Heading into the studio this week to record its fifth record is Army of Freshmen To be produced by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, The Donnas, Steel Panther), who also produced the band’s previous two records, AOF says the songs are “some of the more rocking and intense jams we’ve ever written.” AOF is looking at late summer for a release date. If you’d like to help them get the record made, they have set up a nifty Pledge Music project site (www.pledgemusic.com/projects/armyoffreshmen) where you can easily contribute. Mouse Grey is putting the final touches on its second CD as well as working on a video.
Three new music releases are set to be celebrated on Friday, April 20. The first is Further Than the Bow, Todd Hannigan’s latest record. Todd and violinist/artist/director (Pearl Jam’s “Life Wasted”) Fernando Apodaca, who appears on the record, will also play a set from Valley of Dreams, a collection of improvised compositions they recently released as a duo. The event will take place at the Deer Lodge and includes performances by Ron Hargrove and Neal Casal. Local photographer and videographer Angela Izzo recently filmed a short film of behind-the-scenes moments from the making of Valley of Dreams. (See below). B Willing James and Justine Bennett,who began performing together in the Rubicon Theatre production Lonesome Traveler, have put out a five-song EP under the name Phantom Tortoise, they will perform songs from it at Zoey’s. Last but certainly not least, D on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers will celebrate the official release of their CD Agonizing Sad Beauties with a show at Sans Souci. Rubberneck Lions’ first full-length will debut on April 26 at Bombay Bar and Grill during the RAW Ventura County Menagerie. (The jury’s still out on RAW, but it’s worth checking out in support of local artists.)
Three of the area’s more anticipated homegrown music events for summer have begun announcing headliners. The Johnny Cash Music Festival will feature first lady of rockabilly Wanda Jackson on one of three stages planned for this year. Oak View’s Kyle Hunt and the King Gypsy is also slated. Michael Jones (La Vonettes, Jackass) is working out the details for the second annual Indie West Fest, which will be at the Ventura Theater July 26-28. Confirmed so far are The Smithereens, Old Man Markley, Dengue Fever, Pangea and The Ettes. Jones is still in negotiations with a number of other bigger-name acts that won’t disappoint if they make the bill. The event will also feature a film screening of the documentary Bob and the Monster about rehab rock star Bob Forrest, and a possible reunion concert by his band Thelonious Monster afterward. Spencer Makenzie’s End of Summer Blast in August will bring Dick Dale back to close the entire event; Big Band will headline the first night.
The entire reggae music community is getting together and pooling resources to raise money for beloved DJ, raw vegan ice cream maker, professional skateboarder and VCReporter art director Enrique Candioti aka DJ Ambassador Jr., who has been undergoing extremely expensive treatment for cancer. Since being diagnosed in November, Candioti’s had surgery to remove a kidney and another to remove tumors from his brain. He has undergone radiation treatment, antiangiogenesis “chemo” treatment as well as alternative therapies to combat the remaining brain and lymph tumors. Candioti is an extremely positive person with a small child, a significant other and many people who love him. Reggae promoter Ezra Brooks Robison (Divine Crime), who has known him since 2002, says he’s continually amazed by Candioti’ talent. “He is sincere, humble and smart,” he said. “He is also very conscious and youthful in his enthusiasm for life and for his family and interests. I deeply respect him.” Robison has put together an enviable lineup of performers for An Afternoon of Hope, including Zoila, Rising Son, Daniel “Bambaata” Marley, Ska Daddyz, Brion Shearer and Dan Grimm. Candioti will also be spinning for Livity Soundsystem. A silent auction will feature a tremendous array of items and interesting vendors. There will also be food and beer and activities for children. The event will be held on Saturday, April 28, 3-10 p.m. at the Sunrise Birthing Center, 12 N. Ash St., Ventura.
NoteWorthy is a monthly column dedicated to developments in Ventura County’s music scene. If you have a tip, write to Michel or give her a call.