THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY: In so many ways, the start of spring is one of my favorite times of the year; days get longer, plants get healthier, and rumors start flying about the summer’s slowly forming Santa Barbara Bowl (sbbowl.com) season. This week, buzz became reality when the venue announced the August 20 arrival of Depeche Mode (depechemode.com), with special guests Peter, Bjorn and John (peterbjornandjohn.com). While both bands have albums slated to drop between here and now (Depeche will release Sounds of the Universe as soon as April 20; PB&J will unleash Living Things this month), it otherwise seems like a delightfully great coincidence that the groups are pairing up. For Depeche Mode, the show will also undoubtedly hold some serious sentimental value, as the band (including S.B. dweller Martin Gore) have not played the venue since 2001. As for what’s still churning through the rumor mill; think Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, and No Doubt, for starters.
Still, we can’t go around pretending that the dawn of live music mayhem is all candy-coated happy times. In fact, just last week I received news of not one, but two sad-but-true concert cancellations. First up, the news that Los Campesinos! (loscampesinos.com) April 16 performance at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) is no longer. No word on why the Wales-based seven-piece had to nix the show, but no worry. The band will most definitely be performing the following day at the 10th annual Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival (coachella.com) in Indio. And speaking of Coachella, our second cancellation offense comes from none other than the fest’s Saturday night headliner, Amy Winehouse. No huge surprise here, but the English singer has ducked out of the festivities due to “legal issues,” most likely stemming from a recent abuse charge filed against her. The main stage show would have been Winehouse’s largest U.S. concert to date.
HOMEWARD BOUND: Looking even closer to home, the coming week is nearly brimming with killer shows from some of our very own hometown music heroes. This Thursday, the funk masters of Boombox Orchestra take on the Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave.) starting at 5 p.m. Visit myspace.com/mercurylounge for info. On Sunday, March 15, Dishwalla will headline a daylong free music fest at the Earl Warren Showgrounds (3400 Calle Real) in an effort to raise money for Tea Fire victims Lance and Carla Hoffman. Gates open at noon. On Friday, March 13, the lads of oso will team up with the newly reunited Colter Frazier Quartet for a very special show at Muddy Waters Cafe (508 E. Haley St.) at 9 p.m. And finally, on Tuesday, March 17 (a.k.a. St. Patty’s Day), Ventura’s Franklin for Short will head to Elsie’s (117 W. De la Guerra St.) for a night of tunes in support of their soon-to-be-released Beehouse Records debut, Swell. The show starts at 8 p.m.
SO CAL SONGBIRD: Coming to Ventura’s quaint but mighty Zoey’s Cafe (451 E. Main St.) this Friday, March 13 is the sweet but sultry Skyler Stonestreet. On top of Stonestreet’s killer (and alliteration friendly) namesake, this L.A. girl is giving me every reason to make the trek down south this weekend. Her songs are crafted like precious, personal stories, some happy, some sad, and all replete with whimsical vocals and punchy guitar and piano parts. Stonestreet’s voice and lyrics move seamlessly from childlike wonder to coy female songstress, making for tunes that are as brutally truthful as they are fairytale-like. Unsurprisingly, Stonestreet’s songs have already been snatched up by the musically inclined folks at CBS, MTV, and the Sundance Film Fest for use in their projects. Not too shabby for an unsigned lass hailing from the land of up-and-coming entertainers. The show starts at 8 p.m. Call 652-0091 or visit myspace.com/zoeyscafeandloft for details.