November 2012 Archives

Nope helps anti-literacy

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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 PBS with the sound off (``The Dust Bowl'') 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:

OK, tonight - Friday - not sold on their sound but it may worth the drive to Hell-A just to buy a Simian Mobile Disco shirt - they'll be at the Fonda down on Sunset in Hollyweird. The rock star slackers in No Doubt will be at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City tonight. They'll be playing every other night and evidently have come a ways since opening for the Ska Daddyz in Oxnard. Up here in the 805 where we like it, the Red Ball Jets who know every song ever written, will play some of them tonight at Judge Roy Beans' - Saturday also. Deke Dickerson will play some swell country rock at Yolie's in Ventura and Milo Greene will sing better than everybody at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara, also tonight, Friday night.

On Saturday, it's old school punk from the nation's capitol with Bad Brains at the Fonda, still in Hollyweird and the tall, slinky and very rich, Taylor Swift will be at phonehead nirvana, the Nokia Theatre, and a bunch of old school Chicano SoCal rock bands such as Malo, Tierra, and Thee Midniters will take a trip down ``Whittier Boulevard'' and folkie Jill Sobule will be at McCabe's in Santa Monica. Up here in the 805 where we like it, Shaky Feelin' will do that jam band thing at the Good Bar on Main Street in Ventura. Up the block and down California Street to the Bombay Bar & Grill, it's CD release time for Zachary James & the All Seeing Eyes - he can see that fiver in your pocket and he wants you to give it to him for this affordable, all ages, early show with Massenger opening. And Howlin' Woods will do a Saturday show at Green Art People down on the Ventura Avenue.

On Sunday, singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale will  be at McCabe's in Santa Monica and Frank Barajas will do his one-man pop rock thing at Tutti's in Ventura. Skip one until Tuesday when ZZ Top will rock the House of Try To Find A Place To Park in Hollyweird, while up here in the 805, the Punch Brothers will play some bluegrass music at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara where the sound is always perfect.

And finally on a Thursday, Mouse Grey will play some original rock at the Sans Souci in Ventura.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: A.C. Newman - Shut Down The Streets

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Shut Down the Streets

The latest from A.C. Newman is "Shut Down The Streets" and it's on Matador Records. Newman is the New Pornographers leader - a band with five albums - this is his third solo album. Newman plays whimsical pop songs, too many of which are over produced and under thought through and out of focus - sort of like putting on granny's glasses by mistake as the initial "oh, wow" quickly becomes "huh?" The keepers are "There's Money in New Wave" and "Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns," both hook-filled and memorable, but on the others, Newman's reach does not exceed his grasp.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Melissa Etheridge - 4th Street Feeling

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4th Street Feeling

The new Melissa Etheridge is "4th Street Feeling" and it's on mighty, mighty Island Records. World weary is the prominent world view for Etheridge who has that gruff been-here-done-that voice. She is a long time lesbian icon that has won Grammys, an Academy Award, writes for the Huffington Post, somehow chose David Cosby for the sperm donor for her two kids, is active in progressive causes and is an all around cool chick and a great human being. Her songs are as solid as her Midwestern upbringing - often autobiographical and let us know more than we need to, maybe.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Peter Ostroushko - The Mando Chronicles

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The Mando Chronicles

Mandolin master Peter Ostroushko has released "The Mando Chronicles" on Red House. This may be more mandolin than you'll ever need - it's three hours of music on three CDs featuring 52 songs. This stuff will take you back to another time and you may very well, want to stay a while.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Dylan LeBlanc - Cast The Same Old Shadow

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Cast The Same Old Shadow

Dylan LeBlanc has a new one out on Matador - his second and that would be "Cast The Same Old Shadow." It's slo mo and languid sad songs by a young twentysomething who has no business being this depressed. He is a southerner, so maybe the general election didn't work out as planned or else he just watched Ken Burns' "The Civil War," or most likely, Miss Take did the usual on a tender heart. "Chesapeake Lane" is probably the best one here as this one just misses being something special. Then again, LeBlanc is only 22, sort of a redneck Neil Young will fewer guitars and life will get worse.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Propagandhi - Failed States

