Amid their steady offerings of punk, indie rock, and the sort of
music that makes SoCal scream, Velvet Jones on State Street
occasionally throws in a hip-hop superstar. Adding to the list that
already includes 2 Live Crew and KRS-One will be underground
hip-hop supastar Talib Kweli, the favorite rapper of such
heavyweights as Jay-Z and 50 Cent, who touches down at Velvet this
Saturday, September 2. The Brooklyn-raised Kweli, who broke into
the hip-hop world as part of Black Star with Mos Def, is on tour to
promote his October 2006 release Ear Drum, which boasts the help of
such esteemed artists as Norah Jones, Kanye West, and Rick Rubin as
well as up-and-comers Jean Grae, Strong Arm Steady, and UGK. It’ll
be a Velvet show for the record books.  — Matt Kettmann

A KING THING: Santa Barbara funk rockers The
Kings of Spain (the are staking their claim to musical
fame. A couple months ago, NBC launched its StarTomorrow reality
show — a sort of American Idol spin-off — which debuted on TV but
has been running since then completely online (
Bands face off head-to-head, and web surfers vote for their
favorite pre-recorded song, which airs on the StarTomorrow site.
Not only did Will Loomis and Adam Baltieri’s band make the original
100-band cut (pared down from thousands trying to get in), but they
just won their first-round battle against a band called Qwiksand.
“At first, playing in the NBC studios was intimidating,” said
Loomis. “But once we got past the cover songs and started playing
our originals, we locked into a groove and had a lot of fun.” You
can see The Kings get into their groove live and free of charge
this Friday, September 1, 8 p.m., at Cold Spring Tavern.  — Josh

BLUES FLY MIGHTY: Named band of the year four
times at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Rod Piazza & The
Mighty Flyers bring their kinetic show to SOhO on September 1. Led
by Piazza’s quick, vibrato harmonica riffs — which only pause when
the front man uses his air to sing — the band plays mostly in an
up-tempo style that Piazza calls “swingin’ style blues.” His wife,
Honey, plays the keyboard and shares background vocals with
guitarist Henry Carvajal; drummer Dave Kidda rounds out the band.
Piazza began his music career in 1965 with The Dirty Blues Band,
and formed The Mighty Flyers in 1980. The band has since played
thousands of gigs around the globe and recorded more than a dozen
acclaimed releases, most recent of which was the 2005 album, For
the Chosen Who. “It will be a visual show as well as audio,” Piazza
said. “In our shows, all four of us are really acting out on
stage.”  — Joe Rosenheim

THE PRIETO SHOW: Latin R&B splashes all
over SOhO’s stage on Sunday, September 3, when Anthony Prieto and
his 14-piece band, who played to more than 500 Fiesta-funkin’ souls
at Mercado del Norte, take over. Prieto, a Santa Barbara native
whose music is better known down south than in his hometown, wears
many hats as a city worker, California condor volunteer, and
singer. His 2004 release Life, Love, & Desire continues to sell
on, so
expect a bunch of sweet songs from that album. “It’s so nice to jam
in my own backyard again!” Prieto said. So support your neighbor
and check him out.  — MK

OTRAS COSAS: Goleta’s Girsh Park is getting in
the outdoor concert habit with its kickoff to its late-summer shows
with Prime Time Bank on Sunday, September 3 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The
concerts will be every Sunday through October 8, with other
highlights being Luna Gitana on September 10, The Porch Dogs on
September 24, and Ulysses S. Jasz on October 8. … The Wildcat’s
rock-out Tuesdays continue on September 5 with singer Brittany
Battastini. … And Rocks continues to rock with Lisa Goe, Two Loons
for Tea, and Dominic Balli on Thursday, August 31; Kris Angelis on
Friday, September 1; and Orlando Napier & The Cats ’n’ Dogs,
Matt McAvene, and Change on Saturday, September 2.


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