August 2012 Archives

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Opium Symphony - Blame It On The Radio

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Gotta love this band name - Opium Symphony - they're out of Dallas and their new one is "Blame It On The Radio" and it's Man Or Machine Records. It's big beat meat and potatoes rock, sounding like they stumbled out of "The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization: The Metal Years," led by charismatic frontman and songwriter Kellen Ross. Not my favorite genre but these guys are really good at what they do - crank this one up and clean the entire house in 45 seconds. They're more speed freak than opium friendly nod out tune makers - if they played this one in Afghanistan in the poppy fields - the Taliban's #1 cash crop - the simpleton soldiers' turbaned heads might explode. That's cheaper than the trillion dollars we're spending over there every 10 second. One more thing - the cover is creepy but mostly awesome, just like Mr. Ross.


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 »

TimeOut: Boogie-woogie pianist Carl Sonny Leyland performs Aug. 31 at Yolie's in Ventura

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About 60 years ago it was everywhere. These days one has to put forth an effort to find some of that energizing boogie-woogie piano music.

Tonight, though, no one will have to look that hard as Carl Sonny Leyland will play boogie-woogie, blues and other pleasurable varieties of Americana at Yolie's in Ventura.

The dictionary states that boogie-woogie is "conducive to dancing" -- and it's still about the best thing that can happen to a piano outside of a Laurel & Hardy short.

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TimeOut: 'One Love Unity' concert to feature Oxnard's Dominic Balli

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An 8-year-old Carpinteria girl is fighting a particularly virulent form of cancer for a third time, and the best part of the population of the greatest beach city in SoCal will stand tall at a Sunday fundraiser for Daisy Love Merrick called "One Love Unity." As usual, musicians are stepping up to do the right thing, this time at Bible Fellowship Church in Ventura, including Britney Christian, a rising star with songs all over TV, and Dominic Balli, a rising reggae star out of Oxnard who will play an acoustic set.

The grounds of the church and nearby Barranca Vista Park will be transformed into a carnival with games, raffles, food and continuous music. Every single thing is donated and every dime goes to Daisy. The music inside, featuring Christian, Balli and an opener, will start at 6 p.m. It's first come, first served at this free show. The venue holds 1,200 folks and the promoters are expecting many more to attend the event, so being fashionably late could be a bonehead maneuver. The donation box, hopefully, will runneth over.

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Rock 'n' Roll Call: Florence + the Machine - MTV Unplugged

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MTV Unplugged

Florence + the Machine gets all acoustic on her "MTV Unplugged" thing on this CD collection and also a DVD of Miss Welch doing 14 songs, all on Universal Republic. You know, I waited until I heard "Ceremonials," (her last studio album) and I even saw her on SNL the other night before I listened to this one, and I still don't get it. She sings too loud on songs that aren't that good to begin with.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Amy Winehouse - Lioness: Hidden Treasures

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Lioness: Hidden Treasures

As usual, in music, being dead isn't half the dodge it is for the rest of us mortals - after all, even though they entered the past tense long ago, Jimi and Elvis are still making albums, so too is Amy Winehouse. This one is "Lioness: Hidden Treasures" and it's on Universal Republic. First, let me say what a waste - Winehouse was a real talent as she breezes through a bunch of oldies. Don't like them all - but, damn - Winehouse could really sing. I like the oldies, "Our Day Will Come" and her cover of the Shirelles' biggie, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow." And Lioness? Indeed - Winehouse could have the Lion King eager to drink swamp water and sleep in a hollow log and go on a blind date with a hyena just for the chance to her her purr, "Beat, it sucker." Everyone will still love Winehouse tomorrow and the day after that...

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Between the Ditches

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Between The Ditches

The new Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band's latest is "Between the Ditches" and it's on Side One Dummy, out of of Hell-A. The Reverend's band is only three people but they play big - and they play often - over 250 dates a year of bluesy swamp rock with Peyton's raspy weird beard in a baseball cap vocals that are as raggedy as they are righteous. There's a little Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper in here, also some John Lee Hooker and Black Joe Lewis; you know, the good stuff. At the end of "Easy Rider," these guys would be the hicks in the pick-up, but instead. they'd flash a peace sign. And how can you not like "Devils Look Like Angels" and "Shake 'Em Off Like Fleas"?


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Jesca Hoop - The House That Jack Built

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Jesca Hoop's latest is "The House That Jack Built" and it's on Bella Union. Hoop was raised a NorCal Mormon but won't be helping out poor little Mittens on the campaign, rather the very photogenic Ms Hoop is instead driving around trying to sell a few copies of this, her third album. It's jazzy and spacey with lots of whoops and mood changes, just like a before your time high school driver training class where 10th graders are trying to drive a stick shift. These don't really work for me - did I say she takes a purty picture?


