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Are You Too Late for the Trend?
28 Local Greats

(Costa Mesa) "It's about waking up one day and realizing you don't even know yourself anymore," says Brandon, the man behind one-man-band/dance-party-in-a-bucket the Image Bulletin, explaining his infectiously catchy eponymous song. "It has a reference to Siddhartha in the third verse about finding oneself in something as simple as a river and the feeling of pride you experience at realizing your own potential." So it's a quaint little concept, really, not to mention one utterly unexpected by anyone who's ever caught one of his frequent local gigs. Not that we wouldn't put it past Brandon to work Buddhist themes into his keyboard-heavy disco-trash anthem—the song includes a killer, borderline cheesy rap breakdown, after all. It's just that, well, whenever we've heard his stuff—be it during a show at La Cave or at a party in our best friend's living room—we weren't really listening so much as dancing. Dancing like an epileptic homeless lady in a sea of hip-shaking hipster winos; dancing because what with his fuzzy boards, superb drum machine samples and fantastically deafening guitar riffs, we couldn't really hear his vocals, anyway. And that's a shame, see, because the best thing about the Image Bulletin is actually Brandon's alluring, almost-Bryan Ferry-esque voice. Then again, considering his sneaky Siddhartha references, maybe that was his plan all along. WHERE YOU CAN SEE HIM NEXT: at Avalon, 820 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 515-4650. Thurs., June 24. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR HIM: MP3s available on www.theimagebulletin.com. HOW YOU CAN GET A HOLD OF HIM: theimagebulletin@aol.com. (Ellen Griley)THE MAIN FRAME

(Long Beach) For most musicians, putting a label on their creativity is a no-no. And even though the Main Frame do resemble an upstart reincarnation of the Manchester sound, ultimately, they're a pop band. "We write pop songs," says bassist Bill Repke. "Those songs have synthesizers and electronic drums in them. Sometimes you can dance to them." The band's first release, Curse of Evolution, was heavily influenced by Tubeway Army, but Repke—along with keyboardist Rob Wallace, drummer Trip Waterhouse and guitarist/vocalist Steve Krolikowski—are expanding on their original idea. "Our newer material is far more diverse," says Repke. "Early New Order, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, '80s electro. All very rhythm-based but still keeping the original pop aesthetic we started with." But until the new sound drops, we're still happily obsessing over Curse of Evolution's haunting "Ravenous" and its crushing chorus: "This is the last time I let you into my head!" WHEN YOU CAN SEE THEM NEXT: their practice space—at least until they're done recording music for their upcoming EP. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: Curse of Evolution CD on Bird in Hand Records. HOW YOU CAN GET A HOLD OF THEM: www.themainframe.org; band@themainframe.org. (Kat Jetson)THE MATACHINE

(Costa Mesa) Two years ago, a little-known OC band aptly called the Pomp were the "it" thing among hush-hush junkies and scruffy, bleach-haired goons, terrorizing local audiences with broken mic stands, fiery tongues and a bassist whose playing ability was up there with Mr. Vicious. Their musical talent was underwhelming, sure, but they made up for it in brutal showmanship. So no surprise that a year later, they fell apart in a monster catfight and took another six months to make nice. Except the drummer was gone. So they pulled in a tough-as-nails, Swans-adoring femme fatale named Amanda to pound the kit and changed their name to the Matachine. They've now upped the doom and gloom of their tunes and gotten "serious," but they still maintain that bitter existentialist bite. We asked: How would you like people to experience your music? "People experience music?" they wrote back. "I thought that was consumption. Creativity and individuality seem to be whittled down to easily consumed commercialism. [It's just] more intellectual homework that ends in violence. No more deadbeat consumers!" Huh. In a weird way, that makes us proud. WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM NEXT: promoters still remember banning their asses as the Pomp, so the band's been limited to parties and hole-in-the-walls like Zen Sushi. They're working on booking a June 22 to 30 tour from Costa Mesa to Olympia, but so far no dates are confirmed. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: they've got demos for sale at shows but prefer you download their tunes for free off their site, www.thematachine.com. HOW YOU CAN GET A HOLD OF THEM: e-mail 'em for an invite to one of their ragers: thematachine@yahoo.com. (Mehran Azma)THE NEW FIDELITY

(Long Beach) The New Fidelity are the old Lo-Fi Champion (get it?) on Viagra. Not priapic necessarily—but with a new lease on life: hooky, melodic, ebullient and blissfully free of all that plodding perfectionism that used to gum up the works. Which is not to say that the New Fidelity (Lo-Fi's Dan Perkins and Roberto Escobar along with Cleveland transplants Shawn Malone and Billy Parkinson) are slapped together or even punk, but just that currently everything is green and new and invigorated and shiny and easy for the nine-month-old foursome who, according to Perkins, have been getting all kinds of Beach Boys comparisons. From idiots! Aside from their masterful harmonies, the New Fidelity sound nothing like the Beach Boys and everything like the soundtrack to an '80s movie that was never made. Take the wistfully danceable "Casa Grande" for instance, about a "sunny winter's day bike ride through Long Beach." John Cusack should be on that bike! Or "First Day," about doing dishes in your apartment and reflecting on the way that love sometimes walks into your life . . . and fucks it up! Molly Ringwald is doing those dishes right now! Seriously! WHEN YOU CAN SEE THEM NEXT: with Blow Up Blow and Makeshift Love Affair at Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St. (entrance in back), Long Beach, (562) 434-8292. Sun., 8 p.m. 21+. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: self-titled demo available at shows or through their website, www.newfidelity.com. HOW YOU CAN GET A HOLD OF THEM: info@newfidelity.com; ww.newfidelity.com. (Alison M. Rosen)LONG NGUYEN

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