22 Day Song Challenge – Day 22: A Song That Is Uniquely San Diego

If you need to catch up on what it is we did here check out the post from Day 1 and meet our panel of rad here. Or click on their names below to see their band page or stalk them on social media. They like that.

Our only rule here was you must use San Diego musicians/bands for each song prompt. To make it extra challenging some of us didn’t repeat a band as the days went by. You can view previous days and compare how you would have answered here.

For this last day we got collected some extra entries. So take a look at the folks who contributed and what they do to support the scene- we have music writers, musicians, super rad mega fans, and more.

On a personal note, my dad is one of the guest entries today, which I think is super rad. I didn’t inherit his musical talents but I did inherit his love for listening. I probably don’t thank him enough for that… From taking me to my first concert (R.E.M. at The Sports Arena circa 1995) to coming out to shows with me now he has had a huge influence on me being a part of the scene and pursuing writing in general. Plus he picked something pretty killer for this prompt… XOXO.

Lots of our picks are up for the 2013 San Diego Music Awards so don’t forget to vote for your favorites – VOTING ENDS TODAY!

Here we go:


Day 22 – A Song That Is Uniquely San Diego

–Panel of Rad–

Jen VT: “San Diego Super Chargers” by Captain Q.B. and the Big Boys – I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to pick this. As far as sports go football is about the only one I pay attention to and I’m a diehard hometown girl. Yes I have Chargers earrings and yes I’ve perfected blue and gold eyeshadow to wear on game day. The song is a silly little disco number but it reminds me of all the fun I’ve had watching games, especially with my family. At one point we decided that playing it on a loop while we watched was good luck. No we’re not batshit insane at all. I was gonna pick this whether we won yesterday or not (true fandom) but it’s extra sweet that we pulled that shit out…  A close second pick for me  – “Get ‘Em Outta Here” by Sprung Monkey – this song came out when I was a freshman in high school and it was THE SHIT. This was years before I realized a music scene in SD existed let alone paid attention to it. I heard this tune on the radio all the time and it seemed so bad ass. Hearing someone sing about our hometown made us silly schoolgirls go apeshit. Now hearing local bands in my sweet hometown does the trick. [If picking two songs counts as cheating- so be it, at least I waited til the last day.]

Natalie Watson Webber: I’m torn so I’ve gotta pick two… 1) The Rugburns: “Hitchhiker Joe” –I have to admit I didn’t even know that we had a “local music scene” until I heard The Rugburns on 91X.  “Hitchhiker Joe” was an instant smash in my mind, heart, and soul.  I’d never heard anything like it.  I was so excited to share that song with anyone on my car or just anyone who had ears and later that entire album and was even happier to tell them “…and they’re from San Diego too!”  The music was catchy, smart, vibey and most of all…You. Could. Not. Stop. Singing. It.  It was however when you sang it you realized how incongruous the tune and the lyrics were and that you were singing about a murderous cannibalistic hitchhiker while merrily bouncing along with The Rugburns without a care in the world and BEGGING for more.  And more we received. 2009 SDMT The Rugburns “Hitchhiker Joe”

2)    Steve Poltz: “Dreamhouse” – This song says “Home” quite literally to me: I love “Dreamhouse”.  I love it for a lot of reasons.  The opening of the song talks of healing and opening up to the possibility “…to take a chance on love again”,-yeah that’s totally swoonable.

Here’s where it says “Home” for me:  While it references San Diego at least twice in the song as a launching pad for the paramours to begin their journey from, I like to think that the reason it was used as the point of origin was that those of us who are from here, live here have spent any significant amount of time here quite literally love it here and can’t truly imaging living anywhere else for an extended period of time no matter how magical, exotic, or beautiful the location might be,-it just isn’t San Diego.  And while Poltz professes in song “Wherever we lay down our bed rolls is our home/We don’t need much/We’ve got it all.” And later in the song “We’ll travel the world somehow/ From mountain tops to city scapes/We’re in our dreamhouse now.” Yes please let’s go, let’s travel and hear, see, taste, and feel all there is to be done as long as I can come home to a proper dreamhouse that’s waiting for me in San Diego I’ll be quite happy.

Steve Poltz’s  Dreamhouse was released 2010 you can get it here. Steve’s next show is this Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 7PM at  the Birch Aquarium for tickets go here. With love XOXO from San Diego, Natalie

Rick Ostop“Homegrown” by Paul Cannon Band. This song has become the celebration song for the Padres, they play it after every win. Too bad they suck and it rarely gets played.

Andrea Moore: “Sing Sing” by North Beach. This song makes me think of being outside and in the water. That’s pretty much what a lot of SD is about

Paul Moffat“All the Small Things” by Blink-182 – Okay, cynics – I am not pandering here.  Blink (pre-182) was born in my backyard right around the time I started playing bass guitar…the Middle Ages…pretty much the day I graduated high school in 1992.  To see these guys start from nothing to become legitimate mega-stars, was very inspiring.  What makes Blink uniquely San Diego is their attitude.  They play what they want, sing about what they want, and really don’t care one way or the other how you feel about that.  They aren’t rebelling against you – they don’t seem to care what you think about them.  They are just being Blink.  So many bands in other towns seem to cater to the lowest common denominator – trying to play a certain way or look a certain way.  San Diego is different.  I have been surprised and humbled at how bands, if they are devoted, honest, motivated and good, are accepted and appreciated here.  I was torn between this song and What’s My Age Again, and picked this one – simply because I remember the band playing the VMA’s with a stage full of midgets and marveled at their brass balls, their spirit, their San Diego attitude about where they were and where they came from.  They could have fizzled the next day and faded like so many one-hitters of the time – and they seemed to not sweat that one bit.

