If you're curious about whether the kids are alright, look no further than the Shabang Live Music & Arts Festival, a magnet for the college-age crowd that returns to Laguna Lake Park on Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14. Think of it as our own little Coachella—fun in the sun and dancing into the night.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF STRFKR
- LAKE PARTY STRFKR is one of dozens of bands playing the Shabang Live Music & Arts Festival on May 13 and 14 at Laguna Lake Park.
There're too many bands to list (visit shabang.com for the full lineup), but a couple of highlights for Friday, May 13, include San Francisco indie pop/rock/electronic act TV Girl, which frequently samples 1960s songs and sounds. On "Lovers Rock," for instance, you can hear the Shirelles' "The Dance is Over" from 1960. Also headlining Friday, NYC's future funk and nu-disco act The Knocks, known for hits like "Classic," "I Wish (My Taylor Swift)," and "Kiss the Sky" (3 to 10 p.m.; all ages; $55 plus fees at shabangslo.com/tickets; kids 5 and under free).
On Saturday, May 14, see Portland's indie rock act STRFKR, known for their synth-pop, neo-psychedelia, and electronica sounds. Their sixth and seventh albums, Future Past Life and Ambient 1, were both released in 2020. Also headlining is EDM duo Walker & Royce (noon to 10 p.m.; all ages; $85 plus fees at shabangslo.com/tickets; kids under 5 free; or get a full festival pass for $135 plus fees).
All told there are three stages: Laguna Lake Stage, Funk Safari Stage, and Cuesta Ridge Stage. You can also join the fun at Hush House Silent Disco. Expect a super cool festival atmosphere and a ton of music.
Will he or won't he?
Pardon me for my faithlessness, but after Morrissey last-minute canceled his 2017 Paso Robles show because he said it was too cold, I can never trust whether the show will go on. There's even a website devoted to his cancellation percentage (15 percent of all shows canceled since his 1988 solo debut).
- PHOTO COURTESY OF MORRISSEY
- EX-SMITH Former The Smiths frontman Morrissey plays the Fremont Theater on May 12.
Anyway, he's supposed to play the Fremont Theater this Thursday, May 12 (8:30 p.m.; all ages; $89.50 to $188 plus fees at eventbrite.com), and since the show is close to selling out, I hope for ticket holders that former The Smiths lead singer, the man known as Moz, shows up to wow the crowd with his delicious depression songs such as "Suedehead," "The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get," "The Teachers are Afraid of the Pupils," and more.
Also this week at the Fremont, see Nashville star Lauren Alaina on Saturday, May 14 (8 p.m.; all ages; $34.61 presale at seetickets.us). The Georgia-born singer-songwriter was runner-up on the 10th season of American Idol in 2011, releasing her debut, Wildflower," later that year. Road Less Traveled was released in 2017, followed by Sitting Pretty on Top of the World in 2021. In February of this year, Trisha Yearwood inducted her into the Grand Ole Opry. She's excited to be back on the road after a pandemic hiatus.
First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder
The inimitable Todd Snider returns to the area this Friday, May 13, when Numbskull and Good Medicine present the critically acclaimed Americana alt-rock folk singer to Templeton's Castoro Cellars Vineyards & Winery (6 p.m.; all ages; $27 to $30 plus fees at eventbrite.com). He's calling this tour the Pickin', Grinnin', Tellin' Stories, Takin' Requests Tour.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CHURCH
- DOWN UNDER Australian psych-guitar masters The Church plays SLO Brew Rock on May 13.
Snider writes irreverently funny and often poignant songs and spins colorful yarns from stage. His most recent album—his 19th—is First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder, and it takes a turn into the funky, inspired by Parliament and James Brown, while retaining his modern folk troubadour vibe.
Orcutt's a little out of my coverage area, but Good Medicine is also bringing country modern traditionalist Randall King to Blast 825 Brewery on Saturday, May 14 (1 p.m.; all ages; $17.51 at goodmedicinepresents.com). He's inspired by Keith Whitley, George Strait, Alan Jackson, and John Anderson.
Australian psych-guitar masters The Church are coming to SLO Brew Rock on Friday, May 13, courtesy of (((folkYEAH!))) and SLO Brew Live (7 p.m.; all ages; presale $32 plus fees at ticketweb.com). The show is one of a handful leading up to their performance at the sold-out May 14 Cruel World Fest (a second day, May 15, has been added). This is going to be an amazing chance to see the band in an intimate venue before they head to the Rose Bowl.
Formed in Sydney in 1980, The Church now has 24 albums to their credit, most recently 2017's Man Woman Life Death Infinity, and according to press materials, details of the 25th album will be "announced soon." They've certainly hung on over the years.
Also this week at SLO Brew Rock, The Far Side delivers their alt-hip-hop sounds on Thursday, May 12 (7:30 p.m.; 18 and older; $36 plus fees presale at slobrew.com/events). Made up of Imani, Fatlip, and Slimkid3 formerly of The Pharcyde, this ensemble is straight out of South Central LA. Supernatural and WildChild open.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF TODD SNIDER
- TROUBADOUR Todd Snider plays Templeton’s Castoro Cellars Vineyards & Winery on May 13.
Actor and singer-songwriter Dennis Quaid plays SLO Brew on Tuesday, May 17 (8 p.m.; 18-and-older; $39.50 to $46.50 plus fees at ticketweb.com; the show was originally on sale through Eventbrite for the Fremont Theater. All original tickets will be honored). Quaid's known for films such as The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, Traffic, Vantage Point, Frequency, The Parent Trap, Soul Surfer, The Right Stuff, Breaking Away, Midway, and many more. He's currently in the recording studio working on a new gospel album slated for release this summer.
Back to the beach!
Summer must be close, because Otter Productions Inc. and the Avila Beach Resort are ready to welcome music lovers back to the beach. Country star Dustin Lynch makes his last stop on his Party Mode Tour at this Sunday, May 15 (doors at 4 p.m., show at 6; all ages; $48 plus fees at tixr.com), with Sean Stemaly opening.
His new single, "Party Mode," is a real barroom sing-along, from his fifth album Blue in the Sky, which also included "Thinking 'Bout You" (featuring MacKenzie Porter). That track enjoyed a six-week run at No. 1. All told, the hitmaker has had six No. 1 singles and four Top 5 albums, and has 2.6 billion streams and counting.
Also, don't forget the 27th annual Avila Beach Blues Festival is coming up quick, on Sunday, May 29, with George Thorogood and the Destroyers, WAR, and Tommy Castro and the Painkillers (gates at noon; show starts at 2 p.m.; $55 to $110 at tixr.com). It's been rescheduled twice, and every ticket sold for the original date will be fully honored. If you already have your ticket, no need to do anything. But this might sell out, so if you want to go, get on it.
Big music sale
If you're looking to add music to your collection and support a good cause, head over the 4100 Vachell Lane this Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., when radio stations NPR affiliate KCBX and Cal Poly student-run station KCPR join forces for a huge sale of used music to raise funds of each station
"We haven't had one of these for three years, so it is a big return for us," KCBX Music Director Neal Losey said. "We'll have thousands of CDs and LPs, plus some books, stereo equipment, and a few other items—lots of rare and collectible things for a fair price, all the way to the bargain grab bag featuring 20 CDs for $10 and hundreds of CDs and LPs priced at $1 each."
Count me in! Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at email@example.com.