Posts Tagged ‘March 2014’

Oi everyone,
Due to a tight schedule this week, this post will contain reviews for two shows instead of the usual one.

Last Friday night, the Lower Class Brats headlined this stomper of a show at The Observatory in Santa Ana. For just $10, this show featured an outstanding lineup of five hard-hitting bands that pumped up the room from the get-go. As a major venue, they would not allow me to bring in my main camera since I do not write for a major publication, so I had to settle with my old camera for this show.

Our good neighbors from Orange County, The Bananarchists, opened the night. Remember these kids from a few months ago? Back then, they played at a small venue that could only hold so many people. Now at The Observatory, this venue provided the band with a much richer, bolder sound. This made them sound much better than they did at that one show. I also noticed that their lineup changed, as I only recognized their vocalist. Regardless, they still look like a nice group of kids, so I hope they get some good gigs in their near future.

Up next we get a surprise from the bay area, as Kicker came to visit Orange County. How else can I describe them other than a British crust punk band? Sure they only started as a band not too many years ago, but they sound like they have played since the dawn of punk rock itself. With a hard crust punk sound paired with their vocalist’s British accent, they sure satiated many of the rowdy kids in the audience.

This show basically had three headlining acts, and the first of them, the Old Firm Casuals, would start up next. For those unfamiliar with the Old Firm Casuals, their vocalist, Lars Frederiksen, came to fame as a member of Rancid. Much of the Old Firm Casuals songs may feel reminiscent of some older Rancid songs as well as Lars’ side project with The Bastards, yet at the same time will feel like a brand new experience. Going to an Old Firm Casuals show will surely please punk rock fans of new and old.

Some may argue that the night’s true headliners did not play last. When you put things into perspective, JFA does hold more of a legacy than any of the other bands in the night. All other bands acknowledged the significance of JFA playing at this show, yet JFA only went second-to-last. This truly tested the energy of the crowd, as it appeared that the entire room expended all of their adrenaline into this one set. This did not happen without meaning – JFA always delivers a brutal performance not fit for the faint of heart. Check out a JFA show soon and experience why so many punk rock bands and fans regard them as legends.

Lars Frederiksen called the Lower Class Brats‘ vocalist “the skinniest man in punk rock.” When you can rock out in skinny jeans like that, I guess that comes off as more of a compliment than an insult. But anyways, Lower Class Brats got off to a welcoming start as the crowd roared for their appearance through the dark stage. Once the lights turned on, the entire room turned into a living pit. Their set included new songs as well as fan favorites, such as Just Like Clockwork, Psycho, Ultra Violence, Addicted To Oi, New Seditionaries, and more. Something about their catchy music seems to persist in the heads of many punk rock fans. Their music plus their natural knack for entertaining combine for one heck of a show that will leave people talking.

That wraps up the Friday night show. On to the next show!

This past Saturday night, legendary punk rock band T.S.O.L. played their only Southern California show this year at Characters Sports Bar in Pomona. This show cost $15 to get in to, and only originally featured three bands. At one point, the venue booked a fourth band that would end up opening the night. In fact, that band never really identified themselves, so now I present to you: mysterious unnamed punk rock band!

Moving on to the official lineup, we begin the night with Destruction Made Simple. The first punk rock show I attended back in the early 2000’s featured not only T.S.O.L., but also Destruction Made Simple, so this show made me go full circle. Age has not deteriorated Destruction Made Simple – with time, they continue to hone in their sound and develop new music to adapt to the new times. Sure they still can blast out that original Los Angeles hardcore punk sound, but new music from these guys now carry undertones of ska and reggae. This show also marked the first time I heard them perform a cover song with Astro Zombies, albeit I do not know why the set list says Ramones right before it when The Misfits actually performed this song.

Pushing on through the night, we come up to the Bedlam Knives. I will admit that I had not heard of them prior to this show. However, upon learning about this band’s bio, I knew I had recognized the vocalist from elsewhere – he performed with The Generators, a band that I had not seen in years. The Bedlam Knives consists of members from multiple bands, and those previous bands’ music reflects in the way that the Bedlam Knives sound. I would not go on record of calling them fully punk rock – instead, they sound like a mix of east coast punk and west coast rock ‘n roll. To understand their sound, I suggest attending one of their shows in the near future to hear this unique combination.

