OTHERWORDLY: Few bands have mastered the art of mood setting the way Other Lives have. On the band’s second, most recent effort, Tamer Animals, listeners get a stunning and undeniably dark collection of songs that near-perfectly mix tales of doom and gloom with orchestrations that feel like triumph over tragedy. Add to that the lush and haunting qualities of frontman Jesse Tabish’s vocals, and the swelling accompaniment of Jenny Hsu’s cello, and you’ve got the makings for an album that is nothing short of otherworldly.
This Friday, November 2, Other Lives return to Santa Barbara for the first time since their big-deal show at the Santa Barbara Bowl earlier this year. (They opened for a little act named Radiohead then.) This week, they’ll headline SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) with openers Indian. And trust me when I say this is not a show you want to miss. While the band’s potent instrumentals and eerie scene setting shine bright on Tamer Animals, watching them rework these tunes for the stage is truly a sight (and sound) to behold. The show starts at 8 p.m. For tickets and info, call 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com.
BOWS AND ARROWS: On the other end of the string-toting spectrum lies Lindsey Stirling. The Utah-dwelling YouTube sensation has been on a massive rise of late, despite the fact that she just released her first album. How, you ask? Well, Stirling’s career got an odd leg up via TV’s America’s Got Talent. There, the spritely violinist took to the stage to perform her stylized take on rap via string instrument. Unfortunately, the judges didn’t seem to get what Stirling was going for, and ceremoniously booted her from the show. Flash forward a few months later, when Stirling takes to the Internet with a rebooted style (and a fancy music video) to make a comeback on her terms. Not surprisingly, the kids (and the gamers) latched right on to her dub-step-meets-violin-meets-sci-fi shtick. Nowadays, Stirling has some 900,000 YouTube subscribers, a personal cinematographer, and a national tour that’s selling out venues all over the place. This Wednesday, November 7, Stirling makes her S.B. debut at SOhO in support of her self-titled album. The event serves as a kick-off to this year’s New Noise Music Festival, which technically gets going the following day. For tickets and info, visit newnoisesb.org.
STILL GOING STRONG: And speaking of New Noise, the annual music festival and conference kicks off next week on Thursday, November 8. As in years past, the event will bring live music to clubs throughout Santa Barbara for three nights straight, as well as dish up a full day of discussions, seminars, and lectures by some of the music industry’s biggest movers and shakers. (Case in point: Topspin Media’s Ian Rogers interviews rap legend Chuck D on Friday, November 9, at 4:10 p.m. at The Savoy.) Among the live music highlights, Nerf Herder makes a triumphant hometown return on Saturday, November 10, at Velvet Jones at 8 p.m. Mike Watt and The Missingmen play Velvet on Friday, November 9, at 10:30 p.m. And all day on Saturday, November 10, New Noise shuts down a chunk of the Funk (Zone, that is) for a block party featuring Y La Bamba, Sisu, and So Many Wizards, as well as local acts Millions, Little Owl, Ghost Tiger, and Gardens & Villa. For a full lineup, schedule, and to purchase tix, visit newnoisesb.org