EYE OF THE TIGER: In the revolving-door world of lower State Street rental news, it’s the story of Blind Tiger that has our interest piqued. Since officially opening their doors on Labor Day weekend, the newcomers to the old Savoy building at 409 State Street have been stirring up all kinds of buzz. They’re also promising to do the almost impossible by straddling the line between nightclub and music venue.
For those who are quick to forget, the three-story, three-bar operation has a long, middling history with the whole live music thing. Over the years, Savoy played (successful) host to New Noise’s yearly daytime conference fare. It also worked as a (slightly less-successful) space for bands to play. Sound system issues and nightclub vibes ultimately got in the way of making Savoy Santa Barbara’s answer to such mid-sized venues as L.A.’s Troubadour or San Luis’s S.L.O. Brew, but now the new guys are threatening to get it right, once and for all.
This Wednesday, September 24, the venue welcomes Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes for what will be the space’s biggest-scale music event yet … and that’s not just due to the band’s size. For the unacquainted, Clairy Browne’s history stretches back about five years to their home base in Melbourne, Australia. There, the nine-member throwback soul group quickly developed a following, thanks to a nostalgia-inducing mix of whooping vocal harmonies, vamping guitars, and bona fide girl-group sass. Like their Motown predecessors, Browne and her Rackettes are vocal powerhouses that exude sultry chops and infectious lady-power energy. But they’re also dishing out some seriously foot-shaking rhythms, complete with bandstand-style drums, funk-tinged bass licks, and a heavy helping of brass work that’s sure to sound even more earth-shaking in the flesh. In short, it’s the type of full-bodied concert experience well worth staying up late on a school night for. That it has the potential to launch another (much-needed) downtown concert venue, well, that’s just icing on the cake.
Clairy Browne & the Bangin Rackettes play Blind Tiger (409 State St.) on Wednesday, September 24, at 8 p.m. with DJ Darla Bea and The Fire Department. Visit sbbr.nightout.com.
NEW AND NOTABLE: This week marks the official beginning of autumn, which means we are fast approaching that magical time of year where live music seems to be bursting from every corner of the city. Though we’ve already named this season’s must-see’s, it seems there are already new highlights sneaking into the mix. For starters, SOhO just announced a bill that reads like a guitar lover’s wet dream. On Thursday, October 9, The Thurston Moore Band hits S.B., and they’re bringing with them some true indie-rock all-stars. In addition to the Sonic Youth frontman, the band is rounded out by guitarist James Sedwards (Nought), bassist Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine), and drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth). They’re also pulling tour support from grunge-rock icons Sebadoh, making for a bill that is sure to feel, look, and sound like the loudest ’90s flashback you’ve ever experienced. For info, call (805) 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com.
Also (finally) out in the ether is the lineup for this year’s second annual Día de los Muertos party at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Following up on last year’s inaugural Flaming Lips/Tame Impala mind meld, 2014’s installment is opting for less psych, more cultural significance. What that means is a mega-bill stacked with some of Latin rock’s heaviest hitters, including Café Tacvba, Ozomatli, and Las Cafeteras, along with to-be-announced special guests. The party starts Saturday, November 1, at 4 p.m., and tickets are on sale now through the Bowl’s box office.