Santa Barbara funk rockers Wetlands headline a benefit concert for Notes for Notes this Saturday, May 21, at Velvet Jones.
Courtesy Photo

ROCK FOR THE CAUSE: It didn’t take long for Notes for Notes to worm its way into our hearts. The Santa Barbara-based (and rapidly growing) nonprof is about as special as it gets. Since opening its doors in 2007, the organization has transformed three youth community centers (the Eastside and Westside Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as the Twelve35 Teen Center) into bona fide rock ‘n’ roll studios, complete with recording equipment, instruments, and software. In turn, Notes for Notes has seen no small amount of success, drawing in kids from all over the Santa Barbara area, playing host to big name guests (Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, and 311 have all stopped by), and cranking out some truly killer young talents.

It stands to reason, then, that a benefit concert for the most rockin’ nonprofit in town should pack quite the punch. This Saturday, May 21, Velvet Jones (423 State St.) plays host to an epic lineup of S.B.-area music, with proceeds benefiting Notes for Notes’ ongoing campaign to put music back in the hands of those who need it most. The night kicks off with burgeoning S.B. band Givers & Takers, followed by Naked Walrus, soul rockers (and recent UCSB Battle of the Bands winners) Sprout, and our favorite funky beat makers, Wetlands. The party starts at 8 p.m. and is open to music fans of all ages. Call 965-8676 or visit for info.

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT: Speaking of parties (and great S.B. acts), this weekend marks another great double bill from The Mutineers and Big Jugs. The twangy rockers are dubbing Saturday’s fest their “End of the World Party,” to coincide with the doomsday that’s alleged to strike on the 21st. Apocalypse or no, though, we’re betting it’ll be tons of fun. Big Jugs and The Mutineers co-headline the Brewhouse (229 W. Montecito St.) on Saturday, May 21, at 8:30 p.m. Call 884-4664 for info.

HEY RICKIE: This Tuesday, May 24, Rickie Lee Jones returns to Santa Barbara for an extra-special stop at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) at 8 p.m. Jones’s mix of emotive folk and sultry soul has long been her trademark, and in the live setting it’s known to be quite the aural treat. But what sets Tuesday’s show apart from the rest is all in the details. For the first time in her 30-plus-year career, Jones will be playing both her acclaimed 1979 debut and its 1981 follow-up, Pirates, back-to-back and in their entirety, marking the first showing for many of these songs in decades. Without a doubt, this is one history-making tour stop that you don’t want to miss. For tickets and info, call 963-0761 or visit

SMALL GATHERINGS: Also this week, Blue Agave and Muddy Waters Café dish up two nights of super-strong, super-intimate music. On Tuesday, May 24, the Mud (58 E. Haley St.) plays host to L.A.-based crooner Devon Williams. A recent Slumberland Records signee, Williams will be touting tunes off his soon-to-be-released sophomore effort, Euphoria. Expect a timeless, guitar-fueled mix of mid-century shoegaze that is lush, stark, and eerily reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. In other words, the perfect fit for Slumberland’s growing roster of moody, throwback pop. (See: Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Crystal Stilts.) The show starts at 8 p.m. with opening sets from Jaill and Teleportation. Call 966-9328 for info.

On Wednesday night, Blue Agave (20 E. Cota St.) continues its weekly (and wonderful) upstairs concert series with a show from S.B. loc Sarah Corum. While many know the doe-eyed pianist for her work at the helm of Threadspinner, I for one can happily vouch for her solo sets, which are filled to the brim with big vocals and resonating lyrics. The show starts at 8 p.m., and reservations are highly recommended. Call 899-4694 to reserve tickets.


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