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Fun - Some Nights

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Some Nights

The new one from Fun is "Some Nights" and it's on educationally factual Fueled By Ramen. Now musicians should be careful when choosing a band name - the Blasters, Fun and Failure all seemed to have become self-fulfilling prophesies and for our purposes, there's never too much Fun. This is a great New York City indie band that is almost operatic and symphonic in a Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody" sort of way or maybe Fun meets Panic at the Disco - you figure it out. I'm trying to figure how high Fun will end up on my year end list and it's only August. Evidently, "We Are Young" is their hit but "It Gets Better" is another anthem-like rocker that will live in your head for daze, probably because frontman Nate Reuss sings better than everyone, always a good thing.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Anti-Flag - The General Strike

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The General Strike

The latest from one of the most political bands around, Anti-Flag is "The General Strike" and it's on Side One Dummy. Far to the left of anyone you may see on MSNBC or Current. Here's the lyrics for "Controlled Opposition," the album opener: "No justice in a legal system run by criminals. If you don't like the court ruling then you shouldn't be poor. Now, go die." The whole album is just over 27 minutes but it's Warp 10 screamy punk rock, which reads better than it sounds. Too bad they didn't sing like Chris Isaak - good thing they never will and will never change. If you feel something is vaguely wrong with the American Dream - you have a lot of reading and thinking to do.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: The Toadies - Play Rock Music

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Play Rock Music

What's worse a rat or a toadie - or in Johnny Rocco's world view, a dumbbell or a wise guy? Who knows but the Toadies - the band - are great - the kiss asses at work? Screw them. Anyway, another great Texas band, the Toadies, have a new one, the self fulfilling threat, "Play Rock Music," and that they do - and how. It's kick-ass bluesy guitar rock - the Toadies and ZZ Top would be a great double bill - anyway, as I was trying to write this, suddenly and unconsciously my fist started pumping - fortunately, I didn't have a Zippo or a calendar. Powerful foot candy to the highest order - the opener, "Rattler's Revival" sets the tone and doesn't let up. So why can't Lone Star State politicians keep up with its musicians?

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Chords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

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The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Chords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

The longest album title of the year - probably is from Fiona Apple and it's "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Chords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do" and it's on Epic, and should inspire all the neurotic chicks all dressed in black to rise from the depths of dastardly debilitating depression to rally all the way up to a frown because their sad heroine has a new one. Clearly a talent, but Fiona is so jazzy and spacey she remains the poster girl for that dreaded We Have To Talk moment. An Apple a day keeps the Fast Forward button in play and "Left Alone" just does not work for me at all.



Rock 'n' Roll Call: English Beat - Live at the US Festival

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Live at the US Festival

One of best bands I've ever seen, the English Beat has a new/old one - "Live at the US Festival" and it's on Shout Factory. Now, I went to this show in '83 in the employ of this darn fine newspaper and I almost got fired for doing it - my boss at the time was not so understanding when it came to other people having fun but the old adage is completely true: " It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission." I went to both US Festivals in '82 and '83 and the Beat was great - like always. One of the great bands of the '80s along with Oingo Boingo, the Blasters, Top Jimmy and Rank and File, the Beat was always better than whoever they played with - ten times better than the Clash ever were. Anyway all the hits are here - "Mirror in the Bathroom," "Two Swords," "Tears of a Clown," "Ranking Full Stop" and Saxa wails on that sax most convincingly on "Jackpot." There's also a DVD so you can see it all and lucky us - the Beat is still around. They'll be at the Canyon Club on 6 October and you need, "Just Can't Stop It," just maybe the best album of all time...

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 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:

Alejandro Escovedo

OK, tonight, Friday night - he's in Hell-A but worth the drive - it's Americana hero, Alejandro Escovedo - he'll be at the Mint - I was gonna go last Sunday nite to see him in Santa Barbara but I got enthralled by "True Blood" and never made it out the door. It's '80s flashback night at the House of Try to Find a Place to Park with A Flock Of Seagulls and Gene Loves Jezebel while over at the Key Club - it's gnarly punk rock with a couple of veteran bands - the Angry Samoans and the Dickies, who provided the soundtrack for the greatest clown flick ever made, "Killer Klowns From Outer Space." Over in Simi Valley, it's the ubiquitous Preston Smith - he's everywhere and this time, at the Elephant Bar, while up here in western Ventura County, it's pure power pop with those Corsican Brothers at Margarita Villa. Teresa Russell will do her guitar goddess thing at Andy's NY Deli in Ventura and her male counterpart, Alastair Greene, will be at Amigo's and Dona Oxford will be at Yolie's, also in Ventura.



Chris Pierce

On Saturday, it's a Cajun dance party in Peninsula Park in farmland-hating Oxnard with Acadiana and soul man Chris Pierce will make his debut (I think) at the Four Brix Winery and that two-day Spencer MacKenzie wing ding kicks off in Ventura with just about every local band. I love their carne asada tacos even though I'm a Corrales man and a long time ago, a Johnny's man, but they got too expensive - in any case, there's plenty of business for both Spencer Mackenzie and Corrales but the Mac rocks more. There's a good triple bill at the Bombay with Dr. M, Big Dictator and up from Hell-A, Flavia & the Red. Garrison Star and Jay Nash will do the singer/songwriter thing at Zoey's and Jody Farrell will be at Yolie's, while up Hwy. 33 to Ojai, it's rockin' blues outside at Los Caporales with Bob Jones & Randy Rich, And finally on a Saturday, up in SB, it's Jim Kweskin and Dodger fans, Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan, at the Lobero Theatre where the sound is always just perfect.

