For the sake of transparency, I’ll air my biases now and often. To start, it’s rare that I find a Blues-influenced Rock and Roll band in San Diego that I like, in spite (or perhaps because) of the fact that the local scene is inundated with this genre. Unfortunately, Blues-Rock has become so homogenized that the cultural interplay that made it so interesting in its early years has largely been abandoned. In hopes of recapturing this cultural interplay and cross-genre interaction, this column will be devoted to exploring the pockets of the San Diego music scene where other voices – future voices – are vibrant and alive.

As with Blues-Rock, popular genres like Jazz, Soul, Funk, and Reggae developed as a result of predominantly Central and Eastern African traditions interacting with Western traditions. Thus, pop music spawned from the clash, overlap, and integration of drastically different cultures, and the influence of this cultural hybridization has permeated just about every contemporary American city and local music scene. However, once a genre becomes co-opted or homogenized by a specific group, that genre enters a loop of isolation, or a stage of stasis in which communication with others and relevance in a national and future context are largely made null.

While the influence of diverse African musical traditions on Western music serves as an illustrative example for the fruits of cultural interplay and cross-genre interaction, this column will be concerned with how a whole range of subcultures contribute to pop music and push it into new, exciting realms. Blues-Rock may dominate the studios, venues, and music awards in San Diego, but the dominant genre in a different city might be something else entirely. What really matters is that genres continue to communicate with each other in order to keep our music scene relevant, surprising, and inclusive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.