Archive for the ‘Wallflowers’ Category

There to Here: Todd Lahman,
Sweeney Todd’s Barber Shop

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

(In this installment, Che Underground: The Blog examines a Wallflower’s journey to hair theater. If you’d like your story told, e-mail!)

Sweeney Todd's Barber Shop front window (collection Todd Lahman)The last time I saw you was around 1985, when you were playing guitar with San Diego’s original Wallflowers. How did you get from rock-‘n’-roll in Poway, Calif., to ownership of one of LA’s best-known barber shops, Sweeney Todd’s?

Sweeney Todd's Barber Shop interior (collection Todd Lahman)Hmmmm … I’m not sure I can draw any correlation between my experience in the Wallflowers and my career in the tonsorial arts except to say that I probably cut hair a lot better than I played guitar! But seriously, I guess if there was anything to compare, it would have to be that like the guitar you’re constantly honing your chops (pun intended!) There’s always some new technique or some new flourish to add to your bag of tricks if you keep your eyes and ears open.


Geeked Podcast Episode 1:
Pure Boom Hi-Fi Live

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

(Paul Howland, a k a P Man, ushers in a new podcast straight out of San Diego.)

Detail: Pure Boom Hi-Fi cassetteOct. 11, 2011, was the official launch night of a new dance called “Geeked.” Geeked was very pleased to be able to present The Pure Boom Hi-Fi.

Episode 1; Pure Boom Hi-Fi Live at Geeked Launch Night 10.09.11

Pure Boom is one of my very favorite selectors. I met him through the Dubstep scene in San Diego in early 2009. Here though, by special request of Geeked, he’s playing roots steppers dub. Pure Boom is the only selector I know of who actually mixes this type of music, as it’s usually played “sound system style” (play the dub, flip over, play the vocal, no beatmatching). Heavy-duty mixing chops and super-sick selecting and programming skills, combine to make each of his sets a very special occasion.


Cardiac Kidz with Blood on Fire

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

(The Cardiac Kidz’s Jim Ryan recounts his band’s recent performance to support Gary Heffern’s return to San Diego, including new collaborators and material.)

After a Penetrators reunion show the Sunday before, Gary Heffern appeared once again at the Casbah for his CD release show to debut “Gary Heffern & Beautiful People” and his San Diego all-star band “Blood on Fire.” Those of us who came prepared were able to take not only the show home but the CD from this consummate artist, now living in Finland.

Sean McMullen’s words and images from the Penetrators reunion!

Here I am over 30 years later, remembering my last performance with Gary when the Penetrators, the Cardiac Kidz and the Standbys played the Spirit night club in 1980.

After getting the call from Gary that he would like the Cardiac Kidz to open the show, I was on the move. The boys digging the opportunity and me looking forward to seeing Gary again, I knew this show had to be special. Gary is a special guy.


This We Dug: The Rolling Stones

Monday, December 20th, 2010

(David Rinck recalls the moment that made him a rocker.)

The other day, I picked up the obligatory copy of Keith Richards’ new autobiography “Life.” OK, no surprises — there’s some really interesting stuff in here, but it predictably enough reads sort of like “This I Took.” Maybe he should get a program?

Also, I happened to see the new(ish) Martin Scorsese live film of the Stones. “Shine A Light,” about a month ago, and I really didn’t think it was very good. I mean, come on guys: Christina Aguilera? Really? And poor ol’ Keith looks like he’s just exhausted. Well yeah, when you talk about the Stones nowadays, it’s hard to ignore the fact that these guys are getting a bit torn and frayed. But let’s be fair here …


Update from the Cardiac Kidz

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

(Dave Rinck a k a Wallflower keeps us posted on the Kidz’s revival.)

It’s been an honor for me play rhythm guitar for the last few months with this classic punk-rock band. This is a working band, and it has a new lineup, new CDs (I’ve never released two CDs on the same day before!), and new shows! Here’s an update:

Jim Ryan – bass and vocals
Jerry Flack – guitar and vocals
Jimi Flynn – drums
Dave Wallflower – guitar and vocals


Live at Lestat’s: An underground evening

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

(David Rinck offers a performer’s-eye view of a recent night of musical eclecticism in San Diego.)

On the evening of Thurs., Nov. 4, we again converged on the little theater at Lestat’s Coffee House on Adams Ave. in Kensington, which is beginning to feel like home for some of us here.

