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It’s the 13th post of the new local music blog I’m producing in collaboration with AM 1220 KHTS and the Santa Clarita Valley’s award-winning, No. 1 website, www.hometownstation.com.
We’re online every Friday morning with hot SCV music news, reviews, features and photos right here at www.peeplesplace.com, with an on-air preview on the KHTS morning show each Thursday at 8:10.
This week, we have an exclusive Q&A with local singer-songwriter-guitarist Ann-Marita giving us a sneak preview of her upcoming solo album, “Chatterbox Café,” due early next year, and tells us the fascinating story behind the advance single, “Karoline with a K,” just out.
I’ll have news about Lombardi’s last pre-Halloween blast, how the local rock community stepped up to help one of their own, Ronnie Mack’s barndance tribute to country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, the layoff of legendary freeform rock DJ Jim Ladd from KLOS, and lots more.
We’ll find out who’s guesting on “House Blend” on SCVTV Saturday night, what new music is hot at our local record store, and who’s playing live this pre-Halloween weekend around town and nearby.
But first, we’re going to lead off with our current trivia question, which still needs an answer and a winner!
SCV MUSIC TRIVIA: MELTDOWN! — What artist headlined Summer Meltdown at Golden Valley High’s outdoor amphitheater in 2007? If you know the answer, email firstname.lastname@example.org (KHTS employees past and present are not eligible, sorry!). We’ll toss all the correct entries into a hat and randomly choose a winner who’ll receive two Restaurant Row certificates and a CD from our swag vault.
OK, now Peeples Place at KHTS rocks the SCV music news.
Final performances are set for 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.
Tickets run $12 for adults and $6 for COC students and seniors. Call the PAC box office at (661)-362-5304 or click here.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT LOMBARDI RANCH — This is the last weekend before Halloween to enjoy all the spooky stuff in Scarecrow Alley at Lombardi Ranch in Saugus.
Bask in the forecast sunshine, see the scarecrow contest winners, buy fresh produce, go on wagon rides, get your face painted and have lots more fun through Sunday.
Lombardi Ranch in Saugus hosts free live music every Saturday and Sunday.
Tomorrow, the David Reeves Carpenter Band plays country at 10 a.m. and Floyd & The Fly Boys perform at 2 p.m.
On Sunday, it’ll be Rico & The Pink Cadillacs covering classic ’50s, ’60s and ’70s rock ‘n’ roll from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps throwning down their funky R&B from 11 to 3.
Visit lombardiranch.com for more info.
FLAVIA & REDTEMPTS’ DEBUT SINGLE JUST OUT; DOWNLOAD FREE — Singer Flavia Watson and her RedTempt bandmates have just released their first single, “Too Late to Cry.” It’s the advance single from the CalArts group’s debut album, “Girl Who Left Town,” due in early December. Get a free download of “Too Late to Cry,” and check out the band performing the song on “House Blend“ earlier this month.
HLP PRESENTS ROCKIN’ HALLOWEEN PRE-PARTY AT SPORTS COMPLEX TONIGHT — Halloween weekend gets off to a rockin’ start tonight as a half-dozen local bands play a pre-Halloween party hosted by Higher Level Productions at the Sports Complex Activities Center.
Lockdown opens the night at 7, followed by Skeeter at 7:45, The Lumberjacks at 8:30, Dim Tribe at 9:15, Odaal at 10, and Public Nuisance at 10:45.
Six bands for $5 with this flyer (click for larger image and download), $8 at the door — hard to beat that deal! Come in or out of custume and support your local bands.
Find the Activities Center at 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350, just east of Golden Valley Road.
MUSIC COMMUNITY STEPS UP FOR BRET — The aforementioned concert would not have happened had the local music community not stepped up at the 11th hour to help one of their own.
Bret Lieberman, one of the most important figures in SCV music, lost his grandfather to cancer Friday after a long battle. Bret’s father is also dealing with medical issues, so being the good grandson and son, he’s been deep in the family scene for the last few weeks.
