Allen Moon Created a Genius Arts and Music Movement in Santa Ana

Categories: cool shit

Courtesy of Santa Ana Sites
Allen Moon
In the mind of an artist, drab routines are meant to be interrupted. That includes the typical concertgoing experience. Instead of buying a ticket to some stuffy club or a theater you've been to a thousand times, what if you caught a classic ensemble booming in the echoey marble foyer of SanTana's Santora Building? Or how about an avant-garde sound manipulator hypnotizing you with swells of celestial white noise on an underground racquetball court? The Santa Ana Sites (SAS) series, the brainchild of artistic director Allen Moon, combines challenging, eclectic sounds with makeshift venues in unlikely places for people who like their entertainment spontaneous, inspired and cerebral.

The next installment, Saturday's "Santa Ana Sites: Maya Beiser--Uncovered," will take over Logan Creative, a 20,000-square-foot artists' complex that originally operated as a spiral-staircase factory. Amidst an open house by Logan Creative's resident artists and artisans, cello ingénue Maya Beiser plans to include what she describes as "uncovers" of staple rock songs from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Nirvana.

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Set Your Boners to Hyperdrive: Star Wars-Inspired Burlesque Show Coming to Santa Ana!

Photo of Audrey Deluxe by Maarten Deboer
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, comic book geeks and science fiction nerds were among the least likely social groups to be associated with sexuality. However, anyone who has attended a comic book or sci-fi convention in the past 10 years, give or take, has observed that flesh, cosplay, and nerd chic have become as part and parcel of the cons as getting autographs from artists & celebrities, buying campy memorabilia, and geeking out over trailers to upcoming superhero movies. That being said, on Saturday, July 12, the girls of Devil's Playground Burlesque, in association with Yadi, will be taking all Orange County comers -- nerdly fetishists as well as civilians -- to the next level of galactic experience with their Star Wars-inspired show, "Star Girls."

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VIDEO: Foo Fighters Cover The Rolling Stones and Queen PLUS Exclusive Photos

Jena Ardell

"I love rock and roll just as much as the next guy," Dave Grohl said when the Foo Fighters returned to the stage at Firefly Festival in Dover, DE this weekend after their headlining performance. "Maybe even fuckin' more than the next guy. I love being in the Foo Fighters, but tonight, for the next four or five songs, we're a fuckin' bar band called the Holy Shits that plays fuckin' classic rock songs. What about that shit?!"

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Fred Armisen Brings a Live Portlandia Viewing to the Observatory

Charles Lam/OC Weekly

It's hard to name one other television show that has brilliantly crystallized the humor and absurdity of contemporary lifestyle trends than Portlandia. Created by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein--veteran musicians and close friends--the two pooled together their collective experiences of Portland and have generated a successful format for satirizing some of the most innocuous quirks about the city and the millenial generation as a whole.

Four seasons since their debut in 2011, Portlandia has become a cult hit with its iconic one-liners ("Put a bird on it!"), awesome guest stars, and various recurring characters played by Armisen and Brownstein, like the gender-swapping roles Lance and Nina, aging punks Spike and Iris, and of course, feminist bookstore Women & Women First owners Toni and Candace.Last Saturday night, Armisen came down to the Observatory in Santa Ana to extend to fans an exclusive first look of this season's upcoming episode 8, and engaged audiences in a hilarious Q&A session full of memorable moments and insightful answers.

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Trent Reznor's Stunning Shout Out to Andrew Youssef in Las Vegas

Categories: cool shit

At this point, we thought we'd seen just about everything Nine Inch Nails could do to show their support for beloved Weekly photographer Andrew Youssef. He's already going down in history for having one of the most legendary NIN fan experiences in history thanks to the time spent with Trent Reznor and company before their fall arena tour. Since learning about Youssef's battle with Stage IV Colon Cancer, there's no question the band and their team have formed a genuine bond with one of their biggest and most deserving fans. Youssef chronicled the experiences in his Weekly column Last Shot, which delves into his experiences fighting cancer through his love of music.

