Archive for May, 2013

The Tustin Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off returns for its 29th annual installment this Sunday afternoon. This FREE & all-ages street fair completely takes over Old Town Tustin, blocking off a sizable area between 1st and 6th Streets. The streets will fill up with many booths containing arts & crafts, merchandise, entertainment, kids’ activities, music, chili teams, and more. Spread throughout the festival area, guests will find multiple entertainment stages, with acts such as live music, dancing, and various contests. The streets do not follow categorical zoning – instead of all booths of one type in one area, guests will find all sorts of booths all over, though some vendors will concentrate more towards the south and north ends. The kids’ area lies to the northwest end of the festival area.

First-time visitors to this event should make adequate preparations to ensure a smooth experience. The street fair takes place entirely outdoors, so wear comfortable clothes to move in, and apply sunscreen all over. Bring cash, as most of the vendors do not accept cards, including chili ticket booths. Chili tastings cost $1 per ticket, which guests may redeem for a taster at any chili team. Guests 21 and over may purchase alcoholic drinks after purchasing a wristband for $2 following an ID check. Non-chili food vendors will also sell food too, but when you attend a chili cookoff, why eat anything else?

Parking gets extremely tough during this time, but I have typically found better luck with street parking north of 1st Street. Check the neighborhoods off of Prospect Avenue, as the neighborhood has no parking restrictions on Sundays. Understand that Old Town Tustin will completely close off to traffic starting in the morning, so normal routes to arrive there may not exist that day, so plan alternate routes on arriving at the location timely.

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Everyone has seen art with normal lighting, but have you ever seen art in negative light? Treat your visual senses to Lumière Noir: A Higher Frequency, a free art show where guests will gaze upon art and photography based on black light. Using a special blend of paints mixed by hand, the artists create lush, vivid body art using costumes and the models’ bodies as the canvas. This special paint blend appears as normal paint in regular light, but under black light, the paint on the models illuminate to highlight the costumes and the natural beauty & shape of the models’ bodies. Once photographed, the photo goes onto a special brushed aluminum sheet that boldly highlights the colors of the art.

A preview night of Lumière Noir took place last week on Wednesday night at Proof Bar in Downtown Santa Ana. At the preview, guests could view a handful of art work all around the bar, while gazing at the live body painting occurring at the back of the room. As the body painting occurred, guests could approach and take pictures as the model posed while getting painted on. At the end, all guests could take pictures of this living ultraviolet art.

The main event will occur in the downstairs area of Proof Bar this Saturday night, as part of the monthly First Saturday Art Walk. This main event will feature much more art work hung on the walls around the room, live video of the body painting, recorded video from previous shows, and more almost-nude models getting painted on, culminating in a spectacular show of mobile, sentient ultraviolet art at the end of the night. For a free event, what have you got to lose? Keep in mind that no one under 21 may enter.

When a person or group of people go into business, their first objective in mind consists of raking in lots of profit. Depending on the industry entered, the entrepreneurs can utilize any of various methods to reach the point of making profit. Once that point occurs, the path of owning a business splits off into different routes. Where do the entrepreneurs go now that they have an avenue of revenue? Do they stay with one business and improve its quality? Do they sell the business off? Do they franchise the business? Do they grow and expand? Each path represents different levels of profit, and each comes with its respective costs and outcomes. In today’s society, reputation holds more value than monetary worth because the public can easily see the perceived reputation, not how much money the business holds. Generate a great product and/or service, and the people will talk. When people talk, more people hear about the business, leading to profit the humane way. However, disregarding quality in exchange for efforts to expand can lead to dissatisfactory customers despite the profit. Can a business owner truly afford to pour out something bad just to see more dollar signs? If you can afford the marketing, any business can sell a bad product – look at many commercials nowadays that sell products generally bad for you. In the virtual world, look at how much Taste of Brews marketed their event, then look deeper at how much money they aim to extract out of citizens that drink the Kool Aid.

