Commit to Support

I’ve been hosting a one-hour local music show here in Ventura since February this year on the new community access channel, so I’ve been listening to a lot of great recorded music lately, a lot of which never would have gotten any radio airplay and that’s a crying shame.

I know how hard it is to get one’s music on the air.  I use to be a radio program director in the 90s at the launch of alternative rock with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Collective Soul and tons of other great bands coming on the scene but they were backed up by large labels and “independent record promoters” which I consider the bane of radio.  These guys play hardball and get paid big bucks to get artists on radio station playlists. They are relentless. They were the only reason I was okay with leaving the profession. Everything else about radio was pretty freakin’ awesome.

But then the station I worked at didn’t follow the typical radio model.  We were not one of a chain of stations in a market, we weren’t owned by a huge broadcasting company.  In fact, we may have been one of the last “mom and pop” independent radio stations out there, and we rocked.  We rocked because we had a team of employees who loved to come to work, who would just hang out to be a part of it, who were a part of the community and they all had a voice on the direction of the station, and part of that direction was to include local bands…in regular rotation.  It wasn’t a once a week program late Sunday nights, we would rock bands like Raging Arb and the Redheads during the day during the week during “drive times”.

The point is, local music here in Ventura has been rocking for a long time. It’s all fine to try and figure out why we have such a dense population of artists, but who cares as long as we have an abundance of artists who thrive on creating music. Let’s just be thankful that they do. But more importantly than that, they deserve our support, our monetary support.

I’d like to invite you to support our music scene by committing to buying at least one CD a month from local artists. You can find them at one of our local music stores, or go to their websites for information on how to purchase a download, or attend one of the many CD release parties you hear about all the time.  How expensive would that be?  $10-$20 a month?  And don’t be a cheapskate, buy the whole CD.

Trust me when I say, it really will make a difference, just ask any artist who has invested their money, blood, sweat and tears to produce their work.

In this day and age when a certain sector of society (not you, right?) thinks music is all free, and they listen to Spotify and artists get paid for pennies for thousands of spins…Come on.  It really is the least we can do.

Oh!  and listen to my show!!!  KPPQ-LP Ventura, 104.1 FM Tuesdays 5-6 pm. It’s The Pam Baumgardner Mostly Local Music Show.  It’s the easiest way to hear what you want to buy next!

You can always just shoot me an email and I’ll make a recommendation as well.  Pam@VenturaRocks.com

You know I love you, so get to work!

Promoting

promotingLet’s promote your band.  Let’s promote your gig.

In this article I may refer to a band, duo, single artist or event as the “product”.  I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but it is what it is, a product. And if you market it and promote it properly, you will have more of a following, and hopefully, more people at your gigs, because let’s be honest, you’re trying to win people over. You want them to be engaged with what you have to offer. And if you don’t care whether you have an audience or not, then play on the freakin’ street corner and don’t put the venues at risk.

For starters, there are so many different ways to get your product known, now more than ever.  Social media is a must and networking is imperative.  Since the dream of getting picked up by a big label has all but diminished, more artists are garnering “Street teams” to make a grassroots effort to accumulate fans. They’re following the DIY business model as the music industry attempts to reinvent itself.  Yes, there are still Independent Record Promoters out there working artists trying to get them radio airplay, but they cost big bucks. BIG BUCKS. I make no attempt to try to tell artists how to “make it,” I’m just trying to get artists to promote their gigs here in Ventura!  You can use Bandcamp, ArtistData and CDBaby for the bigger picture.  This article is about getting people out to see you and support you in Ventura.

Number one rule, DO NOT depend on one medium, especially if that one medium is a social media choice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).  Most people do not use social media and if they do, they’re not on it 24/7.

On the other side of the coin (and it’s a scary one), there are a handful of people who think Facebook is the internet and it’s the only place they get their information. I’ve met one or two and it’s bizarre.

Be that what it may, Facebook is fun because you get feedback, but Facebook now limits your reach; those who are your friends, or those who have Liked your page don’t always receive your post, and if they do, they’re not on Facebook ALL THE TIME, so they may miss your post. Bands who have used Facebook industriously have discovered that Facebook will warn them that they’ve abused the Events feature when people don’t accept invitations and they’ll blackball them for awhile.

If you do use Facebook, you should have a Band/Artist/Business page, and you should always promote your gigs from that page and not your personal page. I know a lot about Ventura’s music scene and it will still confuse me when a person says “We’re playing tonight at the Sewer!”  My question is , “Who is We?” If you don’t have a Band/Artist or Business page (this goes to you venue owners too), at least spell it out for people who “we” is; name your band or venue.

