On Saturday, November 2, Eos (500 Anacapa St.) will celebrate Día de los Muertos with headliners Chicano Batman in a special, day-long event, beginning at 1 p.m. Featuring sets from Los Retros, Kadillac, the Elwoods, and music from Last Resort Forever, it will be an especially enlivening way to honor the memory of departed souls and their remaining presence in our lives. What’s more, it will also be a chance to view and enjoy area art installations, immersive performances, and a tequila tasting.
As lineups go, it’s one to die for, as they say. Chicano Batman make excellently funky and soulful music evocative of East L.A. The band’s newest release, Black Lipstick, sizzles with psychedelic organ. Los Retros, a k a Mauri Tapia, is a 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Oxnard who has been crafting some of the best indie music of the area code for several years. Drawing influence from soft rock groups of Latin America, it’s beautiful stuff. Kadillac is a new project featuring members of Glitter Fish; the Elwoods deliver surfy blues rock from Goleta; and Last Resort Forever will be spinning vinyl to get things started on a high note.
CHEERS TO VETIVER: Vetiver will kick off an album-release tour at Third Window Brewing (406 E. Haley St., Ste. 3) on Tuesday, November 5. This being the first show on the Up on High album-release tour, it’s set to be a special one. Recorded in a cabin in Joshua Tree, the new songs are sun-soaked with relaxed, back-to-basics strumming, such as on the breezy and lovely “Swaying.” While the previous Vetiver album, Complete Strangers, played with colorful synths, these new songs hint at a return to Vetiver’s folk and folk-rock sound, evoking the aridness of dry California heat.
As tourers and collaborators, Vetiver have associated with acts like Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, Vashti Bunyan, and the early 2000s days of freak folk. Led by Andy Cadic, the project continues on as one of the enduring acts of that time. Third Window Brewing, housed in a restored barn and feed mill, shall be a good venue for the sometimes-rustic sounds of Vetiver. Epicureans of ear and palate alike will delight in the mingling of melodies and hazies or dubbels and guest taps of jun, mead, and cider. The show begins at 7 p.m., and it’s free.
HALLOWINE THERAPY: Michael Omar and the Electric will play a Halloween show at Santa Barbara Wine Therapy (732 State St.) on Thursday, October 31, at 8 p.m., so best come prepared with a shockingly good costume to befit their electric name. Bringing to mind the lively neon riffs and synth-pop-rock sounds of The 1975, Omar and company will be sure to lend some cool and danceable music into your All Hallow’s Eve.
What’s more, Omar’s music is a hard-fought kind of passion. In March 2018, the then-22-year-old Michael Omar was diagnosed with vestibular neuropathy, a destabilizing and rare condition that kept him at home for much of the time. Not one to be battered down, Omar’s creativity — and vitality — surges through in his work. The band is rounded out by Brad Katz on bass, Andrew Armstrong on drums, and Griffin Soule on guitar, with all providing backing vocals. With good music, good wine, and some hopefully great costumes, it does sound like its own kind of therapy.
INDIE ROCKERS UNITE: If you’re out in Goleta on Saturday, November 2, at 7 p.m., head over to the Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave., Goleta) to see Pet Sympathy and Man Mistress. Pet Sympathy makes interestingly brooding art rock that brings to mind late-period Joy Division or Interpol in its haunting dissonance and minimalist drama. Man Mistress, meanwhile, locates itself on the medium-core spectrum of indie rock and hardcore, a Goldilocks zone of sorts.
FOLK SOCIAL: Natalie Gelman will play a show on Sunday, November 3, at the recently opened Pearl Social (131 Anacapa St.). Growing up in New York City’s West Village, Gelman cut her teeth on the city’s subway platforms at the brave age of 16. Now, she calls the calmer realms of Ojai home. Fans of Natalie Merchant and Jewel will find much to enjoy in her songs. n