Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/7/21 – 4/20/21

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

Ventura Rocks artwork

More venues are offering live music complying with all the Covid-19 restrictions in place as we continue to move through the tiers. Of course, you need to do your part as well so we don’t ruin it for everyone…again. Wear your mask, keep socially distanced from others not in your party and don’t be rushing the stage (sort of kidding on that one). So far, I’ve seen the posts/listings for live music here in Ventura at Winchesters, Vaquero y Mar (formerly Hong Kong Inn), Café Fiore, Leashless Brewing, Prime, and Copa Cubana; Camarillo has Camarillo Barrelworks (Flatfish Brewing/Cantara Cellars), Relm Wine Beer Bistro; and Oxnard has the Shores, Surfside Seafood, and 1901 Speakeasy. You can find listings on VenturaRocks.com; I update the website whenever I get wind of any live music. It’s a bit of a crap shoot when certain venues don’t list their events on their website or on social media, but a lot of the bands let me know. When I hear, you hear.

A big congratulations to Shane Alexander for landing a national Chevy commercial featuring one of his songs, “Everything as One.” It’s featured in their Drive Safe campaign which literally gave me the chills watching it knowing how much Shane deserves to have his music featured. Very well done Shane…and Chevy!

Interview with Max Kasch

For this issue, I caught up with Max Kasch out of Ojai. I’ve seen Max perform a number of times which included the first time at Zoey’s One to Watch contest back around 2012. He shared top honors with another local performer Derek Jennings that year. I understand the prize was an opportunity to record an EP in Santa Barbara with famed sessions and touring musician Tariqh Akoni (musical director for Josh Groban) along with a bunch of famous musicians including Doug Pettibone. For a lot of people including myself, Max landed on our radar as a young actor in the 2003 movie “Holes” alongside Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Shia LaBeouf and Tim Blake Nelson. He can also be seen in “Waiting”, “the Greatest Game Ever Played” and “Whiplash” to name just a few. But even with all his acting credits, music is rightfully and thankfully his passion.

photo of Max Kasch

Pam: I understand music is your passion now, and it has been for some time. I believe the first time I saw you was at Zoey’s…many years ago. Where do you typically perform in the 805?

Max Kasch: Well, truth be told, music was always the passion. It sort of took a while to circle back to it being the direction I wanted to move in. I detoured a bit into the acting world by pure chance and really only pursued it to make a living for my family.
I performed anywhere I could, really. Any place that would have me. Rock City in Camarillo, various Farmers and Makers Markets. Zoey’s was really the only place that gave me a consistent stage to work from and I loved their performers and vibe so it sort of became my main focus.

Pam: How did you first develop your songwriting skills, or did it just come naturally for you?

Max: I think it came naturally. Of course, everything needs to be honed and refined, but I like to think of the process as out of my hands really. When you’re really plugged in, writing is like pulling it out of the ether. Sort of like a conduit to some other realm. When it comes like that, it’s incredibly easy.

Pam: Do you collaborate with other artists? If so, who?

Max: I haven’t collaborated extensively as far as writing together with other artists, but Jesse Siebenberg and I work together producing my music like dancers in a tango.

Pam: That’s a great way to describe a working relationship. Did performing in front of an audience come easily with your acting experience? Or did you need to work on your stage presence and interaction with the audience?

Max: I’m still not really sure if having a stage presence was a conscious decision or something I chose to work on. It really wouldn’t matter to me playing for 3 people or 30,000. I’d do the same show either way. When I’m playing live, I suppose if I really feel like I’m doing what I need to do artistically, I feel nothing. Nothing personally, I mean. I’m neither impressing or disappointing myself. my focus is on doing the songs the way they should be done and communicating with the band effectively and hopefully the people watching or listening are feeling the presence through the music.

Pam: Catch me up on all your produced music to date.


Max: Well a few years ago I had an EP produced by Tariqh Akoni up in Santa Barbara. I did a very limited, unmastered run of CD’s for that release. To date I’ve only released one full length album with Jesse Siebenberg producing. We had a tremendous cast of players on that album that breathed some serious fire into my songs. The likes of Joey Waronker and Bob Seibenberg (Jesse’s father and drummer for Supertramp) Dave Palmer, Dave Levita, Austin Beede, Gabe Noel and Danny Wright.
Pam: How has it been this past year working as a singer/songwriter during the pandemic?
Max: To be honest it was the first time in my life I didn’t have to work. I finally found myself with time and a little money to finish this album. I really focused on writing new material and refining my craft and abilities even more. Beyond that, I didn’t do any zoom shows or live streams and it felt great not having any pressure or demand to do that!

photo of Max Kasch

Pam: What are you currently working on?

