Gardens & Villa, U.S. Elevator Heat Up Already Fiery February
Branchez, Joe Purdy, Brady Harris Round Out Mid-Month Weekend
MID-MONTH MADNESS: I write this column beneath a blazing February summer sun in the ever-summer city, Los Angeles, and my mind can’t help wander to that intersecting corner of Gardens & Villa. The Santa Barbara–born band, now a few months out from the release date of 2015’s Music for Dogs, let us know last year that L.A. is the place to be, at least if you’re a migratory synth-pop band. Last summer, singer Chris Lynch spoke of a creative wonderland of a warehouse somewhere amid the reeds of Frogtown. It fits the climes of the times that the band comes to SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) this Saturday to sizzle up the dance floor. Joining them will be Clean Spill, who will spill clean on the secrets of writing sunny California chord changes. The globe is warming, which means more reasons to dance, if nothing else.
Speaking of S.B. acts, have you heard that Johnny Irion, of Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion and U.S. Elevator fame, is playing a residency Mondays at Seven Bar & Kitchen (224 Helena Ave.) for the month of February? If you haven’t, now you’re in luck, and not just because it’s at Seven. This month comes with an extra Monday, so leap on over to that great Funk Zone watering hole to make use of that 29th day before time marches on. Irion’s album with U.S. Elevator has garnered rave reviews since last year’s release, including recent praise in Rolling Stone, and it is a great thing to hear live. The man and his fellow musicians play as the free in-house band, so you would be shortchanging yourself for not spending at least one of this month’s Mondays there.
But we are jumping ahead of ourselves — it’s only Thursday. We the Beat continues to branch out at SOhO with tonight’s (Thu., Feb. 18) Branchez, a New York city producer known for his house-inflected remixes of pop hits. I have always said that Los Angeles and New York are backyards to one another, at least in certain circles, and Santa Barbara once again expands the yardage to make the East feel extra welcome on Western soil. He will be preceded in the evening by Griffin House, reminding us snobbish coasts that there’s more America in between with his heartfelt Midwestern music.
For completely different music goings-on, consider going to UCSB’s Elings Hall, where the CREATE Ensemble and the Media Arts and Technology Program will present the First AlloSphere Concert, featuring a multichannel remix of FM synthesist John Chowning’s “Turenas” with four shows at 6, 7, 8, and 9 p.m. As an electronic music lover, it is heartening to know events like these are being conducted in our beautiful town. Or if you prefer your music to be a little more strictly visual, consider heading to the Funk Zone, where Studio One Eleven (111-A Santa Barbara St.) features music posters by Alana Bailey.
On Friday, the L.A. connectivity reignites as you start your night off with a free show at Carr Winery (414 N. Salsipuedes St.) from The Brady Harris Band, where Santa Rita Hills meets Brady’s North Hollywood sound. As the night goes on, Joe Purdy and Jenny O. bring their purdy music to Velvet Jones (423 State St.). Joe makes music that is rich, deep, and earthy and gritty with lovesickness, while beautifully breathy Jenny O. keeps it lightly, breezily melancholic. But if ocean breezes are more your drift, then help David Courtenay celebrate the release of his California reggae-soul album at Blind Tiger (409 State St.).