The Five Must- See Shows in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

Youth Lagoon--See Thursday
Monday, September 30
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Toro Y Moi
The Observatory
Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bundick makes pure vibe music--actually, he kind of makes pure vibes, with every song a snapshot of its own moment and its own world. On most recent album Anything In Return, he glides through a post-chillwave--we can say that now, right?--sound where every pixel is in its perfect place, and where the zoned-out digital blur of atmospheric acts like Gas meets radio R&B, dusted-off 8-bit bleeps and his distinct from-a-distance vocals. Some reviewers are saying this stuff is too sweet or too soft or even a little too scared to be something else, but there's substance back there in the haze, even if its hard to make out at first. Go slow with the lights low and you'll find it.
(Chris Ziegler)

Tuesday, October 1

The Writer's Den
Harvelle's Long Beach
Musicians looking to turn aspirations into live performances get their shot with the Writers Den open mic night at Harvelle's in Long Beach. The weekly residency came to fruition thanks to celebrated local songstress, Stacy Clark--the New York native molded the event after her own encouraging experience with an open mic night in Buffalo. Clark offers other artists the same opportunity by creating a welcoming vibe in a noteworthy venue--seasoned acts warm up the house before the stage opens to the public (and nervous newcomers). Catering to a drinking-age crowd, Writers Den kicks off this week, running every Tuesday through December, and offers hopeful singer/songwriters a chance to step into the spotlight, if only for a night, and share their music with a captive audience. (Heidi Darby)

Wednesday, October 2

Noah and the Whale
House of Blues Anaheim
If the thought of another English band with indie-folk leanings makes your intestines writhe, take heart, we're not plugging Mumford and Sons. Rather, Noah and the Whale is a five-piece UK group who built their sound on sweetly woeful melodies, and clever lyrics (as opposed to ham-fisted hyper banjoing). The only thing actually hyper about these guys is their ambition--in 2009, frontman Charlie Fink shot a full-length movie titled The First Days of Spring to accompany an eponymous album. Sure, a lot of it was maudlin guitars laid over images of the English countryside shot from a vintage car, but the album's occasionally clichéd moments give way to soaring violin crescendos that inspire chills. With songs about lonely bar maids rocking pendulum hips, Noah and the Whale call to mind the haunting moodiness of Sigur Ros, with the wit of Belle and Sebastian. Best of all, the banjo is kept to a minimum. (Brandon Ferguson)

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