Sounding the 805

Sounding the 805

It’s time once again for the most infamous (and probably the only) annual event devoted to punk athleticism: the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Las Vegas. The bowling tournament and punk show has been and continues to be a destination for punks from all over the West Coast, including Ventura County, when it descends on a Las Vegas casino every year, draining bars dry and filling the halls with live bands. Now in its 12th year, having grown from a party thrown together in 1998 for record labels and bands, with only 27 bowling teams competing, the event currently includes 210 teams, 10 of which will represent the 805 area, including members of local punk bands T.B.C., Ill Repute, Tina’s Nightmare, Burning Tree Records and the 2008 Punk Rock Bowling champion team Bramlette Rock Photography.

“This is the year to go,” said Ill Repute guitarist Tony Cortez from Wagon Wheel Bowl in Oxnard, where the band has been warming up every Sunday at Nardcore Bowling. This year’s PRB has expanded the music aspect of the event with a 4,000 capacity outdoor amphitheater at the Sunset Station Hotel and Casino, and three full days of bands, including Oxnard’s hardcore forefathers Ill Repute, for the first time on the main stage, and fellow veterans Dr. Know alongside punk legends like D.R.I., The Adolescents, T.S.O.L., Youth Brigade (PRB founders), CH3, and the Dickies. Also performing are Against Me!, Hot Water Music and NOFX. You don’t have to be on a team to see the shows, so, punk rockers, bum a ride to Vegas. More info at

Easily one of the best of the newer generation of Oxnard hard core punk bands, Dogends played its last show to the dismay of many fans. With a new EP, Pure Hate, fresh off the presses on Flat Black Records, Dogends unexpectedly announced six days prior to their next Ventura show that it would be the final performance — this time for real. Fans packed the Ventura Vineyard, a church on Palma Drive in Ventura near where Alpine/Skatestreet used to be (and incidentally, a great place for a mosh pit), for the show that also featured Knife Fight, Dry-Rot, Nails and El Mariachi.

If you missed out on the pure thrash intensity of Dogends’ live show, you can tune into a three–part YouTube video that was captured from the band’s farewell set and see all the chaos first-hand. The split leaves the former members free for their other projects. Drummer Nigel Wellington also plays in the Ventura hard rock band Dirty Words, and other members have future plans in the punk arena.

At Take 2 in Ventura last weekend, the over-21 sector of the punk scene was busy checking out The Last Priority, Trial By Fury and one of the newer Oxnard hardcore bands, Shattered Badge (former members of Oxnard Skate Trash, The Last Priority, T.B.C. and The Antix) who are destined to have some instant nardcore classics with thrashers like “Nard Thai” and “Recruiter.” The three-piece has a high-energy, high-velocity sound and an energizing live show. No record release yet, but it’s definitely worth picking up a demo at one of the next shows.    

Sounding the 805 is Ventura County’s only biweekly local music column. If you have a tip, a suggestion, a complaint, some dish or just a kind word, shoot Chris Mastrovito an e-mail. 

Sounding the 805

Sounding the 805

It was a celebration of our artistic identity, a hell of a party, and the culmination of a year’s worth of this paper’s intimate coverage of the creative supernova that is at the heart of our music scene. Last week, our local music issue paid tribute to the vast talent that is emerging on the local landscape by recognizing 10 noteworthy bands that have breathed life into the scene and given us reasons to stay in town for entertainment. We put those words to the test when the VCReporter and Bombay Bar and Grill invited six of our 2010 bands to watch, to come onstage for a free all-night show as proof that they were more than ingratiating sentiments, that the music being created here demands attention, and the experience of its live performance is not to be missed.

The place was packed like the Hollywood House of Blues would be on New Year’s Eve. The late dinner crowd, huddling over their salads, couldn’t have anticipated the onslaught as they were quickly crowded by car-full after car-full of lively revelers careful not to miss the full lineup: Dan Grimm, Shades of Day, We Govern We, Monster Hand, Lovebird and the long-awaited return of Le Meu Le Purr. Bands that individually draw fans in throngs, combined on that night like some mad scientist’s cocktail of volatile chemicals.  “It was the night where it all came together,” said Bombay manager, booker and bartender Diego Gamba, speaking about the collaboration between the artists, the venue and the fans. Local singer Delaney Gibson in attendance called it “an inspiring night of music and kinship.” Nonstop performances kept the venue close to capacity until the wee hours of the morning, when LMLP’s theatrical intensity kept more than 100 rock fans wide awake and even dancing while much of the outside world slept.

On April 23, one of the ’70s most influential rock bands, Blue Oyster Cult plays the Ventura Theatre, and for the third year in a row, The Feisty Piranhas, will be the opening act. The Feisty Piranhas, a So-Cal-style punk/ska band a la NOFX, has also opened for some other respectable acts, including DragonForce, the Misfits and Death By Stereo, and were named one of the Hot 100 Unsigned Artists for 2009 by Music Connection Magazine. The band is led on vocals and guitar by 22 year-old Peter Alexander Lust III (or just “Feisty” if you are into the whole brevity thing), and backedup by his father, Peter Lust (“Pops”), a spacecraft consultant by day and punk rock drummer by night, a sort of “rock hobbyist” if you will. The show should make for an interesting audience mix as the more mature B.O.C. fans mingle with some feisty pop punkers in the pit.

If you happened to pick up our April Fools’ Day issue, in which we ran a series of fictitious stories about sold fairgrounds, Tasmanian rats and a host of other questionable subjects, you may have noticed that my column contained, among other outrageous nonsense and falsities, a paragraph about Alice Cooper buying oven mitts at the Camarillo Outlets, visiting Rock City Studios and recording a 13-minute harmonica solo — a narrative that was, of course, completely a figment of my imagination, intended solely for your amusement. Unlike many of the other stories that ran in that issue and only stirred up interest locally, my column apparently caught the attention of Cooper himself. On April 2, Cooper (I promise I am not making this up) personally called Rock City Studios and very politely informed the staff there via voicemail that he, in fact, had never been there, nor recorded a harmonica solo. (His people also called later in the week with a similar, yet more pointed, refrain). Thanks, Internet. It’s a small world after all.

Sounding the 805 is Ventura County’s only biweekly local music column. If you have a tip, a suggestion, a complaint, some dish or just a kind word, shoot Chris Mastrovito an e-mail.

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