Sonoma County Rocks!

Sonoma County rock band collage

Our Story

Once upon a time in March 2011, Sonoma County’s only modern rock radio station switched formats to Top 40 without notice to its listeners. All of the local rock bands that relied on 101.7FM (The Fox) for exposure through shows like “North Bay Underground” were suddenly orphaned. I was in one band at the time that had gotten airplay on NBU. I felt like I was part of a pivotal moment. People were so upset that they literally picketed the streets in front of the studio that was no longer supporting local music but sold themselves out in the name of hypercelebs. Imagine a mob of angry rockers yelling to sympathetically honking cars that they don’t want another Top 40 station, they want their local rock station back!

(Article: https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/2294409-181/hard-rock-fox-goes-mellow?sba=AAS )

I knew something needed to happen.

I registered the socorock.com domain and built a local promotional website/blog around it. I wanted local bands to have a place to go to share and promote their music and upcoming shows in the midst of the abandonment of essentially the only outfit that reached out to the local bands in the area.

I integrated a streaming web radio that played submitted tracks. That radio still streams local Sonoma County rock tracks and live concerts from that period 24/7, just take a look on the right.

SoCoRock was really generating some buzz in the area when I discovered I could also stream live audio to my web radio (Remember that this is 2011 before the explosion of mobile livestreaming). I got the idea to take my laptop to some shows and stream the bands live for anyone in the world to hear. It went really well and all of the sudden artists in every direction were asking me to stream their next shows. They were incredibly appreciative, fans loved it and I was having a great time. I remember every one of the local shows I went to and still have all of the recordings, most of which play in rotation on SoCoRock radio.

During this time a close-knit team made up of good friends and family gathered around around the project to help in different aspects of promotion. I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Bianca, Amanda, Natalie, Dave, Jake, Justin, Jen, Megan and so many others that helped us all with SoCoRock. None of this could have happened without you. We met so many passionate and talented artists, awesome fans, receptive and enthusiastic venues and got to experience countless unforgettable shows. We made friends with so many genuine and awesome people that I started realizing there was something to all of this that was bigger than just this specific scene. Microcosms like this form, and have formed, everywhere in the world.

SoCoRock promotional video from 2012 by ZerotoHeroFilm

My realization was that there are performing artists of every genre, in every corner of the world, wanting and needing new avenues of exposure.  With COVID-19 running rampant I believe this sentiment is amplified tenfold.

Mobile livestreaming has done a great service bringing live performance to the next level. Musicians and artists dominate generalized livestreaming platforms such as Reddit/RPAN, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook Live. That’s why I’m so passionate, especially right now, about the project I started in 2015 which I will always see as the Lovechild of SoCoRock. SubJam is a mobile livestreaming platform that takes what we learned about scene building during SoCoRock’s heyday and applies it to all of the diverse music communities of the world. It’s designed from the ground up to harness the uniqueness of music communities and scenes in attempts to augment the magic they sow.

In the years to follow the fun we all had with SoCoRock, I would move out of Sonoma County and unfortunately be disconnected from the music scene. Instead of removing SoCoRock from the Internet I continue to hold this domain to pay tribute to the hard work and great times that were had (And who knows, maybe more great times in the future?).

Thank you all for being a part of our little project. It will always hold an  incredibly special place in my heart and I’m proud of what we were all able to contribute, even for a short amount of time, to one of the most amazing and unique music scenes in the world.

— Jordan Erickson

Listen to SoCoRock Radio