The Music Scene
Stocking Stuffers
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Here we are right smack dab in the middle of the holiday shopping season and of course our favorite go to gift is the gift of music. Two bands who have made us proud over the years have new releases which will look sweet in your favorite person’s Christmas stocking this year.

New ConstellationOur first selection is New Constellation from Toad the Wet Sprocket. You practically couldn’t turn the radio on in the 90s without hearing this rock alternative favorite, so fans
have waited patiently for years for something new. After breaking up, then getting back together, touring on and off for quite some time, Toad too knew it was time. With 11 new
songs and 4 bonus tracks (various songs from the band’s side projects reworked), I can’t imagine one single Toad fan being disappointed. Toad member, Dean Dinning who calls Ventura home told us, “You know you look at the album New Constellation as kind of a best of everything that we’ve all been doing for the last 16 years I suppose, and us throwing it all in there and making a Toad record out of it.” I told Dinning I had been listening to the new album and that it was full of crazy good harmonies and hooks up the wazoo to which he replied, “Thank you! That was the idea to have really strong  songs with sing along choruses and stronger individual identities and hopefully it wouldn’t just all blend together. We wanted something that would get people’s  attention.”    Mission Accomplished.

Big Bad Voodoo DaddyAnd secondly, we go to Ventura’s very own, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD) who has released their second Christmas album, It Feels Like Christmas Time. We caught up with Scotty Morris, frontman for the band, and asked why a second Christmas record? He told us, “After the first Christmas album was released, we started touring behind it with our Wild and Swingin Christmas Party and the tour just started to build a really large fan base. Every year it just kept getting bigger and more fun. So after ten years we felt it was time for a facelift.” The record is everything you’ve come to know and love about BBVD and each and every song will put you into the “swing” of the holiday season. Asking for a little insight into the record, Scotty divulged, “All but one song is a remake, the title track It Feels Like Christmas Time it’s the only original tune on the record and probably one of my favorite tunes I have written to date” which you know, is saying something special!

And finally, you’ll want to check out Polly Hoganson the MusicMuse and her top ten picks for local music for Christmas including CDs from Shane Alexander, the White Buffalo and the Milk Carton Kids. Check out Polly’s new column, along with complete interviews with Dean Dinning of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Scotty Morris of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at www.VenturaRocks.com.