Max: Well I currently have a self-titled album “Max Kasch” live on all the streaming platforms and for sale on Bandcamp. I also have two follow-up EP’s complete. One is more of a stripped-down sort of lonesome acoustic cowboy [genre] and the other under the working title “Max Trash” which are very aggressive, experimental tracks that represent a whole other side of my musical tastes and expressions. I’m very excited about putting both out before the year’s end. I’ve compiled so much material over the last few years that it seems intuitive now to just keep releasing things.

Pam: What are your short-term goals; and long-term goals?


Max: Short term goals are to keep refining my craft of songwriting and to self record. I finally put a little money behind some gear and being able to record myself whenever, wherever. I think it’ll open up a lot of new ideas I’d like to get out quickly.
Long term I’d like to maybe pay my rent doing this for a living. Beyond that, it’s all sugar on top!

Pam: Any final parting words for our readers?


Max: Please pick up your trash wherever you go. It’s all headed for the Pacific anyway, but its goddamn unsightly.

I love Max’s parting words! You can follow Max on Instagram at maxkaschmusic or find out more about Max on his Bandcamp page: https://maxkasch.bandcamp.com/releases.

We’ve schedule Max to be a guest on an upcoming episode of the VenturaRockSpot which is a monthly interview show where mostly local artists out of the 805 are interviewed and they share some of their music either live, or with pre-recorded videos. You can view all episodes to date at www.VenturaRockSpot.com where you can see bands/artists such as Guy Martin, the Guitar and Whiskey Club, Bone Maggot, Kelly’s Lot, Kyle Smith and more (28 episodes to date).

And don’t forget to tune into the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP out of CAPS Media at 104.1 FM here in Ventura. My show airs Tuesdays at 5 pm with repeats on Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. You can also listen via the MyTuner app on your smart device or online at CapsMedia.org/radio.

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.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 5/24-6/6

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

Are you ready for the Cajun & Blues Festival?  It falls over Memorial Day weekend May 27-28th at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park in Simi Valley. This year’s lineup looks pretty tasty with such notable acts at Doug Kershaw, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, The Yardbirds, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and the Robby Krieger Band as Krieger continues to celebrate 50 years of The Doors music. I’m also looking forward to catching Kelly’s Lot, the 44’s and getting to know all the other acts on the bill.  You can find ticket information at www.SimiCajun.org.

The Ventura County fair has released most of their grandstand concert schedule for this summer’s run.  There will be Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray on Thursday, 8/3; Huey Lewis and the News on Friday, 8/4; KC and the Sunshine Band on Saturday, 8/5; Dia de la Familia concert Sunday afternoon, 8/6; Billy Currington on Monday, 8/7; The Spinners on Tuesday afternoon, 8/8; Shinedown on Wednesday, 8/9; Gabriel Iglesias on Thursday, 8/10; and Wynonna and the Big Noise on Friday, 8/11.

Speaking of music over the summer, several of the Music Under the Stars concerts at the historic Olivas Adobe have and will sell out.  Several bands of note include WhosNext, The Swing Kings, Steely Jam, Celebration of Joni Mitchell, Dead Man’s party, Fantastic Diamond and more. Call the City to order your tickets during regular business hours at (805) 658-4726.

Reggae returns to Café Fiore’s Treehouse on Sunday afternoons with the Babylon Rockers taking the floor on Sunday, May 28. The band tells me they’ll be offering up new takes on some well-known tunes, original reggae music as well as some lesser known gems. Music runs 6-10:30 pm.

Hi Hat Entertainment is bringing back Billy Vera, but this time featuring his full band, Billy Vera and the Beaters on Friday, May 26. Enjoy their popular songs such as “Millie make some chili” and his #1 radio hit song, “At this Moment.”

Quick notes: The Pullmen are heading back to Europe (France and Italy) for another tour this time with only three members; Brothers Fortune is back in the studio working on a couple of songs; The Mighty Cash Cats just released their new CD called “Alaska Boogie”;Donna Lynn Caskey’s CD release party for “The Love Still Shows” will be at NAMBA on Saturday, May 27 and the San Francisco jazz trio, Charged Particles, return to Squashed Grapes Saturday, May 27.

And finally, be sure to tune in for my “mostly local” music show on CAPS Media’s KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM on Tuesdays from 5 -6 pm. I’m having a blast finding local music nuggets to share like vintage music from Ariel to the Missing 23rd, plus I’m getting new music in from the likes of Ozomatli and Big Voodoo Daddy. CAPS hasn’t launched their simulcast on the internet yet, so if you’re local, be sure to tune and support!

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 June 8 – June 21

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“Music and the Arts”
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Good Vibrations: A Harmony of Art & Music at Very Ventura.

Good Vibrations: A Harmony of Art & Music at Very Ventura.

