THE HEAT IS ON: This week marks the start of what I affectionately call “grillin’ and chillin’ season.” It’s that extra special stretch of summer when popsicles and pools are hot commodities, short shorts and sunnies are the uniform of choice, and almost everything becomes an outdoor activity. Fitting, then, that this week also marks the start of what just might be the best new addition to the summer music scene: the Ojai Rancho Inn Summer Concert Series.
Since losing their lease on State Street’s Presidio Motel, Shelter Social Club proprietors Chris Sewell and Kenny Osehan have headed over the hill to Ojai, where they now run and manage the Ojai Rancho Inn. The property itself is a total score: 18 rooms, a pool, a sauna, BBQ pits, mulberry trees, and an expansive pool house and picnic zone. In short, the place is begging for a party. That’s where the fun comes in. Starting this Wednesday, July 3, Shelter Social Club is teaming up with a slew of music-philes — S.B.’s Cool Summer Records, Warbler Records & Goods, KCSB, and L.A.’s Origami Vinyl and KXLU — to present a show a month on-site at the Rancho. The performances are family-friendly and kick off with a picnic and pool party. The tickets are cheap at just $12 a head. Oh, and the lineup is a killer mix of young and divergent bands that pair nicely with hot summer nights.
First up: Portland’s Pure Bathing Culture. If you’ve yet to hear these guys, this opportunity couldn’t be riper. Led by frontwoman Sarah Versprille and guitarist Daniel Hindman, the band offers up a breezy sound that’s part Fleetwood Mac dreaminess, part yacht-rock smooth grooves, and part hazy psychedelic pop. Currently, PBC only have a (glorious) four-song EP to their name, but they’re slated to drop their debut LP, fittingly titled Moon Tides, this August on Partisan Records. Add to that the warm-up act, a dancey side project from S.B.’s own Gardens & Villa called Monitor Blizzard, and you’ve got the makings for a pool party like no other.
And the fun just keeps on coming. Next month, the Ojai Rancho will host dance pop artist Nite Jewel, and September brings Los Angeles hard-rock experimentalists No Age. All shows start at 8 p.m. Doors (and pool) open at 4 p.m. The Ojai Rancho Inn is located at 615 West Ojai Avenue, Ojai. Visit coolsummerpresents.com for tickets, or purchase by cash at Warbler Records & Goods (131 E. De la Guerra St.).
FIREWORK IT: Also this week, Seven Bar & Kitchen opens up its doors for two can’t-miss live-music events. On Thursday, July 4, they’ll host a post-fireworks DJ set by Santa Barbara’s own Empty Priest. Then on Thursday, July 11, Seven welcomes back Portland electronic pop act Wild Ones, who will split the bill with Brooklynites My Body. Both shows are free and start at 9 p.m. Must be 21+ to attend. Seven Bar & Kitchen is located at 224 Helena Avenue. For information on both events, call (805) 845-0377.