SOME LIKE IT HOT: Last September, while compiling The Indy‘s first annual Santa Barbara Bands Guide, we stumbled upon a little rock act that, for a number of reasons, stood out from the rest. The group in question: a fairly straightforward outfit that dub themselves “Hot Lava” and play, as they put it, “kids’ rock.” In the sea of demos, press kits, and emails that filled our collective inboxes at the start of the project, we found ourselves bombarded by reggae groups, indie rockers, metal collectives, and deejays. Some we knew, some we’d never heard of, and some have since kicked the musical bucket, but all seemed to (more or less) fit into one sonic niche or another. That is, except for Hot Lava. With no real clue how to lump them into the bunch, the foursome were sadly left by the article’s wayside and, needless to say, we’ve been kicking ourselves ever since.
That said, the quartet, made up of Lisa Lamb (vocals), Jean-Paul Romero (guitar), Ivan Pelly (bass), and Josh Fischer (drums), have since been doing fine without us, booking shows throughout Santa Barbara (and beyond) that recently included a gig at last month’s Santa Barbara Fair and Expo. Formed by a group of musically minded parents who met through The Oaks Parent/Child Workshop and began playing together solely as a way to entertain the kiddies, Hot Lava are now a staple of nearly every family friendly S.B. event that bothers to include a place to plug in. Add to that the fact that their tunes-while obviously geared toward the younger set-don’t actually make you want to secretly loathe your children and you begin to understand just why the group has managed to garner so much attention from the community. The songs are cute without being cutesy and fun without drudging up memories of Barney, Raffi, or Sharon, Lois, and Bram. For a snippet, check out “Superhero,” which has been uploaded for your listening pleasure at independent.com/bands. And for a taste of what Hot Lava is really about, head on down to the Beach Grill at Padaro (3765 Santa Claus Ln.) in Carpinteria on Saturday, May 31, at 5 p.m. for a live show. It’s a guaranteed night of fun-no babysitter necessary.
IT’S NOT EASY BEING BLUE: And for something with a decidedly more grownup flavor, Santa Barbara’s fastest growing showspace, Stateside Restaurant & Lounge (1114 State St.), is playing host to a whole night of funk and blues goodness, courtesy of Morgan Burnett and Da Blues, who will hit the small but mighty downstairs stage on Thursday, May 22. It’s the perfect set of lush soundscapes to enjoy in a swanky, low-lit bar space, so bring a dancing partner and head on out. Visit statesidesb.com for additional info.
BEFORE THEY WERE STARS: This weekend found one-time I.V. staples turned downtown stars turned nationally recognized reggae rockers Rebelution onstage at the one and only Santa Barbara Bowl, playing the opening slot at KJEE’s Summer RoundUp smorgasbord. And while I have no doubt that the fast and furious rise to fame hasn’t gone to their heads (yet), I must take the opportunity to say “congrats” to the guys in print. You occupied stage space that in recent months has hosted Stevie Wonder, Chrissie Hynde, and not Avril Lavigne-and that’s something to be proud of. For your next chance to check out the Next Big Thing, head on down to Sandbar (514 State St.) this Wednesday, May 28, when UCSB alums-and current Los Angeles dwellers-Kissing Tigers (myspace.com/kissingtigers) make their highly anticipated return to S.B., and open the show for Norwegian electro rock duo Datarock (myspace.com/datarock). Visit myspace.com/sandbarsb for details.