WALK ON THE WILD SIDE: Big things are afoot in the Funk Zone. On Thursday, March 7, the Helena Avenue spot formally known as The Pub gets rechristened as Seven Bar & Kitchen. Better still, the space is being run by one of Santa Barbara’s reining guitar shredders, Michael Astudillo (of The Mutineers fame), which means the soft opening is going to be one big, complete with two live sets that are definitely worthy of a listen. The evening starts off with Portland, Oregon, indie darlings Wild Ones, who return to town en route to their upcoming South by Southwest gigs in Austin, Texas. For those of you who caught the band at 2011’s New Noise Music Conference and Festival, you know that their live show promises big fun for all sorts of music lovers. Wild Ones’ sound is a quirky and cute amalgamation of synthy notes, smooth beats, and frontwoman Danielle Sullivan’s sweet and childlike coos. The result is a playful act that can turn up the volume and get a crowd dancing but also knows how to pen a pretty slow jam.
Headlining the night will be S.B.’s own Ghost Tiger. Since taking a lengthy break last year, these young folk rockers have been hard at work on new tunes, as well as a forthcoming recording, release date still TBD. If you’ve yet to catch these kids in action, they promise a potent cross-section of foot-stomping folkie numbers and joyful pop orchestrations (“Whiskey Winter” is a personal favorite), sung in soaring four-part harmonies and led by frontwoman Alixandra Macmillan-Fiedel.
Let us hope that this is just the first in a long line of live music nights for Seven Bar & Kitchen. (The space officially opens this April.) If so, it may quickly find itself in the running for my new favorite hangout spot. Wild Ones and Ghost Tiger play Seven Bar & Kitchen at 9 p.m. Visit facebook.com/mutinysb for info.
SHORE TO SHORE: Looking north, this week also brings another can’t-miss show to Isla Vista’s Biko Co-op Garage (6612 Sueno Rd.). On Thursday, February 28, the little DIY venue continues its winning streak with a concert bill featuring lo-fi wizard R. Stevie Moore, San Diego rockers Plateaus, and K Records act LAKE. Folks may remember LAKE from its numerous stops at the Biko over the years. Nowadays, the Olympia, Washington, collective is hitting the road — and playing everywhere from Los Angeles to Japan — in support of the 2011 album Giving & Receiving. On record and in person, the band infuses its sweet indie pop fare with a wide range of interesting guitar tones, bridging the gap between its lo-fi beginnings and newer, warmer soundscapes. At the vocal helm of it all, Ashley Eriksson’s gentle lyrics wrap around you like a big, fuzzy blanket, calling to mind the delicate touch of Laura Veirs or Tennis’s Alaina Moore. Add to that some well-placed horn parts and neatly arranged harmonies, and you’ve got the makings for one of the best indie acts the Pacific Northwest has to offer. LAKE plays the Biko at 7:30 p.m. For info, visit sbdiy.org.
ALSO THIS WEEK: L.A.’s up-and-coming jangle rockers PAPA make their way to the 805 for a show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Thursday, March 7, at 8 p.m. Hindu Pirates open the show. For tickets and info, call (805) 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com.