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

Categories: music, preview

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

Categories: interview, preview

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

Categories: interview, preview

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

Categories: Q&As, preview

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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