Archive for the ‘Performance History’ Category

End of the line for the Che Cafe?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Detail: Che logo, September 2009 (photo by Kristen Tobiason)Today carried this blog’s namesake closer to the brink, when San Diego superior court judge Katherine Bacal ruled in favor of UCSD in its efforts to evict the Che Cafe.

While the collective argued it believed it was protected from decertification before losing its co-op status in a vote by the Graduate Student Association, Bacal was unconvinced.

According to NBC, “she said the Che had the burden of proving that it sought dispute resolution, but there was no evidence that it had tried to obtain it, so the university was allowed to move forward with the eviction proceedings without dispute resolution.”

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Hair Theatre: ‘Phantom of Delight’

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Detail: Sergio and David Rives, Che Cafe, 1983 (collection Carol Coleman)More than 30 years later, here’s a performance of a Hair Theatre staple at the Che Cafe Nov. 17, 1983. “Phantom of Delight” was part of a set that featured the debut of Dave Fleminger on lead guitar. The rest of the lineup was original Hair Theatre, if memory serves: Sergio (vocals); Sergio Castillo (bass); Cesar Castillo (rhythm guitar); Howard Palmer (drums).

Watch Hair Theatre perform “In Obscurity” at Che Games for May, 2009!

Detail: Hair Theatre/Noise 292/Eleven Sons flyer; Nov. 17, 1983Followers of the Che Underground may recall that this gig also featured Eleven Sons (a last-minute replacement for Guy Goode and the Decentones) as well as my own band, Noise 292. There’s plenty more where this comes from, if we can sort out the song titles and other vital information!

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The Tell-Tale Hearts on ‘It’s Happening’

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Tell-Tale Hearts Peter Meisner, Mike Stax on "It's Happening"During its run from the mid-’80s to early ’90s, Audrey Moorehead’s and Dominic Priore’s cable series “It’s Happening” hearkened back to an earlier era of music television. The show featured clips from Priore’s video library as well as a cavalcade of the era’s garage bands.

“Priore and Moorehead choose the bands, design the Spartan sets, and write and edit the show, which is financed by Priore and grants from various cable companies,” the Los Angeles Times described in a 1990 article. “The equipment and crews are provided at no charge through the companies’ local access departments.

“The most striking element about the 30 low-budget segments that have been produced is their glaring, and oddly endearing, roughness. There are no jump cuts, computer-generated special effects or other MTV slickness.”

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Gravedigger V from the Bacher Collection

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Leighton Koizumi and Chris Gast, Gravedigger V, ca. 1983Befitting their short, colorful career from the summers of 1983 to 1984, souvenirs of the Gravedigger V have been in short supply on Che Underground: The Blog. Now, Tell-Tale Hearts guitarist Eric Bacher steps up with two new additions to the set.

“We just did some ‘fall’ cleaning, and I found a few old pictures,” Eric writes. “The one of Leighton and Chris Gast was given to Denise by Leighton some time in the 80’s, I’m not sure of the provenance of the other.”

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Vote for the Comeuppance for SDMA

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

(Paul Kaufman solicits support for a new project by Che Underground’s own.)

Dave Fleminger, the Comeuppance; Lestat's, July 30, 2010 (Kymri Wilt)San Diego has embraced its prodigal musicians as they return after decades. Consider the Comeuppance, a “chamber pop” combo led by David Fleminger (guitar, vocals) and Heather Vorwerck (cello).

Heather Vorwerck, the Comeuppance; Lestat's, July 30, 2010 (Kymri Wilt)This ensemble has a distinctive sound influenced by diverse jazz, country and classical traditions, all the while staying true to the high standards of songwriting that Che Underground readers know to expect from all of Dave’s endeavors.

Readers of this blog will recall that the Comeuppance relocated last spring to San Diego. The move marked a homecoming for David after 25 years in San Francisco; it’s a return to the city where he created so many memories as the creative force of bands like the Answers and the Mirrors as well as a founding member of a wide array of musical notables from Social Spit to Manual Scan.

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There to Here: Mark Stern, Soup Nation

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

(In the first installment of a series, Che Underground: The Blog considers how a young San Diego show promoter became a Eugene, Ore., soup titan. Plus: a bonus after-party recipe from Mark! If you’d like your story told, e-mail cheunderground@gmail.com!)

