The Five Best Concerts in OC This Week

Tuesday, January 22

Cat Power
The Observatory

No, it's not a feline liberation movement (although that would be rad), but rather the on-going musical project of singer/songwriter Chan Marshall that spans the musical spectrum from punk and folk to blues and electronica. Known for her unconventional stage shows and moody tunes, Cat Power is the darling of the college scene and alternative (actual alternative) radio stations across the land. Her new album Sun entered the Billboard 200 at No. 10 last September and is rated four stars by both Slant and Rolling Stone. But we don't need to sell you on Cat Power. One listen to “Cherokee” or “The Moon” and you'll be ready for a long night of caterwauling. — Stacy Davies


OC Music Awards, Night 3

Those of you who've been waiting for the OC Music Awards to turn up the volume on their weekly live showcases are finally getting a healthy dose of distortion this week. Bringing a mix of psychobilly, blues and rock (read: rawk!) to the stage, Tuesday's show at Slidebar in Fullerton offers a chance to bang your head and blowout your eardrums to the sounds of Anna Vexa, Snakebit Drifters, Fiction Reform, Beneath the Buried and Death Hymn Number 9. —Nate Jackson

Wednesday, January 23

The Glasshouse

It has been almost fifteen years since Walter Schreifels, Tom Capone, Sergio Vega and Alan Cage collectively formed the brash, New York quartet Quicksand. We'll never forget the first time we saw their video for “Fazer” on Headbangers Ball on MTV in the early '90s and immediately went to the record store and picked up their debut album Slip. While nostalgia certainly abounds when it comes to this act, they've also become current again thanks for a string of reunion shows–the first of which was actually at the Glasshouse back in June. Back for another round, we're glad to see Quicksand's plans to rejoin the hardcore scene haven't sunk yet.–Andrew Youssef


Reggie Watts
Segerstrom Center for the Arts

When it comes to the fine art of musical criticism, Reggie Watts can make us all feel a little dumb. While attempting to describe his stage show, keep track of how many times you pause and scratch your head. How many genres do you slap together, hoping in vain to find a combo that pegs this Afro-sporting, beat-boxing Renaissance man to a T? When you're done stammering like Russell Crowe's character in A Beautiful Mind, we suggest you keep it simple: He's a funky one-man band who's funny as fuck. In front of an audience full of fans, it's likely even the most diehard among them have learned to not expect anything except his mountainous hair and whatever glorious Cosby sweater he happens to be wearing that night. In the fleeting seconds before he starts fumbling with his mic stand and his trusty keyboard-and-loop station, the layer cake of sonic absurdity built on a capella vocals about everything from blowjobs to big-ass purses is never planned. Half the time, it makes no sense whatsoever. Truthfully, he's not even trying to make you crack a smile with his absurd mix of soul and non sequitur comedy. He's trying to break your brain.–Nate Jackson

Friday, January 25

Agent Orange
Di Piazza's

Emerging from Southern California's punk scene at the tail end of the '70s, Agent Orange hails from the fine city of Fullerton. Known for a style that defied conventions of the day, this band used typically unpunk sonic elements in their style including surf rock and metal. Listening to old gems such as “Bloodstains,” the snaking lead seems to draw on middle eastern influences. The jam “Fire in the Rain,” gets heady and poetic with vocalist Mike Palm singing about a vast world of possibilities with a heavy, yet new wave sound. We're glad they're still at it. —Brandon Ferguson

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