The Five Must-See Shows in OC This Week

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Monday, November 18

Parker Macy Blues Band
Detroit Bar
Howling, swampy blues is alive and thriving in the form of Parker Macy, the twenty-something Orange County musician who writes and plays with the soul of an old southern guitar-picker. Macy (of the amazing Creme Tangerine Records label) grabbed November's Monday night residency at Detroit Bar–and introduces fans to his new full electric band. Plus, for the month's final show, tonight's stage is shared by special guest Josh Berwanger, founding frontman of The Anniversary. (Berwanger's band's split 7″, recently released on Creme Tangerine, features a B-side track with TK Webb, whom Macy describes as “basically the reason I started writing blues music.”) There's going to be one hell of a rock and blues show in OC tonight, don't let yourself miss this one. (Erin DeWitt)


Tuesday, November 19

Albert Hammond Jr.
The Observatory
The prodigal son of songwriting legend Albert Hammond and guitarist of The Strokes is his own front man now, proving that the musical apple doesn't fall far from the tree. His own music echoes the same indie rock strains of The Strokes, yet Hammond Jr.'s own raspy voice stands in against more laid back melodies, reminiscent of another frontman-turned-solo artist, Alex Turner. Including light, airy acoustics and playful instrumentals, you'd do well to hang out with Hammond Jr. for a night and see what else he's got up his sleeve. Tonight he woos audiences at The Observatory. (Aimee Murillo)

The Writer's Den
Musicians looking to turn aspirations into live performances get their shot with the Writers Den open mic night at Harvelle's in Long Beach. The weekly residency came to fruition thanks to celebrated local songstress, Stacy Clark–the New York native molded the event after her own encouraging experience with an open mic night in Buffalo. Clark offers other artists the same opportunity by creating a welcoming vibe in a noteworthy venue–seasoned acts warm up the house before the stage opens to the public (and nervous newcomers). Catering to a drinking-age crowd, Writers Den kicks off this week, running every Tuesday through December, and offers hopeful singer/songwriters a chance to step into the spotlight, if only for a night, and share their music with a captive audience. (Heidi Darby)


Wednesday, November 20

The Observatory
Long before bands like The XX were lulling crowds into alt-rock bliss, Autolux was pushing shoe-gazing rock and roll into experimental waters. Since their inception in 2000, the trio combines rolling instrumentals with ethereal vocals to create a sound that's both haunting and hypnotic. Front man Eugene Goreshter's choir-boy vocals are pleasingly offset by guitarist Greg Edwards, who often tilts the group's direction into mellow prog-rock territory. Drummer Carla Azar provides depth beyond her drumming abilities, thanks to her dreamy voice and magnetic stage presence. Autolux hits the Constellation Room this Wednesday during a string of smaller venue dates before traveling to Canada to open for Nine Inch Nails. (Heidi Darby)

Thursday, November 21

Honda Center
In the years since Drake entered the arena of the radio's most dominant rappers, he's been quoted saying that he's not trying to be just like his hip-hop idol Kanye West, he wants to be better. Well, Kanye, the guy hasn't postponed his tour date at the Honda Center yet…so right now he's got a leg up on you in that department. Traveling through North America and Europe on a full head of steam, Young Money's 27 year-old wiz kid is coming with a bag full of lyrically-proficient, lady-friendly jams courtesy of his new album, Nothing Was the Same. Whether you view his rhymes as ultra cerebral, sincere, soft, or all of the above, by now the rapper has left critics with few reasons to doubt him. Including the fact that his belief in his own hype is contagious–enough to make an arena full of suburban OC twentysomethings shout his lyrics as if they've started from the bottom, now they're here. (Nate Jackson)

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