TWANG THANG: It is no secret why artists Lyle Lovett and k.d. lang are headlining their current tour together; in terms of musical style, their compositions and creations are all over the board and the songs they craft, they craft well-very well. Lang’s warm and brilliant vocals and Lovett’s fun and quirky country rock fusion will no doubt have fans out of their seats in no time. This showcase of musical innovators takes place on Friday, July 20, at the Santa Barbara Bowl. -Stephanie Flint

The Coral Sea

MOTEL CALIFORNIA: Just in time for summer, the boys of The Western States Motel return to Goleta with their sunny, folksy pop sounds. Hailing from Los Angeles, the band has been receiving glowing reviews, TV spots, and a notable amount of airplay for its recently released self-titled debut. Alongside them will be S.B. favorites, The Coral Sea, the mellow acoustics of Lompoc-based band Clark, and DJ Mark will be spinning a bevy of vinyl in between sets. The party starts at 8 p.m. sharp on Saturday, July 21, at The Mercury Lounge -Aly Comingore

The Beatnuts

THE BEAT IS BACK: The bling in contemporary hip-hop tends to be a lot brighter than the music, which is often nothing more than tightly cut, immaculately produced nonsense set against a catchy loop. Fortunately, mainstays like the Beatnuts are still around to show the kiddies what hip-hop can be. Throughout the years, the duo has taken the art of sampling and mixing to its most elemental, operating more as composers than as rank-and-file producers. Their recent collaborations with Jurassic 5, Mos Def, and Akon have shored their reputation as consummate artists, and their increasingly Latin sound-Ju-Ju is of Dominican descent, Psycho Les of Columbian-has given the music a depth uncommon in the genre. The Beatnuts come to Velvet Jones on Saturday, July 21. Their reputation as bawdy, in-your-face performers ensures a lively evening not to be missed. -Greg Nichols

S.B. SPOTLIGHT: The walls of Jensen Mainstage will be dripping with talent this upcoming Thursday thanks to the Santa Barbara Singer/Songwriter Showcase. Rebecca Troon, a well-loved local and self-proclaimed “tree hugging, born-again druid folk princess” will be headlining the show. Described as both passionate and funny, Troon truly delivers music from the heart. Pat Milliken, an acoustic guitarist who weaves instrumentals into wordless poetry, and Joe Cicero, a fresh new talent who fuses acoustic and country, will share the opening slot. Come support your neighbors at the Mainstage on July 19. -SF

MOMMY COMPLEX: A collaboration of longtime local musicians, The Founding Mothers draw influence from their love of rock, folk, and blues. Their debut CD, Constitution, holds a mirror to society, and provides a refreshing look at the roles we all play. Led by the songwriting talents of Tommy Quayle, he and fellow songwriters Scott Branch and Michelle Osborne have crafted a thoughtful, fun, engagingly enjoyable sound that’ll make you dance and think at the same time. With the added talents of Kelly Cox, Tom Murphy, and Albe Bonacci, the group promises to leave a smile on your face. Their CD release party is Sunday, July 22, at SOhO. -GN

ZERO DOUBT: For those craving their fix of epic power ballads and hardcore modern rock, Onesidezero‘s upcoming show may be just the thing. Many may remember Onesidezero’s 2001 release album, Is this Room Getting Smaller, and its honest and shadowy lyrics that ring with a heavy rock tone. On June 5, Onesidezero released a self-titled album and is now on tour celebrating this equally powerful musical collection with a vast following of devoted fans. Don’t miss these guys on Friday, July 20, at Velvet Jones. -SF

DEE IS SOMETHIN’ TO SEE: Dust off the ol’ cowboy boots and get ready for a wild night; Ruby Dee & the Snakehandlers are coming to town. With their refreshingly diverse mix of country, swing, and rock, and the high acclaim given to their 2006 debut, North of Bakersfield, it’s no wonder Dee fans are so eager to hear what she’ll do next. After shaking the floors of many recent festivals and rodeos, the band is sure to deliver that special country sass Santa Barbara has been waiting for. This vivacious combo will be performing with various other talented artists from the Carpinteria-based Indie Music Show at Rocks on July 26. -SF


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