Archive for July, 2013

The summer of reunions and hiatus-breakers pushes forward! With the recent return of Black Flag and Glassjaw, music fans eagerly looked forward to the next reuniting act, and they would get a chance at that with a Save Ferris show. Originally announced as a reunion show, the facts quickly surfaced that the original band members would NOT reunite, but instead vocalist Monique Powell would perform Save Ferris songs with lesser-known musicians providing instrumentals. Regardless of the controversy, fans of old school ska did not want to miss this rare opportunity to witness Monique Powell perform classic Save Ferris songs. This all-ages concert occurred at the Orange County Fair & Event Center’s Pacific Amphitheater with two other great ska bands opening the show prior to Monique’s performance. Ticket prices ranged from $20 to $33 depending on the seat location, and tickets included admission to the fair.

The Originalites kicked off the night with their surf ska set. This local band from Huntington Beach aimed to get everyone on their feet to get the blood flowing in time for the rest of the night. With a sound similar to The Toasters, they did not relent with their 30-minute set, which consisted of their original songs sung in both English and Spanish. As the first band, they did not play to the full crowd, but rather they played to an arena about a quarter full. Those arriving late missed out on a good show – with musical prowess like this, they deserve large stages like this always.

Once the sun set, The English Beat filled up the stage to start their ska/reggae set. For a ska band popular in the early 80’s, The English Beat has come a long way to delight fans across the world by continuing to play shows. As one of the true originals of two-tone ska, all the old school ska fans in this crowd instantly got up on their feet when The English Beat appeared on stage. The English Beat played a mix of songs across all of their discography, from hits like Mirror In The Bathroom to covers like Tenderness. Their set lasted a good 40 minutes, which provided us with 40 minutes of old school ska goodness.

Appearing to quite possibly the greatest ovation in her performance history, Monique Powell strutted onto the stage once her band had loaded up right at 9pm. Opening up the set with Spam, the band went on to play all of their hits, from The World Is New to Good Bye to Super Spy and more. At the end of their 70-minute set, they closed out the night with their famous cover of Come On Eileen. Sadly, they never played Under 21, which I really wanted to hear. Throughout the set, Monique changed dresses twice – she started with an animal print dress and a white coat that she took off after a few songs, changed into a black dress with roses on it, then changed into a white dress. During a few of the pauses between songs, Monique took the time to chat with the audience and reminisce about the past shows. At one point, the stage crew brought out a bag of beach balls to throw out to the audience. With everyone having so much fun, one would wonder why this show did not sell out – most seats in the two far corner sections remained unfilled, indicating that tickets remained to sell to this show. Perhaps all the bad publicity about this show contributed to those empty seats, but with a show this entertaining, why get political over small things?

Call it what you want – Monique Powell, The English Beat, and The Originalites delivered a fantastic ska show to the OC Fair, a venue known for tribute bands and rock & roll bands. To criticize this show because the original band did not play it resembles refusal to eat a finely cooked meal because an executive chef did not cook it. To maintain fairness, at one point close to the end of their set, Monique Powell did call the band Save Ferris. Sure they all just played Save Ferris songs, but only Monique came from the band in the past, while the rest of the band came from auditions. For political accuracy, I have called this a Monique Powell show, since nearly everyone attended to see her perform Save Ferris songs. If they can perform it right, then we can forgive the original band not getting together again. I mean, look at the Dead Kennedys – they still play shows, despite not having Jello Biafra around.

Bottom line: if you enjoy the music, go to that show, regardless of who actually performs it.

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In the recent years, we have seen a handful of reunions of great bands that broke up in the early 2000’s or earlier. Last year, punk fans around the world creamed their pants with the announcement of the reunions of At The Drive-In AND Refused at Coachella. More recently, we have seen the reunion of Rocket From The Crypt at the 2013 Ink-N-Iron Fest, and the return of Mike Virus to Cheap Sex. Reunions work as a great marketing tool for getting the fans to come back out to see a favored band perform once more, but reunions also show us aftermath of life in the music industry. Some bands claim to reunite, but they may only carry some of the original lineup, such as Dead Kennedys without Jello or Black Flag with just Ron Reyes and Greg Ginn from the original lineup. Regardless, fans just want to attend a great show, and enjoy their favorite music with the other individuals at that show. Fans need not worry with the case of Glassjaw, as they have finally placed their ducks in a row to embark on a small tour throughout the southwestern United States.

As one of the most influential bands in post-hardcore history, Glassjaw has set quite a foundation for today’s post-hardcore scene. For having released only two full-length studio albums to date, fans around the world recognize Glassjaw as one of the originals in the genre, in a similar vein to how the Sex Pistols only ever released one full-length studio album. Vocalist Daryl Palumbo temporarily left Glassjaw in 2004 to pursue other projects, such as Head Automatica and the United Nations. Upon returning four years later, the band stumbled around a bit attempting to record a new album, releasing snippets of new music via their MySpace page. Glassjaw appears to walk in a straight line this year, as they count down the days to the release of their third full-length studio album. With the album confirmed, they set out on a small tour that just concluded last Friday night at the Glass House.

Alexander Spit opened the night with his rap and DJ set. In a manner similar to Alex’s Bar where all the non-headlining acts do not play the same genre as the headliner, Alexander Spit rapped the entire time, which last for about an hour. As I do not actively listen to this type of music, I cannot accurately comment, for I traveled to this venue for a post-hardcore show. He still managed to get some of the crowd pumped up, but after 45 minutes, some started getting restless waiting for Glassjaw.