On Sunday, it's the Conejo Valley's favorite band - that would be Urban Dread - and they'll be playing some reggae music at the Lab Brewing Company in Agoura, while up here in the 805 where we like it, Frank Barajas will do his one man pop rock thing at Tutti's, which used to be Cafe Voltaire and now is not and up in Oak View, it's acoustic music with the Perry Brothers at the Big Buddha Lounge.

On Tuesday, it's the Preachers playing some rockin' blues at Amigo's in Ventura. On Wednesday - she rages - that would be the Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles. Urban Dread will try it again, this time at Bogie's in Westlake and Dan Grimm and Happens Again will entertain at this week's Green Art People show down on the Ventura Avenue - check out my Grimm wit in this week's Time Out - proof positive that I'm hardly making any of this up.

Finally on a Thursday, it's Forbidden Fruit at Amigo's and Los Lobos will be at a benefit show at the Lobero in S.B. - that'd be a good one. OK, that's all that for this week - choose wisely.

A list of venues can be found here »

TimeOut: 'Ventucky' means paradise

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Sort of like a Grateful Dead show without the Dead, the weekly Green Art People gig on Ventura Avenue is about as fun as it can get on a Wednesday night. Some people kick it outside and exchange what used to be called mindless high school chatter, but most come inside and actually listen to the music. They'll get an earful this week when venue fave Dan Grimm of Ojai hosts a CD release party for his second album, "Ventucky."

Sometimes just a guy and a guitar, Grimm is bringing his whole band for this one, ably abetted by Jonathan McEuen and Jesse Siebenberg.

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TimeOut: 'Weird Al' Yankovic performs Aug. 26 at the Ventura Theater

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Living up to his nickname, embodied in a musical bazaar of the bizarre, "Weird Al" Yankovic will prove that funny is money when he turns the venerable Majestic Ventura Theater into the happiest place in town Sunday night.

There's been a goofball element in popular music from as far back as the 19th century, when people, especially soldiers, would change the lyrics to folk songs. In the 20th century, old-timers remember Spike Jones, Stan Freberg and Tom Lehrer. These days, everyone knows Weird Al, the animated frizzy-haired accordion player who is getting by with his spot-on hilarious parodies of Nirvana, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and many more.

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Rock 'n' Roll Call: Scissor Sisters - Magic Hour

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Magic Hour

No matter what time it is, don't run with the Scissor Sisters - their new one is "Magic Hour" and it's on Casablanca Records - a label named evidently for that sweaty African hot spot in Morocco and/or the great movie, Casablanca. Evidently, these are lullabies loved by lesbians, but "The L Word" is long gone, yet we're left with this bouncy techno pop. Several of these tunes are quite contagious - your feet will know what to do when your ears hear "'Baby Come Home," "Only the Horses," and evidently, this week's gay party anthem, "Let's Have A Kiki." I'm lame - I only remember Kiki Vandeweghe, a forward for UCLA from 30+ years ago but what a great song - and a fun band.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: The Dunwells - Blind Sighted Faith

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Blind Sighted Faith

The Dunwells' debut could be the soundtrack for the Taliban or Fox News, "Blind Sighted Faith" and it's on Playing In Traffic Records. It's British folk rock smartly done out of Leeds, fronted my two Dunwells - David and Joseph. Not to be confused with the Damnwells, expect soaring harmonies from the Dunwells, which your ears will appreciate after you've worn out the Mumford & Sons CD. The songs are fairly mellow and definitely heartfelt - this would be a good date night destination - these guys will be at the Lobero Theatre in SB on Saturday.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Ha Ha Tonka - Death Of A Decade

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Death Of A Decade

Ha Ha Tonka has a new one - whether or not they need a new name is another story - the album is "Death Of A Decade" and it's on Bloodshot Records out of Chicago. They band is out of Springfield, Mo. - home to one of my all-time faves, the Bottle Rockets. The band plays country/folk/indie rock. It's no laughing matter and they took their name from a park in Camdenton, Missouri. The album opener, "Usual Suspects," is about as catchy as it gets for a pop rock gem and may make you a fan of these red state rockers. Frontman Brian Roberts is most capable - political, too - a cancer survivor, he dissed the healthcare system (or lack of same) on a previous album. No American should go broke because they get sick - Rush Limbaugh and the other right wing tools already have great healthcare. Did I say, check out "Usual Suspects" and watch "Casablanca" (a movie full of usual suspects) whenever it's on? These guys will be at the El Rey in Hell-A Monday if you just happen to be down there.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Redd Kross - Researching The Blues

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Researching The Blues

Redd Kross, extraordinarily well rested - this is their first new album in 15 years - that would be "Researching The Blues" and it's on Merge. OK, so what did Steven and Jeff McDonald learn since their debut gig 34 years ago? Well, they know what brevity means - here's 10 songs in 32 minutes and their happening harmonies never sounded better. Every one of those ten zillion pop punk bands needs to kick down 10% to Redd Kross, the uncaused cause of all that. The McDonalds have also heard the Beatles and Beach Boys before - why not trip with the best? I love "Stay Away From Downtown" most but it's all good and everyone can find a use for "Uglier."


Rock 'n' Roll Call: JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound - Want More

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Want More

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound's soulful new one is "Want More" and that will describe you and me both after hearing this Bloodshot Records release. It works because every player is great, especially the Lowdown Horns, which allows slick frontman Brooks to channel Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield and Bobby "Blue" Bland - yeah - he's that good. Current equivalent: Black Joe Lewis. Naturally, the song "I Got High" is gonna be the stoner's theme song for a while but this is soul stew that's always tasty, especially, "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart."


