SDMA to honor diverse set of local artists

    great escape from monotonous campus life lies in the 13th annual San Diego Music Awards Week, which ends with an awards show on Oct. 14 at Humphrie’s Concerts by the Bay.

    A week of music was kicked off on Oct. 2 with various venues showcasing local talent. The awards show will honor bands based in San Diego and boasts a variety of performers including:

    The Accidental Experiment, a fairly unknown but promising band formed by the unlikely alliance of ex-P.O.D. guitarist Marcos Curiel, two ex-Sprung Monkeys (bassist Tony Delocht and drummer Ernie Longoria) and vocalist Pete Stewart. According to http://www.mtv.com, they are “”a musically adventurous group that sounds like an unlikely hybrid of Tool, Rush, Pink Floyd, Disturbed and Queensryche.””

    Steve Poltz is an artist who inspired a cult following from performances in local pubs to beer joints and coffeehouses around the country. His constant and prolific songwriting, penchant for wacky antics, crowd-fed improvisations, weird covers and prom-dress costumes makes Poltz seem a perfect candidate for the SDMA. Plus, he used to date Jewel.

    Mojo Nixon, San Diego’s anti-hero, who once wrote a song called “”Don Henley Must Die,”” and is now a successful, drive-time radio disc jockey at local classic rock station KGB. His talent has been described as arguably the first post-modern, post-MTV-pop raconteur, and his peculiar career output has inspired anti-hipster critics, political outsiders and peers to sing his praises in ways as twisted and unique as his songs. He is bound to make an impression at the awards show.

    The Troys is a fresh-faced sister act that Tiger Beat, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Teen People and mtv.com have been raving about. Anna and Lindsey Troy have already been signed to Elektra Records and have recorded songs with Avril Lavigne’s producers The Matrix. The debut album is set for release in October 2003. They’ve got catchy pop songs and down-to-earth personalities to go with their edgy, spunky image, so the odds are already stacked in their favor that they will achieve celebrity status soon.

    Earl Thomas is a man with intimate, spirit-clearing catharsis in his gospel-tinged soulful songs and finds ways to update and personalize the blues tradition. This year, the local bluesman from teensy Pikeville, Tenn., is bringing a group of gospel-belting ladies named the Jezebels. They’re sure to give the SDMA audience more than they bargained for, perhaps making their performance the most memorable of the night.

    Ilya, a band of electro-art-rock refugees fronted by a sensual singer named Blanca Rojas. They sound similar to the Black Heart Procession, only with a female instead of a male singing lullabies instead of funeral dirges. They are relatively new to San Diego, but not unnoticed ‹ their appearance at this year’s awards ceremony comes a year after their nomination for Best New Artist at the 2002 SDMA.

    SDMA proceeds have always gone towards purchasing instruments for elementary schools in San Diego. Over the years, this has allowed school districts to buy the less expensive instruments like flutes, clarinets and violins. Recently, though, the focus has changed: The SDMA Foundation has teamed with San Diego CityBEAT and El Cajon’s Taylor Guitars to create a unique, new fundraising program simply called “”Taylor Guitars for Schools.”” To date, there are five active schools in the guitar program, and a financial commitment to add programs at two additional schools during the fall. In spring 2004, funding becomes available to add five new schools. The SDMA will give schools that enter the program “”Baby”” Taylor guitars and provide guitar instruction. Fundraising for this program is essential, so buy SDMA tickets soon and be prepared for an entertaining and diverse show with unique San Diego performers.

    The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 to $20.

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