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

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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