Lovely and Amazing

band1yt6.jpgBLESSED UNION: While
United by Sound may most easily be classified as electronica, the
label does the band a disservice in that it implies something less
organic and substantial than what the San Francisco duo offers.
Frontwoman Jeni Ivey sings with a snarl that verges into what you
might expect from a jazz vocalist or perhaps an American-born
Shirley Manson. Ivey’s voice, coupled with a mix of various
synthetic accompaniments, makes an electronic-inspired sound that
doesn’t overpower the organic elements. While not as eminently
danceable as Ladytron, with whom the band is often compared, the
effect makes for a more laid-back sound that pulls from various
genres to create a more interesting sound. Expect United by Sound
to be belting out new material, as their self-titled sophomore
release dropped earlier this year. The band plays at Rocks on
Friday, October 6.  — Drew Mackie

GYPSY JAM: A quintet of local musicians with a
passion for gypsy swing have banded together to give Santa Barbara
their take on the obscure genre. Perhaps most familiar to music
fans from the work of Django Reinhardt, gypsy swing fuses the
sounds of the traditional music of the Roma people with the modern
stylings of Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington. The result, as played
by Les Gendarmes du Swing, is something simultaneously familiar and
exotic. Hear it for yourself at Rocks on Thursday, October 5.
 — DM

FEMININE FANFARE: SOhO serves up a weekend of
tag-team acoustics. First on the list are California soul-rockers
the Mother Hips, back on the road after a four-year respite. The
spacey quintet will be playing Friday, October 6 and are armed with
new material from their sixth full-length album, the first since
2001’s Green Hills of Earth. Formed nearly 15 years ago, the Mother
Hips faced a four-year hiatus that came close to an indefinite
parting, but according to frontman Tim Bluhm, they missed playing
together too much to hang up their instruments. Following the
Mother Hips on Sunday, October 8 will be surf-rockers The Beautiful
Girls, who have been trekking across the country with new material
from their sophomore effort We’re Already Gone. The acoustic
Australians have had quite the roster of touring partners in their
five excursions across the U.S., but this time around they will be
joined by Al Howard and the K-23 Orchestra, as well as Todd
Hannigan. The Beautiful Girls’ latest release has stayed true to
the raw and eclectic style established by 2003’s Learn Yourself,
though a prominently darker sound keeps them fresh. Check ’em out
before the Aussies head back home.  — Levi Michaels

LIKE LUNACY? In what will probably be the glitziest
masquerade ball ever to waltz through Santa Barbara, the Lunar
Masque Ball atop Hotel Andalucía will give locals a chance to dress
fancy and wear a freaky mask. Rocks promoter Justin Michael
designed the event to benefit Santa Barbara’s Westside Boys &
Girls Club. Beyond the fire dancers and various “entertainment
surprises” that Michael has promised attendees, local Latin
guitarist Andrew Jackson will be on hand with his Duende project,
which features flamenco sounds fused with Celtic and Hawaiian
influences. The band also includes Brian Jacobs on percussion, Bear
Erickson on jazz guitar, and Barbara Coventry on violin. When the
masks come off, attendees can attend the Lunar Masque after-party
at Indochine. Tickets are available for $40 at Scavenge or through
justinmichaelmusic.com. Tickets can also be purchased for $50 on
Friday, October 6, the night of the event.  — DM

FAREWELL TO SUMMER: Summer has officially wound down,
so Girsh Park’s End of Summer concert series is winding down, too.
Grab your blankets, chairs, and picnic dinners and catch the
Ulysses S. Jasz Band in the last installment of this year’s series,
on Sunday, October 8. The band has been a staple at The James Joyce
for years, and has developed quite a reputation for its
foot-stomping brand of traditional jazz. The free concert starts at
4 p.m. and is sponsored by the City of Goleta, Andres H. Burnett
Foundation, and the Foundation for Girsh Park.  — LM

SWEET SONGBIRD: Striking songstress Quincy Coleman
doesn’t make sense. The daughter of actor Dabney Coleman, she has
never let her model-pretty looks prevent her from developing some
serious musical talent. Beyond that, she’s earned acclaim from such
in-the-knows as Dolly Parton and NPR’s Nic Harcourt. Maybe it’s
because Coleman’s acoustic sounds draw on more sources than the
average girl with a guitar (think slow surf punk with a hint of the
exotic). Then again, maybe Coleman is just lucky. You may recognize
her single “Afraid” from the 2005 film Crash. Catch her and hear
the rest of her repertoire at Rocks on Saturday, October 7.
 — DM

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