The OC Music Awards at the Lab Last Night

Categories: OC Music Awards
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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Jan. 26, 2011
The Lab, Costa Mesa

Last night saw round two of the Best Live Acoustic Act category, and the competition was hit or miss. Of the five groups who performed, only two stood out.  Here's the breakdown.

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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
The Orange Effect: This amiable little quartet opened with three-part harmonies so pitch-perfect, it was almost jarring. And unlike most bands in this competition, they kept it totally acoustic. If there was one criticism to be leveled, it's that the soaring harmonies and melodies are a touch reminiscent of Local Natives. That's no sin in and of itself, but it seems in the wake of that band's rising profile that there are lots of indie bands currently mining this creative well.

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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Brothers of the Castle: Holy shit, either Thin Lizzy singer Phi Lynott has been resurrected and cloned, or I'm hallucinating double. Just kidding, but co-vocalists/twin brothers David and Daniel Alcala  do bear a striking resemblance to the late rocker. But visual similarities is where the comparisons stop. These guys play a sappy brand of schmaltz pop that draws on influences from Coldplay, Burt Bacharach and Dave Mathews Band. There were moments when this band showed some genuine chops (at least one brother studied classical guitar in college), but they also seemed to have a problem gelling as a unit. Guitar intros would collide clumsily with keyboards, and the brothers' voices hit flat notes several times throughout the performance. And don't get me started on the lyrics "Don't worry, I won't let you down/I don't want to lost what I have found."

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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
I Hate You Just Kidding: Standout band No. 2. This folksy foursome employed a small arsenal of instruments--including banjo, harmonica, ukelele and violin. And though they have chosen a musical configuration similar to Dusty Rhodes and His River Band, IHYJK flips the switch thanks to vocalist Jessi Fulghum. Instead of jamming the sanguine anthems found in Rhodes' work, this comely young lass weaves chill melodies with a youthful, high-pitched register mixed with the torch-song smokiness of an old soul. The music may not be incredibly uplifting, but the performance and chemistry between Fulghum and guitarist Jeremy Brock were compelling.

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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
The Case Brothers: I'll keep it short on this one. For some reason, this band had the best audience reaction of the evening, with several people shouting during the set and holding up lighters.The quartet specialize in nondescript, unplugged jams. Everybody played competently, and the singer was mostly on-key. But the standout song of their set was a cover of REM's "The One I Love." In fact, were it not for the vocalist's ridiculous get-up, I may have nothing to say about these guys. So Case Brothers lead singer, for wearing a black scarf with pinstriped, stretch flared pants and hair painstakingly configured to make it look like you don't pay attention to how you look, I thank you.

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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Fast Forward Romance: A boy/girl duo who can't decide if they're from OC or New York. Rumor has it vocalist Natalie Distler is an actress best-known for her work in the Dennis Leary FX vehicle Rescue Me. These two youngsters play a high-energy brand of hip-hop-infused pop that draws on influences from 311 to Fergie.  Call it suburban contemporary. For being just a vocalist with a guitar player, they actually sounded good. I was actually tapping my toes when the Weekly's interim music editor Danielle Bacher leaned over to me and said, "I feel like this music should be in a Pepsi commercial."

The Crowd: Lots of media photographers. A little more sparse than previous awards showcases, perhaps thanks to the Lab's shitty parking situation. Lots of pretty girls wearing elaborate boots. This truly is a golden age for crazy feminine footwear.

Overheard: "This is the greatest band of all time," said one belligerent fan into the microphone after clamoring onstage just before the Case Brothers' set.

Random Notebook Dump: A Wahoo's roach coach was serving $2 tacos. It seemed like they were stuffed with more food than the ones you buy in the restaurant.

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27 comments
PFERG
PFERG

Brandon, your a terrible writer...FACT! Know your music and style before you comment on other bands and people you know nothing about. I think The Case Brothers and their followers were the hit of the show. Sounded great as a band and COME ON MAN why would you even question why they had the loudest crowd. ummmm maybe it's because they were by far the best band out there with the Weird Al Yankavich twins coming in a solid second. The Case Brothers don't smell fear, fear smells the Case Brothers. And for the one belligerent fan into the microphone after clamoring onstage just before the Case Brothers' set. That was a slow Tuesday for him, at least someone got the place to wake up. Your welcome, LOVE THE CASE FOLLOWERS. BEST BAND OF ALL TIME! YOUR WELCOME!

OC Music Awards
OC Music Awards

Thank you to all five of the night's performers for playing, your music, for us.

LittleMissDisaster
LittleMissDisaster

Did you get your writing degree from a Cracker Jack Box? Let me guess, you think The Rolling Stones is a creek in Colorado and your favorite band is Fall Out Boy. Those who don't know music shouldn't write about it. Cory Case has more talent and balls in his pinky, than you could ever dream of having. You should probably leave your bitterness about that out of the article. Also, for all of you that say I Hate You Just Kidding was so much better, you probably shouldn't base your opinions on the fact that you want to nail the chick singer. As for OC Weekly, you just lost an avivd reader. Your writers are worse than a cheap prostitute, at least with the prostitute you get the thrill you find out what disease you just contacted. Your writers are nothing but bitter, cynical trolls, who can't get their facts straight for the life of them.

