“I had no idea this was the last time I would see Tomcat before his funeral.”
Photograph by Nick Abadilla
Thin chicken bone
Singer-guitarist Larry Teves aka Chickenbone Slim premiered his third album Chickenbone Slim & the Biscuits Sleeper at Proud Mary’s just before the Covid lockdown, February 7, 2019. “On the 8th, I played my last duet concert with the late Tomcat Courtney,” says Teves. “I had no idea this was the last time I would see Tomcat before his funeral.” With the outlets closing, Teves recruited Laura Chavez (Candye Kane) and Marty Dodson (Kim Wilson), as well as longtime Biscuit Andrew Crane, for new recordings. “The Biscuits dug out new written material before and during the lockdown. As the restrictions were relaxed, the rehearsals tightened up the new songs. The first live performances were concerts on the porch of Normal Heights. This led to concerts in Little Italy and open-air concerts in the opening halls, a recording session at Greaseland Studios, which resulted in a completely original new album, Serve it to me hot, and sign with Vizztone Records.
Their recent performance at the San Diego Music Awards show featured the record’s lead single, “Wild Eyed Woman.” “The last song I wrote for the album was ‘City Girl’, based on lyrics that Tomcat told me he was working on. He inspired me, and that’s what I wrote the song about. Serve it to me hot will debut on December 2 with a launch party at Tio Leo’s in Bay Park.
Dewey defeats Truman
Formed in the late 1990s by members of Red Dye No. 5 and Luper, Dewey Defeats Truman opened for groups like Jesus Lizard, Archers of Loaf and Kelley Deal. Their Silver Girl Records label has teamed up with El Enojado Hot Sauce to release Serpent’s Kiss Hot Sauce, a special edition of the brand with a mild pineapple and habanero pepper flavor in a five-ounce bottle, launched concurrently with rock band indie / emo EP The way you break yourself. San Francisco’s El Enojado Hot Sauce is directed by San Diego indie rock veteran Kevin Chanel (The Front, Fern Trio). “The band were burning bottle after bottle of El Enojado during our immersive songwriting weekends,” said singer-bassist James Reader, “so when Kevin reached out and asked if we wanted to collaborate on our own flavor, we were delighted. ” The way you break presents seven new songs, five of which are available on a limited edition, hand-screened 12-inch clear vinyl. It follows a two-song seven inch released earlier this year, Always wait in the wrong line, with the group’s first new studio recordings in about 20 years, “Bumped” and “Broken People”. A music video is being broadcast online for the track “Slow Reaction”.
Singer-guitarist Bart Mendoza first rose to prominence in the region with Manual Scan, formed in the early 1980s. The first line-up consisted of Mendoza on vocals and guitar, and Kevin Ring on guitar and singing. Over the course of several formations, the core of Mendoza and Ring released a series of singles and an album which was released in the United States and England in 1986, as the group toured extensively in California and Arizona as well as ‘in Mexico and England (the 100 Club and the Chapiteau, among others). Manual Scan eventually evolved into Shambles, Mendoza’s oldest music company, always with Ring by its side. Their songs still retain that ’60s sound, albeit more powerful, a la Nick Lowe or Oasis, and they have a vast repertoire of eclectic covers (Badfinger, The Zombies, unreleased Beatles bootleg tracks, etc.). Mendoza has just released their first official solo EP 66/68, released via local Pacific Records and European label Snap !! Recordings. Mendoza covers four classic songs that were originally aired between 1966 and 1968. The tracks have been recorded over the past two decades for various projects that never came to fruition, including “Different Drum” (inspired by the Linda version). Ronstadt & The Stone Ponies), “Happy Together” from the Turtles, “Beechwood Park” from the Zombies and “Sunny”, originally from Bobby Herb.
Guitarist Anthony “Tone” Catalano (a former MTV and VH1 audio-video engineer) and drummer Celeste “CC” Spina (a Chicago-born cook and former bartender at True North Tavern) from Little Hurricane are a bluesy boy-girl. rock duo with influences ranging from the obvious (White Stripes, Black Keys) to groups such as Dead Weather, Bob Dylan and BB King. Catalano was once a sound engineer at Le Mobile studio in Carlsbad and worked with artists such as Gwen Stefani, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica. After winning Best New Artist at the 2010 San Diego Music Awards, Little Hurricane cleaned up the 2011 ceremony with the trophies for Album of the Year and Best Alternative Album (both for Wrecker) and Best Alternative.
their full length Gold fever won Album of the Year at the 2014 SDMAs and the duo’s fourth studio album Love Luck was nominated for Best Blues Album and Album of the Year at the 2020 San Diego Music Awards. They will appear at the Music Box in Little Italy on Friday, November 19.
Nights like thieves
Founded in 2016, Nights Like Thieves stars Mario J. Rivera, who moved to San Diego after leading Albuquerque’s Left Unsaid, alongside Steve Smith, Scott Vincent and Franky Guzman. Rivera’s comedic hip-hop group Monster Paws was heard on Jersey Shore, the real world, and in a Ford commercial. Citing influences such as Deftones, At the Drive In and Sunny Day Real Estate, their debut EP Turn on the fuse and run was released in 2017 via La Escalera Records. Their third EP, The forgotten, dropped last year, while last October saw the release of a six-track EP titled Better late than never, mixed and mastered at the Joe Marsh Recording Studio in England. A new music video recently made its online debut for their track “Follow Light” which stars Nathan Leone of Chicago alternative rockers Madina Lake. Additionally, their YouTube channel posted live rehearsal videos, including a recent clip of them performing on “I Collide”. Nights Like Thieves will play at the Casbah on Monday, November 22, as the opening act for New Jersey rockers Can’t Swim.