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Failed States

"Failed States" is the new one from the cleverly-monikered Propagandhi and it's on Epitaph Records. The soundtrack for the bumper sticker: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention," these in-your-face politically driven punkers also lay to rest the notion that Canadians are mellow. Despite the message - scream-o always sucks - it's like your favorite fantasy rock star naked, feeding you pizza while they scalp you with a rusty knife. They rail against capitalism, the new feudalism, that awful oligarchy - those shrugging whatever dudes of the One Percent, not to mention ecocide, racism and animal exploitation. Or in other words, it's a solid message in an uncomfortable package - oh, and once again, extra clever name. Any person who kills a tiger or a rhino for profit or buys said animal parts should have his or her entire village or city carpet bombed into the past tense. It would be a hit on YouTube.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Xavier Rudd - Spirit Bird

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Spirit Bird

The latest from Xavier Rudd is "Spirit Bird" and it's on Side One Dummy. It's Number Seven from the Australian one man band and multi-instrumentalist, who clearly knows what he's doing. He uses a lot of indigenous instruments and creates these aboriginal jams that would be so right for an aboriginal rave. A stout proponent for justice for the Australian natives and other humanitarian causes, Rudd often sounds like a whole band - an original rocker doing amazing things. "Bow Down" and "Butterfly" are just a couple of good ones on an album with no bad cuts.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Nuggets: Original Artifacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

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Nuggets - Original Artifacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is not just some excellent folksy advice but also a lesson that Rhino Records knows oh so well. So it's one more time for the "Nuggets: Original Artifacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968." There's 27 songs on this one from those silly '60s - all of them are good - many of them are great such as "Lies" by the Knickerbockers, the original and best version of "Hey Joe" by the Leaves, "Pushin' Too Hard" by the Seeds, "Farmer John" by the Premieres, "You're Gonna Miss Me" by the Thirteenth Floor Elevators and so many more. Jack White and bands like the Japandroids are proof that someone actually did listen to this stuff.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Tom Tom Club is - Downtown Rockers

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Downtown Rockers

The Tom Tom Club is back - remember them? They were a new wave band from the early '80s - a side project from husband and wife team Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz - both now in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame because they were also in Talking Heads. Anyway, the new one is "Downtown Rockers," a five-song EP just out on Nacional Records. Obviously these two know what they're doing, they've got that sly, soulful groove wired - the title tune will live in your head like a Disney theme song and "Won't Give You Up" is even better, in addition to the fact that it resonates with our natural stubbornness. Great driving music or make-out music. Tom might be Sir Thomas now.

Friday night, post-turkey gambles

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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 PBS with the sound off ("The Dust Bowl") 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:

OK, tonight - Friday - it's cool power revitalized after an eight year break - that would be Lit at the cavernous Canyon Club in Agoura. It's a dance party up a few stairs but close to home - that would be the Legalizers playing some reggae at the Watermark in Ventura and a few steps north it's Emilbus playing some Sublime songs at Amigo's. Down California Street toward the once blue Pacific to the Bombay, there's a whole bunch of bands playing including the Pullmen and Space Panther, while down at Yolie's Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps will play some tunes off their latest, "Come On Home," while up the coast, power pop kings of long experience, the Tearaways, will be at Red's in Santa Barbara tonight and Saturday as well.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Bill Staines - Beneath Some Lucky Star

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Beneath Some Lucky Star

He has more than twentysomething albums and Bill Staines' latest is "Beneath Some Lucky Star" and it's on Red Hill. Staines is an old school, traditional and solid New England folkie. Everyone has recorded his songs - and he plays 200 gigs a year. Staines sort of sounds like Peter or Paul (not Mary) and is just a no nonsense practitioner of his craft. Look in the dictionary under "folksinger" and you should see a picture of Staines.

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 PBS with the sound off ("The Dust Bowl") 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:

The Tearaways

OK, tonight - Friday - it's cool power revitalized after an eight year break - that would be Lit at the cavernous Canyon Club in Agoura. It's a dance party up a few stairs but close to home - that would be the Legalizers playing some reggae at the Watermark in Ventura and a few steps north it's Emilbus playing some Sublime songs at Amigo's. Down California Street toward the once blue Pacific to the Bombay, there's a whole bunch of bands playing including the Pullmen and Space Panther, while down at Yolie's Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps will play some tunes off their latest, "Come On Home," while up the coast, power pop kings of long experience, the Tearaways, will be at Red's in Santa Barbara tonight and Saturday as well.

