Monday, December 31, 2007

Things To Do In San Diego: New Years Eve 2007- Jan 2, 2008

Monday, December 31, 2007 (New Year's Eve!!- after hours party at my house for Ken Clubbers and Tower Bargoers):

  • Transfer, Get Back Loretta, Vitro, Microphone Mike @ Ken Club
  • Punkaraoke, Wild Weekend @ Tower Bar
  • FM 94.9 presents The Aggrolites, Grand Ole Party, Beatmo @ Belly Up
  • May*Star's Fashion Whore/Club Pop Noir feat Edgartronic, Groundfloor, Wendy Darling @ Beauty Bar $20, includes 2 hours of open bar
  • Pete Stewart and the Plastic Saviors, Vocoder, "Deadbirdz on Wax" DJs @ San Diego Sports Club
  • Pierce The Veil, Suicide Silence, Stick To Your Guns, The Warriors, Lower Definition, The Faceless, Elysia, His Irate Life, Carnifex, Misdelphia, Tragedy&Triumph @ Soma
  • Ziggy Shuffledust and the Spiders From Mars, The Baja Bugs @ Bar Pink Elephant
  • NYE Party @ U-31 ($40 includes open bar)
  • No Kontrol Dance Party @ Whistle Stop
  • Reverend Horton Heat, Hank III, Nashville Pussy @ House of Blues
  • Electric Waste Band @ Winston's (no cover)
  • Anti Monday League presents New Year's Eve with Mother Hips, Billy Midnight @ Casbah
  • Split Finger, Guest DJ @ 710 Beach Club (no cover)
  • "Massive 2008" @ 4th & B
  • Tainted Love (80's Tribute) @ Cane's
  • DJ Johnny Crypto & Sal-ayer @ Zombie Lounge
  • Deny The Silence & More TBA @ O'Connell's (no cover)
  • New Year's Jazz Eve feat. Anthology House Band @ Anthology (5:30-8:30)
  • New Year's Rocker Eve feat. Lee Rocker, Anthology House Band @ Anthology 9p-1a
  • Detroit Underground, Makai, T Fox Band @ Humphrey's Backstage Lounge
  • Dinner/Champagne/Live Samba Show @ Portugalia
  • "A Night In Paris" @ Viejas Dreamcatcher Lounge
Tuesday, January 1, 2008:
  • Think & Drink Trivia @ Winston's
  • Roots Vision & more tba @ O'Connell's
Wednesday, January 2, 2008:
  • Graf Orlock, Dangers, Owen Hart, Ghost Limb, Maladie @ Che Cafe
  • Local Art Showcase @ Winston's
  • Chip Conrad & The Concrete Feat and Friends @ O'Connell's
  • Gregory Michaels @ Humphrey's Backstage Lounge

Farewell 2007

I don't want to get too sentimental about 2007, and I'm not about to bust out any year end "best of" lists of my own, but it was a really, really good year. I've been blogging for several years now, in this form just a little over a year, and I'm humbled by the response I get from people who take the time to read this site, especially when at times, it's very personal.

My year was a good one, and each step lead to something better. The friendships I've made have been deeply rewarding. Losing my job lead to me finally finding my niche professionally and I'm now at a job that I love, that I can actually now, for the first time ever, see as a career. Becoming an aunt has taught me about love in a way I had never experienced. My writing here resulted in my freelance work for CityBeat. Everyday, I am grateful to live in a place that I love, and while I always felt like San Diego was a small town, the link to this community that I've experienced makes me feel extremely fortunate and shows me everyday that the only way it's small is because people care about people, neighbors look out for neighbors, and this music community is extremely tight and interwoven.

If I were to start a thank you list, it would run deep, like those Oscar speeches that run too long, so I'll save it and just say a big, general, but deep thank you to everyone who has touched my life in 2007. To my family, my lifelong friends, to all the new friends I've made, to all the bartenders who serve my drink 'nfl', to the publicists and labels who filter information and new music to me, to the bands whose talents impress me everyday and who've been so welcoming in letting me behind the curtain (and who put up with my ever-flashing camera), to the club owners and bar managers who've helped me keep this little music blog going by allowing me through the door, to the radio friends who've given me access, and to those people who read my blog regularly who are total strangers to me. Thank you all. I am truly, deeply grateful.

