January 2012 Archives

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Gretchen Peters - Hello Cruel World

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Hello Cruel World

Gretchen Peters is about to release solo album Number Seven - that after having her tunes recorded by a zillion famous singers, insuring an endless deluge of mailbox money - and she's pretty darn good on her own. The album is called "Hello Cruel World" and if there's any questions about that one - huge solar flares, more than 20,000 nukes on this planet and more than half the actors on the Animal Planet routinely are killed. Peters has a voice as good as anyone - I'm hearing Eliza Gilkyson here - and to quote the quotable Firesign Theatre: "She has a fancy bent for her word turning." Her song "The Matador" will make you a fan - trust me on this one then check out Peters February 4th at Zoey's in Ventura.


Dark Angel by gretchenpeters

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Prinzhorn Dance School - Clay Class

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Clay Class

The new Prinzhorn Dance School album is almost as weird as their name - this one is called "Clay Class" and it's on DFA Records. OK, anyone remember the original "Bedazzled" with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, with Raquel Welch as Lust? There was a funny scene when Cook as George Spigott, the Devil, was outrocking Moore and stealing his groupies as monotoning frontman tottering on the verge of indifference, uttering such lines as "I don't want you. I don't need you. Please go away. You fill me with inertia..." and like that. Anyway, this guy and a girl duo rock about that hard, showcasing that "mesmerizing austerity" which one reviewer thought he recognized. Imagine YACHT with a lobotomy. Robbie the Robot, R2D2 and all those lovable Pixar critters as well as the random Transformer may dig this stuff - the rest of us? Not so much...


Happy In Bits by DFA Records

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Carol Kleyn - Love Has Made Me Stronger

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Love Has Made Me StrongerCarol Kleyn's new/old one is "Love Has Made Me Stronger" and it's on Drag City. It's new because it was just re-issued last year - it's old because it came out in 1976 - right, back when Jimmy Carter was president. It's a harp and a girl chirping away almost to the heights of fixating the Audubon Society. It's almost operatic and clearly high brow - imagine Judy Collins playing with a one instrument symphony.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: The Features - The Wilderness

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Wilderness

The Features have a new one and it's "The Wilderness" and it's on Bug Music. These guys are from Tennessee, got it together at Murfreesboro or Stones River if you're a Yankee - one of many gnarly Civil War battlefields in the Volunteer State. The Features play textbook indie, garage rock, with some Americana, college-friendly in the same league as Middle Brother, Dawes and like that. It's a slightly boozy guitar rock band, a bit rough around the edges, yet still one of the best albums of 2011, which I just discovered. "Kids," with the catchy guitar riffs will make you a fan - of the song, not the annoying little, gum chewing ferrets. Even better, the Features will be in Santa Barbara at Velvet Jones on 10 February.


Content by The Features

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Memoryhouse - The Years

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The Years

The latest from Memoryhouse is "The Years" and it's on the celebrated, cerebral and really bhitch, kick-ass indie label, Sub Pop, out of Seattle. It's a six song EP of sad girl mope rock courtesy of Denise Nouvion on a bunch of same-sounding songs - each about as memorable as lunch last week with whatsername. One of the few Sub Pop releases I cannot dig - imagine Mazzy with no star power.


Memoryhouse - The Years EP by subpop

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Banner Pilot - Heart Beats Pacific

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Heart Beats Pacific

The latest from Banner Pilot is Heart Beats Pacific and it's on Fat Wreck Chords - Heart Beats Pacific? Huh? Anyway, this one is tailor-made for the Fat Wreck band template out of the schizophrenic Minnesota - the same state that gave us Al Franken and Michelle Bachman. This Banner Pilot has been around since '05 so they predate Sully Sullenberger, but it's more jumpy pop punk with two guy gang vocals, strumming chords, drummer working overtime and all having plenty of fun, fun, fun. There's snappy and sappy love songs that even wine can't fix (for too long) because "...this world works just like a machine, it keeps smashing my dreams." Hate when that happens. Hopefully, stuff like this will never go away and thanks to Fat Wreck - this genre is not even sick.

Banner Pilot "Alchemy" by Fat Wreck Chords

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 at my house, multi-tasking, writing about rock 'n' roll, watching "River Monsters" on Animal Planet 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.

