Back to the Peeples Place at KHTS portal.
Stephen K. Peeples here, and you’ve landed on Peeples Place at KHTS!
It’s the NINTH 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 news about the Wild Beast concerts at CalArts, scary sounds at Lombardi Ranch, rock ‘n’ roll and hot chili for charity, a tribute to a local jazz giant, a get-together honoring the memory of an early rock pioneer, and a musical stampede down Main Street in Old Town Newhall.
We’ll find out what new music is hot at our local record store, and see who’s playing live this weekend around town and nearby. We’ll also tune in to SCV music on the tube, see if we have a winner for our second SCV music trivia contest, and maybe throw out a new question!
First, Peeples Place at KHTS jams the SCV music news.
CAL-ARTS JAZZ BANDS UNLEASH WILD BEAST CONCERTS — California Institute of the Arts launches the second season of its Wild Beast Concert Series with CalArts Capitol Jazz, a jazz extravaganza at CalArts’ outdoor Wild Beast Music Pavillion and the S. Mark Taper Foundation Courtyard on Saturday afternoon starting from 4 p.m. to about 5:30 p.m.
Hosted by the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, the concert will feature a song apiece by 10 hot bands representing jazz sub-genres including Latin, world-inflected, free, experimental, traditional, be-bop, fusion and more. With open lawn seating, families are welcome and picnics are encouraged. Lawn chairs and blankets are OK.
The Wild Beast Concert Series is the first step for jazz artists and groups preparing to record the annual CalArts jazz CD at Capitol Studios in the Capitol Tower in Hollywood, a tradition Capitol/EMI has sponsored for the past 22 school years (check out the archives).
Sessions with staff engineers at Capitol’s big Studio A (where Nat “King” Cole, Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra used to record) and mastering in the adjacent labs are set for the spring, and the CD is due out by the end of the semester.
Named America’s No. 1 college for students in the arts in Newsweek’s 2011 college rankings, CalArts is renowned for producing musical phenoms, including Ravi Coltrane, Marcus Shelby and Todd Sickafoose, who later became jazz stars.
Three more family-friendly Wild Beast Concert Series performances are slated this school year: “Four Pianos and a Wedding” (Oct. 22), “Brass Extravaganza!” (April 14); and “World Music and Dance Festival Concert” (May 5).
As are all four Wild Beast concerts, Saturday’s show is free, but advance registration is suggested. Parking is also free. Find CalArts at 24700 McBean Pkwy., Valencia 91355. For mnore info, call 661-253-7816.
COPS’ CRAZY CHILI COOKOFF IN CASTAIC — One of my all-time favorite local events, the annual L.A. County Sheriff’s Fun in the Sun Chili Cookoff, is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jack Bones Equestrian Center in Castaic. Along with a few dozen teams serving up their best chili and trying to hustle your vote with everything from jokes and antics to shots of Jose Cuervo, you’ll find vendors, a car show and a Kids’ Zone with rides, a bounce house and a petting zoo.
On a stage set up under adjacent oaks, live entertainment will include music by the bands Into the Mix (11 a.m.), Tribute (noon, 1:30 and 3:15), Stronghold (12:45) and Second Chance (2:30). It’s great to relax in the shade with a cup of gourmet chili and a brew and listen to the bands.
A first-responders chili team served up devilishly hot chili, some of the best of the 2009 cookoff. Photo: Stephen K. Peeples.
Tickets for adults are $5, which gets you a chili card to judge the tastings (you can also buy more tasting coupons there). Admission for kids 7-14 is $3, and it’s free for kids 6 and younger. All funds raised will benefit local charities, including the Santa Clarita Special Olympics and Fueled by the Fallen.
Among the vendors’ booths will be the Santa Clarita Autism & Asperger Network, where families with special-needs children may find help. You can also find out about the Emfinders locater device and the Santa Clarita Special Needs Registry.
The Jack Bones Equestrian Center is off Tapia Canyon Road in Castaic. From Santa Clarita, take Interstate 5 north to the Parker Road offramp and follow the signs. For more info, email email@example.com.
DUCK BACK INTO SCARECROW ALLEY — Lombardi Ranch in Saugus has opened up its massive pumpkin patch and Scarecrow Alley in the sunflower forest, and the annual scarecrow contest is Sunday all day.
Along with live entertainment by the David Reeves Carpenter Band and the Canyon High School Choir, there’ll be fresh produce, petting zoos, wagon rides, face painting, bake sales, pony rides, and tons of pumpkins and fall decorations.
