FAT SATURDAY: Generationals don’t sound like New Orleans. They just feel like it. Since forming back in 2008, college buds Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer have been crafting the kind of buoyant, hook-driven synth pop that lands in your ear and sticks. There’s no strictly down-home, Southern-fried, honky-tonk vibe to the songs they write — though an errant brass section has been known to sneak in now and again. Instead, the duo makes music that welcomes the party, whether or not it’s Mardi Gras season. On Alix, the pair’s recently released fourth album, bright piano melodies and warm, catchy guitars lay the foundation for an unassumingly anthemic take on growing up and getting wise to life’s curveballs. There are loveably falsetto vocals, marimbas, and, yes, even a few big, hit-you-upside-the-head brass flourishes tucked in between the lines. For those with a casual thirst for TV watching, you may recognize Gens’ hit “You Say It Too,” which famously found its way onto a Taco Bell commercial in 2012. But even those less inclined to pay attention to burrito ads will find something to latch onto here.
Late last year, the pair (aided by touring musicians Ben Jones and Eric Rodgers) headlined a sold-out show at L.A.’s Troubadour that was one of the hands-down sonic highlights of my 2014. That night, the crowd, which ranged from high schoolers all the way through to late-fortysomethings, screamed louder, danced harder, and genuinely seemed more stoked than most of the concert audiences I’ve witnessed in my adult life. What I’m trying to say is, I highly encourage you to check these guys out when they cruise through Santa Barbara this week. The event is BYOB (that’s “Bring Your Own Beads,” by the way).
We the Beat presents Generationals at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Saturday, February 7, at 9 p.m. Rose Quartz opens the show. For tickets and info, call (805) 962-7776 or visit wethebeat.com.
THROWING PUNCHES: Aside from their Southern roots, there’s not much common ground connecting Generationals and Migos, who headline Velvet Jones on Wednesday, February 11. The hip-hop trio — made up of emcees Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset — hails from Gwinnett County, Georgia, and is probably best known for the song “Versace,” which received the high-profile treatment when Drake remixed the track earlier this year. While the collab elevated Migos’ status in the greater cultural lexicon, it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these three. Since releasing its first mixtape, Y.R.N. (Young Rich Niggas), in 2013, the group has scored some major hits (“Fight Night,” “Handsome and Wealthy,” “Hannah Montana”). The three have also been tapped to guest on records by everyone from Young Thug, Gucci Mane, Riff Raff, and ASAP Ferg to Busta Rhymes, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and B.o.B. And that’s just for starters. The reason all comes down to delivery. Migos’ potent mix of fast-talking Dirty South oomph and comically zany energy has quickly elevated the trio to the ranks of contemporaries like Future and Danny Brown. More importantly, though, it’s turned Migos’ live show into a bona fide must-see event. For area fans, Wednesday’s concert is one of those special feather-in-the-cap moments for Santa Barbara’s fittingly named Epic Events, which has booked the group in a venue far smaller than the rooms they’re capable of filling. In other words, go in knowing the place is going to be packed.
Migos plays Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Wednesday, February 11, at 9 p.m. The show is 18+. For tickets, visit migossb.nightout.com.