Legends at the Lake

Yes, that is “Legends,” plural. As in not one, but many. And after looking at the lineup, no one could accuse the promoters of Legends at the Lake of false advertising. Topping the bill, which takes place at beautiful Lake Casitas, is Starship, formerly known as Jefferson Starship, which was previously known as Jefferson Airplane, one the torchbearers of the ’60s acid rock movement. No Grace Slick or Marty Balin, but there is Mickey Thomas, the original co-lead singer when the group upgraded from airplanes to starships and started racking up hits such as “Jane,” “No Way Out” and the immortal “We Built This City.” Joining them near the top of the lineup are the Tubes (pictured), the late ’70s Bay Area band who used wildly theatrical live shows (and, sometimes, jock straps) to satirize society and politics. Fronted by the eccentric Fee Waybill, the band is still going strong, and in this day and age, there is a lot about society and politics worth satirizing. Filling out the rest of the day is Soul System, a makeshift supergroup featuring singers from Toto, Boston and Mr. Mister and musicians who’ve played with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Chick Corea to Frank Zappa. Opening up the festivities are local Santa Barbara legends Spencer the Gardner. It all goes down on September 3. Lake Casitas Event Area, 11311 Santa Ana Rd., Ojai, 643-5900

The Return

In a music scene where bands come and go with the breeze, the Return is the solid foundation of the local rock community. Starting in 1999, the trio began promoting its kinetic blend of ska, power-pop, reggae and indie rock throughout the area and quickly amassed a following big enough to pack preeminent local venues such as the Livery Theater and the Loft. They soon caught the era of members of the group Rx Bandits, who took the band on the road with them and whose producer Chris Fudurich agreed to record their full-length debut #Build Me A Reason#. With all that momentum behind them, the group has developed an audience outside Ventura County, but they’ve never forgotten that everything began here — as evidenced by their performance at Alpine on September 1 with Sleeper City, June Echo, the Pat Salisbury Band and Matt Brown.

Death By Stereo

When Corey Feldman tossed a radio into a bathtub and fried a vampire in the 1980s proto-Gen X horror classic The Lost Boys, a demon died … but a band was born. After making the blood-sucking bastard’s head explode, Feldman uttered perhaps the greatest victorious one-liner in the history of cinema: “Death by stereo.” Eleven years later, punk quintet Death By Stereo rose out of the Southern California hardcore scene to become one of the most popular artists among the Warped Tour sect. Mixing a great sense of rage with a love of Van Halen, DBS create a potent Molotov cocktail of aggression that has inspired mosh pits and intense sing-alongs at clubs across the country. Is it just a coincidence that a band taking their name from a great flick would be excellent themselves? Probably not. Creatures of the night beware: Death By Stereo is coming to the Canyon on September 2.



Dr. John

With a wolfman growl and formidable funkiness, Mac Rebennack — better known as the indefatigable Dr. John — is perhaps the world’s foremost practitioner of what could be called “voodoo R&B.” Emerging as a solo artist in 1968 with the hypnotic, hallucinogenic classic Gris-Gris after having spent the previous decade and a half as a prominent New Orleans session man, the good Doctor (also referred to as “the Night Tripper”) used his scalpel — in this case, a piano and his steel-wool voice — to carve out a unique niche for himself in the pop music world. Not everything he has done since that classic debut has been as haunting (he is nothing if not eclectic) but whatever form his music has taken — whether its classic Nawlins R&B, deep-fried funk, solo piano works or even pop standards — the stamp branded into its side always bears the unmistakable mark of Dr. John. The legend howls at the moon at the impossibly intimate Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara on August 18. Lobero Theater, 33 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara, 963-0761

Alice Cooper

Plenty of things come to mind whenever the name “Alice Cooper” is mentioned: blood, snakes, skeletons, explosions, decapitations, et cetera. Not often, however, is piston-pumping rock’n’roll mentioned. And that’s a shame. As famous as the former Vincent Furnier has become for his heavily theatrical onstage antics — and as influential as all those things have been for the superstars that came after and basically ripped off his image — they have, in retrospect, overshadowed the music, which is as rugged, driving and evocative of his birthplace of Detroit as any artist to ever emerge from the Motor City. No bother, though: It’s the props that pay the bills, but if all Cooper was ever about was fake guts and kitschy gore, he wouldn’t still be around today. Alice and his traveling circus come to town on August 17 at the Ventura Theatre.

Go Betty Go

lendale pop-punk foursome Go Betty Go has done — and been through — a lot since they first entered the hyper-competitive Los Angeles music scene five years ago. Sporting a forceful, infectious sound combining the members’ disparate influences — punk, Brit-pop, indie rock, classic rock, even hip-hop — it didn’t take long for the all-female quartet to win the attention of the city’s influential tastemakers. They earned appearances on popular Latin rock television station LATV and glowing write-ups in the LA Weekly and La Opinion. Then, when it came time for the group to record its first full-length effort, the whirlwind of the last few years began to bear down on them. But they persevered, and the struggle only made them stronger, as evident on Nothing Is More, an album that lives up to the power and songcraft of their live shows. Original singer Nicolette Vilar has since departed, but she has been replaced by the equally formidable Emily Wynne-Hughes. The reconstructed quartet plays Sans Souci on August 17 with local goth-psychobilly outfit Dead of Night.



