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Local San Diego Talent Goes Big Time

Do you think music defines an area? I do. I mean, certainly some would agree that the grunge scene of the early 90’s would be indicative of the perhaps gloomier surroundings of the Pacific Northwest. Consider the soul-panged anthems that mimicked the gray skies and endless drizzle. You know, the ones that portrayed their youthful rejection of mainstream and sun-soaked America, preferring to venture off alone down an excessively flannelled and dismal path.

If my theory is correct, then what would that mean for the San Diego music scene? How do you write about adolescent angst and soulful recriminations when the sun beams wrap around you like a gentle hug and the salty-sweet air is filled with the wondrous keen of frolicking toddlers who tentatively test the joyful rhythms of sibilant surf?

Not to fret, fellow Angster, even here in “America’s Finest City” you can still find the darker and more contemplative talents of local musicians.  Albeit, our homegrown varieties might have a healthier glow to their skin than our pallid and pessimistic neighbors to the north (and fortunately for us, we can find them right under our sandy feet). 

Here’s a sampling of bands that not only embrace San Diego’s unique flavor, but have surprisingly profound lyrics, enough to make you reach for that old flannel from your closet and take a second listen.

Sister Speak: How is it that such a big sound and bigger, deeper soul-searching feelings could come from two mere women?  Trust me, it can and it does.   Listen to their track, “Mountain Song” and let your mind wander off to the mountain tops, heed the message to venture out, shedding sins and expanding your conscience to include following nature’s siren song of redemption and inner peace.  Catchy acoustical rifts and steady bongo/drum beats will lull you from your office cubicle and off to find the lamented pools of muddy waters.  Band members include; Sherri-Anne: Vocals/guitar, Lisa Viegas: Drums/Cajon, Tolan Shaw: Lead Guitar/Harmony Vocals, Collaborations with various artists on varying songs. 

Miss Erika Davies: Talk about a trip down memory lane, as in following in the heels in the likes of Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline, Miss Davies captures the essential crooning heartbreak of soulful singers of country’s past with her simple yet heart-rendering song, “I Love You I Do”.  The very versatile songstress also includes a jazzier version with her duet rendition of “Dream a Little Dream”. 

My American Heart: What if there was a band with a quirky youthful appeal, crunchy beats and lyrics to match? And what if they were local as well? Well then, check out ”The Shake” by My American Heart, trust me it will bring you back to those agonizing high school days when your heart thudded like a herd of water buffaloes every time you passed by that unattainable crush in those crowded hallways, your unspoken declaration of undying love that yearned to escape from your quivering lips, resulting in the raw pain of misguided affection.  Yikes! Now how do I get John Cusak and his boombox out of my head! Easy, fool, go download a few of their tunes and listen until Peter Gabriel and those eighties sounds fade from your mind like the distant memories of silver DeLoreans and dyed-pink mullets, above all, resist pulling out that old yearbook.

Yes, San Diego has the dubious distinction of just being ‘too nice’.  However, happy and pleasant doesn’t need to transfigure into frivolous, sing-songy little melodies, it can come in full-bodied, savory and rich musical translations, drawing upon our common human perspectives of love and loss. 

Come check out what’s hot in S.D., chances are you’ll become a quick and devoted fan, lauding the unique mix that sand, surf and soul bring to the music table.

After all, Kurt Cobain might have flannel… but we have lycra! :D

Greg Davis is highly interested in all aspects of music. He’s a more than casual listener who enjoys working in the music industry as a writer and stage hand at various events. When not working or writing about music he can be found dancing at local concerts and shows hosted by the best San Diego DJ.

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