IT JUST TAKES TIME: It may have taken him 50 years, but Charles Bradley (thecharlesbradley.com) has finally arrived. Since he was a young child living on the streets in N.Y.C., and especially since he first saw his main influence, James Brown, Bradley has striven to become a performer. And now, with the help of Daptone Records’ Gabriel Roth, it seems his dreams are finally coming true. On his inaugural full-length release, No Time for Dreaming, the 62-year-old Bradley weaves his rich and soulful voice around tales of heartache, struggle, and the will to survive. (Much of the album was born in the wake of Bradley’s brother’s brutal murder.) Still, he manages to inject No Time for Dreaming with moments of warm lighthearted music-making; a jazz-inspired interlude titled “Since Our Last Goodbye” is replete with joyous horns, whirling organs, and simmering conga beats.
Most importantly, though, Dreaming seems to overflow with hopefulness, a quality made all the more inspiring when you get to the heart of Bradley’s back story. Lead track “The World (Is Going Up in Flames)” is a tale of brazen self-discovery, a big open-armed and harmony-backed number about finding yourself in the face of adversity. Midway through, the album’s title track calls to mind both Brown and Little Richard in its playful deliveries, but resonates with its call-to-arms message. Later, the album-ending “Heartaches and Pain” acts as a climactic ode to Bradley’s brother, a soul ballad in the truest and most brutally honest sense of the word.
This Friday, August 26, Bradley brings No Time for Dreaming to life onstage at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.). Whether you’re a fan of soul, or simply an admirer of music, this is one performance you do not want to miss. The 21+ show starts at 8 p.m. For tickets and info, call 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com.
CATCH AND RELEASE: On Saturday, August 27, Santa Barbara rockers Stomprocket (stomprocket.net) take to the stage at Velvet Jones for an album release party of grand proportions. The quartet (made up of vocalist Sado Rebaudi, guitarist Andrew Duncan, bassist Gary Braun, and drummer Bob E LeBlanc) embody a fast-paced and shredding mix of alt and hard rock, calling to mind Black Sabbath at some points and Thrice at others. In turn, the newly completed Beautiful Misery succeeds in melding the melodic with the extra-aggressive: “Clouds” is an Incubus-esque exercise in warm and stark balladry, and is followed up by “Disposable,” which hits its stride in moments of intricate guitar works and reverb-heavy vocal tones. Need more reasons to celebrate? Well, the guys have enlisted a veritable who’s-who of the S.B. rock scene for support. Opening the show will be Winchester Rebels, Retrodemon, and last year’s Downtown Sound battle of the bands winner, Snakefist. The party starts at 8 p.m. For tickets and info, call 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com.
LAST CALL: In case you missed it, this week marks the end of our submissions period for The Indy’s 2011 Santa Barbara Band Guide. So, if you’re in a band—or working the scene solo—and you want to get in on our annual ode to all things music, listen up! Now through Wednesday, August 31, at midnight we’ll be accepting additions to our lengthy list of S.B. bands (viewable online at independent.com/bands). After that, we’ll be launching a grand-scale Battle of the Bands in conjuncture with New Noise Santa Barbara (complete with plenty of killer prizes), and hand-selecting acts that we think deserve a little in-print lovin’. In addition, everyone who submits will get a free online artist profile, complete with music, photo, and an updateable space for upcoming concert dates in the area. To get involved, visit independent.com/band_submit and fill out our form. Trust us; this is one opportunity you do not want to pass up.