Starting off a set quite early for a headliner, Glassjaw appeared to the stage at 9:30pm. As a very animated performer, Daryl Palumbo showed us all his expertise in the music industry with the way he moved. He utilized all of the space on the stage, occasionally interacting with the front row of fans. As for the set list, they played a good variety of songs from all of their albums, from as early as their first album in 2000 up to their latest EP from 2011. Glassjaw wasted no time with their set, as they played back to back with little downtime between songs; in fact, some of their transitions made many of their pairs of consecutive songs sound as one. Strangely, they ended their set abruptly, with absolutely no sign or a good bye – they just walked off the stage when they finished their last song. This left everyone waiting around for more, as we all expected an encore. However, the encore never came, as the house crew immediately started disbanding the stage set and equipment.

If you cannot see the set list photo below, check it out here:

  • Mu Empire
  • Pink Roses
  • Jesus Glue
  • You Think You’re (John Fucking Lennon)
  • Pretty Lush
  • Star Above My Bed
  • Tip Your Bartender
  • Natural Born Farmer
  • Ape Dos Mil
  • Gillette Cavalcade of Sports
  • Vermont Connection
  • Black Nurse
  • Gold
  • Miracle In Inches
  • Two Tabs Of Mescaline
  • Siberian Kiss
  • Babe

Missed out on Glassjaw? You have one more chance to see them again later this year at Riot Fest in Chicago. As one of the original bands of their field that still contains the original members, you would not want to miss this chance to catch them again before they finally throw in the towel.

2013 International Surf Festival
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, July 31
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 1
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
6:45 am – 10:00 pm, August 3
7:30 am – 3:00 pm, August 4
Various beaches, Hermosa/Manhattan/Redondo Beach
http://www.surffestival.org/

Celebrate beach life with the 2013 International Surf Festival that spans five days starting Wednesday morning. The festival comes chock-full of events and activities – see the website for a complete schedule. Actual surfing competitions start Saturday morning, while visitors can catch other activities on all the other times, such as beach volleyball, lifeguard demos, beach runs, and more.

Hopscotch Inaugural Pairing Dinner
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 31
Hopscotch Tavern, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/187137448117796/

Indulge in a five-course dinner complete with drink pairings this Wednesday night at Hopscotch Tavern in Downtown Fullerton. Interested guests must RSVP by phone, and provided payment information for the $85 ticket fee, plus a 20% non-refundable deposit. Guests can find plenty of free parking options nearby, so avoid parking at street meters. No one under 21 may attend this dinner.

The Dirty Little Secrets – Girls On Film
9:00 pm – 10:30 pm, July 31
One-Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/189536131208458/

Catch a sexy burlesque show this Wednesday night in Downtown Los Angeles, dedicated to women on film. Have cash available for parking and a potential cover charge. No one under 21 may attend.

X Games 2013 – Los Angeles
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 1
12:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 2
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, August 4
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://xgames.espn.go.com/events/2013/los-angeles/schedule/

This year’s X Games marks the last Los Angeles games indefinitely, as X Games has gone global. Admission to X Games varies depending on the event, but all of the LA Convention Center, Staples Center, and LA Live will turn into a massive festival and expo for all things extreme sports. After the competitions end each day, stick around for live music from bands such as AWOLNATION and Pepper.

2013 International Quilt Festival – Long Beach
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 1
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 2-3
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, August 4
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.quilts.com/home/shows/viewer.php?page=SummerFestival

See all things quilts this weekend in Long Beach at the International Quilt Festival. This expo showcases anything connected to the quilting industry, and showcases everything for the quilting hobbyist. A full weekend pass costs $25, while a one-day admission costs $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Children 10 and under get in free with paid adult or senior admission. Parking at the convention center ranges from $5 to $10, so have cash available for parking. Otherwise, attendees can park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

Rx Bandits @ The Glass House
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, August 1
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/269865-rx-bandits-pomona/

Ska band Rx Bandits ends their tour by returning to Southern California this week, stopping by the Glass House this Thursday night. This all-ages show has already sold out, but you may still find some after-market tickets available.

60th Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 2
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
http://www.alfredosbeachclub.com/seafest-fishing.html

This FREE kids’ fishing contest will provide a safe environment for kids to learn how to fish, about fishing equipment, and about the environment. All participants must supply their own rod and reel – the event will provide bait and tackle.

Wilmore 9 Summer Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 2
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, August 3-4
Pine Avenue b/t 6th & 8th, Long Beach
http://www.wilmore9.com/

The Wilmore 9 Festival debuts in Long Beach this weekend. This festival of music, film, and art will celebrate the best of the arts, from the local community all the way to international headliners. In addition to the arts, Wilmore 9 will throw everything imaginable to attendees, such as skateboarding, comedy, food trucks, a beer & wine garden, hands-on activities, dodge ball, kick ball, and more. Tickets to this all-ages festival range from $10 all the way to $70, depending on the method of attendance.

SGMHS Summer Family Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
San Gabriel Mission High School, San Gabriel
http://www.facebook.com/events/609186219099417/

Catch a family-fun street fair this Friday night in the San Gabriel Valley. Costing just $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under, this street fair will bring vendors, arts, crafts, kids’ activities, food trucks, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

65th Annual La Habra Corn Festival
5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, August 2
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 4
El Centro Park, La Habra
http://lahabracornfestival.com/

This city fair celebrates corn with food, rides, games, drinks, vendors, merchandise, raffles, entertainment, and more. This fair will have a parade on Saturday afternoon too. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can also participate in a corn-eating contest, cutest baby contest, dog costume contest, apple pie contest, and more.

