Dark Side of the Fun, Pt II

IMG_8766.jpgOcelot @ Lou’s Records Summer Fun 2015, photo by Steve Dahms

Meet four local bands steeped in heavy psychedelic blues and rock sounds, each with their own musical identity, yet connected by shared band mates.


Ocelot is fronted by lead singer Stephanie Brown’s smokey mezzo soprano moan. Guitarist James Upton delivers delicious blues riffage, Kyre Wilcox brings the bouncing bass grooves, keyboardist Evan Wenskay offers swirling synth lines and drummer Andrew Ware pounds everything into place behind the drums.

For the last two years this crew has been lighting the Belly Up on fire with their  crescendoing cosmic jams and they just released a powerful new self-titled EP. Don’t miss them 5 PM at Roadside Park on Saturday.

Sacri Monti

 Sacri Monti is Latin for Sacred Mountain. These five friends have elevated their guitar-centric shredding to a sacred craft. Their eponymous debut LP just came out on Tee Pee Records and it’s a loud and ripping affair. A lot of writers use the term “stoner rock” to refer to this new generation of long haired maniacs inspired by Earthless and 70’s guitar rock. We don’t think that’s a fair term. The tightness and complexity of their tunes would indicate that they practice as much as any jazz or classical musicians.

Dylan Donovan is on guitar, Anthony  Meier plays bass (also plays in Radio Moscow), Evan Wenskay is on keys/echoplex, Thomas DiBenedetto (also plays in Joy) pounds the drums, while Brenden Dellar sings and plays guitar. Catch them closing down festivities on Saturday night 7:30 PM at Roadside Park.


Monarch is another heavy guitar band from Encinitas made up of Matt Weis, Andrew Ware, Thomas DiBenedetto, Dominic Denholm, Nate Burns.

Taking huge influence from the Allman Brother’s Band and Wishbone Ash, these five gentleman have concocted their own groovy sound anchored by intricate guitar harmonies

Monarch is set to release their debut LP on the Portuguese label El Paraiso Records on July 29th. And like most of the other bands mentioned in this post, they have a strong following in Europe. Don’t miss their 5PM set at Priority Public House on Sunday.

 Amerikan Bear

Here’s the man they call Bear in the band they call Amerikan Bear. Steeped in early psych and soul sounds of the mid to late sixties, this dude is an animal on the mic. His ferocious and heart wrenching howls are in a class of their own. His mini psych-masterpieces even caught the ear of Alex Maas of Black Angels who is featured on Amerikan Bear’s most recent tune called “I Know the Story”.

Amerikan Bear is typically Bear on guitar/vocals,  Omar Veytia on 12-string guitar,  Andrew Ware on drums,  Conor Riley on keys and Daniel on bass. But Sunday 12:30PM (noon) at Ducky Waddle’s, Amerikan Bear will be playing a special solo acoustic set.

Come out and support these heavy brothers and sisters who are stirring up a great rock scene in San Diego.

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