Friday, November 15
When Hannah Hooper invited her friend Christian Zucconi to join her at an artist colony on the Greek island of Crete, neither of them expected to meet three like-minded, fellow Americans--let alone musicians. But that's what happened when the duo met Andrew Wessen, Ryan Rabin and Sean Gadd during the summer of 2009. They became fast friends, and when the summer ended and everyone went their separate ways, there was a feeling that the bond forged could survive both distance and time apart. A year later, the quintet finally came together in Los Angeles, recorded an album and became the infectious, roaring force known as Grouplove. Their second single, "Tongue Tied," propelled the band to heights that seemed far-fetched during that first jam session. Its fusion of indie rock and dance pop caught on with music listeners, landing the group a coveted spot on an iPod Touch commercial. The tune eventually reached the pinnacle on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.--Daniel Kohn Saturday, November 16
Despite having few female fans, famed Canuck band Rush was an inspiration to countless artists and other assorted creative types. Be sure to check out Yo La Tengo's video for the song "Sugar Cube," in which the characters, forced to attend rock school, listen to a professor with a face painted like Ace Freely reading the lyrics from "Closer to the Heart" as if it were Tolkien. Rush inspires us, too. Without getting into too much detail, we can tell you that many afternoons were spent with friends listening to songs like "YYZ" and engaging in epic jam sessions with air guitar, bass and drums. The instruments weren't real, but the bong was. --Brandon Ferguson
There are two things Orange County residents can expect when Cinco de Mayo comes around: a moratorium on Mexican-hating-- all in the name of a goodwill drink fest-- and a Manic Hispanic concert. This Orange County band that started in 1992 has made their mark in the music scene by taking punk classics, such as The Descendents' "Milo Goes to College" and "Group Sex" by the Circle Jerks and Chicanofying them into satirical covers such as "Mijo Goes to Jr. College" and "Grupo Sexo." The band itself is a conglomerate of O.C. punk history, their members summoned from the likes of The Cadillac Tramps, Agent Orange and The Adolescents. Without a doubt, no other band better represents the cultural mosh pit that is Orange County: the classic white majority meshing with the Hispanic soon-to-be majority This weekend they play with fellow punk legends Swingin' Utters and Union 13 along with Anarchy Taco.--Elena de la Cuz
Sean Wheeler and Zander Schloss
Put the punk rock in the cowboy hat--or maybe just boots and a bandolier--and you got the revved-up Americana of the Hillgrass Bluebilly organization, who take two genres, three chords and the truth and end up with a bunch of bands bouncing around between the Gun Club and Hasil Adkins. Tonight, it's headliners Sean Wheeler (of the much-loved Throwrag) and Zander Schloss (of basically every band and also from Repo Man) doing Tom Waits-meets-Roky Erickson doom roots along with guy-girl duo Crushed Out doing '56 rock 'n' roll with '76 style. (So if you ever thought a New York Dolls song romantic, you best believe you'll be in L-U-V.) Also on deck are fearsome twosome Restavrant, who play homebuilt drums with backwoods aplomb. A night for people who like to double-fist their music and their drinks both. --Chris Ziegler
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Sunday, November 17
David Scott Stone (of LCD Soundsystem)
Producer/DJ/composer David Scott Stone (that's Sir DSS to you) has had his share of supporting gigs in legendary projects. Best known for his work as a multi-instrumalist force with disbanded dance rockers LCD Soundsystem and the sludge kings the Melvins, he's also been a regular solo performer at strongholds like the Smell. Displaying his technical wizardry on the ethereal, slow-building soundscapes of the modular synthesizer, he rolls into Commonwealth Lounge for a solo show with support from art house experimentalist act Kalva Won, hip-hop crew the Natives and Mark Sells and the Brother in Blues.--Nate Jackson