BATTLE ROYALE: If you’re anything like me, you’ll be spending some late nights out-and groggy mornings at the office-this week, thanks to the concert booking powers that be. Just for starters, we’ve got Depeche Mode at the Bowl, Built to Spill and Hellogoodbye at Velvet Jones, Devendra Banhart at SOhO, and Six Organs of Admittance and J. Tillman at Muddy Waters.
Starting this Friday, August 21, our annual Road to West Beach competition heats up at live music venues across the county. Throughout the weekend, winners from our online vote-off will be matched up by region for three live concerts, and the winner of each battle will be determined by audience ballot vote, so your participation is crucial. First up, Sandbar (514 State St.) plays host to our Carpinteria, Ojai, and Ventura semi-finalists, Shades of Day, 8Stops7, and Lonesome Dub at 9 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, August 22, I.V., Goleta, and North County semi-finalists The Goodland, Wil Ridge, and Nekrogoblikon play Isla Vista’s Anisq’Oyo’ Park at 1 p.m. And on Sunday, August 23, at 9 p.m., Velvet Jones (423 State St.) is the place to catch Santa Barbara bands Grover Anderson, Ruben Cortez, and Verna Beware as they vie for the coveted finalist crown. Then, on September 3, don’t forget to check out the final three-band battle royale in De la Guerra Plaza, where we will grant one talented collective a spot in this year’s West Beach Music Festival lineup.
WE BUILT THIS CITY: Before The Strokes, Death Cab, or Modest Mouse hit it big, there was Built to Spill. Led by frontman/head songwriter Doug Martsch, the Boise-based quartet often is credited with putting the whole emotional-lyrics, crunching-guitars, dissonant-hooks, slow-sonic-builds thing on the map. Now, three-plus years after the band’s last release, the guys are gearing up to unveil their seventh studio album, There Is No Enemy. The record hits stores this October, but the band heads to Velvet Jones (423 State St.) this Saturday night at 9 p.m. with a very special sneak peek at the new material. But don’t fret, diehards: The band promises plenty of old-school BTS tunes, too. Call 965-8676 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets.
MAKE SOME NOISE: Also this week, S.B. up-and-comers Loomis & the Lust unleash their latest EP, Nagasha, this Friday, August 21, at the Cabrillo Arts Center (1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd.) starting at 8 p.m. Following the band’s set, KJEE’s own Phat J will guest emcee a night of dancing and music from DJ Jay Dubb and a solo set from Tommy & the High Pilots‘ frontman Tommy Cantillon. Tickets can be purchased through the band’s MySpace page for $5, or at the door for $10.
On Thursday, August 20, Gap stores around the country (including our own Paseo Nuevo location) will team up for a huge simultaneous acoustic music party from 7-9 p.m. to launch their 1969 Premium Jeans. Representing for S.B. will be our very own Jaret Campisi, who was hand-selected to play the event. Visit Gap’s Facebook page for details.
Up north, The Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave., Goleta) and New Noise host San Fran electro-popsters The Lovemakers this Saturday, August 22, at 10 p.m. In addition to a great show in the same musical vein as The Sounds and The Kills, attendees will get a live set by Sugarcult’s DJ Marko, which means dancing aplenty. Call 967-0907 or visit myspace.com/mercurylounge for details.
And on Wednesday, August 26, longtime Santa Barbara stalwarts (and semi-recent Portland transplants) The Volt Per Octaves will return to their first home for a very special show at Elsie’s (117 W. De la Guerra St.). The Moog-friendly duo, made up of husband and wife Nick and Anna Montoya (and sometimes daughter Eva) will be stopping by in support of their recently completed fourth album, Via Human Error, which features guest spots by Brian Kehew (Air, The Who), Bernie Worrell (P-Funk, the Talking Heads), and Beck collaborator Justin Meldal-Johnsen. The show starts at 10 p.m. Call 963-4503 for info.