Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit Celebrates New EP With An OC/LA Residency

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Courtesy of the artist
Matthew Logan Vasquez has announced a much anticipated solo project, beginning with "Everything I Do Is Out," a single that undoubtedly seduces fans to pre-order his new album The Austin EP slated for release November 3rd. The track encompasses everything we've grown to expect from Vasquez-- imaginative storytelling and the kind of rock-n-roll that moves like a wildfire throughout a crowd as he sings "My little sister got my record collection/I'm trying to tell her it's a bad direction." It's a good thing he's secured a residency at Santa Ana's Festival Hall and Los Angeles' iconic Lot 613 starting in November, because Vasquez has a knack for drawing a crowd.

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For Poor Man's Change, A Change Is Finally Gonna Come

Categories: local bands

Jaime Anderson
Three years after forming, Poor Man's Change were in need of, well, a change. "Every person in a band at some point questions, 'Am I on the right track?'" says lead singer Rob "Red" Page. "'Do I have the tools to be successful?'"

For the blue-collar outfit, the sound of working-class rock has never been a put-on. Most of the band members make a living by getting up at 5 a.m. to bang nails on a construction site. His thick arms and legs smattered with tattoos, the redheaded Page sits with his band mates--including new guitarist Drew Michaels--during a reprieve from the working world. Bassist Andrew "Birdshot" Ballenger's boots are dirty from a day on the job. Inside their surprisingly frosty rehearsal space at Recess Studios in Santa Ana, the band run through plans for Saturday's set at the Wayfarer in honor of their forthcoming EP, Southwestern.

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Moonsville Collective Step Into The Sun at the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival

Courtesy of Martin Franco Vielma
Ask yourself this-- do you dig craft beer, banjo plucking, pie eating, and artistically crafted beards? September 19th, the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival plans to present all of the above alongside musical guests Deer Tick, He's My Brother, She's My Sister, Legendary Shack Shakers, The Tillers, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, Lovely Outlaws, Moonsville Collective, and more truly American tunes. From 11a.m. to 11p.m., the Rainbow Lagoon's grassy lawn will serve as a blanket for SoCal tushies enjoying the best in Folk, Roots, Americana, and Bluegrass. Children will flock to the interactive kids area where they will be encouraged to make their own instruments and craft folk journals. Between musical acts be sure to partake in the "Vintage Bazaar" shopping extravaganza and keep your eye out for a square dancing partner to accompany you on the Family Stage (12:30 or 5p.m.). Tickets for $30 will be available for purchase at the door.

We had the chance to catch up with Seth, Ryan, and Corey of Moonsville Collective about their set, upcoming album slated for release next month, and other folky/hipster shenanigans.

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Skapeche Mode Lead a Glowing Local Roster at Slidebar

Skapeche Mode performs at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The great thing about seeing local bands perform at a local venue (apart from the likelihood that the concert will be free) is that you really get to weigh the band by its musical and performance merits instead of by its popularity or any major buzz that it may have developed. Even in the case of The Radioactive Chicken Heads and Skapeche Mode, which already have developed enough of a following to pack the back room at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen, in Fullerton, the bands must truly shine in order to cultivate, maintain, and expand their fan bases. On Friday night, Slidebar hosted the aforementioned bands as well as Tiktaalik and MELTED, and each band subsequently showed what they could do given around 30 minutes of stage time.

Tiktaalik performs at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The first up was Tiktaalik. This high-concept, "post-core," three-piece outfit sounded like the soundtrack of someone who was being chased through a junkyard by wind-up robots. The lyrics were not that clearly discernible, but the guitarist / lead singer's Cobainesque shouting at one point seemed to reveal something about voluntary exile into disenfranchisement. The bassist laid down the solid tracks of this roller coaster ride while the drummer's vicious percussive attacks cleared the roller coaster's path with the relentlessness of a wrecking ball.

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The Rock n' Roots Series Celebrates OC Reggae at the House of Blues Anaheim

Categories: local bands

Josh Chesler
Four of the six bands playing the first show of the Orange County Rock n' Roots Series (from left to right): Ralph Licea (Black Salt Tone), Alex Barnett (Aloha Radio), Lauren Mulderrig (Aloha Radio), Mighty (Special Blend, kneeling), Joshua Black (Black Salt Tone), Chris McDonald (Summit Agency Group, creator of the series), Tim Frankeny (the Originalites), Daniel Tello (the Originalites).
On Wednesday, July 15, the monthly Orange County Rock n' Roots Series will kick off their inaugural event at the House of Blues in Anaheim.

