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Friday, March 28
Release the Bats! Que Sera Our favorite "hard-drinkin', foul-mouthed, in-yer-face American gothic dance club" swings back 'round the Que Sera for the Near Dark Tour 2014. It's always Bats Day inside these black and booze-splattered walls--come for live performances from The Last Cry (UK's cult-rock veterans/legends), Strap On Halo (a recently resurrected goth-rock band hailing from Nebraska), plus honored guest DJ Martin OldGoth (also from the UK and also a genre veteran/legend) along with Dave Bats, DingBat, Reanimator and Dave Grave. This is a prime party for all the wonderful freaks in the area, so get to Long Beach early because (in addition to an early-bat cover charge) this intimate venue can only accommodate so many gothic beauties. (Erin DeWitt)
Miniature Tigers Constellation Room There's something really youthful and nostalgic about Miniature Tigers' music, which plays off of the sounds of late '90s alt rock and applies a modern indie pop edge to it. Their debut Cruel Runnings operates on this blend of musical energies, with lyrics depicting, among other things, teenage romance and memories of warm summer nights with friends. Who doesn't enjoy something listening to something fun and different once in a while? Fans of other indie pop groups like Girls and Real Estate might find something to like in Miniature Tigers, and so for you discerning audiophiles, you'd be entirely remiss if you were to forgo this four-piece's show at the Constellation Room with Total Slacker and Flashlights. Your spring concert season has already begun, so go out and take in a cool show tonight. (Aimee Murillo)
Saturday, May 29
Ice Cube Ten Nightclub Let us, for a moment, forget the B-list actor who plays angry patriarch roles in schlocky comedies (apparently we're going to be blessed with Ride Along 2 in a few years), and let us focus on the hip-hip icon, trailblazer of gangster rap, and one hell of a musician. Ice Cube comes to Newport Beach (yes, Newport Beach) for an incredibly rare live performance. Like, unicorns made of magic bacon rare. This past October he released a song titled "Sasquatch" to the grabby hands of critics and fans alike--but what was most exciting was the announcement that a new album would be released this fall. Catch Mr. Cube's show tonight and maybe, if it's truly a good day, you make get a taste of some new material. (Erin, DeWitt) Sunday, March 30
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The Appleseed Cast The Glass House Formally-local-now-Kansas-based band The Appleseed Cast seemed to always choose the bumpy road down their musical career path. Consider their seemly-endless rotation of group members, rumors of an expelled drummer (which were true) followed by a brief hiatus, a drop by financially belly-up record label Tiger Style, and just when they were getting back on their feet: a tour van and trailer-wrecking car crash. An easy road, it ain't been. But like the tiny seed that grows into a fruit-giving tree, this group proved undyingly resilient. The band's latest album, 2013's Illumination Ritual, was a welcome reminder that Appleseed Cast is still relevant--and still quite adapt at blending eclectic melodies and hooks, skipping from dream pop to ambient noise to quick-tempered rock. Don't miss their show tonight at the Glass House and remember why you loved them in the first place. (Erin DeWitt)
Total Chaos The Observatory Total Chaos frequently change their styles; on one album they are hard and aggressive with repetitive harsh power chords a la street punk and D-beat. Elsewhere they sound inspired by the British oi! style and the '77 bouncy, melodic and catchy style. Punk rock success can be a balancing act. If you change your sound to book more venues and record more albums, you're a sellout. If you play a show with corporate sponsors, you're a sellout. If you don't play enough in your hometown, you're also a sellout.But Total Chaos has somehow found the equilibrium. See one of Pomona's greatest Punk exports fire up the Observatory on Sunday (Javier Cabral)