YOUNG GUNS: As we creep into high shopping season and start realizing that most of our weekends from here on through New Year’s are going to be devoted to holiday party schmoozing, I encourage you to get up, get out, and get your rock on-before it’s too late. You see, starting next week it seems that the S.B. music scene may be taking the big Christmas plunge, playing host to holiday-themed shows from Tina and Laura Schlieske (Thursday, December 11, at SOhO), Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Tuesday, December 16, at the Arlington), and Venice (Sunday, Decmeber 14, at SOhO).
For those of us who can do without a newfangled take on “Jingle Bells,” “White Christmas,” or “Silent Night,” I present to you this week’s offerings in pre-seasonal tunes. Think of it as your sonic remedy to holly jolly overload.
On Thursday, December 11, the bright young music makers of Santa Barbara’s indie rock movement will be out in full force, infiltrating both Goleta’s Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave.) and the late-night SOhO scene (1221 State St.) If you’re looking to stick downtown, I recommend the triple threat of The Little Heroes (thelittleheroes.com), Threadspinner (threadspinner.net), and Caught in Motion (myspace.com/caughtinmotion), which starts at 9 p.m. at SOhO. Though the four gents behind The Little Heroes currently reside in L.A., their union and musical brainchild was born and raised right here in Santa Barbara. Heralded by the folks at Billboard Magazine, Amplifier, and allmusic.com for their creative blend of pop hooks, catchy lyrics, and Coldplay-esque songscapes, the Heroes have made quite the name for themselves. Likewise, the thoughtfully punchy tunes off their 2007 release, Cinematic Americana, have been picked up by the hard-working music programmers on One Tree Hill and USA’s In Plain Sight. Joining the guys on Thursday will be the adorable and talented twosome behind S.B.’s own Threadspinner (making their SOhO debut), as well as the Portland, Oregon-based Caught in Motion, who recently put the finishing touches on their new LP. The album, titled On the Edge of a Dream, was recorded entirely in Santa Barbara and is chock-full of piano-driven sentimentality, toe-tapping drum and bass, and a skillfully reserved collection of crunching guitar work. Needless to say, the night promises a shining collection of young talent on the verge of breaking in big. Tickets are $7 and the show is 21+. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for details.
FOLK, YEAH! If a mellower take on indie rock is what you’re looking for, then next week’s installment of Thursday Night Live at the Merc is undoubtedly the place to be. Teaming up for a double bill of the weekly concert series is Ojai-dweller Josh Houseman (myspace.com/joshhouseman) and S.B.’s Jean-Luc Fraikin (myspace.com/jeanlucfraikin). Perhaps one of the hardest things to pull off well is the acoustic-folk guy-and-a-guitar shtick, but both of these fellas more than live up to the challenge. While Houseman’s unmistakable vocals are all his own, his style and passion call to mind songwriters like Xavier Rudd and Sean Hayes. Meanwhile, Fraikin’s country-folk tunes, impressive guitar pickin’, and dazzling harmonica work are nothing to be scoffed at. His is a sound that fits into that whole Sam Beam-driven folk movement, and he holds his place mighty well. Add to that the comfy feel of G-town’s best-hidden treasure of a watering hole, and you’ve got yourself a night to remember. For additional information and future Thursday Night Live performers, call 967-0907 or visit myspace.com/mercurylounge.