Punks to take over City Hall, the savory smell of success and the impending return of Megasound
By Michel Miller 03/13/2014
Dan Grimm, one of Ventura County’s more prolific musicians, recently released yet another pretty record. Average Savage, recorded with the big boys at Brotheryn in Ojai, comes on the heels of Ventucky, which made the Country Universe 2013 list of 40 best records. Grimm was in the good company of the Avett Brothers, Brad Paisley and Patti Griffin. Oxnard’s Lyric James has released his video for the title track to The Truth. Check it out at www.youtube.com/lyricjamestv. Filmmaker Jeff Palmer has been taking the We Govern We video for “Mulligan’s Island” on the film festival circuit. So far it’s yielded a few awards, including Best Video at the Somewhat North of Boston Film Festival and a Jury Prize at the Los Angeles International Film Festival.
In case you didn’t read about it a couple of weeks ago in our cover story, famed luthier Randy Parsons, who’s hand crafted stunning guitars for Jack White, Jimmy Page and Modest Mouse, has set up shop in downtown Ventura and it’s pretty amazing. He’s offering a limited number of custom guitars for a relative steal. The doors to Parsons Guitars are open. Hurry, run! The entrance is on Main Street between Winchester’s and Blue Moon. Several years after closing its doors in midtown Ventura, Megasound Studios is on its way back. Owner Sam Maxson and crew have been working on construction of the space next to Five Points Skate Shop in Ventura since July but have not yet set an opening date. With more square footage than the previous location and some sweet additions, Maxson says there’s still much to be done but promises it’s going to be epic. Megasound, much as it did in its previous incarnation, will serve as a venue and recording studio. In its heyday, Megasound successfully hosted numerous all-ages punk and metal shows that other venues didn’t dare book. Could this be the answer to Ventura’s longtime all-ages live music dilemma? Stay tuned.
East Side Story
East County has become more interesting since Redballs Rock ’n’ Roll Pizza opened up. Besides surprise shows by the likes of the Foo Fighters, the venue says its Thursday open-mics are well-attended by respected session players as well as more recognizable musicians. Also in that neck of our woods, Borderline is stepping up with edgier talent such as the Unwritten Law/Jason Cruz and Howl/Pullmen show on March 21. The venue is also hosting top-shelf indie comedy once per month. Let’s Get Live Saturdays at The Lab in Agoura Hills is also becoming a hub for original live music with national and local roots and country artists.
City of Ill Repute
This just in: The city of Port Hueneme will officially proclaim Ill Repute Day on Monday, April 7. Punks will gather at City Hall for the momentous event during a City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. The band’s vocalist John Phaneuf, who finds it all pretty amusing, had this to say: “It’s always nice to get recognized, but I can’t say it is that meaningful to me. I am still not convinced it’s not a trick to get us for outstanding violations. My mom lives in Port Hueneme, so I will get some points there.” Uber music fan and nardcore enthusiast Stan Mueller has completed the first documentary film and companion book in the Punk Rock Chronicles series, Clean Cut American Kids: The Story of Ill Repute. Because the project is 100 percent DIY, Mueller has set up a presale fundraiser. The deadline is April 30 to purchase items and enter a raffle for some nice swag. To learn more and/or contribute, visit www.goodcleanfund.com/punkrockchronicles. The project’s official release will happen during Nardfest 2 on Aug. 16 at the Ventura Theater. The lineup for the second installment of the epic punk rock reunion will be similar to last year’s with the addition of Circle One.
Army of Freshmen’s Chris Jay and Aaron Goldberg may finally put Ventura’s music scene on the map — but not how you’d imagine. After toiling away for months on scriptwriting and pre-production, the two have finished shooting Betting on Baker, a full-length feature film shot entirely in Ventura. Described by Jay as a “raunchy comedy in the vein of 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Hangover, Billy Madison and American Pie,” the movie will feature appearances by sports and entertainment celebrities, including Dave England (Jackass), Gerry Bedknob (40-Year-Old Virgin), Dian Bachar (Orgazmo), wrestlers Jake the Snake Roberts, Roddy Piper and Diamond Dallas Page and rap luminary Chuck D. Local music is all over the film in the form of extra roles by members of The Calamity, Curtsy, Pretty Wife, 8Stops7 and New Liberty as well as Zeke Berkely, Carlism, Frank Barajas, Aaron Orbit, Tyler Castro, Rene Ponce, Brian Parra and Bombay Bar manager Diego Gamba. To learn more, visit www.bettingonbaker.com.
Chris Jay (center) with Chuck D. and Dallas Page on the set of Betting on Baker.
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.