Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 Creates an EP Set /Coffee Table Book

Categories: Hip-Hop

For the past 20 years, Chali 2na, aka the verbal Herman Munster has been one of the most well-known MCs of Jurassic 5. His booming baritone is one of the most instantly recognizable voices in all of hip hop and easily memorable. Even after the alternative hip hop legends successfully reunited in 2013, 2na --born Charles Stewart --continued to venture out and squeeze time in between shows to focus on his solo career.

Calling his project Against The Current, the MC is in the process of releasing five distinct EPs that will culminate in a coffee table-styled art book and music box-set to be unveiled later this year. Fans unfamiliar with 2na's solo material may be surprised to hear the diverse sounds that encompass his songs.

"I felt that, when I was coming up with the idea for the coffee table book, I felt that five EPs would help serve as a commercial for the book instead of the centerpiece," the MC says over the phone while weaving in and out of traffic on the 405. "The music would be based on all the genres I enjoyed as a child. Anything from newer hip hop to R&B to reggae to salsa to electronica is what I wanted to incorporate on the EPs. I've made a career of not trying to put myself in a box and share the music that I love."

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[VIDEO] Artist 'Hypocritical Gender' Saws Against the Gender Grain

Even in the world of art, where people are expected to go against the mainstream, ladies are still paired with specific mediums. Females do the jewelry making, sewing, and scrapbooking while the woodwork and welding are for the boys. Vanessa Gaston of Hypocritical Gender doesn't like this idea, and wants to change our expectations of women and their craft.

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So Long, Steamers: Fullerton's Famous Jazz Club Closes Its Doors After 21 Years

Categories: R.I.P.

LP Hastings
Just after midnight on July 31, the heat of a packed house in OC's best jazz club will have left the room for good. The chairs will be stacked atop the tables, the soundboard turned off, iron patio furniture locked up, and the stage lights lowered one final time. It's the last night Steamers Jazz Club and Café will be open, the locking of its door signifying the shuttering of the only true jazz venue in Orange County and its more than 20 years of insane, ridiculous, jiving, stomping memories.

The decision to sell the legendary business was not an easy one for owner Terence Love. Fullerton locals and club regulars have murmured about its closing for more than a year, but Love kept tight-lipped. It was finally confirmed, however, on July 15 in the Orange County Register, with an article quoting Evans Brewing Co. and Public House spokesman Andrew Beyer, saying that company had bought the business from Love. It was a huge hit to not only the countless musicians who played there on a regular basis, but also to anyone imbibing in downtown Fullerton who wanted to avoid the riff-raff.

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This Quiet Skate Shop Has Become Fullerton's No. 1 DIY Venue

Categories: sk8ter boi

Josh Chesler
Chris Gronowski, one of Programme's owners
At the end of a Fullerton shopping center, next to DiceHouse Games, a tabletop gaming store that hosts role-playing nights and Magic: The Gathering tournaments, sits a relatively unassuming skate shop. Programme Skate & Sound also happens to sell vinyl records on one side, and on about a dozen nights per month for the past couple of years, it turns into a very different scene.

Guitar amps, drums and a PA system are brought out to one side of the store. The clothing and skate-gear racks are wheeled out of the way, as dozens of hardcore, punk, indie and/or hip-hop kids cram into the shop--often with more left waiting outside. The young fans own the responsibility to not damage anything that can't be moved. "Obviously, you can't drink here, and there are no security guards or anything, so we just tell the kids to be cool, and they listen," says Chris Gronowski, one of Programme's owners. "Kids protect their own scene. No one wants to be the guy who ruined it for everyone."

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Nadia G is Causing a Riot With Food, Comedy and Punk Rock

Jose Rodriguez
I can't make any promises about the sticky fingers.
Bad ass babe Nadia G is somewhat of a super woman due to the many avenues she occupies while wearing heels to die for. Some of the powers she's mastered include putting it down in the kitchen, rocking a stage, and kicking some jokes around, but now, she's adding another one: Festival superstar. The first ever Riot Grill is popping its cherry August 7th at The Regent with an all grrrl lineup that includes Babes in Toyland, Le Butcherettes, Slutever, and The Menstruators. It will also be hosted by comedian Sara Schaefer and will feature a pop up by Nadia G's Bitchin Kitchen. Sounds like crazy fun right? We were super pumped to get on Nadia's level for a chat and since we've talked with her before, we decided to make it completely rando this time because we remember a thing or two about how she rolls. And rocks. Effortlessly.

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Meet the Men Who Helped Make OC a Reggae Paradise

Categories: Cover Story

John Gilhooley
Fully Fullwood, OC's Jamaican reggae godfather
Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach is stuffy--even worse than outside, where historic summer rains are turning Orange County into one giant sauna. But the dancers crowding the floor at the iconic tiki bar don't give a shit. In fact, they're writhing and grooving as if trying to will a storm into the place so it can soak them all and take them to Zion.

