One of my favorite things about UCSB is its diverse student body – no matter what you expect of your typical Gaucho, you don’t have to look far to find someone who looks, speaks, thinks, and acts entirely differently. And one of the easiest ways to notice the wide range of interests and tastes of UCSB students is through the music Gauchos listen to.
Tastes really do vary – I have one roommate who loves rap, hip-hip, and soul, and another who is the biggest country music fan I’ve ever met. One of my roommates and I listen to pop whenever we’re down to get motivated, while my other roommate can’t stand it and refuses to even turn on the radio. I’m sure the same is true for most colleges – music preferences are pretty specific to the person, especially today since you can easily find and download tons of music.
But don’t let that fool you – we Gauchos also bond over our shared love for certain artists and musical styles! Stop at any party on a Friday or Saturday night and you’ll probably hear some Dubstep, hip-hop, rap, and/or dance remixes of pop songs. When it comes to going out, UCSB goes for classic throwbacks (think Usher or Lil Jon) and new party hits (I can’t lie, getting ready to Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” is always a good time!). Think loud, fast music with a great beat and catchy lyrics and you’ve basically got the party tunes down.
Since UCSB is near LA and its music industry, most students are really up-to-date on modern music, though that doesn’t mean we just follow the trends. With so many college kids from different areas, you can find new artists or songs you’ve never even heard of before – and since UCSB is so big, you can probably find somebody else who likes them too! My friends and I are big fans of a little-known band named Cherub, an electro-pop duo that is awesome. This October, we actually drove down to LA and spent the night watching Cherub perform at the Roxy, a nightclub in downtown Hollywood that holds max 500 people.
Lo and behold, out of all the possible other people who could’ve shown up to the Roxy, of course it happened to be a party bus straight from UCSB carrying some 150+ Gauchos. There were so many of us that at one point the band even tried to play along to our rally cry of “Ole ole ole!” Instant bonding with other UCSB students, all thanks to a low-key band that we all happened to know and love.
In fact, you don’t have to go far to find great music at UCSB. For those who are 21 and over, downtown obviously has a ton of clubs offering live music and great DJs. Soho Restaurant & Music Club and Velvet Jones both have weekly events featuring local and moderately well-known musicians. For bigger names and tours, check out the concert listings at the Santa Barbara Bowl. But if you’re cheap like me, don’t even bother! UCSB’s Associated Students actually puts together a ton of great and free concerts throughout the year. Directly on campus, there are regular concerts with artists like Schoolboy Q and even music events like hoedown nights (I know this from my country-loving roomie). And then there’s Extravaganza, our biggest event of the year! A free concert held at the end of spring quarter at Harder Stadium, Extravaganza is a UCSB-student-only event whose 2013 lineup included Dada Life and Kendrick Lamar. In order to fit a variety of tastes, UCSB always has a few opening acts (one of which is always a local student band). Basically, if you like music and being opened up to new musical styles, you’ll fit right in at UCSB.