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy

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The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy

Nada Surf is a 20-year old indie rock band out of New York - this is album Number Seven and love the title - "The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy" and it's on Barsuk Records. These are mellow little pop tunes from like '82 R.E.M. maybe, with laid back vocals and jangly, subtle guitars and uniformly endearing. The band is also reminiscent of that seriously sad surf story - "Man, you shoulda been here yesterday..." Hate when that happens. "Clear Eye Clouded Mind" and "Teenage Dream" are a couple of the good ones on an album with no bad cuts. The waves may've been better yesterday (they always are) but this band is real good right now.


TimeOut: 'Station' break

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Sometimes Monday morning productivity, considered in the sense of the overall scheme of the cosmos, is not really so important. Here comes just such a scenario. Unlike the recent Perseid Meteor Shower, which was a fizzle in many backyards, look for plenty of fireworks during an inspired double bill on Sunday night featuring Alejandro Escovedo and Jesse Malin at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara. It's worth the drive to see either of these guys, but both? This one is clearly a cultural landslide and you can work extra hard on Tuesday.

Yet another talented musician from Texas, Escovedo has been around a long time and he's got stories to tell. He's clearly in possession of the music gene; several of his brothers are in bands and Sheila E. is his niece. Escovedo was in the legendary punk band the Nuns and was a founding member of cowpunk luminaries Rank and File way back in the early '80s.

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TimeOut: Listen to Lissie

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Along with Madonna, Moses and Godzilla, Ojai-based singer-songwriter Lissie is a firm believer in the concept of one-name brevity. She'll headline a benefit tonight for downtrodden kids from one of the unluckiest and saddest places on earth, Haiti. All this goodwill will emanate from the friendly confines of the Libbey Bowl, right in the middle of hippie, happy Ojai. The gig is a benefit for the Changing Tides Orphanage in Haiti.

Lissie is a Midwestern girl who came west to be a rock star. Not only did that work out fairly quickly -- long before her L.A. rivals gave up on their delusions of grandeur and embraced the Zen of waiting tables -- but Lissie was able to skedaddle from down south to live in Ojai. Although she plays a local small venue now and again, this gig is sort of like her official big new-hometown debut.

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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 Link TV 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:

Bee Eaters

OK, tonight, Friday night, it's rockin' reggae from Urban Dread at Padri's Martini Bar in Agoura - the Reverend Horton Heat will play loud and fast at the Canyon Club - also in Agoura. (When I'm feeling reverential, I turn on the Reverend Billy C. Wirtz - the funniest living redneck). While up here in the 805 where we like it, the Bee Eaters will do some cool acoustic stuff at the Center for Spiritual Living down on Laurel Street and Santa Clara in Ventura and guitar goddess Teresa Russell will do her amazing thing all over Andy's New York Deli in Ventura and all those Shoemaker Brothers will be at Amigo's on Main Street while directly across the street, it's Mouse Grey and those Rubberneck Lions at the Good Bar, while down C Street, it's Le Meu Le Purr - Pepe Le Pew's favorite band - they'll be at the Bombay and drummer Jerry McWhorter and the Big Beats will be at Yolie's. Up Hwy. 33 to Ojai - Lissie - yup, just Lissie - she'll headline a benefit for Haitian children at the Libbey Bowl in downtown Ojai. And finally on a Friday, it's Colbie Caillet and Gavin DeGraw - they'll be at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. Wow - that's a lot of stuff - but that's why it's Friday night.

OK, on Saturday, Rachel Sedacca will play some folk rock at the Lab Brewing Company in Agoura and the Grandmothers of Invention - I'm guessing these are the survivors of Frank - they'll be at the cavernous Cavern Club in Agoura, while the amazing Preston Smith will improve the quality of life at Cisco's in Westlake Village. While down the hill to the 805 where we like it or until Oxnard paves everything - heard about their plan to build two new high schools on the farmland in the green belt? Several people need to start voting in that town - I can say that - I was born there. Anyway, one of the hardest working bands anywhere and my heroes - the Cadillac Angels will be at Peninsula Park in Oxnard and a mile or two up Harbor Boulevard - the #1 DUI street in the county - it's Divine Crime at Margarita Villa in the Ventura Harbor. Ron Rio, a master of boogie woogie piano will be at the Four Brix Winery in Ventura and the Cult will play some '80s style guitar rock at the Ventura Theatre. Across the street at the Sans Souci, it's Mouse Grey fueled by beers and booze from Lauren the bartender and through the alley to the Bombay, all those Shoemaker Brothers will play some original rock. Up Hwy. 33 to Ojai, it's Rey Fresco ably assisted by the Ojai Junior Symphony at the Libbey Bowl and just steps away, it's Bob Jones and Randy Rich playing some blues at Los Caporales Mexican Restaurant. And up the coast to SB - a thinly-veiled excuse to go to Mac's - it's the Dunwells playing stellar Celtic folk rock at the Lobero Theatre where the sound is always just perfect.



