Photo by Jessica Calkins SEVENTH ANNUAL ORANGE COUNTY EARTH DAY FESTIVAL
FULLERTON TRANSPORTATION HUB, FULLERTON
SATURDAY, APRIL 19
So we're trekking around the parking lot of the Fullerton Transportation Hub on a pleasant afternoon—guffawing at all the gangly emo boys with their stupid mesh/foam ball caps, the booth hawking Jesus action figures (on Easter weekend! Alert the Catholic League!) and the food stands peddling pornographic-sized bratwurst—when a local scenester we know strode up to us and neatly summed up the afternoon in the form of a single rhetorical question: "Can we go home till the good bands come on?"
Indeed. On the low end of things were bands like Rumblefish, full of vomitous, turgid turd metal. They seemed to like jumping around the stage a lot, and one of their tuneless tunes was about—as their lead singer gleefully pronounced—"Drinkin' till yer fallin' all over yerself! It's not about a girl!" Gee, thanks for the clarification, assclown. Someone shoot them now.
Wagner seemed nice and radio-friendly, with their somewhat catchy guitar riffage but otherwise tedious mlange—were they to actually get on the radio, we'd switch stations. Adam Misfortune were appropriately named this day, considering all the sound hassles they endured. What splinters of their new wave canoodling managed to finagle their way to our ears, though, were pleasant enough.
The Moseleys, however, rescued us from the Rumblefish horror show, with their always-reliable dirty blues covers and loose, fun times. Half way through their set, though, the air was suddenly splintered by a long, piercing feedback screech. People inserted fingers in their ears, mothers tried to calm pissed-off infants, and the guy monitoring the sound was heard to exclaim, "This whole board just freaked out!" "Oh, shit—that's not good!" cried his co-worker. And all the time we thought it was merely a harmonica bleat from the Moseleys' new harp player.
Not long into the ho-hum set from the Color Red (who reviewed themselves with a line from one of their own songs: "Make it go away"), we opted to investigate our favorite video arcade, the Reagan Years, where we discovered one of their latest additions: Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, where the object is to "save the children" from a myriad of digital baddies—we'll let you make your own joke. But what happened to all the cool '80s posters?
Having achieved the highest score on the Burgertime and Tron machines, we were doubtlessly in a better mindset for hearing Bitch Box, hidden away on the hard-to-find third stage with six other bands. We liked their miffed, non-testosterone-powered crunch—females made up half the band, a rarity on this day of cock worship—and their unforced, energetic attitude. Actually, it's hard not to like a girl who can wail, "YOU SCREW ME EVERY DAY!" into a microphone with such flesh-curdling passion.
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Handsome Devil—like the Color Red, another Lit-associated band—were, for a while, surprisingly interesting and seemed to have a few solid songs to support an otherwise-bland repertoire. Yet with their stupid spiked hair, all we could think of after a good 15 minutes was Good Charlotte. Then, as if wanting—desperately wanting—to fall on the side of ordinary, someone in the band stepped to the mic and yowled, "Is anybody here drunk yet?" And, well, you know . . .
Death On Wednesday were nifty by virtue of their singer, who could actually carry a tune. Decent rock & roll this day, but why did they invoke visions of the Smiths for us? The Supersuckers were okay, if you're into bland, greasy, warmed-over redneck rawk with Thin Lizzy covers and snarky marijuana numbers thrown in. We're convinced that sober people like us simply cannot appreciate them like our AA-bound brethren can.
MC-for-the-day Puck didn't do much besides toss Krispy Kremes into the crowd and utter such brilliant witticisms as "The Color Red! They're rockin' 'cause it's OC!" (Most people didn't seem to know who he was.) John Easdale filled some time reading from a list of things people can do to save the earth (nobody gave a shit), while Zebrahead waited for an AWOL member to materialize. Poor Easdale was dissed twice within minutes: once from the impatient fans who gave him the finger, and again from Zebrahead's Justin Mauriello, who went on about how that Earth Day song that KROQ used to play was really good, even though Easdale—the guy who wrote it!—was standing there, uncredited, only 30 feet away. Zebrahead themselves were pretty good—as anthemic rap-rock goes, they're way better than Linkin Park and have been doing it a lot longer, too.
Lit and Eve 6? Sorry. We had an Angels game to make—and our ears to protect.