IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP: Following a thrilling-and jam-packed-Thursday night showdown at Velvet Jones, it’s my pleasure to announce Carpinteria’s Lonesome Dub as the 2009 winner of The Indy‘s Road to West Beach Competition. The reggae-driven six-piece turned out an impressively sizable crowd, despite a rocking early evening performance by Goleta’s The Goodland, whose leading lady Jess Goldman floored fans with her chops, and a stellar, pop-minded sesh by the always wonderful Grover Anderson.
Together onstage, Lonesome Dub’s Taylor and Jordan Bleeker (vocals/guitar and drums, respectively), Jon Wilcox (trumpet), Adam Reiber (bass), JB Vasquez (sax), and Geoff Jensen (guitar) dished out a string of sounds that were as lush as they were upbeat. Their set called to mind everyone from Steel Pulse to the late, great Sublime, and-perhaps most importantly-the Velvet crowd ate it up happily. Before a sea of dancing bodies, the band even pulled their own plug just two songs away from their finale, encouraging fans to get their vote on before the set came to a close. It was then that the brimming crowd about-faced and headed to the door, patiently waiting in line to cast their pick, then turning right back around to return to the dance floor. The necessary move more than likely locked in the band’s win, and created a phenomenal explosion of energy when they restarted their rollicking set. Congrats, guys!
Lonesome Dub will play the main stage of the West Beach Music Festival next Saturday, September 19, at noon. For tickets and lineup info, call 963-4408 or visit westbeachfestival.com.
A-MAZZY-ING GRACE: Continuing on in the grand tradition of rocking our socks, Club Mercy recently announced a September S.B. date for Mazzy Star frontwoman Hope Sandoval. Besides being one of the most hauntingly beautiful voices in pop music, Sandoval has become a bit of an icon for her reclusive ways. The rare and extra-special stop is one of just six California dates in support of her soon-to-be-released LP, Through the Devil Softly, with backing band The Warm Inventions. The album hits shelves on Tuesday, September 29, and Sandoval plays an all-ages show at SOhO (1221 State St.) on Monday, September 28.
And to tide yourself over ’til then, Club Mercy brings Sea Wolf to SOhO this Monday, September 14, at 8 p.m. Led by frontman Alex Brown Church, the band dishes up tunes that are part hard-hitting indie rock la The Walkmen or Ra Ra Riot, part dreamy folk pop in the vein of Bon Iver. Either way, it will be an excellent night of tunes that truly should not be missed. Call 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets and details for both shows.
FOR THE KIDS: Looking ahead, next Thursday, September 17, promises a night of uplifting tunes at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) when Santa Barbara’s own Verna Beware, Wrong Again, Dead Poets, and San Jose’s Starving Millionaires team up for a night of music to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Aside from being a great cause, the charity show boasts some of the finest music S.B.’s youngsters have to offer fans of rock, reggae, dub, and funk. For tickets and info, call 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com.
And if uplifting tunes are what you’re after, be sure to head over to SOhO on Tuesday, September 15, when Brooklyn singer/songwriter Chris Ayer takes to the stage in support of his latest, Don’t Go Back to Sleep. The album exudes an air of inspiring, upbeat positivity, anchored by crisp, clean production values, Ayer’s soaring vocals, and a whole lotta acoustic guitar. Tuesday’s show also comes directly before Ayer’s big opening slot for LeAnn Rimes in San Diego, meaning this might just be the last time you catch him hitting the dinner club circuit. Fellow easy listeners Jaret Campisi and Sweet Talk Radio will open the show. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for details.