Artist: Jeff Bloom
Song: “Peace on Earth” (from the CD New Style)
Heard By: Robert Jaquez, Skyland Hills
I thought the overall message of the song was pretty positive: “peace on Earth.” As far as the lyrics, maybe [they were] a little too clichéd or explicit. The song itself was your regular kind of reggae beat. It had a nice jazzy element to it with the trumpets. The guitar work was pretty awesome, too. Whoever was on the guitar was tearing it up. I dig positive music, so I can imagine listening to that, maybe at a bar — definitely in a relaxed setting. I like my protest songs more edgy and angrier, though. It fit the genre really well. It all depends if you like reggae or not. If they get people to think differently — which I’m guessing is the message of the song — then they’ll have had some sort of success.
Artist: Emery Byrd
Song: “Busy Doing Nothing” (from the CD Mrs. Young versus the Modern Ones)
Heard By: Wilson Pulido, El Cajon
I thought it pinpointed a problem in society that I think we should be aware of. A lot of times we’re too concentrated on ourselves and don’t care about the people around us. I think a good way of putting that message out is through song. It wasn’t too loud, offensive, or “in your face.” It had a catchy beat. It started off well. I liked the drums. I would say it would be “alternative.” I don’t see it as a hit song because there’s so much music out there to compete with. [That song] would probably remind me of my responsibility to my parakeets. I have some parakeets at home, so I might think about making sure they get fed.
Artist: Gustavo Aguilar
Song: “Dirac’s Theory” (from the CD Unsettled on an Old Sense of Place)
Heard By: Rebecca Treadwell, Downtown
I thought it was very interesting. At first it was like a Caribbean beat, but then he interpreted it to be like Indian tablas. It sort of reminded of Ravi Shankar. I would imagine [Aguilar’s] live performances to be amazing, with a lot of incredible energy going into it — really interesting beats and syncopation. It was strictly instrumental. I know that there are plenty of people out there — especially in San Diego — who are interested in “avant-garde” music, so I definitely think it has potential; but, as far mainstream [success], probably not. I could see myself sitting with friends with a glass of wine, having a conversation, and having that [song] be part of the experience.