I'm going to try to write this whole thing without using the term "the man."
The San Diego Visitors' Bureau has launched a campaign called "San Diego Soundscape" to promote the city as an "indie rock" destination on par with Austin, NYC, PDX or Seattle. Or Memphis. Or Detroit. Or Chicago. Or Milwaukee.
San Diego Soundscape promotional page
They've put together a two-disc promo CD of "up and coming San Diego bands" (Rookie Card is the big name on it, to give you an idea of what we're dealing with) and are offering a sweepstakes for the San Diego rock and roll experience!
That's plane tickets, a stay at the Manchester Hyatt, a show, dinner, and the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues, one of the most generic musical experiences the city has to offer. Oh, also a Hula Hut Honeymoon Holiday at Spa Tiki.
This all seems right up the alley of the businessman who saw a great house band at a Gaslamp bar last night. All that's missing from this ad campaign is a reference to "The O.C."
There's even a San Diego music history section on the Web page, with the requisite Tom Waits and Blink 182 references.
There are some great local bands here, and there's definitely some kind of disconnect that is keeping them from getting bigger exposure inside and out of the city that other cities' music scenes don't have. But this is like when you were a teenager and your mom declared that she was cool. Part of becoming an indie destination, by definition, is that it can't be forced or promoted.
Read today's Union-Tribune business section story for more details about the absurdity. "Gen-X" shows up a few times.
I'm not slamming the bands for being a part of this; it's a great way to get more people to hear your music. But if you're going to do a promotional gig, go all out: