Everyone’s favorite local band, Massenger, has a new EP on Burger Records and a full-length called Peeling Out in the oven. The band also just signed a deal with boutique booking agency Amethyst Tours. Congratulations to Seth Pettersen and Sasha Green, the band’s bassist and singer, who recently announced their engagement. Stay in the loop by following them @massengerband on Instagram. On the subject of rock and roll romance, longtime lovebirds Zachary James (The All Seeing Eyes) and Alexandra (Alexandra and the Starlight Band) tied the knot in September. We can only hope their first child is black, 12 inches in diameter and slathered in glitter.
Hard-hoppin’ Darkside of the Hand is finishing up its long-awaited EP. To hear a sample, visit the band on Facebook or ReverbNation. (We heard a rumor that Darkside drummer Tyler Castro recently liberated himself of his long locks. We salute him.)
Singer-songwriter Nathan McEuen’s newest release, Side By Side, is being lauded by the likes of Crystal Gayle, Jim Messina and Steve Martin. McEuen (brother of Jonathan, son of John), who boasts quite a storied career, embarked on a month-long small-venue tour last week following performances at Grapes and Hops and Salzer’s Records. To learn more, visit www.nathanmceuen.com.
The area’s lack of all-ages venues has been an issue for, well, ages. Ever since Zoey’s closed, there’s been no regular place for the young ’uns to see live music. Lately, however, the EP Foster Library’s Topping Room in Ventura has been getting utilized for just that. This might have something to do with the nominal $25 rental fee and relatively easy process for getting into the 132-capacity room. One of the more popular events being held at the Topping Room is the ukulele jam on the second and fourth Monday of every month. To make the jam even more welcoming, the library has five instruments and companion music books available for check-out so people can teach themselves to play and join in the fun. This unique service is the brainchild of library tech David Harrison, who used grant money to develop the idea into a successful program. For more information, visit www.vencolibrary.org.
It was lights, camera, action last week at Megasound Studios when Firestone shot a commercial for its popular 805 beer that featured father and son rockabilly outfit the Hubcap Stealers. If you’re looking for a rehearsal space, Megasound is offering it for $25 per hour. On the subject of bands, beer and cameras, Hy Brasil has been working closely with Saint Archer’s Brewery on a series of films with the working title “Work Hard and Drink Beer.” The newest installment features drummer Andrew Jones working, drumming, skating and surfing in various Ventura locations. To see it, visit www.saintarcherbrewery.com.
Remember Softsilence? How about Spartacus? Both bands had a lot of buzz some years back before slowly fading into the background, and both bands had uber-talented frontmen who have re-emerged with new projects. Kris Simeon & the Lonely Onlies is the Spartacus offspring, and its premise is somewhat unique: Instead of a permanent lineup, Simeon performs with whoever is available on a given night to help play his pop music. “I always wanted to experience performing in a different setting as opposed to the loud, rock-band format,” he says. “It’s nice to be able to play cafes and not battle so many other instruments.” His occasional players have included Josh Zacarias (Sleepercub, Captions) and saxophonist Eduardo Daniel Victoria. For a brief moment, everything seemed to be coming up Milhouse for Softsilence, especially after it relocated to Nashville. But the band folded, and after some soul-searching, bandleader Bryan Dixon decided to return home and reinvent himself as Monte Xannic. New name, fresh start but same lush, piano-driven pop. He will release his debut song “New Prescription” via video on Monday, Dec. 7. We expect great things from him.
Friends gathered at Amigo’s last month to wish beloved bartender Bernadette Rothstein a bon voyage as she prepared for her return to merry old England, her country of birth. The former owner of the sorely missed pub Bernadette’s on Main is exploring the U.S. by automobile before crossing the pond. Ventura will not be the same without her warmth, hospitality and wicked sense of humor.
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.