Ahhh, the weekend, finally. From local bands to a nostalgia trip at Knotts' Studio K and Ice Cube at the Grove–there's never enough time to do everything you want.
Friday has Micah Brown appearing as part of a collection of sharp local
performers at the House of Blues in Anaheim–also on the bill are the New
Limb, Chasing Kings, Kiev and Ethan Hulse, so you might as well show up
early and enjoy it all.
Brown's rise up has been one of the area's bigger success stories of late, so little wonder he's the feature of our Locals Only column in this week's issue. Brown's been doing the solo guy-and-a-guitar thing for a long time, but this'll be a full band performance and one suspects it could be a bit of a breakthrough moment.
Also on Friday is the Studio K/Cloud 9 reunion club night show at Knott's Berry Farm. Plenty of people of a certain age will be there, but so should everyone else, really. An often-inspired blast of KROQ-in-synth-mode, electro and hip hop classics and more besides, Studio K turned out to be one of the best honest-to-god dance clubs in Orange County back in the '80s. There's still an obsessed fan base online for it all; Gwen Stefani's been quoted more than once about her being a regular attendee, and the whole thing is perfect nostalgia central. Hey, even Richard Blade is appearing.
Yet another Friday show of note is Ice Cube at the City National Grove of Anaheim–and really, what more can be said about one of the great survivors of '80s hip-hop? NWA and the early solo albums turned out to be the start of a career that hit on everything from smash family comedy hits to directing a documentary about the LA Raiders for ESPN. If he's never going to quite be Bill Cosby, we wouldn't put it past him to end up marketing his own line of pudding pops in the future. In between putting out new albums and touring, of course.)
Saturday brings another step in the rise of Fitz and the Tantrums with their show at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. Given that VH1 has bestowed their “You Oughta Know” blessing on them, one expects them to start playing bigger spots soon. It's another good reason to catch them now. The LA group is one of our featured artists this week: if their own take on classic soul isn't quite as amazingly cathartic as, say, the Afghan Whigs' psychodramas, the partnership of Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs is happily in its own stylish and energetic universe.
Sunday finds the Batbombs making an unholy sonic mess at Alex's Bar–and they wouldn't have it any other way, of course. The principle of scummy sleaze and feedback-as-hatred and all that isn't a new thing by any means. These folks know their roots, whether it's the Cramps, the Dwarves or anything out there that figured the best things in life involved outrage, being pissed off and probably some form of figuring out how best to test your patience in an entertaining way. (It's harder than it looks.) Wear the earplugs–but hide them carefully to avoid mockery.