“The show is made by local musicians, for local musicians,” says producer Joe Stevens, whose TV program So-Cal Showcase will debut in January on Time Warner public access channel 19. “Each 30-minute episode is dedicated to one artist or band. The first ten minutes, I interview the artist, and then the band goes up and gives a 20-minute live performance.” The show has so far taped hard rockers King Legend, rapper Destructo Bunny, 16-year-old singer/songwriter Shyla Day, Kitty Plague, and Happy Ron Hill.
However, performers wishing to appear should be prepared to do more than just show up and play. “The best way for an artist or band to end up on the show as a guest is to attend the filming dates and donate their time to helping produce or promote the show,” says Stevens, who also sings and plays guitar with the band Beer Money.
“I will choose which guests get priority based on how much time, effort, or resources they have put into the program as time goes on. We do not pick guests in consideration of clout or offers of money. No one can buy into a guest slot with anything less than a selfless commitment of time or resources to the program. The show is about music only. Not money.”
As for ground rules, “The music does have to be devoid of bad swear words, but the content can be about anything. No genre of music will be denied.” The program will also be webcast on Ustream, Livestream, and ComF5, with episodes archived at socalshowcase.tv. Upcoming guests include Wendy Bailey, High Tide, Ronnie Lee, Summer Mencher, Megan Combs, Tori Roze, Starcrossed, Privatized Air, Celia St Croix, Defamation League, Hocus, and the Very.
Stevens is also looking for local venues where he can tape performances. “The episode will give credit to the venue...[which are] only required to pay the bands that play their showcase — $150 to $250 per band — and provide a drink tab for them.”
San Diego has a long history of public-access music shows, some of them right out of Wayne’s World. Club 33 captured early-’80s performances by bands such as the Beat Farmers, metalheads ruled on Music Underground, local music booster Brad Cahill produced Songwriter Spotlight, a late-’80s jazz show called Music of Life aired in North County, Hot Traxx (produced by David Law) screened urban videos, Dimension Cable had Dimension Video Explosion, Musical Playhouse ran for over 60 episodes on Cox Cable, Leche: The Musical aired on Oceanside’s KOCT from 1993 through 1995, and a married couple from the local branch of NORML has been producing Yourself Presents on local access stations for over 20 years.
So-Cal Showcase debuts January 5 at 8:30 p.m.