Acid Varsity’s Detweiler: “Before, I had to seek out new acts to perform, but now I get people asking for slots at my events.”
  • Acid Varsity’s Detweiler: “Before, I had to seek out new acts to perform, but now I get people asking for slots at my events.”
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“It’s pretty humbling when big names agree to come play our event here at the Kava Lounge,” says Tyler Detweiler, whose live, hardware-based electronic music monthly, Acid Varsity, curates members of veteran acts, such as LCD Soundsystem and Nortec Collective, alongside San Diego and Tijuana experimentalists.

“I think they perceive it as an artistic challenge,” Detweiler says. “I was told it’s more stressful playing here than in front of thousands. It’s much more raw without an entire band and hit singles to fall back on. But we are doing something new and I think they recognize that and want to take part.”

Video:

Acid Varsity

...a sampler by Ceephax Acid Crew

...a sampler by Ceephax Acid Crew

This month marks two years since Detweiler debuted Acid Varsity at Middletown’s Kava Lounge, a bar that has been fostering fringe electronic and experimental events for over 11 years. Since its debut, Acid Varsity has grown from a handful of friends gathering on a Sunday evening into packed-house Friday-night bangers.

“A lot has changed in the past few years,” Detweiler says. “Before, I had to seek out new acts to perform, but now I get people asking for slots at my events almost weekly. I’m really proud to have brought so many performers. Watching the impact it’s had on them and the community is the best part, not to mention the connections and friendships made along the way. It’s amazing what comes out of building a scene; and people love coming out, whether they like to synthesize sounds or simply dance their asses off. I think San Diego will prove to be a pivotal spot in the future when it comes to electronic music, just like it was for the punk and hardcore scenes in the ’80s and ’90s.”

The Kava Lounge

2812 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy

Detweiler sees the success of Acid Varsity as part of a larger trend toward embracing electronic music throughout San Diego.

“Clubs like Bar Dynamite are hosting all-vinyl early-dance music nights (94NB4, FREEK) and Dance Klassique is still going strong after 15+ years of deep house. The AC Lounge’s House Music Fridays has been absolutely packed every week, with the big surge in popularity of dance music from people of all ages. People really want to dance, it seems! Not to mention the festival scene...Desert Hearts has grown unbelievably in the past year. In fact, Lee Reynolds and Machino [DH Records] will be performing their first ever live set together at Acid Varsity on July 21.”

Dance your acid off Friday, June 17, at the Kava Lounge with Point Loma (Ramon Bostich of Nortec) and Axkan (L.A.).

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Chad Deal June 15, 2016 @ 6:59 p.m.

Note: Acid Varsity was never on Sundays. I confused it with a distant memory from Fully Patched, another modular synth and analog hardware night that will be appearing in a music feature soon. Everything else is probably mostly true.

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