Friday, March 31, 2023

Things To Do In San Diego: Friday, March 31: Unknown Mortal Orchestra | Michigander | Soulfly | Thumpasaurus | Super Diamond | Art Alive Bloom Bash |

 Is tonight a Revenge Friday? It looks like it with so many sold out shows! 

I got home super late last night and had to make sure you all got your Casbah newsletters, so I didn't stay up to do listings, so once again I'm just doing tonight's stuff and hopefully sometime between tonight and tomorrow I'll finish the whole week. But, I am working tomorrow at Balboa Theatre and you know I need to go get my zoo time in, so we'll see how it all goes. Maybe I'll even convince Darren to pop down the street to check out Fresh Veggies Micro Brass for a minute, since I've not seen him more than 20 minutes this week.

Also, a ton of shows went on sale today. I've been notified by Jeff that we're attending Ryan Adams & The Cardinals in October, so I guess it's time for me to believe in DRA's sobriety and amends and start to appreciate his music again, which I haven't really been able to listen to for a few years. Casbah also announced a ton and let me tell you something. You know how a band plays here and then later they play another tour in bigger venues and skip San Diego? It's because when they're on these smaller tours we're too slow! The agents get ticket counts, sometimes daily, to compare how quickly tickets are purchased in every market of a tour. Of course their goal is for every show to sell out, but how fast it sells out matters, too. So while September or October may seem far away, buying your tickets now not only secures your entry to shows, but it also means that maybe those artists won't leave us behind as they get bigger and plan future tours. That's your little Pay No Attention To The Man Behind the Curtain moment for the weekend.  

Be safe. 
Love you all. 
Friday listings are after the jump.  

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Things To Do In San Diego: Thursday, March 30, 2023: Lead Pony | Colony House | Theo Kandel | Mason Jennings | Padres Home Opener |

I know I said I wasn't going to do listings this week, but after a long day yesterday, I crashed out super early, and thus woke up around 4am. I mostly just checked email, but I already finished packing and it sounds like everyone here is still asleep and we're not planning on hitting the road until around 9am, so I'm trying to take advantage of the quiet and the strong wi-fi before our drive. So I was able to crank out listings just for today, and if I can get to the rest of the week, I'll try on Friday, though I might have to do them from the zoo because a friend of mine has kept me posted and Denny has been moved in with his half-brother Maka! Eventually, that means he'll move in with all three boys, but geez...I visit him nearly every day for a year and go away and this happens?!? And don't even get me started on the Fletcher scandal. Ugh.  

As for my family, thanks for all the kind comments and responses. We're doing well, considering the circumstances. My brother and his kids have a long road of transition to this new reality. I'll write more about that at another time, but there's a GFM if you'd like to contribute. Some have asked if they can help with this unexpected trip which isn't necessary, but my Venmo is @sddialedin if you're so inclined. A memorial hasn't been confirmed yet, but it might be a little later down the road, like Memorial Day Weekend, in which case we'll likely all be driving back and doing this all over again.  

Stay safe out there. I love you all. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Personal: RIP Melissa Hayes Bystrak

I'm sitting in a restaurant in New Mexico with my brother, his kids, my sister, and her kids. This was a rushed trip. My sister in law, Melissa Hayes Bystrak, died on Saturday, March 25, just before 3am. 

Taken 10.2.22

Here's my post about it all: 

We got the news this week that my sister-in-law wasn't doing well; that after a long fight with breast cancer and the pain of numerous reconstructive surgeries, that the cancer was back and had spread to her spine and other areas of her body. While it was many months and years of pain for her, the diagnosis of the spread was new to us on Thursday and by Friday she was hospitalized and heavily sedated. My sister flew out to New Mexico as did Melissa's dad and twin sister; her mom had been with her for some time already. They all arrived in time to be with her say goodbye and just before 3am our time, we got the news that she had passed. 

