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Results tagged “rock” from Rockin' Roll Call

Midnight Spin brings back big rock

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No soulful ballads on the debut from Midnight Spin, and that would be "Don't Let Me Sleep" and it's on - wow - self-released Midnight Spin. Big guitar riffs, big voice, big beats - big deal. They used to call this arena rock - I'm getting Journey flashbacks. It's all perfectly produced, competent if uninspired, yet these guy will doubtlessly cause their girlfriends to salivate. The rest of us? Not so sure, and Journey was always a bum trip for me.

What to know about where to go this week

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Wassup 805? Bill Locey here, neither in Studio 805 nor in Camarillo, but still gainfully employed by the Ventura County Star, at least for the next hour or two, kicking it at my house, multi-tasking, writing about rock 'n' roll, watching TCM with the sound off and petting my cat, Nope, who is on my lap and as usual, in the way and doing his fair share as part of the worldwide feline anti-literacy campaign.

If I had a faster car, a richer girlfriend or even one with a job, here's where's I'll be lurking in the back this week, sort of a slow week but with some good stuff - see what you think:

Carl Sonny Leland

OK, tonight, Friday night - it's one of the greatest live bands you'll ever see - that would be my heroes, the Old '97s - they'll be at the El Rey Theatre in Hell-A Friday and Saturday nights. They are worth the drive and once you hear all those great Rhett Miller songs all in a row until the party ending "Time Bomb," you'll be on a music high and then it gets even better - leaving Hell-A. Also Friday, it's reggae with the very busy Urban Dread at Padri's Martini Bar in Agoura, while up here in the 805 where we like it, the Corsican Brothers will play some great pop rock at Margarita Villa down in the Ventura Harbor. And over at the Keynote Lounge in East Ventura, it's about as close as it's gonna get to seeing Raging Arb & the Redheads - most of 'em are in the Privateers, they'll play some bluesy cowpunk and generally make you drink more beer than you should and Teresa Russell will do her guitar goddess thing at Andy's Savory Cafe in downtown Ventura, and Electricity will get electrical all over the Star Lounge. And finally on a Friday, Carl Sonny Leyland will do his boogie woogie piano thing at Yolie's in West Ventura across from Avenue Von's.

Fish Fry

On Saturday, it's those disappointed yet hopeful Dodger fans in Fish Fry at Blackbeard's BBQ down in the Ventura Harbor. The legendary R&B Bombers will be up all those stairs at the Watermark in Ventura and all those Shoemaker Brothers will be at the Bombay Bar & Grill. There's gonna be a bunch of bands at the Tavern down on Santa Clara - 50 Sticks of Dynamite, the Phantom Pomps and La Vonettes, while next door, it's that singing bovine, the White Buffalo at Zoey's; while up Hwy. 33 to Ojai, it's outdoor blues with Bob Jones and Randy Rich at Los Caporales and up the coast to Santa Barbara to SOhO, it's indie rock faves, Two Gallants.

John Hiatt

On Sunday, there's a community supported benefit at the Bible Fellowship Church in Ventura with a carnival and music all day, highlighted by performances by a pair on the rise - Dominic Galli and Britney Christian - it's all to raise money for 8-year-old cancer patient Daisy Love Merrick. Frank Barajas will do his usual one man pop rock gig at Tutti's in Ventura, also on Sunday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Rachel Sedacca will provide the soundtrack for this week's Green Art People wingding on the Ventura Avenue.

And finally on a Thursday, they've got the groove - it's a great party band from Washington, state of - that would be Yogoman Burning Band - they'll be in Hell-A at the Five Star Bar - it's worth the drive just to hear "Dragon Bus." John Hiatt will be way cool at the Canyon Club in Agoura and Teresa Russell will be at the Lookout in farmland-hating Oxnard and the wonderful Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros will play a benefit at Libbey Bowl in Ojai thus concluding a fairly slow week.

A list of venues can be found here »

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania

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The new one by those Smashing Pumpkins is "Oceania" and it's on Martha's Music. This is album Number 9 from Billy Corgan - the giant bald guy and his friends. As usual, it's excessive, over the top and in your grill. The drummer is working overtime, the guitar is going off on weird tangents and Corgan has that high pitched shriek threatening the wine glasses in the next room - so, soulful, introspective ballads - not. The title tune is so annoying - it's like everyone is practicing for a different song in a different band - that I actually turned on Mark Levin to make "Oceania" go away. It did, but Levin who seems to be an angry Peter Lorre channeling a weasel - lasted about 15 seconds. I haven't listened to any Pumpkins for many years - used to like them, not so much anymore.

Warped Tour 2012: A rock-fueled day at the Ventura County Fairgrounds

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About 90 bands played on numerous stages and sold stuff from their merch booths before and after their few moments of stage fame as thousands of people milled around, working on their sunburns on a swell breezy Sunday beach day. One of 41 shows and also the thirteenth consecutive stop for the Vans Warped Tour at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, some of the bands were even good. Many were loud enough to make it a bad fishing day as Jaws, Flipper, Willy, Nemo, Mr. Limpet, M. Dick, Charlie Tuna and maybe even the seagoing Daryl Hannah, probably all skedaddled out past the Channel Islands.

A celebration of youth culture as well as a rock 'n' roll swapmeet, the Warped Tour has been around since 1995. And all this because stoner finhead Jeff Spicoli wore a pair of checkered Vans in the 1982 teen scheme flick, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"? Who knew? But Spicoli's faves - the Stones and Van Halen - are nowhere to be seen and are not even - or have they ever been - on the radar. Warped began as a punk rock extravaganza and then expanded into a pop punk scenario which is still pretty much the flavor of choice now but there's an inordinate amount of scream-o bands and a few hip-hop acts and even an acoustic tent where London's Skinny Lister tore things up, quietly.

