Velvet Voices and Razor Strings

Lil-Ed-jump.jpgCHICAGO’S IMPERIAL BLUES: When it comes to blues, it just don’t get any dirtier than the brand they lay down in Chicago, the hometown of Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials. The short but larger-than-life Lil’ Ed comes to town this weekend, Saturday, September 16, to play for the Santa Barbara Blues Society in Warren Hall at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The show is part of his tour to promote the excellent new recording Rattleshake, so prepare for the most raucous, hard-partying blues show of the year. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., so see or call 897-0080 for more info.  — Matt Kettmann

CITRUS PUNK: Owing more to their Orange County roots than to the deadly defoliant of the same name, Agent Orange’s discography spans more than two decades and extends far beyond the heyday of the OC punk scene. The group achieved local renown after their discovery by KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer in 1981, and punk fans have celebrated their releases ever since. Granted, Agent Orange’s albums drop at intervals of about five years each, but those in-betweens have let the trio — currently Mike Palm, Scott Miller, and James Levesque — mold their sound from strict surf punk to something that incorporates various subgenres as freely as it does the crash of heavy metal. Check them out Friday, September 15, at Velvet Jones. Doors open at 9 p.m.  — Drew Mackie

DIRTY DUO: It’s a pairing that would beat even the dream concert double-headliner of George Strait and Marvin Gaye in terms of sheer humor. New Hampshire goofballs The Queers and Australian punk mainstays the Hard-Ons will be in Santa Barbara for a night of loud, fast music, though one should expect the show will not yield nearly as much suggestive content as the names of the bands themselves. The Queers — whose good-naturedly off-color lyrics reveal that the band is not all that queer — have been recording since 1982, though they only gained national recognition with the 1993 release, Love Songs for the Retarded. Founding member Joe King now leads a new lineup in the same style of upbeat, old-fashioned punk. Not to be out-crassed, the Hard-Ons came onto the scene with Smell My Finger. Their newest, Most People Are a Waste of Time, dropped this last March, and gave new reason to pay attention to the band’s mix of bouncy punk and toilet humor. One of Australia’s more successful indie bands, the Hard-Ons aren’t letting their recent 21st birthday deter them from their trademark puerile style. Catch both bands September 19 at Velvet Jones. And just try to resist making your own pun.  — DM

FEMME FATALE: It’s not easy carving out a name for yourself in a sea of female singer/songwriters, but S.B.’s Jennifer Terran has done just that. Her wispy, pained voice and haunting piano have caught the ear of Rolling Stone and The Times of London, and her recently released fifth album Full Moon in 3 was produced by Grammy Award-winner Husky Hoskulds, the man behind fellow females Norah Jones and Fiona Apple. This Sunday, September 17, Terran will play a farewell concert at SOhO with cello accompaniment by Laura Mihalka before kicking off her European tour. The show starts at 8 p.m. with an opening act by a solo Mihalka.  — Sarah Hammill

ROCKS ROCKS: Rocks is at it again with four nights of solid talent. Indie rockers Connection, Dominic Balli, and Paul Wright usher in the weekend on Thursday night. Velvet-throated Lisa Goe, country crooner Rikka Z, and Justin Michael’s Change take the stage Friday, with Kyran Million — sweet name, dude — Brittany Batastini, and S.B. favorite Matthew McAvene on the mike Saturday. The weekend capper features James Peel, the impressive swinging blues and jazz man Orlando Napier, and Cats and Dogs on Sunday. -SH

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