First of all, I can't quite remember why I didn't write about Reel Big Fish in one of my columns for 16 December, but I made up for that obvious shortcoming by going to the show at the venerable Ventura Theatre. Sometimes the stars are aligned as they were on Tuesday night when I got there five minutes before the band started, They were great -- ska lives -- it's not even sick -- tighter than your boss -- happening horn section -- three guys that shredded and even choreographed their moves perfectly -- two of them wearing the colorful and cheap five buck shades they sell at the Warped Tour. Frontman Aaron Barrett shredded on guitar and tossed out funny lines between songs. They played all their hits and more -- the song about the sexually befuddles ex-girlfriend song was as catchy and funny as ever -- the mosh pit was going off throughout as sweaty high school kids were swirling clockwise. The cover of "Brown Eyes Girl" was way better than Van Morrison's original as was "Take On Me," once upon a time, a hit for a-ha -- just lots of goofball fun and -- get this -- ten buck band shirts, just like the one you can't see me wearing.
All this after Ventura beat Oxnard in boys basketball in an unlikely finish -- it looked like Oxnard -- unbeaten at 10-0 before the game, appeared to have been capable of beating Ventura 9 times out of 10 times, but it was another white knuckler high school heart stopper. Ventura cranked up the defensive pressure in the fourth quarter -- Gage Henley made four free throws at the end to hand Oxnard it's first loss. High school basketball is about the best thing you can do for five bucks. Really.
OK, enough endless, mindless and senseless exposition -- except to say, every day is Christmas and your birthday - and to that end, if I had a faster car, a richer girlfriend or even one with a job, here's where I'll be lurking in the back this week, Christmas week as the stars are aligned for Capricorns, who never lie and are always right, yet, this is still the slowest week of the year.
OK, tonight, Friday night, Shaky Feelin' will bring their jam band nirvana to Outlaws in
Camarillo, while over in the Poinsettia City, up all those stairs, it's a rockin' reggae dance party on the roof with those Legalizers -- a Reel Big Fish t-shirt won't get it done -- gotta adhere to the dress code if you want to meet the meat -- while down the block and around the corners at the Wine Rack, it's acoustic pop from Frank Barajas and down on Santa Clara, it's that ever-clever singing bovine, the White Buffalo and finally up the coast to Santa Barbara at the Lobero Theatre where the sound is always perfect -- it's a homegame at last for Tommy & the High Pilots, not to be confused with Tommy's, now open in Ventura near Salzer's.
On Christmas -- gonna actually talk to your relatives and/or check your bank balance and sob inconsolably? Well, there's always time for that but you could go to the Lookout in farmland-hating Oxnard and see some real guitar pyrotechnics from homegirl shredder, Teresa Russell. That's Lookout as in "Look out -- where did all that farmland go?"
On Monday, it's B. Willing James concluding his Monday residency at Zoey's.
On Tuesday, it's rock from Michigan, not that aging right wing gun nut, Ted Nugent, but Bob Segar is gonna rock the Staples Center, home of the Clippers. While up here in the 805 where we like it, it's pure power pop from the Corsican Brothers at Café Fiore in Ventura.
On Wednesday, it's one beat, one song, one week roots reggae from those Aggrolites at the cavernous Canyon Club -- check out my story in this week's Time Out in the real newspaper -- proof positive that I'm hardly making any of this up. While up here in the 805 where we still like it -- it's Zachary James & the All Seeing Eyes playing for the ever bending elbows of the drinkers at the Sans Souci in Ventura.
And finally on Thursday, at the Key Club in Hollyweird, it's those Aggrolites again but this time, sharing the bill with Fishbone and Shawn Jones will be at the Watermark -- told ya it was a short week.