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

oc diy beatnik bandito.jpg
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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Robert Jon & the Wreck Release Glory Bound Before Heading Out on European Tour

Kyler Locke
Robert Jon & The Wreck have always bucked Orange County's surf and punk sounds for gritty, Southern-style rock and roll. The group's official full-length album, Glory Bound, debuts on Tuesday and reveals rowdy jams and resonating hooks that are worthy of Southern praise and festival stages alike. The album is the catalyst for an upcoming European tour, and was recorded at Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood with Aerosmith producer, Warren Huart. Robert Jon & The Wreck will hit The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa on Saturday night for the album release party, with support from fellow local acts Big Monsta and Sir Madam.

The overseas tour is a welcome adventure into new territory for the Orange County based rockers, who have performed their anthemic rock tunes across the U.S. The whirlwind tour kicks off in March, hitting 26 cities throughout Europe in a tight 30-day time frame. "At this point, we're just making sure everyone has their passports," guitarist Kris Butcher says with a chuckle. "All the hard work's done, now we just have to get on the plane and go."

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Motion City Soundtrack Delivers Pop Punk Nostalgia in Anaheim

Taylor Morgan
Motion City Soundtrack
House of Blues Anaheim

Crowds rushed into Anaheim's House of Blues last night to see punk-pop legends Motion City Soundtrack. Nostalgic about their teenage angst, couples sang along to Brand New and All-American Rejects tracks playing throughout the venue speakers before showtime. Huntington Beach based band Hellogoodbye took the stage and performed a set of their favorite tracks including a rendition of "Here (In Your Arms)," a mix of Nintendo bleeps and synthesized rock, as a guy in the audience spanked his girlfriends butt to the beat.

Finally, for the main event, Justin Pierre (lead vocals, guitar) Joshua Cain (guitar), Claudio Rivera (drums), Jesse Johnson (moog aka synthesizer) and Matthew Taylor (base) took the stage to perform their second album, 2005's Commit This To Memory. A decade ago, it became the band's breakthrough album, selling over 285,000 copies and peaking at number two on Independent Albums chart. Most importantly it was the soundtrack of millennial youth, reminiscent of breakups, making out, goofing off, and growing up.

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Bad Suns - The Observatory - January 25, 2015

By:Taylor Morgan
Bad Suns
The Observatory

L.A. band Bad Suns received an unprecedented amounts of "I love you" screams, immediately following an intense lyrical devotion to "Transpose" the groups first song of the night at the Observatory.

Christo Bowman (vocals), Miles Morris (drums), Ray Libby (guitar) and Gavin Bennett (bass), released their debut album Language & Perspective last July and are quickly elevating their profile in the indie rock scene. Their bouncy beats and hook heavy chorus' recently landed them a performance slot on Conan O'Brien as well as three sold out shows, in Southern California, to kick off their 2015 tour.

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Adam Lasher: OC's Dark Horse on American Idol

Jackson Belcher
Adam Lasher is a contestant on this year's 14th annual American Idol series hosted by the infamous Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. He began playing piano at 5 but it wasn't until he picked up the guitar in 6th grade that his love for music flourished. Lasher taught himself to sing in high school- it was a slow a painful process he notes. For college he attended Berkelee School of Music in Boston studying guitar, music theory and most notably meeting the future Adam Lasher Band. There's no question that his appeal is wrapped in a combo of talent, gumption and good genes (did we mention Carlos Santana is his Uncle?).

For the last 5 years he's lived throughout Orange County and LA playing a hybrid of rock, latin and jazzy blues at Tommy Bahama, The Cliff and Mozambique. You might have also caught him playing at last year's Decadence event for the Weekly. The humorous singer/songwriter has over 20 songs on iTunes with another album slated for release in 2015. Tune into American Idol, January 22nd, and become entranced with his performing of Rhianna's "Stay."

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10 Local Artists to Look Out For in 2015

Categories: local bands

Ryan Nichols
Tim Gray and the Delusions
As the concept of a music scene becomes more fluid (thanks, Internet!), it's hard to not blink and miss something wheedling its way into our aural landscape. But there's a good chunk of homegrown talent out to catch your eye, young bands and artists not yet jaded by the trappings of fame behind the Orange Curtain. (Careful, kids--surviving as a big fish in a small pond comes with its own set of problems.) We spent the better part of 12 months scouring clubs and Soundcloud pages to find the next big thing in local music. And while we found way more gems than the ones listed below, our music staff took turns taking bets on the bands and artists that have the potential to break big this year. Some of them are veterans whose time has come, some are young, some of them are virtually unknown--and all of them are damn good. Now if they can only manage to keep their egos in check after this.

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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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Tony Santana's Big Break into OC Hip-Hop 'Eminent'

Categories: local bands

Nick Nuk'em
Tony Santana
Inside a small Costa Mesa home studio, clouds from burning incense and blunts gather toward the ceiling. The thump of a beat in its Beta stages causes the cozy walls to rattle with bass. Producer Asem Pria, a.k.a. Chris Perez, and rapper Tony Santana sit back, casually bobbing their heads near the pulsing speakers. Their skin looks discolored, thanks to the glow from a computer screen. Together, they're the most essential parts of the A$E (Always Staying Eminent) Squad. Though Santana is still netting feedback from his debut mixtape, Eminent, which was nine months in the making, he's now working on the second installment of The A$E Tape. The 19-year-old cites as inspiration the success of other rappers and, more specifically, early-morning calls to Pria for studio sessions.

"Nah, we don't take no breaks," Santana says in response to the duo's refusal to come up for air in between projects. Pria notes that there were already three songs on the upcoming tape before Santana dropped Eminent on Nov. 7. As Santana and Pria answer questions, they bounce responses off each other as if they're twins. But the partners are quite different, personality-wise. Pria, the beat maker and engineer, carries more bass in his voice, while Santana's diction is much more melodic, with a twang akin to rappers on the charts right now.

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