On Sunday - lots more stuff - good thing we don't have an NFL team - I haven't watched a pro game since the Rams left. The Wayward Sons will rock all the yupscale rich folk as well as the doctors on Harley's - all happening Sunday at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas. Up here in the 805 where we still like it, Immortal Technique - a rapper who definitely does not suck - will be at the Ventura Theatre, probably late but worth the wait. The legendary R&B Bombers will play some dance music at the Bombay - Frank Barajas will do his one-man pop rock thing at Tutti's and not far away at Zoey's, there will be a Remembering Kenny Edwards gig, featuring the great guitar player's many friends. Up the coast to Santa Barbara - after all this, it's the best show of the week and one of the best this year - Alejandro Escovedo and super singer/songwriter Jesse Malin on the same bill at Velvet Jones; and finally on a Sunday, guitar god Alastair Greene will shred at Whiskey Richards.

On Monday - slow night - just one - Ha Ha Tonka will play some cool indie rock at the El Rey Theatre in Hell-A. A review of their new one is just below all this exposition.

Groove Session

On Tuesday - one more, but closer - Spencer the Gardener will be at the Stow House in Goleta playing his "spy movie music at the beach."

On Wednesday - one more time with Urban Dread - they'll be playing some reggae at Bogie's in WLV, while down the hill to the 805, Teresa Russell will shred anew - this time at Seaside Seafood in Port Hueneme. And Groove Session will provide the soundtrack for this week's Green Art People wingding down on the Ventura Avenue.

On Thursday - she never rests - Teresa Russell will be in farmland-hating Oxnard at the Lookout - as in - lookout - where'd all that traffic come from? All those Shoemaker Brothers - one more time - will be at the scenic Pierpont Inn in Ventura and Jah Mon Soul will be at Amigo's. I don't wanna hear you say, "There's never anything to do around here," ya get me?

A list of venues can be found here »

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Drunken Prayer - Into The Missionfield

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Into The Missionfield

Drunken Prayer, a common enough occurrence, for our purposes is a band with a new one. "Into The Missionfield" and it's on - and ya gotta love this - Fluff + Gravy Records. If you stumbled into a bar and Drunken Prayer was playing, you'd stay to drink your weight in beer as this is bar band/beer band nirvana - note the Drunken part of the band name. These guys remind me of one of Missouri's best, the Bottle Rockets and frontman Morgan Geer even sounds like Brian Henneman of the Rockets. It's Red State party music that rocks and your stumble opportunity is coming - Drunken Prayer will be at the Brewhouse in Santa Barbara on August 16 - so much for worker productivity on Friday - these guys will be worth it.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Magic Slim & The Teardrops - Bad Boy

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Magic Slim & The Teardrops aren't going anywhere - their latest is "Bad Boy" and it's on Blind Pig. The Magic man is a down and dirty blues guy, showing off the exuberance of a guy about to get lucky on "I Got Money," which is just one of the many keepers on yet another solid effort by this venerable veteran guitar player. Blues songs are about every day life and Slim is never going to settle for the usual suspects. It's guys like this that make more blues fans.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials

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Ceremonials

Never got this one when it came out but I have it now and that would be "Ceremonials" by Florence + The Machine; it's her second album and it's on Universal Republic from late last year. First of all - Florence is too everything - too loud, too in your face, trying too hard - so it's easy to understand why her debut album was called "Lungs." Florence Welch has two mighty, healthy lungs. "Never Let Me Go" and "Breaking Down" are the ones that'll live in your head for daze off this one, while "Shake It Out" and "What the Water Gave Me" were the hits, but these and the others remind me of the veteran sound guy whose answer to any live show is to turn the knobs up on the board to 15. Florence is already at 16.


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 Link TV 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:

Jack White

OK, tonight, Friday night it's in LA but it's worth it to check out the great singer-songwriter Paul Thorn will be at the Mint, and what a great name - they could be the house band on Wall Street - Me First & The Gimme Gimmes along with Old Man Markley will be at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Jack White will begin a two-day run at the Shrine Auditorium - his new album is a gem while up here in the 805 where we like it, Teresa Russell will do her girl and a guitar thing at Andy's New York Deli in Ventura. The Sticks Randall All-Star band will have some fun at Amigo's on Main Street and Gypsy Death Star will be one of a couple bands to play at the Bombay.

On Saturday and Sunday it's those rich punk rockers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will be at the Staples Center. She's one of the greatest chick singer songwriters of all time that you probably never heard of - she's usually an actress but - wow - she sure can sing - that would

Red Hot Chili Peppers

be Kathleen Wilhoite - she'll be at Vitello's in Studio City - avoid the Robert Blake Special and check out Kathleen's "Pitch Like A Girl" album. The amazing Preston Smith will be at Cisco's in Westlake Village, where no one can spell recession and up here in the 805 where we like it, Santa Barbara legend, Spencer the Gardener will have people dancing funny at Amigo's on Main Street in Ventura with his "spy movie music at the beach." It's Fair time and on Saturday, you could check out Boyz II Men, En Vogue and local country rockers, Big Tweed. Rooster Ra, who have the best song ever about Oxnard, will be at the Big Buddha Lounge in Oak View and Bob Jones and Randy Rich will play some blues outside at Los Caporales in Ojai and Rain Perry is having a house concert with Alan Thornhill and Martin Young. And the Jimmy Adams Memorial Concert is happening at the Plaza Playhouse Theatre in Carpinteria.

