by Pam Baumgardner
Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room, and then move on. Yes, another venue has closed its doors. What’s worse, it’s a Main Street venue, this time Oak and Main. Was it due to mismanagement? Bad service? Poor advertising? It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but instead, let’s all just vow to support your favorite venues making up Ventura’s music scene. Rent is incredibly high, and the bands deserve to be paid well, so understand that us music lovers are the ones who truly give it the blood to keep it going.
Here now, your Valentine’s musical choices for February 14: there will be a Punk Rock Prom party (all ages) at Bike Ventura on the Avenue with Rafa Rose, Martini Drive and Without Words; Colette Lovejoy plays Café Fiore; serious dancing will be going on at Copa Cubana with House Arrest; there’s a 20’s theme party at Four Brix Winery with Ginger & the Hoosier Daddies; Benjamin Buttner plays jazz & blues at La Cosecha Modern Concina in the Crown Plaza Hotel; Limon y Sal offers up Mariachi Aguilas de Oxnard dinner shows; there’s a “Rock into my Heart” party at the Sewer with Spacedragon and the Mystos; in Ojai, a special evening of live music with Jade Hendrix at Topa Mountain Winery; in Oxnard, jazz with Toni Jannotta at 1901 Speakeasy in Oxnard; and finally, not only can you celebrate Valentine’s Day with Shawn Jones at Grapes and Hops, but it’s a Marti Gras birthday celebration for owner Tammy White as well.
Get your cowboy boots out because Saturday, February 15 will be the 4th annual Country Music Crawl in downtown Ventura featuring six bands and six venues where at the start you pick the color cup to represent whether your single (blue) or in a committed relationship (red). I’m thinking we should always have that option in all bars don’t you think? In any case, here’s the line up starting at Blue Agave at 4 pm with Lacie Mae; Ted Z & the Wranglers at Star Lounge at 5; then over to Grapes and Hops for Blind Innocense at 6; up to Limon y Sal for Paige Peel at 7; Mike Scully plays Winchesters at 8 pm; then wrapping up the crawl at the Sewer for Rob Leines at 9 pm by which time I’m sure it will be an actual crawl. Get your tickets at CountryBarCrawl.com.
Pulse Drumming will hold a special drum clinic at the Winery Ventura Sunday afternoon, February 23, with Fausto Cuevas (toured with Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifah, Santana, and now with Jennifer Lopez). Following the clinic will be a live performance starting at 2:30.
Quick Notes: now that football season is over, the Boatyard Pub is back to live music every night of the week; there’s a free Chamber Music Concert at the Ventura College Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 15; Namba has Licity’s Love Fest at Namba Saturday, February 15 and then Dan Rosenboom’s Jazz Fusion on Sunday, February 16; Dark Star Orchestra plays the Ventura Theater Thursday, February 20; and the 6th annual Johnny Cash birthday bash at Bombay’s will be Saturday, February 22 with the Mighty Cash Cats and Silver Threads.
And finally, there will be a fundraiser on Saturday, February 22, for an all-inclusive playground in Arroyo Verde Park at the Garage with over ten bands supporting this effort including the Robot Uprising, Fuse, Day Drunk, One Minute Run, Malice Thoughts and Plot.
Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to [email protected]. For updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.