DJ Tiesto was playing Fourth and B. Not only, that... it's sold out. What... the... fuck. In my "weekend preview" post, I talked about how San Diego was one of the centers of the "indie dance" movement. A fair question might arise, what is "indie dance".
When you are trying to define a concept, it often helps to explain what the concept is not, which helps orient the listener to the ideas that you are trying to communicate. So let me try that approach: Sold out tiesto show at the fourth and b is NOT indie dance. Sold out Tiesto is what indie dance, in large part, arose in opposition to.
That sold out Tiesto show was on friday night. Last night, Avenue D took the stage at Beauty Bar San Diego and showed us all what indie dance is all about. Two new york girls, shouting out their gleefully obscene lyrics over a pre recorded cd. Maybe they aren't as angry as Peaches, or as art school as Le Tigre, or as talented as M.I.A. But they're white chicks armed with an 808 and they ain't afraid to use it.
And that is what indie dance is all about. It's about pushing the DJ off his pedestal, smashing up his white label collection, and putting it back together with a bunch of outsiders.
Avenue D drew a hundred plus people last night. It was a good turn out. The Beauty Bar is undeniably the heart of its corneer of the San Diego music scene. Most of that has do with the popularity of Gabe Vega. Pop Rocks is an undeniably solid night: Manual Scan and the Power Chords on a MONDAY night? You got the Pussy Galore on wednesday night, Dirty Fridays, Creepy Saturdays. OK I made up Creepy Saturdays.
Honestly, I didn't care for Avenue D. Their reach exceeds their grasp. I still had a good time. Good energy- oh- and I heard Blue Monday there for the one millonth time. Can somebody please put a stop to the playing of Blue Monday at every single indie/punk/new wave dance night?
Hard not to compare Scolari's to Beauty Bar, but I won't for fear of death threats.
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05/14 - 05/21
- the sess in kensington 5/20/6
- Friday 5/19: The Sess and I Love You But I've Chos...
- An Art Fag/Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower/The Pr...
- Repost from 5/12/6: Report from Nettwerk/94.9 "Loc...
- how to get from la to nyc and back in 2 1/2 weeks
- Show Review: Fifty on Their Heels, Transfer and t...
- Show Review: Avenue D + DJS @ The Beauty Bar, San...
- ▼ 05/14 - 05/21 (7)