Everything You Need to Know About Shabang XI

Fall is upon us, which can only mean three things in SLO: we must all adjust to school once again, pumpkin spice permeates the air, and Shabang is right around the corner. 

Saturday, October 20 marks Shabang XI, the upcoming installment of the biannual tradition. For those of you who don’t know, Shabang is a festival at Laguna Lake that showcases artists, entrepreneurs, and musicians. Walking amongst a crowd of fellow festival-goers while marveling at all the stands selling trinkets and art pieces is an experience in and of itself, but the true draw of the event is the music. 

On September 8, Shabang threw a line-up release party to announce the official Shabang XI line-up. If you missed it, or just want to learn more who’s playing, consider this your introduction to the artists you’ll be seeing and hearing this Shabang.

Sonoda

Sodona lists “Tibetan Singing Bowls, Crystals, [and] Plants” as a few of their inspirations. At first this might raise some questions, but listen to the beginning of their latest album Karaoke Life and the tinkling chimes, echoing notes, and light-as-air singing will bring you straight to the tranquil mountains of Tibet. However, this six person number from LA isn’t limited to ambient music. Lead by singer Lisa Sonoda’s soft, crooning voice, the group also plays indie rock and pop, all held together with the same wistful, dreamy tone. 

Let Sonoda’s music whisk you away through their Bandcamp or Spotify: https://sonoda.bandcamp.com/ https://open.spotify.com/artist/5OcA113uaLxGSU00Nkaaje

Keep up with them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SonodaMusic/

verydeadly

verydeadly is truly prolific for a one-man act, releasing two full albums and three singles in one year. The man behind the act is SLO native Joel Alexander, who backs his falsetto vocals with looping tracks, guitar, piano, and assorted ambient noises. The result is a layered sound that rings familiar with repeated refrains, but carries a hint of strangeness through distortion techniques and nontraditional samples.  

You can listen to verydeadly’s music on his Bandcamp or Spotify: https://verydeadly.bandcamp.com/ https://open.spotify.com/artist/64s7rqVwXDllMUHeaHiD1c

See what he’s up to on his Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/verydeadlymusic/

Depressed Specter

This artist may be the only one at Shabang who will encourage you to “boo” him offstage. Depressed Specter, known by some as the ghost of Jake Schoonmaker, has earned a name for himself not only through his ambient mixes paired with guitar and his reverbed vocals, but also because of his ghostly persona. He often performs on stage from within a tent with a ghost face, engaging the audience between songs with in-character banter. Though the ghost gimmick is often played up for laughs, it’s undeniable that much of his songs carry a solemn, haunting atmosphere on their own. Shabang XI will be the third Shabang he’s haunted, as he’s apparated at Shabang IX and X.

Check out his music on his Bandcamp or Spotify: https://depressedspecter.bandcamp.com/ https://open.spotify.com/artist/3T9wLfUzyC6pYOuhnHfQgB

Follow his adventures through the afterlife on his Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/depressedspecter/

Rowan McGuire

As a SLO native himself, Rowan McGuire is a staple of the San Luis Obispo music scene. Although he only plays acoustic guitar, he spices it up with loop pedals, percussive elements, and complex picking strategies. His unique playing style, paired with his deep voice singing lyrics about growing up, has helped him make a name for himself as a folk artist. He’s no stranger to the Shabang scene either; he’s played at Shabang IV, V, VI, and VIII.

You can listen to Rowan McGuire’s music on his Soundcloud or Spotify: https://soundcloud.com/rowan-mcguire https://open.spotify.com/artist/5ZpahmqOq8WIP5tADcWMXq

Learn more about what he’s been doing on his website or Facebook: https://www.rowanmcguire.com/ https://www.facebook.com/rowansguitar/

.Paperman

Armed with his laptop, Morro Bay native Bryant Keith Bayhan dons a dress shirt, tie, and glitter to become .Paperman, the Central Coast’s glitter wave sensation. His sound doesn’t skimp on the synth or reverb, creating fast and fun dance beats that echo into the night. He sometimes adds his own vocals as well, giving a personal touch to his shoegaze and dream pop numbers. If dancing in a sparkling cloud sounds like a good time to you, be sure to catch him this Shabang. 

Listen to .Paperman’s tunes on his Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/thepaperman

See what he’s up to on Facebook or Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/IAmThePaperman/ https://www.instagram.com/iamthepaperman/

DAISY

The LA-based group DAISY sometimes chooses to play smooth jazz tunes; others it decides to play beachy guitar riffs. What remains consistent across the band’s discography is lead singer Daisy Himmel’s soulful voice, which brings a comforting yet energetic presence to all of DAISY’s songs. Backing her up are fellow band members Alex Kasvikis, James Wolf, Maxx Morando, Roswell, and Jonny Gorgeous. They just released their latest EP, HAVE A SNACK, which contains both slow jazz ballads and quick groovy jams. 

Find DAISY’s music on their Soundcloud or Spotify: https://soundcloud.com/daisytheband https://open.spotify.com/artist/7riIDkMpiCIuZUbLaScpQq

Check in with them on their website or Facebook: http://www.helloimdaisy.com/the-band/ https://www.facebook.com/DAISYTHEBAND/

The Breathing Effect

The Breathing Effect started as a duo in LA, with Eli Goss on vocals, keyboard, and synthesizer and Harry Terrell on drums and bass. Most of their music carries clear jazz influences, but the addition of softly warbling synthesizers and haunting vocals creates an ethereal sound that sets the band apart from other acts. They’ve recently added more members to their group, including keyboardist and synth player Mokichi Kawaguchi and bassist Andy McCauley, to fill out their sound and play on tour. 

Check out The Breathing Effect’s music on their Bandcamp or Spotify: https://thebreathingeffect.bandcamp.com/ https://open.spotify.com/artist/4sfL701NAogwKc7mBMWNsy

See what they’re up to on their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebreathingeffect/

Leven Kali

This Holland-born, Santa Monica-raised singer, songwriter, and producer has been making the rounds around the rap and R&B scene over the past few years. His debut project, 4102, dropped on Soundcloud in 2015 and demonstrated his soothing vocals paired with smooth dance grooves. Since then he’s been featured on a number of other artists’ tracks, including Topaz Jones, Smooth Blaq, and Playboi Carti. He’s released some of his own singles as well, the most recent being “Do U Wrong” from earlier this year. 

You can listen to Leven Kali’s most recent beats on his Soundcloud or Spotify: https://soundcloud.com/levenkali https://open.spotify.com/artist/5YZ5AExR68U3ZblH6HcO6B

To keep up with his goings-on, check out his Facebook or Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/levenkalimusic/ https://www.instagram.com/levenkali/?hl=en

Alongside all these musical acts, Shabang XI will have a second stage to house Funk Safari: A Silent Disco Experience in continuation of their collaboration with Respect the Funk. There, festival patrons are given headphones that play tracks spun by different DJs, allowing each user to pick the jam they wish to dance to. Stay tuned in to Shabang’s Facebook page for updates regarding the DJ line-up. Starting early October, you can also vote on their Facebook for the nonprofit you believe Shabang should donate its proceeds to this year.  As you can see, there’s lots to look forward to this Shabang. So what are you waiting for? Tickets can be bought online for $18, or on the day of the event for $22. For more information, check out Shabang’s website.