Robert Arends

Quick Guide to the 2013 San Diego Pride!

Walking under Hillcrest SignLet your rainbow colors fly! San Diego Pride is coming up this weekend, July 12-14. The glittery glamorous spotlight shines on Hillcrest, San Diego’s hip uptown neighborhood, during one of our city’s biggest summer events. Following is a quick guide to the big annual LGBT celebration.

Three Must-See San Diego Pride Events…

Dancers at Pride of Hillcrest Block Party!

Dancers at Pride of Hillcrest Block Party!

First, here’s the 411 on the big three must-see San Diego Pride events:

  • 2nd annual Pride of Hillcrest Block Party on July 12, 6-11pm, on Normal St.; starring former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta.
  • 39th Annual Pride Parade on July 13, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, down University Ave. Grand Marshalls are George Takei (of Star Trek fame!), his partner Brad and La Toya Jackson (really!)
  • Pride Festival, July 13-14, in beautiful Balboa Park, featuring eight dance/entertainment stages, including Ms. Jackson in concert.

Sip…

Good times on tap at Urban Mo's!

Good times on tap at Urban Mo’s!

So many bars, so little time! Let’s narrow down the list a bit to these Top 10 tried and true hotspots:

  1. Baby Cakes – cocktails and cupcakes, sweet! Fab for people watching from the patio.
  2. Bourbon Street – a classy touch of N’Orleans in neighboring University Heights
  3. Brass Rail – the official Pride Parade After Party, and no cover!
  4. Flicks – Hillcrest’s #1 video bar.
  5. Gossip Grill – caters to the ladies (gents welcome too)
  6. Hillcrest Brewing Company – toast San Diego’s hop-pening craft beer scene and the world’s 1st LGBT brewery!
  7. Martinis Above Fourth – swanky digs and best martinis in town!
  8. Number One Fifth Avenue – friendly neighborhood bar with patio out back to mix & mingle
  9. Pecs – Bears, oh my! Good times on tap all weekend.
  10. Urban Mos – dance floor, 3 bars, packed patio and great food…yes please!

Sup…

There are dozens of great restaurants in and around Hillcrest. Standouts include the new Great Maple, Project Pie (best pizzas!), D Bar and Snooze. Other favs: Baja Betty’s (muy bueno Mexican food), The Tractor Room, Yakitori Izakaya Tec Chan (for yummy late-night Japanese apps), Cucina Urbana and Café on Park (popular brunch spot!).

Sleep…

The coolest, closest gay-friendly hotel is Inn at the Park, just two blocks from Hillcrest and the Pride Festival. Their rooftop happy hour on Friday is off the charts!

PAR-TAY!

Go wild at the San Diego Zoo Party!

Go wild at the San Diego Zoo Party!

Groovestars unite at Rich’s nightclub for high NRG music and dancing till 2am. For you circuit boys and gals, four Pride Parties are sure to perk you up (get tickets here or at the door):

  • Pride Ball – July 12, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at Spin Night Club
  • Circuit Daze – July 13, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park
  • The famous [for some, infamous ;-)] Zoo Party – July 14, 4:00 to 11:00 PM at the San Diego Zoo
  • Fete Accompli – July 14, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at the House of Blues downtown

P.S. While you’re here, work on that coppertone tan at Coronado Beach, one of “America’s Manliest Beaches,” according to The Travel Channel.

Maren

All Aboard! Live Music on the San Diego Trolley

[youtube http://youtu.be/TL7Rlkw2osE]

Looking for live music in San Diego? From the famed Belly Up in Solana Beach to the House of Blues in Downtown, San Diego has everything from international headliners to local favorites performing at venues throughout town. See up-and-coming favorites at the Casbah, enjoy an evening of music under the stars at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, or catch an acoustic show aboard the San Diego Trolley.

[youtube http://youtu.be/3MY108ghf8Q]

You heard right! Breaking through the fourth wall of traditional musician/audience relationships is A Trolley Show, which not only brings bands such as Iration, Youngblood Hawke and The Silent Comedy to perform in the uncontrolled and unregulated performance environment of San Diego’s public transit system, but produces a video of each performance, come what may, to share with the world via the internet.

[youtube http://youtu.be/6ZaMbex0c_E]

While musical busking on public transit has been around as long as the transit systems themselves in cities such as New York City and San Francisco, San Diego’s public transit has a relatively adolescent and undefined performance culture. In this environment, the A Trolley Show removes live music from its culturally accepted place on the stage and brings bands that typically sell out traditional venues to the San Diego Trolley, not to busk, but to perform for an unwitting audience and let the cameras roll. I only hope I can be a pleasantly surprised audience member on my next trolley trip.

> Listen to more Live Music in San Diego

Tell us in the comments below, who would you like to see play aboard the San Diego Trolley?

Maren

Live Music in San Diego: November Rocks!

Transfer Band

Transfer Band

It’s rock, roll and robots this November in San Diego. From rock legends to hometown favorites, La Jolla Playhouse to the Casbah, November is the month to get indoors and see the myriad ways live music in San Diego rocks.

