Miranda Hanzal (L-R) D’Vonna Miller, Julian Martinez The best way to delve into any city’s music scene is to get the fuck out of your dorm room, apartment or parent’s basement and experience its bands and musicians onstage.
To help along that route, here’s a mini-playlist to provide an instant sampling of the city’s musical landscape. Hear something you like? Go check the artist out — and if you can spare a few bucks, buy their merch so they can afford to keep making great music.
Vonna – “Hannah”
Bedroom pop at its finest, Vonna represents the current wave of lo-fi indie creators rising in the region. Sing along to the electronic meancholy of “Hannah” and cry. And dance. Or both. They’re not mutually exclusive, you know. Available on Spotify. facebook.com/umvonna.
Kree 23 – “Determined”
Kree 23 is one of San Antonio’s best-regarded rappers, and she flows with confidence and poise. For a strong sampling of his skills, check out the hazy boom-bap track “Determined.” Available at soundcloud.com/kree23, facebook.com/Kreeativity23.
Nahaya – “Spark”
Blending elements of hardcore punk, American thrash and European melodic death metal, Nahaya’s sound is a barrage of sonic ferocity and it shines on the track “Spark.” Available on Spotify and iTunes. facebook.com/nahayaofficial.
Garrett T. Capps – “Born in San Antone”
Neo-honky tonk artist Garrett T. Capps’ “Born in San Antone” includes shout outs to Spurs players and references a laundry list of stuff locals should probably know about, so it’s a great introduction to the city on a couple of levels. Available on Spotify and iTunes. facebook.com/GarrettTCapps.
Buttercup – “Henry B. Gonzalez”
Indie rockers Buttercup are a mainstay of the San Antonio music scene — and for good reason. Few other bands can match the long-running outfit’s dynamic songwriting and passionate stage show. Available on Spotify and iTunes. facebook.com/buttercult.
Augie Meyers – “Hey Baby Que Paso”
Know this one, because it’s the official bar jukebox song of San Antonio. Augie Meyers was one part of the famed Texas Tornados who won a huge following for fusing country, rock and conjunto. Listen on iTunes and Spotify.
Ammo for My Arsenal – “Slave I”
Fans of the heavy stuff will find both clever songwriting and turn-on-a-dime musicianship on metal act AFMA’s “Slave I.” The track creates the aural illusion that it’s folding in on itself, like bodies falling on top of other bodies. ammoformyarsenal1.bandcamp.com.
Alyson Alonzo – “Your Return”
A siren from the South Side, neo-soul artist Alyson Alonzo’s soulful crooning and live-beat looping continue to win over new fans. Find “Your Return” on Spotify and iTunes and find out why. facebook.com/alysonalonzomusic.
Bubble Puppy – “Hot Smoke & Sasafrass”
Plenty of bands like to say they play psychedelic rock these days. But how many can say they helped create the genre? That’s exactly what psych-rock veterans Bubble Puppy did during the ’60s. They continue to gig today, and their hit single “Hot Smoke & Sasafrass” is essential listening. Available on iTunes and Spotify. facebook.com/BubblePuppyBand.
Noise Quota – “Neighbors”
Incorporating elements of grunge, alt-rock and indie pop, Noise Quota’s “Neighbors” could be the perfect soundtrack for rocking out in the dorm room while your stupid roommate is out. Available on Bandcamp and Spotify. facebook.com/noisequota.
Sunny Ozuna – “Should I Take You Home”
Sunny Ozuna, frontman of the pioneering Chicano soul outfit Sunny and the Sunliners, doesn’t play often, but he’s a must-see for anyone looking to explore SA’s music history. Ozuna was an architect of the city’s signature West Side Soul sound, and his sweet tenor voice still resonates after all these years. “Should I Take You Home” is a fan favorite. Listen on iTunes and Spotify. facebook.com/sunnyozuna.
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