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Monday, December 30
Ska Luau IV House of Blues Anaheim Orange County has long since passed the high-water mark of its contribution to third-wave ska, but the seven friends in Starpool play on. Formed in 2003 and consisting of former Save Ferris musicians (Bill Uechi, Brian Mashburn, Eric Zamora, Oliver Zavala, T-Bone Willy and Evan Kilbourne) and pre-Gwen No Doubt singer Alan Meade, the Anaheim-based group have spent years playing shows large and small in various venues and spearheading the beloved rude boy (and girl) gathering dubbed the Ska Luau. The crest of the third wave has come and gone, but with a clean blend of ska, reggae, punk-rock influences and more in the mix, the potential for good times at a Starpool show, especially, Ska Luau at the House of Blues, remains just the same. Look for a night full of support from Suburban Legends, Save The Swim Team, Code Name Rocky and Magnolia Polynesian Dance Troupe (Gabriel San Roman)
Tuesday, December 31 Capital Cities The Observatory A lot of fans of Capital Cities must be really grateful to Craig's List right now, as it was here that the LA pop duo first met and began a fruitful collaboration as jingle writers before emerging as a fully-fledged electro pop unit. But even being heralded by Perez Hilton as "The best band in Los Angeles," doesn't begin to describe how good their sound is- you'll be hooked on their immediately catchy dance beats in "Safe and Sound" but in "Center Stage" there's shadows of funk influences that will trap you in during their special New Year's Eve performance at the Observatory. (Aimee Murillo)
Thursday, January 2
Secret Chief Presents House of Blues Anaheim Secret Chief, the Orange County-based effort that puts together carefully curated bills of local and touring bands, presents a night of indie pop from hometown acts this week. If you've finally recovered from New Year's Eve (or haven't stopped partying), make your way to the House of Blues in Anaheim for a massive night of music featuring Verdell, Breach the Summit, Y Luv, This Time with Feeling, and Foley--a few of whom may be familiar from these very pages. A concert attached to the Secret Chief name comes with an assurance of fresh new sound--so come out and support local music. (Erin DeWitt)
Kirk Wilson Ralph Brennen's Jazz Kitchen Strolling through Downtown Disney this Christmas Eve sounds like the right combination of holiday cheer and magical wonder, made lovelier with the always eye-popping decor all around. Make sure to stop by Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen this evening to hear piano great and regular Kirk Wilson. This Billboard chart-topping musician has long held a place in Southern California's jazz music scene, and will continue to do so, since he's so damn talented. With a cup of warm eggnog and your loved ones by your side listening to some top-notch jazz, how could the evening be better? (Aimee Murillo)
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Friday, December 3
Reel Big Fish House of Blues Anaheim For many bands, the beginning of January is a time to regroup after spending much time on the road--but don't tell that to Reel Big Fish. The Orange County ska outfit isn't wasting any time in kicking off the second leg of their Don't Stop Skankin' Tour while many are at home working on their New Year's Resolutions. Though vocalist/guitarist Aaron Barret is the only member from the band's salad days, this isn't a glorified cover band hitting the road on the laurels of past glories. Instead, this version is slated to release Bloody Street, RBF's ninth studio effort. Despite the rotating cast of characters, this sextet's upbeat brand of music will keep the bodies moving even if they're still getting over the post-New Year's lull. (Daniel Kohn)