Rock Resolutions

by Drew Mackie

SKA SCHOLARS: Those with a clue about music
know not to tie ska down to the kinds of American bands that
revived the genre in the late ’90s. Ska, of course, encompasses a
larger variety of music than that, including earlier forms with
more obvious connections to reggae, rocksteady, and other Jamaican
roots music. The Upbeat — a seven-man ska band from
Carpinteria — practices what’s called “two-tone ska.” The band is
named after the record label that popularized the first instances
of ska-punk fusion in Britain during the ’70s and ’80s, but years
of the laid-back Californian beach life have helped the guys
develop the style into their own sound. The Upbeat will be sharing
the stage with Klockwyze, whose take on reggae-influenced
compositions leans more toward rock and hip-hop. See them on
Friday, January 12 at 9:30 p.m. at SOhO.

NOT AN EXIT: Stephen Malkmus needs no
introduction, but those holding tickets for his show this week may
want to get to the show in time to the see the entire set by
Malkmus’s opening act, Entrance. This band, comprised of
psychedelic folk rocker Guy Blakeslee and the über-talented former
Zwan bassist Paz Lenchantin, capitalizes on public domain blues
songs for a great effect. You might not think these varied
influences, often combined with a brooding sense of death, would
add up to something new and worthwhile, but Entrance’s latest
effort, Prayer of Death, makes for a surprisingly good spin. The
show begins at 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 13 at SOhO. For those
wanting to catch this act but not holding tickets to the Malkmus
show, Entrance will be playing a short free show down the street at
Just Play Music the same day at 6 p.m.

entrance.jpgGOOD WOOD: For another
alternative indie rock show playing this Saturday night,
off-the-beaten path venue The Woodshed — which, yes, is technically
a woodshed — will be offering an all-ages show featuring local
progressive rockers like Springtime Is Wartime,
automatic:automatic, and Oso. Some of the best and most creative
local music can be yours for the night for the very reasonable
suggested donation of $2. Get yourself to 520 East Haley Street by
9 p.m.

KEY WIZ: Not all the best music gets played at
night in Santa Barbara. If you plan to wander State Street this
weekend, stop at Borders to hear Talia, a 15-year-old pianist,
singer, and songwriter, who proves that talent isn’t limited by
age. The young musician has just released her third album, My
Notes. Talia plays at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

MACEDONIAN MAGIC: It’s not often that this
column touts the arrival of a Master Accordionist. This week is the
exception, as Goran Alacki will be performing music of Macedonia
and the Middle East. Sharing the stage with the likes of dance
director Ljupco Manevski, vocalist Adrijana Alacka, and various
artists from the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, Alacki, named a
national treasure back home in Macedonia, promises to bring the
culture heritage of his country to life. So then, take a moment to
ask yourself: How many of Macedonia’s national treasures have you
appreciated lately? Catch the Master Accordionist and his ensemble
at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 14 at SOhO.

VELVET JONESING: Three bands representing a
healthy cross-section of various rock sub-categories will be
appearing on the stage at State Street mainstay Velvet Jones this
Wednesday. Look for Santa Barbara band Sicker than Others — which
manages to fuse rock, punk, and soul into something
worthwhile — and Denver foursome Love Me Destroyer, which plays
hardcore punk. The night’s main act, however, is the Salt Lake City
experimental hardcore outfit I Am the Ocean, which most enticingly
describes its sound as “Satan and Jesus in a bar fight.” It goes
down Wedesday, January 17.


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