Posts Tagged ‘December 2013’

Most people celebrate New Year’s Eve at a club or party and ring in the new year with lots of people, champagne, and elevator music. Punk rock fans ring in a new year with a rowdy punk rock show. This past Tuesday night, Cafe NELA hosted a small punk rock show in Los Angeles to ring in the new year, hosted by The Gears. Normally some may question a local show at a dive bar in East LA, as the loud neighborhood hip hop music audible from the street may indicate otherwise. Once everyone made it into the bar, all attendees got into the New Year’s Eve spirit with celebrations and joy, all while adhering to the unwritten rules of the circle pit.

Local band Los Issues opened the night, starting slightly early and playing a 30-minute set. This small band with no online presence plays with more of a rock sound than punk, with heavier riffs and lower tempo than punk rock’s faster pace. Their mellow music helped to warm us up for the bands to come.

Attendees got treated to a rock & roll set from Downtown LA band Brainspoon. Having endured in the music industry for almost a decade, Brainspoon has left their mark on the local music scene. Playing heavy rock & roll music with punk rock undertones, they cross genres together and make them fit snug enough to appease an array of music fans. Any fan of rock music in general would love to watch a set from Brainspoon.

Something did not appear right as Kat Arthur & Her Hellkats started their set. It may have something to do with their vocalist appearing discombobulated, intoxicated, or under some sort of influence. This apparently did not affect their ability to play a full set, so the show continued with their 30-minute rock & roll set. Although this group has performed music for many years, they have no official website nor do they utilize social media. During this set, Blank Expressions‘ vocalist Rita crashed the party, which caught the band’s attention. They brought her on stage to participate in their song Equalizer. After that song, the band ended their set without warning.

The Gears started to play their set at about 11:50, enough to squeeze in three songs prior to the midnight countdown. Once through their first three songs, vocalist Axxel thanked everyone for attending, and led the countdown to midnight, followed not with hugs & kisses, but with jumping around in the pit. After all, punk rock fans hardly live life like everyone else, preferring to set their own rules. With the countdown out of the way, The Gears continued their 45-minute set, playing lots of their old hits like Baby Run Around, but also including new songs, such as Punk Rock Rules The World from their upcoming album. Keep an eye out for their album drop in the next few months – Like their Facebook page linked at the top of this post to follow their updates.

Lastly, Decry started to set up on stage. However, they lacked a band member that had yet to show up, so they could only set up the stage while waiting for him. He finally showed up about 15 minutes after they should have started, and they immediately jumped right into their set. Unfortunately, because of their late start, they could not play their entire set, and only had no more than 20 minutes to play before the venue would pull the plug. They still got to play a handful of songs, including Sonic Reducer. They will play another show again as early as next month, so hopefully they get to play a full set at their next gig.

How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? Did you stay at home? Did you go out for dinner? Did you go to a house party? Did you go to a party at a business/venue? Did you go to a concert? No matter how you spent your New Year’s Eve, reading this means you survived that night, whether you went on the road or not. Celebrate occasions how you want, but celebrate responsibly. So many great things await you this year, and you do not want something as reckless as a drunk driver to take that all away from you.

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Returning for its fourth year running, the Ska Luau IV took over the House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim this past Monday night. This all-ages show combines two worlds, bringing the traditional family-friendly dances of a luau to a ska/punk rock show. In an effort to spread cultural awareness, prior to the start of any of the bands, all early arrivals could watch traditional Pacific Island dances, adding some culture to a night where ska kids and ska fashion bled out like a barbecue stain on a white shirt. Sadly for this show, the House of Blues did not allow anyone to take pictures with flash on, which reduced the overall quality of my photos. Nonetheless, I would like to say great job to everyone in Magnolia High School’s Polynesian Dance Troupe for putting on an excellent opening performance for the night.

With the island dancers done, the room shifted face, as most of the parents and children left, and all the ska kids filled the floor. Up first, CodeName: Rocky hit the stage to deliver their ska-punk set. It did not take long for the floor to erupt into a full-fledged pit, as the crowd simply forgot how to skank and resorted to a mindless circle pit. CodeName: Rocky played a solid uninterrupted 30-minute set, setting the stage for not only the bands to follow in the night, but for their upcoming show this Sunday night in Long Beach.

