Monday, September 30 Don't forget to check out our constantly updated OC Concert Calendar Toro Y Moi The Observatory Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bundick makes pure vibe music--actually, he kind of makes pure vibes, with every song a snapshot of its own moment and its own world. On most recent album Anything In Return, he glides through a post-chillwave--we can say that now, right?--sound where every pixel is in its perfect place, and where the zoned-out digital blur of atmospheric acts like Gas meets radio R&B, dusted-off 8-bit bleeps and his distinct from-a-distance vocals. Some reviewers are saying this stuff is too sweet or too soft or even a little too scared to be something else, but there's substance back there in the haze, even if its hard to make out at first. Go slow with the lights low and you'll find it. (Chris Ziegler)
Tuesday, October 1
The Writer's Den Harvelle's Long Beach Musicians looking to turn aspirations into live performances get their shot with the Writers Den open mic night at Harvelle's in Long Beach. The weekly residency came to fruition thanks to celebrated local songstress, Stacy Clark--the New York native molded the event after her own encouraging experience with an open mic night in Buffalo. Clark offers other artists the same opportunity by creating a welcoming vibe in a noteworthy venue--seasoned acts warm up the house before the stage opens to the public (and nervous newcomers). Catering to a drinking-age crowd, Writers Den kicks off this week, running every Tuesday through December, and offers hopeful singer/songwriters a chance to step into the spotlight, if only for a night, and share their music with a captive audience. (Heidi Darby)
Wednesday, October 2
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Noah and the Whale House of Blues Anaheim If the thought of another English band with indie-folk leanings makes your intestines writhe, take heart, we're not plugging Mumford and Sons. Rather, Noah and the Whale is a five-piece UK group who built their sound on sweetly woeful melodies, and clever lyrics (as opposed to ham-fisted hyper banjoing). The only thing actually hyper about these guys is their ambition--in 2009, frontman Charlie Fink shot a full-length movie titled The First Days of Spring to accompany an eponymous album. Sure, a lot of it was maudlin guitars laid over images of the English countryside shot from a vintage car, but the album's occasionally clichéd moments give way to soaring violin crescendos that inspire chills. With songs about lonely bar maids rocking pendulum hips, Noah and the Whale call to mind the haunting moodiness of Sigur Ros, with the wit of Belle and Sebastian. Best of all, the banjo is kept to a minimum. (Brandon Ferguson)
David Burnham: Mostly Broadway Carpenter Performing Arts Center For those who can't make it to New York for the start of theater season, enjoy a little bit of Broadway brought to Long Beach. David Burnham, who originated the role of Wicked's Fiyero (he molded the character in the play's developmental workshops), goes solo for this performance--and with a voice as powerful as his, he'd be stealing the spotlight from anyone else anyways. Burnham possesses the ability to take his baritone vocals into tenor territory--as an original Broadway cast member in The Light in the Piazza, as well as seasoned Tony Awards performer, award-winning Burnham shines on the stage like the true Broadway star he is. Come see what the San Francisco Chronicle called "a joyously electric performance" this week at the Carpenter Performing Art s Center. (Erin DeWitt)
Youth Lagoon The Observatory Youth Lagoon's 2011 debut The Year of Hibernation launched Trevor Powers as a dream weaver, combining sleepy vocals with soft piano and rhythmic guitar, anchored by fun, ecstatic drum beats. Think Beach House without the over-the-top vocals. The bushy-haired lad from Boise since has followed up with his newest release in 2013 The Wondrous Bughouse that continues on an other-wordly path, only more experimental and yes, wondrous. Bug out tonight with Youth Lagoon at the Observatory tonight as he plays with Pure X. (Aimee Murillo)