OK, enough exposition - 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: First of all, tonight - Friday night - it's rockin' reggae with the Legalizers up all those stairs at the Watermark in Ventura while down Main Street and left on California Street down to the Bombay Bar & Grill, expect few soulful ballads when Wyatt & Gypsy Death Star take the stage while a few blocks north to Zoey's it's sassy and savvy folk rock from the Brother Sal Trio and Dona Oxford will be at Yolie's, also in Ventura.

Lisa Loeb

On Saturday, wearing those bowler hats and looking like droogs that fell out of "A Clockwork Orange," it's those Adicts with one "d" at the House of Try to Find a Place to Park in Hollyweird while They Might Be Giants are going to be at my old school, UCLA, also on Saturday where Ben Howland could use some giants that can play defense - while just across the county line at the Canyon Club, it's Lisa Loeb and Jill Sobule. Check out my interview with Lisa in this week's Time Out section - proof positive that I'm hardly making any of this up.

Back in 1804 (when nobody played good defense), "the black George Washington," Toussaint L'Overture, led a revolt that gave Haiti - one of the richest places in the New World - its freedom by kicking out their colonial oppressors. And it wasn't the junior varsity; it wasn't just a bunch of greedy slackers that talked funny - it was Napoleon and the French. Unfortunately, things have gone downhill for Haiti since then with endless political, social and economic woes making them the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Then came the latest bummer - the devastating earthquake in January of 2010. Haitians still need help and to that end, there will be a benefit at Skatelab in Simi Valley with a bunch of bands performing all day, including the headliners for that party at ground zero, Fishbone. Also playing is Divine Crime, the Untouchables and many more. Former Dodger lefty Scott Radinsky owns Skatelab.

Mouse Grey

OK, still Saturday, at my favorite dive bar, it's Mouse Grey at the Red Cove in Ventura. Zorba Cruz of the Ska Daddyz is putting on an all-day wingding at the Crave Lounge with Strand Quentin, Punk Rawk Elvis and a zillion other bands - that one should be another new low. Rocket 68 will be at the Big Buddha Lounge in Oak View and Teresa Russell will shred on that guitar many times at the Hub in Ojai while up the coast to Santa Barbara, it's the greatest band ever from Carpinteria - that would be the Upbeat.

On Sunday, the Skatelab will still be rockin' with another show featuring the Darlings, Skinflick and A Pretty Mess, while not so far away, it's prolific singer/songwriter John McCutcheon at the T.O. Library. All those Shoemaker Brothers will be at the Bombay in Ventura and Frank Barajas will be the solo pop rock guy Sunday afternoon at Tutti's while up the hill to beautiful downtown Oak View, Dan Wilson & Friends will be at the Big Buddha Lounge.

We Govern We

On Tuesday, it's a good one - so good, I'm seriously considering going to Hell-A on a work night - I wanna check out Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - not the noisy Neckcar stuff but rather indie rock gods as well as one of the most popular bands in Hell-A, Fitz & the Tantrums - it's all happening at the Echoplex in Los Angeles. If you turn the wrong way off the 101, you'll be in Skid Row, the largest homeless encampment in the country. Also Tuesday - and this is for Nolan, my Dogmeat buddy, KiD will bring his hip-hop scene to Zoey's in Ventura and up the coast to SB - he was good enough to collaborate with Brian Wilson - it's Van Dyke Parks at SOhO.

On Wednesday, We Govern We continues their Wednesday residency at the Sans Souci in Ventura and Thursday, it's indie rock Americana heroes, the Jayhawks - they'll be at the Music Box down on Sunset in Hollyweird. Mutemath will be at phonehead nirvana - Club Nokia in Los Angeles, while up here in the 805 where we like it, Alligator Dave will be rude and crude and really funny at the Sans Souci and a few steps away, Emilbus will be up all those stairs at Watermark, also in Ventura.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Skeletons by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.


