Why South County is Becoming a Necessary Haven for House Shows

Categories: scene politics

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Brian Feinzimer
On a clear, late afternoon in Aliso Viejo, Michael Davis sits in a remote corner of his house, listening to his son's band Sharing Rooms play to a room full of hip high schoolers. The living room has been emptied of furniture to make space for everyone, while a string of tiny lights illuminates the walls and adds a cozy ambience.

Davis sits back, relaxed and taking it all in: the spangling guitars, shrill poetic vocals and moody vibes punctuated by bombastic melodic outbursts. And then his wife, Karen, who has been off tending to their dogs, comes to him with an urgent message: "One of the neighbors says he's going to call the cops on the show," she says.


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Six Tips For Booking Your Own Tours

Categories: scene politics

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Ron Cogswell / Flickr
The open road is calling your name.
As musicians love to explain to anyone stupid enough to listen to them, organizing and playing shows can be a lot of work for little reward. In addition to wrangling multiple groups of morons in the same room at the same time, setting up shows also requires dealing with various disorganized idiots on the booking end of things. Keeping that in mind, setting up twenty consecutive shows across an entire country means booking a tour can seem nearly impossible.

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A Plea From Your Friendly Concert Photographer

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Jena Ardell
Johnny Concert-Goer
Being a concert photographer is like being the smart kid in school: nobody likes you and nerds--in this case, other concert photographers--compete for their GPA (Great Photo Access). Sure, the nerds have little stickers or paper bracelets that allow cameras into the venue, but most nerds have to frantically prove they're supposed to be on the list before anyone hands them a sticker.

Enter: Johnny-Concert-Goer who rocks out with his iPhone out during the entire show. If the photographer nerds are lucky, Johnny only spills beer on their shoes. After the show, the cool kids stumble back to the parking lot with dead cell phones full of blurry pics and shaky videos with horrible audio.

The photographer nerds are the cool kids' only chance for seeing decent live shots of the band after the show, so why not play nicely? Here's a plea from your friendly concert photographer on how to avoid becoming a concert bully:

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50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community

Categories: scene politics

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Brandon Marshall for Westword.
Hindershot performing at Unit E.

By: Bree Davies
The way a do-it-yourself music community/scene works is exactly like it sounds: by doing it yourself. DIY is an ethos that transcends genre. Regardless of what your music sounds like, you can create it, perform it and essentially sell it, through your own channels and own means without the hand or monetary support of a larger entity that can compromise your art. But it takes more than just musicians in a music scene to do-it-yourself; it takes the people who book shows, do sound, make merch and spread the word about music, too.

So what can you do if you want to be more a part of your community? To get started in the right direction, we've compiled a list of just some of the ways you can help support and be a crucial part of your DIY scene.

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A Tale of Two Psycho De Mayos

Categories: scene politics

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Mary Bell
Psycho De Mayo last year at the Yost
A music festival can't survive without good branding--no matter what crowd you're trying to attract. For his second annual Psycho De Mayo festival this Sunday, promoter Evan Hagen made sure everything--from the band lineup to the acid trip posters--create a vibe that's eccentric, inclusive, and rowdy as fuck. Though most consider Psycho De Mayo to be geared to psych-rock scenesters, presenting a wide range of acts like the doom metal pioneers of Pentagram, Stoner Metal thrashers The Shrine and hypnotic art rockers Suuns mirrors Hagen's own connoisseur tastes.

"I want to cater to the people of course but I wouldn't want to put a band on stage that I couldn't stand behind, just because I thought they could sell tickets," Hagen says. "There's no point to doing that. I wanna go to a show that I would wanna go to."

After holding the first year of the the fest at the Yost, Hagen moved it across town to the Observatory this year to continue building his brand. But he was surprised last month when he found out the Yost was still hosting Psycho De Mayo--a very different Psycho De Mayo, presented by LA hip hop legends Psycho Realm slated for May 4. It turns out the group, led by emcee Sick Jacken, had started their idea for an event with the same name the same year as Evan. Two shows with two very different brands with the same name, in the same city? Whether it was calculated or just some bumbling coincidence, the brand confusion caused a momentary stir over which fest was legitimately more psycho.


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Why is There No Filipino-American Music Scene in Orange County?

Categories: scene politics

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Courtesy 3 Headed Dog
3 Headed Dog

At a benefit for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in Glendale last month, 3 Headed Dog took part in a multiband musical lineup. It seemed like the kind of event that would draw a huge crowd; after all, thousands had died in a natural calamity in the Philippines, and the Filipino-American community--at 1.4 million strong, the largest Asian American population in California--was finding all kinds of ways to raise money to help victims in the motherland.

But inside, Beyond the Stars Palace was barely half-full. By 9:15 p.m., when singer/guitarist Dave Aguirre, drummer Wolf Gemora and bassist Danny Gonzalez got onstage, the host introduced them as "huge rock stars in the Philippines," mentioning the members were part of the legendary Razorback and Wolfgang. Then he mispronounced their name, saying, "Let's welcome 3 Headed Dogs!"


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Why '90s Bands, Like Pearl Jam, Are Still Relevant

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Jena Ardell
Rock would be dead if '90s alternative rock bands called it quits. So why has it become cool to hate on them and discredit their relevance? We all know complainers who claim they don't know why they still attend Pearl Jam shows, yet purchase the band's new album and keep coming back for more.

See also: Pearl Jam Haven't Been Relevant in Years, So Why Do We Still Clamor to See Them Live? via Village Voice

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Why It's Racist to Call Lorde's 'Royals' Racist

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Jena Ardell
We think that it is ironic (and wrong) that a blogger on a feminist website is pulling the 'racist' card on Lorde's ubiquitous single, 'Royals.'

Time.com's headline, "'Royals' Singer Lorde Caught in Racism Row" is hardly factual. Lorde isn't caught in a racism scandal; a lone blogger voiced an opinion and, for whatever reason, everyone is making a big deal over it.

See also: Stuff Lorde Says, in Illustrated Form

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Quotes from Pussy Riot, in Illustrated Form

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Jena Ardell
Don't call Pussy Riot a band. They are three young, brave women (plus a few anonymous members) who started a feminist movement in Russia. Although we don't agree with their 'protest' which involved surprise open-mouth kissing female security guards, we admire their gumption to stand up to a Russian dictator... err, president.

Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has been freed, but Nadezhda Tolokonnikovan and Maria Alekhina, who was recently denied parole, will remain incarcerated until March 2014 on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

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Six Rules for Moshing at Shows

Categories: scene politics

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John Gilhooley
By Gavin Cleaver
Apparently the youth of today can sometimes be found in "pits," and within these pits, it is agreed upon they will "mosh," a word that covers a variety of bodily gyrations and movements. While in Britain (where I come from) we call them "polite sections" where everyone vigorously shakes hands and nods gently in time to the music, I've now been here long enough that I've seen a thing or two.


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