Justin Cassidy and Patrick Rodriguez earned a reputation among more daring local music fans as the noise maestros behind Send My Regards, Ventura County’s most cacophonous free-electronica duo. Bob Sterling is known in the avant-garde community as a drummer of considerable skill and even more considerable adventurousness. Put all three together and you get the Transhumans, a three-piece aural assault committed to expanding the boundaries of music and sound even further than their individual components have done alone. Describing the band in conventional terms would be a futile activity. It’s best to just experience them for yourself, and their show at Grady’s Record Refuge on Oct. 29 is the perfect opportunity to do so: It’s in the middle of a Sunday afternoon and it’s free. Having your mind blown doesn’t get any more convenient than that.
Halloween at Billy O’s
Billy O’s annual Halloween celebration is quickly becoming as much of a local Oct. 31 tradition as gathering candy in a pillowcase, throwing eggs at neighborhood houses and drinking yourself into a stupor. This year, the show is packed to the breaking point with famous faces — or, at least, a reasonable facsimile of said faces. In the headlining slot, as usual, is crowd-pleasing Misfits tribute Hybrid Moments. Sure, Danzig and Co. may have written songs so simple an armless fifth grader could play them. But the Moments, featuring ex-members of No Motiv and 8Stops7, breathe powerful new life into the old tunes while remaining true to the band’s classic sound — which is certainly more than the Danzig-less group that still tours under the Misfits moniker can say. Same goes for Road To Ruin, the makeshift Ramones tribute comprised of musicians from the Army of Freshmen, the Return and more No Motiv guys. But the coup de grace of the entire night is Dressed To Kill, a tribute to the band that was created solely for the purpose of spawning cover bands, KISS. For Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and those other dudes, Halloween was every night they stepped onstage. But for these faithful impostors, though, Halloween is Hallo-friggin’-ween, and that’s when it all goes down. It’s sure to be a party for the record books.
The Phantom Riders
Venerable instrumental surf outfit the Phantom Riders have been tripping around Ventura for years now, preserving the indelible pop sounds of mid-century coastal California for current and future generations to enjoy. Word has it, however, that the group may be transitioning from the beach to the desert, aiming for a spacier, big-sky-type sound. Either way, the Riders are one of the county’s best trios, and every show they put on is worthy of mention. However, the one at Good on Oct. 27 is especially worthy, considering that the show is divided into two sets: one for the Riders, and one for the debut of a new Johnny Cash tribute act (featuring the Riders on support), Big River. Coming on the heels of the local early Cash tribute band the Cash Prophets, this group spans the Man In Black’s entire career, from the Sun Records days up through the Rick Rubin recordings. It’s going to be a celebration of American roots music that should not be missed.