The greatest conundrum in music stepped forth next, as Save The Swim Team appeared for their final show together as a band. Why have I not seen these guys in the past? Representing a fusion of genres unlike no other, I can only appropriately call them a ska-reamo band. Who would think to play hopping ska music, then throw screams into it? Only Save The Swim Team has done so, and following this night, no one else does it. If you have not seen them live, search for their music on YouTube, and become a believer. Farewell Save The Swim Team – I barely knew you, yet you will have a lasting impression on my heart.

Disneyland visitors would get a kick out of the next band, which occasionally plays in Tomorrowland. Say hello to Suburban Legends, one of the most entertaining bands this side of Orange County. As one of today’s more influential ska bands, Suburban Legends has garnered quite a following across the nation with their style of performing. When these guys play, they do more than just play music – they put on a show. Suburban Legends incorporates music, dance, acrobatics, acting, and crowd participation to generate a show to remember for ages. With a set lasting 45 minutes, the crowd received 45 minutes of pure rallying and dancing, just enough to get our hearts pumping and amped for the final band. Make sure you catch these guys touring with Reel Big Fish starting TONIGHT and running across the nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our ska hosts for the evening: Starpool! If you have not heard of Starpool, you have not lingered around Orange County enough. Just as much as Narcoleptic Youth represents OC hardcore punk, Starpool represents OC ska. After all, without Starpool, we would not have the awesomeness known as the Ska Luau. Starpool kicked off their set with a bang as confetti launchers covered the air with the little strips of paper raining down on the crowd for the entirety of the first song. From there, Starpool delivered hit after hit with the occasional crowd interaction, which included handing out glow sticks, inviting some fans to dance on stage, throwing out chocolate phalluses, and trombone player Tbone Willy diving onto the crowd in a giant inflatable ball. Words cannot describe what transpired at this Ska Luau – you would have to attend for yourself to believe it all!

The Ska Luau takes place roughly the same time of year every year, and has always taken place at the House of Blues Anaheim. Stay tuned for the 5th Ska Luau next year, as they could possibly add a second night if the fans demand it enough!

Ska Luau IV
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 30
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=84120

Time to skank! TONIGHT, get all ska’d out with Starpool, Suburban Legends, Save The Swim Team, CodeName: Rocky, and the Magnolia Polynesian Dance Troupe. Tickets cost $12.50 presale and $15 at the door.

Various New Year’s Eve Dinners/Parties
Nighttime, December 31

Anywhere you go on New Year’s Eve, you will find a dinner or party of some sort. See below for a VERY brief list of what to expect. Please party responsibly and commute safely. Minimize your time on the road if possible.

Party @ Wild Goose Tavern, Costa Mesa
Dinner @ The Cellar, Fullerton
Party @ Downtown Long Beach
Dinner @ The Factory, Long Beach
Party @ Angel City Brewery, Los Angeles
Dinner @ Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
Party @ Stone Brewing World Bistro, Escondido
Dinner @ Hopscotch Tavern, Fullerton
Party @ The Factory, Long Beach

The Aggrolites @ Alex’s Bar
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, December 31
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/154507

Ring in the new year with The Aggrolites at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Admission costs $20 presale and $25 at the door. No one under 21 may enter. Guests should park in the neighborhood across the street from Alex’s Bar or on Orizaba Avenue.

Punk Rock New Year’s Eve
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, December 31
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/563526740390302/

Spend New Year’s Eve with local punk rock bands at this low-cost gig in Los Angeles featuring The Gear, Decry, and more. Entry to this show costs only $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – First Wednesdays @ The Copper Door
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 1
The Copper Door, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/433621610071892/

Get your fill of burlesque every first Wednesday of the month at The Copper Door in Downtown Santa Ana, for free! Guests can park on the street for free after 8pm. No one under 21 may enter.

Reel Big Fish with The Pietasters, Suburban Legends*, Mighty Mongo and The Maxies @ House of Blues Anaheim
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 2, House of Blues, West Hollywood http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=84834
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 3, House of Blues, Anaheim http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=84826
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 4, House of Blues, San Diego http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=84825

Get your skanking on this week as Reel Big Fish starts their US tour at the House of Blues. Ticket prices vary by the venue, so click on each link for more information.
* = Suburban Legends will not play at the Anaheim show.

