THE LACK IS BACK: After doing time in Brooklyn, Mountain Drive native and soulful SoCal singer/songwriter Gabe Lackner has returned to S.B. and to the family recording studio, where he’s been hard at work producing six tracks for a new EP. “I’ve been trying to get more cohesive with my sound,” said Lackner, whose debut solo album, Behind These Eyes, came out exactly two years ago. “Living in New York, I was forced to base my songs around solo acoustic guitar, so that determined the direction of my work.”
Lackner played with local reggae band The Canons and with alternative Latin rock band the ConGa PunKs before moving to Brooklyn a few years ago, where he soaked up the urban East Coast vibe. “There’s an amazing contrast between Santa Barbara and New York, and I’m trying to find a balance between the two,” he said. “In Brooklyn I’d sit on the subway for hours. Back in Santa Barbara, I surf Rincon. All of it influences my work.” Tracks on his new EP include the wistful, self-reflective “Contradiction,” and the mellow, lilting ballad “Just Flow,” while hand drums drive the organic rhythms of “Wind.” “I’m asking questions in these songs,” Lackner said. “They’re almost like prayers.”
Though he cites Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Nick Drake, and David Gray among those whose sound has influenced his own, Lackner is inspired by everything from progressive house to hip-hop, Jeff Buckley to John Legend. Many styles converge in his work, but his roots are deep in the SoCal soil. “The kind of music I want to make feels like it’s born from here,” he said.
Lackner’s album release party is tonight, Thursday, January 18 at SOhO, with special guest Omar Cowan opening. The $10 cover includes a free CD. To get a taste of Lackner’s soulful sound or download a track, check out myspace.com/gabelacknermusic. — Elizabeth Schwyzer
SO OVER IT: Despite what its name might imply, the Huntington Beach pop band Over It hopes you are not, in fact, over the pop-punk genre. The five-man band — which originally called Alexandria, Virginia, home before relocating to California — has been emulating their skate punk idols at Fat Wreck Chords since 1998, though their sound has skewed more toward the pop side of the genre. Formerly of the Santa Barbara-based label Lobster Records, Over It released its major label debut, Step Outside Yourself, in summer 2006. Catch the free show Thursday, January 25 at noon at UCSB’s Storke Plaza. — Drew Mackie
HARD EQUATION: To quote: “Three fat guys plus two skinny guys, divided by spaghetti, equals hardcore dinner music, which is a geometric code of Indorphine.” That’s how this Orlando metal band sums itself up. Math seems like a poetic but odd choice, however, as the band’s intense sound seems more of an attack on the senses than an appeal to the logical side of the brain. Known for raucous shows that incorporate audience participation, Indorphine explains its whole take on rock star status with the title of its newest album: Glowsticks for Clubbing Baby Seals. Indorphine plays with similarly styled Invitro, Reignition, and Waking the Destroyer at Velvet Jones on Friday, January 19. — DM
IRON HORSE: As one of the founding members of the Stone Poneys, Kenny Edwards has spent some serious quality time with Linda Rondstadt, singing and arranging her music. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had the opportunity to play with some of the other great artists in the country, folk, and rock genres — including Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks, Brian Wilson, and Don Henley, just to name a few. In recent years, Edwards has taken up residence in Santa Barbara and finished polishing his singer/songwriter talents. He brings his experience and creativity to a show on Saturday, January 20 at Trinity Backstage at 1500 State Street. — DM