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Friday, December 20
The Vandals, GoGo13, Knock-Out House of Blues Anaheim This holiday season, as with every before it, you're faced with the same choice of holiday shows such as the Nutcracker or perhaps Santa on Ice. But we can think of few better ways to celebrate Christmas--like with OC's own puerile punk rock purveyors and all-around merry mischief makers, the Vandals. There is no discussion about punk rock in the land of citrus without mention of these zany pranksters and their songs about rebellious hamburgers and the love of Vietnamese pizza delivery girls. So when you're hemming and hawing about spending money on a trip to a frozen pond this year, remember all the good times the Vandals have afforded your sorry ass over the decades and give back by purchasing a ticket to their show. Their taking the stage on Friday night with ska favorites GoGo13 and Knock-Out, who are playing their farewell show. (Brandon Ferguson)
The Earl Sweatshirt Christmas Show The Observatory Maybe it's a little too early to officially call it a tradition, but kicking the holidays in the face with the help of Odd Future is becoming some sort of something at the Observatory. At last year's Odd Future Christmas show, rapper/producer Earl Future delivered the first-ever live performance of his song "Chum" amidst the ruins of various Christmas decorations, and now this year he's coming back to host a show himself. Details on what the Earl Sweatshirt Christmas Show will specifically entail are scarce--intriguingly scarce, you might say--but history (like when the cops came at the 2011 Christmas show at the Roxy) and discography (like Earl's recent Doris full-length) and personality (you don't need notes on this one, right?) are all working together here to come up with a gift that keeps on giving. (Chris Ziegler)
U.S. Bombs The Constellation Room When asked how he's doing these days, "Master of Disaster" Duane Peters answers with a dry rasp, "I'm alive. I'm breathing. Let's go with that." As one of professional skateboarding's pioneers and singer for legendary punk act the U.S. Bombs, the Newport Beach native has done everything the hard way. A drunken fall in 1978 led to a broken elbow and a secondary infection that almost saw doctors amputating his arm. He escaped with his limb--and a taste for opiates. The ensuing decades would bring Peters three sons, as well as struggles with multiple addictions. During this time, he would invent some signature skate tricks, while still finding time to get involved with multiple music projects, ultimately recording more than 20 albums. He's back on stage with the U.S. Bombs tonight for what promises to be a packed house full of punks ready to scream the lyrics of their nearly two decades worth of material. (Brandon Ferguson) Saturday, December 21
Holograms The Constellation Room Swedish quartet Holograms adventurously plunder through the post-punk sounds of yesteryear through their 2013 album Forever, their second album since first meeting in 2011. Singer/guitarist Anton Spetze's Jonathan Richman-esque vocals and backing synthesizer equally supply the icy cool grandeur and energetic madness that only add to their mystique. While their sophomore album revisits the big sounds of Joy Division from the mid '80s, their self-titled debut Holograms features a turn towards New Wave and punk; it will certainly be exciting to see where their music takes us next. Performing tonight at the Constellation Room. (Aimee Murillo)
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Sunday, December 22
Phil Shane Farewell Show Alex's Bar Southern California proved to be just too small a pond for Phil Shane the One Man Legend. For years, the sideburned showman performed relentlessly (up to several times a week!) at local bars and lounges, bringing his epic, oneofa kind take on throwback tracks and dazzling, gyrating dance moves to thousands of people. But like the cowboy eventually rides off into the sunset, Phil Shane is taking his act to (where else?) Music City, U.S.A. "My good friend Alex has put together a full band to back me on my last performance there before our move to Nashville in 2014," Shane says. "They have dubbed it 'The Philnale.' Should be a good time. So looking forward to it. Hot Damn!" Nashville is lucky to have you, Phil. (Erin DeWitt)