If you’re single this year, don’t fret. Not everything is about chocolates, champagne and cheesy cards. There are a slew of amazing shows happening in San Diego, and you need to check them out. Who knows, maybe the person of your dreams will be waiting in the crowd? (Too cheesy? Yeah, let’s just focus on the music.) Continue reading Forget Valentine’s Day: Here’s what you should do this week
To all the haters who call Lorde awkward, weird, or unusual: Go back and watch her performance, any performance, and take a second look at what makes her a really fascinating artist. Continue reading Lorde may be a picture perfect performer
It’s almost guaranteed that you’ve never heard of Luke Pickett, despite his immensely smart lyrics, flawless vocal range, and impressive aptitude for R&B. But after years of silence comes a new EP from this artist, and hopefully his under-the-radar music is about to come out into the spotlight. Continue reading The Theme Song This Week is mini JT, Luke Pickett – Free Download
Time to clap your hands, stomp your feet, and harmonize along to catchy songs that will instantly melt your heart. San Diego Music Thing is offering a multitude of musical genres in tonight’s shows, and this one is sure to please all the folk/indie pop fans out there.
Baywood, Denison Witmer, Trouble in the Wind, others at Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge – Friday September 13th
I cannot stop singing and humming this tune by Baywood, a perfectly quirky and perfectly catchy duo that is mastering their medium of folk pop. If the lyrics don’t warm your heart, then surely the happy melodies of “Gotta Get You” will. The song title is wildly appropriate, since I feel like they got me as soon as I started listening.
Denison Witmer is just as alluring, with a mellow almost bluesy tinge to his songs, reminiscent of Elliott Smith or Sufjan Stevens . His sultry voice will soothe you as you fight the urge to start singing along with mesmerizing melodies. In fact, don’t fight the urge — I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a lovestruck audience as vocal backup!
A perfect lineup of local favorites will also be on stage tonight, including Trouble in the Wind, who incorporate banjos and a lively attitude to their set. So make sure you check it all out at Clare de Lune Coffee Lounge!
For more information on the San Diego Music Thing, including the full lineup and how to buy tickets and passes, check out the official website.
The world could use a little more guitar, and pop rock project Viv and the Revival agree. According to the artist’s social media pages, he introduces himself as Viv and labels anyone who enjoys music as “The Revival.” What revival is he referring to exactly? A modern restoration of rock, perhaps? The answers may lie in his latest album The Introduction, out October 8th, which features that trademark sound of riff-inspired music with catchy, poppy melodies and themes. The album definitely offers upbeat, energetic danceability (that better be a word!); and while it leans more on the pop side than any other genre, the heavy influences are still mixed in here and there across the album. And all of this comes from a musician who very humbly accepts and appreciates every one of his fans, which makes me want to say, “rock on, revivalists!”
The Indie writer Toni Rivera spoke with Viv from Viv and the Revival about his upcoming new album and what the current music industry means to a rock artist like himself.
TheIndieSD: What is your favorite song that you have recorded?
My favorite is probably “Criminals” which is on my new album “The Introduction”.
TISD: You have a new album “The Introduction” coming out on October 8th. What should we expect from the album? How will it allow us to get to know you and your music?
It’s a big record with a lot of universal themes in it. Everyone can relate to the lyrics and see themselves in the songs. I poured my heart and soul into this album and the things I talk about are very important to me, so the lyrics will allow everyone to get to know me.
TISD: How was it recording the album?
It was an adventure. I learned so much about music and songwriting throughout this whole process and grew a ton as an artist. I became a different person since the completion of this record.
TISD: If you could create a duet or collaboration with any artist/band, who would it be? Why?
My number one would have been either Michael Jackson or Bob Marley, but from all of the amazing people out now, maybe someone like Adele or 30 Seconds to Mars. They’re just so talented and I really admire the message in their songs.
TISD: What inspires you to create music?
Everything inspires me. Everything about life and the world makes me want to be creative and say the things that are on my mind.
TISD: How do you feel about being a musician in today’s world?
It’s a really special time I think to be a musician. Things have changed but there is so much amazing music at everyone’s fingertips. You can find 50 new bands everyday that you end up loving. I do wish that live shows still had as much importance as they did back in the day. I think that’s where you really get to know and understand an artist or band, when you see them bare their soul live.
TISD: What things do you take from your personal life and put into your music?
I don’t write about personal things, but I write about universal topics that matter to me. Topics that everyone can relate to. I’m sure a lot of personal things end up coming out somehow though on my songs without me even realizing it. It’s like subconscious therapy.
TISD: There are a lot of things going on in the world and some artists are taking on these themes, such as Macklemore with his song about same sex marriage and Boyce Avenue with a song about suicide. How do the things going on in the world affect you and your music?
Everything affects my music. I try to be open and compassionate, and once you let your guard down, you’re vulnerable and can truly write from your heart.
TISD: Do you remember your first concert? How did it affect you?
Well my dad is a professional drummer so I’ve been going to concerts since I was a little kid. The first big concerts that I went to were in high school, seeing Tom Petty, Incubus, The Used, a bunch of bands. Every time the lights went down right before the show started, I would get these chills and goosebumps and I would just say to myself, “you have to do this!”
TISD: How do your fans impact you?
My fans are amazing! They have supported me from the very beginning and have grown and changed along with me. They’re the reason why I do this.