The Taste of Brews beer festival returned to White Park in Riverside for the second year at this location. Attendees to this beer fest paid a flat fee to enter and consume all the beer they can drink. Whereas some beer fests limit the beers that the attendees may consume, this one allowed unlimited pours until the attending breweries ran out of beer or the event ended at 4pm. During the festival, some local tribute bands played on the small stage in the center of the park. Some of the vendor booths contained restaurants or caterers sampling food, but these lines stretched out far, and the vendors swiftly ran out of food each time they attempted to restock. In fact, the Bacon Mania truck ran out of bacon by 2:30. Other food trucks present did not run out of food, but had a persistent line the entire time. Despite the staff not allowing pets or anyone under 21 into the venue, someone brought dogs. At first this all seems fine, but what did the above photo indicate to you? I snapped that photo at 12pm, when the gates should have already opened. What does this mean to you? Glance at some of my photos, then read below to find out.

Despite what appears as a typical beer fest, the organizers clearly sought to maximize their money gain from this event. For a group that has thrown beer fests in the past, how did they end up with a line longer than the perimeter of the park when all attendees in that line should already have gone inside? The early bird entry should require a limit, as this gives privileges to anyone who purchased a ticket to this event way in advanced, like how I purchased a ticket to this event back in February. Seeing more people enter at 12pm than the general admission time at 1pm makes all early bird ticket purchasers not feel special enough to merit entering sooner. With this many people already inside the fest so early, all lines to receive beer filled up immensely fast. The number of attendees vastly outnumbered the capacity that all the vendors can serve in a timely manner. Also consider that security promptly started kicking people out right at 4pm, not even giving attendees a chance to stick around and wait off the alcohol in their bodies.

Event organizers need to understand the perfect ratio of people to vendors when setting limits to events. For example, a food truck fest operates best with 200 people per food truck, as this satisfies both sides. A higher ratio will irritate the people, while a lower ratio will irritate the vendors. At a beer fest, organizers need to discover the ratio of people to breweries in attendance to please both sides. Generally, a lower ratio allows for a smaller, more intimate event, where attendees can socialize with the vendors easier than at a large event. A beer fest can manage with a smaller ratio since attendees do not pay for the beers anyways. For example, an upcoming beer fest has a limit of 300 tickets, while boasting an already impressive roster of 12 breweries (as of yesterday) and growing. This eliminates the crowding while allowing guests to roam freely around and actually chat with the vendors while learning about the brewery/company. Taste of Brews does not recognize this, and continually sells tickets with no regard to any limit. Any beer fest that dares invite Anheuser Busch to pour Shock Top does not deserve to call themselves a beer fest. As this took place in Riverside, Taste of Brews should change their name to Taste of Bros – the Bro Fest. After all, the Nine Bro Nine had to get that name from somewhere, right?

Get Porked
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 29
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach
http://getporked.eventbrite.com/

Love BBQ and/or pork? Then you cannot miss this one-time dinner event! LA Foodie will record a live podcast during dinner speaking about styles of BBQ and the beers that pair with them. Dinner starts promptly at 8pm, which consists of four carefully crafted pork courses, four 5oz beer pairings, and four dessert pairings. Attendees also receive lots of other goodies to take home. Guests may park in the parking structure behind Beachwood Brewing for up to three hours with validation from the restaurant. No one under 21 may attend. Tickets normally cost $40, but use the promo code newsletter to save $10!

The Business @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 30
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/the-business

Catch a punk rock show headlined by UK punk band The Business this Thursday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $13.

Slam Dance Fest
5:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 31
The Airliner, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/149389055233857/

Kick May in the nads with this end-of-the-month punk rock fest in Los Angeles. With over 15 bands playing across two stages plus live DJ’s, expect one rowdy and unforgettable time. Tickets only cost $6 presale and $8 at the door! The venue will contain a food vendor, a cash bar, and other merchandise vendors. No one under 18 may enter.

Brea SummerFest 2013
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, May 31
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 1
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 2
St. Angela Merici School, Brea
http://www.summerfestbrea.org/

Brea brings all of the elements of a state fair into one weekend with their annual SummerFest. Find food, rides, live entertainment, games, vendors, and more at this weekend-long fair for the entire family. Guests may enter and park for free – please adhere all signs for parking and entering the fest.