Poison Idea, Dissesion, Out Of Tune – Southern California Tour
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 2, Characters Sports Bar, Pomona http://holdmyticket.com/event/158322
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 3, Brick By Brick, San Diego http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/522673
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 4, The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/poison-idea
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 5, Loaded, Hollywood http://www.facebook.com/events/609665915760314/

Poison Idea will briefly tour through Southern California this weekend. Each show has its own ticket price and age restrictions, so click on each link for more information, then go rock out with Poison Idea!

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 3
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).

OC Psycho Punk Show
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 3
Mirror Image Studios, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/224935657678082/

Support the local punk rock scene at this low-cost all-ages show this Friday night in Anaheim. Entry costs only $5, with no reentry allowed. The venue will have food & drinks for sale in the back.

2014 Miss California USA Pageant
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 3
10:30 am – 7:30 pm, January 4
Terrace Theater, Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.misscausapageant.com/

On Friday night, catch the Miss California USA & Miss California Teen USA Preliminary Competition. On Saturday at 10:30 am, see the Final Show Dress Rehearsal. At 4 pm, catch the Final Coronation Show. Ticket prices range from $60 to $80 for the competitions, while tickets to the dress rehearsal cost about $30.

Punk Rock Show @ The Airliner
7:00 pm – 1:30 am, January 3
The Airliner, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/719121948105527/

Check out lots of local punk rock bands at this show in Los Angeles this Friday night, including big names like Los Creepers and All Out Attak. The venue does not allow reentry, but they sell food & drinks there. Entry to this show costs only $3. No one under 18 may enter. Guests should park in the neighborhood across the street from the venue.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 3
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/157258

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.

At The Hop! Free Burlesque Show
9:30 pm – 1:30 am, January 3
Big’s Grill, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/246339095526208/

Come to this FREE burlesque tribute to 50’s Sock Hop this Friday night. No one under 21 may attend.

Free Punk Show + Music Video Shoot @ Blacklight District Lounge
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 4
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/614180781957754/

Check out a free punk rock show, and get a chance to get into a music video that one of the bands will shoot at this show. No one under 21 may attend.

Yeastie Boys @ Loaded Hollywood
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 4
Loaded, Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/228503813990499/

Rock out with Hollywood punk rock bands this Saturday night, as the Yeastie Boys headline this show with a handful of local bands. Entry to this show costs $5 with the flyer found on the linked site, or $7 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

No matter the time of the year, punk rock never stops, regardless of any holidays. The Vandals prove that fact every year with their annual Christmas Formal, now in its 18th year running. Taking place last Friday night at House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, this year’s show followed in the footsteps of last year’s show that featured The Gears and Indian School as the openers, as this year’s show hosted GOGO13 and Knock Out as the openers. As one of the few bands, if not the only band, that dedicate a show entirely to Christmas, punk rock fans always look forward to this show every year to bring holiday cheer and delights to everyone present, whether they like The Vandals or not. After all, some fans honestly attend certain shows for a band other than the headliner, so kudos to them for still showing support for the rest of the community. At least for The Vandals, everyone present at this show went nuts for their beloved Christmas punk rock music.

I had arrived after Knock Out finished their set, so I unfortunately could not witness any of their music. I did manage to snake my way in to the front of the pit in time for GOGO13, a local ska band that I had missed out on multiple times earlier this year. As anticipated, a skanking pit initiated not too long after GOGO13 started their set, which slowly evolved into a standard circle pit, punk rock style. The kids in the pit apparently forgot about the skanking part, and just slammed into any visible person. This kept up for the remainder of GOGO13’s set, which included plenty of original songs and the occasional cover song.

Christmas cheer caught on with a lot of the audience members like a contagion, with little to no angst detected within the venue. That all went to the gutter the moment the lights turned off, as all audience members present immediately rushed to the front of the stage to throw their bodies at The Vandals. Sporting red tops with their band roles printed across the front, the audience could not wait for the first song to drop, as the pit enraged from the get-go, despite The Vandals playing their Christmas album songs out of order. No one seemed to mind – they just raged and shuffled as long as they could hear music running. The Vandals finished playing Christmas songs quite early in their set, and resorted to taking requests from audience members, which included It’s A Fact and Anarchy Burger. The Vandals made their bluffing exit quite early in the night as well, as they had not played some of their anticipated songs like My Girlfriend’s Dead or especially Oi To The World. Nobody fell for their exit, and remained put for the eventual encore, which lasted a lot longer than normal encores. I suppose that The Vandals do not follow conventional means when it comes to putting on shows, so encore rules do not apply to them. The alleged encore started with guitarist Warren Fitzgerald’s soliloquy, which he always performs at every show at the end of the show. Once the rest of the band regrouped, they finished off their set, finally playing their hits My Girlfriend’s Dead and Oi To The World.

