NOT SO FRAGILE AFTER ALL: While I refuse to ever commit a portion of this column to the “What the Hell Happened to Popular Music?” argument, I will say that this week I came close. It all started early last Thursday with a friendly announcement from our buddies at the Santa Barbara Bowl (sbbowl.com). The note confirmed what I (and many others) had hoped, wished, and wagered for-an S.B. stop for Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction‘s upcoming co-headlining tour (scheduled for Thursday, May 21). The equally influential bands came together recently following some lengthy touring hiatuses, helped along in no small part by NIN’s frontman Trent Reznor, who was called in to produce Jane’s as-yet-unreleased first record since 2003. The result: A mish-mash of live rock ‘n’ roll acts who saw their heyday back in the ‘90s. (The bands have even found an opening act in Street Sweeper, the new project from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello.)
Of course, such nostalgia inducing lineups force me to question just why radio was so much cooler back when Perry Farrell was a household name and The Downward Spiral was in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. (It also makes me wonder just how in the world such dark, twisted, and bizarrely explicit albums were selling like hotcakes, but so it goes.) I’m sure the answer lies somewhere in between the Internet, label mergers, pitchfork.com, and that Lil’ Wayne fellow, but who knows. As long as these three can come back and rock out half as hard as they used to, I’m certain they’ll teach the youngsters a thing or two. Tickets for Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction go on sale this Saturday, April 4, 11 a.m. Call 583-8700 or visit ticketmaster.com to purchase.
SOUNDS OF THE LEFT COAST: From SoCal punk to beach-friendly surf rock to that more grunge leaning stuff up north, it seems that the Golden State sound will truly never be pinned down. But hey, we’re not complaining. Looking to the week ahead, Santa Barbara will play host to all cross sections of Cali-bred tunes, including-but most certainly not limited to-Guttermouth‘s April 9 show at Velvet Jones (423 State St.). For anyone who grew up in Orange County during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, this foul-mouthed five-piece is guaranteed to ring a bell. Known for their onstage antics, one-time inclusion in that whole Green Day/Offspring circuit, and the fact that they got kicked off the Vans Warped Tour, the band will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers and generate some mosh pits come Thursday. For tickets and info, visit numbskullshows.com.
If you’re into rocking on the other end of the spectrum, head on up to Isla Vista this Saturday, April 4 for a rare weekend show at the Biko Garage and Co-Op (6612 Sueno Rd.). On hand for the night will be San Diego’s Monsters from Mars, a tight knit six-piece that blends ‘60s-era surf rock with modern day psychedelia to form something that sounds like it came out of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Also on the bill are experimental rockers Railcars, who hail from San Fran and make for a more distortion-happy version of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Ellie Fortune, a one-man folk outfit from Sacramento whose music is about as beautifully haunting as it gets. Visit sbdiy.com for details.
COLLECTIVE CONNECTIONS: Ever since joining forces with the likes of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper, the gents of Culver City Dub Collective have felt right at home in Santa Barbara. Despite the fact that they hail from L.A., this reggae-loving eight-piece has been gracing the venues of S.B. for years now-and drawing sold-out crowds nearly every time. Next Thursday, April 9, the Collective will join New Orleans’s Papa Grows Funk for a groovetastic evening of tunes at SOhO (1221 State St.), starting at 9 p.m. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for details.