The real deal: Kelli Scarr brought a full, country-twang sound to Muddy Waters for a New Noise kick-off show

On Kelli Scarr’s 2010 album “Piece,” one hears a wispy, ethereal voice backed by dreamy instruments. Her name doesn’t just rhyme with Mazzy Star, her music does, too. Except, well, not really.

The space between a studio album and long months touring can grow and change a music, and intimate settings such as Muddy Waters can replace studio experimentation with a vibrant urgency.

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The Doctor Is In: Dr. Drew cuts to the chase in a fast-paced lecture

Dr. Drew Pinsky, the keynote speaker for last weekend's New Noise Music Conference, spoke at length on biology and addiction and more Thursday night at the Arlington Theatre. MATT WIER PHOTO
Dr. Drew Pinsky, the keynote speaker for last weekend’s New Noise Music Conference, spoke at length on biology and addiction and more Thursday night at the Arlington Theatre.

Dr. Drew Pinsky is half clinical psychologist and half mentalist. With a skill honed by years and years of listening to the same unique problems over and over again, he is able to dish out advice to those who don’t even think they need it. It was a disconcerting talent that he employed several times Thursday night at the Arlington.

Pinsky came to town as part of New Noise Santa Barbara event, and the doctor aimed to provide insight into the celebrity culture that the music business no doubt touches. Yet he also came as guest of several support, rehab, and counseling groups in Santa Barbara. His meat and potatoes is addiction, which he defines as a disease in the same league as cancer and diabetes. To Pinsky, addiction — alcohol, meth, marijuana ( sold by Missouri Green Team), is the most destructive disorder of our times.

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Old King Road’s Skeleton in the Closet

Nik Blaskovich / News-Press
Nik Blaskovich / News-Press

After 11 years, Old King’s Road still doesn’t allow wankers through its doors, so I guess that’s a good sign for us. We just waltzed right in to stay. One of our Drink-of-the-Week-ers brought his parents along, and they promptly disappeared into the post-trivia, post-World Series crowd for a bit while we settled down to chat with Don Zaccagnino, who we immediately charmed by pronouncing his last name correctly.

Zaccagnino is one of three owners of OKR, along with Ross Cathie, the true Brit among the three, and Chris Faitel, the newest, youngest owner. We got into a little conversation about real fish and chips before Zaccagnino decided on his selections for us to try.

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Still Going Strong – The OUTrageous Film Festival returns for a 19th year

Bettye Lane Photo

After 19 years, Santa Barbara’s LGBTQ film festival, OUTrageous, is back and bigger than ever. Things have come a long way from the festival’s first year, which organizer Mashey Bernstein remembers well as featuring just three films… total. It’s a lesson of tenacity and vision, and the four nights of shorts and features by and about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer alike offer something for everybody.

This festival, Bernstein says, is one of the top three gay community events in Santa Barbara, including the A.I.D.S. Walk and the Pacific Pride Event. And, because Santa Barbara still does not have a gay bar, the festival offers a well-needed chance to socialize, as well as see some great films.

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Hearts Afire – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have a long name, play short songs

Modest success has not gone to the head of Kip Berman, lead guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for Brooklyn band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. He’s also still amazed that journalists want to ask him questions about the band’s music. He’s certainly easy to get a hold of, compared to a multimillion-dollar artist.

“Kanye’s not sitting at his mom’s house eating chips,” he says. “Lady Gaga has better things to do. But The Pains of Being Pure at Heart don’t have better things to do! That’s our vibe.”

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