Hot wax and new ones and zeros

September's San Diego record roundup

Where there's smoke there's Gunther's Grass
  • Where there's smoke there's Gunther's Grass

Bastille Day, the new full-length from instrumental-experimental dream-jazz trio Gunther’s Grass, debuts September 8 at Teros Gallery. “In the past ten years, we’ve only performed two or three times,” says Marcelo Radulovich. “I’ll be droning on the medieval hurdy-gurdy, a keyed string instrument played with a rotating disc, and Christopher Adler will be playing the khaen, a bamboo free-reed mouth organ from Laos and Thailand, and single-free-reed pipes from northern Thailand called pii jum.” Northern California–based bassist Scott Walton won’t be performing, however, “Nathan Hubbard will be playing vibraphone, though not always in the traditional sense. He uses a bow to make the keys ring, creating a very cool metallic resonant sound.”

Abner’s single “Beads of Fire” premieres September 23 at the IB Public House. “This will be our debut performance in our hometown,” says guitarist Adam Baez. “Our friend and touring buddy Jam Now from Phoenix is driving out to open up the night with an acoustic performance.” After the show, the band embarks on its first tour, with dates in California, Colorado, and Arizona. “It’s been a few years since my last tours [with Fuzz-Huzzi and Freak the Mighty]. There’s something about tight compartments and body odor that ignites the rock and roll senses like nothing else.”

The release party for Marie Haddad’s second full-length, Stories From Atlantis, happens at Humphreys Backstage on September 28. “There’s an ode [on the album] to inventor and visionary Nikola Tesla,” says Haddad. “‘Blink’ was sparked from a vivid dream I had soon after a friend’s passing. Some of the other pieces you’ll find in this collection include a David Lynch-y sounding cover of ‘Ring of Fire.’” Produced by Ben Moore at local Singing Serpent Studios, the track “Spinning Yarn” features an audio clip of Haddad’s Yugoslavian grandmother Zora singing a traditional Serbian folk song. A video is streaming online for “Jdita,” concerning the same-named village in her father’s home country of Lebanon and filmed in the Borrego Valley desert. The bill includes Kenseth Thibideau and Grampadrew’s Flim Flam Revue.

When blues master Larry Teves, aka Chickenbone Slim, debuts his new CD at the Riviera Supper Club on September 29, also performing is 88-year-old local legend Tomcat Courtney. On the same day, onetime Iowa rockers Radio Moscow (who relocated to California in 2010) will drop their fifth studio album, New Beginnings, which they’ll promote with a European tour running through October and featuring opening act Kaleidobolt.

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