Friday, December 28
Sweet and Tender Hooligans
House of Blues Anaheim
It's an understatement to say that fans of the Smiths are rabid. Objects of abject adoration, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and crooner Morrissey often share the same cultural luster as golden-age cinematic idols, or an image of the Virgin Mary smiling glorious from the crust of a grilled cheese I. If you want to put a finer point on it, the Smiths are kind of a big deal. So it's no small feat that a band who made a career imitating the New Wave icons from Manchester have been at it for 20 years. Calling themselves the ultimate Smith's tribute, the Sweet and Tender Hooligans appear at the House of Blues to bring you a little holiday cheer. Of course, if they properly capture the essence of the Smiths, it'll be glorious holiday sadness.--Brandon Ferguson
Kings Inn Holiday Benefit Show
For almost a year and a half now, Sean Rosenthal and his club night the Kings Inn--well, it's a less a club night than a state of mind better fit for a tin-roof gutbucket roadhouse bumping up against a dirt road--have been a source and a showcase for blues-y, soul-y, rock 'n' roll-y DJs hailing from Southern California and beyond. (Howlin' Rain, Spindrift, the Abigails and more all spent wild times on his stage.) Now Rosenthal is finishing 2012 with a benefit show for the Down Syndrome Association of OC's Red Carpet Ball, with musicians including Jeremiah Red, Parker Macy and Troy Murrah of Restavrant. It's the last and most rousingest fundraiser you'll attend all year! --Chris Ziegler
Saturday, December 29
Are you old enough to remember the gas shortage of the 1970s? If not, you probably don't remember new wave band the Fixx. That's ok. You know their song "One Thing Leads to Another." Go See them. --Brandon Ferguson
Sunday, December 21
Evan Stone's Jazz Jam
Steamers Jazz Club
Calling all jazz aficionados, virtuosos and wannabes. Every Sunday at Steamer's, it's a free-for-all jam session for enthusiasts of all skill levels. Led by drummer Evan Stone and his trio, you are invited to join the veterans onstage. A particularly warm welcome has been extended to Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College students. So all you noobs with stars in your eyes, here's your chance to shine. --Brandon Ferguson
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Juju and Black Feet Braves
Although there's no shortage of people seeking some high-priced fantasy on New Year's Eve, the day before NYE can also be pretty trippy, and wayyy cheaper. Especially when the brain-scrambling, hair-swinging antics of psych rock duo Juju. For the past year, the band, led by Desert Daze creator Phil Pirrone, has popped up at just about every pulsating, savage bill we can think of. On Sunday, the band wraps up a month-long residency at the Fullerton haunt, bringing San Diego surf band Black Feet Braves and Black Jesus--finally the name of an opening act we can really get behind!