Live music often seems as rare as an albino raccoon in Isla Vista. When I do catch the faint sounds of a jam session through the blaring bass beats of the live deejay sets and dubstep remixes that commandeer the soundscape on weekend, it’s music to my ears.

Maybe you, like me, can’t always fork out the cash to see live music at SOhO in downtown Santa Barbara, or make it to the Biko House’s DIY shows on Thursday nights, but you’ve got something good coming your way tonight, Saturday, March 9, when The Reel Loud Film Festival’s benefit concert takes place. Three Isla Vista bands, The Olés, Water Signs, and Danger Cliff, will provide enough variety to satisfy fans of various genres and give us all a break from all the deejay’d party music, much as we may love it.

Annalise Domenighini
Paul Wellman

The three bands successfully encapsulate what seem to be the three strains of music most popular at Isla Vista house parties and the weekend kickbacks that happen at every house on my block. The Olés play what is described as reggae-infused rock by Camron Kazerounian, the music coordinator for the benefit show. They have been around for two years and have masterfully blended elements of surf rock, reggae, and hip-hop to create a sound that couldn’t have been inspired by anyplace other than Isla Vista.

“I’ve known The Olés for a while and have done several shows with them, at my house and at other houses, playing with my band Andy Dick and the Dicks,” said Kazerounian. “They have a great sound that they have really honed down this past year, and they also know how pull a crowd and get a crowd pumped.”

Water Signs, a newly formed group that blends experimental computer-generated sounds on their recorded tracks, perform live with an accompanying drummer, guitarist, and synth player. They recently opened for British musician and deejay Bonobo.

I had the pleasure of seeing Danger Cliff last weekend at a smaller, more private show. The band covered several songs from Weezer’s Blue Album, such as “Say It Ain’t So” and “Undone (The Sweater Song),” and “Where Is My Mind” by the Pixies. Danger Cliff did it with enough talent, mixed with that live, gritty feel, to make leaving my apartment worth it.

While a show consisting of these three very different bands might seem to some like it could be disorienting, I think it will be interesting to see how each band is able to feed off the others’ energy.

“Reel Loud has had a rich history of showcasing local student talent,” pointed out Justin Minor, the art director for the festival, who has been working to promote both the festival and the concert. So it’s only natural that local bands would constitute the line up for this much-anticipated live show.

The show starts at 9 p.m. at 938 Camino Corto Road. Organizers are asking for a $2 donation to benefit the 22nd annual Reel Loud film festival.


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