Agent Orange in Baldwin Park
6:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 2
American Legion Post 241, Baldwin Park
http://www.poortownshows.com/event/141661

Legendary punk band Agent Orange will headline a night of punk rock in Baldwin Park this Friday night along with eight other bands, including Whitekaps. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10. Guests can park for free in the venue’s parking lot.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 2
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/141364

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque @ The Pike Bar
10:30 pm – 12:00 am, August 2
The Pike Bar & Grill, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/474048376023085/

The sexy ladies from the Dirty Little Secrets have a free treat for you this Friday night, and it involves a lot of debauchery and sensual music. Enjoy two free burlesque shows this Friday night at The Pike Bar in Long Beach. Guests can park for free in the surrounding neighborhoods. No one under 21 may enter.

Splash Dash 5K – Los Angeles
7:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 3
Fairplex, Pomona
http://splashdash5k.com/locations/ca-losangeles/

Most runners run outdoors on clear days. Few runners dare to run in the rain. Challenge yourself to run in invariably wet conditions this Saturday morning with the Splash Dash 5K, taking place at the Fairplex in Pomona. Unlike most other 5K runs of this nature, the Splash Dash does not fit into the category of a fun run, as this race actually grants awards to top finishers. Prepare to run a 5k course while getting pelted with water balloons, water guns, water slides, waterfalls, and more water-filled contraptions. Registration for the 5k costs $45 presale and $55 on the day of the race. Registration for the 1k costs $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race. All participants receive a t-shirt and access to the after-party, filled with music and treats. No one under the age of 5 may run in this race. As this race only features one start time, I suggest arriving at least an hour early to find parking and to prepare for the race. Bring cash for parking, which will range from $5 to $10. Wear whatever you feel comfortable running in, or wear a costume – you choose how to represent yourself. Bring a spare set of clothes and plenty of towels for the drive home.

24th Annual Clairemont Family Day
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 3
South Clairemont Park, San Diego
http://www.clairemontfamilyday.com/

Bring the entire family over to the park this Saturday for a FREE fair at the park. This fair will feature a pancake breakfast, arts & crafts, live entertainment, food, drinks, games, rides, a car show, and more. Visitors can swim for FREE in the park’s pool from 12pm until 3pm.

2013 Lucas Oil Long Beach Sprint Nationals
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 3-4
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://www.scscracing.com/

Powerboat racers from across the country will congregate in Long Beach this weekend for this annual competition. Admission costs $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

20th Annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 4
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachcrawfishfestival.com/

Indulge in crawfish, beignets, drinks, and other New Orleans eats this weekend in Long Beach. In addition to all the food, attendees will find a TV lounge, dance contests, live music, souvenir photos, and more. Entry to this all-ages festival cost $13 presale and $15 at the gate for adults, while kids 12 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Adding a two-pound crawfish feast will cost $28 presale and $38 at the gate. Adding a three-pound crawfish feast will cost $35 presale and $48 at the gate. The parking lots across the street charge for use – park for free in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

HARD Summer Music Festival
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 3-4
LA State Historic Park, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.hardsummer.com/

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has always remained a popular genre in our recent history. Since the early 1990’s, people have jammed and danced to EDM through various forms, such as rave, techno, trance, dubstep, and more. Due to this genre’s lack of lyrics, EDM sounds the same to everyone around the world. This international appeal reaches every corner in the world, especially at Electric Daisy Carnival. This weekend, Los Angeles will see its own EDM concert with Hard Summer, a two-day outdoor concert taking place at LA State Historic Park in Downtown Los Angeles. Complete with some of the more recognizable EDM artists, such as Flux Pavilion, Justice, and Bassnectar, Hard Summer will also feature some rappers, like 2 Chainz. Hard Summer runs from 12pm to 12am on August 3rd and 4th. Tickets start at $85 for one-day general admission, and go up as high as $270 for a two-day VIP pass. No one under 18 may attend.

Downtown Riverside Summer Street Jam
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 3
University Avenue b/t Orange & Lemon, Riverside
http://www.riversidedowntown.org/2013/07/23/summer-street-jam/

Check out this FREE all-ages outdoor music festival on the streets of Downtown Riverside this Saturday afternoon. The actual event does not serve food, but visitors can stop at any of the local businesses to dine at. The music lineup contains some punk, ska, and reggae bands, including The Aggrolites.

The All Stars Tour 2013 with Every Time I Die
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2-3
August 2: House of Blues, West Hollywood http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=81169
August 3: The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/all-stars-tour

Rip your hair out to intense post-hardcore music this weekend with Every Time I Die and more. Tickets to these all-ages shows cost $22.50; tickets to the House of Blues show cost $25 if purchased on the day of the show.

BrewFest Encinitas 2013
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, August 3
MiraCosta College, Encinitas
http://www.brewfestencinitas.com/

San Diego loves their beer, and they keep rolling out beer fests to celebrate their love for beer! BrewFest Encinitas 2013 will feature 15 breweries, a few food trucks, free parking, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $40 and comes with a souvenir glass and 10 beer tasters. VIP admission costs $75 and allows access to a VIP area, complete with exclusive beer and food. Always remember – when going to a beer fest, bring your ID! No one under 21 may attend.

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 3
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 4
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.626nightmarket.com/

The largest Asian night market in America moves to Santa Anita Park this weekend. This flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more. Admission costs $2 before 6pm, and $3 afterwards. Guests may now park here for free during the event.

