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Home / Articles / Music / Nightgeist /  Uncle ...
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Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010

Uncle Bob and the rest of this week's reports from the scene

Uncle Bob needs a little help from his friends, live music's set for FLUXX, Enrique experiences a porn claw and we get the lowdown from Ears We Trust

By Kinsee Morlan

 Photo by Jeff "Turbo" Corrigan

Not satisfied with just playing the show at House of Blues, ’90s rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony invaded U-31 late last Wednesday night. Afterward, Krayzie Bone posed for pics with fans, including this girl, who used the opportunity to represent the most ubiquitous crew at the club: The Whitest People Ever. Well done, young lady. Your improvised hang-loose-but-I-love-you-in-sign-language hand gesture just set crackers everywhere back 50 years.

—Seth Combs

Locals Only

Downtown nightclub FLUXX is opening its space to live music. Its first concert, hosted by FM 94/9’s Tim Pyles and featuring art by locals Eric Wixon, Andrew Rymer and Steven Suiter, will be June 24. Dirty Sweet, Scarlet Symphony and The Howls will perform. Shows will be organized by Daydream Nation, a new promotion company run by Eric Howarth, former co-owner of M-Theory Music. The concerts will be held once a month and focus on local acts, Howarth told CityBeat. “It’s really an amazing space,” he said. “I can’t wait to have live bands in there.”

Argyle, MK Ultra, Luminous and Rebellion will spin drum ’n’ bass and dubstep at a benefit at Kava Lounge on Thursday, June 10, for both the San Diego Food Bank and a bartender at Red C Lounge who recently discovered he has a brain tumor. The cover is a minimum donation of two cans of food or $5. Also, P.O.D. will perform at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday, June 12, for a San Diego Loves Haiti Benefit Concert. Thirteen other groups will perform. And, Chet and the Committee, Candye Kane, Charles Burton and Mercedes Moore will perform at a fundraiser at Humphrey’s Backstage Live on Monday, June 14, for Photocharity, an organization that serves homeless youth. Bring sweats and jeans for donation.

Pop-rockers The Midwinters will celebrate the release of their new EP, The Hinges, on Wednesday, June 9, at Belly Up Tavern. The Fabulous Rudies will also celebrate the release of their new EP, Help Me, at the same show, which starts at 7 p.m. Jazz pianist Julian Waterfall Pollack will perform with his trio to herald the release of his new album, Infinite Playground, at Dizzy’s on Saturday, June 12.

—Peter Holslin

The Socialites of San Diego

Bob Bennett, better known as “Uncle Bob,” partner and backroom bartender at The Casbah since the bar’s Pink Panther days, says he’s “hanging up the bottles.”

“I’m going to stop bartending,” Bennett says. “That’s it.”

A few weeks ago, Bennett, 62, was walking out of his Little Italy loft when he paused to decide whether he should go get his mail or go into town to get a cup of coffee. It just took one instance of indecision for him to miss a step and tumble down the stairs. The fall resulted in a broken bone in his kneecap.

“It feels pretty good now,” Bennett said a few days ago as he rode the trolley to a doctor appointment. “But for awhile, I could hardly sleep for 15 minutes. It was real painful.”

The medical bills from his surgery and recovery are piling up. Bennett has insurance, but he says it hasn’t paid for much. He’s walking around now, but his knee may never be 100 percent.

But the bum knee isn’t the only reason Bennett will no longer be behind the bar. Known for being the fast and funny old guy who pours a good drink, he says he never could manage to stay sober in those surroundings.

“The main reason I’m going to stop bartending is because I couldn’t control not drinking, and alcohol became a pretty big problem with me,” Bennett explains. “This is the second time I’m going to try treatment to stop drinking for good.”

At 7 p.m. Monday, June 14, at The Casbah, there’ll be an Anti-Monday League fundraiser for Bennett. Proceeds will help pay his medical bills and go toward the cost of an alcohol-treatment program. The night’s lineup includes The Dragons, Transfer, Furious IV, Ziggy Shuffledust and The Spiders from Mars and Wirepony.

