Archive for April, 2010

April 22, 2010

Heavy words from an angry metal fan (is there any other kind?)

Yesterday, I received a lengthy and bitter missive from a local headbanger about the absence of metal representation in our local music issue. While he was clearly uninformed and presumptuous  about most things relating to VCReporter’s music coverage, he was right about one thing: there was, indeed, no metal in the that issue.

In this letter, I will systematically highlight some of the “minor” points that your insular rag overlooked. Michael Cicero, Chris Jay, and Chris Mastrovita, I’m calling you out by name (*though I can’t spell your names) to pay close attention, because despite the fact that all three of you have been in music scene for years, perhaps age is getting the better of you and you require a wake up call.

In all fairness, were I some kid in a metal band, keyed up on energy drinks and guitar solos, thumbing through the weekly’s annual local music issue, I too would have been disappointed to find no trace of my beloved genre. Whoever you are, I feel your pain.

I mean, how could you know that from our very first discussions about the issue, I was all about the metal. I had every intention of doing a large piece on metal in VC. But, alas, the best laid plans of mice and men . . . in the end, due to resources, timing and other horrors inherent to publishing, it crumbled and at the last minute we replaced it with an ode to 805 hip-hop–a genre far less represented in our publication than metal.

I don’t have a problem with criticism, when it’s warranted and I’ll be glad to listen to anyone’s beefs about the section of the paper for which I’m responsible. What I do have a problem with is the assumptions people make about those of us who write for the paper and our editorial processes:

Despite the fact that the VC Reporter believes that the majority of it’s readers ane getting drunk at Bombay’s three nights a week, there still exists a thriving and growing all-ages scene.”

Gosh, we’re transparent. While there have been some great shows, metal and otherwise, for all-ages, most would say it’s a stretch to call that scene thriving.

“Perhaps you weren’t aware that the majority of Warbringer’s members are from Ventura , signed to Century Media, and recently opened up for bands like SLIPKNOT, and MEGADETH just to name a few.”

I confess, I did not know this.Would have been cool if someone clued me, like maybe even the band. It’s called public relations.

“The Oxnard Hardcore/Deathcore Scene:  it’s an atrocity that the VC Reporter neglected to at least pay some sort of mind to hundreds of kids continuing a tradition of hardcore music that has evolved into local bands with huge draws like GRAVESLUT.  Last time I check, Oxnard is Ventura County too.”

This only shows me that the writer doesn’t actually read our publication more than every so often. Criticism works better when it’s informed.

“As epic as the metal scene in Ventura County is and always will be, the only thing epic about your local music issue, is how it failed.”

Yes, we both saved the best for last. The letter writer and I had a mostly civil phone conversation, though he still plans to dedicate an entire 2-hour radio show to discuss the  Local Music Issue, “or the lack of local music rather. ( on Monday, April 26 at 6 p.m.,  on The Dungeon Awaits Podcast.

I think my wish for the music scene is that people involved with music would learn the basics of promotion, and would approach the press with a friendly, cooperative, rather than combative, attitude.

If you feel we’re missing something, egads, let us know. We’re only human and need to be loved too. 😉

April 15, 2010

Sound and vision, love and miracles

Chris Velasco by James Scolari

It’s shaping up to be another busy weekend in Ventura with the Spring Artwalk promising lots of  sweets for the senses. The turnout for VCReporter’s first local music issue party last weekend was tremendous.  It was smiles all around when six up and coming Ventura County bands performed for a capacity house of enthusiastic music fans–can’t wait to do it again next year. One of the bands from the party, Shades of Day, will be performing at ArtWalk at 1 p.m. Saturday on the promenade where C-Street meets the ocean. Last night, another performer, Dan Grimm, proposed to his girlfriend while performing at Green Art People.  Gratz!

A band that’s on our radar for next year’s bands to watch,  Shoddy Cons, whose hybrid of hip-hop, punk rock and funk is generating some buzz in these parts,  just announced they will perform at WAV‘s grand opening on Saturday at 10 p.m. Pick up this week’s VCR for a thought-provoking q & a with WAV’s visionary developer Chris Velasco (pictured).

In early Feb. during a First Friday ArtRide (cyclists dress up and gallery hop on wheels), Gwendolyn Alley‘s husband Marshall  broke his C2 vertebrae in a freak fall. Alley is a longtime fervent supporter of the arts in Ventura County. “Known as a “hangman’s break”,” she said, “It’s the kind of break where 95 percent of the people die instantly; for those who live, almost all have limited mobility.” Marshall, whose recovery thus far is amazing to say the least, will be at Bell Arts Factory during ArtWalk at about 4 p.m. to meet up with Alley and her cycling compadres for some well-deserved revelry.

Goodness knows we pay a lot to live in this fair city, but given the riches that surround us, I’d say, most days it’s worth it.  See ya at ArtWalk!

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