The spring Acoustic Evenings at the Athenaeum series opens with a concert featuring Jamie Shadowlight, the Jefferson Jay Band, and Mikerotones. Based in Pacific Beach, violinist Shadowlight plays jazz and Latin-flavored music, usually infused with an imaginative and highly visual contemporary spin. Her instrument of choice is a 5-string NS CR5 WAV electric violin (nicknamed “Badass”) filtered through various effects pedals. Ambitious local performances have included a version of West Side Story staged with local jazz maven Gilbert Castellanos as a Latin love story for trumpet and violin, and a jazz exploration of the Nutcracker Suite. Expect the La Jolla setlist to include her perennially popular cover of the Game of Thrones theme, “Winter is Here.”
Jamie Shadowlight, "Winter Is Here" (Game of Thrones)
Ocean Beach’s Jefferson Jay Band blends classic rock, funk, blues, jazz and reggae. The Mikerotones (pronounced mike-row-tones), founded in 2017 by longtime San Diego Songwriter’s Guild member Michael Hoisington, play rock, blues, and soul originals and covers.
- Saturday, April 27, 2019, noon to 10 p.m.
Adams Avenue, University Heights to Kensington
This year’s mostly free 2.5 mile musical walkabout features over 80 musical acts at around two dozen Adams Avenue bars, restaurants, cafes, and coffee houses, as well as offering patrons a beer garden and food court. The headliner concert series, which requires separate paid tickets, includes El Rayo-X frontman David Lindley and Guatemalan singer-songwriter and guitarist Gaby Moreno at the Normal Heights Methodist Church. Most of the music is free however, with locals performing sets at participating restaurants, bars, and coffee houses to include Gregory Page, Three Chord Justice, Marie Haddad, the Sara Petite Band, Robin Henkel, Angela Patua Duo, and Nina Francis. The latter player’s career has been on a sharp upswing, having recently opened for pop songstress Tiffany at the Coach House, as well as supporting Eagles of Death Metal at the Del Mar Racetrack Summer Concert Series. Her Between Dreams album won the 2017 San Diego Songwriter’s Guild Annual Song Contest.
Occasional Rugburn Gregory Page turned 56 on April 14, but he apparently doesn’t plan to celebrate until two weeks later, when he stages what he’s billing as a birthday show at Lestat’s. Page’s newest album A Wild Rose dropped late last year, with a single for “Waiting For the Sun Again” soon added to Deezer’s Nieuw Deze Week playlist, as well as the Wakker Worden playlist. Another new track, “I’m Alive,” is showcased on the mainpage at Page’s website with a folksy Irish-tinted video mostly set on a projected moving highway and punctuated by unexpected visual flourishes such as a trio of stiff-armed female Riverdancers.
Unreleased Rugburns/Wild Man Fischer documentary
Unreleased footage from a 1995 video shot in San Diego featuring the Rugburns ("Hitchhiker Joe," etc) with Frank Zappa and Bill Mumy collaborator Larry "Wild Man" Fischer.
His Facebook page currently features a concert video capturing a February performance in Rotterdam of a pro-peace anthem from the new album, “Love is Stronger Than Hatred,” as well as a recent TV broadcast from the Netherlands with Page and Tim Knol playing another new track, “Whatever Keeps You Dreaming,” on a studio soundstage.
- Monday, April 29, 2019, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
Local stoner rockers Desert Suns would seem the perfect opening act when neo-psychedelic group Aunt Cynthia’s Cabin takes the Casbah stage on Monday. Much like the headliners, the Suns puff up an outer space sound that combines the melty lava lamp dreams of early ‘70s Pink Floyd albums like Meddle with the more furious acid riff jamming of Europrog rockers such as Nektar and freak-folk rockers Comus. The group was formed in late 2013 by Ronald “Woogie” Maggard (Downspell, Revenge Death Ball, Se Vende), bassist-singer Dave Russell, and drummer Ben McDowell, later joined by guitarist Anthony Belluto from Horde of Sirens. They have only a handful or recordings so far, but they’re offering free downloads through April of all the music on their website, including their most recent release, a split Ripple Records three-song single with Chiefs.
- Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
Electro-acoustic choral jazz group Orchid Mantis blends the dance beats of drum and bass with the structured sensibilities of a string quartet and the driving rhythm of fusion jazz and progressive rock. Multi-instrumentalist bassist Harley Magsino is originally from the Philippines and earned his Masters from SDSU. Drummer Isaac Crow is a San Diego native known from bands like Latin Jazz Quartet and bLUMPY. Cellist-singer Caitlin Crow has performed with Thousand Butterflies, and electronic keyboardist-singer Nina Leilani played with Isaac in the Humankind. Their most recent album, Rated X, was released last August, with tongue-in-cheek content clearly signaled by song titles such as “Power Tie,” “Pussy Bow,” and “Normcore.” Limited edition colored cassette versions are available (“flesh tone pink” and “bright red blush”) and, in keeping with the kitschy DIY vibe, CD copies available at the Soda Bar will include a “handcrafted booklet featuring North Park’s Top Models…pairs effortlessly with a fanny pack, sticker, and buttons.” Booklet photos are off-brand Suicide Girls style pics, like a shirtless bald bearded man in sunglasses with cutout paper shapes pasted to his nipples and standing in front of a surreal cat-themed wall mural. The bill includes Star Jungle and Jonny Tarr.