TRIP OUT: You can’t talk about the second coming of psych rock without mentioning The Entrance Band. Formed by frontman Guy Blakeslee in 2006, the Los Angeles–based three-piece is known for its dizzyingly atmospheric soundscapes, mysticism-heavy lyrics, and eerily expansive live shows — thanks in part to shredder bassist Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Queens of the Stone Age, Zwan). In years past, the band has rebuilt their signature wall of sound at Velvet Jones and the now-defunct Jensen’s Mainstage, but this Friday, Blakeslee returns to Santa Barbara for an intimate solo show at the comparatively itsy-bitsy Muddy Waters Café.
A musician, visual artist, and strong believer in transcendental meditation, Blakeslee’s approach to guitar is equal part technical and spiritual. And, according to him, Entrance is just as much about the experience as it is about the music. “I kind of see my artistic vision as someone who wants to use electricity and energy to transport myself, and hopefully others, into an alternate reality. I try to think of it as the punkish version of a New Age concept,” he told The Santa Barbara Independent in a 2010 interview.
Want to get transported? Guy Blakeslee’s Entrance plays Muddy Waters (508 E. Haley St.) this Friday, May 24, with Millions and Emily Wryn & The Lights Electric. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Call (805) 966-9328 for info.
HAVE A HEART: Also this Friday, Santa Barbara’s resident bar rockers Big Jugs team up with The Mutineers, The Iron Outlaws, The Trousers, and Stella & The Steelcats for a benefit concert of big, boot-stomping proportions. The show is being thrown in honor of Big Jugs guitarist Steve Laffie, who recently received a life-saving heart and kidney transplant. In turn, Laffie’s best music buds are coming together to celebrate his recovery — and help out with his mounting medical bills. In addition to five swinging live sets of rock, country, and Americana, the night will feature a prize-packed raffle for everything from a 42-inch LCD television to hotel stays, kayak tours, and some sizable fine-dining gift certificates. The benefit concert takes place Friday, May 24, at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) at 8 p.m. The event is ages 21+ and tickets are $10. For more info, call (805) 965-866 or visit facebook.com/bigjugsmusic.
MORE CONCERTS: If you’re searching for more reasons to get out this week, look no further than the Kings of the Mic Tour, which rolls into the Santa Barbara Bowl (1122 N. Milpas St.) this Sunday, May 26. The lineup is an all-star mix of hip-hop greats, featuring everyone from LL Cool J and Public Enemy to Ice Cube, and De La Soul. Rumor (and promotional material) also make mention of some elusive “special guests,” so be sure to get in early. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. Call (805) 962-7411 or visit sbbowl.com for tickets and info.
On Thursday, May 30, Bloomington, Indiana–based indie rockers Murder By Death bring their eerily symphonic sounds to SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.). With their curious mix of baroque rock and alt-country, the band occupies a surreal — and surprisingly infectious — space where big, building structures collide with twangy guitars, galloping drums, and haunting lyrics. Think Cursive meets Johnny Cash, with a sprinkling of Arcade Fire thrown in for good measure. The band plays at 8 p.m.; doors are at 7 p.m. Call (805) 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets and info.