THE END OF A CYCLE: I write this column in an already outdated era, for in between its writing and publishing sit those dreaded unknown results of Election Day. I can only hope that what transpires is swift, and no contested victories or sociopolitical scandals protract what has surely been the most agonizing American election cycle to every living being on Earth. But I also know that the future I anticipate as solid now may be uncertain again tomorrow. I hope that, whatever the outcome, we can look back on the lessons of an election that has shown the darkest part of our collective consciousness as a nation — in all its seething and lurching hatred, conflict, obstinacy, idiocy, and ignorance — and make something good out of this side of ourselves.
Fortunately, no matter what regime helms that fought-for seat, music always finds a way to thrive along the airwaves and ether waves of the world. So may whatever music streams out of the State Street speakers this weekend shelter you from the exhaust of a droningly soul-sucking example of the United States political process. Hopefully, we can now relax.
CELEBRATE AMERICA: If you need a reminder of what makes our country great, just remember how much good music has come out of it. At the Arlington Theatre (1317 State St.), enjoy a tall serving of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, who kick up the jazz for a good cause to rid the world of polio with the help of San Francisco–based opener The Stone Foxes on Friday, November 11, at 8 p.m. Feel a longing for the days before there was such a thing as a televised election? Go Americana at Cold Spring Tavern (5995 Stagecoach Rd.), where the Ventucky String Band plays a three-hour set, starting at 7 p.m.
REMEMBER WHAT TOGETHER MEANS? Some shows this upcoming weekend remind us what it means to be together, after so much division. On Friday, at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.), Bodhi Path Santa Barbara hosts A Benefit Concert for Creativity and Awakening with Hauschka, The Kin, and Fred Johnson, melding meditation and music — see last week’s issue of The Santa Barbara Independent for a longer take on the matter. The day before, over at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.), a few S.B. acts — The Big Whoo, David Segall, S.B. Improv Orchestra, and The Revelators — share a stage, collaborative jams, and, hopefully, stories, as Segall recently returned from a tour of old Europa, where en route he visited the town of Campobasso, Italy, to honor the life of his grandfather, who passed away last year, and now has seafaring tales to tell.
THE RETURN OF A CYCLE: Segall’s generational circumnavigation and roots revisitation had me pondering Classixx, who revisit the classic sounds of America’s disco era with a chic new shine at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Saturday at 7 p.m. Things abandoned have a way of returning once again, whether it’s the wonderful diversity-embrace of the disco dance floor or, tragically, the kind of reciprocal fear and hatred that seems to pendulously and cyclically fall upon our nation at the time its most marginalized communities struggle for a way to rise. Fortunately, Classixx reminds us that music always trumps hatred and those who spout it. Similarly, Rainbow Girls, who thankfully love to return to their S.B. stomping grounds, come back again for another cycle of love, harmony, and peaceful rock music at SOhO on Wednesday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m.
WHAT VOTING AGE? At last, we are again past the seasonal farcical falsehood of believing in the collective maturity and wisdom of a populace over 18, and on Saturday at 8 p.m., all ages are invited to join the Funzone (226 S. Milpas St.) as they host a record release for S.B.’s Sanderlings, plus Camarillo’s Soul Hex, Redlands’ I’m Glad It’s You, and L.A.’s Donald Wethers.