I can't wait to see what 2008 has in store for all of us.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Things To Do In San Diego: December 30, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007:

  • Creedle, Bunky, Donald Wilson, Secret Fun Club @ Casbah
  • Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven @ Belly Up
  • The Material, Weatherbox, Save Amos @ Zombie Lounge
  • Josh Wright, Claire Stahlecker, Happy Ron @ Lestat's
  • OB-o-ke@ Winston's
  • Open Mic @ O'Connell's
  • Pete Escovedo Orchestra @ Anthology
  • Fattburger @ Humphrey's Backstage Lounge
  • Patrizia "The Sultry Lady Of Jazz" @ Portugalia

Sucks To Be A Kid

When I was growing up, my family's New Year's Eve tradition consisted of some variation of a cheese & summer sausage tray, Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider, a 'party box' with noisemakers, hats, and leis, and watching a combination of all the networks' New Years Eve Specials, catching the 'it' bands in Times Square and Vegas and all the worldwide fireworks displays, as presented on TV, usually starting in Sydney Harbor. Oh, and the gunshots from the Mexicans in Otay who shoot bullets to celebrate, but that's a whole different thing altogether.

Well, now, the kids have Ryan Seacrest, and on MTV? A New Years Eve special featuring the shittiest bands in the world and hosted by Tila Tequila.

I couldn't be more grateful that I'm 31.


Sweet & Tender Hooligans at the Casbah, 12/29/07

If you were following along, I ended up staying on the smoking patio for the majority of the night. Kudos to Sweet & Tender Hooligans for bringin' it down once again, though this crowd seemed less rowdy than the night before. Still quite enthusiastic, however, from what I gathered in bathroom banter when I had the chance to sneak away from the merch table for a sec. I never got away long enough to take pics inside, but I did make sure that me and Jose got some pics on the patio before the night was done. Apologies to those of you who are tired of seeing my 'stupid face' on my own blog.

Sweet & Tender Hooligans Setlist, Casbah, 12/29/07

Typically, shows at the Casbah run in the $10 range, but for $18, I can say that Sweet & Tender Hooligans deliver with an exceptionally long set for the fans. And for $10, their shirts are well worth the price, although somehow, and I don't know how, I left the show without one. boo. I thought I'd catch last call at the Ken or something, but I was at the Casbah pretty much until 2 am, and this girl, I'm not really sure her connection to the band, but she gave me a Tiffany heart on a chain. She said something along the lines of she has a friend who works for Tiffany, so she gets some comp schwag, and she wanted to give this necklace to someone who would appreciate it, and it's absolutely beautiful and for some reason she gave it to me.

Like I keep saying...someone pinch me. It's cool enough that I get to see amazing shows, but when I get to connect with people, in bands or just fans of the bands, I know every second that I'm one lucky broad. Thank you, Sweet & Tender Hooligans. Thank you.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sweet & Tender Hooligans at the Casbah, 12/28/07

If you read this blog frequently, you know how disappointed I was at Street Scene that even though I was backstage and got to meet a ton of bands, I missed out on meeting Joe Escalante. Joe is in the Vandals, and plays bass for Sweet & Tender Hooligans, but he's also the morning host on Indie 103.1, his show aptly called "The Last of the Famous International Morning Shows". I caught the band for a piece of their 3 hour set at Street Scene, but that was in no way a proper preview for seeing them last night at the Casbah. Not that the band was any less perfect than they were at Street Scene, but the crowd was something I never expected.

The fans clearly love The Smiths and Morrissey, but they equally love Sweet & Tender Hooligans. I arrived to a packed bar and the crowd was fanatical, with girls sitting on the stage, people jumping onstage to hug and kiss Jose, and literally ripping his clothes off. To be honest, I don't even know if Morrissey himself gets that kinda love anymore.

Here's the setlist from Friday, and I was told by Jose that tonight's show will have a different setlist.

Sweet & Tender Hooligans Setlist, 12/28/207, Casbah San Diego

Maneuvering to the front was a challenge, but I was able to snatch a spot on the side of the stage to get some pics of my hero, Joe Escalante. I'm bummed because I cannot stream the radio from my new job, but Joe still has some podcasts that can be downloaded. I still always highly recommend checking out his "Barely Legal Radio Program" where he gives entertainment industry related legal advice. As a blogger, the info he gives on trademarks, copyright law, and music law are immeasurably valuable.

The show itself was amazing, and if you closed your eyes, you wouldn't be able to distinguish between Jose's voice and Morrissey's. Any fan of the Sweet & Tender Hooligans will tell you the same.

After the show, I got to meet Joe and his wife, and I was giddy like a teenager. And the two of them were nice enough to put up with me rambling and gushing.

People were asking for merch, so I asked the band why they didn't have any and they told me they just didn't have anyone to sell it. So here I am, sitting on the smoking patio, selling t-shirts and CDs while Adam Gimbel wraps up his Too Cool For Karaoke segment of the night. But it's clear, the natives are restless, and the weekend warriors are out in full force. Last night, as I arrived, four guys had already been kicked out for being too wasted and/or obnoxious. If I can, I'll try and sneak up for some more pics tonight, but truth be told, I'm just happy to be here listening.

