5 to Try in San Diego: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

San Diego offers something for everyone on St. Patrick’s Day. Make sure to set out your green threads the night before because here are your 5 to Try that will keep you moving from sun-up to well past sun-down.

Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Balboa Park

Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Balboa Park

1. Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

Lads and lassies celebrate all things Irish at the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, held March 17 at the corner of 6th Avenue and Juniper Street near Balboa Park. The day includes a 10:30 am parade, an all-day Irish festival featuring food, beer gardens, musical entertainment and more.

Green ShamRock Sea in the Gaslamp Quarter

Green ShamRock Sea in the Gaslamp Quarter. Photo courtesy of The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation

2. ShamROCK 2012

With 30,000 sq. ft. of Astroturf, downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter turns into the rolling hills of Ireland from noon to midnight on March 17 at ShamROCK 2012. This St. Patrick’s Day party includes Irish rock bands and pints of green beer; guests must be 21 years or older to attend the ticketed event.

La Jolla Wine Tours

St. Patrick's Day Wine Country Tour

3. St. Patrick’s Day Wine Country Tour

Enjoy beautiful, panoramic vineyard views as you delight in the tasting of superb local wines paired with custom-made gourmet pizza overlooking the wineries grounds with the St. Patrick’s Day Wine Country Tour by San Diego Beer and Wine Tours.

St. Patrick's Day Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail

St. Patrick's Day Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail

4. St. Patrick’s Day Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail

Get outdoors and go for a nature centered St. Patrick’s Day Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail in Del Mar. Walk, bike or trike at this family friendly event in support of one of San Diego’s most celebrated natural treasures – the 55-mile San Dieguito River Park. Reservations are recommended.

Kelly's Steakhouse Piano Bar with Joe Cromwell

St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Kelly's with Joe Cromwell

5. St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Kelly’s

Sing-A-Long to your favorite Irish Songs at the Piano Bar with Joe Cromwell at Kelly’s inside the Town & Country Resort. Festivities began at 4:00 pm and run until midnight. with drink and food specials all night.

Tell us in the comments below, what do you have planned for the family on St. Patrick’s Day?


5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

The Mark of Zorro

Remember to “jump ahead” this weekend by setting your clock forward by one hour. Spend that extra hour of sunlight this weekend enjoying one of these great events in San Diego. Here are your Five to Try:

The Mark of Zorro

1. Silent Movie Night, The Mark of Zorro

Starring Douglas Fairbanks and Noah Beery, The Mark of Zorro is a swashbuckling adventure from 1920, set right here in Southern California and accompanied by the mighty Fox Theater pipe organ. Movie starts at 8:00 pm on Saturday, March 10th at the Copley Symphony Hall.

2. San Diego Latino Film Festival

Starting March 8 and running through March 18th is the 19th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas Hazard Center. There will be over 20,000 attendees and 150 entertaining and award-winning movies including a new sidebar dedicated to horror, sci-fi, and films that simply defy categories, labels and conventions.

Photo Courtesy of Paul Body

3. Washed Ashore: Plastics, Sea Life and Art

Fifteen extraordinary marine life sculptures with trashy origins will be displayed at the Chula Vista Nature Center. Tons of plastic pollution was used to create monumental sculptures that are awakening the curiosity and minds of citizens to the marine debris crisis. Exhibit runs through September 3, 2012.

4. A Room With a View

From the beloved novel that inspired the Academy Award-winning film comes an enchanting new musical. Comic, romantic, satirical and real, A Room with a View blends a gorgeous score with this timeless story that gives a new voice to these unforgettable characters. Playing at the Old Globe in Balboa Park March 2-April 8, 2012.

Christopher Titus at the American Comedy Co.

5. Christopher Titus

Spend the evening laughing with Christopher Todd Titus at the American Comedy Co. You may remember him from his hit show Titus. Shows are Friday-Saturday 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm; and Sunday at 8:00 pm.

Tell us in the comments below, what do you have planned for the weekend?


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?


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!

