Back-to-School Band Sale!

So you can assimilate your bad self more quickly into OC college life, we offer a consumer's guide to some of the better bands in the area, names to look out for in the Weekly's kick-ass Calendar listings when you gotta have your music jones satiated. Just think-in a few weeks, strangers will be walking up to you and chanting: “One of us! One of us! We accept you! One of us!”If you're hell-bent on ska and punk, we offer the following suggestions: for you two-tone types, Jeffries Fan Club and The Pharmaceutical Bandits are just about the best things going right now, along with The Decapitones, who, though not from OC, play a lot of shows here and specialize in unbelievably fast, tongue-twisting toasting techniques (say that 10 times fast).For punk, Overbored don't suck, unless you count the number of ciggies they inhale on “Smokin',” a mile-a-minute song that's one of the best cuts from their All for Effect CD. Dodge Dart's lyrics are gorgeously anti-would it be proper punk if they weren't? For stoopid, beer-swiggin' party punk, you can't beat Drain Bramaged. We also like a group of swell, up-and-coming young'uns-we think they're still in high school-called Fonzie's Adventure; we think they might turn into Drain Bramaged when they turn 21. Unit F and The Starvations make you wanna go out and kick small, defenseless puppies. The hip-hop scene is small but worthy-if you know where to find it. Check out Koo's Art Cafe in Santa Ana, which hosts a once-a-month live hip-hop night featuring excellent local rappers like the Youth Internationals. Funk, believe it or don't, is actually quite big, too. Long Beach's 00 Soul, who play a monthly show at the Foothill in nearby Signal Hill, tops our list there. Afrodisiac also makes you wanna shake-shake-shake yer bootie. Project Tru, while not exclusively funk, artfully cops Santana. For country, you won't do much better than Chris Gaffney & the Cold Hard Facts, who seem to be playing somewhere every weekend. Jann Browne is equally nifty, though she doesn't play nearly enough. For blues, head on up to the Blue Cafe in Long Beach-almost everybody who graces their stage is worthy, especially White Boy James & the Blues Express during their regular Wednesday-night gigs. Whilst in North County, try tracking down a great, Stevie Ray-inspired band called 3rd Degree; whilst in South County, be on the lookout for Blue Mama. Orange Cicadae is pretty cosmic, too, though their blues are more rockabilly-accented, the kind that made Linda's Doll Hut famous. For good ol' chewy, '70s-style power pop, Teen Heroes are impossibly tasty. They just might be OC's perfect summertime-and what the hell, fall-, winter- and springtime, too-pop band. The Bucky's also do a scrumptious blend of pop punk (emphasis on “pop”) that's gosh-darned swell. Charley are amazing, too, and we're at their next show wherever and whenever it is-if they haven't broken up or something. Across the border in Long Beach, you'll find a mega-deli plate of great bands, like Ruby Diver, who churn out wickedly addictive, funky-ass groove concoctions and feature a belter named Miss Pamela who can warble like Grace Slick in her prime. Can't forget the fabulous Mention-find a copy of the Weekly's most recent Feedback issue (Aug. 14), in which we slobbered our stringy drool all over 'em. Shave, 12 Hour Mary, Mickey's Big Mouth, Dan Lo-Fi Champion and just about any band involved with the Bong Leach Artists Collective are a guaranteed good time. The Fireants crank out muscular, non-conformist tunes about not caving in to male oppression, a sentiment we're always down with. And the Killingtons, a glorious pop-minded band full of grinding, hooky guitars, quite simply, rock. Tub totally kick ass. The Neil Armstrong Band eternally rock our world. And Smile-despite being veterans of the dehumanizing, major-label sausage machine-haven't lost anything. We've also been known to go apeshit over Big Saver, Soul Candy, Relish, Moonwash, Joe & the Chickenheads, and a lot of other bands whom we don't have room to list here.But what do we know? Stop copying: cut some night classes, and do your own homework on the local music scene.

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