Hip-hop on the upswing, metal on the road and other local music developments
By CJ Marshall 05/08/2014
Moorpark folk-alt-country duo Skin & Bones has just received a Friday night residency at The Escondite (The Hideout) in L.A. during the month of May. It’s a welcome opportunity for Taylor Borsuk and Peter Blackwelder after scheduling conflicts forced them to decline an invitation to perform at SXSW. They are also one of many local acts to have played at Redballs Rock & Roll Pizza in Moorpark, where VCReporter recently covered The Birds of Satan listening party. Redballs is steadily gaining traction as a quality place to eat and hear good music.
Oxnard’s own Epsilon Project is currently putting the finishing touches on a new LP, tentatively due toward the end of the month. It recently joined 805 artists Pawz One, Black Collar and Points of Ellipsis in Oxnard to open for New York hip-hop legend and Juice Crew member Masta Ace. The turnout was decent and Ace responded with an energetic performance. ASR Entertainment put the Masta Ace show on at Casa Lopez in downtown Oxnard. The show made a strong case for Casa Lopez as a potential venue for Ventura County music going forward. It’s a triple threat as a standard restaurant, banquet hall and nightclub. The sound was good, the bar was stocked and there is more than enough room to put on a quality show. Promoters might consider taking a look.
Speaking of legends, Eric Burdon of The Animals will be performing on May 17 at Libbey Bowl in Ojai. Opening for him will be Dishwalla and Ventura mainstay Rubberneck Lions.
Night Demon played Heavy Metal Meltdown at Bombay last month. It was one of the band’s final shows before heading off to Europe in support of the Drink From the Chalice EP that released in April. Jeff Hershey et al will be touring overseas during the entire month of May.
Jerry and Jan McWorter of Hi Hat Entertainment continue their popular Friday night shows at Yolie’s in Ventura. The Yolie’s shows are often supported by the Santa Barbara Blues Society. Hi Hat also conducts The Gypsy Blues Room sessions on Thursday nights at Amigo’s. Audiences can expect a wide array of quality blues, roots rock and some rockabilly. This month’s performers include acclaimed rockabilly artist James Intveld. Leave it to Southern California to meld Mexican food and down-home American music. The combo works.
Rapper Illien Rosewell is in the process of recording an album. The release date is not available at the moment, but word is that he will collaborate with independent hip-hop heavyweights Danny Brown and Blu in the very near future. One of those songs may make it onto producer Mainframe’s next project. He’s one to watch out for.
Wise 1 is in the studio building the latest installment of his Lovestrumentals album series. He produces backdrops for many local artists such as Link D. His beats are a staple of beat battles and open-mics at Bombay hip-hop sessions.
Ventucky String Band is also deep into the recording process after a small Central Coast tour earlier in April. As supporters eagerly await the release you can catch the band at Relay For Life on May 31.
Thousand Oaks singer-songwriter Paul Starling released Suit of Armor last month. It’s a strong release and it’s worth your time. “We’re All Becoming Policemen,” is a personal favorite.
NoteWorthy is a monthly column dedicated to developments in Ventura County’s music scene. If you have a tip, write to CJ or firstname.lastname@example.org.