Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 3/1 – 3/14

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Local Music and More!
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

I’m extremely impressed with this year’s lineup for the Ventura Music Festival which includes headliner Michael Feinstein, but I’m really looking forward to catching Perla Batalla’s tribute to Leonard Cohen on Friday, July 21.  Yes, this is advance notice, but hopefully ticket sales will be brisk and I wouldn’t want you to miss out.  Full listings for all events can be found at VenturaMusicFestival.org.

Medicine Hat is off to Austin this month to play at SxSW (3/10 – 3/19).  They’ll be there five days, they’re currently scheduled to play four shows and working on more. In addition to acoustic shows, Medicine Hat will play a couple gigs with a full band, consisting of some of Austin’s finest.

Here’s a couple of one-liner notes of interest: Karen Eden continues her Margarita Mondays at 6 at Amigos; Chris Austin is heading up an open Jam/Mic night at Bombay’s on Wednesdays starting March 1, PA and backline will be provided and I’m told that the jams will be filmed; Yachtley Crew returns to Bombay’s on Saturday March 4; Four Brix Winery will offer live music on the first Friday of the month starting with JJ Frank on March 3; The Ventucky String Band plays every first Thursday of the month at Saloon BBQ including this month on the 2nd; Big Rig Dollhouse returns to Sans Souci on Friday, March 3; you can catch the Dive Bar Messiahs in a new venue for them at the Star Lounge, on Saturday March 4; the Social Distortion show at the Ventura Theater March 7 is sold out, but tickets are still available for the White Buffalo on Friday, March 10; there’s a Rockabilly and Blues fundraiser for El Camino High at the Ventura Beach Club on Friday, March 10; and finally, Plan B’s Second Sunday Supper is back on with Ray Jaurique and the Uptown Brothers on the 12th.

One of Ventura’s most popular bands, Rey Fresco, has new music, three songs produced by Mario C who also worked with The Beastie Boys and Jack Johnson (he’s also won three Latin Grammy awards to date).  I’m loving their new tune “You Were Wrong” which I haven’t gotten out of my head since first playing it, but you know, in Rey Fresco’s case, that’s a good thing.

And speaking of Rey Fresco and bands who record original music, don’t miss my program “The Pam Baumgardner Mostly Local Music Hour” on KPPQ-LP 104.1 FM.  I’m spinning tunes from not only Rey Fresco, but Shawn Jones, Kelly’s Lot, Steve Williams, Bryan Titus, Hot Roux, The Barrelhouse Wailers, The NaVaNaX, Medicine Hat, Charles Law, 50 Sticks of Dynamite, Jerry Breiner, Shaky Feelin’ and more. The station is rebroadcasting the show during the week, but I’m live on Tuesdays 5-6 pm with internet access coming soon. You can also give a listen to the current week’s broadcast on VenturaRocks.com.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Or would you like to submit your music for possible inclusion on my radio show? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s New Year’s resolution time again.  To make promises to better ourselves or to quit doing things that we feel are harmful to us or to others.  This tradition dates back to ancient Babylonia and was first celebrated in March. Then those feisty Romans changed it to January in honor of the God Janus.  He was the patron of arches, doorways, beginnings and endings.  I contacted several locals to see what they are resolved to do and was buoyed by their positive messages and the notion that 2014 is full of promise and inspiration.  We hope you and yours have a very happy New Year!

