The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

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Renata Raksha (Courtesy of Interscope Records)
Schoolboy Q--See Tuesday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Monday, December 15

Ted Z and the Wranglers
The Constellation Room
If there's such a thing as a high-functioning rock band, Ted Z and the Wranglers are it. Since getting serious as a band a couple of years ago, they've been on a creative tear, with a debut LP released last year, and a couple of EPs that dropped this year. The Wranglers root themselves in the realm of cowboy Americana, a sound more akin to Nashville than SoCal, and they employ the genre's requisite high level of musicianship, with band members flexing their chops, reminiscent of the famous Nashville A-Team session crew that backed Elvis, Dylan, Patsy Cline--basically everyone who had a country hit in the '50s, '60s and '70s. (Adam Lovinus)

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Speaking to The Voice Behind vōx

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Ax + Apple.
Vōx (pronounced wohks, and usually spelled all lowercase) is the new moniker of Los Angeles-based musician Sarah Winters, who possesses the vocal inflections of Imogen Heap with the quiet forcefulness of Lorde--minus the pseudo pop-goth vibe. Winters caught the internet's ear with her melodic covers of Kendrick Lamar's "Swimming Pools" and Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love."

"I've always felt like my music speaks for itself," Winters told us. "Either that, or it's the curse of a musician and you never really know how to sell yourself."

Winters must have been doing something right because her talent caught the ear of Yoni Wolf, the lead singer of Why?, which led to a year-long international tour with the band as their keyboardist and opening act.

Here's what the 23-year-old musician divulged about her forthcoming debut EP, Put The Poison In Me, and her mesmerizing NSFW music video for the EP's lead track, "Better".


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The Icarus Line Rise Again With One Hell of An Album

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Aric Lorton
The Icarus Line
When we talk about the dividing line between music and art, The Icarus Line's 2013 full-length Slave Vows and this year's follow-up Avowed Slavery are most definitely in the latter category. That said, these records ain't meant to be hoisted on a wall because the songs are present, immediate, primal and important.

And why shouldn't they be? Since 1998, the Los Angeles group has been creating a harmonious cacophony that would make Iggy and Nick Cave proud. You'd think being placed into that sort of rock royalty would render The Icarus Line a household name, but it hasn't. Instead, the band -- led by singer Joe Cardamone and featuring bassist Alvin DeGuzman, drummer Ben Hallett, keyboardist/saxophonist Jeremy Gill and guitarist John Bennett -- have been presumed dead by many since 2004's Penance Soiree, which might explain why Slave Vows sounds like a group with its back to the wall, swinging, not going down without a fight.

Slave Vows is a challenge, an artistic peak for a group uncomfortable with familiarity. You might love it or you might hate it, but you'll definitely have an opinion. And that's what makes for great art.

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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

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Del the Funky Homosapien--See Tuesday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Weekly Concert Calendar

Monday, December 8

Action Bronson
The Observatory
Here's the skinny on rotund rapper Action Bronson: he's a culinary enthusiast by day and an MC by night, recording fastidiously well-worded tracks with the precision of Ghostface or Kool Keith. Every studio rat needs their leisure pursuits--Lil Wayne has his skateboarding; MF Doom has his masks--but Bronson's are uniquely childlike. This is a man who rhymes about butterscotch (no, that's not a euphemism) and pizza toppings. On record, Bronson favors weird, wonky production that leaves just enough breathing room for his tales of dining misadventure, which outline the following statement of purpose: to shut shit down at the food court, and tell every caterer they're the one for him. (MT Richards)

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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

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Inspector--See Thursday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Tuesday, December 2

De La Soul
House of Blues Anaheim
De La Soul's anniversary show is a celebration of their debut 1989 album 3 Feet High And Rising, which is seen as a major contribution to the development of alternative hip-hop, with its focus on diverse sampling, and promotion of unity and goodwill. While the album is De La Soul's largest commercial success, the group continued to release projects that were acclaimed by critics. This past Valentine's Day, De La Soul made their entire catalog, pre-The Grind Date, available for free download. They have a few new projects in the works, including a new album You're Welcome, a mixtape Smell the D.A.I.S.Y., and a new EP Premium Soul on the Rocks. (Tara Mahadevan)

