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Monday, October 27
Little Dragon The Observatory Yukimi Nagano, singer of Little Dragon, is kinda, sorta from Orange County. The vocalist's SoCal roots is surprising, given the electronic band has been Sweden's pride and joy since its eponymous set came out in 2007. But while Nagano was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a Japanese father and an American mother, as a kid, she lived in Orange County for a year with her grandparents in Santa Ana. It makes sense, when you consider how it all started for Little Dragon in Southern California. KCRW was the first station to play their breakthrough hit, "Twice," off their debut. It ended up getting TV air time as well, featured on shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Revenge and The Vampire Diaries. Fast forward seven years and three albums later, and Little Dragon's slow-yet-steady ascent into fame has pretty much turned the band from buzzy to major, selling out shows in venues across the United States. Their fourth album, Nabuma Rubberband, is the first one on a U.S. label, as well as the first to receive marketing support. (Lilledeshan Bose)
Tuesday, October 28
The Rural Alberta Advantage Constellation Room Twangy honky-tonk indie folk gets polished to a gorgeous sheen with The Rural Alberta Advantage, a Canadian three-piece that produces a sound twice their size. They sing songs about the rustic wilderness of their hometown Alberta, but with a fiery urgency that's pure big-city. Celebrating the well-received release of third album Mended with Gold, the trio embarks on a very rigorous tour, playing damn near every day through the first week of December. Lucky for us, that also includes a stop in Orange County tonight at the Constellation Room, a venue as intimate and cozy as this kind of music demands. Don't miss their show tonight. Wednesday, October 29
Marilyn Manson The Observatory Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson scared the Dockers off mainstream America in 1995 with his goth cover of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" and accompanying psychotic music video, and was subsequently blamed for the shooting deaths at Columbine High School a few years later, even though the shooters were not reportedly Manson fans. Plagued by numerous lawsuits and a controversial personal life, Manson weathered the bad press and continued to sell out tours and sustain a large and adoring fan base. Less shocking today than 20 years ago, he remains an anti-status-quo icon, and his malevolent stage persona and industrial metal are a perfectly grisly way to kick off your pre-Halloween danse macabre. Go be a star, once again, at his dope show. (SR Davies)
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Guttermouth and Voodoo Glow Skulls Alex's Bar One of the original pop punk legends, Guttermouth, sprung from Huntington Beach's skate punk scene in 1988 and has since stayed true to its roots with power chords, hilarious lyrics, shock value, and high-energy pop punk. Singer Mark Adkins does his best to make the audience blush (or at least laugh nervously) as he hurls insults, confronts security, and combats the boring while he marches across the stage, yelling and singing. Expect fast-paced, catchy pop punk from these vets, who are playing with Riverside's original lightning-fast ska punkers, Voodoo Glow Skulls. (Sarah Bennett)
Friday, October 31
Delta Spirit The Observatory Delta Spirit hasn't received quite as much attention as its jangly, indie-pop peers (i.e., Cold War Kids or Tokyo Police Club). But that's not because the San Diego quintet lacks live chops or songwriting savvy. It could have more to do with the fact that the band's stripped-down brand of Americana-meets-white-boy soul isn't particularly trendy -- or that the group doesn't resort to overly dramatic, spastic outbursts of unfocused energy for impact. Instead, Delta Spirit builds its case for relevance with a solid foundation of musical restraint, which allows vocalist Matthew Vasquez's poignant tales of personal spirituality and social optimism to shine through. Delta Spirit is a huge crowd pleaser, in a time when vintage sounds and tight pants rule the rock world once again. (Shae Moseley)