Santa Barbara Battle of the Bands

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Kaeleigh Morrison | Staff | October 10, 2011

A collection of eight undiscovered, local bands have been selected by the community to play in this year’s second annual Santa Barbara Downtown Sound competition.

This week, The Independent and Santa-Barbara-based New Noise Music Foundation will be producing a “three part battle-of-the-band-style competition” to be hosted Tuesday and Wednesday October 11 and 12. Each night will be displaying a wide variety of musical talent ranging from the wailing guitar riffs of “nuclear powered stoner-sludge” to the quiet, haunting accordion of indie-popster folk. Winners from each night will be determined by the crowd.

Semi-Finals Round One will be held at the infamously crowded Velvet Jones. Doors open at eight.

Islay Street (8:30)

Blue Suns (9:15)

False Puppet (10:00)

Retrodemon (10:45)

Here is a quick overview of the bands playing at the Velvet Jones on Tuesday:

Islay Street is a four-piece folk-rock group with evokes a very strong Mumford-and-Sons-meets-Death-Cab feel. Islay Street features Margaret Easbey on banjo and mandolin. Find more information at:






Blue Suns are an indie-rock three-piece. Their influences include not only contemporary artists but also great classic bands. Bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The Ventures, and The Beatles have helped to shape Blue Suns’ sound into a blend of modern, indie pop-rock, classic 60’s surf, and old-school rock and roll. Blue Suns’ are currently writing originals for the band’s second studio album and pursuing a greater popularity in the American music scene after a summer spent touring in the UK. For more information see Blue Suns’ Facebook page at :


False Puppet, a fairly new yet tremendously successful young alternative punk-rock trio draws inspiration heavily from Rage Against The Machine and Green Day. Channing Peake (Bass/vocals) and the Benko brothers (Tyler on vocals/guitar, Brennan on drums) have kept a busy schedule touring the central coast and recording their recent two-song EP for iTunes. For more information, see:




Retrodemon is a fairly older and more experienced band compared to others competing this year. This five-piece heavy rock band stitches the angst of each song with a clever yet intimidating thread of heavy riffs, catchy melodies, and earth-shaking bass-lines. Retrodemon released their first album, Demonstration, in 2007. See for more information.

Semi-Finals Round Two will be held at the always popular night club, SoHo on Wednesday evening. Doors open at eight.

Ralph Torrefranca (8:30)

Carried By Six (9:15)

Little Owl (10:00)

St. Anne’s Place (10:45)


Ralph Torrefranca combines the echoey acoustics of Fleet Foxes and the upbeat musicality of The Decemberists to form a sweet melody sprinkled with the ever-familiar lassiez faire lyricality of a John Mayer ballad. To hear Torrefranca’s work go to:

Carried By Six is perhaps the most unique band to step foot into this year’s competition. Greg Carillo provides the vocals for this screamo/deathmetal and techno lovechild. See: for more information.

Little Owl intoxicates it’s audience with the sacharrine combination of charming accordion and death-cab-esque keyboards. These indie-popsters concoct a keyboard-heavy XX influence, whilst dousing every note in a bubbly, Owl City electronic tone. For more information, see:

St. Anne’s Place is a trio of extremely talented young jam muscians. Their bluesy lyrics combine elegantly with their psychedelic-sans-whammy guitar to evoke perfectly constructed soulful jams.


Make your vote count and come see this magnificent selection of bands play this week!

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