Pacific Islander Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 1-2
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/pacific_islander_festival/

Explore the cultures of the Pacific Islands all weekend at the Aquarium of the Pacific. For just the price of the aquarium’s general admission, guests of all ages will experience music, dancing, arts & crafts, ethnic cuisines, educational programming, storytelling, artisans, and more. Parking at the adjacent parking structure ranges from $5 to $10. The local Passport bus operates for free, so guests may ride public transportation to save money.

5th Annual Downtown Pomona Community Car & Bike Show
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 1
Thomas Plaza, Downtown Pomona
http://www.facebook.com/events/534341013294646/

Check out custom & vintage cars & motorcycles at this community auto show in Downtown Pomona this Saturday afternoon. Free to attend for all ages, any profit or money made from this event via participants and vendors go towards local charities benefiting underprivileged children. Some of the nearby streets provide free parking, while parking lots west of Main St cost nothing to park in.

The Ultimate Radio Control Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 1
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 2
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.rcx.com/

Check out this expo for remote control toys and gadgets as you relive your adolescent life playing with portable mobile vehicles. With plenty of remote control cars, boats, planes, helicopters, and more, guests of all ages will find many attractions to check out. Admission costs $10 presale and $15 at the door, while children get in free with paid adult admission. Parking at the convention center ranges from $5 to $10, or you may park on the street in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

22nd Annual Santa Monica Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 1
Clover Park, Santa Monica
http://www.smgov.net/Portals/Culture/content.aspx?id=15035

Free and open to all ages, this festival in Santa Monica celebrates the local community with family activities, live music, dancing, arts & crafts, vendors, food trucks, cooking demos, and more. Guests can park for free at the location.

Make Music Pasadena
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, June 1
Old Town Pasadena, Downtown Pasadena
http://www.makemusicpasadena.org/

This FREE and all-ages music festival completely covers the streets of Downtown Pasadena. All day long, guests can catch over 150 free concerts from dozens of local bands, including Youngblood Hawke, and other bands that have traveled from afar to play here. Local long-term parking may cost quite a bit, so opt to park further and take public transportation to cut down on costs.

Balls For Balls 2013
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, June 1
The Mezz Bar, Alexandria Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.ballsforballs.philanthroproductions.org/

In a nutshell, gather a team to competitively eat meatballs for charity. The winning team does take a cash prize home. A team of four enters for $60, while individuals enter for $20 and get placed in a random team as a filler. Spectators may enter and watch for free.

1st Annual Long Beach Sea Festival Kickoff Extravaganza
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 1
Marina Green Park, Long Beach
http://www.lbseafest.com/index.php/events/kickoff-extravaganza/event/2

This FREE event kicks off the summer series of festivals, as it previews all upcoming festivals that make up the season-long Sea Festival. Guests of all ages will find food trucks, live music, arts & crafts, jumpers, and more. After sunset, bring out the beach chairs and blankets for a free viewing of Finding Nemo on the beach.

AutoCon Los Angeles
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 1
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.autoconevents.com/autocon-los-angeles-2013/

See hundreds of classic, custom, and exotic cars this Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Guests will also find beautiful models, food trucks, and plenty of automotive vendors to spend money on. General admission costs $12, while expedited admission costs $17. Children enter free with a paid adult admission. Please bring cash for parking at the venue. The event takes place outdoors, so dress accordingly for the hot weather, and apply sunscreen.

Lumière Noir: A Higher Frequency
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, June 1
Proof Bar, Santa Ana
http://noirart.org/lumiere-noir/

This collaborative art project involves various models to create living art in ultraviolet light, or blacklight. Free to attend, attendees will see art, photography, videos, live nude body-painting, and more. As this takes place at a bar, attendees may purchase drinks at their leisure, but no one under 21 may enter.

FotoSensori – ​A Multi-Dimensional Photography Group Show & Fundraiser
6:30 pm – 12:00 am, June 1
Monk Space, Los Angeles
http://www.fotosensori.com/

This atypical art & photography show showcases more than just art – it utilizes all five of the human senses to experience and absorb the art. Over ten photographers will collaborate to present this diverse exhibit to all attendees. Throughout the night, local bands and DJ’s will fill the air with feet-moving beats, while attendees may purchase dumplings or vegan cupcakes to munch on. Attendees can find plenty of free street parking in the nearby neighborhoods. Although the organizers have not enforced an entry fee, they suggest a $15 donation at the door.

