San Diego Radio Sucks Quite A Bit

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Drive Like Jehu to Perform Free Reunion Show in Balboa Park on Labor Day 2014

The last time I saw Drive Like Jehu, I was pretty blown away, so it's bittersweet that they've reunited and are playing a free show next Sunday (day before Labor Day) in Balboa Park.  According to, they're getting an organ accompaniment.  What, like a musical organ?  Really?

Part of me wants to leave that amazing evening in the past, untouchable and unchangeable by seeing an older version of them, with an older version of me in attendance.  Hell, that was just over 20 years ago, and I still remember elements of that night perfectly.

So I dragged out their epic Yank Crime CD the other night (I didn't have a turntable at the time) and threw it on full blast while annihilating some baddies in Watch Dogs, and let me tell you, it's some of the most exhausting music ever created.  I don't know how these guys could have created an entire album of this intensity, let alone a single song.  It hasn't lost a milliliter of the piss and vinegar it spewed back when it was released in 1994, the year I moved to San Diego, and I doubt it ever will.

My first exposure to these guys was from a mix tape the bassist in my band at the time had made me.  Or maybe I'd quit Dead Clown Pile by then and Smokey was just one of my housemates.  Anyway, he made me this tape full of great punk rock, a lot of it from San Diego, and it was all a little faster than it should have been because his turntable ran that way.  When I heard Bullet Train To Vegas, I was like, "Fuck man, who are these guys?"

The official announcement is here.  Looks like the show starts at 7:00, and according to an interview with Bitchfork, they're only planning on doing five songs for a set less than half an hour.  I'm not sure what to expect, but I'll be damned if I'm going to miss this one.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

One Day 'til Coachella - Final Thoughts Before Hitting the Road

It's going to be HOT this year folks.  Come prepared.  Not only do you need the necessities I mentioned in a post many years ago, but I'd like to add to it by setting up my updated Coachella packing list.

You need the usual stuff mentioned in the previous post as well, but here are a few things I'd definitely add to this list on the eve of my 14th Coachella:

  • Lip balm (not sure why this never made the list before)
  • A hat (Ibid.)
  • The official Coachella app (gets better every year)
  • Bandana (or something to cover your face in case we get another damn sandstorm worthy of a Darude-like ninth ring of hell)
  • Sweatshirt (or something warm, again, in case of sandstorm.  We stood in line at merch for 45 minutes last year due to poor weather and poor planning)
 And then of course there's the original list of stuff:
  • Tickets
  • Hotel reservations
  • Phone and charger
  • Sunblock
  • ATM card, credit card, and ID
  • several pairs of shorts
  • several shirts
  • PJs
  • Unna-ma-pants
  • sox
  • shoes (not good ones, closed-toe, they're going to get dirty)
  • medications
  • toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, floss, and for chrissakes, deodorant
  • extra contact lenses
  • glasses
  • music (duh)
  • reading material
  • camera and case
  • $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
 'Tis the season.  Let's live.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

3 Days 'til Coachella - Schedule is UP!

Well, shit.

Not since 2008 when Prince made a surprise appearance on the schedule on Saturday night (I remember quite clearly blurting out, "What the fuck?!  I thought Portishead was headlining?!") have we seen such a literally last-minute amazeballs announcement addition to the otherwise completely fucking insanely awesome lineup:


Where the FUCK did these guys come from??? Is it that Coachella is such a massive thing now that they can just ask one of the best rock bands of all time (and one of the most anticipated reunion shows, that performed their first major show AT Coachella in 2004) to just come out and hang in the desert with us?

Well, shit.

Nothing wrong with that.

Now here's the answer key.


Dum Dum Girls
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Kate Nash (?)
Afghan Whigs
Broken Bells / Bonobo
Brian Ferry
The Knife


Sander Kleinenberg
Bombay Bicycle Club / Banks / CHVRCHES
Holy Ghost!
Washed Out
Fatboy Slim
Pet Shop Boys


Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Blood Orange
The Naked and Famous
Little Dragon
Lana Del Rey
Laurent Garnier / Disclosure

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

9 Days 'til Coachella - Banks

Normally, an endorsement from the LA Times is the kiss of death for a festival act, but this year they might be onto something with at least half of their recommendations for the rising stars.  I noticed a few gems in their recommendations that I was aware of, but Banks, I was not.