The Gears @ The Vex LA
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 3
The Vex, Los Angeles
http://www.voiceplaces.com/los-angeles/the-stains-the-gears-symbol-six-hollywood-hate-the-screws-why-things-burn-2117337-e

Catch punk bands The Gears, The Stains, Hollywood Hate, Symbol Six, The Screws, and Why Things Burn this Saturday night at The Vex in Los Angeles, just a few miles east of Downtown. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10. Guests can find parking behind the building, but avoid parking too deep, as you may get blocked in by other cars.

Naked Aggression @ The Social Bar Lounge
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 3
The Social Bar Lounge, Hacienda Heights
http://www.facebook.com/events/1390125667866083/

Catch punk bands Naked Aggression, The Voids, Urban Decay, Corrupted Youth, and Baldwin Park Disasters this Saturday in Hacienda Heights. Entry to this show costs $10. No one under 21 may attend this show.

OC Fair Fun Run 5K
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 4
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocfair5k.com/

The OC Fair hosts a 5K at the fairgrounds this Sunday morning. Registration costs $40 presale and $45 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Children ages 6-12 register for $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Online registration closes this Thursday. All participants receive a goodie bag, which includes a T-shirt, a medal for participating, and one admission into the OC Fair.

Summer Cement Craft Block
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 4
Birch Theater, North Park, San Diego
http://www.sandiegonorthparkcraftmafia.com/SCS/SCS-summer.html

This free all-ages event will host over 50 local arts & crafts vendors for visitors to peruse through.

Back in the day, we used to define the vibe and ambiance of businesses as any of a few select terms. For most sales or service businesses, such as restaurants or retail, customers would define those places as casual, trendy, upscale, or romantic. Trends tend to have changed over time to cause some businesses to shift into an entirely new outlook, but when customers start to predict those changes, they predicted a wave that sees a business going up and down in a never-ending loop. Over time, economists and customers analyze these moving trends, and those who at first by remaining a step ahead of the trend reap the rewards of standing in front of the crowd. While we see economists ahead of the trend as entrepreneurs or investors, we see customers ahead of the trend as hipsters. The increase of people wanting to stay ahead of trends led to the slow increase of hipster businesses around the world, as those business owners hope to capitalize on new and upcoming trends. For example, America has usually seen Asian food as the go-to to-go food for a fast and convenient bite. All those Chinese fast food places that have food sitting under warmers have contributed to that perception, much like the old perception of food trucks as roach coaches. Sometimes, one visionary can revolutionize everything, and smash old connotations held by most of the world. Today, we all credit Roy Choi, founder of the Kogi BBQ Food Truck, as the originator of today’s gourmet food truck industry. That said, this gave rise to other trends, such as the revitalization of Asian food. The return to Asian food prepared better than typical fast food places has prompted many people to refer to Asian food as hipster food, including Roy Choi. I doubt this can necessarily indicate a bad thing, as many restaurants have successfully crafted tremendous Asian dishes, such as at Black Hogg in Silverlake.

Recently opened last year, Black Hogg brings together worldly ingredients with an Asian twist to a small space on Sunset Blvd in Silverlake west of Downtown Los Angeles. This small restaurant boasts a small yet ever-changing menu complete with the familiar and the unique. A small menu allows the chefs to focus greater efforts into fewer dishes, as opposed to spreading out resources across a bountiful menu. Their efforts reflect well in their dishes that have remained on their menu for a while, such as their Lechon Asado Fries or Lamb Burger. As the chefs come from an Asian background, they feature some prominent Asian-style dishes, such as Wagyu Steak or Octopus Chana Masala. Guests will find the chefs’ true talents lying in the Pork Belly Buns. These used to exist on the Black Hogg menu as Pork Belly Tacos, but have since converted to bao bun style. An order comes with two steamed Hirata buns, each topped with House Cured Roast Salmon Creek Farms Pork Belly, hoisin slaw (red onions & jalapeños), and Kewpie mayo, a popular brand of Mayonnaise in Japan. Surprisingly, the jalapeños do not come off as spicy, yet they still somehow add the jalapeño taste to each bun. The slaw does not carry as much as one would expect. Seeing this slaw would portray signs of tart and spicy notes to support the pork belly. However, instead of balancing the flavor like other similar preparations of utilizing tart and spicy to bring out the meat flavor, this slaw helps to support the pork belly with its texture. Words to describe these Pork Belly Buns fail me right now, especially since these do not taste like Pork Belly Buns from other restaurants. Rather, the folks at Black Hogg craft their own version of this traditional dish, placing their own spin on it. To fully understand what goes on not only in this dish, but in the kitchen, you will have to visit Black Hogg for yourself one day. Bring friends and family too, so you all can explore their wonderful menu!

The 2013 Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival returns to Marine Stadium near the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach this weekend. This annual race brings teams from across the world here to compete and race their dragon boats against each other, eventually winning the tournament’s grand prize following the finals on Sunday afternoon. Registration to participate in the races closed a while ago, but spectators of all ages may still attend and watch the races for free. Although this festival appears as an event for the participants only, the festival features a handful of things to do that non-racers will also enjoy.

Every year, this large race attracts the attentions of many people across the world. This race attracts the attention of local media too!

As mentioned above, this festival features other activities besides the racing that non-racers will enjoy. A tent in the parking lot will house a small stage for traditional Chinese performances, such as balancing acts, music, dancing, martial arts, and more. Nearby this tent, all attendees will find the vendor village, complete with booths selling food, drinks, cold treats, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more.