Blood Pressure by MuteMath

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Patrick Stump - Soul Punk

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Soul Punk

And now for something completely different, Patrick Stump's solo debut is "Soul Punk" and it's on Island Records. Stump is the pop punk rock god frontman for Fall Out Boy. This is nothing like any of that as Stump seems to be channeling Prince on these electronic soul tunes that are not nearly as good as anything the Purple Dude ever did. Stump not only wrote all the songs but played all the instruments. I like his band stuff way better but that's just me.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

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Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Jonesing for an Oasis in the desert of hip hop, pop punk and electronic music? Then check out Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - he was the Oasis frontman and the album is self-titled and it's on Mercury Records. It's one after another of those groove-friendly anthem-like rockers that Oasis was so good at, making this one of the best albums of last year - Top 5 for sure and I'm only on the third song. "Dream On" will have you swaying to the groove the first time you hear it - as if more proof be needed that music is delightful repetition. And "If I Had A Gun," perhaps the NRA's (National Redneck Association) new theme song talks about shooting a hole in the sun. And by the time you get to "Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks," you're thinking a Beatles' album - a "Rubber Soul" for the new millennium.


Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds- If I Had A Gun by MMMusic

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Beth McKee - Next to Nowhere

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Next to NowhereBeth McKee's new one is "Next to Nowhere" and it's on Swampgirl Music. McKee is a southern singer/songwriter who plays the accordion and knows how to belt out a song. While most of the songs are of the bluesy persuasion they also rock, so this is not you basic by the numbers, cry in your beer boring blues - imagine a redneck Janiva Magness. "Tug of War" is a down and dirty blues tune that will make you a McKee fan.


Next to Nowhere by bethmckee

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Ellwood - Lost in Transition

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Lost in Transition

Ellwood's debut is full of foot-friendly dance grooves - the album is "Lost in Transition" and it's on Fat Wreck Chords. The first two tunes set the tone - "The Deal" and "Walking Away" - both happy feet ska tunes all the way from Santa Ynez - not as good as the English Beat or any of that but after a few beers (or not), this would totally work. It's a side project of several Mad Caddies dudes, evidently named for nearby Ellwood Beach - an area just north of Isla Vista, shelled by a Japanese sub in the early days of WWII - what were they thinking? The greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere has been updated simply to mosh pit.


Ellwood: Mag Girl by Fat Wreck Chords

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires

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Fallen Empires

The latest from Snow Patrol is "Fallen Empires" and it's on Island Records. Gary Lightbody sings up a storm as he has been known to do but he could've done so on better songs. This is not to say this album is lagging - it's not and baseline Snow Patrol is better than almost everyone else. This one is just more subtle and slow and - and this is a good thing - despite the fact that there's no "If There's A Rocket, Tie Me To It" - this one still gets better every time you play it. "Lifening" is a new word for the same old story - being in love with the right person at the right moment for the right reasons, which makes everything (but anchovies) right.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto

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Mylo Xyloto

The latest from Coldplay is whatever dude - no, it's Mylo Xyloto or whatever, dude, and they're still making the Capitol suits ecstatic. As well they should - their fifth album is baroque, semi-orchestral, multi-layered, smartly-produced art rock and is the cultural answer to the unasked question, what were some of the affects on generations of musicians long after the Beatles took acid and recorded "Sgt. Peppers"? The second Coldplay song is the catchy rocker, "Hurts Like Heaven," and then there's sensitive ballads such as "Up in Flames," and so it goes. There's probably a reason why Coldplay has won seven Grammys - these guys know what their doing and they're doing it right - and still giving 10% of their take to charity. See them at phonehead nirvana - Club Nokia in Hell-A on 8 February upcoming.


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 at my house, multi-tasking, writing about rock 'n' roll, watching "River Monsters" 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.

OK, enough exposition - 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: First of all, tonight - it's in Hell-A and you will need your dancing shoes for the Cajun dance party with the at McCabe's in Santa Monica with the soundtrack provided by Beausoleil - while a few miles north on PCH to a place I have not

