Underground music venues plentiful around Santa Barbara

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

NATHAN BARRETT, Channels Staff

For someone just moving to Santa Barbara, or someone trying to find their patch of underground music heaven, I can help you out.

It doesn’t matter what type of music you’re into.

The point is the venue.

The types of venues that are generally associated with underground music are house shows, garages, warehouses, and in Santa Barbara’s case, batting cages with attached taquerias.

The Funzone, really it’s called the Funzone not the funk-zone, is a little garage in the left hand corner of the East Beach Batting Cages and East Beach Taqueria off of Milpas St.

The venue is an all-ages drug and alcohol free space for people looking to experience the music without worrying about all the bad things that can happen at metal shows when the person next to you is blacked out drunk.

The Funzone has shows every week and brings in popular bands in the garage scene like SWMRS and The Aquadolls. They also try hard to bring in a variety of bands and are always welcoming to local artists trying to book a show.

Euphoria, the hookah lounge on East Haley St., is another place for local music lovers to experience good music. They book shows on a less regular schedule than the Funzone and the lineups are usually local.

You do have to be 18 to enter as it’s a hookah lounge, but they don’t usually charge a cover and you can bring your own drinks.

Unfortunately they are closing down by the end of May, but there is still hope that they are going to be opening up a new location.

But what about if you live in Isla Vista?

Most people who don’t live there hold it in contempt, but there is actually a huge underground scene in the small college community, and that stems from house shows.

House shows are the bread and butter of garage music, and Isla Vista usually has at least two a weekend.

The surprising thing is that the music is usually good and not always from Santa Barbara, they’ve hosted underground Buffet Boys rapper Pouya to hardcore surf ska bands from Encinitas.

So get out there, Santa Barbara has a scene and it’s thriving, the Funzone and Euphoria alike are places you can just show up to and have a great time.

In Isla Vista you have to be just a little bit careful.