Walk the Moon

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPedH9B8AAE]

With a youthful vibe and infectious rhythms, Walk the Moon has managed to rise to fame in as little as 4 years.  With hits like “Tightrope” from their self-titled album, released in June of 2012, they show little sign of slowing down.

Location: House of Blues – 1055 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Date: November 14, 2012
Time: 8:00 PM
Cost: $27 ($17.50 + $9.50 service fee)
> Get Walk The Moon Tickets

Dave Mason

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8_FOQ7-P30]

Take the chance to see rock legend Dave Mason, who first found fame with the rock band Traffic and has played and recorded with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac and Cass Elliot over his four decade career.

Location: Anthology Supper Club – 1337 India St, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Date: November 15, 2012
Time: 7:30 PM
Cost: $19-$79
> Get Dave Mason Tickets

Transfer

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x39IsffUiYY]

See hometown favorites, Transfer, in their last San Diego appearance of2012. Alreadt winners of “Best Rock” and “Song of the Year” at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards, Transfer continues to win crowds over with soaring vocals and memorable anthems.

Location: Casbah – 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Date: November 17, 2012
Time: 8:30 PM
Cost: $12
> Get Transfer Tickets

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Banner - La Jolla Playhouse

The music of the Flaming Lips comes alive through 14-foot robot puppets, dancers in “glowing” LED costumes and stunning projections in this world premiere musical at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Location: La Jolla Playhouse –
Dates: Now through December 16, 2012
Times: Vary by Date
Cost: Starting at $15
> Get Yoshimi Battle the Pink Robots Tickets

> Discover more Live Music in San Diego

Let us know in the comments below, what rocks about San Diego?

Maren

29 Reasons to Listen Live in San Diego

Take a musical leap! Famed Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini, born February 29, 1792, turns 55-leap-years-young today! And if Google is celebrating a musical leap day, who are we to argue? In no particular order, here are 29 reasons to listen live in San Diego.

  1. The Belly Up Tavern– voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” even before it was made famous by a visit from Prince Harry of Wales
  2. Celebrating singer-songwriter Jim Croce with great food, wine and nightly live music at Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar. Here, here!
  3. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at 4th and B on March 30, 2012
  4. All-you-can-eat Southern inspired buffet and gospel performances at the House of Blue’s World Famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. Hallelujah!
  5. Donning a fedora and pretending you are a part of the Rat Pack at Anthology supper club.
  6. Emerging art and pop culture collide at The Loft: UCSD, with Jenny Owen Youngs on March 2, 2012.
  7. The Casbah’s guaranteed cool factor- whatever you decide to see.
  8. DJ Scooter “playing all the coolest s*%t you’ve never heard of” at Analog Bar every Tuesday at 9 pm.
  9. A place that takes jazz seriously, Dizzy’s: where music matters most.
  10. MIXTAPE– the Greatest Hits of the 80s, at the Horton Grand Theatre, extended through April 29, 2012.
  11. Seeing a concert at Humphrey’s by the Bay, whether you buy a ticket, or pull up a boat. 😉
  12. San Diego Symphony’s annual outdoor Summer Pops concert series performed on San Diego Bay.
  13. Flamenco fever at Café Sevilla with rumba guitarist Joef of the Gypsy kings family.
  14. Listening FREE to music ranging from folk to rockabilly at Adam’s Avenue Unplugged, April 21-22, 2012.
  15. Music worth seeing at San Diego Opera with Don Pasquale, March 10-18, 2012.
  16. Catching home grown talent with the potential for national greatness:  The Silent Comedy, Cuckoo Chaos, Hyena perform regularly around town.
  17. Treating club music as an art and a DJ as a god, at Voyeur, voted #68 of the Top 100 Clubs in the WORLD by DJ Magazine in 2011.
  18. Listening to the San Diego Symphony in the original Fox Theatre, opened in 1929.
  19. Van Halen at the Viejas Arena June 14, 2012.
  20. Celebrating the Saxophone with SAXibit at the Museum of Making Music, May 19-November 30, 2012.
  21. The VIP experience of Taylor Guitars Private Dining Room at Anthology, named after the locally based, world renowned guitar manufacturer and Anthology sponsor, Taylor Guitars.
  22. Free shows in the hippest of hoods, Bar Pink in North Park.
  23. Elvis Costello or Rufus Wainwright at Humphrey’s by the Bay. How to choose?
  24. The balance of intelligence and entertainment at ArtPower UC San Diego.
  25. Close proximity to a slew of buzz-worthy bands at Soda Bar.
  26. The highly entertaining, audience request-driven duel of two talented piano players at The Shout House.
  27. The recently renovated and restored 83 year old Balboa Theatre, hosting a diverse line up of performances.
  28. Street fairs! Whatever the fair, live music is there! Try OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-off Festival, Cinco de Mayo in Old Town, Pride Festival, holiday block parties in the Gaslamp Quarter or ArtWalk in Little Italy.
  29. And last but certainly not least, San Diego Opera celebrates birthday boy Rossini’s “55th” with The Barber of Seville, April 21-29, 2012.

What are your reasons for listening?

