The New Noise Music Conference and Festival is simply inspiring.
There is something to be said about being in a room filled with liked-minded people listening to a panel of industry leaders intelligently explain their craft. It lends itself to inspiration. The New Noise Music Conference managed to up the ante by bringing in Chuck D of Public Enemy as their key speaker this year. And Chuck dropped some knowledge on Santa Barbara. I got so much from his interview, but the most important point he emphasized was accountability. Be accountable to your fans, your craft, and yourself. That’s a strong message.
Then the Music Festival began. The night was again filled with so many options.
I started the night at SOhO where the showcase was packed with organic rock performers. Matt Armor debuted his new solo project, a country roots rock band that relied on honky-tonk rifts and poignant lyrics, and got the crowd swaying. Followed quickly by local folk rock band Indian Trading Furs, armed with fast-paced banjo driven melodies, the crowd shifted to full swing. I was sucked in, and was so grateful I stayed for Wil Ridge. Wil’s deeply honest lyrics and soulful voice always pulls me into his story. I had forgotten how much I loved him until that moment.
Onward I went to seek out more new music. Velvet Jones housed some of the night’s most exciting new music. I got there in time to see Larry and His Flask. They were out of control good. The six-piece band just attack the crowd with rapid bluegrass goodness. Banjos, stand up bass, guitars, drums, and harmonies were just thrown out, and the crowd sucked it up.
But the star of the night was legendary Mike Watt. (Pause out of respect). Amazing. Watt is the ultimate punk rock icon. His music just seems to appear, no real melody or chorus to follow, it just “is.” He slaps his bass, screams a bit, then whispers, then screams, then it stops. Then another song appears. You just never know what is coming at you next. He had the crowd mesmerized.
It amazing how a day full of this kind of talent can make you so grateful for music.