Give it away, give it away, give it away now
A month-long effort to raise funds for Typhoon Haiyan relief ended last month with the Rise Above II concert sponsored by the Ventura Theater and co-organized by members of Dirty Rice. Proceeds from the concert and many other activities, including sales, fitness events, dances and more, yielded a whopping $64,000. Shirts and Cans: An Evening of Music, Art and Helping Hands at Bombay Bar collected 300 cans of food and two pickup trucks worth of clothing according to organizer Graham Ginsburg of Chronology Presents. Ginsburg, who delivered the items to local homeless shelters said turnout for the event was “amazing.”

Sing a Song
The First Sunday Song Game kicked off in Ojai last week. Hosted by Rain Perry, who learned about it from Matt the Electrician, the game originated in Austin, Texas. The premise: Audience members shout out phrases to a group of songwriters who return the following month with a finished song containing the phrases.  The first installment featured selected singer-songwriters Donna Lynn Caskey, Shelby Figueroa, James Graham, Eda Maxym, Rain Perry and JB White. The next game will be on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at Kim Maxwell Studio, 226 W. Ojai Ave., #102. Tickets are $10 at the door, with proceeds going toward a scholarship fund for Rain Perry’s Songwriting for Civilians classes. The roster will change throughout the year but the format will be the same.

Changes Gotta Come
Darkside of the Hand announced the addition of Adam Figueroa on bass. Look for good stuff from this band in 2014. Night Demon replaced hardest working guy in local rock, drummer John Crerar (Stop Breathing, T.F.W.), with New Liberty’s Diezel Bottoms. Gypsy Death Star signed a deal with Genetic Music in Germany. The first record will be released on various formats in March throughout Europe and Japan. The band also released a video for “I Wanna Be Your Man” (filmed by Angela Izzo) as part of the celebrated Beatles Reimagined project. Camarillo singer-songwriter Cameron Ray has moved to Ventura after a stint in Nevada, where he funded his debut record Solids and Hollows as a blackjack dealer in Reno. He’s been making the rounds locally; Green Art People’s Lisbet Frey calls him “passionate and high-energy.”

Spread Your Wings
Ill Repute’s Carl Valdez and Tony Cortez have teamed up with infamous Indie West promoter Michael Jones (Jumpin’ Jimes, Jackass, The Vonettes) and Randy Miller (Mayors of Garratt, Global Warning) to form Mother of Dissension. Inspired by early punk rock, the band debuted at Billy O’s last month. Spartacus released its long-awaited self-titled debut full-length recently. Wooden Nomad is putting finishing touches on its second record. Tall Tales and the Silver Lining recently had the song “Waves” featured in an episode of the popular TV series Nashville. Members of Rubberneck Lions wrapped up the first season of their music trivia night at Bombay Bar with a nice bow last month. The challenging and totally fun bi-weekly event — the second round of which this writer’s team had the distinction of winning — attracted music brainiacs like Carlism, Brian Mikasa and Kasey Herbison.
You think you know something about music? Prove it on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. when music trivia returns to Bombay. You could leave with some cash. Also, it’s super-fun.

Don’t You Forget About Me
It is with deep regret that we report the passing of PIRANHA (formerly Feisty Piranhas) front man Peter Alexander Lust III.  Always encouraging and positive and absolutely passionate about music, Lust was in the midst of tremendous personal and professional growth when he died suddenly at only 25 years old. During his short but memorable career, the hearing-impaired singer/guitarist had the opportunity to play alongside bands like The Dickies, Filter, D.R.I., UFO and NOFX, whom he actually joined on stage, and nailed down lead guitar on the song “Linoleum” following an invitation by Fat Mike. Not only was he writing reportedly groundbreaking material while reimagining the band he and his father started years ago, Lust had recently lost a staggering 300 pounds and quit smoking. A memorial service for Peter Lust will be held on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2 p.m. at Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura. There will be special guests and video footage with music from Lust’s new record that was slated for release this year.