Lemon Grove a sweet spot for punk

"The cops were standing there, chilling, just watching us."

Sustivity and other Lemon Grove punks find common ground with anti-Trumpian rappers.
  • Sustivity and other Lemon Grove punks find common ground with anti-Trumpian rappers.

The 15 or so active Lemon Grove punk bands make it hard to ignore the town’s thriving hardcore scene.

“One time they had [Lemon Grove band] PSO play for the opening of a new library,” says Artie Tamayo, lead singer of Sustivity. He recalls there was plenty of moshing. “It was crazy for the families and the community to see how wild the punk scene really is. Everyone was worried about the cops saying something. But it was all good. The cops were standing there, chilling, just watching us.”

On Saturday, the City of Lemon Grove again celebrates its punk scene when the Lemon Grove Skate Park reopens after a remodel. A free daytime show will feature both punk and hip-hop artists.

“It took at least four or five years for them to do it right,” says rapper Ed Jones about the poorly equipped skate park. “They kept saying they were saving money to do it but nothing happened. Finally they came through.”

To mark the remodel, Jones says he and local skater Alex the Ginger convinced the city to present a punk and rap showcase featuring all Lemon Grove musicians.

“Punk music has been dead for a while, but it’s coming back,” says Tamayo. “The people playing Saturday may not look alike or dress alike. But if you’re a gangster rapper or a skater punk it doesn’t matter. No one judges anyone.”

Sustivity, "OG Dragon Master"

He says there is an anti-Trumpian sentiment shared by punks and rappers. “We have a song called ‘OG Dragon Master’ which says, ‘Fuck Donald Trump.’ We also sing about police brutality, lethal weapons, and people crying for a better peace. A lot of rappers also use hip-hop to go against the grain.”

Also performing Saturday is PSO, the all-brothers punk band that spearheads the Lemon Grove punk scene.

Bassist Luis Luque of Stay Away recalls days of Equinox, a city-sponsored event center that closed four years ago that used to host local bands. “It’s kind of my fault shows don’t happen there anymore. I got elbowed in the nose [in a mosh pit] and there was a picture of me bleeding out that got on the internet. I was told those pictures was part of the reason the city council didn’t want to do shows at the Equinox anymore.”

Lemon Grove Skate Park

3062 School Lane, Lemon Grove

Hardcore bands PSO, Sustivity, Stay Away, and TFO and hip-hop artists Ed Jones, Keely, and Digi.gurl appear Saturday at the newly remodeled Lemon Grove Skate Park, noon–6 p.m.

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