The Five Must-See Shows in OC This Weekend

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Friday, January 3

Micah Brown
The Constellation Room
Guitarist and singer Micah Brown does have a bit of Jack Johnson's surfer-friendly, laid-back, roots-y style, but he can also fire off a wildly intimidating blast of dexterous finger-picking that could fit right in at a Stoneman family bluegrass picnic. On Friday, Brown celebrates his new vinyl release, Gambles and Prospects. We also hear that even though it's his first show of 2014, it's also his last until March–so ya better catch him! (Chris Ziegler)


Reel Big Fish
House of Blues
For many bands, the beginning of January is a time to regroup after spending much time on the road–but don't tell that to Reel Big Fish. The Orange County ska outfit isn't wasting any time in kicking off the second leg of their Don't Stop Skankin' Tour while many are at home working on their New Year's Resolutions. Though vocalist/guitarist Aaron Barret is the only member from the band's salad days, this isn't a glorified cover band hitting the road on the laurels of past glories. Instead, this version is slated to release Bloody Street, RBF's ninth studio effort. Despite the rotating cast of characters, this sextet's upbeat brand of music will keep the bodies moving even if they're still getting over the post-New Year's lull. (Daniel Kohn)

Hummel's Harmonica Blowout
The Coach House
If you've got soul, you love the sound of a harmonica. Many great musicians have, at one time or another, partaken in a little free blowing of the mouth organ, sending the sweet, melancholy sounds of the blues through the air to tickle ear drums of passersby. Since 1991 Mark Hummel has capitalized on this soulful phenomena by producing the Blues Harmonica Blowout series. This traveling band of harmonica masters, led by Hummel, has entertained audiences across the globe with the proficiency and grace of their French harp performances. Also known as a blues harp, the harmonica can make you get up and dance or break down and cry, depending on the handler. So prepare to get handled by the sounds of John Mayall, Rick Estrin, Curtis Salgado and Little Charlie Baty as the Blues Harmonica Blowout series makes a stop at the Coach House this week. (Amanda Parsons)
Saturday, January 4
The Observatory
It seems as though everything Rebelution, the Santa Barbara-based reggae group, touches turns to gold–or maybe a crystally, sticky green. From their first full-length album, Courage to Grow, released in 2007, Rebelution became a familiar name on radio stations, reggae charts and critics' hit lists. Gearing up for an intensive two-part national tour (Winter Greens and Springs Greens, respectively), they warm up with a few local shows, two of which are held at the Observatory (the one on Friday still has tickets available!). But tickets to a Rebelution show in California have a tendency to disappear like smoke in the sunshine–so get tickets now as either concert is probably selling out as quickly as you read these words. (Erin DeWitt)
Igudesman & Joo: And Now Mozart
The Carpenter Performing Arts Center
In a rarely successful juxtaposition of classical music and comedy, the dynamic duo of Aleksey Igudesman and Richard Hyung-ki Joo present their newest show And Now Mozart. But this ain't your average night at the symphony–an Igudesman and Joo show is full of unexpected antics, as teased by the show's description: “For those who eat, pray, and love Mozart, don't care at all for Mozart, or never even heard of Mozart, this show promises that it will contain absolutely NO Mozart! But that's giving away way too much!” So what exactly can audiences expect from And Now Mozart? Igudesman on the violin, Joo on the piano, flamboyantly hilarious showmanship and bantering, and musicianship worthy of the greatest music halls. If Mozart's rolling in his grave, we're sure it's with laughter. (Erin DeWitt)

See also:
10 Jazz Albums to Listen to Before You Die
25 Greatest Orange County Bands of All Time
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