Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Upcoming Events 12/01 to 12/08

PASSION PIT AT THE FOX POMONA 12/4- photo courtesy of

12/01 - Helen Earth Band with SpankShaft, High Altitude, Capsolin, The Kats Pajamas at Chain Reaction. 7 p.m. $10.

12/2- Parker Macy Blues with We are the Pilots, Bobby Mena, and The Stowaways at La Cave. 10 p.m.

12/02 - Christopher Lawrence at Sutra Lounge. 9:30 p.m. $15.

12/02 - Dark Star Orchestra (Grateful Dead tribute) at Grove of Anaheim. 8 p.m. $32.70.

12/02 - Vanna with Tides of Man, A Bullet for Pretty Boy, In an Emergency, A Thousand City Lights at Chain Reaction. 7 p.m. $10 adv. $12 DOS.

12/02 - The Expendables with John Brown's Body and C Money, The Player's Inc at House of Blues Anaheim. 8 p.m. $17.50 adv. $20.00 DOS.

12/02 - Tomorrow's Bad Seeds with KAT, Josh Fishel at The Coach House. 8 p.m. $13 adv. $15 DOS.

12/03 - Fear East Movement with DJ Reflex, DJ Eman at Sutra Lounge. 9 p.m. $15.

12/03 - Millionares with Kill Paradise, The Hit, L. Mo & Chris at Chain Reaction. 6:30 p.m. $12 adv. $14 DOS.

12/03 - Walter Trout with Instigator, Road Kill Kings at The Galaxy. 8 p.m. $13 adv. $15 DOS.

12/03 - Josh Gracin with Fallen Stars, Peter Brandon at The Coach House. 8 p.m. $18 adv. $20 DOS.

12/04 - Assemble the Skyline with The Young Modern, Grieve for Tomorrow at Chain Reaction. 7:30 p.m. $10 DOS.

12/04 - Alter Ego with Gin Piston at The Galaxy. 8 p.m. $10.

12/04 - Passion Pit with Mister Heavenly, We Batbarians, Pepper Rabbit at The Fox Theater Pomona. 8 p.m. $29.50 adv. $32 DOS.

12/05 - Anaheim Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker at Grove of Anaheim. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $27.60 to $49.45 (prices vary due to level seating).

12/05 - Becoming the Archetype with To Speak of Wolves, As They Sleep at Chain Reaction. 7 p.m. $12 DOS.

12/7 - Jeramiah Red at the Continental Room. 10 p.m. No Cover. 21+

12/08 - Clint Black with Peter Brandon at Grove of Anaheim. 8:30 p.m. $55 to $60 (prices vary due to seating arrangements).

12/08 - Keiko Matsui Celebrates the Holidays at House of Blues Anaheim. 8:00 p.m. $25.00 adv. $27.50 DOS.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Upcoming Events 11/24 - 12/01

JERAMIAH RED AT THE GYPSY LOUNGE 11/26 photo by Austin Ruiz

11/24 - DJ Chris Lake at Sutra Lounge. 9:30 p.m. $15.

11/26 - DJ Metric at Sutra Lounge. 9 p.m. $15

11/26 - Dick Dale with Jimmy Dale, Ken Garcia at The Coach House. 8 p.m. $25.

11/26 - Jeramiah Red at The Gypsy Lounge. 10:30 p.m. $6-$8.

11/26 - Static Fridays at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9 p.m. Free admission before 10:30 p.m. $10 after.

11/26 - Attack Attack! with Emmure, Pierce the Veil, Of Mice and Men, In Fear and Faith at The Fox Theater Pomona. 7 p.m. $17.50 adv. // $20 dos.

11/26 - The Fab Four (Beatles tribute) at Grove of Anaheim. 8 p.m. $30-$35 (prices vary due to level seating).

11/26 - GOT-OC presents House of 80's with Flashback Heart Attack, Rocktane, and Clique at House of Blues Anaheim. 8 p.m. $10 adv. // $12.50 dos.

11/27 - DJ E-man at Sutra Lounge. 9 p.m. $15.

11/27 - Brother with Jack Avalon, Trevor Green, Deal by Dusk at The Coach House. 8 p.m. $15.

11/27 - Dimmu Borgir with Enslaved, Blood Red Throne, and Dawn of Ashes at The Fox Theater Pomona. 8 p.m. $20 adv. // $23 dos.

11/27 - Spincycle feat. S.P.E.C.T.R.E., Pete Spinning, Flinch, Trip Simmons, ZEROone, Mista Maxx, Brainchild at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9 p.m. Free Admission.

11/27 - Darkest Hour with Veil of Maya, Periphery, Revocation, The Slow Forward at Glass House. 2 p.m. $15 adv. // $17 dos.

11/27 - The Wiseguys Big Band Machine at House of Blues Anaheim. 8 p.m. $20 adv. // $22.50 dos.

Dark Star Orchestra: for an "adventure seeking audience"

            The sounds of The Grateful Dead are coming to The Grove. Dark Star Orchestra will be taking the stage in Anaheim, performing classic hits from the legendary touring jam band. Dark Star Orchestra formed in 1997 under the concept to tour and perform real Grateful Dead show as they had been performed during the Dead’s original tour days.
            The band is comprised of seven members; Jeff Mattson, Rob Eaton, Kevin Rosen, Lisa Mackey, Rob Koritz, Dino English, and Rob Barraco. As the band tours they pick out a Grateful Dead show that was performed near the venue that they are performing, and play the same set list as the Dead had.
            The bands current tour crosses the country from Los Angeles to New York, adding to their already impressive touring resume. Over the past thirteen years Dark Star has performed nearly 1,900 shows all over the country.
            Dark Star’s lead guitarist, and somewhat of a newcomer to the band, Mattson has performed 124 shows with the band since November of 2009. Mattson’s a veteran to the road touring with a number of bands over the past 30 years, including The Zen Tricksters and Phil Lesh and friends.
            “Yeah I was sort of a disciple of Jerry Garcia if you will,” said Mattson musingly.  Mattson first saw The Grateful Dead perform in 1973, “all around the same time I started playing their music.”
            Mattson has performed Grateful Dead songs before, “just not in this particular context where it’s kind of taken to a higher place,” said Mattson. Playing in Dark Star Orchestra isn’t easy, especially when you’re filling the shoes of the immortal Jerry Garcia. “To join this band you have to be really familiar with the music because there’s a lot of music to learn and a lot of understanding of style.”
            To capture the essence of The Dead and receive critical praise across the country has been Dark Star’s mission for the past 13 years and there are no slowing down, impressing audiences with musical skill and great energy. “It’s definitely for a more adventure seeking audience,” said Mattson. “It’s almost like a jazz concept in the rock world, and that’s The Dead.”

