TRICK OR TREAT: Halloween means a lot of things to a lot of people. For kids, it’s an excuse to scarf and horde candy for weeks. For parents, it’s an excuse to steal sweets from their children. And for music makers, it’s an excuse to head out and play a show dressed like a fool. Because the ghoulish holiday lands on a Saturday this year, fans of all types of music are being afforded the opportunity to catch some great traveling and local acts in all their ridiculously costumed glory.
At Velvet Jones (423 State St.), Halloween night means hard-driving punk rock of the monster-minded variety. There, Santa Barbara punkers The Raven V will kick off the show with fast, loud, and downright catchy tunes reminiscent of the New York Dolls. After that, L.A. monster lovers Murderland dish up appropriately titled hard rockers like “13 Jack O’ Lanterns.” (Think Descendants meets Billy Idol.) Lastly, tribute band Devilock brings in the shout-along anthems and aggressive guitars of the Misfits to finish off the night. Call 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com for details.
On Friday, October 30, Muddy Waters Cafe (508 E. Haley St.) kicks things off early with their first of two Halloween-themed shows, featuring S.B. avant rockers oso and Springtime is Wartime. Last year, it was oso who brought their extremely eclectic gypsy core to one extremely raucous Westside Halloween house party-and nearly tore the roof off the place in the process. If history repeats itself, Friday’s show promises to be one high-energy, crazy costume-filled bash for the ages.
And on Saturday night, the Mud counters with a little bit of country for night two of its Halloween-themed shenanigans. Starting at 8 p.m., Dave Gleason and Big Jugs co-headline a night of alterna-twang that guarantees to get boots scootin’ and feet two steppin’. Attendees are encouraged to dress up on both nights, so prepare for some primo people-watching. For info, call 966-9328 or visit myspace.com/muddycafesb.
Up the road a ways, Club Mercy brings reggae superstars Inner Circle to SOhO (1221 State St.) for a Halloween show of a much different variety. Known for spawning the early ’90s hit and COPS opening “Bad Boys,” Inner Circle were actually around long before highway patrollers met handy cams. In fact, the Jamaican-born group found big-time homeland success dating back to the early 1970s. The Rastafarian groovers play with S.B.’s Sunshine Brothers this Saturday, October 31, at 9 p.m.
BETTER THAN OK: This Thursday, October 29, longtime Santa Barbara alt-rockers Cat OK unleash their sophomore full-length, Dress for the Weather You Want. The 13-track collection promises the band’s signature Weezer-meets-Pavement-style lo-fi, this time with extra instrumental twists and some nifty recording techniques (see “A Long Way Left to Go”) that reach above and beyond the band’s previously recorded work. Add to that the fact that they’ve got former Coral Sea frontman Rey Villalobos opening up the show and you’ve got a bill simply not worth missing. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com.
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR: And if you’re in the market for a post trick-or-treat comedown, I suggest-or rather, demand-you head on down to SOhO this Sunday, November 1, for what just might be the best band you’ve never heard of. There you can catch the ephemeral Emerald Triangle Tour making its only Southern California stop as part of a short-but-sweet four-city jaunt. Headed by SoCal steel guitar dynamo Farmer Dave Scher (of Beachwood Sparks fame), the unreasonably talented lineup consists of Vetiver’s Andy Cabic, Jenny Lewis’s righthand man Johnathan Rice, and solo folkie Jonathan Wilson. The tour is being heralded as a road trip of sorts for the foursome, whereby they can explore Northern California and “groove on Nature, the bountiful harvest, neighbors, family, friends, and friends-to-be.” To get in on the hippie-minded sounds of it all, call 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com.