Citybeat’s Big Demo Review: still time to submit

From ND:

“We’re still accepting submissions as long as they’re postmarked by this Monday (Feb. 25).”

There you have it: six more days in which to tweak mixes. Good luck.

Nathan Dinsdale’s coverage of the Westboro Baptist Church

Though I haven’t met him yet, I know what I’ll want to talk about the first time I meet new Citybeat music editor Nathan Dinsdale, and it ain’t Grand Ole Party: Dinsdale has interviewed Fred Phelps.

If you don’t know who Fred Phelps is, well, he’s this guy:

And no, he’s not taking that sign down, as I would expect a good Christian to do. Phelps–in addition to looking like the prematurely aged love child of George Strait and Macho Man Randy Savage–is pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church and is famous for his touring “God hates fags” campaign, which recently took the step of picketing soldiers’ funerals in order to draw more attention to their cause–which, in case you missed it, is simply that God hates homosexuals and will rain down vengeance on us all for tolerating homosexuality. At least in the interviews I’ve read, Phelps strikes me as a potent mixture of bat-shit insanity and media-savvy (or at least conscious) hack. I’m no psychologist, but this man seems to think about same-sex intercourse an awful lot for someone who can’t stand the concept.

The interview is pretty good. Read it in its entirety here. I just want to know what it’s like to eat crackers with a guy like this.

Pointed criticism of Citybeat’s new editorial staff

A Coat of Red Paint in Hell has some pointed criticism of Citybeat’s music coverage under the reigns of new editor Nathan Dinsdale.

I’ve been watching Nathan’s tenure at Citybeat as an outsider. Since he’s taken over I’ve contributed only a record review or two, which was my choice. He was cool about asking me to pitch ideas for contributions–I declined, citing my work schedule as the reason (it was, and is).  I’m willing to reserve judgment because I’ve moved around a lot and know that it took me a while to get a handle on San Diego as a new arrival. I do have the following observations:

1. More hip hop coverage. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Under TJ’s tenure, hip hop was not off the radar but it wasn’t a central focus. I don’t know if San Diego is a hip hop town or not, but my guess is that it’s more of one than the TJ-helmed Citybeat made it out to be, and less of one than ND’s tenure would suggest.

2. The “If I Were U” doesn’t represent my tastes.

3 . Who is Eddie Shoebang, and why is he writing most of the music reviews? Are other reviewers unavailable? The answer to this is that Eddie is the pen name of Nathan himself, who also does a lot of the writing under his own name.

4. The conceptual (some would say “fake”) articles aren’t doing it for me. The aforementioned blog was quite up in arms about the Lupe Fiasco and Switchfoot features in the past two weeks. I’ve written a fair amount, for several different media outlets (full disclosure: Shane, the writer of acoatofredpaintinhell, was my editor at and is a good friend of mine), and realize that tracking down an artist you’d like to do a feature on isn’t always easy. When that happens, you come up with something else. Arch Enemy and I got our wires crossed over the interview date, so I couldn’t run the story. I guess that’s what’s going on here, but I don’t really know.

5. Nathan (and Eddie) is having to generate a lot of content each week. That can’t simplify the man’s life a great deal.

It’s early in Nathan’s experience with Citybeat. Let’s see where we’re at in a month or so.

Rosey ( kickin’ up dust

Rosey is a buddy, and one of my primary inspirations for getting this blog up and rolling. Now that we’re both moonlighting at Citybeat, I have to give her props for a legit Locals Only this week. Slap fights breaking up tours? Gypsy punks getting arrested in TJ, only to be sprung by a “guy who knows a guy”? This is hot shit. I want to be a detective in the world that Rosey’s got the pulse of. It sounds like an interesting place to be. I’m guessing next week’s will be even better.

Prayers going to England? Sounds about right. Hopefully they can get some NME love and become the next Louis XIV.

Troy Johnson leaving Citybeat

Posted by the man himself:


Sometimes it’s time. After 5 years plus a bunch of minutes, I am leaving CityBeat. There’s no blood on the office walls. Just sweat stains on an office chair. I love this paper lifestyle and the people in it. But it’s time to put down the demo CD and untunnel the vision. Effective Oct. 29, I will become the Senior Editor at RIVIERA magazine.

Seriously, thanks.

There is now an opening for part-time music editor at a great paper. Email if you’re that person.

Wow. Between Fox Rox and Citybeat, it’s pretty clear that Troy Johnson has been the most influential music journalist and critic in San Diego for a good while now. My band was lucky to benefit from Troy’s good press early in our life, and we’ve always been appreciative of it. And we’re not alone in that. San Diego’s music scene has benefited immensely from Troy’s efforts over the years. His presence will be missed.

Garage sailing in Golden Hill…

My new Citybeat article about shopping for music at garage sales in Golden Hill is up at the Citybeat page.

Today’s assignment: interview Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy. I’m told she’s one of the classiest women in metal.

FUCKIN’ SLAYER interview is in the can…

Tom Araya of Slayer and I talked for an hour (his publicist had given me 30–he didn’t seem pressed for time). Don’t want to let too many details out the bag at this point (it’ll be in Citybeat soon), but suffice it so say we discussed popes, cattle and slip-and-slides. Intrigued? I am, and I haven’t even written it yet. Be on the lookout for said interview in ye olde San Diego Citybeat soon.

Slayer will be in town with Marylin Manson and Bleeding Through on August 25 at the San Diego Sports Arena.