Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 10/7 – 10/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

artworkVentura’s music scene is far from rockin’ but at least the process of healing has begun and the County/City is allowing music once again as long as venues follow their strict rules to keep everyone concerned safe. Though I shared it in my last column, it bears repeating what is allowed, “Live solo or duet (from same household) singers/musicians can perform outdoors at restaurants, bars, or wineries. The soloist/duet must stay at least 20 feet away from patrons and not amplify the music to the point where people have to lean in to be heard. The live music cannot cause people to gather. It should be for the benefit of the business patrons who are already seated and not to attract people to gather around the performers and/or stage. All other local and state guidance must be followed.”

Stepping up to the plate to date here in town are Leashless Brewing, Winchesters, Bombay Bar and Grill, the Winery and Copa Cubana. I’m as diligent, if not more than most, when it comes to taking the virus seriously. I hope all venues will heed the rules and ensure there is space between the musician (s) and the patrons. Not all venues have the luxury of the extra space needed, which is sad, but at least we’re on the road now to heading back to more live music.

Just added to Concerts in Your Car (CIYC) at the fairgrounds here in Ventura is the band 311 which pretty much defies being pigeon-holed into one genre. Hip hop, rock, reggae, funk, in a nutshell? Flat out danceable fun. The band is playing two shows on Saturday, November 14. The other two venues for CIYC have ramped up and I’m happy to report that all bands playing in Arizona or San Diego have or will be playing here locally.

New music on the scene includes Star Goes Nova, a project by my good friend Christine Law who is known as a bassist supporting such acts as hard rockers, Tantrum back in the day, and her husband’s band, Charles Law & Jagged and Suzanne Paris. She calls it melodic bass and dubstep cinemata EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and she sent me the single, “The Apprentice.” Another good friend has been hard at work producing music on her own for the first time, Sally Williams of the Swilly’s and she worked with Doug Pettibone and Taras Prodaniuk; she sent me her single called “Suffering.” And finally, Bill Rotella is about to release a new album next month called Smoke and the Earthtones, he sent me a single off of it called, “The Other Side.” I’m super excited to share all three songs on the Pam Baumgardner Music hour (episode 119) which airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 and Sundays at noon, and will run 10/6 – 10/18 at 104.1 FM, KPPQ-LP out of Caps Media.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows (online or live) you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

(post deadline: RIP Eddie Van Halen, you changed Rock ‘n’ Roll forever and took it to the next step.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 6/3/20 – 6/16/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Breeze artwork

VENTURA MUSIC FESTIVAL

It’s official, the Ventura Music Festival put out a press release which postpones their 26th season scheduled for the last two weekends in July 2020 and it’s been moved to July 2021. The VMF’s chief executive, Susan Scott said, “when the only certainty is uncertainty, creativity and innovation come to the fore along with the necessity to be nimble. Assuming conditions permit 60 or more days’ readiness, we can present 3-4 live, fully staged concerts between Fall 2020 and June 2021, with distanced seating and other measures as required.”

She also said that larger events were on the drawing board that could be staged outdoors. I remember well Ozomotli on the athletic field at Ventura College. It was quite an innovative idea which was well received during the Ventura Music Festival’s 2015 season. There are plenty of locations throughout Ventura County where outdoor concerts could potentially be held.

Oxomatli

Ozomatli played 2015 Ventura Music Festival on the Ventura College athletic field.

MAIN STREET VENTURA EXPERIMENT

The closing of downtown Ventura’s Main Street to through traffic is a green light as the DVP (Downtown Ventura Partners) work with the City and restaurants and merchants to create a safe environment for people to enjoy, but mostly to help kickstart our economy.
The City Council unanimously voted in favor of the emergency ordinance on May 18, 2020, which will close Main Street from Fir to the Mission (or Figueroa Street). If you live close enough, I would encourage you to either walk, ride your bike, or use one of the many rideshare companies, which include our local taxis, Lyft or Uber.

According to the City’s Economic Development Manager, Estelle Bussa, the target date for the closure is on or around June 15th. She also told me that the Ventura Unified School District is able to do a parade graduation for the City’s graduating class of 2020 which will take place on June 13 and 14 which will have an impact to the traffic in downtown.

I also had a great conversation with Julie Henszey from the DVP about the possibility of live music and we were pretty much on the same page where solo or duos could perform for a couple of hours over the weekend which would liven up downtown without encouraging amassing a large group of people dancing in the streets. She’s even thinking of speakers atop buildings along Main so one act could be heard on each block.
By the way, it cracks me up when I hear talk about “repopulating” areas after the quarantine. Seriously, wouldn’t it be more proper to say “reoccupying” an area? We have the people; we don’t need to produce new ones, although it wouldn’t surprise me if we have a baby boom early next year.

