Photo by James Bunoan1. SOL "From the city of Orange, a live groove band that was as '70s as it gets! Everyone always danced and their shows were always packed. This band featured one of my favorite OC veteran drummers, drum maniac Craig Teigen, who currently plays with Afro Beat Down and Helmut Stein. And of course Johnny Wah-Wah—he was so inside that groove!"
2. POVERTY LEVEL "This duo is witty, rhythmic and loud, and they sound like a full band but there are only two of them. They often get compared to a combination of X and Elvis Costello's early stuff. Amazing lyrics—hilarious!"
3. GIANT ANT FARM "This was cabaret rock, complete with accordion and something like nine members, with a Tom Waits story feel to every bleeding song, including "Me Nombre" and other melancholy machinations. Many of them split off into other great projects, like Mike Flanagan with Breach."
4. NATIONAL PEOPLE'S GANG "This ever-amazing rock quartet had it going on. I remember big fat outdoor concerts in OC…Front man Chad Jasmine—sadly now gone—smeared melon on his body at the end of every show, and like a man with a Jesus complex, fed the crowd first. Never dull. Bassist Deo now has the Fuz—a great band also, over-bass-driven red-faced cow-art-punk…
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5. RELISH "Before it was 'cool' to be an all-girl band, Relish kicked out show after show—we're talking two shows a week at least for years—of ball-busting rock. Somewhat self taught and proud of it, the trio became a foursome then sadly split up a few years ago after 10 years together."