Benjamin Eastman

Beach Nightlife in San Diego

Club Tremors

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, the beauty of San Diego’s nightlife scene is that there is something for everyone. Whether you’re wearing your best Sean John outfit or would rather party it up in your boardshorts and a t-shirt, San Diego has a place for you to wile the night away. Looking specifically at the more relaxed, beach nightlife of Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, there are a number of great options.

Pacific Beach

Referred to by locals as PB, Pacific Beach is known as the premier hangout region for the under 25-crowd. PB is full of bars, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, bars….did I mention bars?

Club Tremors

Club Tremors

Probably the most well-known venue in PB is the PB Bar & Grill/Club Tremors. Part bar/restaurant, part nightclub, PB Bar & Grill caters to all aspects of a great nightlife experience – food, drinks and dancing. With an incredibly active weekly lineup, you can go to PBB&G any night of the week for a good time (Monday Karaoke, Taco Tuesday, Thirsty Thursdays, etc.)


For those looking for a more upscale option in PB, head over to the Tower 23 Hotel and their JRDN restaurant/bar. Located along the PB boardwalk, JRDN has an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean with a relaxed but upbeat atmosphere.  On a warm, beautiful evening (and let’s be honest, that describes most evenings in San Diego) you’ll find locals and tourists alike lounging on JRDN’s outdoor patio enjoying the restaurant’s upbeat music, fantastic decor (think color changing wall wave-like mosaic) and amazing sunset views.

Mission Beach

More of a residential area, Mission Beach does have a few great spots for those seeking a more relaxed night of entertainment including the notable Belmont Park. The historic wooden roller coaster, easily seen from afar, is Belmont Park’s iconic centerpiece, however the fun carnival-style games and rides are really what make the night a blast (think bumper cars, rides that flip you around/upside down, mirror mazes and big pretzels). Scream your lungs out as you ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster or my personal favorites – the Octotron and Beach Blaster.

Concert at the Wavehouse

After bringing out your inner child at Belmont Park, pop on over to the Wavehouse right next door to find several flowboarding areas – including Bruticus Maximus, which produces 10-foot waves via 100,000 gallons of water being pumped into the ride per minute. Try your hand out at flowboarding or just watch some of the local pros flip, twist and amaze the audience. With an awesome music scene, firepits, hammocks, picnic tables and awesome views of the Mission Beach boardwalk and the Pacific Ocean, Wavehouse has a great casual vibe, especially enjoyable during the summer months.

Ocean Beach

Referred to by locals as OB, Ocean Beach is known for its hippy culture. OB prides itself on not taking itself too seriously and the nightlife definitely maintains a cool, relaxed state at a handful of dive bars, restaurants and hole-in-the-wall music venues.

Winston's OB

Winston's OB

Personal favorites for a night of fun dining are OB Noodle House, Bo-beau Kitchen + Bar (great french fusion cuisine), the fish tacos at South Beach (which is just steps from the beach) and the beer lover’s favorite, Pizza Port. For those craving some tunes, head over to Winston’s – a dive bar/club featuring live music, DJs or comedy just about every night of the week.


5 to Try in San Diego: Valentine’s Day Edition

No matter how long you’ve been with your valentine (or looking for one!) here’s our 5 to Try for Valentine’s Day celebrations throughout San Diego.

1. Valentine’s Beer Tasting Dinner

Spoil your man with a Beer Tasting Dinner brought to you by La Jolla Wine Tours. Dinner includes four-course dinner with dessert, each course paired with a local San Diego craft brew. Includes a behind the scenes tour of a brewery.

2. San Diego Symphony: A Valentine’s Romance with Broadway’s Best

Love is in the air. He’s Hugh Panaro, Broadway’s Phantom. She’s Jennifer Holliday, star of the original Dreamgirls. As Cupid takes aim, sparks will fly when two of our favorite performers return to San Diego. Performances are February 10th and 11th at 8:00 pm.

3. Magic 92.5 Valentine’s Hook Up Singles Cruise

Don’t miss your chance to mix and mingle with other San Diego singles as you cruise on your own private yacht around San Diego Bay. This annual Valentine’s Hook Up Singles Cruise could be the most unique and romantic place to meet that special someone!

