Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

HELMET & FU MANCHU  Thinking man’s metal meets skate metal meets ’70s rock metal for a fuzz fest that will leave concertgoers with contact cottonmouth and bleeding ears. As veterans of the early ’90s post-hardcore punk genre, both bands have earned solid followings and gone on to influence a new era of heavy metal — emphasis on the heavy.  Case in point: new kids on the block Year Long Disaster who will join them for this evening of heart-pounding head-banging. 

Wednesday, March 4. House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 848-5100.

Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

BEN TAYLOR With a pedigree like his, it’s hard to imagine the offspring of Carly Simon and James Taylor would pursue anything other than music. Lucky for us, he didn’t.  Touring in support of his newest record, The Legend of Kung Folk Part 1, Taylor’s style is not unlike his father’s, yet uniquely his own. Simple but powerful lyrics delivered soulfully with a deep, expressive voice — it’s a tried and true yet rarely mastered formula; Taylor’s got it down pat.

Tuesday, Feb. 24. SOhO, 1221 State St., Santa Barbara. 962-7776, www.myspace.com/ bentaylorofficial.

Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

JOAN BAEZ Much like her early male counterpart Bob Dylan, Joan Baez boasts a career that cannot be summed up briefly. From mega-stardom as the queen of early ’60s folk to her memorable appearance at Woodstock, to a lifetime of activism, Joan Baez has been there and done that. In the process, she’s managed not to sell out, something few of her contemporaries can say. The exciting thing is the 68-year-old Baez is seeing a revival of sorts as a new crop of female artists have been name-checking her influence, and her excellent new record, Day After Tomorrow, produced by Steve Earle, is receiving rave reviews. Seeing Joan Baez in person is equivalent to seeing an art masterpiece like the Mona Lisa, and here comes your chance.

Tuesday, Feb. 17,  Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara. 963-0761, www.lobero.com.

Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

THE BIRD & THE BEE  Inara George and Greg Kurstin didn’t really plan to make it big. The fashionable L.A.-based duo bonded around their shared love of jazz standards. Their first record, a breezy Brazilian psych-pop cocktail, was an experiment that succeeded in blowing the minds of everyone who heard it. Just out of the oven is the decidedly more dance-oriented Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future. Since the group’s debut and supersonic ascent, Kurstin has collected some prestigious recording credits for the likes of Britney Spears, Sia and “it” girl of the moment, Lilly Allen.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m., at SOhO, 1221 State St., Santa Barbara. 962-7776, www.myspace.com/thebirdandthebee.








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