On Sunday, it's country-flavored singer/songwriter Kelly Hogan at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica and Urban Dread will play some reggae at the Lab Brewing Company in Agoura, while up here in the 805 where we'll always like it, Frank Barajas will do his one man pop rock thing at Tutti's in Ventura and Rachel Sedacca will play some folk rock at the Big Buddha Lounge. And finally on a Sunday, Avi Buffalo will be at the cool little Muddy Waters venue down on Haley in Santa Barbara.

In Monday - it's Down South but it's a good double bill of indie rock at the Music Box in Hollyweird with Earlimart and Grandaddy.

What a rockin' week - there's even a ton of shows on Tuesday - the Kills will be at the Mayan Theatre, also in Hell-A and the Alabama Shakes, who I think, will probably be great - are gonna be at the Music Box and Dead Can Dance will be at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, while up the coast in Santa Barbara, indie rockers on the rise, Peaking Lights, will be at the Velvet Jones on State Street.



When they're on - they can be the greatest rock band in the world - Phish on Wednesday at the Long Beach Arena - I saw Ten Years After there once when they were one of the best bands in the world - and up here in the 805 at the Green Art People thing in Ventura, it's Wons Frealey and Tara Patterson.

On Thursday, the Legalizers will play some reggae at the historic Pierpont Inn in Ventura, and Forbidden Fruit will play some reggae at Amigo's. And they remind me of the Bottle Rockets - that would be Drunken Prayer playing some country rock at the Brewhouse in S.B.

A list of venues can be found here »

TimeOut: Jesca Hoop performs Aug. 11 at Zoey's in Ventura

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Jumping through not a thing -- except maybe with her voice -- Jesca Hoop will stop by Zoey's in Ventura Saturday night to play a few off her third and latest full-length album, "The House That Jack Built." The first one on the new one is "Born To," and, evidently, Hoop definitely was born to sing.

These days, every waiter, dog walker and personal assistant in Los Angeles who is not writing a screenplay is a songwriter. Hoop lived their dream by getting her demo played on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Electric" -- the radio show that frequently reaches all the way to the yellow brick road. Since then, she's toured with Eels, Andrew Bird, Polyphonic Spree and Mark Knopfler. She even sang backup for Peter Gabriel last year on his New Blood tour. Expanding one's horizons thusly seems a good way to create a long career in an uncertain industry.

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TimeOut: Jimmy Adams memorial concert set for Aug. 11

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Wherever he is, the legendary Jimmy Adams, one of the nicest people ever, is no doubt doing what he does without any g's. That could involve laughin', singin' or just trippin'. Adams, a Texan who made his mark in California but never lost his accent, died too young at 62 on July 26 in Kentucky during outpatient surgery to repair a detached retina. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Judy Adams. A memorial concert/jam session will be held Saturday night at the Plaza Playhouse Theater in Carpinteria.

Originally, the gig was going to be a Jonathan McEuen show. Now it's been greatly expanded to include as many of the available "and Friends" folks from the countless Jimmy Adams and Friends gigs held over the years. We can all afford this free show.

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Rock 'n' Roll Call: Ponderosa - Pool Party

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Pool Party

Just because of the name, geezers would like Ponderosa because it brings back memories of that endless, mindless and senseless western, "Bonanza," enjoying the tough love of the Cartwrights on their ranch, the Ponderosa. Anyway, it's this Georgia band's second album - "Pool Party" and it's on New West. Out of Athens, Georgia, clearly not Southern Rock - this is more indie rock with some shoegazer rock, and maybe a bit of vintage R.E.M. and no Lynyrd Skynyrd. Gang vocals predominate on the slow ones, which are fairly interchangeable. The title tune, however, is a keeper - something the Stone Roses could be proud of - pool party music for a foggy day.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Jeff The Brotherhood - Hypnotic Nights

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Hypnotic Nights

The latest from Jeff The Brotherhood is "Hypnotic Nights" and it's on Warner Brothers. As the name would indicate - it's a couple of brothers - Jake and Jamin Orrall and their guitars doings a fuzzed out garage rock thing. They're the sons of Robert Ellis Orrall who used to record for RCA back when the sundowns were in black & white. The title tune - as well as several others - are total speeding ticket music but you won't care unless a red light materializes behind you. This is sort of like early Count Five meets Blue Cheer in the Kinks' garage. In 1965, they'd be like gods. And today? Fun party rock is always a good thing

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Ramona Falls - Prophet

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Prophet

"Prophet" is the latest from yet another Portland band - this one Ramona Falls and it's on Barsuk Records. Unwrapping this one presents an origami nightmare - even to those who are not Captain Hook. This is the second album by Brent Knopf and his pals and you gotta hand it to him for writing a song about Archimedes, just as Phish got points for finding a rhyme for Osiris (papyrus) and Rhett Miller once sang about plate tectonics. However, too many of these are your basic, noodling indie rock songs that will have your mind wandering to other things as they lack the urgency to grab-you-by-the-ear and demand your attention. The guitar jam at the end of "Brevony" is pretty cool, but mostly - as with so many others - back to Songwriting 101.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Birdy - Birdy