Maren

Listen Live in San Diego: When Every Day is Mardi Gras!

Officially, Fat Tuesday falls on February 21, 2012. And when Sir Simon Cowell himself says that “DJ’s are the new rock stars,” it is fair to pay homage in this blog to the 4 stages and rotating DJ’s of Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego on Tuesday, February 21. But while I may give up carbs or cuss words for the Lenten season, I certainly am not giving up live music – which makes every day Mardi Gras for me! What will be your musical Mardi Gras this year?

House of Blues

Mardi Gras music starts at 3:00 pm on February 21 and is free for all revelers. Perfect. My office is a block away. Continue the party on February 29 with Indie pop-rock of the British persuasion. The Kooks will be performing their “catchy as hell” tunes for all of us who won’t see them at Bonnaroo this summer.

RaRaRiot coming to the BellyUp Tavern

RaRaRiot coming to the Belly Up Tavern

Belly Up Tavern

So the CAKE show is sold out, but the Belly Up delivers such consistent quality that this doesn’t concern me. If you have a predilection for plaid shirts and converse, enjoy the sweet Paul Simon-inspired falsetto of Indie rock Ra Ra Riot on Thursday, February 23. I support any band that jams with a cello. Of course, there is still a chance to see what 40-plus years of rocking out looks like with classic rock favorite, America, performing February 26.

Birch North Park Theatre

Birch North Park Theatre

Birch North Park Theatre

Probably not your first thought as a live music venue, but I love taking in a show at the beautifully refurbished Birch for the sheer proximity to the bars, restaurants and culture of North Park’s young, indie neighborhood. While they always have a full season of theater to enjoy, it is a great, old school venue for a variety of bands as well. For instance, on March 2, Girls, performing with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, will grace the stage with their contagious energy and a few more plaid shirts. 😉

Enjoy this next few weeks of music everyone! And have an awesome Mardi Gras! As always, let me know what shows you want to see!

Maren

Listen Live in San Diego: January 19 – February 2, 2012

Thank you, Martin Luther King Day, for being the holiday after the Holidays we all needed. Now, welcome back to the 5 day work week. The year has officially started. Luckily, a plethora of great live music around San Diego in the coming weeks is sure to keep that holiday magic alive.

Casbah

Hump Day Pick: If you need to do something today, I suggest hitting up Olin and the Moon tonight, January 18, OR catch them next week on January 25. Either way, their music is infused with the “endearing hope that a good song can cure even the worst hang over,” a sentiment that also pertains to the rest of your week.

House of Blues

See the solo acoustic Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional this Friday, January 20. And what do you think about this fun San Diego connection? The song “Stolen” was filmed at the famous Hotel Del Coronado, but there is something a little off in regards to the weather…can you guess what it is?

4th & B

Nada Surf performs January 28 in conjunction with the release of their new album on January 24, The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy. Their specific blend of rhythmic groove and introspective chords shaped around Caws’ soulful voice has made Nada Surf a crowd favorite since the nineties, and on January 28 they will be joined by San Diego based favorites, The Soft Pack, Cuckoo Chaos and Republic of Letters.

Belly Up Tavern

Get your tickets fast for Ozomatli on Friday, January 27th. This Los Angeles group is an urban collision of hip hop, salsa, samba, funk, East L.A. R&B, New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga living by the mantra: we’ll take you around the world by taking you around L.A. I’m excited to see them at their already sold out show on Saturday, January 28th, and hoping someone other than me will recreate this Drew Barrymore/Ozomalti classic.

Maren

A New Year for Live Music in San Diego: January 5-18, 2012

Hello 2012! Maybe it’s this perfect, 75-and-sunny San Diego January, but I am feeling quite optimistic about my New Year’s resolution. I plan to sink my teeth into San Diego’s vibrant and diverse live music scene. Every two weeks I will post a handful of upcoming shows, ranging from Punk to Puccini, and I am counting on You to give me more suggestions, weigh in and tell me what shows around San Diego you are going to see. Below are my suggestions for the next two weeks. What are yours?

Anthology: Grab a booth, a drink and some nosh at San Diego’s swankiest supper club while listening to a major force in Latin music since the late ’60s, Pete Escovedo Y Familia, performing on January 13 and 14. Or break up the work week with The Milk Carton Kids, a harmonizing, minimalist indie rock duo on January 11.

San Diego Symphony at Copley Symphony Hall: Johannes Brahms wrote Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90 as a 50-year-old bachelor in 1883. The three note musical motto, F-A-F, heard throughout the work stands for Frei aber froh, “Free but Happy.” Cheeky gent. Hear it for yourself January 12.

House of Blues: There is nothing like a sudsy San Diego brew paired perfectly with local talent. And every Tuesday, HOB gives it up for San Diego with Local Brews Local Grooves. Listen local this January 10.

4th and B: In 2004, Public Enemy was ranked number forty-four by Rolling Stone Magazine on its list of Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. But if that doesn’t tempt you to see them live on January 15, then maybe group member Flavor Flav and his infamous clock chain will, “Yeah Boy!”

Follow this link for more great live music events in San Diego…