Lieberman is Yes, I Can program director at Golden Valley High School and exec producer of the students’ annual Summer Meltdown festivals. When he’s not working with the program’s students with and without disabilities, he’s a principal of Good Karma Music, a local management and label outfit, and of Higher Level Productions, promoter of shows at many venues around Santa Clarita, including the monthly concerts co-sponsored by the city of Santa Clarita at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex’s Activites Center.
Cisco Adler of Shwayze and Bret Lieberman chill after Shwayze’s headlining set at Summer Meltdown 2010.
On Tuesday, Lieberman surfaced long enough to text longtime friends and associates Robbie Altschuler at Command recording studio, Kevin Cloud at Hubbadaddy’s rehearsal studio, and yours truly, asking for our help in finalizing talent for tonight’s show at the Activities Center.
Within 24 hours, Altschuler and Cloud had lined up half a dozen local bands, most if not all of which had played shows booked and/or promoted and one time and place or another by Bret and Higher Level, so tonight’s show at the Activities Center will rave on.
“No problem,” said Altschuler, whose father, Rick, founded the original Command Studios in Canyon Country in 2000, and died of cancer in summer 2003.
Lieberman has given so much to local music, it’s a great thing to see people giving back. We wish him and his family the best.
Command is a great SCV music story by itself; we’ll catch up with Robbie and his Command partners Matt DeTwiny and Mark Albrent in the next “Peeples Place” at KHTS post.
‘LAST FREEFORM DJ’ JIM LADD OUT AT KLOS — Radio personality Jim Ladd, a fixture on L.A. rock radio’s airwaves for more than 40 years, reportedly got the axe Wednesday as Cumulus Media, the conglomerate that recently bought classic rock station KLOS-FM/Los Angeles, makes changes.
It’s truly the end of an era. If any radio DJ could be called a rock star, Ladd would qualify. For years Jim’s been the last rock DJ in the market — or anywhere else on the U.S. airwaves, for that matter — to program his own show. He played deep album tracks (not the same old overplayed, burned-out crap KLOS and other classic rock stations have had in power rotation for the last 30 years) and new stuff that sounded good mixed in with the classic stuff. He played theme shows.
And when it comes to segues, he’s brilliant, masterful, because he knows and understands the music inside and out. (If you don’t know what a segue is, “Look it up!” as my editor dad used to tell me.)
Ladd and I first crossed paths in the mid-1970s when he was on KMET-FM and hosted the syndicated “Innerview” radio show. He lived in Laurel Canyon; a neighbor was Elliot Mintz, another early FM radio guy I would later meet and work with.
A memorable gig Ladd and I did together years later, October 1988, was Westwood One’s live broadcast of the dedication of John Lennon’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, just outside Capitol Records at 1750 N. Vine Street.
Yoko Ono was there, and Jim emceed the broadcast, I was an associate producer of the event, and later used the tape as the basis of an episode of “The Lost Lennon Tapes” radio series. What a great experience all that was; Ladd was a big part of making it rock both as a live event and as a radio broadcast.
He hasn’t announced his plans as of post time, but he’s also a published author (“Radio Waves: Life and Revolution on the FM Dial”). He’d be right at home on The Sound 100.3 in L.A., or KCSN-FM 88.5 at Cal State Northridge, now being programmed AAA (adult album alternative) by Sky Daniels (who co-hosted a show I worked on at Westwood One back in the late ’80s, and was later an editor at Radio & Records), or on satellite radio.
Here’s the first story about Ladd’s sacking, from the Orange County Register, and an update from our friends at All Access, the top radio industry website, also noting that KABC traffic reporter Jorge Jarrin has been cut loose, too (he also works for the Dodgers managing the Spanish-language broadcasts by his dad, Jaime Jarrin, and Hall of Famer Fernando Valenzuela). Check out Ladd’s Facebook page for later stuff.
