The Vespertines Show Major Prog-ress with Areté

Categories: local bands

After years of refining their artfully bombastic sound on stages all over Long Beach and OC, The Vespertines continue to be a major force on the local live music scene. Featuring vocalist/ trumpet player Vanessa Acosta, drummer Chris Walker (with current fill in drummer Dan Birker), guitarist Alex Kater and bassist Kyle Cavness, the group have been making music and playing shows since 2009. With an extremely eclectic sound, listeners can hear everything from jazz, funk, folk, soul, ska, dub reggae, post rock, prog rock, psychedelic all in one song. The Vespertines have built up a local following of dedicated fans who cant get enough of the groups slick, spacey, passionate brand of rock fusion.

Kater and Cavaness recently took time to speak with the Weekly about the band's many musical influences, favorite local venues, and what it's like to be part of such a vibrant, bustling local music scene in Long Beach. The band is currently promoting a new album, Areté, which was produced and recorded in the Joshua tree desert, at a studio also used by Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys.

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Reggae Rock Hitting Heavy at the Annual Orange Street Fair

Categories: live review

Matt Corkill
Seedless at The District Lounge
By: David Garcia
Seedless/ Solution
OC International Street Fair

Located in the historic downtown district of Orange, the city's 3-day Orange County International Street Fair still hosts its annual bash in the hot summer sun with arts, crafts, live music, multiple vending booths, tons of new food and tasty beverages for all ages to enjoy. Saturday is easily the most popular day to partake in the fun as it contains nine different stages featuring live performances that start as early as 10am and run until 9pm. Over the weekend locals favorites Seedless and Solution performed for free on two different stages and settings in the middle of the day.

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Hot Snakes Prove That a Band With Two Drummers is Twice as Good

Hot Snakes' first two records (2000's Automatic Midnight and 2002's Suicide Invoice) feature Jason Kourkounis on drums, but the band's third release, 2004's Audit in Progress, was recorded with drummer Mario Rubalcaba, who became a permanent member for the group's final two years. So, when singer/guitarist Rick Froberg, guitarist John Reis and bassist Gar Wood decided to reunite in 2011, they had a decision to make.

Luckily for fans, the threesome opted to include both Kourkounis and Rubalcaba, allowing each drummer to perform the material he recorded. Taking a quick break mid-set to change skinsmen might sound odd, but it's not. In fact, it's fucking awesome not only because audiences get to see both versions of Hot Snakes but because Kourkounis and Rubalcaba are phenomenal drummers who deserve to be heard.

Still, having two drummers isn't the norm, which is why I spoke to Rubalcaba and Kourkounis in regards to their band's upcoming show at Alex's Bar in Long Beach on Sept. 18 to find out what they plan on doing when the other guy is on stage.

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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

Stiff Little Fingers--See Tuesday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Tuesday, September 2

Stiff Little Fingers
The Observatory
Stiff Little Fingers roared out of the gate with 1979's Inflammable Material, a must-have punk album and the record they would be measured against for decades to come. The group's calling cards were Jake Burns' sharp bark of a singing voice, raw-sounding instrumentals that were dangerous as dynamite and taut as hell, and biting, sardonic lyrics about the world directly surrounding SLF. 
In the years since, the band's history has grown increasingly vast and complicated, involving a breakup, a reunion, lineup overhauls, sound shifts toward reggae and ska and records trickling out at an increasingly slow pace. This year's No Going Back, their tenth album, is heavier on the rock than the punk, but SLF continue to address the same fundamental subjects as they have in decades past: political charlatans, oppression, social injustice. See them perform this week at the Observatory (Reyan Ali)

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Five Things We Learned From the 1999 Source Awards

Categories: Hip-Hop

The Source
An Award Show So Important, it Had Its Own CD!
This month marks 15 years since The 1999 Source Awards were broadcast nationwide on UPN. While at first glance it may seem inconsequential to note the anniversary of yet another award show, these particular Source Awards were a landmark event for many reasons. Recorded at Los Angeles' Pantages Theater, the show marked the first time two major network television hours were devoted exclusively to hip-hop. From paying tribute to the pioneers to offering an accurate snapshot of the entire hip-hop nation, it's a surprisingly well done broadcast.

After revisiting a copy of the original broadcast (complete with commercials), here's 5 Things We Learned from the 1999 Source Awards.

