The sun has finally come out from behind those formidable winter clouds, Winter Quarter’s standard wardrobe of jeans and rain boots have been shed in favor of shorts and Rainbows and the end of another school year is in sight. The arts are experiencing a similar burst of sunshine-fueled energy, beckoning students to desert their cramped dorms and dilapidated apartments in favor of local beaches, music venues, galleries and movie theaters in search of entertainment. You don’t have to seek it alone, though: Artsweek compiles some of the season’s choice entertainment for your convenience.
It’s not too late to buy tickets to see Pinback tomorrow night at the Hub: The beloved San Diego-based outfit has been making music together for over 10 years, and the band is stepping out of the studio, where it has been working on its 2010 release, for this appearance at UCSB, courtesy of A.S. Program Board.
Other compelling on-campus events include the currently buzzed-about Fleet Foxes (Apr. 28 at the Hub), a performance by the 88 (Apr. 14) and UCSB’s annual outdoor concert event, Extravaganza (lineup as yet unannounced).
Compelling off-campus live music offerings are abundant as well: The Santa Barbara Bowl’s upcoming season includes tour stops from the side-splitting comedic duo, Flight of the Conchords (May 22), NIN and Jane’s Addiction (May 21) and howling Southern rockers Kings of Leon (May 17).
Downtown SB’s Velvet Jones will play host to Menomena (Apr. 17) and sweet Swedish singer Jens Lekman (May 29), and SOhO’s upcoming shows include Mirah (Apr. 8). I.V.’s Biko House will be visited by anti-folk songstress Kimya Dawson and Liz Isenberg (Apr. 15), freak folk collective Japanther (Apr. 16) and local indie-pop act the Sea Lions (May 25).
And, on Apr. 16, I expect that TV on the Radio will make the drive to the Ventura Theater well worth it, playing songs off its impressive 2008 album.
As for spring’s most eagerly anticipated new albums, you can look forward to new releases from former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould (out Apr. 7), jangly Australian pop outfit the Boy Least Likely To (Apr. 14), folk legend Bob Dylan (Apr. 21), Scottish group Camera Obscura (Apr. 21), veteran noise-rockers Tortoise (Apr. 21), Great Northern (Apr. 28), St. Vincent (May 5), Art Brut (May 5), soft-spoken troubadour Iron & Wine (May 19), ex-Grandaddy singer Jason Lytl (Apr. 7) and Ed Droste, a.k.a. Grizzly Bear (May 26).
Beloved UCSB institutions Magic Lantern and Arts & Lectures help bring a bit more diversity to Santa Barbara’s filmic offerings. In the next couple of weeks, Magic Lantern’s screenings include one of Artsweek’s picks for last year’s best film, “The Wrestler” (Apr. 3); Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” (Apr. 17), Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun;” two films by legendary filmmaker Les Blank (plus an appearance by the man himself); and “Coraline,” Tim Burton’s extraordinarily beautiful stop-motion film (May 15).
Arts & Lectures, meanwhile, will screen films like 2008’s animated documentary, “Waltz With Bashir” (May 4) and a documentary about the struggle for survival in the wake of catastrophe, “Stranded” (May 12).
Although Santa Barbara’s biggest film festival is already behind us, Spring offers up both the fifth-annual SB Jewish Film Festival and the Human Rights Film Festival. The SB Jewish Film Festival (Apr. 23-26) will include appearances by L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan, local filmmaker Cass Warner, who recently finished her documentary on her family, “The Brothers Warner.”
The A&L sponsored Human Rights Film Festival runs May 26-28, and includes a number of films portraying worldwide struggles in the face of poverty, war and political strife.
At theaters near you, Spring Quarter kicks off this Friday with a fairly amusing-looking if brainless comedy, “Adventureland,” as well as the B-movie sci-fi homage, “Alien Trespass.” In coming months, you can look forward to “Mall Cop Redux,” a..k.a. Seth Rogen’s “Observe and Report” (out Apr. 10); a drama about past violence and warfare in El Salvador (“Sin Nombre, release TBA”); a new Bret Easton Ellis adaptation (“The Informers,” out April 24); Sam Raimi’s new horror film (“Drag Me To Hell,” out May 29); another entry into the X-Men franchise (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” out May 1) and, finally, J.J. Abrams’ new “Star Trek” film (May 8).