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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Long Beach Psyclone Festival Was a Slice of Rockabilly Heaven

Photo of Inazuma by Scott Feinblatt
Long Beach Psyclone Weekender
Sea Port Marina Hotel

There is easily enough of a contingent of psychobilly fans throughout SoCal to keep festivals like Long Beach Psyclone rockin' and a rollin' all night long. As it was, the psychobilly and rockabilly music festival only lasted until 2 a.m.; however, since the fest lasted for four days, one could say that it evened out in the end.

Each day of the 4th annual Long Beach Psyclone weekender began at sundown. There were brunches, barbecues, and pool parties with the bands (featuring several performances) and a Big Red Bus tour as well, which this reviewer unfortunately missed out on. However, gauging from Friday night at the Seaport Marina Hotel, where the festival was held, organizer Brando Von Badsville and his co-promoter, Jose Noriega, have established a solid event, which featured an impressive cross-section of bands from around the world.

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Buskerfest Gets Wild in the Streets Despite Growing Pains

Tacky Little Hatshop performs at Buskerfest 2015. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
East Village Arts District (Downtown Long Beach)

Over the weekend, nearly a dozen bands occupied three stages, performing over the course of six hours, while spanning the length of two city blocks, in downtown Long Beach. Buskerfest closed out this year's Summer And Music (SAM) concert series.

While some of the bands were given headlining status, the rest of the acts (mostly from Long Beach and LA) competed with one another for wooden nickels. That is, each guest was invited to take a stack of wooden nickels (upon receipt of the stack, the recipient's wrist was stamped) and was encouraged to toss said nickels onto the stage(s) of the band(s) he liked most -- thus, the bands were symbolically busking for the public's dough. At the end of the evening, the band with the most wooden nickels would win the battle of the bands competition.

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Berserktown II Brings Eclectic Craziness to The Observatory

Priests Perform at Berserktown II. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Berserktown II
The Observatory

Look out, here comes another themed music festival! Berserktown II (the sequel to last year's Berserktown festival, obviously) brought punks, metalheads, and those who could pass as civilians to The Observatory for three fun filled days of celebrating disenfranchisement. There was no straight uniform for this crowd; for, true punks and fans of old-school industrial music have never really coalesced into a tidy demographic. The name of the game, here, was eclecticism, and the line-up backed that theme up on every level.

As in many festivals, the quality of the musicians tended to increase as the day went on. Naturally, this is not universal -- one can always find charming surprises in the early hours -- but, as I was fairly blind going into this festival [I only knew that the noise rock band Royal Trux was headlining on the day I was available to attend], I didn't have a solid grasp of its ethos. Before long, I pieced it together: these are bands that don't follow anybody's rules and are probably never going to hit the big time. Mind you, this is not a condemnation.

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How Comedian Grant Cotter Went From Punk to Performer at the Vans Warped Tour

Megan Thompson
It's so cool that I'm right here on the forefront of this new thing.
It's no secret that over here at the Weekly we love to rep our hood as well as those that come out of it and when it comes to comic Grant Cotter, we've been singing his praises for years as if we birthed him ourselves. And while it's hard to pave a path in any city/industry, with dedication, talent, and skill, it can indeed be done. And Grant did it. Rather, he's doing it. He was recently tapped to host and perform on the first ever comedy stage this year at the 21st annual Vans Warped Tour that kicks off in Pomona on June 19th at the Pomona Fairplex. We couldn't let his newest accomplishment pass us by without finding out how psyched he is about the opportunity and wanted to get a little background on his past (unpaid) connection to the Vans Warped Tour itself.

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Five Best Things at Escape All Hallows' Eve

Alex Perez for Insomniac
Escape All Hallows' Eve 2014

Escape All Hallows' Eve
NOS Events Center
October 31 - November 1, 2014

This weekend more than 90,000 Insomniac fans attended the 4th annual Escape All Hallows' Eve, which used to be known as Escape from Wonderland. With the new re-branded name came the expansion of two days of pulsating dance music featuring over 80 world renowned artist from Moby, Tiƫsto, Armin van Buuren, Richie Hawtin, Steve Aoki, Oliver Heldens and more. The sold-out event felt like a mini Electric Daisy Carnival reunion with a dark eerie twist to go along with the holiday celebrations.

