COME TOGETHER: For many in this county and country, last Saturday proved to be a day of reflection, confusion, and grief. As a UCSB alum and former Isla Vista resident, the incidents that occurred on Friday struck a countless number of nerves, perhaps magnified by my proximity to the mayhem. Like hundreds of others, I spent my Friday night on campus, sitting in a packed Campbell Hall to watch one of my all-time favorite college traditions: the Reel Loud Film Festival. Over the course of those four hours, I recall feeling nostalgic, but also (mostly) proud of the budding filmmakers, musicians, teachers, and organizers who poured their hearts and souls into such an impressive event. It wasn’t until I returned home that I learned of the horror that occurred less than a mile away while it was all going on.
Come Saturday, after a long and defeating day after, I found myself back in the car, heading up the 101 to do what I had planned on — what I had looked forward to doing — all week: going to the Biko Co-op to catch Detroit rockers Tyvek. Following a day’s worth of “should we/shouldn’t we?” debates, the model Isla Vistans behind non-profit SBDIY decided that the show must go on, if only to provide a safe place for folks seeking comfort and community in the wake of Friday’s tragedy. Unsurprisingly, the mood was somber and attendance was low, but for those who did show face, Saturday’s show proved to be a perfect example of the caring, communal spirit that I.V. can and does foster on a daily basis. Following the evening’s candlelight vigil, students and community members trickled into the Biko, tea lights still burning, and sat down on the garage’s floor just to listen. Attendees hugged, talked, and exchanged knowing glances between sets, and the evening’s road-weary headliners offered up words of compassion, patience, and sympathy for both Friday’s victims and the Isla Vista population at large.
Like most gestures of kindness witnessed this weekend, Saturday’s concert offered little insight into the senselessness that took place on the streets of I.V. last Friday. But it did remind me that sometimes music can help to mend an emotional tear, be it small and personal or deep and internationally reverberating.
MIND GAMES: Speaking of cultural community offerings of the Isla Vista kind, this week Speak Volumes and Magic Lantern Films are scheduled to present the final installment of their Something Else concert series. On Friday, May 30, in Isla Vista Theater, SoCal electronic artist Mndsgn mans the tables for an audiovisual event worthy of its grand finale placement. The night finds Mndsgn (aka Ringgo Ancheta) performing an all-original live score set to the 1988 Katsuhiro Otomo film Akira.
For the unacquainted, Ancheta’s brand of beat making tends toward the atmospheric, with a heavy emphasis on elastic-sounding, hip-hop-leaning loops. Paired with Otomo’s animated neo-Tokyo landscapes, I’m betting its going to be one heady night at the movies. The show kicks off at 9 p.m. with a set from producer A Sol Mechanic. The film starts at 9:45 p.m. For info, visit facebook.com/speakvolumesmedia.
BRING US YOUR BANDS: Summer’s almost here, which means we’re officially gearing up for our annual Santa Barbara Music Issue that hits newsstands this October. In the months leading up to launch, though, we’re asking for your help. If you’re a music maker currently living in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, or Ventura County, we want to hear from you! In our attempt to round up the newest, best, and brightest musical acts on the South Coast, we’re opening up our inboxes to all the Bandcamps, SoundClouds, and Facebook links you can toss our way. In short, if you or your band is interested in being featured, or you know someone who you think deserves a shout, drop us a line. Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.