  • Cheryl HeitmannCHERYL HEITMANN
    Mayor Ventura, CA – “Better time management!”
  • ShelbySHELBY FIGUEROA
    Singer/Songwriter – “Spend more time with friends & family and to take more pictures!!”
  • SHANE ALEXANDER
    Musician/SingerShane Alexander/Songwriter – “I’m a Buddhist so I literally start EVERY day with resolutions – to be the best man I can be, to be the best artist I can be, to develop and maintain a blissful life condition and to keep my home-life balanced and flourishing.”
  • bill locey_100BILL LOCEY
    Music writer Ventura County Star – “I live as if every day is New Year’s Eve, Christmas and my birthday”
  • DOUG PETTIBONE
    Doug PettiboneMusician/Singer/Songwriter John Mayer band – “This year I will try to be the best father, husband, friend I can be.”
  • GUY MARTIN
    Blues/Rock Musicianguy martin_t – “My New Year’s resolution is to write, record and produce a long overdue original album. My last effort was in 2000.  Lots of unfinished music has been written since then!”
  • MB HanrahanMB HANRAHAN
    Artist/Muralist – “Never do something ‘only for the money'”
  • KYLE HUNT
    Musician/Singer/Songwriter – “Aside from the usual resolutions like trying to live Kyle Hunthealthier and get in shape, I’d really like to release the new songs I’ve been working on. I’m looking forward to sharing them with everybody. On top of that I’d like to go see a lot more live shows. I’d like to check out some of the bands I haven’t had a chance to see.”
  • Todd HanniganTODD HANNIGAN
    Musician/Singer/Songwriter/Producer – “No resolution this year.  I usually end up breaking them all year.”
  • MARK MASSON
    Mark MassonMusician Shaky Feelin’ – “My New Year’s resolution is to live everyday to the fullest appreciate all my friends, family and even all of my lovely acquaintances around Ventura. Life is short and we never know when it’s going to be taken away from us. Oh yeah and work out and stay in shape, drink only the best beer and keep on playing my music and rocking hard to pursue my dreams for me and other people who are pushing for me. Basically my resolution is to just try and be a better person.”
  • Jodi FarrellJODI FARRELL
    Music/Voice teacher/Singer -“To thine own self, be true”
  • LISBET FREY
    Owner/Partner Green Art People – “I can tell you this I have Lisbet Freyresolved to have more fun (unrelated to work) and to connect authentically with friends, family and music. I want to be more present and live and make connections out of love, not obligation. I also plan on working on my own music this year and getting back into singing/writing.”
  • Brendan Willing JamesBRENDAN WILLING JAMES
    Musician/Singer/Songwriter Member of Grizfolk- “I resolve to be conversational in Swedish by the end of the year, to meet Steven Colbert, and eat sushi in Japan.”
  • Christina DiazCHRISTINA DIAZ
    Artist/Editor in Chief E-Volved Magazine – “My 2014 resolution is to continue to stay sober (I have a 15+ months) and keep moving forward.”
  • Amanda PeacockAMANDA PEACOCK
    Rock Photographer –“I think my New Year’s resolution is: Less time spent on social media, less time spent in bars (did you know that I don’t even drink?), more time with Family and friends, connecting on a deeper level. The past year has brought me new insight to what matters most.”
  • DiegoDIEGO GAMBA
    Manager Bombay Bar & Grill – “To make downtown (Ventura) safe and thriving and to provide quality local entertainment in a safe and fun environment.”
  • PerlaPERLA BATALLA
    Musician/Singer/Songwriter/Producer – “Every moment counts so I plan to pay close attention and take regular tech breaks for goodness sakes!! And most importantly I plan to continue to love big, always love big!!!”
  • Jim RiceJIM RICE
    Executive Director Bell Arts Factory – “My resolution is to have a new resolution every day …not just once a year….but a lifestyle resolved to simply be… “BETTER”.
  • TOMMY MARSH
    Blues/Rock Musician “My resolutions are many…Tommy MarshLOL, lose some weight… Love my friends and family more apparently and deliberately… To give more of my time and substance or help others find their path or get back onto it… And of course the biggie…To WIN IN MEMPHIS!”
  • John ReeseJONNY REESE
    Owner Amigo’s Surf Cantina  “I am resolving to take better care of myself and the people I love. Be more open to new and different music styles!”
  • Samantha RossSAMANTHA ROSS
    Comedian/Acct Exec VC Reporter – “I’m looking forward to 2014. Although this year was positive creatively, 2013 was challenging professionally. I was afraid of change, but in the end it was the best thing for me. This next year, I’m going to embrace new experiences and focus on a little thing called follow through.”
  • Tom HiltonTOM HILTON
    Radio personality KVTA Tom & Sandy’s 805 – “My New Year’s resolution it’s to lose 10 LBS without cutting down on beer LOL!”
  • pamPAM BAUMGARDNER
    Owner VenturaRocks.com – “My New Year’s resolution is to create and maintain a well organized office. It will help smooth the way for getting more projects done. Oh! and dance more!”
  • POLLY HOGANSON
    Music Advocate and Writer VenturaRocks.com – “Well I hope to travel to where ever Paul McCartney is and enjoy a once in a lifetime live concert.  Pick up an instrument, I think I have time now, and live a simple, healthy life, physically, mentally and spiritually. Here’s to 2014!”

Steve and Polly Hoganson

Christmas with Claud Mann and wife Perla Batalla – Sharing precious time with family is the best gift of all.

I reached out to one of the most talented couples I know for their favorite holiday recipe.  What a pleasant surprise when I was rewarded with this lovely gift.  Their Christmas dish and accompanying story is filled with a long history, a rich family tradition and most of all love.