This bio info was still on the KLOS website as of late Wednesday morning:
“Unlike most of his contemporaries whose playlists are strictly regulated and delegated, Jim personally selects every song he plays on his show. Station management gives him complete control over the show’s content. He combines music with atmospheric sound samples and social commentary, often inviting listeners to participate on the air. Most of his music sets center around a theme or story-line….
“Jim began his career in 1969 at KNAC a rock oriented Long Beach station. In 1971 he moved to Los Angeles station KLOS. 1974 would find him leaving KLOS and joining KMET, a free form rock and roll format where he stayed through most of the ’80s. At that time he was also hosting and producing ‘Innerview,’ an hour-long nationally syndicated interview program.
Free form rock and roll all came to a screeching halt when the plug was pulled on KMET in 1987. With free form all but gone, there were very few options left in radio for free form deejays. Fortunately, for Jim, at about the time that KMET was pulled off the air, he got a call from his old friend Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame to appear on Roger’s second solo album, ‘Radio K.A.O.S.’ For the album, Jim played the part of the rebel DJ and performed this role for the world tour and MTV videos.
In 1991, Jim became a “real” DJ again on the L.A. classic rock station KLSX. That same year, his book ‘Radio Waves’ hit the bookstands. The book was written to both commemorate free form radio and recount how it came to an end.”
No doubt this is not the last chapter in the Jim Ladd saga.
SPOTLIGHT Q&A: ANN-MARITA BRINGS INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR TO SCV — Singer-songwriter and solo recording artist Ann-Marita Garsed comes to the Santa Clarita Valley by way of her native Norway, with time in Iowa and Australia along the way. She sings rock, country and ballads with equal power, style, and grace, and her songwriting is very folk-rooted in the sense that her tunes are often story songs, many but not all based on personal experience.
I first heard Ann-Marita sing with The McGrath Project, which she joined a couple of years ago, and which disbanded a month or so ago, after a couple of albums including “Love is a Four Letter Word,” which earned an international gold record.
Since the summer, accompanied by guitarist/producer Gary McGrath, she completed a mini-solo tour performing her own material, and once home, continued working on her latest solo album. She and some of her former Project bandmates have also popped up around town the last couple of weeks playing a cover gig here and there under a different name.
Earlier this year, I was honored to have Ann-Marita as a guest on my SCVTV show “House Blend,” and one of the new songs she premiered then and recorded for the new album, “Karoline With a K,” has just now been released as a single, along with a video. We spent a few minutes on the phone earlier this week.
Stephen K. Peeples: So, a bunch of stuff to catch up on! Let’s start with The McGrath Project. You guys kind of decided to hang it up, right?
Ann-Marita: Yeah, we just felt it was time to take a bit of a break. We put in a lot of work on it and had done as much as we possibly could with what we had, and we just thought, let’s leave it for a while, just play some cover tunes and have some fun, and do something different for a while.
Peeples: Gotcha. You and Gary went on a little solo tour to support your stuff, right?
Ann-Marita: Yes. Just got back from that about a week ago. It was about two and a half weeks. [We] went around to the midwest and Texas. A lot of driving and a lot of fun.
Peeples: Where did you go?
Ann-Marita: We started off the whole thing at the Long Beach Harvest Festival, and played there for three days. Then went straight from there to the largest Scandinavian festival in North America, which was in Minot, North Dakota, and played there for four days at the festival. And then we headed to Iowa and Nebraska. I used to live in Iowa (as an exchange student during high school), so it was really cool going back there for a little bit as well. And then headed to Texas and did a few shows there as well, including a rodeo in Fort Worth and stuff like that.
Peeples: You did a rodeo in Fort Worth, that’s cool. What material were you performing?
Ann-Marita: It was all Ann-Marita stuff from my last couple of albums and the upcoming album, and a bunch of cover songs that fit in as well. Quirky country-folk-blues. (laughs)
Peeples: So now you’re back at work on your next solo album…how is that going, what’s the title, what can we expect and when do you think it’s going be out?
