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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Holychild Puts An Indie Spin On a Miles Davis Cover, And We're Not Even Offended

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Though East Coast transplants Holychild are relatively new to the SoCal music scene, the experimental pop outfit has been making strides in its new home. Aside from gearing up to release its debut EP, Tribes, next month, the quartet is currently headlining Santa Ana's Detroit Bar every Monday night for its February residency, joined by the likes of fellow L.A.- and OC-based acts like Travelers (featuring members of Young the Giant), Steffaloo and Hotel Cinema. Amidst the chaos of the residency and album release, Holychild's founders, Louis Diller and Elizabeth Nistico chatted with us about the new EP and their to give a Miles Davis cover some indie rock flavor from out of left field.

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Poolside Set To Bring The Dance Party This Friday At South Coast Plaza's Sony Store

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Culture guide gurus Flavorpill have teamed up with Sony to present the "Sony Sessions," an event that celebrates the local culture of six US cities including Houston, Long Island, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, and our very own Costa Mesa.The fact that we made it into the company's lexicon of posh, cultural hotspots is a bit of a surprise. But hey, we're not complaining.

"Events and culture are what we do," says Flavorpill's managing editor Leah Taylor, "so Sony came to us in hopes of creating something not just fun and cool, but original; something that really celebrates the imagination of the participating artists and vendors."

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The Faint's Jacob Thiele Discusses The 'Danse Macabre' Tour And The Band's Future

The Faint Press Shot- Hi Res.jpg
This year seems to be one of re-releases and anniversary tours, and The Faint has followed suit. After taking a few years off to experiment with new endeavors, the Omaha-based kings of dance rock are not only releasing a deluxe edition of their famed 2001 LP, Danse Macabre, but have also embarked on an eponymous tour in which they play the album from start to finish.

Though this is technically an "Anniversary" tour, the quartet looks at it as a chance to play new material and hopefully write enough on the road to release a record in the foreseeable future. Ahead of their show at The Glass House on November 21, keyboardist Jacob Thiele took some time to chat with us about how the Dance Macabre tour came to be, the excitement of playing new music, and how the band's side project, Depressed Buttons, has helped shape The Faint's future sound.

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Kristina Sky Was Dragged To Her First EDM Rave in the '90s, She Hasn't Looked Back Since

Kristina Sky.jpg
Kristina Sky

Kristina Sky sensed that the EDM movement would continue to gain popularity in the states since her early rave days in the 90s. The LA-bred trance artist started off promoting dessert parties before picking up vinyl records and a set of turntables 10 years ago. Today, she DJ's all over the world sharing stages and singles on record labels with idols like Armin Van Buuren and Paul Van Dyk. After playing on New Years Eve for power-house promoters Giant in 2006 alongside Ferry Corsten and Sasha & Digweed, she gained a much sought after residency at Avalon Nightclub in Hollywood and became one of the most in demand female DJ's of the decade. This Friday she comes back to her second home in OC for a headlining show at the Yost Theater in downtown Santa Ana. We spoke to Kristina about getting dragged to her first "rave," being a female in this mostly boys club and playing the ASOT stage at this years Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas.

OC Weekly (Alejandra Loera): Describe to us that moment when you realized dance music and trance in particular spoke to you individually and changed your perspective on EDM.

Kristina Sky: Being a punk and ska girl, I was really resistant to attend my first rave in the early '90s. I got dragged into it by a friend, but soon saw how untrue some of the stigmas were. It was really different from the aggressive punk shows I was used to, filled with mosh pits and such. It was the exact opposite - very friendly, calm and accepting. At the time the music connected with my classical background. I was in choir and played the violin in an orchestra for over five years. The sounds in trance and a lot of electronic music was a more new age kind of take on my classical thing. Back then there were no DJ idols or icons. Rather than freaking out about a song or DJ, going to these types of events was about the people in the scene and the community behind it.

See Also:
Despite Being Underrepresented, Female DJs Say There's No Crying in EDM
Norin & Rad: A Pair of Local DJs Putting OC Trance on the Map
John O'Callaghan and Kristina Sky at the Yost Theater Last Night

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