VOTE NOW: Hey there, music lovers, a word to the wise: If you have yet to cast your vote for this year’s Downtown Sound battle of the bands, your time is running out. The first round of our annual music competition is currently taking place over at independent.com/bands, but polls close tonight (Thu., Sept. 20) at midnight.
Confused? Here’s the scoop: Last month, we launched a call for bands and music makers from across the county. And last week, more than 70 bands entered their name in an online vote-off for the title of Best Santa Barbara Band. Come Friday morning, the six outfits to receive the most online votes (along with two editors’ picks) will move on to the semifinals round of our annual battle, which takes place over two days on Thursday, October 11, and Saturday, October 13, at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club. There, four bands will perform per night, and audience members will cast ballot votes for their favorite acts. The two bands with the most audience votes from each showcase will move on to the Downtown Sound finals, which will pit four bands against each other on stage at SOhO on Thursday, October 18.
Much like the semifinals shows, the competition’s final battle will find audience members casting their ballots, which, together with votes from an esteemed team of industry judges, will determine the 2012 Downtown Sound winner. Up for grabs is a treasure trove of musical prizes, including guitars, strings, and gear from Ernie Ball; professional recording time at Santa Barbara Sound Design; a pro photo shoot with Cara Robbins Photography; a slot at this year’s New Noise Musical Festival and Conference; and a write-up in this very paper.
But before all the live music action kicks off, your favorite S.B. bands need a little online lovin’. Head on over to independent.com/bands to cast your vote before it’s too late.
MAD ABOUT YOU: If you’re looking to get your concert fix before next month’s Downtown Sound semifinals, look no further than Velvet Jones. This weekend, lower State Street’s favorite rock ’n’ roll club plays host to area ska punk legends Mad Caddies. While the Santa Ynez Valley stalwarts haven’t released an album since 2007’s Keep It Going, inside sources tell me the guys are hard at work on record number six, which means new tunes, as well as that warm and fuzzy homecoming-show feeling. The 21+ concert kicks off at 8 p.m. this Saturday, September 22, at Velvet Jones (423 State St.). For tickets and information, call 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com.
LOCALS ONLY: In fact, it seems all the S.B.-area music makers are crawling out of the woodwork this Saturday and adding a serious jump-start to the autumnal arts season. Downtown, New Noise and the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization present a free local lineup in the courtyard in front of Marshalls (900 State St.). The tunes start at noon and stretch ’til nearly 6 p.m., with sets from Austin Sexton, The Reinsmen, Paola Jimenez, Indian Trading Furs, Naked Walrus, and Freakin’ on Speakers. Uptown, S.B. psychobilly folksters The Mutineers play a sweet dinnertime set at Cold Spring Tavern (5995 Stagecoach Rd.) from 6-9 p.m. And if you’re living in (or headed to) North County this weekend, I urge you to swing by Santa Barbara County Local Fest in Ken Adam Park (N. H St., Lompoc). There, folks will be celebrating all things S.B., including food, drinks, art, and music. Attendees will be treated to live sets from Santa Barbara Independent faves like Lights Electric, Blue Suns, Howlin’ Woods, and Saint Anne’s Place. The festivities start at 11 a.m. and go ’til 10 p.m. Call 588-8469 or visit sbclocalfest.com for tickets and info.