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The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene

OC, you fuckin' suck! Love, the musicians and the fans
OC, you fuckin' suck! Love, the musicians and the fans
John Gilhooley

Orange County, your musicians have a bone to pick with you. Well, more than one bone actually. You see, for being the second-most populous county in the Greater L.A. area-- behind L.A. of course-- the only figure that beats our count of approximately 3 million citizens is the number of times we're reminded what a distant second that actually is when it comes to our music scene. And we're even further back when you compare us to the other national sonic Meccas like New York, Austin, Seattle, Nashville, wherever. And it's not because we don't have the talent, the drive, or the will to pack the biggest clubs or earn the most fans. If that were the case, those d-bags who live North of the 5 Fwy wouldn't be so eager to try and steal any artist with even a fartsworth of viable commercial potential--Cold War Kids, Young the Giant, Local Natives...the list goes on.

No, plenty of our musicians have the right stuff, it's just too bad they live in a place with all the wrong stuff, or--in many cases--no stuff at all. What little morsels of a respectable scene that we do have usually end up getting shut down or stolen, while the rest of the world paints us as this boring, white-bred suburb that even al Qaeda doesn't have time to bomb (but sure has time to recruit from...). Add that to the unshakable stereotype that all we have to offer sonically is a litany of No Doubt and Social Distortion wannabes and you have the perfect recipe for the red headed step child that is the OC musician. And boy, do we have issues.

Don't get us wrong, OC--you definitely have your inalienable charms, those sparkling gems of authentic community, culture and sonic rebellion hidden within your borders. Those will be discussed next week in a separate post. But sometimes, let's face it, you suck balls. And right about now, we'd like to tell you why. Recently, the Weekly polled a number of musicians who had long-gestating gripes about the task of supplying your live entertainment. And since most of them are too broke or cheap to afford any kind of therapy, bitching to us was the next best thing. Behold, our list of the 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene.

50. After all your band expenses, the pay for gigs out here is peanuts.--John Gilhooley, The Yeastie Boys

49. Someday, hopefully a cool Fullerton venue will replace the Slidebar.--Cameron Crowe, Audacity

48. The OC Music Awards has 8-10 different rock sub genres with their own award category but only one hip-hop, one electronic and zero R&B/soul...sad--Damien B, BLOK

47. When the old Avalon Bar in Costa Mesa double booked our gig night, again, for the third time in a row--Robin Davey, Well Hung Heart

46. Dahga Bloom doesn't throw shows at their Anaheim warehouse anymore. Bummer. --Jared Henderson, Douglas and the Furs

45. Everywhere you look, too many instrument owners and not enough real musicians--Evan Stone, Translucent Ham Sandwich Band

The OC Music Awards...reminding the rest of the world how white we are!
The OC Music Awards...reminding the rest of the world how white we are!
Keith May

44. The reality check of having to go to work the day after playing a sold-out show at the Anaheim House of Blues! --Eric Bootow, Sederra

43. Getting out of a weekday show at 1a.m. and In-N-Out is already closed. Late night food options are slim. We need a Swingers or Kitchen 24 here.--Maya Tuttle, The Colourist

42. Going to Continental Room and having to wade through sets of perpetual youth garage bands, who can't write a song or play a tune to save their life, just to see a band that you only kinda like.--Lucas Drake, Dahga Bloom

Swimming past the usual sea of bros. Fun times...not.
Swimming past the usual sea of bros. Fun times...not.
LP Hastings

41.When the champagne runs out at the club where you're DJing. That would never happen in LA!--Bruce Karlsson, Norin and Rad

40. Breaking down at the studio. Loading up the van. Unloading at the venue. Loading onto stage. Loading off stage. Loading back into the van. Loading back into the studio.--Jeremy Schnaible, The Field Trip

 

39. Driving to a gig in Central OC when there's traffic on the 55. You will never get there on time.--Casey Sullivan, Seedless

38. Todd Miller leaving Anaheim House of Blues because it's rare to have a booker at a corporate venue who loves and understands punk rock.--Steve Soto, The Adolescents

Detroit Bar: Where our bar minimum is probably your wallet's maximum
Detroit Bar: Where our bar minimum is probably your wallet's maximum
Jackie Connor

37. The bullshit credit card minimum they charge at Detroit Bar is too damn high--Aliso Black, rapper

36. When a night is poorly booked and six acts have to squeeze into a two-hour time slot. What a shit show! --Kalva Won, producer

35. Being based in the City of Orange, which although is home to Chapman University and a ton of great bands, has absolutely no live music scene--Greta Valenti, Well Hung Heart

34. In the '90s the Galaxy Theater would make under age show-goers buy two drink tickets upon entry. We had a beef with them until we sold out and filmed our video for "The Set Up," there.--Dan Regan, Reel Big Fish

33. We see DJ's and artists who come to OC and exploit our music scene. They strictly come out to perform and don't really reach out to local artists or try to build working relationships within our community.--Wizzo, hip-hop producer/ Get Money Boys

32. Never winning an OC Music Award :( --Justin Wagner, The Colourist

31. The false sense of accomplishment that comes from winning an Orange County Music Award.--Sean Yakubovsky, Dahga Bloom

