The Five Best Rocket from the Crypt Songs

Greg Jacobs
You know that old saying parents love to use about how impossible it is to pick their favorite child? Well, I don't have kids, but I bet choosing little Marisa over that brat Johnny is much easier than having to choose the five best Rocket from the Crypt songs. Don't believe me? Consider these three facts:

1. Most kids suck, so if one is good it's gotta be pretty easy to figure out your favorite.

2. According to the all-knowing, the San Diego sextet has released seven full-length albums, a live record, three compilations, two EPs and more than 20 7-inches. Them's a lot of songs.

3. Rocket from the Crypt is the greatest band in the world. Similarly, Rocket from the Crypt has been, since its inception in 1990, the greatest band in the world, was the greatest band in the world even when they took a hiatus from 2005-2013 (and when they took a hiatus from their hiatus for 2011's appearance of the children's television program Yo Gabba Gabba!) and will continue to be the greatest band in the world until the day all humans die and robot cockroaches take over.

So picking the five best songs ain't easy. Also not easy is seeing Rocket from the Crypt this weekend as San Diego's finest are playing two sold-out shows as part of Alex's Bar's 15-year anniversary. And even harder is the fact that the band was supposed to play Sunday at the Observatory as part of the Indigo Fest, but that has been canceled.

Here, then, are the five best Rocket from the Crypt songs to get you through if you can't see them this weekend. And, in full disclosure, I love this band so much this list could be
completely different if I wrote it tomorrow.

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The Melvins' Commitment to Oddity Makes Them Influential

Categories: Bands We Like

Mackie Osbourne
Just after 2014 became 2015, the Melvins' drummer Dale Crover experienced one of his proudest moments in the band. Though their New Year's show was canceled, he and Buzz Osborne, the band's co-founders, decided to play an acoustic set at Permanent Records in Los Angeles. The duo were expecting a crowd and a nice showing; they didn't expect to have to play two packed shows in order to meet the demands of a line of rabid fans who circled an entire block to see the short set.

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Cambodian Rockers Dengue Fever Dug Deep to Reclaim Their Sound on The Deepest Lake

Categories: Bands We Like

Marc Walker
Dengue Fever thrives on the alchemy of old music. Derived from Cambodian pop of the 1960s and '70s, their style is a danceable, delightfully mutated mix of American surf, garage-rock psychedelia and the emotive, snaky crooning of Khmer folk songs. It's a style of music that was almost lost during the Khmer Rouge regime of the late '70s. Prior to the release of their latest album, The Deepest Lake(released today), the band feared that they might also be in danger of losing their sound.

"We were a bit disappointed with Cannibal Courtship," bassist Senon Williams says of the band's 2011 release on the heavyweight Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group label. "A lot went into making that record, and the label didn't do a great job. They said a bunch of stuff about how they knew what to do with us, [but] they had no clue, and that became apparent very quickly."

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The Five Best Dead Kennedys Deep Tracks

Dead Kennedys Plastic Surgery Disasters album cover
Every punker worth his or her liberty spikes knows the Dead Kennedys songs "California Uber Alles," "Chemical Warfare," "Too Drunk to Fuck," and "Holiday in Cambodia." However, unlike many other '80s American hardcore groups, the San Francisco-based quartet also has a slew of material that is just as interesting (both musically and lyrically) as the so-called "hits."

But for some reason, these songs don't make it to t-shirts or on the backs of leather jackets. Thanks to this list, which details the five best Dead Kennedys non-hits, perhaps they will. Or, more likely, perhaps the group (guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride, drummer D.H. Peligro and singer Skip Greer) will play some of these Friday when they come to the Observatory.

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Ozomatli Go Big For Their 20th Anniversary

Categories: Bands We Like

Vanguard Records
It may be hard to believe, but L.A.-based fusion rockers Ozomatli are about to celebrate their 20th year as a band. Known to many for their seamless blending of genres and their activist points of view demonstrated in their lyrics, the group is touring in support of their eighth album, Place in the Sun. Recently, the band has been expanding and exploring different sounds, best demonstrated by a New Year's Eve gig at the Kennedy Center that featured a backing orchestra. Continuing to push themselves, saxophonist Ulises Bella can't hide his excitement over what 2015 has in store for the group. After he returned from a jujitsu session, we spoke with Bella about his mixed martial arts training and how the band plans on celebrating their 20th anniversary.

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King Tuff Makes Rock and Roll Ridiculous Again

Categories: Bands We Like

Dan Monick/Sub Pop
King Tuff
King Tuff basically wrote the book on surviving in the garage rock scene. Actually, it was probably more of a Crayon-scribbled comic book that took about several years to make. Sizzling quietly under the mainstream radar before Sub Pop scooped him up in 2012, the Vermont native born Kyle Thomas already had the knack for putting out rambunctious rock songs at a break neck pace. Years of living the lo-fi dream and working with the right people (namely, his friends) turned him into an indie savant that just needed a little extra production value and a real tour budget to spread his gospel of rock anthem ridiculousness to crowds all over the world (including his first late night appearance on Conan last month).