When you do post a gig on Facebook, take the time when possible to create artwork.  The artwork (poster) should include your name, date, place and time. People love images! And if you do create events, still use artwork so people can share it. I did a quick survey of my posts and found that when I shared a band’s event, it would get about 75 views, but when I posted artwork from that same event, it would garner over 700 views.  Do the math, it’s worth your time to create art.

Also, if you use a photo, do not use a photo from another venue, i.e., a picture taken at Squashed Grapes to promote a gig at The Wine Rack.  It not only confuses people, but let’s face it, it’s kind of rude to the venue you’ll be playing for.  So, do try to get photos at every venue you play for future use.

Twitter is fun because it’s such a challenge to get everything you want to say in 140 characters. But I like it because it forces people to keep their tweets succinct and to the point.  Use artwork here too, and don’t use a link to somewhere else explaining what you’re talking about.  Spell it out on Twitter.  I NEVER EVER click on those links. But again, the bottom line with Twitter (and all social media), people may miss the tweet because they’re not checking it all the time. Use it, but don’t depend on it.

The same goes for Instagram.  People LOVE pictures!  It’s true!  Using Instagram to share Posters of events is a clever way to help get the word out.  But like all the other forms of social media, people may miss it. Oh! And, if you share your Instagram post on Facebook, know that others can not share it for some reason.  You need to post it on Facebook (not share it from Instagram).

Email blasts are a great old school method because they will reach your target audience.  Just be sure you’re doing it right and the layout of your email isn’t all jacked up and oversized.  That’s a quick way to get your email deleted and ignored, especially if you consistently do that.  Also, don’t include too much information in each email.  Keep it to the point.  Triple check your text for typos and grammatical errors. Follow the basics, who, what, where, and how much will it cost. Again, artwork helps.

For the bigger picture, you’ll want to have a website, one that lists out who you are, what you offer and where you will be playing. Yes it’s an investment, but it gives you credibility, and it keeps you connected to your audience. They know where to find you. You can have links there to all your social media pages.

Please list your genre.  Don’t list how it makes people feel, or who your influences have been, list what type of music you provide. Do this on your homepage of your website, the About page of Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter, YouTube, CD Baby, BandCamp. Maybe because I don’t personally produce music I don’t understand why an artist or band doesn’t like to be pigeonholed to a particular genre, but trust me, if you’re trying to win over new fans, people want to know what they’re in store for.  They may or may not want folk, metal, punk or jazz. They just want to know what you have to offer.

Putting up flyers about town is still worthy of your endeavors, especially if you’re promoting an event as oppose to a gig.

And please use fonts people can read! Metal is the worst, punk follows closely behind. If you insist on using unreadable fonts on artwork for social media, then write out the band names on the post itself.

If you have a big event, let all of your local media outlets know!  Write up a quick press release and send it out to The Ventura County Star, the VC Reporter, The Ventura Breeze, and of course VenturaRocks.com.  Many of these resources list a calendar of events for free.  Do the research and find out who to email.

And not to be tooting our own horn, but VenturaRocks.com is an invaluable resource for Ventura’s music scene. We get up to 10,000 page impressions monthly.  These are people who want to know about music in Ventura specifically.  Not LA, not Ojai, not Santa Barbara, just Ventura.

I can’t stress hard enough how frustrating it is to see a gig on Facebook the day of the show that isn’t listed on VenturaRocks.com. I take promoting Ventura’s music scene very seriously.  I get up early every single morning, so I can update the website before I head out to my day job (which I start at 7 am). I’ve been doing this since 2009; I’ve missed updating the website maybe five times, and it was mostly due to technical issues or illness. I’ve never blown it off.

Please let me know when your gigs are and don’t depend on social media. I’m not online all the time!  It may seem that way because I schedule posts in advance, but seriously, I’m away MOST OF THE TIME!!  It really does break my heart to see something that I missed the day of someone’s show and I can’t update VenturaRocks.com because I’m not at my home computer.

Don’t be shy, I want you to reach out to me and tell me your gigs.  I’ve never charged a venue or artist to be listed for gigs in Ventura. I do offer advertising for those who want to stand out more, but to be listed on the calendar, there has never been a charge. I just ask that you give me advance warning when you can, and let me know when your gigs have been cancelled or postponed.

