Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rosey's Diary: A Week In San Diego Music, Pt 1 (9/14-17)

It was another fantastic week in music here in San Diego and I was all over the place, catching 12 different shows in 6 nights. Since my car is dead, this was not an easy feat and I couldn't have done it without the generosity of friends, so thanks to Jeff, Kevin, Jake and Josh for carting me around. I've got photos and videos to share from most of them, so click keep on reading for the whole lowdown

The Long And Short of It, Casbah, 9.19.09

In this recap:
1. Anti-Monday League @ Casbah with Team Abraham, Rademacher, The Moviegoers
2. KPRI Presents Laura Birch @ Hornblower
3. Chairlift @ The Loft, UCSD
4. Monotonix, Christmas Island @ Casbah
5. Josh Damigo @ SDSU Starbucks
6. Throw Me The Statue, The Brunettes, Nurses @ The Loft, UCSD
7. Meat Puppets, Dead Confederate, Ume @ Belly Up

Monday kicked off with a fun evening at Ono Sushi (@OnoSushi). They had a twitter contest and so it was free sushi and drink specials where we took over the back party room to watch the Chargers vs Raiders on Monday Night Football. I loved the sushi, but I have to tell you that their ribs are to die for. I could've eaten those all night long. The awesome thing about twitter is that you can show up for an event alone, as I did, and find you're among friends you already know. It was nice hanging with Chris Cantore, Gary Clapp, Taxi Rob and a bunch of others. Admittedly I'm not the kind of person that screams at a football game and the room was getting crazy, but I had to make my departure at half-time so I could head down to Casbah.

It was a stellar show at Casbah with The Moviegoers kicking off the night. (Mas rock en espanol, por favor!) L.A.'s Rademacher followed up. Seriously, these guys are so good. The night closed with Abraham and his constantly evolving band before they headed out on a 12 day tour. I opted against photos because the lighting was horrific and I just wanted a night among friends. After the show, Rademacher crashed at my house and we enjoyed some late night banter and the requisite Mexican food from Rolberto's. Keep your eye out for these guys as we're forcing them to make San Diego their home away from home.

Tuesday night started off with another KPRI Hornblower cruise, this time featuring Diane Birch. I already posted the videos and wrote about it here, but at least five people told me that they "never hear about" these free cruises. Listen to KPRI FM (102.1) and register for their e-mails and next summer you, too can enjoy all the stellar music onboard these FREE harbor cruises.

From the dock, we raced up to UCSD to catch Chairlift. We missed the opening acts but got to take in Chairlift's full set, which sadly was only 8 songs. First, I should say that if you still haven't been to the Loft, you should really check it out. There's a parking structure nearby, so parking is not an issue, and the venue has some of the best sound and lighting equipment around. Shows are generally free for students with a nominal cover for the public with some exceptions, but they already have some great shows lined up this year. You can see the entire schedule here. Some upcoming shows include Emily Wells, Starfucker, Metronomy, Dean & Britta, The White Buffalo, Why? and more. Additionally, The Loft is in the process of getting a beer & wine license while staying an all ages venue.

The band played a great set, albeit short. It was a bit challenged because there's a temporary wall up where they're building the food/drink service counter, so the sound guy couldn't actually see the stage. The lights were kept dim which bummed me out a little because they have such killer LEDs. Still, I enjoyed the set. When Chairlift went into Bruises, however, DJ Skullkrusher started queueing up his laptop and actually played about 10 seconds of music during the band's performance. Yikes. Their setlist was 8 songs long with an additional 2 songs in their setlist, but the second they walked offstage, the DJ music queued up and they never came back for the encore.

After The Loft, I was dropped off at Casbah for Monotonix and Christmas Island. It was my first time ever seeing CI and though I only got a couple songs in, be prepared for them to be the next breakout in the wake of the success of their buds Crocodiles and Wavves. Their record is available in pre-order on Insound by clicking below.
Buy it at Insound!

And then there's Monotonix. I was a virgin of the madness. The Israeli band is legendary for their stage show (apparently), but I went in having no idea what to expect. I peeped their merch booth. They had shirts that said "Where Were You When It Happened?," and it makes sense, because this is 100% spectacle. Awesome spectacle at that, but pure craziness.

The band set up, not onstage, but in front of the stage. To be honest, I don't know how much of the show is scripted and/or prerecorded, I'm guessing most of it, but it didn't take away from a jaw dropping show.

The front of stage setup didn't last long. As one song finished, the crowd picked up the drums and passed them overhead, along with the band, who in one night moved to the narrow counter next to the sound mixing board, the smoking patio, the front bar, and back to the middle of the room, at one point demanding that the whole room sit on the floor, soaked with beer and splashed drinks, and they complied. I hid outside for fear of being called out.

