The OC Music Awards at the Lab Last Night

The OC Music Awards at the Lab Last Night
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Jan. 26, 2011
The Lab, Costa Mesa

Last night saw round two of the Best Live Acoustic Act category, and the competition was hit or miss. Of the five groups who performed, only two stood out.  Here's the breakdown.


The OC Music Awards at the Lab Last Night
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

The OC Music Awards at the Lab Last Night
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

The OC Music Awards at the Lab Last Night
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

I Hate You Just Kidding: Standout band No. 2. This folksy foursome employed a small arsenal of instruments--including banjo, harmonica, ukelele and violin. And though they have chosen a musical configuration similar to Dusty Rhodes and His River Band, IHYJK flips the switch thanks to vocalist Jessi Fulghum. Instead of jamming the sanguine anthems found in Rhodes' work, this comely young lass weaves chill melodies with a youthful, high-pitched register mixed with the torch-song smokiness of an old soul. The music may not be incredibly uplifting, but the performance and chemistry between Fulghum and guitarist Jeremy Brock were compelling.

The OC Music Awards at the Lab Last Night
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

The OC Music Awards at the Lab Last Night
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

Fast Forward Romance: A boy/girl duo who can't decide if they're from OC or New York. Rumor has it vocalist Natalie Distler is an actress best-known for her work in the Dennis Leary FX vehicle Rescue Me. These two youngsters play a high-energy brand of hip-hop-infused pop that draws on influences from 311 to Fergie.  Call it suburban contemporary. For being just a vocalist with a guitar player, they actually sounded good. I was actually tapping my toes when the Weekly's interim music editor Danielle Bacher leaned over to me and said, "I feel like this music should be in a Pepsi commercial."

The Crowd: Lots of media photographers. A little more sparse than previous awards showcases, perhaps thanks to the Lab's shitty parking situation. Lots of pretty girls wearing elaborate boots. This truly is a golden age for crazy feminine footwear.

Overheard: "This is the greatest band of all time," said one belligerent fan into the microphone after clamoring onstage just before the Case Brothers' set.

Random Notebook Dump: A Wahoo's roach coach was serving $2 tacos. It seemed like they were stuffed with more food than the ones you buy in the restaurant.

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