As time ticked away and the crowd anxiously awaited for T.S.O.L., the room filled with more and more people, pushing the blob ever closer to the stage until my legs touched the stage. Once the music started, a full pit could not get going due to the tight space available. Nonetheless, the crowd eventually turned into a living pit, and rocked this little bar from the front to the back. T.S.O.L. mainly stuck with classic songs for this show, including fan favorites like Code Blue, Superficial Love, and Abolish Government \ Silent Majority. For a small show, they played no encore – they simply played the duration of their set list, then bid their farewells.

Now that April has arrived expect to see tons of shows around the area coming up. Find your favorite bands on Facebook, and look through their pages, as the busy season has officially gone under way.

Long Beach Restaurant Week
March 30 – April 5
Participating locations, Long Beach

Long Beach finally gets their own restaurant week to celebrate the entire city, after decades of “Tastes” of just communities within Long Beach. Participating locations throughout Long Beach during this week will provide lunch and dinner specials, so refer to the website for a full list of locations and their specials.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – First Wednesdays @ The Copper Door
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 2
The Copper Door, Downtown Santa Ana

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.

Taste of Leucadia: Food For Thought
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, April 3
Leucadia 101 Main Street, Encinitas

Sample the local flavors of Leucadia this Thursday evening at the Taste of Leucadia. For $20 presale or $25 on the day of the event, visitors get treated to unlimited food samples from all the participating restaurants. For an additional $10, guests can receive ten beer/wine tastings from select locations. The organizers have provided a shuttle that runs to and from city hall to alleviate the parking situation.

MONKEY @ Dipiazzas
7:00 pm – 12:30 am, April 3
Dipiazzas, Long Beach

Enjoy an all-ages ska show featuring local bands this Thursday night at Dipiazzas in Long Beach. Tickets to this show cost only $5. Guests can find plenty of free parking around the area.

Dead Anthem Records Hardcore Punk Night
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, April 3
The Airliner, Los Angeles

Hardcore punk takes over The Airliner northeast of Los Angeles this Thursday night. Get into this show for only $3. No one under 18 may enter. Guests should park in the neighborhood across the street from the venue.

2014 Formula Drift
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 4
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 5
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach

Taking place a week prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Formula Drift competition utilizes the sharpest turns of the track to put on a show that everyone can enjoy. Feel the excitement as drivers throw on their best drifting performance while narrowly dodging massive wipeouts. Guests may also visit a vendor village, receive autographs from drivers, see the pits up close and personal, and more. Tickets vary in price, but general admission to the Saturday main event costs $40 plus fees up to $10. Parking at the convention center costs $10, so plan to carpool, take public transportation, or park in the neighborhood to the east to alleviate that parking fee.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 4
Various locations
Long Beach:

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).

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 4
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

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.

The Co-Dependents @ The Juke Joint
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, April 4
The Juke Joint, Anaheim

Catch Orange County legends The Co-Dependents as they headline a FREE show this Friday night at The Juke Joint in Anaheim. No one under 21 may enter.

Hangar 24 Palmero Release Celebration
11:00 am – 12:00 am, April 5
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands

Hangar 24 Brewery will release Palmero, the next of their yearly seasonal brews, this weekend. To celebrate, the tasting room will have Palmero available for pints, flights, and growler fills starting this Saturday. In addition, guests can enjoy live local music all day, and munch on some tacos later on.

2nd Annual Slater’s 50/50 Backyard Brew Fest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 5
Slater’s 50/50, Lake Forest

Enjoy an afternoon of unlimited beer pours from over 25 local breweries and free samples of Slater’s 50/50’s epic eats. Tickets to this 21 & up only event cost $30, while designated driver tickets (food only) cost $10. Admission includes free parking, and typically little to no traffic thanks to this area’s geography.

2014 World Pillow Fight Day
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 5

Ever participate in a flash mob? No, not the kind of flash mob where everyone breaks out in dance. I speak of the infamous pillow fight flash mob. On April 6th, communities around the world will gather to unleash a fray feather-fueled frenzy on unsuspecting combatants. Due to the unorganized nature of a flash mob, no one can control what occurs, so anyone can join in, yet anything goes. Note that most locations take place in dense areas, so prepare to pay for parking. At the time, nobody has announced any Southern Californian events. Check the website for confirmed locations throughout the world.

2nd Annual VinDiego – San Diego Wine & Food Festival
12:00 pm – 7:30 pm, April 4
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 5
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego

VinDiego returns this year, bigger and better! On Friday, select small tastings and seminars will take place to allow guests to taste and learn about different wines. On Saturday afternoon at Liberty Station, enjoy tastings of over 75 different wines from California’s top wineries, and delicious eats from many of San Diego’s top restaurants and chefs. General admission presale costs $95 and allows entry at 4pm, while VIP admission costs $115 and allows entry at 3pm.

