Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar
Tuesday, December 30 Suburban Legends House of Blues Anaheim Few genres engender the same kind of unabashed humor of third-wave ska. And among the canon of wonderful, brass-wielding weirdos that infiltrated the genre in the mid to late '90s, few continue to bring their "A" game like the Huntington Beach sextet Suburban Legends. Their live show promises plenty of hands-in-the-air energy, stage dives and trombone twirling. From their impetus in the late '90s to their latest album, 2012's Day Job, they've released a shit ton of good-time tunes at the House of Blues that'll get you warmed up for New Years' Eve. This week, they headline the annual Ska Luau with Failed to Victory, Skadonna, Half Past Two, and the Magnolia Polynesian Dance Troupe (Priscilla Vega)
Wednesday, December 31 Social Distortion Fox Pomona Do other places have their own versions of Social Distortion? Can you run into the Dictators' Handsome Dick Manitoba strutting down the street in New York City and think, "This--this guy is this place brought to life!"? Because although this very paper voted the Adolescents the No. 1 OC band of all time, Social Distortion are probably one of the OC-iest OC bands of all time--under the expert tutelage of Mike Ness, they wrap up Okie-country roots and trashy Brit-style punk and suburban underbelly-dwelling storytelling into the total SoCal punk package. Cowboy hats and tats--somebody should put that on a city seal. With way-up-and-coming locals Suedehead and more. Celebrate New Years Eve with them on Wednesday at the Fox Theater in Pomona(Chris Ziegler)
Banks The Observatory In a roomful of Miley-wannabes, Banks is the gorgeous girl in the corner of the room that no one knows anything about. The press she has done -- splashy appearances in Glamour, Interview and Billboard -- all refer to her "mysteriousness." It's an old game that seems to be working. Her track "Warm Water" has blown up on Soundcloud, local producer's Djemba Djemba's remix of her "Fall Over" has gotten solid blog hype and a remix of "Work" by British producer Lil Silva is in rotation on BBC Radio 1. Her music is dark R&B built on spare hip hop beats that build into moody storms of slick synth and lyrics taken straight from a diary. Her voice is the real thing. (Katie Bain) Thursday, January 1 The Roots The Observatory No group in hip-hop is better at epitomizing the genre while also calling out its failings. Satire is as essential to their sound as Questlove's snare drum. And anyone who says their cushy gig as the house band for Jimmy Fallon has made them soft in the ways of biting critical thought hasn't listened to the band's 2014's masterful concept album ...And Then Shoot Your Cousin, another satirical look at violence in hip-hop and American society overall. In a post Ferguson world where America claims it wants and needs to do better for itself and its citizens, those who are socially and rhythmically conscious should consider celebrating the New Year for an early, 7 p.m. show with Illadelphia's finest at the Observatory. (Nate Jackson)
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Friday, January 2
Trombone Shorty House of Blues Anaheim New Orleans jazz and funk can often come off like quaint relics of a distant era that should be locked up tight in a museum display case or trotted out once a year at Mardi Gras for besotted tourists. But Troy Andrews, aka Trombone Shorty, blasts away such nostalgic notions with the searing vibrancy of his work with the band Orleans Avenue. The grandson of singer Jessie Hill and the brother of trumpeter James Andrews, trombonist-trumpeter-singer Shorty is certainly steeped in tradition, but he also brings plenty of modern "Fire & Brimstone" in his hard-rocking and funky originals. When he lets loose on longer rambles, he bursts forth with jazzy and even psychedelic retorts that exude pure molten sunshine. (Falling James)