Politics at SOhO

ARIA GETS NAKED: A new artistically inclined multimedia organization called ARIA Global is hosting a multi-band, all-acoustic event called “NAKED” at SOhO this evening, with proceeds going to the Save Naples Coalition, which is opposing development on a sensitive portion of the Gaviota Coast. Heads-up to S.B. music lovers: All the bands slated to play claim our area as home. Buellton’s Ona, with its heavy electric sound and Incubus-esque vocals, should be interesting to hear unplugged. They’ll segue into Jonas Day, who describe themselves as “Jeff Buckley dreaming that Radiohead meets Damien Rice at a Dave Matthews concert.” Matt McAvene, whose art has been described as both primitive and realist, is best known musically for his stream-of-consciousness lyrics, but is also a prolific artist who will design the stage’s backdrop. There’s also sultry songstress-on-the-mountain Jennifer Terran as well as ARIA’s creative director Stephanie Croff and classical pianist/songwriter Jason Serfling. All of the artists are supported by the burgeoning ARIA Global group, which was founded last year by Brandi Bennitt as a company devoted to promoting — via downloads, marketing, and branding — one-of-a-kind music, art, and writing. The group is also dedicated to supporting environmental and social justice causes across the globe, which means proceeds from downloads go straight to charity. Check the Web site at, but more importantly, go to the show, which starts tonight at SOhO at 7 p.m. — Hudson Hornick

VELVET VARIETY: If you love Bob Marley, Sublime, and Jack Johnson and you’re a regular on the State Street scene, then chances are you’re already crazy about Rebelution. Their combination of reggae, hip-hop, and rock have made them a favorite of music lovers all over town, so join the crew tonight, Thursday, April 6, at Velvet Jones.

Then on Friday, April 7, prepare for a lineup of heavy, progressive hard rock bands called Trace Element and Red With Envy. No eardrum will be left undisturbed. The evening will also feature the hypnotic yet humble orchestrations of Born Tonight, whose music is as enticing as Tool but, at the same time, strangely optimistic. Last up that night will be Barry Sparks, a longtime touring rocker and champion of old-school metal. He’s played with everyone from the Michael Schenker Group to Uli Jon Roth, and been on tour with big names like Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, and the Scorpions. How’s that for authority? On Saturday, the Velvet variety continues with an R&B/soul night that should be a real treat for regulars. Ron Patterson has been singing in R&B and hip-hop groups since he was just a kid, and now his musical talents are at their peak. He’ll be there April 8. — Mary Vanderpool

COMING HOME: Eli Goldsmith and David Courtenay, former teammates on Santa Barbara High School’s baseball team, may be pursuing music careers in L.A., but they haven’t forgotten where they came from. Slated to perform at SOhO on Sunday, April 9, singer/songwriter Goldsmith will open for The David Courtenay Band. While the band plans to entertain from an arsenal of originals that mix reggae, funk, and rock, some crowd-pleasing Elton John, Billy Joel, and even Frank Sinatra covers are also on the playlist. Make it a family affair: Courtenay’s strong, classic vocals have cross-generational appeal reminiscent of his early folk rock influences. For those who like to mix their music with their politics, or vice versa, a portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to Artists’ originals can be found at and — Elizabeth Tippet

BETTER THAN LEFTOVERS: Other shows to watch for include The Hard to Find’s gig on Thursday, April 13, with headliners Crush, Kill Destroy, a band outta Chicago on the Contraphonic label with truly original melodic and distorted rock… . Also, on Friday at Reds in the Funk Zone, Canadian songwriters Laurell Hubick and Mary Simon will play. They follow it up with a show at Finestra Caffe on Sat., Apr. 8. — Matt Kettmann

WMC IN MIAMI: In the 21 years since the Winter Music Conference began in South Beach Miami, contemporary dance music has spread more rapidly then any other form of music in history. This year, we sent Indy editor Charles Donelan to see what the fast-growing buzz was about. Read his report online at

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