Kitten's Chloe Chaidez Young Career Shows Maturity and Cat-Like Reflexes

Categories: Bands We Like

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Hana Ardelean and Jennifer Szilvagyi
At an early age, Chloe Chaidez knew she was different from other kids. While her friends were playing with toys and learning how to play the recorder, Chaidez was drawn to the raw power that music afforded her. What she didn't realize when she started playing bass at 10 was that her love of this creative outlet and her ability to harness an immense talent would become a full-fledged career.

Chaidez was born to a punk-rockin' father who played drums in LA underground outfit Thee Undertakers. Her dad blared classic rock and punk, but the young Chaidez was also drawn to the sounds of David Bowie, Sigur Ros and Band of Horses.

Now 19, the singer/songwriter has a vast musical knowledge that goes beyond her years as a player. Her music has been described as fusing genres as far-ranging as new wave, R&B, and '80s dance pop. This diverse sound has allowed Kitten to open for the likes of No Doubt, Paramore and Charli XCX.

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The Dwarves and The Queers - Alex's Bar - July 16, 2014

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Ryan Ritchie
The Dwarves
The Dwarves and The Queers
Alex's Bar
7/16/2014

As far as Dwarves shows go, last night's at Alex's Bar was fairly uneventful. And by that, I mean no one got naked, stabbed, punched or vomited on. Then again, the self-proclaimed best band ever (seriously, they have a song called "The Dwarves Are Still The Best Band Ever") ditched their infamous on-stage debauchery sometime in the mid to late 1990s, so if you went to Long Beach looking for sex and violence, you were probably let down.

That said, the current Dwarves -- singer Blag Dahlia, guitarist The Fresh Prince of Darkness, bassist Chip Fracture and drummer Gregory Pecker -- still fucking rule. Of course, the absence of long-time guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed was sorely missed, but anytime a naked man in a wrestling mask isn't somewhere, absences will be sorely missed.


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Rx Bandits Write a Proggier Prescription For Their New Record

Categories: Bands We Like

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Sonny Kay
Don't call it a comeback, because technically, Rx Bandits only broke up for a year. But about three years ago, it sounded like the Long Beach ska/punk-turned-prog outfit were calling it quits for good: The guys announced that they would stop touring back after a 36-date summer excursion across North America in 2011.

With that announcement, it seemed like at the very least the band would be on extended hiatus, even though guitarist Steve Choi did caveat at the time that it wasn't a breakup per se. Still, for a lot of medium-level national acts 16 years into their career, that might have been it. And lot of people thought the band might be donezo, both inside and outside the organization.


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The Adolescents Unleash Venom Inspired By Kelly Thomas on La Vendetta

Categories: Bands We Like

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Josue Rivas
If you live in Orange County and you're unfamiliar with the Adolescents, then I don't know what to tell you. In 2003, this paper named the group the No. 1 greatest OC band ever, but that's not just hometown bias as the Adolescents - founded in Fullerton in 1979 - helped create and spread American hardcore across the world thanks to 1981's self-titled record (aka "The Blue Album"), and are bona fide punk royalty. Luckily, the Adolescents have been more active in the past decade than ever in their career. I say "luckily" because the band has released four full-length albums since 2004 (along with an EP and a split LP) that - in an almost unheard of feat in reunited punk bands - don't suck.

Part of what makes these records worthy of the Adolescents moniker is the signature harmonies and pop-infused songwriting created by bassist Steve Soto. The other is singer Tony Cadena/Adolescent/Montana/Brandenburg/Reflex, whose ability to capture frustration, hope and despair in a three-minute song is rivaled only by his voice, which is both melodic and guttural. So, yeah, when OC's best opens for the Offspring (OC's most well-known band not named No Doubt) Friday at the Pacific Amphitheatre, you should ditch the fried food line and show up early.We spoke to Soto Wednesday to discuss his band's latest, La Vendetta, which has a song and artwork that's going to get people talking.

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Pennywise Dig Into Their Vault for Yesterdays

Categories: Bands We Like

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Kane Hibberd
It's been a long, weird road for Pennywise, the iconic punk band from Hermosa Beach, but the past five years may have been the strangest. Their new album, Yesterdays, features the return of singer/founding member Jim Lindberg, who stepped off the hamster wheel of touring and recording in 2009 to stay home with his wife and three kids.

"It was time for a break," Lindberg says. "The other guys wanted to keep going right away, and unfortunately, it led to a split. . . . It was time for me to reconnect with my family."
Pennywise soldiered on after Lindberg's departure with Ignite front man Zoli Téglás, who performed with the band for about three years and provided vocals on the 2012 album All or Nothing. Sadly, during a show in Germany, Téglás was hurt and needed emergency back surgery. Lindberg and guitarist Fletcher Dragge had quietly mended fences since the split, and with Téglás ready to leave the band, the door was open for Lindberg's return.
"We were due to have Jim back--let's put it that way," Dragge says. "We wanted him back, and he wanted to come back, and it all worked out."

