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Wednesday, June 01, 2005 | Every Wednesday at 7 p.m., the art, fashion and music of San Diego artists collide on Art Rocks, an Internet radio show broadcast on wsRadio.com – the only art-focused show of its kind in San Diego. The show, which first streamed live from cyberspace on Nov. 6, 2002, has been cruising ever since with listeners from around the world and audio archives to boot. I recently sat down with the show’s colorful co-hosts, Ally Bling Bling (a.k.a. Alexandra Rosa) and Philly Joe Swendoza (a.k.a. Philip Swenson), to learn more about this much needed show.

Immediately, I was curious to know how this similar-yet-very-different pair came to meet. As it turns out they both made their way to San Diego for a change of pace – Ally from Wall Street and Philly Joe from New York – where they met at a party. From there, their creative juices began to co-mingle and their first endeavor – a monthly TV show called “San Diego Arts Now” – was born. In 2001, five years into the project, upon learning of the freedoms and possibilities of Internet radio, they cut the TV cord and have been Web-based ever since. As Philip explained, the art scene “is extremely vibrant, especially underground. All of which is in the Internet world (and) we’re right in the middle of it!”

When asked about why they do what they do, it became obvious to me why these two kindred art enthusiasts joined forces. Both native San Diegans, Philip and Alexandra not only have a passion for San Diego artists, but above all else love being a launching pad for the San Diego art community. They, in the words of Philip, see their work as “a way to create a media soundboard for San Diego art, fashion and music.” Or in Ally’s words, “we get the word out, (and hopefully) get people off their couches and out there to go see a play, music (etc.) … There’s a lot out there.” They both also agree that the San Diego art scene is rapidly emerging and the more they and the public can do to support it the better.

Next and quite unfairly on my part, I asked them if they had any favorite San Diego artists. Admittedly it was too painful to pick just a few, but Philip did say they really admired the work of past guests like painters Sinclair Stratton and Nathan Horner. Both of which have gone on to greater success after appearing on the show. But please do not be fooled, they paint their guests with a wide brush from poets to photographers to musicians and fashion designers.

Needless to say a lack of inspiration is never an issue for them or their listeners. Although perhaps more inspiring is Alexandra’s and Philip’s dedication to the San Diego art community. They are here to stay. Interestingly enough that is what they say inspires them most about the artists they interview – their dedication.

As if producing a radio show wasn’t enough, Philip and Ally have recently launched Art Rocks TV which streams live at www.artrocks.tv. They’ve also expanded their staff to include photographer Clint Kapp, who you can check out at ckapp.com, and TV producer Solar Man (no, it’s not his real name).

All that said, support your local arts community and check out Art Rocks (wsradio.com/artrocks), for in the simple yet profound words of Philly Joe Swendoza, “Does Art Rock or What?”

Listen to Art Rocks at http://www.wsradio.com/artrocks.

Sarah Hurd is a local writer, fashion designer, activist and community bridge builder.

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