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Go fast at SLO Brew

The downtown club heats up for the holidaze

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There’s a sleigh full of great shows coming up during the next couple of weeks, and seeing as how this is the last music column I’m going to write this year before taking the rest of December off (sweet paid vacation, I salute you!), I’m stoked at all the possibilities for nighttime sonic fun.

First, let’s take a gander at SLO Brew’s lineup. They kick things off with the King of the Surf Guitar on Thursday, Dec. 2, when Dick Dale, with son Jimmy Dale, brings some thundering, bone-shaking rock to the club (6:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $25). That same night, stick around for Round 2, when the Bunnies & Bikinis Contest takes place (10:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $5 at the door). Featuring some lovely ladies of the Central Coast, the bikini and skiwear show will be like hitting the surf and snow in the same
day … but with hot babes!

DANCE FEVER :  On Dec. 3, world beat, Latin, dance powerhouse Ozomatli returns to SLO Brew. - PHOTO COURTESY OF OZOMATLI
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF OZOMATLI
  • DANCE FEVER : On Dec. 3, world beat, Latin, dance powerhouse Ozomatli returns to SLO Brew.

On Friday, Dec. 3, world beat, Latin, dance powerhouse Ozomatli returns to the club (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $25 presale or $26 at the door). They put on a killer dance party that always draws a good crowd.

Get your rock, reggae, and dub needs fulfilled on Saturday, Dec. 4, with Tomorrows Bad Seeds with Josh Fichel (7 p.m.; all ages; $12 presale or $13 at the door). They help you rock steady into the holidaze season.

Speaking of daze, on Sunday, Dec. 5, you can witness the spectacle that is D.R.U.G.S. featuring Craig Owens (6 p.m.; all ages; $12 presale or $14 at the door). This hot new group is set to release its debut album on Decaydance/Sire Records in early 2011. You can download “If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably Is” for free on the band’s Facebook page. By the way, their name stands for “Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows.”

Country, rock, and roots act Reckless Kelly returns to town on Monday, Dec. 6, with the Bob Lawrence Band opening (7 p.m.; 18-and-older; $15 presale or $17 at the door). According to Reckless’ bio, “The album art on Reckless Kelly’s new release, Bulletproof, is a semi-faithful rendition of the homemade armor Australian outlaw and band namesake Ned ‘Reckless’ Kelly wore during his final police shootout.”

MCA recording act the Randy Rogers Band hits SLO Brew on Wednesday, Dec. 8 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $16 presale or $18 at the door). Their newest album, Burning the Day, hit stores last summer and was the second most downloaded album on iTunes (all genres), just under pop super star Katy Perry. The album was also No. 2 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart and sold 29,000 units its first week.

Songwriters at Play!

Steve Key’s Songwriters at Play shows no sign of slowing down through December. He’ll kick off his songwriter showcase series on Thursday, Dec. 2, at The Porch in Santa Margarita with Gary Garrett and Kate Kilbane playing the featured set. In addition to being a musician, Garrett is a sculptor working in bronze, clay, and multimedia. His songs are sometimes philosophical, often funny stories about life, love gone right and wrong, space travel, the beach, and flying dreams. “If you like David Wilcox, Loudon Wainwright III, Greg Brown, Lyle Lovett, or the Barenaked Ladies, you’ll probably like me,” he said.

Kate Kilbane, a Texas native, now lives in San Francisco. Her latest CD, The Medea Cycle, is a collection of songs from the point of view of the Greek heroine who sacrifices everything for love. The show is all ages and starts at 6:30 p.m., and may feature up to eight other performers playing three-song sets. It’s free, but tips are gladly accepted.

- MARGIE DOES JONI :  Jazz vocalist Margie Nelson will perform Joni Mitchell songs on Dec. 7 at Steynberg Gallery, one of Steve Key’s many Songwriters at Play showcases this week. -  - PHOTO COURTESY OF MARGIE NELSON
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF MARGIE NELSON
  • MARGIE DOES JONI : Jazz vocalist Margie Nelson will perform Joni Mitchell songs on Dec. 7 at Steynberg Gallery, one of Steve Key’s many Songwriters at Play showcases this week.