Transfer & Music For Animals @ Beauty Bar 12/28/07

I went to the Casbah on Wednesday and caught Spell Toronto and Buckfast Superbee, but I left my camera battery in the charger at home, so I didn't take pics, and in all honesty, it was one of those great nights for good conversation on the smoking patio. I will note that Spell Toronto did a cover of the Enrique Iglesias song "Hero" that was done a little too well to be ironic.

Thursday night I played Adam Gimbel's stupid music trivia at the Whistle Stop where we were pained with the task of watching video from a bunch of Adam's archived performances from 2002. All 45 minutes of the tape. Then we were subjected to naming all the artists from 91X's best 91 songs of 1983, the 2006 top 50 artists from Billboard, and the number one song for each week of 2007. I hopped on Larry's team, but unfortch we came in second to Andrea's team, who I am convinced miscalculated our score. (just kidding, Adam & was fun. really.) After the Whistle I was off to Kadan to talk to a couple friends for my next CB column, but after writing till 4 am found out it won't publish till the 9th so if I get the go ahead from my editor, I'll post the article here, since it's kinda time sensitive.

Anyway, that meant Friday I was ready to let loose. I got to the bar early because I wanted to hang out with Erika before throngs of people filled the bar and I hadn't seen her in a while. I wanted to catch her before the Erika Era comes to a close at the Beauty Bar.

I've seen Music For Animals at least once, possibly twice, and think they're great. They have a lot of friends in the area, so we can only hope they keep coming back. They put on a rockin show. Their drummer apparently missed a flight or something, so Cooper and Ismael filled in for the set and both are so great there was no evidence that they'd only learned the songs 15 minutes before hitting the stage.

The bar was packed by the time Transfer started. Some guy was nice enough to let me squeeze up front for some pics, but I left midway through the set because I didn't wanna miss Sweet & Tender Hooligans at the Casbah and I know I'll be seeing Transfer again on NYE. Still, here are some of the pics. The band killed it, just like they always do. If anyone in SD gets "rock god" status, I'd have to say Matt deserves it fo' sho'.

When I left midset, there was a line outside of about 20 people waiting to get in. Then I was off to the Casbah, which deserves its own post.

Erika Jessup, Saul, & Gabe Vega To Leave Beauty Bar

Erika Jessup, who has been managing the Beauty Bar since it opened 2 years ago, has submitted her resignation and will be heading over to U-31, the new North Park bar that was bought by the owners of the Morena Club and took over Buster Daly's. Her replacement is unknown at this time.

Additionally, Saul & Gabe Vega will be taking their "Feel The Noise" nights over to u-31.

The three will begin their tenure with a birthday bash for Saul on January 11.

Good News For KLSD/Air America Listeners

Starting Jan. 3rd, 2008, Stacy Taylor will be broadcasting from 4pm to 7pm on 1700am.

Just a Note

I've got some recapping to do for the week, but I'll get to it later. Tonight I'm selling merch for The Sweet and Tender Hooligans, the most awesome Smiths/Morrissey cover band ever. Seriously. People jump onstage like Jose IS Morrissey. It's a little frightening, actually. But if you were even the slightest Smiths fan, I highly recommend this show. Come say hi to me, I'll be on the patio.

Things To Do In San Diego: December 29, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007:

  • Sweet and Tender Hooligans, Cover Me Badd's Too Cool For Karaoke @ Casbah
  • Secret Apollo, Joanie + Secretaries, Sirens of Shipwreck @ Scolari's
  • Royal Campaign, Four Minutes Til Midnight, Calabria @ San Diego Sports Club
  • Thee Corsairs, Red Cavalier, The Embalmers @ Zombie Lounge
  • Diablo Dimes, Desert Diamonds @ O'Connell's
  • Buddy Akai (Alvaro's B-Day) @ Beauty Bar
  • The Calvins, Baltar-zan @ Ken Club
  • Osal8, Phon, Psyler, Brekah @ Brick By Brick
  • D.P.I., The Wastrels, The Milli Vanillis, For Days @ Alibi
  • Josh Damigo B-Day Bash with special guest @ Lestat's
  • Young Jeezy @ House of Blues
  • Vegitation, Social Green @ Winston's
  • Vokab Kompany @ 710 Beach Club
  • Iron Maidens (All Female Tribute to Iron Maiden) & Monsters of Rock @ Cane's
  • KC & The Sunshine Band @ 4th & B
  • Pato Banton, Love and Groove, DJ Carlos Culture@ Belly Up
  • The Haven, Fight Fair, The Boys After, Talk Fahrenheit, 5 More Days @ Soma
  • Pete Escovedo Orchestra @ Anthology
  • Makai @ Humphrey's Backstage Lounge
A TRIBUTE TO THE LEGENDARY KENNY DORHAM/HANK MOBLEY BLUENOTE RECORDS COLLABORATIONS featuring trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos & tenor saxophonist Brian Levy, with Mahesh Balasooriya piano, Hamilton Price bass, & Kevin Kanner drums @ Dizzy's (San Diego Wine & Culinary Center)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Liar's Club Alpine *Soft* Opening

Al Guerra and Louis plan on having a soft opening for the new Liar's Club in Alpine on Saturday, December 29. Anyone wanna grab a fuego melt and then catch some video poker for a bit???