16th Annual SoRo Community Festival
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 2
Robertson & Cattaraugus, Los Angeles
http://www.soronc.org/events/sorofest2013

This FREE and all-ages street fair takes place in West LA between Culver City and Beverly Hills. Attendees will find live music, a kids’ zone including rock-climbing, arts & crafts, food trucks, and more. Guests can park for free in the neighborhoods surrounding the fest.

Spring 2013 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival – Long Beach
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 2
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://patchworkshow.com/craft-fair-locations/long-beach-events/

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at multiple locations. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. The surrounding neighborhoods contain plenty of free street parking.

29th Annual Tustin Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off
11:00 am – 5:30 pm, June 2
Old Town Tustin
http://www.tustinchilicookoff.com/

Once again taking over the streets of Old Town Tustin, this FREE street fair contains lots of activities to keep the entire family busy and full the entire day. Attendees will find arts & crafts, live entertainment, merchandise vendors, kids’ area, the multitude of chili teams, and much more. This event gets highly crowded each year, and w3hile it requires no admission to enter, guests will end up parking on city streets a few blocks away. To sample chili, guests must purchase tickets for $2 each, and redeem these tickets at the chili teams for samples.

8th Annual Lummis Day Festival
10:30 am – 7:00 pm, June 2
Heritage Square Museum, Northeast Los Angeles
http://www.lummisday.org/

Catch music, dance, poetry, art, and more at this free multicultural festival this Sunday afternoon in Northeast LA. Guests may park for free at the venue.

Chicks That Rock
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 2
Billy O’s, Ventura
http://www.facebook.com/events/132875120235497/

Five female-fronted bands will play at this show in Ventura this Sunday afternoon. Tickets to this show cost $7. No one under 21 may attend.

11th Annual Taste of Alhambra
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, June 2
2nd & Main, Downtown Alhambra
http://www.downtownalhambra.com/component/option,com_eventlist/Itemid,49/func,details/did,37/

Savor the local flavor of Alhambra at this annual all-you-can-eat food fest on the streets of Downtown Alhambra this Sunday evening. For $50 presale and $60 at the gate, guests 21 and over will receive unlimited food samples from various Alhambra restaurants and unlimited drinks from local establishments. Guests may park for free in nearby parking structures.

Less Than Jake performing All My Best Friends Are Metalheads at House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA. Filmed on October 9, 2012.

Coincidentally coinciding with the end of American Craft Beer Week this past Saturday, Hangar 24 Brewery celebrated their 5th anniversary with an all-day AirFest taking place at Redlands Airport. Hangar 24 fans could enter for $5 if purchased online, or $8 at the gate. Located just across the street from the tasting room, this all-ages gathering covered almost the entire airport area, sans the runway, with tents and trucks pouring beers. Strewn throughout the area, in addition to the various tents and trucks pouring beer, the airport crew set out vintage planes that guests could inspect and gaze at, and opened some of the hangars so guests could tour the airport. Guests could climb into some of the planes for photo opportunities as well. All day long, taps poured beers, food trucks sold their food, local bands played live music, and pilots put on aerial acrobatics shows, providing more than enough entertainment for the crowd. A kids’ play zone kept the little ones busy while the adults could go and drink elsewhere. Free parking meant that guests could leave and return at their leisure, provided that they leave their wristbands on. With so much ground to cover, so much beer to drink, and so much else going on, no guest should have ever felt bored the entire day.

Various music acts performed throughout the day on the single center stage, eventually headlined at night by a Journey tribute band. At noon, the stage played host to a local comedian as well.

Albeit barely visible in the following photo, stunt pilots performed aerial acrobatics throughout the day, maneuvering planes in dangerous ways that impressed all onlookers. At one point, one of the pilots performed the Pugachev’s Cobra, a maneuver which Hangar 24 named one of their beers after.

Down at the west end, guests would find all of the vendors selling food and merchandise, plus the food trucks: Bacon Mania and Garlic Scape.

As this fest took place at an airport, guests could find airplanes all throughout the venue area. For some of the older planes, guests could only look at them and take pictures with them. For newer or larger aircraft, guests could actually enter them.

