Picks of the Week

Picks of the Week

The Zombies  In the exalted canon of 1960s rock, there are few artists not named Dylan, Jagger or Lennon-McCartney often cited as having released one of the greatest albums ever. But in 1968, Colin Bluntstone and Rod Argent — the primary minds behind English group the Zombies — did just that. Odessey & Oracle features some of the most sublime melodies to emerge from the so-called British Invasion, with the airy, slightly foreboding final track, “Time of the Season,” standing out as one of the most striking anthems of its era. Ironically, by the time the record hit shelves, the Zombies had effectively broken up. It wasn’t until 1997 that the five original members, including singer Bluntstone and keyboardist Argent, legitimately reformed for a round of concerts. They have continued to tour since, with a performance earlier this year in London commemorating the 40th anniversary of their crowning work. And now, they hit the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on July 19.

The Cash Prophets  It might seem counterintuitive to think a country icon like Johnny Cash would be revered as a musical saint in an area tied to beach culture, but the spirit of the Man In Black is as much a part of Ventura-Santa Barbara as reggae and surf rock. Just look at the inordinate number of tribute acts dedicated to his memory floating around local bars and clubs. The best of the bunch might be the Cash Prophets, who perform Cash’s early work in stripped down Tennessee Two fashion. They are as authentic as you can get for a covers project, and the singer’s voice nails that famous rumbling baritone. And they do a killer version of “Ace of Spades,” too. The Prophets play O’Leary’s on July 18.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

Jeff Kaiser Local musician Jeff Kaiser has long carried the torch for the avant-garde in Ventura County. He created the New Music Festival, an annual tribute to the freaky, far-out and plain weird players toiling on the fringes of the music universe, as well as the labels pfMENTUM and Angry Vegan. Even beyond those testament to the eccentric, however, is Kaiser’s own oeuvre as a trumpeter, which sits on the border between the classical and the iconoclastic. His award shelf is stocked, but it’s best to let the musical explorations speak for themselves. Kaiser left town last year to attend a doctoral program in San Diego, but his homecoming at Zoey’s on July 12 is sure to be a triumphant one. Triumphantly weird, of course.

Aleks Syntek Despite still looking like a teenager, 38-year-old Mérida, Mexico native Aleks Syntek started his first band in the late ’80s, long before the creation of the term “Latin alternative.” But that’s precisely the area where Syntek has been toiling for the last decade-plus: alt-rock from the perspective of someone who spent his adolescence in country where all rock — not just the alternative kind — was more or less banned for years. That group released two records on EMI and collaborated with legendary Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, and soon Syntek began developing an international following, landing on the record charts in Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Argentina. In 1999, he began his official solo career, dropping a series of well-received albums in the ensuing years. On July 13, Syntek hits the Ventura Theater, and is sure to be his expanded audience with him.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

Todd Hannigan  There are a lot of surfer-songwriters around today, many of them extremely popular, especially in this region. But Todd Hannigan brings a level of musical sophistication to the genre unseen from many other artists. Often compared to Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, Hannigan’s acoustic sound has a wafting elegance that seems to come naturally from the Ventura native, and a rhythmic sense inherited from his travels to Australia, Indonesia, Ecuador and Africa. He made his name nationally with his work on Jack Johnson’s Thicker Than Water soundtrack, but on his own debut album, Volume 1, Hannigan displays fully the talent that has made him a fast rising name in the surf-folk world. Hannigan rides into Zoey’s Café on July 5.

Todd Rundgren  You know what’s crazy? Apparently, Todd Rundgren is — legally, if not biologically — the father of Liv Tyler, spawn of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and model/professional groupie Bebe Buell. The story is Buell got knocked up by Steven Tyler while living with Rundgren in the late ’70s, but didn’t want the smacked-out faux-Jagger identified as her baby daddy, so she had Rundgren’s name placed on the birth certificate. And even after he and Buell formally separated, he basically raised Liv Tyler for 10 years. This has nothing to do with Rundgren as a musician, but it does exemplify how Rundgren is one of those artists who seems to be everywhere, popping up in places you’d least expect to find him. Like, say, as the producer for the New York Dolls, Meat Loaf and the Psychedelic Furs. Or as a composer for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Or, in recent years, as the singer for the partially reunited Cars. Yeah, it’s been a weird career (and life) for Rundgren, but he is also one of rock’s best, and perhaps most underrated, songwriters. See for yourself when he performs at the Canyon on July 5.






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  1. Rev. Karen’s Mid-Month Devotional Retreat: Happy Independence Day!

    July 21 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
  2. Eddie Griffin Headlines Oxnard Levity Live

    July 26 @ 12:00 am - July 27 @ 12:00 am

    July 26 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  4. Chef Tour at the Camarillo Farmers Market

    July 27 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  5. 26th Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival

    July 27 @ 11:00 am - July 28 @ 7:00 pm
  6. Kessler-Haak pouring @ A Taste of Camarillo

    July 28 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  7. Steve Byrne Headlines Oxnard Levity Live

    August 1 @ 8:00 pm - August 3 @ 9:30 pm
  8. Opening Reception for Light and Space Through Time, The Art of Karrie Ross

    August 3 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  9. SIGHT + SOUND: ​a cinematic experience for the senses

    August 16 @ 6:00 pm - August 18 @ 12:00 pm
  10. Engage & Enlighten event features United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye

    August 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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