I don’t want to jinx anything by writing this, but I feel like something’s happening in the South Bay again.
I’ve written about this many times over the years, but the scene in San Jose is reliably cyclical: we* sit around complaining about how boring San Jose is, a few motivated individuals work tirelessly to prove the whiners wrong by starting bands and organizing events, everyone gets really excited that maybe, finally we are going to show the rest of California once and for all that we’re not just some boring suburb; that there IS art here, you just have to ask around the find it…and then it fizzles out shortly after it reaches its apex.
Over the last few months the scene has woken from its hibernation, with a handful of new artists establishing themselves and a few new viable venues, too (though, as usual, they’re not the most traditional type). The folks at The Come Up know this, and they’re presenting a festival next weekend to showcase everything the South Bay has to offer. South By South Bay**, a celebration of music and film with a focus on San Jose-grown artists, will take place on August 3 and 4 at The Ritz and MACLA. August 3 is for music, with performances by Swells and the Lunatics, Chilidrina, Rosie Tucker, and more at the Ritz. August 4 takes place at MACLA, with film selections from local filmmakers.
South By South Bay
August 3 + 4, 2019
*I moved a few months ago but after 25+ years there, San Jose still very much feels like home.
**I also thought of this name for a potential Bay Bridged event years ago but didn’t want to put in the effort it takes to produce an entire festival. I’m so glad someone with more motivation than me is finally using it.