The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene

Categories: Haterade

John Gilhooley
OC, you fuckin' suck! Love, the musicians and the fans
Orange County, your musicians have a bone to pick with you. Well, more than one bone actually. You see, for being the second-most populous county in the Greater L.A. area-- behind L.A. of course-- the only figure that beats our count of approximately 3 million citizens is the number of times we're reminded what a distant second that actually is when it comes to our music scene. And we're even further back when you compare us to the other national sonic Meccas like New York, Austin, Seattle, Nashville, wherever. And it's not because we don't have the talent, the drive, or the will to pack the biggest clubs or earn the most fans. If that were the case, those d-bags who live North of the 5 Fwy wouldn't be so eager to try and steal any artist with even a fartsworth of viable commercial potential--Cold War Kids, Young the Giant, Local Natives...the list goes on.

No, plenty of our musicians have the right stuff, it's just too bad they live in a place with all the wrong stuff, or--in many cases--no stuff at all. What little morsels of a respectable scene that we do have usually end up getting shut down or stolen, while the rest of the world paints us as this boring, white-bred suburb that even al Qaeda doesn't have time to bomb (but sure has time to recruit from...). Add that to the unshakable stereotype that all we have to offer sonically is a litany of No Doubt and Social Distortion wannabes and you have the perfect recipe for the red headed step child that is the OC musician. And boy, do we have issues.

Don't get us wrong, OC--you definitely have your inalienable charms, those sparkling gems of authentic community, culture and sonic rebellion hidden within your borders. Those will be discussed next week in a separate post. But sometimes, let's face it, you suck balls. And right about now, we'd like to tell you why. Recently, the Weekly polled a number of musicians who had long-gestating gripes about the task of supplying your live entertainment. And since most of them are too broke or cheap to afford any kind of therapy, bitching to us was the next best thing. Behold, our list of the 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene.

50. After all your band expenses, the pay for gigs out here is peanuts.--John Gilhooley, The Yeastie Boys

49. Someday, hopefully a cool Fullerton venue will replace the Slidebar.--Cameron Crowe, Audacity

48. The OC Music Awards has 8-10 different rock sub genres with their own award category but only one hip-hop, one electronic and zero R&B/soul...sad--Damien B, BLOK

47. When the old Avalon Bar in Costa Mesa double booked our gig night, again, for the third time in a row--Robin Davey, Well Hung Heart

46. Dahga Bloom doesn't throw shows at their Anaheim warehouse anymore. Bummer. --Jared Henderson, Douglas and the Furs

45. Everywhere you look, too many instrument owners and not enough real musicians--Evan Stone, Translucent Ham Sandwich Band

Keith May
The OC Music Awards...reminding the rest of the world how white we are!

44. The reality check of having to go to work the day after playing a sold-out show at the Anaheim House of Blues! --Eric Bootow, Sederra

43. Getting out of a weekday show at 1a.m. and In-N-Out is already closed. Late night food options are slim. We need a Swingers or Kitchen 24 here.--Maya Tuttle, The Colourist

42. Going to Continental Room and having to wade through sets of perpetual youth garage bands, who can't write a song or play a tune to save their life, just to see a band that you only kinda like.--Lucas Drake, Dahga Bloom

LP Hastings
Swimming past the usual sea of bros. Fun times...not.

41.When the champagne runs out at the club where you're DJing. That would never happen in LA!--Bruce Karlsson, Norin and Rad

40. Breaking down at the studio. Loading up the van. Unloading at the venue. Loading onto stage. Loading off stage. Loading back into the van. Loading back into the studio.--Jeremy Schnaible, The Field Trip

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Don't take all these too serious. OC Music is great, Blok, Robert Jon, Audacity all have killer music and shows. Let off some steam music biz it's a hard game you guys are playing


There will be a Nother segment this article


I feel even more disenchanted by the musicians who participate in the gripe of the oc music scene after reading this. Be the change you want to see in the world! 


Sean Slouka's comment was the worst. Elitists jerks aren't very punk rock. 


As someone who actually goes to shows in oc and la. I prefer oc. All those reasons given just sound like people whining. I think the music scene involves the fans and the concert goers as well. I think their opinion should have been asked. Because without them there isn't a music scene.


Hipsters and poser DJs/promoters taking credit for other promoters work ahem Poserester and poser droog!


51. People trying to ignore that there are a lot of good extreme metal bands (death metal, black metal, grind, ect.) in orange county. not just beach pretty boys like avenged sevenfold.

52. When there's a metal show at a small club or bar the venue doesn't even promote it. But they'll promote the hell out of a show where 2 DJs push buttons for an hour

53. Being from Orange County and people knowing you more in L.A. than at home since all your gigs are over there.

tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

The first one is no jobs, I used to do recording engineering and the muscians were always complaining about artistic differences, did it for 2 years and then got out. Seems to be a bit better nowadays with the advent of more technological means. But I still prefer that old analog sound and compared to the newer stuff. It's too compressed nowadays.

Randall Avilez
Randall Avilez

it really sucked when Unit B went down. that was pretty much the only good thing about Orange County

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Tell that to Manic Hispanic...


These don't sound like OC Music scene problems, they sound like whiny musician problems.

Alicia Diaz
Alicia Diaz

Maybe we need a group happy birthday medley on our ukeleles. I went to jarana class with Cesar yesterday... my fingertips have a hangover.

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