Isla Vista’s Homes By Day, Venues By Night
by Paige Kline


Calling all awesomeness to the DJ booth!  I’m lookin’ for the hottest chill spots behind the epic late night venues that we often don’t remember in the mornings. Here follows a sampling of Isla Vista’s unique houses by day, venues by night:

Ever notice that multicolored lot with the two-story house, trampoline and chicken coup in the back? That’s the co-ed Biko Co-op on Sueno, named after Steven Biko, an Apartheid fighter in South Africa. This occupancy is known for its tenacious role in activism, including issues from racism to war. Food, as well, plays a vital role in the environmental activism that permeates the Biko residence.

Live here and follow the rules: make environmentally conscious decisions such as separating disposal for compost and non-compost items in the sink, stocking the pantry with all organic goods from the backyard garden, the Isla Vista Co-op and local farmers, and taking turns cooking for 18 inhabitants who all share and gather round the table for a community dinner four nights a week.

The backyard is home to fresh veggies and chickens who are not eaten, but rather cultivated for their protein nutritious eggs. From the gender neutral bathrooms, to the multifunctional garages, its no wonder people are always rolling through.
Guaranteed pleasant shock as you walk down the long corridors. Each wall is a different color, from mint green to bright yellow, sharpied with beautiful imagery and wise quotes. From murals on the ceilings, to art mobiles that dangle down, the house emanates its eccentric flare inside out.

Musicians are more than welcome; the show space in the garage is for touring bands, whether indie rock, punk or experimental. This quarter there are a ton of shows, so be sure to check it out.

The Artshole
This house got its start rather recently when two years ago, art major Rob Grey decided to turn his humble abode into an art exhibition of his work. Surrounded by a polka dotted wooden fence, people would gather in the front yard for a session of spoken word and visual art. The funky pad kept up its hipster vibe after its original creator graduated, thanks to Max, who keeps alive the tradition with all its original paintings in addition to his friends who have contributed and kept the tradition going.

Currently, it has evolved into a self-sustaining, community art space. An impressive series that is worth mentioning is the model of body organs on a pink splattered board.
In the past, bands from all over the world have come to play at this homey venue. Electric shows are performed outside in the front yard, and acoustic shows are held in the art deco-ed living room. Musicians do not go home with empty pockets either. Generally a hat is sent around for donations so that band members are able to walk away with some gratuity.

As this venue’s music scene begins to progress, the Artshole would like to begin focusing on hosting local bands. Max’s parting words for those who are inspired to turn their own homes into an important venue: “If you build it, it will come.”
Marley House

Surely, you’ve all seen it before; it’s the house on DP with the huge painting on Bob Marley superposed on a sun.

Before its current tenants, Isla Vista’s very own hit Reggae band Rebolution used to live there. Just about every weekend, the Marley House promises a party, with bodies piling out into the streets and cops patrolling for debauchery.

Isla Vista’s hottest DJs such as Cam Francisco and DJ Sean Bronze spin on the balcony while Isla Vistans hear it half a block way, as night crawlers dance by. Walk by during a casual weekday and you might hear the melodious call of the saxophone by Gerry, one of the Marley House residents.

This serene sanctuary wins the title for oldest house in Isla Vista, built in 1885.
Currently, occupants are reconciling with their landowner who wants to tear down the property and turn it into something more prosperous like an apartment complex. Many people are fighting to preserve the Rancho tradition. Inhabitants eagerly refer to it as a magical oasis. A fantastical getaway for hippie lovers, one must follow the laughter and duck under the overgrown wildlife to find its hidden location.

The Rancho lot itself has the actual house, with a door that leads to an upstairs loft where bright cartoonish creatures are painted onto the walls. Bamboo and fuchsia flowers surround the backyard, with a gymnast’s trapeze hanging from a tree branch and an upside-down bicycle posted as art in the bushes. A colorful patio area welcomes the onlooker to get comfortable on the copper colored couch.

The inside is remarkably cluttered from floor to ceiling with art that the inhabitants have all painted or glued together. The house is a beautiful representation of art by those who live the experience and surround themselves within. On any given day, one is sure to find people crashing on the couch. Occupants are cleaning up the backyard and adding to their art collection.

Miller House
The Miller House is a four-story house that has been around for 30 years, located on mountain side DP. It used to be called Hotel Del Playa because students came to party there but would get too drunk to leave and end up crashing on one of the many lovebeds.
The setup of the house is unique, with large glass windows that overlook the biggest balcony in all of Isla Vista. The inside bar is made out of a fish tank. Passing by, you’ve probably seen the Miller sign in the upper right corner, or aquamarine colored lights dangling on the left. You may have even seen people relaxing on the balcony staring out into the sunset. Currently, PIKE boys live there and throw parties; though it is not officially considered the frat’s senior house.
At the end of the night, one can count on the Miller House for its reputation in the area with its parties that go on till the break of dawn.