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Home / Articles / Music / Nightgeist /  Reports from the scene
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Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010

Reports from the scene

Diatribe founder tells frontman to cease and desist, Enrique experiences Cambodian karaoke and the D-list stars shine at a Grammy sideshow

By Seth Combs

Photo by James Norton

Shot on Scene

Despite looking like a hipster version of Juan Valdez and not being able to grow a full mustache, Lyon Crowns frontman Jorge Luna still manages to pull more tail than a dogcatcher. On Jan. 27, he was chatting up this hottie at Confidential’s new night, Soul’d Out. Seriously, the guy should be teaching seminars. Step 1: Start a band. The music doesn’t have to be that good. Step 2: Make wardrobe so obviously scene-sational that no one dares copy it. (For example: Always wear brown hat sideways.) Step 3: Get fresh with all the ladies. Statistically speaking, one is bound to sleep with you.

—Seth Combs

Locals Only

As we reported last week, former Diatribe frontman Vinnie Fono is reforming the political punk band with a new lineup backing him. However, the band’s original guitarist Julius (he told CityBeat that he’d prefer if we didn’t use his full name) says Fono (real name: Vince Udo) has no right to use the band’s name and likeness.

“I named the band, I wrote every song and all the lyrics and I was the creative driving force behind the band,” says Julius via e-mail. “I have not authorized anyone to reform the band and play my music under the name Diatribe. Vince was kicked out of Diatribe in 1986. The band subsequently continued on with a new singer.”

Julius goes on to say that he’s hurt by Fono’s decision to reform the band without consulting him or the other two surviving members.

“Diatribe was a very personal vehicle for me and I put my heart and soul into it at the time,” he says. “Hey, I was 19 years old…. The band never played a show without me in the lineup. Diatribe started and ended with me. Vince can’t reform what I created and he has no right to do so. If Vince wants to start his own band and play Diatribe covers he can be my guest. Heck, he can call it ‘Diatribal: A Diatribe cover band’ if he wants, but Diatribe is not reforming.”

CityBeat was unable to reach Fono by press time.


Some benefit shows of note: Bar Pink and The Ruby Room will host fundraisers on Thursday, Feb. 4, to raise money for earthquake survivors in Haiti. The Bar Pink show will feature The Old In Out, Grand Tarantula and The Death Eaters. The Ruby Room show will feature DJ music from Justin Pearson of All Leather and The Locust. Portugalia will also host a Haiti benefit on Saturday, Feb. 6, with Rhythm and the Method, Sheila Sondergard and Soul Ablaze scheduled to perform.

In album-release news, screamo band Casino Madrid will celebrate the release their new EP, For Kings and Queens, at SOMA on Friday, Feb. 5, with Adestria, Vanguard, Cathedral City and others supporting. A Scribe Amidst the Lions will headline The Casbah on Saturday, Feb. 6, to support the release of their new record, The Last Sting Trilogy. The Burning of Rome, Astra and River City are also scheduled to perform.

—Seth Combs

The Enrique Experience

Cruise El Cajon Boulevard enough, past the hookers and Cricket Wireless retailers, and you’ll stumble upon a magical land known as Khmer Spirit Karaoke Lounge. The place’s sheets-as-window-treatments and a lone cholo vigorously scrubbing his front bumper at the neighboring self-service car wash at 11 p.m. quickly set the scene. Inside, the repurposing of bed linens continues, as tables are covered with what appears to be remnants of old duvets—the fancy brocade kind you’d find at Ross.

Under a string of Christmas lights, a chanteuse’s wail—a cross between a dying baby dolphin and a Jihadist’s combat chant—was strong enough to overpower the police sirens outside. Donning Cindy Lauper-inspired garb, the would-be karaoke star delighted the crowd with a permanent cat-who-ate-the-canary grin. The bar’s dance protocol was something to behold: It started off with a rhythmic chain full of pomp and regalia that led to the pairing of couples, who would disperse after each song was over. I was mesmerized; then again, they would be, too, if they saw me bust out the Macarena at my cousin’s Quinceañera.

“Cambodian community in San Diego is small. It’s good we have place to go,” owner Peter let me know. He then took me upstairs to his apartment, where a girl in a Jabbawockeez T-shirt kindly offered me a beer.

I hit it off with a toothless man who was sitting next to me, courtesy of the universal thumbs-up sign (our only way of communicating) and later joined him in a room where a middle-aged woman rocking bangs so stiff you’d swear her kids pranked her by switching out her Vidal Sassoon product with Liquid Nails, was selling snacks. Bamboo rice, “pig fritter” and, yes, even balut, an egg with the almost fully developed fetus in it.

“Try” he mumbled, lifting up the treat and putting me eye-to-eye with its contents. Brave as I am, I sadly gestured a thumbs-down. Flashbacks starring the poultry that inspired me in my youth—Big Bird, the San Diego Chicken and Talkatoo Cockatoo were too much to bear. To paraphrase the great Meatloaf: I would do anything for this column, but I won’t do that.

—Enrique Limón

Life on the Grammy D-list

The Grammy Awards, traditionally an elegant affair, have been reduced to nothing more than another stain of superficiality on the pant-leg of America. This is thanks, in large part, to aspects of the awards show that people may not even be aware of—like the radio-interview rodeo that occurs in a remote corner of the Staples Center (nowhere near the actual stage), a few days before Grammy weekend. I had the pleasure of attending this event, where handlers wrangle their C- and D-list “talent” and herd them through the tables of wacky radio hosts from across the country named “Woody” and “Deuce.” This is where the real show is. No glory, no glamour, no dress code—just a group of people so grateful for any sliver of attention that they leave the house just to remind people, and prove to themselves, that they do still exist.

The media should scrape the gunk off the Hollywood underbelly more often, as it proved to be even more entertaining than the awards show itself (which no celeb at this event was actually invited to). If you think the Glee rejects supporting Green Day on stage at the actual ceremony a couple of days later were excited about their performance, know that there was an equally-if-not-more-enthusiastic Carnie Wilson at the complimentary buffet during their sound check. And, sure, Rihanna mentioned that she liked my tattoos, but nothing she or Lady Gaga wears will ever be as shocking as the texture of Bruce Jenner’s face in fluorescent lighting. Pink’s acrobatics are no match for the scientific phenomenon involved in the surprisingly petite Kris Kardashian birthing Neanderthal Khloe. And the commitment that George Clinton dedicates to speaking what can only be described as his own language makes me think he either got a lobotomy or he needs to lay off the pharmaceuticals.

Although, to be fair, I have never seen any band display as much passion as Kings of Leon did for making sure people knew they had been drinking. They are to alcohol consumption what autotune is to music—a display of blatant and unapologetic overcompensation. They sure are purty, though. Shucks.

To be clear, I didn’t stay for the actual awards. I fled the city limits before L.A. is consumed by the inescapable black hole that will inevitably result when Taylor Swift’s face finally fully implodes.

—Sammi Skolmoski