-Fred Randall

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Upcoming Events 11/17 to 11/24

GWAR at The Glass House 11/22

11/17 - Club Lucky at House of Blues Anaheim. 9 p.m. $10 before 10 p.m. $12 after 10 p.m.

11/18 - The Legendary Pink Dots with special guests at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9 p.m. $16. 21+

11/18 - James Zabiela with Boris M.D., Ozzie at Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa. 9:30 p.m. $10 before 10:30 p.m. with RSVP.

11/18 - Arms Like Yours with My Enemies Hero, Divergence, On the Shoulder of Atlas, JC Villafan, Above Me at Chain Reaction. 7 p.m. $10.

11/18 - Hey Monday with Cartel, The Ready Set, This Century, We Are the in Crowd at The Glass House. 6 p.m. $15.

11/18 - Belanova with DJ Eduardo at House of Blues Anaheim. $37.50 adv. $42.50 DOS.

11/19- Skeetox with confirmed performances by Warren G, Jesse McCartney, DJ Eye at Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa. 9 p.m. $15.

11/19 Static Fridays at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9 p.m. Free before 10:30 p.m. $10 after. 21+

11/19 - Unwritten Law with THE PRICKS, Pacific Dub, Super Groupie at The Galaxy in Santa Ana. 8 p.m. $19.99 adv. $22 DOS.

11/19 - Wild Child (The Doors Tribute) with Full Revolution, Hemispheres (Rush Tribute) at The Coach House. 8 p.m. $20.

11/19 - People Under the Stairs with Express French, Delta 9 at The Glass House. 7 p.m. $15.

11/20 - Moving Units with LESANDS, Lexicon Don at The Glass House. 7 p.m. $20.

11/20 - The Bouncing Souls and The Adolescents with Heartsounds at House of Blues Anaheim. 9 p.m. $15.50 adv. $17.50 DOS.

11/20 - The 88 with VENUS INFERS, Red9, Chris Amodeo at The Coach House. 8 p.m. $13 adv. $15 DOS.

11/20 - Danzig with Posessed, Marduk, Toxic Holocaust, Withered at Grove of Anaheim. 7 p.m. $30.

11/21 - RRIICCEE feat. Vincent Gallo at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9 p.m. $15.

11/21 - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus with Oh My Stars, Walk the Rio, Next Door at House of Blues Anaheim. 7:30 p.m. $13.50 adv. $16.50 DOS.

11/21 - Kenny G (2010 Holiday Show) at Grove of Anaheim. 8 p.m. $45 - $75 (pricing based on seating levels).

11/21 - New Riders of the Purple Sage with Groove Session, Heavy Water at The Coach House. 8 p.m. $20.

11/22 - GWAR with The Casualties, Infernaeon, Mobile Death Camp, Sick Sense at The Glass House. 6 p.m. $23.50.

11/23 - Live and Local Tuesdays feat. Dalai Sonido, May McDonough, Little Desert, Time and Energy at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 8 p.m. No cover charge.

11/24 - Matt Costa with Everest at House of Blues Anaheim. 8:00 p.m. $17.50 adv. $20.00 DOS.

11/24 - DJ Quik at Grove of Anaheim. 8 p.m. $27.50.

11/24 - Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Winter Tour 2010) at Honda Center in Anaheim. 8 p.m. $34.45 - $79.50 (pricing based on seating levels).

11/24 - Jeramiah Red at The Continental Room. 10 p.m. No cover. 21+

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Upcoming Events 11/10 - 11/17

                                         Blonde Redhead. Photo courtesy of 4AD Records.

11/10 - Masters of Reality with Sean Wheeler, Zander Schloss at House of Blues Anaheim. 8:00 p.m. $17.50 adv. / $20 dos.

11/11 - Sean Hayes at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9:00 p.m. $12.

11/11 - John Mayall with This Side Up Blues Band at The Coach House. 8:00 p.m. $25.

11/11 - San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino Presents: Face to Face (punk band) with The Darlings at House of Blues Anaheim. 8:00 p.m. $25 adv. / $27.50 dos.

11/11 - Chayanne at Honda Center Anaheim. 8:00 p.m. $43.60 to $145.85 (prices vary due to seating levels).

11/12 - Static Fridays: Electronic Music Every Friday Night at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9:00 p.m. Free admission before 10:30 / $10 after.

11/12 - Mae with Terrible Things, Windsor Drive, Beta Wolf at The Glass House. 7:00 p.m. $13 adv. / $15.00 dos.

11/12 - Carl Palmer Band with Twice Fooled, Agent 22 at The Galaxy in Santa Ana. 8:00 p.m. $25.

11/13 - Outbreak with Dropdead FM (former OCC students), Hour of the Wolf, Smartbomb, Vultures United, Laced at Chain Reaction. 7:00 p.m. $10.

11/13 - Margot and the Nuclear So and So's at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9:00 p.m. $12.

11/13 and 11/14 - Misfits with Juicehead, The Returners, Jahmbi, Fiction Reform at The Galaxy in Santa Ana. 8:00 p.m. $22 adv. / $25 dos.

