Category Archives: Random Musings

The Bard Chronicles: Dear Boy Redux @ The Bootleg Theater- 4/25/2013

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Sometimes you just have to travel to see a band play. Thus began another trip up to LA to catch the second ever Dear Boy show. Call me a sucker but the opportunity to see a band from the very beginning is something that I couldn’t pass up. After a lovely meal of ramen (one my my favorite things to get in LA) it was time to head to the show. I have to say, The Bootleg has gotten a bit swanky since I was last there. With wonderful couches for lounging on and a ping pong table to play with (which we took full advantage of), it wasn’t difficult to wait around for the show to get started.

Shortly after 10pm, Dear Boy took the stage for the second time in their musical career. All sharply dressed in black (except the bass player who opted for black and white), the gents of Dear Boy gave off an air of intrigue and mystery. The charismatic frontman from ex Scarlet Grey was unusually serious and tight lipped as only a few words were given between songs such as thanks to the other bands and the venue. The set itself gave off a sense of controlled chaos and release with a fury of distorted guitar and fast paced drumming to accompany Ben’s vocals. Audience dancing could not be helped as Dear Boy continued on and started to let loose themselves, which further fueled said dancers. The set ended on a high note after the last two songs in the set Sister Golden Hair (an excellent cover) and Funeral Waves took it “up another notch,” as Emeril Lagasse would say. Let’s not forget their single Come Along which fans have already memorized and singing along.

I only see good things for the future of this band. Be sure to catch them at their next show, June 6th supporting Meg Myers at The Troubadour.

The night was topped off with a set from LA rockers The Active Set who provided the perfect cap to the end of the evening. It was especially entertaining when frontman Matt Stolarz was having sound issues and stand in drummer Steve Coy came out from behind the drumset, still playing. The other members gathered around Steve and did a booty shake for our entertainment.

On a more personal note: It was wonderful to catch Ben Grey for some “Hellos” after their set. It was obvious he was thrilled to be there and the fan support was overwhelming I’m sure. I’d also like to say that he gives some of the best hugs. Ever.

 

The Bard Chronicles: William Beckett @ House of Blues Side Stage- 4/6/2013

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Once upon a time in years long ago there lived a band called The Academy Is… who existed in harmony with other Fueled By Ramen bands such as Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and Cobra Starship. Sadly, those are times of old and The Academy Is… has since broken up leaving frontman and lyricist William Beckett on his own.

After flying to Chicago to watch William Beckett play a holiday show two years ago, I was due for another William Beckett show. After having gone out to support Hellogoodbye and Relient K in July of last year, William finally made it back as a headlining artist this year on his What Will Be Tour and brought Jillette Johnson along for the ride.

I wasn’t aware that the House of Blues in San Diego had a side stage. I’d been to the one in LA but never the one in San Diego until I came to see William Beckett. I hung outside in the patio area while the opener played and I waited. The front of the tiny stage was already packed with fans staking their claim for when Mr. Beckett came to the stage. I actually caught William who had come outside to watch the show and said hello. I was super excited to see that he brought back the bandana in his outfit that night. If you ever watch old The Academy Is.. videos, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

After the amazing Jillette Johnson finished her set, he took the stage. It was a great mix of new songs, old songs, and stories. William is an excellent storyteller and had the audience laughing after regaling us with a story from his youth in which he was the new kid who came to school fully dressed in his favorite athletic team’s sports apparel and was challenged to a basketball game by the resident school big shot. I’m sad to say the story ends with him losing after scoring a three point shot. However, it’s the wonderful blend of stories, humor, nerdyness, and songs that make him such a great entertainer. While I do miss him having a band and free to do his mic stand antics, I suppose this will do for now. As Kristen said of his show at The Hotel Cafe, he’s “the next Butch Walker” and I couldn’t agree more. No more compromises. What you see, is what you get.

Check out some of his tunes below!

The Bard Chronicles: Dear Boy at The Troubadour 2/13/12

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There’s this wonderful thing called life that sometimes gets in the way of other endeavors. I apologize that this took so long to post. I blame life. But let’s flash back to February 20th, 2013 when this post began….

Last Wednesday I took a jaunt up to LA to see the debut of Dear Boy. In case you somehow missed the new band alert Kristen posted about them, they are a reincarnation of Scarlet Grey. I was very much a fan of Scarlet Grey and was sad to hear when they broke up but happy to hear when singer Ben Grey and drummer Keith Cooper got together with some new guys to form Dear Boy.

