Spare Parts For Broken Hearts Find Their Identity Through the Darkness

Categories: Locals Only

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Courtesy of the band
Inspired by grunge, rock gods, and powerful post-punk, Long Beach band Spare Parts for Broken Hearts have thrived on a dark, melodic sound since forming in a Downtown LA rehearsal space in 2010. Fusing heavy rock with a side of power-pop, the trio's fan base continues growing steadily as they play everywhere from dive bars to the House of Blues. The name also seems to have a significance to front woman Sarah Green, who says the formation of her band has been the key to helping her piece together who she is both on and off stage.

"People always ask me why I write dark music," the vocalist/guitarist says. "Music is the way I feel relief from darkness, it makes me feel understood when I hear it, like somebody can hear me. I've spent so much time alone listening to music and I want to be that artist for someone else."

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Wes Period Finally Bubbling Up as the Champagne Champion

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Eric Mooney
As with many kids, Wes Period had his eyes set on playing pro sports--basketball, in particular. Even as he played for his middle school team, his interest in music gradually began to surpass his hoop dreams. Period started dabbling with beats and bought a microphone, causing an internal schism that eventually reached its boiling point when he was a sophomore in high school.

"My first show with my high school band was on the same day as the first preseason basketball game of the year," the La Habra native recalls. "I left the game at halftime to go to my show. I never went back to basketball after that."

The 24-year-old is the product of a mixed-race marriage. During his formative musical years, he was introduced to a variety of music from his parents, including traditional rock bands such as Elton John and Led Zeppelin and such soul favorites as Luther Vandross and Curtis Mayfield. His older half-brothers chipped in by playing him music from rap's golden age such as Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e and 2Pac.

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CAL1FA Return to the Reggae Scene With a New Name and the Same Mission

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Sean McCraken
CAL1FA's frontman Ruben Salazar is relentless when it comes to getting his music to the masses and putting Santa Ana on the map. Originally the frontman for local group Badfish, the band ran into their first major hardship in the early 2000s when they had to change their moniker due to a Sublime cover band out of Rhode Island using the same name. As Badfish - A Tribute to Sublime's success grew, Salazar had trouble keeping his band separate from the other. Although the Santa Ana native had solidified his style of "Barrio Roots-Reggae" in the late '90s, constant confusion arose from the tribute band using the same name that he had worked so hard for.

Not one to be easily discouraged, Salazar and his band continued moving forward and their debut album, Soundbwoy Killas, was released in the US in 2002. Eventually it received worldwide acclaim as far as Japan before they decided to call it quits. After a seven-year hiatus, Salazar came back with a new band, a new name and the same mission.

"It's been a long journey back," Salazar says. "I had to start from scratch, including finding new musicians to jam with. At first, a lot of them were not a perfect fit for the band so it was very hard to remain confident and positive throughout the entire process. But hard work and perseverance will always pay off."

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Blue Eyed Lucy's Rock Rolls In Many Different Directions

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Brenda Whitehill
As the four members of Blue Eyed Lucy crowd around a hightop at the Wayfarer in Costa Mesa, a reggae band sets up onstage. Not only is it Taco Tuesday, but it's also Reggae Night, and despite the middle-aged ensemble not being ready to go on at 9 p.m. sharp, the volume in the bar has already been cranked up.

The band members can hardly hear one another, but that doesn't matter, as they laugh and riff off whatever fragments of sentences they can pick up. "We're actually releasing an EP right here at the Wayfarer on July 23," says Blue Eyed Lucy's singer/guitarist, Armand Lance. "It's the first studio release we've ever done. We're releasing a full-length afterward, but the EP is made up of some older songs that didn't fit. It's a more rootsy, old-school rock & roll sound that we're kind of growing away from, but we still wanted to show it respect."


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Cecy B Is An OC Rapper By Way of South Beach

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Francis Bertrand
The West Coast rap scene wasn't ready for Cecy B. The San Juan Capistrano native born Cecilia Barajas had a tough time getting her peers to take her seriously as she transitioned from a young mariachi singer and ballet folkloric dancer to a buxom OC hip-hop artist eight years ago. Promoters in Los Angeles would often dismiss the Chicana rapper, saying that they'd only call when a female showcase night came about. "This is a really hard industry, especially being a Mexican, being a female, [with them] being like, 'Oh, you're from Orange County? What do you know about hip-hop?'" she says.

