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Fleet Foxes

Paul Wellman

Fleet Foxes


Best of the Arts 2011

S.B. Independent Editors, Contributors Dish on Their Favorite Moments


Forget the Academy Awards, or the Grammys, or, heck, even the Tonys. Below, you’ll find The Santa Barbara Independent’s all-inclusive guide to the events, artists, and creations that swept us off our feet in 2011. As in years past, we’ve collected highlights from editors, staff writers, and contributors, and the results are as vast and varied as ever. Here, you’ll find everything from dazzling visual exhibits and adorable kids’ books to off-the-charts live concerts and shouldn’t-be-missed movies, all of which graced our streets, eyes, or ears in the past dozen months. We hope you’ll take it as a great excuse to look back, reminisce, and compile a list of your own, just in time for the New Year.

Aly Comingore, Pop Culture Editor

Best New Area Band: Ghost Tiger
Best New Album: Future Islands’ Smoke Ring for My Halo
Best Opening Act/Headliner Combo: Fleet Foxes and The Walkmen at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Best Big-Deal Show at a Tiny Venue: Future Islands at Muddy Waters Café
Most Unlikely Appearance by an Oscar Winner: Jeff Bridges and his band at the Summer Solstice Kick-Off Party in Alameda Park

Charles Donelan, Fine Arts Editor

Best Music Video: Parry Gripp’s “Megaphone”
Best Book: Larry Feinberg’s The Young Leonardo: Art and Life in Fifteenth-Century Florence
Best Dance Party: Tiësto at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Best Art Exhibit: Penelope Gottlieb’s Gone: A Visual Eulogy for Lost Plant Life at Lotusland
Best Jazz Show: Kurt Elling at the Lobero Theatre

By Paul Wellman

Mumford & Sons at the Santa Barbara Bowl, Monday, April 18.

Roger Durling, Contributing Writer/Santa Barbara Film Fest Executive Director

Best Concert: Mumford & Sons at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Best Lobero Theatre Event That Took Place at the Granada: Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away
Best Holiday Movie Release: David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Most Unexpected Theater Highlight: Ensemble Theatre Company’s The Fantasticks at Alhecama Theatre
Best Santa Barbara Band: Little Owl

By Paul Wellman

Deadmau5 at the Santa Barbara Bowl Oct. 27, 2011

Matt Kettmann, Senior Editor

Best Surprise-You-Like-Flashing-Lights-and-Druggy-Insanity Moment: Deadmau5 at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Best Supergroup of S.B. High Schoolers: Blue Suns
Best Fish-Can-Be-Cool Book: Milton Love’s Certainly More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast: A Postmodern Experience
Best Children’s Book with Sibling-on-the-Way Subtext: Max Kornell’s Bear with Me
Best Arena-Ready Rock Show in a Tiny Venue: Foo Fighters at Velvet Jones

Levi Michaels, Contributing Writer

Most Refreshing S.B. Concert Series: RedEye Presents…
Best New Area Band: Souvenirs
Most Face-Melting Performance: Entrance Band and Allah-Las at Velvet Jones
Best Electronic Album: Justice’s Audio, Video, Disco
Best Rock Album: Portugal. The Man’s In the Mountain in the Cloud

By Paul Wellman

Katy Perry at the Santa Barbara Bowl

D.J. Palladino, Contributing Writer

Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Arrival: Gardens & Villa’s Gardens & Villa
Best Rock Concert: Katy Perry at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Best Film Debut: Venturan Evan Glodell’s Bellflower
Best Movie About a Santa Barbaran: Beginners
Best Santa Ynez Film Debut: William Eubank’s Love

By Cara Robbins

Ghost Tiger

Cara Robbins, Contributing Photographer

Best Show at the Santa Barbara Bowl: Fleet Foxes
Best Dance Party: YACHT at Velvet Jones
Best Show-Stealing Opening Act: Givers (opening for Ra Ra Riot) at SOhO
Best New Area Band: Ghost Tiger
Best Light Show: Phantogram at SOhO

Elizabeth Schwyzer, Contributing Writer

Coolest New Dance Studio: Sino West Performing Arts
Most Innovative Dance Theater Production: Yes is a long time
Best Solo Performance: Ann Randolph in Loveland
Most Ambitious New Festival: SB-ADaPT Festival
Company to Watch in 2012: Santa Barbara Dance Theatre

By Paul Wellman

Buffalo Springfield

Josef Woodard, Contributing Writer

Best Local-Gone-Global Moment: Katy Perry at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Most Powerful Moment at the S.B. International Film Fest: Florin Serban’s If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle
Best Classical Music Moment: Peter Serkin at the Lobero Theatre
Most Pinch-Me-I’m-Dreaming Concert: Buffalo Springfield at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Best Jazz Show: John Scofield’s and Bill Frisell’s trios at the Lobero Theatre

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