Front Porch

  • Chris Faust: Tales from the Road

    Music promoter Chris Faust is a well-known face in the San Diego music scene, having worked with numerous local bands, including Skelpin, Circa Now, Left4Dead, and Electric Mud. However, go back just about five decades and you would find Faust working in another part of the music industry–as a touring roadie and, shortly thereafter, a […]

  • Gary Heffern: Where Sun Diego Meets the North Pole

    Question: who’s flying in from the tundra of Finland to visit the boys and girls of San Diego this winter? I’m sure many said “Santa Claus” because, yes, Santa does live in northern Finland. Don’t believe me? Just visit Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi in the Arctic Circle. But, unfortunately, “Santa Claus” is not the correct […]

  • Lester Bangs’ 70th Birthday Bash: Whatever happened to “Don’t trust anyone over 30?”

    The other night I dreamt of knives continental drift divide Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein, Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce, and Lester Bangs… –REM, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” So you have this brilliant writer. Sure, he has some problems. He has problems with the bottle and some chemical […]

  • A Passing Phaze with Scott Samuels: The Story of the Teen Rockers’ 1976 Single

    Circa 2018, Scott Samuels is a mainstay of San Diego’s music community, with combos such as Vinyl Pirates, Roxy Monoxide and Solitary Diamonds to his credit. But his entry into music came decades earlier, in his hometown of Skokie, Illinois. In 1976 Samuels and his teen rock ‘n’ roll band Phaze released what would be […]

  • Ira B. Liss’ Big Band Jazz Machine

    It is easy for Ira B. Liss to wax about his big band. “People enjoy what we do,” he says. “And it’s what I love to do, too!” Liss and his big band have been making music since 1979. And ever since its inception, the Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine has kept big […]

  • The Center for World Music Presents Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego

    The roots of American folk music stretch deep and wide, and indisputably tap into a myriad of worldwide cultures: bluegrass’ roots in Irish dance tunes, gospel’s in African call-and-response, Tejaño’s in German polkas, and on and on. The Center for World Music (, CWM) promotes performing arts from around the world, expanding intercultural awareness and […]

  • Checking in with Navajo Live

    Tucked away in the recesses of a middle-class strip mall on the edge of San Diego’s suburbs, Navajo Live has become a go-to music venue during a time when other, longer established local hangouts have been closing down or heading in different directions than live music. If there is a formula to the locale’s success, […]

  • Doin’ the Hambone with Slapjazz Danny Barber

    The man on stage is in a crisp pair of blue jeans and t-shirt. There is the large frame and the shaved head. The baritone quality of his voice fills the hall as he addresses the audience. The smile is warm and broad. Then Slapjazz Danny sits down in an ordinary armless chair. Microphones surround […]

  • A Chance Discovery Illuminates John Coltrane’s Search for Unity

    Developing an appreciation for the music of John Coltrane is almost a requirement for all serious musicians, students, historians, and fans alike. My contention is that this practice represents the ultimate reward in and of itself. Coming to terms with ‘Trane’s enormous contribution should not feel like work; rather, it is an enduring joy and, […]