Spooky Music

by Drew Mackie

No rattling chains and screeching cats here. Abandon your long-held beliefs about what Halloween should sound like because Santa Barbara’s finer music venues will be providing suitably festive music that will serve as a better backdrop for this year’s parties. APOCALYPSE NOW: Easily the strangest event to grace Santa Barbara in a while, FishboN Apocalypse: Trials and Tribulations will put a decidedly unconventional twist on the regular Halloween atmosphere. Less a concert than an interactive artistic experience set to music, the FishboN Apocalypse purports to represent the metaphysical battle of man against darkness and chaos, specifically taking place on Halloween — All Soul’s Day — as this time represents a change in the planet’s seasonal energy. Take that to mean what you will, but the event will feature elaborate decorations representing various stages of the archetypal “hero” journey — the mouth of hell, a labyrinth, and a dismal forest where you receive armor to battle a dragon. Yes, that’s right — a dragon. To be honest, this scenario could play out to be quite cool or scary in a sense that goes far beyond Halloween. But have faith. In addition to the theatrics, FishboN Apocalypse boasts live music from artists Scott Cazan and Scott Perry, as well as a DJ for the after party in Paradise, where participants will emerge for drinks, dancing, and lounging once they complete their quest and the dragon is smitten.

The event is organized by a cooperative of artists who stage unique, engaging party events. In all, it sounds a little strange. But since this is the time of year for people to act out of the ordinary, FishBoN Apocalypse may just prove to be the event that turns Halloween on its head. Advanced purchase of tickets is needed for either the October 26 show at the FishBoN Pescadrome at 101 S. Quarantina or at Reds on October 28. Both events run from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, visit

MONSTER MASH: Rock venue Velvet Jones will be treating costumed crowds twice this year. Ventura psychobilly trio The Graveside Rockers will be having the release party for their new album, The Hymns of Iniquity, on Friday, October 27. Don’t let their predilection for monster movie fonts and skull insignias deter you — these guys fall more toward Tiger Army than Rob Zombie, so the spookiness should be tolerable for the uninitiated. Velvet Jones will be celebrating the holiday with the spooky side of punk again — on Tuesday, October 31 — with Devilock, a Misfits tribute band, and Los Angeles-based punk-metal outfit Murderland. The latter will also be celebrating the release of its new CD.

For yet another breed of punk, local mainstay Nerf Herder will be performing a Halloween show at SOhO on Thursday, October 28. The evening will also feature a round of punk rock karaoke and When Monsters Walked the Earth — also known as the rock, punk, and new-wave loving DJ Matson and DJ Ives. Ever the Star Wars fans, the boys of Nerf Herder promise that any attendee coming in an R2D2 costume will get a free shot of whiskey. The festivities begin at 9 p.m.

Locals who are not in search of the perfect punk-o-lantern may want to look into Captain Ahab, a two-man happy hardcore team playing at Muddy Waters on Thursday, October 28, at 9 p.m. The band may have reached its current fame for its single “Snakes on the Brain,” but that track isn’t characteristic of the band’s intensively upbeat and immediately danceable indie techno. Captain Ahab will be joined at this show by local threesome automatic:automatic, who will help ensure that those hunting for a progressive music Halloween will go home happy.

So grab that costume, pound whatever drink suits your fancy, and pick your vice. Sure, you might not be able to hear any of it through a rubber Frankenstein mask, but just knowing that you’re spending the holiday in the safe confines of a bar — instead of roaming the streets with a gang of sugar-addled children — should be reason enough to have a happy Halloween.

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