Latin Rhythms to Turn the Heat Up at Irvine Meadows

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Promotional Image from the film El Amor Brujo
It's been a pretty hot summer, and it doesn't look like it will be cooling down anytime soon. However, since neither whining nor becoming actively green are going to change the climate by this weekend, one might as well celebrate the heat in style by attending Pacific Symphony's "Bolero and Hot Latin Nights" program at the recently rechristened Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre.

For the first half of the sensually charged program, Pacific Symphony's music director Carl St. Clair will conduct his orchestra in performances of several Spanish-themed pieces. First is Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34, which is a five movement orchestral piece based on Spanish folk melodies. Next is Ritual Fire Dance from Spanish composer Manuel de Falla's El Amor Brujo. This ballet piece is based on a traditional Spanish story involving a woman who jumps through fire in order to lure the restless spirit of her dead husband to follow her and perish in the flames. Rounding out the first half of the program are excerpts from Georges Bizet's Carmen, featuring the quintessential flirtatious aria "Habanera" (mezzo-soprano Milena Kitić will be singing).

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Dinner In Five Parts Pairs Quality Food With Amazing Music

Courtesy of Jim Colombo
In the last 50 years, the way that we consume food has drastically changed. Take Buffalo Wild Wing's for example, you're offered an iPad to play games as you walk in the door. Sports stream throughout plasma's just about everywhere you look and contests for eating dangerously hot wings commence here and there, as well. Maybe you're more fond of staying in and whipping up a delicious, gluten-free, meal as you binge on Orange Is The New Black, but either way it's evident that the world is in need of a culinary renaissance. People are not only craving a richer dining experience, they're expecting it.

Wednesday, July 29th at 7p.m. Five Crowns will delight and entice attendees as they present Dinner In Five Parts. It's time to be present, taste that subtle hint of mache as it flirts with ricotta salata in your mouth and bare witness to how the dining landscape can shape your sensory experience.

Five courses, five pairings, five musicians, five sets, and five senses amiss the charming Corona Del Mar, English garden. Creative genius Allen Moon, of Santa Ana Sites, has brought together Chris Roundtree, of wild Up, to curate a live set list composed by Missy Mazzoli, Morton Feldman, Andrew Tholl, J.S. Back, and Jodie Landau.

The conventional setting of musicians gathering before attendees will be stripped as performers intersperse throughout the space. Moon explains, "When you're able to break down the barriers it can become a very powerful experience. [Roundtree] breaks down formality and address' accessibility, allowing the audience to experience it in a personal way, that only can happen in this sort of environment."

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Ian Anderson's Idea of Rock-n-Roll is More Complex Than You Know

Press Image of Jethro Tull from a 1977 Concert
Rock music is not typically thought of as a vehicle for profound commentary. Granted, the music of classic rock acts like Pink Floyd and Yes provide meditative grooves that are just as deeply poetic as they are good to listen to while stoned, but the progressive rock of Ian Anderson (whose band Jethro Tull was also a product of 60's England) is just as whimsically laced with satire and gobbledygook as it is overtly didactic. His latest album, Homo Erraticus, is the third entry in his Thick as a Brick Trilogy, which includes Thick as a Brick (released by Jethro Tull in 1972 and hailed by Rolling Stone as "one of rock's most sophisticated and ground-breaking products") and Thick as a Brick 2 (released by Ian Anderson in 2012).

The three albums make use of the narrative character Gerald Bostock, who light-heartedly flaunts archaic and cryptic verbiage while commenting on sociology and geopolitics. And while it can be argued that occasionally obvious political commentary is not a trait of profundity, the conceptual scope of the album -- to say nothing of its excellently orchestrated musical aspects -- is testament to its greatness. Anderson will be performing his latest album as well as a selection of Jethro Tull's greatest hits at Segerstrom Hall on September 18.

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Cookie Monster Opens Up About His Addiction

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Press Photo of Sesame Street Live
The creators of Sesame Street have been entertaining and educating generations of people for 45 years. The television show's blend of humor, music, and fast-paced writing with educational goals dealing with tolerance, self-esteem, and non-violent conflict resolution has earned it numerous awards, including Peabody Awards, Parents' Choice Awards, and Emmys. Currently, the Sesame Street team is taking its act on the road, and this weekend, on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14, Sesame Street Live will be performing its new show, "Make a New Friend," at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

The show revolves around a visit from Chamki, a character from Galli Galli Sim Sim (the Indian co-production of Sesame Street, which is based in Delhi). Evidently, Chamki's friend Grover has made a list of things to do with his friend, while she is visiting; however, with multiple friends to visit (each with his own tempting diversion - like eating cookies with Cookie Monster), it's hard to say what will become of poor Grover and his extensive list.

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Yellowcard's Ryan Key Talks The Ocean Avenue Acoustic Tour And New Album Plans

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Megan Thompson
It's been 10 years since Yellowcard released Ocean Avenue, and while jumping on the Anniversary tour train, the Florida bred pop punkers decided to do things a little different. Instead of simply touring the album in its entirety, they recorded a new one, Ocean Avenue Acoustic, as a way to reintroduce both themselves and their fans to the 13-song collection that jumpstarted their legacy as pop punk heavyweights.

