Phantogram to Disrupt Santa Barbara

Also: Rainbow Girls at SOhO, Untz Festival Pre-Party at Velvet Jones

Courtesy Photo

Artistic Arlington

Synth-pop/trip-hop/electro-rock duo Phantogram will come to the Arlington Theatre (1317 State St.) on Tuesday, April 18. The group arrives as the culmination of Disruption, the always exciting annual spring benefit for the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB), is also taking place at the Arlington that night. Disruption 2017: Studio Nite ¡en Vivo! will feature an immersive experience inside a studio designed and created by Texas-based artist Cruz Ortiz. The evening will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a special deejay set, and a unique opportunity to purchase artwork by Ortiz to benefit MCASB.

Although benefit parties with an auction are standard fare for nonprofits, MCASB’s Disruption event stands apart from the rest with its hip, contemporary curating. Last year’s Disruption showcase at the Goodland Hotel included a deejay set by Talib Kweli and was programmed by artist Xaviera Simmons with a 50 States theme, but this year’s is a much larger vision. Disruption 2017 starts with deejay performance by the Chulita Vinyl Club, a feminist deejay collective with branches in Austin and the Bay Area. Ortiz, who has also been working as part of the MCASB’s takepart | makeart project, will animate the evening with live printmaking and participatory art stations.

Ortiz’s ecstatically vibrant art fits perfectly with Phantogram’s electrically colorful and edgy soundworld, the work of Sarah Barthel (vocals, keyboards) and Josh Carter (vocals, guitars). Their sound — a tight, melodic mix of light and dark — comes naturally, Barthel said. “I haven’t thought about it too much. It works because it’s fresh. I love the gritty synths mixing with light vocals,” she said. Ever since 2009’s Eyelid Movies, the two have strived “to be innovators with fresh and new music during every record cycle,” and they’ve maintained a consistent buzz with their darkly danceable, brooding bounce. If they are afraid of anything, Barthel joked, it’d probably be “ice cream and rainbows.”

The duo’s newest album, Three, released in fall 2016, features hip-hop-influenced diamonds of electro-pop such as “Cruel World” and “Same Old Blues.” The duo recently worked with Outkast’s Big Boi as Big Grams, a collaboration that continues to bring big benefits. “It’s very surreal! He’s become one of our best friends now, which is even more surreal,” said Barthel. “Hanging out and vibing on music in Stankonia Studios is one of our favorite things to do. The Dungeon Family always come by, too. We are one big happy family.”

Rainbow Jive

“We couldn’t make it to Lucidity this year, so we’re throwing a party at SOhO the following weekend!” report the Rainbow Girls, an I.V.-grown band of rockers who will keep the good vibes flowing just as Eudaimonia shutters its Live Oak Lucid City. Few acts as excellent and prominent as they have risen from the fabled I.V. open-mic nights, as the rainbow gals first came together at an underground open mic in 2010. The adventurous years that followed, busking across Europe and delighting all over, finally found a pot of gold north of the Bay. Their Petaluma pals Royal Jelly Jive, whose fun, New Orleans–influenced sound touches on themes such as empowerment and the environment in their lyrics, will join them in a musical match made in merrymaking heaven. It all goes down at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Friday, April 14, at 9:30 p.m.

Get Your Dance On

On the weekend of June 3, the Yosemite gateway town of Mariposa will thump, bump, and throb to life with The Untz Festival, an EDM, psy-trance, and dubstep music fest of epic proportions. Velvet Jones (423 State St.) will host a pre-party for the Untz-bound and the stay-in-towners on Saturday, April 15, with Conrank and Ana Sia. U.K.-based Conrank will bring big wubs from London’s underground dubstep, grime, and hip-hop scenes, while L.A.’s Ana Sia will surely turn you on to some great sounds you’ve never heard before with her deep deejay collection.


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