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS III

Concerts in your car artworkAs previously reported, CBF Productions (California Beer Festival), will be presenting Concerts in your Car, a drive-in theater type setting for live music using the parking lot at the Ventura County Fairgrounds at Seaside Park. The first live show is marketed to the new grads in the area with SuperDuperKyle performing two nights on Friday, June 12, and Saturday, June 13 (DATE CHANGED AFTER BREEZE PRESS DEADLINE TO JUNE 26 & 27). They have not announced other dates or artists. SuperDuperKyle who is also known as K.i.D. (Kyle is Determined), is a former Ventura High School student himself (Kyle Harvey), who has given back to his school with a sizeable donation to the theater department and who has sold out the Ventura Theater in the past. He is incredibly popular having paved his own road making a mark in the hip-hop community.

As the state relaxes a lot of their stringent guidelines, there are still many obstacles to deal with such as no bathrooms. WHAT??? Please dear God, let the portables be greenlighted! And as much as I love live music, maybe someone could also utilize the same parking lot for actual drive-in movies. I’m about ready to travel an hour or so to catch a movie up in Goleta, or visit friends up near Morro Bay where San Luis Obispo just reopened their Sunset Drive-in theater. And just a small confession, while I do love movies, it’s mostly because I miss my movie theater popcorn!!

NEW MUSIC

New music released during the pandemic includes Dylan Garcia’s Devil’s Playground which dropped Friday, May 29, 2020; some of the music had been kept unpublished as far back as 2009. You can find Dylan’s work on most social media platforms.
The band, earth immigrant has a new EP called Genrefluid where each of the four tunes features a different genre including country, punk, rockabilly and synthpop, and yes, they prefer their band’s name in print to be all lowercase which is not always an easy feat what with autocorrect trying to override one’s poor grammar choices.

All-a-Blur released False Flag, a highly respectable punk entry. The album was engineered, mixed and mastered by Armand John Lizzy at the Captain’s Quarters here in Ventura. You know years ago, punk bands were mostly garage bands who played loud, fast, but mostly, couldn’t quite play their instruments, and NO ONE CARED! These guys know how to; yes, they’re loud; yes, they’re fast; and with a resounding yes, they nail it!

Michael Henszey & David Standridge were inspired by the pandemic and wrote and produced a song called “Take Care of Each Other” which can be found on Bandcamp; they posted on their page, “In the spirt of this song, we are donating your download gift to the World Central Kitchen, who is distributing fresh meals in communities across the US. World Central Kitchen is active in dozens of cities partnering with local restaurants and providing 250,000 fresh meals every day. Founded in 2010 by celebrity chef, Jose Andres, the organization prepared food in Haiti following its devasting earthquake.”
You might remember World Central Kitchen was on the scene here in Ventura making meals for first responders and residents displaced by the Thomas Fire. Over 500 homes burned, no telling how many occupants in each…so a lot of people benefited from this service.

Each one of the artists mentioned here have been played on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour out of the CAPS Media center on KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM. I’ve been producing hour-long shows for the past couple of years with 110 episodes in the can. My show highlights mostly artists out of the 805 (area code) and artists who come to the 805 to play. And while the frequency at 104.1 FM isn’t all that strong (serves most of Ventura if you don’t have a large object like a hill between you and their tower), you can listen online at Capsmedia.org/radio or use the MyTuner app on your smart device.
I will admit not all music I play is professionally produced music, but I believe all artists deserve a spin on the radio from time to time. It’s a mixed bag of tunes ranging from punk to jazz and all points in between and airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. Each show runs two weeks at a time. I hope you tune in sometime, and if you have music you’d like to submit for airplay, just drop me a line at Pam@VenturaRocks.com.

VENUES REOPENING

A couple of venues have taken advantage of the shutdown and have been doing upgrades and remodeling. I’m looking forward to checking out both the Keynote Lounge on the eastside of town as well as Grapes and Hops downtown on Main Street in the near future. Otherwise, most bars and restaurants have been slowly opening up with all the social distancing guidelines in place, and a handful are having live music. The venues already putting out their feelers for booking music include Four Brix Winery for single or duo acoustic sets for weekend afternoons; 1901 Speakeasy in Oxnard is booking solo artists as well as duos for Friday and Saturday evenings; John from Leashless is absolutely onboard for hosting music starting with Saturday afternoons but he is getting his ducks in a row in order to extend out their patio area very soon; JR at Winchesters is holding off for when they can be back at full capacity, but is also entertaining expanding their tables into the street and/or parking lot; and the Winery Ventura has already been hosting a few combos here and there; the latter’s floor plan is quite conducive for social distancing especially when they open up their back doors so people can use the adjacent parking lot where food trucks are available.