VenturaRocks.com really is a unique resource that I wish bands, artists and all of Ventura’s venues would take advantage of. People swear by it and check it almost daily to make sure they’re not missing anything.

Send your info and updates to Pam@VenturaRocks.com.  It’s helpful if you check our weekly calendar page before you send me information just in case it is already listed:  http://www.venturarocks.com/Listings.

A Call to Venues and Artists

Note to Venues and ArtistsDear Friends,

As most of you know, I use this Facebook page to administer the Ventura Rocks-Website Facebook page and to help promote Ventura’s music scene. And as you probably noticed, the rules on Facebook have evolved over the years and the magic formula for what comes up consistently on the Facebook news feeds turns out to be money, not popularity and I can not afford to pay for ads.

Note to Venues and Artists-bThe truth is, I use social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – to support the website I created in 2009, www.VenturaRocks.com. I update it every single morning and people are encouraged to use it when they go out to see where all the music can be found. It’s a terrific resource! We get over 10,000 hits monthly. Everything you need to follow Ventura’s music scene can be found there. Everything that I know about that is…so here’s the problem:

I still don’t get told who is playing at certain venues. So when I don’t list a venue, it is because they don’t tell me about their music lineup. Trust me, I ask. I ask EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I don’t blackball venues (or artists for that matter). And if I missed an event that I was told about, I promise you this, it was an oversight or mistake.

Here’s the bigger problem. I’m tired after almost seven years of being on alert for changes and updates and being connected on Facebook. I’ve been the only person creating VenturaRocks.com for the past couple of years, and I can’t do it anymore. And just so you know, I’ve gotten info via flyers on street corners, Facebook, Facebook messages, Facebook invites, Twitter, Instagram, word of mouth, venue websites, phone calls, texts… it’s exhausting! I actually have two jobs to do in between VenturaRocks.com. So it is time to organize so I can help more effectively and to try to avoid the exhausion which has attempted to overtake me.

So please, I want to help, but I need your help too. If you are a musician, and especially if you are a venue, please email me your information. I can’t monitor Facebook newsfeeds all day. I will check in a few times a week and if I see a poster for a gig, I will save it and schedule it to be posted (I LOVE THAT SCHEDULING FEATURING by the way!).

I’ve proven that I want to help. I’ve proven that I’m not trying to get money out of venues to advertise. The fact that a couple of venue owners and artists have made donations and bought additional advertising or t-shirts, or comp me a beverage or a meal warms my heart and I truly feel the love and support. Thank you!

I would like to continue to create VenturaRocks.com and all I ask is for music updates and/or changes be sent to me via email. Remember, MOST people are NOT on Facebook!!! And it takes just a few minutes monthly or weekly to send me your calendar.

Thank you,

Pam@VenturaRocks.com

p.s. I do appreciate being told about last minute changes, and if I’m near a computer or have my laptop with me, I will update the website.

p.s.s. I know so many musicians depend on Facebook but I truly encourage you to connect with me via email. That’s insurance I will know about your gig, and I can help promote it and I won’t feel like an idiot when I go out and see you playing somewhere that I didn’t hear about.

What Happened on Facebook??

fb_icon_325x325At the end of March this year, we chose to migrate to a “Business” page as oppose to continue as a “Friend” page on Facebook for a couple reasons.

#1 It’s against the rules to have a business be listed as a “Friend” page. We knew our days could be numbered and we could get taken down, so we bit the bullet and converted our “Friends” to “Likes”.  To be a “Friend” page, you have to be listed as a person.

#2 The cap on “Friends” is 5,000. There is no cap on “Likes.” We had been keeping Friends at 4,999 so people could request to be friends (otherwise you’d get a notice saying we no longer accept friends). When people shut down their page, un-friended us, we un-friended them, or they got blacked-balled, we would add people who were in the queue. We had dozens in the queue at any given time. They’re all Likes now.

Unfortunately, Facebook only shows our posts to a very small minority of people who have Liked us. To increase your chances of having us show up in your news feed, hunt us down, make sure you had Liked us, then continue to click on posts, Like them and comment on them. This is our new page:

https://www.facebook.com/venturarockswebsite.

I know this works, because I was not receiving VenturaRocks Facebook posts on my personal Facebook page News Feed.  Drove me crazy!  I knew I was posting events, but I wasn’t seeing them on my personal page.  Then one day I personally went to https://www.facebook.com/venturarockswebsite from my personal page, and Liked a couple of posts and even wrote a comment and shared a few.  Lo and behold, they now show up more consistently!