Mark Stern, HalloweenThe last time we were in the same town, you were playing in the Frame and promoting gigs in SD and Orange County at spots like Greenwich Village West, Big John’s and Club Cult. How did you move from there to the culinary arts?

I started at a steak-and-seafood joint as a dishwasher in Mira Mesa when I was in 10th grade, moved into doing salad station. There were all these “college” girl waitresses who would flirt with the new kid.

After that I got a job across the street at Chuck E. Cheese, doing pizza, and I would go out and do promos as the rat. My favorite was when they had me do an event for kids with Daryl Strawberry, then a Padre, who took me aside roughly when he thought I was upstaging him and whispered, “Take it easy, Chucky.”

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Gary Heffern & Beautiful People:
‘Baby You Just Don’t Get It’

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

(Just in time for Che Underground: The Blog’s fourth birthday, Gary Heffern shares an international collaboration featuring some of San Diego’s finest!)

Gary Heffern & Beautiful People coverHere is a new song by Gary Heffern & Beautiful People with lyrics written by myself, music by Rustman, and arrangement by Beautiful People: Selinda Shirley, Oulujoe, Mad Mulligan and Rustman.

It also features Ray Brandes, Joe Piper and Dave Fleminger on backup vocals and Ray doing some great harmonica as well. I thought if you would want to feature it on Che, you can do so and have first grabs at featuring the song.

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Back to the Blend

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

(Dave Fleminger revisits the sights and sounds of this cornerstone of the early-’80s San Diego scene.)

Manual Scan scooter pose2012 still sounds to me like a year from the future (or perhaps a Rush album).  But here it is, and here we are, and 2012 will contain the 30th anniversaries of many happenings already chronicled on this blog.  In the spring of 1982 the North Park venue known as the International Blend was re-named The Kings Road Cafe.

Within an unassuming building on 30th St., an incredible stew of various musics were served up to an all-ages crowd.  There were even after-school shows that felt like a continuation of some grand afternoon dance-party tradition.

Whether it was the Iblend or the Kings Rd., the decor inside of the club was pretty much the same: bare-bones and all about the music.  The stage was immediately on your left as you walked in the door and in the back of the room was a pinball machine that would shout “The … Black … Knight … challenges …. you!” every couple minutes.

King's Road Cafe opening flyer (more…)

CD release: Wendy Bailey & True Stories

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

(Bart Mendoza invites you out for an evening of free music to celebrate the debut of “String Theory.”)

Wendy Bailey & True Stories release party flyerOn Friday, Dec. 30, Wendy Bailey & True Stories will celebrate the release of their new album, “String Theory,” with an event at Bar Pink, 3829 30th St., in San Diego’s North Park.

For this special show, the band will perform two sets. In the first, the quartet will play the new album in its entirety, plus a few old favorites. In the second, Wendy Bailey & True Stories will be joined by special guest musicians for a run through of a dozen choice R&B and rock-‘n’-roll classics — a different guest for each song.

“String Theory” is the debut album from Wendy Bailey & True Stories, featuring lead guitarist and vocalist Wendy Bailey; bassist Billy Fritz; guitarist Bart Mendoza (Manual Scan, the Shambles et al.); and drummer Danny Cress (the Coyote Problem, Skid Roper and more).

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Pink Panther 25th anniversary!

Monday, December 12th, 2011

(Bart Mendoza ushers in this salute to the big cat.)

Pink Panther flyerSaturday, Dec. 17, The Casbah will be the site of the Pink Panther’s 25th anniversary party. Expect many familiar faces in attendance to celebrate the late bar’s brief existence. Founded by future Casbah proprietor Tim Mays, Peter “English” Verbrugge and Bob Bennett, the Pink Panther was the meeting spot for much of San Diego’s music scene during its run and fittingly, the night features an eclectic bill.

Tickets are $15 and available online.

Opening the night will be the soul and rock dance combo The Amandas. Fronted by Amanda Suter, the band includes the ace rhythm section of Tom Ward (bass) and David Klowden (drums), with guitarist Jon Erickson, saxophonist Aaron Rossi and keyboardist A.J. Croce.

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