Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the appropriately named El Cajon is Spanish for “the box.” Maybe it should have been called La Gema Oculta (The Hidden Gem). With the No. 8 most-populous American city a mere 15 miles away, El Cajon has a lot to compete with when it comes to entertainment.
While it won’t match up with San Diego on star power, there is still a lot to like about the entertainment options. Along with several bars that have a variety of live acts, downtown is home to the “Dinner and A Concert” series, held from May through September.
Hosted by downtown businesses, the event happens every Friday night and features a rotating mix of music genres. One week you could be sock-hopping to 50’s rock and the next week line dancing to country western music. Several restaurants are around to help keep your strength up.
The Sycuan Casino hosts a wide variety of acts as well, including Mariachi bands, 90’s cover bands, and actual bands from the ’70s. When you’re done with the concerts, head on over to the casino for cards, slots, and buffets.
There are a few notable names from the music industry that called El Cajon home at some point. Both Frank Zappa, well-known nonconformist and all around interesting guy, and Lester Bangs, rock critic immortalized by Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Almost Famous,” spent some of their childhood in El Cajon.
However, with apologies to fans of Rolling Stone Magazine and The Mother of Invention, El Cajon is not necessarily a hotbed of music royalty. That just means the city gives those interested in learning about audio engineering, producing, and everything else about the recording industry a little more breathing room.
That’s the reason Recording Connection mentor Bernard Johnson, owner of The Noize Factory, chose El Cajon. As he stated on the Noize Factory website, he chose El Cajon because “it wasn’t congested like all of the recording studios in the central part of San Diego.”
Yes, it’s important to be where the action is. But the ability to be away from the hustle and bustle can afford an artist, on either side of the microphone, a true freedom to express themselves. That’s what Recording Connection offers its student: focused one-on-one time with a mentor in a professional recording environment.
Besides, if you work hard enough, all of that hustle and bustle may just find you. Apply today.