Quincy Coleman

Alluring singer-songwriter Quincy Coleman is one of those performers whose voice is so mystical it inspires a wealth of journalistic ingenuity. She has alternately been compared to Maria Muldaur, Van Dyke Parks, Shelby Lynne and Tom Waits; her bio describes her style as a mix of Elvis, Edith Piaf, Django Reinhardt and, strangely, a triple-headed David Lynch-Quentin Tarantino-Federico Fellini monster. All of those comments are meant to be complimentary, but, of course, they cannot come close to truly capturing Coleman’s talent. Born into a family of entertainers (her dad is actor Dabney “Drexell’s Class” Coleman), Quincy began singing while doing the post-college European travel thing and brought her abilities back with her when she returned to Los Angeles. Her self-released debut album caught the attention of influential KCRW program director Nic Harcourt, and the subsequent radio play has made her one of the most popular acts to grace such classy L.A. nightspots as the Temple Bar and Hotel Café. Now, she’s looking to expand her fan base beyond Southern California. But first thing’s first: An appearance at Zoey’s Café on August 11.

The Bad Trips, Char-Man, The FM’s

It’s a triple shot of the new generation of local rock’n’roll at Sans Souci on August 10. First, there’s the Bad Trips, the latest project from creative veteran Jeff Grimes. Grimes, who previously played with garage-pop quartet the Broken Strings, has sawed things down to a trio and gone instrumental. Expect nothing less than brilliance from the guy who founded the creative writing program at Camarillo State Mental Institution. Then there’s Ojai-based Char-Man, who’ve already won a following with their adrenalized buzzsaw sound that hearkens back to proto-punk pioneers like the New York Dolls and the MC5 as well as founding rockers such as Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochran. And lastly, there’s the FM’s, whose powerful garage rock is influenced by post-punks like Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen as well as pop craftsmen like the Beatles and Beach Boys. With Club Mercy DJs spinning all night, this is a night not to be missed.



Michael Franti & Spearhead

Standing “six foot six above sea level,” Michael Franti has been a towering, booming voice of dissent since long before the world could even comprehend a second Bush occupying the Oval Office. Now that the squinty-eyed wonder has taken over, Franti — a tireless, fearless warrior for peace — has a lot to dissent against. With his group Spearhead, the charismatic, dreadlocked frontman chants down Babylon using a forceful concoction of hip-hop, funk, rock and reggae, a hybrid style that appeals to a wide cross-section of progressive peaceniks and, truth be told, perhaps a few conservatives not afraid to get up and dance. Franti and Spearhead open for Hasidic reggae sensation Matisyahu at the Santa Barbara Bowl on August 8.

Confessions of a Monster

Armed with rollicking drums, blitzkrieg standup bass and “a voice to wake the dead,” Confessions of a Monster don’t fit into any particular category too comfortably. Some may call it psychobilly — that mutant mash-up of punk and ’50s rockabilly — but, in practice, this local female-fronted trio (two women, one guy) incorporates a spirit and a fervor entirely of its own design. Categorize them however you want, but there’s one thing for sure: They’re quickly making headway on becoming the best band in the county. See for yourself at Sans Souci on August 4.


Oxnard’s most out-there ensemble (now a three-piece), has launched its own label, YAY!, which their press release claims “is here to bring the fun back in pop!” Hey, any band that uses amplified vacuum cleaners as instruments and smashes cinder blocks as part of their live show definitely knows what fun is all about. The imprint’s first four releases are all seven inches — as in records — and include the debut from dreampoppy newbies Catwalk and two efforts from Maria themselves, as well as a fanzine that comes packaged with an old-school flexidisc. The full YAY! Roster — all two groups — brings fun back to Buffalo Records on August 4, along with resuscitated Ojai punks Char-Man. Yay!








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  1. Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia

    August 22 @ 8:00 am - October 23 @ 8:00 pm
  2. Loni Love Headlines Levity Live

    September 20 @ 7:30 pm - September 22 @ 9:00 pm
  3. 2019 Quilt Rooms and Gardens Tour

    September 21 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  4. 3rd Annual Southeast Ventura County YMCA Reach For The Stars Gala

    September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  5. Premiere Party for “Beyond Function: Fiber, Wood and Clay”

    September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  6. Fundraiser for Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute (CIMWI)

    September 21 @ 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  7. Oxnard National Drive Electric Vehicle (EV) Showcase

    September 22 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
  8. Chamber On The Mountain presents Tomer Gewirtzman, Pianist

    September 22 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  9. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    September 23 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  10. Dancer’s Body Barre

    September 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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