Photos by Greg Cali, Danny Dilworth and Bradley Schweit

Now hear this... or that. San Diego’s music scene seems to be growing as fast as the city’s beer industry, but instead of hops and yeast, we’re talking pop and beats. The annual San Diego Music Thing brought 150 bands to 16 venues on September 13 and 14. Here’s a look at eight of those bands caught in the act.

Little Hurricane

Anthony “Tone” Catalano - dirty guitar, vocals
Celeste “CC” Spina - drums
Established: 2010
Genre: Dirty Blues/Rock
Label: Australia’s Shock Records & Unknown Breakthrough Records
Biggest Hit: “Haunted Heart”

“We call our sound ‘Dirty Blues.’ There’s only two of us in the band, so we each have to play like a little hurricane.” - Anthony “Tone” Catalano

>>Little Hurricane has received San Diego Music Awards nominations for Artist of the Year and Best Live Band.

The Burning of Rome

Adam Traub - vocals, keyboards
Joe Aguilar - guitar, vocals
Aimee Jacobs - keyboards, vocals
Keveen Baudouin - bass, vocals
Lee Williams - drums
Established: 2005
Genre: Death Pop
Label: Surfdog Records
Biggest Hit: “The Battle of an Onion Sprout”

“We derive influence from an eclectic span of genres and a wide range of music history, tying it together with a common musical thread. San Diego is our home, and the fans and other local bands have been a big part of our success. Our aggressive-friendly stage presence has connected us with many, and having the opportunity to play with bands like The Psychedelic Furs and Volto this year has earned us new fans across the country. We’re looking forward to being on the road a lot more.” - Joe Aguilar

>>The Burning of Rome has received San Diego Music Awards nominations for Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best Alternative, Best Live Band and Best Alternative Album.

Tropical Popsicle

Timothy Hines - vocals, guitar, organ
Chase Elliott - bass
Kyle Whatley - guitar, organ
Ryan Hand - drums, rattles
Established: 2011
Genre: Psych/Rock
Label: Volar/Lollipop
Biggest Hit: “The Tethers”

“Our sound straddles between psychedelia, Tropicalia, post punk, folk and minimal wave. Some people say pop. I think what really sets us apart from other bands is the diversity from song to song, and how we are influenced from different genres that span pretty wide.” - Timothy Hines

>>Tropical Popsicle has received a San Diego Music Awards nomination for Best Alternative.

Wild Wild Wets

Mike Turi - vocals, synthesizer, percussion
Ryan Bohan - guitar
Marco Piro - drums
Taejon Romanik - bass
Priscilla Castro - keyboards, percussion
John Kelley - projectionist
Established: 2012
Genre: Party Psych
Label: Grizzly Records
Biggest Hit: “Totem”

“We play what we like to call ‘Party Psych’. Our sound is based off ‘60s Garage Rock and Psychedelia, but with a spin of proto/postpunk with a pop sensibility, but not too safe.” - Mike Turi

>>Wild Wild Wets has received a San Diego Music Awards nomination for Best Alternative.


Erik Berg - bass, vocals
Geoff Hill - drums, glockenspiel
Andrew Trecha - guitar
Jeff Grasmick - drums, guitar, bass, glockenspiel
Scott Mercado - producer, engineer, mixing, instrumentation
Established: 2004
Genre: Experimental Pop
Label: 3 Ring
Biggest Hit: “No Me Toucher Pas”

“What sets us apart? Our drummer, Geoff, says it’s his snare drum. We’ve toured more in Europe than in the States - that’s kind of funny. Perhaps it’s that we write whatever song, style, genre, or weirdness we want. One album is Folk, the other Rock or Electronica. It doesn’t make things easy, but it sure is fun.” - Scott Mercado

The Silent Comedy

Chad Lee - percussion
Jeremiah Zimmerman - piano, guitar, vocals
Joshua Zimmerman - bass, vocals
Justin Buchanan - banjo, guitar, mandolin
Established: 2010
Genre: Indie/Folk/Rock
Label: Singleton RMI
Biggest Hit: “Bartholomew”

“Something that sets The Silent Comedy apart from a lot of other folk-inspired music happening right now is how aggressive and rowdy we are. As much as we love banjo, mandolin and fiddle, we can’t help but run those instruments through amps with rock ‘n’ roll distortion. The show takes on more of a punk energy than your average folk revival performance.” - Joshua Zimmerman

>>The Silent Comedy has received San Diego Music Awards nominations for Artist of the Year, Best Music Video, Best Live Band, Song of the Year and Best Pop.

Hills Like


Sean Davenport - keyboards and vocals
Andrew Armerding - guitar
Daniel Gallo - bass
Greg Theilmann - keyboards and guitar
Juan Carlos Ortiz - drums
Established: 2011
Genre: Rock
Label: Requiemme Records
Biggest Hit: Invisible Ink

“All the members of the band are not only very active musicians, but also avid listeners as well, and we tend to get a large variety of ideas based on what were listening to at that time. When you compile it all together, you end up with an interesting result.” - Sean Davenport

>>Hills Like Elephants has received a San Diego Music Awards nomination for Best Rock Album.


Kim Gordon - guitar
Bill Nace - guitar
Established: 2012 (New York-based group)
Genre: Dirty Guitar
Label: Matador Records
Biggest Hit: “Actress”

Consisting of two former members of Sonic Youth, Body/Head recently played Yoko Ono’s Meltdown Festival in London.