I had inconveniently caught a cold the day before the show, but I wasn’t going to let that keep me from attending. Traffic was a breeze and I made it to LA relatively quickly for a Wednesday afternoon but the drive left me tired (thank you cold). So, Kristen and I spent our pre-show time hanging out at her place and ordering in because… well, because we could. And I love ordering in. You can’t do that where I am in San Diego. But I digress…

It was obvious when we got there that this was a show with a band people were here to see. Thankfully luck was on our side and after scoring a sweet parking spot, we found a prime spot up on the balcony to observe the show. The first two bands were ok but as soon as the second one finished, people started pouring in for Dear Boy. The Grey family is a loyal one.

Ben came out with a shiny new hairdo but minus his awesome stickered guitar from the days of Scarlet Grey. I guess I can let that slide. Dear Boy had only released a somewhat cryptic music video as a hint of what the sound was like and it wasn’t enough. The show was great and it’s clear Ben is excited to be moving in a different direction. The sound has more depth than Scarlet Grey did and I think it gives the band an opportunity to expand, experiment, and create. There was even a song specifically for the Grey family about his change of direction but how he is still the same person. I thought that was a very sweet sentiment. Their set seemed all to short but for us who were sick, it was actually just right I’m sad to say. We hung around for a little bit after, hoping to say some hellos but it seemed like everyone was hanging out to say hellos. We said goodbye to our friends after waiting for about 20 minutes when I saw Jade Puget standing around. I wanted to say hello but nerves and tiredness got the better of me and we retired to Kristen’s place. All in all, it was a fun night out, and I’m glad I was there to witness it. It gives me some indie cred 😉

Here are some pictures Kristen shot of the show. I hope you enjoy. And don’t forget to check out Dear Boy if you haven’t already.

P1390590 Ben GreyP1390593P1390591P1390594

 

The Bard Chronicles: Get Back Loretta at The Griffin-2/9/13

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As promised, here is the first entry of The Bard Chronicles featuring Get Back Loretta. To be honest, I hadn’t seen Get Back Loretta play in quite some time and this was their first official show after playing New Years Eve at the Lafayette Hotel with the likes of Little Hurricane and Blackout Party. They had played a show earlier that day in PB with the violinist from Dave Matthews Band but not a lot of people seemed to know about that show. I personally was excited to see Kevin Martin because I hadn’t seen that cool cat in ages. Actually, I was excited to see the whole band because it had been ages. I could tell everyone in the band from Steven Bradford to Isaac Cass was excited to play that night. They finally took the stage after Dead Feather Moon, who started late due to some sound issues.

Honestly, I had forgotten how large the catalogue of Get Back Loretta tunes was and I have no idea why. For some reason, I forgot about their latest release “Where Did You Go?” (silly because that was a staple during a breakup) which made me even more excited to hear the likes of Breakin’ Down, Grown So Cold, and Mrs. Miller. The set was chock full of classics such as Ketamine, Dreams Got Scattered, Over The Wall, and The Future of The Moon. I was really excited to see Steven unencumbered by his bass since Lauren Scheff has joined as bassist. Steven seemed to command the stage in a way that I hadn’t seen before and I was reminded of Get Back Loretta from times of old. The hour long set was full of poppy energetic fun and seemed to fly by way too fast. It was a dance party alright and I couldn’t have asked for a better night of friends and great music.

I’m super excited to hear their new/old record which is currently being recorded/produced by bassist Lauren Scheff. Until such time as that music comes out, I’ll leave you with Get Back Loretta on the Scheff Experience. Also, you can check out Get Back Loretta at the sites below…
Get Back Loretta FB

Get Back Loretta Website

 

Coming Soon: The Bard Chronicles

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You know, I am fortunate enough to go on a lot of musical adventures. I have been to Coachella, Bonnaroo, SXSW, and have taken random trips to see artists I love. I share these stories with my friends but for some reason I never post about them. I think it’s high time I change my ways. I’m still working on my catchy title (I’m open to suggestions) but I will be posting show reviews and music related jaunts. Oh, and if I start feeling nostalgic, expect some posts about shows of the past.

