STRFKR Bring the Party to UCSB

Portland Rockers Return to Santa Barbara, Play The Hub

Tyler Kohlhoff

KILL THE LIGHTS: Every so often, you stumble across a band that simply hits it out of the park. On record, electro rockers STRFKR are fun enough. Their albums are replete with nifty Nintendo-inspired synth hooks, effect-pedal-heavy guitar noodlings, and lyrics that vacillate between anthemic and, well, kinda indistinguishable. Live, though, these four unassuming Portlandians conjure an energy that’s downright infectious. The onetime solo project of frontman Josh Hodges, STRFKR was born among the PDX house-party scene. Now, many years and bandmember changes and a few namesake quarrels later, the outfit has found its footing on some of the larger stages the country has to offer. More importantly, though, Hodges has found the talent to bring his sonic vision to life. And with a repertoire so heavy on the electronic bleeps and bloops, I’ll just say, it’s a sight to see created live. When the band swung through town last August, they nearly brought a capacity crowd at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club to its knees. They also played shrouded in darkness — and a few thousand tiny, multicolored laser lights, which dotted the floor, walls, and ceiling of the packed club to dazzling effect. This Friday, May 4, STRFKR return to the 805 for round two, this time at UCSB’s Hub. For the dance-floor-inclined, this one is a can’t-miss. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. Call (805) 893-2064 or visit for tickets and info.

FLY AWAY WITH ME: Also this week, New Orleans hip-hop artist Curren$y makes a stop in Santa Barbara in support of his soon-to-be-released Warner Bros. Records debut, The Stoned Immaculate. The long-independent artist may be making his major-label breakthrough, but he’s no newbie to the biz. Years back, Curren$y found himself positioned as the next in line to Lil Wayne, even spending a couple years on his then-fledgling Young Money label. Disillusioned with the biz, Curren$y chose to take his career into his own hands and quickly developed a fervent following on the success of his mix tapes. Bound to his mantra about living “The Jet Life,” the young rapper has been nothing but upwardly mobile of late, gaining accolades from Spin, XXL, and Pitchfork, just to name a few. Stylistically, Curren$y has a penchant for slick, smooth beats, and his rhymes are simultaneously fast-tongued and curiously honeyed, calling to mind fellow mix-tape success story Wiz Khalifa. Curren$y brings his The Jet Life Tour: Direct Flight to Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Thursday, May 3, at 8 p.m. For tickets and info, visit

ONE NIGHT ONLY: This Sunday, longtime S.B. and Ventura music maker Orlando Napier returns to town for an extra-special show to benefit the Westside Boys & Girls Club. While many of us can distinctly recall Napier’s swoon-worthy croon and dizzying turns at the piano from his many area engagements, others might recognize the baby-faced singer/songwriter from his recent stint on ABC’s The Voice. No matter, though, because even the uninitiated are sure to be won over by his soulful contemporary spin on classic blues. And with the added benefit of helping keep one of our community’s most important resources alive, well, what more could you ask for in a concert? The show takes place at the Westside Boys & Girls Club (602 W. Anapamu St.) on Sunday, May 6, 1-6 p.m. Visit for tickets.

ALSO THIS WEEK: On Saturday, May 5, hippie-chic folk collective Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros make a very big return to S.B. The band headlines the Santa Barbara Bowl at 7 p.m. Call 962-7411 for tickets, and visit for a full interview with the band.


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