Local reggae traditionalist duo The Soul Chance has a pair of releases for fans to scoop up guaranteed to help get you through this blazing summer heat.
First up, “Why Wait”/“Waiting In The Park,” a re-imagining of the 1965 Billy Stewart classic “Sitting In The Park.” On the A-side vocalist Nico Collins sweetly sings like the classic Jamaican singers of the '60s, a style she and partner AJ Brewer fully embrace as The Soul Chance. The B-side is an instrumental version with melodic leads traded on vintage style keys and guitar. Released on limited-edition blue vinyl.
The follow-up single “How Long Will It Take”/“Gonna Leave” makes for the perfect partner. Leading off with a cover of Jamaican crooner Pat Kelly’s 1969 hit “How Long Will It Take” once again brought to new life by Collins on vocals, the backing grooves are delivered true to form. The B-side is “Gonna Leave," an instrumental jam that harkens back to the days of Jamaica’s early years of independence, where creativity flowed freely across the island to the U.K. and eventually stateside. Also released on limited-edition orange vinyl.
Both singles are available on the local Obeah record label and can be purchased downtown at Going Underground Records, 1312 19th St. If digital music is more your speed, head over to thesoulchance.bandcamp.com/music to download. For more information, call 633-0111 or visit goingundergroundrecords.com. Support your local reggae band.
On the topic of Jamaican music with a Bakersfield flair, local ska music brethren the Rhythm Ambassadors paid tribute to late Bakersfield trombonist Joe Vazquez by posting an unreleased instrumental recording titled, “Supernova” to the group’s Facebook page. On the track, Vazquez can be heard in ensemble play, along with a jump-off solo.
Recorded a year prior to Vazquez’s passing on July 26, 2016, the tune was tracked by Los Angeles guitarist and producer Joseph Quinones, a member of popular ska outfit The Steady 45s. It’s cool, bouncy and would make ska pioneers The Skatalites proud. Go listen now at soundcloud.com/rhythmambassadors/supernova or visit facebook.com/rhythmambassadors.
Have festivals — will travel
I don’t regularly encourage locals to spend their weekends outside of Bakersfield, but when the summer heat is being particularly brutal (like right now), I will offer some alternatives.
Take this weekend’s back-to-back music festivals, held at the same event site: The Los Angeles Historical Park.
On Saturday, thousands of music fans will converge there to celebrate some of the top acts in the Latin alternative (rock en Espanol if you wanna get technical) music scene at the fifth annual La Tocada Music Festival. Headlined by Mexico’s Cafe Tacuba, a band instrumental in tearing down the musical border wall to bring some of the most ambitious musical treats to this side of the border, the group has won countless awards and often cited as "the reason I picked up a guitar" by many a young rockero. Not to be outshined, fellow Chilangos (a slang term used among residents of Mexico City) mighty ska punkers Panteon Rococo also grace the bill, along with one of my wife’s favorite bands, Molotov. But for all that testosterone, it’s Chilean alternative rock chanteuse Mon Laferte for which the masses will be going wild. Check out her songs on Spotify and countless stylized music videos on YouTube. Also appearing on the daylong, two-stage event are Jesse & Joy, Porter, Little Jesus, Caloncho and Camilo Séptimo. If you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll understand everything when you’re moshing.
Once the pachanga debris has been cleaned up, Sunday’s Beach Goth will take its turn at the park to pick up the party where Saturday left off. Only this time, the experiments will go much deeper.
Founded by psychedelic surf rockers The Growlers, the festival aims to recapture its original spirit as a mixed bag of garage bands and independent music heroes. Well, at least that’s what I gathered from reading a few random interviews with Growlers lead vocalist Brooks Nielsen.
Check out this lineup: The Growlers, rapper Doug E. Fresh, shock rockers Gwar, reggae legends King Yellowman and Barrington Levy, Bushwick Bill of The Geto Boys, guitar master Deke Dickerson, and tons more. The only thing hipper than this eclectic lineup is watching the fans pose for selfies.
As for myself, I'll stay cool this weekend whooping it up with the ghosts at the sold-out Beach House concert Saturday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Naked Aggression, 8 p.m. Friday, Riley’s Tavern, 1523 19th St. $7.
If you’re into the punk rock, here’s a show worth getting hyped up for after a long week in the rat race.
Show headliners Naked Aggression, introduced to the world by director Penelope Spheeris in the documentary “The Decline of Western Civilization: Part III,” continue pumping out strong material for old and new fans. Fronted by founder/lead vocalist Kirsten Patches, the band’s latest single “The Shining (Infected Outcome)” is fast, potent and melodic. Also performing Friday are Malicious Intentions, The Noktornals, Carcinogenz and The Withdrawals. Whether you’re old school, new school, crust punk or otherwise, don’t miss this show.
Therese & The Sweetness, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sandrini’s Public House, 1918 Eye St. $5. 322 8900.
After another brief hiatus, the fun-loving members of this accomplished group are back for a weekend soiree. Mixing a batch of originals with covers handpicked from alt-pop to yacht rock, the group is sure to draw its usual loyal following. Singer-songwriter and keyboardist Therese Muller along with her Sweetness support team — Gary Rink, bass; Travis Byler, guitar; and Jason Blakely, drums — prove some of the best Bako has to offer. Catch them while you can.