Things To Do In San Diego: December 28, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007:

  • Transfer, Music For Animals @ Beauty Bar
  • Sweet and Tender Hooligans, Cover Me Badd's Too Cool For Karaoke @ Casbah
  • Bunky, Calico Horse, Samuel Bing @ Scolari's
  • The Silent Comedy, Miscellaneous Ailments Foundation, Bedford Grove, Numskull (Dynamite Walls canceled) @ Soma
  • Supersuckers, Rocket @ Brick by Brick
  • The Wendy Bailey Band, Aphnea, Decompression @ 710 Beach Club
  • Monsters From Mars, Jason Lee and the R.I.P.tides, The Howlin Jupiters @ Zombie Lounge
  • Jimmy LaValle's Fuck It Fridays @ San Diego Sports Club
  • The Donnis Trio @ Lestat's
  • Rick Ortiz presents Noches Rockeras @ House of Blues
  • Particle @ Winston's
  • 40 Ounces to Freedom (Sublime Tribute), Rude Boy Roots @ Cane's
  • Breaking Up Over Texas, Paratrooper @ O'Connell's
  • Boogie Nights - Metal Snake, Radiostar, DJ Tommy Coxx @ Belly Up
  • Pete Escovedo Orchestra @ Anthology
  • Crush @ Humphrey's Backstage Lounge
  • K-Ci & JoJo, Jon B @ Viejas Dreamcatcher Lounge
  • CD Release event for “Standards” by the 20 member BI-NATIONAL MAMBO ORCHESTRA under the direction of Derek Cannon, featuring trombonist Roy Brown, & vocalist Candy Silva @ Dizzy's (San Diego Wine & Culinary Center)

Chris Cantore Leaves 91X

There are things that I sometimes don't blog. As much as I love news and can succumb to gossip, I feel a responsibility to keep certain things to myself when I hear them, because I value the relationships that I've made because of this blog and it's not my goal to screw with anyone's life. That said, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on the drama happening over at 91X.

First there was this piece in Blurt, back in November.
According to one insider, the next local morning DJ to be replaced by a
syndicated show is Chris Cantore, who has anchored the 91X morning show for 11
years. On November 14, his on-air partner Jennifer White announced that she was
leaving 91X after 2 years. She is set to get her own morning show on Sophie

It is rumored that Cantore in the Morning will be replaced by the
L.A.-based Adam Carolla Show in January. Carolla's all-talk show replaced the
syndicated Howard Stern Show in many cities when Stern switched to Sirius almost
two years ago. Locally, the Carolla show was carried on Free FM, the now-defunct
all-talk station at 103.7 FM. Weak ratings prompted 103.7 to switch to the
female-friendly "Sophie" music format.

Then Ken, the most charming man in local journalism, did this piece about Al Guerra leaving 91X's Loudspeaker.
Chris Cantore, host of the 91X morning show for 11 years, signed off on
December 14, saying he was not sure if he would be coming back after a two-week

When asked, Manning did not deny looking into replacing Cantore with a
nationally syndicated morning show; however, he says the next 91X morning show
will be live and local. But, Manning says he is looking "outside San Diego" for
morning-show talent.
I had the chance to talk to Chris and Ruggy at the FM 94/9 Holiday Hootenanny and it's no secret that things have been a-changing at 91X for some time now. To me, it's sad to see Kallao and Cantore go, and now Al Guerra, but I know they'll all be well. Sadly for radio listeners, things will probably get a whole lot worse before they get better.

And from Cantore's MySpace:

Yes, it's true.
I will not be returning to 91X in 2008.
I am sorry if you had to find out this way.
Currently, spending time with my family, friends, and surfboard.
I promise, I will tell you EVERYTHING very, very soon. Thank you for 11 years of support and all your well-wishes...melts my soul.
Good luck, Cantore. You will be missed.

PB Residents to the Rest of San Diego: Stay the hell out

First, there's the booze ban.

Second, there's the buyout of several lots in the Mission Beach/Pacific Beach area by developers, including the building that housed the Liar's Club.

Now, a "private company" is evaluating the parking situation in Pacific Beach and will likely recommend installing meters where none currently exist.

Just wait, next come the building height exemptions. And development. And less beach access. Apparently, if you have enough dough, you're more entitled to the beach than the rest of us losers.

