Sound Go Round

TRIUMPHANT TRIO: Get ready to rock on March 1, as the Eric McFadden Trio blasts its electro-acoustic sound at SOhO. Underground rock musician Eric McFadden united acoustic bassist James Whiton and drummer Paulo Baldi in 2004 to create the threesome’s sound. McFadden brings his flamenco-rock guitar improvisations as well as funk, jazz, and experience in such bands as Liar, Eric McFadden Experience, Alien Livestock, and IZM to the group. The classically trained Whiton’s sound was recently described as “an amplified cello from hell-o,” based on his experimentation with percussive slaps and electronic effects on the acoustic bass. An innovative blend of American, European, Pan-African, and Latin influences, the music presents jazz runs, neo-classical chords, and hardcore R&B rhythms highlighted with mandolin trills. Before the trio takes the stage, welcoming the crowd will be openers Soledadeez — an S.B. acoustic groove band — and Pat MacDonald, the former guitarist and lead singer for TIMBUK3 who pioneered “Roots-Techno” music. — Stephanie Cain

SCREAMING GEOMETRY: When considering Savannah, Georgia, even the well-versed indie kids don’t necessarily think of the city’s underground music scene. Well, meet your ambassadors: the four-piece scream-o team Circle Takes the Square. Not only have they drawn continual praise since the release of their last album, the supremely hard-to-find 2004 debut As the Roots Undo, but they’ve also been compared to some brilliant, shrieking child of Fugazi and X. The rarity of Circle Takes the Square’s only album coupled with the almost call-and-response style of dueling male and female lead vocals has allowed this talented band to hover below the mainstream radar since they formed in 2001. Add a few points to your music-snob quotient by catching them as they play alongside Ventura rockers Glass & Ashes at the Hard to Find on Tuesday, February 28 at 8 p.m. — Drew Mackie

CARNAVAL AQUÍ: There’s no need to go all the way to Rio de Janeiro for your Brazilian culture. Not only does Santa Barbara County have the second-largest Portugese community in the West (second only to San Jose), but we’ve got our own Carnaval, complete with Rio-style bacchanalia. The third annual festival comes for two days this year, starting with the Carnaval Ball at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 24, at Cooney’s ($12 presale, $15 at the door), followed by a free screening of the Lazaro Faria documentary film City of Woman at noon on Sunday, February 26, at the Cabrillo Recreation Center. The ball is sure to be a blast, with music by Lula & Afro Brazil, New Cycle, and Arlindo Jr., an appearance by former Miss Brazil-U.S.A., dance by S.F.’s Aquarelle Dance Group, demonstrations by Santa Barbara’s best capoeira performers, and traditional caipirinha cocktails flowing to keep the party going. In keeping with true Carnaval style, attendees are welcome to wear costumes, and there will also be accessories available for purchase during the event. Call (818) 468-6474, (323) 428-1963, or visit — Molly Freedenberg

TRANSYLVANIA MEETS BRAZIL: This weekend, five prominent names are combining forces to raise money for the arts program of the Santa Barbara Charter School. Gilles Apap, virtuoso violinist and founder of the Transylvanian Mountain Boys, and world-class bossa vocalist/guitarist Téka will be joined by guitarist Chris Judge, bassist Brendan Statom, and percussionist Kevin Winard to make unclassifiable music at the Unitarian Society on Saturday, February 25, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are now on sale at Folk Mote Music. — Stanley Naftaly

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