Linking up with Burger Records in 2013 only helped matters once they offered to press a cassette version if his 2008 LP Was Dead. Like most bands charmed by the Burger boys, Tuff inevitably signed with the Fullerton-based label. He even squeaks down to OC from his new hometown of LA every so often. This week, armed with material from his newly released album Black Moon Spell (produced by longtime collaborator Bobby Harlow), King Tuff rides into the Constellation Room once again this Wednesday to bestow more fist-pumping guitar solos, onstage antics, and overall Tuff-ness upon us this time around. We recently caught up before the show to talk about the new album.

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Iration Forge Ahead With a New Reggae Formula

Categories: Bands We Like

Josue Rivas
By: David Garcia
As another full year of nationwide touring comes to an end for Iration, the Hawaiian-bred band who now resides in Santa Barbara looks forward to a new year full of endless opportunities that lie ahead. After releasing their first full-length album in 2007, the rising reggae act got a quick start to nationwide touring in 2008 when they were invited out on the road with reggae-rockstars, Pepper. Since then, the band has never looked back and has continued to evolve their sound while maintaining a constant tour schedule around the states.

In April of 2013, Iration announced that singer, Kai Rediske, was leaving the band due to personal reasons. The departure left Micah Pueschel as the only remaining vocalist in Iration's line up to go along with Adam Taylor on bass, Cayson Peterson on keys and Joe Dickens on the drums. Soon after, the band acquired Orange County's own, Micah Brown. A solo artist who began creating original music in 2010, Brown adds a brand new element to Iration's musical approach both on and off the stage by bringing his own style of blues, folk, and rock-n-roll to the mix. Recently, the Weekly caught up with Pueschel, to discuss the evolution of the band, new music to be released in 2015, as well as their upcoming show with The Expanders tonight at The Observatory.

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Fitz and the Tantrums Prove That Their Success is More Than Just a Dream

Categories: Bands We Like

BB Gun Press
Before a recent radio-sponsored holiday arena show outside her native Denver, Fitz and the Tantrums co-singer Noelle Scaggs couldn't help but grin as she took a glance at the roaring crowd from the backstage area. The sound of their growing mainstream success was almost deafening. While they drew strong crowds across the country this year, hearing the crowd in her home state screaming and singing along was unlike anything she had experienced in the band's most successful year to date.

"I didn't realize we had so many fans in Colorado, and for me, [that] was the first time the crowd was so loud I was basically taken aback," she explains over the phone from her current home in LA.

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Face to Face Turn to OC For Their Nostalgia

Categories: Bands We Like

When Trever Keith founded Face to Face in the early '90s, he never would have expected the band become staples in the Southern California punk scene, nevertheless one of its living legends. Now, nearly 25 years into the band's career, Face to Face will be playing their first three albums front to back at a three night stint at the Observatory.

Now residing in Nashville, Keith figured in order for the band to forge ahead with their next record, it made sense to look at the past first. Keith promises that the band will dig deep into their catalog and play rarities in addition to the albums slated for that particular night. Calling Orange County the optimal place to test out this format, the singer has always had an affinity for the area since it was one of the first place to take to the band.

"I like it better than L.A. for a look back," he says over the phone. "We didn't play L.A. a lot and it didn't work for us as a band until we became more popular. We played mostly Orange County and the Inland Empire as a young band. I think it's more fitting we take it back there."

With tentative plans to work with Bill Stevenson from The Descendents on their eighth record in Colorado, we caught up with Keith ahead of the shows to see why exactly the time was right to celebrate the band's classic records.

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Skinny Puppy - Fox Pomona - December 20, 2014

Photo of Ogre from Skinny Puppy by Scott Feinblatt
Skinny Puppy
Fox Pomona

Though Skinny Puppy's Live Shapes for Arms tour (which was in support of their most recent album, Weapon) took place earlier this year, the Eye vs. Spy tour was essentially the Director's Cut of that tour, and on Saturday evening, the tour ended at the Fox Theater in Pomona.

The golden age movie palace was a perfect venue for the show. First, while the remote location may not have been the most convenient for Orange County or Los Angeles fans, it enhanced the sentiment that events like this are not so much rock concerts as they are cult gatherings, and industrial music lovers evidently had no problem making the pilgrimage and packing the house. Secondly, Skinny Puppy puts on an extremely theatrical show, and the lush, Art Deco theater was a perfect complement.

See also: Skinny Puppy's Sound Inspires Nightmares From Here to Gitmo

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