By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Amy Thelig "Lo, has this year been a trial for you," said God, "but I have heard your pleas, both silent and not, and with this new year, I promise succor for you and yours on this Earth. Bouncers will recognize thy out-of-state Ids, and cocktails will top out at $3.50, and from the ground itself will spring forth convenient, clean, reliable public transportation--specifically, light rail--so no one will drink and drive again. And your bad bands will become mediocre and your mediocre bands good, and your good bands will get their songs in TV shows and movie soundtracks and pay off their credit-card debts and not be sad if they never got their college degrees, and the best among them will become truly great, not famous, perhaps, but secure and happy and satisfied within their own boundless talent, and the sabotages they inflicted on themselves out of fear and confusion will sink and disappear inside them, and My gift to you is that you will be there to watch and listen and know that it can happen, and happen again and again without limit. And in turn, for Me, you must recognize that the truest things by their nature conceal themselves, that they have been hidden for their own protection, and that it is tasked to you to find them and bring them to the light--to you to feed uncommon passion, to temper ambition into action, to slip past those who sing loudest and easiest for those who have no one else to listen to them. Your Camus said music is the most perfect art, and he was correct, though, lo, was he pissed-off when he had to hear it from Me personally, and you know yours is a solemn duty: you must be as the monks, you must work for history; you must make echoes to send back to me so I might listen and know you all still live, anon and on, amen."
"No SHIT!" we said. "God! How the fuck are you gonna get public transportation in Orange County?"
"Oh, um, Orange County?" said God. "Lo, did I intend this missive to go to LA Weekly. But, um, how was your year?"
DIPIAZZA'S, LONG BEACH
SUNDAY, JAN. 4
So it was announced from the stage that there would be NO MOSHING during Revo's set ("But you can still have a good time!" pleaded the lead singer). They confessed it was going to be odd playing in front of a non-moshing throng (which we took to mean, "We happily cater to the lowest common denominator!"), and with their all-black outfits, we guessed we were in for an endless feast of pedestrian swill. Our instincts were dead-on. Totally safe, totally ordinary, their brand of hardcore was like some kind of candy bar—dark on the outside, soft on the inside. Here it is the start of a new year, and people are still starting bands because they want to copy what everyone else is doing, while having zero ambition to even attempt something original. Yeah, I'm talking to you. You—not just greedy record companies and illegal downloading—you're helping to kill music. (Rich Kane)
CHAIN REACTION, ANAHEIM
SATURDAY, JAN. 24
We've had many satisfying moments on this six-year-long gig of ours—pissy songs written about us, people forging our name to get free stuff—but nothing's more satisfying than to witness a merely good band evolve into something approaching total fucking godhead, which is where Limbeck is right now. So they come out and prove themselves with just about every song off their fantastic new album, Hi, Everything's Great, and all of it sounded amazing, especially "Brand New Orange" and "Tan + Blue" and "Silver Things," and then they went and did Bob Dylan's "If You Gotta Go, Go Now," and it was completely honest and sincere, maybe the first and last unironic Dylan tune the Chain Reaction walls had or will ever hear. Limbeck were incredible—loud, pure and blazing, and Patrick Carrie didn't even have to rip his guitar apart like he looked to be doing to get their point across. This all happened 48 hours ago as we write this, and we're still grinning like idiots at the memories. So the old Limbeck is dead—forever live the new Limbeck! (RK)
JC FANDANGO, ANAHEIM
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28
Only two songs into their set, the band's lead caterwauler pouted, "The drummer wants some water—can someone please give him a dollar?" The derisive howls with which the crowd greeted the comment visibly troubled the diva, who then pointed to his skins pounder and warned, "Don't fuck with him—he's from Texas." So many shouts of "¡Culeros!" filled JC Fandango that owner Javier Castellanos is lucky he wasn't cited for obscenity. (Gustavo Arellano)
ANGEL STADIUM PARKING LOT, ANAHEIM
SATURDAY, FEB. 14
But this wasn't Scarlet Crush, certainly not the one we've written slobberingly about for nigh on four years now. No, weirdly, this was some watered-down cover band that looked an awful lot like Scarlet Crush, but wasn't, farting off one overplayed classic rock tune after another, from the Beatles to ZZ Top to Johnny Cougar Mellencamp. "Who are you people, and what have you done with one of our favorite bands?" we screamed silently. Surely this was done to placate the masses in attendance, who couldn't give a whit about anything musically that's not being fed to them through the evil filter of corporate radio. It was aural comfort food, which we guess was all right, and if we're gonna sit still for a half-hour of songs we've heard far too often in one lifetime, then we'd rather have Scarlet Crush be the band playing them more than almost any other. (RK)