The Monterey Rock and Art Festival goes out with a roar.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
The first Monterey Rock and Art Festival at the Monterey Fairgrounds was a two-day event with 72 acts including fairly big out-of-town indie rock groups like The Mother Hips and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. In the 10 years that followed, the Monterey Rock and Art shifted its focus, and became recognized as a showcase for talent in the Monterey rock community and the surrounding region, while continuing to host performances by a few well-known national acts, including Agent Orange and Gene Loves Jezebel.
This year’s festival will be the last.
In an interview with the Weekly, event founder Brad Mallory compared organizing the event to creating a piece of art. “This is my canvas,” he says. “I feel like I have to know when to stop painting my painting.”
The festival organizer believes that the Monterey Rock and Art Festival has helped to build a foundation for a local music scene to flourish. “Rock and roll is embedded in Monterey now,” he says. “I have to take that as a success.”
As with past shows, the shindig features a wide range of acts, from mainstays like local metal band Retribution to hard rockers Honey Hush. There are also a handful of non-rock performances, like a fire dancing demonstration by Sacramento’s Obsidian Butterfly and songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show done by the Paper Wing Theatre featuring L.J. Brewer.
Here are some other highlights at this year’s Monterey Rock and Art Festival:
PRIMAL JAIMAL Vocalist and guitarist Jaimal Lovitt of Primal Jaimal is an original even when it comes to the wild world of musicians. The eclectic but ripping player often performs wearing an orange construction vest and is known to spout bits of encouragement to audiences like “let’s kick negativity in the nuts.” His dark, original rockers include “Hole in My Head” and “You Give, You Love, You Die.” PRIMAL JAIMAL PLAY THE GARDEN STAGE AT 3PM.
WASTED NOISE Winners of last year’s Monterey Rock Wars, Salinas’ Wasted Noise plays a lot more than just rock. Matter of fact, the horn heavy outfit does ska, funk and reggae along with punk rock. The band’s “Our Way” starts with fuzzed out riffing before morphing into danceable ska. Their rock/reggae hybrid “Just Another Day” recalls Sublime, with lyrics depicting a guy waking up with a bad hangover and no memory of what happened the previous evening. WASTED NOISE PLAY THE GARDEN STAGE AT 3:45PM.
X-RATED PORNO MACHINE It’s easy to understand why Concord’s X-Rated Porno Machine recently performed at a lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion. The band’s two striking female vocalists often dress up as cheerleaders or schoolgirls during X-Rated Porno Machine’s live shows. As for the music, “Mr. President” is a superb full-tilt rocker that recalls the jagged political music of System of a Down. Other tracks include the song “Mine,” which is hard rock that the Monterey metal crowd would appreciate. X-RATED PORNO MACHINE PLAY IN THE TURF CLUB AT 5PM.
RIBSY’S NICKEL Back in 2006, Santa Cruz’s Ribsy’s Nickel moved back to their hometown after a three-year stint in Southern California. The popular group pays homage to Santa Cruz big wave surfer Darryl “Flea” Vitrosko on “Victory The Flea,” while “Missing You” is a rock ballad that gains a reggae lilt halfway through. RIBSY’S NICKEL PLAY THE GARDEN STAGE AT 5:15PM.
HONEY HUSH Honey Hush haven’t played a show together since late last year. Expect to hear new funk and hard rock original “Ways and Means” along with a cover of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” as part of a tribute to the Monterey Pop Festival. HONEY HUSH PLAY THE GARDEN STAGE AT 6:45PM.
TRAVIS LARSON BAND Travis Larson band is an instrumental rock trio led by a Steve Vai-inspired guitarist. The band’s latest CD, Rate of Change, is full of enough soloing to make an air guitarist’s arm ache. The Central Coast-based band has worked in the studio with folks like famed bassist Victor Wooten and has shared the stage with rockers including Ted Nugent. THE TRAVIS LARSON BAND PLAYS THE GARDEN STAGE AT 7:45PM.
PERSEPHONE’S BEES Formed by Monterey guitarist Tom Ayres and vocalist/keyboardist Angelina Moysov, Persephone’s Bees released their major label debut, Notes From the Underworld, last summer. The album is packed with slabs of ‘60s inspired pop rock psychedelia including standout track “Nice Day.” Persephone’s Bees’ live shows thrill due to Ayres’ impressive guitar pyrotechnics and Moysov’s playful demeanor. PERSEPHONE’S BEES PLAY THE GARDEN STAGE AT 9PM.
The Monterey Rock and Art Festival takes place from 11am to 10pm Saturday, July 21, at the Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Rd., Monterey. $13/advance; $17/at the gate; Free/under 10 years old. 899-1007.