On the evening of Sunday, February 14th, UCSB’s Queer Art Collective, KCSB-FM 91.9, and La Familia de Colores are excited to present “No Body Holy – A Good Old But New Celebration of Queer Bodies, Outsider, No Bodies, or Just Any Body.”
Punning on the name of the legendary Texas musician Buddy Holly, “No Body Holy” is a Valentine’s Night event that will feature ’50’s-style Rock ‘n’ Roll by garage-punk trio Shannon & the Clams (Oakland, CA); El Vez, The Mexican Elvis (San Diego); and nostalgic folk ‘n’ roll by Oree & the Doo Not Worries (Santa Barbara).
A retro Sock Hop / prom at UCSB’s Robertson Gym, “No Body Holy” will be a crossover event bringing together our local queer community with the broader public. “Do the Twist” and celebrate gender diversity. “No Body Holy” will reclaim the High School Prom experience for those who felt that Prom was not quite for them — the boys who wanted to wear dresses and the girls who wanted to put on suits, and any body else who wanted to wear / be whatever.
The three core members of Shannon and the Clams met in the East Bay in art school and released their debut record in 2009. The group features northern Californian Shannon Shaw playing bass, Oregonian Cody Blanchard on guitar, and central coast-native Nate Mayhem on drums and keys. Shaw and Blanchard interchange lead vocals. Their vintage sound mixes elements of doo-wop, classic R&B, garage psych, and surf music, with a gritty punk energy. Drawing comparisons to Buddy Holly and 1960s girl groups, they describe themselves as “some strange mixture of computer show and country fair…The Last Picture Show and The Decline of Western Civilization.”
Shannon and the Clams’ 2015 album Gone By the Dawn (from Hardly Art Records) was produced by the cult San Francisco musician / producer Sonny Smith (of Sonny and the Sunsets). With this release, their intention was to create a more deeply emotional, raw, and personally-revealing sonic experience. Last March, the visually-arresting trio (who could be cast members in an early John Waters’ film) played an intimate bar in Ventura. To promote the debut of Gone By the Dawn, they graduated to Los Angeles’s El Rey Theater. The album has been praised by the likes of Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, and the group will kick off summer at the Sasquatch! Festival in the Pacific Northwest. Shaw is also a member of the queercore group Hunx and His Punx.
El Vez, “the Mexican Elvis,” is the alter ego of musician Robert Lopez. A loving, humorous, and politically-minded deconstruction of the Elvis impersonator tradition, El Vez is a costumed, multicultural hybrid of Americana and Mexicano. He also pays tribute to other iconic figures, such as: Ritchie Valens, the Beatles, James Brown, T. Rex, Paul Simon, and more. Mixing and remixing music from the last century, El Vez contrasts various genres and styles: five different tunes may find their way into one Elvis song. Examples of his postmodern fusion includes the 1994 album, Graciasland, and the David Bowie tribute “A Lad from Spain.”
For over 25 years, he has released many albums, toured more than a dozen countries, and been covered extensively on TV and in print. Robert Lopez was an original member of the Chula Vista punk-rock band The Zeros (in the late 1970s) and L.A.’s Catholic Discipline. A current side project is a group called the Little Richards. El Vez performs on-stage with his band the Memphis Mariachis and backup singers affectionately referred to as Elvettes.
A Fulbright scholar with a Master of Fine Arts from UC Santa Barbara, Oree Holban, the main curator behind “No Body Holy,” is a multidisciplinary artist, performer, and singer-songwriter from Israel. The retro-themed “folk ’n’ roll” group Oree and the Doo Not Worries includes keyboardist and current UCSB student Gabe Poissant and harpist Simone Salmón (a Santa Barbara native). Their songs focus on the limbo of genders, love relationships, toys for kids who want it all, 1950s Americana, authenticity, celebrity culture, and the “Wholesome Performer.” Holban is interested in the “Middle Way,” which references the open-ended spiritual aspects and potentialities that lie between feminine and masculine energies.
Rob Gym will provide a classic setting for this Valentine’s Day Party, with the added enhancements of decorations and lighting effects, KCSB-DJ sets between live acts, non-alcoholic cocktails (“Shirley Temples”), and cupcakes. Attendees will be asked to remove their shoes, just like during a 1950s sock hop — although sneakers are allowed on the gymnasium floor. This special event is for all free spirits!
No Body Holy’s cosponsors include UCSB’s Associated Students (A.S.) Queer Commission, A.S. Finance & Business Committee, Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music, Department of Feminist Studies’ LGBTQ Studies Minor, Musititlan Entertanment, The Goodland — A Kimpton Hotel, and CBLB (Cook Better Live Better).
Doors open at 7:30, showtime is 8:30pm. Claim free tickets at UCSB’s A.S. Ticket Office or the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (RCSGD). Limit two per person. Make phone reservations by calling the RCSGD at (805) 893-5847: Mondays through Thursdays, 9am-8pm; Fridays from 9am-4pm. Tickets will also be at the door, pending availability. The Will Call deadline before the show is 8pm. The concert is scheduled to be broadcast live on KCSB-FM 91.9 (www.kcsb.org).
UCSB Queer Art Collection, KCSB, & La Familia de Colores present NO BODY HOLY, A Modern ’50s Prom with Shannon & the Clams, El Vez, & Oree & the Doo Not Worries
Sunday, February 14th, Doors: 730pm. Showtime: 830pm
UCSB Robertson Gymnasium
An All-Ages Event; Free Tickets at the A.S. Ticket Office & Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity (805-893-5847)