Barkley
Barkley

"Professors" vs "grammar school"? Octave pedals? Echo box?You, sir, have no idea what you're talking about ;-)

You had better hope someone didn't professionally record that set. The only thing saving those vocals is a bad memory :-)

the ripper
the ripper

I just listened to "Beautiful Girl" by the Case Brothers- WOW. Oh yea, the backups were off- give me a break- they were right on. What should they do use an octave divider? The problem is these are professors competing against people in grammar school. Cory has been ripping every aspect of guitar for 14 years- he played the crazy train lead- tapping to perfection on the steps of cdmhs with his flying v at age 15. Since then he has grown leaps and bounds and moved towards intricate acoustic rhythms, vocal harmonies and meaningful song writing. Go back to school Brandon Ferguson... go back to school.

Phillip
Phillip

Barkley and Opeachy- you guys are obviously linked to other performers- whatever- as newcomers I will help you out- Case played solo in 2009 against many bands that had bass and keyboards. If simple major chords and standard riffs are your bag- fine- but you obviously don't know much about backup vocals- listen to Mick and Kieth, the Dead, CSN, isolate them and you will notice the backups are off key- ON PURPOSE. Anyone can sing backups an ocatve higher or lower- just give me a pillow so I can smother myself.

Ocpeachy
Ocpeachy

I agree with Barkley. This review is right on, and Case's bass player's harmonies were unbearable. IHYJK sounded great..wish they had a little more variety and picked up the tempo a bit sometimes, but they were definitely the best of the night. What happens when electric instruments are used in the acoustic showcases? Are any points taken off for that? (example: Case Brothers' electric bass and other bands that had keyboards)?

Barkley
Barkley

Great review. And pretty right on.The Orange Effect and IHYJK were the standouts of the night.These other posters (Candice & Philip) are obvious shills.Case's bassist's harmonies were very off - and electric bass? Wtf

Steven
Steven

These OC Music Awards reviews are pretty harsh. You're a good writer and I enjoy reading them, but it's a little distracting and off-putting when they are littered with ad hominem attacks concerning fashion and nonconstructive criticism.

John Smith
John Smith

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Phillip
Phillip

insert (their) and (threw) where appropriate- this guy messes with my typing

Phillip
Phillip

Wait, the Case Brothers cover was there best song? you do drink the bong water. They just through that together last minute- the rest of their originals blow on that song. Oh wait further, you probably like those songs with three basic chords because that is all you can play. The kid has about 100 original songs that any band with (an) ear(s) would love to call their own.

Phillip
Phillip

What an unbelievably poor review- the Case Brothers are amazing- see the review by KROQ. The last blogger is right on- He has already won best live acoustic and without his help, the Shys never would have won best rock band in 2009 because they needed his bass playing. As a musician, I no something about harmony and none of the other bands came close, except for perhaps up and down octaves. The Case Brothers on the other hand provided three part harmonies that were all in different keys- yes- sorry to inform but that it how the best of them do it. You sir or madam are obviously ignorant and/or biased and your useless opinion belongs nowhere but in the urinal.

 Candice
Candice

what instrument do you play?- the person you are ripping on- cory case, won best live acoustic in 2009 and also helped the shys win their best rock band in 2009 as he was there bass player throughout the previous year for which they were judged. Besides his incredible song writing ability and acoustic guitar playing he has a doctorate degree in ripping electric guitar as he can play any zep, jimi or stones lead you have ever heard- he simply prefers acoustic because the intricate rhythms are more challenging. You are obviously biased and have no business reporting on this subject. I wager that you are most likely a person without any skill whatsoever- you can 't even give a band a proper written lashing. bad luck to you for the rest of your days. Oh, btw, read the review given by kroq. you might want to stop drinking the bong water.

Phillip
Phillip

Well put- civilized people can disagree, especially with respect to the arts. I would have had no need to get into a hate blog contest with anyone- I respectfully clapped for each of the bands that played that night as I do for all fellow musicians. Notwithstanding, when a coward like Brandon Ferguson rights a story this ugly, I feel the need to retort. Anyhow, the videos speak for themselves. Bravo

Bladerunner347
Bladerunner347

Hi Bakley.... I'll give you "The one I love".... kind of blew that one..... gettin over the flu and just couldn't quite get the high register..... I've listened back to the rest of it though and actually thought it sounded pretty darn good.... As far as the music is concerned, I think Cory writes great tunes and we brought what this gig so desparately needed, some energy. Sorry you missed it. If nothing else, you'll at least have to admit that there was a groove on stage and the audience reacted to it. FYI: we can play.... If you missed that too then I don't know what to say other than.... Your entitled to your opinion....

Rob

Phillip
Phillip

That's funny child, because it just so happens that I just watched a video taken from an iphone and it was very impressive- go back to your bong water

Phillip
Phillip

I hope you did not hack into our facebook pages- If so, you will be receiving a summons forthwith.

Phillip
Phillip

Barkley, you are most certainly a waste of my time. Bad luck to you son.

Phillip
Phillip

I have been playing music for 35 years. My only hope is that someone professionally recorded the sets so that the judges can make INFORMED and INTELLIGENT votes. You people are biased, that's fine- but the guy who wrote this article is incredibly unprofessional and compromised.

Phillip
Phillip

very off, thank you- THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN A DIFFERENT KEY- IF YOU WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER VOICE IN THE SAME KEY GET AN ECHO BOX.

advocate666
advocate666

every review on kroq.com blew the musicians literally and metaphorically, don't use that as a point of reference for someone's talent. my mom thinks i sing great karaoke too.

Barkley
Barkley

Nope, just felt the need to point out that you're Cory's parents ;-)And a good day to you, sir!

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