Picks of the Week

Picks of the Week

Mike Ness Punk legends Social Distortion are such a beloved Southern California institution that practically everybody from San Diego to Ventura thinks of them as an honorary local band. It makes sense: They play everywhere every year, often staying for up to 10 nights in a row. This, however, is a bit different. Gravel-voiced singer Mike Ness has decided to let the rest of the guys stay home and is hitting the road alone. His solo work, while containing a similar energy to Social D (and there is no mistaking that voice), is more stripped down, bringing the country and roots rock that has always burbled underneath his main band’s fervor to the fore. And while Social Distortion is one of those groups that’s bigger in SoCal than they are anywhere else, Ness by himself has attracted quite a high-profile cult that includes Bruce Springsteen, who performed alongside Ness recently in New Jersey. As celebrated as the Boss is back in the Garden State, Ness rules the Golden One, especially when he’s at the Ventura Theater, which is where he’ll be July 1.

The Bowmans  I don’t know what this says about the music scene in Davenport, Iowa, but Sarah and Claire Bowman began their career there as “singing puppeteers.” In the ensuing years, the twin-sisterly duo has put down the marionettes and evolved into a full-fledged pop act, utilizing the harmonizing abilities they’ve had since the age of 3. They’ve toured the Midwest extensively, playing everything from coffee shops to outdoor festivals. But nowadays, their home base in New York, where they have carved a niche for themselves in that highly competitive market through their sublime vocal talents and top-notch musicianship. Not bad for a pair of ex-puppeteers from Iowa. The Bowmans play Zoey’s Café on June 27.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

Los Amigos Invisibles To put it simply, Los Amigos Invisibles are a dance band. More accurately, though, they’re a space-age fusion of soul-raising grooves from across the globe. Formed in Venezuela, the sextet was deeply immersed in the club culture of their hometown of Caracas before being discovered by rhythm junkie David Byrne, who signed them to his Luaka Bop label in 1997. The group introduced themselves to a worldwide audience via their international debut, The New Sound of the Venezuelan Gozadera, a record that blended chilled-out lounge vibes with irresistibly funky tracks, a tinge of Latin flavor and not-so-subtle sexual come-ons. Over their next three albums, the band continued to expand its palette, exploring house, disco, salsa, funk, acid jazz and pop — anything that gets feet moving uncontrollably. Watch as SOhO in Santa Barbara get transformed into the world’s hottest dance floors when Los Amigos Invisibles appear June 21, with special guests West Indian Girl. SOhO, 1221 State St # 205, Santa Barbara, 962-7776.

Steve Poltz If you don’t know Steve Poltz, chances are you’ve still heard him in some form: He is the guy who wrote Jewel’s first big hit, “You Were Meant For Me.” And he was in the video. The San Diego-based artist is more than just the guy who put words into the mouth of a yodeling Eskimo, however. He is a respected performer in his own right, with a cult following dedicated to his swooping melodies and satirical lyrics. Count Neil Young among his fans, too: He is apparently an admirer of a record Poltz put out in which he cut 56 songs, each 45 seconds in length, that he used as outgoing messages on his answering machine while on tour. Now that’s ingenuity! Poltz plays Zoey’s Café on June 20.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

Peter Murphy For an undisputed Overlord of Darkness, Peter Murphy sure has a decidedly beige name. Oh well, all the better to shock the uninitiated with — although at this point, there are very few interested in the jet-black heart of humanity unfamiliar with the work of the English-born singer. As the frontman for pioneering post-punks Bauhaus, Murphy’s sonorous bellow helped invent goth culture. In the years following the band’s 1983 dissolution, he continued to define rock’n’roll gloom on a series of solo albums that expanded his cult even as his lyrics became increasingly cryptic and the music inspired by the traditions of Turkey, where he moved in the 1990s. He has since toured twice with reformed versions of Bauhaus, proving to be as much of an unaging vampire as he appears on record, even singing “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” while hanging upside down during the group’s Coachella performance in 2005. Now that the band has seemingly closed the coffin on its existence for good, Murphy has resumed his solo career, playing retrospective sets all by his lonely, melancholy self. He hits the Ventura Theater on June 6.

Franklin For Short There once was a time when Franklin For Short, the indie pop quartet that is now one of the longest-running Ventura music institutions, were releasing albums seemingly every two weeks. It has been a while, however, since locals have had new material to grab, but come June 6, fans will have the chance to pick up Swell, the group’s new full-length effort. They’ll officially drop the album that night at Zoey’s and follow up the next evening with a show at the Art Barn with guests Le Petit Protest, the Spires and Watercolor Paintings.

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia

    August 22 @ 8:00 am - October 23 @ 8:00 pm
  2. Loni Love Headlines Levity Live

    September 20 @ 7:30 pm - September 22 @ 9:00 pm
  3. Oxnard National Drive Electric Vehicle (EV) Showcase

    September 22 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
  4. Chamber On The Mountain presents Tomer Gewirtzman, Pianist

    September 22 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  5. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    September 23 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  6. Dancer’s Body Barre

    September 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  7. Rio Mesa Sidewalk Ribbon Cutting with VCPWA

    September 26 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
  8. The Collection at RiverPark Hosts Walk to End Alzheimer’s September 28

    September 28 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
  9. 8th Annual Port of Hueneme Banana Festival

    September 28 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  10. Santa Barbara’s Deb Richards Book Signing & Reading of Shift & Shine

    September 28 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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