If you have ever attended the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, you will surely remember the beautiful sunset over the mountains and palm trees. While this airport had no palm trees, its location by the mountains yielded a spectacular sight as night fell and the sun produced an entrancing glow over the horizon. This almost makes you want to go to Hangar 24 one day in the evening just to witness the sunset from the tasting room.

With the airport closing prior to sunset, the nighttime activities started to set up for the final curtain call of the night. A Journey tribute band took to the stage for the stage’s final performance of the day. Once the band had finished their set, Hangar 24 treated all present guests to a wonderful nighttime fireworks show courtesy of pilot Bob Carlton.

As a friendly note to all other beer fest organizers, you have met your match. All things considered, Hangar 24’s AirFest could easily win the title of the best beer fest on the west coast. A combination of all small details contributed to the greater success of this event. First off, guests could park for free, and could reenter the venue. This alone can sway hesitant minds towards purchasing a ticket to attend. With such a large area to cover, guests did not have to wait in long lines to receive beer tickets or beer pours. As I entered the fest, the immediate ticket booth had a long line, but as I explored further into the area, I discovered more ticket booths with no line at all. Unlike the standard beer fest with tribute bands as the only form of entertainment, AirFest brought varied forms of entertainment, especially with the air shows and local bands playing their own original music. Most importantly of all, the people made this fest a grand event. From the amicable attendees to the sociable staff, the general aura of goodwill in the air placed everyone in a good mood that bounced from person to person.

Cheers to Hangar 24 – you have exhibited accomplishments, bountifulness, craftsmanship, dominance, and expertise in the craft beer industry with just one event. May your company live long, and may your brews satisfy many souls.

The 17th Annual North Park Festival of the Arts took place in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego this past Saturday afternoon. Completely occupying the closed street section of University Avenue from 30th St to 32nd St, this free and all-ages street fair pooled together a diverse range of businesses and visitors to an all-day party in San Diego. With such a wide space to cover, visitors could find plenty of merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more while absorbing the live entertainment in the form of live music and dancing. The festival featured a total of six stages, all complete with various music and dance acts. Throughout the area, booths along the center of the street featured almost anything a street fair could carry, such as clothing, accessories, art, tools, stationery, ingredients, food, drinks, and more.

As a festival of the arts, not only could visitors view and purchase art, but visitors could also create their own art. Anyone could create chalk art on the street or sidewalk, while a Kids Art Block on the east end allowed children to get creative and messy.

In the middle of the area, I spotted the poster used to advertise the festival, along with other art work created by the same artist.

All six of the stages featured a wide diversity of acts, though most acts depended on the location of the stage. Acts included adult dance, children dance, classic rock music, DJ’s, rappers, and alternative rock, the latter of which occurred in a 21 & up only zone.

Down on one end of the festival, a small beer garden allowed any guest 21 and over to enter. This basic beer garden cost nothing to enter, and guests pay for each drink. However, this beer garden only meatured standard macro brews, as shown below.

Real craft beer enthusiasts sought out the Craft Beer Block. This fenced-off area cost $25 online or $30 at the door to enter, giving guests 12 tickets good for a 4oz pour each. The entry fee essentially paid for three pints, a bit pricey for craft beer, even after tax and tip. This small area carried a good amount of local breweries, but the small space could not hold all of the oversold tickets to this area. A line formed outside waiting to get in, and many of the bystanders in line had prepurchased their ticket, indicating that many of the guests inside had purchased their ticket at the gate. Sure enough, after snooping around a bit, the majority of guests already inside bought their entry that day, and many of them did not seem to appreciate craft beer as much as those who prepurchased their tickets and waited in that everlasting line outside the gate to get in. Entertainment came in the form of someone hosting a karaoke stand, but that caused more audible damage than any good.

Surprisingly, a flash mob broke out right next to me completely out of the blue. No pun intended.

For a weekend with so much already going on, North Park managed to attract thousands of guests throughout the day. This annual staple brings together people from all walks of life to gather and have a good time. Does this event attract too many people though? As I arrived around 2pm, I struggled to locate nearby parking, and ended up parking beyond El Cajon Blvd. This free event also allowed some shady individuals to enter, partially pestering some of the visitors. Once you get past all the bad occurrences, you have an event that will not disappear any time soon. Until the North Park Festival of the Arts returns next year, check out North Park for all their great restaurants and bars, or come back on the 30th of any month for their monthly day of specials.

