In the studio
Reluctant Hero is laying down tracks for its third EP. Vocalist (and most enthusiastic barista in the land) Tyler Brown says it’s going really well and he expects two songs to be released by the end of the month with a tour to follow in spring. In the hip-hop neck of the woods, Forgotten Science is busy in the lab concocting weird sounds for your aural pleasure. They are taking a break from gigging for the rest of the year. Rapper Riley Real is working on new material for the new year. He and Modern Day Poetz will also be opening for WC of Westside Connection at Crave Lounge on Dec. 3. Rumor has it that Aaron Johnson is woodshedding a solo project. It will be produced by Armand Anthony (who else?), as will the record by Out of Trust (ex-Burning Dog) and the new Le Meu Le Purr which has been in the oven for four long years. Ojai’s Persona Non Grata (formerly known as The Volume Knockers) is working on new material and hoping to debut its classic metal/grunge song “Dancing Monkey” in the near future.
Ex-Dirty Words Kasey Herbison and Nigel Wellington have been working on something new, but have yet to settle on a name for the project. Dynamic duo Tony Cicero (drums) and Sam Bolle (bass) are putting together an original alt-country group. Skyline Drive features Derek Thomas (60 Watt Kid) on vocals, JP Hesser from Ventura’s Castaway 7 Studios on keys and Erik Kristiansen (Ryan Adams) on pedal steel. Sounds promising. Lovebird has not broken up, says drummer Mike Gleeson, but they have temporarily returned to their original configuration as a duo. Gleeson and Nicole Emery are planning to demo their new songs, which he says are “a little darker, more percussive and dreamy,” to shop around. They recently played Hotel Café in L.A. but don’t plan to play Ventura until they are done recording. From the people who brought us the GroovePhest in 2010, comes a Sunday champagne brunch and live entertainment series. The inaugural event will be held on Dec. 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ventura Theater which will transform into a Vegas-style show with tables. Food will be provided by Franky’s in Ventura and entertainment will consist of an acoustic set by Brion Shearer followed by Candy-O a tribute to the Cars and Which One’s Pink, the highly regarded Pink Floyd tribute act that will perform Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. There will also be a speed dating event upstairs for singles older than 40, and a raffle with proceeds going to local charitable organizations. To learn more about the event visit www.venturatheater.net. Stalwart local blues musician Guy Martin is preparing for his Jimi Hendrix homage on Jan. 21 at the Ventura Theater, which he says is not a tribute but rather a serious performance of the guitar god’s greatest works artfully staged for a fully rounded experience.
One of Ventura’s most promising bands is leaving our fair shores for the greener pastures of Nashville, Tenn. Softsilence will take advantage of the lower cost of living and a music scene that’s saturated with important industry types early next year. The band has been quietly getting nourishment from local big money management firm Fitzgerald-Hartley, who band leader Bryan Dixon says is “really pulling out all the stops.” Softsilence has been in pre-production with Jesse Seibenberg for its long-awaited debut EP with plans to begin recording in earnest later this month. They are also putting together a film crew to document their music-making odyssey. Dixon, who is currently negotiating a publishing deal for his songs, says the band is humbled by the support its received from its management. Softsilence will play its farewell show at Zoey’s on Jan. 21. Looks like the band’s healthy work ethic and abundant PMA is paying off.
Love’s Secret Domain recently finished its sexy, Prince meets She Wants Revenge-ish song “The Nightlife.” Flamboyant frontman Josh Slavin is joined by Kenny Benson (Dirty Words, Valora), Kevin Weeks and Dustin Kithcart (New Liberty). Slavin told VCReporter he had plans to knock on the door of ex-Bauhaus guitarist and Ojai resident Daniel Ash dressed as a Mormon to proselytize the song. L.S.D.’s video for the song “No Substitute” stars Levi’s model Gabe Witmer — Slavin plans to shoot something “dirtier” for “The Nightlife.” B Willing James released six songs from his Live at Lestat’s record for free download. His generous gesture was “in the spirit of the bootleg,” as he said on his website, and to give fans “a very real slice of who I am these days.” James is also releasing an EP before year’s end that he recorded with Justine Bennett. He will begin a Monday-night residency at Zoey’s for the month of December. To download the live record, visitbwilling.bandcamp.com/releases. Dan Grimm has finally birthed his full-length Corvus Crow, which is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc.
It’s difficult to get through a paragraph without mentioning Zoey’s, which continues to provide a showcase for singer songwriters via its Ones to Watch competition. In recognition of this, owners Polly and Steve Hoganson received the Ventura Mayor Arts Award for Creative Entrepreneur last week.
Jeff Palmer, the Ventura County music scene’s go-to for video production, recently finished Larusso’s spooky video for its equally spooky song “Wickerman,”as well as The Documentary’s “95 Driveways,” which was an official selection at the New York Hell’s Kitchen Film Festival and was nominated for a Cappie award. View it by visiting wishingwellmusic.info. Palmer is currently working on a little something for Whiskey Glass Eye (whose singer Ed Kasper has launched yet another project: Black Action Suits) and is in discussions with Sound the Sky.
NoteWorthy is a monthly column dedicated to developments in Ventura County’s music scene. If you have a tip, write to Michel or Facebook her.
“No Substitute” by Love’s Secret Domain: