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Monday, January 13 Daena Grey Detroit Bar The Detroit Bar starts off 2014 with a one-two wrist-slap of soulful acoustic acts for their monthly Monday night residency. First up is the whimsical folk pixie Daena Grey, who layers melancholy poetry over a mournfully plucked six-string. The Emmy-nominated songstress (and former Oxford Belle) released her debut EP When the Bough Breaks in May 2012--the success of which is still driving her career onwards and upwards, as music critics and fans alike believe she can do no wrong. Sharing the headlining honor is local boys Grant Muller & the Mission. Frontman Muller pulls blues and soul influence into his music--his laid-back vocal stylings and guitar work could be imagined onstage anytime in the past 60 years. Check Detroit's website for special guest performances each week. (Erin DeWitt)
Tuesday, January 14
OC Music Awards Live Showcase Tustin Legacy The OC Music Awards kicked off its yearly series of live showcases last week, starting the trek to the March 8 awardstravaganza where winners are chosen and losers are lovingly consoled--and you can get in on the battle royale early with the second showcase in Tustin. Headlining is Corona-ish indie folk-pop band Me and the City, who unite Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons in ways science formerly feared to explore, and support includes La Habra (via Texan heritage and lots of Jameson whiskey) country rocker Annie McQueen and South County's old-timey foursome Live Oak Revue. A panel of sage and seasoned judges will assess each act for particular excellence across five categories, at least three of which could be enhanced by you showing up and screaming for your favorite. (Chris Ziegler)
Thursday, January 16
Unwritten Law ($5 Show) The Observatory In their 23 years as a band, San Diego's Unwritten Law have seen many subgenres come and go--yet here they remain, going strong when their contemporaries fall by the wayside. Though they built a steady following of dedicated fans (especially in Southern California) with their fastpaced brand of punk, the quartet broke into the mainstream in the early 2000s with their only number one song, "Seein' Red," when pop punk became a fixture on rock radio. Despite the internal conflicts that marred the outfit over the past few years, along with singer Scott Russo now the only remaining member from their formative era, Unwritten Law continues to tour on the strength of their past laurels--which is more than you can say for many of their peers. (Daniel Kohn) Friday, January 17
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Hell or Highwater The Constellation Room Get ready to rawk this Friday night as five-piece hard rock outfit Hell or Highwater hits Alex's Bar. And that's lucky for us--considering the band's madman guitars, breakneck drums and black metal vocals (courtesy of ex-Atreyu drummer Brandon Saller), any lesser venue would simply implode upon itself under the weight of so much bad assery. Make a night of it with Johnny Saloon's "party bus" package that includes a ride to Alex's, free booze, an advance copy of HoH's new EP and then a ride back to the HB dive for an after-party.
Goodfoot Alex's Bar CAN YOU DIG IT? If there's one thing Alex's Bar is known for (besides being the bar used in True Blood, and their punk rock n' roll shows) is their insanely awesome soul nights. Headed by DJs Rodi and Dennis, The Goodfoot is back in town for you and all your kooky cohorts to cut loose and shake a tail feather. Spinning soul, funk, and latin music, come bop along to where the dance floor is paved with rhythm on a hot LBC night. (Aimee Murillo)