The Lombardi family has hosted this event each fall for more than 30 years now, and if you’ve never been to the ranch at this time of year, don’t miss it.
Find Lombardi Ranch at 29527 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus. Visit www.lombardiranch.com for more info.
UPDATED: GENE VINCENT FANS, KIN AND STARS MARK 40th YEAR SINCE DEATH, BURIAL IN NEWHALL — The talent lineup is growing as word gets around about the gathering of Gene Vincent fans at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill in Burbank on Wednesday, Oct. 12, the 40th anniversary of the first-generation rock ‘n’ roller’s death in Newhall at age 36.
Performers signed up so far include Rip Masters, who played piano on “Rose of Love,” one of Vincent’s last recordings; Ray Campi, the rockabilly legend who shared a stage with Vincent in 1958 and recorded the tribute album “Forever Gene”; Ronnie Mack, an L.A. rockabilly pioneer and mentor; Joe Finkle & Johnny “Spazz” Hatton, whose band rocks like Vincent’s group The Blue Caps did 55 years ago; and singer-songwriter Karen Tobin, a veteran of the L.A. country music scene who’s recorded for Arista Records and Atlantic Records Nashville.
Tina Craddock, Vincent’s sister, and Brandi Vincent, his daughter, will also attend, according to Christian Bouyer, a Newhall resident originally from France and a longtime fan who’s co-organizing the “Gene Vincent 40th Anniversary Get-Together.” His co-conspirator is Lee Loo, another die-hard fan who runs the Gene Vincent Lonely Street international fan club, and is traveling from her home, also in France, to visit Vincent’s burial site and attend the gathering.
The Oct. 12 event at Joe’s, 4311 W. Magnolia, Burbank 91505, starts at 6 p.m., and there’s no admisison fee, but you do have to cover your own food and beverages.
Bouyer and I met a couple of weeks ago at Plot 91 in the Garden of Repose at Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary, and a transcript of our interview about Vincent will appear right here in next Friday’s Peeples Place at KHTS post. This week, I was honored to accept Bouyer’s invitation to emcee the event.
Born Vincent Eugene Craddock in Norfolk, Va., on Feb. 11, 1935, Vincent was the first-generation rockabilly/rock ‘n’ roller whose immortal Top 10 single “Be Bop A Lula” and rock movie appearances with The Blue Caps made him a superstar on both sides of the Atlantic in 1956. Decked out in black leather and a manic performer onstage, Vincent had a huge influence on impressionable young fans, whose parents saw him as even scarier and more threatening than Elvis Presley.
Vincent’s legendary tour of the U.K. and Europe with Eddie Cochran was a revelation to young British rockers in early 1960; John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe showed up in Hamburg for the first time in August that year with the same greased-up hair, black leather dress and cheeky rock ‘n’ roll attitude.
By the early ’60s, though, the hits dried up for Vincent in the States; musical trends had passed him by. He had major personal problems, from a chronically unhealed leg injury to tax trouble to alcohol abuse. In 1971, after a short time living with a relative in Saugus, Vincent’s health took a turn for the worse, and he was taken to what is now Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, where he died from a ruptured stomach ulcer on Oct. 12. He was posthumously inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
For more info about the Oct. 12 event or to sign up to play, check out the “Gene Vincent 40th Anniversary Get-Together” website. There’s also a Facebook page for the fan club and an event page Loo and Bouyer put together. And find out more about Vincent, his music, troubled life, tragic death, and profoundly lasting influence with a visit to either of the aforementioned Hall of Fame sites.
SCV MUSIC TRIVIA: KELLY’S MYSTERY AXEMAN — We’re rolling with this until someone gets it! What local guitarist toured with singer Kelly Osbourne early in his career? If you know the answer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll toss all the correct entries into a hat and randomly choose a winner who’ll receive a free Restaurant Row certificate to a great local eatery, plus a free CD from the Peeples Place swag vault. This week’s answer and winner will be announced when there is one.
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 David Green gave us the update on this week’s new local releases.
“Nacosta just brought in a CD,” Green said. “It’s an EP called ‘Wilderness City.’”
Also, Mister Barnabus released a new album titled “All Things” last week.
We asked him what else is new. “The new Blink-182 album, ‘Neighborhoods,’ came out yesterday. It’s really good,” Green said. “There’s a CD that came out last week that I highly recommend. It’s by a band called Andrew Jackson Jihad, and it’s titled ‘Knife Man.’”
“And we have, on vinyl, an album by Dan Andriano. He’s the bass player for Alkaline Trio,” he said. “It’s called ‘Hurricane Season.’”