We never know when The Vandals will play next! Make sure you Like their page on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for all the latest updates direct from the band. You may even discover a contest that may allow you to win tickets to an upcoming show, so pay attention daily!

Youth Brigade, The Warlords, All Or Nothing H.C., and Low Life Sound System @ Characters Sports Bar
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, December 23
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
http://www.gonzopresents.com/event/156409

Kick off a holiday week with Youth Brigade TONIGHT at Characters Sports Bar in Pomona. Admission to this show costs $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking around the venue.

Tovarish Stout Bottle Release + Russian Cuisine Night
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, December 27
Beachwood Brewing, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/651500588225995/

Taste this exquisite Russian Imperial Stout this Friday night at Beachwood Brewing in Downtown Long Beach. In addition, check out their selection of finely crafted Russian dishes, made just for this special occasion. Guests can park for free for up to three hours in the parking structure behind Beachwood Brewing with validation.

Bottle Share #10
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, December 28
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://www.facebook.com/events/542720732486507/

Brew your own beer? Got an interesting 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.

Agent Orange @ Whisky a Go Go
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, December 28
Whisky a Go Go, Hollywood
http://www.whiskyagogo.com/site/event/agent-orange/

Agent Orange headlines this holiday show at the Whisky a Go Go this Saturday night along with a slew of local bands. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15.

Free Punk Show @ Morgan’s Tavern in Riverside
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 28
Morgan’s Tavern, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/180936842114040/

Catch a FREE punk show this Saturday night with local bands Holokaust, Mob Attack, Civil Disgust, Cocaine Nosejob, and Grave Misfortunes. No one under 21 may enter.

30th Annual Vintage Clothing & Textile Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, December 29
The Pickwick Gardens, Burbank
http://www.caskeylees.com/Vintage/Vintage.html

This expo features over 65 vendors selling their antique textiles, vintage clothes, accessories, and more for attendees to exhibit and purchase. Admission costs $7 per person and comes with free parking.

Beagles & Brews Holiday Party
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 29
Angel City Brewery, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/330336167104263/

The Beagle Freedom Project will sell merchandise to raise funds for this beagle rescue charity. In addition, a portion of food and beer sales will go towards the organization. Visitors can also meet some rescues at Angel City on this afternoon.

The New Years Eve Eve Music Festival
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, December 29
Gaslamp Restaurant & Bar, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1475156892709680/

Reggae, ska, and punk rock all meet at this all-day all-ages music festival in Long Beach. Tickets to this show cost $10 presale and $15 at the door. Guests can park for free before 4pm, while parking costs $5 afterwards.

The 67th Annual Naples Island Holiday Boat Parade returns to the canals of Naples Island in Long Beach this Saturday evening. Completely free to attend for all ages, this annual holiday boat parade attracts thousands to this small community to not only witness the spectacular Christmas lights aboard all the boats, but to stroll along the canals of Naples Island to gaze upon all of the holiday decorations of the citizens of Naples Island. Immediate streets along the parade route begin closing to vehicular traffic at 5pm. Guests commuting from out of town should strive to park off of Naples Island, as parking will get tight into the evening. Some viable parking spots include the farmer’s market parking lot on E Marina Dr off 2nd St, or anywhere in the Belmont Shore area. Remember to dress warmly, as this area gets very cold at night!

Large boats start at 6pm and sail entirely south of 2nd Street, moving counter-clockwise and starting right before the bend of Lido Lane. Click here for a map of the large boat parade route. Small boats start at 6:45pm and begin at Marine Stadium before following a route similar to the large boat, but also passing through the inner canals of Naples Island. Click here for a map of the small boat parade route. By overlapping the two maps, we see a few spots to stand where spectators can catch both parades without moving: along the outer edge of the island reached by crossing Neapolitan Lane, along Lido Lane, and at the Long Beach Yacht Club, where both parade routes end. Keep in mind that these spots will see the most amount of spectators, so arrive early to get a good spot. Alternatively, head to E Ocean Blvd across the way, accessed by heading towards Belmont Shore, turning left onto Bay Shore Avenue, then continuing past Horny Corner. This spot yields a great view of the large boats, but anyone wanting to take pictures of the small boats from this location will require a camera with superb zoom capabilities.