Cladia Nygaard

been kicked out of for at least 20 years, it's the greatest band of all time - or one of them, for sure - that would be the English Beat at the Malibu Inn tonight, while over the Santa Monica Mountains to Robert Blake's favorite place, Vitello's in Studio City, you can see Billy Vera. While up here in the 805 where we like it, it's Camarillo Cafe time tonight with John Batdorf and Cladia Nygaard - remember Batdorf & Rodney? Now it's Batdorf & Nygaard, more or less. Over in farmland-hating Oxnard, there's cool power pop from the Corsican Brothers at Whale's Tail in Oxnard - while over in Ventura, it's party time with the Ska Daddyz at the Sans Souci in Ventura - and through the alley and down the block to the Bombay Bar & Grill, there's a big memorial concert - Aaron Johnson's sister died in an auto accident recently - Johnson is in Pepe Le Pew's favorite band, Le Meu Le Purr. On stage, it's Rey Fresco, 8Stop7, the Army of Freshmen, Zachary James & the All-Seeing Eyes, New Liberty, Kyle Hunt & King Gypsy and more. James Intveld will be at Yolie's on the west side of "the Poinsettia City," just a block or so from the Ventura River. Dan Grimm will be at the Jester in Ojai and across the street, it's fun time with the 33 North Band at the Hub while up the coast, it's that singing bovine - the White Buffalo - he'll be at SOhO in Santa Barbara tonight. Is that a lot of stuff on a Friday, or what?

Mighty Cash Cats

On Saturday, it's pop punk with Dashboard Confessional at the House of Blues in Hollyweird - Robyn Hitchcock (with no Egyptians) will be at McCabe's. Once again successfully channeling the Man in Black, the Mighty Cash Cats will be at the Lab Brewing Company in Agoura Hills; while up here in the 805 where we like it, the Preachers will be at the historic Glen Tavern in Santa Paula.

[Moved to Tuesday at 7 pm] While over in Ventura - it just might be the best show the week - it's lefty folkie Roy Zimmerman at the Unitarian Universalist Church in east Ventura - not far from the Star's old home. Zimmerman seems to be channeling Tom Lehrer, Tom Paxton and wise guy folkies such as the Chad Mitchell Trio, and if you think Mitt Romney makes plastic look authentic and the GOP hopefuls just fell off the clown truck, this Zimmerman is your guy. The rest of you low information voters will be home praying for a lightning bolt.

Preachers & Pornstars will be at Sans Souci in downtown Ventura and Brian Dixon and Softsilence will do their final local show at Zoey's in Ventura before they move back to Memphis or somewhere that everyone talks funny and thinks the Civil War is still a halftime score. One of the funniest guys on TV, Bill Maher, will do his stand-up routine at Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, bashing the right wingers who want to return to the good ol' days of the '50s - the 1550's. Although I agree with 99% of what Maher is saying - Bill, lighten up on the Civil War re-enactors. I've been in the Yankee army for 17 years - I'm further to the left than you are - I'm not in the NRA and I don't hunt and I'd never shoot an animal but I do get to shoot rednecks and get away with it - depending on the week, they all have Limbaugh's, O'Reilly's, Dick Cheney's or Eric Cantor's face.

Joy Kills Sorrow

Still Saturday and a few blocks away, it's frantic folk with Joy Kills Sorrow at the latest Sings Like Hell show at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, where the sound is always perfect and Mac's is just a few blocks away down on Anacapa and Haley on the way out of town.

Skip a few until Tuesday - usually, the worst rock night of the week - but not this week - beginning down in Hell-A, it's Americana heroes Wilco - they'll be at the Hollyweird Palladium, while up here in the 805 where we like it, you could check out the saddest chick with wrists yet unslit - that would be Lucinda Williams at the Ventura Theatre - her new album "Blessed" is as good as anything thing she's done. And check out my interview in this week's Time Out - proof positive that I'm hardly making any of this up. And through the alley and left down "C" Street, it's pure power pop with those Corsican Brothers at Cafe Fiore and up the coast to Santa Barbara and SOhO, there's a bunch of people playing but one is of particular interest - that would be Jess Rhodes, once upon a time in the Sleepwalker and a solo guy for a long time.

On Wednesday, it's We Govern We at the Sans Souci in Ventura and close by, it's that weekly All-Star Blues Jam at the Bombay Bar & Grill in Ventura.

