Tonight is Your Last Chance to See the Mexican Spinal Tap for Free

Categories: Film

Volando Bajo
When the 5th OC Film Fiesta kicked off its series of free Latino-film screenings a month ago, it launched with a campy, musical mockumentary that crossed language barriers with its humorous glam and spot-on parody of Mexican pop music from the '80s.

Volando Bajo, a Beto Gomez film, follows the members of fictional musica romantica duo Los Jilgueros de Rosarito as they grow up besties on the beaches of Baja, rise to fame thanks to some perfectly teased hair and then crumble under the pressure of nationwide celebrity. In between, they perform their cheesy keyboard ballads in movies, music videos and televised musical performances--all dressed in outrageous polyester costumes that hark back to a long-gone era of Mexican popular culture.

Read more: OC Film Fiesta Soars High with Opening Night Film Flying Low

With the sound, look and feel of a past era, it's being hailed as the Mexican answer to This Is Spinal Tap, itself a well-produced parody of an over-the-top music scene.

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Ten Musical Projects Ikey Owens Made Great

David James Swanson
Ikey Owens on October 11 in Mexico City, performing with Jack White. More photos here.
By: Bree Davies
When Isaiah "Ikey" Owens passed away last week, the musician and producer left behind a massive legacy. Most recently the Long Beach, California native was on tour playing keyboards and piano with Jack White -- but he was also a member and founder of Free Moral Agents and was known for his role in seminal rock group the Mars Volta. Beyond his big time projects, Owens had also produced and played on dozens of records in his career, including respected local acts like Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Pocket Lent, Teen Heroes, Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, and loads of others.

But still, there was so much more -- Owens had been an integral part of the third wave ska revival in the '90s, worked with hip-hop, noise and R&B artists, toured the world with pivotal rock acts, all while continuing to play with and produce up-and-coming bands. His resume is pages long, but we've compiled just ten of the pieces of music you may not know Ikey Owens contributed to for your listening pleasure.

See also: Ikey Owens Was Long Beach's Ultimate Sonic Wingman

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VIDEO: Utility Box Art in Santa Ana

Categories: amusing videos


Back in early November 2013, news of the chance for artists to display their own designs onto electrical utility boxes in Santa Ana spread like wildfire across artists networks in the city--not only for the glory of showcasing their art onto a public street with plenty of exposure, but for the stipend of $700. We'll get paid!

Artists are frequently up for producing commissioned public art, but this project was different--it became seen by the artists as a gesture by the city council towards realizing the importance of art in the community. After hundreds of submissions, seven artists were chosen to paint on their own utility box in the downtown area, in what may be the first wave of utility box art in the city. This project, after all, was an experiment, and the end results were a success.

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Why Ariana Grande is Terrifying

Categories: LOL

By: Ben Tuthill

I feel the same way about pop star Ariana Grande as I do about kittens. Like a kitten, she is small, manic, and often has furry ears. Like a kitten, everyone in the world loves her. And, like a kitten, she fills me with deep, untenable terror.

Halloween's coming up (so is her show at the Hollywood Bowl this Friday) and the ubiquity of Grande-inspired costumes should hit an all-time high this year. This is not a reason to grin. It's a reason to lock your doors.

News reports have done nothing to quiet my petrifying fear of demon-plagued potential serial killer Ariana Grande. If she turns out to be a sociopath who takes over the world and destroys us, don't act like I didn't warn you in a completely reasoned way.

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Damon Wayans is Always Thinking Outside Of the Box

The journey has been hard and that's how I know it's good.
When you think about Damon Wayans (and you are of that "certain age") you no doubt think of stand-out characters like Homey the Clown, Anton Jackson, and Handi-Man from In Living Color. Some of you might even think about Major Payne, The Last Boy Scout, or My Wife and Kids.

Whatever you know the name from, this man has paved the way for many by dipping his toes in a lot of roles but this incredibly talented Wayans is also keeping his stand-up roots intact by headlining the Irvine Improv this weekend. Before the big shindig goes down October 23rd through 26th, we talked to Damon and found out that he dips those little tootsies in arenas well beyond the stage and screen.

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How Could 'War of the Worlds' Be Such a Bore?

Categories: Culture, Theater

It's hard to tell if the actors in War of the Worlds: The Radio Play are pretending to be radio actors afraid of a Martian invasion of Earth, or if they are real actors fighting boredom. Whatever the case, they're losing either battle.