Punk rock knows no boundaries! A night of good ol’ punk rock tore it up in Baldwin Park last Friday night, with D.I. headlining a show with Yeastie Boys, Destruction Made Simple, and more. In addition to the bands, a few merchandise vendors showed up to sell music-related paraphernalia, such as records or personal accessories. This all-ages show cost only $10, and unlike how I mentioned last week, the venue allowed ins-and-outs, meaning attendees could easily leave to buy food or drinks to bring back. Although they had a bar, they only served generic drinks, while a liquor store across the street sold a few craft beers that cost less than the venue relative to the drink portion. All of the night’s bands played a good hard set of punk rock, with no real surprises other than a good time rocking out to the night’s talent.

Gritos Enfadosos opened the night with their set of punk rock all in Spanish. As a local band with little exposure, they played a typical street punk set, sounding like a high school garage band. Surprisingly, all members of the band shared equal time on the mic, including the “stage hand” that did not play any instruments. As a result, Gritos Enfadosos has no official lead vocalist, since all of them contribute equally. Halfway through their 20-minute set, a girl from the audience joined them on stage, and she provided vocals for a few of the songs. Just like the guys, she also screamed her head off singing into the mic. For these guys, adding some instrumental variety can help them go far in the music industry.

Hailing from the San Gabriel Valley came Blank Expressions playing second in the night. This female-fronted punk rock band garnered a lot of attention from the audience, which anyone would expect in a genre dominated by males. When you think about who listens to punk rock, without a doubt, guys outnumber the gals on this one. Whenever a female-fronted punk rock band does roll around, I make it a priority to attend their show. After a few songs into the Blank Expressions set, I started to pick up hints of other genres. Blank Expressions did not play traditional punk rock, but they added a hint of pop and a dash of folk music. Some could call their music nu-punk, since their sound does not resemble many other existing bands. Blank Expressions exhibited their experience in the music industry at this show, and they proved that they will not disappear any time soon, which means you can catch them performing again very soon, as soon as in a week and a half.

The last of the night’s openers, Hollywood Hate, started their set to an eager crowd. The audience could not wait to get down and dirty for their favorite underground punk rock band. Playing a strong 30-minute set, Hollywood Hate’s relentlessly fast punk rock music stirred up the crowd into a frenzy in the pit. Perhaps the crowd expended too much energy during the set, as the crowd started wide, then fizzled down to one or two guys when Hollywood Hate had about ten minutes left in their set to go. At this point, the children present got into it in the pit. With the bulk of the pit gone, the little ones could mess around to their hearts’ content within the bubble of their own pit. Hollywood Hate always plays a solid set wherever they go, and they delivered another killer performance to Baldwin Park on this night.

The first sub-headliner of the night, Destruction Made Simple, took to the stage next. In the photos below, you may notice guitarist Andy sitting down. The band had played an East LA backyard show the week prior, and at some point in the night, Andy sprained his ankle. Destruction Made Simple still delivered a badass show, and in fact, this may have improved Andy’s live performance, since this prevents him from bouncing around the entire time and roots him in place so he can focus 100% of his efforts on the guitar. The crowd may have taken notice too, as the pit raged on during the entire set and never let up. From start to finish, Destruction Made Simple’s street punk set pounded out hard and fast sounds, enough to resuscitate even zombies. They still bear the power and stamina that they possessed all the way back in 2000 when they first started in the San Gabriel Valley. Due to Andy’s injury, the band will not play any shows until late July, so keep an eye out for an announcement on their Facebook page when the time approaches.

Once the next sub-headliner, Yeastie Boys, entered the room, the party immediately started, despite the band still needing some tune-ups required to perform. This clown-themed punk rock band from Costa Mesa travels with clown get-ups, toys, dancers, and more as they rock out with their original songs plus various covers of songs throughout time. Once they got started, the crowd erupted into a room-wide pit, complete with all the toys the band members had thrown around earlier, such as beach balls, balloons, confetti, tape rollers, party poppers, inflatables, and more. While everyone in the pit enjoyed the festivities, the little ones had exhausted much of their energy by now, as some of them had fallen asleep on the side of the room. True to their core, the parents stayed in the room all night for their love of punk rock (and of the last band).