And finally on a Thursday, it's soaring pop rock from Angels & Airwaves at the Music Box in Hollyweird and up here in the 805 where we like it until Oxnard paves everything, it's Emilbus, which is Sublime spelled backwards, playing all those great Sublime songs before Brad Nowell made a bad career move - it's all happening at the Sans Souci and steps away, it's Shawn Jones at the Watermark in Ventura and - one last one - Howlin' Woods will be at the Crave Lounge in Ventura.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Falling in Reverse - The Drug in Me is You

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The Drug in Me Is You

It's got a great album cover - it's the debut from Falling in Reverse, the album is "The Drug in Me is You" and it's on Epitaph. They sort of look like an '80s hair band that decided to join the Marines but got out of the chair halfway through the haircut, leaving that spikey look and another of those Predator clones screaming about who cares what? This is, I believe, called post hardcore - I have other adjectives, few appropriate in a family newspaper that is not the Manson Family or the Borgias. Hate it. Love you - thanks for spending these few precious moments. Go check out some live music - it's fun. The cops are not - don't drink and drive...

The Drug In Me Is You by EpitaphTours

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Joe Henry - Reverie

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Reverie

Joe Henry's lucky 13th album is called "Reverie" and it's on Anti Records, one of Epitaph's aliases. Jazzy, spacey - piano-y - with Henry getting all arty and into it most convincingly on songs such as "Piano Furnace." It mostly minimalist and often mesmerizing in its spare simplicity. No barrel of laughs, so we're talking reverie-not here, but Henry is a soulful crooner, sort of a rough-edged Harry Connick meets John Hiatt after a few belts of bourbon.

Joe Henry - Odetta by antirecords
  Joe Henry - Sticks & Stones by antirecords

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Yuksek - Living on the Edge of Time

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Living on the Edge of Time

Yuksek has a new one - it's his second album and it's called "Living on the Edge of Time" and it's on Polydor UK. Yuksek may or may not need a new name - real name is Pierre-Alexandre Busson and he's a French DJ and producer. His watch might've stopped in the '80s as now and again he seems to be channeling Duran Duran or back when MTV had music videos with pretty boys and pretty girls in pretty places. This one just flows and is relentlessly pleasant for those who think fashion is fashionable. Those wearing a Slayer shirt - forget about this one. Yuksek would be a hit at one of those big tents at Coachella - more than just a reason to seek shade.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Roy Zimmerman - You're Getting Sleepy

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You're Getting Sleepy

The new Roy Zimmerman album is called "You're Getting Sleepy" and it's got a funny cover and it's on Metaphor Records. Zimmerman is a one-man band of the lefty persuasion, sort of like the Brothers Four or the Chad Mitchell Trio in the singular 50 years later. If you're a Democrat and/or a progressive, you'll find the Z-Man screamingly funny - if you're a righty, you'll go to church an hour early to measure this dude up for a lightning bolt. A non-partisan study found that people who listened to no news broadcasts at all were better informed than those who watched or listened to Fox News. All the left wing talking points become singing points on this deftly concocted attack on the so-called "low information" voters that the Republicans are counting on. Zimmerman is going to be at the Unitarian Universalist Church in East Ventura on the 21st - go laugh it up with like minded 99 percenters. Now you're ready for your next step: Read "American Taliban" by Markos Moulitsas and while you're at it, if Obama is such a Kenyan Mau Mau Marxist Pinko Socialist, why can't the GOP find anyone better than Governor Jesus McBangBang or Newt or Trump or the Mitt-Man who makes plastic seem authentic, or the rest of those wackos?

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Go Radio - Lucky Street

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Lucky Street

Go Radio has a new one - it's Lucky Street and it's on Fearless Records. This one begins with a siren, reminiscent of the episode when the car dealer was checking Homer Simpson's credit and so astutely noted, "Sirens are rarely a good thing." Fortunately, the siren goes away quickly enough, leaving sweet pop punk - heavy on the punk, so sweet you ears may get cavities - not a bad thing. Nothing to make you change your mind or your life, just more solid pop punk - the likes of which we've all enjoyed many times before.

Lucky Street by GoRadio

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Phantogram - Nightlife

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Nightlife

Phantogram has a new one, it's "Nightlife" and it's on Barsuk, who in 2011 gave us Say Hi and Yellow Ostrich - two out of three will get you into Cooperstown - however, this ain't baseball, and this is a bad album with lame vocals and crummy songs of the semi-electronic persuasion from the New York boy/girl duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel. Back to Songwriting for these two but if you're somehow channeling the GOP and are enamored by a union of a man and a woman, check out YACHT - creators of much better music.

