Pigeon John

DO THE PIGEON: So, you couldn’t make it to Pigeon John‘s Summertime Pool Party? Well, you need to check out the underground rap veteran himself when he appears at SOhO (1221 State St.) on Saturday, December 29. After making a name for himself in the mid ’90s at the Good Life Cafe-rapping alongside such venerable underground legends as Kurupt and Jurassic 5-John has amassed quite a following of fellow “street geeks” enamored of his affable, self-deprecating style and flows as snug-fit as his trademark fedora. The beats on his latest album, similar in name to the aforementioned party, sound as if they were collaboratively mixed by Pharrell and Fred Schneider from the B-52’s; equal parts fun and funky. Jump on in and do the Pigeon! Trust us, the water’s fine. Call 962-7776. -Tyler Vickers

HIP TO BE SQUARED: If you’re looking for a particularly jaunty night of music to help you recover from your New Year’s hangover, you should head on up to the Biko Garage in Isla Vista (6612 Sueno Rd.) on Wednesday, January 2. There, Iji and Math the Band promise to deliver an electronic, indie-flavored cacophony of synthesized beats and equally entertaining lyrics. With a sound that’s equal parts Postal Service and first-generation Nintendo noises, Math the Band pen tunes that are as quirky as they are danceable. They’ll share the evening-and the stage-with fellow art rockers Iji, who play unspoiled, spirited guitar tunes. The night’s entertainment will surely please anybody who appreciates original talent, even if algebra isn’t your thing. Visit myspace.com/biko_garage for info. -Jessica Small

BREAKING THE BARRIER: Considering that he’s toured with the likes of Tears for Fears, Patti Labelle, and-most recently-Marc Anthony, it’s no surprise that Aaron McLain has grabbed the attention of stadium-sized audiences with his charged guitar solos. However, McLain is hardly a backup musician; he has cultivated for himself a promising solo career. Proud to be a representative for African-American rock ‘n’ rollers, McLain has said he feels music is “colorblind.” He provides a refreshing new spin on rock music, yet his style is immediately reminiscent of the good old days of rock. And while McLain’s strong, raspy vocals may sound familiar, they most definitely don’t sound antiquated. Playing alongside him will be folksinger Tami Gosnell, who can only be described as Janis Joplin reincarnate, with a touch of Susan Tedeschi. The show starts at 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 20, at SOhO. Visitsohosb.com for details.-JS

THE X FACTOR: Thirty years ago, seminal rockers X joined Los Angeles-based The Weirdos and Black Randy to create an altogether new, regionally inclusive sound for punk music that combined its driving rhythms with inflections of rockabilly and country twang. The guitar was punchy and fuzzed, the lyrics were imbued with Bukowskian fury (“We’re desperate / Get used to it”), and the vocals were seductively dissonant, creating an overall sound that was uncompromisingly slick. As X’s artistic merit rose, and their raw talent and musicianship began to shine through fellow punks’ snide outer shell, the scene itself, ever self-effacing, snarled at its native sons and daughter with accusations of selling out. Though the band has never fully disappeared, its founding misfits have grown artistically obscure through the pursuit of outside projects. Once called one of “the greatest live rock acts of all time,” X returns to the stage for a high-speed retrospective of their greatest hits on New Year’s Eve. The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Majestic Ventura Theater (26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura). Visit venturatheater.net for info.-Jessica Hilo


ELECTRO JAH: My experience with electronica music in Santa Barbara has been limited, for better or worse, to self-proclaimed “rave” parties in Isla Vista that are more concerned with party favors than deejays. That being said, I was surprised to find that the majority of the acts on the bill for Muddy Waters’ (508 E. Haley St.) drum-and-bass extravaganza-presented by Santa Babylon on Friday, December 21-were local. S.B.’s ERS-ONE and DJ Mayday are en route to Palm Springs for a drum-and-bass festival, and will be stopping off at Muddy Waters to get the party rollin’. Sam I Am?, of S.B. “full moon party” fame, will be opening with Stepcorrect (also from S.B.). Reading further, I found out that both acts were of the electro-dub persuasion, proving once and for all that as long as reggae is involved, you will find an audience in Santa Barbara. Doors to the all-ages show open at 9 p.m. Visit myspace.com/muddycafesb for details.-Dave Petterson

THEY’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: Santa Barbara favorites Them Terribles are coming home for Christmas-and offering up a hearty serving of rebellious rock ‘n’ roll at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Saturday, December 22. Since recently elbowing into the music scene via MTV2, the kick-butt, take-names attitude of Them Terribles has claimed fans, stolen critics’ hearts, and spawned a thorough coast-to-coast tour schedule. Our boys have been busy. If you haven’t had a chance to witness Them Terribles in action, Velvet Jones-the hottest spot between Los Angeles and San Francisco for about-to-blow and already popular bands-couldn’t be a better venue for the self proclaimed revolutionaries. Under Par will open the night, whetting fans’ appetites with their signature modern-meets-nostalgic rock we’ve grown to expect. The show is for ages 21 and older. Visit velvet-jones.com or myspace.com/themterribles for show details and directions.-Lisa Engelbrektson


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