Long, long ago, in a land far, far away-at least for me, as I was living in L.A. and lacking a driver’s license-musical powerhouses like Toad the Wet Sprocket and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy were poised to blow up and put Santa Barbara’s musical scene on the map. Flash forward a couple years and trek north to Isla Vista, and you could have found one-man masterminds like Jack Johnson and Steve Aoki, and punk pop heroes like Yellowcard bouncing from one grimy house party to another, touting their musical talents like most guests flaunt their BACs.
And it is with that nostalgia for what-once-was that The Indy has enlisted me to man up, head out, and take to the streets in an effort to dig deeper into what makes the S.B. music scene of today truly tick-and when that fails, to graze the surface and collect as much scandalous gossip as I can lay my ears on. It’s a “Power to the People” move that I am more than willing to get behind. Assuming, that is, I don’t get taken down by a revenge-seeking bassist or bitter merch guy in the process :
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last weekend’s Club Mercy booking schedule may have read like an embarrassment of riches (Saul Williams, Bon Iver, Phosphorescent, Kinky, and The Devil Makes Three all stopped through within 72 hours), but plenty was afoot elsewhere in the city. A short trip up the 101 on Thursday night would have brought you face-to-face with the four-piece, fiddle-driven powerhouse that is oso. Taking to the oh-so-kitschy makeshift stage space of Goleta’s beloved Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave.), the band tore through their set in honor of the very much alive and kickin’ Thursday Night Live music series that the Merc sponsors. Dates and acts for the weekly gigs are booked through June. Visit myspace.com/mercurylounge for details.
Also making waves last week were the lady lovelies behind Watercolor Paintings and Clitorectomy and the Mutilators, who hit Muddy Waters Cafe (508 E. Haley St.) on Thursday night for the kickoff of their California tour. With her brother manning the drum ‘n’ bass, the lo-fi stylings of Rebecca Redman’s Paintings call out to the Moldy Peaches’s instrumental whimsy and lyrical glee. And together with the pretty-but-poignant alt-country protest ditties penned by Clitorectomy, we’re betting the girls win over their fair share of new fans.
COMING UP: This Thursday, March 27, Thursday Night Live continues with Zhon Shotir and Mind Left Body slated to hit the Merc. Between Shotir’s chilling vocal chops (think Conor Oberst meets Sam Beam) and aggressive strumming techniques, and Mind Left Body’s literally groovy trip-beats and country twang, it promises to be a night of eclectically epic proportions. Muddy Waters’ monthly New Music Series also continues Thursday with a double billing of out-of-this-world experimental jazz geniuses. The Colter Frazier/Rob Wallace Duo will share stage time with the Chuck Manning Quartet starting at 8 p.m. Visit myspace.com/muddycafesb for info. Funky, bluesy jam banders King Bee bring their down-home, rock ‘n’ roll loving sound to SOhO (1221 State St.) on Friday, March 28, at 8 p.m. Also hitting the SOhO stage next week: On Saturday, March 29, world music meets its match when Andrew “The Guitar Chameleon” Jackson, Lily Wilson, John Batdorf, and Duende team up for an early show, starting at 6 p.m. Directly following the festivities will be Latin fusion heavyweights, Chalo y Su Ache at 9:30 p.m. Visit sohosb.com or call 962-7776 for details.