Plugged Into Local 2.0 Kicks Off With Tapioca and the Flea, Dec. 3 at the Wayfarer

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Tapioca and the Flea
We realize the holidays are creeping up, and soon it'll be time to defrost the turkey, chop down evergreens, and plug in an ungodly amount of festive lights. Of course, we at Heard Mentality would rather just watch a bunch of cool bands plug in their instruments and play a show. Since we're in such a giving mood these days, we're fired up about bringing back our free music series, Plugged Into Local. The event, sponsored by Heineken, is happening on Dec. 3 at the Wayfarer in Costa Mesa. After taking a year off, we're finally ready to get back out there to give bands an outlet to rock and shock the shit out of you, just in time for the holidays.

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Solution to Headline Plugged Into Local at Hogue Barmichaels, July 31

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Kenny Kidwell
There are some things that just aren't up for debate when it comes to local music. Like the fact that if you're hanging out in Newport at a bar on a summer night, you'll probably hear some reggae between the time you order your first drink and the time you're stumbling into a cab for a ride home. So it's not that earth-shattering that we at the Weekly would choose to give the people what they want in this part of the region. Of course, we always have to throw in a twist. In the case of July's Plugged into Local headliners Solution, that twist is the gritty, metal-tinged riffs that come with the island soul of this Anaheim-based four-piece.

Making a serious splash at the OC Music Awards Best Live Band concert series this year, these crowd favorites are known to mix a bit of Metallica with their Steel Pulse, along with a punk of other elements that are liable to grab your attention more than the next Sublime cover band. With the release of their latest EP, Sacrifice, and a new album on the way, we've decided to get them in font of you this summer just in time for their feature in this week's Locals Only column (look for it on Thursday).

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Aliso Black to Headline Plugged Into Local at Ember, June 26

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Oh Aziz
Aliso Black
No matter how much we post about it, there are always going to be those who consider OC's hip-hop scene to be virtually non-existent. Though, its a lot harder to claim that position when you find yourself getting hit, live and direct, with bars and beats from the local elite. Well, surprise--we've got plenty of emcees here...and a lot of them are fucking ruthless. That's exactly what inspires this month's Plugged Into Local showcase. After a brief hiatus, summer time beckons us to revive our little monthly party featuring a rotating roster of talented artists of all genres playing at a different venue every month in OC.

On June 26, Plugged In moves to Ember in Anaheim, featuring performances by headliner Aliso Black, C4mula and Kevin Parx. As the ringleader of quarterly hip-hop gathering Sound Asylum and a revered boom bap diplomat from South County, Aliso's  undeniable talent has proven itself time and time again on stage and on record. If you've gotten a copy of his recent, landmark release, Giving Out Matches and Selling Lighters, then you know what we mean.

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Thee Rain Cats to Headline Plugged Into Local at Continental Room, Feb. 25

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Eyerisu Photography

It doesn't take a Beatles scholar to know that sometimes pop music can be the weirdest shit your ears will ever consume. Within the confines of verse-chorus-verse-chorus lies a spider web of tangled meanings, subtley subversive guitar chords and a kaleidoscopic jungle of atmospheric sounds that launch even the most mundane music formulas into their  own stratosphere. This month, Plugged Into Local (PIL) is celebrating a slice of homegrown psych pop courtesy of Thee Rain Cats, who play the next installment of our humble showcase at the Continental Room in Fullerton on Monday, Feb. 25. Melding indie pop with retro electro zaps and British Invasion influence, there's obviously a dab of dance music that forces you to move your hips no matter how strange things get.

If you're a regular to Downtown Fullerton, you might recognize the background of the photo they've taken. Why, those appear to be the velvety curtains of Continental. Fancy that. Turns out the four-piece band, starring members of My Pet Saddle, have been rocking this watering hole for the past month as the Monday-night residency. This month, PIL is taking over the night, which also features performances from OC indie buzz band Feeding People and Cheryll (a side project of TRC bassist Miguel Gomez). As always, the show is free and starts at 9 p.m. Click after the jump to see the kind of acts PIL has in store for you this month.


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Video: Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel Embrace the Magic of Three

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Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel
The first Plugged Into Local of the new year is slated to be on big psychedelic affair. Coming to you tomorrow night at 9 p.m. from Detroit Bar, our time-honored Costa Mesa stomping ground, we've put together a lineup of acts that trade in multiple types of layered, looped and luscious sounds. It's the kind of stuff that was made for  dark rooms splashed with images of kaleidoscopic tornado action. Headlined by South County-bred power trio Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, there's no doubt that the wah-wah keys of "Staring at the Sun" and "Nico" will supply you with your fix of Doors-inspired grooves and fiery-fingered licks that would make Emerson Lake and Palmer proud. Still don't know much about Mr. Elevator? Hopefully this little video we put together will give you a clue before you go check them out tomorrow alongside Drinking Flowers and Flying Hand. Check it out after the jump. For more info on the show, click here. More »

Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel Headline Plugged Into Local at Detroit Bar, Jan. 31

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Daniel Lee Everson
Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel

Having made it to the other side of 2013, we're glad to announce that Plugged into Local is still alive and kicking. Time to celebrate with some psychedelics--well, of the aural variety at least (note: that is not the same thing as "oral." But if you're going to take acid before the show, we definitely suggest that method). This month, PIL lands in Costa Mesa as we take over Detroit Bar to bring you a mix of technical prowess and time-warp insanity courtesy of Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, Drinking Flowers and the Flying Hand.


