In spite of the naysayers, those in denial or the just plain blind, San Diego currently has one of the best music scenes in the country. And despite proclamations of "cultural wasteland" and scenesters moaning about how the L.A. scene is more active and the New York scene is cooler, there's never been a better time to be a music fan in San Diego. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. Our people support local musicUnlike in other cities, where you need to know somebody who knows somebody, it's not that hard to get a gig here. Whether you're talking local clubs, record labels like Swami and Art Fag or promoters like Tim Pyles and Matt Spencer, our local music community knows the great new artists and wants to support them.
2. The kids are all rightS.D. got pigeonholed as a pop-punk mecca in the late '90s because of our very supportive youth. The kids support local music. Whether they're playing a house party in Jamul or a sweating at the Che Café, bands like Kite Flying Society and Delta Spirit are reaching out to kids because they know they will be their most loyal fans.
3. We're in the right spotIf you're a band from Wichita, you gotta make a helluva racket to get noticed. S.D. is a nexus of marketability in that we're not that far from L.A., hours away from Vegas and minutes from a different country.
4. You can see the showI love it when people bitch about the crowds at shows for some hot new national buzz band. Hey, be happy you're even there! In supposedly cooler places like L.A. and New York, you wouldn't even be able to get into the show without blowing the doorman or lining up at 10 a.m. Here you can show up at 10 p.m. and keep your knees clean and the show still won't sell out.
5. Rain-or-shine doesn't applyEver check out a show in the pouring rain at The Gorge? It sucks. The only warmth we need at Open Air Theatre or Coors are maybe a sweatshirt and a hot date.
6. Whatever you like, we got itThere's a reason there's no punk scene in Nashville and no country scene in New York. Here, the population is transient-and the scene has become an extension of that. Hell, a country band might even be playing the same show as a punk band, which brings me to...
7. Our musicians don't compete; they collaborateGrand Ole Party's Kristin Gundred mentioned that one of the reasons the band moved here from San Francisco was that San Diego bands supported each other. For examples, look at Black Box Recorders and Louis XIV Studios (where Grand Ole Party recorded some demos)-places run by bands for bands. Just because they're similar, doesn't mean they're trampling each other for gigs.
8. We do have a hip-hop sceneBut lucky for us, it's underground, which means the scene grows more organically and collaboratively. Groups like Deep Rooted and South Psycho Cide and The Upstarts are just some recent examples of what the scene has to offer (and it's getting better).
9. We're legendaryAsk a music snob in Portland what he thinks of the San Diego scene, and you'll be surprised how often you get a story about how a Rocket From the Crypt, Three Mile Pilot or Drive Like Jehu show changed their life. More than pop-punk or beach bums with guitars, San Diego is legendary for its hardcore scene. And like L.A. and D.C. back in the day, our past and current scene is influencing aspiring screamers the world over. Best of all, there's more to come (see Batwings, Sirhan Sirhan, Waco Fuck, etc.).
10. CityBeat is hereSure, we'll interview Isaac Brock when he comes to town, but our music dicks are always crawling the clubs looking for locals to believe in, as seen in this issue.