The Volt per Octaves
Ben Preston

Whether you’re an art collector or a novice appreciator, a reggae fiend or an electronic-music junkie, this weekend’s Pradaject Music Festival has something for you … and pretty much everyone you know. Starting this Friday, July 2, and running literally all the way through Monday, July 5, the festival, hosted by SOhO (1221 State St.), will feature a veritable smorgasbord of music, art, and Fourth of July revelry. Begun as a pet project and fundraiser by SOhO security guard Daniel Ochoa, the Pradaject Fest has now blossomed into an event far larger in scope than anything the venue has hosted in recent memory.

Each day, festivities begin at or around noon and continue well through the night with back-to-back live acts that range from S.B.-bred folk artists (Spencer the Gardener, Jaret Campisi and Friends) and Kansas City hip-hoppers (DJ Chadillac) to authentic Mexican Flamenco performers (Paloma Rios). In addition, the event boasts visual accompaniment from Santa Barbara contemporary artists Rebecca LaDow, Jimmy Bell, and John Pearl, just to name a few.

While it’s almost impossible to pick and choose from the bevy of acts taking part in Pradaject, one particular set truly demands to be seen. On Sunday, July 4, at 4 p.m., longtime S.B. dwellers and current Portland residents The Volt per Octaves return home for an extra-special performance. Beyond being some of the sweetest folks around, husband-and-wife duo Nick and Anna Montoya put on the kind of bizarrely engaging live show that you simply have to see to understand. Equipped with a Moog synth, Theremins, and Anna’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, the band crafts dizzying electro-tinged rock numbers that walk the line between rock, electro, and psychedelic.

Add to all that the fact that proceeds are benefiting oil spill cleanup via Rock the Gulf (and that ticketholders will be automatically entered in a $2,000 prize drawing), and you’ve got the makings for one heck of an Independence Day weekend. Tickets range from $10 single-day pre-sale tickets to $100 four-day VIP passes. For information and set times, call 962-7776 or visit


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