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Interview with local band Cast Caste


I did a little video interview with a new, local group called Cast Caste. I wanted to see what it is that keeps them playing music even in the face of adversity. In their case, this comes in the form of limitation on their practice space. They have resorted to practicing inside of a miniature room built out of sheets of foam in the corner of one of their bedrooms.

I joined them in the cocoon, as they like to call it, to shoot video and some stills while the practiced. There was hardly room for me to stand, and the heat quickly grew to an uncomfortable level. But in spite of these obstacles, the band members practice weekly and are in the process of recording an EP.

One might think it silly to venture on in the face of such discomfort, but I support them fully. These are the times that we will look back on through the fog of old age and smile at the life we once led. It is from rough beginnings that the most moving music arises. And it is damn good practice to be playing in uncomfortable spaces. Almost every space a musician performs in is bound to be excruciatingly uncomfortable in one way or another.

In some ways, it is one’s ability to perform and to deliver in spite of such frustrations that truly defines a consummate musician. The best performers and the best live shows I’ve seen are the ones where you connect with a musician who’s as engaged and excited as the listener. Looking back, I see that in all probability these shows that stick with me the most were not going off without a hitch. But the best artists can overcome and will give their audience what the want and find fulfillment in the energy they share with their fans.

Here’s Cast Caste:

Brice's drum set inside the cocoon.

Charlie starting up a sweat parade.

Download a couple demo tracks here:


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Thanks much good people.

Oh, also, I’ve been through a few different themes on this blog over the last couple weeks. I’m liking how simple and straightforward this one is. What do you guys think? I’m often tempted to switch to white on black, since I feel that it’s easier on the eyes. The only obvious reason that I can find for us to turn an entire screen into a light and then stare at it is that we’re used to reading off of white paper, in which case we should revolutionize and reject the black-on-white standard and save our eyes and our energy. Let me know what you think, I read ever comment carefully and sincerely.

Peace, good people.


w/ Marc B at the Clubhouse


We (the Chase McBride band) played a really fun show last night at the Clubhouse. We hosted a great musician named Marc B and his band. They played a really sick set, were very entertaining, and thoroughly cool guys.

They’re doing a little CA coastal tour right now and they joined us for a show at the Clubhouse. They’re blowing up pretty fast these days, and for good reason. Now’s the time to hop on the bandwagon. Please do ME a favor and check them out at: or

So thanks to Marc and his awesome band, thanks to everyone who came out to support the show, and thanks to Steve Key for booking it.


Marc B rockin' it at the Clubhouse. Photo courtesy of Lauren Gan

Also, Marc B has a show coming up in a couple weeks that is going to be absolutely stellar. He and his band are playing a show with Trevor Hall on Dec. 5.

This is momentous. For me, at least, this is momentous.

Trevor Hall is probably my favorite contemporary musician. He puts on an absolutely amazing live show and writes very stellar music. Also, he and his band are awesome people. If you ever see them live, make sure to drop by when they’re done and share a chat and hug before you go.

Unfortunately, there is a complication in my attending this show. We have our own show the same afternoon in Cayucos. Trevor and Marc’s show is roughly 3.5 hours away in Santa Monica and starts at 7:30. I still don’t know what time we’re supposed to play, but I know it’s in the afternoon.


If we finish playing by 4:00 PM, I plan to drive down for the show. It will require much driving, and much gas, but I give you a promise: This show will be worth it.

Some upcoming shows of the groups mentioned above:

Marc B

Nov. 21- IASL Benefit, San Francisco, CA

Nov. 24- Sandbar w/ Coy Bastards, Santa Barbara, CA

Dec. 5- Dakota Lounge w/ Trevor Hall, Santa Monica, CA

Trevor Hall

Nov. 17- Norva w/ Matisyahu, Norfolk, VA

Nov. 18- The National w/ Matisyahu, Richmond, VA

Nov. 19- House of Blues w/ Matisyahu, North Myrtle Beach, SC

Nov. 21- The Sound Garden, Baltimore, MD

Nov. 24- Northern Lights w/ Matisyahu, Clifton Park, NY

Nov. 29- 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN

Dec. 4- Rock the Resort- Hudson Valley Resort, Kerhonkson, NY

Dec. 5- Dakota Lounge w/ Marc B, Santa Monica, CA

Chase McBride

Nov. 18- The Pourhouse, Paso Robles, CA

Dec. 5- Surfrider Benefit, Cayucos, CA

So keep your fingers crossed for me. I haven’t been able to see Trevor play since summer, and I dunno how much longer I can wait.