Ann-Marita: My new solo album comes out… I’m going play it safe here and say the beginning of next year (laughs). It’s going be called “Chatterbox Cafe.” I wanted to do something that felt a bit like a community stage, you know — people sharing stories, ’cause you know these are not just all my stories. I pick up stuff along the road wherever I go, and I’ve just been writing them down and wanted to share them with people. And it’s very different from my earlier solo stuff. It’s a lot more laid-back, folksy and rootsy. A lot of acoustic instruments. I’m so excited about it (laughs), we’re all excited about it.
Peeples: So, who’s producing and who are the players?
Ann-Marita: It’s a joint production thing between me and Gary McGrath, and he’s been doing a lot of mixing. He knows what he’s doing and that’s important, for sure. I bring in my players whenever I feel like I have something to sing. And it’s an awesome band. So far, it’s been Lynn Coulter on drums, Stevie Gurr has been doing a lot of the guitars. Phil Parlapiano on keys as well as accordion, Larry Antonino on bass, as well as Ryan Roberts on a couple of tracks. Gary, Matt Fullove and Dean Minnerly are on it. Tim Bogert played (bass) on one track as well. I even played on a couple of tracks myself, actually, which is new to me.
Peeples: And the sound they come up with is….
Ann-Marita: Well, the way Lynn plays drums — he brings in all kinds of kitchen utensils, as opposed to drumsticks, which gives it a really ecelectic, off-center kind of sound. The way he plays them is very, very creative, and it kind of makes everyone go that route as well, definitely step outside of the box. And it’s a very laid-back, chill-sounding record so far. A lot of it is very much New Orleans [-sounding with] a country beat. Kind of back-porch. That’s the best way I can describe it at this moment, until we’ve actually got all the tracks done.
Peeples: Gotcha. OK, so the first single is “Karoline With a K,” which you were kind enough to premiere on “House Blend” when you appeared a few months ago. That was very cool.
Ann-Marita: Yes! That was a lot of fun.
Peeples: For readers who may not have seen that, tell us the story behind the song.
Ann-Marita: In Norway, my home country, my grandfather had this big trunk of stuff in the attic that we had to finally clean out after he passed away. And I found a huge stack of letters that were mailed back from all the relatives that he had that had left Norway to go to the United States, to immigrate in the late 1800s.
Very painstakingly, I read through all the letters. A lot of them were written by my great-grandfather’s sister, whose name was Karoline. And I just wanted to tell her story, which may not be all that remarkable, because a lot of people did the same kind of things — she got on a ship, left her home country, found a new home, got married, was in a brand new culture and all that sort of stuff. That was the case of so many of our ancestors in this country. We all came from somewhere. And I just wanted to tell her story.
I wrote a book about it at the time, but never really got it published (laughs), so I decided to write a song instead. It’s an easier way to get the story out there. And the song has been really striking a chord with a lot of people who have been hearing it. Wherever we go and I play that song, and tell the story of it — everybody’s grandmother or great-grandfather came from somewhere else, and people come and tell me about it. All these people want to share their stories with me. I just find it incredibly touching, and I’m glad I’ve been able to write something that so many people can relate to in some way.
Peeples: And you’re doing a video?
Ann-Marita: We don’t have a video done at this point, but there will be one, I hope. (laughs).
Peeples: Oh, yeah, that “new” group you’ve been playing with…
Ann-Marita: It’s called Lemon Tree Yard Sale. We’re a bit of a different group. We decided to make a bit of a scene with it. It’s a fun band. a very acoustic bass, and we just basically do old theme songs, R&B, rock and soul, medleys and weird stuff and… It’s like traveling through time with music, I guess.
You have to check out the new website and read the little artist bio and that sort of thing to really understand what that’s about. It’s www.lemontreeyardsale.com.
Peeples: How can fans keep up with your solo stuff?
Ann-Marita: Check out www.annmarita.com for updates, and when “Karoline With a K” is coming and when the album’s coming, and whenever I’m playing in the area.
Peeples: All right, Ann, thanks so much for visiting us on Peeples Place. We appreciate your time.
