Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 3/19/14 – 4/1/14

Ventura Breeze logoVentura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

The music series being proposed up behind City Hall is still a possibility for this year.  If it happens, the promoter will be allowed one season to see how it goes.  Consultants are working on the Draft EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and citizens will be able to weigh in on it soon.  There are strong viewpoints for and against it happening in that location so it will be interesting to see how it unfolds in the near future.

It was pretty cool hearing The Calamity’s new CD, A Ghost of These Moments played live from beginning to end during their CD release party at Bombay’s.  They guys so nailed it. Afterwards I ventured in the backroom for Crazy Rust, a Neil Young tribute band, where lo and behold, Neal Casal had joined in for their second set.

We joined Kat Merrick on her Totally Local VC float for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown Ventura and Dan Grimm was on the float playing live for the crowds.   Dan recently released his latest called Average Savage, and I have to say that Dan continues to grow as a songwriter.  His songs tell stories of love, drama and struggle, some of which are quite personal.  And I’ll be up front and honest, there is nothing sexier than a man who isn’t afraid to show his love for his woman and profess he’ll eat monsters for her.  That’s just feakin’ awesome!  Dan describes his sound as “flip-floppytonk” or “rock ‘n’ roll with a little bit of country” and I can’t disagree.  You should check it out at .

I ran into Trey from Pulse Drumming the other evening and he told me about some drum clinics they have coming up.  The one that caught my attention will be the one with Vinny Appice, and I’m a little upset I never got around to learning the drums because what an opportunity to sit in with one of the masters!  Appice, who has played with Dio, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Derringer and Axis (I still have the vinyl for that one), will be here in town on Saturday, May 17.  The clinic is offered to all ages and abilities. Call Pulse Drumming for more info (805) 648-3786.

I already have my tickets for two upcoming shows at Squashed Grapes.  First it’s Karl Hunter of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy returning for a show on March 22, and then it’s The Jazz Punks on the 28th.  The Grape has really been pulling in some terrific acts helping to establish them even more as the Jazz place to be Wednesday through Sundays.  Call for ticket availability at (805) 643-7300.

And finally, shows to watch out for at the Majestic Ventura Theater include Cage the Elephant, Pet Shop Boys and Ellie Goulding, more information can be found at

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing?  Send all information short or long to

Ventura Rocks in Ventura Breeze – 11/13/13 – 11/26/13

The Music Scene
Around Town
by Pam Baumgardner

Sunday afternoons at the Ventura Harbor just got better for the month of November with “Wine, Dine and Jazz”. Every Sunday, noon to 3:00, live jazz can be heard on the Village Carousel Stage. Participating venues will offer up wine and food specials while patrons get to enjoy jazz out on the grass. Still to come are the Toni Jannotta Jazz Duo on 11/17, and Justin Claveria Jazz Trio on 11/24.

Rockabilly legend, Wanda Jackson, and a psychobilly band from Denmark, Nekormantix, hit the Majestic Ventura Theater on November 24 with local bands supporting the bill including Hard Six who have been called, “the ultimate party band” by members of the Dead Kennedys and have collectively opened for such acts as The Black Eyed Peas, Sponge and Veruca Salt. Also supporting the bill are Radio Threat, The Graveyard Kings and The Cursed Bastards.

After their amazing debut performance at Squashed Grapes, Jazz Punks will be returning to Ventura for a show at Amigos on Friday, November 15. You got to trust me on this, they are off the hook!!! Don’t miss it. And as always, no cover at Amigos on Main, but you’ll want to bring some extra cash for dinner/drinks and to get your own Jazz Punks CD and t-shirt.

The 13th annual 4Kids2Kids Toy Run and BBQ will be held on Nov 23rd at The House of Magic. Grand Marshals are Nick St. Nicolas (Steppenwolf) and Mickey Jones (drummer for Trini Lopez, Johnny Rivers, Dylan). Local musicians will be dropping by all day for Nick St. Nicolas all-star band. See for more information and flyer.

The Winter Wine Walk is one of those annual events where they shut down portions of downtown Ventura and the town really comes out to mingle with family and friends while visiting participating venues. Snow will be falling on Main Street and music will be provided by Orlando Napier, The British Beat Band and The Bomb. This event, December 7, traditionally sells out ahead of time, so don’t miss out!

Local favorites Shaky Feelin’ have released their second CD called “Shaky Feelin’ Live at Green Art People.” If you know and love the band, trust me, this CD captures the band live at their finest. Plus, they’ll make lovely stocking stuffers for Christmas. Just saying.

And finally, even though Zoey’s may have closed their doors, you have to love Steve and Polly for seeing through this year’s Ones to Watch. They put out feelers for a venue to hold this important event and immediately Jim Rice, Executive Director for Bell Arts, stepped up. “I have been a long time fan of Zoey’s and how they really honor musicians,” Rice explained. “When I heard they needed a venue for The Ones to Watch I thought we might provide the same type of atmosphere and attitude towards singer songwriters.” The Ones to Watch will be held at Bell Arts on Saturday, November 23. Finalists are Alicia Murphy, Max Kasch, Mitchell Blake, Derek Jennings, Grace Fellows, Anita Coats, Gabby Sol, and John Ash.

Jazz Punks at Squashed Grapes

The Jazz Punks made their Ventura debut this weekend at Squashed Grapes.
May I just say, OMIGOD!!!  These guys were off the hook!!  Melding traditional jazz with rock/punk favorites.  We’re talking the Clash, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin melded with jazz standards like Take Five, Take the “A” Train and No Blues.   UNFREAKIN’ BELIEVABLE!!!   Do not miss them the next time they roll through town!
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