My D-fest Schedule:

Traffic/level of inebriation willing, this is what I’ll be tracking down this weekend at Denverfest.

6 – Ryan Windham: I’m hoping it’s Barry Windham‘s son, but I’m probably wrong.
7 – Brainhammer: From the name, I’m expecting smooth jazz.
8 – Bailer: One of my favorite Denver bands, and one that’s jumped up a notch.
9 – Across Tundras: Sludge, grime, and red sunsets set to operatic doom.
10 – The Forecast/Autokinoton: Tough call. Something you’ve never seen vs. something you love?
11 – Kylesa: See Across Tundras–and rocket fuel.
12 – Red Sparrowes: See Across Tundras, add pretty pictures, Isis (it’s an Isis side project).

5 – Big Timber: Trevor from Bailer will be a busy man this weekend.
6 – El Minotaur: D&D Rock en Espanol?
7 – Low Oriole: Played with these guys not too long ago.
8 – New American Ramblers: Gonna get me some old time religion.
9 – Crestfallen: Heller’s band from back in the day. Denver emo-punk stalwarts.
10 – Planes Mistaken for Stars: FUCK YEAH. RIP.
11 – Christie Front Drive: Back from the dead for one night only.

6 – City of Ships: Just sounds pretty.
7 – Ghost Buffalo: Bros (and sister).
8 – Git Some: Apologies for playing favorites, but Denver’s best punk band right now.
9 – Red Cloud/Mustangs and Madras: Our erstwhile tourmates and brothers in arms.
10 – Golden City: From Brooklyn, with pieces of Christie Front Drive
11 – Think in French: So glad we’re getting to share this experience with them.
12 – TNA plays: One last time, with feeling.

What I’ll be doing this weekend

Denverfest shows and set times ANNOUNCED…

They’re all here. Highlight shows of each night, in my opinion:

Friday: Marquis Theater, all ages
Smoke or Fire, The Forecast, Concrete Cleaner, Bailer, Eyes and Ears

Saturday: Marquis Theater, all ages
Christie Front Drive, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Crestfallen, The Volts

Sunday: Arapahoe Warehouse, all ages
The North Atlantic, Think in French, Golden City, Red Cloud, Git Some, El Toro de la Muerte, Jor Dan, Polar Opposite Bear

TNA’s last show is the last slot of the entire festival, and nothing else is scheduled for that time slot. I’m guessing things will get weird.

Set list from our last San Diego show:

Transparent Life
The Lotus Eater
Drunk under Electrics
Father in the Sky
Heads for Herod
Drunkship Man
Lotion Party
Bottom of this Town
Atmosphere vs. the Dogs of Dawn
Ministry of Helicopters

More photos and what not to come. The little sis went home to Knoxville yesterday, meaning that I’ll be back on the horse this week. What am I looking forward to?  Limbeck at SOMA, Valient Thorr at the Casbah, and not looking after an eleven year old in crowded public places.


Keeping tabs on an eleven year old is proving more taxing than I had anticipated. Later in the week I’ll have more updates, including posts about TNA’s last San Diego show (will it be the second to last TNA show, period?), Barfer?’s last show, and related hilarity.

Until then, I invite you to enjoy the following. Hum, one of my all-time favorites, rocking their hit “Star” on 120 Minutes. Fashionistas, check the tight-legged jean cutoffs on frontman Matt Talbott. In some ways, the mid-90s were a fantastic time before the terrain for alternative music was really all mapped out. I may sound like a nostalgic old man, but ask yourself the question: how often are bands blowing your mind these days?


Your chances to not give a rat’s ass about this band are dwindling.

Denverfest lineup out TOMORROW…

…but that’s no reason I can’t engage in some speculation right now.

Let’s start with the obvious:
Christie Front Drive
Golden City
The North Atlantic

I know those guys are playing.

Let’s move to pure speculation, based on things I’ve heard, things people have said, things I may or may not have made up:
The Autokinoton
Red Cloud West
Ghost Buffalo
Mustangs and Madras
Across Tundras
Git Some
Planes Mistaken for Stars (one of their last shows)
Hawks and Doves
Think in French
Crestfallen (reunion show?)
Munly and the Harlots
Machine Gun Blues
These Arms are Snakes
High on Fire
Glass and Ashes

The North Atlantic: drummer leaving the band (you heard it here first)

The July 27th show, at Black Box Studios in San Diego, will be my last hometown show with The North Atlantic. Our performance at Denverfest, over Labor Day weekend, will be my last show with the band, period. I’m closing in on a finished dissertation and will be setting my sights on contributing to the world through scholarship, journalism, and playing music in and around my hometown (San Diego for the present). I’d like to invite all our friends and fans in San Diego to join us on the 27th, and help us welcome our good friends Ghost Buffalo to town.