The hundreds of teams set up their stations along Paoli Way, past the vendor village. Strolling down Paoli Way allows everyone a glimpse into the areas of the teams, but also allows spectators to walk down to the shore and watch the races, which all starts at the north end of Marine Stadium.

With everything that the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival has to offer, everyone comes here mainly to watch the races. However, unlike most water-based races, dragon boats involve more than simply your sight. Any sound can shake the air, but a dragon boat team shakes the heart! The combination of the drummer and paddlers working in unity really gets your heart pounding, similar to the feel of a NASCAR race or the Long Beach Grand Prix. When a race actually starts, spectators simply hear drumming, the drummer shouting commands at the paddlers, the paddlers chanting, and the sweep retorting the commands. One cannot help but get excited and cheer on a team, despite not knowing which teams to cheer for!

The Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival runs on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, providing ample time to attend. On both days, the main festival area opens at 9am and runs until 6pm. The actual races follow their own schedule, so please refer to the website, linked above, for the race schedule. Spectators can find plenty of free street parking on Naples Island, Belmont Park, or Belmont Shore – do not attempt to park in the Marine Stadium parking lot, as that entrance will remain closed to the festival goers. Find some time this weekend to bring your friends, family, and pets down to watch these races – as one of the world’s grandest dragon boat races, you ought to catch a dragon boat race in all its glory.

The 4th Annual Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair returned for its semi-annual Summer Market at LA State Historic Park this past weekend. This free and all-ages event sees thousands of visitors all coming to see over 250 select independent artists, crafters, and vendors all exhibiting and selling their wares. Among all the possible merchandise, visitors could purchase anything from clothing, accessories, home goods (candles, soap, wind chimes, etc), kitchen supplies, artisanal eats (candy, preserves, etc), music records, pet supplies, and so much more. What makes Renegade Craft appealing revolves around every single vendor, all independently crafting their own handmade goods as opposed to manufacturing them in a factory. In addition to the multitude of aisles filled with vendors, Renegade Craft also offers various hands-on workshops, art installations, live DJ’s, a photo booth, gourmet food trucks, a beer & wine garden, and the Yarnover Truck.

If you attended Renegade LA this past weekend, I would love to know what you purchased. Please share your items by commenting on this post, or by posting on my Facebook page. As for myself, I purchased another shirt from MNKR, just like I did last year. They have such awesome shirts that I cannot pass them up whenever I see them – the shirt I bought says “Ping Pong Till I Die” on the front with two crossed paddles.

Keep in mind that Renegade runs twice a year in Los Angeles – the holiday show will occur on the weekend of December 14-15 later this year. As a free event open to the public that lasts two days, Renegade Craft Fair can easily fit into anyone’s schedule. Shop local, and support local business – doing so drives the local economy and greatly benefits your local community.

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Good raw street punk music lives on as the Smut Peddlers and Angry Samoans co-headlined a punk rock show at Los Globos in Silverlake west of Los Angeles this past Saturday night. Summertime marks a great time to check out live music shows, and this past Saturday held nothing back when it came to music shows, especially in Southern California. With other great shows going on, such as Guttermouth, one would definitely have a difficult time selecting a show to attend. With a lineup consisting of nine bands, this show at Los Globos would definitely give you your money’s worth.

Killroy mysteriously did not show up to perform on this night. Instead, Testicle Difficulties substituted in for Killroy. I originally would have seen these guys at Slam Dance Fest; however, they failed to bring I.D. for that 18+ show. Fitting in quite well with the slam dance and street punk crowd, Testicle Difficulties started off the night on the upstairs stage with their loud, ferocious set, easily attracting the attentions of everyone just entering. They brought a decent following, as they received many cheers from the crowd. Many attendees did not know what occurred to Killroy, but with Testicle Difficulties’ performance, we received just as much entertainment.

The first of the night’s two female-fronted bands, Drop Tank, opened up the downstairs stage. As a slight anomaly for the night, Drop Tank’s sound did not resemble the hard street punk that all the other bands played. Without any way to actually classify Drop Tank’s music, they played just straight up rock music with a punk twist. Imagine a cross between Slunt and Fiction Reform, and you get Drop Tank. Regardless of what they sound like, Drop Tank still did a great job entertaining the crowd and keeping them pumped up for all the music to come. Expect to see a lot of Drop Tank in the near future, as they have picked up quite a bit of momentum recently in playing shows.

Trekking back upstairs sees the return of another band I last saw at Slam Dance Fest, Hari Kari. At Slam Dance Fest, Hari Kari played a handful of cover songs. This time, they deviated far from that by playing their original hardcore punk music from the 1980’s. Vocalist Alma had not even entered the stage for their first song and a pit already got going. Bringing back the original songs shows how serious this show means to Hari Kari as well as the crowd, who explicitly reciprocated the love back to the band throughout their set. If Hari Kari keeps this up, they may headline a show very soon.

Coming back downstairs sees the return of Destruction Made Simple to the stage. Following a series of unfortunate events to some of their members, they have bit the bullet by jumping on stage to deliver this knockout of a show. With an album set to release any week now, Destruction Made Simple could not contain their excitement, and expelled all of their pent up energy out on the stage. Playing a mix of old and new songs, Destruction Made Simple ensured that a sizable pit would get going by the time vocalist Raul could even start rocking out. They all rocked out as hard as their bodies would allow them – guitarist Andy had just recovered from a broken ankle, while bassist Edgar’s ankle got ran over by a truck last week. Despite a few injuries, no one would ever suspect a thing, as the crowd fell into the motions of the music… sweet street punk music.

