Whether or not you’re a rug-cutting regular, Steve Aoki is sure to make you dance. The L.A.-bred deejay and Dim Mak Records figurehead may be one of the West Coast’s most prized party starters—not to mention a premier tastemaker in the world of indie music. And this weekend the turntable maestro returns to Santa Barbara for an extra-special night of thumping beats, wild rhythms, and raucous remixes. Aoki plays the Earl Warren Showgrounds (3488 Calle Real) on Sunday, November 14 at 6 p.m. For tickets and info, visit steveaokisantabarbara.eventbrite.com. And for a few reasons why not to miss this party, check our list of Aoki endorsements below.
1. The Name (Dropping) Game: In addition to moving millions to their feet in the clubs, Aoki has helped bring some of rock and electro’s biggest names to a stereo system near you. Since founding Dim Mak Records in 1996, he’s signed, produced, and worked alongside everyone from MSTRKRFT, Bloc Party, and The Kills to Bloody Beetroots, The Gossip, and Datarock. In addition, Aoki has lent his remixing skills to tracks from Drake, Snoop Dogg, and Weezer. Not too shabby for a guy who used to book shows out of his bedroom.
2. Local Lovin’: And that bedroom where it all started? Well, it was right in our own backyard. Aoki, a UCSB grad, spent the majority of his college career building what would become his music empire, booking now-defunct Isla Vista venues like the Pickle Patch, and founding the still-going-strong Biko Co-Op Garage. “Every straightedge hardcore band in the book played our living room,” Aoki told The Indy back in 2008. In between all the furious show promoting, Aoki also began producing albums in I.V., strengthening the strong DIY aesthetic that still looms large in its music community today.
3. Feels Like the First Time: Similarly, Aoki’s Earl Warren gig will mark a big step for another up-and-coming event booker, Promotor Latino. The Santa Barbara-based concert promoters have been throwing shows up and down the Central Coast at spots like the Chumash Casino, the Santa Maria Showgrounds, and Oxnard’s Ruby’s Café since 2009. But Sunday’s show will be the first English-language event for the company. And, who knows, if it goes well, we just might have another Aoki on our hands.