It’s fitting that my last shows will be at Black Box (in SD) and Denver, as that venue and that city really affirm my faith in the power of music to be the foundation for a community based on mutual respect and admiration. This year’s Denverfest will, I’m sure, wind up being one of my fondest memories.

Since getting started eight long years ago, Jason, Jason and I have worked to write inspired music, share it with our friends and fans and form lasting fellowship with other musicians around the country. In my opinion, we’ve been very successful at all three. I love the two of them more than I could ever adequately describe, and I wish the two of them success, courage and brilliance in all their future musical endeavors. Whatever becomes of The North Atlantic in the future, you can be sure I will be their number one fan.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of the people who have sustained our musical pursuits, in ways large and small. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Oh, and touring bands, don’t worry: my living room is still in the game!


Punk rockers invade Ray at Night

Jason Hendrix, Aren Skalman and Brian Taylor present a 3-person show with visual and conceptual artworks exploring the topics of nationalism, foreign policy and spin.

Opening Reception

Saturday July 14th, 7-10 pm
Ray at Night
3811 Ray Street
San Diego, CA 92104

Art and music interface in a variety of amazing ways. I’ve played music with two of these gentlemen (Jason in The North Atlantic, Aren in Rayleigh Scattering), and I’ve had significant experiences with music, art and political conversations with the third, who has also done video work for TNA. This show promises to be an excellent one. Kudos to Planet Rooth for consistently booking the most edgy, conceptually rich art available at Ray at Night (the Rubber Rose comes a close second). Though I applaud what Ray at Night is becoming, it’ll still be a while before conceptual stuff wins out over oil paintings of bouzouki- and lute-playing buskers in Venice. Shows like this, however, are helping to turn the tide.


Jason Hendrix, graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will continue his politically and socially charged works which in the past have included performances, writings and visual works such as the 2003 conceptual painting “Photo-op”. Jason will be showing new paintings of a political bent similar in style to paintings used for The North Atlantic’s cover art for “Wires in the Walls.”

San Diego painter Aren Skalman will show politically injected versions of his popular Stratiform paintings which are made up of a multitude of hidden (opaque) and exposed (translucent) layers of varnish, resin, paint and silk-screened images. The pieces, which have an outer layer as glossy as a piece of hard candy, are exemplified in recent pieces such as “Vero Elotes” and “Vero Mango,” playful and wry references to the textures and tones in the Mexican candies popular in south San Diego. His Stratiforms for this show include flags, silkscreened images of historical figures and illustrated block-prints.

UCLA art school grad and San Diego native Brian Taylor will show post-conceptual photomontages in which existing media images are reconfigured to create psychologically loaded images including collages about a fictitious “Persian Space Program” playing on U.S. fears of progress and technology in the Middle East; “Apocalypse Still: Imperial Ambitions” referencing both the film “Apocalypse Now” and our continuance of British-style Empire Building; and “Tony Blair: Rock God” a tongue-in-cheek farce on media spin featuring Tony Blair reinvented as a dirty Hollywood rocker. Brian will be in The United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Pakistan and Algeria working as a cameraman for a news crew during the show’s run.

This is a chance for all of you who lament the lack of cross-fertilization between the music and fine arts cultures to put your money where your mouth is. C’mon down–it’ll be a party.

Christie Front Drive: reunited, will it feel so good?

This post has almost nothing to with San Diego, though it has a considerable amount to do with awesomeness, which is my overriding concern. scooped me on this one, but only because I keep confidence with my good friends–which is probably why this “blogging project,” as a friend calls it, is destined to fail.

Christie Front Drive, one of the seminal emo bands to come out of the 1990s, is reuniting for Denverfest III. Denverfest, you will come to find, is my favorite DIY fest in the country. It’s about the best time a band can have, and represents all that I believe is missing in the San Diego scene (though there are people, like Mike and Mario at Black Box Studios, that are trying to change that): comaraderie, friendship, and an abiding desire to grow a community of musicians that bond over friendships rather than musical affinity and cross-marketing opportunities. The North Atlantic have played both Denverfests so far, and this year will be no exception.

I hear murmurings that Mastodon, Cursive, and several other heavy hitters may be involved as well, though at this point I really can’t confirm. We shall see what we shall see.