11/13 - Yellowcard with He is We, The Coulourist at The Glass House. 7:00 p.m. $20.

11/14 - STARS with The Pains of Being, Pure At Heart, Geographer at The Glass House. 7:00 p.m. $18.

11/14 - Usher with Trey Songz at Honda Center Anaheim. 7:00 p.m. $42.15 to $146.90 (prices vary due to seating levels).

11/15 - Jeramiah Red with TOEJAMZ and DJ Snacks at the Commonwealth Lounge. 10:00 p.m. Free.

11/15 - Blonde Redhead with Ólöf Arnalds at The Glass House. 7:00 p.m. $25.

11/17 - Every Time I Die with Trap Them, Howl, The Sparring at Chain Reaction. 7:30 p.m. $15.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kanye's runaway hit video

When I say Kanye you say…actor?
Probably not, but rapper/producer Kanye West recently released Runaway, a short-film/music video filled with imagery and symbolism to promote his upcoming album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
                                                   Courtesy of Island Def Jam
            The movie was filmed in Prague over the course of four days in the summer. West describes it as a parallel of his own career, and when you look at the short film deeper than what’s on the surface, West’s vulnerability shows.
            The short begins with Kanye running towards a giant explosion, which reveals a half woman-half Phoenix laying in the aftermath of the explosion. This represents something better being born out of Kanye West. Through his recent struggles in his personal life and through the media, the Phoenix is a representation of Kanye himself.   
            The Phoenix wakes up in Kanye’s room with the news playing the background. Kanye shows up behind her turning off the TV and declaring, “First rule in this world baby, don’t pay attention to anything you see in the news.”
            Kanye goes on to teach the Phoenix proper etiquette, such as walking on two feet and eating with a knife and fork, symbolizing his own struggles to fit in with society.
            He then takes her to a dinner party which looks like the Last Supper, with all the people dressed in white showing their purity. Once they sit, a guest asks them whether Kanye realizes his girlfriend is a bird.
This shows the industries disapproval of Kane West. Following the man’s comment, Kanye gets up to begin playing a song on the piano. Many ballerinas come out of nowhere and start gracefully moving to Kanye singing and playing the piano. Despite the “industries” disapproval, society seems to accept his uniqueness, for now.
As quickly as they appeared, the dancers freeze in motion then leave Kanye standing by himself. A representation of not only how quickly the media, but also how anyone can vanish as quickly as they came around, and how you should only depend on yourself at the end of the day.
Despite Kanye’s persistence to assimilate his Phoenix girlfriend in society the dinner takes an extreme turn. For dinner they place a turkey right in front of the Phoenix, she violently screams and leaves, which defines Kanye’s opinion on his own career.
Kanye may not have brought an Oscar worthy acting performance, but the genius was there, behind the surface masked by vibrant colors and music. The incorporation of light and dark, the imagery of fire and the drastic color contrast make Runaway not only a must see, but a short film/music video that will take its place amongst the greatest in music history.

-Cyrus Mehrfar

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Upcoming Events 11/03 - 11/10

The Cold War Kids at The Glass House 11/5 (

11/04 - Circa Survive with special guests at House of Blues Anaheim. 8 p.m. $16 adv. / $18.50 dos. (day of show).

11/05 - I Love Electro Concert Series feat. Mustard Pimp, Ruth Flowers and more at Grove of Anaheim. 7 p.m. $20.

11/05 - Cold War Kids with We Barbarians at The Glass House. 8 p.m. $20.

11/06 - Senses Fail with Bayside, Title Fight, and Balance and Composure at House of Blues Anaheim. 8 p.m. $14.00 adv. / $16.50 dos.

11/07 - The Dodos with special guests The Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. 9 p.m. $12 adv. / $13 dos.

11/09 - Brandon Flowers with Fran Healy at The Fox Theater. 8 p.m. $27.50 adv. / $30 dos.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Call the cops, literally

Call the Cops Events lived up to their name Wednesday when the police actually were called to the scene in response to a reported fight between security and club-goers. The irate crowd slowly dispersed through the parking lot lingering in clusters trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

The fights started before Glen Christensen, a 20-year-old undecided major at OCC, was able to perform his set as Glendulum. Christensen was disappointed that security shut the whole club down as opposed to keeping the brawl an isolated incident.

DJ DOESBURG AT CALL THE COPS [photo by Fred Randall]

However his spirits about the night were still high. “I’d say tonight was pretty drum and bass,” Christensen said. “It was a pretty drum and bass fight too.”

Numerous DJ’s, some of whom are Orange Coast College students, performed electro, dub-step, and drum and bass at the "Freaks Come Out at Night" event at the Chateaux Lounge in Irvine.

The club was packed as costumed clubbers and OCC students alike got crazy on the dance floor. The music was playing loud and fast as the group of seven DJ’s performed encompassing genres such as hip-hop, reggae and electro.

DJ’s Faz, BLK LST, Fuss, 3 Kilos, Rankin, Thompson and Glendulum were scheduled to perform. However, fights broke out between security and club goers well before the night was over.

Kip Armstrong, a 21-year-old undecided major at OCC, was performing Drum and Bass under his DJ alias Thompson as the fights broke out. The situation became critical as punches began to be thrown in the back of the club.

Within minutes security had shut down the music and emptied the club, herding and shoving patrons through the exit. In the confusion that followed there was little to comprehend other than the intense ringing in my ears.

When reaching the exit the hostility of this evacuation became quite clear. Shouting and shoving between security and club goers, my immediate instinct was to stay low and get well out of arms reach.

What had become of a great night of dancing, costumes and music? Where had all this negativity come from? And why was security dishing out punches at an 18 and over event?

If you're into an unpredicatble night of drum and bass, dub-step and electro keep your eyes out for more Call the Cops Events on their website.