Ryan Miller: “Shanghaied” by Cuckoo Chaos* 

Eric Blocker“Why can’t I stop killing my friends” by Burning of Rome* – So I saw these guys at Soda Bar on Friday. For today’s choice, the title of the song speaks for itself.


Stephanie Amadeaus – writer of TheIndieSD.com“Wanted” by Pepper – For a uniquely San Diego song, I chose a band that is two thirds Hawaiian. Pepper has made San Diego their new permanent home and they’ve embraced this city as if they were born here. This is also the kind of band that has always fused together multiple different sounds – from rock to reggae to, of course, island music – and honestly, there is no bigger melting pot on the West Coast in my opinion than San Diego. It’s almost every day that I can go to a vibrant area of this city and run into a multitude of different cultures blended together as one neighborhood, and Pepper’s musical fusion is kind of a neat metaphor for that. Add in the fact that San Diego, CA practically fed them and took care of them during the very beginning of their career, and I think this band fits the prompt. I chose this song in particular because one of my first relationships since moving to San Diego can be summed up by this song. Me and my significant other would drive around the 5 blaring this tune on repeat; and to this day it reminds me of that particular person and that uniquely San Diego experience.

Danny Katz – drummer for Neighbors to the North“Ese Loco” by Slightly Stoopid* – I went to La Jolla High School and have spent a huge majority of the last 25 years hanging out in San Diego’s beach communities. Now there are tons of bands that call San Diego home, but I’m not sure how many other styles of music can make that same claim. Certainly it’s a Southern California thing, not just a San Diego thing, but if you spend any time in our beach communities, you know just how ingrained Slightly Stoopid and their style of music have become to SD. Plus, the band remains fiercely loyal to their hometown to this day. That’s “uniquely San Diego” in my book.

Dustin Lothspeich – guitarist for Boy King & guitarist/vocalist for Chess Wars (both SDMA nominees!): “I Require Chocolate” – Kill Me Tomorrow.  – When I moved here in ’01, I had an extremely limited perspective about music. It’s something I’m always trying to expand. There’s always something new to discover – you just have to want to hear it. A couple years later, my buddy invited me to the Casbah to see this band (it would also be my first time there). I didn’t know who Kill MeTomorrow were or what they sounded like…but I went, stood in the front next to the stage and ended up having my mind blown by the weird noises assaulting me from this now-long-defunct trio. They were a strange cacophony of obtuse effects, loud distortion, glitchy, trash can beats and sinister, unintelligible vocals. It was intense. This song is a fine example of the cool, unique shit that our fine city has to offer if you dig deep enough (or have someone cool to turn you onto it) and it makes me think of San Diego every time I hear it.

Marissa Mortati – writer of OfShowsAndBurritos.com“You Are the Wolf” by Transfer* – A series of fortunate events led me to the San Diego music scene, something to the effect of The Who > The Editors > Louis XIV > San Diego Music!  Transfer wasn’t the first San Diego band I ever heard, but they were the first to completely infect my soul. They were the first band I ever came to San Diego to see and opened my eyes to the amazing San Diego scene and musical community.  Transfer is still my favorite band, my musical soul-mates, and “You Are the Wolf” is the first Transfer song I ever heard.

Jake Najor – drummer for The Styletones, Chess Wars, and Lord Howler (all SDMA nominees!): “La Jolla” by Greyboy – DJ Greyboy was the catalyst behind The Greyboy Allstars who my brother was the original drummer for. That had a huge influence on me musically. He played all these cool old soul jazz and boogaloo records that I still listen to today.

Jarnard Sutton – founder of The Nardcast: “Myspace” by Black MikeyEven though San Diego is a beautiful place to be and we express this a lot through art and music, there’s always the ugly side of San Diego. This song represents the rough parts of San Diego that people do not usually associate it with. I’m also a huge Black Mikey fan. Support your scene.

Don Van Tieghem – Jen VT’s pops: “San Diego (You’re My Home)” by Punk – From 1973 to 1983, KGB Radio Station produced a series albums from local bands called Homegrown. Local musicians wrote songs about San Diego. Albums were sold, bands got their music played on KGB, and proceeds went to charity. Great concept, I wish they would start up again. These days they could use electronic files instead of expensive vinyl.

Click here for the site which has every album and song plus lyrics and liner notes (Cameron Crowe wrote the rear liner notes on the first Homegrown before writing Fast Times at Ridgemont High.) Check out the site for a time warp.

Here’s another song from Homegrown III that somehow got stuck in my poor head. yikes! Gypsies from Bonsall by The Weirs

*Indicates San Diego Music Awards nominees. Vote here.

For more interviews, song obsessions, and musical musings with Sounds in San Diego follow along on Facebook or get tweety with us on Twitter.


About Jen Van Tieghem

There aren’t many things I love more than music. While life spins away at a rapid beat I’ve realized it’s important to spend it doing what I love – enjoying music in San Diego. I have a handful of favorite venues, a heart full of favorite bands, and decided to write about it.

4 comments on “22 Day Song Challenge – Day 22: A Song That Is Uniquely San Diego

  1. ooops. my song was definitely too explicit. 😉


  2. […] was the thought that crossed my mind when I participated in a guest panel for Sounds in San Diego’s last day of their song challenge. The prompt was: Name a song that was uniquely San […]


  3. […] 11. 22 Day Song Challenge – Day 22: A Song That Is Uniquely San Diego: Finishing up that 22 day song challenge was a beast but this was the prize waiting at the finish line. In addition to the “Panel of Rad” a bunch of guests got in on the fun for the final prompt. The musings included song picks from a wide variety of folks including my dear ol’ dad, local musicians, fellow writers, and basically my favorite people on the planet. Seems apropos that it made this list. […]


Sound Off!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: