“We have wanted to play Santa Barbara for two years and haven’t been able to,” John Famiglietti of experimental/noise band HEALTH told me over the phone. It’s a bizarre predicament for a signed and established Los Angeles-based band poised to hit the road on a five-month, cross-continental tour that will see them zigzag North America and Europe.
Since teaming up in 2006, the lads of HEALTH have made a lot of headway, going from playing free shows in L.A. (they’re regulars at downtown’s The Smell) to booking gigs in the U.K. The band released its first LP this past September, a collection of experimental electronic and rhythmic noise and lyrics, as well as a 7-inch split with Toronto’s Crystal Castles, with whom it has remixed songs and will be touring the U.S. and Canada. Likewise, Crystal Castles’ remix of the band’s “Crimewave” shot almost immediately to No. 9 on the U.K.’s Indie Singles chart after its release last year. In addition to the LP, HEALTH recently released a remix album (titled Remixes) with club-ready tracks that the band’s two deejays plan on spinning sometime soon.
And with the death of The Living Room and The Hard to Find-and the relatively low output of the Biko Co-Op-Famiglietti poses a pertinent question: Where can non-local bands play in Santa Barbara and who is working to book them? According to HEALTH, the problems are that “there isn’t one person to get in contact with : [and] we don’t know what’s going on for shows in Santa Barbara.” The result: Live new music in Santa Barbara has become almost too local, making it all the more necessary for us to lure bands from L.A., San Francisco, and other neighboring cities to come to town and truly start shaking up our quickly stagnating musical bubble.
Check out HEALTH with Mouth and Virgins at the Biko Co-Op in Isla Vista on Wednesday, January 30. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Visit myspace.com/healthmusic for details.