Rock Candy Music & More presents live shows by local artists on most weekend nights; tonight at 8, catch Emma Rae, Synthetic Colours and Nathaniel Dobies. The show is free.
SCV MUSIC ON TV: LIMITLESS, WHITE SMOKE OPEN ‘HOUSE BLEND’ SECOND SEASON — Kicking off the second season of SCVTV’s WAVE-nominated “House Blend” hosted and co-produced by yours truly on Saturday night are pop singer-songwriter duo Limitless and pop-rock-funk trio White Smoke, both of whom make their TV debuts.
Opening the show is Limitless — Emily and Ryan Arshonsky, from Valencia — who taped their segment at the SCVTV Media Center in Newhall last Saturday. Emily, 14, a student at West Ranch High, and brother Ryan, 11, who attends Oak Hills Elementary, performed a pair of songs they co-wrote, “Sing it Loud” and “Slipped,” with Emily singing lead and Ryan on acoustic guitar and backing vocals.
The very talented showbiz kids also chatted with the host for a few minutes between songs. Emily’s also a competitive dancer, and Ryan studies guitar, piano and drums in the After School Rock program at Hubbadaddy’s Rehearsal Studios.
The show closes with White Smoke, featuring sultry singer Venita Saidi, her husband B.J. on keyboards and programming, and Russ Stacey on bass, who also taped their segment last Saturday. 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 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, 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.
SATURDAY NIGHT STAMPEDE ON MAIN STREET — There’ll be a stampede on Main Street in Old Town Newhall tomorrow as the SCVTV OutWest Concert Series presents STAMPEDE! with guest John Bergstrom.
The card-carrying Western Music Association duo features the Utah-based husband/wife team of Steve Taylor on upright bass and Terri Taylor, dubbed “The Epiglottis Goddess” and labeled “a Triple Threat” by Ranger Doug of Riders in the Sky, on lead vocals and guitar.
Terri is a two-time award-winning yodeler and an award-winning singer/songwriter. She won the “Song of the Year” award from the WMA in 2005 for “Colors (of the West).” In 2006, she was listed in the Top 5 for “Collaboration of the Year” between poet and musician with Curly Syndergaard for “Where the Wild Horses Run.” In 2009, she again made the Top 5 in the “Song of the Year” category, this time for “The Wyoming Waltz.” The duo was also recognized by the WMA with the Crescendo Award in 2006.
STAMPEDE! has performed throughout the West since 2000, averaging 250 performances a year (they performed as a trio for a time). They have opened for or shared the stage with major headliners including Riders in the Sky, Roy Rogers Jr., The Sons of the Pioneers, Dan Seals, Rex Allen Jr., Wylie and the Wild West, Baxter Black, Red Steagall, Don Edwards, and Waddie Mitchell and Belinda Gail.
Find OutWest on the Walk of Western Stars at 24265 Main Street, Newhall 92321. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8. Seating is limited, so it’s a good idea to call 661-255-7087 for reservations. The $15 suggested donation includes light refreshments.
MORE SCV MUSIC LIVE — Who else is playing in the SCV 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.
The Helen Wheels Band plays rock and blues at Valencia Wine Co. and classic rock band Bedford Park performs at Salt Creek Grille tonight, both starting at 9 p.m.
The Brian McLaughlin Trio jazzes it up at Valencia Wine Co. at 9 p.m.
Moonraker plays The Vu Ultra Bar in Newhall starting at 9:30 p.m.
And as they have for more than 20 years, The Grateful Dudes keep traditional bluegrass alive and pickin’ in the SCV at Vincenzo’s Pizza Esperienza on Lyons in Newhall on Saturday nights from 7:30 to 10:30.
Keyboard Galleria Music Center’s Gigmasterz program wraps up its latest session with a five-band performance at Route 66 Classic Grill on Soledad Canyon Boulevard in Canyon Country. The free show starts at around 2 p.m.
The Babylon Social Club — featuring Herman Matthews, Sara Niemietz, Bennett Salvay, Leslie Smith, W.G. Snuffy Walden and Terry Wilson — performs at Cafe Cordiale in Sherman Oaks on Oct. 2, 9, 16 and 28. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and it’s free.
Friday, Oct. 7
Local ska band PapaFish celebrates the 22nd birthday of its sax player, Tony Sangiacomo, at Rusty’s Surf Ranch in Santa Monica next Friday, Oct. 7. They’ll play an hour-long set of originals and covers at 9:30 p.m. Costs $7 for all ages; if you’re under 21 it’s $12, unless you’re with someone 21+.
