On the Mike

ROCK ROCHAMBEAU: When hearing of this band, don’t think about news headlines regarding avalanches and school field trips. Rock Kills Kid is more interested in its electronic twist on the oh-so-popular sound styles of The Cure, The Smiths, and Joy Division. Just imagine if any of those bands had somehow skirted time and grew up listening to Nine Inch Nails and you’ll get the idea. Plenty of angst here — ironically, lead singer Jeff Tucker credits his involvement with the Los Angeles band as saving him from a life of youthful self-destruction. Rock Kills Kid plays at the Wildcat Lounge — which just happens to be the former employer of Reed Calhoun, the band’s drummer and keyboardist — on Friday, December 8 at 10:45 p.m. S.B. band The Strays open at 10 p.m.  — Drew Mackie

IN THE ROUND: Every month, the Trinity Backstage series introduces an intimate audience to a diverse crowd of singer/songwriters. While many travel far to enter the Trinity Hall, some of my faves are when organizers Kate Wallace and Doug Clegg host evenings in the round. This Saturday’s December coffeehouse features one of those events. Wallace and Clegg will be occupying two microphones, sharing the stage with Peter Gallway and James McVay. Guest pickers and singers will also be invited into the circle. The night of lyrical music with some of the best voices around will be well worth the $10 donation to benefit Jubilee Economic Ministries, a group working for sustainable economics. The show takes place at Trinity Episcopal Church, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m.  — Felicia M. Tomasko

THE PHISHERMAN: Trey Anastasio, of on-hiatus jam legend Phish, really needs no introduction. For those who appreciate his work, he’s a god among men. For those with whom Phish flopped, however, he’s just a guy with a guitar. In short, if you didn’t already have any interest in seeing a live performance of Anastasio’s solo compositions, then you probably already skipped down to the next item. As for those who made it to this sentence, let’s assume you’re already going to see him perform at the Majestic Ventura Theatre on Saturday, December 9.  — DM

LOS LINGUISTS: Though it would seem that Los Abandoned follow the curious trend of bands having names using the Spanish word “Los” before a word or phrase that is not Spanish, like Los Straitjackets or Los Lonely Boys, this band sings in both English and Spanish. Perhaps with that, the name makes sense. Touring in promotion of their new album, Mix Tape, Los Abandoned casually slip just as easily between genres, letting Latin spill into New Wave in a way that doesn’t happen too often on mainstream radio. The result is upbeat and quirky and entirely worth your time. See Los Abandoned play at the Lobero Theatre on Monday, December 11 at 8 p.m.  — DM

PHREAKY FUN: No holiday is better than when it’s imbued with psychedelic goodness. Expect it in plentiful supply at SOhO’s Santa Barbara Music Phreak Holiday Party, with improvisational jazz act Magicgravy headlining. The band is composed of Animal Liberation Orchestra’s Dan Lebowitz on guitar as well as the Motet’s Garrett Sayers and Dave Watts on bass and drums, respectively. As anybody who has heard Magicgravy perform can attest, the jazz will be groovy and free-flowing. The show is also a benefit for the Citizens’ Planning Association, so that’s all the more reason to drop by. The show is on Thursday, December 14 at 9:30 p.m.  — DM

STREET BEAT: On its own, the fact that Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA is coming to S.B. is reason enough to celebrate. But combine that with a general lack of hip-hop or rap talent onstage around these parts, and it becomes virtually mandatory for those even slightly into urban beats to head out to Velvet Jones this Thursday night. The famed producer of the Wu-Tang Clan’s albums, RZA has made his solo mark on the rap world with six albums since 1998, and will be arriving in town to promote his most recent, Afro Samurai, this Thursday, December 7.   — Sarah Hammill

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