Rise to Remain

Scream-o is sort of like a typical rock band except that the alleged "singer" screams as if he's giving himself a lobotomy with a rusty screwdriver. A few Warps back, the "band" Alesana was screaming away and I noticed all the merch guys for various other bands, trapped due to location, location, location - collectively had their hand over their ears in the classic See-No-Evil pose, never a good thing. At this Warped, as I was buying a bright red Cap'n Chunk T-shirt from the merch guy he pointed out the obvious as to nearly Rise to Remain, "I don't know who they are but these guys suck!"

Way too much of that stuff but the pop punk roster was well represented with the likes of New Found Glory, All Time Low (maybe the leader in band shirts worn) and Yellowcard, with priors in the 805 and Mayday Parade who were solid during an early high noon slot.

A few Best Of observations: Best T-Shirt: Times Like These Are What It's All About: Such A Mess. Best Bumper Sticker from the PETA folks: It Will Be A Great Day When Our Schools Get All The Money They Need And The Air Force Has To Hold A Bake Sale To Buy A Bomber. Best Drink: The Razzleberry Peace Tea was extra yummy - and better yet, free.


Historically, Warped has resurrected numerous old school punk bands such as Fear with members old enough to be the grandparents of those high schoolers trading elbows in the mosh pit. The geezers of rock this year were hard left political punkers, Anti-Flag out of Pittsburgh, active in Greenpeace, Amnesty International, the Occupy Movement - the band even played outside the GOP convention in 2008. This is a band that sells "Joe Hill Murdered By The Capitalist" T-shirts (you can look up Joe) and found a receptive and obedient crowd of young folks during their early afternoon set.

Dropping the f-bomb as if it were "Punk & Awe," frontman Justine Sane extorted the crowd to form the largest mosh pit ever, with a reminder, "We don't want no machismo cheeseball b.s. - run with each other and not into each other and if someone falls down, pick them up." And for a while during their anti-War on Terror ditty, "This Is the End (For You)," there actually was a Rodney King moment as a two guys - one wearing a Dodger hat, and the other a Giant hat, moshed peacefully along among hundreds, not even squishing the occasional Little Buffy Cheerleader who were likewise, gathering elbow memories.

Actually, the mostly high school and middle school-aged crowd got along famously - just like always. It was date day for several boys and girls and even a few boys and boys and girls and girls. No one seemed to care about any of that stuff and if someday, everyone has sex with everyone else, we'll all be the same color , anyway. By then the Warped Tour will attract their children's children's children.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Jack White - Blunderbuss

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Believe the hype about the new Jack White - he's not a famous rock star for nothing after his work with the White Stripes and the Raconteurs, and now this - about as good as it gets rock 'n' roll. The album is "Blunderbuss" and it's on Columbia. Killer guitar riffs, White's familiar whiny vocals encompass about every genre of popular music and "Love Interruption" is one of the most down and dirty love songs you're likely to hear in this life cycle. White even does a reverentially bitchen cover of "I'm Shakin"' by the Blasters off their first album. If you don't have that one, your collection is incomplete - this one, too - a Top 5 album of 2012 for sure, maybe even the best one. It's that good.

TimeOut: The 'Time' is now for Imagine Dragons

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A bad day in the Shire or business as usual at Hogwarts? Imagine Dragons are neither. Rather, this rock band is the Next Big Thing out of Las Vegas, and on Wednesday night they probably won't be doing any Wayne Newton songs when they perform at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara.

These Dragons have a bio filled with the right stuff from the right people and the right gigs at the right time -- pretty much the Yellow Brick Road to Rock Star 101, following in the footsteps of their Vegas homies Panic at the Disco and the Killers. Read more »

TimeOut: Retro rocker Nick Waterhouse plays SOhO on April 29

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Channeling his inner Watts Stax persona, retro rocker Nick Waterhouse will dress to impress and sing those songs that remain the same (only different) when he croons for those fellow time travelers whose collective watch stopped around 1960. It's all happening Sunday night at SOhO in Santa Barbara.

Inside too many youngsters, the history gene is nowhere to be found because nothing happened that mattered before they were born. Exception: Waterhouse, a guy in a suit singing old-school R&B songs that could've been a part of one of those Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tours way back when sundowns were in black and white. He's got the inclination, the vibe and, most important, the voice and the sax player to make it all work. Read more »

TimeOut: M. Ward chats (briefly) about his busy week

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Rock 'n' roll never starts on time, but this was really pushing it. One-time 805 local M. Ward -- now a part of that very happening Portland music scene -- was slated to do an interview with The Star to chat about the busy week he's got coming up, including gigs today and April 20 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio and on Saturday at SOhO in Santa Barbara, the latter another of those ultra-groovy Club Mercy gigs.

The interview has been in the works casually for about a month, but negotiations grew more impatient and hectic this past week. After a few weeks, Ward let it be known that it would be cool to do a weekday phoner -- but that was out because of my day job. So onto Plan B -- an email interview. Even that took a whole week, his answers not arriving in my in-box until Tuesday night. By the looks of things, Ward spent a whole five minutes (if that) on his responses -- but then again, maybe I could've asked better questions. Read more »

A Wasteland Companion by M. Ward
Rockin' Roll Call
Bill Locey reviews music for the Ventura County Star, when he isn't reenacting the history of this great nation or teaching it to incarcerated youth.
He is the tall guy lurking in the back of all the local rock shows.
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