Bay Area-based roots artist Rasun and the Struggle will be headlining the event, with a strong OC presence on the rest of the card from groups like the Originalites, Black Salt Tone, Special Blend, Aloha Radio and more.

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Robert Jon and the Wreck Return After Proving Themselves in Europe

Categories: local bands

As much as he thrives on being a road warrior, there's plenty of things Robert Jon Burrison of Robert Jon and the Wreck likes to come home to when he's not on tour. They're simple pleasures, really-- sipping a whiskey and coke at Memphis Cafe, hanging out with friends, and getting into random conversations with strangers about his facial hair.

"It's not really a beard because there's nothing on the sides," Burrison says, his words escaping through his bushy, blonde goatee that reaches well below his shirt collar. "But around here, dudes come up to me and go 'Hey, nice beard bro.' And you're like 'Cool man. So where does this conversation goes from here?'

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Delta Spirit Got By With A Little Help From Their Friends at the Observatory

BY: Taylor Morgan
Matthew Vasquez + Will McLaren of Delta Spirit
Delta Spirit & Friends
The Observatory

Delta Spirit has a reputation-- they're known for playing a captivating, kick-ass rock show. With chilling and poetic vocals by Matt Vasquez and catchy and groove commencing rhythms by Jon Jameson (bass), Brandon Young (drums), Will McLaren (guitar) and Kelly Winch (who plays a variety of instruments for the band but tonight, in particular, he killed it with a guitar solo); their shows are sure to never disappoint, especially considering we won't be seeing them on stage for a while after this.

The band have agreed to go on a sabbatical of sorts after their current summer tour as they take to time to be with their families and gin up new material for the next record, all of which could take well over a year. So it was really important to make this hometown show count. Exposed bulb lighting with copper wires covered the stage, propelled on stands arranged in varying heights. The central lights dimmed as the lightbulbs pulsated in sequence with the thumping drums as remaining band members took the stage.

See also: Before Delta Spirit Go on Hiatus, They'll Give Us One Hell of a Show

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Zebrahead Re-Recorded Their History on Their New Album

The first thing you need to know about Zebrahead -- an Orange County pop/rock/punk/hip-hop hybrid formed in 1996 -- is that emcee Ali Tabatabaee, guitarist Dan Palmer, drummer Ed Udhus, singer/guitarist Matty Lewis and bassist Ben Osmundson -- are the nicest musicians you'd ever want to meet. The second thing you need to know is if you don't like the band's recently released The Early Years -- Revisited, a 13-song sort-of greatest hits featuring 12 new versions of material from 1996-2003 and one new song ("Devil on My Shoulder"), then you don't like Zebrahead.

By that, I mean this record exemplifies everything the quintet is about. The album begins with "Check," originally heard on the 1998 self-titled disc and 1998's Waste of Mind, and features loud guitars and Tabatabaee sounding eerily similar to Zack de la Rocha while "Get Back" is the sort of song you need to hear only once before singing the chorus ("get back/get back/get back") in your head like you've heard it a million times before.

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OC DIY Fundraiser Shows Support the Building of a New DIY Venue in OC

Categories: local bands

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OC DIY show at Beatnik Bandito record store in Santa Ana
The south Orange County music scene is getting a breath of fresh air, due in large part to local music collective OC DIY. A combined effort of artists and musicians who aim to connect bands in the area a place to play, they've organized shows throughout all of Orange County including skate shops, art supply stores, DIY venues like Can U Not/Top Acid, Table 87, and various small businesses in the Laguna area, not to mention their ongoing Friendship Trail concerts in scenic nature locations. Now the group are striving towards their own DIY venue, and instead of going the crowdfunding route, they're throwing a series of shows to raise their first goal of $5000.

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Behind the Mask of Fartbarf's Disgustingly Good Dance Music

Categories: local bands

James Exley
Are you of the XX chromosome persuasion? If so, then you don't need to be told about Fartbarf, a synth-based trio from Redondo Beach and San Pedro, because girls fucking love Fartbarf. This should surprise no one as the first few rows at all of their performances are filled with dancing women. No one, apparently, except the members of Fartbarf.

"I think that's news to us," drummer Brian (first names only) says.

"I definitely don't feel like David Lee Roth," synth player Dan says.

"We have 'foamers,' a super fan, something frothing at the mouth for Fartbarf," other synth player Josh says. "But we don't act out on that stuff."

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