Category Archives: Music talk

Look, a new headliner!

The Street Scene has announced its replacement for Saturday headliner the Black Crowes, who cancelled because of an undisclosed illness.

It’s Devo.

I’m sure some will complain that Devo’s not the draw that the Crowes are. And some will complain that Devo just played at the Del Mar race track a few weeks ago.

But if you think about Street Scene’s history, Devo as a headliner makes perfect sense. The festival evolved from a small event on the streets of downtown to a giant event at Qualcomm Stadium parking lot, then de-evolved back to being a smaller event on the streets of downtown this year. When it comes to de-evolution, Devo wrote the book.

Plus I like them better than the Crowes. So I’m happy.

Check out the updated Street Scene schedule and make your plans.

Meanwhile, here are some Devo vids for your enjoyment.


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Street Scene to have good beer after all?

So yesterday morning I complained that I’d be stuck drinking crap beers at Street Scene while others were enjoying great beers at the San Diego Festival of Beer.

The Street Scene organizers must’ve been reading, because they announced yesterday afternoon that Street Scene will feature a “MicroBrewery Festival” with 12 local, regional and national breweries pouring samples of their beers. The MicroBrewery Festival apparently will look like the photo above, as it was included with the announcement.

I guess that means Street Scene wasn’t able to land a corporate beer sponsor, and that’s good news for people who like good beer.

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Good beer vs good music

For those who like to plan more than a few days ahead, Sept. 19 is going to bring a tough decision. That’s the night that the San Diego Festival of Beer will be held, and based on last year, it will be a fun time. It’s less expensive than the Stone festival, much more convenient for San Diegans and far less crowded. There were some great beers there last year.

The problem is, Sept. 19 also is the first night of this year’s Street Scene festival. Yeah, the festival has struggled the last couple of years, but it’s got a great lineup this year. I’m opting to go to Street Scene because of the lineup. I’ll be thinking of those who go to the beer fest and are enjoying things like Pizza Port Hop Suey and Ballast Point Schooner while I’m stuck drinking whatever crap beer they have at Street Scene.

By the way, if you are going to the beer fest, you can save $5 if you buy your tickets in advance.


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Free concerts in San Diego

Mariachi Chula Vista

Want to go see the San Diego Banjo Band or the Mariachi Chula Vista for free? The Union-Tribune has its annual listing of free summer concerts in today’s paper and you can find those acts and more.

Some interesting stuff there for sure. I think I’ll head to Del Mar for the Devo show on Aug. 30, even though it’s not quite “free” because you have to pay admission for horse racing, and for parking unless you want to walk a long way to/from your car. I saw The Cult play after racing at Del Mar last year and that was fun, even if I didn’t cash any winning tickets on the ponies that day.

No word on whether “Disco Band” playing tonight in Santee is the actual name of an act or just a description. If you go see them, please let us know. I also don’t know whether “8oz All Stars” booked for Aug. 28 in Santee is a typo that’s actually supposed to be ’80s All Stars, or if there is an act that pays homage to things that come in 8-ounce packages. Hmmm.


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Coachella 2008

The car thermometer read 100 as we were arriving at the grounds Saturday afternoon.

 This was my seventh trip to Coachella and it was another fun one.

It was very hot — 100 degrees just after 2 p.m. Saturday, as you can see in the photo taken about 1/2 mile from the venue — but a trip to the Do Lab was all I needed to cool off.

The Do Lab is an area in the middle of the grounds where there are plenty of folks wielding hoses to spray people down and cool you off. There were DJs, including Adam Freeland, playing records at the Do Lab area all weekend, and everyone there seemed to be having a great time. The Do Lab

The musical highlight for me was Spiritualized, who played in the Mojave tent on Sunday as the sun went down. It was an “Acoustic Mainlines” show featuring leader Jason Spaceman playing acoustic guitar accompanied by a guy playing a Fender Rhodes, a four-woman string section and three female backing singers. There were some frustrating problems with the sound during the first couple of numbers, and I’ve heard that the sound was bad further back throughout the show, but I was up toward the front and could hear everything just fine. They played a lot of songs off their new album, which I like, as well as older tunes such as “Oh Happy Day,” “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” and “I Think I’m In Love.” The latter is my favorite Spiritualized song, but on Sunday it was “Ladies and Gentlemen…” that stole the show. As in the “Elvis mix” of the song that you can find if you dig around, it blended lyrics from “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You/Fools Rush In” (sung by the backing singers) with the original “All I want in life’s a little bit of love to take the pain away” etc., and it came together just beautifully. When the song ended I swear I saw three different people wiping tears from their eyes.

There were many other highlights over the weekend. It was great to finally see Portishead after all these years, and they delivered a killer set. Prince was excellent as well, opening with Morris Day and Jerome from The Time singing a couple old Time classics, then Sheila E. singing “The Glamorous Life,” then Chaka Khan singing “I Feel For You.” Then he started popping out his own tunes and things got even better.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks were very good, as were Dan Deacon, Love & Rockets, Fatboy Slim, Swervedriver, the Raconteurs, Roger Waters and Kraftwerk.

Among the more disappointing acts were Vampire Weekend, who were a bit blah; Aphex Twin, who played a laptop DJ set that didn’t do much for me; and Cut Copy, who I love on record but didn’t quite click live.

But the fun for me with Coachella is just being there. There’s a great vibe in the air, lots of fun people-watching, plenty of good music. I wish I didn’t have to wait a year for the next one.

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