Christmas Island Plays Casbah's 20th Anniversary Party

Christmas Island Live in San Francisco 2008 photo by <a href=
Christmas Island Live in San Francisco 2008 photo by Canderson
posted Monday Jan 19th, 2009

San Diego's music scene is a bit of a conundrum. Resident artists often scratch their heads at the lack of support and participation. All too often, seemingly prosperous shows feel more like an intimate living-room session. However, San Diego band Christmas Island has been able to set aside this obvious hurdle in order to be more productive in gaining a greater interest outside of Southern California's monotonous sunshine and blue skies. Coming off of a recent West-coast tour with The Intelligence and frequent local performances, Christmas Island have been more productive than ever. And their show tonight will quite possibly be their most important gig to date.

The Casbah, San Diego's most well-known venue, is celebrating its 20th-anniversary with a month-long schedule honoring bands that helped shape the venue's national recognition and the local music scene itself. Many of these bands, performing one-off reunions, haven't played together in more than ten years. Tonight's show, which Christmas Island is playing, will be the second of three consecutive shows marking the official return of San Diego's famed mid-90s Cargo band, Three Mile Pilot. Nearly a decade has passed since their last performance and their fans here have evidently missed them. All three gigs were sold out only days after being listed and widely agreed upon as the most anticipated shows for the Casbah's anniversary celebration. Following a successful and influencing ten year 'start', the members of 3MP decided to take a break to pursue various other projects. Pall Jenkins went on to front The Black Heart Procession and Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects. Within a couple of months, Zach Smith, along with Rob Crow, went on to create Pinback.

Christmas Island was hand-selected to perform along with other opening acts Kill Me Tomorrow and Calico Horse. Cool, right? Well, I'm sure no one is more excited for Christmas Island's performance tonight than their very own drummer Lucy Wehrly, who traveled two-thousand miles to see 3MP play the Touch-and-Go 25th Anniversary concert in Chicago back in 2007. A youthful new San Diego band by comparison, Christmas Island has an upcoming spring '09 release from In the Red, entitled Blackout Summer.

Kill Me Tomorrow is musically at the strongest point they've ever been, as they are fresh off a two week European tour booked around London's All Tomorrow's Parties. They are set to release two albums in 2009.

Calico Horse is the personal project of singer-songwriter Emily Neveu, former bassist for The Muslims. Enthralled by Neveu's voice, 3MP's own Pall Jenkins recorded Calico Horses's recent release, Mirror, from Banter Records at his home studio.

This sort of excitement within the San Diego community feels like quake tremors as it's hard to leave the house without hearing conversations in the distance revolving around how historic these shows are.

[Note the continuous cheering throughout last night's 3MP show posted below]

So, if you're at all tenacious and ticketless, I would advise you to stand outside the doors calling on all kinds of favors in order to get in. Or feel free to call the Casbah at 619-232-HELL and wish them a happy 20th Anniversary. Enjoy!