WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Now that the pre-Coachella indie rock influx has come and gone (last week we managed to play host to Man Man, Minus the Bear, and Spiritualized in less than 72 hours time), it seems a good deal of our hometown heroes are crawling out of the woodwork. Since last year’s inaugural Independent Santa Barbara Bands Issue (visit independent.com/bands), online vote-getter numero uno, Silent Meow, has been quietly slinking around the studio, putting the finishing touches on their as-yet-unreleased debut LP. The end product promises to be a rollicking collection of fast-paced, powerful, punk-tinged rock ‘n’ roll that puts leading lady Silvie Pussycat front and center. But before the album hits area shelves-and digital download sites-the fivesome will team up with L.A.-based Clash tribute band Clash City Rockers for an extra-special night of music that threatens to tear off the roof of SOhO (1221 State St.) on Friday, May 2. As an added bonus, the band will be dishing out freebies to the first 50 people through the door. The prize for you early-comers: a limited-edition five-song EP featuring four tunes that won’t appear on the new record, as well as some extraordinary artwork by cartoonist extraordinaire Alex J. Meyer. Doors open at 9 p.m. Visit sohosb.com for additional details.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the musical spectrum, the electronic brainchild of knob-twister Carl Bloomfield, Small Dot Complex, has been stirring up a good deal of Internet-generated buzz-as well as a bevy of new tunes, sounds, and remixes. Most recently, Bloomfield offered up a new (free) full-length, titled Sound Construction, as well as a collection of reworked tunes first made popular by Trent Reznor and the gang. The aptly dubbed Dot 0: NIN vs. SDC Remixes includes a handful of tracks off of Nails’ Year Zero, each deconstructed, re-imagined, or mashed up with a sound that is distinctly Bloomfield. Both the new album and a sampling of the remixes are available free of charge via protogarland.com/sdc/product.htm. Stay tuned to NIN’s community remix site (remix.nin.com) for the full album.
FILLING THE VOID: Among the common complaints-of which there are many-I hear from fans, musicians, and out-of-town booking agents about shows in Santa Barbara is that we simply do not have enough “proper music venues” to support a thriving scene. Agreed-in part. While I can think of a number of currently touring acts who would will fill SOhO in a heartbeat, but never the Bowl-not to mention the number of up-and-comers who have outgrown coffee shops like Muddy Waters Cafe, but wouldn’t pull enough fans to fill the dance floor at Velvet Jones-some credit has to be given to the diligent creative minds that are looking to change things up a bit. Cue the less-than-obvious venues that have jumped on board the Local Band Night bandwagon. Sure, we give props to Muddy and The Merc for reinstating the set gig devoted to our neighborhood music makers, but it’s the folks at Sandbar and Wildcat who really deserve a solid pat on the back. Sponsored by KJEE, Wednesday’s Localize It! Nights at Sandbar (514 State St.) have gone from small pet project to a full-scale, must-see event. Upcoming gigs include The Penfifteen Club(May 7) and The Roosevelt Special and Nice: On Ice (May 14). Visit myspace.com/localizeit for a full schedule. Just up the road, the Wildcat Lounge (15 W. Ortega) has begun to stir up some sizable Tuesday night crowds at its ongoing Live Tuesdays events. Recent participants include S.B. staples The Youth & Beauty Brigade, the Veltexans, and 3Matic and The Volt Per Octaves. Visit myspace.com/wildcatlounge. While throwing a midweek rock party at a bar may not be the next step to getting M.I.A. or Iron and Wine to stop through town, it’s certainly providing an additional space for S.B.-based musicians to plug in and rock out to a crowd. And that is something we should all be able to get behind.