Kendrick Lamar--See Monday
Kendrick Lamar--See Monday

The Five Best Concerts in OC This Week

Monday, December 31

New Year's Eve With Kendrick Lamar
The Observatory

Like Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet, Kendrick Lamar's self-explanatorily titled Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is about children lost to overmedication. A casualty of first-world comfort, Lamar raps of being strung out on pharmaceuticals and MP3 blogs while soporific synthscapes bleed overhead, reinforcing the hurt in his nervy, robotically pitched voice. When he alluded to "sippin' cough syrup like it's water" on last year's "A.D.H.D.," he meant it literally, but it was a moving metaphor for liquidification of the soul. Try as he might to escape in Styrofoam-cupped soft drinks with purpling additives, Lamar has too active a mind to keep it off worldlier matters. His outlook on humanity says that people are either born trapped or think themselves into traps. The Lamar of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is a self-hating nobody at the intersection where shellshock brushes up against inertia, where jittery fright meets withering heartsickness.--MT Richards

Tuesday, January 1

Daybreak Party With Kristina Sky
Yost Theater

Ah, youth. We remember when we were able to party to such epic extremes as this New Year's Day blowout. The bars and clubs close at around 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve, so that gives you four whole hours to find an after party, some greasy diner food, avoid the cops and otherwise bide your time until the Yost Theater opens at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. for a mad EDM extravaganza. Featuring trance by DJ Kristina Sky and house, dubstep and more by special guests, the Daybreak Party rings in 2013 with those whose hearts beat in polyrhythms, sleep cannot catch, and booze hydrates their souls. Let the coke flow like water. And by that we mean the caffeinated beverage, of course. --Erin DeWitt

Wednesday, January 2

The Mixup
Detroit Bar

The Mixup is Detroit Bar's hip-hop weekly party night, and resident DJ Bianca G (and former Stacks employee, if you still miss that spot) is nothing if not a grinder, with tastes that run to both the unassailably classic―Snoop, Biggie, De La Soul―and the records that will be classics in another few years if they don't qualify already. Her Mixup Wednesday is a free spin through three decades (and more) of hip-hop with well-timed detours into the kind of pop songs that never need to go away. Scheduled special guests could mean that anyone from the venerable Abstract Workshop crew (Exile? Delmos Wade?) might stop in for a visit and a set. --Chris Ziegler

Friday, January 4

Hindu Pirates
Constellation Room

Hindu Pirates are no longer anything you'd call a surf band, although they can still peel out a nice guitar lead when they need one. Instead, Hindu Pirates do garage-y pop the way the radio likes it, or needs to learn to like it, with songs that set up camp between alt. bedrock bands like the Strokes, Weezer and the Pixies. (They even sneak in a few Stones-y moments--if this was produced differently, you could get a whole different sound out of it!) They're semi-freshly off recording an EP at the Hurley studios and definitely semi-poised for big things in the world of action-sports-music, as presaged by their gig at the US Open of Surfing this summer. This time next year? Well, you'll probably be saying you knew 'em when. --Chris Ziegler

Rayford Bros
The Pike Bar and Fish Grill

Rayford Bros. traffic in a lively rockabilly style of music which features elements of blues and country. Toe tappinlgy catchy, the leads on songs such as "Good Lovin' Don't Break" are worth multiple listens. Mind boggingly good. --Brandon Ferguson

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