-Fred Randall

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dusty Rhodes bring unique sound to the Continental Room

Dusty Rhodes and the River Band put on an entertaining performance at their show at the Continental Room Thursday. It was difficult to know exactly what I thought of Dusty Rhodes, because there seems to be a big division between the sound of the old songs and the new songs. Even the instruments are different, as the lead singer, Dustin Apodaca, switches from a fancy synthesizer which creates a more experimental indie sound for the new songs and an accordion that creates a folk sound for the older stuff. Since they play both, it's hard to place them in a category.

The environment while they were playing was very all encompassing, it would make anyone feel at home. They ended their set with an epic song that included a beautiful violin solo which made the whole event feel worthwhile.

Francisco The Man started out the evening slow and melodically, with a song that sounded very similar to the Smashing Pumpkins. At first it seemed they were going to be just that, a 90's influenced rock band, but after a couple more songs you could hear a mixture of influences from indie bands of the 2000's such as Beach House or Minus the Bear. In spite of my initial skepticism, I did enjoy the music and the crowd seemed impressed by the end of the set. 

Jeramiah Red could be described as DIY arena rock. For a local band, their sound is impeccable. They sound as if they are meant to be playing giant concerts and big festivals. They have an American rock n' roll bluegrass sort of feel to them, with what seems like an occasional metal influence.

The harmonica gives them a more folk sound at times, which creates a good dynamic because within their music, there is something to be liked by everyone. If you love classic rock and want to hear something pleasantly put together as opposed to those loosely thrown together, “whatever equipment I might have in the back of my garage” indie bands, I would strongly suggest going to see Jeramiah Red.

-Katie McCluer

Saturday, October 23, 2010

13 For Halloween

Because of the various dark, but fun themes of Halloween, many different types of genres and songs can be included in one singular mix. Here are a quick thirteen tracks for the holiday, some accompanied by creepy clips.

1. "Black Sabbath" - Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath 1970)

2. "Rainbow" - Boris with Michio Kurihara (Rainbow 2007)

3, "Bodysnatchers" - Radiohead (In Rainbows 2007)

4. "Candy" - Vitalic (Fanfares 2004)

5. "To Here Knows When" - My Bloody Valentine (Loveless 1991)

6. "Distortions" - Clinic (Internal Wrangler 2000)

7. "Halloween Theme (Main Title)" - John Carpenter (Halloween [Original Score] 1978)

8. "21st Century Schizoid Man/Mirrors" - King Crimson (In the Court of King Crimson 1969)

9. "Der Erlkönig" - Franz Schubert [poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe] (Opus 1 D328 1815)

10. "Closer" - Nine Inch Nails (The Downward Spiral 1994)

11. "Mysterons" - Portishead (Dummy 1994)

12. "Come to Daddy [Pappy Mix]" - Aphex Twin (Come to Daddy EP 1997)

13. "Careful with that Axe, Eugene" - Pink Floyd (Ummagumma 1969)

Bonus because I have to: "Thriller" - Michael Jackson (Thriller 1982)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jonseing for Jonsi

           A full house gathered in the close quarters of Fox Theater in Pomona on Monday in eager anticipation of their favorite Icelandic siren, Jonsi. The audience made warm conversation, waitresses hustled up and down tiers of tables compiling drink orders, and always from somewhere else in the room, that one distinguishable laugh echoed a good night.
But as Sigur Ros’ lead singer Jón “Jonsi” þór Birgisson took the stage with his band, the buzzing in the air was replaced with something infinitely more special.
White fog-lights caused Jonsi to glow in front of a huge projection screen that illustrated stories of forest animals sprinting, butterflies fluttering, leaves falling, and water at every pace. And when Jonsi started to strum his guitar and sing out in his signature unearthly falsetto, these animations took real life. They started to feed the audience real life aurally. 
When Jonsi opened his mouth, he put listeners in a happy trance. He stirred water in the deepest parts of hearts and made every problem on the planet feel ages away. He weaved stories from his soul and cried them out to us in words that only our hearts could understand.
Experiencing Jonsi play is like dreaming about love. Every note and sway of his voice strikes beautiful chords across heart-strings, and his humble presence is inspiring. 
Each band member seemed to have actually stitched together his own whimsical outfit from fairy tales. Jonsi wore a long, plaid shirt held together by patches and strips of other plaid shirts. Dozens of long ribbons with feathers and beads hung from his shoulders and arms and danced with his movements.
For his encore, “Grow Till Tall”, Jonsi came out wearing a towering, feathered headdress, and boas to match. Lights shaped like birds flew around the theater and the rolling thunder of þorvaldur þorvaldsson’s drums said goodbye in the only way Jonsi could have been expected to –– by embracing the audience one last time with warm sounds and a voice that pierces every facet of unhappiness with unfathomable joy.

 - Story and photo by Garrett Marshall

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jeramiah Red kicks up dirty blues

JERAMIAH RED: (from left) Wes Dickson, Travis Ruiz, Matt Pleskacz, Ian Cullen, Tim Miller. Photo by Austin Ruiz.

