Traditionally, December and January are the slowest months, rock 'n' roll wise. There are fewer concerts, fewer albums released, and even the local bands seem to be cutting back. Don't expect to see Raging Arb & the Redheads for awhile. Guitarist Toby Emery broke his leg surfing. Don't expect to see local pop rockers Durango 95 for a while--they're still looking for a bass player. Don't expect to see bluesy/Nu wavy rockers Ariel for awhile--they're in the studio recording and hoping to get signed. And so far, there's no Mudheads, Something For Nothing or I-Rails gigs booked. Michael On Fire will soon be going on tour clear to Wyoming and places even worse than that.
Rock 'n' roll is equally scarce in Santa Barbara this time of year as the scene is tied to the school year. UC Santa Barbara won't be booking any shows until later this month. Even Leo Downey, the man who seemingly plays every night, is taking January off to go to Mammoth.
* Expression (Charlie's, 362 California St., Ventura, 648-6688) Hard-edged, intense rock 'n' roll that's short on humor but long on passion.
* One Love Vibration (Long Bar, 111 State St., Santa Barbara, 564-1215) Industrial, up-tempo roots rock reggae done by a quartet of pros.