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Ventura Music Week: 100 Bands, 40 Venues, 10 Days! Films, Roadshow Revival, more!

June 9, 2014

As I wrote about yesterday here and at Wine Predator here, as the weather shifts from spring to summer, festival season  seriously kicks in–music, food, wine, beer, name it–there’s a festival near you celebrating it!

329In Ventura, Music Week 2014 is in full swing with acts performing all over town since Thursday’s kickoff with a full schedule of acts this past weekend and plenty to come.

Here are a few highlights:

Tomorrow Monday June 9 at 7pm, the Ventura Film Society along with Ventura Music Week hosts 20 Feet from Stardom at the Century Downtown (555 E. Main, 93001) with an after party across the street at Amigos.

Sometimes a singer can get very close to stardom, and yet remain a thousand miles away. Or at least a few feet away. The documentary 20 Feet from Stardom by Morgan Neville explores some of the greatest backup singers of all time who, for reasons hard to explain exactly, never got the recognition nor stardom they deserved. With this film, that will change.
The energy and passion of the music in this movie comes through vibrantly loud and clear in almost every frame. Front and center are the singers who are usually hidden in the shadows of the superstars they support. These are primarily, though not exclusively, African-American women who came from church choirs where their fathers were ministers, and who learned to completely and joyously embrace the call and response of the minister and his congregation.

Read the rest of Ron Wells’ review of the 2014 Academy Award Winning Best Feature Documentary here. Tickets are $10.

One of the more unusual events is the art show and film showing in the Atrium at City Hall on Tuesday June 10 that showcases  Ventura County’s top music photographers and music‐influenced art created by Ventura’s local art community.  This is a by donation event with appetizers, beer and wine available; since Four Brix is a sponsor, I hope they will be pouring their wine! Afterwards, head to Amigo’s to hear my buddy Doug Johnson play swing and blues with his band.

On Wednesdays for music, every Wednesday not just during Music Week, Green Art People is the place to be in Ventura. This week they will have “Shaky Feeling.” And if you need some vegetables, you can find those too–just please please make a donation to Lucas Thayer who drives from Ojai, collects the vegetables, keeps good relations with the farmers, volunteers at the market, and brings the vegetables to GAP.
Thursday June 12 a “music and wine tasting” event at the San Buenaventura Mission is listed in some places but I couldn’t find any info on it on Facebook or on the Music Week website and no response from a tweet either. If it is happening, I’ll be torn between attending that and the Carl Sonny Leyland Trio at Golden China 760 So. Seaward. $15 at the door includes swing dance classes at 7pm followed by the band from 8-11pm.
The sound could be better in this clip but you get an idea of the venue:
On Friday, just wander downtown and go where your ear takes you because there is that much live music being offered in various venues.
This weekend is ALSO the Live Oak Music Festival held every year Father’s Day Weekend in the Santa Ynez valley behind Santa Barbara. We loved attending Live Oak the past two years, camping under the oaks, drinking in the sunshine (and not having to worry about drinking and driving!); read about this year’s Live Oak Fest featuring Dave and Phil Alvin on Friday June 13 under the full Strawberry Moon and a review of a recent Blaster show here.
In previous years we went to the Roadshow Revival, and that’s our plan this year (although writing the blog post about Live Oak and checking out the bands seriously is making me reconsider!)
This year the headliner for the Roadshow Revival is one of my favorite bands, Los Lobos. I’ve seen them a few times, most notably at a Loma Prieta earth quake benefit in Watsonville in 1989, and they always put on a great show.  Also playing are the Paladins who I used to see every chance I got when I was doing a lot of swing dancing and living in the Bay Area.
The “official” after party starts at 7pm at Discovery Ventura, across from Casa de Soria on Thompson, in a very upscale bowling alley with tables and fireplaces outside and serving dinner and drinks (bring plenty of $$$ or eat at Casa de Soria, home of the best margaritas anywhere. Prime is also within walking distance; they offer fine food and a decent wine list for reasonable prices).

Or Saturday evening, check out Nani, Hawaiian Band with Dancers at Surf Brewery on Market from  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm and then go a few blocks over to hear Kelly’s Lot at Four Brix Winery from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm.
Music on Sunday starts at noon at Sand box coffee at Figeuroa and Thompson near Surfer’s Point, and continues all day at various venues with the closing party at Discovery Ventura at 8pm.


So who are you looking forward to seeing?

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