Melissa was only 44 years old and leaves behind my brother, her husband of more than 2 decades, and three amazing kids, Gabe, Gia, and Evan. At this point, my plan is to drive my nieces to New Mexico to support their cousins in this time of immeasurable grief. Their whole world is rocked. Our whole world is rocked. Melissa was a brave warrior in her battle but in the end it was too much for a body to take. We love you so much, Liss. Sleep in peace, Sister.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Things To Do In San Diego: Thursday, March 23-Wednesday, March 29, 2023: Andy Frasco | Adi Oasis | Delta Rae | David Cross | Copeland | Mustache Bash | Beabadoobee | Daniel Rodriguez | Vanessa Carlton |

It's a big week with a ton of sold out and almost sold out shows, so my recommendation to you is to get used to buying your tickets in advance because our small venues are on fire right now. Casbah has continued to announce a bunch of new shows, including Bully, Manic Hispanic, and The Amalgamated but probably the biggest news this week is that The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, announced a San Diego show on December 2nd at Pechanga Arena, with tickets on sale Friday. I'll be working at the Delta Rae show on Saturday, going to beabadoobee on Monday, and might check out Vanessa Carlton on Wednesday since I haven't seen her since Sunset Sessions a million years ago. And Darren wants to go to Andy Frasco, but seeing as I'm finishing these listings at 5:45am, I'm going to try to get some real sleep. 

CoViD-19: COVID-somnia Is A Thing | Crazy California Storms | Uvalde Interviews Released | Zoo Photos: Andean Bear Cubs

Andean Bear Cubs, Born December 10th, 2022 (Taken 3.21.23)

When I was young I always envisioned myself having some great outdoorsy lifestyle, but the reality is I think I like the idea more than the actual lifestyle. Like when I was a kid, I had a tackle box and was always organizing it and adding lures and bait, but in reality, I just liked the colors and collecting things. The only fishing I ever did was at a local campsite in a stocked lake (more like a pond) and never ever got a bite. I certainly wouldn't have known what to do if I'd caught anything. 

In my 20s, I was freshly single after my college boyfriend and I broke us, and had the great idea that I'd get a big dog. We'd go hiking and camping and to the beach and I had my car and I could live an active and outdoorsy life on a whim. Problem was I ended up adopting the neediest, most skittish dog ever (RIP Pascha) who certainly wasn't going on any hikes or anywhere other people existed, and I worked in the most corporate of corporate jobs, a nine-to-five that afforded me one week off a year but definitely not enough money to ever save to use the time off. So that whole plan was a big fail. 

Nowadays, I have the time and the resources to kinda do what I want and go where I want, but Darren and Nova do not have that flexibility, so going to the Zoo is my great compromise...I'm outside, I'm among beautiful plants and amazing animals and I have developed a relationship with so many of the animals - engaging with the gorillas and orangs, certain birds that communicate with me, even the mountain lions respond in their own way when they see me. This week I finally got to see the Andean bear cubs, and with the zoo open later, it's just been a pleasure to see the animals adapt as the seasons change. 

All that being said, this week has been low-key for me and I'm perfectly okay with that. I mentioned last week that my dad is back at home so I've gone to help out my parents a few times, I worked a couple merch gigs - MoonTricks at Music Box and Protomartyr at Casbah, I got a raise at my day job, and spent a ton of time at the zoo while Nova has been off living her teenage independence and Darren working all the time. This week was also the 8 year anniversary of Ficus' Adoption Gotcha Day, which maybe makes her 10 or 11, we can't really be sure.  

I've been stoked on the rain though haven't seen it that intense in a very long time, and I was glad to have the van all stocked up with my rain gear and I've been getting good use of my rain boots. When Darren did finally have a day off, we went to Balboa Park free Tuesdays which was the Mingei and Museum of Art this week, which turned out to be a great way to get dry before spending the rest of that afternoon at the zoo. Now I'm working on listings and I guess I've procrastinated enough, so hopefully you'll have your listings by morning. 

Stay safe out there.  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Things To Do In San Diego: Thursday, March 16-Wednesday, March 22, 2023: Vance Joy | KRS-One | Old 97's | St. Patrick's Day | Titus Andronicus | Jason Mraz | Damien Jurado | BAILEN | Algiers | Protomartyr |

Gotta keep it short this week because I have a meeting in a few hours and I'm up way later than intended. I don't have a big music roundup but I do wanna say that any attempt by the Port of San Diego to impede or restrict public access during events at the Shell are absolute bullshit. This is our embarcadero, no matter which philanthropists' names you throw on it and to me just reeks of some shady ass shit. If this is what public-private partnerships bring, we should all be very worried about the future of Balboa Park and all of our public spaces. My two cents. 