            With a soulful, charismatic swagger, Jeramiah Red is kicking up dust in the Orange County music scene with reckless abandon.
            Inspired by acts like The Black Keys and Bob Dylan, Jeramiah Red’s sound is an intoxicating blend of blues and classic rock. The bite of the group’s lyrics coupled with the warm tones of acoustic guitar and harmonica make every song go down like the whiskey in their veins, and they are picking up speed.
            Jeramiah Red rose from the ashes of several of the members’ past acts. Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Wes Dickson, 24, played in punk band The Relentless with Jeramiah Red’s bassist Tim Miller, 24, prior to forming the group.
Vocalist and lead guitarist Ian Cullen, 21, drummer Matt Pleskacz, 25, and percussionist and harmonica player Travis Ruiz, 23, were also in a former band together. Cullen described the band, they asked not to include the name, as a “hip-hop Jack Johnson band.”
The two former bands merged into Jeramiah Red in 2008.
            “Me and Wes are from such different backgrounds that we come together between mainstream and alternative,” Cullen said.
            To watch Jeramiah Red play is to see five friends really work toward something they all feel potential in. Their energy is awesome.
            “I’m super happy to be in this band—I’ve done enough stupid stuff,” Cullen said from the band’s practice space overlooking a Diamond Bar valley.
            The group’s passion for the music they create sings out in each song they play. The boot-stomping beats of “My Baby” and “Whole Lotta Love” demand a listener to their feet, and the fiery vocals keep them there. Naturally, Jeramiah Red wants to reach out.
            “When you write a new song, you want to show the world,” Ruiz said.
            Jeramiah Red fairly recently hired manager Matt Gardner to help execute its vision.
            “Wes came to me saying he wanted to get serious, and right out of the gate they got a show at the House of Blues,” Gardner said.
            The band is releasing a self-titled EP at their headlining House of Blues Anaheim show on Oct 7. They will perform on Oct. 21 at The Continental Room in Fullerton.
They are planning a music video by spring.
            “We’re gonna play as many shows as we can,” Gardner said.

-Garrett Marshal

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ariel Pink gets funky at The Glass House 9/11

Ariel Pink at the Glass House (Photo: Taylor Hamby)

Perhaps it's the difficulty in defining Ariel Pink's music that makes it hard to review one of his shows. Ariel Pink and his band played at the Glass House in Pomona Saturday.

The Kurt Cobain look alike creates David Bowie-esque tunes than can be classified as dance, eighties revival, lo-fi, funk, or a genre of its own.

Whatever you want to call it, it was not love at first listen. Ariel Pink's music takes a bit of time to dial in your ears to this unique sound.

He has an odd stage presence. Sometimes he looked nervous. He fiddled with a tie during two songs; wrapped it around his neck and then his finger. He put the microphone in his mouth.

Odd presence or not, he is still able to get the crowd riled up. During songs like "Fright Night" and "Menopause Man" fans screamed out and formed a pit.

In fact, I was called out at my lack of visible excitement. A boy hit my shoulder to get my attention and told me to start dancing. "I'm not seeing enough excitement out of you!" he said.

The has more energy in concert than his live recordings, but offers the same comparison defying, confusing sound.

Ariel also demonstrated the large range of his voice that night, and moved from a speaking voice to a falsetto seamlessly.

White Arrows opened for Ariel Pink with their psychedelic goes electric sound. While they didn't break any new ground, they played an entertaining set.

They projected light fractals onto the stage which added an element of mystery, or pretentiousness, depending how you look at it, to the show.

White Arrows seems to be at the imitating, not innovating, stage in their career, but this is nothing that a bit of practice and an acid trip or two can't remedy.

In that vein, they played the best version of Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" I have ever heard.

Bella Novela opened up the evening. Sorry guys, I was late and missed them.

-Taylor Hamby

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Radiohead's drummer goes solo

Phil Selway's "Familial" (2010)
For his first solo effort, “Familial,” Radiohead drummer Phil Selway explores himself as a singer and songwriter, creating a warm and soothing record.

This isn’t his first venture away from Radiohead. Selway had partaken in Neil Finn’s all-star concerts, “7 Worlds Collide,” recording an album titled “The Sun Came Out.”

While working on the project, Selway established some creative relationships with multi-instrumentalist and singer Lisa Germano, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche who all contribute on the record.

As the drummer of Radiohead, Selway has always demonstrated restraint and patience, and the songs on “Familial” are much understated.

Similar in vein, the music is effective and Selway indulges in themes of parenthood, relationships and middle-age.

He devotes “The Ties that Bind Us” to his son, singing, “I want to show you another way, I want to shield you from my mistakes” and on “Broken Promises,” he addresses the loss of his mother.

The songs are mostly restricted to acoustic guitars and bare instrumentations, and the lyrics are far less abstract than anything Thom Yorke ever wrote, providing relatable and universal imagery.

Selway’s vocals are also very tender and delicate, and his natural singing serves well to the haunting music.

“A Simple Life” is the most romantic song on the album, with Selway dreaming of a runaway relationship, “we’ll leave and disappear into the night, we’ll turn out the lights, we just want a simple life.”

The best song might be the introduction, “By Some Miracle,” a direct confession of his inner demons, “there’s a black dog in my basement, he is barking out my name.”

There is a Radiohead song called “Electioneering” off the classic album “OK Computer,” where Selway, on a rare occasion, goes berserk on the drums, perhaps releasing that “black dog” he is talking about.

While “Familial” is successful in its purpose, a Radiohead fan might wonder what Selway could have written in his younger years, and at 43-years-old, with a wife and three children, he only examines middle-aged themes.

“Familial” does not break any new ground, but it is a refined and touching release, easy enough for a long drive and pleasant enough for a quiet night at home.

-James Vu

Friday, May 7, 2010

Paramore's at the top of its game

On May 3rd, Paramore performed a solid set at a sold-out show in Columbus, Ohio. Orange Coast College alumnus and former managing editor of The Coast Report, Tony Lee, was there to catch all the action and has graciously written a review for TMP. Check it out below!

“Best show of the tour, so far,” said Paramore’s Hayley Williams after playing the third song of its 17-song set-list at the LC Amphitheater in Columbus, Ohio.

She was wrong. It might have been the best show of Paramore’s career.

Paramore, led by the 5-foot-2-inch, fire-truck-red-haired vocalist, displayed they have what it takes to be the next rock ‘n’ roll superstars.

With Relient K and fun as opening acts, the band had the sold-out crowd on May 3 rocking out to its punk-pop-rock ’n’ roll fusion and showed why they are one of the top-10 bands to see in 2010.

Williams ended the 75-minute show with the same insanely energetic demeanor she had at the beginning. Guitarists Josh Farro and Taylor York, drummer Zac Farro and bassist Jeremy Davis echoed Williams’ contagious energy that had the majority-tween crowd jumping around like popcorn kernels being popped from start to finish.

Williams even took a fan’s camera during the band's last song “Misery Business”, filmed herself, her band mates, and the crowd and captured the unforgettable atmosphere (click here to see the YouTube clip).

Williams engaged with fans throughout the entire concert by encouraging them to sing along, especially during "Whoa", and sharing gifts that she received from fans.

She had a problem with her in-ear monitor during “Decode” that deprived the audience of 10 seconds of singing, but the entire crowd filled the outdoor venue by belting the lyrics word for word.

At one point, Williams announced she would be doing a “low-budget costume change” and put on a black New Found Glory hoodie because she was “freezing” on this windy day.

The hoodie, most likely an ode to New Found Glory guitarist / boyfriend Chad Gilbert, actually became an endearing accessory as she sang “The Only Exception” - Paramore’s latest single and love song.

The show consisted of basic concert lighting, three different backdrops, and gimmick-free continual flow of songs.

Last summer, Paramore was the opening act to No Doubt. This year, they are proving it's not a stretch to say Paramore may reach No Doubt’s superstardom in the near future.

Paramore’s spring concert opened on April 27 in Nashville and ends in July 2 in Werchter, Belgium at the Rock Werchter Festival. Its last U.S. spring showing will be on May 16 in Las Vegas, Nev. at The Joint.

They will headline the Honda Civic Tour starting July 23 in Raleigh, N.C. at the Raleigh Boutique Amphitheater and ending Sept. 19 in Orange County, Calif. at, fittingly, the Honda Center.

- By Tony Lee (

"Careful" clip provided by Tony Lee
"Misery Business" clip provided by YouTube user angie0491

  1. Looking Up
  2. That's What You Get
  3. Playing God
  4. Pressure
  5. For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic
  6. Brighter
  7. Turn It Off
  8. The Only Exception
  9. Whoa
  10. crushcrushcrush
  11. Let The Flames Begin
  12. Ignorance
  13. Where the Lines Overlap
  14. Careful
  15. Brick By Boring Brick
  1. Decode
  2. Misery Business
Check out more on Paramore - including tour dates - at their websites:

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Vampire Weekend Impress at The Fox Theater in Pomona

    All Photos by Flavia McBride 
    Two days before thousands of people swarmed to Indio, CA for the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, a seemingly endless line of ticket holders weaved their way around the circumference of The Fox Theater in Pomona to see Vampire Weekend perform a sold-out show. 
    The five piece band from New York recently released their sophomore album Contra to rave reviews. The album even hit number one on the Billboard 200, and it was clear that fans at The Fox Theater had Contra in constant iPod rotation since its release. 
    Vampire Weekend opened with "White Sky" and the room instantly erupted with energy that would hold throughout the entire performance. The audience danced, sang, and cheered along to favorites like "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", "One (Blake's Got A New Face)" and "A Punk".
    The mood quickly became relaxed for a calm and stripped down performance of "Taxi Cab", but picked right back up for "Run" during which the eyes of the woman pictured on the giant backdrop (and Contra album cover) lit up like lasers. 
    Frontman Ezra Koenig interacted frequently with the audience, making endearing quips between songs. At one point, when asking the crowd to sing along, he said "It's gotta be funky. Not Baja Fresh, more Del Taco, know what I mean?"
    Bassist Chris Baio demonstrated some admirable dance moves, and the entire band seemed genuinely excited to play together. 
    Vampire Weekend closed with "Oxford Comma" before returning to play three encore songs. Koenig thanked the audience and boldly declared to all those not attending Coachella that the festival "might not get any better" than this performance. 
    In a way, he was rightNot only were Koenig's vocals spot on the entire night, but the band as a whole was able to perform in a polished yet natural way. There were no instances where I felt like I could sense the band thinking, rather they seemed to be able to let go and have fun without worrying about the result. 
    The attitude definitely transferred to the audience; it seemed like the crowd could not have been any more excited to spend an evening rocking out with Vampire Weekend, and neither could I.

    -Eszter Zimanyi

    Check out more photos from Vampire Weekend's set at The Fox Theater on our flickr account: 

    See videos of Vampire Weekend's ENTIRE set at The Fox Theater on Eszter's YouTube channel:

    Keep up with Vampire Weekend at their websites:

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Vampire Weekend at The Fox Theater in Pomona

    Last night Vampire Weekend played a show at The Fox Theater in Pomona, CA and by all accounts it was amazing. TMP sent Eszter Zimanyi to cover the event along with photographer Flavia McBride, and next week we'll have a proper review posted along with some great photos. For now though, here is one of the 19 videos Eszter took along with the set list from last night's show: 

    Set list: 

    1. White Sky
    2. Holiday
    3. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
    4. I Stand Corrected
    5. M79
    6. Bryn
    7. California English
    8. Cousins
    9. Taxi Cab
    10. Run
    11. A Punk
    12. One (Blake's Got A New Face)
    13. Diplomat's Son
    14. Giving Up The Gun
    15. Campus
    16. Oxford Comma


    1. Horchata
    2. Mansard Roof
    3. Walcott

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club 3/17 at HOB Anaheim Review

    In one of their hit songs, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club answers their own question. They ask, “Whatever happened to my rock and roll?”

    This is a valid question when discussing today’s underground music. We are surrounded by electronic beats and soft folksy tunes today but when searching for raw rock and roll, listeners are forced to look to the past.

    At BRMC’s Tuesday performance at the House of Blues Anaheim, they answered their question with their loud guitar and heavy drums and said, “Rock and Roll is right here.”

    This was apparent in the audience. While waiting for the band to start, I was surrounded by mostly men aged 50+. Some were singing along to the Iggy Pop playing in the background, probably reminiscing about when they saw The Stooges when they were my age. Of course BRMC would have an older audience; they have the same no-nonsense raw rock that The Stooges and their contemporaries have.