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Resurrecting the Memory of Sinn Sisamouth, the Cambodian Elvis

It's hard to explain to Americans the importance of Sinn Sisamouth, the most prolific singer-songwriter in Cambodian history, who was killed sometime in 1975 by the brutal Khmer Rouge. His silky vocals and poetic verses spent more than 20 years wafting over the cities and countryside of Southeast Asia's oldest kingdom, touching people's emotions and heralding a vibrant Golden era of rock and psychedelic-infused music that is only now beginning to be rebuilt.

He's commonly referred to as the Cambodian Elvis, which explains his popularity level. It also sheds light on how, decades after his last recording was made, both young and old Cambodians can still cite and sing his works, often with tears in their eyes.

See also: Members of Legendary Bay Area Band Crucifix Flash Back With 1984

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Hey, Matt Iseman. How Well Do You Know Your Co-Hosts on American Ninja Warrior?

Categories: Q&As, TV, comedy

Matt Iseman (right): I think we celebrate the differences rather than actually point them out.
The stars of the hit TV show American Ninja Warrior are ultimately the competitors but there is a lot to be said about the hosts as well. Jenn Brown, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, and Matt Iseman spout off play-by-play, do interviews, and have a repartee that makes them almost as entertaining as watching the ninjas run the course itself. I was lucky enough to snag an invite from Iseman to see the set while they were in Las Vegas (which starts airing September 1st on NBC) and while there, I met and talked to Jenn and Akbar as well. Full disclosure, I didn't know much about the show before I went there so I pretty much asked them all of the same questions about it. When compiling it all together, it sounded a little dry. Totally my fault. Because of that, we decided to cover our asses by flipping the script on stand-up comic and host extraordinaire Matt Iseman for a little friendly competition to see how his answers compare to his ANW co-hosts.

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The Best Concerts in OC This Weekend

Categories: this weekend

Thumbnail image for georgeClinton1.jpg
William Thoren Photography
George Clinton at Long Beach Funk Fest--See Monday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Friday, August 29

Mariachi Divas CD Release Party
House of Blues Anaheim
Consider Southern California lucky to house an institution like the Mariachi Divas. This all-female mariachi band has won not one but two Grammys, and are the reigning mariachi group with the most Grammy nominations. They're also Disneyland's resident mariachi band--so what better place to celebrate their 15th anniversary and new album release than the House of Blues? Their impressive 10th album to date, 15 Aniversario showcases the band's flawless musicianship--the guitars, violins, horns and angelic vocals come together in superb harmony. Anchored by founding member Cindy Shea (who, as a child, was told playing trumpet was "too macho." Ha!), the Mariachi Divas play their record release concert tonight in Anaheim--prepare to fall in love. (Erin DeWitt)

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Ridiculous Kanye West-isms, In Illustrated Form

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell
Kanye West and Paul McCartney are rumored to be collaborating, according to New York Post's Page Six. What's more surprising is one song's tentative title: "Piss On Your Grave."

"West's wife Kim Kardashian has been heard telling friends she was a little surprised they chose such a provocative name," reports

Hip-hop producer Statik Selektah recently revealed that part of the inspiration behind his new jazz-infused album, What Goes Around, was defying a criticism from West. "Kanye sat there and listened for like 10 seconds and he pressed stop," Selektah told MTV News. "and he was like: 'It's cool, but jazz is dead'." Selektah thought West's comment was "crazy" and moved forward with the project.

Here are more West-isms that have made the rapper an easy target for media jabs. Quotation above via

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The 10 Best Industrial Bands

Categories: Metal

Nine Inch Nails
Industrial music is such a vague, broad term. But in general, one might imagine a typical sound attached to it. Yet there are countless subgenres of Industrial, and the lines between these types of music are blurred with many bands incorporating multiple styles into the music.

Industrial music can be rock made with bass, drums and guitars. But mostly, the music is made with keyboards, electronic mechanical drum beats, experimental noise machines, and often avant-garde methods of incorporating samplers, distortion, synthesizers. The results usually produce cerebral, and raw, sometimes malevolent sounding beats. The scene can be related to punk, with some slightly different philosophies, style, attitudes, and lyrical subjects mixed in with their DIY approach. This is experimental,  sometimes dystopian, and unpredictable music that borrows heavily from DJ subculture, heavy metal music, the use of samplers, synthesizers and other machines to create what is commonly referred to as Industrial. It's also popular all over the globe, especially in places like Germany, Canada, and even North and South America. We now present our list of the 10 Best Industrial Bands.

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