And while I don’t have specific artists to report currently for my column, do keep tuned to VenturaRocks.com as I’m able to update the website daily, and my column here in the Breeze is once every two weeks. I will be updating as the information comes in. It is going to take some time before we’re back to hanging out with one another, especially in crowded places like Star Lounge or Bombay’s used to be. Until we have this COVID-19 totally under control, things will look different for the time being. But I’m happy to report it looks like music will continue to be an important aspect to our community. Be patient, do your part, and for God’s sake, wash your hands!

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 5/6/20 – 5/19/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com
Ventura Rocks in the BreezeThe past couple of music scene columns I had interviewed a number of local musicians to see how they were holding up during this COVID-19 self-quarantine, and then somebody suggested I reach out to a couple of the venues, and so I did, but sadly, the response was a little sad, and I will protect those who asked not to participate. They’re just not ready to respond, and who can blame them?

Here’s what I know, there are a couple of venues (who previously hosted live music) that are offering curbside and/or home delivery services (GrubHub, Postmates, DoorDash, etc…) including Peirano’s, Café Fiore, Casa Bella & Prime, the Winery Ventura, Margarita Villa, Topa Mountain Winery, the Shores and now Winchesters on the weekends. Yay!  You’ll find more of them listed on this page. I don’t have to tell you how vital it is right now to support these guys. Gift certificates are helpful too; in fact, I was delighted to be gifted a Peirano’s gift certificate from one of our local musicians. You can support venues and help spread the joy and buy a gift certificate or two to help support our musician friends (I’m fine by the way 😉).


Fresh ProduceHELPING LAID OFF VENUE WORKERS

Many thanks to Kat Merrick and the Local Love Project for spearheading the effort to help Ventura’s food and bar industry employees by enlisting volunteers, and donations and making available weekly produce boxes and more including some household items to those who have been laid off or had their hours cut. If you find you’re in this category, or want to help her efforts, go to the Local Love Project Facebook page for more information and the rules for receiving their weekly care packages.


RADIO

I’ve continued to work on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour for KPPQ-LP which broadcasts out of the CAPS Media Center here in Ventura at 104.1 FM, but I am producing my shows at home and uploading them to the station which then loads each show for airplay (Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm; Sundays at noon). I had to become creative as I don’t have a “home studio” at the ready. Luckily, I am proficient enough with Audacity’s software for compiling the program, but the real problem is with recording me! I don’t have a microphone and hardware to record my intros and such. But I came up with a temporary workable solution, I use my Android phone and record each element, email each individual file to myself, upload it to my computer, then insert it into the program. I haven’t quite worked out the equalization, and sometimes I’m under/over modulated, but it’s not half bad! I am looking to invest in a real microphone soon.


LIVESTREAM

Along with home concerts, a couple of venues are hosting livestream events which is a great way to keep the community involved with their establishment.  Social distancing is practiced, and some of them request a donation to gain access to the livestream. I’ve found several on Facebook including the Ojai Underground Exchange, the Red Piano and Figueroa Mountain both in Santa Barbara. Just some of the artists participating include Shawn Jones, Morganfield Burnett, Cindy Kalmenson, Tommy Marsh with Jim Guston, and Jamie Drake.  One thing I don’t quite get is when I see an invitation to view a livestream of a previously recorded concert.  Wouldn’t that just be a “watch party?”


DRIVE IN CONCERTS

I read a story recently that certain European cities were hosting drive-in concerts. Yay or nay? I’d say Yay if, an only if I could be parked in the first few rows, though I wouldn’t mind being fifty rows back for Rage Against the Machine and maybe Paul McCartney. So I’m just spit-balling here, if Ventura considered such an undertaking, I’m think a makeshift drive-in could be mocked up at the Ventura Fairgrounds parking lot, or maybe the backside of the Pacific View Mall, or where our last drive-in theater was located in the parking lot of Barnes and Nobles.


COVID-19 INSPIRED

Some singer/songwriters are finding inspiration to write new music, others not so much. We all deal with crisis in different ways. Those who are writing have differing viewpoints as well, some write of hope, others write to inspire people to keep their butts at home. I see a lot of musicians are happy to just take time off after a hectic schedule of performing all the time while others fill the void of connecting and sharing in person, they’re now connecting and sharing via a computer screen.