The show also included the singer mooning Seth Combs and shooting snot rockets at Andrea, licking a couple girls faces, pulling girls to dance on the bar, and shoving their sweaty bodies on anyone and everyone. I didn't get too close.

Wednesday shows started early as I made my way to SDSU to catch Josh Damigo at the Starbucks in the Aztec Center. It is one heck of a busy Starbucks and I was surprised how incredible the sound was in the room. Josh woke up that day with Strep Throat, but after a doctor's visit, tons of antibiotics, and a shot of cortisone, his voice was strong as ever. I think I have a new favorite song, too, "You Happened To Me" so I'm gonna pressure him to record it.

I was going to make that my big show of the day, but ended up going to The Loft again. We got there early and the bands were late but it ended up being a stellar show. Unlike the previous night, they moved the soundboard out from the back, and they made better use of the lights.

The show started with Nurses who are originally from Boise, but lived in Temecula briefly before living out of their van for 6 months in Chicago before finally settling in the music mecca of Portland where they said they've never been happier. They told us that the first place they lived and recorded in Portland was an attic that cost only $300 to rent! No wonder everyone flocks to Portland! I've missed the band the last couple times they played in San Diego and I was really, really impressed with the way they sounded. I liked them before but this was a bit more, I dunno, grown up? It felt more intricate and cohesive than I'd remembered the band and I really liked it.

The Brunettes were up next and were just lovely. Perhaps I was won over instantly by the Kiwi accents, or the sweet vocals that sounded like if Emily from Bunky joined up with Britt from Flight of The Conchords, but I thought they were fantastic and they were very proud.

Throw Me The Statue was up last and I was instantly a fan, though their set felt very short. On top of it, midway through the first song, the band requested the lights be dimmed to all blues. So unfortunately I wasn't able to capture video of their set, but I highly recommend checking out their record. Vocally they reminded me of Ra Ra Riot which means I was all oozy and melty inside and the band were total pros onstage. It appeared as if everyone else there was equally as enthralled by the number of students flocked around the merch table after the show.

Thursday night was up to the Belly Up for Ume, Dead Confederate and Meat Puppets. We got to Solana Beach relatively early, in time to wander around Leaping Lotus. It was Cedros Nights, so all the businesses were open. Matt Commerce was playing in the store and sounded good, so I'm gonna have to keep an eye out for him. I also wish I hadn't eaten because there was a food vendor selling some amazing looking soul food.

It was nice not to feel rushed at a show, and there was time before to catch up with DC's manager and say hi to the band before Ume started. Ume is a three piece from Austin that Carlos from the Moviegoers as "a sexy Sonic Youth". They rocked hard and though at first, Jeff, Greg, and I were the only ones standing anywhere close to the stage, the floor filled up by the end of their set.

Dead Confederate had been tweeting how the day before they were holed up in a hotel in Arizona feeling sick, so it was nice that despite them still being under the weather, they still gave their all to the show. Since I have quite a collection of photos of the band already (one of these days I'll post my Indie Jam photos), I mostly refrained but I wanted a couple because I was stoked to see Brantley sporting his Obscure Magpie t-shirt.

They played a long full set and it was cool to see as many people there specifically for DC as Meat Puppets. I recorded The Rat once again, specifically because I wanted to compare it to my video from Casbah, but here it is again, whatever you can see of it.

The last time Meat Puppets played in town, I did their merch and didn't really get to see them, so this was a nice treat. The band started off the set with a lot of their newer, slower, more country influenced music then eventually went into their older catalogue with the rocking shit. The songs were all good, but where the band really excels is when they just jam out. I have to also say, it was a bit funny to see Curt Kirkwood's guitar adorned with little old timey stickers of kitty-kats and piggies. It was a stellar show and they played a crazy long set upwards of 20 songs.

We got out of the show too late to try and catch anything else for the night, so instead I went to the Ken Club to break in the new ping-pong table. I'm gonna try and see if Brett will let me borrow it for my birthday party this week. So awesome. Otherwise, if anyone wants to play, name a time and I'll be there.

Anyhow, it is really late and this is ridiculously long already, so I'll save the rest of the week for Part II.

8. Joshua James, Cory Chisel @ Casbah
9. Old Man Hands @ Tin Can Ale House
10. Blackout Party, The Drowning Men @ Casbah
11. Mat Kearney, Brett Dennen, Eric Hutchinson, Maia Sharp @ KPRI Summer Splashdown, Hornblower Inspiration
12. The Long And Short of It, Boyscout, Modern Rifles @ Casbah

No comments: