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"Locals Only"

Gossip from the local music scene
by Scoop Stevens

It’s a ’drag

“Sometimes in a place like San Diego, which has a lot of good music, we’ve caught ourselves saying, ‘Is this as good as it is going to be for us?’” said Lane Dawson, lead singer of Ricksha. “We play, we have fun, but we sometimes feel stagnant, waiting for the something bigger that other bands are getting here. We don’t want to feel that anymore.”

That’s why the band is headed east to one of the long ’n’ thin states for a chance to work with a musician who inspired them—Superdrag drummer Don Coffey. Ricksha will tape a major chunk of their next album at IndyRecorders, Coffey’s Tennessee studios. Dawson is stoked at the prospects, even if it means a marathon, four-day recording session.

“We were, for the most part, thinking locally, when someone mentioned Don Coffey had a studio in Knoxville,” he said. “We thought it was a long shot, but got in touch with him.”

Members of the band have been fans of Superdrag for years, covering their songs and using them as an influence in the writing process. “We think that Don has the ability to get us to sound like we are supposed to,” Dawson explained.

For his part, Coffey seems impressed with the band’s determination. “I figure any band that would travel that far, it shows commitment,” he said, noting that Ricksha probably shouldn’t be concerned with getting a hotel. “There usually isn’t much sleeping—passing out is more like it. And most folks can do that nearly anywhere.” www.rickshamusic.com

- City Beat

"Almost Famous"

Local rock band Ricksha recently recorded an album in Knoxville, Tenn. All five members of the group answered our weekly questions. But because we don’t have enough space, we’ll just show you the answer to one:

Q: What is your favorite album of all time? And could we tell by listening to your music?

A: Vocalist Lane Dawson says: “ ‘Dirt Floor’ from Chris Whitley. You may notice hints of it in the way I sing.

Drummer Adam Eidson says: “It would have to be one that I can listen to over and over again year after year. I’m going to say Tool, ‘Aenima.’ Just listening to those drum parts boggles my mind. I wish to say that you could hear that influence in my music, but I don’t think I’ll ever be that good.”

Bassist Brian Grover says: “Miles Davis, ‘Kind of Blue.’ When making the album,
Miles fired his jazz bassist and hired a rock bassist because the jazz bassist was playing too many notes. I guess he wanted more groove and less flash. This album has even more meaning now that I’ve fired my internal jazz bassist.”

Guitarist Barry Ligman says: “Wilco’s ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ comes in way up at
the top. I would love to think that one day someone could hear in my music anything
remotely close to that album. They have a great talent in introducing ideas in new and refreshing ways that reflect all the best genres of music.”

Guitarist Danny Medina says: “My alltime favorite albums are ‘The Bends’ by
Radiohead and ‘Slip’ by Quicksand. They both open a new world when you listen to
them. Each group attacks their songs in a unique manner, as if to say, ‘You know you’re listening to something really special, don’t you?’ ”

- San Diego Union Tribune


This San Diego-based quartet tapped Superdrag’s Don Coffey, Jr. to produce their latest LP. They’re an intense indie-rock band that’s deeply inhaled both the ‘80s SoCal punk attitude and early ‘90s grunge-pop (think Nevermind or Urge Overkill’s Saturation). With Nashville’s 8TrackEgo. Wed., 10 pm, Guitar Bar.

- Connect Savannah

"San Diego Music Awards: How one critic voted"

Ricksha – "Diamond Pressure"
Punk, metal and glam played with in-your-face enthusiasm and a take-it-or-leave-it air of defiance.
- NC Times The Californian

"Notes from the smoking patio"

For the second year in a row, indie-rockers Ricksha have been invited to perform at the Knoxville, Tenn., music festival "Hottfest." The Aug. 26 event is organized by former Superdrag drummer Don Coffey, who produced Ricksha's most recent album, Diamond Pressure. MS/ricksha.