As a tribute to their fans in smaller cities, the five-piece decided to reignite the tour that ended in Fall, spending the next few weeks in towns they missed the first time around as a sort of last hurrah for the band before holing up in the studio to work on the next album in their ever-expanding discography. Ahead of their show in Santa Ana on Friday, we got a chance to chat with vocalist/guitarist Ryan Key about the tour, new album, and the personal strife he endured while recording Ocean Avenue Acoustic.

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Alice Cooper Raises His Dead, Drunk Friends in Costa Mesa Tuesday

Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Alice Cooper at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles in June 2013
"Well you know, we've always been just this side of Broadway," Alice Cooper says, explaining the seemingly odd choice to play at the posh Segerstrom Hall on Tuesday. The Costa Mesa opera house is a place where you're more likely to see Wicked and Les Mis than a rock and roll giant and shock rock pioneer like Cooper. But to hear Cooper rationalize the choice, it makes sense. "For some people, this is as close to a Broadway show as they ever get."

And theatrical, an Alice Cooper show is: the elaborate stage setup fills with a pyrotechnic rain, Cooper still dons his signature heavy black eye makeup, and acts out the lyrics with the hubris of a carnival barker, and amidst costume changes, leads his band of misfits with a cane, riding crop, and fencing sword--all before getting his head guillotined, of course.

But this "Raise the Dead Tour" offers fans a new act, something never seen before at an Alice Cooper show (which after 50 years of playing is really saying something): cover songs.

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WASI Bring Their Electro Pop to the Riot Grrrl/LGBT Community

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In 2006, Merilou Salazar was planning an after school event for her high school in Buena Park, and when the suggestion of a live band performance arose, she sprang up and said she had a band that could play. She didn't. In fact, she didn't even know how to play an instrument, though she owned a guitar. Seventeen days later, she had recruited Jessie Meehan on bass, along with her neighbor and another mutual friend, and The Midol Poppers played their first show. It was awful.

Now, seven years later, Salazar and Meehan have stuck together through a slew of different musical acts, the most recent being We Are/She Is. After a move from Orange County to Los Angeles, the girly duo found what they were looking for musically and personally, changed their band name to WASI, and fashioned themselves stage names: Cosmo and Jess, respectively. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with the Riot Grrrl-inspired twosome about their gradual evolution and what's next for WASI.

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Fuck Buttons' Advice to EDM Newcomers: Stay Off the Drugs

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Fuck Buttons
Fuck Buttons make electronic music, sure, but it's not what we're used to in the good ole U, S, of A. During a time where EDM is running rampant in our fine country, we expect high-energy beats and bass drops. Lots of bass drops. The UK duo of Andrew Hung and Benjamin Power just won't give us that instant satisfaction, but they'll give us something much more valuable - Intellectual Electronic Music.

There's a reason why the producers' track, "Olympians," was featured in last year's Olympic Opening Ceremony. There's also a reason why their third LP, Slow Focus, was the first album on ATP Recordings to reach the top 40 of the UK Albums Chart: these guys are smart. That brainpower seeps into every song they create, replacing bass drops with post-rock opuses and adrenaline-powered beats with hypnotic drones. Despite the playfully crass name, Fuck Buttons are about as serious as you can get, and they're bringing their IEM to Detroit Bar on Thursday, October 10th.

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Father John Misty Embraces the Absurdity of Being On Stage

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Emma Garr
Father John Misty's mountain high.
Josh Tillman is a man of excess. The artist known these days as Father John Misty has spread the gospel of sex, drugs and letting the gregarious times roll during the last year while promoting his first release on Sub Pop since his personal ordination, Fear Fun.

Before Tillman's last show behind the drum kit for the Fleet Foxes in January 2012, he packed up his van and headed to L.A. on a quest for self-exploration. Halfway there Tillman's narrative voice famously emerged while he was high on 'shrooms and naked in a tree, as chronicled in the song "I'm Writing A Novel." That led to the name change, as well, which ironically helped him ditch his vanity and write more honestly about his experiences that apparently include shady shamen, cemetery sex and S&M.

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BRONCHO Are Not, In Any Way, Associated With Mexican Ponies

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First and foremost, it's pronounced Braun-cho. Secondly, the capitalization is purposeful. And thirdly, this is a band, not a Mexican pony (important!). It's a band that plays gritty, straightforward punk songs a la The Replacements and Iggy Pop. It's a band that calls Oklahoma home (which is impressive in its own right). It's a band that self-released its debut album and gained International praise all on it's own.

This dedication and persistence paid off, and the quartet recently signed with Fairfax Recordings, which will be re-releasing 2011's Can't Get Past The Lips before dropping BRONCHO's anticipated sophomore release. In the meantime, the punk rockers are touring the States, including a stop at Costa Mesa's Detroit Bar on March 9. While en route to Oakland from Portland, bassist Jonathon Ford chatted with us about BRONCHO's origins, and how the new album will still be loud, but a little more sophisticated.

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