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Birdy

The new self-titled album by Birdy should be up there on the Audubon Society's wish list of dream gigs along with the Byrds, the Eagles and the Yardbirds. Not only will her wily warbling not disturb our feathered friends, Warner Brother publicity big cheese, Rick Gershon, told me "She's gonna be a star." They don't always say that - actually, they hardly ever say that. He's right. Just look at the album cover - she doesn't even have to sing, but she does anyway. Pretty much a sad girl and a piano, Birdy will appeal to the ladies who like to snivel along with Tori Amos and Fiona Apple, and Birdy, actually Jasmine Van den Bogaerde, is only 15-years-old, so she's just taking off.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: The Mynabirds - Generals

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Generals

The Mynabirds' new one is "Generals," without whom, more privates would live longer. This one is the first new music by a Saddle Creek artist I've received since 2008. This group is a collection of musicians fronted by Laura Burhenn, out of Omaha and is all over the place and consequently, goes nowhere with nothing close to a good song as this bird warbles without direction, so time to wing it back to Songwriting 101. Now, I have just saved you 36 minutes and 48 seconds, so do something worthwhile. Actually, the Mynabirds did just on their website by condemning an attack on a lesbian in Omaha. No wonder they're called flyover states - no one wants to live there, even though we're now protected from Sharia Law. What the hell's the matter with people? There's way too many of us for one thing and too many of us are stupid. And lesbians are awesome.


The Mynabirds - Body of Work by Saddle Creek

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Anya Marina - Felony Flats

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Anya Marina's latest is "Felony Flats" and it's on Atlantic. Not only is that a good name for the next new jail, it offers a steamy and sexy beginning with "Body Knows Best," the theme song for those at the bar, assessing the scamabilities even as they try to drink each other cute. Marina has that little coquettish Betty Boop voice that at other times, evolves into that whispery, steamy voice that could make a statue of J. Edgar Hoover sweat, and make any sucker eager to crawl over broken glass just to hear her say, "Beat it, buster." Marina is from everywhere but now is yet another good one out of Portland and has had her songs all over TV and even opened for famous rock stars such as Rhett Miller, clearly an upgrade from those unfunny comedians he used to inflict on his choir at Largo. Anyway, Marina is clearly on the upward spiral with her bluesy rock gems.


TimeOut: Jimmy Thackery headlines Blues Matinee Concert Series in Moorpark

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Prolific and really funny blues guitar guy Jimmy Thackery will headline the second installment of the Sunday Blues Matinee Concert Series at High Street Arts Center in Moorpark. Thackery has more albums than there are pages in this darn fine Time Out section, so he shouldn't run low on tunes. Alastair Greene and the Mikey Mo Band also are set to perform at the show, which is presented by the Ventura County Blues Society.

Thackery, clearly not a Vaughan-a-be, is his own man after doing 20 with the Nighthawks, a legendary blues band out of the nation's capital, clearly a blues-inducing environment. Like countless sidemen before and after him, Thackery thought, "Hey, I can do that." As a solo act, he's released numerous albums on Blind Pig, then Telarc and now he's doing it all on his own.

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Rock 'n' Roll Call: John Mayer - Born And Raised

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Born and Raised

First up, John Mayer has a new one - that would be "Born And Raised" and it's on mighty, mighty Columbia Records. It's pretty easy to hear why Mayer is a top tier performer - this guy is a kick-ass songwriter on top of his game on this one that'll make the Top Five on the year end list - at least. The opener, the ever clever, "Queen of California," is all about missing that pesky ex but not wanting her to know and "Shadow Days" is getting over that ubiquitous Miss Take. Mayer is as sad as Rhett Miller and just as clever with a telling phrase that'll have you nodding in that been-there-done-that moment and he deals most convincingly with those ever embarrassing horn dog urges aimed at your pal's squeeze as on "Something Like Olivia." Then there's "Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967," a mindbender of a tune just right for another Johnny Depp part in another weird and wonderful Tim Burton movie. Great writing, swell voice on perfect songs - Mayer is as good as it gets.

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 Link TV 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.

Sad to report that my friend - everybody's friend - the Legendary Jimmy Adams died in Kentucky last week on 26 July. He was 62. One of the regulars - actually originators - from back in the Cafe Voltaire days in Ventura in the nifty '90s, Adams helped put Todd Winokur's place on the map as the home base of all the local singer/songwriters. A wonderful songwriter in his own right, Adams wrote the best song about the beach by a guy from Texas, "I Think I'll Go Down to the Ocean," which has been covered by many. One of his songs is the perfect epitaph, "You May Be Gone, But You're Not Forgotten." One of the happiest of all men, Jimmy never had a bad word to say about anybody. Some sort of benefit/tribute concert will probably be happening next weekend somewhere. Stay tuned.

OK, on to the task at hand: 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:



OK, tonight - Friday night, in Hell-A, Beachwood Sparks will play some of that college/indie rock at the Echo and what a dumb name for a cool band - Ha Ha Tonka will be at the Roxy -

Ha Ha Tonka

they have a new album, "Death of A Decade," just out on Bloodshot Records. The Conejo Valley's favorite band - that would be Urban Dread - they'll play some reggae music at Padri's Martini Bar in Agoura while up here in the 805 where we like it, it's local punk rock night at Billy O's with No Motiv, Strand Quentin and the Whereabouts. Floyd & the Flyboys will be at the Watermark in Ventura while a few steps north, it's that wonderful Preston Smith at Amigo's on Main Street, and Tres Amigos will do something fun around the corner at the Wine Rack. The Rubberneck Lions and a few other bands will be at the Bombay Bar & Grill and veteran blues dude, Doug MacLeod will be at Yolie's across the street from Avenue Von's, also in Ventura.

