Tuesday, November 11, 2014



Temecula, CA – Though it seems fairly quiet here in the bottom nook of Riverside County, save for the occasional DUI mayor injuring cheerleaders, this past Sunday evening it wasn’t a siren that interrupted the night air, it was music. And while the music was made available through status quo avenues for status quo ears, those of us long associated with the underground music scene, all local unknown super heroes who knew a Spaceman named Jack, well, we smiled and winked to each other for the present day music association. 

At the same time I was enjoying the latest youth-oriented music endeavor, other folks were tuning in to Dwight Arnold’s Sunday Night Music Meeting [KMYT, 94.5 ex-Smooth Jazz] to listen for Bloody Maury, the first commercial release from Alex Monk, aka Nice Day Vince. But don’t fret, Sports Fans, you can still toast your ears to the coffee shop tune by hitting up KMYT’s FB and saying, “Please rebroadcast Alex Monk’s song. I was enjoying the first Temecula Valley Music Awards and had to miss it.” The new format away from smooth jazz [sorry, wine-lovers] seems geared more toward a younger market now, much like the TVMA aimed-for demo. Let’s make the connection between these two dots in the local scene.

Before we move on to the night and the winners, complete with pics, there are two elements of the evening that will be addressed. The first is the not-so-strange connection of the night to Bipsy, St. Bipsy to me, and Elizabeth Amirian to others [see Top Ten story that floats here like a ghost]. The second, explained now, is the difference between ‘garage bands’ [purist’s term] and the ‘underground music scene’ [passion]. The shockwave from the latter still brings terms of amazement, not about the level of talent but the abundance of it, in this neck of the woods. On Sunday, aspects of Then and Now came together with just a pinch of the Divine.

Arriving early, I quickly checked out the ‘room’, which is a large outfitted industrial bay in the business park area just down the street from where AJ and I worked for his father-in-law, beginning our adventures together. On one side down the front wall from the entrance, there was food, six dishes of which were from Bill’s [latest venture] Catering Service, itsnachobusiness.com.

Then we all got seated as people settled in.

The stage was set and ready.

To ease into the night and wash down any last chicken taquito dipped in tasty, but not hot, sauce was the Vista Murrieta Jazz Band, who sounded pretty saucy themselves with none of that brassy high school musicianship you hear in movies. When the VMJB finished, it was a full room that applauded.

Then it was time for Cyrene Jagger [no kin to Mick] who presented Tim Moyer, the ‘promoter’ behind this awards event. Moyer explained his vision and the motivation for it, and then told how this awards show was different. Rather than have the attending artists present a song, it would be select members from the panel of judges, all people with industry ties or connections but music professionals from the OC and points beyond to ensure local  net neutrality.

The first of these acts was Nancy Sanchez [OC], a jazz musician who sang acoustic and has just released an album.

The next performer was someone I have seen before, I think on television. Kiki Ebsen, the accomplished singer/songwriter is the daughter of actor/dancer/singer Buddy Ebsen, aka Jed Clampett, who was the exact opposition in identity but not in character. As she charmed the audience with her insider tales of hominess siblings of famous people all seem to have, between songs gaining cries of ‘One more’ I thought to myself, ‘in the right light and with her stage presence, she could be an older Bipsy, and she even played the keyboard. 

When I found out writing this story, that Kiki released a CD this Father’s Day to her dad, and knowing The Bibs’ back story, I had to take a break for a moment to toast their similar goals.
In the order of the evening, the first two acts and the last two to be reported about, all occurred intertwined with the award presentations. That follows this remaining music review.
* - OBH

Isaiah Olsen was the third performer and a more pop driven acoustic. For me it was a chance to say hello to some old friends outside and catch up.

By the time I returned the last act of the night was introduced, Marky Lennon [no kin to John]. Marky fronts a band called Venice but his polished chops from his day gig in a cover band, Pine Mountain Logs, is what came out this night, as the slightly shaggy-voiced male Mary-Chapin Carpenter tenor played out toward the night’s end.

The Awards went Best Acoustic –Tara Honda

Cyrene Jagger, Tim Moyer, Nathan Rivera, and Dan Lawson
Best Blues – Nathan Rivera

Best Country –Jessie Andra Smith

Best Folk –Joe Gillaspie

Best Pop –The Skariginals

Best Rock –On Being Human

Best Cover Band –Lifetime Rockers

And of course, the Viewer’s Choice Award

Overwhelmingly Keenwild, Bill Gould & Jeney Kingsbury [Gould]

Besides it being a Sunday and the Kiki Ebsen/Bipsy parallel, the final irony is that before Bipsy was killed, Bill had flamed out on playing guitar live and performing. He and Jeney had settled into a more business end of music and other ventures prevailed. At Bipsy’s funeral Bill confessed that shortly after the tragic news of Bipsy’s death, he had reached over and started playing guitar again. The award tonight was due to someone who died in 2009, our scene Saint, Bipsy. 

Also of note, On Being Human, another winner, was at that same funeral and played the first Bipsy Memorial Concert, as did Keenwild.

Greg, in foreground and Beau, both of  OBH

(All photography save one*, PT Rothschild; camera equipment, Apryl Gould, VMHS band “FX”) 

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