The showcase marches on when the Steynberg Gallery hosts the showcase on Tuesday, Dec. 7, focusing on Joni Mitchell songs and featuring local jazz chanteuse Margie Nelson, who’ll perform “Be Cool,” a Mitchell song from Margie’s new CD Hungry Girl. “We celebrated the music of Joni Mitchell in September at our Morro Bay showcase, and the response was so strong we had to do it again,” said Bonnie Nelson. “Many of the performers from that show return for an encore, including Chick Tuesday, Shannon Savage, Raeme Miner and Johnee Gange, and Kay Ashley. Also performing is Human Nation jazz guitarist Adam Levine. In addition, we will add two Santa Barbarans: Karen Thurber and Tysa Goodrich, also known as Coyoteez (be sure to wish Karen happy birthday).” The all-ages event starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $5 at the door.

Get your holiday started early

Ready to get into the spirit? Cal Poly Choirs are having an old-fashioned “Christmas Celebration” on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. in Harman Hall of the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center (though they will sneak in a Hanukkah favorite, “S’Vivon”). Hear the Cal Poly vocal ensembles conducted by music professor Thomas Davies. University organist Paul Woodring will be featured on the Forbes Pipe Organ. The Cal Poly Brass Ensemble, conducted by Christopher Woodruff, will perform, and Woodring and Susan Azaret Davies will accompany the choirs. It’ll be Christmas music, mostly, culminating in the biggest tearjerker of them all, Malcolm Sargent’s arrangement of “Silent Night.” Tickets cost $10 for students, $16 and $19 for seniors, or $17 and $20 for general admission (call 756-2787).

A CELTIC CHRISTMAS :  Molly’s Revenge and guest vocalist Moira Smiley perform their annual Celtic Christmas Celebration at South Bay Community Center on Dec. 5. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MOLLY’S REVENGE
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF MOLLY’S REVENGE
  • A CELTIC CHRISTMAS : Molly’s Revenge and guest vocalist Moira Smiley perform their annual Celtic Christmas Celebration at South Bay Community Center on Dec. 5.

Amazing Celtic act Molly’s Revenge and special guest vocalist Moira Smiley will be performing an annual Celtic Christmas Celebration of music, song, and dance at South Bay Community Center in Los Osos on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m. The Rosemary Turco Irish Dancers will also appear. Expect Christmas songs both old and new, all given a Celtic twist. Winterdance, a new CD featuring music from the show, will be available for purchase, and 10 percent of the profits will be donated to the ALS Foundation (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Tickets are available online at mollysrevenge.com, at Boo Boo Records, or at the community center.

VOX DELUXE :  Cal Poly’s terrific a cappella ensemble Take it SLO presents its second annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 5, in Room 218 of the Davidson Music Center on campus. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TAKE IT SLO
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF TAKE IT SLO
  • VOX DELUXE : Cal Poly’s terrific a cappella ensemble Take it SLO presents its second annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 5, in Room 218 of the Davidson Music Center on campus.

Cal Poly’s terrific a cappella ensemble Take it SLO presents its second annual Holiday Concert at 2 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, in Room 218 of the Davidson Music Center on campus. The 15-member vocal ensemble will perform a variety of songs to raise the holiday spirit, plus some new works and old favorites, all arranged by the students, who hail from a variety of majors on campus. Admission at the door is $7 ($5 for students).

More music …

Of course there’s a ton more going on this week than what’s happening at SLO Brew and the Songwriters at Play showcases.

REEL GOOD :  Golden Bough plays tender ballads, lively jigs, reels, and sing-a-longs on Dec. 3 in the Coalesce Bookstore. - PHOTO COURTESY OF GOLDEN BOUGH
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF GOLDEN BOUGH
  • REEL GOOD : Golden Bough plays tender ballads, lively jigs, reels, and sing-a-longs on Dec. 3 in the Coalesce Bookstore.

Ready for some traditional folk music? If yes, then check out Golden Bough, who performs on Celtic harp, pennywhistle, violin, octave-mandolin, mandolin, accordion, guitar, harmonica, recorder, and bodhran; playing tender ballads, lively jigs, reels, and sing-alongs on Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Coalesce Bookstore as part of the SLOfolks music series ($20; call 772-2880).

