Boy Ploys

dana_cooper.jpgCOOP SCOOP: There are
times when Nashville may seem a musical world away from Santa
Barbara. But the finger-pickin’ and down-home tunes by a celebrated
singer/songwriter can make for a Saturday night well
spent — particularly if you only have to part with $10. In another
segment of the Trinity Backstage series, hosts Kate Wallace and
Doug Clegg transform the church hall into a candlelit coffeehouse,
replete with intimate tables for hushed intermission conversation.
Don’t talk while Dana Cooper is playing, though.
His artistry on guitar and harmonica and the timbre of his voice
create a mood that’s made him an award-winning pick on the
singer/songwriter circuit. Cooper’s latest album, Made of
, proves he’s anything but. Each song he strums is a
voyage. He muses that music is “a journey through life, from song
to song.” To catch Cooper’s set, visit Trinity Backstage (located
at Trinity Episcopal Church) on Saturday, February 24 at 8 p.m.  
— Felicia M. Tomasko

NORTHERN NOTIONS: Hailing from San Francisco,
the talent of singer/songwriter Jonah Matranga has
influenced bands ranging from Deftones to Dashboard Confessional.
Matranga was the former frontman of hard rock and classic indie
bands Far and New End Original, and has worked with a myriad of
other artists such as Thursday and hip-hop acts Lupe Fiasco and
Fort Minor. After 16 years of musical experience and the creation
of groundbreaking sounds, Matranga has fathered an unbelievably
unique acoustic solo act. Describing Matranga’s art is
unclassifiable. Imagine Elliott Smith, Led Zeppelin, and Eric
Clapton collaborating together on one album. Do not miss out on
this opportunity to see him live at UCSB Storke Tower for free on
Wednesday, February 28 at noon.  — Alyssa Perry

DISC DRIVE: Forget all that commercialism tied
in with music. Santa Barbara-based indie label Corporate
Nightmare Records
uses the slogan “100 Percent Organic” to
describe its grassroots approach to music. Luckily the company
signed Zach Madden, a locally raised musician who
grabs audiences with his gentle, soothing voice, subtle percussion
beats, and folkloric guitar riffs. Corporate Nightmare also signed
The White Fires of Venus, led by Jeff
, whose folk melodies paint a dreamlike setting
that’s easy on the ears. Catch both bands this Wednesday, February
28, at the Corporate double CD release party at SOhO.
— AP

FOURSOME: Fans of great songwriting will not
want to miss the Guy Clark, Joe Ely, John Hiatt,
and Lyle Lovett quadruple bill at the Arlington
next Thursday, March 1. Clark recently released a new album,
Workbench Songs, which was nominated for a Grammy and features him
playing a new guitar he built himself — no mean feat for a man born
in 1941. Clark is a veteran songwriter in the classic tradition,
arguably more famed for the songs he wrote rather than his own
playing and singing, although both are exemplary. Combined with the
rest of the talented lineup, the Clark and friends show is not one
to miss.   — Max Burke

MASH UP: True, Velvet Jones has been bringing
solid bands to Santa Barbara for years now. Anyone remember the
Dresden Dolls or Evanescence shows of years past? But even so, the
venue has stepped up its game with the Sean Healy
series. This week, Velvet presents three solid
shows for rap and rock fans alike. On Friday, February 23,
Too Short — the first bona fide West Coast rap
star and multi-platinum album seller — will bring it. The following
night, Saturday, February 24, melancholy pretty boy rockers
The Exies make a stop in S.B. on their recent
California tour. And, though not part of the Healy series,
Andre Nickatina will drop some rhymes next
Thursday, March 1.   — Sarah Hammil


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