Since the advent of the album cover, visual art and rock ‘n’ roll have gone hand in hand. And while the epic collage from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the dazzling cover of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon are just some of the works that hold significant spots in the music-meets-art canon, nowadays bands and artists are taking the cross-medium collaboration to a whole new level. Music videos la A-Ha’s “Take on Me” and Incubus’s “Drive” have united rock and animation for the mainstream, while indie rockers like Portland, Oregon’s Menomena employ their own cartoonist to join them on tour and paint pictures onstage during the band’s live shows. It is with this artistic partnership in mind that SOhO (1221 State St.) has put together a night of music, live art, and creative entertainment that is sure to blow most other opening receptions out of the water. The party starts at 9 p.m. this Thursday, June 5. And if you’re still not sold, read on for a few reasons why this event promises to be unlike any other.

1) Pop Goes the Easel: Though SOhO has long played art gallery to the Santa Barbara community, more often than not the works that adorn the club’s walls get lost in the excitement to catch who is onstage. But on Thursday, the art will be the focus, with area pop and street artists touting their wares and Concord, California, graffiti artist Downer creating original works live and in-person. A fresh collection of pop art pieces will also be on display for public consumption.

2) Community Service: S.B. has always been known as a creative haven for artists of all media. It’s no surprise, then, that this extra-special event is being cosponsored by a trio of locally owned stores that serve and foster the artistic community. The recently opened clothing-shop-meets-art-gallery Blackbird (29 Parker Wy.), go-to art supply peddler Art Essentials (32 E. Victoria St.), and streetwise apparel store Fusion have all teamed up and lent their names to the undertaking. And each of them is selling discount $5 tickets prior to the show.

Boombox Orchestra

3) Sounds of the Underground: While art for art’s sake is fine and dandy, no SOhO experience would be complete without some live tunes. So to accompany the visuals, Santa Barbara music-makers oso and Boombox Orchestra, along with DJ Weston Richards, will be churning out the beats, breaks, riffs, and rhythms. It’s a mashup of experimental rock, psychedelic funk, and dance-worthy cuts that will satiate all types of music fans. And even if you don’t like what you hear, odds are you’ll like something you see.


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