Archive for the ‘Che Games for May’ Category

Lemons Are Yellow play Che Games

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Lemons Are Yellow; Casbah, May 29, 2009Che Games for May 2009 continues to pay dividends for aficionados of San Diego subculture, encapsulated here in two choice cuts from the reunited Lemons Are Yellow: “Thousand Island” and “America’s Finest City.”

The LAY lineup comprises Paul Kaufman (guitar, vocals); Dave Fleminger (guitar, vocals); Kristin Martin (bass, vocals); and Seth Affoumado (drums). Heather Vorwerck shot the performance, which opened the festivities May 29, 2009.


Noise 292: “Chanson Dada” at the Casbah

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Here’s a song that’s traveled with me since age 16 (when I first translated the words from the 1923 poem by Tristan Tzara) and got its definitive treatment when we formed Noise 292 in 1982.

I’ve played “Chanson Dada” in a lot of bands since (and even recently found my translation had been covered by some wacky Scandinavians!), but it’s probably the composition of mine I identify most closely with Noise 292. That made it a special pleasure to perform at our reunion May 31, 2009, when we presented Che Games for May at San Diego’s Casbah.


Noise 292 plays ‘Mr. Pumpkin’
b/w ‘Talking in Circles’

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

I’ve written before on the blog about my oldest musical connection within our scene: with David (a k a Kavika) Rives, the fantastically talented lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Noise 292. My musical association with Kavika began in eighth grade, ca. 1977, and was rekindled after a long separation when Noise 292 reunited to play Che Games for May 2009.

Here are two examples of Mr. Rives’ talent: his songs “Mr. Pumpkin” and “Talking in Circles.”


Hair Theatre: “In Obscurity”

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Our Che Games for May 2009 show at San Diego’s Casbah regrouped nine legendary bands and ignited countless personal reunions. The crescendo of the two-night event was the triumphant return of the incredible Hair Theatre, seen here performing “In Obscurity” for the madding throng.

Seeing Hair Theatre perform together again was a personal highlight. This band amazed and delighted me from the first time I saw them play a party in Leucadia in 1983, and the reunion of members scattered along the West Coast was more than I could have hoped for when we first conceived this event.

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.


Why don’t we sing this song all together?

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Tom Ward; Lestat's, July 30, 2010 (Kymri Wilt)For many of the participants in this blog, our involvement with San Diego music ended with our wholesale departure from San Diego. A large contingent of us decamped first to San Francisco, and we now make our homes in places like Seattle, Oregon, New York, Boston, Wisconsin and Haiti.

That means the string of Che Underground gigs we’ve hosted in San Diego (including May 2009 and January and July 2010) marked the first time in more than two decades that many of our musicians have played in front of a hometown crowd.


Warming up for DaveFest Four

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

(Charisse Sciuva and Dave Rinck describe hot times at Lestat’s Coffee House. The featured act: a warm-up for the Che Underground Rock-‘n’-Roll Weekend July 30-31 and a Che Underground supergroup that will feature San Diego music legends Dave Doyle, Dave Fleminger, Dave Klowden and Dave Rinck.)

Dave Rinck, Dave Fleminger, Lou Damian; Lestat's, July 19, 2010 (Charisse Sciuva)On July 19, the DaveFest Four (actually two, Dave Rinck and Dave Fleminger, plus an “honorary Dave” — Lou Damian on harmonica), shut down a packed house at Lestat’s Coffee House on San Diego’s Adams Ave. after just two acts. The occasion was the second weekly night of the Monday night warm-ups at Lestat’s, the venue for Night One of the upcoming Che Underground Rock-‘n’-Roll Weekend on July 30 and 31. Due to an unplanned event that could be called a “mishap” by some, their performance set the standard for what is certainly going to be the event of the year!

Why “DaveFest Four”? Read Patrick Works’ history of Dave Fest!

After an intro by the master of ceremonies, the DaveFest combo took the stage in what was truly a Che Underground moment. Upon pulling in, a painfully loud intermittent reverb-laced blast was heard!


Che Underground Rock-’n’-Roll Weekend!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

(David Rinck cuts the ribbon on a late-July musical extravaganza in San Diego!)

jll copyHow could we let a year go by since the Che Games for May? It is high time to do it again!

chepink_2Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to experience the Che Underground Rock-‘n’-Roll Weekend. Here’s what we have in store for you:

Friday, July 30, at Lestat’s Coffee House (3343 Adams Avenue; $10; doors open at 9pm)

Plus a photo retrospective of San Diego Underground Rock ‘n’ Roll by Dave Doyle and Sean McMullen.

Saturday, July 31, at Bar Pink (3829 30th St.; free; doors open at 9pm)

  • Wendy Bailey & True Stories
  • The Answers
  • Bombast

Plus, dubstep deejaying by the P Man


The Wallflowers: ‘Walldrugs’ at Che Games

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

wallflowers_walldrugs_frame03One year later, we’re finally on deck to start releasing performance footage shot by Eric Rife at May 2009’s Che Games for May reunion, synchronized to Jason Brownell’s high-fi audio courtesy of resident polymath Dave Fleminger.

First up, the first live performance of the original San Diego Wallflowers’ signature “Walldrugs” since 1985. Lead singer David Rinck reflects on resurrecting the song:

“When we were putting together the Wallflowers set list for the Che Games last year, we had to listen closely to the old recordings to figure out how we played those tunes, in order to get us all on the same page on the arrangements and all, since with me in Africa and the rest of the band spread out all over California, we were basically working via the Internet.”


Forever changes: Che Games for May
and the the perpetual nostalgia machine

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Detail: Dave Fleminger, the Mirrors; May 30, 2009 (photo by Dave Doyle)Ava points out that it was exactly one year ago that Che Underground: The Blog hosted its first-ever reunion gig (a k a “Che Games for May”) at San Diego’s Casbah.

The two-night blowout included eight great San Diego bands (nine, if you count the unannounced, sizzling first-night mini-set by Lemons Are Yellow), most of whom hadn’t played together in a quarter-century. It marked the first time most of us had been together since the mid-’80s — and the opportunity to meet a few new friends who’d met through the site and their shared San Diego musical history.

This anniversary thus represents an interesting object lesson in the recursive nature of memory: This event itself has now passed into its realm and hence deserves its own commemorative post!