San Diego jazz vocalist and two-time San Diego Music Award Best Jazz Nominee Karin Carson performs with the Mike Raynor Group at the Inn at Morro Bay on Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. during a revival of Raynor’s City Nights Jazz concert series, where his group performs with great artists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and San Diego.

“The creativity and spontaneity of jazz will be on display when the Cal Poly jazz ensembles give their Fall Jazz Concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in [Cal Poly’s] Spanos Theatre,” according to the Music Department. Two big bands and a jazz combo will perform standards and cutting-edge, contemporary jazz. “The unpredictable is always a part of jazz, and that is one of the fascinating things about it,” said Paul Rinzler, Cal Poly’s director of jazz studies. “The jazz musicians performing have the chance to do something really new and fresh, and they always come through, much to the audience’s delight.” Tickets cost $10 for the public, $8 for senior citizens and Jazz Federation members, and $6 for students (call 756-2787).

Paint your holiday blue when the SLO Blues Society hosts a holiday celebration and CD release party with Earl Thomas and the Blues Ambassadors on Saturday, Dec. 4. Local blues powerhouse Dr. Danger opens the 8 p.m., 21-and-older, SLO Vets Hall show. SLO Dance offers free dance lessons at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $17 for Blues Society members and $20 for the general public; sold at the door.

If you were watching NBC’s Parenthood on Sept. 21, you heard “You Come Up Like a Rose” by The Northstar Sessions, a Wilco-esque band that will return to the area on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Frog and Peach (10 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 5, at Mr. Rick’s (2 p.m.). If you liked the sort of music that came out of L.A.’s Laurel Canyon in the ’60s and ’70s, these dudes are right up your alley.

On Sunday, Dec. 5, The Famous Jazz Artist Series at the Hamlet in Cambria presents its annual “All Alone” concert featuring the series co-producers Charlie (piano and vibraphone) and Sandi (vocalist) Shoemake, who will perform selections from their many recordings and will converse with the audience about their careers and the current jazz scene—one show only at 4 p.m., for $15. Call 927-0567 to reserve tickets.

HANG DRUM? :  Living Room, an Austria-based hang drum and bass clarinet duo, plays the Steynberg Gallery on Dec. 5. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LIVING ROOM
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF LIVING ROOM
  • HANG DRUM? : Living Room, an Austria-based hang drum and bass clarinet duo, plays the Steynberg Gallery on Dec. 5.

Living Room, an Austria-based hang drum and bass clarinet duo, plays the Steynberg Gallery on Sunday, Dec. 5at 7:30 p.m. ($10). What’s a “hang drum,” you ask? The Switzerland-made instrument is rare, and Living Room’s Manu Delago is its most famous adherent, with YouTube videos that have garnered more than two million hits. The duo will do a radio interview with Sonnie Brown at KCBX on Saturday, Dec 4, at 3 p.m.

Australia’s hottest export, Thunder From Down Under, which was named AOL’s Best Adult Attraction in Las Vegas for the third year in a row, is heading to The Ranch in San Miguel on Tuesday, Dec. 7. The show is “sexy yet clean hot Aussie fun straight from Down Under,” according to press materials. “This All-Australian dancer troupe [is] handsome with rippled washboard abs and red-hot bodies.” This is an 18-and-older event. Visit liveattheranch.com for ticket info.

THE VOICE OF YES :  Central Coast resident and rock legend Jon Anderson appears on Dec. 8 in Cal Poly’s Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL POLY ARTS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL POLY ARTS
  • THE VOICE OF YES : Central Coast resident and rock legend Jon Anderson appears on Dec. 8 in Cal Poly’s Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre.

Central Coast resident and rock legend Jon Anderson, the voice behind ’70s supergroup YES, will play a solo acoustic concert on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Cal Poly’s Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre. “During this special-added Center Stage event, concertgoers will discover that Anderson is also an accomplished solo artist and composer; his acoustic show will include many classic songs from throughout the YES songbook, as well as his original eclectic work,” said Cal Poly Arts. Student and adult tickets are $38, available at 756-2787.

Sayonara, readers! See you next year!

Keep up with Glen Starkey via twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at Myspace.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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