What's Humming Through the Skulls of Orange County?
Photo by Jeanne Rice DAVID CONNER, CO-FOUNDER OF RECONSTRUXION RADIO [WWW.RECONSTRUXION.COM], MANAGER OF SPLIT DECISION, BLUE-COLLAR SLAVE, PROUD FATHER
> Search and Destroy (www.trashsurfin.de). "Operating my own online station on the Web, I feel the need to stress this: while Internet radio stands poised to become the next great audio medium, significant obstacles remain. Major portal sites like Shoutcast and Live365 routinely average five stations per listener, and commercial sites foolishly try to be all things to all people. Without focus, streaming audio will continue to flounder. Search and Destroy is a site with a clear purpose, though—one I admire. It's one of the best directories on the Web for punk rock info of any kind. Other sites worth checking out can be found on the Reconstruxion Radio links page."
> The BellRays' Let It Blast. "An album that exemplifies the rock & roll mindset as it should be. This band has shunned major labels and instead independently recorded this unbelievable future classic on a six-track in their Garden Grove practice studio. At a recent Club Mesa show, I asked vocalist Lisa Kekaula why the majors weren't beating a path to their door. She replied, 'Well, honey, a lot of that has to do with us. We'll sell our million records with or without help from the corporate machine.' Shortly after we finished talking, the BellRays proceeded to rip the fuckin' place in two with a set I will not soon forget. Right on!"
> Streetwalkin' Cheetahs. "They serve up a no-frills package of searing punk rock with an energy that San Onofre would be hard-pressed to match. The band can be found on a plethora of indie compilations, but their own CD, Live at KXLU, stands way out—a live, in-studio session recorded at Loyola Marymount's legendary college station that resurrected the excitable 15-year-old punk kid in me. Now I listen to my old punk records like I'm hearing them for the first time."
> The city of Chicago. "Good music is not exclusive to SoCal. Chicago is another hotbed for great rock & roll and is home to perhaps the best band in America today, Local H. Another Chicago band on the rise are the Teenage Frames; if you haven't heard them yet, you will. I met the Frames' front man, Frankie, in January at Al's Bar in LA while they were on tour in support of their Steve Albini-produced 1% Faster album. Frankie is an individual in all senses of the word, combining the showmanship of Frank Sinatra and the dancing ability of Sammy Davis Jr. on crack. I speak with him periodically, and he's always entertaining. He tells me the Frames will be here this summer for an extended visit, so catch them live and try to find a copy of 1% Faster. You won't be disappointed."
> Split Decision. "Back here in OC, west Garden Grove favorites Split Decision, the band I manage, prove that hard work and an independent attitude will get you places. They recently completed a successful minitour to San Francisco and have just recorded a new five-song EP at Liberty Lane in Huntington Beach as a follow-up to their album A Very Bad Day. They play locally almost every week, and I recommend checking them out. Their show is a combustible mix of positive energy, warped humor and punk aggression that'll remind you of why you go see a live band in the first place."
> Alex Morales' bar. "A bar I hope to frequent more often is in Long Beach at the corner of Anaheim and Gladys. As of today, it's unnamed, but it sports a unique atmosphere, and with Alex's entertainment goals in mind, it'll soon be supporting the live-music scene."
> Sanctuary. "Also in Long Beach, this is a full-service salon with a nightclub attitude, a place to get your hair done where you actually want to hear the background music."
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