Rubberneck Lions

On Saturday, in Hell-A where we love the Dodgers, Kings and Lakers and not much else, the Counting Crows will be at the Wiltern Theatre and No Doubt will get all bouncy all over the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, while up here in the 805 where we like it, the Corsican Brothers will be at the Keynote Lounge in East Ventura and Jodi Farrell & TreCoustics will be at Amigo's and all those Shoemaker Brothers will be at the Bombay. Kyle Hunt & King Gypsy will rock the Tavern down on Santa Clara Street in Ventura with Rubberneck Lions opening, and next door at Zoey's, it's the finals of the Ones To Watch Emerging Singer/Songwriter Competition, giving you the opportunity to say, "I knew them when..."

On Sunday, there's a bunch of bands at Billy O's in Ventura - among them, Cholos On Acid and No Cops For Miles - gotta love that, or what? It's guitar shredder Alastair Greene at Amigo's and it's the Shoemakers one more time at the Bombay and Frank Barajas will do some solo acoustic pop rock at Tutti's, also in Ventura.

On Tuesday, Henry Rollins will get in everybody's face at the Largo in Hell-A from Tuesday through the weekend - once upon a time, the frontman for Black Flag as well as his own band, Rollins is a world traveler with stories to tell - hey, he should be Secretary of State.

Agent Orange

On Wednesday, it's an old school punk rock flashback show with Fear, D.I., Agent Orange and a few more bands at House of Blues in Hollyweird. Once again, the Middle East has taken "Let's Have A War" to heart. And up here in the 805 where we like it, 50 Sticks of Dynamite will dress better than you will when they rock this week's Green Art People wingding.

And finally on a Thursday, Little Big Town will play some potent country rock at the Wiltern in Hell-A and famous skinny golfer Alice Cooper will pretend it's Halloween one more time - this time at the Orpheum in L.A. while up here in farmland-loving Oxnard - and not a moment too soon - it's Teresa Russell and Stephen Geyer at the Lookout. Under the Streetlamp will feature singers that can actually sing at the Granada Theatre on State Street in Santa Barbara...and that's it for another week.

TimeOut: Teresa James and The Rhythm Tramps play Ventura on Nov. 23

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They know the way to Ventura and their fans are always happy when they show up, much like what will happen tonight when Teresa James and The Rhythm Tramps rock at Yolie's with a new album, "Come on Home." The gig is more or less a home game because they're cruising in from Santa Clarita, a place that pretty much does not rock.

The band clearly does, pounding out self-described "funky and greasy" music where Texas meets Louisiana, except with better weather and smarter politics. Teresa James has that perfectly gritty rock 'n' roll voice. Her significant other, Terry Wilson, is the bass player and writes the songs. Guitar player Billy Watts is well known to local music fans as a member of the Mojo Monkeys, and local drummer supreme Jim Christie played on two-thirds of the new album's tracks.

Read more »

TimeOut: O.C.-based band Lit will play The Canyon Nov. 23

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Trying to rekindle their former "Miserable" mojo, Lit will play tonight at The Canyon in Agoura Hills. It's safe to assume the Fullerton-based band will play a few off their first new album in eight years, "The View From the Bottom." Their bottom and our bottom might be complete strangers, as once upon a time Lit was a platinum-selling band, signed to RCA and touring with the likes of The Offspring, No Doubt and Garbage.

Before their flame-on moment, the band began behind the Orange Curtain as Razzle, which became Stain. They've been Lit since 1996 and homeowners since the new millennium. Their album "A Place in the Sun" went platinum -- a metal beloved by label suits -- fueled in no small part by the success of singles "Miserable" and "My Own Worst Enemy." An appearance by Pamela Anderson in the video for "Miserable" made it memorable.

