Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 3/25/20 – 4/7/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks graphicWe find ourselves in uncharted territory as the Covid-19 pandemic hits home. Many venues initially didn’t take Governor Newsom’s Stay-Home Order too seriously, but once the Ventura County Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Levin, issued our own local emergency order, each venue, one by one, closed their doors and posted on social media they would not be open for business until allowed to do so; and as much as we all would like to think live music is an essential service, alas, by definition, it brings people together in too close proximity to remain safe.

This extraordinary event is disrupting our normal routine and we’re scrambling to figure out how best to endure and stay safe.

Forever the optimist, I still feel for our community; I feel for the musicians who lost all their gigs; I feel for Sheldon Brown, publisher of the Ventura Breeze, as his advertisers have fallen short of covering the cost of production, yet he’s doing everything he can to keep the Breeze alive; I feel for all the small business owners forced to close their doors (hopefully just temporarily); I feel for the grocery workers who have to constantly restock (and deal with cranky customers) as certain people feel compelled to overbuy; I feel for first responders forever on standby, ready to serve; I feel for parents with children unexpectedly at home due to school closures; and I feel for those scared and worried about this pandemic because that is in their nature to do so. The only comfort and advice I can offer is to ask those who are in anguish to take a step back, and really try to realize worrying doesn’t help anyone (especially you and your family), it only adds to the problem. If you can get to that point, then figure out what you can do to better the situation; seriously, do something, anything!

During this time of social distancing, I’ve seen so many resourceful and creative solutions for remaining connected especially using social media, but I’ll be honest, Facebook can be potentially soul damaging when people constantly vent angry political-blaming posts, but I want you to remember that you have the power to “hide” those posts, even “unfollow” and “delete” friends and in extreme situations, “block” individuals who chronically share mind-numbing snarky remarks, false information and diatribe. What’s left are pictures of pets, children running amok, creative suggestions to try at home, groups forming to support each other (one is a bartering group here in Ventura) and of course all our beautiful musicians providing live online concerts using social media (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, even

I was concerned for a day, maybe two, on how to move forward with supporting Ventura’s music scene on my website, but once I saw musicians and singer/songwriters inviting fans to view their home concerts, I knew I could help promote and list those events instead of venue calendars. And because I’m also a website designer, I created a page where you can view that video after the performance is over on the VenturaRocks Artist page. And just so you know, many of the performers also provide a way to make a donation, a tip jar if you will, so you can help these artists who lost all their gigs for the time being.

I’ll be honest (with a Cheshire smile), it’s a little mini vacation for me not having to research where all the live music is and compiling a calendar (both for the Breeze and Here’s a little insight on where I get my information: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, messenger, text messages, phone calls and venue websites, not to mention the occasional flyer I’ll spot walking around town. What makes it even more challenging is the fact that people will not always list an event in a timely manner, so I have to research several times a week instead of only once, and even then, I can miss a gig by someone who posted the morning of the show. So yeah, I’m decompressing and enjoying cleaning out the junk drawer(s), and spending time with my senior pups.

Gratefully, the Stay Home Order allows us to go to the grocery store and pharmacy, even to a restaurant for take-out or drive-thru, which brings up another point. While we are at home, we can still support local restaurants who are providing delivery services, many of them without delivery fees. For a list of FAQs on what is allowed, go to

As I follow the guidelines of social distancing, I’m loving my community uplifting each other and voicing words of support as I walk my senior dogs down at Pierpont Beach, albeit, at least from a distance of six feet or more. I’m seeing people out enjoying the fresh air, walking their own dogs, biking, jogging and letting their kids out for some much-needed space, which after all, Ventura’s space is one of the most beautiful on the planet.

Please keep in mind, we will get through this quicker if we all adhere to the guidelines here and now.

#TogetherAtHome #StayVenturaStrong #StirCrazy #SupportYourLocalMusican #TheVenturaBreezeRocks #WeCanDoThis #VenturaWillRockAgain

Finally, my sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Jim Salzer as the community grieves at his passing. He was an icon here in town and his impact on the music scene as a concert promoter and record and video store owner will be felt for a very long time.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to For updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 3/11 – 3/24

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Breeze artworkCoronavirus Closures and Postpones are possible starting this week.  Please double check with venue before venturing out.

(The first paragraph here is inserted as they missed the deadline for print publication)

There will be a fundraiser for local musician Robert Ramirez (Medicine Hat) on Saturday, March 13, from 4 – 9 pm at Bombay’s to help Robert with his finances while recuperating after braking his clavicle as a result of a bike accident.  Bands on the bill include Raging Arb and the Redheads, Honeyowl, Guy Martin, Matt Armor, Frank Barajas, Spencer Barantz and more.  Donations accepted at the door and part of the bar’s proceeds as well.  Get out and support!!

If you can not make fundraiser, here is a link to help support: Fundraiser for Robert

It’s not always easy to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day when it falls mid-week as it does this year on a Tuesday, so a lot of the celebrations will take place the weekend before with hardcore Irish venues such as Dargan’s celebrating full throttle on Tuesday anyways. You can expect the obligatory bagpipers and Claddagh Irish dancers throughout the day; I also hear the Ventura City Fire Pipes and Drums will be making their rounds including at stop at Made West Brewing.

Surge Du Monde plays the Red Cove on Saturday, March 14. The band’s genre is “Deep Groove – Old Country – Folk Core” with Austin Wrinkle on drums and percussion (nominated two years for World Percussionist of the Year, Drum! Magazine Drummies Awards), Orest Balaban who toured with the Eels back in the day and Eric Warner who recorded with Jon Swift. Casual Business also plays. The following weekend, Saturday, March 21, Blues Bullet will be joined by Whiskey Dick (Texas), James Hunnicutt (Washington) and the Hajj (Cypress Island).

There will be a hardcore night of Psychobilly/Rawkabilly/Ska with Los Pistoleros out of Reno, Mama’s Hot Sauce out of Palmdale along with locals Double Wide at the Garage on Saturday, March 14.

The Majestic Ventura Theater has a number of concerts over the next couple of weeks including Fitz and the Tantrums on Friday, March 13, the Growlers on Wednesday, March 18, Yachtley Crew on Friday, March 20, and then a tribute to Bob Marley with One Drop Redemption, BombaFiya and After the Smoke on Saturday, March 21.

See Ventura Theater website for cancellations/postponements.

Quick Notes: celebrates its 11th anniversary this month serving Ventura’s music community; Buffalo Trance plays the Saloon on Saturday, March 14 (print version incorrectly has 13th); Social Distortion tribute band, Sick Boy, returns to the Sewer with the Hell Toupees on Friday, March 13; you can dance all night to tech music at the Ventura Beach Club with Club805 on Friday, March 13; mPhaka will be the Winery of Ventura’s band both for their float during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and then again that evening at their venue on Market Street; the Channel Cities Jazz Club presents the Barrelhouse Wailers at the House of Dance on Sunday, March 15; Karyn805 releases her second CD at Winchesters on Friday, March 20; and the Copa Cubana will feature a night of salsa dancing and more when Cuban born Fermin Siforntes Quartet plays on Friday, March 20

So far, no events locally have been cancelled or postposed due to the Coronavirus. I’ve seen concerned raised on social media regarding the Skull & Roses event at the Ventura Fairgrounds over the weekend of April 2 where over a dozen bands play celebrating the music and community of the Grateful Dead. So far everything is a go, but keep your often-washed fingers crossed!

Many events have been cancelled/postponed due to Covid-19, including postponement of Skull & Roses.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to For updated music listings daily, go to