    The band walked out on stage without saying a word, and jumped right into their music. The first thing I noticed was their new drummer, Leah Shapiro. Her heavy drums stood out in the third song of the evening, “Stop” and “Berlin.”

    The first half of their set was filled with waves of fast songs to slow songs, then slowed down signifigantly mid-set. This brought the best part of the evening.

    Robert sat at the piano under the spotlight and played a most beautiful rendition of the Edgar Allen Poe poem, “Annabelle Lee”. It was haunting, it was gorgeous, just like Poe wrote it. A faithful tribute.

    The mood was stopped abruptly by the sharp harmonica intro of “Ain’t No Easy Way”, and continued to step up the pace with “Spread Your Love.”

    Peter Hayes brought you back down again with his great acoustic solo of “Sympathetic Noose.”

    The title track off their new album “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo” was another stand out song.

    They played three encore songs, and ended with “Open Invitation”, one of their slower, sad songs. They let us down gently, and walked away just as silent as they entered,

    I heard an audience member asked as I was walked away, “Why would they end with that song?”

    You can’t expect anything else from a band of rebels.

    -Taylor Hamby

    Go Beyond Wonderland

    Get the lights, beaded bracelets’ and glow sticks ready for a world that takes you Beyond Wonderland.

    Attendees can dance and shuffle the night away on March 20 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino . The Beyond Wonderland music festival is hosted by a popular event planner Insomniac.

    More than 30,000 people are expected to attend this electric event are Paul Van Dyk, Sander Van Doorm and Bart M More.

    The venue holds four themed areas that reminisce back to Alice in Wonderland such as arenas called Madhatters Castle, Queens Domain, Caterpillars Garden and Chess Village.

    There is a bar located inside of the arena as well.

    Anh Pham, a 19 year old Technology Major at Orange Coast College said she is going for the line-up and the people.

    “Pretty much everyone who knows about this event is going,” she said. “I’m stoked.”

    On the other hand people like Cindy Nguyen, an 18-year-old business major at OCC, said it doesn’t matter to her who’s going to be there.

    “I never really know who the line-up is,” she said. “I go to exchange beaded bracelets, and dance all night.”

    Ticket prices started out at around $45 but as the event comes closer, prices have gone to $60-$70.

    Marie Youth, an 18-year-old nursing student at OCC, said the cost doesn’t bother her.

    “The money is well worth it,” she said. “It does get pricey but these events are amazing. You will have one of the best nights of your life.”

    -Angel Rodriguez

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Gorillaz recycle genres in "Plastic Beach"

    Damon Albarn and his Gorillaz returned with “Plastic Beach” Tuesday with an alluring and intoxicating assimilation of various genres.

    “Plastic Beach” is a world where waste products and plastics are turned into new toys. The plan here is to salvage from different musical styles such as hip-hop and Arabic music.

    The music is as eclectic as the collaborations, which include rapper, Mos Def, and rock legend, Lou Reed. Gorillaz have been a rotating set of musicians, but Albarn has always been in control, enforcing his vision.

    “White Flag” is a prime example of the musical combinations. The Lebanese Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music accompanies low-key British rappers Kano and Bushy creating an exotic blend of dub and Arabian strings.

    The electric pop of “Stylo” is hypnotizing with its disco style beat and atmospheric synthesizers. Mos Def’s mellow delivery compliments old-school soul singer, Bobby Womack’s dramatic belting.

    “Superfast Jellyfish,” with the help of Gruff Rhys and De La Soul, is the most animated tune on the album. De La Soul is as funky as he was on “Feel Good, Inc.” and Rhys sings lines like, “the sea is radioactive,” in a fun, robotic voice.

    “Empire Ants,” which features Little Dragon, might be the best song on the album. Albarn takes the microphone and sings softly over an acoustic guitar and a shimmering piano. When Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano starts singing, the music swirls into a spacey ballad with haunting synthesizers and a soothing rhythm.

    But, there are a few things that make “Plastic Beach” an imperfect record.

    This is Albarn’s first time as the producer of a Gorillaz album, and without Dan “The Automator” Nakamura or Danger Mouse there to condense the music, the album does seem to stretch a bit. It also lacks the pop brilliance of songs like “Clint Eastwood” and “Dare.”

    “Demon Days” was a goliath of a record, with huge commercial and critical success, and expectations for the next album were tremendous.

    Still, “Plastic Beach” is an excellent record, and Albarn continues to stretch his musical horizons creating some of the most infectious and original music of the 2000s.

    -James Vu

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    "Transference" is Spoon at their best.

    Spoon adds another first-class release to their brilliant discography with “Transference.”

    Almost three years after the release of the critically acclaimed “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga,” Spoon begins the decade with a rougher and grittier release.

    “Transference” was self-produced and is reminiscent of their first record, 1996’s “Telephono.” The music on the new album is more raw rock ‘n‘ roll.

    The first single, “Got Nuffin,” released six months prior to the album, was the first implication of the album’s rawness.

    Spoon remains in top form despite the fact that most of the songs are mostly in their demo form.

    The complexity of the music on “Transference” is created through the careful construction of the songs, not the glossing over in the studio.

    Britt Daniel, the lead singer, once again demonstrates his skills in writing songs. The roughness in the songs emits a higher emotional resonance.

    “Written in Reverse” is one of the more aggressive songs. It begins with the lines, “I’m writing this to you in reverse, someone better call a hearse.”

    Daniel snarls and yells about a declining relationship over a pounding piano and an unsteady beat.

    The lack of studio buff works best on the piano ballad, “Goodnight Laura,” revealing a more tender and delicate side to the album.

    Emotions run high as Daniel croons a loved one to sleep. The intimacy of the performance amplifies its effect, similar to the impact of a child’s lullaby sung before bed time.

    Piano chords are pressed methodically against a building rhythm on the second half of track six, “I Saw the Light.”

    This is Spoon at their best, rationalizing during a jam session. No notes are wasted and every instrument is utilized efficiently.

