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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 8:39 am | Fair 45º


Paul Mann: New Noise Music Festival in Full Swing

Bands and fans take over downtown Santa Barbara clubs, with more acts on tap through the weekend

Downtown Santa Barbara was inundated with live music Thursday night, in large part for opening night of the New Noise Music Festival.

The festival took over four downtown clubs (expanding to five this weekend), and offered a wide array of musical acts, appealing to indie music fans from nearly every genre.

Velvet Jones treated a full house to four great upbeat blues rock bands — Windmill Vandals, Howlin Woods, Guards and headliners Deer Tick.

The headliners, hailing from Rhode Island, have been a staple on the festival circuit for several years and have developed a strong fan base. With an impressive catalog of four albums and four EPs, the band, led by singer-songwriter John McCauley, offers an eclectic live mix of jam band originals and cover songs. The band kept fans dancing well into early Friday.

A few doors down, Whiskey Richards was hosting a more punk rock-oriented lineup, including explosive performances from Punk on Vinyl, Exit 86, Ellwood and longtime Santa Barbara punk favorites Code 415.

At the same time, a sold-out crowd packed the house at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club for an eclectic duo of bands, including Reptar and headliners Phantogram.

The New York-based EDM band Phantogram is fronted by Sarah Barthel on vocals and keyboards, and Josh Carter on guitar and vocals. With a trip hop sound, the duo, backed by a drummer on tour, produce an eerie hypnotic trance sound, improvising in classic jam band fashion as they delve deeply into their material. A sweaty crowd at SOhO stood spellbound as the band played a magical set.

Click here for more information about the festival and this weekend’s events.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributing writer. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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