Music Week, new releases and Oxnard goes to Europe
By Michel Miller 06/27/2013
A number of local artists are celebrating new music as summer begins. Aaron Orbit’s second release, the four-song EP MECO (Main Engine Cut Off) offers a slightly more focused sound showcasing Orbit’s astounding vocal talent and enigmatic style. It is available at aaronorbit.bandcamp.org. In tandem with its European tour, Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats released its follow-up to Soul Music Vol. 1, a melodic-pop treatment of punk songs called Underground Classics. The EP features fun covers of songs by Fear, the Misfits , Agent Orange and Ill Repute. It can be purchased at soundthesiren.com. Music by the Heartbeats was used in an episode of the skateboarding program The Alli Show, which featured Pedro Barros. Another Hershey project, Night Demon (VCReporter featured band 2013), has released its feverishly anticipated self-titled debut record. Find it and other goodies at nightdemon.net. (Is it any wonder that Hershey was included in the recently published Legendary Locals of Oxnard book?) Ojai singer-songwriter Rain Perry will release her latest full-length, Men, in August. Bar favorites 50 Sticks of Dynamite goes a bit bluer on its second record, Love.Dream.Truth.Love., which is available at Salzer’s Records.
On the Move
East County indie alt pop sensation The Neighbourhood is making waves all over the U.S. Having performed at Coachella this year, the band has been tearing up the eastern part of the country, amassing a huge fan base in support of its first full-length, I Love You, which is receiving gushing reviews. The band has announced that it will be joining Imagine Dragons on the July and September dates of its world tour. This month, New Liberty will be heading up the coast to play San Francisco, Oakland, Humboldt and Portland followed by dates in Idaho, Utah and Nevada. In Oregon, they will perform at the BurntWoodsStock festival where they were made an offer they couldn’t refuse. Apparently the promoters of the hip(pie) affair found New Liberty online, fell in love and “convinced” them to headline. Go guys, go! Following a performance at the Soulection two- year anniversary show in L.A., electronic wizards Esgar and Jo_Def spent some time in Europe this month showing ’em how Oxnard does it. Fans and friends of Legendary Ojai-based vocalist and songwriter Julie Christensen packed Green Art People last month to wish her well before she relocated to Nashville. The warm fuzzies were abundant. After presenting rap legend Redman with a hand-painted portrait at the Method Man and Redman concert at the Ventura Theater last month, Kap K Mantis of the local hip-hop group Mantis was asked to also paint a portrait of Method Man, and treated to a night of old-school mayhem at the Method and Red concert the following night in L.A.
New Music City
By most accounts, the third annual Ventura Music Week was a success. After being handed over by the city to the Downtown Ventura Organization (DVO) with the help of Totally Local VC’s Kat Merrick, the event seemed better organized and publicized than in previous years. Amigo’s reported a 25 percent increase in business over last year (for the week) and other venues reported increased patronage. (The jury’s still out regarding how actual musicians profited.) Photographer Angela Izzo said at least 100 people showed up for her music documentary fundraiser and trailer screening during Music Week, but only one actually made a donaton. (Search “Beyond Local” on Kickstarter.com, only one day left!) Promoter Brian Parra reported that despite the June gloom that blanketed the Local Rock Picnic, turnout was good and it was a successful event. “I was glad for the exposure that it [Music Week] brought to the scene, and hope that next year it comes with more energy and more participation from local venues and promoters to create stand-out events, and gives more opportunities for locals to perform,” he said.
NoteWorthy is a monthly column dedicated to developments in Ventura County’s music scene. If you have a tip, write to Michel or give her a call.