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Rock 'n' Roll Call: Walk the Moon - Walk the Moon

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Walk the Moon

"Walk the Moon" is the self-titled big label debut by this meat and potatoes rock band featuring plenty of four-part harmonies. They're on Elvis' old label, RCA. "Anna Sun" is their best known song but it's mostly lightweight pop fluff, sort of like Rick Springfield for the new millennium. They're clearly proficient and I'm sure their girlfriends love them dearly but if I was still grading philosophy papers at VC, I'd have to roll with "competent if uninspired."


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Micachu & The Shapes - Never

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Never

The second album from Micachu & The Shapes is "Never" and it's on Rough Trade and wow, is it weird? A lot. The other night, I was channel surfing and I kept returning (for obvious reasons) to a Suicide Girls movie with all this weird music, none of which I could identify - weird like this, weird like the Firesign Theatre's classic observation, "Gas Music From Jupiter." All I know, it's electronic and propulsive rock and one cut, "Heaven," could've been a Love & Rockets song. It's all good driving music but you will be risking a speeding ticket of you're not careful.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Neon Trees - Picture Show

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Picture Show

"Picture Show" is the third and latest from Neon Trees, also on Mercury. These guys are out of Provo but evidently, some people will do anything (and go any place) to get out of Murietta. Frontman Tyler Green is solid but here's yet another by the numbers, note perfect, carefully concocted soulless rock band that'll probably make zillions. Didn't I just write that somewhere else?


TimeOut: Eclectic L.A. band La Santa Cecilia will perform Saturday in Thousand Oaks

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Mix and match is not just a marketing tool; in music, it can be a good thing. La Santa Cecilia is combining all sorts of influences to create something completely different. See how that's working out Saturday night when the Los Angeles band temporarily eradicates the traditional silence associated with the Grant R. Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians and Marisoul is the powerhouse one-named frontwoman for the band, which mixes cumbia, bossa nova, tango, jazz-rock and other styles.

It's worth the drive just to hear their version of "Tainted Love," once upon a time a hit for Soft Cell but actually written by Ed Cobb, a member of the Four Preps.

La Santa Cecilia is beginning to get noticed. The group landed a song in the hit Showtime series "Weeds," opened for Ozomatli and in 2011 received a Latin Grammy nomination for its song "La Negra."

Marisoul was funny and focused during a recent phoner.

Read more »

TimeOut: Eclectic L.A. band La Santa Cecilia will perform Saturday in Thousand Oaks

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Mix and match is not just a marketing tool; in music, it can be a good thing. La Santa Cecilia is combining all sorts of influences to create something completely different. See how that's working out Saturday night when the Los Angeles band temporarily eradicates the traditional silence associated with the Grant R. Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians and Marisoul is the powerhouse one-named frontwoman for the band, which mixes cumbia, bossa nova, tango, jazz-rock and other styles.

It's worth the drive just to hear their version of "Tainted Love," once upon a time a hit for Soft Cell but actually written by Ed Cobb, a member of the Four Preps.

La Santa Cecilia is beginning to get noticed. The group landed a song in the hit Showtime series "Weeds," opened for Ozomatli and in 2011 received a Latin Grammy nomination for its song "La Negra."

Marisoul was funny and focused during a recent phoner.

Read more »

Rock 'n' Roll Call: The Coup - Sorry To Bother You

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Sorry to Bother You

Those three hip-hop rockers in The Coup (with a silent "p") has a new one - that would be "Sorry To Bother You" and it's on Anti Records. Out of Oakland with 20 years experience, these guys are heavily political as they should be. What does the bumper sticker say? "If you're not outraged then you're not paying attention." These guys now backed up by a full-on rock band, stick it to the Man in his many malevolent manifestations - politics, economics, police brutality, the oligarchy, the 1% and all that. Self-described now and again as communists - evidently, they're an offshoot of the classless society - these guys likes money and are making plenty of it.