Ann-Marita: You too, thank you.
FIRST MONDAYS: RONNIE MACK’S BARN DANCE HONORS GRIEVOUS ANGEL GRAM PARSONS — L.A. rocker Ronnie Mack hosted the long-running Barn Dance showcases at the Palomino in North Hollywood during the ’70s and ’80s, and has been carrying on the tradition for the last several years at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill in Burbank, where the Gene Vincent bash took place a couple of weeks ago.
On MondAY, Nov. 7, Mack will host an all-star tribute to Gram Parsons, celebrating what would have been the late country-rock pioneer’s 65th birthday (he died in September 1973). With The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Parsons created songs and a musical legacy that are carried on today by contemporaries including Emmylou Harris.
On the bill: Rosie Flores, James Intveld, Carla Olson (with Barry Goldberg and John Yoko), Ronee Blakley, I See Hawks in L.A., Rick Shea, Karen Tobin, Lisa Finnie (host of “The Dylan Hour” on KCSN-FM), Patty Booker and more. Showtime is 7:30. No cover; two drink minimum. Big dance floor.
Get more info about the Barn Dance showcases at RonnieMacksBarnDance.com. You’ll find Joe’s at 4311 W. Magnolia, Burbank 91505; phone (818) 729-0805.
SCV LOCAL MUSIC ROUNDUP — For the latest on what’s new and hot in local music, we checked in with our friends at Rock Candy Music & More, the Santa Clarita Valley’s only retail record store, at Bouquet and Plum Canyon in Saugus. Staffer Ryan Corbett gave us the update on what’s new on the shelves.
“We have a whole bunch of new vinyl and it’s really exciting,” said Corbett. “We’ve got The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’ and The Flaming Lips’ ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.’ There’s Fugazi’s ‘Steady Diet of Nothing,’ which is pretty cool.”
“We got Sonic Youth’s ‘Whores Moaning,’ and we also got Circa Survive’s 12-inch. It’s got some really interesting artwork on it, and it’s called ‘Blue Sky Noise,’” he said. “And this one hasn’t sold very well, which kind of bums me out — ‘The Best of Bauhaus.’ We have that on 12-inch vinyl. It’s just kind of a compilation of their stuff.
“Actually, what has been selling really well is Mogwai’s ‘Earth Division’ EP —it’s a 12-inch. That’s $9.99, which is pretty cheap for a 12-inch. Also, I’m really excited that we got the first three Tiger Army albums on vinyl, and three Joy Division vinyls,” Corbett said. Tiger Army plays its yearly Octoberflame gig in Anaheim on Saturday, by the way.
Rock Candy Music & More presents live shows by local artists on most weekend nights; tonight’s show at 8 p.m. features Synthetic Colours and Culprit. Saturday night, Diego Hodge and psychedelic rock band Nacosta and will perform.
SCV MUSIC ON TV: LIMITLESS, WHITE SMOKE ON ‘HOUSE BLEND’ — “House Blend” hosted by yours truly on SCVTV Saturday night at 10 features an encore broadcast of our second season opener, a great show featuring pop singer-songwriter duo Limitless and pop-rock-funk trio White Smoke, both making their TV debuts.
The very talented showbiz kids also spent a few minutes with me between songs, talking about their collaboratrion, and their solo interests. Emily’s a competitive dancer, and Ryan studies guitar, piano and drums in the After School Rock program at Hubbadaddy’s Rehearsal Studios.
This “House Blend” show closes with White Smoke, featuring sultry singer Venita Saidi, her husband B.J. on keyboards and programming, and Russ Stacey on bass . The Santa Clarita-based threesome performed a pair of originals, “Whatever it Takes” and “Inamoroto,” the former from the Saidis’ “Proper Introductions” album (2010) and the latter tune as yet unreleased.
During their between-songs interviews, the trio talked about how they got together and how they write their own material. We learn that Stacey’s day job is in production at NBC in Burbank, Venita is also a published author (as Venita Louise), and B.J. is a computer/tech whiz who worked in film post-production for almost a decade.