Or something like that. What's moving everyone is Reggae Sunday. Younger couples skank, high-step and spin one another around, ballroom style. Groups of beach cougars, gray-haired couples and kids smile and loosen up their limbs to the songs of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and Gregory Isaacs--the faces carved onto the metaphoric Mount Rushmore of Reggae. Off to the side, a father teaches his doe-eyed daughter, her head full of braids, to dance to the band's stoned, one-two shuffle.

It's just 5:30 in the afternoon, yet the Beachcomber is already packed. From 3 to 7 p.m. every Sunday, George "Fully" Fullwood plunks down bass lines from his fingers as if transmitting straight from Trenchtown. To his right, drummer Rock Deadrick, guitarist and singer Bruno Coon, keyboardist John McKnight, and guitarist Tony Chin help him tear it up. And while most people who come to eat expensive seafood and dance to a cover band probably couldn't name any of the players, Fullwood and his crew get shoutouts of appreciation from the crowd throughout the evening. Because when Fullwood and his band perform songs such as "Jim Screechie," "Taxi Riddim" or their favorite Wailers songs, they're playing more than just covers; listen to the originals, and there's a decent chance it's one of Fullwood's bass lines you're hearing.

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Dinner In Five Parts Pairs Quality Food With Amazing Music

Courtesy of Jim Colombo
In the last 50 years, the way that we consume food has drastically changed. Take Buffalo Wild Wing's for example, you're offered an iPad to play games as you walk in the door. Sports stream throughout plasma's just about everywhere you look and contests for eating dangerously hot wings commence here and there, as well. Maybe you're more fond of staying in and whipping up a delicious, gluten-free, meal as you binge on Orange Is The New Black, but either way it's evident that the world is in need of a culinary renaissance. People are not only craving a richer dining experience, they're expecting it.

Wednesday, July 29th at 7p.m. Five Crowns will delight and entice attendees as they present Dinner In Five Parts. It's time to be present, taste that subtle hint of mache as it flirts with ricotta salata in your mouth and bare witness to how the dining landscape can shape your sensory experience.

Five courses, five pairings, five musicians, five sets, and five senses amiss the charming Corona Del Mar, English garden. Creative genius Allen Moon, of Santa Ana Sites, has brought together Chris Roundtree, of wild Up, to curate a live set list composed by Missy Mazzoli, Morton Feldman, Andrew Tholl, J.S. Back, and Jodie Landau.

The conventional setting of musicians gathering before attendees will be stripped as performers intersperse throughout the space. Moon explains, "When you're able to break down the barriers it can become a very powerful experience. [Roundtree] breaks down formality and address' accessibility, allowing the audience to experience it in a personal way, that only can happen in this sort of environment."

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Phish Remind Us Why We Keep Swimming Back to See Them

Categories: live review

Scott Dudelson
Trey Anastasio of Phish (file photo)
The Forum

Phish made its return to The Forum in Inglewood Saturday night, their second show there in the span of nine months, a one-off evening in a string of two dozen concerts starting in the Pacific Northwest, down though California, across to Texas and the South, then up through the midwest before turning back East for the Magnaball festival in upstate New York.

For those keeping score at home, and many do, the Forum show is the one to beat this year--and might be for a while to come. The bar has been set, and it is a high one.

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Skapeche Mode Lead a Glowing Local Roster at Slidebar

Skapeche Mode performs at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The great thing about seeing local bands perform at a local venue (apart from the likelihood that the concert will be free) is that you really get to weigh the band by its musical and performance merits instead of by its popularity or any major buzz that it may have developed. Even in the case of The Radioactive Chicken Heads and Skapeche Mode, which already have developed enough of a following to pack the back room at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen, in Fullerton, the bands must truly shine in order to cultivate, maintain, and expand their fan bases. On Friday night, Slidebar hosted the aforementioned bands as well as Tiktaalik and MELTED, and each band subsequently showed what they could do given around 30 minutes of stage time.

Tiktaalik performs at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The first up was Tiktaalik. This high-concept, "post-core," three-piece outfit sounded like the soundtrack of someone who was being chased through a junkyard by wind-up robots. The lyrics were not that clearly discernible, but the guitarist / lead singer's Cobainesque shouting at one point seemed to reveal something about voluntary exile into disenfranchisement. The bassist laid down the solid tracks of this roller coaster ride while the drummer's vicious percussive attacks cleared the roller coaster's path with the relentlessness of a wrecking ball.

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Aloe Blacc Brings the Soul to Wayfarer Benefit Concert

Categories: live review

Josh Chesler
He's the man. He's the man. He's the man.
Aloe Blacc
The Wayfarer

Saturday night at the Wayfarer in Costa Mesa was one of those nights you don't see often enough, regardless of location or music scene.

People of all backgrounds, races, and walks of life filled the small venue. Preppy white guys boat shoes rubbed elbows with cholos in snapbacks as Coby Smith's mom and sister thanked everyone for coming out to the benefit concert his brothers at Abstract Workshop were holding for him. Hipsters with man-buns peered over cornrows and afros to get a peek of Exile working the turntables on stage, knowing that the biggest performer of the night was soon to take the stage.

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