The San Diego Music Award nominations were recently announced. Of course folks are quick to point out glaring omissions, heavily favored SDMA mainstays, and cases of “what the…?” category designations. I’d prefer to focus on warm fuzzies for my personal favorites and get pumped for a night that will hopefully be more about community and less about competition (or acting too fucking cool for all of it).
Hey, a girl can dream, right?
In celebration of these nods this month’s preview of upcoming shows features many of the SDMA nominated bands I’m most excited about. If you’re not familiar with some of these cats, this would be a good month to get yourself acquainted. Then get your music-loving buns down to Humphrey’s by the Bay (rad venue) for the 2013 San Diego Music Awards on October 9. More info here.
Wednesdays – Jazz Jam Sessions at Seven Grand. These weekly sessions are led by world-class trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos. Many of the SDMA nominees for “Best Jazz” and “Best Jazz Album” frequent these rousing nights filled with killer jazz tunes and fueled by craft cocktails. Stop in and you’ll likely see multiple nominees share this stage including Joshua White, Rob Thorsen, Steph Johnson, and, of course, Mr. Castellanos himself. Free. 9:30 p.m.ish.
8/10 – Gloomsday, The Paragraphs, and Chess Wars at Soda Bar. The Paragraphs‘ album +/- is up for the SDMA for “Best Rock Album.” Their set at Soda Bar will likely feature tunes from that solid record along with their wealth of new material – all of which I love. Also on the bill are the rocktastic Chess Wars who are up for “Best New Artist” and “Best Blues Album.” “I’m stoked,” said drummer Jake Najor, who also garnered nominations with his bands Lord Howler, and The Styletones. “And [I’m] just as happy for my friends’ bands that were nominated as well.” His hard-hitting work alongside singer/guitarist Dustin Lothspeich is sure to kick your Saturday into high gear. Another duo, Gloomsday, close this one out and I’m pumped to finally see them live. Highly recommended. 8:30 p.m. $5.
8/16 – 18: San Diego IndieFest featuring Cake, Best Coast, Talib Kweli plus locals Social Club, Gilbert Castellanos , Oliver Trolley and more at the NTC Promenade. Pop-indie-rock group Social Club is nominated for “Best Music Video” and “Best Alternative Album” for their debut Gamma Rays. They are currently in heavy rotation for me (ahem, shameless promo). Another SDMA darling playing this three-day festival are The Heavy Guilt, who are nominated in four categories including “Artist of the Year” Set times vary. $62+.
8/17 – Boy King CD Release with The Burning of Rome, Gloomsday, and Hills Like Elephants at The Casbah: Boy King‘s release show is stacked with SDMA-recognized talents including the royal trio themselves. BK is up for “Best Hard Rock Album” this year for their debut 1. Headliners The Burning of Rome are contenders in three categories including “Artist of the Year” and Hills Like Elephants latest album Feral Flocks is up for “Best Rock Album.” This show promises to be loud, gritty, and wild with the added bonus of Gloomsday in the Atari Lounge. Spoiler alert: we’ll get a closer look at BK’s newest Master later this week. Preorder it here, yo. 8:30 p.m. $8.
8/23 – Neighbors to the North, The Nformals, Schitzophonics, and Mittens at The Griffin. The Nformals and Schitzophonics are both up for SDMAs but this entire lineup is worth the trip down to one of my favorite venues. The Nformals post-punk high-energy music earned them a nod for “Best Alternative.” With enthusiasm matching his vox, singer Josh Kmak described his feelings on the nomination: “It’s crazy! Very surreal. I’m honored!” Schitzophonics frenetic blues-tinged antics have them up for “Best Hard Rock.” Neighbors to the North fit this bill with their straight-up rock ‘n’ roll rich with Paul Moffat’s bass lines. Plus Mittens add a bit of pop rock to the mix- should be a fun night all around! 8 p.m. $5 adv/$7 day of show.
8/25 – Luke Redfield, Late Nite Howl, and Ed Ghost Tucker at Soda Bar. “It makes us feel like a virgin touched for the very first time.” said Ed Ghost Tucker singer/guitarist Rutger Rosenborg of their nomination for “Best Pop.” “In other words, we are all very honored, surprised, and excited. Even if we don’t win, we are still very grateful to be considered.” EGT will open this night at Soda Bar with the pop-folk-Americana ways and three-vocalist harmonies which I adore. Late Nite Howl and Luke Redfield also seem in the vein of Americana and folk. Nice little lineup to wind down on a Sunday night. 8:30 p.m. $5.
8/31 – An Evening with Teagan Taylor and the Band at 98 Bottles. Young talent Teagan Taylor is nominated for “Best Jazz Album” for Hello. “We are really proud of our new album,” Taylor gushed recently. “And we are so honored to be nominated again this year for the SDMAs.” Teagan Taylor’s effervescent persona and charm are evident in her music and performances. The intimate back room at 98 bottles is a perfect platform for her bluesy-jazzy style. 8 p.m. $12.
Just to be epically dorky I also made an SDMA playlist on Spotify of some of my favorite nominated artists… don’t forget to vote!
MORE SHOWS IN AUGUST: