Want to know which local bands are worth a $5 cover? Miss a great show at The Ken Club last night? Don't want to miss the next Neutral Milk Hotel show before they fade into obscurity? Head to the hyperactively ad-hoc land of blogs*.Hell, even CityBeat has one now (shamelessly, sdcitybeat.word press.com).
Created by those who know everyone everywhere they go in San Diego, blogs offer info straight from the keyboards of opinionated local musicians, promoters and insatiable fans-minus journalistic guidelines, financial backing and sometimes spell check, of course. Here's a rundown of San Diego's self-publishers who share their wisdom, free of charge, on "the Internets."
Blog San Diegoblogsandiego.comStarted: March 2005Avg. visits per month: 10,500Avg. daily updates: TwoTotal posts: 240
This expansive site is run out of Ocean Beach by musicians Eric Nielsen (Maquiladora, Buzz Or Howl, Lotus House Records) and Keith Boyd (High Mountain Tempel, with Nielsen). Included are thorough album and concert reviews, leftist political articles, free MP3s and a list of recommended shows. Along with several noteworthy contributors, they've teamed up with Lou's Records to include reviews from their expert staff. "The website is really a chance to work collectively with other great music writers and listeners to champion the unheard, to share what moves us musically and to come together in a forum," says Neilson.
Go there now: To read print-quality articles on topics like Nirvana's historical 1991 in-store performance at Off the Record (video included).
Cat Dirt Sezcatdirtsez.blogspot.comStarted: May 2006Avg. visits per month: 8,200Avg. daily updates: Three to fourTotal posts: 900
Cat Dirt is for those seeking straightforward information from an insightful local music insider. But if you don't "know people," some of it won't make much sense. Scott Pactor, local music promoter and owner of Cat Dirt Records (the label for punk band Fifty on their Heels), believes "a writer must advocate for the artists he/she favors or he/she is wasting the reader's time. Opinions matter." "I like that all the movers and shakers in the local independent music scene read my blog," says Pactor, who still considers himself a nobody, despite being the man behind events like Golden Hill Block Party, Sessions Fest and May Day.
Go there now: To get a very inside scoop on regular goings-on in San Diego music.
San Diego Dialed Insddialedin.blogspot.comStarted: November 2006Avg. visits per month: 3,690Avg. daily updates: One to fiveTotal posts: 390
A young site run by a veteran show-goer known only as "Rosey." If you've been to a show in San Diego, chances are you've rubbed elbows with Rosey waiting for a drink or been annoyed by her camera flash. But it's for your own good! Those photos, along with event reviews and a selective show schedule, end up on her blog. "If I could be in 15 places at once, these are the places I'd go," she says. The native San Diegan offers witty reports on newsworthy items and occasional gossip in a refreshingly inclusive forum.
Go there now: For a thorough "Things To Do" list for the "indie/wouldn't-be-caught-dead-at-On-Broadway types" and quality photos of sexy local bands with clever hair cuts.
Chick Rawkerchickrawker.comStarted: June 2004Avg. visits per month: 3,000Avg. daily updates: OneTotal posts: 1,228Total comments: 2,188
Lyn, a music-obsessed San Diego native, has amassed in-depth analyses of alt-rock radio and the local indie-music scene. "I compare the playlists of KBZT, XTRA and KROQ with other stations around the country to evaluate trends," says Lyn, who seems to have a penchant for Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse. "The radio posts came out of a probably unhealthy fascination with commercial alt-rock radio." Lyn also writes detailed accounts of live performances and personal travels.
Go there now: To keep up on new releases and hear MP3s from radio pop to obscure indies.
Baby Heismanbabyheisman.blogspot.comStarted: January 2007Avg. visits per month: N/AAvg. daily updates: One to threeTotal posts: 57
Jeremy Lang started Baby Heisman to fill a gap. A transplant from music-hogging Portland, the 27-year-old believes in our scene as well. "There's definitely good bands in San Diego... [and] no lack of people who want to create a great art scene. There's just some kind of disconnect there," says Lang. "When the list of local bands to go national is topped by blink-182, P.O.D., Louis XIV and Pinback, something's not right." To bridge this gap, he publishes interviews, show reviews, MP3s and personal insights.
Go there now: Because you shouldn't have to know what math-rock means to enjoy local music. Also, there's a great interview with Dustin Illingworth of Kite Flying Society.
* The opinions expressed in these blogs do not represent the views of this publication. Unless, of course, they sound really smart and clever.