Ventura Music Scene 6/28/23 – 7/11/2023

Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Independence Day falls on a Tuesday this year with live music being offered at several venues including Ojai Valley Brewing with Blues Bullet immediately following the city’s annual parade downtown; Raging Arb and the Redheads along with the return of Jackass will rock Bombay’s during the afternoon (2-5); you’ll find the Corsican Brothers at Winchesters from 6-9; and Los Amigos play Margarita Villa in the Harbor from 7 to 10 pm. If you plan your day just right, you could possibly cover all venues and still see the fireworks show at Ventura College.

Ventura Music Hall artworkVentura Music Hall added a few dates to take note of including this year’s American Idol winner, Iam Tongi on July 22, Then, there’s the Kottonmouth Kings who play August 18, and another show I wouldn’t want you to miss is Henry Rollins on November 7; it’s his “Good to See You,” spoken word tour which is a seated event.

If you’re in the mood for aggressive rock/punk, then you won’t want to miss Nardfest over the weekend of July 7 and 8 at the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme. Both days feature some of the greatest bands coming out of the Nardcore scene with Hirax, Downpresser, Dr. Know, Section H8, False Confession, Total Resistance, Burning Dog, Romper and Boilerman playing on Saturday; then it’s JFA, Stalag 13, Punk Rock Karaoke, Grim, iDecline, Crucial Thought, Char-Man, No Remorse, The Robot Uprising and Indignants on Sunday. This is an all ages show with tickets through EventBrite, or pay no fees at the venue’s box office.

artworkLibbey Bowl concerts over the next two weeks include The Long Run (Eagles tribute) on Friday, June 30, Gin Blossoms on Saturday, July 1, Toad the Wet Sprocket on Wednesday, July 5; Lyle Lovett & his Large Band on Friday July 7, and the Smithereens with Marshall Crenshaw and Dishwalla on Saturday, July 8.

There’s a new music studio called Creativity Through Music at Portside Ventura where they plan to offer ticketed events for a smaller intimate audience. Their first concert on Sunday, July 2 features Nicole Taylor, soprano and Natsha Marin on piano. Songs being performed will by Brahms, Rachmaninov, R. Strauss, Chausson and Hahn. You can find tickets on EventBrite.

Quick Notes: The Brite Room in Camarillo is offering an “adult” open mic on Wednesday, June 28; The Doug Webb Group will perform a special tribute to John Coltrane on Saturday, July 1 at the Grape; Heritage Square Summer Concert Series has the Brandon Ragan Project on Friday, July 7; Music Under the Stars kicks off the summer concert series with British Beat on Saturday, July 8 at the Olivas Adobe; Leashless Brewing celebrates their 6th anniversary with Morie & the Heavy Hitters and Kat Hall on Saturday, July 8; And Tommy Quayle returns for another night of his original music at Namba on Saturday, July 8.

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

Ventura Rocks Music Scene Column 7/27/22 – 8/9/2022

Ventura Music Scene by Pam Baumgardner

The traditional free concert to the community once again opens the Ventura Music Festival (VMF) in Mission Park and this year it features Adaawe. The international women of voice and drum perform a global fusion of African rhythm, thrilling harmony, and world soul to uplift the spirt, celebrate diversity, and unite humanity. Low-back chairs are allowed, but honestly, I’m thinking we’ll be up and dancing for most of their performance which starts at 5:30 pm. Why not make it a family event and bring a blanket, picnic dinner while enjoying the sounds of Adaawe.

Following the Wednesday free performance, there will be six ticketed VMF performances held at the Ventura College Performing Arts Theater over the next two weekends featuring We Banjo 3, Django Festival Allstars, Sean Chen, the Moanin’ Frogs, Veronica Swift and The Crossing. To secure tickets, go to

The Ventura County Fair returns this summer with a fine line up of musical entertainment both on the Station Stage featuring local artists, and the Grandstand Stage featuring national touring acts. It’s such a treat knowing all shows are included in the price of admission.

fair graphicBy the way, did you know the fair is free for those five and younger and for those 100 or older? For the rest of us, it’s only $15 for adults; $10 kids 6-12; seniors 65 and older $10. Check out for the Station Stage lineup.

