April 29, 2011

Del the Funky Homosapien @ Velvet Jones ~ April 27, 2011

Get Funky. Then de-funkify.

The place was packed. No room to maneuver. On a Wednesday in Santa Barbara at a HIP HOP show…. Weird.

Who knew such an underground rap following existed in SB? Only about the near 200 people at Velvet Jones this past Wednesday. Del the Funky Homosapien was the headliner of the showcase. Reigning from Oakland, cousin to Ice Cube, and the voice of the rap on the Gorillaz popular hit “Clint Eastwood”, Del has some street cred and a good buzz (figuratively speaking of course). But, true to hip hop show form, the headliner did not go on til after midnight, so we were forced (forced I tell you!) to be introduced to the local scene.

I couldn’t list the names of all the acts (Deaf Dot Electronic, Shoddy Cons, Niko Thought, Kevin Eleven, and Chalk B), or even tell you exactly how many there were (6 – including BuKu One) , but I can tell you I learned some interesting new words. Do you know what a “scrunt” is? I do. Now. But seriously, there was an old school hard rock hip hop band reminiscent of early Linkin Park, so old school it was new and fresh again. The sets were short and entertaining, with each act having their own following. It was soooo interesting – from an observational stand point. And entertaining.

Then, close to midnight, the curtains closed and anticipation weighed heavy in the air (as well and the thought “damn – I gotta work tomorrow! Bring Del on already.”) But when the curtains opened only 2 men stood on stage, neither of them Del. But they busted it! Turns out it was BuKu One and DJ Don, my new favs. They weren’t gansta; they were hilarious and entertaining and got the crowd pumped up.

Del finally came on and set the crowd off. Backed by BuKu and Don, the three just straight killed it. Luckily I had posted myself up high on a side wall, well above the crowd, so I could actually see the performance. The two rappers acted out every song, having lyric and dance offs, stopping on a gunshot (really happened), instructing peeps on how to de-funkify (You gotta wash your ass, if you must, You gotta wash your hair, if you must, You gotta brush your teeth, if you must, Or else you'll be funkyyyyyyyy). It was the easiest three dance moves of the night! So much fun, I can’t wait to sing it to my lil’ nieces while de-funkifying (my sister will really appreciate that!). Del played to the crowd for near an hour, closing it with Clint Eastwood, but only after he told us he’d be back with more new stuff.

This old school classic hip hop show was probably one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. It definitely opened my eyes and ears to a new genre and crowd to follow here in the bubble.

April 19, 2011

Mumford & Sons @ SB Bowl ~ April 18, 2011

For the Love of Music

Nobody loves music as much as the boys of Mumford & Sons. They proved that Monday night at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

Playing to a packed house and coming off playing Coachella the night before, Mumford & Sons rallied a near two hour long set, “This is the longest set we’ve ever played in front of the most people
...” (true quote).

The boys, Marcus Mumford, Ben (keyboards), Winston (banjo), and Ted (string bass), proved to be multi-talented musicians, all performing vocals and trading off instruments, including drum duty, throughout the long ass set. Marcus seemed a bit tired in comparison to the energy of the rest of the boys, but never stopped the party. Ben even exclaimed that he wanted the party to go on all night. And so did I!

M&S mixed a lot of new songs with their now platinum hits, figuring they needed more material to accommodate the long set time. The new material is indicative of a true evolution of the band in the right direction – sounding a bit more mature and more rocking – if not a bit more like Genesis meets folk rock.

The Bowl was off their feet dancing and singing along while M&S showed no mercy with their bombardment of musical talent for a solid hour and forty three minutes. If you love music and missed this show – I am truly sorry. Or at least you are.

April 12, 2011

Jenny & Johnny @ SOhO ~ April 11, 2011

Hipster’s Paradise

The buzz around Jenny & Johnny is loud right now, and Santa Barbara’s music elite was out in full effect ready to listen. And the elite at SOhO Monday night was an eclectic mix, but one term could define them all – hipsters.

Playing to a sold out crowd, LA natives Jenny & Johnny held nothing back, not that there was anything to hold back. The music was generic rock on the folk edge with interesting lyrics and compelling vocals, but not very original. One song lead into another, sounding pretty much the same but with different lyrics. The tempo was basic, the melodies (or lack thereof) predictable, and all a little boring. It felt somewhat like a music recital - well rehearsed but a little painful.

It appears the buzz about J&J is more interesting than the actual band itself. And apparently I am not a hipster.

April 2, 2011

SHE WANTS REVENGE @ SOhO ~ April 1, 2011

Dark Wave

Dark, moody, and sultry. Add in a little synthesizers, and you've got yourself She Wants Revenge.

A synth-dance-rock throw back to the likes of Depeche Mode and Joy Division, She Wants Revenge is known for their moody dance tunes and dark lyrics. Playing to an intimate crowd at SOhO (which included Martin Gore of DM), they weaved their web of lust amongst the audience and lured us willingly over to the dark side.

Setting the tone of the evening with "Take The World" lamenting "Is this the life / the one you imagined / Is this the life / the one from your dreams," SWR continued to lead the crowd through an introspection of the darker side of one's psyche, masterfully mixing songs from their previous two albums with ones off their newest CD "Valleyheart " (due out in May).

The songs were dark, guttural, and just plain sexy. Justin Warfield's theatrical interpretation of the lyrics enhanced the dark mood of the songs, while Adam 12's sullen stare made you wonder if he knew what you've done in your darkest moments. SWR wound up the set with "Tear You Apart" - pulling the last dark confession of the evening out of the crowd. It was a moment.