Local music goes to the movies, Heartbeats go out with a bang
By Michel Miller 08/28/2014
If you like seeing the same bands perform all summer long at various events with festive titles then you are in luck. Summer’s nearly over, yet there’s still time to get another music festival under your belt. This weekend it’s the 30th annual Bombay Beach Party featuring an outdoor stage, a beer garden and . . . drum roll . . . a mechanical bull. Freshening this year’s lineup are Darkside of the Hand, Kapeesh, Anchor and Bear, Curtsy and Bullet Made Statues in addition to stalwart artists such as Jade Hendrix, Rubberneck Lions and 8 Stops 7. Army of Freshmen will also take a break from post-production work on the film Betting on Baker to whip fans into a lather with its super-animated, high-energy pop-punk before heading to the U.K. to tour with Lit in the fall. It should be a good time for all, and hopefully as lucrative for the talent as it will undoubtedly be for the venue and possibly the city. (All that DUI revenue is as tasty as Bombay’s gourmet burgers.)
Not exactly a music festival, but definitely an event, the Ventura County Music Awards ceremony will take place at Discovery in midtown Ventura on Saturday, Sept. 6. No longer under the direction of VC Buzz (kill), the new and improved event promises to dish out enough warm fuzzies to stave off a mini-ice age as the region’s hardworking musicians will get some much deserved kudos. “All we want to do is spread peace and happiness and celebrate each other’s projects,” said organizer Tim Amoroso of the Red Light District radio show. “We are just people who appreciate what [musicians] have done for the community. We’re just people who want to say thank you.” Winners in various categories, as determined by an online polling system, will be announced at the event in addition to special recognition of Ill Repute, Del Franklin and Chuck D, who, according to Amoroso, has been championing local artists.
It seems the filmmaking bug hasn’t only bitten Army of Freshmen; Rain Perry is entering the arena with a documentary film called The Shopkeeper about her producer, Mark Hallman (Carole King, Ani DiFranco) and his studio, Congress House, in Austin, Texas. The history of the studio, which is celebrating its 33 1/3 anniversary, will serve to frame the larger subject: the rise and fall of the DIY singer-songwriter movement. At press time, Perry had already raised nearly $18,000 of her $28,000 goal through indiegogo.com. The campaign deadline is Sept. 2.
Word on the street is that Monday nights at Billy O’s are going off thanks to event promoter and DJ Hannah Haskins and her groovy Motown Monday dance party. Haskins says it’s an eclectic bunch that fills the dance floor to boogie to her R&B format which includes Stax artists, British invasion and rocksteady. From grandmothers to 21-year-olds, “Everyone loves this music,” says Haskins. It should also be noted that Billy O’s and other venues outside the downtown Ventura “cultural district,” such as The Garage, Squashed Grapes and GiGi’s, are currently booking some of the best local and touring music in the area.
The final performance of Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats at the Olivas Adobe was the subject of a recent complaint by the publisher of the Ventura Breeze, who was miffed about the band’s volume and the use of profanity, to which fans responded, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.”
Note Worthy is a monthly column dedicated to developments in Ventura County’s music scene. If you have a tip, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.