Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thursday Recap: Bartender's Bible, Mr Tube, MEX

My plan was to see Silverbird at the Beauty Bar on Thursday night, but I got a late start and decided to just head to the Casbah instead. Later I heard that Silverbird didn't play until almost 11, so I could've caught them, but I was glad to be at the Casbah. T-Bone has been drumming for Silverbird, but on this night they apparently went drummerless because T-Bone was at the Casbah playing in Mr Tube and Bartender's Bible.

Anyway, it was my first time ever seeing Bartender's Bible and I really have no excuse or reason why, but they sounded amazing. Good time country music, with full stand up bass, a couple guitars, banjo, keys, and Pall Jenkins was even onstage playing a saw, which I haven't seen anybody do since last year's Adams Avenue Roots Fest.

I don't really need to get into too much detail about the night- it was a full on party. It was a celebration of the birthdays of Tim Mays, Mario Escovedo, Dennis Borlek, and I think like 5 other people. I just know that when I got there and saw Dave Jass and Andrew McKreg, I got excited that there might be some Uncle Joe's Big Ol Driver action on stage. Dave said no, but that Andrew would be playing a song or two with MEX.

Mr Tube and the Flying Objects played a great energetic set per usual and it's cool that the band shares members of Bartender's Bible even though the music is very dissimilar, with more of a Chicano/Santana vibe to it.

Last up was MEX, whose set didn't even start until almost 1 am. I love seeing them because the covers they do are stuff my parents played when I was growing up...Texas Tornados and stuff. And I know they're not gonna disappoint ever as long as they have Whiskeytown's "Excuse Me If I Break My Own Heart" in their set. On this night, they had up to 5 guitars onstage at any given moment, and Andrew not only played with them, but did his own mini set of rock n roll classics. I had such a crush on that guy when I was in high school and seeing him now so many years later was definitely a highlight. Then Mario took over the mic again and finished out their set with the house lights already on, well beyond last call.

This was the setlist for the portion of the night when Andrew took over the band

This was the regular MEX setlist

It was a particularly fun night at the Casbah because so many people were there who have in some way been a part of San Diego's music scene. I mean, how rare is it to catch Steve Poltz out on the town these days? It just doesn't happen often is all I'm saying. And it was particularly funny to me that after that whole Voice of San Diego thing, that all those idiots talking about the glory days of '93 weren't there to see the guys they go on about all the time. So I'm done defending the local scene. The people who claim their isn't good San Diego music anymore- the ones holding on to 93- are only making excuses. They got older, they got tired, and going to shows has been replaced by sitting at home and watching CSI. It's ok if people got married and had kids and can't make it out to shows, or even if they don't want to, but they need to shut up about local music today because they don't know what they are talking about if they aren't out experiencing it.

They quit music; the music didn't quit them. And the great part is that music is forgiving and will take them back should they ever venture out of their suburbs to check it all out.

1 comment:

Lazy John said...

As I posted in a comment on the VOSD website, Bryan Spevak's article was a the-way-we-never-were, hindsight-is-20/20, rose-colored-glasses, insert-cliche-here nostalgia piece. Those bands were no better than today's bands, and they certainly weren't any more diverse than today's (perhaps less so). His website,, is merely an advocacy website for the bands of that time. Bartender's Bible is an excellent band - not enough people give them a chance because they don't fit neatly into any scenester category. They're not image-obsessed rockabilly (yes, local RAB bands fire otherwise good singers for "lack of stage presence," which is code for "not wearing the right clothes or gyrating one's hips properly") and they're not Rilo Kileyesque retro-hipster pseudo-country. They're pure country, raw and real. I'll be the first to admit that I don't get out to shows as much as I could, but it's got nothing to do with the quality of bands - for me, it's more of an issue of my job and of not wanting to be around certain individuals.