Uncasked: A Neighborhood Craft Beer Fest
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 5
Westfield UTC, San Diego

Sample local brews and taste delightful bites from local restaurants at this small beer fest this Saturday evening at the Westfield shopping center. For $20 presale or $25 at the door, guests will receive a souvenir glass, gift bag, beer guide, Westfield coupon book, and ten beer tickets. Attendees also may receive unlimited food samples from the resident restaurants within the festival.

Craft Beer + Bites @ SILO
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 5
SILO in Makers Quarter, San Diego

This mini beer fest takes place close to Downtown San Diego this Saturday evening. For $30 presale or $35 at the door, attendees get treated to ten pairings of tapas and craft beer. In addition, attendees will find outdoor games (bocce ball, beanbag toss, glorified Jenga, and more) and local designers/makers. Attendees may even bring their pets as well! No one under 21 may attend.

Rodents of Unusual Size 10-Year Anniversary Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 5
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Get your weekly fill of punk rock at the Doll Hut this Saturday night with some fun local bands. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Psychobilly Night @ O’Hearn’s in Lomita
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, April 5
O’Hearn’s Pub, Lomita

Catch some local psychobilly bands this Saturday night in the South Bay. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine @ Characters Sports Bar
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, April 5
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona

Punk rock icon Jello Biafra will headline a show with his band this Saturday night at Characters Sports Bar in Pomona. Tickets to this show cost $15. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking in the area, and can avoid paying for parking.

8th Annual Cambodian New Year Parade
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, April 6
Anaheim St, Long Beach

Catch a free public parade this Sunday morning in Cambodia Town in Long Beach that celebrates the Cambodian New Year. Arrive early to find adequate parking.

CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 6
Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

Wilshire Blvd from Downtown LA to Miracle Mile will close to bikers this Sunday. Cars may not enter the designated areas during this time – only bikers and pedestrians may roam the streets.

Mustard Plug, Left Alone, and More @ Dipiazzas
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 6
Dipiazzas, Long Beach

Ska-punk icons Mustard Plug and Left Alone will headline this packed show this Sunday night at Dipiazzas in Long Beach. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $8 presale and $10 at the door.

Now that Spring has officially started, get ready for all the ska shows in Southern California. A day after the fun ska show, we now encounter the heavier skacore show, headlined by Voodoo Glow Skulls. This all-ages show that took place this past Sunday night in Long Beach drew out a huge crowd early on, with a line out the door that lasted even during the first opening band’s performance. Logically, this show started earlier than a regular show because of the Sunday night thing. Still, the timing of this show did not deter any of the fans from showing their undying love for these bands.

The line to enter Dipiazzas, the venue, appeared to take a long time to get through, moving as slow as two people entering per song. By the time I entered, the first band, The Pocketeers, had reached the final song in their set. I would have enjoyed their set too, which sounded like the early days of Against All Authority. Thankfully, the guys still allowed me to snap a few photos of them, and even handed some CD’s to me. I hope to fully check out their music sometime soon.

The next of the night’s opener, Niño Zombi, quickly got set up and wasted no time going right into their music. Despite the name of their band, they look like such nice guys, matching their musical style. Although I expected some sort of ska-metal hybrid, Niño Zombi plays a solid ska-punk set. Some of their songs reminded me of the fast-paced style of Los Kung-Fu Monkeys, while at the same time resembling the mellow style of Sublime. The name Niño Zombi crops up quite often in Southern California shows, and I wonder why I have never seen these guys before. Fortunately, I can finally say that I have gone to a Niño Zombi show, and that I want to see these guys in action again.

Following Niño Zombi, a significant amount of time passed until South Central Skankers got set up on stage. Once all set up, they jumped right into their set, rousing the crowd into a skanking frenzy in the little space available. For this particular show, South Central Skankers omitted a handful of their faster songs from their 45-minute set, opting to play mostly mellow songs to build up the energy in the room for Voodoo Glow Skulls. They still threw in the occasional fast song just to see if the audience could react fast enough to keep up with the motion of the dance floor. After seeing these guys again after a long while since last year, I wonder what they have planned for Cinco de Mayo weekend?

