Santa Ana Noise Festival Returns to OCCCA

+DOG+ performs at SANF4. Photo by Stephen Anderson
It is a right of passage for nearly every generation to experience the music of their youth getting filed under "oldies," and to interpret the music of the following generation as a bunch of noise. While this is a general truism, some folks embrace the concept of noise in a whole other way. This Saturday, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) will host the seventh Santa Ana Noise Fest which will feature performances by 14 noise music acts.

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Further Future 2016 Lineup Announced [Updated]

Categories: Music Festivals

Courtesy of The Confluence
[Update Nov. 5, 12 p.m.: With its Phase 2 announcement, FF002 continues to challenge the norm with a diverse and highly curated selection of talent including the enigmatic Nicolas Jaar--fresh off the release of his newest EP Fight (Nymphs IV)--and a rare performance from celebrated reggae troupe Easy Star All-Stars, known for addictive covers of classic rock bands. Joining them will be legendary genre-bending savant Four Tet, Ninja Tune's turntable wizard Kid Koala, Life and Death founder DJ Tennis, fabled pop-meets-disco group Crazy P, and other world-class performers including Andy Stott, Tropic Of Cancer, Terry Francis, Fort Romeau, Low Leaf, John Wander, Papercutz, Frank & Tony, Idjut Boys, and many more. See the new artwork with the full roster above. For a larger version, click here. See the post with the first wave of lineup announcements below.]

Today Further Future, the eclectic, post-apocalyptic festival out in the Mojave Desert, announced the first names on the lineup for their second run in 2016. Taking place April 29-March 5, the lineup so far includes Dixon, Oneohtrix Point Never, The Pharcyde, &Me, Birds of Passage, Daedelus, Derrick Carter, Donato Dozzy, Elderbrook, Greg Wilson, Hauschka, HVOB, Inland Knights, Jam City, Jane Fitz, Joakim, Joeski, Kimball Collins, Lusine w/ Trent Moorman, Matt Tolfrey, Neel, Pattern Drama, Pedro Aguiar, Rampue, Rival Consoles, Stev, Still Corners, Talal, Voices From The Lake, and WhoMadeWho.

Last May, Further Future festival had its inaugural event on the Moapa River Indian Reservation in the desert just outside Las Vegas. While its probably even more of a trek for OC locals than EDC Vegas, Further Future--brought to us by the creators of Robot Heart (one of the better known camps at Burning Man)--has also shown itself to be in an entirely different world. They must be doing something right to already be named Best Music Festival of 2015 by Las Vegas Weekly their first year out of the gate.

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The Pagan Music Festival: A Night in Reverence of Samhuinn

Publicity Image of NoOne (from T.O.M.B.)
It is the final hour of spook season, and in the midst of most people's plans to go to costume parties, haunted attractions, or go trick-or-treating, the sacred origins of the holiday are all but forgotten -- except within certain circles. Various Pagans still remember and celebrate the Gaelic festival of Samhain [pronounced "sah-win"] for traditional and spiritual purposes. Tonight, there will be a music festival at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art which will focus on those very purposes. The Pagan Music Festival: A Night in Reverence of Samhuinn [an alternate Gaelic spelling of Samhain] will be a costumed event featuring a range of local and guest pagan musicians, a screening of Häxan, a tarot card reader, and vending (including "Magickal and Ghoulish Jewelry, Amulets, Talismans, and Lip Balms").

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The Growlers Put Their Energy Behind the Wave of Growth at Beach Goth

Categories: Music Festivals

Taylor Bonin
The Growlers
The Growlers didn't have too many grand plans after hosting their first Beach Goth festival four years ago. But by the time all the sweaty, psychedelic, costume craziness at the Observatory was over, they knew they wanted to keep it around. Comparing it to making a record, singer Brooks Nielsen says the band was ready to build off what they learned and make it better.

In the early days, the band and their crew worked tirelessly all the way up to the day before building the props and art installations. Nielsen recalls a time when the band had to literally saw ply wood and put it together in less than six hours in order to prepare for the earlier Beach Goths. After spending the majority of those early days hoping that everything would go right, The Growlers would have to drive back, pack everything up themselves, drive and dispose of what they'd done the day before at the dump. But it's that DIY ethos that's turned the event into one of the most anticipated on the OC concert calendar.

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Dark Harbor Descends On Queen Mary

The Fire Fiends Perform at Dark Harbor. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Although the Queen Mary cruise ship has remained stationary for some time, the ship's annual Halloween haunted attraction, Dark Harbor, has pulled into shore for another season of ghoulish delights! This year the Dark Harbor website promises to complement the event's usual accoutrements of sliding spooks, perennial mazes, and fairground entertainment, with more monsters, attractions, and a terrifying new maze. Guests of former years and newbies will be delighted to discover that Dark Harbor fulfills its promise to keep them on their toes.

