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LIVE AT THE BELLY UP: The Drowning Men/ Candye Kane

Airs Friday, May 11, 2018 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Monday, May 14 at 10 p.m. on KPBS 2

Candye Kane performs live at the Belly Up Tavern.

Credit: KPBS

Above: Candye Kane performs live at the Belly Up Tavern.

San Diego has long been known as a hotbed of great musical talent. What’s more, San Diego is home to one of the best music venues on the West Coast. Since 1974, the Belly Up has been featuring great local bands from the Cedros Design District.

This episode features performances by The Drowning Men and Candye Kane:

Live At The Belly Up: The Drowning Men & Candye Kane


When The Drowning Men formed back in 2006, the product of a childhood friendship between Bardeen, Dolan and Eisenkerch, the idea wasn’t to make a career, but to make music. The band, who added Messer and Smith into the mix, musicians who were equally instrumental to the formation of the group, practiced at least three days a week and a self-released an EP, "Kill the Matador," in 2007.

Photo credit: KPBS

The Drowning Men perform live at the Belly Up Tavern.

The group’s debut album, "The Beheading of the Songbird," followed in 2009, again released on their own. Bardeen, a prolific songwriter who is always penning new tunes, was ready again with new music by 2010, encouraging the band to begin work on what would eventually become their second full-length, "All of the Unknown."

Now it’s clear that by making music The Drowning Men actually did make a career. Their gritty, thoughtful tracks revel in originality, something that is simply the product of five musicians creating something as one.

Photo credit: KPBS

The Drowning Men perform live at the Belly Up Tavern.

"All of the Unknown" inflates this further, evolving the music from the group’s past releases to embody grander choruses and involve bigger musical payoffs. But as the band prepares to tour extensively on the new disc, the music is still the underlying motivation.

“I just want to write songs and play them,” Bardeen says. “Hopefully people like them. But if they don’t, I’ll still write them and we’ll still play them.”

Connect with the band on Facebook.


Candye Kane believes the universe makes no mistakes. She doesn’t view a stereotypical patriarchal God seated on a velvet throne in flowing white robes granting wishes and deciding who will live or die.

Kane believes the universe, or your higher power or whatever you feel comfortable calling it, has already made decisions and already knows what you are capable of, long before you take your first step or have your first all night cry over the rejection of a girl or boy at school.

The universe has already strengthened you for the most radical endurance race of all...LIFE.

Photo credit: KPBS

Candye Kane performs live at the Belly Up Tavern.

In 1983, Candye was a teenage mom from the poor side of Los Angeles, it was welfare and food stamps by day, hard drug use and nude modeling by night, while at the same time yodeling and moshing alongside groundbreaking punk bands like the Circle Jerks, X and FEAR in Hollywood’s underground music scene.

To help pay the bills she appeared on the covers of Hustler and High Society, whilst peddling her cassettes of original hillbilly music to anyone who would listen along the Venice, California Boardwalk.

It didn’t take long before Candye signed a management deal with The Halsey Agency, the first agency to promote American music behind the Iron Curtain, she became close friends with Dave Alvin, Marty Stuart and Dwight Yoakum who wisely encouraged her to always be honest about her colorful past. "Be yourself Candye. It's what you're good at" said Yoakum.

Update: Candye Kane died after a battle with pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer on May 6, 2016.


Episodes of LIVE AT THE BELLY UP are available for viewing on demand.

Photo credit: Courtesy of ©2012 Daniel Knighton/Pixel Perfect Images

Exterior photo of the Belly Up, located at 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, Calif., 92075.

Belly Up brings the best in new, up-and-coming artists as well as established legends in genres ranging from alternative rock, rock, reggae, and hip-hop to blues, folk, jazz, Latin & more! Visit their online calendar of shows.

Belly Up is on Facebook, and you can follow @BellyUpMusic on Twitter.

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