The Five Must-See Shows in OC This Week

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Primal Fear--See Thursday
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Tuesday, May 13

In the Valley Below
Constellation Room
Los Angeles Duo In The Valley Below have a harmonious union between their two members Jeffrey Jacobs and Angela Gail, so it's surprising to know that the two only got to know each other fairly recently; according to the group, both met years into their adulthood from mutual social circles after Gail moved to LA from Michigan. Their separate musical upbringings have united to form a soulful collaboration characterized by a lush, melodic pop sound and soft vocals. But listen deeper past the danceable nature of their music and you'll be entranced by the lyrics as they sing emotional songs about love, heartbreak and, in their own words, "sex, crime and religion." But hey, they still keep it light and fun, which you'll be able to see tonight when they play The Constellation Room in Santa Ana. (Aimee Murillo)

The Mercy Beat
The Constellation Room
Los Angeles based trio The Mercy Beat maintain an air of secrecy. They haven't gone on record with their full names, and not much about them is known, other than they're transplanted from New York, Hong Kong, and Hawaii, and that they're named for the British Invasion-era Liverpool music newspaper Mersey Beat. (Can you can believe tabloid-format music rags once existed?) Their debut, self-titled EP comes out June 17 on the French label Oskar Recordings. But you know what? The first song, "Sweet," is so sublime that we won't hold their secrecy against them. With its buoyant beat and shimmering synths, it feels like summer. (Ben Westhoff)

Wednesday, May 14

Iggy Azalea
The Observatory
Rapper Iggy Azalea grew up in Tinytown, Australia, where her grandma made her custom outfits and she did her own hip-hop routine at the school dance, and everyone else thought she must have been insane. But then she moved to the USA all by herself at age 16 and clawed her way from those initial WTF? years to a 2012 XXL cover--she was the first woman and first non-American to get in one of those "Freshman Class" shots--and now after a long delay, her major label debut The New Classic drops. It's a very determined album, and a very Iggy release: ambitious and intense, powered by her reverse-engineered Southern sound and sheer unflagging charisma. And knowing Iggy, it's prelude to something truly unique in the near future. (Chris Ziegler)

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