I'm just saying that all the pieces appear to be separate issues, but add em up.

Favorite Local Bands of 2007 As Told By The Best Bands

So, I did this little informal poll of some of my favorite San Diego musicians. "Tell me your top 5 local bands that were active in 2007, but you can't include your own." Some people took "Top 5" to mean 'best', while others maybe considered 'hardest working', 'personal favorite' or some other standard. I was gonna use this for my CityBeat column, but I liked the idea of posting it here to make sure I included every response, instead of having to condense it into a neat little column. All of the bands named are well worth paying attention to, although some are no longer around or have had some lineup changes over the year. Still, I think 2008 will be an even bigger and better year for San Diego's thriving music scene and I hope you all continue to support the scene. If you're there, I'm there...we're all in this together.

Christian Dines, Firethorn
Someday Assassin
The Long and Short of It
Hostile Combover
Homeless Sexuals

Erica Putis, The Predicates
Long Live Logos
Swedish Models
Truckee Brothers
Frantic Romantic
The Modlins

Aaron Thompson, The Stranger’s Six
Reeve Oliver
The Drowning Men
Pierce The Veil
The Prayers
The Holy Boys

Matthew Binder, Hotel St. George
The Muslims
The Vision of a Dying World
The Sess
Grand Ole Party
Delta Spirit

Michael Rennie, Roxy Monoxide
Swim Party
Wendy Darling
Billy Midnight
Secret Apollo

Cullen Hendrix, The North Atlantic
Get Your Death On
Sirhan Sirhan

Adam Gimbel, Rookie Card/Cover Me Badd
Vision Of A Dying World
Matt Curreri & The Ex-Friends
Billy Midnight
Grand Ole Party
San Diego School of Rock

O, Reeve Oliver
Grand ole party
Mr Tube and the Flying Objects
Kill me tomorrow
Bartender’s Bible
The Long and Short of it

Dustin Paul, Swedish Models
Cory Wilkins
The Gift/Curse
New Loser Studio

Fred Mintz, The Postals
The Bugs
Rich White Males
Hostile Combover
Dan Padilla

Matthew Strachota, The Long and Short Of It/Bartender’s Bible
vision of a dying world
red feathers
kill me tomorrow
hostile combover

Tate Ziff, Di Nigunim
Bologna Ponies
Fantastic Magik
Trashcan Fires
Grim Luck

Sean Myott, Firethorn
Someday Assassin
Hollywood Begs
The Long And Short of It
Hostile Combover
The Mojave

Adam Rusch, Life Crisis
crime desire
sleeping people
homeless sexuals
the mice

Andy Ralph, Writer
the softlightes
swim party
joel p. west
drowning men
the album leaf

Abraham Nunez, Team Abraham
Bartender’s Bible
The Long And Short Of It
Grand Ole Party
Golden Hill Ramblers

Nick Venti, Republic Of Letters
Dynamite Walls
War Stories
Swim Party
The Modlins

Joe Gastelum, The Roman Spring
Swim Party
Fifty On Their Heels
Dirty Sweet
Vinyl Radio

Martin Niwinski, Republic of Letters
Swim Party
The Blackout Party
Stripes and Lines
Roxy Jones

Matt Molarius, Transfer
Apes of Wrath
Swim Party
Sleeping People
Microphone Mike

Petro Halcowycz, Swim Party
The Vision Of A Dying World
The Modlins
Roxy Jones

Rob Kent, Apes Of Wrath
Modern Rifles
Roxy Jones
The Muslims

Dave, Vitro
The Muslims
Apes Of Wrath
Grand Ole Party

Cooper, Transfer
Apes Of Wrath
Swim Party
Get Back Loretta
The Blackout Party

Jason Cardenas, Transfer
The Donkeys

Andy Robillard, The Tighten-Ups
Delta Spirit
Grand Ole Party
The Roman Spring
Sleeping People

Phill Tornroth, SayVinyl
Delta Spirit
The Nurses
Helen Earth Band

Matt Sheridan, The Modlins
Swim Party
Matt Curreri & The Ex-Friends
Billy Midnight
The Donkeys
The Vision of A Dying World

Alex Smith, The Modlins
Swim Party
Apes of Wrath
Secret Apollo
The Roman Spring
Frantic Romantic

Keith Hilton, Vinyl Radio
Hotel St. George
The Swedish Models
The Roman Spring

Laura Jane, The Tighten-Ups
Vinyl Radio
The Swedish Models
Hotel St. George
Team Abraham
The Roman Spring

John, Diablo Dimes
Lady Dottie and The Diamonds
The Deere Johns
Bartender’s Bible
Creepy Creeps

Brian Holwerda, The Blackout Party
The Roman Spring
Anya Marina
The Silent Comedy
Lady Dottie and the Diamonds

John Finkbiner, The Stereotypes
The Drowning Men
Qu'est-ce Que C'est
The Shambles
Swim Party

PS- If you'd still like to submit your list, e-mail me or comment on this post.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rudy Giuliani is a big dumb idiot

Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was assasssinated today. What genius does Rudy Guiliani offer? "We ought to double up our military efforts there." Hey Rudy, why don't you sign those kids of yours up for the military, you prick.