While the night’s headliner, D.I., continued to set up, vocalist Casey Royer delighted the crowd with his trademark random conversations on the mic. No one could really understand what he spoke about or why, but everyone went along with it anyways. The audience really should learn to manage their energy a lot better, as D.I. did not receive as large a pit as Yeastie Boys got. If you have attended a D.I. show within the past year, you would not miss much at this show. D.I. always plays a tremendous show of classic punk rock, but their set list has remained largely stagnant in many of their shows in the past year. Although predictable, everyone loved all the songs D.I. played, and sang along to almost every song. I ended up on the receiving end of a boot to my chest/rib after getting pushed down in the pit, and I saw another guy intentionally kick me too! He did not just run into me – he wound up his leg and swung right for me. With this, D.I. proves that punk rock never died.

You can catch plenty of great punk rock shows in the upcoming weeks! Check out my blog every Monday for a post containing all of the week’s upcoming events. You may also directly contact me on Twitter or Facebook asking about future events.

The annual Taste of Brea took over Downtown Brea last Thursday evening. Marketed as a Brew Fest & Community Expo, this all-ages event aimed to showcase the best of Brea’s local businesses in food, drinks, services, and more. For $20, guests received an all-inclusive wristband that allowed unlimited food & drinks, while supplies lasted. Just as many non-food vendors showed up as food vendors, so guests could peruse through all the booths without feeling overwhelmed by all the food available. The organizers claimed that guests may purchase wristbands online to save the wait in line; however, they never put a link up, and the website never had such a link, despite their claim that the link existed. Unfortunately, anything else good about this event ends here.

For ANY “Taste of” event that highlights the local area, the event’s focus should revolve around the local businesses, not corporate businesses. Guests visiting a city may come from out of town, and thus may not know the food around the area, so the fest should feature only the local eateries. For example, if a Californian traveled to a “Taste of New York” to sample the local flavor, that Californian has absolutely no reason to go to a Cheesecake Factory or T.G.I. Friday’s booth at that event. So for any event that markets themselves as a “Taste of ______,” why invite corporate businesses? These businesses sell the same products everywhere else. I hardly see how they represent the local flavor. We have seen this happen last year, and recently it happened again, though to a lesser extent than the former. When corporates constitute more than half of the vendors present, we cannot accurately call it the “Taste of Brea” when it should fly under the name “Taste of Corporates in Brea.”

Also, why did they call this a Brew Fest? Only four breweries showed up to sample beer: Yard House, Bootlegger’s, Taps, and JT Schmid’s. All four ended up scattered throughout the area too. Of the four, only Yard House could pour up to 16oz servings, while the others only had small 2oz cups.

For the price, sure you get what you pay for, but do you honestly value quantity over quality? The fests that get it right only invite local non-corporates, good ones at that. For example, the folks in Mission Valley got it perfect with their food & beer fest. Food fests come and go, with another major one coming up at the end of June, albeit it did not leave the best impression last year. If you want to attend a food fest that showcases the local places, always research the list of participants first. If the organizer does not list participants, then you must ask, for if you do not ask, they make stock only corporates!

Lumière Noir: A Higher Frequency
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, May 22
Proof Bar, Santa Ana
http://noirart.org/lumiere-noir/

This collaborative art project involves various models to create living art in ultraviolet light, or blacklight. Free to attend with RSVP, attendees will see art, photography, videos, live nude body-painting, and more. As this takes place at a bar, attendees may purchase drinks at their leisure, but no one under 21 may enter.

The Damned with 45 Grave @ House of Blues Anaheim
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 23
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=78850

Legendary punk band The Damned headline a show this Thursday night in Orange County with 45 Grave. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $27.50 presale and $30 at the door. Admission comes with five hours of free parking.

The Business, Funeral Dress, The Howlers, The Warlords, Informal Society @ Characters Sports Bar
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 23
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
http://www.facebook.com/events/158830870950368/

Come to this Punk Rock Bowling Kick Off Party and watch legendary punk rock band The Business play a show with Funeral Dress and more for just a $15 cover. Guests can park for free on the street, or pay for parking in the parking lot. No one under 21 may attend.