“It will be a good time to come out and see if Mario [of The Dragons] can fit into his leather pants,” Bennett joked.

—Kinsee Morlan

“The Socialites of San Diego” is a new feature focusing on the real lives of San Diego’s glitterati, nightlife mavens and scenesters.

The Enrique Experience

After a hectic week of moving—which left me with a dreaded case of the black fingernail courtesy of a 243-pound fridge landing on my left middle finger—I bubble-wrapped my woes away and found solace at Joycee’s Cocktails (1025 Elkelton Blvd.). Some people go to the spa to decompress. Me? I head to Spring Valley.

Call it the anti-Cheers. No one here knows my name, and that’s the way I like it.

With neighbors like the Mt. Cavalry Pentecostal Church, a Foster’s Freeze and an antique shop actually named Selectables Antiques & Collectibles, it’s the sort of place where my gooey nail is a desirable trait.

Seemingly decorated with a motley assortment of bric-a-brac from the nearby veteran’s thrift store, the bar has a sign posted that reads, “Sexual harassment will not be reported. However, it will be graded.”

The home of beer pong every Sunday, Joycee’s boasts the de rigueur East County porn- and toy-filled claw-machine and, in a corner, a jar of the Halley’s Comet of dive-bar treats—the 75-cent pickled egg.

“It’s all in the presentation,” bartender Liz said as she placed my cold one in a brown paper bag.

Intrigued by the hardcore DVDs alongside the plush likenesses of Charlie the Tuna, Barney and a rainbow-colored monkey with an embroidered belly that reads “I love bananas,” I asked Liz about the trend.

“Well,” she responded, “drunk guys ain’t wanting to buy toys at 1 a.m., that’s for sure.”

Noticing a regular with a stack of Washingtons making a beeline for the racy claw, I decided to strike up an awkward convo and ask him what title he was out to get.

“None,” he answered swiftly. “I won the porn yesterday; now I just need somebody to keep me company while I watch it—I figure the monkey will do.”

—Enrique Limón

Ears We Trust

We ask musical tastemakers to hip us to local bands and artists that have recently blown their minds.

Chad Waldorf
(booker, Belly Up Tavern): “Fearless in Fair Weather is one new local band that has really stood out to me in the last month or so. I never would have guessed a band with that name would sound like they do. I expected some lame indie or nu-metal. These guys fall somewhere between new wave, doo-wop and, dare I say it, pop. The band features a handful of local ska veterans. Ironically, I do get a bit of a Cherry Poppin’ Daddies feel to this, but listen to this with headphones to make sure you hear all of it.”

Taylor Doms (founder, “The remixes by DJ duo Bubblegum Sci Fi, are positively infectious. They drop nu-dreamwave disco bangers on the regular. Consisting of Voyeur resident DJ Anthony Ross and the more locally ubiquitous DJ Groundfloor, their remix of Passion Pit’s track “The Reeling” even nailed down the No. 1 on’s charts this past November and helped put San Diego on the worldwide electro radar. It’s a shame the duo never spins together live. Hopefully by calling them out, this will persuade them to do otherwise.”

Peter Graves (booker, Soda Bar): “I’ve seen The Endless Bummer twice now. They sound completely contradictory to their name. Totally fun project that’s basically one guy who’s making songs with a computer program that looks like Max / MSP or like a thousand wires playing Twister on a computer screen. It’s kind of like 8-bit calypso music. What really makes it worthwhile is that he seems pretty serious about just wanting to have fun and create art. Oh yeah, and there’s dancers, too. That’s really important.”

Zack Nielsen (co-founder, “Knorphus Zortorch has been holed up in Ocean Beach for a solid eight years perfecting his computer beats, freestyle skills and occasional toupée wearing. The results are a mix between early Beck combined with the theatrics of Of Montreal. Consider this a warning, San Diego, the Atari Lounge of The Casbah is going to get real Saturday, June 12.”

—Seth Combs