Also just for fun, here’s us from last night:

Chase McBride band nice and cozy at the Clubhouse. Photo courtesy of Lauren Gan.

Thanks much, good people. Keep reading, keep supporting live and local music, and keep checking for updates. I’ve got some cool stuff in the works.


ALSO, Check out more of Lauren Gan’s photography.

Interviews outside of DTB


The Local Folk Scene


Many may not know that we have a folk “scene” but the fact of the matter is that there are people who work very hard to bring music in to this area. One of these people is Steve Key.

Steve hosts songwriter showcases and books numerous shows at small venues around SLO such as Linnaea’s and the Clubhouse. He hosts at least three shows a week, and usually hosts five. He simultaneously brings in artists on national tours and offers local artists a place to get on stage for a crowd.

If you’re interested in some good, relaxing music, make sure to get on Steve’s mailing list(you can find it on his website) and see what’s up.

Here are some upcoming shows:

CHARLES DUNCAN (Nov. 10 Clubhouse) has no website, or CDs in release, but
writes some of the catchiest ballads this side of John Hiatt.  In fact, Chas
has shared stages with Hiatt, Shawn Colvin and many more.  At the Clubhouse,
he’ll be joined by Bob & Wendy, Ted Waterhouse, Peter Yelda, Meredith Hobbs,
Craig Louis Dingman, San Francisco’s Jay Howlett, and Boston folkie Tom

LIZ STAHLER (Nov. 11 Pour House, Nov. 12 Porch) sells out concerts back home
in Boston, racks up wins at songwriting contests across the country, and her
songs are landing spots on such TV shows as Ghost Whisperer and The Unit.
For fans of Patty Griffin, Indigo Girls, Gillian Welch or Mindy Smith —
don’t miss Liz!

EVERY TUESDAY 6:30-9:30pm, The Clubhouse at This Old House, 740 W. Foothill
Blvd., San Luis Obispo, (805) 548-8500, all ages OK, full dinner menu
Oct. 27 Clubhouse showcase features Honeyguide, a very popular,
boundary-crossing folk/rock trio.
Guest performers include Steve Kindel, Paul Silva and Rob Strom of The
Woolys; Dan “the bartender” Miller, Loren Radis, Gary Garrett, Brent
Dannells, Carmine Terracciano, and Marcia Perez.

EVERY WEDNESDAY 7-10pm, The Pour House, 1331 Vendels Circle, (behind
Firestone Brewery), Paso Robles, 805-239-2868.
Oct. 28 Pour House showcase is a “bon voyage” party for local songwriter
Randy Fletcher, backed by Tennessee Jimmy Harrell and Rolf from Machine,
with special guest Ashley Hart.

EVERY THURSDAY 6:30-9:30pm, The Porch, 22322 El Camino Real, Santa
Margarita, 805-438-3376.  All ages OK, have a pizza!

Alright, so here is where I OFFICIALLY posit my claim:

Everyone should, at some point during their time in San Luis Obispo, do their best to make it out one of Steve’s shows.

They are a true example of grass roots, local live music, and should absolutely be supported and embraced.

Interview with Chase McBride


Check out this interview I conducted with local musician, Chase McBride. He’s a great musician with a growing presence in the community, and he’s funny too.

Also, I’m asking a favor of anyone who reads this. I am currently working on a potentially extensive rebuttal of a blog post which claims that there is no place for heavy metal in San Luis Obispo. I’ve set up a survey to collect opinions and quotations, so if you could pitch in, it would be greatly appreciated. It’s short and it’ll directly influence the quality of content on this blog in the immediate future, so do your part! Check it out here.

Another Visual Experiment

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A very, very full DTB

I went down to the DTB the other night to see a show. This was a show featuring a band called Minus the Bear, who appear to be far more well-known than I had previously realized. The Brew was packed to the brim, definitely a very sold out show. And for good reason.