What to know about where to go this week

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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: First of all, tonight -- Friday night - you have to drive to Hell-A but it's worth it to see guitar god Albert Lee - he shreds up here now and again with Hot Roux - next time is in February but tonight - don't confuse him with Alvin but Albert Lee will be at McCabe's in Santa Monica. While at the cavernous Canyon Club, it's those reggae legends, mon, the

Wailers

Wailers, still w/o Bob Marley; and a few miles north to the 805 where we like it at the Tipsy Goat in T.O. it's jam band nirvana with Shaky Feelin'. And if your world view is slightly to the right of "wahoo," you might enjoy some country music from Big Tweed who will be at Garman's Pub in Santa Paula - still a nice small town until they pave everything. There's a good one at the O - that would be Billy O's in Ventura with everyone's favorite raucous farm animals, Jackass, sharing the bill with the newly reconstituted La Vonettes, bringing back the girl group sound from back when AM radio was cool and not a cesspool of right wing paranoia. Teresa Russell will demonstrate the art of the guitar solo probably more than once at the Savory Cafe in Ventura - Chuck D will lead his cronies in Public Enemy to the Ventura Theatre tonight - that'll be the place with the million cops outside. It'll be worth it just to hear Radio Rahim's favorite song and the Occupy Movement's theme song, "Fight the Power." Kyle Hunt & King Gypsy will play some classic rock for the new millennium at the Bombay Bar & Grill, also in Ventura, and Big Joe Lewis will play some blues and boogie woogie piano wiz, Carl Sonny Leyland will be at Yolie's in Ventura, also tonight, Friday night.

On Saturday, back in L.A., it's Dave Alvin playing McCabe's, also on Sunday as well - he's

Dave Alvin

the guy that wrote the zillion great Blasters songs and even filled in for brother Phil at the Blasters gig at the Ventura Theatre last month. One of my interview victims this week - Mouse Grey, will be at the Sans Souci and - gotta love this name - Tall Tales and Silver Linings will be at the Hub in Ojai and on the next block the Mighty Cash Cats will channel the Man in Black at the Wrec Room, also in Ojai.

On Sunday, it's local legends, the R&B Bombers at the Bombay for an afternoon bluesy dance party and Frank Barajas will be at Tutti's in Ventura doing some solo acoustic pop rock.

OK, skip a few and thank that great American and famous Capricorn, Martin Luther King for your day off on Monday and then there's Tuesday, my birthday, which I share with Jim Carrey, Mohammed Ali, Betty White and Ben Franklin, so much for astrology. Anyway, on Tuesday, there's a good one down in Hollyweird at the House of Try to Find a Place to Park - the House of Blues, it's pretty much the same show that was in Ventura - it's bluegrass on speed with Old Man Markley, and wise guy punk legends NOFX will be funny and Pulley is also on the bill, still fronted by Scott Radinsky who was a solid situational left hander for the Dodgers, and will play some loud and fast punk rock. And still on Tuesday - no story because they dogged

Handsome Furs

me, yet the Handsome Furs will still be at SOhO in S.B.

On Wednesday, We Govern We continues their Wednesday night residency at the Sans Souci, while through the alley and down the block on "C" Street, it's that All-Star Blues Jam at the Bombay - the Corsican Brothers will play some power pop at the Big Buddha Lounge in Oak View and Kyle Hunt will be at the Jester in Ojai.

And finally on a busy Thursday, it's Caught Red Handed playing some country up all those stairs at the Watermark in Ventura - the hard working Kyle Hunt will be at the Crave Lounge at the extreme west end of Ventura, which just makes me miss the Midnight Hour all the more. And finally on a Thursday, Jonathan McEuen will do something cool at the Big Buddha Lounge in Oak View.


Old Man Markley "Party Shack" by Fat Wreck Chords

Wassup 805?

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Old Man MarkleyWassup 805? Bill Locey here, neither in Studio 805 not 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 "River Monsters" 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.

For my main musical adventure last week, my son and I went to check out the Fat Wreck band fest at the Ventura Theatre - actually we went to see Old Man Markley – not only is it bluegrass on fire - sort of like Split Lip Rayfield - but they had one of the great albums of 2011. They weren't totally playing to the choir as the two guys standing behind me, were calling for NOFX or Lagwagon after every song and basically dogging out OMM for not being punk rock enough. They're all three on the same label, so they must be punk rock enough for Fat Mike, who not only fronts NOFX but owns Fat Wreck. After a brief rock walk down Main Street which included a few songs from Shaky Feelin' fronted by Mark Masson at the Good Bar, we got back in time for the goofball antics of NOFX, sort of the musical answer to the unnecessary question: What if Eddie Haskell or Chet from "Weird Science" had a punk band?

