By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
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By Alex Distefano
Photo by Jeanne RiceBrian is the singer for JFA, Rossmoor/Los Alamitos editor ofThe Sun newspaper in Seal Beach > The Idiots. The punkest muthas I know. When these guys play a show, soundmen cringe and club owners either leave the building or go bleedin' crazy watching their place get busted up. No Idiots show I've ever seen has been without a full flurry of flying objects, flying beer and flying F-words. Even poseurs can see the light after an Idiots show. The only problem is they live up near San Francisco, and I don't think they're allowed to leave town.
> Duane Peters. Rough, tough and raw around the edges, Duane has broken more bones than he owns and still keeps coming back for more. He also has a heart of gold. Though he's pushing the wrong side of 30, Duane still skates pools all the time and has been working on a trick that makes me hold my hands over my eyes every time he tries it—an acid-drop Indy off one side of the channel and into the other—at Kelly's. By the way, it was Duane who coined the term "Indy air," which so many extreme-sport-types can't seem to understand is only performed backside—there is no such thing as a frontside Indy. Duane also sings with US Bombs and the Hunns.
> The Atomic Lounge. On Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KLON-FM 88.1, right after Gary Wagner's Nothin' but the Blues, a most magical and soulful radio show comes on called Sean Heitkemper's Atomic Lounge. When I first heard this show, I thought it had to be some kind of fluke. This music was too good to be on the radio. The man was rockin' straight Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, all kinds of soul music and jump blues. Heitkemper plays obscure diamond-in-the-rough stuff that never made it—and probably never could—because it was so sublime, it couldn't be mass-marketed for public consumption.
> Ray Charles, The Genius Hits the Road. I heard Ray's version of "Sentimental Journey" on Atomic Lounge and immediately launched a crusade to get the CD at any cost. The Genius' rendition of the song is a three-part round with sweet female harmonies taking the first part, one of the bossest baritones I've ever heard on the second part, and Ray himself putting in some seriously soulful croons on the third. Both the song and the CD are epic.
> X and the Damned at the Blood Drive. Two old-time bands that absolutely ruled back in the day when their original raw energy was what it was all about, but then started getting all poppy and crappy. Well, I'm proud to say both bands were back on track at the recent Blood Drive at Hidden Valley Ranch in Irvine, and my faith was restored.
> The Monkeywrench. Tim Kerr of the Big Boys is on guitar, with most of Mudhoney backing him up. Amazing stuff that's impossible to capture on vinyl or CD, you just have to see it live, usually in Seattle. The band plays straight-ahead garage-rock while Kerr goes off into funky, bluesy, Silvertone tangents that are absolutely insane and irresistible.
> Buddy Guy, A Man and The Blues. This is the only CD I've ever had that I can keep on continuous rotation in my truck for weeks at a time. Seriously. Otis Spann on piano, Buddy Guy on guitar and vocals, and certifiably T-U-F-F rhythm and horn sections. Spann's piano solos on the bass notes are pure bliss, and Buddy's got some groove going, too.
> Anything by Too $hort. Though he has been know to get a little out-of-hand with his sexual overtones on a track or two, you can't fade the $hort Dog when it comes to delivering the smoothest flow on the planet. Cold mackin' is what he do, Too $hort and the Dangerous Crew. He ain't trippin'. East Oakland. Recognize game.
> Sons of Hercules' Get Lost. I got turned on to these cats via my good buddy Johnny Fabulous. From the first chords, I knew there was some booty-shaka garage sounds going on. Old-style punka rocka that makes you want to bop. If you can't dig this, you're probably dead.