This singer is a true find.  Sultry, smoking hot lyrically and vocally, and she ain't bad to look at, neither.

And oh shit, she's on Saturday.  Shit.  Saturday is really stacking up.

Anyway, she sounds a bit like Siouxie singing for Portishead, or something like that, in the best way possible.

My greatest fear is that the choices we'll have to make this year will be harder than that Sophie's Choice shit.  What?  She had to choose between two kids or something?  That's nothing compared to what we might be up against.  It's either going to be a massive tearfest of sorrow trying to pick between acts stacked up at night, or it's going to be a real candidate for best undercard ever.

Either way, slap my ass and call me Sally.  Nine days away.

Friday, January 31, 2014

69 Days 'til Coachella - Caravan Palace

Huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh. huh huh.


Goddammit.  My flaccid streak continues.  These guys remind me a little bit of some of Parov Stelar's recent stuff.  Too bad they didn't show up last year.  That broke my heart all the way down, so now I've got a crack in my ass.

Anyway, you can't argue that this video is really, really cool.  And depending on the format, this could be a great show or something that could have been a great show.

My prediction?  An early main-stage stunner that makeup weekenders won't be able to avoid hearing about.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

75 Days 'til Coachella - Austra

OK, I'm starting to get pissed now.  I can't find any really shitty bands at Coachella this year.  The only bad thing I can say about Austra is that they blurred out all the nudity in this video.  Come on, we're all adults here, so show us your boobies already.

I know I should be overjoyed, and don't get me wrong, on some levels I absolutely am.  I can't remember a year since I've been doing this that I've found such a fantastic over/under ratio.  This is going to make selecting tracks for our traditional Coachella or Bust CDs that much harder, because those bitches only go to like barely 80 minutes.

So, about Austra.  Damn.  Take Florence or Zola Jesus and put her in front of a really dark early 80's synth pop band and you're pretty much there.  Think Frida's I Know There's Something Going On with a killer dancefloor draw and those trilling, melancholy vocals of Zo' or Flo' with plenty of tinkling synthesizers.  Gorgeous, dark-gray stuff, only lit by the occasional strobe through the fog machine's perfumed pollution.

Apparently, they're from Canada, and according to their Wikipedia page, they recently lost out to Arcade Fire on some big prize they give out in the Great White North.  It's probably like a year's supply of bait or a shitload of poutine or something, but still.  I'm sick of AC hogging up all the prizes.  Canada's got some pretty fantastic bands.  Austra's definitely worth checking out.

Poutine.  The national dish of our neighbors to the north.  Or the results of my last stomach pump.

Austra plays Friday, so you shouldn't be too hungover when they take the stage.  You'll probably just be fucked up.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

81 Days 'til Coachella - Scuba

The more I try to find bands that might suck this year, the more I'm disappointed.  I mean, sure, there are bound to be some stinkers, but so far I'm just not randomly picking them.

Scuba is one of those acts that ended up being a pleasantly surprising brick wall I ran into when trying to find bands that sucked.  I figured it was probably a DJ, and I'm extremely suspect of the electronic music Coachella is booking these days in general, let alone electronic music in general.

It turns out that Scuba's track Hardbody could be my new favorite track.  It's a beautifully layered, textured, four on the floor stomper.  A wonderful, classic-sounding progressive house song complete with lush female vocals and a kick drum dropout that floats you gently away.

While I'd love to think that this is the norm, and that electronic music is returning to this, I know it's too good to be true.  So I'll just enjoy tracks like this one while they last.  If the rest of Scuba's stuff sounds like this, it could make for an extremely pleasurable set.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

83 Days 'til Coachella - Dum Dum Girls

Sub Pop used to crank out the music that defined a generation.  Bands like Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and my personal favorite, Tad, until he got fat.  Wait.  He was always fat. Oh well, whatever, never mind.

I wish what Sub Pop was putting out these days did the same thing for music, because what I've heard from their artists in the last few years is pretty phenomenal.  Some of the bands signed today include Washed Out, Mudhoney (who probably never left their Alma mater), and SDRS darlings Mogwai, all of who are cranking out excellent music outside the fray of what you expect to hear these days.

