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Friday, November 15
From The Specials: The Two Tone Twins Alex's Bar The Specials were the kings of Two Tone, the second-wave mix of punk and ska that got gigantic in the '70s and '80s and greatly inspired Southern California's own burst of ska-punk later. And so the Specials' original members Lynval Golding and Roddy Byers (a.k.a. Roddy Radiation) are better qualified than anyone to lead this review of classics old and new, augmented by Byers' own outfit, the Skabilly Rebels. (Who seem to sound less like Prince Buster and Gene Vincent and more like Elvis Costello and Roy Loney doing it up 1979 style, which is pretty sweet in its own way.) This is a West Coast-only Two Tone Twins tour, so revel in the ska-pertunity denied the rest of the U.S.A while you can! (Chris Ziegler)
Saturday, November 16
Long Beach Folk Revival Festival Historic Old Pine Avenue Some people used to call it Iowa by the Sea, but Long Beach Independent's Shea Newkirk is working on turning part of Pine Ave. into something between Nashville, Joshua Tree and Guy Clark's living room table with the Folk Revival Festival. (There's plenty of precedent for country and folk downtown--they used to hold barn dances in the old Acres of Books building.) With a hyper-local line-up of musicians exploring styles of Americana old (like Frank Fairfield), new (like the maniacs in Restavrant) and true (personal favorites Paperplanes), it's the kind of countrified day out that's been missing for too long. As Mr. Clark once said, "Adios to all this concrete, gonna get me some dirt road back streets/if I can just get offa that LA freeway." (Chris Ziegler)
Jeramiah Red The Slidebar What do Jeramiah Red sound like? With a little Black Keys, a pinch of Kings of Leon and a bit of Bob Dylan thrown in (yes, those are very competent harmonica riffs), you could say it's Orange County's take on good old rock & roll. Wes Dickson (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Ian Cullen (lead guitar and vocals), Travis Ruiz (harp and percussion), Tim Miller (bass) and Matt Pleskacz (drums) continue to make noise that has plenty of people paying attention in these parts, especially since the release of their latest release "The Winter Tick." See them in Fullerton at the Slidebar this weekend along with the Janks and the Hourglass Cats. (Lilledeshan Bose)
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Sunday, November 17
Meka Leka Hi's The Continental Room Everyone say 'hi' to the music of The Meka Leka Hi's. Especially those who love to go to town on furious, frenetic punk rock led by snarling guitar riffs and echo-y, reverbed vocals. Seek out their current self-titled album on either 12" or digital download through their bandcamp page for maximum rock n' roll pleasure. Tonight, give it up for The Meka Leka Hi's at the Continental Room, along with Death Hymn Number 9, Walking Wrecks, and Girl Tears. (Aimee Murillo)
Waka Flocka Flame The Observatory Take a breather, Lil Jon. Every time we see another Waka Flocka Flame video pop up on MTV, it's becoming more and more apparent that the king of crunk has an heir to the throne. After surmounting dangerous levels of hype (and hate) surrounding his debut release Flockavelli in 2010, the dred-swinging southern rapper is enjoying a taste of sophomore album success with Triple Life: Fans, Friends and Family, which stocks as many gritty trap beats, syrupy street flows and tales of the fast life. His next joint, Flockavelli 2, is slated for 2014, so there's that to look forward to. This show is sure to bring plenty of faux high-rollers, party people and capable booty poppers to the Observatory that is sure to leave plenty of sweat on the dance floor. (Nate Jackson)