TGIF: Agent Orange, Yo La Tengo, T-Pain and Gang of Four

Categories: Weekend Picks
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Brian Kasnyik
Agents have diplomatic immunity?
Friday kicks off the weekend with Agent Orange ripping into things at Friar Tuck's Bar and Grille in Pomona. It may seem odd to have a now-veteran act be our Locals Only focus this week, but Mike Palm has always been about the area he grew up and started his band in. Their earliest efforts will always be the ones people remember, mostly thanks to "Bloodstains" getting extensive KROQ airplay, but they have kept the flag flying ever since. The band returned to action a bit thanks to last year's Halloween single, and Palm and Co. still kick out the surf-punk jams live.


Also that night in Pomona, Eluveitie swings through town at the Glass House along with 3 Inches of Blood and Holy Grail. Eluveitie carry the mantle of Swiss heavy metal, an idea that is far less surprising than might be thought--just ask any Celtic Frost fan or Young Gods freak, to name just two. Like plenty of modern metal bands, Eluveitie are all about ancient roots, real or perceived, to the point where their Celtic elements have resulted in full acoustic albums along with the electric ones.
 

Saturday means Winter Jam '11 at the Anaheim Convention Center-- and if you are not going for bass and volume, then we're a little confused by what you are going for. T-Pain, lord of all he surveys (or at least a good chunk of the charts in recent years), headlines, while Waka Flocka Flame will be pulling in God knows how many people who post obsessively about him on Twitter, Too Short and E-40 will be there for the Bay Area expats and YG will be making the case for 21st-Century Compton on top of everything else. There's even Basicali for an OC connection:

Another Saturday night show features Billy Kernkamp, Canvas, Skee & the Motion Detectors, Robert Jon and Names in Vain doing a sort of local showcase at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Canvas has been getting a little attention as of late thanks to performances at the OC Music Awards, as have Skee & the Motion Detectors, so, if you missed out on those sets, here's a second chance. Meanwhile, Billy Kernkamp continues to play the warm and inspired mix of styles that has helped make his name in recent years--a modern Americana that's happily rooted in past and present:


Sunday finds Gang of Four, our featured artist this week, taking a turn through the House of Blues in Anaheim--and after thirty years on from their debut, the band's history and impact continues to inspire and confound in equal measure. Members Jon King and Andy Gill have been the only ones on every album over the years, and their reputation rests firmly on the earliest releases. Songs like "At Home He's A Tourist" and "I Found That Essence Rare" remain powerhouse combinations of brutal punk, astringent funk and self-doubting Marxist analysis. They're touring behind new album Contact:


Sunday is also when the Garage Theatre celebrates a decade of their own dramatic performances at Alex's Bar in Long Beach. The independent collective has made their name over time with efforts like productions of plays by Clive Barker, revues based on Shel Silverstein's saucier tunes and much more, so it's little wonder they're out to celebrate with a raucous party of their own. Plus some help from others--Long Beach compatriots Korey Dane's singer-songwriter rock and Sam Outlaw's classic country music will be a part of it all:
 

Thursday ends another busy music week with Yo La Tengo playing at the Detroit Bar, with the threepiece doing one of their most inspired show ideas yet. There's no new album from the now legendary psych/art/indie rockers-- also one of our featured acts in this week's issue -- but taking a cue from people like Elvis Costello, they're spinning a big wheel each night to determine the first half of their set. So it's possible you might see them engage in a question and answer session, reenact a sitcom episode from TV with the help of their crew or just perform their Sounds of Science release without the films:
 

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