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Friday, August 29
Mariachi Divas CD Release Party House of Blues Anaheim Consider Southern California lucky to house an institution like the Mariachi Divas. This all-female mariachi band has won not one but two Grammys, and are the reigning mariachi group with the most Grammy nominations. They're also Disneyland's resident mariachi band--so what better place to celebrate their 15th anniversary and new album release than the House of Blues? Their impressive 10th album to date, 15 Aniversario showcases the band's flawless musicianship--the guitars, violins, horns and angelic vocals come together in superb harmony. Anchored by founding member Cindy Shea (who, as a child, was told playing trumpet was "too macho." Ha!), the Mariachi Divas play their record release concert tonight in Anaheim--prepare to fall in love. (Erin DeWitt)
Too $hort The Observatory It's undoubtedly for the better that pimp culture has taken a backseat to personal independence in the rap vernacular, but that doesn't mean we can't reminisce with one of the iciest players to ever turn a ho out on record (we're using technical terminology here). At 48, Too $hort is a veteran, having been one of the first Bay Area rappers to rise to prominence after dropping his first cassette in 1985. It was titled Don't Stop Rappin', which turned out to be fitting since he's released 20 albums to date. All of that speaks to $hort Dog's commitment to craft, which in this case involves lacing strip-club beats with timeless braggadocio. Catch him at the Observatory this Friday at "Yay Area Fest II" with support from hip-hop's latest blonde Bay Area up-and-comer Lil Debbie. (Chris Martins)
Saturday, August 30
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Shoreline Jam Day 1 Queen Mary Celebrate the long weekend and the final days of summer at this two-day jam fest down by the ocean at the historic Queen Mary. On Saturday, the festivities begin at high noon with Long Beach locals Brewfish, then continue with an endless stream of reggae, dub and hip-hop from Krooked Treez, The Originalites, C Money and The Players, The Aggrolites, The Grouch & Eligh, Stick Figure, and finally a headlining set from OC's own The Dirty Heads. And if you can manage to get out of bed the next morning, head back for another full day of music from Pepper, Collie Buddz, J Boog, and many more. The sun will be shining, the ocean will be glistening and that grass will be oh-so green. (Erin DeWitt) Groundation The Observatory Spiritual roots reggae band Groundation stops by the Observatory on Saturday. The California-bred, nine-piece group fuses the fiery sounds of Latin and African rhythms with soulful jazz and funk to create a reggae sound that's as passionate as it is peaceful. Their new album is considered "a vessel by which this community can come together and weather the rough and rising seas that are to come," and with fans from all over the world who vibe to their message of unity and harmony, if Groundation is excellent at anything, it's bringing folks together. So head out to Santa Ana this weekend and feel the love. (Erin DeWitt)
Monday, September 1 Long Beach Funk Fest Queen Mary Oh funk yeah, the Long Beach Funk Fest is finally here this Labor Day holiday, and what better way to kiss the summer goodbye with an electric concert filled with new and old favorite funk artists. Now in its fifth year, LBFF aims to build the audience of pure funk music by exposing the public to bold funk groups: Brasil Baile Funk, Sea Funk Brass Band and The Meters Experience will groove Long Beach in its usual outdoor street environment, while headliner George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will be on hand to bring us closer together with the Mothership Connection. It's an all funk, no filler show with legends and spectacular musical guests taking place at one of Long Beach's most well known venues, Queen Mary Events Park. (Aimee Murillo)