So when you see I’ve Liked something, it is for this reason alone:  to ensure I get the posts on my News Feed!

I can reach more people if I pay for it, but that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.  I might collaborate with venues or artists on doing that in the future though.

I hope this explains things and why our postings may have disappeared from your News Feed.

Grrr.

Of course if you’re not on Facebook, nevermind!

A Photographer’s Rights

The photographerOkay, let’s talk about a photographer’s rights.

But before we do, and before we get anybody’s panties in a bunch, I want to put out there first and foremost, SHARE my photos. I have never turned down anyone’s request to use my photos for their own promotion of their band or for their venue or just for fun. NO ONE.

Also, I would like to note that most musicians and venue owners are incredibly sensitive to this issue and go above and beyond the call of duty when using a photo I’ve taken.

So here’s what inspired this post: today while perusing my Facebook News Feed, I spotted one of my photos I had taken over the weekend, but something did not look quite right. The colors were faded and it had been cropped.  Honestly, I can live with that. The faux pas? This individual cropped off my watermark, and they didn’t give a photo credit or a thanks for the photo. THEY CROPPED OFF THE WATERMARK.

I have no doubt that this person had no idea they had offended.  I’m certain that there was no malice in their action.  I’m sure they thought it completely harmless and probably didn’t even realize they had done anything wrong, and for that, I don’t take this personally; but I have had discussion with photographers on this very matter.  Also, I know there are a small handful of musicians who are not clear on who owns the photo of them. So I thought I would take a moment and talk about etiquette and a little bit about copyright laws when it comes to photography.

I’ve seen photographers give long-winded notice that their photos are copyrighted and how you may or may not use their photo and blah blah blah.  Honestly, if I were that worried about people using my photos incorrectly, I would never post them on the internet let alone Facebook!

At first I thought professional photographers shouldn’t even post their photos because there is no way you can police everyone on the internet.  But then I realized that they could use Facebook as a tool to show off what they are capable of creating in the hopes of getting hired someday.  I truly believe that professional photographers deserve to be paid for their art; just as musicians should be compensated for theirs.

I asked a professional photographer friend of mine if this happens to her and she pointed out it happens all the time when people use one of her photos for their profile shot.  I can now hear most people asking themselves, “Holy shit! Have I done that???”

You know I don’t expect to make my living off the photos I take.  I do what I do to help promote Ventura’s music scene. AND, on the very limited occasions I have posted a photo on VenturaRocks.com that was not taken by myself, I first asked for permission, and then I give the photo credit.  The same with my article in The Ventura Breeze.  I basically watermark to further the promotion of Ventura’s music scene. I don’t use my personal name, Pam Baumgardner.

I post photos one of two ways, either directly from my crappy camera phone which I haven’t figured out how to watermark, or I post photos I’ve taken with SLR Canon which I’ve cleaned up and watermarked with “VenturaROCKS.com”.  So it came as a big surprise to me when I saw the photo cropped and no photo credit given.  Couldn’t they have just “shared” it?  That would have shown where they got the photo from.

The bottom line? I am the copyright owner of every picture I take, watermarked or not.


Kodak wrote an article on Copyright Guidelines. I’m going to copy and paste two particular sections:

Who Owns What?

The law says the “author” is the owner of the copyright. The author of a photo or image is usually the person who snapped the shutter or created the image. If you took the photo, you own the copyright. If a professional photographer took the photo for you, then he or she owns the copyright. If that photographer is an employee of a studio or other person in the business of making photos, then his or her employer is considered the author.

Prior to 1978, court cases said a customer who commissioned a photo was the employer of the photographer, so customers could get reprints made without any problem. In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court said that was no longer true. To be an employee, the court said a person would have to be considered an employee under the traditional tests such as are used to impose payroll taxes, social security, and similar laws. That is not the usual customer-photographer relationship.

What Is Copyright?

The U.S. Constitution and the Federal Copyright Act give “copyright” protection to “authors” for their “original works,” such as photographs. Among the protections that copyright owners have are the exclusive rights to:

Make copies of the work
Prepare other works based on the original
Distribute copies of the work to the public by sales, rental, lease, or lending
To publicly perform and display the work.
These rights are protected by laws which provide for damages and criminal penalties for violations. Both the customer and the lab are subject to the law.


The point of this editorial is not to berate offenders of this rule…make that law; the point of this article is to educate.  That is all.