- San Diego City Beat

"Ricksha at the Casbah"

Fear of Falling, Random Logic and Ricksha at The Casbah

A few weeks ago I went to The Casbah to check out a free show that featured three local acts. These free local-showcase types of nights happen rather frequently at The Casbah, usually on a Monday or Tuesday night. If you who want to support the local scene and keep your ears tuned to what’s new in San Diego, you ought to head down there sometime to check it out. You just might be surprised by the quality of what you hear. And did I mention that it doesn’t cost you a dime to get in???

I stumbled upon a particularly good line-up when I went to hang out with some friends who wanted to support another friend’s band. The first band to take the stage was Fear of Falling, a three piece that was slightly reminiscent of Chevelle. Their instrumentals were well put together, but there weren’t a lot of vocals, and what was there was not that impressive. All in all, they were a solid band with the potential to grow.

Next up was a band called Random Logic. These guys had well crafted songs with a fantastic front-woman. Their problem, in my humble opinion, was that they were going for a harder, Evanescence-like feel when the vocals were better suited for songs written in a more Cardigans or Sundays type of vein. The case in point was the final song of their set, where the rhythm section took a breather and the vocal melody practically floated over lazy, jazz-style guitar chords. It was by far their best song of the night.

Finishing the night off was Ricksha. I have known of these guys for some time now, but the last time I caught a show of theirs was probably at least two years ago. Man, have they grown. Their first song peeled the paint of the place with riffs that reminded me of two fairly well known San Diego bands, Rocket From The Crypt and Lucy’s Fur Coat. But their other influences come together to give them a sound that is definitely all their own. Their show is all about high-energy rock, and they kept it moving throughout their entire set, even while enduring some technical difficulties from the bassist’s rig. I was most impressed with singer Lane Dawson, who has superb command of his voice and uses it to great advantage.

Overall, Ricksha struck me as a Southern California band that just may need paying attention to. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have a working website with an updated concert calendar. (I couldn’t access it, at any rate.) So, keep an eye out for their name in the Reader, and catch a show when you can. And if you’re bored on a Monday or Tuesday night, head on down to the Casbah (http://www.casbahmusic.com/schedule.php) to see who’s playing. You just may end up highly entertained. For free.
- SanDiegoMix.com


Ricksha self titled 2003
Alien EP 2004
Diamond Pressure 2006



Ricksha is a high-energy indie rock band that draws inspiration from the grandiose punk rock scene that characterized Southern California in the early 2000's. But the band turned a deaf to that classic stereotype, while they fashioned musical tales of open-minded anecdotes regarding life in a complicated world. Vocalist Lane Dawson’s perceptive lyrics are brought to existence by the group's heavy guitar assault, which relies on conceptual influences from such bands as Queens of the Stone Age, John Frusciante, Superdrag and …Trail of Dead. It took Ricksha awhile to meld their signature sound. Their 2003 self-titled debut, only suggested the groups true potential. Many critics categorized Ricksha as just another California rock band, but the group's follow-up EP, Alien, turned most disbelievers into true fans. Alien was released to promising reviews in the band's native San Diego in early 2004, helping build a more loyal fan base. Danny Medina (lead guitar) and Barry Ligman (rhythm guitar) formed Ricksha as college roommates in 1998. Initially unnamed, the band began chasing a musical career in the early 2000’s when they teamed up with Lane Dawson (vocals), Brian Grover (bass), and Adam Eidson (drums). Having established an astonishing live show, as well as an increasing eclectic set list, Ricksha next released Diamond Pressure, recorded and produced by Don Coffey Jr. former drummer of Superdrag in 2006, at Independent Recorders in Knoxville, Tennessee. Diamond Pressure is a progressive, guitar-driven journey that has become their most acclaimed album to date and was nominated for Best Hard Rock Album at the San Diego Music Awards in 2007. “It’s as if we’ve been asleep and now we are awake.” says guitarist Barry Ligman, speaking of their creative energy and insatiable ambition to create lasting music. Upon touring regularly, constantly recording and playing locally, Ricksha is unified and poised to break into the national scene. With consistent radio play, featured artists profiles and frequent appearances in national music festivals, Ricksha is on the brink of something musically superb.