TISD: What’s one thing you would want to say to everyone who’s supported you?
From the bottom of my heart, I can’t even thank you enough for the support! It truly means the world to me, and I don’t know where I would be without all of you, so thank you!
Now with four EP’s under his belt, national television recognition, and a full-length album released soon, Viv and the Revival is set to leave a mark this year. According to his bio, when asked about his Revival, Viv stated:
“I was feeling rundown with music and was searching for something. When I found that passion reignited, it felt like a revival for me – a new start and it was super important for me to get that message out. Every day, you can achieve whatever you want to, be who you want to be, and do what you want. There’s no limit to how good someone can be. This is the Revival. We’re all here to make a big noise. We’re all here to shake things up. We’re all here to change the world. This is your moment, this is your time, this is your world, and this is your Revival.”
How did I not know about this until recently? Who was hiding this amazing musical event from my ears? Despite floating around the internet for weeks now, I’ve just recently learned of Tears for Fears‘ cover of Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start”, and it is glorious. Eargasm overload. Or maybe I am a bit overzealous, but seriously, this cover caught my attention immediately and now I can’t get it out of my head.
Related: Will Arcade Fire dominate again?
Tears for Fears is already a timeless force to be reckoned with, as they continue to have a strong fan base and have even helped to inspire such artists from Kimbra to Kanye West. But to hear their recent venture really reminds you that this 80s group is the coolest ever in any decade.
More surprising covers: The sweet cover of Of Mice & Men
They chose a perfect song, and T4F is able to pull out some of the beautiful moments of Arcade Fire’s melody, while adding in their own playful, unexpected air that the New Wave duo is known for.
But don’t read into it too much. Just listen and try hard to keep your mind from exploding.
Previous Tunes of the Week:
Continuing to place its stamp on the SD music scene is Sleeping Giant Music, San Diego’s only licensed music agency, who just launched a premier recording facility following their open house on August 21st. The grand opening featured tours of the state-of-the-art facility and even prizes to win free studio time.
Designed by SGM co-founders, Freddie Hard and Mike Beltran, Auralex Acoustics and Professional Sound and Music, this has been a long standing dream for the music industry veterans.
“We book over 350 shows locally a month and all these artists were working out of their home studios. We realized there was a demand for a recording studio with a professional quality live and control room,” said Mike Beltran.
For more information regarding control room and live room specs, along with studio rates, please visit www.SGMstudio.com.
For those of you who have ever wondered what it would be like to have your own site dedicated to the music scene of San Diego, I have one word for you: Exhausting! That’s the first word that comes to mind, but trust me, that’s not the only one. I can also say that this site is fun, inspirational, and even downright surprising at times. Through hard work and dedication one can get so much done, and see so many things, and I’ve definitely done that over the year.
But there’s a problem. There’s a big stain on my site lately and I’ve been totally lacking in elbow grease. Let’s say that my inspiration is the elbow grease — so you get my drift. I got too roped up in all the opportunities that this site brought about and I worried too much about pleasing everyone else. I realized that at the end of the day this is MY project, and thus I have to start thinking of it in that way.
I thought long and hard about all of the things that bring me inspiration, and I thought about all of the articles I have posted on the site over the course of the past year. Yes, it will be a year on November 21st, since I created my dot com. I know it’s a little too soon for New Years-like nostalgia, but just stick with me for a moment. I thought back and I realized that I had the most fun, the most inspiration, while working on two projects. The first was a piece I did on my friend’s project, Immovable Objects. I sat in the studio with Matt Gagin and his friends, and I learned so much. I witnessed their dedication and talent, and I got to dive right into their musical world. It was enlightening to be let in on such a process.
The second thing was the shortly famous Streetside Sessions. My most views ever on this site came the day after I posted that video. I remember I could hardly contain myself, as I kept having to push back its debut date on the site. I just wanted to share it already! Not only that, but being on the streets of Bankers Hill, listening to a San Diego musician play their songs for their entire neighborhood to hear, was magical. I watched people come out of their balconies to sip a cup of coffee and just listen and admire. I watched passerbys stop to ask insightful questions, and one person even offered a tip! To say that the project was a success would be a severe understatement.
Those were my two favorite moments of theIndie SD, ever. Now I invite you all to help me turn over a new leaf.
Help me help musicians, local musicians, people who want to share their music on a street corner, or conduct an impromptu concert in a park. People who want to genuinely share their love for creation and art. Tell me which bands you think should be a part of something like this. I seriously want to know.
And more so than that, tell me what you want to see on a local music site. What do you not want to see? What kinds of things have you always wanted to do with the San Diego music scene? I know it sounds like I’m just stealing your ideas, but what I want is everyone to have the chance to be a part of this. Music is a community event. It’s something to be shared and experienced, whether you play an instrument or not, whether you sing like an angel or croak like a frog. Consider all of you guys and gals, all of you out there reading this, cordially invited to be a part of it. Come into studios. Sit down with others and learn about their music. Head bang at local music shows. And yes, listen to some great, amazing musicians, playing on the streets of San Diego.
Because at the end of the day, I get absolutely nothing out of this site, no money, no fame, nothing — except fun. I’m profiting off of inspiration. And I want to share the profits with all of you. Here are more than a few ways to reach me, there’s also a comment form, and please don’t be shy! This isn’t just my music scene. It’s all of ours. And we all get to be a part of this creative process, don’t we?