Ariano's Hip-Hop Can Be Classified as Plenty of Things...Except Lazy

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You could argue that the coining of words like "blog rap," the salience of YouTube hits and the swapping of demo CDs for iTunes download cards confirms that the mission of the modern artist is not to make an impact, but to make you to click. And while he may not yet consider himself an old timer in OC hip-hop, rapper-turned-vocalist Ariano has surely watched the transition as his style also continues to change with every album and single becoming less about his bars and more about his baritone.

One nagging habit he's continued no matter what is the art of pounding the pavement, ground-level marketing and doing what he can to earn likes across the country the old fashioned way: By earning them face to face. Whether he's touring the country or rocking a seldom local show here and there, the co-founder of Huntington Beach label Technicali Sound is using a bit of old-school grind and new school savvy to earn his fan base. And it's seemed to paid off when you look at his resume, collaborating and recording with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Glasses Malone, Wu-Tang Clan and most recently Shady Records signee Crooked I of hip-hop supergroup Slaughterhouse.

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Examining Perro Bravo's Oral History of Sublime in 'Last Ska Song'

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Perro Bravo

Mike "Miguel" Happoldt has one of the most unique vantage points on the Sublime phenomena. Not only was the Long Beach co-founder of Skunk Records present for just about every step of the band's career, but he was also their producer, recorded on their albums and ostensibly became the fourth member of the band back in their glory days.

Though he moved on to form his own group, Perro Bravo, it's no mystery why his sense of nostalgia and respect for that time period and the late Brad Nowell is as strong as ever. Before Happoldt's band (featuring Greg Lowther and Mike Long) takes the stage at the Roxy on March 14, they slid us a copy of a tribute to Nowell and Sublime called the "Last Ska Song" that probably serves the only reggae-rock oral history of Long Beach's most influential band.
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Why Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano Are the Dutch Version of Swedish House Mafia

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Shannon Nehls / OC Weekly
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano at Sutra

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Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano @ Sutra

Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano have carried on the Dutch legacy as house music's elite producers and DJs, with gigs all over the world, after practically being discovered by Swedish House Mafia's Steve Angello in 2011. The duo stormed through Orange County this weekend for a highly anticipated return to Sutra in Newport Beach. Thanks to the guys at the Social, Creative Source and Till Dawn Group, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano managed to transform Sutra's usual Top 40 Friday night spot into an EDM heaven (let's cross our fingers this is a trend we will see more of). We spoke to the fast rising stars who emerged on the EDM scene in 2009 after their Feb. 8 show to find out what it's like to party with the Swedes, why Chuckie is one of their biggest influence, and more about their track being released this week.


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Five Indie Breakout Bands from SoCal Worth Following in 2013

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Jena Ardell
He Met Her

Five bands worth following this year.

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First Listen: Minaya & Vikus, Spiro "Overdrive"

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Courtesy of Robert Sorey Photography
Shane Vikus and Daniel Minaya


OC's very own Minaya & Vikus will hit another milestone in their careers today as their long awaited original track "Overdrive" hits Beatport courtesy of Boiler House Records. Already having a remix released in September on INTOTHEAM Records which reached #4 on the Progressive House Top 100 Release Chart, "Overdrive" is much bigger than their Archie's "Desire" remix. They collaborated with fellow Orange County producer Spiro to create something that is a lot more electrifying with an in-your- face punch of big room progressive house sure to rock dance floors everywhere.

"It was great getting in the studio to work with Spiro," says Daniel Minaya. "Our sounds are very similar in a way so once we all got together the ideas came about naturally. We knew exactly what kind of track we wanted and just went for it." Minaya & Vikus have been on fire this year after being hand-picked from a DJ contest to open for Swedish House Mafia's Steve Angello at the Hollywood Palladium. Since then they have headlined their own shows all over OC, LA and Las Vegas. Besides being recently signed to AOC Talent Agency, just last weekend Minaya & Vikus played another Insomniac Event featuring the legendary Pete Tong with Eats Everything and Audrey Napoleon at Exchange LA.

