What a weekend, and it’s not even over. I haven’t blogged all weekend because I’ve been out doing and that really is the meat of this blog, isn’t it?
After my half day of work on Friday, I headed to Chula Vista to hang out with the kids at my mom’s daycare. I know it sounds weird, but hanging out with 3 and 4 year olds is kinda therapeutic for me, so it was cool. Did you know that gas in Chula Vista is significantly cheaper than everywhere else? I paid $2.25 a gallon while the Arco is Kensington is still sitting at $2.59. Ridiculous.
Anyhow, Friday night started out as a bust. Andrea and I headed up to the Che Café to see Old Man Hands and Kite Flying Society. We arrived a little before 9 and Gabriel told up he was playing at 9:30 (despite his e-mail that they would start promptly at 9). We opted to stick around instead of going to Porter’s for a drink. 9:30 rolls around and OMH didn’t start. Instead it was a guy on guitar and the drummer for OMH calling themselves Swambujo or something. He played crappy protest songs (Fallujah, it’s a bloodbath, we’re only there for oil, etc.) and Andrea and I grew irritated really fast. After 6 or 7 of his shit songs we just decided to bail because we didn’t wanna miss Republic of Letters at the Ken Club. We had also found out that The Vision of a Dying World would be playing before KFS, and a whole night at the Ché was not in the cards for us.
Back in Kensington, we had a beer at my house then walked to the bar. We saw a couple songs from Silver Sunshine. The singer looks like Alex, the singer of Roman Spring. They played a style of classic rock with soaring guitar solos and long jams between vocals. I didn’t really see enough to make a judgment either way but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to see them again as I like my rock with a little less cock.
Republic of Letters played a really short set because apparently Chris’ voice was thrashed. If it was, I didn’t notice. They’ve been recording a lot so and they're expected to drop the EP in March. I’ll stick with my assessment that Republic of Letters sounds a lot like early U2 with a dash of Blacksmith Union, who were one of my favorite local bands back in the day. Some people love them, some don’t. I side with the band and think they are really talented and every time I hear Saving Grace I can't get it out of my head. You can hear it, too, on the their Myspace page.
I didn’t really get a chance to see A Scribe Amidst the Lions, but I did capture some pics, so I’ll post those tomorrow with all the rest of the shots I’ve taken this weekend.
A friend of mine crashed at my house and we were up till 4 or so, so when Saturday rolled around I slept way in. I missed the war protest but did arrive to see Rob Crow at M-Theory for the instore performance. He had a bassist, guitarist and keyboardist/computer operator with him. I haven’t heard but one track from his solo CD, but the songs aren’t a major deviation from Pinback songs. A lot of the songs were short and rolled right into another leaving the crowd confused about when to clap. Rob said they’d only practiced the material 4 times, so they had to keep reminding each other how the songs started which was kinda cute. There were a lot of people with kids there, which was cool to see. Later, we dubbed them “Indie Breeders” in jest.
Troy Johnson was there, and I finally met Ryan Orion, so after the set of about 12 songs (some guy snagged the set list as I was heading for it), we decided to get lunch at El Zarape. Adam Gimbel had been at the in-store and invited us to the Rookie Card acoustic set at the Hole later that night. After lunch we decided to grab a drink (or three) over at Lancer’s and talked music, blogs, etc. Sitting between Troy and Ryan, I started feeling like a music numbnut and feeling like I really have no business blogging about music. The two of them know a whole lot of shit about a whole lot of shit. Still, it was fun and after a few rounds we decided it was time to catch Rookie Card.
Apparently The Hole was/is a gay bar, but it is a really cool spot that would be a fun spot for shows. There’s an outdoor patio and a stage, and their beer is really cheap. Rookie Card was playing to warm the crowd for a play. Adam is not only a great songwriter, but he has the best stories and between song banter. Theatre people are so enthusiastic, too, and had no qualms about going right into a clap along during the first song. Make sure you check out the Music Trivia Night that Adam is hosting at the San Diego Sports Club next Friday.
When Adam & Dylan finished, we decided to skip the play. Ryan had to get his gear for his gig at the Zombie, and Troy and I were headed to the Casbah. I raced home, let my dog out, took a shower and got ready and was back out in about a half hour. No three hours to get ready for this lady…
I picked up Troy and we arrived at the Casbah with time to spare before Vinyl radio started. The bar was pretty empty but by the time VR took the stage, a good amount of people showed up. Because their new drummer hasn’t had the chance to rehearse much, Morgan Young played drums for them. We all know I love Vinyl Radio and as far as I’m concerned, they’re better every time I see them.
Ari Shine played in the Atari Lounge but I missed him as I ran around the bar chatting with friends and whatnot. I will point out that he was selling American Apparel shirts with his 6 song ep for the bargain price of $10 for both. Bands, take note. Cheap merch sells! Andrea and Kara both bought from him. Unforch those babydoll tees won’t cover my ginormous chest or I might’ve made the purchase, too.
When the Powerchords started I looked at the stage and was confused, because I didn’t recognize the band onstage. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was the ‘Chords, but the singer has chopped off his long locks and man, what a difference a haircut can make. Mike of Jezebel and I were joking that you shouldn’t wear a t-shirt of the band you are emulating, but then I thought that the drummer wearing the Buzzcocks t-shirt is a smart move because it’s kinda giving credit where credit is due.
I said my goodbyes to everyone at the Casbah and headed out to the Zombie Lounge and arrived while Orion Frequency was setting up. I have missed the opportunity to see them in the past. I finally met Riyadh, the manager of bill, and Dave who is in bill. Riyadh and Ryan are roommates so it all came together why Orion Frequency and bill have played together in the past when their music is so vastly different. I tried buying earplugs at the Casbah because Ryan warned me that they are loud, but the machine was empty, so I was hoping my ears wouldn’t be destroyed. Ryan hooked me up with some rad earplugs, so I was stoked that I wouldn’t have to listen from the bar as is sometimes the case at the Zombie.
I can’t even begin to say how impressed I was with their set. They’re a three piece and Rip and Ryan alternate on vocals. They play rock with a dash of punk and they were fun to watch because they were having so much fun onstage. The guys from Two Word Name were there as was Catdirt. The mic seemed to jump away from Ryan at times, but other than that there were no technical glitches, and while it’s true they are loud, it wasn’t overwhelming and the vocals were clear and audible. I’m only against loud when vocals are drowned out, like when the Sess play and it’s a full on aural assault.
After the set a bunch of people headed over to the drummers house where we had a beer and laughed as he passed out in front of his tv and was chided for playing Coldplay from his iPod. Rhiannon, his girlfriend, got him into bed and Rip and I left to my house for some 4 am beers and talking. Sorry, I know you wanna hear about makeout sessions but there was none. He grew up in Chicago and is full of great stories, but as 6 am rolled around it was finally time to call it a night. Finally.
For those counting, that was 1 record store, 4 shows, 4 bars, and 5 bands in one day. Fucking rock n roll. Pictures will come soon.