After the parades have concluded, remember to take a stroll through the inner canals of Naples Islands to check out all the holiday decorations. This area infamously exhibits some of the most glamorous decorations in all of Southern California, and also includes strolling carolers and occasional children selling hot chocolate. Bring out your friends and family, and enjoy a night together with some fun holiday sightseeing this Saturday evening.

As the year winds down to a close, many punk rock shows start to crop up. As a common theme in punk rock time, better late than never. In some cases, going late makes for a more enjoyable experience, such as when The Adolescents and 7 Seconds headlined a show this past Saturday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana, Orange County. Although it appeared to not coincide with anything, this show ended up operating as a Christmas-themed show anyways, complete with an appearance from Santa Claus. Themes aside, punk rock fans clamored to this show to not only see the legendary Adolescents, but to catch a rare Southern California appearance by 7 Seconds.

The Vermin opened up the night with a set that lasted about 25 minutes. This old school band that started in the 80’s still can rock out like the best, as they caused a pit to initiate the moment they started playing, despite coming from out of town. Opening bands rarely can generate so much energy in a pit, so The Vermin definitely left their mark on all those who arrived at the venue way earlier than the headliners.

As oxymoronic as it sounds, Cerritos punk rock band Channel 3 (stylized CH3) started their set not too long after The Vermin ended their set. Punk rock does not exactly come out of Cerritos, so for a well-known punk band like CH3 to call Cerritos their hometown truly means something. In any case, CH3 walks the line between opener and headliner. They possess a large enough following that they can headline their own show, yet to go on second reminds us of how a normally headlining act like D.I. can go on second and still manage just fine. The crowd still went wild for CH3, especially when they started playing I’ve Got A Gun and a pit started on the side behind me. Oh, and Santa Claus decided to make a cameo towards the end of the set to throw shirts out to the crowd. Bonus: click here for a Christmas song by CH3.

The tension in the room expanded vastly as the anticipation for 7 Seconds reached peak levels. When a band requires an introduction from the show promoter, you automatically know to expect a fun time. I wondered why 7 Seconds did not officially headline the show, but with such great bands on the night’s lineup, the order did not mean as much, as all attendees could devote all of their remaining energy for the bands. With no real surprises or tricks up their sleeves, 7 Seconds delivered an exciting show to all the eager fans in attendance. They wasted little time transitioning between songs, opting to play songs into the start of the next song. Some of their more recognizable songs came towards the end, including Walk Together Rock Together, so those who remained in the concert hall the entire time could rock out with everyone else.

Playing to a crowd that had expended much of their energy on the previous band, The Adolescents held nothing back when they exploded onto the stage in the dark to screaming fans. While this sounds like a scene from a boy band concert, the men of The Adolescents beg to differ, as the crowd diving had started before the band even played a note. They started their set with No Way, which usually serves to drive the crowd into a frenzy, if they had not already gone into one. From there, the set consisted of plenty more popular songs, such as LA Girl, Creatures, Amoeba, and Kids Of The Black Hole. Many of the fans shouted for I Hate Children, but they will never play this song live for a handful of reasons. First off, no point exists to play that song at an all-ages show. Plus, they all have children of their own, compared to when they first made this song decades ago. No other surprises occurred during this set, save for the few people that could not handle the pit and had to climb out or get carried out.

With the holidays approaching and the year about to end, many punk rock shows have cropped up in Southern California. Check with your favorite local bands to see where they will perform next. Also stay tuned to this site every Monday for the week’s upcoming events.

The Renegade LA Craft Fair returned to LA State Historic Park for its fourth year in a row this past weekend. This FREE two-day event features over a hundred different vendors and exhibitors selling various arts & crafts goods, ranging from apparel to accessories to miscellaneous home goods and more. The exhibitors, which consisted of artists, designers, bakers, crafters, and more, brought plenty of merchandise for the thousands of guests to browse and buy, just in time for the holidays.