I understand the confusion, after all it’s the person’s image for crying out loud.  I understand why a musician would think they have the right to use that photo, it’s them!!  But the law states the photographer owns the right to the picture, not the subject, so it’s not only common courtesy to ask for permission to use it for promotional purposes, but it’s actually the law.

Amazing photographer Amanda Peacock

Amazing photographer Amanda Peacock

So to all my photographer buds, I got your back.  And to all my musician friends, I got your back too.  This editorial is to help you better understand the laws on the photographs that are taken of you. I know that you want the promotion that photographers give you. There are quite a number of awesome photographers here in Ventura who help spread the word about your music. I would list them, but I know I would leave someone out by accident.

And as for the legalities of taking pictures?

“Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though it’s technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.” *

Of course I’m not naming names.  I’m not even going to contact the musician who was the catalyst of this piece. If you know who it was, please don’t embarrass them.

I am here to serve this incredible music community.  And again, helping musicians better understand a photographer’s rights, only helps serve them better in the end.

* http://content.photojojo.com/tips/legal-rights-of-photographers/

Ventura Rockin’ It

4th

It’s been a little over five years since I started on this labor of love and I couldn’t be more jazzed about Ventura’s music scene.  People are taking notice and more music lovers are venturing out to test the waters visiting venues who provide live music.

There are supporters who swear by VenturaRocks.com.  They’ve book-marked the website on their home computers and on their mobile devices. They map out what’s up and head out for a fun night on the town.  Honestly that’s the main reason I spend so much time researching and working with venues to get their listings; I too want a one-stop resource live music entertainment guide, at a glance!

VenturaRocks.com was my brainchild and was born out of the desire to help our economy when it took a major hit back in 2009.  I wanted to inspire people to support venues who provide live music.  And while we do list DJs and Karaoke, make no mistake about it, VenturaRocks.com is all about our live music scene.   I continue to keep my promise to never charge the venues and to never charge the artists who play here in Ventura; and just so you know, that promise does not include promoters or special events.  I’ve been working with these folks on “in-kind” trade where I promote them, in exchange for a booth or media mentions. It does not cost them to do this, so I think that’s totally fair for the amount of coverage given them.

It’s been such a pleasure getting to know our venue owners and artists.  The gamut of personalities range from sweethearts to dickheads, but you get that in all sectors of society. I’ve never blackballed any artist or venue, but like I always say, that doesn’t mean I have to “show them the love,” and by that I mean, attending shows, spending my own money, taking photos, checking in on social media, etc…  I’ll be honest, I’ve shed a tear or two by the rudeness thrown my way from time to time; I take note, try not to hold a serious grudge and look at the bigger picture:  Making Ventura ROCK.  But, the temporary set backs in my enthusiasm are gratefully short-lived. There are too many fans of the website, too many awesome artists and venue owners who get it, that I can’t help but continue to create VenturaRocks.com.

For five years we’ve covered all the costs for this operation.  T-shirt sells don’t defray the expense of investing in them mostly because I can’t stand to sell them for more than $10 or $15.  I want them affordable and I want people wearing them!  I’ve started a banner ad program, and I’ve placed a donation button on our homepage.  We’ve started to receive a couple of contributions and for this we are grateful.

I’m super excited about this town and the support for live music.  Riding my bike up our beautiful coast on the 4th of July, I stopped at the Pier for Raging Arb and the Redheads, then continued up on Main Street where the Street Fair was being held.  I stepped in for Shawn Jones at Grapes & Hops and Alan Peterson who was visiting from North Carolina at Saloon BBQ Co.  Families were out, the vibe was amazing, and the artists were inspiring reminding me yet again that Ventura certainly rocks!

Do You Contribute to the Motion?

Rubberneck Lions at The Tavern
Let’s make sure we all understand what it means to contribute to the motion.
First we will define what we mean by contribute. We’ll use the Random House Dictionary definition.

#1. CONTRIBUTE: verb (used with object), con•trib•ut•ed, con•trib•ut•ing.1. To give (money, time, knowledge, assistance, etc.) to a common supply, fund, etc., as for charitable purposes.

And then let’s define what we mean by motion. Merriam-Webster has a great definition.
#1. MOTION: noun 1. an active or functioning state or condition. (set the divorce proceedings in motion)

So now let’s be specific about what kind of motion. With VenturaRocks.com, we focus on Ventura’s music scene; so the motion would be any activity having to do with this subject’s state of existence (our music scene).