55th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 24
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 25-26
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, May 26
Village Green, Garden Grove
http://strawberryfestival.org/

This free annual all-ages city fair features rides, games, vendors, food, contests, live entertainment, a parade, and more. Despite its name, the festival does not liberally give out strawberries or sell it – it just uses strawberries as its theme. Guests may go on rides with all-day wristbands, which cost $30 each, or just $25 on Friday.

HempCon Los Angeles
3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 24
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 25
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 26
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://hempcon.com/hempcon-2011-dates-and-information/l-a-may-24-26-2013/

Douse yourself in medicinal marijuana culture all weekend at this convention. Tickets cost $20 presale, and grant entry to the entire show floor, where guests can attend seminars, purchase merchandise, take pictures with models, check out the live music, and more. Parking at the convention center costs $15, while nearby parking lots range from $3 to $10. No one under 18 may attend.

Electric Run – Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 24
Home Depot Center, Carson
http://electricrun.com/

When you combine a 5k with a rave, you get the Electric Run. Go on a 5k fun run through Home Depot Center, running through bright lights and dance music the entire way. Participants should wear the brightest & lightest clothes to this run as to maximize the glow color & lighting. Participants should also bring their own glow items from home, as vendors will likely sell out fast during the night. Registration costs $55 and comes with a t-shirt, glow bracelet, glow necklace, and glow sunglasses (stunner shades). The race finishes at the stage, where live DJ’s will spin music all night for all participants to stay and party to.

Children Today’s Annual 5k/10k Run/Walk
6:30m – 11:00 am, May 25
Marina Green Park, Long Beach
http://www.runchildrentoday.com/

Run a 5k or 10k for charity this Saturday morning in Long Beach, as the path takes runners along the bike path on the beach. All runners receive a t-shirt and goodie bad with their admission, which costs $35 presale or $40 at the event. All nearby parking lots charge for parking, but you can park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Ave for free.

Bubble Run Los Angeles
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, May 25
Aldrich Park, UC Irvine
http://www.bubblerun.com/events/los-angeles/

Tired of the same 5k run everywhere? If you have had your fill of color runs and glow runs, try your hand at the Bubble Run. Participants wear all white and run through colored foam bogs in this 5k race around the UCI campus. Registration costs $50, and all levels of runners may participate. Space will fill up fast, so register early, and try to carpool to this event.

Taste of Brews Riverside
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, May 25
White Park, Riverside
http://www.tasteofbrews.com/

Kick off an early start to summer at the annual Taste of Brews returning to Riverside this Saturday afternoon. At this beer fest, guests will enjoy unlimited beer pours of their favorite local craft beers while enjoying the lush greenery of the park and the live music playing all day. The organizers provide free bottled water and snacks from local vendors/restaurants, but these run out fast, so grab them early while you can. General admission costs $35 and starts at 1pm, while early-bird admission costs $45 and starts at 12pm. Guests may park for free in the parking structure directly across the street from the entrance to the park. No one under 21 may enter.

Subhumans, Total Chaos, + more
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 25-26
May 25: The Vex, Los Angeles http://holdmyticket.com/event/133968
May 26: The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/subhumans

Rock out to classic punk rock this weekend in both Los Angeles and Orange County. Tickets to both of these all-ages shows cost $15.

2013 Vista Village Strawberry Festival
7:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 26
Historic Downtown Vista
http://vistastrawberryfest.com/

At this free festival, guests of all-ages can experience a plethora of activities all day in Vista, formerly the Strawberry Capital of the World. The day starts with a 5K run, and when the run ends, the main festival begins. The multitude of activities include a beer garden, pie-eating contests, cooking contest, golf/putting contest, homebrew contest, video contest, strawberry costume contest, demos, live entertainment, car show, rides, games, food, and so much more. Visit the website for a full schedule and list of activities, plus directions on where to park.

Spring 2013 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival – Santa Ana
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 26
Sycamore & 2nd, Downtown Santa Ana
http://patchworkshow.com/craft-fair-locations/santa-ana-events/

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at multiple locations. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. Visitors may park in the nearby parking structure for free.