As SXSW goes on, lots of tours are being announced in our area, so sign up for all the newsletters you can to get that inside info. Casbah announced Matt & Kim, which you can buy via presale now. but I know all the venues keep rolling out great shows for the summer. 

Stay safe out there.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

COVID-19: 3 Years Later | $17 Humane Society Offers Adoptions | Biden Issues Gun Background Check EO | Bank Bailout | Another Atmospheric River Blasts California |

New Male Tiger Dumai at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 3.10.23)

It has been a mostly chill week for me and I'm loving this weather. I'm happy to report my dad is back home as of Sunday night, which I think most people in his circumstances would prefer, but it was also comforting to know he was under the care of medical professionals for a few nights and we were off the hook for driving to Chula Vista. Since he's been reclassified as hospice care, he will once again have more in-home assistance for my mom, and we'll go back to helping at night half the week. There's always an upside correlating with the downside and vice versa.  

Besides my usual zoo trips, on Thursday we went to Nova's Academic League competition and on Friday I went to Safari Park with Darren which was so nice. He recommended I take the Spanish tram and it was interesting to hear how some of the animals names and information translates...not exactly the conversational Spanish we learn in school and in my normal life I don't have much occasion for using Spanish so I would definitely do that again. On Saturday night we went to the EXTC show which was pretty fun to see Darren living in his 20-something dreams and it was nice to see so many old friends at the show. 

This week seems to already be spring break for a lot of people so the zoo has been packed which is why I kinda love when it definitely makes people change their plans, but when it is crowded, I can still duck away into an aviary or a quiet space when I need to. The next few weeks will probably be kinda crazy there, but I'll try and keep the habit - I feel healthier with it in my life than when I skip a day or two. 

This week is going to be a little busier with some work nights at the Casbah and Music Box but hopefully I can offset with the longer zoo and Seaworld hours and lots and lots of sleep. May you all find time for the things you love, too. If you're in the market for a new pet, all adoptions are $17 in honor of St. Patrick's Day for the whole weekend. 

Stay safe & healthy out there.  

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Things To Do In San Diego:: Thursday, March 9-Wednesday, March 15, 2023: Choir Boy | Charlie Parr | Adam Melchor | PUP & Joyce Manor | Otoboke Beaver | EXTC | The Church | Marc Anthony | SZA | Forty Feet Tall |

It's been a busy week already, which I guess kinda always happens around SXSW as tours and festivals make all their big announcement for the year. This week alone, Casbah has announced shows with Bratty (4/16), Night Beats (4/19), Hammered Hulls (5/3), Skating Polly (5/12), Billie Marten (6/5), Joshua Ray Walker (6/15), Surfer Blood (6/17), Quintron & Miss Pussycat (6/28), The Tallest Man On Earth (9/30), and Nation of Language (10/29). Outside Lands announced their lineup, as has FIesta Del Sol, and North Park Music Festival sent out a 'save the date'. So yeah. A lot. 
We're looking forward to seeing EXTC on Saturday night and I'm waiting to hear if I'll be working a merch gig, but other than that, I've got to keep my schedule kinda open, though I know Otoboke Beaver and The Church and Lovejoy are all gonna be amazing. We'll see how things work out. 

Stay safe out there. The Casbah's show with Kevin Devine just got canceled because he tested positive for COVID, so it's still out there. 

News and listings after the jump.   

COVID-19: At Least 26% Of Parents Are Assholes | Spring Break Plans | Murdaugh Murders Fallout | SDG&E Wants More Of Your Money | My Daddy Update |

It's been a busy work week but I finished listings and did all the things I needed to and wanted to get this post up because my week could get a little tricky. Some weeks ago I mentioned that my dad's condition had been upgraded and he was no longer considered to be on hospice care. I said then that it felt like it was more of an insurance thing than a health thing and so we all had to step up and help my parents because he wasn't getting the same in-home care as before. But last week his health took a turn and they reclassified him back to hospice or palliative care and he hasn't been doing great, and yesterday I was supposed to go help in the day but instead, a couple doctors or nurses went to the house and decided he needed to be hospitalized immediately. Already low on sleep because my dog had been sick all night and needed to be let out repeatedly all night long, I was just having a day. I went to the zoo to clear my head and then came home and have been working ever since. At this moment, I don't know my dad's status; they took him to Sharp and then were going to move him to Kaiser but then I was working and my mom is with him wherever he may be and I guess I'll find more out in the morning. 

