IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE: Ah, love! Without it, songwriters would be mute, flightless doves, gasping and flapping in silence, crooning vocal voids into a heartless universe. Thankfully, love springs eternal, and as Santa Barbara’s Christina Apostolopoulos sings on the title track of her beautifully crafted new album, The Only Thing I’m Good At, love can be our saving grace when all else fails. “I can’t sew a button, and I can’t cook a chicken, and when I dance people think I’m itching,” she sings. “The only thing I’m good at is loving you.”
The new album, her first, has been a labor of love for the locally grown, L.A.-based singer/songwriter. She will celebrate with an album-release show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Tuesday, May 1, at 7 p.m.; the album itself debuts a few days earlier, on April 27. The Only Thing I’m Good At marks a milestone for Apostolopoulos, who picked up her first guitar around age 7 or 8 and went on to study at Berklee College of Music. Honing her skills on a mix of Led Zeppelin songs and classical pieces, the Santa Barbara High School alum played some of her first shows at the Good Cup’s open mics as a teen. She cites John Mayer, Bonnie Raitt, Phoebe Bridgers, and Margaret Glaspy as influences over the years.
In many ways, music is her first love. “Writing these songs came from a pure love of what I was doing and had nothing to do with how people perceive it,” she said. She cherishes the innate embrace of her inner muse, the love for music: “That, to me, is the kernel of everything, and I protect that with my life.”
On her new album, she explores love in all its silly, distressing, lovable messiness. “I think certainly they’re all love songs of a certain sort; there’s a kind of humor that I tend to use, a whimsy.” Though love’s lately been kind to her, Apostolopoulos’s album also delves into what she deems “the beautiful sadness,” the failed loves: songs about “something that never happened, the love that never became a relationship. That can be more inspiring than something that actually happened.”
This homecoming show sees her equipped with a voice of strength and wit, ready to share the love back with the community that helped shape her. It’ll be a jubilant time, she said, replete with her trademark cheeky banter. “I’m excited to thank everybody for making this happen,” she said. “It’s a celebration of completion and a celebration of the community.”
GUITAR HERO: The Dan Zimmerman Trio will play at SOhO on Sunday, April 29, 7:30 p.m. For those who missed the tantalizing trio of Zimmerman, Luis Muñoz, and Brendan Statom when they last played their hypnotic set in our 805, make sure to see the triumphant three-piece this time around, as it will lull you into a state of wondrous enjoyment.
AS REAL AS IT GETS: Over at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.), Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real keep their rock real with some of the finest pedigrees of any present-day American performer. They play at the historic venue on Monday, April 30, with country musician Tyler Childers as opener, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The band has graced our town a couple of memorable times over the last few years, with a Jazz Festival–headlining show at SOhO last year and as Neil Young’s new band at the Santa Barbara Bowl in 2015. “Rock ’n’ roll is here to stay,” as Young once sang, and as torchbearers go, Nelson & co. burn especially brightly.