See Also:
*Minaya & Vikus' Blockbuster DJ Double Team
*Steve Angello's Size Matters Party - Hollywood Palladium - 5/12/12
*Eats Everything is Pudgy, But Gets a Better Onstage Workout Than the Average DJ

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New Song Exclusive: The Shrills, 'Home Alone'

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The Shrills

We all need a wake-up call on Monday morning. We've definitely got a weird one for you, courtesy of Locals Only alumni the Shrills. Few things compliment the awakening aroma of fresh brewed coffee like werewolf howling, woozy garage beats and bursts of psychotic doo-wop. Last month, we mentioned that the Orange County quintet made their sonic pilgrimage to the Distillery in Costa Mesa to hammer out a new album. Under the guidance of eccentric engineer Mike McHugh, the band is busy honing a sound that pays tribute to a horde of old-school names like the Leaves and the Shirelles with an extra helping of A.D.D. and  Misfits-style story-telling for good measure. Things appear to be going well. The band, fronted by head-splitting vocalist/guitarist Dan Simmons and guitarist/vocalist Zack Grimm, dosed us with an exclusive cut from their unreleased, as-of-yet untitled album.

Without question, a song like "Home Alone" offers a haunted, groovy peek in to the Shrills twisted psyche from the opening chords. Lyrically, there's no telling what the song is really about at first listen--aside from,uh, being a homebody. But aesthetically, it feels like staying indoors with this band could be quite an adventure, one that will leave you a bit scarred but still smiling at the end. Check out the song after the jump.

See Also:
* The Shrills Produce Psych-Punk That Bleeds With Insanity
*Top 25 Greatest Orange County Bands of All Time: 25-15
*BLOK to Headline an Extra Spooky Edition of Plugged Into Local at Alex's Bar, Oct. 24


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Exclusive Song: Hindu Pirates, 'Be My Friend'

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Hindu Pirates
Swashbuckling throwback rockers Hindu Pirates piled into Hurley Studios in Costa Mesa recently, laying down four new tracks before their Thursday afternoon gig opening for Grouplove at the US Open of Surfing. One of those songs recently fell into our hands and we're passing it on to you, like the good music bloggers that we are. Rife with skittering summer drum beats, twangy guitar riffs and slap back vocals, the new song "Be My Friend" could fit very snugly into the Pirates' catalog of dirty, upbeat garage tunes that happily ride the wave of classic sounds a la the Trashmen and the Surfaris and surf rock's other modern day practitioners. 

Though the Huntington Beach locals were raised on the high seas, their songs about summer fun and everyday recklessness make a point not to go too deep, which makes this a perfect track to absorb on the beach surrounded by sun-tanned babes, wetsuit adonises and brosefs galore. Listen to the song after the jump!

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Listen: Highlands Drops A Wall of Sound With New Single 'Railroads'

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Highlands
It's no secret that Tuesday afternoons can drone on pretty badly after your lunch has settled. So we're glad that today we can use the word "drone" in a slightly more uplifting context, thanks to an afternoon song leak by the psychedelic shoegazers, Highlands. The Long Beach quartet just dosed us with a four-minute blizzard of fuzzy, swirling distortion they call "Railroads," the lead single from their forthcoming album Singularity. 


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Official Tribute Song for Trayvon Martin Set to be Released Today

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Trayvon Martin
As news continues to unravel daily surrounding the killing of Trayvon Martin, a number of rappers have already recorded songs expressing their feelings about the 17 year-old African-American youth shot to death by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Chaka Khan and musical guests also went into the studio to re-record "Super Life" in the teenager's memory. Two nights ago, Bruce Springsteen dedicated "American Skin (41 Shots)" to Martin at a concert in Philadelphia.

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New Gillionaire Track: "Imdabes"

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From the man who brought us "Rifles Burs" and "Snacks" comes a new song/video called "Imdabes." It's already blowing up Youtube, so I'm going to go head and call it now: It's an instant classic, the kind you don't take home to mother.

On the track, Gillionaire tells listeners that he "be the one that win Street Fighter tournaments," "got the highest score in the world on my SAT" and that he's in the best at "watching all them '90s videos -- Power Rangers, All That, Kenan & Kel."

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