This Week in Music: Stomp Folk, Synth Grooves

Dargan’s Hosts Local Music Night, Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen Throws a Pool Party

<b>A FAMILY AFFAIR:</b> New York stomp folksters Spirit Family Reunion headline SOhO Restaurant & Music Club on October 3.
Courtesy Photo

FOLK YEAH: If twang is your game, welcome to your lucky week. In the span of the next few days, Santa Barbara’s venues (large and small) are experiencing an influx of indie-folk goodness. It all kicks off in a very big way this Thursday, September 26, when radio mega-stars The Lumineers bring their “hey’s” and “ho’s” to town for a very sold-out show at the S.B. Bowl. And if you’re one of the lucky 4,000 with tickets, do be sure to arrive early. Playing opening act to the festivities is Philadelphia outfit Dr. Dog, whose sly mix of ’60s-inspired guitar pop and heartland-lovin’ Americana has ingratiated them to many (myself included).

The following night, Dargan’s plays host to a performance from S.B.’s own folk rockers Erland. The four-piece recently wrapped up a whirlwind tour of the States alongside Andrew McMahon and played more than a few sets to big, boisterous, and beyond-capacity crowds. On Friday, they’ll take their earnest acoustic ballads and shuffling folk stompers to the stage as part of Dargan’s newly launched monthly Local Music Night, which is already showing some serious smarts when it comes to pulling solid 805 talent. For more, visit

Come Saturday, music fans can take their pick — or dare to double dip — between Figueroa Mountain Brewing’s daylong Figtober Fest and Big Tree’s nighttime performance at Muddy Waters Café. Down at Fig, revelers 21 and over are invited to clink steins to the sounds of Omar Velasco, Kinsella Band, Todd Hannigan & Sleeping Chief, Paul Chesne Band, and The Caverns.

Come nightfall, NorCal band Big Tree will fill Muddy Waters with their fresh indie-pop sounds in support of their new EP, My, How You’ve Grown. The mini-album serves as a culmination of the band’s growth over the years, with subjects ranging from taking risks to making big, life-changing decisions. Since the band’s last S.B. stop through (with Ghost Tiger, also at Muddy), they’ve crowd-funded more than $2,000 toward their new recording, which the band self-released last week. For more, visit

Finally, on Thursday, October 3, New York stompers Spirit Family Reunion make a night of it when they swing through SOhO Restaurant & Music Club in support of their latest, I Am Following the Sound. The band’s sound is a vibrant and nostalgia-filled collection of sweeping fiddles, accordions, acoustic guitars, and tightly wound drums that speak to the roots of American music.

WEEKEND WARRIORS: For the digital-craving amongst us, this weekend brings some big events from some of the area’s brightest names. On Saturday, September 28, the Isla Vista electro rockers of FMLY BND plug in and jam out on their home turf in celebration of the release of their Gold EP. You can catch the blogosphere darlings live (and for free!) at an intimate house show at 6702 Del Playa Dr. at 10 p.m. DJ Brunasso will open the show.

And Sunday, the Ojai Rancho Inn (615 W. Ojai Ave.) hosts its final installment of Rancho Electro, the weekly afternoon synth set from Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen and his special guests of choice. (Past weeks have brought sets from Passion Pit’s Xander Singh and Nathaniel Murphy.) For this go-round, Jorgensen joins forces with his longtime collaborator Greg O’Keeffe, as well as James Merle Thomas and David Scott Stone, for an afternoon of grooves, jams, and poolside electronica. The fun starts at 4 p.m. and cruises ’til 7. For info, visit


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