Thursday, June 27, 2019, 8 p.m.

Where: Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego | get directions

Cost: $20

Age limit: 21+

L.A. alt-rockers Rooney will be celebrating 20 years of music, “unplugged and live,” for their Break the Wall Tour, due to hit Soda Bar on June 27. Fronted by singer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Schwartzman, the band was originally part of the late ‘90s wave of cookie cutter acts “discovered” by Jimmy Iovine for then-thriving Geffen/Interscope Records. Their brand of carefree goodtime radio rock hasn’t really changed all that much since then. Early tracks have somewhat surprisingly survived the test of time far better than those of ‘90s labelmates such as Helmet, 4 Non Blondes, Smash Mouth, Limp Bizkit, and Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch.

After taking a hiatus that ended in 2016, they returned as a newly indie band with their own record label, Beachwood Park Music, and their first album in six years, Washed Away. The two singles weren’t exactly blockbusters, but both got plenty of streams and good words on the blogs that matter most, especially “Why” featuring French singer-actress SoKo. They followed up in 2017 with their El Cortez EP, which I was unable to spin for this column but from all accounts seems to be more or less consistent with their previous five albums and EPs. That’s four albums and two EPs in 20 years, not a huge selection from which to build a setlist. However, they’re reportedly working on new music planned for release later this year that may well be taken out for a warmup spin around the City Heights block.


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