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Friday, January 9
Ozomatli House of Blues The 10 members of Ozomatli have one central characteristic in common: They're all from Los Angeles. From there, their musical paths diverge as the individual tastes, ethnicities and approaches to creation reveal themselves, only to converge again on the backside of the circle as they gather to make music. Granted, in any group so large you're bound to find variety, but seldom do these tastes coalesce in such an imaginative fashion -- an amalgam of salsa, funk, hip-hop, reggae and jazz. Watch the legendary band perform this week at the House of Blues in Anaheim. (Randall Roberts)
DJ Quik The Observatory Considered a legend as much for his distinctive production style -- which helped propel the West Coast movement in the '90s -- as he is for his perfectly groomed head of hair, DJ Quik is a staple in the hip-hop game. Stepping onto the scene with his debut album, Quik Is the Name, in 1991, the record producer and MC spawned a summer anthem with the hit single "Tonite." Quik has worked on classic hip-hop albums such as 2Pac's All Eyez on Me and produced R&B records for Tony! Toni! Toné!, yet he's never really gotten his due. In the world of West Coast rap, his contributions are often overshadowed by Dr.Dre's mammoth production reputation. Nonetheless, Quik has been active since 1987 and enjoys a cult following, many of whose members will no doubt be in attendance when he rocks Casselman's with his typical West Coast style and grace. This weekend he shares the stage with fellow West Coast legend Too $hort. (Ru Johnson)
Saturday, Jan 10
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Hail Mary Mallon The Constellation Room Ian Matthias Bavitz's irresistible egghead wordplay and abrasive, gravelly bark made him a a centerpiece of underground hip hop, even though he was a scrawny Jewish kid from Long Island. On Saturday he performs with Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz, in their hip-hop supergroup group called Hail Mary Mallon. Look forward to plenty of tracks from their second album Bestiary, an effort of Run the Jewels-level proportions that seemed to be criminally overlooked this year. (Vijith Assar) The Dickies The Observatory When looking back on the pioneers of punk, too often we're greeted with images of towering Mohawks and menacing sneers. Not so with the Dickies, who served up liberal helpings of campy humor with crunchy, distorted guitars and screeching vocals. Witness the über-hilarious video for the 1979 song "Banana Splits," which features singer Leonard Phillips repeating the refrain "banananana" into a peeled-banana mic. And despite some dark days (such as when drummer Jonathan Melvoin OD'd on heroin while touring with the Smashing Pumpkins), they've managed to keep their snotty sense of humor intact after all these years. Check these legends out for a mere $5 on Saturday at the Observatory. (Erin DeWitt)
Green Jellÿ The Doll Hut Aside from Weird Al, successful comedy rock acts are a rarity, with most vanishing quickly and leaving only an abandoned Youtube channel as proof of their existence. Green Jellÿ is an exception. Known for their inventive Claymation videos, the band's 1992 debut went gold while their second earned a Grammy video nomination in 1995. Green Jellÿ is also one of the most sued bands in history, enduring lawsuits from the Kellogg Company for their Cereal Killer video, which depicted the murder of the Trix Rabbit, and Kraft Foods, who objected to the band's original name, Green Jello. When Green Jellÿ bandleader Bill Manspeaker is not fending off nuisance lawsuits, he's touring with his current version of the band, which appears Saturday at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. One of the first acts to release videos and music bundled together, Green Jellÿ has always used the visual medium to portray an alternate reality that rarely makes sense to the sober but proves oddly compelling to loyal fans. (Damian Bloor)