Soundchecks: Preachervan, Thomas Champagne, Illuminati Hotties, Well Charged, Public Luxuries

Live music to catch this week

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PROVIDED
  • Provided

EVERYTHING-ROCK | Preachervan
w/ The Mobros, The Head, and Argot
Fri. Feb. 1
9 p.m.
$10
The Royal American

You know how, when he's not doing the acoustic folkie thing, Beck will put out an album that seems to have been deposited on this planet as a perfect whole, a musical world entirely in and of itself? That's kind of what the new Preachervan album, Polaroids & Panic Attacks is like. The Atlanta quartet has merged funky, big-hearted dance music, hipster-soul polish, overdriven rock guitar riffs, and a kitchen sink's worth of quirky production accents into a collection of songs that doesn't really sound like any of those genres. In any given song, they can sound like Fitz & the Tantrums, the Strokes, or the Killers, but the thing is, they're doing that all at the same time. They're basically a ball of infectiously danceable, stylish-as-hell fun, and the music is so well-crafted that it's sometimes easy to miss how precise all of this multicolored chaos has to be to work this well. —Vincent Harris FRIDAY

SEA ISLAND MEDIA
  • Sea Island Media

REGGAE-FUNK | Thomas Champagne with Friends (CD Release Show)
w/ Deadwin
Thurs. Jan. 31
7 p.m.
Free
The Washout

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Thomas Champagne has a lot of musical friends. Like, a lot. As in, he's probably played with 100 or so people in the last few years, creating a sort of amoebic, ever-shifting set of players loosely banded under the "Champagne With Friends" banner. For his show at The Washout, which marks the release of his new EP, Love, Champagne will have help from some of those Friends, including Baldwin Bonilla on drums, Whitney Hanna on vocals, and Treg Monty on sax. Champagne says he's grown to love the musical collective idea because it keeps his songs fresh. "They all bring something different," he says. "They each add their own artistic flair to these songs, and to do this with different people and get their fresh takes on it is great." The Love EP is the third in a four-release series, with the first two being Life and Loss. "This one is about the different kinds of love, and how much of a part of life it is," he says. "I really think these four songs capture those feelings." The EP, which was recorded in both Austin, Tex. and at Fairweather Studio in Charleston, furthers Champagne's gradual transition from a straight-ahead reggae music artist to something more adventurous, mixing in New Orleans funk and country music twang. "I think I started off really happy doing reggae stuff," he says, "but when I moved here from Texas, I'd never really played anything else, and I started to discover my real identity. I loved the old country stuff, and New Orleans funk and zydeco, so I really started mixing that with a Caribbean reggae kind of beat. I wanted to fuse it all together." —Vincent Harris THURSDAY

KRISTY BENJAMIN
  • Kristy Benjamin

TENDERPUNK | Illuminati Hotties
w/ Lucy Dacus (headliner)
Sat. Feb. 2
9 p.m.
$15
Pour House

Raw emotion has always been a part of punk rock, but it's often expressed as pure anger or defiance. That's not what L.A.'s Illuminati Hotties do, at least from a lyrical perspective. Singer Sarah Tudzin's songs are about those less easily defined emotional moments, as the tunes on the band's Kiss Yr Frenemies make plain. Lines like "I hate that you feel better than ever" and "all the things I used to do are boring now" are far from the typical raised fist of punk rock, but the music is loud as hell and bounces like the best late-'70s, early-'80s punk-inspired new wave. In fact, there's more than a little of the Pretenders in the band's head-nodding hooks and chopped-and-channeled guitars, even if the volume is a lot louder than anything Chrissie Hynde attempted. Tudzin calls the band's music "tenderpunk," and it's an apt description: Grinding guitars and pounding beats buoying up unguarded vulnerability. —Vincent Harris SATURDAY

UELI FREY
  • Ueli Frey

BOB MARLEY TRIBUTE | Well Charged
Thurs. Jan. 31
9:30 p.m.
$10/adv., $12/door
Pour House

In honor of music legend Bob Marley's almost birthday, Well Charged is recreating the Wailers' "Live at the Santa Barbara County Bowl" performance from 1979, and they're inviting friends. "Bob Marley is definitely the king of reggae music, so we want to do it justice and do a good showcase, and feature a lot of good regional artists," said bassist Vasily Punsalan. Ric Williams, Jawge Hughes, Zandrina Dunning, Clay White, and Steven Sandifer will perform alongside Well Charged to honor Marley — many of the artists brought in for the show have a close connection with Jamaica. Punsalan and organ player David Hillis say that they will perform the Santa Barbara show as close to the original as possible. —Heath Ellison THURSDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

PRECIOUS METAL | Public Luxuries
w/ Jarva Land, Psychic Pets
Fri. Feb. 1
10 p.m.
Free
The Sparrow

Garage-bred sludge and fuzz are the Public Luxuries' promise, and they keep it. "We don't go for anything in particular," says bassist and vocalist Henry Snyder. "We don't do much quality control." In all fairness, that lack of fine-tuning is to the band's benefit. Listen to "Front Man" from Public Luxuries' recent Avondale Recordings and try to say that the frayed atonal guitar and bloodied vocals would sound better with more restraint. "Come Into My Room" slows things down without turning the volume below 11, and "Reasons" brings out a saxophone for two jittery minutes, showing that the band can be break traditional lo-fi formatting without losing their pure stamina. "It's all kinds of accidental," Snyder says. "It's kind of everybody's side project, even though it's the only band some of us are in, so we have a pretty slap-dash approach to things." This is garage rock at its most primitive, distilled, and most listenable. —Heath Ellison FRIDAY

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