Here's the five best things about this year's Escape All Hallows' Eve.

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Day of the Shred Summons Rockers to The Observatory

Metal fans gather to see one of many bands performing on The Reaper Stage. Photo by Scott Feinblatt

Day of the Shred
The Observatory
November 1, 2014

Another musical festival has shown that The Observatory hosts some great parties. On November 1, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the Santa Ana venue hosted a peculiar collection of bands from around the country. The most evident commonality between them was that they were all guitar-centric bands, they all used distortion, and they were all heavy. This was Day of the Shred.

Though a decent cross-section of the bands did not resonate a particularly dark image, the fancifully displayed (and in some cases custom) hearses, which were positioned in front and in back of the venue, confirmed that the pun on the holiday name was meant to emphasize that the music was related to death's morbid connotations, rather than having anything to do with honoring lost relatives -- as the holiday intends.

However, given the atmosphere surrounding the venue was a mixture of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, cigarettes, and marijuana, and most attendees were attired in black rock t-shirts, it is not likely that anyone was too upset about the indiscretion.

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Five Reasons Not to Miss HARD DOTD 2014

Courtesy of

One of the biggest party weekends of the year is finally upon us and you know dance music enthusiasts love to stretch this holiday out like it's nobody's business. With so many EDM shows at nightclubs and festivals starting tonight until Sunday, it makes you wonder. Is everyone calling in sick on Monday?

Regardless, we put together this convenient list to give you five reasons why you shouldn't sleep on this years massive HARD Day of the Dead festival, which takes place at a new Pomona Fairplex location on Saturday November 1 and 2. The only thing you need to worry about is what creepy costume you're going to wear nightly.

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Knotfest - October 24-26, 2014 - San Manuel Amphitheater

Rachael Mattice
Corey Taylor of Slipknot at Knotfest

October 24-26, 2014
San Manuel Amphitheater

Thank the Dark Lord the temperature in San Bernardino was only in the 80s on Saturday, as an estimated 50,000 metalheads, campers and revelers flocked to the San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore for Knotfest -- three days of camping and a dark carnival/heavy-metal music festival curated by Slipknot (who were inspired by European metal festivals) to bring a musical and cultural event of this magnitude to San Bernardino. For three days, fans explored dark art, fire, carnival rides, roller coasters music, and more.

The party got started Friday evening with Suicide Silence and The Black Dahlia Murder opening a nighttime show. Combined, Saturday and Sunday featured over 20 bands on a total of five stages per day. Saturday included bands such as Carcass, Testament, Fear Factory, Prong, Butcher Babies and In This Moment. Sunday offered bands like Napalm Death, Devildriver, Miss May I, Of Mice and Men, Killswitch Engage and Whitechapel.

Both nights were headlined by Slipknot, and night one featured main stage acts Black Label Society, Hatebreed, Black Label Society, Anthrax and Danzig. Night two also featured main stage acts Hellyeah, Atreyu, Tech N9NE, Volbeat, and Five Finger Death Punch.

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Festival Supreme- Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds- October 25, 2014

Oliver Walker/Goldenvoice

Festival Supreme
October 25, 2014
Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds

This year's Festival Supreme was held at the Shrine and right away I could tell that this venue was going to work out better than 2013's, the Santa Monica Pier. Not only because there was more room to roam around, but also, they upped the ante from three to four stages.

This year's addition was called "Circus of Death" and the indoor room was, well, wild. Dimly-lit with so many things to look at, there was spooky artwork, crazy lights, a church bounce house, and even a train you could buy tickets to ride. With a small, low stage in the middle of the room, my thought immediately was, "This room would be perfect to trip out in."

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