The night of stars continued with Evacuate playing next upstairs. True punk fans will recognize vocalist Mike Virus from The Virus and Cheap Sex, both incredibly intense hardcore bands from back in the day. He keeps up that intensity with Evacuate, still playing hardcore punk as we all know it. They played a set nearly identical to the set they played at Slam Dance Fest, only making a few song swaps and order changes. The release of a compilation album that Mike Virus helped create, Punk Aid, helped to fuel the boundless energy emanating from the stage. This energy would carry on for the remaining bands for the rest of the night.

The night gets more old-school with the return of False Confession playing downstairs. As one of the founding bands of the Nardcore movement, False Confession has a left a significant impact on the punk rock industry as we know it. Hardcore punk would not sound the same without Nardcore, so we thank the founding bands for their involvement in the shape of hardcore punk today. False Confession still has what they had 30 years ago – raw energy that translates well into the skate punk scene. As high profile as the bands come, the crowd knew they had to save up energy for the rest of the night.

The old school theme would resonate the rest of the night, as Circle One took to the upstairs stage. As another early 1980’s hardcore punk band, Circle One attracted a huge following to this show, as most of the crowd consisted of adults in their 30’s or higher at this point. Suffice to say, Circle One paved the foundation of hardcore punk when they started over 30 years ago, which gave way to today’s mainstream bands that claim to have started off during that era. Unfortunately those mainstream bands deviated so far from hardcore punk that they now play metal music, while the general public, ignorant to true hardcore punk, would refer to metal music as hardcore punk, which could not fall further from the truth. However, I digress – Circle One delivered a killer show that catered to everyone. In some ways, their music remind me of Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies with the way they speak during some songs. Not once did the energy falter, keeping the crowd amped up and craving more. The crowd would receive more, as the night had a few more bands to go.

Reaching the first of two headliners, we now approach Angry Samoans downstairs in the lounge. Words cannot accurately describe an Angry Samoans show – you honestly have to experience one for yourself. With 45 minutes to play, they tried to stock as many songs as they could into their allotted time, as evident by their set list. They switched it up at times too, allowing the drummer time on the mic and swapping with their vocalist. At multiple points during their set, a gal from the crowd would run up to the stage to pull up her top and show off her goodies to the crowd, much to the chagrin of the Angry Samoans. I spotted her doing so three times – she must have done it multiple times in the pit, as did a few other gals, as I later discovered. Once the set had ended, everyone bolted upstairs for the final act of the night.

At long last, the night’s headliner had arrived. The Smut Peddlers finalized stage preparations to an ovation that filled the entire floor. I barely could scrape by to secure a close spot, and eventually ended up nestled on a corner of the stage. So many people had crowded up here that the pit felt more like that of a massive concert, where the entire crowd moves but no actual moshing occurs. The Smut Peddlers had a great time playing their hits and interacting with the crowd. As we all know, bands that interact with the crowds score brownie points. Does a headlining band need to score brownie points? Not necessarily, but it helps to pump up the crowd and leave them asking for more, to which the Smut Peddlers happily obliged.

Missed out on this show? Most of these bands will play another show very soon! Like all of their pages on Facebook to find out where they play next. Get out there and explore new music – not only do you broaden your scope, but you also support local music by doing so.

LA Restaurant Week
Now through July 26
Greater Los Angeles Area
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

Hundreds of restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Area will participate in this 12-day feast. All participating restaurants will offer either discounts on select items, or prix-fixe menus.

US Open of Surfing
Now through July 28
Huntington Beach, south of the pier
http://www.usopenofsurfing.com/

This week-long competition takes place on the shore south of Huntington Beach Pier. Come see professional and amateur surfers compete to take a spot for the ASP World Tour. Visitors will also find skateboarding demos and live music all week. Completely free to attend, this weekend will see thousands of spectators on the beach for the US Open. Expect heavy traffic all week. Try to find parking in the neighborhoods, but prepare to walk a long distance if choosing to park in neighborhoods, since the neighborhoods closer to the beach will remain full all week.

Downtown Anaheim Art & Pub Crawl
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 25
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim
http://www.downtownanaheim.com/artandpubcrawl

At this FREE and all-ages event, the weekly farmer’s market will remain open for an extra hour for special art exhibits, live music, food, a beer & wine garden, and more. Visitors may park for free in the parking structure located at S Clementine Street and W Oak Street. Note that the website says the event starts at 5pm, while the flyer says 4pm.

11th Annual Taste of the Pacific Islands
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, July 25
Bali Hai Restaurant, San Diego
http://www.pifasandiego.com/taste_of_Pifa.htm

Get a taste of Islander cuisine this Thursday night near Liberty Station. Admission to this all-ages tasting costs $25 presale and $30 at the door, and includes all food, non-alcoholic drinks, access to a silent auction, arts & crafts vendors, live entertainment, and more.

Glassjaw Live
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, July 25 @ The Echoplex, Los Angeles http://www.theecho.com/event/296271-glassjaw-los-angeles/
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 26 @ The Glass House, Pomona http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/293703-glassjaw-pomona/

Glassjaw has returned from their long hiatus for a small yet highly anticipated tour that stops by Southern California this weekend. Tickets to these all-ages shows have sold out long ago, but you may find after-market tickets available.

