Last month, we here at The Indy took on the task of compiling a large-scale profile for as many Santa Barbara-based bands as we could get our sticky little hands on. When more than 100 different artists and groups expressed interest, the task went from inspired to daunting. And when our online Battle of the Santa Barbara Bands yielded more than 24,000 Web-based votes, the task of choosing the winners became downright overwhelming. While the numbers provided their fair share of talented contenders, our editorial staff and judging panel also had to weigh in, resulting in a list of fan-chosen, expert-approved winners that we think are more than worthy. Below is a rundown of the judges, the fan favorites, and the lucky few who earned their spot onstage at The Independent’s First Annual Santa Barbara Bands Concert, taking place Thursday, November 1, at Casa De la Guerra.
Selected for its heavy beats, outrageous stage presence, and ability to truly bring the funk, Boombox has already earned its fair share of accolades, taking home first place in last year’s UCSB-sponsored Battle of the Bands. And with its ruckus live performance, outlandish costuming, and an insanely devout fan base, it’s no wonder Boombox Orchestra has met such success so early on in its career.
Anyone who’s been around town for longer than a weekend could tell you that Santa Barbara and reggae go together like peanut butter and jelly. And somewhere in between the hippies, the surfers, and the college girls, Rebelution managed to break through the genre’s mold and bust out into the S.B. mainstream with its infectious beats and catchy, groovy lyrics.
Representing for her singer/songwriter genre, Green is as multifaceted as her songs let on. In front of her backing band, she wails like a young Alanis at her most jaded. And playing solo, she is as pensive as her lyrics are thought-provoking, singing tunes that are empowering, reflective, and obviously coming from the heart.
When top vote-getters Silent Meow turned down our offer to play on November 1 (their bassist couldn’t make the gig), they happily deflected their win to the Cosmic Revelators. We couldn’t help but agree. This three-piece is undoubtedly on the brink of hitting it big with a sound that’s part White Stripes, part The Strokes, and all hard-hitting garage rock.
Rounding out our eclectic bunch are the goblin-themed, pirate-loving, metal sounds of Nekrogoblikon. These youngsters-who began the band as a summer side project-made an impressive showing despite their relatively obscure sound. Winning over judges and online voters alike, there was little question that these up-and-coming thrash rock stars deserved a spot onstage.
Nekrogoblikon, Cosmic Revelators, Jamie Green, Rebelution, and Boombox Orchestra hit the stage at Casa De la Guerra this Thursday, November 1, to celebrate the culmination of The Independent’s First Annual Santa Barbara Battle of the Bands. The show starts at 5 p.m. and is free for all ages.
Anne Litt: Host of KCRW’s The A-Track/music supervisor. picks: The Coral Sea, The Dance, Silent Meow, Zach Madden
Josh “Hoshwa” Redman: general manager at KCSB/host of 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … Fun! picks: The Spires, Colter Frazier/Rob Wallace Jazz Duo, The Limbz, Foggy Dew, The Volt Per Octaves
Rob Garcia: sports director at KCSB/host of Flows and Free Throws. picks: Boombox Orchestra, Watercolor Paintings, oso
Leo Schumaker: Host of KCSB’s Bluesland. pick: The Mustangs
Matt Kettmann: senior editor at The Independent. picks: Big Jugs, Coyotes and Bourbon, The Hoagland Conspiracy, Nice: On Ice, Poms Poms, Wil Ridge
Rachel Weight: listings editor at The Independent. picks: Cornerstone, The Spires, White Fires of Venus
Top Online Vote-Getters
Silent Meow: 921 votes
Nekrogoblikon: 890 votes
The Donner Party: 776 votes
Iration: 681 votes
Hot Lava: 675 votes
Rebelution: 584 votes
Jamie Green: 515 votes
Cosmic Revelators: 487 votes
Immaculate Fatality: 477 votes
Retrodemon: 461 votes
Boombox Orchestra: 452 votes