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Have a Folky, Funky February

Adrienne Lenker, Dante Elephante, The Shorelines Kick Off the Month

Ruben Zarate’s Dante Elephante plays a hometown show on February 1 before hitting the road for a national tour.
Courtesy Photo

KISS THE ABYSS: Big Thief’s Adrienne Lenker steals us into February with a show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.), and it’s kind of a big deal. Lenker spins haunting hypnoses of melancholy magic, a gentle force unto her own as well as when playing with her folk-rock group, Big Thief, from Brooklyn. She writes of life’s darkness with the light-speckled shadowing grace of migrant birds moving en mass. On her recent album, 2018’s abysskiss, she took a long, soft look at life’s great unknowns, to certified acclaim, garnering comparisons to everyone from Radiohead to Nick Drake. Fans of beautiful folk music ought to jump on tickets while they can.

Opening for Lenker will be her longtime friend and collaborator Luke Temple. Temple shares a warm intimacy in his works. He transmits little folk wisdoms in his stories of uncovered secrets and latent domestic disturbances, broken homes, and broken minds. There’s lyrical drama, but it’s enrapturing in the way of a moving movie — and more lithe and lovely. The show starts at 9 p.m.

DANTE RIDES AGAIN: Also at SOhO, the ever-excellent Dante Elephante commence the month with a hometown show on February 1 before they hit the wide-open road for a national tour. Those who’ve tracked the band since its performance at 2018’s KjEE Summer Round Up have seen the band’s evolution from surf rockers to crafters of smooth funk-R&B hits; those who haven’t are in for a treat. Led by the irrepressible Ruben Zarate with a revamped lineup, the band has never sounded more at ease — or more sexy.

Opener Walter Etc. hails from Ventura and pick up the surf-rock baton where Dante left off. The band’s tunes are confidently breezy and driving, the perfect kind of soundtrack for that oceanic stretch between Carpinteria and Ventura and back again. The show starts at 9 p.m.

SHORELINE AND FEELING FINE: Alternatively, also on the night of Friday, February 1, The Shorelines headline a lineup at the Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave.) with S.B.’s Reef City and Nick Vaughn. Founded by multi-instrumentalists Maxton Schulte and Justin Kass, the Shorelines churn out grinding, grooving, drifting psychedelic rock that’s drenched in reverb and exciting on the ears and spirit. Expect smooth sailing through their rocking shores and enjoy. Reef City, meanwhile, takes the epic nature of 1970s glam and arena rock and brings it back with a refreshed coastal sound.

If you missed the Shorelines at the Mercury Lounge, they play again on Sunday, February 3, also at the Cold Spring Tavern (5995 Stagecoach Rd.). But first, savor some tri-tip with the sounds of The Third Man, who will get the venue rollicking and happy with a blend of old-school country, surf rock, and even bohemian noir lounge. What a great way to spend Sunday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LESLIE: And if you’re back downtown Sunday night, Leslie Lembo, the namesake singer of Raw Silk w/Leslie Lembo, will celebrate her birthday with a concert at SOhO on Sunday, February 3. The night starts off with an intimate jazz dinner set at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dance party at 8 p.m. Reputed to get rumps shaking and toes tapping, the show will no doubt have an extra flair with the festivities at hand.

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