What to know about where to go this week

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Tame Impala

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 ("Call of the Wild" from 1935) 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:

Walk the Moon

OK, tonight - Friday - it's corporate rock heroes Walk the Moon taking a stroll closer to home - this time at the Fonda down on Sunset in Hollyweird and Seth Pettersen's new favorite band, Tame Impala will be at the El Rey Theatre in Hell-A, while up here in the 805 where we like it, Bev Barnett and Greg Newlon will be at the Camarillo Cafe - for a family-friendly gig and I don't mean the Manson Family or the Borgias, either. In Ventura, Jodi Farrell and TreCoustics will be at Peirano's across from Father Serra's ancestral abode, the San Buenaventura Mission, while a few blocks north, the Forty Fours will be playing some rockin' blues at Yolie's and guitar shredder Alastair Greene will be at the Hub in Ojai.



Orlando Napier

On Saturday, it's indie rock good stuff from Grouplove - they'll be at the Wiltern in Hell-A, and La Santa Cecilia will play some Latino rock at the Thousand Oaks Library while up here in the 805 where we'll always love it precisely because it's not the 213 or the 818, there's a good one at a great place - the Wagon Wheel Bowl featuring La Vonettes, Strand Quentin and how can you miss Fist Fight On Ecstasy? In Ventura, those Misfits, for whom it's always Halloween, will play some psychobilly rock at the venerable Ventura Theatre, while a few steps up to Main Street, it's singer/songwriter Orlando Napier at the Watermark. Spencer the Gardener, who used to pack 'em in at Charlie's and everywhere else as well, will seek to recapture some of that magic with a CD release party at Amigo's down on Main Street. Over at the Bombay, it's another CD release party - this one for the Army of Freshmen doing an 8 p.m. early show of pure power pop smartly done. At Zoey's, it's the pride of Chico, the Mother Hips with Brian Wright opening - a dude clearly worth showing up for. Up the coast to Santa Barbara - all those McEuens - John, Jonathan and Nathan - will have a family outing at the Lobero Theatre where the sound is always perfect. And the Phantom Blues Band will provide the soundtrack for the dance party that will be happening at the Carrillo Rec Center.

Everclear

On Sunday, it's the best show of the week - a great show any week - that would be power pop punk with Everclear and Eve 6 at the El Rey in Hell-A and there's more pop with the Faint at the Fonda in Hollywood, while up here in the 805, it's Frank Barajas doing his solo pop thing at Tutti's in Ventura.

Rachel Yamagata will sing up a storm at the El Rey on Wednesday - remember her duet with Rhett Miller on "Firefly"? All the original Wailers will play some of that one beat, one song, one week reggae music at the Key Club in Hollywood, while up here in the 805 where we rule, it's Guy Martin doing Hendrix at Yolie's while about two blocks away - it's almost his birthday - Hippie Mark will be at the Green Art People weekly wingding. And finally on a Thursday, Teresa Russell will be at the Lookout in finally farmland loving Oxnard, a city that has finally awakened from that too long cement slumber by electing Tim Flynn as the mayor. The tears of the Chamber of Concrete can water all the crops that will now be allowed to live long and prosper. Along with Steve Bennett, a huge win for the 805 and our quality of life.

A list of venues can be found here »

TimeOut: Spencer the Gardener unveils new CD on Nov. 17 in Ventura

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He's been gardening at night since flowers were in black-and-white -- well, for at least the last thirty-something years. That would be Santa Barbara's Spencer the Gardener, who's taking his band on the road Saturday night to Amigo's in Ventura for a CD release party for "Breaking My Own Heart." It's one of those ever-affordable free shows, and CDs can be exchanged for one Alexander Hamilton.

Back in the '90s, STG was one of the few bands that was a hit in both Ventura and Santa Barbara -- in the Poinsettia City at Charlie's and later, Nicholby's, and all over Santa Barbara at a bunch of places that aren't there anymore like Alex's Cantina, Toe's Tavern and the Beach Shack. Once upon a time, STG's sound was "spy movie music at the beach," but it's still totally original and quirky, and chances are very good the ladies will still like dancing to it.

