Got no plans this weekend? We're here to help! From Casey and the Tall Boys in Tustin to Wang Chung will be at the Galaxy, mewithoutYou at Chain Reactio, Fitz and the Tantrums at the Detroit Bar and Swingin' Utters will be at the Ink-N-Iron fest in Long Beach, we've got a whole slew of local acts to witness for the weekend. For a better, more informed decision, listen to these bands after the jump.
Friday, June 11
Friday night finds a lot going on starting with Casey and the Tall Boys, our featured Locals Only artist this week, playing at the Beach Pit BBQ in Tustin. Fronted by Casey Filbey herself, with the three Tall Boys playing a slew of instruments as she does, the Costa Mesa-based band has already gained plenty of local notice for their winningly breezy take on mid-20th century pop, rock and jazz-imagine, if you will, a world where the Cocktail Nation types weren't almost immediately squashed by a bunch of beefy bros just out of a series of ska moshpits.
Elsewhere that evening, Wang Chung plays the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana with Olio, and Saint John and the Revelations. As with nearly everything popular in the '80s, Wang Chung provoke a classic mixed reaction to this day; if the weirdly galumphing pop hit "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" seems utterly of its time, its American breakthrough "Dance Hall Days" retains a strange elegance. The group's soundtrack to Wolfgang Peterson's To Live and Die in LA is a surprisingly strong, moody experiment in its best moments (a bit like the film itself).
Finally that evening, mewithoutYou play Chain Reaction in Anaheim along with David Bazik and Rubik. While the Pennsylvania band has had a Christian rock tag applied to it a lot over time, it's more that they're an openly spiritual group than an opportunistic act looking to create a prefab "well-known-band but for Christians" experience. Even if they're not as uniquely freaky with their aesthetic as a group like the Danielson Famile, then their open questioning about their place in the world and creation makes them more of a thoughtful prog-tinged act than one might recognize on first blush.
Saturday, June 12
Come Saturday, Fitz and the Tantrums will be packing them in at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, in no small part because their out-of-nowhere rocket to fame via a Maroon 5 opening slot has helped rapidly spread the word. Not to mention the fact that while it seems that any number of bands out there are claiming the '60s soul/pop/rock mantle these days now that Sharon Jones is the new Aretha Franklin in some corners, this six-piece wears its style pretty well--and it doesn't hurt that Fitz himself has got a pretty good look to go with the voice.
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Also on Saturday, the Swingin' Utters bring their own brand of happy-punk-revivalism-meets-American-roots music to the Ink-n-Iron Festival over at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Given the mix of hot rods, rockabilly babes and, of course, more tattoos than the eye can take in, it's tempting to say that the Swingin' Utters, one of our featured artists in the music section this week, will be treating it all as a slice of heaven.