The show was opened by Twin Tigers and The Antlers. I hadn’t heard of either band before that night, and to be honest was a bit disappointed. They had some common ground with Minus the Bear, but unfortunately the ground they shared was not the ground that attracts me to the headliner.

Both the opening bands lacked any meaningful sense of space and when I see or hear bands like this I just find myself lost in a sea of trebley distortion, residual cymbals, keyboards, and whatever else a band can find to contribute to what ends up being an overpowering flood of white noise.

The crowd, on the other hand, seemed very much on board with what the bands were doing on stage, so perhaps I am too picky.

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The first opener was a band called Twin Tigers. They claimed repeatedly to be from Athens, GA.

When Twin Tigers hit the stage, there were already a very substantial number of people in the building. To get that picture I had to zoom waaaaaay in and shoot over a shoulder and between a number of heads. It took a few tries.

I’ll admit that I was kind of jealous of the bassist’s Rickenbacker. Those instruments just look so damn classy.

Also, it appeared that there may be some kind of romantic relationship between the female bassist and the front man. They shared some telling forehead contact in the middle of a song. I imagine that makes for some interesting band politics. I wish them the best.

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The Antlers front man, Peter Silberman.

The Antlers were, in their live show at least, pretty inaccessible to me. They are a three piece. None of those pieces are a bass guitar. This always irks me and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m biased in this case.

As I mentioned before, I get overwhelmed by bands who don’t allow for any space. The Antlers really did me in with that. Keyboards, cymbals, and distortion going the whole time and I was down for the count. As a result of this, the songs all ended up sounding the same, which is another huge turnoff for me as a listener.

However, I felt that these guys deserved more than this bum review. They’re touring with Minus the Bear, which is a group I respect, so The Antlers must have something going for them

I have now listened to the album versions of their music. The recorded songs are chock full of space and contrast. They write good music. It’s just that their live performance did not do them justice. It’s possible that the issues were exacerbated by DTB’s small space. I don’t know. I’ve only seen the band once so I can’t make any sweeping conclusions. I just wasn’t satisfied.

And get a bassist. (sorry)

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Minus the Bear really rocked it. It's no surprise they packed the house. They deserve the support.

Let me first apologize for the above photo. The preposterous size of the crowd forced me to take refuge in an unreserved booth in the 21+ area. I was stuck in a position where there was literally no way for me to get an unobstructed shot of/including the front man. In fact, I could barely see the guy. Nonetheless, he sounded on point. It should be noted that he was sick enough to have cancelled a number of dates (thankfully not ours) and was STILL on point. Props.

Minus the Bear was high energy and very sound on the musicianship. They are able to very faithfully recreate their songs live with only minimal use of sampling and some very artful use of effects.

The guys are good.

To anyone who gets a chance, definitely go see these guys. They put on a show that is very worth seeing. If you’re not a fan, you will be.

Coming soon:

  • Steve Key and what he does for our community
  • Exclusive interview with Chase McBride
  • Local Band Night
  • Another Cal Poly Fanfest (not this coming weekend, but the one after)
  • Seeds of Hope Benefit (not this coming weekend but the one after)

Thanks to Old Flame Records for keeping me on point as to the whereabouts of Twin Tigers.

Really cool show. Cancelled.


Today at the Cohan Center, there was scheduled a show featuring Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain, and Edgar Meyer. I must say that I was unbelievably excited.

Bela Fleck is a true virtuoso banjoist. Zakir Hussain is arguably the best tabla player in the history of the world. And Edgar Meyer is a very gifted double bass player who has performed with just about everyone who is anyone.

I’ve been a fan of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones for quite a while, and a huge fan of Hussain for even longer. To be honest, I’m not familiar with the work of Edgar Meyer, but I’m most definitely about to look him up. If he’s good enough to play with Fleck and Hussain, then he’s good enough to play with just about anyone.

However, there has been a death in the family of one of the artists. Cal Poly Arts tastefully declined to state which family in their announcement regarding the cancellation.

Apparently the show will be rescheduled for an as of yet undetermined date.

I definitely hope so.