Band Element of Surprise, Ventura County CA

Do you <3 classic rock? Strange pairings of music, such as Richie Valens & the Ramones meet Deep Purple? You may appreciate us. We're the band Element of Surprise! We may get thru the song-or it may go horribly AWRY. You pays yer money & you takes yer chance! We play a very eclectic mix of classic & alt rock...if you live in the SoCal area & listen to either KLOS or KRTH-101, you've heard most of our songs. We're a 6-piece consisting of Pat on vocals & percussion, James on lead guitar, Hector on bass, Rob on drums, newest member Danny on acoustic and electric guitars, and your humble scribe Rita on rhythm guitar/keyboard/harmonica and vocals. We've been together for 5 years (longer than some marriages!) and have had some memorable gigs. I started this blog to keep a list of them--and to chronicle our RISE-TO POWER! Well, not really--all of us have a day job, and we're all over 45 (except for Danny, who is young and impressionable!) so this is more of a hobby. But we all have an abiding love for music, and we have healthy self-images, and some of us are major hams, so here we are. Walking down the street. We get the funniest looks. From everyone we meet. Hey hey--no, stop, that's plagiarism. Anyways, I don't expect anyone (other than MY FRIENDS & FAMILY) to ever read this, but if you do and you have an interest in an elderly garage band on the first level of getting started gigging, welcome and well-met. If YOU have an interest in starting a band and are curious about equipment, etc-let us know. Maybe we can help you avoid a TON of trouble.
Well, cheers, and see you "on the cover of the 'Rolling Stone,'"
Rita aka MrsMMars :-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

GREAT fun at Mia's Place

Saturday around 12:30, we packed up our small 300-watt PA system, our mikes, amps, stands, etc. etc., and headed over to a small smoothie/frozen yogurt/coffee shop in East Ventura--"Mia's Place" at 1129 S Petit (corner of Telephone & Petit.) It was really cute, neat paintings on the walls, cozy couches, tables and chairs scattered about, free wi-fi! and a nice counter with yummy-looking baked goods. We walked in and met Jina, the proprietoress. She was really friendly and helped us get tables moved so we could set up. Everyone showed up on time and we started about 3pm. It was not a large venue, but our levels were good (Rob the drummer had a new toy-a decibel meter-and was very keen to try it out.) We played at under 90 decibels, which was perfect for the room, the neighbors, and the security.
A variety of folk came and went; I estimate about 30-40 throughout the whole gig. We considered this as a "practice" set, but had the benefit of playing live in front of folks, as opposed to in the garage. We went for about an hour and 15 minutes, then took a break. Jina came up at this point and told us she really liked us; she introduced me to her daughter, who was about 5; her name is Mia, hence the name "Mia's Place." Jina also very generously offered us drinks on the house.
We went back on for another hour or so, then realized--we actually played through our whole set! We dipped into the "bullpen" (a side-list which we keep on hand in case we want to change out a song, get a request for an encore, or need to go a bit longer.) We finished up by 6, and closed out the house. We were invited back! And we are looking forward to going back--they are great folk, really mellow and laid-back atmosphere but at the same time we were able to get a good workout. Jina also told us that we could look forward to a referral from one of her visitors, who was looking for a band. Woohoo! Looking forward to another mango smoothie!
Sorry for how long this took to get posted; we went down to Oceanside Saturday nite to see our daughter-in-law Vanessa and our son Joe, before he takes off to Afghanistan, courtesy of the 1st 11th Marine batallion, the Cannon Cockers. Uncle Matt was there as well, and it was a very fun time-didn't do anything but walk Bella our grand-dog, shop, eat and play video games, but we laughed throughout the whole time. Joe, Godspeed and hurry back-your family loves you and is VERY PROUD of you! Vanessa-God bless you too, sweetie, we love you & are proud of you as well.

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