4. The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show

Add a little mystery to your Valentine’s Day with this interactive dinner. The show takes place throughout the entire room, and performers may actually be seated at your table, so part of the fun from the beginning is trying to figure out who’s involved in the crime and who’s not. Throughout the night, murders and mayhem will occur, hidden clues will come forth and our Detectives will help everyone try to solve the crime.

5. Love is in the Air: A Valentine’s Day Tribute to Sinatra

Snuggle up to your sweetie at Anthology for the most romantic show of the year. Singer, John Vincent, brings his signature Sinatra tribute show to San Diego just in time for Valentine’s Day. Vincent’s show is so spot on, you’ll think you’re being serenaded by Old Blue Eyes himself.


Listen Live in San Diego and Win Tickets to America at the Belly Up

Last Saturday night Ozomatli blew the roof off the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, ending their high-octane show playing out in the crowd. Leaving punch-drunk and grinning, I realized this is the specialty-du-jour of the happening-yet-intimate Belly Up Tavern. Perfectly sized and situated for optimal sight and sound, every show has a distinct block-party feel, if said party took place in a ridiculously talented neighborhood.

Here are a few upcoming shows throughout San Diego you don’t want to miss:

Belly Up Tavern

And who wouldn’t want these guys at their block party? America, the perennial classic-rock favorite, will be gracing the Belly Up on February 26, at 8:00 pm with chart-topping tunes like “A Horse with No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair.” If you can’t wait until then, head up this Friday, February 3 for An Evening with Keller Williams in his spectacular one-man (sometimes barefoot) show.


Impress your sweetheart with a super swank supper this February 14, 2012. Singer John Vincent & The John Cain Orchestra will do the crooning and wooing for you with A Valentine’s Day Tribute to Sinatra as you dine in style on 3 delicious courses.

4th & B

Come see VH1 “You Oughta Know” artists on the rise, MUTEMATH, on February 3 for a guaranteed good time. “We’re not good at being dark,” says singer/keyboardist Paul Meany about their new album, Odd Soul, “so we wanted to see how far we could go into creating something glaringly bright.” That seems like San Diego to me!

It’s your chance to experience the Belly Up Tavern with 2 free tickets to America, performing February 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm. Comment on this blog by 10:00 am on Wednesday, February 8, to enter. Please include your e-mail so we can get a hold of you! Good luck!


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.


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.


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…


Live Music in San Diego: Nostalgia Rocks

Push past the throngs of bodies to the front of the room. The anticipation builds as everyone waits for the headlining act to take the stage. You eagerly sip your drink, chatting with a friend, and then…the lights go down and the music kicks out. Nothing compares to seeing your favorite band live, and whether you prefer under-the-radar punk bands at a dingy dive bar or elegant jazz at a sleek and sophisticated club, you’ll find live music to suit any accoustic taste in San Diego.

If you’re heading to San Diego this winter, you might start feeling a little nostalgic. Not because of the Victorian buildings decked out in classic holiday decor, but because of the great 80s and 90s-era bands gracing San Diego stages during December and January:

Camper Van Beethoven plays at the Belly Up Tavern

The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach offers up some seriously good music with a not-so-serious attitude when Camper Van Beethoven takes the stage on Dec. 27. Describing themselves as “surrealist absurdist folk,” the band is known for their 1985 classic “Take the Skinheads Bowling.”

Public Enemy plays at 4th and B

The legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy comes to downtown’s 4th and B on Jan. 15. Don’t miss this chance to check out the music that influenced everyone from the Beastie Boys to Nirvana.

Wilco plays Copley Symphony Hall

Since their first album didn’t come out until 1994, Wilco may not be considered a nostalgic act, but their bittersweet ballads can make you long for a past that may have never existed in the first place. Their show at Copley Symphony Hall on Jan. 22 is sure to sell out.

With so much great live music coming to San Diego, which shows will you go see?