RUMOR HAS IT : : Despite their alleged breakup a few months back, onetime Reds staples Bela Lugosi are back and ready to bring their avant-garde gypsy rock to the masses. Thursday, September 3, at SOhO, Misha Bodnar and his band of noisemakers will play a very special show alongside S.B.’s resident funk masters Boombox Orchestra. Joining Lugosi onstage will be oso’s own violin whiz kid, Nick Coventry, and Bodnar’s four-year-old Xanthe, on cello and vocals, naturally. The show starts at 8 p.m. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for details.
Also crawling out from the woodwork this week is the long-lost Hard to Find Showspace (HTF) in Goleta. Since it closed its doors back in November of 2006, the locally run, indie-minded concert spot has been missed by many. Lucky, then, that a recent letter to The Indy from one-time HTF proprietor (and Springtime is Wartime lead singer) Josh Eymann confirms that the venue will be reopening, possibly as soon as late September. Together with brother Tim, Eymann will be throwing an all-day music bash on Saturday, September 5, to help get the ball rolling again. Featured acts include Quiet Giant, Regime Noir, and, of course, Springtime Is Wartime. For info, visit myspace.com/springtimeiswartime.
MUSICAL CAF: Thanks to last week’s Billy Corgan show at Muddy Waters Cafe (508 E. Haley St.), our favorite little coffee shop is now a known musical force to be reckoned with-at least among Pumpkins fans. And while Friday night’s Woods, Kurt Vile, and Watercolor Paintings concert had to be cancelled due to travel troubles, the venue is showing no signs of slowing down. This Friday, Muddy hosts a night of art, music, and fun from avant folksters Gardens and Villa. The band will headline an evening of tunes to celebrate the shop’s newest art exhibit, a collection of photography from Brooks students Dustin Damron and Robb Klassen. Also on the bill are guitar maestro Louie Andrus and piano-driven alt-rockers Ines and Redemption. The free show starts at 6 p.m., with music expected to go well into the night.
Later this week, the cafe serves up another huge night of music from up-and-coming alt-rock heavyweights Verna Beware. The five-piece is currently holed up in the recording studio working on their latest full-length, making their Muddy Waters stop one of only a select few in the next months. Closing out the night will be L.A.-bred indie rock band Nico Vega, whose frontlady is known as much for her soaring, soulful voice as she is for her over-the-top onstage energy. (Think the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O. meets Fiona Apple.) The band recently wrapped up a string of opening dates for Mr. Gwen Stefani himself, Gavin Rossdale. Their stop at Muddy will be part of a two-week West Coast jaunt before the band heads to the Midwest. The show takes place Sunday, September 6, at 8 p.m. and features additional sets from Gringo Star and Dirty Sweet. For all things Muddy Waters, call 966-9328 or visit myspace.com/muddycafesb.
BEAT IT: Up the road a ways, SOhO (1221 State St.) plays host to longtime Santa Barbara passers-through-and veritable ’80s ska masters-The English Beat this Friday. While the lineup might not be what it used to be (frontman Dave Wakeling is the group’s only original member), anyone who’s seen the ’00s version of the band can attest-it sounds just as great as it once did. In other words, prepare to skank along to such classics as “Too Nice to Talk To” and “Mirror in the Bathroom.” Wakeling and Co. will serve up a night of punk-tinged rock and reggae-laden hooks starting at 9:30 p.m. Call 962-7776 for details.