The Renegade Craft Fair typically sees a consistent crowd throughout the day at all of their events. However, during this weekend, way more people attended the fair than I had expected. I encountered this upon arrival when I inspected the parking situation, where the park staff had to open up additional parking locations within the park. I usually find parking either on the street or across the street, but this time, so many people commuted that I had to park in the newly-opened area behind the fair. Once inside the fair, I again noticed an increased amount of attendees compared with my last visit this past summer. Navigating the numerous aisles proved somewhat of a challenge with so many people around. The amount of attendees meant that not only would the vendors receive high foot traffic, but the food trucks would see lots of business too. I have not seen this many food trucks at a Renegade Craft Fair than at this one.

This year’s holiday fair featured a mix of returning vendors and new vendors. Some of the returning vendors included Bad Pickle Tees, Pop Candy, Pernicious Pickling, Love Nail Tree, The Library Store, Yarnover Truck, and more. Some vendors that caught my eye that I have not seen before or recognized included Cotton & Flax, Pommes Frites Candle Co., Against The Grain (last seen at Artisanal LA), and more.

With so many great merchandise available to take home, I simply could not leave empty-handed. As I strolled through the aisles, I instinctively turned my head towards Maya Brigadeiro as I walked up to it. These handcrafted dessert bites come packed with so much dense flavor that I have not sampled in a long time, so I opted to purchase a 6-pack of their Brazilian Staples.

Recently, I found myself using lip balm quite often. I can consume an entire stick of lip balm within a week depending on how many hours I work. So when I passed by Bunny Butt Apothecary, I told myself to take some time to check out their selection of lip balms. They make a variety of lip balm flavors that most people would not expect. I settled for their Lychee and Mango Lassi lip balm flavors.

Lastly, I knew I had to eventually encounter MNKR. Since I first started attending the biannual Renegade Craft Fair, I have always purchased one shirt from MNKR each time. This time, I purchased a white shirt that boldly proclaimed f*** censorship. I love their designs, and I love their dedication to supporting the local community, especially in empowering people to stand up for themselves instead of listening to what others tell them to do. MNKR will always have my thumbs-up and support.

No one can truly go wrong at an event like this because it supports the local community. Not only can you acquire some really neat clothes or accessories that many other people may not own, but you support locals, meaning your money helps to stimulate the local economy instead of sending money to a corporation outside of the state, or even outside of the country. Of course, one does not need a fair like this to support independents. Anyone can find mom & pop shops everywhere, and purchasing from them helps more than just the business staff and owners. Supporting local businesses also supports the people, workers and customers, linked to that business. An occasion like Small Business Saturday does not exist simply for the purpose of spending even more money on holiday shopping – it promotes the awareness of small businesses and their effect on the local community. Take some time to appreciate the local wonders in your community, and you may find the outcome rewarding at best.

Beachwood BBQ 7th Anniversary Week
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, December 17-22
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach & Long Beach
http://beachwoodbbq.com/events.html

Beachwood BBQ celebrates their seventh year in Seal Beach this week, and to commemorate, Beachwood Brewing releases Seven this week in bottles and at both locations on tap. When you visit either location, expect to find a plethora of seasonal beers on tap, plus an exciting menu full of exclusive items only found during this celebration.

NOFX & The Implants – On Tour
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, December 17, House of Blues, West Hollywood http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=83620
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, December 18, House of Blues, Anaheim http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=83706

Catch the NOFX tour as it swings through Southern California this week. Tickets to these all-ages show range from $26 to $29.

Bill Bartell Tribute w/ The Germs, Redd Kross, and more
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 19
The Echoplex, Los Angeles
http://www.theecho.com/event/433483-bill-bartell-tribute-germs-los-angeles/

Pay tribute to Pat Fear of White Flag at this tribute show this Thursday night, featuring The Germs, Redd Kross, and some local bands. Word has it that The Adolescents may play at this show too. Tickets to this show cost $14 presale and $16 at the door. No one under 18 may attend.

OC Ska/Punk Night
6:30 pm – 12:30 am, December 20
Mirror Image Studios, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1410780025825569/

Some big names in ska and punk play a show in Orange County this Friday night, including a rare appearance by Union 13. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10 before 8pm and $12 afterwards.

The Vandals 18th Annual Christmas Formal
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, December 20
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=84118

The Vandals headline their annual all-ages Christmas show at the House of Blues in Anaheim this Friday night. Tickets cost $16.50 presale and $18 at the door. Guests can park for free for up to five hours, so plan your arrival accordingly.

