The scoop on places where you'll be catching shows in the futureBy Victor H. McLoughlin
What started with House of Blues almost five years ago is quickly reaching a saturation point with the unveiling of a slew of new live music venues. Sure, Scolari's Office remains in limbo, but North Park alone has seen three music venues pop up recently (U-31, Bar Pink Elephant and the newly renovated North Park Theatre). In Hillcrest, The Brass Rail has added a live-music night, while in City Heights, Beauty Bar is luring hot indie nationals away from The Casbah. And with more venues (like the ones below) on the way, it seems unlikely that your favorite band will skip San Diego ever again.
Voice 171 (171 14th St., Downtown)
Probably the most exciting development for CityBeat readers will be the new Voice 171. If the name sounds familiar, it's because it's Monica Hoover's new project. Hoover started up the Voice 1156 art gallery a few years ago but shut it down so she could focus on the new space. Located in the old Wonderbread Factory in East Village, Voice 171 is slated to be a café, art gallery and music venue all in one. Hoover says the venue portion (with a 350-person capacity) will focus on local music as well as bringing “new and inspirational bands to our town” while challenging “the industry folk to get political.” With two DJ booths, Voice could see some club-oriented nights. But with Angels & Airwaves (and former blink-182) frontman Tom DeLonge being an investor, expect the place to have some pull with up-and-coming indie bands. Set to open September 2008.
Folsom (207 5th Ave, Downtown)
Sure, it was cool having Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (of Run-DMC) and Black Eyed Peas perform on the roof of the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel, but it's the downstairs work-in-progress Folsom club where most of the live-music action will take place. Expect a club atmosphere with Hard Rock's corporate pull (read: money) luring big-name DJs, but the suits say they're also planning for intimate live and unplugged shows featuring both local and national bands. Set to open summer 2008.
Conrad Prebys Music Center (UCSD campus, La Jolla)
Certainly one of the most architecturally exciting venues, UCSD's new music center, featuring a 400-seat concert hall and professional digital recording studios, was designed by Cyril Harris (who created a little New York venue called the Metropolitan Opera House). Sound quality is expected to be state-of-the-art. “We hope this is going to be one of the best small concert halls in the world,” says Rand Steiger, chairman of UCSD's Department of Music. Although the focus will be on classical and operatic fare, audiophile artists like Wilco and Alison Krauss will probably also want to play there. Opening early 2009.
Unnamed Chula Vista venue (Third Avenue Village area)
The Chargers aren't the only ones making news in Chula Vista. San Diego's southern neighbor is getting a North Park-esque makeover, especially in the Third Avenue Village area. Although not set in stone, Vogue Entertainment—an Australian company—is looking to open a House of Blues-type hall in the downtown neighborhood that's already seeing a resurgence of independent and locally owned businesses. Tentative opening late 2009/early 2010.
HEAT-SEEKERSLock on to these San Diego bands. Now.
Calico Horse (myspace.com/calicohorsemusic)
Cosmo Speedway (myspace.com/cosmospeedway)
The Muslims (myspace.com/themuslims)
The Night Marchers (myspace.com/thenightmarchers)
The Paddle Boat (myspace.com/thepaddleboat)
Red Feathers (myspace.com/redfeathersblackgun)
The Sess (myspace.com/thesess)
Swim Party (myspace.com/swimparty)
The Vision of a Dying World (myspace.com/thevisionofadyingworld)