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Tuesday, July 8
Pastilla The Slidebar Pastilla is a Los Angeles-based group that churns out rock en espanol with heavy doses of pop--and as young as the band members are, it's hard to believe the group actually formed in the mid-'90s. They've been at it for years, and Pastilla fans are a dedicated sort: hailing them the Latin Strokes, loudly singing along to every lyric at concerts, and showering them with enough ticket sales to keep the band touring all over the continent. This Tuesday night, Pastilla comes to the Slidebar--and the group comprised of Adrian Monroy, Victor Monroy, Heriberto Gonzale and Eric Rubalcava bring their '80s-style catchy hooks, '60s-influenced pop melodies, and all-around upbeatness with them. Also on the bill are brooding rock outfit Signa and local favorites Bella Novella. (Erin DeWitt)
Wednesday, July 9
Cher Honda Center
It's always super awkward when you throw yourself a going-away party and then you never actually leave town. When pop superstar and fashion icon Cher said farewell to touring in 2005 with her "Living Proof: The Farewell Tour," we all donned our sequined unitards, clutched our favorite wigs, and tearfully blasted "Believe" on repeat with The Witches of Eastwick screening in the background. But much like that strange black hair that grows out of your left nipple, she's come back unexpectedly for one more go around. The one-and-only Cher is now on a nationwide, 49-city jaunt with her "Dressed to Kill Tour," serenading the world with songs from her latest Closer to the Truth album along with songs from her past, including a duet with video of Sonny singing "I Got You Babe." Unlike her previous tour, though, this time she stays true to the title's message--the show's costumes are to die for. (Amanda Parsons)
Thursday, July 10
Cloud Nothings The Constellation Room Cloud Nothings is founder Dylan Baldi with vision, voice, guitar and command of American indie history, put into service for a sound that started in a lonely bedroom but now (on new album Here and Nowhere Else) comes out shredding. This is punk re-invented for a different and maybe more complex personality, the kind of thing that lit up the college charts back when colleges kept a whole freaky ecosystem of bands alive. Cloud Nothings have that woe-is-me-at-velocity vibe of Jawbreaker, the ragged-at-the-edges charm of punk laureates the Replacements and (as discussed in several interviews, rightly and righteously) more than a little of the Wipers' perpetual-motion guitar riffs and outside-looking-in sentiment. If this adds up to the greatest band SST or Homestead never saw, well, what can we say but better late than never? (Chris Ziegler) Friday, July 11
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J-Boog The Observatory With his sleeve tattoos, backward baseball cap and penchant for oversized T-shirts, J Boog more resembles a member of Action Bronson's crew than a rising star of reggae. There's a strange kind of disconnect when watching his videos, too: sans dreadlocks and a rasta knit hat, you can't believe this huge, tough-looking guy is singing, sweetly and smoothly, over R&B-infused reggae grooves. His most famous song, "Let's Do It Again," could've been on the soundtrack of an Adam Sandler rom-com, filled with "ooh baby"s and words such as "lovers" and "paradise." Then again, you could say his lack of an image is his image. If J Boog is passionate about anything, it's keeping it real. Despite living in Hawaii and having never been to Jamaica, his sound is so authentic that NPR has called him "Jawaiian." See him perform this week at the Observatory and judge for yourself. (Lilledeshan Bose)
The Offspring Pacific Amphitheatre What could be better than two of OC's most celebrated bands taking the stage on a hot summer day ripe for a mosh pit? This Friday, The Offspring headlines the Pacific Amphitheatre on the heels of the 20th anniversary of their break out album Smash alongside The Adolescents. Despite their heroic pasts, both bands refuse to slip in to the realm of nostalgia acts as they continue to forge ahead with new albums--mainstream record labels be damned (yes, technically The Offspring are an indie band again after finishing their contract with Colombia Records in 2012). And having the Adolescents, one of their major influences, opening for them outta put an extra bit of fire in their belly. (Nate Jackson)