Gardens & Villa

Cara Robbins

Gardens & Villa

Homecoming of the Week: Gardens & Villa at Casa de la Raza

Santa Barbara’s Indie Troubadours Make a Hometown Stop on Friday, February 24

As a band’s music progresses through stages, so, too, do the makers enter new physical and emotional spaces. Never is this truer than for S.B.’s own Gardens & Villa. Since signing to Secretly Canadian last year and sharing tours with Foster the People, Generationals, and Craft Spells, they — and their music — have seen strange new places. The proof: a weird, wicked, and worthy live scoring of the classic silent film Faust during this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Fest. Armed with their usual helping of drum machine, flute, electric guitar, bass, vocal effects, and a pretty collection of keyboards, the performance showed a creative intelligence that sets these five dudes in a league apart from their peers. “The whole Faust experience for us as a band was pretty interesting,” bassist Shane McKillop explained via phone, “We’re still trying to figure out what to take away from it.”

But there is little time to dwell for these restless minstrels, as they set out this month for a springtide tour in the company of Fanfarlo and indie veterans The Shins. With the release of their full-length debut album on the horizon, the tour will take their game to new heights at festivals and high-cap venues around the country. “We’ll definitely be hitting some of our biggest sized theaters this year,” McKillop imparted. “Like Coachella and Sasquatch; all these festivals are really gonna have us stepping up to the plate. We’re used to kind of the Muddy Waters venues.”

The sun steadily rises on Gardens & Villa, but before they move on to the big stage, there is still time for smaller ones, including this Friday’s show at Casa de la Raza (601 E. Montecito St.). Once a popular site for rock and hardcore shows, Casa de la Raza is a historic venue that has largely fallen out of the public sphere. Intrigued by the musical history within the walls (Santana, Los Lobos and Jackson Browne have all performed there), McKillop is excited about the prospect of resurrecting a comfortably mid-sized space. “It’s either you play at SOhO for 200, or you play at Granada for 2,000, and there’s nothing in between,” he explained. Though Casa de la Raza may seem spacious by our measure, it’s certainly one of the smallest places you’ll catch the boys on this tour, so come on out this Friday and get intimate. For tickets and info, visit

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Gas Company Launches New Conservation Program

SoCalGas asks Californians to 'Dial It Down' through a high-demand alert.

Amgen Tour 2019 to Visit Santa Barbara

Stage Five of the arduous event will pass through county next May.

Volunteers Needed for Storm-Readiness Effort

County requests citizen help to collate and distribute information.

E-Scooters Banned in Goleta

City Council votes for an immediate but possibly temporary ban while pilot program is developed.

Truck Drivers, Family, and Friends Remember Santiago Perez Jr.

On Friday morning they filled the street near Our Lady of Sorrows.