The Tree Ring @The Irenic–Wednesday Show Recommendation (9-17)

Tonight’s show is a special one for San Diego county. The Tree Ring is a group of young San Diegans who have been making music inspired by the natural beauty of the county that results in an auto-response of jaw dropping. The group has found that each outdoor hiking, camping and wildlife reserve has created a different feeling that they attempt to capture in their sound. They even go so far as to create a map of San Diego with the best hiking trails with detailed descriptions, pictures and recommendations for outdoor enthusiasts and fans alike. In a bittersweet response to time, after half a decade together, the band has decided to pursue the other projects in their lives that continuously become more time consuming making tonight their final live performance.

A cumulative three albums have been produced by The Tree Ring; the first, Generous Shadows in 2011, the second, Brushbloom in 2012 and their most recent project, Ten Rivers, was released yesterday! Each album is a beautiful symphonic sound with drama, heartfelt truths and wonderous curiosity. Featuring a violin, viola, harp, trumpet, cello, bass, flute, guitar, pump organ, trombone and bassoon the band has a wonderous ability to sound simplistic without ever sounding boring. Their style of chamber folk is reminiscent of Mutual Benefit or Andrew Bird, but never a replica. The sweet sincerity of The Tree Ring allows you to breathe deep and makes you take a second look at the glorious beauty that surrounds us every day in San Diego.

See The Tree Ring tonight at The Irenic for their final performance!

the tree ring

Hammered Satin @Tower Bar–Tuesday Show Recommendation (9-16)

Today I discovered the music video “Foxy Dude” (below) by Hammered Satin and instantly fell in love and honesty, who wouldn’t? Hammered Satin exemplifies that old school, 1970s glam rock that glorified glitter, platform shoes and big hair in a way that renders the revival as absolutely necessary.

Currently signed to Burger Records, Hammered Satin has one EP, in the form of  a cassette (keep it seventies, baby), naturally titled, Glamorama. The band has other material floating through the internet since their 2010 formation in Hollywood, California. The four member band features vocalist Noah Wallace, drummer Jimmy Sweet, bassist Dan Sandvick and guitarist Conor Behrle. Although the seventies have long come and gone, you would never know with the leopard print bell bottoms, blatant androgyny, thundering electronic guitars and vocals that waver between a gruff masculine and feminine back-up vocals in harmony. Sometimes being purposely cliche has it’s benefits and Hammered Satin sure makes your Tuesday night look fun!

See Hammered Satin live tonight at Tower Bar!

hammered satin

Desert Suns @Soda Bar–Monday Show Recommendation (9-15)

Where rock, psychedelia and metal all overlap you get Desert Suns. A brand new San Diego band, Desert Suns, is made up of four hefty dudes with enough hair to challenge Cousin Itt to a test of anonymity. Their debut, self-titled album released on August 16th of this year and got them enough attention to book gigs all around the city.

This attention is much deserved as the band has a genuine fludity and a fresh take on how we hear rock. Although, the band has the ability to rip out some hard-core thrash material that would even get Grandma headbanging, they know how to seduce through gritty americana thanks to well-placed harmonica and purring vocals. From begining to end, Desert Suns has compelling hooks, an addictive atmospheric energy and heavy, pulsating beats that get blood boiling with obstreperous energy.

See Desert Suns at Soda Bar tonight!

desert suns

The Sewer Rats @Kensington Club–Saturday Show Recommendation (9-13)

Southern California is unique for so many reasons, one of them being that it is one of the few places in the world that embraces the rockabilly scene. Rockabilly originates from the 1950s rhythm and blues, rock and rock ‘n’ roll genres and emphasizes cresendos of fast paced electric guitar rolls and a thudding stand up bass. England, Germany and Japan also have huge fan bases and is where rockabilly began to evolve into it’s many subculture offshoots of youth sporting skinny jeans, greased-up pompadours, ray bans and suspenders.  In over sixty years, the genre has evolved with by-products described as psychobilly, thrashabilly,  surfabilly and punkabilly –which is where The Sewer Rats fall. This fine blend of rockabilly, garage rock and anti-establishment punk attitude that screams out, ‘I don’t care what you f*cking think’ is raw and addictive.

