Velvet Jones (423 State St.) is well on its way to becoming one of the longest standing venues in Santa Barbara, managing to thrive on the club scene while pillar watering holes around it fall and reemerge. (Club 634 became Tonic and, more recently, Study Hall rematerialized as Statemynt). And the recipe of success for Velvet’s owner Craig Jenkins (who impressively bought the establishment at the young age of 24) seems to be innovation and perseverance. Velvet Jones will celebrate its eighth birthday this Friday, December 19, at 9 p.m. with the help of Santa Barbara’s newest and hottest cover band, Lone Angels, leading us to believe that was can expect continued success from this small-but-mighty rock venue. For tickets and info, call 965-8676 or visit And for more reasons to check out the birthday bash, read on below.

1) Business as Usual: Jenkins has managed to stay one step ahead of the game and turn Velvet Jones into a sort of rock ‘n’ roll empire over the past eight years. By buying and operating Bill’s Bus, a safe mode of (sober) transportation for the Isla Vista-dwelling college student who needs a lift to and from downtown Santa Barbara, Jenkins has even figured out how to (literally) bus in his own clientele. He’s also offered (for a short time) the “short bus” dive bar pub crawl, built a small in-house kitchen to sell pizza and other late night munchies, and as of November, obtained an all-ages permit to offer under-21 concertgoers a safe place to hear good music.

2) Covering All the Bases: The anniversary party (ages 21+) promises to be a blast, with area artists Lone Angels bringing a night of covers from one of music’s most celebratory decades, the 1980s. Angels do it all: Madonna, the Muffs, Cyndi Lauper, and even Tiffany, with a leaning toward all things punk rock. Besides, anything with less edge might not appease the long-time fans and friends of Velvet. For a listen, visit

3) Keeping the Faith: If hard rock is what you’re after, be sure to get to the party early. Woodpecker from Mars, another area cover band, is also on the evening’s bill. Unlike The Lone Angels, their covers are specifically applied to one band only: Faith No More. Their style is less “Easy like Sunday Morning” and more “Epic,” and they appear to have established quite a dedicated following already. Check out for a sample.


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