Drenched 5k – Los Angeles
7:30 am – 12:30 pm, July 27
Exposition Park, Los Angeles
http://rundrenched.com/events/los-angeles/

Experience the wettest 5k ever this Saturday morning! This all-ages fun run’s course comes equipped with mist tunnels, sprinklers, hoses, foam, water slides, and other wet contraptions. At random points throughout the course, expect “hot zones” that attempt to partially dry you off as you venture into the next wet area. Following the fun run, stick around for the Drenched after party that will last a few hours following the run. Registration costs $55 online and $65 on the day of the run, while individuals on a team of four or more pay $50 each. Registration comes with sunglasses, a t-shirt, and 25 water balloons (that you must fill yourself). Spectators may attend for free, but do not receive any goodies that the participants will. Wear comfortable clothing that you can move freely in that you do not mind getting wet, and bring spare clothes and towels for when the run ends. Bring cash for parking, as well as for food should anyone want to buy something to eat.

Long Beach Dragonboat Fest
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 27-28
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://www.lbdragonboat.com/

Come watch numerous teams race Dragonboats in Marine Stadium, with the finals on Sunday. Expect to see Chinese traditional art demonstrations, Chinese Acrobats, traditional dance, hip hop, music and martial arts performances. Spectators may attend and watch for free – for a recap, please see my post from last year’s races.

5th Annual Venice Beach Summer Fest
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 27-28
Venice Beach
http://www.fx3events.com/

See arts, crafts, music, food, drinks, and more at Venice Beach this weekend, free admission. Keep in mind the heavy traffic near this area this weekend. Expect to park somewhere near Abbot Kinney and walk to the beach from there.

Bottle Share #6
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, July 27
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://www.facebook.com/events/603425439692314/

Brew your own beer? Got an interested craft beer to share? Bring it to 38 Degrees’ monthly bottle share event, taking place this Saturday afternoon, and discover other great beers too. Free to attend, guests should bring approximately 40-50 ounce’s worth of beer. The restaurant has its own free parking lot.

Neon Splash Dash 5k – Pomona
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 27
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.neonsplashdash.com/locations/pomona-ca-2013/

Run, jog, or walk your way through a brightly lit course at night with the Neon Splash Dash 5k. This all-ages fun run combines the spectrum of a color run, the brilliance of a glow run, and the wetness of running through the rain with specially formulated glow-in-the-dark glow water. Throughout the 5k course, live music will pump up the runners while course staff and volunteers will spray participants with the glow water to give them that special something that lights them up in the night. Following the run, all participants can stay for the after party that goes on all night. Registration costs $60 online and $65 on the day of the event, while teams of four or more can pay $50 or $55 per individual, respectively. As a color run, all participants should wear white during the race to absorb the most color possible, and have spare clothes to change into when going home. Parking will range from $5 to $10, but since spectators can enter for free, feel free to bring friends & family to watch the run. Note that the race will start at 8pm, and with thousands of participants, I highly suggest arriving at least an hour early to circumvent traffic.

“Save Ferris” @ OC Fair
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 27
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ns.ocfair.com/ocf2/calendar/ViewEvent.asp?EventId=2725

Originally announced as a reunion show, the facts quickly surfaced that the original band members would NOT reunite, but instead vocalist Monique Powell would perform Save Ferris songs with lesser-known musicians providing instrumentals. Regardless of the controversy, fans of old school ska will not want to miss this rare opportunity to witness Monique Powell perform classic Save Ferris songs. This all-ages concert starts at 7pm on Saturday, July 27th at the Orange County Fair & Event Center’s Pacific Amphitheater with two other bands opening the show prior to Monique’s performance. Ticket prices range from $20 to $33 depending on the seat location, and tickets include admission to the fair, so arrive early to enjoy the fair! Parking costs $10, so I highly advise carpooling.

GOGO13, CodeName: Rocky, Not A Chance @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 27
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/gogo13

Get your ska on this Saturday, as ska band GOGO13 hosts a CD release party at The Observatory with CodeName: Rocky, Not A Chance, and more. Tickets to this all-ages show cost just $12.

Swiss Fair
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 28
Swiss Park, Whittier
http://www.swisspark.la/

The Annual Swiss Fair returns to Swiss Park in Whittier this Sunday. Guests of all ages will find Swiss food, drinks, desserts, vendors, dance, music, cheese tastings, games, and more. Entry costs $5, which includes parking.

Brew Rendezvous
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, July 28
Handlery Hotel, San Diego
http://www.sdchip.org/support-chip/brew-rendezvous.aspx

Support local businesses at this fundraiser/beer fest, where guests will receive beer and food from San Diego’s top breweries, restaurants, and farms. VIP admission costs $60 and starts at 12pm, where VIP guests receive exclusive beer and food tastings, as well as a meet & greet with Stone Brewing Company’s Dr. Bill. General admission costs $45 at starts at 1pm, and comes with unlimited beer and food while it lasts. Non-drinkers may attend for $20. The venue typically covers parking; however, have cash available in case they decide to charge for parking that day. No one under 21 may attend.

30th Anniversary Chaya Summer Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 28
Chaya Brasserie, West LA/Beverly Hills
http://www.thechaya.com/

This all-ages festival will provide unlimited (while it lasts) food, drinks, live entertainment, and games for all attendees. Tickets cost $55 presale and $65 at the door. Bring some cash for parking.

Suburban Legends, Save The Swim Team, and The Maxies @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 28
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/suburban-legends

Ska lives on at The Observatory this Sunday night, with Suburban Legends, Save The Swim Team, The Maxies, and more. Tickets to this all-ages show cost just $12.