Things To Do In San Diego: December 27, 2007

I know I'm gonna have a ton of updates this week, but I'll post these now so you can start making your plans for tonight...

Thursday, December 27, 2007:

  • The Drowning Men, Qu'est-ce Que C'est @ Surf & Saddle
  • Addiquit, DJ Kid Wonder @ Beauty Bar
  • Cover Me Badd's Music Trivia @ Whistle Stop
  • The Germs, The Adolescents, Battalion of Saints, The Atoms in the Atari Lounge @ Casbah
  • The Nightmares, The Glossines @ Bar Pink Elephant
  • Slightly Stoopid, Arm The Angels @ Belly Up (Sold Out)
  • Cash Kings @ Lestat's
  • Particle @ Winston's
  • Tim and the 23s @ 710 Beach Club
  • NaCalifia - Pre-NYE Party @ Cane's
  • Jefferson Jay @ Portugalia
  • Buick Wilson Band @ Humphrey's Backstage Lounge
  • The Steely Damned @ Anthology (Have I ever expressed how much I HATE Steely Dan?)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Johanna's First Christmas

You knew this post was coming, right? We celebrated Christmas at my mom and dad's house, and with my God-sister Claudia living back east now, our celebration was a little more muted than it has been in past years. Her absence was felt throughout the day, but we made the best of it, and I think our highlight was when we all got to talk to her on the phone.

Just shy of 5 months, Johanna is too young to know what's going on, so I presume next year will be more celebratory, mostly this year was the 5 of us passing her around and trying to get her to let out this new giggle she's developed.

We had a nice family dinner; my mom made a roast instead of turkey for the first time ever, and it was delicious. After dinner we opened presents and I got some gift cards and some pajamas and a jacket that I like a whole lot. My sister is getting so many hand me downs from friends that we didn't go too crazy spoiling Johanna, but next year will be a different story I'm sure. I'm still looking to get her some baby earplugs, however... so if anyone knows where I can buy some, let me know.

I, of course, took a lot of pictures, and my parents bought some rustic wood frames for Johanna's room, so along with some color photos, I tried the sepia setting to get some pictures for framing.

For my family, click here for the full album.

Johanna's First Christmas 12/25/2007

Johanna's First Christmas 12/25/2007

Johanna's First Christmas 12/25/2007

I hope everyone got to spend Christmas with loved ones, whether that is family or friends, large or small.

Things To Do In San Diego: December 26, 2007

I didn't mean to blog write for 7 straight hours, but looks like that's what I've done. Here's some stuff going on tonight, and I'll get to the rest of the week later, including my recommendations for New Years (though if you read my CityBeat column this week, you already know them...)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007:
  • Buckfast Superbee, Spell Toronto, Firstwavehello @ Casbah
  • Building Better Monsters, The Beatles @ Zombie Lounge
  • Kerri Dopart & Friends @ Lestat's
  • Red Hot Wednesday feat. DJ Ratty @ Bar Pink Elephant
  • The Underclassmen, The Common Loon, CDM, Nuclear Tomorrow @ Winston's

Christmas Eve at Qualcomm: Chargers Win!

I don't have a lot to say about Monday's Charger game except that it was my first game in several years, it was really fun, and I was glad we took a cab to and from the game. We got into the stadium with ease, drank some beer and jack in the parking lot, then enjoyed the game, making friends with the group of people around us, and maybe I should've had more than just nachos to go along with the booze. After the game we really had no problem finding a cab home, then Adam and I caught another cab to the Casbah for Exile on Kettner. Fortunately my friend Jim was there, so he was kind enough to give us a ride home. A nice end to a lovely Christmas Eve afternoon and night. Then, lo and behold, it was time for Christmas.

Saturday/Sunday Night: Ken Club, Scolari's, Casbah

I learned something important on Saturday. Never plan a party when everyone around you is tipsy. I decided on Friday night that I'd have a little wine party at my house on Saturday, but with Christmas around the corner and everyone already locked into plans, my "party" ended up being Jason and I watching Elf on TV while snacking on cheese and crackers accompanied by a bottle of wine. No complaints, but perhaps advanced warning would be better in the future. We decided after the movie to hang out at the Ken Club, where the bar was having a Christmas party of their own, though that was only lightly attended as well. My friend Simon had driven into town from Portland, so he met us, and then Jason left to the Alibi. Simon and I decided to check out the benefit for Riki Watkins at Scolari's. She's the girl who was killed on Sunday morning in the accidental shooting in South Park and she was a bartender at Kadan, so friends threw together a benefit to help her family with funeral costs. By the nature of the event, calling it "fun" would be inaccurate, but it was nice to see how many people came out to show support for the cause. I'll have more to say about that soon, I'll keep y'all posted. From Scolari's, Simon and I went back to my pad and I let him crash so he didn't have to sleep in his car, and come Sunday, once he was gone, I was happy to stay home and relax for the greater part of the day.

