SUPERMARKET SWEEP: With the Santa Barbara Bowl season officially off and running-and rumors of a late September Spoon stint still swirling around as of Monday-it seems that all signs are pointing to my favorite time of year: the outdoor concert months of spring and summer in our beloved S.B. Blessed with warm days, cool nights, and a bevy of sun-soaked spots to set up, plug in, and rock out, Santa Barbara continues to provide the crme de la crme of open air festivities to both local and out-of-town troubadours-and this past weekend proved to be a prime example of that.
Case in point: Goleta’s very own Albertsons playing host to a little friendly competition they dubbed “Will Play for Food.” No, it wasn’t a drum-off between the more musically inclined members of Isla Vista’s homeless population. This Saturday afternoon event stood to be a legit battle of the bands : in the parking lot of a grocery store : with prizes that ranged from $500 to $4,000 : in Albertsons gift cards. Okay, so it wasn’t Duran Duran, but the day did provide its fair share of killer live tunes. On board to battle it out were Santa Barbara heavyweights The Hero and the Victor, The Veltexans, and I.V. singer/songwriter Grover Anderson. KJEE notables Dave Hanicek and Phat J showed up to bring the hype and play emcee, respectively, and there was even time to restock your fridge in between sets. “Though we aren’t normally into the competitive thing, the $4K would be very nice for us as we are on the road,” said the Veltexans’ own Zach Turner prior to show time. “So much so we are putting our game faces on, for sure!” The end result? The people voted, The Hero and the Victor took home top prize, Albertsons got a tiny bit cooler, and starving young musicians across Isla Vista began quietly practicing and plotting in hopes the event will become a regular thing.
Win or lose, the guys of the Veltexans had plenty of other stuff to worry about this weekend-primarily shooting a new video for the song “Brand-Name Pills” at Brooks Institute of Photography, and partying like rock stars when the whole thing wrapped. Coming up this week, Turner unplugs with Brian Mathusek of The Mutineers at Intermezzo (813 Anacapa St.) on Thursday, May 15. Visit myspace.com/veltexans for additional show dates.
LE GRAND PARTI: While Elsie’s may not be all that big, the entourage that followed behind Le Petit Protest for the band’s Saturday night show at the De la Guerra Street watering hole was nothing short of shocking. Forgoing pre-Cinco de Mayo festivities, the Lompoc indie lovers played a sweet, odd instrumentation-heavy set to a crew of regulars, fans, and fellow musicians-all of whom had nothing but praise for the six-piece post set. Up next for the fellas; a show at the Southside Coffee Co. (105 S. H St.) in Lompoc on Saturday, May 17, and a debut record titled Prizefighter out on Ventura’s own Beehouse Records (beehouserecords.com) sometime real soon.
COMING UP THIS WEEK: At Muddy Waters (508 E. Haley St.), The Donner Party and The Johnny Starlings team up for a show on Saturday, May 10. And this Thursday, May 8, I urge you to check out Ferraby Lionheart (ferrabylionheart.com) when he takes his eccentric brand of upbeat, orchestral, and lush piano-driven pop tunes to the stage of Goleta’s Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave.) for the bar’s weekly Thursday Night Live concert series. This is one show not to be missed. Visit myspace.com/mercurylounge for additional information.