805 purveyor of doom Sutratma will be selling hand-numbered copies of its debut self-titled album at Bombay Bar and Grill on Aug. 30 where it will share a bill with Ides of Gemini and Crimson Scarlet. If the stars align, there will also be T-shirts. Zachary James and the All Seeing Eyes has finished mixing its second album at Henson Studios. James is shopping it with fingers crossed for a Halloween release. (Speaking of Halloween, Creature Feature recently had a song featured in an overseas commercial for the TV show The Walking Dead.) Hip-hop artist Kapeesh, a Ventura County native and L.A. transplant, has released his wrenching record Pretty Blues with a poetry chapbook to accompany it. Give it a look-hear at kapeesh.bandcamp.com/album/pretty-blues. Catholic Spit has made pre-orders available of its first official release, a 7-inch vinyl pressing of “I’m Your God Now” and “Die Alone.” The band is offering a sweet little package deal for $11 that includes stickers and other goodies. Get it at catholicspit.bandcamp.com. Melodic punkers NO///se will celebrate the release of their debut record at Billy O’s on Sept. 5 with Massenger. Shaky Feelin’ will release its long-awaited debut record on Sept. 7, with a show at Good Bar. The band is currently on a brief tour of the Southwest and Midwest. D on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers debuted its video last month for the song “Careless.” The impressive video, shot in various Ventura locations, including Bombay Bar and Grill, was produced by Gravity Free Productions. The Pullmen unveiled its spooky video for the song “Ramirez” at Indie West Fest. You can see it by adding The Pullmen on Facebook or searching it on YouTube. The first official video from Aaron Orbit’s Sunday Morning Murder Songs is out and it’s very cool, of course. Shot in black and white on the beach in Ventura, the video for the song “Prove Me Wrong” — which was also featured in the VCReporter Protest Song Project last year — can be seen on YouTube or by scrolling here.
Making It Happen
Ventura County musicians are singin’ the blues — in a good way — since the Ventura County Blues Society (VCBS) began staging matinee concerts at The High Street Arts Center in Moorpark. The monthly Sunday Blues Concert Matinee series showcases local talent in a party atmosphere with food and cocktails with proceeds benefiting various nonprofit groups. Performers have included Alastair Greene, Mikey Mo, Chris Cain and Kelly’s Lot. The VCBS will be holding a “band challenge” on Saturday, Sept. 29, in order to choose the band that will represent the society at the 29th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn. All bands are welcome to submit a video link or audio link with photos and a band bio by Aug. 31. For more information, visit www.venturacountyblues.com.
Living the Dream
Thousand Oaks band The Neighbourhood is getting a ton of buzz. The band is currently on tour through the end of October in support of Maximo Park, The Temper Trap and Animal Kingdom. The song “Female Robbery,” featuring production by Emilie Haynie (Lana Del Rey, Kanye West), has been lauded by Radio One’s Zane Lowe, Earmilk.com and Hype Machine. See the video below.
Ventura County musicians were saddened by the news that beloved singer-songwriter Jimmy Adams passed away last month during surgery to repair a detached retina. Adams relocated to Kentucky after living almost 20 years in Ventura. Friends of Adams performed at an impromptu concert earlier this month organized by Jonathan McEuen. Adams was a central figure in the culture that developed around Ventura’s Café Voltaire in the ’90s (where Tutti’s is now in The Livery ), and was known for his song “I Think I’ll Go Down to the Ocean,” which was recorded by McEuen and Jaime Hanna. “Jimmy was one of the nicest guys, ever — sort of a Father Teresa,” said Ventura County Star music writer Bill Locey. “Not only was he legendary, or so said his own coffee mugs, but he was a helluva songwriter.” VCReporter’s Chris Jay said that even though Adams was one of the best songwriters in the area, he didn’t behave competitively within the music scene. “He was a friendly, encouraging and welcoming person. Jimmy made you feel like you belonged.” Singer-songwriter Julie Christensen traveled the same circles as Adams and had unique insight about him. “Jimmy was not only a great songwriter — there are so many songs Jonathan McEuen does that I had no idea were Jimmy’s until now — he was a listener. The level of listening energy in a room went way up when Jimmy was present. And he was an active listener — moving and calling out when he was transported by something in the music.” Adams will be greatly missed.
One of the area’s more unique and hardworking bands, Champagne Sunday, is relocating to Washington. Bands leaving for greener pastures is becoming a common theme, in these parts. Champagne Sunday is working on a new album but taking a break from touring to get fully packed and moved by the end of September. “The music scene up here, from Portland to Seattle is just amazing,” Jessi Freeden told VCReporter. “As opposed to music business people, they are music listeners. They have really welcomed and embraced us and what we do.” We asked the Magic 8 Ball if the move will bring them much-deserved happiness and prosperity and the answer was “ask again later.” We are sorry to see them go.
Ventura County’s music community is nothing if not charitable. A concert to raise awareness about autism called Be the C.A.U.S.E. will be held at Zoey’s on Sunday, Sept. 2, 6:30 p.m. Organized by Jaison Henderson of Rubberneck Lions, it will feature performances by his band plus Aaron Orbit, Matt Zeltzer, Mikasa and Bearkat. Proceeds will be donated to the Center for Autism Understanding, Support & Education Inc. (C.A.U.S.E.)
NoteWorthy is a monthly column dedicated to developments in Ventura County’s music scene. If you have a tip, write to Michel or give her a call.