GROOVE MASTERS: Following the confetti-fueled deluge that was Fiesta weekend, we could all stand to take a little breather — or at least seek out some lower profile means of partying. Lucky for us, this week’s concert calendar is brimming with up-and-coming acts that deserve our attention. And as an added bonus, they aren’t likely to attract the Fiesta-sized crowds.
First up on the list: Portland, Oregon’s Psychic Rites, who play Seven Bar & Kitchen on Thursday, August 8 with Lompocians Millions. While they consider themselves a dance band, Psychic Rites’ jams go way deeper than simple booty shaking fodder. Their sinister and synthy sounds are rooted in ‘80s darkwave, and there’s something decidedly gothic about the presentation (think lots of drum machines and deep, thumping bass). Add to that heaps of vocal reverb — and Seven’s cavernous aesthetic — and you’ve got the makings for a night that sounds straight out of New York’s underground club scene circa 1985. And we mean that as a compliment. The party starts at 9 p.m. and is open to those 21 and over. Call (805) 845-0377 for info.
DEEP CUTS: On Saturday, August 10, the under the radar fun continues with L.A.’s Warships, who will play Velvet Jones with A House for Lions and Eric Smith. The band’s debut EP, Shadows, which came out in June, is a five song offering that’s rife with driving basslines, punchy drum work, and dreamy vocal harmonies. The result is a record that feels quintessentially L.A., conjuring images of fast cars, expansive highways, and sprawling cityscapes that offer promise and despair. (Check out the band’s video for “Heater” for a glimpse.) While genre blending is practically a given in this day and age, Warships’ quirky fusion of ‘70s funk and groove and modern synth pop feels both familiar and refreshing — not to mention a worthy contender for your next party playlist. For info and tickets to Saturday’s show, call (805) 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com.
JANGLIN’ TIME: And then there’s Blank Tapes. The Bay Area band headlines a show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club this Wednesday with Mystic Braves and Hindu Pirates. Led by frontman and songwriter Matt Adams, Blank Tapes dish up a jangly hybrid of Cali-bred surf culture and laidback garage rock tunes that draw inspiration from the likes of The Kinks, Ray Davies, and Kris Kristofferson. Among their contemporaries, the ‘Tapes fall somewhere between Foxygen’s delightfully haphazard psychedellia and Devendra Banhart’s whacky take on world music. (Check out the calypso vibe filled “Brazillia” off the band’s recently released debut, Vacation.) In recorded form, the Blank Tapes prefer to go the lo-fi route, relishing in all things fuzzy, distorted, and straight-to-tape. On stage, though, we’re betting these kids crank it to 11 and let things rip. Want to find out for yourself? The Blank Tapes play SOhO on August 14 at 8 p.m. Call (805) 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for tickets and info.