                   POSOLE DE PERLITA

claud perla evaPosole soup is a one-dish Mexican supper my wife Perla’s family has shared every Christmas as long as anyone can remember. Simultaneously comfort and celebration, the hominy and pork (or even free-range turkey) soup is passed around the table, and each person garnishes a huge bowl of the broth, hominy, and shredded meat in a different way: avocado, shredded cabbage, fresh chiles, radishes, cilantro, onions, chile sauce like creating a beautiful garden in the center of the table, and conversation plays as big a part in the dish as the edible ingredients.

This recipe began with Perla’s grandmother. I suppose anything that comes from a grandmother’s hands is comforting. On our very first date, Perla’s mother and grandmother were making posole soup at her sister’s. It was my first visit there. Her mother is Austrian-Hungarian, but she grew up in Argentina and learned to cook from Perla’s father, who was from Acapulco. Every single Christmas, Perla’s mother would buy a pig’s head from Grand Central Market, the only place that supplied Mexican foods and produce. Back then the reason to cook the head was economical: use every part of the animal. Today it’s more expensive to buy the head than the rest of the pig’s body.

Now when I make the soup I use a pork shoulder, which is called the butt. (The derrière is actually the ham.) And I use pig’­s feet, to replace the flavoring the cartilage from the head would have provided. Unlike other stocks, there’s no mirepoix. Just garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns. Perla’s mom wouldn’t add more than water and salt. Still, this version has met with her approval. The key to a great stock is to keep the water just this side of simmering so the meat doesn’t dry out and the fat isn’t incorporated into the stock. At the family gatherings someone is always famished and goes over to the stove to turn the heat up to a boil and speed things along, but you can’t do that. It’s a long simmer, but as soon as you can pull the bone free, the soup is ready. You pick off the fat, shred the meat from the bone, and serve it in a separate bowl.

I’ve been tempted to use fresh hominy, but Perla is convinced that the real dish needs Mexican white hominy: large, rough kernels straight from the can.

It’s the condiments that reflect the regional aspects of Mexico. Perla insists on the purity of a white broth, while I am of the red school, so I make a red chile puree and leave it on the side as another condiment, which I swirl into the clear stock. We always add Mexican oregano, crushing the leaves between our hands so that the smell is everything. And then tons of lemons; each person squeezes half a lemon into the soup, which turns the broth cloudy. And then we pass around the various condiments. We know some families who offer red cabbage as well. And some who put green apples in the soup. And the only other side dish we serve is fresh tortillas.

For fifteen years I have cooked posole soup for our family at Christmas. So it is a complete meal. And it’s so filling! Partly because you end up eating at least three bowls . . . until you need a nap. Which is a good thing, because by that time someone’s started an argument, so it is a good time to retreat to the couch.

Note: Mexican-style hominy is found in Latin American groceries. Try to purchase half-cooked hominy from a tortilla factory and finish cooking it at home. Alternatively purchase posole from a health food or gourmet store and cook according to the directions, 3 to 5 hours. Fully cooked canned or frozen hominy is available at most grocery stores.

 

POSOLE DE PERLITA Serves 10 to 12

For the soup 3 pounds bone-in pork shoulder butt, cut into 4 pieces 3 pounds pig’s feet, neck bones, or shanks, cut into 2-inch-thick pieces (have the butcher cut these for you) 2 large white onions, quartered 2 whole heads garlic, halved across the middle 1 bay leaf 2 tablespoons sea salt 4 cups fully cooked Mexican hominy (see Note) 1 recipe Ancho Chile Sauce

For garnish, optional Coarsely ground dried red chile Dried Mexican oregano Finely chopped white onion Halved lemons and limes Finely chopped red cabbage Thinly sliced radishes Diced avocado 1 recipe Ancho Chile Sauce

ANCHO CHILE SAUCE

Makes 2½ cups

6 to 8 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed, coarsely torn 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons white vinegar Combine the chiles, 2½ cups water, salt, sugar, and vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in small batches. Strain and pour into a serving bowl.

Claud’s Bio:
Chef de cuisine for Dinner & a Movie, Claud Mann graduated from the California Culinary Academy and cooked his way up and down the West Coast, including stints as executive chef at the five-star Palmilla Hotel in Cabo San Lucas and Nicola restaurant in Los Angeles. His nonprofit endeavors include Project Open Hand and his own guerrilla catering company, Eat the Rich, which simply never made a penny. Claud also co-runs Mechuda Music, an independent record label, with his wife, vocalist Perla Batalla. They live in Ojai, California, with their daughter, Eva, and are breaking ground on a home-style organic restaurant.

Excerpted from Cooking from the Heart, © copyright 2003 by Michael J. Rosen and Share Our Strength, and reprinted by permission of Broadway Books.

Claud Mann  Email:  foodstories@mac.com