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Friday, December 19
The Vandals Christmas Formal House of Blues Anaheim This holiday season, as with every before it, you're faced with the same choice of holiday shows such as the Nutcracker or perhaps Santa on Ice. But we can think of few better ways to celebrate Christmas--like with OC's own puerile punk rock purveyors and all-around merry mischief makers, the Vandals. There is no discussion about punk rock in the land of citrus without mention of these zany pranksters and their songs about rebellious hamburgers and the love of Vietnamese pizza delivery girls. But it's been a tough year for these punk rock stalwarts as they've been sued by Daily Variety for some sort of trumped up copyright infringement. So when you're hemming and hawing about spending money on a trip to a frozen pond this year, remember all the good times the Vandals have afforded your sorry ass over the decades and give back by purchasing a ticket to their show. (Brandon Ferguson)
Atreyu The Observatory With their complex harmonized guitar melodies and post hardcore screeching, Atreyu is the band 30 Seconds to Mars hopes they never meet in a dark alley. Complex, intense and striking a well-balanced sound straddling the metal and melodic screamo genres nicely, the Orange County natives come correct with a progressive sound that might even make the members of Rush sweat -- a little. See the band in two epic back to back shows in Santa Ana this week. On Friday, they'll be performing their landmark album The Cursefor the first time ever. (Brandon Ferguson)
Saturday, December 20
Skinny Puppy Fox Pomona Skinny Puppy pride themselves on being the soundtrack to your nightmares. Since forming in Vancouver in 1982, the legendary band have gained and lost members (one of which was Bill Leeb, whose band Front Line Assembly have joined Skinny Puppy as a main supporting act on their current tour), as well as collaborated with renowned industrial artists such as Genesis P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV) and Al Jourgensen (Ministry). Through it all, though, they have maintained their status as a cutting-edge sonic leviathan. (Scott Feinblatt) Fartbarf Alex's Bar Fartbarf's name rules and everything about them rules- wanna know why? This Los Angeles trio, who call themselves post-neanderthal analogue synthesists, deliver gripping beats and mesmerizing rhythms, all through the use of vintage electronic synthesizers, drum machines and vocoders, among other things. And to top it all off, these fellas perform in matching caveman masks and astronaut outfits making them sights to see (as well as music to hear). Gettin' down is all part of the Fartbarf experience, and your next chance to check em out is tonight at Alex's Bar in Long Beach. See them play another raucous show with Bella Novella along with a "special guest." (Aimee Murillo)
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Sunday December 21
ASAP Ferg Yost Theater From crowded, swampy strip bars on the East Coast to festival grounds on the West, Ferg's "Work" is one of those tracks that can be played at any time to incite everything from moshpit rioting to front-row jubilation. It's the type of crossover that's indicative of Ferg's style as a whole, which can constantly switch from menacing and rapid-fire to melodic and direct. The young New Yorker has the hunger and passion of the others baring the ASAP banner as well. Just like his idealistic brother-in-rhyme Rocky, Ferg's vision views no limit and is not contained by any boundary. He sees nothing but continual growth for his own artistic brand. Rappers from Lil Wayne to B.I.G. have centered songs on the sky being the limit, but Ferg appears to set his sights even farther than that. (Patrick Montes)