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Wednesday, Jul 04, 2007

Notes from the smoking patio

Local. Music. Gossip.

By Troy Johnson

Mr. Studio and the recording projects

Black Heart Procession and Mr. Tube frontman Pall Jenkins has partnered with Brad Lee (Mr. Tube, Comfortable for You, Loud and Clear Records) to open a recording studio in Kearny Mesa that will cater to the indie-rock set. The 1,000-square-foot space is already wired as a studio, which will save Jenkins and Lee the time and cash they'd have to invest in building a new studio from the ground up. Jenkins will continue to record a few projects he's already started in his home studio, including a film with Grand Ole Party guitarist John Paul Labno.

The studio will be named SDRL (for Stereo Disguise Recording Laboratories) and joins an already crowded San Diego studio field populated by the likes of Big Fish, Black Box, Singing Serpent and Capricorn.

“I guess it's the goal to become the indier-than-thou recording studio, but in a good way-where we can pick and choose the projects that we're inspired by,” Lee said.

-Caley Cook

Notes from the smoking patio

(For websites listed below, MS =

The last thing you'd expect at a fundraiser for African children is a brawl between performers. But that nearly happened on July 1 at Aubergine during Consciously Social's “Battle in the Mix.” The night was a DJ battle and awareness campaign for Invisible Children, a San Diego nonprofit focused on helping children living in war-torn Northern Uganda. DJ crew Illustrious Culture, feeling they had their time cut short, refused to get off the stage and nearly came to blows with emcee DJ Artistic of local hip-hop group, Deep Rooted. Artistic kept his cool, and Illustrious Culture was shown the door. Needless to say, they didn't win the $1,000 prize for the night, as judges of such things tend to frown on picking fights at an event meant to raise a few bucks for casualties of war. The night's winner was DJ Touvan. (To Illustrious' credit, the non-instigating member, Anthony James, apologized on stage to the organizers and the charitable crowd.) MS/touvanmusic,

Boilermaker bassist Terrin Durfey has been battling cancer for more than a decade. Until recently, the disease had been under control, but last month it returned. Durfey is undergoing intensive treatment, and a MySpace page has been set up to accept donations from friends and fans. A pair of fundraisers will also take place this month. On July 14, a family-oriented event will be held at Devine Pastabilities (3545 Midway Drive). Then Earthless, Years Around the Sun and Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects will pitch in with a show at the Belly Up Tavern on July 26. MS/terrindurfeyfoundation.

The groundswell of big-ass San Diego bands has gotten bigger with the forming of The Flimz. The eight-piece-which evokes old-school, USO-type singing groups of the WWII era-includes Annie Dru and Amy Mayer on vocals, backed by ever-present drummer Brian “Nucci” Cantrell and other locals on upright bass, cello, viola, sax, clarinet and percussion. They claim to be a nine-piece on their home page, but we at CityBeat haven't crossed over to the dark side enough to recognize someone who plays “MySpace Editor” as an official member of the band. The Flimz play at Lestat's on July 6. MS/theflimzmusic.

Philadelphia's Mad Dragon Records, a student-run label, has chosen San Diego surf-pop band The World Famous Da Bears to be on a new compilation album, Unleashed3. Other artists on the comp (set for a July 17 release) include Annuals, The High Strung, Andrew Lipke and Detachment Kit, among others. MS/dabears.

Anya Marina has officially signed to a-hip-hop label? Seems L.A.'s Avatar Records, which has put out albums by rhymesayers like Planet Asia, Fear of a Black Hat and One Block Radius, fell in love with the petite singer-songwriter's album Miss Halfway, so much so that they agreed to put it out in Europe on Sept. 24. MS/anyamarina.

Former Hot Like (A) Robot vocalist-guitarist Jordan Clark is working on a new, not-yet-named project with members of Letter Kills. MS/hotlikearobot.

Candye Kane will have her song “The Toughest Girl Alive” included this season in CW Networks' TV show Hidden Palms. MS/candyekaneband.

Chula Vista pop-rockers Static Halo have their song “Those Strings,” included on Sweet Relief, a 72-track collection of independent artists. The album will be released July 10 by Michigan label JAM Records as a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims whose lives are still pretty screwed. MS/statichalo, MS/jamrecordsmusic.

Dave Gonzalez, guitarist with The Paladins and The Hacienda Brothers, broke his wrist in five places, requiring surgery. Easing the pain a little is the news that The Hacienda Brothers have been nominated by The Americana Music Association as “Duo/Group of the Year.” The awards will be presented on Nov. 1 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

-Troy Johnson and Bart Mendoza