The audience anxiously awaited the arrival of the Voodoo Glow Skulls, a name synonymous with the skacore genre. Since the late 1980’s, this worldwide phenomenon amazes crowds internationally with their unique hardcore ska sound and their multilingual songs. Showing no signs of age, Voodoo Glow Skulls still can rock the stage harder than many of today’s mainstream bands. They got off to a strong start, playing with a new 70-minute set involving new and classic songs. Fans skanked, moshed, danced, and sang along to the favorites, which included Shoot The Moon, Insubordination, Charlie Brown, El Coo Cooi, and Band Geek Mafia. Much of the audience started to lose their energy halfway through the set, as I noticed not as many people in the pit. Too bad for them, as much of the second half included the popular songs. At the end of their set, Voodoo Glow Skulls announced that they would take a break from shows to focus on recording a new album, following a show in Chile next month. This means to keep an eye on their Facebook page for details about this album!

For a night of only four bands, everyone had tons of fun. The nature of the music lends very well to simply having a good time, versus the punk rock shows where everyone harbors hatred towards any moving thing. All of the bands that played at this show have a Facebook page, so give them a Like and check out their music and upcoming shows!

The Inland Empire got a taste of ska this past Saturday night, as GOGO13 headlined this tiny show in the back room of the Glass House. This low-cost all-ages show brought together a handful of Southern California ska bands for a night full of fun and skanking. As this show took place in the back room, this small space could only comfortably hold no more than a hundred people – going over that amount would make the space very cramped. Somehow, the spacing worked out, allowing for a pit area of a decent size. By the time I had arrived at the show, I had completely missed the first act, and the second act had reached their final song, so I made do with the situation. Apologies to Jared P for not arriving on time for his set.

I had arrived at the Glass House during Skadonna‘s set. Basically, this ska band from Orange County covers songs by Madonna, such as Like A Virgin. I heard them end with Like A Prayer, and I will admit that listening to a bouncy version of that song threw me for a loop. I later found out that this show marked their first ever live performance. Good on them for finally making it to a public stage and gaining lots of fans in the process.

Finally situated in place, I first got to experience Two Tone Boners in all their glory. This ska band from El Monte brought forth an original set comprised of ska with punk rock elements, meaning the skanking pit saw some heavier circle pit action here. Also notably, this band features a keytar player, known for riling up a crowd as much as a cow bell. If they wanted to cover a song, they could have, yet still stuck to their own original songs.

The second of the night’s cover bands played next, as Skapeche Mode entered the room with their glorious outfits. As the band’s name may imply, this ska band from Los Angeles covers Depeche Mode songs using their weapons of brass. They played a shortened set, omitting a few songs from their set list. However, they still got to the songs most recognized by the audience. These guys not only played their songs, but danced around with the audience as well, spreading their joy and energy around the room.

Now free from their tour with Reel Big Fish, The Maxies would mark the last of the night’s opening bands. For those unfamiliar with The Maxies, picture The Aquabats, but an M-rated version. Therefore, The Maxies come across as a highly-offensive and lewd band that will throw every bad word in existence at the audience. They do not use traditional ska instruments, but rely on a keyboardist to synthesize music to sound like ska music, similar to The Aquabats. As a result, The Maxies gain greater freedom to play with a heavier punk rock feel than just ska, lending to an intense circle pit that resonated all night.

The first of the night’s headliners, CodeName: Rocky, started with some tempo buildup to get the audience pumped up. These guys have garnered quite a following since their inception in the 1990’s, and it showed with the enthusiasm in the audience. Once the music started flowing, the crowd revved the pit even further. As one of the prominent first bands of the third wave ska movement in Orange County, CodeName: Rocky picked up lots of fans fast, alongside today’s mainstream bands like No Doubt and Reel Big Fish. Keep an eye out for a new album coming out this year, as well as any more shows they will play, because they deliver a show that no one can ever forget.

Prior to the start of the final act of the night, the stage crew dimmed the lights and enabled a fog machine to set the mood for GOGO13. The crowd certainly felt the mood, as the entire room got to dancing, swinging, and skanking once the music started. GOGO13 kept their set mellow and smooth throughout, not really going for anything super fast that may cause people to start slamming into things. GOGO13 does more than just play music – they entertain crowds with their antics and acting. They may even cover popular songs during their set! GOGO13 truly deserves to headline shows, and I believe they deserve a larger crowd.

Every band has a Facebook page, so give them a Like to check out more from them! With the exception of Skadonna, every band also has a Twitter page, so give them a Follow!