After some international and West Coast tour dates, the reunited members of Pennywise cut Yesterdays, their 11th album, out July 15 on Epitaph Records. The 11 tracks come from the group's backyard party days, and many were written by deceased bassist Jason Thirsk in the late '80s and early '90s.


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Superhero Band the Aquabats Celebrate Turning 20

Categories: Bands We Like

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The Aquabats are 20 this year.

If that sounds crazy to you, imagine what that means to its members: That's 20 years of tights-wearing, gravity-defying, villain-fighting, rock & roll shenanigans on stage. Led by the M.C. Bat Commander, backed up by Crash McLarson, Jimmy the Robot, Ricky Fitness and Eagle "Bones" Falconhawk, this 'super'-team never really planned on staying together for two decades. And yet here they are: middle-aged men in superhero costumes, entertaining kids and kids at heart everywhere. Guess the adage is true: Time does fly when you're having fun.

Over the phone, the indefatigable MC Bat Commander (Christian Jacobs to you noobs) -- lover of fast food, sporter of black, obsidian tooth and curly, drawn-on mustache -- is pretty matter-of-fact about it. "We've never had much ambition to be a band, we were always just having fun. It's pretty ridiculous and very absurd that we've been able to do this for 20 years.But ... pretty cool too."

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Strung Out Revisit Their Old Albums Before Releasing a New One

Categories: Bands We Like

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Luis Ramos
When asked for his thoughts on Strung Out's heyday in the 1990s, the first word Jason Cruz uses to describe the decade is "weird." Fundamentally, there wasn't anything especially bizarre about the decade of Simpson, Lewinsky, Jordan and Titanic, but when you consider the vocalist's unusual life experiences, yeah, that time must have been pretty strange. "It was definitely a lot of traveling for me and a very crazy time in my life," he says, before offering this observation: "One key thing I can say is when I first started going to Europe in '94, people liked Americans still."

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Jack White - Fox Theater - June 12, 2014

Categories: Bands We Like

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Christopher Victorio / OC Weekly
Jack White
Fox Theater
6/12/14

About 15 minutes before Jack White took the stage, a snazzily dressed gentleman came up to address the crowd. Presumably an edict from the man many call the Willy Wonka of rock, White's representative urged the crowd to put down their smartphones and instead of reliving the evening at a later date or to show off the night's action to their friends, to enjoy the moment they're in right now. There are few musicians these who could make a proclamation through a proxy and have it be obeyed. Jack White is in that select group.

Even with the stray smartphone that captured the action, the rocker's two-hour set was full striking bombast. If this were a boxing match, the first part of the evening was White landing body blow after body blow, before unleashing a series of uppercuts and strong right hooks as the night wore on. White's smattering of guitars unleashed a thunderous version of the blues that's as gritty as it is salacious. Combine that with a ferocious backing band that's able to meet the guitarist's distinct musical needs, that manage to blend blues, alt rock, rockabilly and country, you have the recipe for a set that's eclectic as the singer's back catalog.

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Members of Legendary Bay Area Band Crucifix Flash Back With 1984

Categories: Bands We Like

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Ed Colver
Crucifix line up in the early '80s
By: Naheed Simjee
It's been 30 years since Corpus Christi Records released Dehumanization by San Francisco hardcore band Crucifix. Regarded as one of the most influential anarchopunk albums of the '80s, the 14-track LP is 23 minutes of loud, fast, raw, straightforward punk.

To commemorate its anniversary, two of Crucifix's original members--Sothira Pheng and Jimmy Crucifix--have formed the outfit 1984, which, they insist, is not a reunion band. But it is a tribute band featuring them and members of a Crucifix cover band performing Dehumanization in its entirety. So why not call the band Crucifix? "If we called it Crucifix," Pheng explains, "it would have to be all the guys originally in the band." People have been asking the band for years about a reunion. Original guitarist Matt Borruso and drummer Chris Douglas have kids and careers. (Pheng and Jimmy Crucifix have consistently played in bands.)


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Rival Sons Are Setting Themselves Up For a Really Big Year

Categories: Bands We Like

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Since the release of their last record in 2012, Long Beach's Rival Sons have been traveling across the globe spreading their brand of arena-ready blues rock. As the band geared up to record their fourth full-length, Great Western Valkyrie they underwent some changes. Bassist Robin Everhart left the band and they've powered on with Dave Beste filling in. Between opening for Aerosmith in Europe, and an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman (which they compare to "playing a thousand shows because of its reach) when they return stateside, Rival Sons have a busy couple of months ahead of them. Just after the band's set at Rock Am Ring in Germany, we spoke to singer Jay Buchanan who fills us on the changes within the band, life on the road and of course, Aerosmith.

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