Photo by James NortonUh oh, drama in hipster land! Felicia Canales (left) certainly needed a hug on Tuesday night when she ventured out to Filter magazine’s new night at The Office. The scandal-starting, grammatically challenged purveyor of SDGossipsScene.com got a cease-and-desist from nightlife photographers like The Style Shark and Jeff Morris asking her not to use their pics on her website, because too many scenester girls were getting their H&M panties in a bunch. Lesson learned: Bite a man’s pics and he’ll let it slide. Mess with his chance of scoring some tail, and he’ll take a bite out of you.
If the new Vestal Watches poster-boy looks familiar that’s because it’s Locust and All Leather frontman Justin Pearson. He appears in an ad for the Newport Beach-based timepiece company’s new animal-friendly, vegan watches. Pearson has also revealed details about All Leather’s debut album: It’ll be called When I Grow Up I Wanna Fuck Like a Girl and will be released March 18.
Some of the acts that will play this year’s Indiefest in North Park have been announced, including Gregory Page, Vokab Kompany, Lauren DeRose, Children of Nova and Astra Kelly. More bands will be announced in the coming weeks. The festival takes place on March 27.
In album release news, singer-songwriter Gregory Page will celebrate the release of his jazz-inspired album, Heartstrings, on Saturday, Feb. 13, at Oasis House Concerts in Sorrento Valley. Also that night, costumed new-wavers Lion Cut will play with Jamuel Saxon and Panther Pup at Tin Can Ale House to celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album (see our feature in this week's issue). Indie-rockers Lualta have already released their first album in six years, Nobody Loves You When You’re Down, but the band will play an official release show on Friday, Feb. 12, with Lights On and Wake Up Lucid. Finally, doom-rockers Blessure Grave will celebrate the release of their debut, Judged by 12, Carried by Six, on Sunday, Feb. 14, at Brick by Brick, opening for Christian Death (see our feature in this week's issue).
The Enrique Experience
Whitney Houston’s timeless query “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” has finally been answered. They go to the Spring Valley Shopping Center, which houses a Rent-A-Center, the aptly named Cigs & Gars smoke shop and the nondescript, windowless jewel that is Mike’s Cocktails (629 Sweetwater Road). A pail of Scoop Away kitty litter doubling as an ashtray proudly adorns its exterior. Inside, a row of Hover-Rounds parked next to a claw machine housing both the usual suspects and a couple of surprises—like an adult DVD titled Queen Laqueefa—welcome you. The décor is a mishmash of holidays past; there’s the trusty pre-lit Christmas garland, top-shelf bottles boasting Jack-o’-lantern-shaped toppers, a plush bunny, a folded and framed Old Glory and Budweiser Chelada specials (for that Cinco de Mayo feel), but not one single red heart or cupid cutout.
There are, however, signs advertising the daily happy hour (which boasts 50-cents-off drinks), a DIY nacho station and a plaque above the bar that reads “It’s Barry’s turn!”—an homage to the bar’s owner, who’s apparently known to indulge in a few shots after asking whose turn it is to pay the round.
“This right here is Daygo,” a sauced patron exclaimed as he left the Internet juke. Moments later, the entire Commodores collection started playing, forcing the euphoric man into an awkward truffle-shuffle-like dance. “This is how my daddy used to do it,” he said. “He was a short, badass roofer.” He later shouted “last call” at 8:45 p.m. and exited in a fury. Turns out it was last call next door at Big Lots! Intrigued, I followed him and partook of a little tipsy bargain shopping.
The following morning, I inspected my purchases in shock: There was a half-empty bottle of Stallion Wine—which, according to its tag, has “the physical impact and elegance worthy of its name”—no-slip drawer liners, a two pack of Robitussin, a gallon of Tiki torch oil and a 6-foot, curved shower-curtain rod. This just might be the best Valentine’s season ever.
From the refurbished dives to the shiniest new clubs, we partake and then rate the newest nightlife destinations. Grades are based on a five-bottle rating system with one bottle being poor and five bottles being a must-go-there-now.
Let me preamble by saying this: I hate strip clubs. Boaster that I am, I’ve just never seen the point of paying a woman to dance naked for me when I could easily get that for free.
So, it was with some serious trepidation that I ventured to the rather unfortunately named The Back Door (4000 Kearny Mesa Road in Clairemont), located directly behind (and owned by) the Pure Platinum strip joint. I ain’t no snob. I’ll hit up the low-brow as well as the bourgeois, and I’ll certainly give a place a fair shake (no pun intended) when it seems all it’s doing is trying to branch out into karaoke nights and live bands.
The first thing that hits you (whether you like it or not): You can smoke there! I don’t know how the owners skirted the most sacrosanct of nightlife laws, but ashtrays were on the seven or so tables that surrounded the stage. Hard-rockers The Bloodflowers were playing the night I went. The place has an excellent sound system but could use a new sound guy—you could barely hear singer Ray Hoover’s vocals. And the stage sports (are you ready for this?) a built-in smoke machine underneath it. I don’t care what you think—that’s cool. The constantly flashing and roving lights are a major distraction if you came to see a band (or you’re an epileptic). The drinks are expensive, but the pour is strong as could be expected when there are naked girls putting themselves through college a glass door away.
Look, you won’t be hearing any sensitive singer-songwriter types if you hit up The Back Door, but it does provide a rather, er, unique and uninhibited break from the norm when it comes to San Diego nightlife. And I suppose that’s something worth paying for.
Our semi-regular guide to the Scene Wolf-approved after-dark events we’re either crazy about or just really looking forward to.
Sound Tribe Sector 9, Virtual Boy @ House of Blues: By booking this Santa Cruz electro-rock band along with The Bloody Beetroots in April, it seems HOB is making a run at Voyeur as the Downtown place to see cutting-edge electronic acts. Competition is good in this case, because it’ll draw even more cutting-edge acts. Thursday, Feb. 11.
Dubfire, Davide Squillace, Carlo Lio @ Voyeur: Speaking of Voyeur, kudos for landing DJ Dubfire, who practically reinvented progressive techno as one half of Deep Dish. It’s IDM that even dummies can dance to. Friday, Feb. 12.
“Red Lips Party” @ El Dorado: Call me a hipster, but the crowd over at the U-T-approved Brazil Carnival blowout at 4th & B just doesn’t do it for me. I like my drinks made with care (read: not a crappy Caprihina served in a plastic cup) and Gabe Vega and Groundfloor providing the soundtrack (as opposed to some O.B. samba band trying to pass themselves off as something from Rio).
Mardi Gras @ Gaslamp Quarter: If only because CityBeat will have a float. Ever had a Scene Wolf throw you some beads?