Lestat’s most recently hosted the first night of the Che Underground Rock and Roll Weekend on July 30 and 31, and the Nov. 4 show was an exciting follow-up to that event. Some of San Diego’s finest underground musicians offered up an eclectic array of sounds from a range of genres. At the same time, the visual arts were represented by terrific graphics, photography and video recording, some of which is available here.


Cardiac Kidz reloaded

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

(The Cardiac Kidz’s Jim Ryan announces an eclectic night of musical merriment Nov. 4 at Lestat’s Coffee House in San Diego.)

The Cardiac Kidz are winding down their 2010 San Diego “Performance Blitz” tour with the end of the year finally in sight. The band has played an unheard of 10 shows in less than six months.

From what started as a onetime reunion show to an expanded booking schedule, The Kidz have even gone so far as to add the talents of David Rinck (frontman for San Diego’s Wallflowers) to the band.


Mali Blues

Friday, October 8th, 2010

(Reporting from Burkina Faso, David Rinck searches for our rock-‘n’-roll roots in the landlocked shore of Africa.)

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” — Jack Kerouac

To a visitor today to these scrappy, drab concrete towns in the center of West Africa, it’s hard to believe that just a century ago this was the epicenter of a magnificent and vital trans-Saharan caravan trade in gold and salt, stretching across the world’s greatest desert. Linking Morocco and Mediterranean Europe with the gold kingdoms of the Gulf of Benin, and giving rise to mysterious and fabled cities that were centers of learning and culture, like Gao; Djenne (with its famous UNESCO World Heritage Grand Mosque); and Timbuktu, today the epitome of remote, it was where the Moors built one of Africa’s earliest universities and a library famous throughout the Islamic world for its handwritten manuscripts and Korans.

Likening it to the shore of the vast sand ocean that is the Sahara, south of which lies the Bilad as Sudan, or “land of blacks” (Sudan, means “black” in Arabic), the Arabs named this part of the world the Sahel, or “shore” (the same root from which we take the word for Kenya and Tanzania’s national language, Swahili, or “the language of the coast” — Saheli).


Play “Misty” for me:
BOMBAST rocks out at Bar Pink

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

(David Rinck provides his back story of this meeting of musical minds at the Che Underground Rock-‘n’-Roll Weekend. Plus, let’s go to the video, courtesy of Paul Kaufman!)

Now I’m really perplexed by this one. Dave Fleminger calls for the “end of the Age of Irony,” and then he is largely the perpetrator of a band called BOMBAST. This seems like a contradiction.

And then there’s the song-list issue — a couple old San Diego classics like the Wallflowers (“Rubber Room” and “Survive the Jungle”) and Blues Gangsters (“Tigershark Blues”), some Arthur Lee and Love (“Bummer In the Summer”), and even the Stooges (“TV Eye”) and Parliament (“Unfunky UFO”). Seems like a pretty strange brew, more contradictions? “Well, what do we all agree on?” I asked with great trepidation as the project grew. Pretty much one thing — BOMBAST is LOUD! Okay, that’s enough for me. I’m good to go.


Che echoes from the Alps

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

(Rolf “Ray” Rieben of Feathered Apple Records describes how the San Diego underground reached Basel, Switzerland, and shares his cache of memorabilia from the Che Cafe and other points southwest. Stay tuned for much more of Ray’s trove from the Tell-Tale Hearts, Crawdaddys, Howling Men and more!)

Tell-Tale Hearts; Che Cafe, Oct. 5 (collection Rolf "Ray" Rieben)I was working as a record salesman in Switzerland when the first Crawdaddys LP (“Crawdaddy Express”) on the German Line label had hit the market. Most of the Bomp! catalog was licensed to Line Records from Germany. Line Records had the best possible distribution, since because they were connected to a major label. They’ve helped to make The Crawdaddys and some of the other bands from Greg Shaw’s Bomp label famous over here in Europe.

Kings Road flyer (collection Rolf "Ray" Rieben)“Crawdaddy Express” rates as the first modern ’60s garage LP ever made (after probably The Flamin’ Groovies). It was first advertised on the back cover of the July 1979 issue of Goldmine magazine. The sound was very British: wild raving rnb like the early Kinks, Downliners Sect, or the The Pretty Things, but undoubtedly influenced by Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and the likes. There’s even a few cool northern soul ballads featured on both of their LPs, too. These four fine young lads from San Diego knew what they were doing, they had the right spirits, and they could deliver in authentic ca. ’64 – ’65 style, too. It was exactly the type of brand-new LP that I was hoping for.