For San Diego’s music scene, 2010 has been a good year. Bands like Crocodiles and Dum Dum Girls found national acclaim, Wavves made an unexpected comeback following their much-publicized 2009 meltdown, and upcoming acts like Cuckoo Chaos and Tape Deck Mountain are poised to make their own waves next year, thanks to some freshly inked deals with Lefse Records. It’s fitting, then, that the Casbah has lined up three of San Diego’s finest bands to help ring in the new year. Continue reading…
In the 1960s the average band enjoyed fame for a couple of months, if that, before people’s attention shifted to the next rising (and soon to be falling) stars. Being a one-hit wonder wasn’t a failure, it was the norm, and accomplishments by bands like The Beatles and The Kinks were rendered all the more impressive by the fact that any kind of longevity was exceptional, and enjoyed by only a small percentage of groups.
Not much has changed since then: nowadays most bands—particularly in the realm of indie rock—still amount to little more than passing fads, soaking up their proverbial fifteen minutes before succumbing to irrelevance. But one thing that has been accelerated by the internet is that entire genres seem to rise and fall in the space of a few months, leaving up-and-coming groups scrambling to tap into the next sound du jour and ride the
Wavves waves of recognition before they fizzle out.
Then there are bands who are content to just create great music. Unfazed by meaningless trends, they place emphasis on great songwriting, captivating melodies, and a distinctive but inviting sound. They may not get drooled over by Pitchfork (and if they do, it’s only so long until P4K’s drool runs dry and the inevitable backlash begins), but they do create a body of work that speaks for itself, and will outlast the one-MP3 wonders that permeate the blogosphere. San Diego’s The Moviegoers are one of those bands, and though they may not auto-tune their vocals or mangle their guitars with lo-fi crunch, they do create moving, memorable songs accented by rich harmonies and understated confidence. And that never goes out of style. Continue reading
Many bands toil for years, chasing a fame that, for most of them, will never come. But what of the bands who achieve instant recognition, without all the years of honing their talents? San Diego’s Wavves is just such a band.
After being plucked from obscurity by a “Best New Music” review from the music gods at Pitchfork, the band has found itself traveling Europe, playing for throngs of adoring fans. Prompted by the band’s success, Rolling Stone is reportedly planning a feature on the San Diego music scene, despite the fact that most San Diegans had never heard of the band before they won the P4K lottery.
Now, it appears that Wavves could have used a little more time to perfect their routine before striking it big. According to Pitchfork, the band recently “self-destructed” during a performance at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival.
The transition from playing essentially no shows at all in San Diego to facing down thousands of screaming Spaniards can’t be an easy one, and no one can blame the band for cashing in on their newfound internet fame. But maybe people shouldn’t put so much stock in the cold, fickle hype machine that is Pitchfork, especially when it propels overrated bands into a realm of stardom they are unprepared for. There are easily twenty bands in San Diego more talented, professional, and seasoned than Wavves, all of them worthy of large-scale recognition. But, until the Pitchfork gods shine down on them, the world probably won’t care.