Our neighbors from more snow-laden lands may scoff at Santa Barbara’s version of chilly winter weather, but the dropping temperatures are as good a reason as any to duck into the city’s finer venues for a musical treat. Think of it as a soundtrack to our distinctly Southern California winter.
Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks The days as frontman to Pavement long behind him, Malkmus has nonetheless continued epitomizing indie rock coolness with his new bandmates, The Jicks. Sat., Jan. 13, 9pm. SOhO, 1221 State St. 962‑7776 or sohosb.com.
David Bromberg and the Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet Those seeking the best in acoustic, rootsy music should check out this lineup. Bromberg, a one-man powerhouse of all things guitar-based, has performed alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, but remains respected for his own fusion of blues, country, jazz, and folk. Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, meanwhile, are both cult heroes in the world of bluegrass. Sat., Jan. 13, 8pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. 963‑0761 or lobero.com.
Elliott Brood and the Ana Egge Trio Bluegrass fans are in for a treat with the arrival of Elliott Brood, who accompanies his deft guitar work with lyrics that explore the darker side of life, namely love, loss, and murder. He will share the stage with Ana Egge and her bandmates, whose poetic compositions serve as a lighter but nonetheless sophisticated complement to Brood’s music. Sat., Jan. 20, 8pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. 963‑0761 or lobero.com.
Cache Valley Drifters A mere hippie band no longer, the Cache Valley Drifters have developed a following with their blend of bluegrass and country. Since their inception in the early ’70s, this trio has become known for throwing in covers of Etta James or Paul Simon as freely into their performances as they would a hearty fiddle solo. Sun., Jan. 21, 7:30pm. SOhO, 1221 State St. 962‑7776 or sohosb.com.
GZA Best known for membership in the Wu-Tang Clan, this cousin of RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard has released acclaimed solo work as well. Hear work from his newest, yet-to-be released album, More Words from the Genius. Fri., Jan. 26. Velvet Jones, 423 State St. 965‑8676 or velvet‑jones.com.
2 Guitarviols The band succinctly explains its sound with the following: “Vivaldi crashes a Santana concert. Yanni conducts.” If that’s not enough to sell you, know that this four-piece band uses its strings to create a genuinely one-of-a-kind sound that should delight anyone looking for a break from typical sonic fare. Sun., Jan. 28. Borders Books, 900 State St. 899‑3668.
Zilla Like jam rock? Think music is better without words? Then check out Zilla. Led by Michael Travis of String Cheese Incident, Zilla is a three-man army of experimental, improvisational rock sweetness. Sun., Jan. 28. Velvet Jones, 423 State St. 965‑8676 or velvet‑jones.com.
Hot Buttered Rum Practicing their “high altitude” bluegrass, Bay Area band Hot Buttered Rum has been popular among the genre’s aficionados since its breakout performance at the 2005 Telluride Bluegrass Festival. The band is known for its spirited performances, in which it demonstrates how its various rock, country, and folk influences combine. Sun., Jan. 28, 8:30pm. SOhO, 1221 State St. 962‑7776 or sohosb.com.
The Get Up Though this band has existed for less than a year, don’t let that deter you from catching on to its funky sound. While many rock bands credit funk as an inspiration, you can hear artists like Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix coming together and influencing this Los Angeles band’s danceable songs. Thu., Feb. 1, 8:30pm. SOhO, 1221 State St. 962‑7776 or sohosb.com.
Moving Units You gotta love a guitar-based dance party. And thank UCSB’s Associated Students Program Board for this free show by one of the more groove-worthy bands to emerge from the indie rock movement. Opening bands include Kissing Tigers, Henry Clay People, and Young Turks. Fri., Feb. 2. UCSB’s Hub. 893‑2064 or aspb.as.ucsb.edu.
RatDog Fronted by founding Grateful Dead member Bob Weir, RatDog carries on the spirit of the original psychedelic legend by playing light-hearted, trippy rock — and by constantly touring. Sat., Feb. 10. Majestic Ventura Theatre, 26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura. 653‑0721 or venturatheater.net.
Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams With a name like that, you should rightly be at a loss for what to expect. This four-piece band — February’s entry in the Sings Like Hell series — reportedly play a certain variety of rock that simultaneously evokes thoughts of Americana with a special something else. “Whimsy” is the watchword. Sat., Feb. 17, 8pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. 963‑0761 or lobero.com.
Bob Schneider An Austin singer/songwriter who has achieved moderate success with his solo albums — Lonelyland and I’m Good Now — Bob Schneider has managed to escape mainstream music trends and establish a committed following. Sun., Feb. 18. Velvet Jones, 423 State St. 965‑8676 or velvet‑jones.com.
Los Lobos It’s simple mathematics: Take the sum of old-fashioned rock plus Latin rhythms, then add the 30 years Los Lobos has been performing. The result of this equation is genre-spanning quality that has made this five-man band a standout act. Thu., Feb. 22, 8pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. 893‑3535 or www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
The Take Action Tour A benefit for suicide prevention at the National Hopeline Network, the Take Action Tour comes to UCSB with some of the best hardcore and punk acts these parts will see in the winter months. The lineup includes the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Emery, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, A Static Lullaby, and Kaddisfly. Fri., Feb. 23. UCSB’s Hub. 893‑2064 or aspb.as.ucsb.edu.
Winger After splitting from Alice Cooper’s band in 1987, Kip Winger set out to rock in his own name. Winger has fused glam and metal to much acclaim ever since. Fri., Mar. 2. Velvet Jones, 423 State St. 965‑8676 or velvet‑jones.com.
Dropkick Murphys Not the only band to take a familiar genre and stamp it into the mold of punk rock, the Dropkick Murphys have certainly become one of the most famous for pairing traditional Irish sounds with hard, fast guitars. Sun., Mar. 4. Majestic Ventura Theatre, 26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura. 653‑0721 or venturatheater.net.
Akwid As immigrants from Mexico who came to Los Angeles during childhood, Sergio and Francisco Gomez grew up with a cross-section of music that formed the basis for their sound. The two, who took the stage named “AK” and “Wikid,” rap over the brassy, upbeat sounds of traditional Mexican music. Sat., Mar. 10. Majestic Ventura Theatre, 26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura. 653‑0721 or venturatheater.net.