Nope, we weren't kidding...La Cave sucks for sound but the Biebs DID play here.
Nope, we weren't kidding...La Cave sucks for sound but the Biebs DID play here.
La Cave

30. La Cave is great, but setting up is rough due to the fact that it's underground and their lack of a house PA; but it's an amazing spot and worth the work. And it's Justin Bieber-approved. --Maya Tuttle, The Colourist

 

29. They can rarely seem to get any good local acts booked for the OC Fair. Damn it, we're right here, people!--Chris Dorame, Solution

28. Getting bamboozled by hookers walking into California Girls frontin' as strippers and security kicking 'em out after you just paid the trick for a lap dance out of the money you just made at a gig! --Aliso Black, rapper

Promoter: "Hey bud, great show! Here's your paycheck! Don't drink it all in one place."
Promoter: "Hey bud, great show! Here's your paycheck! Don't drink it all in one place."
Kelly Moritz

27. When promoters try to pay me in drinks instead of cash.--C4mula, rapper

26. Unit B, the all-ages DIY venue/skate park was shut down. Get that back in motion!--Zach Smith, The Greenery

25. Disneyland security-checkpoint at House of Blues.--Micah Brown, singer songwriter

24. Being underage and getting hoisted over bouncer Tim's shoulder and carried out for being in Detroit Bar too long after a set.--Gianna Gianna, BLOK

23. If there's more than 15 people in the Constellation Room my glasses fog up --Doug McCurdy, Douglas and the Furs

22. Having to play with Jeramiah Red all the time.--Robert Jon Burrison, Robert Jon and the Wreck

21. When the Distillery (the legendary analog recording studio) closed down.--Brooks Nielsen, The Growlers

20. Getting good local support for our projects, but rarely ever seeing any mainstream success from them.--Wizzo, hip-hop producer/ Get Money Boys

 

19. The holes in the bathroom doors at Chain Reaction--Alex Polk, Day Seeker

18. Fullerton Cops walking inside the bars at night, like cowboys in an old western film. Killing the vibe and guess what? Nobody feels more safe when guns are inside bars. Fight real crime and stay out of our bars!--Bobby Soul, Boogaloo Assassins

Oh, Sublime...how you bamboozled us time and time again.
Oh, Sublime...how you bamboozled us time and time again.

17. Back in the day, Sublime would be on the fliers for multiple shows, every weekend, and usually not perform at any of them.--Dan Regan, Reel Big Fish

16. Way too many Opening DJs in OC don't build the night properly, short-changing the party goer's complete experience. House is a journey, not a relentless onslaught.--Adam Auburn DJ at California Adventure

15. The ongoing Frat Fest we like to call "Downtown Fullerton."--Samuel Lopez, Tapioca and the Flea

14.Few bars worth drinking at and even fewer cool venues--Brooks Nielsen, The Growlers

13. Any DJ night when someone asks us to play "Levels" by Avicii. And trust me--around here, they always do.--Daniel Minaya, Minaya and Vikus

Robert Jon & the Wreck: "Haha! suck it, J. Red!"
Robert Jon & the Wreck: "Haha! suck it, J. Red!"
Brandon Ferguson

12. Robert Jon & the Wreck rubbing their OC Music Awards Best Live Band title in our face every day. We share a damn studio with those dicks. It's getting old!--Wes Dickson, Jeramiah Red

11. Our scene is too far from LA.--N3utron, rapper

Without this man...your gig sucks
Without this man...your gig sucks
Bob Rodman's Facebook

10. When Bob Rodman can't make a show--Nicole Vaughn

 

9. Promoters who pressure artists to sell a certain amount of tickets.--Mike Doherty, Sederra

8. If you're a musician with long hair the police might mistake you with a homeless, mentally handicapped person and murder you.--Kyle Gibson, Audacity

Love you guys...but why does every asshole from out of town assume that all our bands sound like you?
Love you guys...but why does every asshole from out of town assume that all our bands sound like you?

7. I hate when you tell people you play punk music and their follow up is... "Like Social Distortion?! Or Pennywise?!" Uh, no... fuggin' broham, not like that.--Sean Slouka, Capt. Slookie and the Rogue Squadron

6. Not enough all-ages venues.--Sean Bohrman, Thee Makeout Party/Burger Records founder

5. Overpriced drinks at House of Blues Anaheim. I don't think a tall can of Coors Light should EVER be $11 --Zach Smith, The Greenery

4. Feeling like, "If I don't move to LA, I'm not taking my career seriously enough."--Micah Brown, singer songwriter

Uh, I know you didn't just talk shit on karaoke!
Uh, I know you didn't just talk shit on karaoke!
flickr user gwen

3. That karaoke is even a "thing"...and like, a big "thing," around here.--Gianna Gianna, BLOK

Payto play? Fuck that shit!
Payto play? Fuck that shit!

2. The promoters are crooks and the shows are so full of artists that sell tickets for themselves and in the end, no one is there to see the headliner.--N3utron, rapper

1. The weirdos--Jeremy Schnaible, The Field Trip

See also: *The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List *The 10 Greatest OC Metal Bands *The 20 Best OC Albums of All Time: The Complete List

Follow us on Twitter @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality.


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