Not surprisng, The Sewer Rats are from Cologne, Germany and formed back in 2005. In 2008, the band released their first album, Council Attack which was well-recieved. The band is constantly touring, making music and getting into trouble which one must assume from videos like, “I Gotta Get Drunk” and “All My Friends”. The band is currently in the middle of a U.S. tour with other punkabilly bands like The Triggers. In announcing their tour, the band also announced the up-coming release of a new, four-track EP with no title or public release date set; although, you’d be sure to find out at the show tonight giving you another reason to get out there for an epic live show!

See The Sewer Rats live tonight at Kensington Club!

sewer rats

Dengue Fever @Soda Bar–Friday Show Recommendation (9-12)

Today begins the seventh annual San Diego Music Thing.  SDMT is a three day event for all indviduals, organizations and bands in the music industry that boasts panels, pop up vendors, featured speakers and most importantly showcases of killer bands at all the best music venues in town. It’s our own west coast-soaked version of SXSW on a comparably mini-scale with humanly affordable tickets.


With twelve venues hosting bands tonight, there is more than plenty to choose from and sacrafices will be made. If you’re smart you’ll spend the day jumping around panels, the evening meandering through bar venues and the evening at Soda Bar. The night’s lineup includes: Dr. Seahorse, The Moth & the Flame, Barcelona and heandliners Dengue Fever. All west coast bands, each has something unique to bring to the stage that will wow and entice.

Dengue Fever headlines for a reason. Their sound is interntational which screams with relatability to all The Angels and San Diegans in our major cities of decoupaged cultural influences. Cambodian pop has never exploded with popularity in the U.S. and I doubt many could name a single band that falls into that category, but that doesn’t negate Dengue Fever’s Frdiay night worthiness. Lead singer, Chhom Nimol, originally a big karoke singer back in Cambodia, found her way into the band after moving to Long Beach and singing in local bars. Her voice is tremendous as she sings both in her native language Khmer and in English, especially on later albums, with unwavering strength and beautiful rhythm. The overall sound is a 1960s rock mixed with jangle pop and world fusion beats that is striking and pulsating. Coolly complimenting the retro and world vibe, Dengue Fever sounds modern with pulsating energy and a discernible sultry edge. There’s almost enough energy in their sound to negate the need for caffeine (ahem, almost).

This weekend particiapate in San Diego Music Thing and make it out Soda Bar tonight for Dengue Fever!

dengue fever

Waters @Soda Bar–Thursday Show Recommendation (9-11)

You may have heard the name Van Pierszalowski before, if not, that’s ok too. The former frontman for Port O’Brien who reluctantly dissolved the band back in 2010, found inspiration while living in Norway to dive back into his passion with a new name: Waters. The first album, Out in the Light, released in 2011 to great appreciation from former Port O’Brien fans. Now, coming up in a few short weeks on October 14th, It All Might Be OK releases on Itunes without a label.

The major differences, whether or not you’re willing to call them improvements, are a marked shift from lo-fi, indie rock into a rich, fluent indie pop. What was once a chorus of uniform chants and simple, but swift beats has evolved into a more refined and defined sound with rolling, rhythmic beats that have pep and perk. Pierszalowski’s infamous voice remains just that. However, his vocal styling raises the passion bar one notch which ultimately gives off the type of teenage angst perfect for scowling at mother or feeling the satisfaction of self-expression.  As a matter of fact, Waters does an excellent cover of the Cranberry’s “Dream” which perfectly resonates with their new sound. Waters is perfect for aimlessly roaming Sunset Cliffs at night or parasailing over Del Mar.

See Waters perform live tonight at Soda Bar!