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Friday, March 13
The Expendables The Observatory The Expendables have never been a one-trick pony in the reggae world. Even though their style has helped influence a generation of rasta-fied rock bands who love what they do, the Santa Cruz quartet are an unpredictable bunch that always has a new angle to take on the stoner, party reggae party vibe. Whether that means recording an acoustic album, or a split demo with themselves (one side full of metal versions of their songs, the other side, all reggae) this band is good enough to never live up to their name. See them at the Observatory this weekend along with Fortunate Youth and Catastro. (Nate Jackson)
Pop Noir Maison Huntington Beach's own Pop Noir are ready to resurface in OC at the newly opened club Maison this weekend. Formed by the British twins while they still teenagers at the Orange County High School of the Arts, Pop Noir quickly built a following in the indie clubs of Los Angeles. To this point, the band has supported Doves, The Wombats, Robyn, Sebastien Tellier, Iglu & Hartly and Fitz & The Tantrums, and headlined shows in places ranging domestically from Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco, to internationally from London, Manchester and Paris. They return to OC this month with more songs and just as much hair. (Daniel Kohn)
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Saturday, March 14 Solution The Slidebar OC's reggae-rock favorites Solution are known to mix a bit of Metallica with their Steel Pulse, along with a punk of other elements that are liable to grab your attention more than the next Sublime cover band. With the release of their latest EP, Breathe Fire, and a trip to South By Southwest coming up next week, the band has decided to kick things off with a free local show at the Slidebar along with their homies Pilot Touhill and Dankrupt. (Nate Jackson) Bleachers The Observatory For the past few years, Jack Antonoff has been at the forefront of catchy indie-pop. While many may know him as the boyfriend of Lena Dunham, the guitarist has carved out his own niche as a fairly diverse songwriter. Between his efforts with fun. and now with his solo project, Bleachers, the New Jersey native's songs have been inescapable on Top 40 and Modern Rock radio for some time. If you listen to those mediums, you've likely stumbled across "I Wanna Get Better," one of the most popular songs of 2014. (Daniel Kohn)
Sunday, March 15
Ani DiFranco House of Blues Anaheim When it comes to singer-songwriters of the 90's, few had the courage to assert their independence like Ani DiFranco. The lionhearted singer grew into one the decade's most influential artists by pioneering her own label, Righteous Babe Records. The label still churns out all of DiFranco's work, which over the last 25 years has stretched far beyond the confines of traditional folk music. Her lyrics, oftentimes intensely personal and politically charged, have aligned with elements of funk, jazz, blues, and reggae to keep her "folk" sound constantly evolving. DiFranco swings through Orange County in support of her latest release Allergic to Water via The House of Blues, where she'll likely have the crowd wrapped around her feminist fingertips. (Heidi Darby) See also: The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List