Picks of the week

Picks of the week

For an artist whose career is just beginning its upward trajectory, singer-songwriter AM already has the whole myth-making thing down. He doesn’t like revealing exact dates about certain events in his life, and don’t even bother inquiring about his government name — he is not about to give it up. What we do know is that he was born in Tulsa, Okla., grew up a self-described “rock’n’roll kid,” was working in a music store and playing bar gigs with cover bands by the time he was 15, was influenced to become a songwriter by the likes of Bob Dylan, Beck and Jeff Tweedy, left New Orleans for Los Angeles and fell in with the Hotel Café scene, released his first album, Troubled Times, in 2006, and with its spare, mostly acoustic arrangements and simple-but-cryptic lyrics, caught a buzz in the L.A. neo-folk community, which carried over to his second album, last year’s Soul Variations. Oh, and one other thing: He is playing Zoey’s on May 30.

Pastilla L.A.’s Pastilla is on the verge of breaking wide in the Latin alternative scene. Formed way back in 1989, the band has undergone lineup changes in their almost 20 year history, but their knack for melody and power-pop flair has only improved, as their fan base has grown outside of SoCal’s fervent and tight-knit Spanish rock community and into Mexico, Puerto Rico and beyond. The band performs at the La Dolce Vita Lounge on May 30.

Rock Nation Tribute to Led Zeppelin Even with the real thing having reunited recently, there remain dozens, if not hundreds, of Led Zeppelin tribute acts across the globe. Some are forged out of hazy memories of actually having been there, man. Participants in Rock Nation’s tribute to the Almighty Zep, however, were barely a proverbial glint in their mother’s eye, or whatever that saying is. Rock Nation is a real life “School of Rock,” and on May 31, students from its Agoura branch present Led Zep in all their Valhalla-worshipping glory at the Ventura Theater.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

Perpetually red hooded track suits, Fredrik Saroea and Ket-III — together known as Datarock — bounded out of Norway in 2003, boasting a heavily danceable sound reminiscent of their primary influences, such as Devo, Talking Heads and Happy Mondays. Quickly leaving their Scandinavian home for the broader shores of the world’s discos, they have quietly scored an international hit with the infectious “Fa-fa-fa,” which has made it onto television commercials and the soundtracks to several video games. But where the group truly soars is in the live setting. With its high-energy stage show, the band recently killed at Coachella, and is now taking its track suits to Santa Barbara for what should be a monumental performance at Sandbar on May 28.
Sandbar, 514 State St., Santa Barbara, 966-1388

Nathan McEuen The McEuens whose names begin with the letter J aren’t the only ones making a place for themselves in the music world. Nathan, brother of Jonathan and son of John — of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame — is working to carve out his own niche in the music world. Instead of directly plying the Americana of his family trade, Nathan prefers to dabble in what he describes as “future retro folk rock,” an eclectic blend of pop, surf and traditional folk. His latest album, Grand Design, deftly fuses together those influences on a record that’s about fighting to maintain dignity in the often soul-crushing world of the music business. Not that he isn’t prepared to take those difficulties head-on. After all, he is a McEuen. Nathan performs at Caffe Bella on May 24.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

Apocalyptica The cello has always been the most metal of all classical instruments, its deep, sonorous tones comparable to the growls of a hairy Scandinavian man-beast. Leave it to a group of Fins to figure that one out. Apocalyptica, a Helsinki-based band of university-trained headbangers, employ four cellos and a drum set, and somehow this setup comes out heavy as a dump truck full of bricks. Their first record, the self-explanatory Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, was a surprising international success when it was released in 1996. Anyone who thought of it as simply a novelty, however, must have been shocked when their proceeding albums, featuring mostly original material, went on to sell over 2 million units worldwide. Even if you are not a metal enthusiast, Apocalyptica’s show at the Ventura Theater on May 18 is sure to interesting, to say the least.

Foghat At a time when disco ruled the airwaves, Britain’s Foghat continued to wave the flag for gritty, blues-based rock, releasing five gold records and maintaining an audience through the era’s schmaltz and disingenuousness. Of course, the band drifted toward New Wave pop at the birth of the ’80s, but through the ’70s the group was an unstoppable boogie machine. The original lineup disintegrated over the usual “creative differences,” but in 1993, uber-hip producer Rick Rubin urged them to get back together. They did, released a few albums (none of which were produced by Rubin, oddly), then, sadly, founding members Dave Peverett and Rod Price died in 2000. But the band continues to carry of their legacy, and they’ll carry it into the Canyon on May 16.

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Irish Film Premier: BLACK ’47

    March 19 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  2. Ventura Water Presents the 7th Annual Water: Take 1 Film Festival

    March 21 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  3. Irish Film: Wind That Shakes The Barley

    March 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
  4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time *Ventura County Premiere*

    March 21 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  5. WEEKLY SOUND BATH – THOUSAND OAKS

    March 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  6. BREAKING LEGS

    March 22 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
  7. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time *Ventura County Premiere*

    March 22 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  8. OLIVAS ADOBE ANNUAL USED BOOK SALE

    March 23 @ 11:00 am - March 24 @ 4:00 pm
  9. Studio Channel Islands Collector’s Choice 2019

    March 23 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  10. AN EVENING WITH JOHN ROBLES AND CHUCUMITE At Santa Paula Theater Center

    March 23 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

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