Decision making can be hard; trust us, we know. That’s why we’re here to help guide you through the madness that is New Noise Santa Barbara’s sprawling live-music schedule. Below, we’ve pulled the crème de la crème of this year’s more-than-50-act lineup, complete with venues, set times, and a few reasons why we think they’re tops. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya. For tickets and info, visit newnoisesb.com.
There’s a childlike quality to these Athens, Georgia, electro-rockers—and we mean that in a good way. Armed with 8-bit bleeps and bloops, funky world beats, dual drummers, and a pale, lanky, and spring-loaded powerhouse of a frontman, Reptar threatens to throw the dance party of the weekend—on a Thursday, no less. At SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.), Thursday, November 3, at 9:15 p.m. with Phantogram.
Following in the footsteps of lil’ sis (and Cults frontlady) Madeline Follin, Guards’ Richie Follin delivers a twisted mix of reverb-soaked vocals, punchy drum work, and psychedelic guitar solos that conjure The Crystals one minute and Captain Beefheart the next. Your parents’ doo-wop this is not. At Velvet Jones (423 State St.),Thursday, November 3, at 10 p.m. with Deer Tick and Howlin Woods.
Danielle Sullivan’s high, mighty, and multi-tracked vocals are the anchor to this Stumptown-born five-piece. But the praise doesn’t stop there. Wild One’s hyped-up and imaginative electro-pop lies beneath the shadow cast by the Postal Service, but instead of busy city musings, we get organic, live drum work and lyrics redolent of sweet hippie fireside jams. Ah, Portland, how we love thee. At The Savoy (409 State St.), Friday, November 4, at 9:30 p.m. with Typhoon, The Mutineers, and Youth.
Say what you will about the surfer/songwriter shtick; Timmy Curran is the real deal. Since his 2008 debut, Curran has smartly traded in his acoustic guitar for a more piano-and-drum-driven sound. He’s also found his voice, an undeniable force of quiet intensity that recalls an edgier, more rockin’ Damien Rice. At SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.), Friday, November 4, at 11:15 p.m. with Fortunate Youth, Owen Plant, and Ralph Torrefranca.
According to their bio, Allah-Las sound like “old, weird Los Angeles.” We couldn’t agree more. There’s a surf rock sound that winds like a snake through their debut single, “Catamaran.” (Available on 45 rpm only, of course.) The Doors references are subtle but worthy, too. In short, it’s the perfect soundtrack to a long, hot drive through the desert, ideally en route to a Fear and Loathing-style bender. At Velvet Jones (423 State St.), Saturday, November 5, at 10:15 p.m. with The Entrance Band, Naked Walrus, and Givers and Takers.
Shiny Toy Guns (Deejay Set)
Even we’re not sure what to expect when Shiny Toy Guns’ (STG) Carah Faye takes to the turntables on Saturday night, but if the band’s latest LP is any indication, we’re in for a good time. STG’s brand of ’80s-saturated electronica is part Bowie theatrics, part Kraftwerk-style industrial rock, and part Blondie-esque vocal leaps. In short, it’s a flashdance waiting to happen. At SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.), Saturday, November 5, at 11:30 p.m. with Matthew Grand and Step Correct (featuring ERS-1 and MC Hoodzpah).
The Parson Red Heads
The Parson Red Heads play the kind of harmony-filled folk you’d expect to come out of the Northwest. It’s rich in texture, rambling in motion, and colored by country staples like lap steels and harmonica solos. More importantly, though, they’re channeling that 1960s Laurel Canyon vibe with ease and performing it to spot-on perfection. Take that, Edward Sharpe. At SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.), Sunday, November 6, at 8:45 p.m. with Fruit Bats and Walking West.