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Vision of a Sweaty world

El Vez, Keith Sweaty, Stick Figure, The Steely Damned 2, The Schizophonics

The Schizophonics
  • The Schizophonics

El Vez

El Vez

Past Event

El Vez Screamers Tribute and Blood Ponies

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+

An El Vez show is like a cross between an Ike and Tina Turner Revue, a Tom Jones Las Vegas gig, the LSD episode of Dragnet, and Elvis Presley’s 1968 comeback special. The self-proclaimed “Mexican Elvis,” Robert Lopez made his mark in the early San Diego/L.A. punk band the Zeros and then played in Catholic Discipline (which also spawned gender-fluid folk singer Phranc). Tunes in his extensive catalog, not all of them based on tracks in the Elvis canon, include “You Ain’t Nothing But a Chihuahua,” “Brown Christmas,” and “En El Barrio,” a Chicano version Presley’s “In the Ghetto.” For this one-night performance, El Vez will be paying tribute to the Screamers, an L.A. group originally known as the Tupperwares (at least until a threatened lawsuit), extant from the mid-‘70s into the early ‘80s. They were ater cited as godfathers of electro-punk, and Jello Biafra has credited the band with inspiring the early Dead Kennedys. The bill includes Blood Ponies, a post-punk duo featuring Candice Renee and Jeff Terich.

Keith Sweaty

Keith Sweaty

Past Event

The Crystal Method and Keith Sweaty

  • Saturday, December 28, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
  • Music Box, 1337 India Street, San Diego
  • $25

Headliner the Crystal Method is basically now a one-man band (one of the two founding members retired a few years ago), so it’s only appropriate that an occasionally local one-man opener warms the stage for them, or rather, him. DJ Keith Sweaty, aka Keith Milgaten, has been producing hip-hop records since he was 17. After cofounding Vision of a Dying World with his brother Jackson while the two were growing up in Las Vegas, the duo moved to San Diego and hooked up with local players. Their theatrical, ambitious songs, mixing elaborate harmonies with prog-rock guitar, jazz-inspired sax work, and the occasional ukulele solo, earned them a nod from Filter magazine as Undiscovered Band of the Month. When Jackson Milgaten shifted focus to Cuckoo Chaos, Keith Milgaten (who DJs as Keith Sweaty) turned up the heat as Jamuel Saxon, a solo electronic project that evolved into a full touring and recording ensemble. Milgaten, who was nominated for Best Electronic at the 2009 San Diego Music Awards, wrote a concept album for the Keith Sweaty full-length Spaceface, about a character from the film I Am Not a Hipster and concerning the San Diego music scene, featuring visual aesthetic and music by Sweaty. The bill includes Lorna Dune and Omega Squad.

Stick Figure

Stick Figure

Past Event

Stick Figure

  • Saturday, December 28, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+ / $51 - $89

San Diego now has several nationally known ska and reggae flavored acts, from Hirie and Tribal Seeds to Flogging Molly, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, etc. The best known may be Stick Figure, who draw such crowds to the Belly Up that the Solana Beach venue has booked them for both Friday and Saturday nights. At this writing, their album World On Fire has spent 11 weeks at number one on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart, easily making it that chart’s top selling island music release of 2019. It was afire straight out of the gate, opening with sales of over 10,000 copies, the highest selling opening week since the Sting and Shaggy crossover from early 2018. Their 2012 album Burial Ground, and their 2016 full-length Set in Stone also topped the Billboard reggae chart. World On Fire was written, produced, and recorded by Scott Woodruff at Stick Figure-owned Great Stone Studios in Oakland, former home of Green Day, with a title single featuring Slightly Stoopid. Festival appearances this year included California Roots and a headlining set at Red Rocks in Colorado, where locals Pepper were also on the bill. A recent “World On Fire Remix” features Slightly Stoopid, Tribal Seeds, Common Kings, the Green and the Movement.

Steely Damned 2

Steely Damned 2

Past Event

The Steely Damned 2

  • Sunday, December 29, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Music Box, 1337 India Street, San Diego
  • 21+ / $38

The Steely Damned II pays tribute to the music of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen with up to fourteen players at once, most often featuring Hank Easton alongside players such as Four Eyes frontman Marc DeCerbo, Kevin Esposito (trombone), Chuck Phillips (sax), Etoile Presnell aka Ruby (vocals), Gary Taylor (drums), Rob Gironda (keyboard), Doug Meeuwson (trumpet), Jim Reeves (bass), Tripp Sprague (sax, EWI, keys, percussion), and Doug Booth (guitar, keys, vocals). Guitarist Easton frequently performs a medley reproducing the guitar solos from several Steely Dan guitarists, including Larry Carlton, Denny Diaz, Elliott Randall, Rick Derringer, and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. This will be the band’s fourth annual holiday show, held once again at the Music Box, which is acoustically well suited for the large array of instrumentation, especially with so many of the players being showcased while playing iconic solo passages.

The Schizophonics

The Schizophonics

Past Event

The Schizophonics and the Creepy Creeps

  • Tuesday, December 31, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+

Even with numerous New Year’s Eve choices around town, it’s not hard to choose this packed local bill that includes the Creepy Creeps, Wild Wild Wets, Scary Pierre, and headliners the Schizophonics, fronted by married couple Pat and Lety Beers. The latter duo just played the NYC London Calling 40th Anniversary benefit on December 14, a benefit for the Joe Strummer Foundation featuring Debbie Harry, Fred Armisen, and Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello). Halloween saw the release (via Pig Baby Records) of their sophomore album People in the Sky, recorded with Dave Gardner (Hot Snakes, Rocket From the Crypt) and Stephen Kaye (JD McPherson). Singles have so far dropped for “Battle Line,” “Steely Eyed Lady,” “Something’s Got To Give,” and “The One I Want.” They’ll spend February and early March touring New Zealand with bassist Takumi McIntyre (formerly of the Cavemen), including appearances at Upper Hutt’s Obey the Riff festival and Tauranga’s Not Woodcock extravaganza. The Creepy Creeps - founded by members of the Locust, Struggle, and Tarantula Hawk - usually dress in mariachi clothes, with skulls painted on their faces. Wild Wild Wets, founded by former members of the Old In Out, calls itself “a party psychedelic rock band,” and Scary Pierre is a female fronted rock group featuring Black Hondo singer Lucina Gonzalez.

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