Monday, April 1
Since coming together as teenagers (and later recruiting saxophonist Mike Belk after an impromptu jam session at a local gig), The Originalites have risen high in the ranks of Orange County's local music scene in the span of only five years. The Fountain Valley four-piece may remind you of mid-'90s ska groups like Sublime, however their mellow lyrics are more upbeat and family-friendly. After winning several battle of the band competitions at various high schools, they've moved up to venues like the Coach House, House of Blues and DiPiazza's, even winning the OC Music Award for Best Surf this year. Don't mistake their long hair for the laid-back surfer image--The Originalites also love to have fun through their high energy music, mixing ska with punk, dub and Latin music influences. As of late, they've held a residency at Gallagher's Pub in Huntington Beach every Monday night; You can see them lay down their groove tonight with The Jetties. -- (Aimee Murillo)
Tuesday, April 2
Denver's Air Dubai grew their emphatically hooky version of Flobots or Gym Class Heroes-style hip-hoppy radio pop from Macbook demos to an actual garage band (with like seven people) into an outfit so tight they managed to get signed to powerhouse label Hopeless on the basis of reputation alone. No live showcase, no by-request demos--just pure existing! (It couldn't have hurt that they'd pulled in award after award from Westword, the Denver version of the ol' OC Weekly.) The recordings ready for independent release suddenly had to be prepped for mass production via Hopeless, which is a nice problem to have, and now they return from SXSW to do something of a victory lap. If ever a year is gonna be their year, this is it. (Chris Ziegler)
Pike Bar & Grill
Southern California band Greater Pacific treats us with a few shows this month, stopping off at hipster haven (and we mean that in a good way) the Pike in Long Beach. The sleepy alt-country group keeps the beat slow and the twang strong (dig the pedal steel guitar), and vocalist Kyle Kersten's soothing croon is more whisper than howl. With their first full length album released in September, Incandescent on Yer Bird Records, Greater Pacific is the very embodiment of sweet Americana folk. Check them out this week and maybe discover a new favorite lullaby. (Erin DeWitt)
Thursday, April 4
House of Blues Anaheim
Blackberry Smoke, the good ol' American country rock group from Georgia (where else?) stops by the House of Blues this week on their never-ending string of cross-country touring. Though venues more dive bar than corporate arena seem to suite this band better--it's beer or whiskey or nothin'--Orange County could use a good dose of southern-fried classic rock. Led by singer and lead guitarist Charlie Starr (who flaunts some of the craziest chops we've ever seen), these men spend more time on the road then at home, making for an authentic sound of heart-break and honky tonk. If you blast Skynyrd and ZZ Top, and drive either a truck, muscle car or motorcycle, then you'll dig Blackberry Smoke. (Erin DeWitt)
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Friday, April 5
A self-taught guitarist, Hawaiian songbird Anuhea rose steadily on the iTunes charts with her 2007 debut album "Anuhea." Before long, Anuhea would find herself touring worldwide and opening for major acts such as Bruno Mars, FloRida, and Al Green. With her mellow guitar chords and sunny vocals, the combination reggae-pop-soul songstress shines through such catchy singles such as "Here I Go Again," "Simple Love Song," and "I Just Want You Around." Catch her serenading swaying audiences at the Observatory for a one night engagement. (Aimee Murillo)