TALK IT OUT: As a UCSB grad, former Nexite, and witness (read: obligated sufferer) of many Extravaganzas past, I never thought I’d have to put these words to print, but: Kudos, Associated Students (A.S.). For the first time in, well, a long time, the student-run, student-funded arm of the organization, A.S. Program Board, has scored a coup of a lineup for the annual free show at Harder Stadium. Announced last Tuesday and slated for soccer field takeover on Saturday, May 16, Extravaganza ‘09 will try yet again to marry hip-hop and rock fans over the course of one daylong concert. But this time, they’ve got a doozy of a secret weapon up their sleeve: master genre-melder Girl Talk. In between the sweet Southern sounds of Orange County’s Cold War Kids and resident rap superstar Ludacris, the deejay otherwise known as Gregg Gillis will set up shop and no doubt get the masses grooving.
For the unacquainted, Gillis is currently sitting pretty atop the mashup genre charts, thanks in no small part to his 2008 release, Feed the Animals. For each of Animals‘ 14 schizophrenic tracks, listeners get a taste of everything from George Harrison and ELO to Soulja Boy and Chamillionaire-and that’s just in one song. It’s frenetic dancefloor music for the indecisive rug cutter, and combined with Gillis’s unstoppable energy, about as good a party starter as you can get in compact disk form. As always, Extravaganza is free to the public and stretches from 3 p.m. until well-past sundown, and other performers include The Cool Kids, Rebelution, Boombox Orchestra, and Willy Northpole. For more information, visit asprogramboard.com.
OF CANDLES, WINES, AND AUDIBLE EATS: On the slightly smaller scale, two not-so-new downtown hotspots are making some serious waves in the live music community. This past weekend, former Lightning in a Bottle music director, Arin Ingraham, kicked off her new Concerts by Candlelight music series at the always-welcoming Yoga Soup (28 Parker Way). On hand for the event were Forster, De la Vina, and former L.I.B. performers, oso, all of whom presented acoustic sets to a rapt, cozy audience. Not surprisingly, the setting is geared to be “intimate,” making Ingraham’s new gig something truly unique in the downtown music scene. Call 965-8811 or visit concertsbycandlelight.com for info.
For more good tunes in strange places, next Thursday, May 7 marks the Sojourner Cafe‘s four-month strong hold on their new First Thursday slot. Like months past, the well-established eatery will be providing discounted wines from Ventana Vineyards, free (yes free) foodstuffs, and live music courtesy of former Ave Caesar frontman - and sometimes Soj barista - Chris Lynch. The Sojourner is located at 134 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 965-7922 for info.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Lucky for us, this weekend is also dishing up some serious entertainment in a few not-so-likely places. Case in point: the multifaceted showcase being held this Friday, May 1 at the Biko Co-Op Garage (6612 Sueno Rd.) in Isla Vista. Starting at 9 p.m., the show will feature everything from Peculiar Pretzelmen‘s funktastic gypsy parlor music (think: Man Man meets O Brother Where Art Thou‘s Soggy Bottom Boys) to Bird by Snow‘s winding, ‘60s-infused folk. Lo-fi pop rockers Walk and Ojai’s acoustic-loving Deepakalypse will also play. Visit sbdiy.org for show details.
And on Saturday, May 2, Santa Barbara’s own Switchbak will head up the hill to Cold Spring Tavern (5995 Stagecoach Rd.) for a set chock full of rock ‘n’ roll covers ranging from the quasi contemporary (Sublime) to the full-blown throwback (Dylan, Petty, The Stones). The show starts at 6 p.m. Call 967-0066 or visit coldspringtavern.com for details.