Here is the Grandstand Stage list of acts:
Wednesday, 8/3: Martina McBride
Thursday, 8/4: KC & the Sunshine Band
Friday, 8/5: The All-American Rejects
Saturday, 8/6: Blue Oyster Cult
Sunday, 8/7: Dia de la Familia concert
Monday, 8/8: The Beach Boys
Tuesday, 8/9: Clay Walker
Wednesday, 8/10: Cheap Trick

New shows added for the Majestic Ventura Theater include Marcus Mumford and Danielle Ponder on Tuesday, October 4, GWAR on Saturday, October 8; Black Flag on Saturday, October 29, Gogol Bordello on Saturday, November 5, and Tegan and Sara on Friday, November 11.

The Hueneme Beach Festival falls over the last weekend of August (27- 28; 11 – 7 pm) with free admission. Do note that parking is $10 but BikeVentura will be hosting a free bike valet, so if you can, ride your bike there. There will be music on two stages featuring New Orleans Suspects, Twisted Gypsy, Taylor Sackson, CRV, Marachi Camarillo, Oliva Willhite, and Morie & the Heavy Hitters on Saturday. And then on Sunday, it’s Nth Power, Beebs & Money Makers, the Phantom Blues Band, Sade, the Hand me Down Band, Juano & Friends, and the Cousins.

Spencer Mackenzie Throwdown Cornhole Festival will be held at Surfer’s Point Live (Ventura Fairgrounds parking lot) over the last weekend of August. The acts scheduled to perform this year are Sunny Ledfurd, Mandex, A.D.D., Rey Fresco and Morie & the Heavy Hitters. This is a ticketed event at $25 a day, or $40 for 3-day pass.

new west symphony The New West Symphony announced their 2022/2023 Masterpiece Series Season recently where performances will be held Saturday evenings at the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center and with Sunday matinees in Camarillo at the Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center. It all kicks off with their Winter Spectacular starring Sam Harris in December 2022 and will run through next November 2023 with a production of “Beethoven to Brubeck.” You can download their brochure at

If you enjoy the punk end of the music spectrum, then you won’t want to miss NardFest on August 6, at the Oceanview Pavilion Performing Arts Theater in Port Hueneme. Bands on the bill include Head Heat, Ill Repute, Stalag 13, Dr. Know, False Confession, iDecline, Civil Conflict, Romper and Boilerman. The event runs 3 – 11 pm; tickets are only $20.

Grateful Shred artworkThe Ojai Valley Land Conservancy benefit concert runs two days July 30-31 from 2-9 pm at the Libbey Bowl featuring Grateful Shred headlining both days. Leading up to the main act: Saturday, Cayucas, Gifted & Blessed, Chuck & Luisa, Barbarelle and on Sunday, Nate Mercereau, Carlos Nino, Dan Horne, Service Human, Shelley Burgon, Melody Bird and Barbarelle. Ticket information can be found at

Quick Notes: Vincenzo Giammanco, CEO and founder of Boots and Brews confirmed there will in fact be two Boots and Brews for Ventura this year with Cole Swindell on August 20 and Tim McGraw on October 14 (tickets for both are on sale at; Tony’s Pizzaria continues with the Thursday free reggae shows with Morie & the Heavy Hitters on Thursday, July 28; Myst plays the Heritage Square Summer Concert Series on Friday, July 29 and it’s Soul Machine on Friday, August 5; Jerry’s Middle Finger plays the Ventura Music Hall on Friday, July 19; Hip Hop Mindset at the Oceanview Pavilion Performing Arts Theater on Saturday, July 30; Pedals & Pints Brewing Company and Tarantula Hill Brewing Company in Thousand Oaks are presenting the inaugural Down the Rabbit Hole Festival of Music and Beer on Saturday, July 30; Donna Lynn Caskey will open for the Dennis and Laura Show at Namba on Saturday, July 30; Poseidon Brewing will be celebrating their 8th anniversary over the weekend of 8/12-8/14; it’s Third Eye Blind at the Ventura Theater on Saturday, August 6; and finally, the Oxnard Salsa Festival is postponed for yet another year (fingers crossed for 2023).

