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Monday, February 16
Gothic Tropic The Continental Room The stars are aligning to bring together two sonically-varied bands under one roof to play tonight's Moon Block Party show at the Continental Room. Gothic Tropic, on one hand, bops along to an upbeat, indie pop groove reminiscent of early 90's alternative, with Cecilia Delia Peruti's lo-fi vocals filling in a psychedelic sound. Their four-song EP Awesome Problems bursts with playful energy, and despite the limited amount of music available online, songs like, "Flesh Dance," and "Kitty Baby" bring an undeniable cheekiness and a lasting impression. Thee Commons, on the other hand, break free of the mold of 1950's swing music by adding cumbia, rock, and jazz into the mix. Out of Los Angeles, this group brings a multicultural flavor probably best enjoyed with a beer, and a dancing partner. (Aimee Murillo)
Tuesday, February 17
DJ Kolombo Focus Tuesdays It's not even the mid-week humpday, but Focus OC is so ready to take over the nightlife scene tonight with their weekly Tuesday night party at Tapas in Newport Beach. Bringing global house music to the neighborhood since 2003, Focus OC supplies the bangers tonight with special guest DJ Kolombo; Hailing from Belgium, Olivier Grégoire, aka Kolombo, has DJ'ed extensively around the world with his unique style of producing house, EDM and disco music, and when he's not performing or touring, he keeps busy with running his own music label, Loulou Records. The bespectacled, bald-headed music veteran will be joined tonight with Focus OC resident and founder, Josh Billings, and Music is 4 Lovers site founder Jimbo James. (Aimee Murillo)
Wednesday, February 18
Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake City National Grove of Anaheim While many bands from the late 1990s have fallen by the wayside, ska veterans Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake have managed to endure. Both of these outfits scored big hits as ska emerged on rock radio as an alternative to grunge. If not for Reel Big Fish hits "Sell Out" and cover of a-ha's "Take on Me" then Less Than Jake may not have had the chance to score big hits with "She's Gonna Break Soon" and "The Science of Selling Yourself Short" at the beginning of the 2000s. These two bands are linked together, and have embraced their rich past by going on tour together. Far from a nostalgia act, both of these bands retain a devoted following that allows them to play their catchy brand of ska on regular basis, which is more than what their contemporaries can say. (Daniel Kohn)
Bizarre Ride II, The Pharcyde Live ($5 show) The Observatory To fully appreciate the impact of The Pharcyde's "Ya Mama," you had to be in a junior high lunchroom in the spring of 1993. It was mama manna from the heavens nourishing the impressionable youth with disses for days. Two decades later, the lines still detonate. Things ya mama had: a peg leg with a kickstand, an afro with a chin strip, Play-Doh teeth, the wings and teeth of an African bat, hair on her tongue, and a 99-cent sign on her back (while walking down Sunset). Now touched up for 20th-anniversary reissue treatment, the album from which the song sprang, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, was a rap gateway drug, a powerfully psychedelic expansion. See the hip-hop legends perform the album in it's entirety for a mere five bucks this week at the Observatory. (Jeff Weiss)
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Friday, February 20
Never Shout Never The Constellation Room Workweeks can be stressful, but you know what makes them better? A happy, happy show. Never Shout Never's music - with songs like "On the Brightside" and, well, "Happy" - will certainly start your weekend off on a bright note. If you're wondering what to expect, note that they sound just like the record. That's right, lead singer Christofer Drew's voice has just as much depth as you'd imagine, and the only instruments needed are a couple of guitars. --(Kristine Hoang)