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Monday, July 28
The Don Kubec Big Band Steamers Jazz Cafe There's a lot to be said about the Orange County Jazz Scene, specifically around Fullerton. Every night at Steamers Jazz Cafe, there's a new group to check out--but Monday nights are when to visit for monthly residencies. Tonight's group: the extraordinary Don Kubec Band. Just like any other big band, they play the standards you know and love, performed by some of the best musicians in all of SoCal. And with special guests every now and then, each show is guaranteed to be packed with talent and star-power for jazz lovers to enjoy. Every fourth Monday of the month! (Aimee Murillo)
Purple Mountains Majesties The Wayfarer Honored with the very first Monday night residency at the Wayfarer, Detroit Bar's new incarnation after a pretty substantial facelift, is OC-native band Purple Mountains Majesties. A six-piece group, they favor folk in its primary form--sing-a-longs and story-telling make up much of their live performances. And they embrace their recycle-generation's burden by primarily focusing on a message of environmental alarm. It's a jangly, jumping mix of guitars, flutes, tambourines, keyboards, and many more instruments (with band members bouncing from one to the next mid-song) to create a sound of folk electrified. Catch them for a free show tonight with support from the Red River and Gardener's Logic. (Erin DeWitt)
Tuesday, July 29
The Family Doom The Copper Door Originating from Riverside, this group's music proudly boasts a sea of synthesizer sounds resonating side by side with drum machine beats and occasional vocals that effectively transfer a psychedelic energy from musicians to listener. This four piece, ominously called The Family Doom, openly name '90s shoegaze as an inspiration and are ever-present in their delivery of lo-fi electronic pop. Listening to their music will undoubtedly conjure up familiarity to other bands that employ heavy synthesizer in their songs, but the lo-fi quality of The Family Doom's tunes never takes away from its soulful vibes. The Family Doom plays the Copper Door tonight with Seeking Ever, Habitat, The Human Machine, and Parted. (Aimee Murillo) Wednesday, July 30
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Blu The Constellation Room LA rapper Blu is a polymath, a visionary, a documentarian and an iconoclast all at once, doing what he needs to do exactly how and when he needs to do it. His 2007 full-length Below the Heavens (with the infinitely adept Exile) is a local classic, and there's plenty of future classics in the rest of his discography--like his Warner album NoYork!, built with the best of the Low End Theory-era beatmakers, or his hyperactive collabs C.R.A.C. Knuckles or Johnson&Jonson. On this spring's long-awaited Good to be Home, he delivers his own agile and unpredictable personal version of The Chronic--a day in the life of an LA neighborhood, viewed through the eyes of Blu and backed by fiery producer Bombay. Some might call him a rapper's rapper, but let's go all the way--really, he's an artist's artist. (Chris Ziegler)
Echo and the Bunnymen The Observatory The '80s will never die. . . . Well, maybe eventually, but not any time soon. Echo & the Bunnymen are currently on a headlining, U.S. tour, bringing genuine retro flavor to the Observatory. Though it has been more than two decades since "Lips Like Sugar," singer Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant continue to record new music, as recently as this year's release of Meteorites, their 12th studio album. Sure, the crowd will likely skew older, but there are probably at least a few younger folks who got into the band through perennial cult fave Donnie Darko's heavy use of "The Killing Moon." (Albert Ching)