2010 FM94/9 Independence Jam

Springing for FM 94/9 Indie Jam tickets this year was not in or budget so winning them at a FM94/9 Random Act of Kindness was a bonus. This year’s line up was not one that excited me, but to spend the day with friends (and family), watching music as the sun set over the beach gave me a reason to get hyped up. Truth be told, I spent most of my day at the local stage or reconnecting with friends. I managed to miss the sets of both The Whigs and Rogue Wave.

White Apple Tree made me long for the 80s all over again. Actual music from the 80s pales in comparison to the sounds that these kids make. With two, nay three people playing drums, the tribal beats pull your beating heart to sync with the rhythm. Billed as a local band, only half the band (two brothers) actually resides in San Diego while the others live in Orange County and the band many plays up north. But the next time you see them on a bill in San Diego, make sure to check them out. Here is my favorite track of their album, Velvet Mustaches: Broken Bones.

We danced along to Delta Spirit on the side of the main stage like a couple of… well, like a couple dancing. I may need to look into getting their second album as many songs escaped me.

Next up… food! Yes, I scarfed Wahoos! fish tacos while The Burning of Rome demolished the stage. Well, they climbed on it like monkeys, rock star monkeys and tossed one of the giant skull heads into the crowd like a beach ball. Good times. But so far the pig heads on stakes from last year’s San Diego Music Awards takes the prize for shock and awe.

Skipping The Whigs for a beer and bathroom break, next up for me was The Nervous Wreckords. Thrilled to finally see San Diego legend, Brian Karscig and his newest band live, I had to be right up in front for the action. And the sunset only added to the intensity of the music.

In full discussion with my sister about everything from my road rage to family matters to music she really needs to go see live, Rogue Wave was missed. But we were not about to miss the mayhem of The Silent Comedy. I have raved before and I will rave again. They have the best live performances in town. If you have not seen them live, do your self a favor and get out of the house. Experience this chaos through stills or check out these videos from Rosey at SD Dialed In.

 When the set ended, I realized (yet again) the importance of wearing ear plugs as my hearing felt significantly dulled. I was exhausted as well. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros took the main stage as we were climbing the stairs to leave. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from their previous show here at the Belly Up. Even if they put on the best show imaginable, their attitude towards playing a good show right before Coachella blows my mind. It is as if they weren’t interested in being big. Anyhow, I was astonished at the number of songs I was able to sing along with since I have only seen them once and I don’t own their album. Admittedly, their music is catchy. Here is the final picture I took as we were exiting to Janglin.

One more to Eleven

If you need that extra push over the cliff… you know what to do? Go to Eleven. This awesome Spinal Tap reference comes in the form of San Diego’s newest bar from Scot Blair and Dennis Borlek, the guys who brought you beer bars, Hamilton’s Tavern and Small Bar with Louis Mello from Liars Club as their general manager.

Radio Room, the location where Eleven now stands, looked like an empty shell compared to the newly renovated drinking establishment. Now plastered with old punk and rock posters from San Francisco and San Diego clubs of the 70s and 80s, including under the resined bar top. The stage, like a mini version of the Fillmore in San Francisco, is draped in red velvet commanding your respect for its artists.  Like the Radio Room, and The Zombie Lounge before that, Eleven will have live bands with hopes of becoming what The Casbah was 15-20 years ago in its old location. Investment in  a new sound system shows the owners’ commitment to Eleven as a quality music venue.

Tonight will be their official opening night, although they have obviously been serving patrons for almost two weeks, with The Silent Comedy and The Donkeys filling the room with energy and mayhem.

With caliber, hopped-up taste buds of Blair, Borlek and Mello, you can surely expect top rate beers at Eleven. Sixteen taps encircle the bar’s centerpiece on what they call the tap tower.  Brewed locally by Gordon Biersch, “Eleven Lager” is an American Pale Lager, according to the bar’s extensive board,  brewed especially for this beer bar. At only $3.25 per pint, this beer is on my must-haves. Beer events and cask ale availability are additional things to look forward to from this San Diego

They still are squaring up a few things technology-wise, as their website currently only shows their logo and sadly, their bar cannot be found on Tap Hunter. So be patient or just drop on by for a few!

Note: Photo credit to Jeff Hammett of the San Diego Beer Blog. I was there for 2 nights and didn’t take any photos. Lame on me.

North Park Music Thing: All Things Radio session

I spent much of my weekend with the North Park Music Thing (NPMT), mainly stage managing at one of San Diego’s newest revamped venues, Eleven (post on that later). Even though I really needed to dedicate the day time to work and family time, I did manage to squeeze in one full panel session: All Things Radio.

Chickrawker (Lyn) broke down the session in comprehensive detail, with the conversation burning in several directions including music popularity… what music do people really want to listen to.  Each individual on the panel agreed the current systems for measuring listeners interests and likes are flawed. No one has really captured what the overall population really enjoys at any given moment, not at all saying that they haven’t tried. Billboard and Arbitron charts measure sales and what people are listening to on the radio, but by using only those sources the data discounts what people are enjoying on the web including sites like Pandora, Slacker and other smaller sites like lastfm or blipfm.

Although people are listening to music all over the place, a heated discussion between ex-XTRA (91X) coworkers, Mat Bates (Slacker) and  Garrett Capone (91X) prompted each of them to defend their particular company’s measurement systems. While Capone argued the positive points for how terrestrial stations gather data, Mat shared with panel attendees that Slacker has been able to collect significant information from its 15 million users by monitoring when people stop listening to a station, skip a song, ban a song or click on what Halloran refered to as the “boner meter” (the little heart you click if you like a song). Kevin Stapleford (X1 FM), recognizing the value in such data asked politely if Mat would share. The answer is currently no, but it sound like Slacker is researching how they can profit on their golden collection of data.

For this “active listening, music freak,” it is hard to listen to terrestrial radio anymore, save for the radio personalities I have become friends with. Reason being… even for the stations that “break the rules” by playing stuff off the charts, they still NEED to play the hits that bring them the ratings they need to get the advertizing bucks to survive. Those hits include songs that I usually prefer to not hear on heavy rotation (or ever again), like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime. Internet radio is able to reach deeper into the song vaults or like Slacker, able to customize your own stations. But how different am I from the average listener… I still want what I want, now.

Some literature deserves porno status…

My love for music, comedy and Ray Bradbury finally are all rolled into one for this awesomely awkward song. Thank you Laughing Squid and Funny or Die for sharing this Rachel Bloom video with the world.

I can’t resist reposting my favorite tweet regarding this video: @neilhimself As Kurt Vonnegut said “What Science Fiction & Pornography had in common was their vision of an impossibly hospitable world.”

Sidenote: I apologize for any youngsters that may view this (that is your fault… get more of a handle on your youngsters) and for anyone who is offended by this (sorry, but this is funny).