prince-diabate.jpgMAIN EVENT: Finding a
space to play is the perpetual dilemma of any up-and-coming,
unsigned rock band. But this year, thanks to Jensen Guitar &
Music Co., this will all change, at least around these parts.
Jensen’s Mainstage, which has recently been revamped with a new
stage for performers, is holding its first monthly Songwriter
Showcase this next Thursday, February 15 at 7 p.m. The motto of the
showcase is Sounds like Santa Barbara and will feature artist and
showcase producer Christina Grimm and friends, as
well as studio singer/songwriter Lark Cobb and Martin Ball
accompanying Grimm on guitar, mandolin, and drums. The opening act
of the concert will be Mark Alciati, who plays a jazzy-bluesy folk
with themes ranging from politics to love.

Mainstage concerts will take place every third Thursday of the
month, and artists interested in performing can apply by going to, which contains the bios,
photos, and songs of the upcoming performers. So come out and get
an earful or get a shot at taking the stage. — Sheyla

SOUTHERN SWAGGER: What happens when five guys
from Colorado with punk rock backgrounds get together? An
alt-country band, of course. The former members of All, Armchair
Martian, and Hot Rod Circuit have reunited to form Drag the River,
which will educate Velvet Jones in the ways of roughed up rock ’n’
roll on Thursday, February 15. The quintet is touring in support of
the release of its first full-length album, It’s Crazy. Supporting
Drag the River, as well as presenting a first full-length release
of his own, is former Avail frontman Tim Barry. The jamboree begins
at 8 p.m. — Levi Michaels

singer/songwriter era is over? Crooner Ernie Halter has been hiking
across 35 states in support of his sophomore release, Congress
Hotel, which succeeds 2005’s Lo-Fidelity and features guest
performers such as Lee Thornburg of Tower of Power, Pete Thomas of
Elvis Costello and The Attractions, and David Leach of Donavon
Frankenreiter. Halter’s exploits have earned him a reputation as
one of the most prominent acoustic rockers of L.A. Check him out
with Curtis Peoples, Dave Yaden, Skyler Stonestreet, and Matthew
Kaner at Rocks on Saturday, February 10 at 7 p.m. — LM

FIT FOR A PRINCE: Rock and royalty have always
gone together. Think the King of Pop (Michael Jackson) and the late
Godfather of Soul (James Brown). And now we have the Prince of
Kora. Presented by the Song Tree Concert Series, Prince Diabaté
hails from West Africa and his kora has often been compared to a
harp-lute. Recording with artists such as Ozomatli, Diabaté will be
performing with a trio on an assortment of West African string and
percussion instruments at the Live Oak Unitarian Universalist
Congregation this Sunday, February 11 at 3 p.m. — SM

mark_farina.jpgHOUSE ARREST: For a
proper education in house music, head to Wildcat Lounge tonight,
Thursday, February 8, to hear DJ Mark Farina and his world-famous
house music. Best known as creator of the Mushroom Jazz CD series,
Farina has collected quite the discography of Chicago house, acid
jazz, and downtempo releases that are widely influenced by funk and
jazz. Though his sound hails from Chicago, Farina has come to
identify primarily with the house scene in San Francisco, where he
resides. Limited $20 presale tickets are available at; the tables start spinning at 10 ­p.m.
— LM

Anthony_Prieto_Band.jpgBIGGER IS BETTER: Let’s
be honest: On any given night in S.B., you can find just about any
brand of rock, as well as folk, punk, Latin styling, and, as
witnessed above, an assortment of out-of-the-ordinary world music.
But if it’s a big-band sound you’re looking for this Sunday night,
look no further than SOhO. Anthony Prieto and his band boast 14
instruments, including a five-piece horn section, percussion,
guitars, bass, and drums. And with its combination of R&B, pop,
and Latin influences, what more could you ask for? The band takes
the stage at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 11. — SM

PROLIFIC PRODUCTIONS: Express yourself through
the elements of hip-hop this Saturday, February 10 at the UCSB
MultiCultural Center. The Youth Cinemedia Hip-Hop Summit provides a
chance for suburban scholars to learn how to spin turntables with a
hands-on tutorial on scratching and beatmatching. Learn how to
produce your own music videos, create graffiti, stencil artwork,
print graphic T-shirt designs, and even write and record original
songs. The workshop will go down at 5 p.m. in the UCSB
MultiCultural Center Lounge. — LM


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