by Matt Kettmann
FROM THE BOWL TO SOhO: The Damian Marley/Ben Harper show on Tuesday, August 15, at the Bowl will slide into SOhO for an official after-party sponsored by Everloving Records, the label that launched Jack Johnson’s first album. With a Bowl ticket stub, it’ll be free admission and SOhO-goers will get to see the Culver City Dub Collective, which features Jack Johnson’s drummer Adam Topol (pictured) leading the group in Lee “Scratch” Perry-inspired, King Tubby-esque beats. Everloving’s newest artist — and one of France’s best-selling pop stars — Piers Faccini is also on the bill, prepared to deliver his brand of West African rhythms and poetic ballads. It’ll be worth a post-concert visit, fo’ sho’.
THE ROCKS RUNDOWN: We can’t say it enough: Rocks is coming up in the State Street live music scene, and this coming week is no different. It begins tonight, Thursday, August 10, with 19-year-old Brittany Batastini, who plays the keys while belting out strong vocals; the Big Island of Hawai‘i’s Bhudahead; creative songwriting mastermind Matt McAvene, winner of the recent regional Battle of the Bands; and hometown boy Gabe Lackner, making another appearance before heading back to his Brooklyn digs. On Friday, August 11, the lineup features singer/songwriters Mike Schmid, Amy Kuney, Tim Fagan, and Kelly Dalton. Then on Saturday, August 12, make way for sultry L.A. songstress Quincy Coleman as well the Suspects and pop sensation Holden, a trio of San Marcos High grads who’ve been playing together and touring the country for years now. Even John Palminteri is rumored to be attending that show, which is a birthday bash for T-Rex Moore. And then, next Thursday, August 17, get ready for another appearance by Matt McAvene, who’‘ll be opening for L.A. rockers Arrica Rose and the …’s (fresh out of the studio with their full-length debut People Like Us on the streets) and Wild Blooms, an Austin-born duo who play an enticing brand of ethereal electronica.
UN OTRO TICO SHOW: Costa Rica native turned Santa Barbara resident Luis Muñoz makes a stop with his Latin jazz band at SOhO next Thursday, August 17. Muñoz, whose last album Vida garnered international praise, will be playing some songs off his upcoming release, which is tentatively titled Paz, combines jazz with Costa Rican folklore, and features the able help of Tom Etchart on bass, Jonathan Dane on trumpet, George Friedenthal on keys, Tom Buckner on woodwinds, Raul Rico on percussion, and Narciso Sotomayor — another Tico, as Costa Ricans call themselves — on guitar. So get a sneak peek at the new work from the one of the leaders in Latin jazz.
THE VELVET DOOR: A little further down State Street at the Velvet Jones, they’re welcoming a Friday night show from Ona, one of the county’s most promising original rock bands, and another appearance by the increasingly popular Vajra, a rock-funk-metal-jazz-hip-hop band outta L.A. with some S.B. roots. Then, the following Tuesday, August 15, SoCal’s latest offering of reggae-tinged punk-pop (or is it the other way around?) comes to the Velvet. That would be Dumbluck, whose growing presence on the West Coast club scene was bolstered by the recent release of the full-length album Sweetmilk Underground. They’re playing with Can’t Hang, the best reggae rock band to ever emerge from the greater Baltimore area.
LAST SHOTS: Inhibitions will get kicked out the back door at SOhO on Sunday night, August 13, for nine fearless adults plan to have their very own “Breakthrough Performances” that evening. As the culmination of an empowerment program for adults designed by music professional Mick Pulver, the night will feature shy men singing about love and timid women rocking out. Backed by the talented Breakthrough Band, the program graduates shall have the night of their lives. … Down south a tad at the Majestic Ventura Theatre, actress-turned-rocker Jada Pinkett Smith and her band Wicked Wisdom will rock the crowd on Thursday, August 17, before the legendarily creepy Alice Cooper hits the stage. No word on whether hubbie Will Smith will be there.