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Rock 'n' Roll Call: Martin Sexton - Fall Like Rain

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Fall Like Rain

Martin Sexton has a new EP, "Fall Like Rain" on Kitchen Table Records. Probably in no danger of ever getting a day job, this is Sexton's tenth release and it's of the singer/songwriter, guy-and-a-guitar blue-eyed soul persuasion, not so much like a Cat Stevens for the new millennium. Way mellow and PG-rated - you could play this for grandma and not get the boot out of the will. The riot rhapsody from Buffalo Springfield, "For What It's Worth," gets the white bread treatment - not a bad thing because Sexton is so passionate about his day job.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten

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Handwritten

"Handwritten" is the new one from The Gaslight Anthem, which is on Mercury Records. This is bombastic, meat and potatoes corporate rock, by the numbers perfect but vampires-in-the-mirror soulless. Brian Fallon is the lead everything - singer and guitar player and he has that perfect rock star voice, too bad he didn't have better songs. These guys are talented but generic and to this writer, not up to the top tier of other New Jersey rockers such as the Feelies, the Smithereens, My Chemical Romance, Ben Vaughn, the Boss, Dramarama - and even back to Frank Sinatra, the Shirelles and the Four Seasons. This is music for those who don't think (or care) much about music.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It

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Put Your Back N 2 It

The latest from Perfume Genius is "Put Your Back N 2 It" and it's on Matador Records. Mike Hadreas is the genius in question and he's basically a solo piano guy who gets all emotional and carried away on these intense but ultimately winning tunes. More Elton John than Jack McMahon, Hadreas has this haunting voice going on during these slo mo rockers - no single song stands out - nothing sucks - it's all good as far as bummer music or music to hang yourself by - clearly, music to give your full attention. Like me, you may want the first one as well.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: The Killers - Battle Born

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Battle Born

The latest from the Killers is "Battle Born" and it's on mighty, mighty Island Records. For some years, I've always nurtured a warm and fuzzy feeling for the Killers - saw 'em do a couple of tunes at Coachella a few years back which reinforced my feelings. Bleep happens and feelings change. This album is incredibly lame by-the-numbers arena rock - it's sort of like a new Journey album, a band I never liked and this darn fine paper tortured me extra by sending to review Journey at the Fair or back when the sundowns were in black & white. Utterly without soul or any redeeming social value whatsoever, these Killers could be used as torture on Death Row as I could not fast forward to eventually find a listenable song. I never did.


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 ("Call of the Wild" from 1935) 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:

Rob Rio

OK, tonight - Friday - Even in November, "In the Heat of the Moment" one more time, it's Asia with all the original guys at the cavernous Canyon Club in Agoura and for something completely different, boogie woogie piano guru Rob Rio will be at the Borchard Community Center in Newbury Park. Down the Conejo Grade to Ventura, it's all those Shoemaker Brothers at the Bombay Bar & Grill and Big Jugs and Iron Outlaws will be at the Tavern down on Santa Clara and next door at Zoey's, it's Shane Alexander while down the road to Yolie's, it's country rock guitar player Dave Gleason and his band. Up Hwy. 33 to Ojai - it's the Preachers playing some rockin' blues at the Jester and Love and Rockets dude Daniel Ash will do something cool at the Hub. Up the coast to Santa Barbara where the New Noise Conference is raging, Mike Watt & the Missing Men will play some punk rock at the Velvet Jones, and three of the original Monkees will be at the Arlington Theatre, and that singing bovine, the White Buffalo will be at SOhO. Keep going to San Luis and you can see one of the great reggae bands of all time, Black Uhuru, who will be at the SLO Brewing Company. You need their "Chill Out" album.



Dawes

On Saturday, down in Hell-A, it's Mumford & Sons and Dawes at the Hollyweird Bowl, while up here in the 805 where we like it, the Red Ball Jets will play the same old song at the Keynote Lounge in Ventura and sad Dodger fans, Fish Fry will be at Blackbeard's BBQ down in the Ventura Harbor. There's a benefit at the Bombay in Ventura with a bunch of band, including the Tijuana Hound Dogs, J. Peter Boles and Bob Jones, Lone Wolf and the 2012 debut of Ventura's legendary soundtrack for beer, Raging Arb & the Redheads. At Zoey's, it's one of my interview victims this week, Seth Pettersen & the Undertow, who will be ably supported by the Spires at Zoey's. While up the coast to Santa Barbara, the New Noise Festival concludes with one of the funniest bands of all time, Nerf Herder - they wrote the them for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," while up State Street a few blocks to SOhO, it's world beat masters of what the heck do you call it but it's great, that would be Ozomatli.