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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

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Sage the Gemini and IAMSU!--See Tuesday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Monday, November 24

Metal Monday: Benefit for the Cat Cove Rescue
The Doll Hut
Few things go better together than cats and heavy metal. The screeching, the wailing, the thumping, it's so cat. Alexandra Crockett even published a coffee table book in May called Metal Cats, a fantastic photo spread of hardcore metal musicians and their felines. Cats need more than just mind-blowing distortion and wicked guitar solos, of course, and far too many of them sit in cages for weeks on end, waiting to be loved--or roam the streets virile, creating endless feral kitten colonies. The folks at Cat Cove, a no-kill, all volunteer rescue, are dedicated to finding homes for every adoptable kitteh, as well as TNR-ing those who are happiest in the wild. Helping them raise awareness and much needed dollars are kick-ass metalers She-Wolf, Raise the Dead, Shadows Entwined, Dark White, and Back From the Dead, who'll bend your brain with hair-raising howls and guttural yowls. Nothing could be more purrfect. (SR Davies)

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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

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Timothy Norris
The Blood Brothers--See Friday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Monday, November 17

The Moan
The Wayfarer
The latest band to grab the coveted Monday night residency over at the Wayfarer is The Moan, a throwback rock outfit hailing from Santa Ana. They play '60s gritty garage for the most part, though you'll find a polished popish ditty or two in their catalogue, and with a full six-member band plus two backup singers/dancers (the adorable Moanettes), it's a surprisingly full, layered sound. But don't take that too seriously--The Moan is a good-time party band through and through. Tonight (and every Monday in November), they play with an assortment of supporting bands. This session also welcomes SoCal soul band Allensworth, and the sweetly somber Hank and Her Ponies. (Erin DeWitt)

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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

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Flying Lotus--See Wednesday
Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Monday, November 10

First Aid Kit
The Observatory
Is there anything Sweden can't do? Folk duo First Aid Kit have been around for almost a decade now and in that time have only released two full-length records. Basically their art is meticulous and slow moving, shaved down until intimate enough to share with the world. The pair will play at Rough Trade June 9th, the day before the release of their third album Stay Gold. It was produced by Bright Eyes' Mike Mogis and is the band's first on a major label so basically, expect bigger sounds and all the feels. (Maria Sherman)

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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

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GWAR plays The Observatory on Monday

Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Monday, November 3

GWAR
Observatory
We didn't think it was possible for theatrical gross-out metal band Gwar to get any more bad-ass--then came the recent announcement of a new front-woman Vulvatron (aka Kim Dylla) joining the group. Hell yes. With huge prosthetic breasts that spray fake blood, pinkish-blonde dreadlocked hair, and an apocalyptic amazonian bondage getup, Vulvatron can definitely thrash right alongside her monstrous brethren--and we're willing to bet she's going to end up stealing the show. There's obviously no replacing founding member and singer Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie), who passed away in March, but we're thrilled to see this new addition. So come get dosed with blood and guts, and party like tomorrow morning is days away. (Erin DeWitt)


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The Best Concerts in OC This Week

Categories: incoming

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Marco van Rijt
Little Dragon plays The Observatory Monday

Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar

Monday, October 27

Little Dragon
The Observatory
Yukimi Nagano, singer of Little Dragon, is kinda, sorta from Orange County. The vocalist's SoCal roots is surprising, given the electronic band has been Sweden's pride and joy since its eponymous set came out in 2007. But while Nagano was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a Japanese father and an American mother, as a kid, she lived in Orange County for a year with her grandparents in Santa Ana. It makes sense, when you consider how it all started for Little Dragon in Southern California. KCRW was the first station to play their breakthrough hit, "Twice," off their debut. It ended up getting TV air time as well, featured on shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Revenge and The Vampire Diaries.
Fast forward seven years and three albums later, and Little Dragon's slow-yet-steady ascent into fame has pretty much turned the band from buzzy to major, selling out shows in venues across the United States. Their fourth album, Nabuma Rubberband, is the first one on a U.S. label, as well as the first to receive marketing support. (Lilledeshan Bose)

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