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Friday, June 5
Alkaline Trio The Observatory Back in the early 2000s, the dark, cultish, catchy songs of Alkaline Trio held a special place among our mixed CDs--and though they may have faded a little bit from our current playlists of new music, they remain forever embedded in our hearts as a seminal angst-ridden, pop-punk band. But the band is as hard-working as ever, putting out an album every few years. But this week, you can hear all of them back to back (as in two albums a night for four nights). After kicking off their full album shows on Thursday, their residency at the Observatory continues on Friday with This Addiction then Maybe I'll Catch Fire.(Erin DeWitt)
Nadastrom The Wayfarer There's something Dave Nada of Nadastrom has that the local spinners just can't match -- hair, glorious hair. Those lush, flowing, mysterious locks are indeed the root of the famous DJ's success. And if you don't believe us, let's just weave through some history and try to smooth out the split ends. It all began when Nada was a child. Having spent the early years of his life sans mane, he was weak and small. But as he grew in stature, he allowed his hair to become untamed. And much like Samson's locks, his rebellious do gave him strength, swagger, and points with the ladies. In 2007, Nada met his musical soulmate, Matt Nordstrom. They began to make waves in their hometown. Yet it wasn't until English DJ Switch glimpsed that free-flowing wonder that Nadastrom's fate was sealed. Of course, Switch is bald, and he signed the boys right away. Coincidence or cause? Another key moment in Nada hair history: That fateful day when he played Dutch house classic "Moombah" at reggaeton speed, all because he couldn't see through his fabulous fringe. Revolutionary. (Kat Bein)
Saturday, June 6
East End Block Party 4th St. Market Downtown Santa Ana will be crawling with music, art and mayhem during the second annual East End Block Party. The event spans Third and Fifth streets from Bush to French and touts more than 100 vendors and seven stages of live music. Performances from The Abigails, Soulection, Rat Soup, and many more will be presented by local collectives Konsept, Top Acid, and The Orange County Music League. In addition to pop-up art and photography galleries, new murals will be painted live during the festivities. If music and art aren't enough to draw you in, the event will also feature the Dunkxchange sneaker festival, a low rider car show, and The Beat Swap Meet vinyl show. Throw in the tasty offerings of the 4th Street Market and surrounding downtown eateries, and this block party becomes a one-stop shop for food, culture, and entertainment. (Heidi Darby) Todd Rundgren The Coach House Renaissance Man Todd Rundgren made your life beautiful. The prolific songwriter/musician is not only responsible for stellar songs, but also for producing a host of iconic albums, including Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell, and promoting cutting-edge recording techniques that transformed the music industry. And, as evidenced in an archival video interview from 1978 on A.V. Club, he predicted "interactive, computer-controlled television" and the demise of tangible format music recordings, saying people will one day have computers in their homes that will allow them access to music. Nostradamus, scoot the hell over! If you refuse to find any of THAT impressive, then look no further than his legendary Billboard hits, "Hello, It's Me," and "I Saw the Light." And when you're cheering your ball players at the stadium whilst chomping a dog to "Bang the Drum All Day," that's him, too. (SR Davies)
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Sunday, June 7
Dustin Kensrue The Constellation Room Kensrue latest solo album, Carry the Fire, doesn't sound as "intense" as the old Thrice albums, and that;s not necessarily a bad thing. The diversity and overall feel of his latest work makes it much more appropriate for listening to on a regular basis. While Carry the Fire isn't his first solo project, it marks a big step forward in the legitimacy of his career as a solo artist. See him live this weekend at the Constellation Room. (JC Chesler)