By Gustavo Arellano
By Aimee Murillo
By Matt Coker
By Vickie Chang
By Matt Coker
By LP Hastings
By Michael Goldstein
By R. Scott Moxley
Feeling squeezed at the pump? Feeling squeezed at your electrical outlet, the checkout line, the ticket booth, the prescription counter? Feeling squeezed by Mr. Whipple? Well, don't let the big-time power brokers have all the fun! Use this handy guide to squeeze the most out of your summer!May 28, Memorial Day: The holiday weekend is the traditional kickoff to the summer season, and what better way to remember those who sacrificed their lives for us than to use their memory to promote a big-ass movie opening? It may not be Christmas in May, but it sure as hell must be Dec. 7 the way all the "news" features are blathering on about Pearl Harbor. Whoo-ee, it's Independence Day with Japs instead of aliens! You won't know what sacrifice is until you've given Jerry Bruckheimer your $8.50. May 29: The crowds are gone until school's out. It's time for a day of quiet reflection, to take the time to wander the tidepools at Big Corona, to playfully push a stick into a sea anemone and wonder, "Is this as close to sex as I'm going to get this summer?" May 30:Before Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock took their own rugged paths to underappreciated excellence, they were all in a band called the Flatlanders. They're back at the House of Blues, and you should be, too. May 31: Never heard of Martin Sexton? The guy sings like a sullied angel, and he's at the Coach House. June 3: Bluesman James Harman is so much better than we deserve. See him at the Coach House. June 5: Short of Fidel Castro playing Marisleysis Gonzalez in a one-man show at South Coast Repertory, the closest you'll come to a sweltering Cuban experience this summer is when the hot Havana dance band Los Van Van returns to the Galaxy Concert Theatre. June 9: OC superchef Paulo Pestarino (late of the lamented, fire-gutted Issay in Newport Beach)will host the grand opening of his own place, inventively named Paulo's Restaurant in Huntington Beach's Old World Village (714-373-5399). Life without his fabulous seafood and sauces has been a hollow, graceless thing. Welcome back! June 10: On this day in history, Howlin' Wolf (1910) and Judy Garland (1922) were born. I mention this only because, oh, the love child they could have had together—not to mention the fights over custody of the schnapps bottle. June 21: It's the summer solstice. Celebrate your inner druid by staying the hell out of the way of people who have a real life. They, of course, will be on their way to see eccentric Jamaican reggae/dub genius Lee "Scratch" Perry at the Galaxy. June 23: As slick as James Brown tries to be these days, you know he can't hide all that funk. See one of the greatest American artists of the past century at the Sun Theatre. July 3: Don't go near the water. On this date in 1969, Brian Jones drowned in his pool; in '71, Jim Morrison was found dead in a Paris bathtub, which has yet to turn up on eBay. This is not the day to propose, "Hey, let's get wicked drunk in Marina del Rey and dive for Dennis Wilson's toolbox!" July 4: Celebrate your freedom by ignoring everything else on this page. Don't consume. Play your own music in your back yard for friends instead of being milked like aphids by the corporate ants. Ride a bike rather than let the oil companies practice Detroitus Interruptus on you. Grow your own and buy organic. Start your own business, predicating your success upon treating people as you would wish to be treated. Make America what it should be, and do it in time to go to the Hootenanny. July 7: If your fetish is watching women in stiletto heels try to walk on gravel and dirt all afternoon, rejoice, for the Hootenanny is upon us. There's a new location at Hidden Valley Ranch (behind the Amphitheater Formerly Known as Irvine Meadows), but you can expect the same fashion miscues and hot music, including headliners Chuck Berry and Social Distortion and local wonders Big Sandy, James Intveld and many others. July 13: The Orange County Fair opens. The vegetative theme this year is "Rot in Hell," with entertainment chosen accordingly, including Chubby Checker, the Village People (featuring one of the original members' chaps), Lee Greenwood and other performers so moribund even Bonny Lee Bakley wouldn't have desired their seed. Hey, there's another farming theme the fair could use: "We Want Your Seed!" Christ, they've even got Billy Ray Cyrus, so the theme could be "Achy Breaky Chard." Or they could set Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on fire and call it "Chard Beyond All Recognition."
The fair's actual theme, devoid this year of barnyard puns, is "Twist and Shout." One of the lineup's brighter spots is when that song's swell originators, the Isley Brothers, appear July 17. A prediction: the fair will charge $10 per person to reserve the front 1,600 seats at each show on top of the $7 fair admission. I'm guessing Lee Greenwood is going to be twice as exciting when almost every seat near the stage is empty. Another prediction: I think the fair is going to be a lot better next year, if only because they'd have to work too hard to make it worse than this. I dig the fair's craft exhibits and sheep, but they still utterly ignore the county's best talents and eateries in favor of soulless pap and overpriced carnie food. Go to Seattle's Bumbershoot instead.July 14: Pop off to France for Bastille Day. On a budget? Go see Spinal Tap at the Sun. July 17: Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames comes to the Pond, and even at $2.20 per gallon, I can't think of a better use for gasoline. July 20: Sade is at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Sade is my hero. July 25: Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Sorry: you can't go electric, not with the president's "let's leave California to twist in the wind" energy plan. July 29: On this day in 1959, the Isleys recorded "Twist and Shout," little suspecting that 15,319 days later, they'd be fated to sing it at the Orange County Fair. Aug. 6: Go to Disneyland. In 1970, this was Yippie Day at the park, when radical hippies descended to bring the harsh reality of the Vietnam War to the heart of American fantasy—and also to just sort of fuck around on recreational drugs, not that there's any contradiction there. The Yippies hoisted a Viet Cong flag over Fort Wilderness and fought with riot cops on Main Street. With Disney getting $43 per head now, they'd probably be glad to host a rematch. Aug. 8:The tremendous a cappella group the Persuasions sing at the Coach House. Aug. 12: Been putting off going to Buck Owens' Bakersfield nightclub, where he plays every weekend? This is his birthday, so make the jaunt. Aug. 25: I don't know about you, but I'm getting married. Hats and horns for everyone! Aug. 28:On this date in 1964, Bob Dylan turned the Beatles on to pot. You're likely thinking you can do the same for your cat or dog, but don't. They don't need it like you do. Aug. 31-Sept. 3: Go to the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle and see what a fair should be. While we get musical corndogs, they've had everyone from Tony Bennett to Allen Ginsberg to the Sex Pistols. You'll also usually find more of our local talent there, like Big Sandy and Karl Denson, than you do at our own damn fair. Check it out at www.bumbershoot.com. Sept. 4: Get back to work. I don't want to see you slacking off one more minute.
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