Spittin' Cobras

On Sunday, it's a bunch of punk veterans playing as the Spittin' Cobras at Billy O's in Ventura with a several other bands, and Hot Roux will play some dance music at the Bombay, while up the coast to SOhO once again, it's singer/songwriter Martin Sexton. I'm gonna be shooting rednecks in Moorpark both days at the last Civil War re-enactment off the year.

Skip a few until Wednesday when the Petty Fest West kicks off in Hell-A at the El Rey Theatre with a bunch of bands playing, well, you can guess; while up here in the 805 where we like it, Dan Grimm will be at the Green Art People gig in Ventura and Frank Barajas will be at the Big Buddha Lounge in beautiful downtown Oak View.



Finally on a Thursday, Ben Gibbard will sing a few of his many tunes at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in L.A. while up here in the 805 where we like it - Teresa Russell will be at the Lookout in finally farmland loving Oxnard, who have finally awakened from that too long cement slumber by electing Tim Flynn as the mayor. The tears of the Chamber of Concrete can water all the crops that will now be allowed to live long and prosper. Along with Steve Bennett, a huge win for the 805 and our quality of life - and one more: Tom Freund will be at Zoey's.

A list of venues can be found here »

TimeOut: Seth Pettersen unspools his new cassette-only release Saturday in Ventura

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Seth Pettersen will host a turn-back-the-clock event Saturday night at Zoey's with a release party for his latest, "Natural Machine." It's a cassette. That's a tape, which had its heyday somewhere between vinyl and CDs. And it's a $2 show.

Pettersen is no stranger to the local scene. For the longest time, when he wasn't surfing, Pettersen was in Franklin For Short. His mug also showed up in Tall Tales and Massenger, and now he is his own man, either a solo guy or fronting his band, The Undertow. He's got about 10 albums and the latest is a pop rock classic -- with a singer who can sing and plenty of hooks.

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TimeOut: Raging Arb, Tijuana Hound Dogs band together for benefit

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Americans still seem far away from getting comprehensive health care, so here comes yet another benefit concert to help pay for someone's mounting medical bills.

The person in question is Louise Bailey, the devoted mom of local musician-painter Chris Byrd. All those years ago, when Byrd was really rocking and rolling, good ol' mom was ultra-patient, putting up with the noise and the shenanigans. Byrd's friends back then knew she was cool, and now many of them are coming together to help raise money to offset costs incurred after her recent heart surgery.

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Rock 'n' Roll Call: Dry The River - Shallow Bed

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Shallow Bed

The new Dry The River is a keeper - the album is "Shallow Bed" and it's on Elvis' old label, RCA. The ethereal vocals of Peter Liddle will get your attention and even maybe get you lucky should you play this one down low after making it home hopeful, not alone after drinking to the point where you're on the verge of becoming a sanitation problem. Anyway, this is sort of Mumford & Sons lite with happening three part harmonies but it's all a bit serious and stuffy. If I was still grading philosophy papers at VC, the cliche of choice for this band would be "on the right track."


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

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All We Love We Leave Behind

"All We Love We Leave Behind" - ain't that the truth? It's also the latest from Converge and it's on Epitaph. This one sounds like someone is trying to give birth to a refrigerator as metal remains as loud, as annoying and as dumb as ever. Guttural howl in one impression but cat scaring crap is more like it.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: The xx - Coexist

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Coexist

The xx has a new one - that would be their second effort, "Coexist" and it's on Young Turks. This is minimalist BritPop electronic music that is so subtle that there is little discernible enjoyable activity. Once again, the Firesign Theatre were right when they alluded to "gas music from Jupiter." Their debut got tons of positive press and ended up high on those year end lists. Don't blame me, this band is lame. The two x's could well be over the eyes of a dead guy in a comic strip as this is funeral parlor muzak, at best.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Owl City - The Midsummer Station

