Picks of the week

Picks of the week

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES Seattle-brewed for strength and flavor, this is post-hardcore at its best. Brutal yet nuanced, heavy and complex, TAAS stays true to the genre with a good balance of chaos and order and an interesting vocal delivery. They describe themselves as “bitter, bummed out and bored,” probably a result of too many consecutive days spent in dark basements avoiding the relentless rain. Touring in support of their third record Tail Swallower & Dove, which made many a critic’s 2008 top 10 list, consider it a coup for Nicholby’s to have TAAS in the house.  Friday, March 27. Nicholby’s, 410 E. Main St., Ventura. 653-2320,  www.myspace.com/thesearmsaresnakes.

REY FRESCO Be glad these guys are still playing locally because all signs point to the big time for Rey Fresco. Currently recording in a very exclusive studio in L.A., they are one of the more unique bands to emerge from Cali in the past decade, and possibly the only one with a harpist. They also took home a sweet cash prize as winners of Rookee’s Battle of the Bands last year.  Friday, March 27. Watermark, 598 E. Main St., Ventura. 643-6800, www.reyfresco.com.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

JEFFREY ROSS  The New York Friars Club Roastmaster General is one of the remaining few of a dying breed: insult comics. In the tradition of Don Rickles, Jeffrey Ross has performed his snarky bits on the prestigious stages of talk shows such as The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Real Time with Bill Maher. Ross also boasts a successful crossover into television drama with appearances on CSI and Six Feet Under, but he’s perhaps most recently remembered for his quick elimination on Dancing With the Stars. Ross has roasted, nay, flame-broiled the likes of Pamela Anderson, Hugh Hefner and William Shatner.  Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21. Ventura Harbor Comedy Club, 1559 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura. 644-1500, www.venturaharborcomedy club.com.

EekamouseEEK-A-MOUSE The legendary roots reggae singer will perform music from his diverse repertoire of roots and dancehall in a rare intimate setting. Known for his unique vocalization, freaky humor and acting cameos in the ’90s, Eek-a Mouse is one of the pioneers of toastmaster or rap reggae.  Thursday, March 19, with Litmore. Karma Lounge, 281 W. Main St., Ventura. 641-9090, www.myspace.com/karmaloungevta.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

WE GOVERN WE They recently relocated to Ventura from Greece, where early on they received critical praise. Previously, Panos Scourtis (guitar) and Anna Karakalou (vocals) performed with acclaimed alternative electro band SIGMATROPIC who collaborated with the likes of Cat Power and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth). Why they’re in Ventura of all places is anyone’s guess, but we’re glad to have ‘em. Self –described as what the Killers would sound like if Cyndi Lauper was their singer, understates their sophisticated sexiness. Think Shiny Toy Guns with a little BitterSweet. This is a band to watch. Saturday, March 14. Billy O’s, 2819 E. Main St. Ventura. 652-0327, www.myspace.com/wegovernwe.

PSYCHO  CAFÉ REUNION Friend to Ventura’s music scene Travis Whitlock of Blackbird Productions is getting married and what he’d like most on his wedding day (besides his bride) is to see Psycho Café play once more. The band that would spawn Le Meu Le Purr began as a high school jam and became an integral part of Ventura’s late ’90s music scene. This may not happen again. Sunday, March 15. Bombay Bar & Grill, 143 S California St. Ventura, 643-4404.

Picks of the week

Picks of the week

DICK DALE After a brief hiatus from performing to recover from cancer treatment, the otherwise hardy King of Surf Guitar is once again sharing his virtuosity with guitar geeks and fans of reverb. Best known for his classic instrumental hit “Miserlou” (a revamped Greek dance standard), what many don’t realize about Dick Dale is that his earliest work was heavily influenced by Middle Eastern music. An avid surfer, Dale sought to reproduce what he heard in the water, thus pioneering the “wet” sound of heavy reverb. His exuberance on stage and his eccentric persona have made his performances legendary. Dale’s son Jimmy will play drums with opening act FCC.  Saturday, March 7, the Canyon, 28912 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills. 818-879-5016,  www.canyonclub.net.

SHADES OF DAY Ojai homeboys with a penchant for classic’70s style groove rock, Shades of Day are one of the best live bar bands in the county. Since their earliest performances at places like Buffalo Records, they have recorded an album, accumulated a loyal fan base and played on some prestigious bills. They never disappoint.  Saturday, March 7,

It’s All Good Bar, 533 E. Main St., Ventura. 641-9951, www.myspace.com/manyshadesofday.

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