HIGH FIVE: Last year, fans united both here and globally to say farewell to the Black Crowes. Following an extensive cross-country tour in support of the band’s 20th anniversary—and ever-necessary acoustic retrospective, Croweology—the classic-rock mainstays announced they’d be taking an “indefinite” hiatus from writing, recording, and gigging. While the news was a tough pill to swallow for hardcore Crowes fanatics, it also gave the band good reason to plug in and rock out for close to three hours when they swung through Santa Barbara in December en route to their final dates.
Better still, though, the break has given frontman Chris Robinson some time to work on new ventures, including the shrouded-in-mystery Chris Robinson Brotherhood, which starts a five-night, two-month-long residency at SOhO (1221 State St.) this Tuesday, March 29.
The shows are just part of a lengthy, coast-spanning set of dates the band has set up in places both obscure (Visalia, Pioneertown) and expected (L.A., San Fran, Oakland). Per the Brotherhood’s Web site, Robinson will be joined onstage by plenty of familiar folky faces (Neal Casal on guitar, Adam MacDougall on keyboards, George Sluppick on drums, and Mark “Muddy” Dutton on bass), and set lists will consist of “a bunch of new songs … old stuff … and a handful of covers that just feel right.”
Peculiar rock-star antics aside, I can only guess what folks will get come showtime. In the meantime, though, I’ll just keep my eyes peeled for a lanky, quasi-homeless–looking dude roaming our fair streets. Rumor has it he’s got an affinity for my favorite vinyl-dealing hangout. For tickets, information, and a full list of dates, visit clubmercy.com.
YOUNG BLOOD: Just days prior to Robinson’s big debut, SOhO plays host to Los Angeles up-and-comers Young Romans. Though Google returns little about the recently formed duo, this much we do know: The band is made up of songwriter/vocalist Brad Hooks and guitarist/vocalist Sari Mellafe, who combined musical forces in the spring of last year. Since then, the pair has signed with producer Jim Roach’s newly minted label (home to area fave Skyler Stonestreet, among others) and recorded enough to pique the interest of some 2,200 MySpace fans. Sonically, the Romans fall somewhere between Death Cab for Cutie’s catchy piano pop and The Swell Season’s heartfelt balladry, but boast a hauntingly pretty X-factor element that defies comparison. In short, this is the stuff Top 40 dreams are made of.
The Young Romans play SOhO with S.B. rockers The Pickups this Sunday, March 27, at 8 p.m. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for ticket info.
LITTLE THINGS: Also on Sunday, SBDIY presents Pygmy Lush at the Biko Co-op Garage (6612 Sueno Rd.) alongside show openers Des Ark, Watercolor Paintings, and Lumber Lung. Hailing from Sterling, Virginia, these melodic lo-fi rockers are the ideal counterbalance to Young Romans’ radio-ready shtick. Here, guitars get plucked, pummeled, and looped to create songs that are Kurt Vile-style folk at some points, jangly surf rock at others, and artful hardcore on the fringes, all united by a pointed, imagery-filled delivery style. The result: eclectic goodness that somehow manages to coalesce into a sound that’s both coherent and delightfully out of the ordinary. The show starts at 7 p.m., and donations are encouraged. Visit sbdiy.org for details.
MISSING GODS: And in case you missed it, this week’s barely announced DOM show at Muddy Waters Café is officially no more. But rather than dwelling on what could have been (read: a guitar- and synth-filled night of bratty, awesome rock ’n’ roll), it seems fitting to simply plug the album. For those who’ve yet to download, the band’s Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP is pure smart, snotty dance rock, and well worth the $6 sticker price. Playing it on repeat has me forgiving the booking oversight … almost.