On any given weekday, you will find denim jacket-wearing friends clustered at home drinking tall cans. The front door will be open, not to annoy neighbors but to avoid the smell they create as a crew. Some classic martial-arts action film will be on mute, with Led Zeppelin II or something by Black Sabbath substituted as its soundtrack. It’s a gritty rock ’n’ roll crowd in Ventura that’s existed for decades, the heart of Ventura’s music scene, or at least its very large artery.
The Brain Daze festival, a music festival and campout on Aug. 16-17, celebrates our rock ’n’ roll agitators. Punk, hardcore and metal bands, including Saviours, Lecherous Gaze, Bastard and Bad Antics, will come from all corners of California for the event at Camp Scheideck, located outside of Ojai in Maricopa. Motorcycles are encouraged to take the 33-mile route to the campsite. Twenty dollars will get you a two-day pass, and attendees can skate the newly built 20-foot ramp or drink at the legendary bar also located on the site.
Friday includes the Fly Traps, an all-girl group that plays soulful garage surf punk that never tries too hard. Obliterations from Los Angeles has an impressive resumé with members from Pink Mountaintops, Black Mountain, Bluebird and Saviours. The band described its sound as “new acoustic death-folk,” which translates to “really good.” Ojai’s Char-Man will travel the least distance to the event and offer some hospitable vibes to the show, and the Ghetto Blasters will erupt in pure schizophrenic San Diego punk rock.
Saturday’s lineup remains solid with Oakland heavy metal maven Saviours; expect to be destroyed. Lecherous Gaze, a local favorite, blends stoner metal, punk and garage to create unique party anthems. Also on the bill are Blasting Concept, Bad Antics and Catholic Spit fresh from a gig with Nobunny.
Chris Carey isn’t a promoter, or at least he doesn’t consider himself one, but he is the brains behind the festival. With the help of Converse, which sponsored the event, he secured the spot and started to book bands only a few months ago. The concept, he said, was to get away from familiar bars and venues and to share the unique campsite at Camp Scheideck. It’s an unincorporated community founded in 1888. People still live at the site, at times year round, using the bar as the town center. The meandering creek runs through the campsite and offers plenty of hiking or fishing. Doors for the event open at noon and bands start around 6 p.m. on both days.
Brain Daze, Aug. 16 – 17, Camp Scheideck, 26095 Scheideck Road, Maricopa. For more information, visit facebook.com/braindaze.