by Drew Mackie
ONE CRAZY NIGHT: If the sudden influx of tinsel and tree flocking into your everyday life doesn’t fill you with the holiday spirit, you might be interested in the Hanukkah Tour 2006, which pairs Jews and punk music for a rocking response to the Christmas season. The Oakland punks of Jewdriver — itself a response to the skinhead punk band Skrewdriver — advertise themselves as one of the worst bands in the Bay Area. Jewdriver will be joined by Yidcore, which is currently on its first-ever American tour, and its punk covers of Jewish classics like “If I Were a Rich Man” as well as originals like “Why Won’t Adam Sandler Let Us Do His Song?” are sure to put you in a Jewish-punk frenzy. And to close out the show will be New Orleans band The Zydepunks, which fuse Cajun, Irish, and Jewish sounds like nobody else. Literally. It all goes down on Sunday, December 17 at Casa de la Raza at 8 p.m.
SHARP CHEESE: Perhaps most familiar to house and electronica fans from its broadcasts on XM Radio, Los Angeles’s Max Cheddar — comprised of Brent Beaudette, Sean Smith, and David Heil — has climbed up the Southern California club scene. Now, Max Cheddar is starring at Elevation — Club Couchez’s night of experimental dance music. Elevation starts on Saturday, December 16 at 9 p.m.
TIMES THREE: S.B. hip-hop artist Damizza has three reasons to celebrate. Of course, this week’s concert anticipates the early 2007 release of his new album, Guilty by Association, which features collaborations with the likes of Mariah Carey, Nate Dogg, and Fat Joe. Perhaps even timelier than that, however, is that the show will also celebrate both Damizza’s birthday and the holiday season. The three-fold party may seem like a lot to pack into a venue in one night, but it’s actually small potatoes for a guy who has worked hard enough to publish two albums on his own personal label, BabyRee Records. Party three times over on Saturday, December 16 at Velvet Jones.
SEXY STRUCTURES: Buildings Breeding may suggest a venture into the grotesque, but this Davis-based band delivers a lighter sound that falls somewhere between the indie and surf varieties of rock music. The band, which recently released its debut album, is swinging through Santa Barbara between its L.A. and San Francisco gigs, which means residents could get a chance to see Buildings Breeding before they go big. Other acts include the rockers of SeaHag. Be at Muddy Waters on Monday, December 18 at 8 p.m.
JONESING FOR HER: Acclaimed singer, two-time Grammy winner, and self-described “lower-middle-class, hillbilly-hipster” Rickie Lee Jones takes S.B. by storm this Monday night. Jones may have never become the next Joni Mitchell — as music critics dubbed her upon her debut in 1978 — but that’s probably only because her creative energies evolved too quickly to pigeonhole her in one role. Jones scored a major hit with “Chuck E.’s in Love” and has continued to write and perform rock, soul, and jazz all the while, but she has often poured more energy into political activism than being a rock star. Nonetheless, Jones will be releasing a new album, The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard, in early 2007. And in case any of that doesn’t give Jones enough credibility, know this: She dated Tom Waits. That alone means she has staying power. See Jones sing new and old songs at SOhO on Monday, December 18.
Y MAS: If none of the above suits your fancy, here’s a quick rundown of the rest of the weekly happs. Everything old is repackaged again with The New Cars performing at the Majestic Ventura Theatre on Thursday, December 14, with original members Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes, plus legend Todd Rundgren. The best of ’60s and ’70s soul comes to SOhO with the Soul City Survivors — with singing, dancing, and the whole shebang on Friday, December 15 at 9:30 p.m. One Silver Astronaut’s Shane Mills treads the line between indie rocker and singer/songwriter with his performance at Borders in Goleta on Saturday, December 16 at 8 p.m. And Elsie’s hosts indie kids Stackis and Julie Mack on Tuesday, December 19 at 9 p.m.