OC Music Awards At the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana Last Night

Categories: OC Music Awards
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
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The OC Music Awards really give new meaning to the phrase "awards season." A months-long competition like this really starts to test the resolve of even the most intrepid music blogger. Last night saw the Gypsy Den's small stage hosting performers competing in the Best Acoustic Act category. The venue was packed to the rafters early in the evening. Here's the breakdown:

Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

Justin Soileau:
My deepest apologies to Justin Soileau for missing his performance. After navigating traffic on the 55 freeway on my way from the Weekly's offices in Costa Mesa, I had a little time to spare before the show started. I thought I might sate my ravenous hunger at Memphis. Who knew an order for a po' boy would take the staff 40 minutes to receive, prepare and make change for. It was sort of a bummer considering there couldn't have been more than 15 people in the joint. So in lieu of a review, enjoy this recent Locals Only we did on Mr. Soileau.

Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

Micah Brown:
 I know I'm going to catch a lot of shit for this one. As I write this, I can still clearly picture the bevy of young girls shimmying and singing along with every one of Brown's laidback-yet-upbeat jams. I can't ignore the fact this guy sings his lyrics and strums his gitbox with a cadence immediately reminiscent of Jack Johnson. Naturally, this is an easy way to get girls' attention and sort of lazy, especially when it's clear Brown is an incredibly talented guitar player. Toward the end of his set, he performed the song "I'm Going Fishin" accompanied by a young lady on violin, which really showcased some impressive and nimble fingerpicking. The bluesy progression also demonstrated that Brown is capable of playing music with an edge.

Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

Parker Macy Blues:
As you may or may not know, Parker Macy pulls double duty as the guitarist for metal band Pistolero, one of the standout bands from least week's Tiki Bar show. But as the name of this project implies, this music represents an undeniable stylistic departure. Though Macy's lyrical material still involves metal fodder such as demons falling in love with righteous women and slaying their lovers, this is a blues band through and through. But Macy brings the passion and energy from his metal act, which is filtered loud and clear through the 12-bar format. During his performance, Macy's face wore a scowl and beads of sweat clung to his skin. Making efficient use of minimal stage equipment, he competently interspered his leads with rhythms as though he were a one-man band. The big criticism from me has nothing to do with his energy or commitment, but rather his raspy growl, which seems derivative of Tom Waits. And while I feel there's nothing wrong with paying homage to the greats, there really can only be one Tom Waits.

Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

Danny Maika:
 I have a hard time criticizing this guy because he easily had the brightest, most inviting smile of anyone in this competition. With his large silhouette, fedora, and penchant for long-winded stories about his failed relationships with women and his former job at an Apple store, he had the demeanor of a contestant on the reality show Last Comic Standing. Sadly, his lyrics, which accompanied sanguine, upbeat folk songs with "humorous" lyrical twists, failed to illicit any laughs from me. Worst of all, Orange County has another Jack Johnson/G Love protoge in Maika. 

Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

The Foxxhound:
According to singer Daniel Morones, this band have had more experience playing for the homeless folks of the Santa Ana art walk than a legitimate audience. Hopefully, that will change. These guys kept it simple with some straightforward yet languid folk-rock. Morones sings in a near-falsetto, with a thin rasp that cracks like a reed and calls Kings of Leon vocalist Anthony Caleb Followill to mind. His partner in crime, cellist Lizzi Murtough, had the wan complexion and delicate, girlish features of a character out of a Louisa May Alcott novel and the pathos to match. The Weekly's interim music editor,  Danielle Bacher, was heard remarking, "She's the saddest girl to ever hold a cello." 

Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

The Crowd:
 Members from other awards-show showcases including Trish from Honeypie and Kyrsten Gammon from She Screams Remedy. Damien Blaise and Gianna Gianna from BLOK were also in attendance.

Overheard: "I'm too sexy for this show," said Danny Maika before leaving the stage at the end of his performance.

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