The Five Best Concerts in OC This Weekend

Friday, January 4

Hindu Pirates
The Observatory

Hindu Pirates are no longer anything you'd call a surf band, although they can still peel out a nice guitar lead when they need one. Instead, Hindu Pirates do garage-y pop the way the radio likes it, or needs to learn to like it, with songs that set up camp between alt. bedrock bands like the Strokes, Weezer and the Pixies. (They even sneak in a few Stones-y moments–if this was produced differently, you could get a whole different sound out of it!) They're semi-freshly off recording an EP at the Hurley studios and definitely semi-poised for big things in the world of action-sports-music, as presaged by their gig at the US Open of Surfing this summer. This time next year? Well, you'll probably be saying you knew 'em when. –Chris Ziegler

Saturday January 5

Reel Big Fish
House of Blues

We're just going to come out with it: Reel Big Fish is the greatest ska band of all time. We will pit their pop hooks against the affectless sonic delivery of a Madness any day (we're only half kidding.) RBF singer/axeman Aaron Barrett shreds the six string with the fury of a true Hessian and makes us laugh with songs about selling out and men who desperately pine for the love of lesbian women.–Brandon Ferguson

Pato Banton
The Observatory

When words like Jah, Rastafari, riddum or any reference to the exalted one, Haile Selassie, are tossed around, it would be safe to assume that drums in half-time and a choppy guitar upstroke are not far behind. Reggae has long been the music of the islands–and in the summertime around Orange County, especially by the beach, it's not uncommon to have Bob Marley emanating from one's patio speakers. While not having the notoriety of a Steel Pulse or having the privilege/burden of carrying the Marley name, Pato Banton has managed to get it done–even if somewhat under the radar. Best known for his hit “Don't Sniff Coke,” Banton has entertained audiences worldwide for the better part of 25 years. So, heed Banton's sage advice and, rather than sniffing coke, perhaps stop at an area dispensary before checking him out.–Ian Joulain

TV Girl

Detroit Bar

Though TV Girl is the headliner for this show, we want to talk a moment about the Union Line. With vintage aplomb they call to mind a range from Detroit circa the 1960s to the modern electronics of the chill wave genre. Dreamy, catchy and wistful, they don't fail to charm. —Brandon Ferguson

Camp Lo

If the '90s era of rap effectively ended with the violent deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., the new era began the emergence of Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede of Camp Lo. The Brooklyn duo quietly introduced their '70s soul, funk-, and jazz-inspired rap sound on 1996's Great White Hype soundtrack with the hit single “Coolie High.” In 1997, they released what would become their most acclaimed album to date, Uptown Saturday Night. Earlier this year marked the 15th anniversary of the fan-favorite record, and to celebrate, the two are taking the release back on the road with an anniversary tour. Camp Lo will perform the album in its entirety, as well as a couple of new cuts featuring producer Ski Beats. —Anthony Sandoval

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