ScHoolboy Q - The Observatory - December 16, 2014

By: Taylor Morgan
ScHoolboy Q
The Observatory

Class was definitely in session last night at the Observatory when West Coast gangster rap's crowned prince ScHoolboy Q took the stage for a packed crowd in Santa Ana. The LA rapper, whose album Oxymoron debuted at #1 on Billboard 200 album charts last March, strutted out from the back of a smoky stage just before 11 p.m. Appropriately, he started his set with the gun-clapping track "Gangsta," jumping up and down across the stage in his Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey with 'Kessel' monogramed across the back.

Blunts were consumed as the audience belted "crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit". Q held the mic in his right hand, leaning forward towards the audience and asked, "How many of you got Oxymoron in here?" Taken back by the response he noted, "I never thought I would be rapping. I never thought I would make an album and people would love it. I never thought my ugly, finger nail ass, would be up here." The crowd went wild and he shouted, "let's get to some Oxymoron!"

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Santa Ana Noise Fest Inspires Underground Artists to Turn It Up

Categories: festivals

Stephen Anderson
Skunk Puppet playing at last year's Noise Fest
Most music fans in OC have no intention of looking under the rug at the sounds that exist in the noisy underbelly of our avant-garde music scene. But you can find them Saturday at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA), where some our most inventive young artists will come to tear the definition of "music" to shreds at a yearly event dubbed the Santa Ana Noise Fest.

Stephen Anderson remembers the first time he started booking bands that traded in the art of celestial feedback and unholy squall in 2008. "We had a lot of very small, very underground shows with garage rock and sometimes punk bands," the founder of Noise Fest says. "But it evolved. We started getting more experimental bands. So then in 2008, we started Noise Fest."

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The Five Best Punk Rock Day Jobs

Categories: Punk as Fuck

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Alex Distefano
Cro-Mags singer John Joseph
Believe it or not, but most of your favorite bands do not make a living off their music. If you do the math it seems surprising, because any band with thousands of people buying their records at anywhere from 99 cents to 10 bucks a piece must be earning a living wage, right? Hardly.

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Seven People You Meet at a Guitar Store

Categories: Cartoons

All illustrations by Dave Watt
By: Chris Lane

Fact: All American guitars made before 1968 are magical and were blessed by wizards. Paying $25,000 for one makes total sense when viewed in that light.Any guitar player will occasionally venture into a guitar shop or musical-supply store that specializes in guitars. They can be wonderlands to anyone who likes to play guitar and wants to see firsthand what kind of gear is available. Like a comic-book store is a playground for comic fans, a guitar shop is a similar experience for guitar players.

But these paradises of gear-lust are also weird environments with their own social order and rules of conduct. There are also quite a few characters you're likely to encounter if you spend much time there. Some of them are fun people to be around, and others will make you wonder if they have a secret doll-themed torture room in their homes. Proceed carefully.

See also: Six Types of Music Nerds We Tolerate

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Wordovmouth Teaches Artists a Lesson in Self Promotion

Categories: Locals Only

Courtesy Mike Meza
Mike Meza, creator of Wordovmouth
Mike Meza's fondness for Proof Bar is clear. In the mid 00's, it was one of the first venues that the former bassist of the Living Suns (now Dahga Bloom) was able to book a show and cause a ruckus. Within months of their first gig at the Santa Ana club, his band were able to stuff the place with beer-swigging longhairs and DIY scene kids banging their heads to the Suns' feedback-laden, fire-breathing psych rock. A decade later he still considers the club his stomping grounds, only now he doesn't have to be on the stage to create the scene.

Last summer, Meza became a promoter for Proof and created a live band event on Wednesday and Sunday nights called Wordovmouth. Since then, it's become a space where young bands and solo artists of all types come to test their mettle and sweat out their stage fright. And, as the name suggests, it's also a place bands go to learn a few lessons about self promotion.

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The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2014

Categories: Metal

Travis Shinn
Machine Head
There's no doubt that headbangers enjoyed another banner year in 2014. From the many tragic losses, unexpected reunions and come back albums, these last 12 months proved to be a successful for many established, and up-and-coming metal bands from various sub genres. Through it all, we've been keeping track of our favorites and the bands that surprised us the most.This was not an easy list to compile, but we now present our year-end list of the 10 Best Metal Albums of 2014.

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The Best and Worst of KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas

Daniel Kohn
Over the weekend, KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas celebrated its 25th anniversary at The Forum. It was the largest venue to host the event featuring Bush, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, and lots of the biggest names in the iconic station's history that came out to pay tribute to the place that gave many of them their break. Here are the best and worst things that happened over the two days.

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Here's What Charli XCX Thinks Is Sexy

Categories: quotes

Jena Ardell

Charlotte Aitchinson, better known as Charli XCX, has become the alt culture's pop princess by marching to the the beat of her own electric drum machine. Her unruly mane and bedroom eyes mirror her 'I don't give a fuck' image, as she embraces every curse word possible during interviews.

"There's only a few more years left of the whole plastic, overproduced, bad-lyric throwaway pop," XCX assured "It's dying out because audiences are clever. Artists are running their own careers now, and that means it has to come from them. It has to come from their brain."

XCX is climbing to the top of the heap of pop-hit-writers-turned-pop-stars with each collaboration she spearheads. (To Americans who don't follow pop music, XCX gets overshadowed as "the other voice'" in Iggy Azalea's hit 'Fancy', a song which XCX co-wrote).

"I hate the idea of people thinking that I'm just a little girl who goes into studios with pop producers," XCX told Pitchfork. "I executive-produced this record myself and I put those people in a room together because I thought it would be right."

Here's what XCX finds sexy, glamorous and fucking annoying. Quotation above via

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Allah-Las - The Observatory - December 13, 2014

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Taylor Morgan
The Observatory

A girl with a seahorse ear cuff and silk mushroom scarf around her neck held her tall boy cerveza in the air screaming as the Allah-Las assumed their positions onstage. "We locked eyes at an underground bar in Venice when I saw them play last! They're soo dreamy," a fan shared with her friend in the crowd of the band's Constellation Room show on Saturday. Longhaired surfer boys sporting their dad's hand-me-down t-shirts nodded in agreement. A fan who leaned up against the bar added, "the Allah-Las played at my wedding at the Natural History Museum!"

Spencer Dunham (bass), Matthew Correia (percussion), Pedrum Siadatian (lead guitar) and Miles Michaud (vocals + guitar) performed some of their best tunes over the weekend, including favorites like "No Werewolf", "Busman's Holiday", "Follow You Down", "Buffalo Nickel," "No Voodoo," and "Da Vita Voz." They sipped whiskey out of clear plastic cups between songs and the smell of cigarettes and marijuana covered the clothes of audience members. The band moved on to perform, "Calm Me Down" a Human Expression cover that had the crowd moshing for no apparent reason, "Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)" featuring tambourines and the melodica (as known as the pianica or blow-organ) and "Better Than Mine."

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Joey Diaz Smokes Weed That'll Make You See The Devil

Jesse Grant
I would smoke weed whether it was legal or not.
Some call him "Uncle Joey" and some call him "CoCo," but whatever you call comedian Joey Diaz, there's no doubt his brand of truth telling is always hilarious. On December 17, Diaz will be doing his popular podcast "The Church Of What's Happening Now" live from the Laugh Factory in Long Beach all in the name of lifting your spirit with laughter and before the big event goes down, we talked to him about it--as well as general topics like marijuana and "getting your shit together."

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