How to Find Where to Go for Your Musical Kicks
As Isla Vista welcomes a brand new crop of eager young freshman—the promise of four years of curfew-free, parent-free, semi-adulthood reflected in their bright, shining eyes—I can’t help but be reminded of my own freshman year. I will spare you the gory details, suffice it to say that the bright, shining eyes thing doesn’t last forever.
After the initial thrill of move-in day, it’s hungover, exhausted, and overwhelmed eyes that generally become the norm amongst UCSB’s newbies. And for the first few weeks of my freshman fall quarter, I was no exception. Forget figuring out my class schedule or determining what I wanted to major in, I was just trying to make it through UCSB’s infamous bike paths in one piece.
Here’s my problem—I get lost. A lot. I could have the best directions Mapquest has to offer and I will still manage to get lost. I think I spent the better part of my freshman year frantically circling the bike paths, trying to figure out if I should go straight, take a turn, or just give up and camp out on the grass until someone decided to send a search party after me.
Fortunately for me, once I traverse the same territory about a thousand times, I get a pretty good idea of how to get around. Nowadays, I can proudly say that I am able to navigate the bike paths with ease. But finding my way around unfamiliar places is still not my forte, which is a shame, because in Isla Vista, the best film, art, and music can be found in the most unexpected—and unfamiliar—places. From the patio of a sushi restaurant to the patio in some guy’s backyard, there’s nothing like witnessing a concert, art show, or standup act at the best venues I.V. has to offer. That is, of course, if you can find the event to begin with.
That’s where MySpace comes in. Now, Myspace.com has many well-known identities: it’s the best place to stalk secret crushes, the best place to post photos of yourself practicing your favorite America’s Next Top Model poses, and the best place to discreetly find out how many other blue-eyed Libras share your fascination with Molly Ringwald movies. But, believe it or not, MySpace is also a great resource for navigating I.V.’s live entertainment scene.
To get started, check out Isla Vista Music at www.myspace.com/islavistamusic. This site features flyers for upcoming shows and enough comments, posts, and links from musicians and music-lovers alike to keep you surfing for hours.
For everything from hip-hop hotspots to politically progressive punk shows, check out KCSB‘s www.myspace.com/kcsb.This site is the official MySpace of UCSB’s radio station (KCSB 91.9 FM) and it features a full calendar of the station’s upcoming events as well as a full sidebar of links to the best of the best venues from The Empty Garage to The Hard to Find Showspace. (As well, check out www.myspace.com/theemptygarage and www.myspace.com/thehardtofind, whose last show is the November 8 Xiu Xiu performance.)
For fans of hardcore, emo-core, and pretty much any other music style ending in “core,” there’s also the relatively new Scimitar Cooperative at www.myspace.com/santabarbarashows. This metal mecca is the best place to check out if you like your music loud, fast, and hard.
Looking to track down poets, comics, and performance artists without having to traverse the busy streets of I.V.? Isla Vista Open Mic is the place to do just that, and www.myspace.com/openmiciv is the place to find info about the only shows where anything goes, and music, comedy, poetry, pizza, and beer are all readily available in one place.
If the open mic has you in the mood for some good stand-up, www.myspace.com/ Santabarbaracomedy has listings of upcoming comedy shows at SOhO on State Street and www.myspace.com/SBComedynights has info about similar shows at Brick’s Cafe downtown.
For comedy, drama, romance, and action a bit closer to home, look no further than the nearest big party. For the same sensations without all the puke on your shoes and the possibility of waking up in the drunk tank, try checking out a movie instead. Magic Lantern Films—I.V.’s famous purveyors of top-quality films at student-budget prices—has a MySpace too, and it is one of the best places to find their screenings schedule as well as links to other arts and entertainment programs. (It’s more updated than the film series’ website.) Surfing the friends section at www.myspace.com/magiclantern turns up a veritable treasure trove of links to everything from the Associated Students Program Board’s MySpace (for the lazy, that would be www.myspace.com/aspbfilms) to the MySpace site for I.V. musical heroes, Kissing Tigers (that’s www.myspace.com/kissingtigers). And, as you might expect, it’s the best place to find fellow film geeks who can clue you in to upcoming lectures, special events, and screenings.
The aforementioned sites are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to I.V.-related MySpace listings. Sure, you should probably be spending the first few weeks of fall quarter studying rather than surfing the web, but really, who wants to do that? Plus, there’s no better way to navigate the vast network of music, art, and film resources than from the comfort and safety of your own home. And if you take the time to do a little MySpace-ing before you venture out into the mean streets of I.V., you just might be able to Mapquest the address of the next Rebelution (try out www.myspace.com/rebelutionmusic) show rather than pulling a Mollie and spending 20 minutes trying to find the 6900 block of D.P.(Yes, I did actually do that once.)