Let’s face it: Not all musicians are created equal. Some are better than others, and some are in incredibly high demand. Safe to say, San Diego has become a large, real-life game of musical chairs. Nearly every musician we know seems to play in more than one project. Luckily for us, most of those bands are really friggin’ good. We’re thankful our local music scene is so vibrant and can host so many acts in vastly different genres.
- Jesse Bowen, bass: Somehow finding time to carve out thumping low-end riffs for groups like the alt-country Blackout Party, indie-rock songsmiths Oh, Spirit and the jazz-soul all-stars the Mighty 388’s, we’d be thrilled to have this dude on board as our bass master.
- Diana Death, lead guitar: Few people shred gnarlier than Diana Death. Just ask anyone who’s witnessed shows by Chinese Rocks, the Rosalyns, the Bowiephonics and El Vez.
- Stevie Harris, co-lead singer: Splitting his time fronting both the Styletones and Stevie Harris & the Hi-Staxx, he brings the soul croon and funk energy every time he steps up to the microphone. A true frontman, Harris is also quite fashion-savvy, sporting classic ‘70s shades and his trademark white suits.
- Alfred Howard, percussion: The sole entry on our Top Chain Players in San Diego list (sorry, Hi-Watts), Howard gets experimentally rhythmic with rainsticks, haunted radios and broken tambourines in the Heavy Guilt, the Midnight Pine, Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact and the Black Sands. We’ll be sure to provide him with a new, non-blood-soaked circular saw blade to hit. [Full disclosure: Al Howard blogs for SoundDiego -- Ed.]
- Megan Liscomb, co-lead singer: After seeing and hearing the December debut of Liscomb's new band, Soft Lions -- which sounds considerably different than her hard-rock outfit Boy King [Full disclosure: SoundDiego's Dustin Lothspeich is her bandmate in that project -- Ed.] – we’d absolutely love to have her splitting lead-vocal duty. With onstage charisma in spades, and an impressive vocal range to boot, she’s an MVP for sure.
- Mario Rubalcaba, drums: Providing pounding backbeats for such seminal San Diego bands such as Earthless, Rocket From the Crypt, OFF! and Hot Snakes, we’d have to offer the drum throne up to Rubalcaba, hoping he’d have enough time in the day to add yet another band to his rock band stable.
- Greg Theilmann, rhythm guitar/keyboard: It seems like whenever a new band pops in town, Theilmann’s name is attached to it. So far, we count Hills Like Elephants, Odd Shapes, Diatribes and Champ as four we know about, along with his frequent solo shows at the Tin Can Country Club. We’re pretty sure he never sleeps. This guy is a man of many trades, able to add keyboard flourishes, electronic knob-wiggling, textural guitar and background vocals to the mix: We’ll take him.
Here's a few of the other lists we've put together: