It's finally happening. After 20 years, Drive Like Jehu has announced that they're getting back together. Pretty much since the local post-hardcore outfit broke up in 1994, fans have been clamoring for a reunion—and that includes me—though the best we ever got were some pretty frustrating hoaxes.
It's San Diego Music Awards season, and this year's nominees have just been announced. There are a lot of worthy entries on the long list of nominations, including local MVPs The Burning of Rome, Little Hurricane and The Midnight Pine, as well as newcomers like Soft Lions and hard-working underdogs like Eukaryst, who are profiled in this week's CityBeat.
And then there's Jason Mraz and Switchfoot. It wouldn't be the San Diego Music Awards without a few ringers, no matter how cliche it is for Switchfoot's name to show up—again. But Jason Mraz seems a little more of a stretch. Is Mraz even really a "San Diego artist" at this point? I'm inclined to say no, considering he's only scheduled three shows here this year, all in stadium-sized venues and all sold out. That, to me, doesn't say "local artist," but your mileage may vary.
In any case, here's the full list of nominees:
This week’s CityBeat features an overview of the experimental, shape-shifting Tokyo trio Boris, whose new album Noise was released last month via Sargent House. The group’s sound is a bit difficult to pinpoint, since all of their albums sound pretty radically different from one another. But the one (almost) constant in their sound is heavy rock ‘n’ roll—in various shapes and forms.I conducted an email interview with the band’s guitarist Takeshi and drummer Atsuo through a translator, in which the group discussed their changing sound, different versions of their albums, and the departure of fourth member Michio Kurihara.
After months of setbacks, The Che Café got a victory during a court hearing today, which allows it to remain in its current space until September. A judge ruled that the Che can remain in possession of its space while engaged in a legal dispute with UCSD over the university's action to evict the collective that runs the all-ages venue. The ruling allows the Che to continue operating for another 60 days, which strikes down the university's order to vacate the venue by July 14.
According to a press release issued by The Che Café, a preliminary-injunction hearing will be held on Aug. 1, and if the Che prevails, it will be able to continue operating in its current space until a final resolution has been reached. A post from the Che on Twitter this morning reads, "In essence we've been granted 60 more days to operate in this space to fight to keep it."
Prior to this ruling, the Che had no choice but to cancel all of its upcoming shows. This allows many of the shows to continue, though it's not yet been announced which shows are back on, or if any of them have been moved to other venues.
The Che Café has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to pay for the repairs that are at the heart of its dispute with UCSD. It has raised $900 so far.
The UC San Diego University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB), a student-run board that oversees how student fees are spent, voted today to cut The Che Cafe’s maintenance costs from its 2014-2015 budget, putting the future of the long-running, all-ages DIY music venue in doubt.
Some of the best musical theater of the last 40 years has come straight out of hard rock and heavy-metal concerts: King Diamond’s ghoulish presence and operatic vocals; W.A.S.P.’s meat-pelting and models-on-torture-racks spectacle; and, of course, Alice Cooper’s death at the end of every show. Sure, there are plenty of earnest, plain-clothes metal bands that rely on musical performance over high drama, but to some degree, metal has always been about escapism. And no band in recent memory has embodied metal’s escapist tendencies better than Sweden’s Ghost.
Tomorrow—Saturday, April 19—is that chaotic, frantic, lines-around-the-block, limited-edition geek-out celebration of mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar retail that we call Record Store Day. Some people love it, some people hate it, but whether you’re an eBay pirate looking to make some cash on reselling limited-edition Dave Matthews Band box sets or just looking to take advantage of some sidewalk vinyl sales and maybe grab a David Bowie picture disc, it’s at least worth checking out.
It's been eight years since I've seen punk band The Lawrence Arms. The last time I saw them was at an all-ages venue in Salt Lake City, supporting their 2006 album Oh! Calcutta! They'd been a favorite band of mine throughout high school, and I was excited to take this new girl to their show.
Eight years later, and me and that new girl are now married. We have car payments. We have streaming video. We have a new president. And all this has happened in the time in the time it took The Lawrence Arms to release a new album: Metropole.
As far as comeback records go, Metropole is excellent, just because it doesn't fall into the overcompensation that occurs when rock bands age. With lyrics like "I dream when I'm sleeping / I'll sleep when I die / I die every evening" and "My heart got kicked out of all of its homes / And dying young just didn't work so now I guess I'm dying old," it's a record about submission, and accepting your impending fall from relevancy, and admitting that Father Time is kind of a dick.
Even if anxiety about getting older is fueling their strongest lyrical material, it was hardly apparent on Saturday night when they destroyed the sold-out crowd at The Casbah. With a set-list that pulled heavily from Metropole and Oh! Calcutta! (their best album, IMO), the band delivered a performance that had fists pumping with every lyric and drunk bros hugging each other. It felt downright triumphant. Even singer/bassist Brendan Kelly—usually one of the most caustic, sarcastic and funniest frontmen in punk rock—seemed to be humbled.
However, one of the side-effects of aging is the enhanced ability to drain the glass half-empty, which is what happened when I realized that all the other times I'd seen the band were at all-age venues. It was a small trigger that made me pine for old days, when the pit was more about community instead of old drunks pushing against each other. And those venues never had security like The Casbah, who used excessive force to punish stage-divers and crowd-surfers. Honestly, I've never been a fan of crowd-surfers, but I saw a short brick of a man toss two concert-goers out by their necks. It was a sour end to an otherwise excellent night: angry at concert security and annoyed at the drunk punks, thinking about how it's unfair that things can't be like they used to be, and how we all might be too old for this.