“House Blend” airs Saturdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m. Pacific Time on SCVTV (Time Warner Cable Channel 20 in the Santa Clarita Valley, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 in Los Angeles and Orange counties), and streams live everywhere via the Web at www.scvtv.com. The show’s archives are also available 24/7 on demand at www.scvtv.com/html/housebl end-current.html and www.scvhouseblend.com.
Check out the SCVTV website for more local music listings.
MORE SCV MUSIC LIVE — Who else is playing in the Santa Clarita Valley this weekend, or spreading the local musical love outside the valley?
Musician and singer/songwriter Melissa Kaye plays free sets every Friday at La Toscana Trattoria Grill in Valencia. Catch her tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Acoustic Soul performs with special guest Lyn Woolever at Valencia Wine Co. and The Kraze performs at Salt Creek Grille tonight, both starting at 9 p.m.
The Babylon Social Club — featuring SCV singer Sara Niemietz plus Herman Matthews, Bennett Salvay, Leslie Smith, W.G. “Snuffy” Walden and Terry Wilson — rocks Cafe Cordiale in Sherman Oaks. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and it’s free.
Bridge 22, Glory Stompers and Odaal play a Halloween show at The Vu Bar and Lounge from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. Costs $5 for ages 21+. Go in costume — the best-dressed will win a prize.
If you happen to be in Pomona, check out The Feaver and other bands at The Glass House on W. Second Street. The Halloween-themed show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 at the door.
The Helen Wheels Band hosts a Halloween costume party at Valencia Wine Co. at 9 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the best (and worst) costumes. The Kraze plays from 9 to midnight at Salt Creek Grille.
Mixers in Saugus hosts its first Halloween party, “Sinners and Saints.” Black & James plays dance music on the patio and DJ Elite will rock the lounge. Tickets cost $10, but if you’re dressed up as an angel or devil, you’ll get in for free.
Enjoy the Aztec dancers, music and great cuisine at Eternal Valley’s Dia De Los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebration in the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Garden off Sierra Highway in Newhall. The festivities begin at 3 p.m. and it’s free. Take a blanket for lawn seating.
Friday, Nov. 4
“The Music of Dirk Fischer,” a special tribute to the musical dynamo who headed the jazz department for 27 years before retiring (sort of) in early 2005 and the age of 81, will be presented by the COC Music Department at the Performing Arts Center on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are now on sale at the PAC box office for just $10, or $5 for students and seniors.
THE WRAP — Hope you enjoyed the 13th journey through Peeples Place at KHTS! You can always visit us right here at www.peeplesplace.com, and at our under-construction Peeples Place Facebook page. Please share the posts and “like” the page and help us build our online community of SCV music-makers and music-lovers. We also invite you to sign up for the weekly newsletter.
If you have a new album to review or music news you’d like us to include in an upcoming post, shoot an email to me at email@example.com.
Special thanks this week to all the artists, managers, media relations reps, families, friends and fans. Extra special thanks to Kaitlin Craft for her invaluable production assistance, and to Nadine A. Peeples for her invaluable encouragement and support.
With a face perfect for radio, I’ll see you on SCVTV Wednesday evening at 6:04-ish with the weekly SCV Entertainment Minute, and on AM 1220 KHTS Thursday morning at 8:10 when I preview the NEXT edition of…Peeples Place at KHTS.
Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer (“Monterey International Pop Festival,” MIPF/Rhino, 1992), an award-winning radio producer (“The Lost Lennon Tapes,” Westwood One, 1988-1990), an award-winning online editor (The Signal website, 2007-2011) and former music and entertainment columnist (The Signal, 2004-2011). He is host, writer and co-producer of the “House Blend” music and interview show on SCVTV (www.scvhouseblend.com), and drummer with on-hiatus SCV jazz group RainTree (www.raintreejazz.com). For more information, visit www.stephenkpeeples.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.