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Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival Slayed in Irvine

Sorry, I couldn't take a picture so this will have to do.
This Sunday, comedy fans from OC and beyond descended on this year's Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival brought to us once again by the fine folks over at Funny or Die. Sure the temperature was a balmy 98 degrees but not to worry mom and dad, the masses stayed hydrated with $16 beers.

Hydration and tons of grub choices aside, this year's side "Festival Stage" was sponsored by Redd's Apple Ale and was ruled by comedian and host Big Jay Oakerson. While attempting to maneuver through the packed crowd, our ears were treated to this year's line-up that consisted of Joe Sib, Brady Matthews, Ester Steinberg, and Hampton Yount. They were great but come on now, we know why we're all here...

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Festival Supreme Improves Supremely at the Shrine

Festival Supreme
October 25, 2014
Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds

Last Saturday at the Shrine, the word "hot" was used in many ways while the third annual Festival Supreme was taking place. It was hot as fuck outside, the line-up was unbelievably hot, the crowd was hot (seriously, we were all sweaty pigs), and Big Freedia shook her ass hotter than a mother fucker.

We feel that we must start out with admitting that we did not get to see every act at this supreme ass festival but it was simply because it was not at all possible. With overlapping times, we were once again forced to pick and choose what we saw and quickly run to another stage and so on and so on. For four stages. In the 100 degree heat. And for that reason, we're going to break it down for you stage by stage on what we witnessed. Explanation aside, what we did see, we were delighted with. OK, review over! Kidding...

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Maestro Gabriel Zavala's Rhythmo Mariachi Academy Changes Kids' Lives

Categories: Music Festivals

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Gabriel San Roman
Gabriel Zavala and the kids of Rhythmo Mariachi Academy
"Maestro, can you fix my violin?" a young girl asks Gabriel Zavala during mariachi rehearsals in Anaheim. The 71-year-old instructor takes her instrument, turns the pegs and tunes by ear. "Maestro! Maestro! Maestro!" another girl pleads to get his attention. "My teacher wants to know if you can play at our school." Just then, a nylon string pops out of place to everyone's surprise.

The young, mostly Mexican students at Zavala's Rhythmo Mariachi Academy are taking a break from Wednesday-night rehearsals in a small warehouse space near Disneyland. Their big festival at Pearson Park Amphitheatre in Anaheim is just 10 days away and everything has to be practiced to perfection. Oliver Zavala, the maestro's son, gathers the kids together in the hallway, where sequined mariachi sombreros hang over a row of giant harps. "You'll be backstage, and you'll be nervous," he says, teaching the kids to listen for cues. "You are the show; you can't watch the show."

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The Hi-Fi Rockfest Dials up the Punk Oldies at the Queen Mary

Naked Raygun performs at Hi-Fi Rockfest in Long Beach. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Hi-Fi Rockfest
Queen Mary

Coming straight out of the gates of Hell, the Hi-Fi Rockfest brought several old school rock and punk bands -- or, more accurately, various members from old school punk bands -- to the shores of Long Beach to perform for a day in the shadow of the Queen Mary cruise ship. Over the course of 12 hours, 11 bands entertained a fairly modest sized crowd with their high energy performances. The name in the headline position of the festival's banner was Dead Kennedys, but there were many influential bands and musicians in attendance which collectively forged a terrific day of music.

Some of the bands built from various members of vintage acts included: Luicidal, which was formed by Louiche Mayorga and R.J. Herrera (respectively, the bassist and drummer from Suicidal Tendencies); Year of the Dragon, featuring "Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II (vocalist / trumpet player from Fishbone); and Dirty Filthy Mugs, which is fronted by vocalist Matt Wedgley (former vocalist for Viva Hate and The Force). These bands, as well as The Two Tens, Downtown Brown, and True Rivals, performed 30 minute sets during the first half of the day. Following that, the allotted set times increased commensurate with the star power of the performers and the band names.

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Desert Stars Festival Builds Its Own Strange Trip From the Ground Up

Categories: Music Festivals

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Courtesy of Desert Stars Festival
He's My Brother, She's My Sister at Desert Stars Festival last year
Tommy Dietrick likes to say the Desert Stars Festival is committed to retaining "fierce independence with a capital F." Even if it means putting in a ton of extra work with a capital "W."

Days before the festival, he's in the backyard of his house setting up stage rigs, testing lights, cutting, drilling and bolting right up until the gates open for the two-day event at Pappy and Harriet's this Friday and Saturday.

"I have a lot of help that comes on for the event, but leading up to it, I'm pretty much a one-man show," he says.

But all the extra work is a symbol of progress for a festival that it striving to be totally autonomous. This is the first year that Dietrick has been able to have all production for the show run in-house--built and operated by his own crew of volunteers and professionals who will manage the festival from September 25-26. Headliners include seminal shoegaze outfit Swervedriver, The Lemonheads and Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr., along with The Entrance Band, Alex Maas of the Black Angels and OC-bred acts like the Cosmonauts, Drinking Flowers and Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel and many more.

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