Very Ventura is one of the coolest stores in town featuring local vendors. It’s also where you’ll find the Ventura Rocks Music Listening Station which offers recorded music from local musicians. They have a gorgeous gallery towards the back of the store called Gallery V which will host a new exhibit called “Good Vibrations: A Harmony of Art & Music” on June 18th which will run through July 24. Xavier Montes will perform at the opening reception. I’m especially looking forward to seeing the works from one of my favorite rock photographers, Cliff Montgomery; you might have seen his work up at Bombay’s.

Surf Brewery will be celebrating their 5th anniversary with a party in the parking lot all day long featuring live music including Raging Arb and the Redheads, The Slider, Tom Loughman Band and more. Make your plans to join in the fun on Saturday, June 18; the music runs 2-7 pm. They’ll have several specials and are hoping to raise funds for the Notes for Notes program at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Ventura.

Reggae returns to the Tree House at Café Fiore on Sundays now through Labor Day. Catch bands like the Babylon Rockers, Jahmark & the Soulshakers, and Casey Jones & the Reggae Train. Music kicks off at 6 pm.

Watermark has extended their live music to include Thursday evenings 7-9 pm with more of an easy listening vibe including artists such as Karen Eden, Coso, Jade Hendrix and others.

The Ventura premiere of the Rachel Flowers documentary by Lorenzo DeStefano entitled, “Hearing is Believing” will be shown at the Century Theater on June 9; Rachel will be performing at Squashed Grapes on Saturday, June 18.

And speaking of locally produced documentaries, I caught Rain Perry’s new film, “The Shopkeeper”; it’s an amazing piece of work which gives a better understanding of the struggles musicians face. It’s evolves around the life of music producer Mark Hallman, but covers the more important aspect of the evolving music industry and asks the question, “Everybody can make a record, but nobody can make a living. Is there a problem with that?” The film is an excellent platform for starting that dialogue not only with musicians, but with music lovers and our responsibility when it comes to supporting artists. The film will be available eventually on iTunes and Hulu. You can find a Q&A with Rain Perry at VenturaRocks.com.

And finally, by the time we go to press the next episode of Ventura Rocks at CAPS Media featuring Shaky Feelin’ should be up and available on the Ventura Rocks and CAPS Media You Tube channels. The band was super fun to work with and I think an excellent representation of what Ventura’s music scene is all about.

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

Ventura Music Photos: November 2014

W20 at The Watermark – November 26, 2014
Shawn Jones Roots Trio (Jones, guitar; Christopher Allis, drums; Sam Bolle, bass)
Shawn Jones Roots Trio


Bombay’s – November 26, 2014
Mandex!
Mandex


Amigos – November 26, 2014
Shaky Feelin’


WAV – November 23, 2014
Donna Lynn Caskey

Donna Lynn Caskey


805 Bar & Grilled Cheese – November 23, 2014
Brandon Ragan
Brandon Ragan


Ventura Harbor – Wine, Dine & Jazz – November 23, 2014
Justin Claveria Trio
Justin Claveria


Squashed Grapes – November 19, 2015
Barry Mosley

Barry Mosley Quartet


Bombay Bar and Grill – November 15, 2015
The NaVaNaX
The NaVaNaXAmigo’s – November 15, 2014
Laura Cozzi and Soul Machine
Soul Machine


Cafe Fiore – November 15, 2014
Ricky Coz Band
Ricky Coz Band


Grapes and Hops – November 15, 2014
The Jazz Junkies
The Jazz Junkies


The Tavern – November 14, 2014
Private Island


Squashed Grapes – November 14, 2014
Ventura Jazz Collective
Ventura Jazz Collective


Amigos – November 14, 2014
Michael J and Leticia (MIghty Cash Cats)
Michael J and Leticia


El Rey Cantino – November 14, 2014
Xoco Moraza and Friends
Xoco and Friends


Sans Souci – November 12, 2014
The Miskreants
Miskreants


The Ventura Theater – November 12, 2014
The Misfits
The Misfits


The Winchester Rebels
Winchester Rebels


The Patio – November 8, 2014
C.A.R.L. Fundraiser
Kelly’s Lot
Kelly's Lot

Teresa James
Teresa JamesSteve “Smokey” Hinojosa
Smokey


Bombay Bar and Grill – November 7, 2014
Army of Freshmen
Army of FreshmenArmy of Freshmen
Shane Mac
Shane Mac


Grapes and Hops – November 2, 2014
Shawn Jones
Shawn Jones


Amigos – November 2, 2014
The Tossers
The Tossers Lyla Fronsoe Representing while celebrating her birthday with The Tossers!
Lyla Representing!


Squashed Grapes – November 1, 2014
Paul McCallum and Friends
Paul McCallem