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Monday, December 15
Ted Z and the Wranglers The Constellation Room If there's such a thing as a high-functioning rock band, Ted Z and the Wranglers are it. Since getting serious as a band a couple of years ago, they've been on a creative tear, with a debut LP released last year, and a couple of EPs that dropped this year. The Wranglers root themselves in the realm of cowboy Americana, a sound more akin to Nashville than SoCal, and they employ the genre's requisite high level of musicianship, with band members flexing their chops, reminiscent of the famous Nashville A-Team session crew that backed Elvis, Dylan, Patsy Cline--basically everyone who had a country hit in the '50s, '60s and '70s. (Adam Lovinus)
Tuesday, December 16 Honey Power Residency Continental Room The lovely, musically inclined ladies of Honey Power form an awesome collective of DJs, artists and writers who bring the worlds of art and music together through rad zines, pop-up showcases and concerts. This month they're bringing a weekly residency (although, sadly, it's only three nights long) of some of their favorite musical acts including Colleen Green, Cobalt Cranes, Bombon, and Wet & Reckless. Tonight is co-presented by She Shreds magazine, an awesome publication dedicated to covering some of the best female musicians in rock. Come check out Summer Twins, Winter, Cheryll, and Jenn Prince take the stage for your listening and dancing pleasure. And give a warm hello to the Honey Power DJs as they spin sweet tunes in between. (Aimee Murillo)
Schoolboy Q The Observatory Remember when Kendrick Lamar played the Glass House? And Kanye played the Galaxy? Maybe you should make it a point to go see Top Dawg/Black Hippy's Schoolboy Q at the Observatory while you still got the chance. Q's latest release, Oxymoron, is an intense and energetic listen, a gritty gangsta rap album powered by Q's charisma and snarling stories of LA life. And despite, or quite possibly because of (it's 2014, after all), an early online leak, his first-ever major label album debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200. Time will tell if it turns out to be a classic, but it's already a ripper. (Chris Ziegler) Wednesday, December 17
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Stitches Constellation Room Warning to OC readers: This is not punk band The Stitches. Instead, this is Florida rapper-slash-Internet-viral-maniac Stitches, whose "Brick in Yo Face" video catapulted him to worldwide if brief fame earlier this year. The topic was timeless--cash flow problems, better pay up!--but the delivery was positively feral and the visuals were somewhere past "striking." (Read: AK-47 face tattoo...and barbed-wire-style stitches inked up his cheeks like a Glasgow smile.) Miami New Times dedicated a giant article to poking holes in Stitches' history--did he really punch everyone he says he punched?--but how much does that matter when he's up on stage doing his thing? As the New York Times quoted him at a recent show: "Y'all wanna see me do some more cocaine?" (Chris Ziegler)
Weezer The Observatory Weezer really did get sucker-punched by the quote-unquote critics when they put out Pinkerton--their best then, their best now--but it's been sort of an uneven run since as Rivers and Co. try and maintain the magic that gave them an eternal following. And so their latest, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, is less a return to form than a reaffirmation of what's become the "classic" Weezer sound, shot through with a heavy '70s vibe--not just Kiss, as detailed in "In the Garage" of course, but Sweet-style rock riffs and plenty of Queen-y guitar pyrotechnics throughout. (Particularly on the closing instrumental suite, which is some serious Carter-era headphone chow.) (Chris Zielger)