I was gonna just slum all night, but Petro and Kris were going to the Casbah so we went down to check out the free FM 94/9 show at the Casbah.

Action Andy and The Haunted Honky Tonkers were great with their rockabilly blues, and Buzz Campbell & Hot Rod Lincoln did more of the same, and I flashed back to when I used to seek them out with friends in high school so we could go swing dancing.

We only stayed for a couple songs by The Stranger's Six but Aaron definitely has his rock star stage swagger, and the bar filled out while they played. I would've liked to stay, but I knew I had to get up early on Monday to get ready for the game, so it was nice to finally get a full night's sleep.

Friday Recap: Republic of Letters, Hotel St. George, The Roman Spring

With my car dead, I was more than grateful that Abraham picked me up after he got off work and we headed to the Tower Bar. Fortunately, shows always start a little bit later there, so we had plenty of time before The Roman Spring started up. I was really there to just hang out, and the idea of putting more pictures on my camera that was already storing a half gig of pics was daunting, so I didn't take any more pics of The Roman Spring, but the show was fun as always and a lot of people came out for the show.

I did have to bust out the camera for Hotel St. George, since this was just their second show and I missed their set last time, but I didn't capture any that I really liked...still, have to post a couple as a matter of record...

Also, I was scolded because I didn't mention that Hotel St. George has music available for download on their MySpace page here. Matt is always awesome with his swagger when he performs and his marketing line cracked me up. "We have some 3 songs demos for free. If you don't take one, you're an asshole." From the first listen, I was hooked to the demo, and I know they'll be picking up where Vinyl Radio left off, though the music has a little more pop catchiness to it, which I actually like better.

I wasn't gonna take pics of Republic of Letters because I've posted so many in the past, but I actually finally got some decent shots of Nick, since he wasn't hiding in the back and we didn't have to Ken Club black curtain to compete with...

Chris wasn't feeling great and it was clear that his voice was hurting, but I still loved the performance, and I hear they've got some new stuff in the works for 2008. I think it's gonna be a very good year for San Diego music.

Thursday: Bleu Boheme, Bluefoot, Casbah, Pink Elephant

Thursday night when I got home after the casino, and after finishing off the day at work, my car died. Not completely, but it was overheating, so I had to deal with it. By the time that was taken care of, Adam was on his way since we'd made plans to go to dinner at Bleu Bohome before going out.

Dinner was perfect; I'm really liking that place a lot. Matt, from Emery Byrd, is a bartender there and made some killer drinks. One was like a mojito but with vodka instead of rum, and the other was like a capirinha but the sweetness was offset with fresh lime juice. They were delicious. Dinner was excellent as well.

From there, we went to Bluefoot to get our Christmas compilation CDs. If anyone didn't get a copy, let me know. It's so good and I'm so impressed how Peter worked to pull it all together. Hopefully they can pull it off again next year and get even more contributors. I like the traditional Christmas covers, but am especially into the originals by Drew Andrews, The Soft Places, Dr Robert Kent and Microphone Mike are all definitely making it on my Christmas mixes in the future.

After that we went to the Casbah and caught about half of Reeve Oliver's set though I didn't pull out the camera at all. Then when they finished, we were off to Pink Elephant. A long night, for sure, but a nice way to ease into the weekend...Friday was a half day at work, so I had my projects to focus on but when there were done, it was into the weekend, kicking off with a glass of champagne with my coworkers.

Morongo Casino Pics

I already wrote about my overnight trip to Morongo Casino here, but I did take a couple pics of the place in case you're considering staying there during Coachella 2008.

Let me say, for the record, that I love my bed at home, with my down comforters and a dozen pillows, so it's rare for me to like a hotel bed more than my own, but Morongo has down comforters in soft cotton duvets, along with down feather pillows and shams. It was a whole lot nicer than those stiff comforters you find at most casinos, and waking up with the desert sun coming over the mountains was pretty stellar, too.

Playing Blog Catch-Up: CLA & Diablo Dimes at the Casbah

Well, at least I've made it through the first week of my catch up posts. By Sunday, the 16th, I was pretty wiped from two late nights in a row, so I stayed home and spent the majority of the night writing my CityBeat column for the week. Fortunately, I submitted a lot more words than I needed, so I didn't have to scramble later in the week for my column that published today. That meant I stayed home Monday night, too, because those Things To Do lists I do take a long time to throw together, and my house needed some attention.