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

Nardfest 2014

Celebrating 36 years of punk rock music in Ventura County

Nardfest is returning to the Ventura Theater on Saturday, August 16, 2014, for the second summer in a row.  Tickets available at and at Salzer’s Records in Ventura.

Here’s the lowdown on the schedule and bands:

3:00pm – Doors
3:30pm – Big Bob’s Wedding. Live on stage!
4:15pm – Boxheads (Tribute to RKL and Rat Pack)
5:00pm – The Last Priority
5:45pm – Circle One
6:30pm – Burning Dog
7:15pm – Agression
8:00pm – False Confession
8:45pm – Stalag 13
9:40pm – In Control
10:35pm – Ill Repute (What Happens Next 30th Anniversary)

The Bands


Hometown favorites Ill Repute are slated to headline this year’s Nardfest. An American hardcore punk band from Oxnard, California, formed in 1981, they are noted for popularizing the “Nardcore” sound in the mid-1980s hardcore punk scene. With countless great albums released on Mystic and Dr. Strange Records, as well as their breakout single “Clean Cut American Kid” featured on Rodney on the Roq III, IR has become widely known as the ambassadors of Nardcore.
They are still performing today with three original founding members, Jim Callahan, John Phaneuf and Tony Cortez. Their drummer Chuck Shultz has been with them for over nine years.
On this special occasion, the band will be performing
 their classic 1984 full length album What Happens Next in its entirety to commemorate the 30th anniversary. This is a must see!


Reuniting exclusively for Nardfest, In Control took the scene by storm in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Taking their name from the iconic Stalag 13 record of the same name, IC carried the torch as the number one hardcore band to come out of the Nardcore scene, ushering in a new era. Gaining the attention of Indecision Records, the band went on to release a slew of 7” EPs, and more importantly their two juggernaut LPs The Truth Hurts, and Another Year. Multiple national tours and a grinding recording schedule brought the band to a halt in 2004. The band had said everything they wanted to say and it was time to hang it up. Many fans have been waiting for a proper IC reunion. Very pleased to say that day is upon us!


Stalag 13 is a punk-hardcore straight edge band formed in 1980 in Oxnard, California. In 1983, the band recorded their first demo entitled simply Stalag 13, followed by the next year’s In Control on the label Upstart Records (later reissued by Dr. Strange Records). The group performed various concerts with Circle Jerks, Vandals, and Social Distortion to name a few. Gaining national and even world wide recognition, they have always been revered as one of the big 4 (Ill Repute, Stalag 13, Agression, and Dr. Know) to come out of Ventura County. Following the departure of original singer Ron Baird, new vocalist and scene legend John Crerar (The Missing 23rd, Stop Breathing, T.F.W.) is now fronting the band and has added a whole new spark to the Stalag legacy.


False Confession was a hardcore punk band in the early 1980s that emerged in the Oxnard, California area. They were among the founders of the “Nardcore” punk movement. Scotty Morris, the second bassist, played on the 1984 Mystic EP. He went on to form the swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy many years later to great success. Harry, the drummer, later joined Stalag 13 and played on the album In Control. He joined The Cramps as Harry Drumdini in 1994, and recorded several albums with them. Fred, the guitarist, later joined Dr. Know in the mid 80s and played on their first album Plug In Jesus. Israel, Harry, and Fred from the original lineup are currently joined by Ismael Hernandez, formerly from Dr. Know, who is now the lead bassist. They released a 12” LP of their 1983 demo titledOut of the Basement on Queer Pills Records in 2013.


Agression was an American punk band from Silver Strand Beach. One of the founding bands of the Nardcore scene and an early proponent of the skate punk genre, the band fused skate culture with the punk scene in a song about skateboarding (“Intense Energy”) and a Glen E. Friedman photo of Arthur Lake skating a pool on their first and most popular album, Don’t Be Mistaken. Following the deaths of vocalist Mark Hickey and guitarist Henry Knowles, the band had little left to give. Years later many fans still appreciate the music of Agression so much that there has been a resurgence within the band featuring original member Big Bob Clark, and long time drummer Mark Aber Rooney. To top it all off, Big Bob will be getting married on stage in a special ceremony performed by none other than Ill Repute lead vocalist John Phaneuf at this year’s Nardfest!


