If you’re walking around Santa Barbara this weekend, you’re likely to hear an eclectic blend of live music wafting out of local venues like Soho, Velvet Jones and Whiskey Richards. Based on the SXSW experience in Austin, TX, New Noise Music Festival spreads music across five downtown venues. It starts today and culminates in a block party at the Funk Zone on Sunday.
Here are a few bands in town this weekend that KCRW loves.
Penguin Prison plays Thursday at Velvet Jones. Here’s their KCRW set from earlier this summer.
Gardens and Villa play with Run the Jewels at Sunday’s New Noise Block Party in the Funk Zone. They stopped by KCRW this summer, too.
The festival’s co-founder, Jeff Theimer, hopes to keep bringing quality music at an affordable price. But, as festivals around the country gain corporate sponsors like Red Bull and Doritos, he says it’s hard for a nonprofit music festival to keep up. “A lot of acts were asking for ‘festival pay,'” he said, a result of corporate effects on top level talent.
The other obstacle has been the city. “Whenever you’re blocking a street, someone’s probably not that excited. But, [public music] is something Santa Barbara needs,” says Theimer. “I’ve been happy to be the canary in the coal mine to try to push things forward and work with the city to make [the festival] grow in a way that doesn’t piss off too many people.”
You can find more info on the festival here.