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Friday, July 3
John Butler Trio The Observatory John Butler, the driving force behind Australia's John Butler Trio, is a musician of eclectic tastes. He prefers to play his collection of twelve string guitars without the high-G, pulls electric sounds out of acoustic instruments, and embraces stylistic infidelity. His musical ADD has kept his sound evolving over the last seventeen years, which courses through reggae, blue grass, folk, funk, and rock. The group is in the final leg of touring for 2014's Flesh and Blood, which is the group's last stint before a new record. Flanked by bassist Byron Luiters and percussionist Grant Gerathy, Butler and his trio will hit the Observatory on Friday, July 3. (Heidi Darby)
The Vandals The Glass House For the better part of the past three and a half decades, Long Beach's The Vandals have become synonymous with the advances in the OC hardcore punk scene; their Christmas show in particular at the House of Blues has become a staple on the concert calendar. However, the group is embarking on a summer tour, despite not having released an album in 11 years. Though they've been teasing new material for the past few years, the group's back catalog, which mixes the mundane with the humorous, along with an electric live show has allowed to continue touring behind their rich history. Even with its members pursuing other projects, whenever the quartet join forces, fun is had for all. (Daniel Kohn)
Rudy De Anda The Compound Studio The frontman of Long Beach psych pop band Wild Pack of Canaries has stepped out on his own lately to further explore his Chicano progressive-soul sound on stage and now on record with his official debut EP Ostranenie, produced by the late Ikey Owens. Though the tracks are a bit calmer and wistful than Wild Pack, it still harbors vivid songwriting and De Anda's unique brand of intensity. See De Anda perform at The Compound Studio where the album was recorded for a record release party on Friday night, featuring support from The Buttertones, London Guzman and Alex Brettin of Mild High Club. (James Lake)
Saturday, July 4
Wanda Jackson The Observatory Rock & roll is and was full of wildmen who just loved to throw back their heads and holler as though they were werewolves under a full moon, but Wanda Jackson was in a class (or species?) all her own, and still is. Let's check the first seconds of "Fujiyama Mama," a classic about a girl who can atomize entire cities: "I'veeeeeee-a been to Nagasaki/Hiroshima, too/The same I did to them, baby/I can do to you!" By the end of the first sentence, she's gone nuclear, and that's before she starts demanding tobacc-y to chase the dynamite she has just finished smoking. See the queen of rockabilly perform this 4th of July for just $5 at the Observatory this weekend with Isaac Rother and The Phantoms, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys and Cutty Flam. (Chris Ziegler)
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Sunday, July 5
Cracker The Slidebar For those of you who don't remember '90s pseudo-grunge band Cracker, we have one word for you: "Low." If you still don't know what that means, go check out the band whose gold album Kerosene Hat gave such bands as The Toadies and Silverchair a run for their money. See them this weekend at The Slidebar. (Brandon Ferguson)