    All these abilities would go to waste if the songs themselves were not good. Even the more difficult songs are filled with plenty of hooks and grooves here to please rock and pop fans.

    Transference is one of those albums that should be listened to a few times before passing judgment. However, it is a testament to one of the best bands of the 2000s and their skills in consistently producing great albums.

    -James Vu


    Tyson McAdoo peddles his wares at Musink 2010.

    Fifty-four vendors, more than 300 tattoo artists, 29 bands and a skate ramp jam — all within a three-day period.

    This is Musink.

    The three-day music, tattoo and skate festival, celebrating its third year, was held Friday through Sunday at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

    Sean Akhavan, Musink’s event coordinator, said the main reason he picked the OC Fairgrounds was because of its access to multiple buildings and the fact that Orange County doesn’t have a really good tattoo convention.

    “If you notice all of the same people listening to music all have tattoos. I think it’s a culture that blends,” Akhavan said.

    The bands are chosen on availability and Akhavan said he tries to get the best artists from all around the world so the festival maintains a wide variety for any type of spectator.

    “As long as the event is successful and people have a great time, that is all that matters,” Akhavan said.

    Some may be intimidated walking into a festival where the majority of attendees are tattooed from head to toe, but Peter Levy, owner of Under the Gun Tattoo Company in Hollywood, was the first to throw away this perception.

    “I think people misunderstand the work of tattooing because I think it is art. The truth is I think it is the most unbelievable form of art, in that you really don’t have a second try. You don’t take the paper, you don’t throw it in the garbage, you get one shot,” Levy said.

    Levy said his favorite part of Musink is to see other artists like Robert Hernandez who came from Spain and to show off his own body artwork.

    “This festival, Musink, is unlike many others — it has a really awesome display of wonderful artists where you have a lot of tattoo conventions out there that don’t really focus on the art and more on the money,” Levy said.

    Along with the vendors, there were also traditional artists there as well.

    Meet Tyson McAdoo, a tattooed 31-year-old pin up artist who has dabbled in tattooing and even worked for Marvel and DC while maintaining a well groomed handle bar moustache.

    “It (Musink) is a family reunion all weekend. Even if it is not your thing it’ll blow you away because it’s such good quality. We say it’s a private subculture but it’s really as mainstream as it gets,” McAdoo said. “We’re not like everyone else — we are everyone else so why not have more people a part of the party.”

    There were also tattoo artists like Hoser, an artist for Empire Tattoo in the Redlands, who could not wait to see the bands NOFX and Face to Face.

    “It gives us a chance for other people to see our work and get your ideas out there. Some people like it some people don’t but that’s the best part about it. It is life and you should expose yourself to as much stuff as possible,” Hoser said.

    Acoustic Side of OC Music Awards

    At the most heavily attended Acoustic Finals night in OC Music Awards history, Billy Kernkamp and his band came out on top, walking away with $2,500 toward Fender gear and four days of recording time at Red Bull Studios.

    The event was held Friday at the historic Yost Theater in Santa Ana, able to seat up to 800 fans as opposed to last year’s show at the Gypsy Den, which holds a capacity of less than 100.

    But the large venue didn’t intimidate the opening band, I Hate You Just Kidding, who opened with a sweet and intimate set. The Costa Mesa couple that makes up the band, guitarist Jeremy Brock and singer Jessi Fulghum, playfully and humbly talked to one another and the audience throughout their set, adding to the band’s warm atmosphere.

    Little things like a toy glockenspiel, an occasional harmonica harmony and a snare drum beat with one stick quickly built an endearing rapport with the audience as well.

    “It seemed like everybody really liked it, so we’re happy about that and we did our best,” Fulghum said, “We just want for more people to have heard of us.”

    Friday night’s contest winner, Billy Kernkamp, took the stage next with a guest guitarist before bringing out the whole band.

    The stage grew more and more crowded throughout the set, growing from only two musicians to six, then 10, finally ending the set with 11 band members and fans on stage, all singing and having a great time.

    “Thank you so much to the Orange County Music Awards for bringing us all together and supporting each other,” Kernkamp said during his set. “I want you to remember, it’s not about us, it’s about you guys coming out and supporting. You guys’ coming out is why we do this.”

    The alternative country singer/songwriter was nominated for Country Americana last year as well, but did not progress. Friday night Kernkamp and his band were No. 1.

    “I feel great, I love it,” Kernkamp said before being announced as the evening’s winner. “It’s not about awards. The validation comes from when my mom tells me I did good.”

    Following Kernkamp, Stacy Clark overcame minor equipment malfunctions to present a Katy Perry/Avril Lavigne fusion.

    Clark’s strongest songs, including “Touch and Go” as featured in the latest Bell Palm Pre commercial, were those when her guitar was laid down and she let her hips sway.

    Marc B followed with his toe tapping surf/reggae songs as the audience continued to build. Bassist Yoni Berk was especially enjoyable to watch, hitting the groove hard and infecting the audience with what can only be described as “boogie.”

    Mike Vitale took the stage alone next, closing the night with endearing songs and a humorous rapport with the audience.

    Vitale performed with enthusiasm and a smile on his face, utilizing loop pedals and audience chants to close out the night.

    OC Music Awards director of events and marketing Ashley Eckenweiler couldn’t have been happier at Friday night’s turnout.

    “This is our largest turnout for the best live acoustic finals yet,” Eckenweiler said in an interview between sets. “This year has had the largest turnout at every showcase we’ve had. I think the best bands have been involved and we have great sponsors this year as well.”

    At the end of the night, OC Music Awards producer Luke Allen took the stage, armed with a giant check and a Red Bull recording certificate.

    Finally, and without overbearing suspense, Allen announced Kernkamp as the evening’s winner.

    “I know it’s not cool to be excited about these things, but I’m really pumped guys,” Kernkamp said into the mic while accepting his prize. “I know I say this all the time, but we are here to serve you. We do this because of you.”

    -David Sachs