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Cobra Skulls - Agitations

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Agitations

Cobra Skulls (maybe big in India, or not) have a new one, "Agitations" and it's on Fat Wreck. Need more pop punk with winning vocals, drummer working over but no Joey Ramone counting to three. There must be a factory somewhere cranking this stuff out - so many bands sound like this - but if it works for you, then - cool, here's more. Loving some of the lyrics as well - from "The Mess,'' a sample line: "..You know I always wanted us to last/But it's hard to find a future/When we're both stuck in the past/But fools like us won't do best...'' Not so much unlike another recent Fat Wreck release, Ellwood - I'd wear a Cobra Skulls shirt...

Cobra Skulls: Iron Lung by Fat Wreck Chords

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Buxton - Nothing Here Seems Strange

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Buxton - Nothing Here Seems StrangeThe new Buxton album is "Nothing Here Seems Strange" and it's on New West Records. I've been listening to this for a week - finally time to try and figure it out. It's subtle and mellow, yet edgy folk rock out of Houston by this five piece that is tighter than your boss. If they ever remade "The Last Picture Show" again (in black and white 'natch), these Buxton boys would be the perfect soundtrack. Lots of harmonies and plenty of acoustic guitars and banjos that slowly and subtly suck you in. This is an advance - the release date is the end of January - and I would assume their previous two self-released efforts are worth a listen. I think Buxton would be a treat live. The first one, "`Wolves and Owls" got my attention.
  Buxton - Boy Of Nine by NewWestRecords

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Big James and the Chicago Players - The Big Payback

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Big James and the Chicago Players have a new album, "The Big Payback" and it's on Blind Pig Records. It's generic blues with an average voice and the usual guitars and the same old horns playing the same old songs, providing all the reasons not to dig the blues all in one place. If you crave some new blues, check out Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Roomful of Blues or "Translucent Blues" by Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers. This payback will result in no play back.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Boots Electric - Honkey Kong

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Boots ElectricThis is the latest - and maybe the only one from Boots Electric - the album is Honkey Kong and it's on Dangerbird. Boots Electric as the honkey in question, is none other than Beck - one who has achieved one name notoriety along with Moses, Madonna and Bigfoot. It's all about smooth grooves, hooks a plenty as once again, Beck demonstrates his easy mastery of the pop craft. "Love You All the Time" is one such that will love you long time, especially your ears. The whole thing is just a bit over half an hour, so it's over before you'll get tired of it. You won't.
  Boots Electric Theme by Boots Electric

Rock 'n' Roll Call: L.A. Liberacion - L.A. Liberacion

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It's the new one by L.A. Liberacion - the album is self-titled and it's on V2 Records - wow, haven't heard from them for a while. It's a bunch of skinny hippie chicks and one happy guy on a bunch of songs that unfortunately read better than they sound. The album artwork is hilarious and some of the titles I cannot repeat in a family newspaper if I ever want to do this again but four squeaky girl voices sound much like a shrieking herd of bubbly sophomore cheerleaders earning a fair showing in the nails on a blackboard derby. Then again, "Bleep Everything" offers all there is or all there ever can be to any nihilist rockers out there, so there's that.

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 at my house, multi-tasking, writing about rock `n' roll, watching "River Monsters" 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.

Old Man Markley

How was New Year's Eve? Did you get arrested? Did you survive a hangover the size of Bolivia? Have you already broken your New Year's Resolutions. I didn't go out -- too many cops -- seen all the bands, so I drank my weight in Sapporos at home. Best show this week -- it's the Fat Wreck band fest at the Theatre tonight, Friday night -- gotta check out Old Man Markley -- not only is it bluegrass on fire but they had one of the great albums of 2011.


