Monday, October 15
For those not familiar with the genre Sludge Metal, meet Big Business. Hailing from Seattle and signed to Gold Metal Records, they traffic in crunchy, chugging jams with wonky, drop-tuned strings. Reminiscent of instrumental metal band Pelican, Big Business features echoing haunting vocals courtesy of Jarred Warren of the band Karp. Imagine the Melvins on codeine. -- By Brandon Ferguson
Gather 'round children for the plucky folk stylings of Freelance Whales. This New York indie band traffics in lushly layered tunes featuring chiming xylophones, quacking banjo and assorted wheezing instruments. Perhaps most impressive are their vocal arrangements which make use of several voices and lending the sound a choral quality. Not unlike Arcade Fire or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Check 'em out. -- By Brandon Ferguson
Thursday, October 18
The new Major Lazer LP just got pushed into 2013, so you have to wait a bit to hear what happens when Vampire Weekend, Wyclef Jean and Shaggy all end up on the same album. But the real-life Major Lazer experience--bass, Bass, BASS, B-A-S-S, if you haven't heard, or if you're wondering what keeps making the streetlights shake--trucks on with a grip of strategic single releases (including one for Snoop Lion!) and a stop at the Observatory. Locals, please direct yourself to the very recent remix of No Doubt's "Settle Down," which becomes some kind of comic-book-dance-party monster under the control of Diplo. And then direct yourself to the actual show, where statistical history suggests that 10,000 ecstatic people will all reach some sort of psycho-rhythmic soul communion. Sounds nice! --By Chris Ziegler
Friday, October 19
Fans of Mexican alt-rock/psychedelic outfit Zoé have waited patiently for a follow up to 2008's Reptilectric for almost half a decade at this point. Lucky for OC fans, they've got two opportunities to satisfy the faithful, starting with a huge show at the City National Grove of Anaheim, where their shards of echo-laden, Beatles-inflected Britpop will go nicely with spacey Rock en espanol from Fobia and Los Bunkers. Before they head to the Observatory next week, check out this band out in Anaheim and get your fill of danceable, U2-esque tracks like "Nada" and their latest single "Energia" ("Energy"). --Nate Jackson
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House of Blues Anaheim
Guitarist and singer Micah Brown does have a bit of Jack Johnson's surfer-friendly, laid-back, roots-y style, but he can also fire off a wildly intimidating blast of dexterous finger-picking that could fit right in at a Stoneman family bluegrass picnic. Securing last year's Best Live Acoustic performer at the Orange County Music Awards was acknowledgement of Brown's technique and charisma both, and his Down Like Hail EP (released around the same time) presents Brown's musical winningness in depth and detail. Having recently released his latest full length, The Isle of Her, Brown makes his next appearance at the Mouse House alongside a stacked lineup including Jeramiah Red, Robert Jon & The Wreck, the Wheeland Brothers, and the Natural Thrill. --Chris Ziegler