Ask anyone in the know and they’ll tell you the same-in the world of music, it feels like something’s in the air. During the past few months, Santa Barbara’s scene has begun to surge and, lucky for us, it’s showing no signs of slowing down this fall. On the grand scale, the S.B. Bowl continues to crank out winners, including a can’t-miss The Killers/New York Dolls double bill this Sunday, September 13. On the smaller side of things, this month sees famed tabla guru Aloke Dutta return to Goleta’s Mercury Lounge on Thursday, September 17. Also this month, the folks at Twiin Productions return to the sand for the third annual West Beach Music Festival, featuring three days of rock, reggae, electronic, and jam music from the likes of G. Love & Special Sauce, The Bravery, Steel Pulse, Ozomatli, and many, many more. The fest takes place Friday, September 18, through Sunday, September 20. And if you’re looking for something a little mellower, head on over to the Lobero Theatre on Saturday, September 19, for the season-closing night of Sings Like Hell, with country blues songstress Pieta Brown, folk maestro (and seasoned producer) Bo Ramsey, and Robbie Fulks.
For the nostalgia-seeking set, Tuesday, September 22, finds 88-year-old jazz genius Dave Brubeck headlining the Lobero-and still rocking the keys. Down the road a ways, the Bowl hosts Crosby, Stills & Nash for a night of classic folk hits. And on Wednesday, September 23, we encourage you to stop by Muddy Waters Cafe to check out Jeffertitti’s Nile, featuring members of the psychedelic-loving Entrance Band. Saturday, September 26, brings two more wonderful live music opportunities: Norwegian crooner Sondre Lerche plays an early show at SOhO, and the Arlington hosts noise rock giants Sonic Youth. Come Sunday, September 27, Arts & Lectures invites you to enjoy a matinee performance by the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Arlington. And later that night, the Lobero hosts the old-timey sounds of Virginia’s Old Crow Medicine Show. Closing things out, Club Mercy brings underground rappers Zion I to Velvet Jones on Wednesday, September 30.
Starting off October, Arts & Lectures hosts country music legend Merle “The Hag” Haggard at the Arlington and Club Mercy brings folkies Sean Hayes and Todd Hannigan to SOhO (both on October 1). A&L continues with its musical onslaught with the sounds of Aimee Mann at Campbell Hall on Friday, October 2. Also that night, S.B. indie band ThreadSpinner release their highly anticipated full-length, Night Chorus, at Center Stage Theater. And on Saturday, October 3, the Bowl welcomes S.B. stalwart Kenny Loggins to the stage with longtime collaborator Jim Messina.
From Thursday, October 8, through Saturday, October 10, New Noise Santa Barbara takes over town with a slew of nightly one-off concerts and showcases. On the not-to-miss list are Michael Franti & Spearhead at the Arlington (Oct. 8), Zach Gill (ALO) and Kyle Hollingsworth (String Cheese Incident) at SOhO (Oct. 9), and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros at SOhO (Oct. 10). Also on the 10th, longtime S.B. passer-through and acclaimed folk radical Ani DiFranco brings her anthems to the Lobero Theatre. Get ready for pop-punk purveyors Blink-182, who hit the Bowl with The Aquabats on Monday, October 12. Club Mercy brings a jam-packed week of indie music to town with Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, touring in support of Know Better Learn Faster, at SOhO on Thursday, October 15, and indie hip-hoppers Why? at Velvet Jones on Sunday, October 18. The month gets rounded out with the Bowl’s coup of the season, Monsters of Folk-featuring Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis-on Thursday, October 22.
In November, Arts & Lectures continues to pack a punch, with sitar master Ravi Shankar at the Arlington on Sunday, November 1, traditional string band Carolina Chocolate Drops at Campbell Hall on Friday, November 6, and geek rock geniuses They Might Be Giants at Campbell Hall on Sunday, November 15. November’s indie fix comes by way of Port O’Brien’s shanty songs, which return to Muddy Waters on Wednesday, November 4. And if hip-hop’s what you’re after, Numbskull presents Andre Nickatina at Velvet Jones on Friday, November 13.