In that group now is Dum Dum Girls, a band that sounds like a throwback to the early '90's in a lot of ways.  If I have to say something bad about them (and I do), it's that they sound a little derivative of the greats - Lush.  (The Almighty) My Bloody Valentine, and most of all The Jesus and Mary Chain.  In fact, the singer sounds so much like a cleaned-up PJ Harvey and a sweeter Hope Sandoval had a lesbian baby that I got a little aroused listening to their upcoming single.

OK, a lot aroused.

It doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous, or that the music has this droney, driving, minor-key yeaahhhh I love it sorta thing going for it.  And it doesn't hurt that they sound like a ton of bands I love.  Hell, if you're going to "wear your influences on your sleeve," do it well.  And sound like somebody good.

Sadly, my prediction is that these guys will be relegated to a very early slot on Friday (or will be pitted against the headliners).  And while that's the day we're usually standing at the gates, waiting with about 20 other front row Joes to get in, I really think a lot of people are going to miss them.

Their new album, Too True, drops January 28.  Check that shit out.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

85 Days 'til Coachella - The Naked And Famous

While perusing the lineup and trying to find bands I actually liked, I did.  They're called The Naked And Famous, and while I think I've heard that song Young Blood on a commercial or god forbid an iPod commercial, they're catchy as hell and I won't apologize for liking them.

They remind me of a more poppy version of The Joy Formidable (another Coachella find, maybe in 2011) with a healthy dose of New Order phrasing and Ulrich Schnauss-esque keyboard loops mixed in.

For those of you who know and love the bands I've compared this band to, I know.  It's a pretty bold statement.  They're not as hard as TJF, not as classic as NO, and not as varied and lush as Ulrich, but they're also not derivative of any of them either.  And from the short previews I've experienced, I'd say the difference between their first (Passive Me, Aggressive You) and second albums (In Rolling Waves) speaks more to their diversity than anything.  The one constant is Alisa's vocals, and the fact that all the other elements surrounding her vocals, make you want to hear more. 

It's a bit of a shock to go straight from the poppy anthems they're known for to the brooding, swirling stuff on the latest effort, but hang in there.  The patient listener is rewarded, in different ways, listening to each.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

86 Days 'til Coachella - Flosstradamus

Welcome back, bitches!

It's another year, another Coachella, and yes, as usual, I'll be one of the creepy dudes leering at you from behind a pair of very cheap, very dark sunglasses.

But enough about me.  Let's talk about music.

OK, so that's kind of misleading.  We can't actually talk about music if we're talking about third-liner Sunday act Flosstradamus, because that would be like calling actual human excrement something you could wipe into your iPod and listen to.

 I just can't believe any of these people actually paid to watch these douchebags.  Not even ketamine would excuse listening to this.

I'm not totally sure, but I think this is considered "trap" music, and of course "trap" is an anagram for "blowing chunks out of my nose while getting curbed by nazi skinheads."

Or something like that.

Like seriously.  They're on the second line of the poster on Sunday after the headliner.  Is Coachella really that desperate to find new acts, or do people actually want to hear queefs sampled over a 400-pound Arkansonian dealing poorly with Montezuma's revenge? 

If this is trap, I was wrong when I said music couldn't get any worse than US dubstep.  Actually, there are genres that are far worse than dubstep, but I think trap has got to be right down there catchin' the fecal matter of all other artists above them, including the gabber elite.

 Gabber.  Until Flosstradamus, the worst music on the planet

Perhaps I've become my father at last, but as I told my man Mike, avoid at all costs.  Cut off a limb if you have to, but if you get anywhere near these morons or their even more idiotic fans, you're sure to get covered in whatever that shit-spooge is that's spewing from the speakers.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Coachella 2014 - Lineup v 1.0

I'm excited by the lack of disappointment
I'm disappointed that I'm not more excited
I'm excited for what I'm excited for
And that's not disappointing at all

While we've seen a lot of these names before
We've not seen all of these acts before
And if this is a cleanup year
I say let's enjoy it, dear.