By Tuesday, I was ready to go back out for more good times, and headed to the Casbah for C.L.A. and Diablo Dimes, though I missed Royal Campaign.

I was a fan of C.L.A. back in the day, though I rarely got the chance to see them with Steve Foth because I was underage. Still, it was nice to see Dennis Borlek and Steve Poltz playing those old tunes and bringing back some memories of listening to Lou Niles on Loudspeaker back in the day.

I watched some of the show, as various people made their way to the stage to pound pints of Guiness, but I also hung out in the Atari Lounge for a while with Wendy who recently moved back to San Diego.

After CLA, Diablo Dimes played, and his voice still kills me every time I see him. And the kazoo? Yeah, what can words can really impress how cool that is?

That was pretty much my night, headed home and was asleep before my head even hit the pillow.

The Tighten-Ups @ Tower Bar 12/15/07

We arrived at the Tower Bar pretty late. We went to see Tell Mama, a new band that I'd written about it one of my recent CityBeat columns. However, since the show, the band realized there's another band called Tell Mama in San Diego, so to prevent confusion, I'm writing about them with their new name, The Tighten Ups, which I like a whole lot better anyway.

If you know Laura Jane, you know the chick has a huge personality and makes everyone around her have a good time. This comes in handy for her since she performs on Hornblower Cruises and hosts karaoke nights around town. She also performs in a couple shows at Martini's on 4th. At long last, she is fronting a band and playing some classic rock n roll tunes that are guaranteed to get asses shaking.

The show kicked ass and they'll be playing on Jan 27 at the Casbah.

After that portion of the evening, I felt bad that I was in full party mode and Adam had been stuck with DD duties, so when we made it back to Kensington we went to the Ken for last call. After that, a group of my friends came over and we watched Reality Bites and Love Actually while we shivered in my cold ass apartment. The sun was up before we finally called it a night, but no complaints. When it comes down to it, nights like these are what the holidays are all about.

FM 94/9 2007 Holiday Hootenanny

You might recall that I was looking for a "plus one" to go with me to the Hootenanny. I had VIP passes and was looking for someone who'd be willing to drive to UCSD. I was glad that my friend Adam responded, had I known he wanted to go I would've just asked him. We made sure to arrive early because we didn't want to miss out on the grub like I always seem to do for events. We got there as the gates opened walked right in. We made our way to the outdoor tent area and grabbed a couple beers while we chatted with the bartender and some random people who were confused about some things. FM 94/9 had a promotion during the last week before the show that anyone who bought a ticket at designated spots got a free lift ticket but a few people seemed to think they got one just for going to the show. Once we straightened that out, it was time to chill out, have a burger, and enjoy the show.

Adam used to work for 94/9, so he was chatting with friends when I went to watch Reeve Oliver, and O asked over the mic if I'd found a date. Thank god I don't embarass easily.

The field was set up like last year, with a full beer garden and plasma screens all over, so we ended up watching Rogue Wave from outside, though I'm hoping to catch the show at the Belly Up in January. We went into the venue for Mute Math and they were so entertaining, jumping all over the stage. Like an idiot, my battery for my camera was running low, so I was pretty conservative taking pictures, but I was able to snap a few throughout the night.

At one point the drummer dove into the crowd, then had his drum passed into the crowd, which somehow he managed to play as he and his drum were passed over the crowd. Pretty great showmanship, if you ask me, and it made their performance stand out above the others of the night.

Between bands we went outside once again, hanging with friends for a short while until it was time to catch The Kooks. I thought they sounded great, though they seemed to be pretty pissed, talking shit to the sound guys, but clarifying that they loved the crowd despite the technical difficulties.

After having seen Louis XIV and Pinback more than a few times this year, we opted to hang out in the VIP area which was packed with people for the remainder of the night. We went in for a little at the end of Pinback's set and somehow I managed to get a band pass, so I was in the dressing room area for a little while and then helped Rob Crow carry some gear to their van. Would you believe the guys are still unloading their own gear?

I'd never seen Queens of The Stone Age, and never really considered myself a fan, but I was really blown away by their energy onstage, and I guess I didn't realize that I am familiar with most of their material, so that was kinda cool. I managed to grab a couple setlists, too.

Queens of the Stone Age setlist, 12/15/07

After they finished we said our quick goodbyes and found our way to the parking garage and managed to get out with relative ease, though we did have to bust a u-turn to get out via Gennessee. The Hootenanny was a great night, and not just because of the bands playing, but to see so many old friends and to meet new ones, made for a nice holiday party. FM 94/9 took plenty of pictures of the night, too, which you can see here. For us, it was off to the Tower Bar.