Coming Soon: Get Back Loretta at The Griffin

SDMA Voting Now Open!

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Hey San Diego! It’s that time again. Time to vote for your favorite local San Diego band. Nominees include, Erika Davies, Mattson 2, Josh Damigo, Lee Coulter, Low Volts, Lady Dottie and the Diamonds, The Tree Ring, The Silent Comedy, Kevin Martin, Maren Parusel, Cuckoo Chaos, New Mexico, Republic of Letters, The Burning of Rome, The Heavy Guilt, Little Hurricane, Dead Feather Moon, Grand Tarantula, Transfer, The Nervous Wreckords, Griever, Hyena, Hills Like Elephants, Crocodiles, Switchfoot, Sara Watkins, and Unwritten Law. Whew! Now go vote!

Vote here

5 Things to Know About Coachella

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Admittedly I’ve only been to Coachella twice and while I’m not attending this year, I still feel the need to inform many of my friends (and strangers) out there about the weekend ahead of them. This may be the first time Coachella has opted to run two weekends in Indio, California but the rules stand.

Rule 1: It’s Always Hot
Of the two years I went to Coachella and even before then, people warned me about the heat. Be prepared to wake up sweating in your tent at 7 am, fighting for a spot in line to get  free water from the spigots on the grounds, squishing under the provided shade with strangers (who usually leave their trash after eating), and in my case, passing out under the shade and waking to find you lost your friends.

Although looking at weather reports for this weekend, those attending the first weekend are luckier than those attending next weekend. How lucky? This weekend’s high is 82 degrees on Sunday while it’s over 90 degrees next weekend all around. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that Coachella cheated this year by having two shows.

Rule 2: Expect to Not See Everyone on Your List
The great thing about festivals such as Coachella, is they offer you a chance to see bands you might normally never encounter. However, scheduling with so many bands is no easy feat and when you have that many bodies in one place, your sight lines might be less than optimal. Which means when you want to see Dawes, you only get ten minutes before Arctic Monkeys start their set and you might be relegated to the back. Where do you go? Who do you see? How long will you stay? These are question that plagues any festival goer. At least you can catch thirty minutes of The Shins before you have to rush off to Feist. Oh, and don’t forget some people (not us) will campout at one place to see a headliner *cough* Radiohead *cough* so expect to be starting at a jumbotron unless you camp out or you’re that ass that shoves through everyone to the front. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re the person who pops some E and spends all day in the Sahara tent listening to house/electronica/rave/whatever music.

someecards.com - All I wanted was to see Radiohead at Coachella.

Rule 3: Be ‘AFK’ from Technology
Unless you are hiding multiple batteries and pre-charged charging devices, expect your phone to die. And expect to have to fight people in the charging tent for a place to plug in your phone. Unless you’re staying in an RV or offsite somewhere, getting a full charge on your wireless device might be difficult. Also, Facebook, Insta.gram, Twitter, Foursquare, and whatever other social network sites might not be where you want to send the majority of your phone’s energy and battery time (and that’s ok in my book!). Rather, make sure you can sustain a call from that one friend who wandered off somewhere and you’re worried what they might have gotten into and how far they wandered from the reserve.

Rule 4: Expect to See Some Awesome Things
The last year I was at Coachella, there was this giant metal arm with a hand that could lift, drop, smash, and all together decimate a car. Best part is this hand was controlled by a person wearing this sensory device. My mind was blown. I’ve also had a chat with a mobile robot that likes to run around the grounds. The cool thing about Coachella, is there are always cool displays of technology to look at. From the robotic hand, to twin Tesla coils, to cool light displays, Coachella is were you can always find something cool to stare at. You know, other than the drunk guy who can’t put his flip flop on. You might spot a celeb too!

Rule 5: Expect to Have an Awesome Time
Despite the heat and not always having the best sight lines for a band and maybe losing your battery charge on your phone, you’re still guaranteed a good time. There is always so much to see, do, eat, and experience that it’s hard to not enjoy yourself out on those polo grounds. You might get a little dirty, you might end up drunk and hungover, you will definitely walk into a dirty Port-A-Potty, you might not locate your tent right off the bat, people will be loud and partying from 1 am onward, and you will have to wait in line if you want a shower but you will have a great time. You know, unless your significant other turns into a jerk and you’re stuck having to deal with them. But other than that, good times.