Here's the Deal: Tin Can Ale House

The Tin Can

1863 Fifth Avenue, Bankers Hill

(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)

The Tin Can Ale House sits near a tranny bar and a liquor store at Fifth and Fir in Banker’s Hill. Look for the mural of a giant octopus sinking a galleon. Parking isn’t a problem.

True to its name, the Tin Can offers over 70 canned beers and 3 on tap. I grab a Mickey’s tall can ($5.50) and an order of cheese fries ($3). A large hole gapes from the ceiling. A little Styrofoam earth hangs there, spinning slightly in the artificial starlight.

Several picture frames adorn the stage walls. One holds a drumstick. Another, a revolver. Others frame nothing at all. A bald, armless mannequin observes the avant-garde decor with an expression at once inquisitive and aloof.

Fkenal blows minds with supersonic math punk alternately reminiscent of Hella, Braid, a refined Festival of Dead Deer, Don Caballero, and a Tortoise LP at 78 rpm. The instrumental group seems to hinge upon drummer Eric Oliver, who drills out impossible beats on shattered hi-hats and double kicks.

I talk with doorman Justin Rodriguez of defunct emo/math band Counterfit. Rodriguez now plays alt-country in the Brothers and Sisters with members of the Western Set.

Prog-punkers Scales deliver compelling bass lines and effect-laden guitar cries that inspire visions of prehistoric beasts: Joy Division feat. Tom Morello, Fugazi, Mogwai.

Flyers and 45s titivate the men’s room wall.

In studs and leather, Motion to Sever looks like the new Misfits or Judas Priest. All students at USD School of Law, the novelty “justice metal” group’s members wear gavel amulets and sing about lethal injections, well-hung juries, the Supreme Court, and Section 4248. “We’re gonna bring those cans down,” singer Tyler Hazen says, pointing to the bar. “Because dented cans are half price.” Dudes in pastel polos and basketball jerseys thrash around the narrow dance floor.

Co-owner Kelsey Breunig passes me an Olympia ($2.75) and says, “[Tape Deck Mountain drummer] Paul and I have been working really hard. The people have been great. It’s a definite labor of love.”

Price: beers are $3–$9; $3 cover sometimes
Happiness Hour: 6 to 8:30 p.m., M–F — penny brews with regular purchase
Food: home of the 2009 Reader’s Choice Award all-in-one sandwich, served ‘till 10 p.m.
Hours: Mon–Fri, 6 to 2 a.m.; Sat, 8 to 2 a.m.; closed Sundays
Best deal: $9 double-pint Cold Springs can
Live music Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; Chill D.J. Mondays

The Tin Can

1863 Fifth Avenue, Bankers Hill

(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)

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Thanks for the great review! We'd love to have you write about another one of our shows.

Tyler Motion to Sever

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