Castaway 7 Studios has been busy with a handful of projects, including 50 Sticks of Dynamite’s third full-length record, due for release on Halloween. The studio’s head dread, JP Hesser, also engineered The Mighty Cash Cats’ recently released The Ballad of Johnny and June. The Rouse, featuring members of Shoddy Cons with Dezi Crocker Brannon on vocals, has been releasing teaser tracks online and we’re just swooning over their sound. Give them a listen at www.reverbnation.com/therouse4. Preachers and Pornstars is putting the final touches on its record at Megasound Studios where doom trio Black Dragon is also getting ready to lay down some heavy. The Pullmen’s second full-length, Going Dark, is finished. It will be released exclusively on vinyl in early October on Beast Records, a French label that discovered the band on its first European tour. The Pullmen will venture across the pond once more to pick up the finished album and get treated like kings, but first it will perform at Bombay on Sept. 25.
Another band that’s huge in Europe is Night Demon, which has been on the road more days this year than it’s been home. Jeff Hershey, the group’s frontman, has announced a traditional heavy metal festival to be held at Bombay Bar on Oct. 17. (October’s a big month for local music, apparently.) “Frost and Fire,” named for a Cirith Ungol album, will feature a meet-and-greet session with members of its legendary namesake as well as performances by headliner Manilla Road, plus Ashbury, Savage Master, Visigoth, Steel Prophet, Gygax and more. Visit www.frostandfirefest.com for details.
In other venue news, hundreds of hippies and kindred folk crowded into Green Art People for its final show last month. There are whispers of a Green Art/Lisbet Frey-curated night at another downtown venue, but nothing has been confirmed. By this time next month, Amigo’s in Ventura will be under new ownership. According to current owner Jonny Reese, the restaurant/music venue is in escrow. He decided to sell Amigo’s so he could spend more time with his family. Reese says the new owner, Mike Toler, might make a few improvements on the building, but will keep everything else the same. Reese will continue booking the talent until Toler gets up to speed. “I love the town, love the music scene,” Reese told VCReporter. “I’ll be here enjoying it — it’s my favorite bar.”
Saloon BBQ will be trimming its live-music calendar down to mostly Sunday afternoon acoustic shows. According to general manager Sean Wiley, the city’s restrictions on live entertainment downtown, specifically the closed-doors policy, is putting a damper on the venue’s efforts to expand its hours of operation. When asked if law enforcement has ever taken the venue to task for keeping its doors ajar during a live show, he said it had — most notably during the last Music Week. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?
We are sad to report the passing of GiGi’s owner Gladys Georgina Dietz after a brief illness. Dietz opened GiGi’s in 1985 and kept it thriving as a friendly neighborhood bar through good times and bad. “She was a wonderful mother, wife, friend, and one of the best bosses I’ve ever worked for,” says bartender Amy Hedberg. “She was kind to everyone. I’ll never forget her and hope I can live up to all she told me I could.” Dietz’s daughter, Julie Wilson, says the bar is continuing to operate as usual during its transition from her mom’s ownership to hers and her sister’s.
“She was so loved by everyone,” says Wilson, “and will be missed dearly.”
NoteWorthy is a monthly column dedicated to developments in Ventura County’s music scene. If you know something we don’t know, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.