On Saturday, they may have a gross name but it's a cool band - Brainspoon will be at the Sans Souci, while around the corner, Donna Greene & the Roadside Daddies will be at Amigo's. Rachel Sedacca will play some folk rock at the Sandbox Coffehouse across from Tony's Pizza down on Thompson in Ventura; and once upon a time, she was a Runaway and

Joan Jett

now playing the Fair - wow, that would be Joan Jett, who probably still loves rock 'n' roll but would she cheat on a vampire? Can't say. Up Hwy. 33 to Ojai, Bob Jones and the remarkable Randy Rich - one great guitar player - they'll be playing outside at Los Caporales and up the coast to Santa Barbara, Jennifer Terran will do something trippy at the Barn.

On Sunday, the blues returns to Moorpark where Jimmy Thackery and Alastair Greene will rock the High Street Theatre. Thackery, not a Vaughan-a-be, that's for sure, was a funny interview - check it out in this week's Time Out, proof positive, I'm hardly making much of this up. Bloody Mary Morning, simultaneously cause and result, will rock, East Ventura-style at the Bombay and Frank Barajas will do his solo Sunday thing at Tutti's in Ventura.

On Monday, all 50 Sticks of Dynamite will shred explosively at Zoey's in Ventura and playing some frantic punk bluegrass - that would be Old Man Markley at the SLO Brewery, pretty far but they're pretty cool. Their last song is their best song, "For Better For Worse."

Paul Thorn

And Tuesday? Traditionally the deadest night of the week - tons of stuff this week - why ask why? Old school pop punk with Redd Kross - yup, they're back - they'll be at the Roxy in Hollyweird, no doubt playing tunes of their new one - their zillionth. While up here in the 805 where we still like it, playing a much needed homegame at the Fair and dressing much better than you - that would be Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and also same night - it's a big Fair - Frankie Avalon will also sing some songs that will make you miss Annette Funicello or back when we enjoyed free parking at out own beaches. The Sidewalk Preachers will be at the Tavern and soulful singer, Norah Jones will be at the Santa Barbara County Bowl and he's worth the drive as one of the best singer/songwriters anywhere - that would be Paul Thorn at the SLO Brewery.



Nicki Minaj

On Wednesday, it might be worth it for the overall weirdness - that would be Nicky Minaj at phonehead nirvana at the Nokia Theatre. Urban Dread will do it again - this time at Bogie's in Westlake Village while up here in the 805 where we like it - and we already have way too much traffic - Brion Shearer and Mike Fishell & Friends will miss a Dodger game to do the honors at this week's Green Art People gig down on the Ventura Avenue. And one more time for Paul Thorn - he'll be at the Tales of the Tavern gig in Santa Ynez.



Lucha Vavoom will remind all the little weirdos what they like about wrestling and strippers when they host their tenth anniversary show at the Mayan Theatre in Hell-A and my new favorite band, Shovels and Rope will be at the Hotel Cafe doing a 10 p.m. show - trust me this time. While up here in the 805 where we like it because, well, it's so convenient, Dirty Rice will be at Amigo's in Ventura, Emy Reynolds will be at the Bombay and Jonathan McEuen will do something cool at the Big Buddha Lounge in beautiful downtown Oak View.

A list of venues can be found here »

TimeOut: Shovels and Rope duo dig married life on the road

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Theoretically, love thy neighbor is a good thing and a noble aim, but it's difficult when your neighbor is Los Angeles. Traffic, aggravation, smog, overcrowding -- why is it so expensive to suffer so much? All we know is that we don't want it here and the best part of visiting L.A. is leaving. But then again, there are certain attractions -- the Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, Bruins or Trojans and all those bands playing somewhere every night.

The best new band you've never heard of, Shovels and Rope out of Charleston, S.C., will provide the reason to go south on a work night when they perform Thursday at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Too bad they couldn't get an 805 gig. Try not to get towed.

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Rock 'n' Roll Call: Maps & Atlases - Beware And Be Grateful

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Beware and Be Grateful

The new Maps & Atlases is "Beware And Be Grateful" on Barsuk Records. Not only is this sound advice for sure because to know where you're going, you need to know where you've been - don't be a stubborn stupid dude and fail to ask directions, so check a map - they know where stuff is. The first one, "Old & Gray" is too forced and affected by some strange idea that gray is a four syllable word, whatever. Wikipedia, which never lies and is always right, called this "math rock." I had to look it up. It's guitar driven experimental rock and mostly, I don't care much for the examples cited, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Frank Zappa, Rush, the Mahavishnu Orchestra. King Crimson etc. The songs are sort of jazzy and spacey and all over the place, but the guitars by Erin Elders and Dave Davison will command your attention and the solos at the end of "Silver Self" would make the Feelies proud. "Bugs" also demonstrates some amazing digital dexterity from a band worth a listen.

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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