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Video: Getting Caught Up With Slow Learner Before Plugged Into Local

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Eugene Owens, the man behind Slow Learner

Picking a new lineup of bands and a new venue every month can be a tough exercise, just ask any promoter. But putting together a bill is more than just snatching up quality bands, it's about the dynamic they have between them. The motto for December's line up might as well be "Sharing is Caring." Each band on this month's bill has members that float around in different projects, have played side gigs in various combinations and are generally freewheeling when it comes to people moving in and out of the band depending on the day.

This week, Long Beach bands the Slow Learner Collective, Pebaluna, the Dovelles and Whiteboy James and the Blues Express bring a collaborative spirit to the last Plugged In before the end of the world...or at least 2012. To get you caught up on what we'll be doing tomorrow at Harvelle's in downtown Long Beach, we sat down with Slow Learner, fronted by singer-songwriter Eugene Owens, to get the basics on his band and watch them bust out a song on the spot. Check out the video after the jump.
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Eugene Owens' Slow Learner Collective Embraces Musical Polygamy

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Eugene Owens

Long Beach is a city for musicians who like to spread themselves around. It's nothing new to hear about a guitarist or drummer who happens to play in four or five bands at a time. Sure, we wouldn't call that exclusively LB behavior. But we'll be damned if musicians in any other city do it as effortlessly and as often. For the perfect example, look no further than the Slow Learner Collective. Fronted by sharp-dressed, rail-thin Renaissance man Brandon Eugene Owens (Eugene for short, formerly of Eugene and the 1914), a rotating line-up features player's from all over the spectrum--respected practitioners of jazz, rock, folk, blues and pretty much anyone who kicks ass at their instrument.

Though he's had his experiences as a card-carrying member of a traditional band, this new project is definitely reminiscent of Owens' days as a session bass player working with jazz musicians and touring demigods like Lauryn Hill and Stevie Wonder in his teens and early 20s. In those the days where he'd hardly never play with the same musicians for a long period of time. The only difference is that all the members hang out together more than they practice together and they all seem to have a wealth of music gigs that sound nothing like what they're doing with Slow Learner, which is undoubtedly a good thing. But before you hear their stirring mix of apt eclecticism at this month's Plugged Into Local at Harvelle's in Long Beach on Dec. 19, we chatted Owens' up for a few minutes to find out what the group is all about.


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Slow Learner to Headline Plugged Into Local at Harvelle's, Dec. 19

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It's that time of year again, when presents are unwrapped, miracles seem to occur out of nowhere, and despite the mounds of shop-o-holic debt you're about to incur, the need to give away free shit has never been stronger. That's how we feel about it, anyway. That's why we wanted to throw an extra fistful of music your way this month's Plugged Into Local at Harvelle's in Long Beach on December 19 at 9 p.m.

This month, our little local music get together is an LBC tasting of sacharine-voiced singer songwriters, swaggering blues men and soulful, psych-flavored folk. Headlining this month is Eugene Owens' (formerly of Eugene and the 1914), who returns with his snappily-dressed brand of Miles Davis cool in his new project Slow Learner. Built on a foundation of soul grooves and Chuck Berry bravado, Owens' solo work has always oozed confidence and sound that is sure to shine in front of an intimate, basement crowd in Downtown Long Beach. 

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Video: Moonsville Collective's Back Alley Jam Session in SanTana

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The members of Moonsville Collective are never ones to shy away from making a public spectacle of their music. And by that we mean, they'll set up and jam just about anywhere they can for as long as they can without getting arrested. As the headliners of this week's Plugged Into Local--happening Wednesday (Nov. 28) at 2J's Lounge in Fullerton, they figured it would be okay to let us catch their yee-hawing, guitar-sliding, post WWII Americana sound in their natural element.

In a back alley in downtown SanTana, we caught up with them to watch a special acoustic jam session and bug them with a few questions so you might get to know them a little better. Anyone who has had the pleasure of knocking back a tall can at one of their high-energy hootenannies in Costa Mesa or at recent good time gigs at the Observatory know what kind of boot-stomping revelry you're in for on Wednesday when the band takes the stage at 2J's along with Angel and the Badman and Vinnie and the Hooligans for a free show starting at 9 p.m. Check out the video after the jump and see you Wednesday at the show!

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