So yeah, I had been putting this post together for the week and had thoughts that I wanted to expunge from my system. Everything in this post was collected and written before this change of circumstances, and it all seems dumb now, but here it is anyway. I hope to get some zoo time in on Thursday because I have to say, walking around with my earbuds in and lost in my own thoughts for a couple hours in the sun felt nice, but I'll be at my parents' service as needed. Hopefully this is something he'll get some care for and be back home, but we've been living on this edge for a long time so I don't really know what to think or feel at the moment. I do know I'm pissed that California is removing mask requirements in health care environments because both of my parents have dodged COVID through the entire pandemic and hospitals are such a disaster that either of them could easily pick it up among the sick, but maybe the hospitals will individually maintain the requirement. I guess I'll find out. 

Stay safe out there. I'm going to try to finally get some sleep. 


Tuesday, March 07, 2023

COVID-19: Emergency Ends, Reporting Ends, COVID Carries On | California Tax Extension | Bird Flu | Murdaugh Murders: Guilty! 2 Consecutive Life Sentences |

Little Kaja at 14 months and 1 day old (Taken 3.5.23)

I had been really enjoying my laid back, low-pressure life lately, working remotely at the zoo and all that goodness, but then suddenly that isn't the case. In the past couple weeks, I worked for Almost Monday, King Tuff, Jawny, and Braxton Cook, as well as celebrating Darren's birthday, catching the SG Goodman show (with after-show cocktails at Ould Sod and we know how that goes), plus I was streaming the Murdaugh Trials, and even had jury duty tossed in there. And then there were van repairs and helping my dad and taking Nova and a friend to Sea World for a day and it's all kinda worn me out. And I know a lot of those, particularly hours of Murdaugh Trials were optional, but I couldn't resist the intrigue and anyway, I was only streaming while I did a million other things anyway. Darren has been working his ass off, too, so this week I would just like for everything to slow down, am politely declining invitations, and would like to just be able to get by with my laptop in my backpack at the zoo while I watch all the babies -- Kaja, of course, but there's a new golden takin born on Friday, there's Andean bear cubs who have finally been making appearances, there are amur leopard cubs recently born that haven't made their public debut but who we hear stirrings about not to even mention how much I would like a day at Safari Park since I took off the free seniors month. I've just got to get a handle on all these ding-dang emails and concert, my actual work. There are so many shows coming up, it's gonna be a busy spring and summer, I can tell you that right now. 

For now, I'm off to bed. I'll get listings up by Wednesday or Thursday. We'll see how punishing this week turns out. 

Love you. Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, March 1-Wednesday, March 8, 2023: King Tuff | S.G. Goodman | Maggie Rogers | Pleasure Pill | JAWNY | English Beat | CRSSD Fest | Cass McCombs | Braxton Cook | Deslondes | The Flaming Lips | American Authors |

I never meant to switch my listings publish day to Thursdays, but it happened. But I'm gonna be working for King Tuff on Wednesday night and I don't think I'll be able to bust out the laptop because it might be a wet night at the Casbah, even if I'm in Bob's Lounge, so I had to bust them out on Tuesday night while I was awake and having some cocktails and bingeing on Murdaugh Murder trial stuff. So, you're welcome. Maybe I'm back to Wednesday publishing. Maybe not. Who cares? 

I don't have the tolerance to do music news this week, but you should definitely vote for San Diego Music Awards, you should know that Outside Lands "Eager Beaver" tickets go on sale today at 10am, and Violent Femmes are playing a show with the San Diego Symphony at the Shell on May 10th- performing their entire self-titled album - because we are so fucking old that a thing like that sounds like the coolest show ever. Tickets on sale Friday. 

And I always have to stick it in...stay safe out there. The COVID "emergency" is over (bye-bye funding for tests and vaccines) but COVID isn't over. In fact, we got another exposure warning from the kid's high school today. 


Stay safe out there.