Monday, March 25
Armed with a snarling fuzz guitar and lo-fi vocals, Night Beats will likely remind you of your favorite Nuggets compilation album. Originating from Seattle, Washington, Night Beats craft a raw, psychedelic sound that harnesses the best instrumental influences from the 1960s into an explosive body of work. "The Other Side," one of their longer tracks, is an odyssey of 13th Floor Elevators-inspired guitar chords and experimental madness; "Puppet on a String" evokes early-Seeds era vocals behind bluesy guitar riffs. Although they're not the only band in town that turns out the '60s flavor (you have your Ty Segalls, Strange Boys, Oh Sees, and King Khan) Night Beats is so near-authentic you'd think they showed up to their gigs in a time machine. Watch them kick out the jams at an intimate performance at Burger records, official headquarters for the lo-fi hit parade of bands taking Orange County (and the world!) by storm, days after shredding it onstage at the Observatory for Friday night Burgerama. (Aimee Murillo)
New Found Glory
Back at the turn of the millennium, New Found Glory were at the forefront of pop punk mainstream popularity. In fact, many credit the band as being one of the groups to bring the genre to radio stations across the country. And 16 years after their inception, they're still touring strong, releasing new albums and playing massive festivals on a regular basis. Last month, New Found Glory announced that they would actually start recording a new album in March, never mind previous statements about going on hiatus for a year. Perhaps at this show at Chain Reaction, a small all-ages rock/punk/hardcore club, they might give fans a taste of some new material. (Erin DeWitt)
Thursday, March 28
The Coach House
Half a lifetime ago and half a world away, it was a defining moment. On our tinny li'l radio were Jamaican keyboard king Jackie Mittoo and his Soul Brothers with "Last Train to Skaville." Chugging beat, soaring and wobbly horns, actual steam trains and an atmospheric vocal...total fuckin' magic! All these years later, whatever the label--rocksteady, mento, dancehall, dub, stoned calypso, jungle fever, drum and bass, reggae--there's one constant: we still wanna get our ass out of the chair and shake it. From St. Croix in the beautiful Virgin Islands, electrifying reggae band Midnite gives you a compelling reason to do your "Deion-in-the-end-zone" impersonation. Be there...or be square. (Jack Grimshaw)
It's Erika Wennerstrom who brings the thunder with Heartless Bastards. Not only does she write all the Texas quartet's songs, she churns out waves of heavy guitar so thick, her band mates Jesse Ebaugh (bass), Dave Colvin (drums) and Mark Nathan (guitar) have to hit really hard to keep up with her. Wennerstrom's singing is boldly serene and yet searing enough to cut through the haze of aptly titled past epics such as "The Mountain" and "Sway." Although the songs on Heartless Bastards' 2005 debut, Stairs & Elevators, were shorter and punchier, Wennerstrom reveals newfound melodicism and traces of country on 2012's Arrow. Don't worry, though. With tracks like "Simple Feeling," the album still holds plenty of the explosive Who-style bursts that make this band great. (Falling James)
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Friday, March 29
Self-proclaimed "industrial grungegaze" trio DSTVV have been garnering attention in the indie music blog circuit with only a handful of songs that permeate through your ear canals with their lo-fi vocals, fuzzy guitar and distorted synthesizer. Hailing from San Francisco, DSTVV bring a sound that is reminiscent of '90s alternative noise rock combined with the lo-fi pop stylings of recent years. Their EP 'Molly Soda,' (featuring the spritely vocals of Keel Her) named after a cult Tumblr-famous celebrity, probably best demonstrates this, but the fun favorite of the day has to be their Young Marble Giants cover of "N.I.T.A." Member Joel Cusumano is also pretty Tumblr famous, (his "award-winning" blog blameaspartame is uproarious) having utilized the same primitive '90s vector art and teen culture from his blog into the visual aesthetic of DSTVV. Recently they've been popping up at the 2013 Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco and various clubs in Los Angeles as part of their Spring Breakers tour. Get into the Bay Area-Orange County connection with this idiosyncratic group alongside Useless Eaters, Snow White and Froth at Burger Records. (Aimee Murillo)