FOR THE RECORD: Vinyl lovers, rejoice! As of this past weekend, De la Guerra Street’s newest residents, Warbler Records (131 E. De la Guerra St.) are officially open for business. The modest (and impeccably decorated) storefront celebrated its first day on the block last Friday, September 17, and the buzz already seems to be growing. Shop owners (and soon to be newlyweds) Kurt Legler and Leigh Van Der Werff are recent S.B. transplants, relocated from Portland, Oregon, and are super jazzed about their newfound spot in the community.
As for the store itself, well, it’s already boasting thousands of titles, along with CDs, housewares, letterpress stationery, and a small collection of new and vintage turntables, all with emphasis on the handmade. And, Legler promises, that stock is only destined to grow over time.
Until then, though, there’s plenty to sort through to keep your eyes (and ears) more than happy. Welcome to the neighborhood, guys!
YOU AND MEES: As for tunes of the non-recorded variety, this week is providing yet another slew of excuses to stay out late and soak up some live shows. On Tuesday, September 28, Tender Loving Empire Records figurehead and all-around creative dude Jared Mees brings his band, Jared Mees & The Grown Children, to Muddy Waters Café (508 E. Haley St.). Up in his hometown of Portland, Mees is considered a creative guru of sorts, spending his days running the label (which also lays claim to Y La Bamba, Finn Riggins, and Boy Eats Drum Machine), watching over the TLE storefront, screen-printing his own merch, and jammin’ with the Grown Children. Musically, Mees is championing a sound that falls somewhere in between the kitschy cool of the Moldy Peaches and the cacophonous, multi-voiced symphonic rock of bands like the Polyphonic Spree or Dead Man’s Bones. At the head of it all, Mees provides a gruff speak-sing that makes up for in conviction what it lacks in pitch-perfectness. Needless to say, it’s looking to be another great night of tunes for the Mud, with openers Monarques and S.B.’s own Gardens and Villa playing as warm-up acts. The show starts at 8 p.m. Call 966-9328 or visit myspace.com/muddycafesb for details.
FEMININE WILES: And the ladies get some extra love this week, thanks to two killer shows taking place at SOhO and Isla Vista’s beloved Biko Co-Op Garage. On Friday, September 24, up-and-coming Los Angeleno Kina Grannis stops through town for an early show at SOhO (1221 State St.). With a rich, silky voice that’s as vulnerable at it is intoxicating, Grannis weaves feminine little vignettes that brim with delicate and swelling instrumentals. At the forefront of it all, though, are the lyrics, which are part quick-witted intelligence, part aching simplicity. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and info, call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com.
On Saturday, September 25, the party moves north, where Brooklyn folkies Laura Stevenson and the Cans take on the Biko Co-Op Garage. As far as modern female voices are concerned, Stevenson’s has to be one of the most hauntingly captivating out there. On her recently released offering, this year’s A Record, Stevenson jumps between ethereal, acoustic-toting chanteuse (“The Pretty One”) and lo-fi rocker (“Landslide/The Dig”), thanks in large part to the Cans’ collective musical might. It’s there that brushed drums and gentle plucks mix and mingle with big-band horns and symphonic string sections to create sounds that truly evoke a sense of environment. And with a voice as powerful and emotive as Stevenson’s to back up, it’s no small feat to say that these guys more than hold their own in the band’s collective musical presence. Laura Stevenson and the Cans will headline the Biko Co-Op (6612 Sueno Rd.) with openers Watercolor Paintings, Adult Braces, and Alixandra Macmillan-Fiedel at 8:30 p.m. Visit sbdiy.org for details.