Over time, human tastes change due to exposure to new things, new experiences, and new knowledge. Starting off as a child, we consumed basic foods mainly for nutrition, not for enjoyment. Once we left our toddler stage, we start to eat common foods like hot dogs, pizza, and hamburgers, as well as crave sweets. From that point on, we would slowly start to like new and different foods and different tastes. For example, most kids and teenagers love ketchup, but cannot stand mustard. Conversely, adults tend to prefer mustard over ketchup due to its flavor complementing meat products, as well as having no sugar. Once we get older, we tend to stick with what we have come to eat on a regular basis. Sometimes, we start to crave what we once had as children. This concept of eating what we did as children, known as comfort food, has recently gained popularity with today’s society, but with gourmet twists to satiate our adult needs. Sure we may want basic macaroni & cheese sometimes, but order it while dining out, and you may receive it with bread crumbs, truffle oil, and/or some kind of meat in it, like bacon. Sometimes, you just want the original thing, and you want it to taste good. Fried chicken also falls into the comfort food category, and while most other people will think about Kentucky Fried Chicken, set your sight towards Beachwood BBQ for their fried chicken.

Known as a purveyor of special dinner nights such as Mac & Cheese Night and Chili Night, Beachwood BBQ has redefined the pop-up concept. Credited as the world’s first rotating tap restaurant, Beachwood BBQ strays away from routine by offering food and drinks for only a limited time or while supplies last. In the case of beer, once a keg runs out of beer, the folks at Beachwood BBQ take that keg out, and replace the spot with a new beer. As kegs run out on a daily basis, customers will likely see a different selection of beers every time they come in. In the case of food, while Beachwood BBQ does serve a standard menu, they also host special dinner nights centered around a particular dish. These special dinners occur every one to two months, usually on a Wednesday or Thursday night. Last night, Beachwood BBQ traveled down a different path by crafting a Fried Chicken Night. For this occasion, customers may order a leg & thigh, breast & wing, or all four, and choose between regular or spicy. All plates come with green beans, smoky mashed potatoes with rosemary gravy, and an herb biscuit with hot honey dipping sauce. I could not decipher how they prepared their batter and seasoning, but I can safely say this: KFC, eat your heart out. One bite into this clucker will make you forget about KFC in a heartbeat. The spicy chicken did not taste that spicy at all – I cannot handle any level beyond medium, and this chicken tasted rather mild to me. In fact, the honey sauce for the biscuit tasted intensely more spicy than the chicken. For a plate like this containing many savory items, a beer would go great in washing this down. Although an IPA does a great job at cutting through bold savory flavors, this fried chicken went best with something fruity or almost sour, like a saison, fruit beer, or even a sour.

Beachwood BBQ always does great things at their tiny little location in Seal Beach, and they do even greater amazing things at their brewpub in Downtown Long Beach. Want to see what they cook up next? Follow Beachwood BBQ on Twitter, and Like their page on Facebook for the latest updates. I recommend checking back next month – albeit these nights normally run once every two months, Beachwood BBQ has ran special dinner nights on consecutive months in the past. With their string of success, you would miss out on a fantastic opportunity if you skip their next dinner night.

As a general statement, age makes many things better. In terms of humans, experience and knowledge grow over time with age, as well as privileges such as driving or going to a bar or casino. Some food & drink gets better with age too. Fruits need time to ripen to reach that perfect state of edibility, while many beers and wines develop more complex flavors if allowed to sit for a long time. The art of aging requires careful monitoring of the right amount of time to allow an object or person to reach the full potential. If allowed to age for too long, the person or object starts to lose certain values and qualities. Fruits may grow too ripe, while humans lose physical ability at greater ages. This same rule applies to drinks – allow a wine or beer to sit for too long, and people can no longer enjoyably drink it. With this knowledge in hand, the folks over at Hangar 24 Brewery have perfected the art of brewing and has exhibited it in their Barrel Roll series of barrel-aged beers.

Having just wrapped up their 5th Anniversary Fest, Hangar 24 Brewery used the momentum leaving the fest to roll out production of a handful of new beers. With Belgian Summer Ale already available, they also released a special Belgian-style Coffee Ale as part of American Craft Beer Week. This momentum continued to roll with their Anniversary Red Ale, Essence, and not one, but TWO entries in their Barrel Roll series. The first beer, which Hangar 24 released with their 5th Anniversary, comes to us as Slow Roll, the sixth installment in their series of barrel-aged beers. This 11.9% Belgian-style Golden Ale pours as a wonderful murky brown hue, similar in appearance to a barleywine. Upon pouring, the aroma of the beer gives off hints of vanilla, caramel, banana, pears, and some other tart fruit. Once completed, Hangar 24 stores this brew in bourbon barrels to allow the concoction to absorb the notes of bourbon to give it its color and bourbon background. The end results yield an immense fruity and bold brew with the punch to knock even the craftiest craft beer drinkers off their socks. Sounds like something that you would want to sink your taste buds into? Act quickly to obtain a bottle – with only a few thousand bottles produced back in May, quantities run low across Southern California, so by now, your luck has nearly run out.

Unable to obtain Slow Roll for yourself? I had mentioned two Barrel Roll beers released around this time. Hangar 24 recently released a seventh beer, Tailslide, available at their tasting room in Redlands for a limited. Just like with Slow Roll, act quick – Hangar 24 has already removed Tailslide from the tasting room, so only a few select restaurants and bars around Southern California still carry it at this time. Contact Hangar 24 for locations on where to locate Tailslide and/or Slow Roll today!