If there’s one thing that musicians like to do more than make music, it’s talk about music. The Reporter caught up with several members of the Ventura County music scene to find out what their favorite show and favorite record of the year was. From the well known to the unknown, here’s what the scene was rocking out to in 2016.

Pam Baumgardner, VenturaRocks.com
Favorite Show: Cirith Ungol at the Ventura Theater. “It was so great to see these guys get back together after 25 years, due to the overwhelming demand from new and old fans from around the world who came to see them play The Frost and Fire Fest.”
Favorite Record: Casey Abrams, Tales From The Gingerbread House

Zeke Berkley
Favorite Show: Lakers v. The Knicks. “I know it’s not a concert but . . . it was better than any show I went to this year.”
Favorite Record: Jeff Rosenstock, Worry

Owen Bucey, Mandex
Favorite Show: Ben Folds at the Ventura Theater. “One of the great songwriters and storytellers of our era, solo with just a piano at the theater. Doesn’t get much better.”
Favorite Record: Moby, Long Ambients1: Calm. Sleep.

Favorite Show: Hy Brasil at Surf Rodeo in Ventura. “The show was very high energy and went to a whole new level when Wyatt (lead singer) jumped off the stage and was just raging vocals on the sand.”
Favorite Record: Kanye West, The Life of Pablo

Kai Dodson, Curtsy
Favorite Show: Arlo Guthrie at The Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. “He’s one of the last of that classic folk scene that’s still out there touring full time. He’s a lifer, and to see him in person, telling great stories and entertaining an audience for a full show, was really great to experience.”
Favorite Record: Tigercub, Abstract Figures in the Dark

Jodi Farrell
Favorite Show: The Who at the Santa Barbara Bowl. “Last time I saw them was in 1976. They were my very first concert. They sounded just as good in 2016 as they did then.”
Favorite Record: Alicia Keys, Here

Gary Goff, Ignition, The Sheiks
Favorite Show: Gygax at Bombay in Ventura. “I was the guest wizard on keys. Felt great to be rocking’ like I was a youngster again.”
Favorite Record: A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service

Chris Husted
Favorite Show: Echo and the Bunnymen at the Ventura Theater. “Just a great fucking show to not only work but to watch.”
Favorite Record: Aaron Orbit, Agua Mala

Derek Jennings, Maäsk
Favorite Show: Culture Shock at the Observatory in Los Angeles. “They were on point and their messages were more relevant than ever.”
Favorite Record: A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service

Jarvis Leatherby, Night Demon
Favorite Show: Twisted Sister at the Bang Your Head Festival in Baligen, Germany. “It was their last ever European performance. Night Demon got to open the show, then we just went and got in the crowd of 18,000 and watched the show in all of its glory.”
Favorite Record: Spellcaster, Night Hides the World

Mark Masson, Shaky Feelin’
Favorite Show: Phish in Chula Vista. “It stood out because I got to share this wonderful show with my wife, plus it was outdoors in the summertime. If we’re talking local . . . I always love a good Mandex show.”
Favorite Record: Trey Anastasio, Paper Wheels

Aaron Orbit
Favorite Show: The Good Life at Large Marge in Ventura and Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. “It’s a tie. The Good Life because I couldn’t believe I was watching the brilliant Tim Kasher in such a small setting and Hedwig, well, because it’s fucking Hedwig!”
Favorite Record: Curtsy, Something I Can’t Control

Rain Perry
Favorite Show: Hamilton in New York. “The writing was so good. So many clever, internal rhymes and references to important rap songs and historical references. Very, very impressive and inspiring.”
Favorite Record: David Bowie, Blackstar

Robert Ramirez, Medicine Hat
Favorite Show: Jay Farrar at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown. “Small intimate venue with a one-foot-high stage makes for an amazing show when you’re standing right in front of the artist. It was just Jay on acoustic, an electric guitar guy and pedal steel guy. Just an amazing show.”
Favorite Record: The Jayhawks, Paging Mr. Proust

Robin Ryder, Mandex
Favorite Show: Allen Stone at the Ventura Theater. “First time seeing him. I had only heard a track on KCRW and it was refreshing and surprising to hear how good his band and his soul style was. A very upbeat and positive show.”
Favorite Record: Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker

Brian Stevens
Favorite Show: Mandex at Spencer Makenzie’s Throwdown in Ventura. “For two hours, you would of thought you were transported to an outdoor hair metal concert in the 1980s. Just a lot of fun.”
Favorite Record: James Arthur, Back from the Edge

John Sveiven, Arkive Studios
Favorite Show: “Zeke Berkley at Poseidon Brewery in Ventura. An invite-only show with a great, intimate atmosphere. Nice change of pace from the average venue.”
Favorite Record: Zeke Berkley, Berkley II

Kelly Turner, Bloody Mary Morning, Big Dictator
Favorite Show: Bad Religion and Against Me at The Ventura Theater. “It was right before the election and seemed to fit the current mood. It was nice to see bands stand up for what they believe in. and cool to see that Bad Religion’s message was always and still is on point.”
Favorite Record: Masked Intruder, Love and Other Crimes