In 2012, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout wrote a charismatic (a.k.a. full of the dry wit that can also be seen in her poetry) op-ed piece about San Diego, a “metropolis without charisma.” Of course Armantrout praised the weather and even noted a type of silence beneath the roar of cars and trucks in constant motion; the most notable praise for San Diego, however, may be in what Armantrout describes as a “blankness of this town,” meaning that one does not step into something overly grandiose/staged nor left completely bare of charm. Here are just a few individuals/collectives who are adding a little bit more noise to “America’s Finest City”:
Music-blog Owl and Bear offers event reviews, podcasts, and interviews with both local and out-of-town performers. The blog also has a lively social media presence where it announces concerts with at least a month’s notice and occasionally offers tickets to local shows, which makes being involved in the music scene easily accessible.
There might be something about owls, music, and San Diego, but this should not be anything to complain about. Blk Owl is a collaborative invested in bringing together musicians, DJs, and local artists. Most of these events are located in San Diego nightclubs, like North Park’s U-31, which allows one to end up feeling more of a local community as opposed to the pull of the glitz and glam of Gaslamp District.
If one wants to find a different type of music, look no further than Poetic Youth. The organization gathers volunteers from San Diego’s Poetry International and San Diego State students and holds workshops focused on self-expression and imagination in under-served and under-represented communities.
Armantrout is absolutely right about a type of silence that exists in San Diego circa 2012. These organizations are adding a little rhythm to the city, and anyone can be appreciative of that.