Record roundup with Avenue Army, Donnis Trio, Matthew Logan Vasquez, Sisster, Roger!, Winterhawk, Gary Wilson and more

Notes from the San Diego band new release bin

Avenue Army, out of Minnesota, plays Midnight Jack Brewing on Feburary 9.
  • Avenue Army, out of Minnesota, plays Midnight Jack Brewing on Feburary 9.

70s/80s cult DIY outsider Gary Wilson has enjoyed a renewed career since being discovered working at the local Jolar porn shop and having his eccentric but adventurous back catalogue reissued. Now a hot touring attraction known for his prop-filled performance art concerts, he has a new album called The King Of Endicott due February 8 via Cleopatra Records.

Past Event

Avenue Army and Justin Linn & the Rotations

Avenue Army, who relocated from Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2016, will play a release party for their Holding Steady EP at Midnight Jack Brewing on February 9. “Though not autobiographical in full, this album has undertones and themes dealing with alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and recreating one’s life,” says singer-songwriter Max Bergstrom. “Much of this album was written during periods of relapse and new sobriety. These are songs that are emotional, heartfelt, and strategically placed in the order that they are to run in chronological order.”

Past Event

Nate Donnis and Secret Lynx

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+

The acoustically inclined Donnis Trio will debut their full-length A Beautiful Life on February 20 at the Belly Up. “I recently have gone through a divorce, which certainly had an influence on my writing,” says singer-guitarist Nate Donnis. “Many of the songs on the album have this longing for hope after difficult times in life.”

Past Event

Kimmi Bitter and Nena Anderson

  • Thursday, February 21, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+

Oceanside singer-songwriter Kimmi Bitter (Night Howls) gives a California take on traditional country and soul with her EP release West Side Twang, which premiers at the Belly Up on February 21. All songs were recorded with a band live to analog tape at local Lost Ark Studio with engineer Mike Butler. "The roots of California country music go deep, though they are much neglected, and hence the name West Side Twang is all about bringing the elements of this genre to fruition," says Bitter. "The CD artwork features a cricket and horseshoe, both omens of good luck while simultaneously representing a western vibe, and desert roses, which is a titled song on the EP." Her band includes Willis Farnsworth and Ben Neal of the Night Howls, as well as Jody Bagley (Mrs. Henry, Cathouse Thursday), Cheyne Dolly (Wish & the Well, Shane Hall), Bob Ryan (California Rangers, Three Chord Justice), and Goodrich Pedals co-owner Kevin Ryan (California Rangers, Billy Joe & the Roosters).

Past Event

Matthew Logan Vasquez

  • Friday, June 21, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $13 - $15

Former Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez’s third solo LP, Light’n Up, arrives via Dine Alone Records on February 22. A single and video can be found online for the lead track “Trailer Park,” though Vasquez — currently living in Oslo, Norway — won’t begin touring behind the album until May, including a June 21 date at Soda Bar.

Past Event


The debut EP from techno-pop group Sisster premiers at Manhattan Bar on February 23. “After that, I’ll be packing my bags for Mexico City for a six month promo tour,” says singer-guitarist Viri Dimayuga. “Guests of honor will be my producers, Oingo Boingo’s bass man John Avila and Anton Soder, who believed in my music and what I’m all about. We’re planning a show with visuals and LED lights that are synchronized with the music.” The EP was self-funded. “A fun and morbid fact about those funds is that most of the money came from cemetery and mortuary sales, which is where I work at during the day.”

Past Event

Roger! and the March Divide

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Merrow, 1271 University Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+

Roger!’s EP Try drops February 26 at the Merrow. “Whereas most of Roger!’s past recordings have been primarily written by myself,” says Ernie Garcia, “this EP is much more collaborative, including songs written by Greg Irwin, Jay Lauterwasser, and Adam Robertson.” That lineup will perform the entire EP backed by stand-in drummer Greg Smith (Flowerthief, Falling Doves).

Also due in February is Gnomes & Badgers from Karl Denson's Tiny Universe (their first full-length in five years), as well as Rafter's album Terrestrial Extras (the first of a dozen Rafter LPs due this year), Winterhawk’s new CD Acoustic Rehab (Love Songs and Other Atrocities), a full-length from Chloe Lou & the Liddells, a self-titled EP from Hey, Chels which was engineered by Patrick Ryan Heaney (Cage The Elephant, Cold War Kids, The War On Drugs), jazz bassist Sean Hicke’s debut album Sunflower Sutra, and a new multicultural single from operatic electro-acoustic singer-songwriter Trishes (now living in L.A.), “Language,” previewing her upcoming Ego EP.

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