by Frank Barajas (Ventura)
Pure pop distilled from the best of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and even the Plimsouls. Barajas has been a fixture — but not a static one — on Ventura’s music scene for two decades and fronted many of the area’s most popular bands, including Durango 95, JuJu Eyeball and the Corsican Brothers. On this, his solo effort (with a lot of help from his friends), Barajas plays homage to his pop heroes, waxing nostalgic and somewhat lovelorn. The vocals are silken, the guitars are bright and the songs simple yet textural with occasional horn accompaniment. It’s pop at its stripped-down best.
CD is available at Salzer’s Records in Ventura.
by Hindu Kush (Ojai)
In the midst of the relentless Day Fire that clouded the skies of Western Ventura County earlier this year, people responded in various ways. Some cleared brush, some bought dust masks. Hindu Kush wrote a song. A Kings-of-Leon-on-mushrooms, frenetic groove gives a psychedelic push to their lament: These boys are too young to die in a fire, especially one that looks blue. (Dude, pass that over here.) Forgive them for rhyming fire with higher. It happens. The rest of the EP is good, but this song proves why Hindu Kush is going places.
Song and self-titled EP are available on iTunes. Song is available on the CD release of Lost Boys 2 soundtrack.
by Tow Knee Chavez (Ventura)
A 17-minute, 13-second concept album that chronicles a punk rock kid’s maturation process and explores the idea that taking on adult responsibilities is contrary to the punk rock ethos. The sound is as fast as it is melodic. A tasty fat-free soup of original indie intellipunk with just a hint of hip-hop. Dr. Stryker and the Nemesis, who have been secretly recording music in an undisclosed location somewhere near Ventura College for the last few years, learned a long time ago that it’s okay to play music with three chords.
Available at www.towkneechavez.com/category/prospiscience.