THE ARTISTS
1. Create music
2. Play music for others to hear
3. Record music
4. Collaborate with other artists on projects
5. Go out on tour
6. Create videos
7. Promote music

THE VENUES/PROMOTERS
1. Create an environment for people to enjoy music
2. Create music related events
3. Participate in music related events (Ventura Music Week, Fundraisers, etc…)
4. Promote music in their venues (social media, print advertising, radio, etc…)

THE MUSIC APPRECIATOR (or hereafter known as a fan)
1. Goes to venue to hear music
2. Pays entry fee for venue (cover charge or prepaid concert tickets)
3. Buys beverage/food at venue to support their efforts
4. Buys merchandise from artists (CDs, t-shirts, etc…)
5. Tells others about music event
6. Brings others to music events
7. Take photos and share them (websites, social media)
8. Come up with a bright idea to help the music scene like creating a website called VenturaRocks.com

That’s how VenturaRocks.com got started. I know we’re contributing to the motion, but we want you to know that you are too. Can you help more? Do we want a better scene? Every single time someone goes to a venue, or buys a CD, or shares a photo, this all contributes to the motion and keeps our music scene alive. And while we’re at it, every time you LIKE a photo having to do with music on Facebook, or you share it, or comment, that too contributes to the motion. You are furthering the motion. You are doing something to help!

With our talented artists who continue to create new music, and our many venues who appreciate live music and us audience members supporting it, collectively we contribute to the motion and together we make Ventura Rock.

Good Job!

Ventura Rocks

How to Get Listed on VenturaRocks.com

VenturaRocks.com LogoSend me your information – in advance.

We are currently ONLY listing music related gigs for free in Ventura (city of).

We do list artists/musicians/bands who do not reside here, but they DO have to play here.

If it is a special event such as a Festival or fundraiser, send artwork too along with links.

Send information to:  Pam@VenturaRocks.com

We do not charge venues or artists for our listings in Ventura.

For outside Ventura or extra coverage?  Click here for our ad rates.


NEW:  The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour (2017)

I now host a local music show on CAPS Media’s new radio station KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM.  It will be simulcasting on internet radio soon, so we have to abide by strong rules such as never announcing song titles before we play them; only being able to rebroadcast the same show three times a week and only for two weeks; AND I’m not allowed to say VenturaRocks.com on the air. I can not get any benefit from what I do so I can’t promote my website. The first few rules are to protect the artists so people can’t steal music and try to record a song they want.  The last rule is a general Non-profit radio rule.

By the way, if you are covering someone else’s music, you should have permission to do so.  I will be asking.  For that reason, most music will be original work…which is really the point of doing this anyway, right?  Sharing local artist’s talent.

I can live with those rules, I’m sure you can too.  If you’d like to be a part of this venture and would like to submit your music for possibility of getting played, then send a copy to CAPS Media 65 Day Road, Ventura, CA 93003, Attn:  Pam’s Radio Show.

If you want me to have my own personal copy for possible review on the website, then you have to send a separate copy (remember, I can’t get benefit for hosting show) to me.  Please send me an email for information on how to do that Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Please DO NOT try to get me to go to Reverbnation or i-Tunes or Spotify or….

I play artists who live here in Ventura, live nearby, as well as most of Southern California.  I also play artists who have come here to play and maybe a song or two of something I just find interesting. Tune in won’t you?

Right now my show airs Tuesdays 5-6 pm at 104.1 FM.  KPPQ-LP Ventura with rebroadcasts on Friday at 5 and Sunday at noon.


UPDATE ON FACEBOOK PAGE (April 2015):

We chose to migrate to a “Business” page as oppose to continue as a “Friend” page for a couple reasons.
#1 It’s against the rules to be a business as a “Friend” page.  We knew our days could be numbered and we could get taken down, so we bit the bullet and converted our “Friends” to “Likes”.
#2 The cap on “Friends” is 5,000.  There is no cap on “Likes.”  We had been keeping Friends at 4,999 so people could request to be friends (otherwise you’d get a notice saying we no longer accept friends).  When people shut down their page, un-friended us, we un-friended them, or they got blacked-balled, we would add people who were in the queue.  We had dozens in the queue at any given time.  They’re all Likes now.

Unfortunately, Facebook only shows our posts for a very small minority of people who have Liked us. To increase your chances of having us show up in your news feed, hunt us down, make sure you had Liked us, then continue to click on posts, Like them and comment on them.

This is our new page:  https://www.facebook.com/venturarockswebsite.

Rules for Facebook:

Please do not list your gig on a comment for someone else’s gig.  For instance, let’s say we shared an event for the Jazz Punks at Squashed Grapes.  We will remove comments that talk about another gig at the Watermark.  It’s just bad manners. I delete disparaging remarks.  Again, bad manners.

