WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: It rarely happens that I-by no intense searching or snooping of my own-catch wind of a name or face that has seemed to have mysteriously (and abruptly) dropped off my musical radar. And these days, it’s especially rare when it happens twice in less than a month. Sometime in mid June, I had a short-but-sweet line dropped to me by one Misha Bodnar. You might recognize his name as just one of the many associated with Santa Barbara’s very own band of traveling gypsies, Bela Lugosi. Onetime weekly staples at Reds Cafe (211 Helena Ave.), the melange of often rotating talents behind Bela-led by husband and wide duo Misha and Ingrid Bodnar-was a force to be reckoned with. Instruments ranged from the standard drum, guitar, and piano, to stuff as “out there” as the cello, theremin, saw, and random found objects. The result of this collective was a lush and peculiar, yet worldly and baroque, concert experience that was truly unlike any other in town.
Needless to say, it was a weekly outing that goes much missed in the hearts and ears of many Santa Barbarans. The note announced a very special show featuring both Misha and fellow bandmate Dan Brooks, who took their piano and cello, respectively, to the Valle Verde Retirement Home (900 Calle de Los Amigos) for a performance of Ceasar Franck’s sonata for the cello. Okay, okay, it wasn’t exactly a rip-roaring show at an off-the-beaten-path coffee house, but it did provide a rare chance to see Misha perform the classical works he was formally trained to play.
This month, songstress Jennifer Terran ( jenniferterran.com) returns to the live arena after a nearly yearlong hiatus. The lyrically gifted, critically acclaimed pianist and singer/songwriter has worked with such luminaries as Todd Sickafoose and Husky Hoskulds, and her 2000 album, The Musician, was named the 2nd Best Album of the Year by the London Times. Terran will reunite the public with her eerily beautiful compositions and uniquely delicate vocals next Saturday, July 26, at 8:30 p.m. at her private showspace/recording studio, The Barn. Tickets are $10 to $15, by reservation only. Email firstname.lastname@example.org your ticket request for details.
CRUNCH TIME: We’ve just about reached the halfway mark in our call for bands, musicians, and DJs for The Indy‘s Local’s Only Santa Barbara music issue, and the response thus far has been phenomenal. As of press time, independent.com was well on its way to hosting profiles-complete with bios, MP3s, and pics-for more than 150 Tri-County-based bands. And the submissions just keep piling in-no doubt due in part to the thrilling competition and killer prizes that are being offered up this year. Following the end of our call for submissions, independent.com/bands will go live, hosting five days of online voting for readers’ favorite singer/songwriters, bands, and DJs. From there, The Independent’s Road to West Beach Contest rolls on, with the top vote getters in each region (San Luis Obispo, Isla Vista/Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria/Ventura) competing in live showcases in their hometown. The winners of these showcases (determined by audience vote) will then go on to play Alameda Park over Labor Day weekend. There, a team of judges will decide who takes home top honors-and plays the Main Stage at the West Beach Music Festival (westbeachfestival.com).
As of Monday, August 4-that’s only a few weeks away-the submission process will be closed, meaning you can’t compete in what is sure to be a sonic battle royale amongst the Santa Barbara masses. To get your name, group, or musical collective involved, visit independent.com/band_submission. The process is simple-and the stakes have never been higher-so what are you waiting for?