by Chris Conde
To the outsider, San Antonio might not come across as a rich, cultural playground brimming with artistic talents of many flavors. We’re known to most as home of the Spurs or that place with the Alamo, or that city close to Austin (also, why don’t you move to Austin?).
I’m sure you’ve had this conversation with people who aren't from here as they sneeringly inquire just what the hell to do around in town. One may feel eager to share the favorite dive bars, the amazing local band they saw at K23, or even the weird installation they saw somewhere in Southtown. Or maybe you choose to keep your local secrets to yourself and direct them to a chain restaurant on the Riverwalk. San Antonio doesn’t offer a cultural experience to those who aren't willing to at least try looking. It doesn’t thrust itself upon foreigners begging to be validated. San Antonio is the cool punk rock lady, confident in who she is, and unaffected by whether or not society deems her cool.
That vibe is also echoed within the music community here. And really, that don't-give-a-fuck-just-gonna-rock-out vibe has been the most appealing feature of watching the scene grow in recent years. If you want to get involved and do some cool shit here, there’s room to do it and people to support you.
Which is exactly what Ryan Brummett did with Mondo Nation. Wanting to bring bands that wouldn’t necessarily come through San Antonio while giving them a non-traditional space to do their thing (like rooftops and art galleries) became the main focus of Mondo Nation after the blog started to gain some steady traffic. Noticed for his work with Mondo Nation, Brummett was picked up by from the folks behind Paper Tiger to be the talent buyer and general manager, which understandably forced him to focus less on the collective he founded.