LIVE MUSIC: Ozzy madness, East of Sweden, a blues blast
by Bart Mendoza
Published - 10/10/12 - 02:24 PM | 5264 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fans of modern rock will want to investigate the music of East of Sweden, which performs at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 at The Griffin.                                   Courtesy photo
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The mystique of Ozzy Osbourne has been greatly diminished in the wake of his TV series and commercials with the likes of Donny Osmond, but there is no arguing that his music has stood the test of time. This accounts for the numerous tribute bands like Mr. Crowley, which performs at Brick by Brick on Oct. 12. Playing to packed houses, the group has a wealth of great songs to choose from, stretching back to Osbourne’s heyday fronting 1970s rock legend Black Sabbath, so fans can rest assured that on this night they’ll hear a set of Osbourne’s best-known tunes, from “Paranoid” to “Crazy Train,” played with the same manic energy as the original in his prime.

• Mr. Crowley performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 at Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave. 21 and up. $12.

Fans of modern rock will want to investigate the music of East of Sweden, which performs Oct. 12 at The Griffin. Heavy atmospheric guitars and melodic piano flourishes combine to make music that’s exhilarating and anthemic without falling into clichés, full of shout-a-long lyrics and instantly memorable hooks. Songs like “Faceless Crowd,” already favorites on local radio, prove that the band is stadium ready. All that’s needed is one lucky break to take them to the next level — the talent and songs are already there.

• East of Sweden performs at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 at The Griffin, 1310 Morena Blvd. 21 and up. $8.

Blues aficionados won’t want to miss guitarist Nathan James and the Rhythm Scratchers, performing at Tio Leo’s on Thursday, Oct. 18. Currently touring behind his new album, “What You Make of It,” James performs using homemade washboard guitars, giving his music a unique look, as well as sound. One of the lynchpins of San Diego’s blues scene, James’ versatility when it comes to blues music has made him a standard against which other players are measured, even backing renowned harmonica virtuoso James Harman. If you like the blues, you’ll love every second of a Nathan James show.

• Nathan James and the Rhythm Scratchers perform at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa St. 21 and up. Cover TBD.

Rock and reggae combo Split Finger hosts a CD-release party for its latest, as yet-untitled album, at the 710 Beach Club on Oct, 13. With its up-tempo beats, punk energy and horn section, Split Finger is the perfect party band, ready for a dance crowd or just someone looking for a good soundtrack to go with their night out. In many ways, the rock-reggae hybrid has become the sound of beachside San Diego and a good part of the music’s success locally is down to the crowds and good vibes put out by Split Finger.

• Split Finger performs at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the 710 Beach Club, 710 Garnet Ave. 21 and up.

Café-Bar Europa continues to highlight the best in local jazz with the addition of the Stefanie Schmitz Quartet to its monthly roster. Performing every second Sunday of the month, falling on Oct. 14 this go round, the band features Stefanie Schmitz on saxophone, Duke Allen on bass, Daniel Pryjmak on guitar and Tom Krajicek on drums. Best known for her work in Brazilian music, Schmitz plays a mix of standards and originals full of inventive arrangements and Latin rhythms. A multi-instrumentalist, Schmitz is a standout on percussion, drums, clarinet and saxophone, a woman clearly passionate about her music. Performing in numerous combos in addition to this quartet, anyone interested in jazz will find much to appreciate in the interplay between Schmitz and her musicians.

• The Stefanie Schmitz Quartet performs at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Café-Bar Europa, 873 Turquoise St. 21 and up. No cover.
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