Burning Dog was a punk band from Oxnard, CA. The band’s roots stem back to 1988 when Dave Bush (bass) asked Joe Rivas (guitar/vocals) to play in his then band, Dignity, after the tragic loss of their singer, John Lowry. That band became Burning Dog with the addition of Jon Winsted (guitar/vocals) and Morie Galeai (drums).  In 1995, the band recorded and released a 7” EP on Edge Records calledPsycho Babble Ology followed a year later by a full length, Last Days.  In 2000, the band released a full length record themselves, OK…But This Time with Feeling.  After the “end” of Burning Dog as a band, each member has kept busy playing music. Dave plays bass in a band called Endless Monster (with Karl Alvarez of the Descendents). Jon enlisted other local musicians and formed Tornado Bait. Joe played guitar in 7DayWar and even spent a few years in Ill Repute, and currently plays in Out of Trust. Morie is one of the lead singers in the local Reggae sensation, Dirty Rice, and also plays bass in Out of Trust. On occasion over the last 14 years, Burning Dog has made special appearance reunions when called upon, usually to benefit a friend in need. Burning Dog is excited about the Nardfest show, with Dave flying out from Colorado and Jon driving down from San Luis Obispo (where he is an acclaimed tattoo artist), joining Joe and Morie one “last time”.


John (“Big John”) Macias of the legendary hardcore band, Circle One, gave his life for punk rock and “The Scene”.  Not only did he give his life, but along with the original line-up of Michael Ituarte, Mike Vallejo, and Bill Ituarte, created some of the baddest and most kickass hardcore music.  They lived the lifestyle and fought the social and political wars that embodied the nation during the Reagan Era. Circle One was very instrumental in getting Ill Repute started as a band. They have had Nardcore ties since the early 80s, performing many legendary shows in the area.
Guitarist, songwriter, and original founding member, Mike Vallejo, has kept the band going with its various line-up changes throughout the band’s 30 years of hardcore punk rock history. He is now recapturing the same force and passionate train-wreck of its beginning stages.
The new line-up marks the return of original songwriter and founding member Michael Ituarte on bass, joined by drummer Nick Manning (Vice Squads), and Jeremy Eagle Perryman on vocals (STD’s), bridging the new by reclaiming old school standards that still feel like a “punch to the face”!


Formed in 1999, The Last Priority brought a new youthful energy to the Nardcore scene.
They were featured on numerous compilation CDs, had three releases on Smash Em Out (The Last Priority EP, Just Us 7″, and the TLP/Cluster Fux 7″ split) as well as their last record,Amerika’s Hijacked, released on Burning Tree Records. The band will be reuniting exclusively for Nardfest, giving their fans reason to celebrate, especially given their previously being banned from the Ventura Theater following the infamous riot in 2002.

BOXHEADS (Tribute to RKL and Rat Pack)

The Boxheads are from Santa Barbara, CA, consisting of ex-members of RKL, Rat Pack, Buck Wild, and Versus The World.  Originally formed in 1983, the band did well playing a lot locally, the members always remaining friends even when they split off into different projects through the years.  The Boxheads were on the back burner for a while, but in 2012 the band reformed with its best lineup ever. This year they will be performing a special set comprised of favorites from RKL and Rat Pack. With the deaths of Jason Sears (RKL vocalist) and Matt Rat (Rat Pack vocalist), this will be a fitting tribute to them, as well as a special treat for the fans.


Clean Cut American Kids: The Story of Ill Repute is True Underground Network’s first biography in the Punk Rock Chronicles series. The Punk Rock Chronicles aims to highlight various punk rock icons, including the legendary band, Ill Repute. Each biography will be packaged with a DVD documentary to complement the story. True Underground Network has joined forces with Canadian Bacon Films and Firehook Entertainment to create a visually appealing and truly engaging book and documentary.  The book and DVD combo will be released at Nardfest on August 16, 2014. For more information, please visit