But Cecy B never let any of that get in the way of her dreams. Though she's now based in Miami, she never shies away from her OC upbringing and is ready to return home to Santa Ana to celebrate the release of a triumphant debut album that's been a long time coming.
Networking with a new management company and producer, the rapper decided to leave Southern California two and a half years ago. "I just started feeling brand-new. I recorded 'Mexico' here in Miami with a Puerto Rican producer and my manager is from Chile; they were the ones screaming, 'Mexico!'" Cecy B says of her breakthrough brown-pride anthem. "I came all the way to Miami to do a Mexico song and get Lil Rob on it!" she adds with a chuckle.

See also: Rapper Cecy B's Hard Werk Pays Off


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The Trajectory of Tyrone Wells

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Ryan Longnecker
By: Christine Terrisse
"I just dropped my wife off this morning at the airport because we were at the White House, we were invited by the Head of Air Force Operations there and we got to eat lunch in the West Wing ...that was a very surreal experience, really cool," says Tyrone Wells. He is speaking over the phone while on the East coast leg of his "Roll With It" tour.

A quick glance at his Instagram and yes, there he is at the White House, posing with the first dogs. His name is even printed on the lunch menu. It's a long way from the coffee shop gigs where he first honed his craft.

Coming of age in the early naughts in North Orange County, you might have witnessed a vibrant singer-songwriter scene bursting out of downtown Fullerton cafes like The Hub, Plush and McClain's. In the heady haze of nostalgia, those years seem magical. It was a time when live music dominated Harbor Blvd. and when one could still enter The Back Alley through, well...the back alley.


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NoMBe's "California Girls" Is Inspired By Crazy Chic's Like You

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By: Bukunmi Grace
Noah McBeth (NoMBe)
Until now The Beach Boys and Katy Perry have had the last word when it comes to catchy hooks about the cutest girls in the world (not to toot my own horn). But when NoMBe, also known as Noah McBeth, released his single "California Girls" his lyrics exposed the wild side to the lovers of the sunshine, amiss beats worthy of navigating throughout your eardrums. The track begins like any summer fling, effortless and steamy before the tempo picks up and shit hits the fan. As McBeth chants "take it off" the story has unraveled to be the tale of a girl addicted to a lifestyle that will never sustain her. We talked to McBeth (born and raised in Heidelberg, Germany) about what sustains him and his journey with music that has landed him in Southern, California with a viral track-- soon to reach 1 million plays on Spotify alone. Stay tuned for his EP Mood Indigo slated for release later this year.

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Dustin Lovelis Courts a New Sound After The Fling

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Ward Robinson
Dustin Lovelis
By: Jessie Schiewe

When the Long Beach quintet, The Fling, took a hiatus in 2013, front man Dustin Lovelis kept working. He penned songs and produced demos. In time, he met producer and bassist for Everest, Elijah Thomson, and they began working on a record. Composer and session man, Frank Lenz, was added to the mix and then a session at Elliott Smith's former home, New Monkey Studios, was booked. Two days later, an album was born.

On a recent Saturday night, Lovelis' premiered the project, Dimensions, at the downtown Long Beach event space, Howl. Over a hundred people arrived at the BYOB event to hear the vintage-sounding guitarsmith's debut solo album of raw and honest pop ballads. "This is my first effort to do something on my own," says Lovelis. "And I think it's the most me out of anything I've ever released.


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The Great and Powerful Big Oz: Irvine's Afghan Rapper Delivers Battle-Tested Rhymes

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Fahim Farand

It didn't take long for Omar Azizi to establish himself as the biggest presence in a room. He easily outweighed his fellow newborns in a LA hospital nursery, tipping the scales at 12 pounds.

Twenty-eight years later, the Irvine rapper known as "Big Oz" towers onstage, thanks to an imposing 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame. The Afghan-American rapper now stands poised with outsized ambitions to chart a continental reach with his rhymes.

But Azizi's pathway hasn't been without its obstacles. His father, who fled Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion, loves to sing and play accordion but didn't want his son to live a musician's life. He raised Azizi to be cultured while priming him for a future in politics.

"As a kid, I wrote a lot of poetry," 
Azizi says.


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Tyranis Makes Thrash That Will Melt Your Face and Explode Your Balls

Categories: Locals Only

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Courtesy of Tyranis
We first hung with Tyranis outside their practice space in Orange in 2002, swilling beers in the back of guitarist Adam Duncan's sweet El Camino. Thirteen years later, the guys are still griming up the SoCal club scene with their brand of classic thrash. We learned then that with Tyranis, nobody tells it better than they do. So we just let drummer Adam Capilouto preach the metal gospel for a bit--while taking furious notes.


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