Saturday, Oct. 8
Kounterfeit Change returns to Newhall to play a set at The Vu with Hollywood hip-hop group SB#HooliganZ. KC will preview songs from the band’s imminent “American Dreadlock” album. Doors open at 9 p.m., show starts at 9:30, and it costs $5 for ages 21 and older.
Sunday, Oct. 9
The Feaver plays The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills alongside Jetstream, Bad Suns, Blowing Up the Moon and others. It’s also Feaver drummer Cole Preston’s birthday (sharing it with John Lennon and John’s son Sean, BTW). Tickets are $20 at the door, but if you email email@example.com with your name and number of guests, you’ll get a discount.
COC JAZZ DEDICATES SHOW TO STEWART “DIRK” FISCHER, ‘MR. SCV JAZZ’ — “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 College of the Canyons Music Department at the Santa Clarita 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, and the musical value is priceless.
The celebrated Studio Jazz Ensemble big band and smaller jazz combos will perform Fischer’s spirited, snappy arrangements under the direction of K.C. Manji, who succeeded Fischer as the department’s director in early 2005. (They’re pictured at the 2006 R.K. Downs Jazz Festival at COC. Photo: Stephen K. Peeples.) The charts Fischer wrote over the decades — both original and non-original material — comprise the core of the big band’s repertoire to this day.
“This concert will not program my originals, but will be a tour de force of my treatment of selections from the American songbook,” Fischer wrote in an email.
“The repertoire will highlight pieces Dirk has arranged since 2005-ish,” Manji wrote in a separate note. “Some examples are ‘Hit the Road, Jack,’ a request from VP Michael Wilding to be played at graduation; ‘Zing Went the Strings of My Heart,’ ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ a medley of WWII ballads, ‘Pure Imagination’ from ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,’ a trombone feature called ‘I Donno Why,’ and a new arrangement of ‘Londonderry Air (Danny Boy).’ We have a guest singer, Katherine Lench, who will join us on ‘Maybe This Time,’ an arrangement Dirk wrote for us when we were doing ‘Cabaret’ at COC.
Fischer has indeed remained active behind the scenes since he retired — if one could call it retirement — up to and including this performance. “I’m subbing for K.C. while she directs this year’s COC stage musical, in effect preparing this concert for her,” he wrote.
“Since I took over the band, Dirk has continued arranging music for the band and COC,” Manji wrote. “I often make a request and he has produced great arrangement in as little as a week. A big project involved Dirk arranging an operetta called ‘The Three Piggy Beopera’ that was premiered at COC last May. It involved young children as well as professional singers accompanied by our big band and consisted of about 11 pieces of music, classical music themes arranged in various jazz styles. It was a lot of fun.”
Dirk Fischer, pictured at COC in 2003, led the Studio Jazz Ensemble for 27 years through early 2005. Photo: Stephen K. Peeples.
“My writing has been ‘occupational therapy’ the last six years,” Fischer wrote. But now, “It’s getting older out.” He’s not driving anymore, and not happy he has to rely on a cane and sometimes a walker to get around. Getting to rehearsals isn’t as easy as it once was.
“I really want to celebrate Dirk as much as possible,” Manji said of the Nov. 4 salute to Fischer. “His music indeed makes up the majority of our COC jazz library, and he’s a wealth of jazz history and information, having not just studied it, but lived it, too. His memory is phenomenal, recalling individual jazzers as well as bands, directors, singers, dancers, touring halls, arrangers, composers, styles and performance practices. He is still working hard supplying music for various ensembles, printing and publishing jazz tunes for publishing companies, and has donated many pieces to our local high school jazz bands and directors.”
Fischer is a true local treasure who has imparted the meaning of musicianship to hundreds of students in the Santa Clarita Valley. I urge everyone who has studied with him, and everyone who loves to hear a big band swing, to show your love by showing up Nov. 4.
Meanwhile, check out my Dec. 1, 2004 Newsmakers interview with Fischer for SCVTV and The Signal just as he was about to retire, and his June 2011 appearance as my special guest on “House Blend,” where we talked between clips of his arrangements being played by local jazz group Off the Record.
THE WRAP — Hope you enjoyed the ninth 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks this week to all the artists, managers, media relations reps, families, friends and fans. Extra special thanks to Tea Warren 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 night at 6:04-ish with the 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 SCV jazz group RainTree (www.raintreejazz.com). For more information, visit www.stephenkpeeples.com.