U.S. Bombs, The Grabbers. and Whitekaps @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 20
The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/us-bombs

Get up-close and personal with these bands this Friday night in the Constellation Room at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show costs $15. Arrive early to park in the venue’s parking lot for free. Arrive too late, and end up parking at a lot down the street for $10 per vehicle.

Angel City Gifts Bazaar
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, December 21
Angel City Brewery, Downtown Los Angeles
http://angelcitybrewery.com/events/angel-city-gifts-bazaar/

Free to attend, visitors will find holiday merchants, food trucks, live music, and lots of beer.

Noise For Toys – Holiday Toy Drive Concert
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, December 21
Seaport Marina Hotel, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/282558758524244/

Unwritten Law headlines this massive one-day indoor concert, where the organizers will donate a toy to a local charity for every ticket sold, which costs $15 each for this all-ages show.

67th Annual Naples Island Holiday Boat Parade
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 21
Naples Island Canals, Long Beach
http://www.naplesca.com/

This annual holiday boat parade returns to the canals in & around Naples Island this Saturday evening. Completely free to attend, immediate streets along the parade route begin closing to traffic at 5pm. Spectators get to see dozens of boats decorated with Christmas lights and props as they sail through the parade route. Large boats start at 6pm and sail entirely south of 2nd Street, while small boats start at 6:45pm and begin at Marine Stadium before following a route similar to the large boats.

Good Riddance @ Brick By Brick
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, December 21
Brick By Brick, San Diego
http://www.slabratoryclothing.com/events.html

Catch Good Riddance, Pulley, and more at this show this Saturday night in San Diego. Tickets cost $15 presale and $20 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

The Blood @ Characters Sports Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 21
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
http://www.gonzopresents.com/event/157291

Legendary British punk band The Blood come to Pomona this Saturday night to headline an epic show. Entry to this show costs only $8. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking nearby.

Free Punk Show @ Blacklight District Lounge
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 21
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/395442437253140/

Enjoy a free local punk rock show this Saturday in Long Beach. No one under 21 may enter.

Youth Brigade @ The Echo
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 22
The Echo, Los Angeles
http://www.theecho.com/event/423903-youth-brigade-los-angeles/

A handful of punk legends hit up The Echo this Sunday night, as Youth Brigade headlines a show with U.S. Bombs, Pistol Grip, and more. Tickets to this all-ages show costs $16 presale and $18 at the door.

The holiday version of Renegade LA returns to LA State Historic Park this upcoming weekend. This FREE alternative arts & crafts fair exhibits hundreds of independent artists, designers, bakers, and crafters for guests to come and snag some cool apparel, accessories, music records, food, and more. Occurring biannually, the holiday version makes a few changes from the summer version. Vendors have to adjust to a slightly smaller venue space, apparent by narrower aisles and lack of a middle aisle/dividing lane.

A handful of vendors will return to this fair from the last one, such as Sebastien Millon. Plenty more may appear here that did not attend the last fair, like I Wish I Had A Penguin Friend.

The center of Renegade holds a big top, which houses vendors carrying what I consider the more delicate items.

You may also notice that some vendors may post signs denoting that they will donate a portion of their sales to a charity. For a holiday show, I enjoy that either the organizers or the vendors would consider this.

Because I love to support independent entrepreneurs, I search around to find out if anything suited my liking. Last time, I ended up purchasing a shirt from MNKR, which you may see me wearing one day.

I love these types of fairs because of the guilt-free feeling you get when you finally leave. Not only can you acquire some really neat clothes or accessories that many other people may not own, but you support independents, meaning your money means much more to them than spending your money on some corporation’s product. Of course, one does not need an event like this to support independents. Anyone can find mom & pop shops everywhere, and purchasing from them helps more than just the business staff and owners. Supporting local businesses also supports businesses linked to that business. For example, if you dine at a local establishment like Tavern On 2, you also support the local farms that supply their locally-grown produce and meats.

Anxious to attend the next independent arts & crafts fair? Check my blog every Monday for my post on the week’s upcoming events. Also follow fairs like Renegade Craft, State of Unique, and Patchwork Fest on Twitter to find out more. Until then, always strive to contribute to the locals in your community.