SHUT UP AND PLAY: While Isla Vista’s BIKO house
has long been home to some of the area’s more avant-garde musical
performances, this Saturday’s show promises to bring bands the
likes of which we rarely see in these parts. Three bands, no words,
and full sets of epic, atmospheric, experimental rock along the
lines of Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Explosions in the Sky. But
the fact that these kids aren’t opening their mouths doesn’t mean
they’re not worth listening to. Hailing from Massachusetts,
Sparrows Swarm and Sing is a five-man band that
pairs the standard drum and guitar with a cello, xylophone,
glockenspiel, and pianorgan in their dreamy, quasi-melodic
compositions. The band is currently touring the nation in promotion
of its sophomore release, O’Shenandoah, Mighty Death Will Find
, which features four sprawling movements instead of the
typical set of a dozen or so poppy tracks.

Also in the lineup is This Will Destroy You, a
Texas band that peppers its instrumental tracks with the occasional
sample. The quartet has drawn comparisons with Mogwai, though their
newest album, Young Mountain, uses a sharp-edged thrash to
express all the emotion most bands do with their voices. The result
is moving and sometimes harrowing — somewhat like the soundtrack to
a dark, unknown art film. Goleta’s own Hang Tough Rootbeard
rounds out the mix. Indeed, the July 29 gig
will be atypical but nonetheless exciting for BIKO regulars and
downright exceptional for Santa Barbara in general.  
— Drew Mackie

LIFE AND LEGENDS: San Francisco singer and
musician Hyim — whose name means “life” in
Hebrew — creates a mellow, funky sound reflecting the various beats
found around the world. Juxtaposing suave reggae and Latin rhythms
with upbeat hip-hop, Hyim produces natural vibes rooted in his
globetrotting, hippie background. Classically trained on the piano
and guitar, Hyim has circled the globe, picking up musical
influences from such cultures as New Zealand, Cuba, Persia, India,
and Turkey. He sounds a bit like Jamiroquai, Wyclef Jean, and Paul
Simon fused into an urban world beat. Returning to Santa Barbara,
Hyim will perform solo at Legends Bar and Lounge on Friday. You’ll
be grooving, but you’ll be in awe too, because when not playing
with the Fat Foakland Orchestra, Hyim loops the
percussion, vocals, keyboard, and guitar to play all the
instruments himself.  — Stephanie

SUMMERTIME BLUES: The red hot of the summer
heat may be the most appropriate color for Santa Barbara’s current
climate, but that doesn’t mean the city shouldn’t spend at least
one night with the blues. The L.A. Juke Joint Blues Fest
brings together some of Southern California’s most
talented practitioners of the genre at Earl Warren Showgrounds this
Saturday. Featuring the Reverend Sonny Green,
who’s most famous for the perfectly titled hit “Don’t Write a Check
With Your Mouth (That Your Body Can’t Cash)”; South Central’s
Joyce Lawton, a sparkling sapphire among female
blues singers; Ray Brooks, a blues underground
phenom; and the up-and-coming South Side Slim, who
owes as much to traditional blues artists as groovier ones. Backing
up each will be renowned “gutbucket blues” guitarist Joe
and his band, The Soul Brothers.
The show, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Blues Society, takes place
on Saturday, July, 29 at 8:30 p.m.
— DM

FIESTA FIRSTS: Don’t miss the kickoff party for
the Old Spanish Days Fiesta on Wednesday, August 2, when
Spencer the Gardener unleashes a Spanish-tongued
fury in the beer gardens at Casa de la Guerra. It’ll be a CD
release party for the band’s Fiesta album, a collection that
they’ve honed in more than a decade of playing for Fiesta crowds in
De la Guerra Plaza. They also play the DLG stage on Saturday,
August 5, and then at Reds on Sunday, August 6, for an afternoon
barbecue. See more in the paper next week on that album. And
speaking of Fiesta, SOhO’s hosting a series to coincide with the
town’s biggest party, and it starts August 2 with the
Robben Ford Band, who’ll drop some rockin’ blues
starting at 8 p.m.  — Matt Kettmann

Y MAS: On Friday, July 28, the Creekside plays
host to the Have Nots and the
Snobs, whose guitarist Chris
explained, “If Joey Ramone and Igor Stravinsky squared off against
Hank Williams and Mike Watt in a barroom brawl, we’d be the band on
stage.” ’Nuff said. … Steve Reynolds, Gus Black,
and AM hit up the Rocks scene this evening,
Thursday, July 27. … The Wildcat’s DJ series continues tonight with
611 Records’ Nigel Richards and Chicago’s houseman
Gene Farris, before a Sunday night party for
Christopher Dixon’s after-wedding party, deejayed
by none other than Baltimore’s Charles Feelgood.  
— MK


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