BY: Huge Shark

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: *Waves a fin* Hi folks! Huge Shark (, here. San Diego is finally getting a little taste of winter, in the form of rain — but our weeks are still punctuated with a lot of sunshine and warm days. Bird migrations bring our backyards alive with birdsong, and the alternating rain and sun make for some impressive rainbows.

We recently had a taste of electronic music royalty here with a visit from the celebrated Suzanne Ciani, who after four decades of piano has returned to her electronic roots and has been touring with her Buchla modular synthesizer (the kind with dozens of patch cables, knobs and levers). She played a one hour live set on the Buchla in full quadraphonic sound — tones moved seamlessly “around” the dark auditorium, creating a sense of being enveloped by the music. Opening act was Laurel Halo, who augmented drone and white noise with her live rococo and free jazz turns on the piano and a talented experimental cellist. Both acts held the audience silent and riveted.

Winter is a great time to visit Ohio band Over the Rhine’s lovely Christmas album, ‘The Darkest Night of the Year.’ Generally branded as folk or Americana, Over the Rhine’s style encompasses singer-songwriter and even a bit of indie rock, particularly in their early work (Over the Rhine has been active since the late 1980s). But my favorite off this album is the drifting, ambient seven-minute “A Little Lower than the Angels,” the album’s gorgeous closing track. Turn down the lights, close your eyes and let this duo’s shimmering guitar work lower your blood pressure for a peaceful holiday season.

Until next next year,

Huge Shark