Café Tacuba It is impossible to overstate the influence of Mexico’s Café Tacuba in the world of Spanish-language alt-rock. Often called “the Mexican Beatles” or “the Latino Radiohead,” those labels — though highly complimentary — do not come close to fully capturing the band’s freewheeling eclecticism and worldly pop craftsmanship for English-speaking audiences. In the 1980s, when trade restrictions loosened and American rock’n’roll finally crossed the border, many young Mexican groups immediately abandoned their country’s folk heritage in favor of the music they had been barred from hearing for years. Not the members of Café Tacuba, however. Instead, they married the sounds they had always known to those everyone was just beginning to hear, finding where their heritage fit inside rock’s history. Nearly 20 years on, their discography is among the most adventurous and wide-ranging of any band from any country, and their enduring immense popularity both in Mexico and beyond speaks to their genius. Cafeta, as their fans know them, perform at the Ventura Theater on Nov. 30 in support of their just released sixth album, Sino.

Creep Division With the Alpine about to go down, the county’s always-vibrant hardcore community will suffer a tremendous loss. Whether the mall-bought Ill Repute T-shirt wearing kids want to admit it or not, it was as close to a home for the younger members of that scene as there has been in years. Enter Mai’s Café (formerly the American Legion Hall) in Midtown Ventura. Doing shows sporadically over the past few months, expect it to kick into high gear with the heavy stuff after the loss of the Alpine. The concert on Dec. 3 is a perfect example of what’s to come, when Creep Division, a new hardcore supergroup featuring members of Good Riddance, Sick of It All and Fury 66, take time off from their opening slot on the Suicidal Tendencies tour to bring their self-described “third band on a six band bill at VFW show in 1982” old-school thrash punk to town. Opening the bill is current local hardcore staples the Fucking Wrath along with Broken Needle and Dogends.



Gwar Arguably Antarctica’s greatest rock’n’roll export, pre-historic space headbangers GWAR were awakened from their slumber in the late ’80s, after all the Aquanet choking the atmosphere at the height of the Hair Metal Era burned a hole in the ozone big enough to melt the glacier that had entombed them for millions of years. Discovered by their future manager and then on-the-run American fugitive named Sleazy P. Martini (probably an alias), the murderous horde was brought to the United States, taught how to speak English and to play instruments. Naturally, they quickly scored a record contract and, over the course of 18 years and 11 albums, have gradually crawled toward their ultimate goal: killing enough of their fans to summon the World Maggot, which resides in the center of the earth, and ride it back across the universe to extract revenge against the Master. There is an alternative version of this creation story, that the band was started by a bunch of former Virginian art students as a marketing experiment, but that’s boring. What’s not is their live show, famously gruesome and entertaining and messier than the Double Dare obstacle course. Offer yourself up for sacrifice when GWAR slays ‘em at the Ventura Theatre on Nov. 23. Bring a helmet. And a raincoat.

Los Paranoiaz Anyone who regularly peruses the entertainment listings in this or any other local publication has probably seen the name “Los Paranoiaz” dominating the bar scene in and around Ventura lately. Well, it’s not your imagination. This band of brothers (literally) is injecting a bit of youth, energy and original songwriting into the wilting late-night music community. The group, born in an Oxnard garage years and years ago, has been gradually climbing up the ranks with a sound that fuses a classic sense of melody over some furious guitar and drum work. Move over old timers — there’s a new generation of Ventura County bands are on the way, and Los Paranoiaz is leading the charge. The future comes to DJ’s on Nov. 24.



Hellogoodbye Naming your band after a Screech quote isn’t exactly a foolproof plan for success (especially considering the way that guy’s career has gone since the demise of Saved By The Bell) but so far, Huntington Beach’s Hellogoodbye is doing just fine. Check the résumé: Formed in 2002 while its member were still in high school, the band signed to power-pop indie giant Drive Thru Records two years later on the strength of their self-released eponymous debut EP, which proved that the young band’s sound — up-tempo, effervescent and danceable pop-punk, spiked with sugar-sharp melodies and clever pop-culture references — came out the womb fully-formed. Heavy touring with the likes of Motion City Soundtrack and All-American Rejects helped them develop their confetti-and water gun-intensive live show, and a stint on the Warped Tour expanded their fan base. They also became featured players on an episode of The Real World: Austin during their appearance at the South By Southwest Music Conference, in which their name was mentioned roughly 800 times. Now, with the release of their first full-length, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, the band is suddenly big enough to play mid-size venues such as Agoura Hills’ Canyon Club, where they’ll perform on Nov. 16 with openers Say Anything.

The Missing 23rd It has been three years since locally venerated punk heroes the Missing 23rd decided to call it a career, but the hyper-fast, uber-pissed band never intended their dissolution to be their final word. Earlier this year, the group reunited to perform at a benefit for Nardcore vet John Phaneuf, and now they’re coming together again to raise money for another friend, Gavin Peters, a skater and artist stricken by Lyme disease. Since members of the band have spent the last few years playing in different groups, their musicality and, most of all, vitriol, remains sharp, but that’s not the most important part of this show. This is an example of altruism all too rare in the local music scene, so even if you’re too young (or too old, for that matter) to have experienced the invigorating chaos that was a Missing 23rd show, this is a concert worth attending in support of the cause alone. It happens at Alpine on Nov. 16, with fellow locals Bad Samaritans, Glass & Ashes and the Fucking Wrath also contributing.



33Ween Pennsylvania duo Ween — that’s spiritual brothers Gene and Dean Ween — have been playing musical pranks on the rock world for 20 years now. Wait, 20 years?! That’s right: the low brow, high concept project started in the fake brothers’ bedrooms in 1984 when the pair were just high school freshmen. It would be six more years before the outside world started to take notice of their oddball send-ups of everything from hardcore punk, folk and dub to Minneapolis funk, country, R&B and whatever else happened to float into their demented heads. But once it escaped, the gaseous cloud known as Ween has not yet ceased its spread. It engulfs the Ventura Theater on Nov. 6.

Rising Son “I can’t be held prisoner to my own past,” says local reggae singer Levi. And therein lies the main concept behind Rising Son, the group he has fronted since 2001 — the idea of transcending the pain, suffering and misfortune that defines humanity and moving along down the road toward self-actualization. Take Root, the band’s first album, is a collection of forceful, strikingly authentic roots reggae, driven by the solid groove of the supporting musicians and fueled by the indelible passion of its singer. The disc is comprised mostly of songs written by Levi when he was 15 and 16 years old, but the themes are not marked with a timestamp. Sing along when Rising Son performs at Hush on Nov. 7.








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