We no longer allow people to post to our timelines.  You can either private message me with the information or send it to pam@venturarocks.com.  But better yet…create an event and invite us.

Every day I check and share invites for music-related events on our timeline.  This is the best way to get your gig shared by us on Facebook.  I also check these weekly for our official website.

While we’re on the subject of invites, be sure to add artwork!  I promise, it will get noticed more by viewers, than those which don’t do anything. And be sure to make your invite Public!  If you don’t, I won’t be able to share it.

This is not a community soundboard. We don’t post drummer needed, or we’re looking to hire a manager, etc…

If you have an editorial or some other content that we find interesting on your timeline, we sometimes ask if we can add it to our website.  We always ask for permission.  If you find we missed something, music-event-wise, PLEASE bring it to our attention!

We don’t blackball events or artists; however, that being said, we DO NOT have to “Show the love” to those with bad manners.  You know who you are. And by “Show the love”, we mean, check in at your shows, post pictures, etc…

We do try to spread the love, so sometimes we don’t check in at venues because we recently did so. It’s not an exact science.

It would be really really helpful if you checked here before sending info for your gig.  We may already know about it:  http://www.venturarocks.com/Listings/index.htm


Music Reviews:
If you have a CD you would like to submit for review, send me an email to pam@Venturarocks.com.  Honestly, don’t expect us to pay for it.  We already go above and beyond the call of duty helping the music scene.  Also, we do not promise to do a review of your material.  If we don’t, that does not mean we did not like it.

So in closing, help us help you.  We want to boom Ventura’s music scene!!!

Ventura Rocks: A Look at 2013

blogsAs we quickly approach 2014, we can’t help but reflect on 2013 and how there have been so many changes for VenturaRocks.com over the past year.  For almost three and a half years we only posted on our website.  We took photos from time to time and did some editorials and stories about Ventura’s music scene, but we mostly were behind the scenes.

franklin

Franklin Murphy

But this past year, we became proactive by going out and introducing ourselves and finding out what is needed and wanted. We meet venue owners, many of which have become great friends.  We’ve gotten to know many of the bands and solo artists listening to their concerns. We attended meetings and council member forums to help keep our finger on the pulse of Ventura’s music scene.

party

Eve, Pam and Staci Brown

We had a party for our four-year anniversary last March at Bombay’s on St Patrick’s day, and although the band nearly ruined it (I’ll tell you about it someday), Diego’s hospitality and all the music lovers who came out enjoying the day and celebrating with us made it quite the event to remember.

Surf Rodeo

JD, Staci & Pam

We had a booth at several of the music festivals and events this past year where we were able to shake hands, kiss babies and sell a VenturaRocks.com t-shirt from time to time. We started with Roadshow Revival’s Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash.  We followed that up with Ventura Music Week, Surf Rodeo, Aloha Festival and Blues at the Beach. We loved meeting new people and telling them all about VenturaRocks.com.

Pam Baumgardner and Eve Mimiaga of Ventura Rocks, with Kat Merrick of Totally Local VC between them.

Pam Baumgardner and Eve Mimiaga of Ventura Rocks, with Kat Merrick of Totally Local VC between them.

Speaking of Ventura Music Week, OMIGOD!  What work, but what fun!!  There were only 6 or 7 of us who met on a handful of occasions, but somehow we managed to pull it off.  We’re so looking forward to this next year’s event!  100 bands – 10 days – 1 city!!

paradeKat Merrick invited us to join her on the Totally Local VC float for a couple of City parades. Loved walking the parade route up and down Main Street while Dan Grimm and Ian McFadyen rocked it on the back of the float.

Immortal TechniqueWe did a number of really interesting interviews with not only local artists, but with national touring acts and posted them:
Immortal Technique
Todd Hannigan
Scotty Morris of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Dean Dinning of Toad the Wet Sprocket
50 Sticks of DynamiteWe also did a number of CD reviews of local artists including reviews for Shawn Jones, Shaky Feelin’, Spencer the Gardener and 50 Sticks of Dynamite.

BluesFestWe got out as often as we could to support local music, taking photos from time to time and participating on helping grow the music scene here.

