TGIF: Pilar Diaz, Stars, Blonde Redhead, The Misfits, Usher!

Friday is when Pilar Diaz, one of our featured acts in this week's music section, takes a bow at the Orange County Center of Contemporary Art in Santa Ana. With some years of solo work under her belt after she broke from LA's shoulda-been-really-famous Los Abandoned, the Chilean-born, LA-raised ukelele-playing soundtrack-performing try-anything-once artist is, unsurprisingly, trying something else yet again.

She's performing on a three-act bill with Los Romantics de Zacatecas
and Yellow Red Sparks. One has the feeling it'll one of those
hyperactively great evenings that should never end, so go down there and
make the most of it.

Saturday, the Misfits headline a three-band lineup at the Galaxy
Concert Theatre in Santa Ana. It should have gone down on Halloween
weekend, but it's still Nightmare Before Christmas season, so we'll give
it a pass. It's long been anything but a classic lineup of the
Misfits, of course-Glenn Danzig never returned after the breakup and
only Jerry Only is left out of all the original members-but one suspects
that so long as there's an excuse to shout along with “Die Die My
Darling” and “Last Caress” then folks will be there.

Also that evening,
Margot and the Nuclear So-and-So's will be back in town at the Detroit
Bar in Costa Mesa, touring behind their most recent album, Buzzard. The
band's first to be released on their own label following a classic “who
knows better, us or the suits?” dispute with Epic Records, it's also one
featuring a reworked lineup. Founder and singer Richard Edwards is
still leading the slightly theatrical winsomeness of it all via singing,
guitar and whatever other tools are on hand for his and the band's use.

Sunday finds Stars, another one of our featured artists in this
week's issue, up at the Glass House. Once again, they're proof that when
talking about inspiring indie-based bands from Canada, that you need
not be talking about the Arcade Fire. From their electropop start on
Nightsongs nearly a decade back to The Five Ghosts album out this year,
the group regularly gets featured on both American and Canadian TV show
soundtracks all while participating things such as in the expansive art
collective Broken Social Scene.

Sunday also means Usher at the Honda
Center in Anaheim. (Don't give us that look.) When you consider that
Usher's only rival in high-profile, solo R&B success is Justin
Timberlake (who seems to have given up an active music career so he can
be a CGI bear and look like a moody Harvard guy), there' s little wonder
that the guy who scored his first number ones in the late 1990s has hit
2010 without a care. We have a feeling his latest, “OMG” is another
hit. We also have the overall feeling that he's going to be a lifer
headlining arena tours.

On Monday night at the Glass House is Blonde Redhead, another act that
has shifted from the late 1990s to 2010 without a break. Though not
quite as well known as Mr. Love in This Club, the band has a killer
backstory. (Japanese artist meets Italian brothers in New York, form a
band.) They've long since moved from accomplished aping of No Wave and
after inspirations to their own elegant, thick sounding art rock that's
as much post-goth/shoegaze wash as anything else out there riding that
particular train. And they always do that much better than most.

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