Positively State Street

Off to a Flying Start

Glenn Phillips

OF TOADS AND LEMONS: If you are familiar with the term “wet sprocket,” you have probably heard of Glen Phillips. A true musician-born and bred in Santa Barbara-Phillips started the band Toad the Wet Sprocket as a freshman at San Marcos High School, and he hasn’t stopped performing since. And even though the heyday of early ’90s alt-rock has long since passed, Phillips’s solo songs are infused with a simultaneously soaring yet mellow vibe that carries a similar emotional charge. Think James Taylor if he sang about the California coast instead of the Midwestern plains. Phillips recently released his third solo album, Mr. Lemons, and will play SOhO (1221 State St.) on Sunday, January 6. And while Phillips may be known for penning the tune “Don’t Need Anything,” you’ll see on Sunday that he has everything you need. The show is all ages and doors open at 8 p.m. Visit sohosb.com or call 962-7776 for details. -Tyler Vickers

Bela Lugosi

INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE: Classical music isn’t just for your mom’s stuffy dinner parties anymore. The Santa Barbara-based classical-meets-experimental-meets-punk outfit Bel¡ Lugosi, consisting of husband-and-wife duo Misha and Ingrid Bodnar, has been both wowing and disturbing audiences all over town for more than a decade. Misha, a classically trained cello virtuoso who honed his craft at the Paris Conservatory, and his violinist/vocalist/spouse, Ingrid, are the band’s principal members, playing alongside a rotating cast of friends and characters. Their varied musical styles range from a surprisingly likable classical interpretation of Blur’s once-ubiquitous grunge anthem, “Song 2,” to their eerie original work-complete with vampirish vocals and an ominous vibe that borders on Hitchcockian. Somewhere between these two poles lies the best of Bel¡ Lugosi, backed by the Bodnars’ mournful cello and dramatic, sweeping arrangements. Occasionally derided for their onstage antics (including a penchant for stripteasing during shows), Bel¡ Lugosi is one-half musical theater and one-half musical mastery. See both sides for yourself on Thursday, January 3, when the group performs at Reds (211 Helena Ave.). Call 966-5906 for more info. -Joel Aurora

OUT OF THIS WORLD: If anyone knows how to celebrate the art of forward thinking, it’s the booking masterminds behind Muddy Waters’ (508 E. Haley St.) always eclectic concert offerings. And this Tuesday, January 8, the little cafe that could is at it again, presenting post-New Year’s revelers with a night of dissonant, spacey thrash rock that is sure to warm the hearts of prog rock fans and gain the attention of casual listeners alike. Napa’s exquisite noise duo, Planets, will hit the stage and headline the extravaganza with a slew of new material. (The boys’ recently released self-titled debut features 12 tracks of otherworldly, experimental goodness.) And with the help of their Reno-based support system-Nevada dwellers Manacle and Short Hair will open the show with unique sounds that blend noise and grindcore in mind-blowing new ways-there is little doubt that this is one Muddy Waters show not to be missed. The party starts at 8 p.m. Visit myspace.com/muddycafesb for details. -Aly Comingore

The Spires

NEW YEAR’S RE-TREAT: If you’re still reeling from New Year’s festivities, you should head down to SOhO on Thursday, January 3, for a lively night of music. The evening entertainment includes a great lineup of Santa Barbara-area bands, including Beehouse Records’ recording artists Franklin for Short, who’ll headline the show with their melodic rock arrangements and exquisitely penned tunes that mix the Walkmen’s vocal theatrics with Ted Leo’s stream-of-consciousness lyricism. Ventura-based indie pop duo The Spires will also lend their Belle and Sebastian-esque compositions to the evening, alongside Cat OK, who incorporate classic rock riffs and modern alternative influences to create a sound that is as straightforward as it is hard-hitting. Rounding out the evening is Anna Abbey, whose piano compositions and sweet vocals promise to add a whole other layer to a night of good ol’ sonic diversity. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for details. -Michelle Drown


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