PASS THE MIKE: Monday morning it was announced that New York’s most famous rap trio, the Beastie Boys, would be forced to cancel their cross-country tour, which included two stops at the Santa Barbara Bowl on September 19 and 20, due to illness. Last week, founding Beastie Adam “MCA” Yaunch revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer in the form of a small tumor found in the singer’s left parotid, or salivary gland. Sources emphasize that the tumor was caught early and is currently being considered very treatable. Still, surgery, treatment, and necessary recovery time will prohibit the band from carrying on with their aforementioned string of concert and festival dates. The diagnosis will also push back the Beastie’s latest recorded effort, Hot Sauce Committee Part 1, which was scheduled for a September 15 release.
In a message posted on the band’s Web site, beastieboys.com, Yaunch states, “I just need to take a little time to get this in check, and then we’ll release the record and play some shows. It’s a pain in the neck (sorry had to say it) because I was really looking forward to playing these shows, but the doctors have made it clear that this is not the kind of thing that can be put aside to deal with later.”
Tickets for the band’s two S.B. dates had not yet been released to the public at the time of the tour cancellation.
FORWARD THINKING FUNK: Call it world music, call it funk pop, call it politically minded-just don’t call Sila & the Afrofunk Experience boring. The San Fran-bred 10-piece, led by Kenyan frontman Victor Sila, combines socially conscious observations with soaring instrumentation, infectious rhythms, and an electric musical energy that just doesn’t come around that often. On the crew’s latest, Black President, Sila explores the implications of Barack Obama’s election through thoughtful (but never calculating) lyricism and upbeat, African-inspired beats. Add to that the fact that the band is alleged to be even more captivating in the live setting than they are on disk, and you begin to understand why this week’s SOhO show is something to be witnessed in person. The dance party starts at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, and tickets and info are available by calling 962-7776 or visiting sohosb.com.
THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE: Also on Thursday, Jersey City rockers The Black Hollies will invade Goleta’s Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave.) with their psychadellic-sounding brand of alt-pop. Call 967-0907 or visit myspace.com/mercurylounge. The show starts at 8 p.m. And if you’re looking for something a tad more aggressive, head down to Velvet Jones on Thursday night for an evening of electro rock from Modwheelmood, the side project of Nine Inch Nailer Alessandro Cortini and former Abandoned Pools guitarist Pelle Hillstrm. For tickets and info, call 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com.
SHE’S BAAAACK: In concert announcement news, longtime S.B. favorite, Ani Difranco will return to the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) for the second year in a row in support of her latest, Red Letter Year. Tickets for the show go on sale this Saturday, July 25 at 10 a.m. at the Lobero box office, online at lobero.com, or via phone at 963-0761. I advise to jump on this one early, as history has shown Ani’s shows to sell out quick. Also on the up-and-coming radar, Club Mercy recently announced some seriously big-name shows for fall. Be sure to mark your calendars for indie rock pioneers Built to Spill on Saturday, August 22 at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) and folk foursome Thao with the Get Down Stay Down on Thursday, October 15 at SOhO (1221 State St.).