Old Man Markley "Party Shack" by Fat Wreck Chords


OK, enough of that - 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: First of all, tonight -- Friday night - you have to drive to Hell-A but it's worth it to see singer-songwriter Ernest Troost at McCabe's in Santa Monica tonight; while up here in the 805 where we like it, Teresa Russell will demonstrate the art of the guitar solo at the Savory Cafe in Ventura tonight. There's a big Eddy Numbskull show at the Ventura Theatre tonight with NOFX -- maybe Fat Mike will play their Tegan & Sata song, along with Lagwagon -- but don't miss my heroes, Old Man Markley. While down in West Ventura, it's the Tommy Kay Blues Band at Yolie's, and up the coast to Santa Barbara it's Hot Tuna and the David Bromberg Quartet at the Lobero Theatre, where the sound is always perfect.

On Saturday, back in L.A., it's veteran folkie Doug MacLeod at McCabe's, while up here in the 805 where we still like, it's blues and more from Steve White & the Barstool Pigeons at Blackbeard's BBQ in Ventura.

Joey Cape

On Sunday, it's Frank Barajas at Tutti's in Ventura doing some solo acoustic pop rock, while down the wino stroll in front of the Ventura Mission to Zoey's, it's Lagwagon frontman and former Goleta local - Joey Cape.

OK, skip a few until Tuesday for some superior power pop from those Corsican Brothers at Cafe Fiore in Ventura, and on Wednesday, it's Birdfeeder at Zoey's.

And finally on a busy Thursday, it's those B-52s at Ventura Theatre -- hey, they were in 'The L-Word' among other things - Rising Son will be at the Crave Lounge in Ventura, Jonathan McEuen will do something cool at the Big Buddha Lounge in Oak View, Dan Grimm will be at the Jester in Ojai and up in S.B., it's No Use For a Name at the Velvet Jones in and there's acoustic wizardry from Citizen Cope at SOhO, also in Santa Barbara, just another thinly-veiled excuse to go to Mac's.


No Use For A Name: Biggest Lie by Fat Wreck Chords

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Bless the Fall - Awakening

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Awakening

Probably not getting a lot of airplay in church, it's the new one from Bless the Fall - the album is "Awakening" and it's on Fearless. Remember that wonderful Robin Williams/Robert DeNiro flick, "Awakenings"? If this band was playing, the patients would awaken only long enough to run like hell away from this hardcore, knuckleheaded scream-o band. Once again, screaming is not music - it's screaming. Music is that other thing. If I wanted to hear screaming like this - and why would I - I'd give my psycho-ex a glass of rum and tell her that her kids are so mean that even Chucky wouldn't play with them.

Awakening by blessthefall

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Lady Antebellum - Own the Night

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Own the Night

Multi Grammy winning, megazilla selling country pop supergroup Lady Antebellum's latest is "Own the Night" and it's on the Beach Boys' and the Beatles' old label, Capitol. The most important components of the trio is the Lady herself, Hillary Scott and Dude Antebellum, Charles Kelley, all held together by background vocals and instrumental skills of Dave Haywood. As the line between country and pop shrinks to the size line dancers dream they were, this is perfectly and predictably concocted corporate country sure to please many, irritate none but is ultimately soulless in a big-hat-no-cattle sort of way.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: The Dear & the Departed - Every Waking Moment

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Every Waking Moment

It's the latest from The Dear & the Departed - the album is "Every Waking Moment" and it's on Equal Vision. All the way from behind the Orange Curtain, where everything is paved in 24-7 traffic hell - a place where one could expect more blues, but rather this is more 714 pop rock featuring the radio ready swell vocals by former New Zealander and now souther, Dan Smith. Pretty, polished, polite and pointless - therefore, they'll go far and a perfect part of the Warped Tour. Imagine a Twinkie as a band - so sweet your ears might get cavities. Don't move up here.

The Dear and Departed "Every Waking Moment" by equalvision

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Breathe Carolina - Hell Is What You Make It

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Breathe Carolina

It's the fourth and latest effort from Breathe Carolina - the album is "Hell Is What You Make It" and it's on Fearless Records. It's a two guy electronic outfit which is mostly techno pop lite until one of them starting screaming - as if the Predator was removing the "singer'" spine, thereby ruining the whole thing. Stop Breathing, Carolina. Definitely, stop Screaming, Carolina; and let's not forget that South Carolina started the Civil War and Jim DeMent is the lamest senator out of 100.

Breathe Carolina - Hello Fascination by RockSoundMagazine
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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