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San Diego Music. It's All Around Us.

When it comes to the sports teams in town, San Diego may (or may not) have an inferiority complex. I realize I just pissed off a few die hard Padre and Charger fans out there with that statement, but I’m sure they’ll get over it because they always do. I don’t find the inferiority complex thing to be true for the San Diego music scene, but I’ve heard people talk over the years. It might make sense to the jaded few because just two and a half hours up the road, depending on how fast you drive, is perhaps the biggest city for music and entertainment in the country. Then there is us. We are the sleepy little Navy town mostly known for the fish tacos and imported Pandas at the zoo. Let’s face it friends… if you’ve seen one lazy Panda Bear, you’ve seen them all.

When I arrived to San Diego roughly a decade ago, I found out that there was so much to do and everything was relatively close. I turned 21 years old in March of 2001 and felt like I had hit some sort of jackpot. I was finally (and legally) able to get inside all the local venues and wanted to discover everything. I have Tim Pyles and Al Guerra to thank for that and all my musician friends around the 619, 858 and 760 at the time. My first exposure to the San Diego music scene included the Dragons, Scarlet Symphony, Gregory Page, Pinback, Ryan Ferguson, Black Heart Procession, Rocket from the Crypt, Buddy Blue and Karl Denson amongst others. Not bad right?

Flash forward to the year 2010. There are hundreds and hundreds of bands in San Diego and although it’s harder than ever to make it big with a record deal, the scene is just as strong as ever. There’s every classic genre and even some new ones that musicians here have created. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of Dubtech or Altronic music, but it’s out there and isn’t too hard to find. Local publications are still going strong too. The staff here at the Reviewer Magazine have always been actively covering the scene and we shouldn’t overlook the fact that EVERYONE seems to have a music blog these days. I love that.

Some music venues have stayed exactly the same over the years, some places have completely changed and some are simply not around anymore, but you can still find great live music anywhere and everywhere. You can go to the Tower Bar for Punk Rock, Tio Leo’s for Rockabilly, Soundwave for Reggae and the Casbah for just about everything else. There’s great Jazz at Anthology, Funk at Bar Pink, Turntablists at El Dorado, Metal at Dreamstreet and there’s always a new artist to discover at a local coffee place.

Even though there are over 3 million people here now, San Diego can sometimes feel like a really small town. Everyone knows everyone and we all have each other’s support when it comes to creating art. That’s why the scene here is strong. I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave this sleepy little fishing town of ours… unless of course I get myself a huge record deal and have to move to Los Angeles. Just saying.

-Mookie


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