DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: I’ve never been a big Incubus fan. Then again, I was never a fan of much of anything labeled industrial rock, alt metal, or even mainstream rock, for that matter. Not because I didn’t care for it, mind you, but because-growing up in the Sacramento suburbs with perfectly manicured lawns and matching minivans parked in each driveway-I didn’t exactly have access to music like that.

Incubus Lead Singer Brandon Boyd.

Then I moved to Santa Barbara, and it seemed like Incubus was everywhere. The band’s songs were thumping through my college dorm room walls, an unintentional gift from the girls next door, and they were on KJEE virtually every time I jumped in the car. And they were on the road trip CD my college boyfriend burned for me one spring, and again on the breakup CD he made for me-who makes a breakup CD?-later that summer.

In the past six years, in my heart, Incubus has become indelibly linked to Santa Barbara. Like it or not, Brandon Boyd‘s voice has provided the soundtrack to endless beachside bonfires, lazy Saturday afternoons, and even the occasional heartbroken, midnight drive. Although I’ve never purchased a single Incubus CD, you can bet your ass I’ll be at the Bowl show on July 12. And here’s what I’ll be spinning to get me in the mood:

From Make Yourself: “Pardon Me,” “I Miss You,” “Stellar,” and “Drive”

From Morning View: “Nice to Know You,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Just a Phase,” “Warning,” and “Are You In?”

From A Crow Left of the Murder: “Megalomaniac”

– Sarah Hamill

Snow Patrol

WINTER STORM WARNING: Snow Patrol has a lot more to offer than you might expect, given its reputation stateside as a kind of Coldplay for kiddies. Formed in 1997 in Dundee, Scotland, the band had several hits in England and went through a number of personnel changes before finally cracking the U.S. charts with Eyes Open in May 2006. One song from Eyes Open, “Chasing Cars,” was the first U.K. rock song to break the top five of Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart in 13 years. The sentiments (“All that I am /All that I ever was / Is here in your perfect eyes, they’re all I can see”) and the dynamics (soft, then LOUD) are familiar, but the execution is brilliant, and the melodies are instantly memorable. Pick up tickets for Snow Patrol’s July 17 concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl with Hot Hot Heat and you will be in on what could be the season’s sleeper hit rock show. In the meantime, here’s a listening list of their best material:

From Songs for Polar Bears: “Velocity Girl” and “Starfighter Pilot”

From When It’s All Over We Still Have to Clear Up: “Black and Blue” and “Making Enemies”

From Final Straw: “Run,” “Tiny Little Fractures,” and “Spitting Games”

From Eyes Open: “Chasing Cars,” “Headlights on Dark Roads,” and “You’re All I Have”

-Charles Donelan


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