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It’s Gonna Blow! San Diego Film Explores Underground Music Scene

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San Diego filmmaker Bill Perrine explores the history and evolution of the sound of San Diego in his latest film, “It's Gonna Blow!!!: San Diego's Music Underground 1986-1996.” The film is now out on DVD.

The film begins with Mitch Wilson of the band No Knife, explaining that from the outside, San Diego might not seem like the likeliest place for a thriving underground music scene.

"When people think of San Diego, they think of sunshine, beaches, coconuts and whatever," Wilson said. "San Diego's very very different for me. I think about all the punk rock kids and all these dark, weird bands."

Ely Moyal of Truman's Water recalls a time when it seemed like almost anyone might be signed to a major label.

"I remember being at the back of the Casbah and there'd be this guy, and he literally had a business suit on. And I needed to use his pen for something, and he said 'No! No! You can't use that pen. That's my signing pen. It's only for signing bands.' He was in love with the whole idea that this was the next Seattle," he said.

In the film, Perrine shows there was a certain ambivalence to the bright spotlight that was trained on San Diego at the time.

"We already knew we weren't radio friendly. We weren't going "Wow!" everyone with some new kind of pop music, so let's just save ourselves, and you trouble, and just not do this," said Kevin Branstetter of Truman's Water.

The film is loaded with vintage footage, and contains interviews with dozens of musicians, including Rob Crow of Pinback.

Perrine is also responsible for the film Children of the Stars, a documentary about the Unarius organization based in El Cajon.


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