Career-wise, The Upbeat is not exactly in fifth gear on that fast track. The group--eight or 10 guys with 10 years of experience--has two hours of raging ska songs, no tapes, no CDs, no T-shirts, no MTV, no problem.
The members have been playing together since they were all freshmen at Carpinteria High. Their upbeat ska music, powered by a tight horn section, is usually about 70% original and is like the English Beat but with a California punk edge. Dancers love this band.
With so many band members having different work schedules, The Upbeat only plays once or twice a month, and generally packs any venue in Santa Barbara.
* The Upbeat at Back Stage, 9 p.m. tonight, 18 E. Ortega St., Santa Barbara; 730-7383.