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Artist: Ajizza

Song: “Do What We Do” (from the CD Do What We Do Records Presents)

Heard By: Gabe Gayhart, Escondido

It was average. It wasn’t something that I’d necessarily buy, but I think it’s always nice to have a good cadre of local talent. In terms of rappers, there’s still not a “protégée” out there for San Diego. We’re still looking for that. The beat was a basic four-count beat that was reminiscent of the “G-funk era,” except it lacked some of the funk. His vocal delivery was nice because he has a unique, raspy sound but his lyrical content was cliché. Some of the wordplay he was using reminded me of 50 Cent. It wasn’t anything flavorful where you’re, like, “that’s a sweet hook!” It’s better than some of the commercial stuff that I hear, but that’s not saying much.

Artist: Red Pony Clock

Song: “Take a Side” (from the CD God Made Dirt)

Heard By: Lauren Lillie, Brooklyn, NY

I liked it. It had a bit of a Belle & Sebastian/Rilo Kiley vibe to it. At first I thought it was going to have a bit of a retro ’60s sound, but as the song went on it had much more “full” percussion. It makes me think of how one of my friends was describing the Mountain Goats to me: it’s happy music about sad subjects. The main lyric was about how if you make a decision you have to commit to that until you die. It wouldn’t be something that you’d hear in the Top 40 on the radio, but I’m sure that’s not what they’re going for. I picture putting that on in my apartment and making drinks for my friends and starting a little impromptu party.

Artist: Shaka Buku

Song: “Good Times Here Today” (from

the CD Feel Different)

Heard By: Mandy Stadtmiller, Brooklyn, NY

I don’t really like “jam band-y” music like that, but I could tell that they’re probably really good people. People who are into jam-band music would find it very enjoyable and pleasant. This band is going somewhere; I’m just not their audience. I’m kind of a jaded cynic, so for me, the kind of music I like is by acoustic singer/songwriters like Mason Jennings who have wincingly embarrassing positive lyrics, but it’s very singular and unique. A lot of this stuff seems a little bit hackneyed and clichéd, like “clap your hands, we’re going to rock out and fight oppression.” I imagine the big draw to this band is seeing them live because they probably put on a really good show.

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