D IS FOR DARING: Quirky up-and-coming singer/songwriters are not in short supply these days, but Drew Danburry has got the goods. Sounding like a cross between Swedish wunderkind Jens Lekman and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, Danburry plays urgent, unpredictable songs that hammer home the fact that it is very easy to strum a few chords on a guitar and write some lyrics, but extremely difficult to do it compellingly. His records,including the hilariously titled Introduction to Sex Rock (a genre which Danburry seems to have invented), are exemplary low-budget collections, but the live tracks available on his Web site are where his talents really shine, showcasing a charismatic performer who’s not afraid to mix up the dynamics of his guitar-and-vocals approach with dazzling results. Frank singer/songwriter Aubrey Debauchery opens the show, which will be worth the trek out to Tracy’s House in Montecito (2775 Sycamore Canyon Rd.) on Monday, March 26. – Max Burke
PIANO GIRL: Female rock pianist Tiff Jimber‘s talents are anything but hidden when she gets onstage. With an infinite amount of classical training and years of perfecting the piano, Jimber has turned her experience into her own unique pop-rock sound with traces of jazz and blues. Her vocals have recently appeared in the Robert De Niro movie Hide and Seek, and her album has been nominated for an award by the Los Angeles Music Awards. Joining her on Thursday, March 22 at Rocks (801 State St.) will be L.A.-based singer/songwriter and Hotel Cafe transplant Jay Nash. -Alyssa Perry
BUFFALO SINGS: The White Buffalo is Jake Smith, backed by bass and drums. He plays aching singer/songwriter tunes and his voice bears more than a passing resemblance to Eddie Vedder’s. This is no knock-Vedder has one of the most expressive and energized voices in modern rock music. But where Vedder channels his vocals into an instrument of power, Buffalo’s songs are more understated and focused. The band only has an EP out so far, but the selection of songs on the record showcases a group whose songwriting sensibilities have already matured beyond those of its up-and-coming peers. Buffalo is preparing for an Australian tour supporting Gomez and should be in fine form when it takes the stage at SOhO (1221 State St.) on Wednesday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. World-renowned surfer Timmy Curran, who recently launched a career as a singer/songwriter, opens the show. -MB
ROCK CORE: Ironically in line with the American spirit, The Scimitar Cooperative-an organization whose goal is to bring emo-core, punk, and metal to Santa Barbara-was formed by local music lovers who weren’t seeing the shows they wanted to see and took the process into their own hands. On Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m., the co-op brings four noteworthy bands to town. Headlining the night is Forced March from Portland, Oregon, a hardcore band known to rock the socks off its audience. Contrasting March with softer but faster rifts, the Absolute Rulers, a hardcore trio from the northwest, will also play. Rounding out the lineup will be Oxnard-based band Heavy Artillery and No Man’s Land. The show goes down at Casa de la Raza (601 E. Montecito St.). -AP
THE ROUNDUP: It’s no coincidence Mike Mann is bringing his easy strumming and California twang to happy hour at the Creekside Inn (4444 Hollister Ave.) this Friday night. Mann-who just released his album, Music for Vikings, and is known for sporting headgear ranging from Viking horns to fighter pilot goggles-has plenty to be happy about. At the Wildcat Lounge (15 W. Ortega St.) tonight, Thursday, March 22, Raquel Dixon aka Rocky Blue will host The Rock Party with DJ Justin Hoffman from Tryst, currently the hottest club in Vegas. And for you harder rockers, Velvet Jones (423 State St.) serves up a solid weekend lineup with Civil Unrest and Waking the Destroyer Friday night, and Vajra and Entoven rocking it on Saturday.