Your Sunday just got a whole lot more amazing, with a lineup of bands that is going to turn San Diego’s Soda Bar into a musical paradise. Continue reading Sunday Funday: Lime Cordiale hits Soda Bar
Every location, every situation, every scene has a “Best Kept Secret“. This past week, a friend said something to me that inspired the idea for this new feature. Each week, I’m going to showcase an extraordinary musician or band that is already doing big and amazing things with their craft. There are superstars in our very own backyard and we might not know it yet. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you in the loop, starting with the indie rock quartet Social Club.
I can still remember the day my mother gave me Coldplay’s Parachutes for Christmas.I remember squinting at the CD and thinking “Who is this?” The same could be said for Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane. Those were my first interactions with bands who would turn out to be amazing forces in the music industry. Everybody has a start, and just like the humble beginnings and initial “ah ha!” moments from those acts, San Diego has a few musicians who could inspire similar feelings of revelation. Little did I know, Parachutes was going to be a this-album-will-change-your-life kind of moment, and Songs About Jane is still a staple on my playlists to this day.
With that kind of introduction, enter So Cal rockers Social Club, the first band that I will feature in this series. When I heard their music over a year ago, I already knew that they were more than just talent. They had the kind of star power and energy that captivates you from the first listen. And in that short year, Social Club has managed to only further perfect their unique take on indie pop rock fusion, as seen on their debut album Gamma Rays. The smart rhythm sensibilities of drummer Jeff Litzman pulls the elements of the band together seamlessly; attention to detail soars through keyboardist Thea Tochihara and bassist James Spratley is right in step with the rhythm, driving the songs forward in an energy that is both listenable and danceable. (And yes, I said listenable. It’s a word and it highly applies in this case!)
Related: Sidewalk Serenades with Social Club
Add in lead vocals from John Levan, who sweetly croons in his upper register one moment while belting his heart out in the next, and you have a combination that I like to call sultry. Sultry is my absolute favorite quality in music, by the way. And Social Club is dripping with sultry goodness.
Their musicianship translates so well live that if you weren’t watching their instruments you’d swear they were playing the CD. And in this day and age, a band is only worth as much as it weighs live. Believe me, Social Club will not only command a stage, but also sound very good while doing it.
I would say I’m biased because I’ve had the chance to get to know these musicians over the past year, but I’m not the only one who sees and hears their talent. They were recently the winners of the MOFILM Texas competition, which sent them VIP style to headline an event at the South by Southwest Music Festival. But commendations aside, the music speaks for itself. Take a listen to Gamma Rays, available on iTunes, Amazon, and GooglePlay. Plus, you can get a free download of their single, “Slow Motion” via their website.
Check out this video for their song “Loosen Up”, produced by Helium Films USA.
- Minus the Bear with the New Limb: Indie Spectacular (theindiesd.com)
- ListenSD Episode 2 featuring Social Club (listensd.com via YouTube)
When we rolled a piano out onto the streets of San Diego with local band Social Club, we weren’t quite expecting what would happen next. These guys (and one gal) graciously offered to be the guinea pigs of Streetside Sessions, a video feature that you’re only going to get here on the Indie SD. At least, you’re mostly only going to get it here. You can always check out Social Club’s website to hear more from the amazingly catchy yet refreshing pop rock band, and try to catch a show or two since they’ve proven that it’s never a dull moment backstage with these guys.
Social Club opted to grace us with an acoustic performance of their song “Debris” and since it hasn’t quite been recorded yet, consider this an inside look into the beauty of the band. With an acoustic piano, bass, drum set, and acoustic guitar all out on the streets of San Diego, we shot this band with the backdrop of downtown in the distance – complete with the international airport’s aircraft overhead — don’t miss Southwest Airlines’ free promotion – you’re welcome, SW!
Green room full of feather boas, stage lights and sombreros? Check. Oddly placed hanging decorations on the walls? Check. Contraband liquor smuggled in backstage? Check. When you’re hanging with local San Diego band Social Club, it’s never a dull moment.
Watch the Social Club Interview video. Click the HD button to watch in High-Definition.
I honestly never thought I’d see the green room of PB bar Typhoon Saloon (nor did I actually think that they had a green room), but I have to admit I’m impressed. The props that are stored back there make it an interesting place already, and after adding a few lights, me and my camera-savvy friend Thierry corralled all of the members of Social Club together for what proved to be a very interesting interview.
It’s so easy to relax and have fun around Thea and the three J’s (John, James, and Jeff — and yes I mixed up their names at some point that night.) And dubbed one of the “prettiest” bands on their label, they’re not too bad to look at, either. On stage or off, all of the band members have a unique energy: John with his searing emotions in each lyric and each point he makes about the band; Thea with her gentle mysteriousness; James and the famous faces he flashes on stage – when he’s not smiling brightly from ear to ear behind the scenes; and lastly Jeff, the energetic adventurer of the group who probably doesn’t need that double shot of espresso in the morning: he’s just naturally that energetic.
Yes, you’ll see the typical questions but one thing is evident; this band is full of unique and diverse personalities that show in their music as much as it shows in their personal experiences. Their sound is a huge catchall of everything good that just somehow makes so much sense. So basically, if Dr. Frankenstein had created musical life by adding a bit of punk rock, a bit of mellow singer-songwriter, some modern age hip hop influences here and there and sprinkled it all with a pinch of classical background, the creation would have been Social Club — only way more interesting and much more beautiful. Maybe they haven’t been compared to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein before. I swear that comparison made sense in my mind.
Don’t leave it up to me to describe their sound. Listen for yourself!
“PLEASE do this more often!”
That was only one of the many things that were yelled out at pop-rockers Social Club, as we filmed for the very first installment of Streetside Sessions. If you don’t know what a Streetside Session is (or you can’t guess from the extremely obvious title), then hang tight, because a video will be around here soon. And when it does get here, you’re welcome to swoon and ahh at the brilliance that is performing on the streets of San Diego. To say this shoot was fun would be an understatement. The day was spent in Bankers Hill and included balcony-spectators, rolling compliments, and even a five dollar bill from the window of one woman’s car. Drive-by donations, anyone? The video isn’t here quite yet, but in the meantime, enjoy some behind the scenes shots of the shoot.
I know, I know, we are such a tease.
Click photos to launch full-screen.