And sometimes we got a “bee in our bonnet” and we just had something to say so we wrote editorials regarding our music scene.  We wrote about what we feel it means to be an artist, should it be venues vs artists? We talked about the taking and posting of artists photos, and we wrote one called, “A Call to all Artist: What is Your Worth?”.  So, we offered some interesting reading material. guitar Oh! And we can’t forget to acknowledge Charles and Christine Law for giving me my rock ‘n’ roll debut!  I mentioned in passing one day that I always wanted to play a song with other musicians (I’ve just messed around on my acoustic for years), and before I knew it I was playing with the Laws and Tommy Marsh at Bombay’s in front of a live audience.  What a freakin’ rush!!breezeAnd what an honor to be asked to be a writer for the Ventura Breeze!  Sheldon Brown approached me to see if I would be interested on covering Ventura’s music scene.  He didn’t have to ask twice!


And it was a privilege to help on the Heart and Soul benefit for Polly Hoganson of Zoey’s.  With only less than a month to prepare, we helped to pull off the event of the year as the music community came together to help this amazing woman who needed some assistance at a critical time in her life, especially just after she and her husband Steve made the hard decision to close Zoey’s doors. It was truly inspirational to witness the love and support for this woman.

radioWe made our debut appearance on the Tom and Sandy 805 radio show on KVTA, and we even crashed in Spencer in the Morning doing a quickie appearance with Timmy Curran on The Vibe 103.3.  contact_pam-eveBut VenturaRocks.com also lost the help of Eve.  She had ruthlessly hunted down music schedules from our local venues for over four years, a key component to what we do here. She gave ample notice and handed over all her contact information and notes…I know she’s going to miss it.  Okay, maybe not.  It’s hard work!

Polly and PamAnd of course we welcomed Polly Hoganson on board as a guest writer. We’re getting great feedback on her column, Polly Hoganson, MusicMuse and we’re looking forward to hearing from her on a consistent basis.

I had a vision almost five years ago of creating a one-stop music resource for Ventura.  A place to read about the music scene and to find out what the venues have to offer on any given day.

No one asked us to do this. No one hired us to do this. We do this as a labor of love to help our local economy, to help our local venues, but more importantly to help build our music scene.   If the truth be known, it’s our way of giving back to the artists for what they do.  They deserve this kind of support.
VenturaRocks-bannerVenturaRocks.com has been my baby from day one and my vision and this commitment remains steadfast. There are changes still coming, several minor adjustments to be made and some possible expansions on the horizon.

Stay tuned, because Ventura will continue to Rock well into 2014!!!

Happy New Year
and may you flourish and prosper!
Love,
Pam

Ventura Musicians Rock

How serious about music do you have to be to have a band?
How good do you have to be to have a band?
What are your intentions for being in a band?

I have found out that there are a number of music snobs in this community, which is a little embarrassing, and it’s not because this isn’t L.A.,  or New York, or Austin or Seattle, it’s embarrassing because that’s an elitist mentality.   As far as the whole county goes, we have some pretty cool musicians calling this their home. We have Grammy winners, we have dozens of artists who have actually “been to the show” and have toured with national acts and have had hits on the radio, members from  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Todd the Wet Sprocket, Social Distortion, the Foo Fighters, even Chris Cornell lived here for a while.  We have some terrific session musicians and producers who have worked on world-renowned projects and consistently work on scores for movies and television.   So we do have some real talent here.  But that isn’t the point.

We also happen to have some mediocre artists who dream of making the big time, and we have some mediocre artists who are content for playing gigs from time to time.  And we have some artists who if we’re being completely honest, aren’t so good, but have a dream of playing music – and if there is an audience who appreciates them, then why tear them down?

And as far as one’s intentions go, if you’re in a band to get laid, or to receive gratification or validation, or if you honestly want to make an impact on others’ lives, it really doesn’t matter as long as you have an audience who supports you.

I understand there will always be a pecking order of musicians here based on their demand, for all genres of music from punk to jazz. And that demand may be based on their talent, or how much other musicians like playing with them, or how much an audience loves them, but to tear down, or belittle another artist, is just elitist, and pitiful.

And of course if you are a talented musician and know your shit like no one else, it would be expected that you surround yourself with other musicians of your caliber.  I’ve seen the best of and the worst of bands here in town.  As the saying goes, “There’s no accounting for taste” and the proof always comes out in the pudding. Do you have an audience, or don’t you?

And please, we know some of you are more educated about music.  Congratulations. That doesn’t make you a better person.  Contributing and making a difference makes you a better person.

So if you’re in a band or playing as a solo artist and you make someone smile and make their day just a little better, then that my friend is the bottom line and to you I say you freakin’ rock.