NEW MUSIC

There is a lot of new music out already for 2020. Keep in mind, most people don’t sit down, write music, go to their home studio, hit record and release an album in a month. Most records take some time before they “hit the streets” and not all music comes with a hard copy of a CD these days.  I find it interesting that some artists are going totally digital (saves boatloads of money upfront) while others are releasing their music including a vinyl option, totally old school. New music to report includes Last Rock Empire, Death to the Monkey People; Bill Rotella, River of Smoke; Karen 805’s sophomore effort, 21 in My Heart; Ben Wylen, People Say;  Medicine Hat, Fences; Michael Fitz, Colors in the Wind; Mik Sullivan, Overdramatic; and Dudeo Perez, King of Last Year (produced by Scotty Morris).

If you are interested, these releases are available on most music outlets online, or check the artists’ website or Facebook page. Ventura Rocks is also a great resource for finding artists and their releases at www.VenturaRocks.com/Artists. If their listing has artwork, that’s a link to their music.


Collective Soul VENTURA COUNTY FAIR NO GO

The Ventura County Fair Board voted unanimously on Monday, May 4, to cancel this year’s Ventura County Fair.  They did it with a heavy heart, I know, I listened in on the remote Zoom meeting.  But you know, as difficult as it was for them to come to this decision, it’s the prudent thing to do. It was sad to hear the 4-H Club and supporting members scrambling to figure out how they can still pull something off for their young members; a remote auction online was even suggested.

Every spring I wait patiently for the concert line up to be announced and then just like everyone else, I pick out my favorite bands to not only go and enjoy, but to shoot some pictures for VenturaRocks.com and the Breeze.  Last year’s line up included one of my all-time favorites, Collective Soul, which I managed to weasel my way into the Meet and Greet before the show. I’m truly looking forward to next year’s fair and praying for a vaccine so we can cram ourselves into the mobs of people in front of the stage again.


Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 5/22 – 6/4

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Surf Rodeo has finally announced their headliners for each day! First, it’s The Expendables (reggae) for Saturday, July 13, and then it’s Hepcat (ska and reggae) for Sunday, July 14. Don’t forget that the two-day surf and music festival lands in a new spot this year at the Ventura Pier. JD Drury has always been a strong supporter of local music, case in point, you can catch loads of local bands including Hy Brasil, Stoneflys, Honey Owl and Kings Revenge along with JD’s Raging Arb and the Redheads. There will be 30+ bands along with surf and cornhole competitions, and cowgirl & cowboy bikini contest…hey wait! A cowboy bikini contest? How did I miss this before??? Get tickets and more information at SurfRodeo.org.

The 4th Annual Ojai Blues Fest at Ojai Art Center will be held on Saturday, June 1, with another amazing lineup of blues artists. The doors open at 1 pm with music from Kelly’s Lot, Orphan Jon and the Abandoned, Crooked Eye Tommy, Rae Gordon, Laurie Morvan Band, then a grand finale set featuring an all-star jam. Acoustic sets will be played in between to keep the day moving; tickets available online at OjaiBluesFest.com

Tickets for the Music Under the Stars concert series this summer are available only through Ventura City Hall. Several shows have already sold out, but you can still get tickets for Sound Effect on July 20, Rodeo Drive on July 27, Four Lads from Liverpool on August 3 and Identity Theft on August 10. I’m happy to see people are scooping up tickets, but it’s a little baffling why the City doesn’t set up an online page to purchase tickets; you still have to call to get yours during their regular business hours.

Quick Notes: the May 23 Good Charlotte show has been cancelled at the Ventura Theater; Jon over at Leashless will be hosting the Listening Room Open Mic weekly on Tuesday nights until further notice; Big Adventure has landed a Wednesday night residency at Oak and Main; you can find out what psychedelic jazz funk sounds like when Los Retros and Evolution Burger play Concrete Jungle on Friday, May 24; Ventura College Performing Arts Center hosts El Bracero, a Mariachi opera on Friday May 24; River Ripley, RyMi and the Martians along with Tattered Angels play Namba downtown on Saturday May 25; and Topa Mountain Winery will have live music with Bryan Titus Trio on Memorial Day, Monday, May 24.

The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour returns to KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM after a short hiatus following the passing of my father Gilbert Sanchez. Airdates are Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. You can also listen with the MyTuner app for your phone or online at CapsMedia.org.

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