James Abajian

TGIF: Fu Manchu, Old 97's, Willie Nelson, John Doe and More

​On Friday night, this week's Locals Only stars, Wildboys, play the Static club night at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa--and they might just take over the place forever and declare it their own kingdom. Members Bronson and Stallone know well the trash culture of previous decades, and today, and they embrace it to the full with the belief that partying, beats and general hilarity are always in style. To quote a recent exchange in Sack magazine: "Q: How much do you value your mustache? A: How much do Christians love their church?"

Saturday is another

Detroit Bar

night featuring the return of local heroes

Fu Manchu

. The stoner-metal kings have roared back to life for the New Year, and they're revisiting their 1996

In Search Of .

. . album in its entirety. We're back and forth on the whole "play the classic album" trope; some acts seem to be relying on them for their retirement money, while others choose albums that seem anything but classic. In this case, though, Fu Manchu's dedication to heavy fuzz deserves recognition, and

In Search Of

. . . remains a hell of a great listen. Besides, who knows what else they might bust out?


Also on Saturday, The Mau Maus appear at Alex's Bar in Long Beach, along with Stitches, Smogtown and The Junk. The Mau Maus have the kind of cryptic history that attracts a cult--at Ground Zero for LA punk, getting parts in (and then getting cut from) The Decline of Western Civilization and writing songs with titles such as "Sex Girls In Uniforms." If acts like Zolar X can carry on in new forms, though, there's no reason why Rick Wilder and company can't keep raising their own sort of hell.

Speaking of punk stalwarts:

John Doe

hits the

Detroit Bar

on Sunday night, so if you're going expecting karaoke, you might want to rethink that unless you can rock a mean




's co-founder just played with his main band the other week, so here's a chance to catch him rocking a different vibe. Special guests are promised, and it's always good to see the man performing in some capacity, like his astounding role in

Road House

with Patrick Swayze. We didn't believe it was him the first time we saw it; how wrong we were.


Tuesday finds The New Limb celebrating a record release at . . . Detroit Bar. Surprise! Following up their Sounds People Can Hear album from last year, the OC natives are set to release a B-sides collection (remember those?). Show up early if you'd like to snag a physical copy straight from the band at their merch table. They'll also be debuting a video for "Birds and Stuff," and Eastern Conference Champions and Big Bad Wolf will be there in support.

Willie Nelson

comes through OC again on, stopping Wednesday at the

House of Blues

in Anaheim. Nelson's decades-long career, from country songwriter to smash-hit performer in his own right to wide-ranging political activist to all-around icon, is a classically American story that places him in a realm of his own. As his recent founding of the TeaPot Party shows, he's still got his dander up.


From classic to newer country: Thursday finds Old 97's at the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana, with Langhorne Slim opening. Led by Rhett Miller, who has since become known for his solo career, Old 97's might be one of the only groups that make the alt-country tag mean something worthwhile. It's not traditional country, it's not rock & roll and it's not whatever Jeff Tweedy ended up doing--it just is. Read our feature article on them this week for more, or search YouTube for clips like this:


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