START A RIOT: Well, hardly, but the gents of Black Lips certainly caused quite the ruckus this past Friday night at Velvet Jones. The Georgia-born punkers came touting a killer new album, the just-released (and Pitchfork-approved) Arabia Mountain. They also came with their fair share of stage props, including a small wall of fog machines, a venue-transforming light show, and plenty of tripped-out projections. But fancy setups or no, the band was destined to bring the house down. Mixing a loud, brash, and undeniably catchy homage to The Meteors, The Ramones, and at times even The Doors, Black Lips’ set made for ideal moshing material. And mosh they did. Friday found fans scaling walls, throwing all manner of apparel (shoes were the first to go), and crowd surfing throughout the band’s hour-long set. Highlights fluctuated between the old hits (“Bad Kids,” “O Katrina!”) and the newly infectious (“Go Out and Get It,” “Modern Art”), but there wasn’t a point in the show when the energy ever really relented. In short, it was one of those magically electric nights in S.B. show-going history, and it reaffirmed that even after 10 years in the game, Black Lips can still bring the thunder.
HOUSE PARTY: Looking to the week ahead, this Friday, June 17 marks the second installment in the newly established Yellow House Concerts series, featuring Santa Barbara jazz enthusiasts The Sally Cats. Since last month, longtime S.B. music provider Ridah Omri (SOhO, The Jazz Hall) has been hosting these intimate shows at a residence in Winchester Canyon. And in the coming months, there’s even more in the works, including shows from Latin jazz maestro Luis Muñoz and Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater.
‘Til then, Friday night’s set promises plenty of hot jazz and smoky sweet vocals from some of S.B.’s finest players. (Joining frontwoman Sally Barr this time out will be UCSB Jazz Ensemble director Dr. Jon Nathan, L.A. jazz regular Brad Rabuchin, Tom Buckner, and special guest bassist David Piltch.) The show starts at 7 p.m. and seating is limited. For tickets and info, visit yellowhouseconcerts.com.
CASHING IN: Also this weekend, the annual Johnny Cash Music Festival goes from big fun to huge deal. In its third year, the daylong celebration of all things Cash is taking over the Ventura Fairgrounds for a day full of memorabilia, auctions, activities, and (of course) live music. Like years past, the lineup boasts some solid tribute action (check out Cash on the Line), but in 2011 it’s all about the headliners, which include Lee Rocker (Stray Cats), The Blasters, Kris Kristofferson, and X, in all their great, original lineup glory. The lovefest for the Man in Black starts Saturday, June 18, at 10 a.m. and keeps rollin’ ‘til 8 p.m. For tickets and info, visit roadshowrevival.com.
THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING: If rockabilly ain’t your scene, there’s plenty of other live music goodness on the table this weekend. On Friday, June 17, Velvet Jones plays host to Long Beach punk pioneers TSOL, who will share the stage with fellow rockers Civet, Beachside Stranglers, and Radio Grenades. Bands start at 8 p.m. and tickets are available online at inticketing.com. And on Saturday, June 18, S.B. fave Soul Majestic brings their good vibes and tight reggae tunes to SOhO in celebration of Arbor Collective’s one-year anniversary. The night will also include a raffle, with proceeds benefiting the Santa Barbara chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for info.