But when the veteran Weekling unexpectedly answered a FaceTime chat with Reznor on November 16, days after seeing NIN perform at the Staples Center on November 8, it turns out he got an even better seat to their show at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Just before launching into their song "In This Twilight," (the title of one of Youssef's most brave and devastating posts), Reznor gave Youssef a special dedication that's probably still ringing in his ears even though he was too physically drained to be at the show. Check out the video below to see what we mean.

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Step Inside Continental Room's Monthly Barroom Record Swap

Categories: cool shit

Zach Nelson
Early afternoons are usually not the best time to stop by your local bar. Fluorescent lights give a harsh sheen to sticky floors, and the walls themselves seem hungover. But for DJs and avid record collectors, daytime is playtime when it comes to roaming conventional swap meets and wholesalers, as they fill the crates with bargain wax. Of course the thrill of the hunt would be nice if it came with a bit more ambiance than a drab industrial park or dense, outdoor bazaar crowds in sweat pants.

But for one weekend a month, downtown Fullerton's Continental Room--already a cut above the average OC dive--dims the lights and opens its doors early to vinyl-record collectors who are out to swap, spin and search for a new turntable treasure. The next record swap goes down this Sunday, November 17.

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Five Things to Look Forward to at BlizzCon This Weekend

Christopher Victorio
Hold me, Tasteless
Orange County's nerd culture doesn't get the hype it deserves. Sure, we may be sandwiched between LA and San Diego, the cities that host literally the largest anime convention and largest comic convention in existence (LA's Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con, obviously), but there's one thing that neither of those two have on us: BlizzCon.

Today and tomorrow, the best thing to ever come out of the city of Irvine invades Anaheim, and there's a little something for everyone from the craft-ling and cosplayer to the eSport hopeful -- even if you didn't get tickets.

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Welcome to Heavy Metal Yoga

Categories: cool shit

By Nick Keppler

It's a Tuesday night, and I am sitting on a yoga mat in the back of a former grocery store in Pittsburgh, spreading my legs as far as they can go. I reflexively turn to see how the woman next to me is managing her dragonfly pose when I realize I can barely see her. The room is lit only by two lights that look like tin cans sitting in corners; they offer about as much illumination as a pair of Yankee jar candles. Kimee Massie, the heavily tattooed instructor (not to be confused with Kim Massie, the local singer), comes over to help me put a foam block under my ass. It gives me some leverage, and I feel a greater stretch in my inner thighs, but I still look over again to see how far the woman on the neighboring mat has gotten. I squint and make out the words on her T-shirt: "Fuck This. I'm Going Skateboarding."

Meanwhile, there is a dark, droning sound coming out of the stereo. Imagine the hiss that is omnipresent in David Lynch's Eraserhead overlapped by the slow diddling of an autistic noise-rock guitarist. It's oddly comforting in its noninvasive nature and consistency. I remember to inhale deeply.

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At Blast Cult, Building Upright Basses is a Sonic Religion

Categories: cool shit

The monks of Blast Cult

Jason Burns hates Guitar Center.

Now, plenty of career musicians will happily trash retail music stores and their Wal-Mart-ized supply of overpriced and underwhelming instruments. But Burns isn't some bitter bluesman on a bar stool - he's the owner and lead builder at Blast Cult, an elite brand that makes upright basses for everyone from Willie Nelson to Cirque du Soleil. For Burns and his team, it's all about quality, quantity be damned.

"With the staff we have, 20 instruments maxes us out on a busy month, so we can keep the quality control right," Burns says. "In those big-box stores, you have people fingering up these $200 guitars, and then [the stores] want to send them back to you because they're scratched ... even five years from now, we'll only be able to make so many, so it's a little more special."

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OC Weekly's Best Of Mobile App: Now Even Better!

Shiny! New!

Want to know where to go and what to do in Orange County? Your essential mobile guide--also known as our Best Of app--just got better. You already know you can count on the Best Of app to offer restaurant, shopping and nightlife recommendations from the Weekly's expert critics. Now the app has been redesigned to be faster, sleeker, and packed with even more carefully curated local content.

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