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The Midsummer Station

Heard about them but never heard of them...until now. Maybe the Audubon Society's favorite band, Owl City - the album is "The Midsummer Station" and it's on Universal Republic. There must be a secret clone factory somewhere cranking out these bands - happening hooks as sung by a great melodic frontman on perfectly concocted rock gems. Even if you think you're being played, you're not - it's entertainment by an entertainer who know what he's doing. I love stuff like this. The Owl in question here is obviously Adam Young, out of Minnesota - a very weird state that has given us Bob Himself, Golden Gopher football which always sucks, Al Franken who is always funny and Michelle Bachmann who is always a whistlehead. Owl-Man Adam makes perfectly pure power pop - just him and a bunch of machines on songs about young lust - love, whatever. Imagine a frozen Howard Jones.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: NERO - Welcome Reality

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Welcome Reality

It still looks like NERD but it's NERO in block letters - the album is "Welcome Reality" and it's on Interscope. This is a big time electronic act out of Scary Olde England - two dudes, Daniel Stephens and Joseph Ray - occasional vocals from Alana Watson and a bazillion machines. Just as I can scarcely tell one car from another that is built after 1990 - it's the same with this stuff. My feet like it, so it's good enough for the rest of me. NERO - not the annoying emperor who was bumped off by his own slaves rather than be captured - but these guys remind me of hundreds of scantily clad young ladies gyrating in one of those giant tents at Coachella - always a good thing. In an unrelated and weird story - Interscope puts a glop of glue on all their CDs they send out, maybe to keep them from floating around in the oversized envelopes they use. Well, that glue really sucks - it won't come off and it's a hassle to stack CDs when you're done listening because of it. Solution: Forget the glue and/or use smaller mailers.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Titus Andronicus - Local Business

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Local Business

Titus Andronicus has a new one just out - that would be "Local Business" and it's on XL Recording. This is a raggedy but rockin' jam band with soulful and slightly screamy vocals and lotsa guitars - enough to please even the ever spinning, still surviving Jerry's Kids. Although it's got dumb lyrics - it's a great cool groove jam song, "(I Am The) Electric Man," good enough to make you a band fan as is "Titus Andronicus Vs. The Absurd Universe." Three guitars don't hurt making this yet another really good band from New Jersey. They'll be in Hell-A on 7 November - too bad, that's as close as they get to us.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Swedish House Mafia - Until Now

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Until Now

The latest from Swedish House Mafia is "Until Now" and it's on Astralwerks. Electronic dance super group is a bunch of machines and three button pushers pushing buttons on 22 same sounding propulsive rockers - some have vocals, some do not. I can not for the life of me tell one song from another but my feet like it, thus, so does the rest of me. Monster mechanical jams that have the potential to incite the toaster and the mircowave to start a min-mosh pit in the kitchen.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Barbaras - The Barbaras 2006-2008

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The Barbaras 2006-2008

My new favorite band just might be the Barbaras - a past tense groovy bar band that had a relatively short shelf life from 2006 to 2008 in Memphis - the album is called "The Barbaras 2006-2008" and it's on Goner Records. There's lots of old school AM radio rock made new for the new millennium with some Everly Brothers, some doo-wop on nitrous or maybe it's that Del Shannon falsetto influence. In any case, these guys would be like gods in the early '60s - Randy & the Rainbows would open for them.

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Low Cut Connie - Call Me Sylvia

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Call Me Sylvia

My other new favorite band this week is Low Cut Connie, their self-released album is "Call Me Sylvia." Here's the latest example of rock's short memory as to the theory that it's so old, it's new. Retro rockers Low Cut Connie could easily have opened for Jerry Lee Lewis in 1958, but here they are now, making a splash as did the Blasters, the Jesus & Mary Chain and now Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears before them. It's raucous roots rock that would fit right in with the Morells, the Bottle Rockets, Charlie Pickett & the Eggs and our own Raging Arb & the Redheads. The desperate man's last hope for the horizontal to Miss Take is "Pity Party" and the rocker is "Brand New Cadillac," even as we know they mean a vintage Cadillac with fins so pronounced, the pedestrians are routinely sliced in half just driving to the store for more beer and this is a band that goes good with beer and better with more beer. Oh, and it's four dudes - no Connie.


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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