The mother of all mass media hoaxes, the effects of Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre actors' 1938 radio performance of H.G. Wells 1898 sci-fi classic, while sensationalized by the newspapers of the time, certainly showed the power of that mass media. While there was nothing like the widespread panic in the streets of America we commonly associate with the event, there were enough people who believed the entirely fictitious performance that the Federal Communications Commission seriously considered mandating that all radio programming be reviewed by government censors before broadcast.

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Ikey Owens Was Long Beach's Ultimate Sonic Wingman

Categories: R.I.P.

Photo by Matt Cohn
Photo by Matt Cohn The Holden Community Wall, on 4th St. in Long Beach near Retro Row, has become a makeshift memorial to Ikey Owens.
For an interview in 2011, at 10 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, Isaiah "Ikey" Owens insisted on meeting for drinks at the V Room, a dive bar on 4th Street in Long Beach.

As he sipped a Jim Beam neat, he talked about hanging out in the early days with pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas (who were playing the Super Bowl halftime show that year), why he was considering leaving the behemoth prog-rock arena band The Mars Volta, and the creative inroads he was making through his new fledging career as a producer and mentor.

He also discussed at length his not-so-solo-anymore project, Free Moral Agents, which grew from a bedroom recording experiment into a psych-y, jazzy, beat-pummeling collective that was already playing places like Low End Theory. Having spent most of his time on stage as someone else's hired gun, he liked that it allowed him to do the hiring for once.

Few local session musicians built out their careers by working across genres and in roles as diverse as those tackled by Owens.

For the last two decades, the 38-year-old Long Beach-bred keyboardist and producer collaborated and performed with dozens of bands both local and large, earning his most public praise (and one Grammy) for his work with Long Beach Dub Allstars, The Mars Volta and, most recently, Jack White.

See also: Ikey Owens, Long Beach Legend, Dead at 38

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Moon Block Party - Pomona Fairplex - October 18, 2014

Corners performs at Moon Block Party (Photo by Scott Feinblatt)
Moon Block Party
Pomona Fairplex

The ethos of Phil Pirrone's Moon Block Party music festival is that it is "like a block party on the moon." This third annual event was thrown at the Pomona Fairplex, last Saturday, by Pirrone and his collective of artists and musicians. The event's website encouraged attendees to come dressed in "astronaut gear" or in an "alien 'costume,'" but while no one seemed to take the encouragement literally, plenty of colorful concertgoers turned up for this terrific festival.

The program for the one-day music festival consisted of 22 acts, performing on three stages; clothing, art, and food vendors; and a costume contest. The sets of the multitudinous bands lasted from a half hour to just over an hour -- the headlining bands' sets were the longest. Throughout the day, there were typically two performances occurring at any given time, and none of the set times were completely identical; so, upon the completion of one band's performance, its audience would collectively shuffle across the fairground of the horse-racing track / field and see what they had been missing at one of the other two stages.

See also: Creating Moon Block Party's Spacey Vibe Takes a Lot of Focus

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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

Wiz Khalifa--See Friday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Monday, October 20

The Constellation Room
Formed in Oxford, England, in 2004, TTNG originally named their band This Town Needs Guns, a cleverly ironic nod to the fact that no one in England really owns firearms. Then, as the group started to tour and gain popularity, especially in the United States--well, what was once a locally-appropriate inside joke became in danger of being taken seriously. So, they renamed, regrouped, and kept on math-rockin. With their beautifully complicated hooks, rhythms and beats, the men of TTNG (Henry Tremain and brothers Chris and Tim Collis) create a perfectly tangled sound lightened by buoyant vocals. Tonight marks the inaugural concert of their North American tour, with support from Mylets and Emma Ruth Rundle, presented by label Sargent House--don't miss it. (Erin DeWitt)

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Hozier - Immanuel Presbyterian Church - October 16, 2014

Categories: live review

Lilledeshan Bose
Immanuel Presbyterian Church

Andrew Hozier-Byrne took me to church last night. (There, I got that out of the way.)

Cheesy as it may seem, it made perfect sense that the 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Ireland would perform a sold-out show in a house of worship. After all, his self-titled debut was driven to the No. 2 spot in the Billboard charts by the bluesy, gospel single "Take Me to Church." The song, which talks about the hypocrisies of the Catholic church, was showcased by a video that featured a hate crime against a gay couple. It became a viral hit with more than 13.5 million views on YouTube and propelled a significant buzz around Hozier that culminated in last week's guest spot on Saturday Night Live.

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