With Spring now underway, the weather starts to warm up, and the daily daylight starts to extend, providing even greater incentive to get out there and explore the world. Events around town occur regularly, and most people understand the basics of most of these events, such as 5k runs, art shows, or beer fests. But what happens when a traditional event comes up with a spin? Enter Firkfest, a beer festival celebrating the wonders of cask ales. Traditional beer fests see breweries or home brewers bringing in their brews to sample to the large crowd of attendees over a short period of time. This past Saturday at Farmers Park in Anaheim, Firkfest did that same thing, except the participating breweries brought only casks to this party. A first fest of its kind, cask ales rarely get this type of exposure, largely due to the portability of it. As a result, only cask ales from breweries in California could survive the trip here.

Aside from the drinks featured here, Firkfest operated largely like most other beer festivals. Admission to this festival cost $50, and included unlimited beer tastings from all the participating breweries from noon to 3:45pm, plus free parking. Around this small area, other activities included live music and some recreational games, like bocce ball, beanbag toss, hula hoops, Jenga, and more. Towards the entrance, guests could purchase food from any of the four available food vendors: Adya, Wheat And Sons, The Kroft, and The Iron Press.

A grand total of 31 breweries attended to serve drinks to all the attendees: Valiant Brewing, Tustin Brewery, Twisted Manzanita Ales, Strand Brewing, Smog City Brewing, Saint Archer Brewing, Phantom Ales, Pizza Port, Noble Ale Works, Karl Strauss Brewing, Monkish Brewing, Los Angeles Ale Works, Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Bravery Brewing, Hangar 24 Brewery, Haven Brewing, Firestone Walker, Golden Road Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, El Segundo Brewing, Coachella Valley Brewing, Dale Bros Brewery, Cismontane Brewing, Bottle Logic Brewing, Bootlegger’s Brewery, The Bruery, Belching Beaver Brewery, Ballast Point Brewing, Beachwood Brewing, and Anaheim Brewery. Non-alcoholic drink providers included Portola Coffee Lab and Los Angeles Ale Works with their craft sodas.

For the majority of the beers, the alcohol percentage ranged from six to eight percent, with a few going above or below that. I managed to try something from every brewery, opting out of any spicy beers or sour ales. Only Bottle Logic hosted a timed release with their Leche Molé, garnering a huge line that surpassed the porta potty lines. Even Noble Ale Works did not time a release for Man’s Milk, a derivative of their popular Naughty Sauce – they had it available since the start. Aside from Leche Molé, no other brewery had a crowd of attendees waiting for beer.

For its first run, Firkfest largely concluded as a positive experience, but not sans a few criticisms. The staff clearly could have handled the entrance line a lot better. The front gate volunteers did not start checking tickets and handing out wristbands until 12pm on the dot, losing valuable time for the attendees way at the back of the line. To mitigate this issue, they could have ran two lines: one line to check in & receive a wristband, and another line for the express entrance with just showing the wristband. As for another issue, this fest only boasted five porta potties, which had a continuous line of attendees the entire time. As we all know, renting those things cost a fortune, so finding the balance of the right amount of them will keep attendees happy without having to overspend.

Other than those fixable issues, Firkfest did everything else right in the books. As a notable experience, the attendance remained below average for a beer fest. Some of the larger beer festivals have you standing shoulder to shoulder with other people, waiting in long lines for generic beer that may even include macro beers like Shock Top. Those “drunk fests” do not emphasize the quality of the beer – they focus on quantity and getting people as drunk as the next person. Firkfest got the quality beers for a fest with a manageable attendance, keeping things slightly more intimate and allowing greater interactions with the attendees and the representatives from the breweries. The organizers also resolved parking by allowing guests to park for free in a parking structure that normally would not allow so many people to park in for so long. The venue worked out great for the wide space, and the weather made it even better. Should Firkfest return next year, we hope they take things up to a new level, keep the attendance rate similar, and resolve the lines issues.

How many ways can someone prep meat into food? When I ask this, I refer to versatile dishes that can adapt to any meat. For example, a pot pie typically uses poultry, while a burger will use almost any red meat. Here in the 21st century, we have witnessed many different kinds of food utilizing many different types of meat. Burgers nowadays use more than just beef – they can use turkey, salmon, duck, and even foie gras. Poutine can use any type of meat too, as the meat gets added to the top of the dish. By its nature, meatloaf can build with any meat. But what else can you think of that can utilize any meat? Around the world, different cultures prepare meat in different ways: as an entrée, in a sandwich, in a soup, deep fried, and more. In Southeast Asia, the locals love their curry, and thanks to culinary advancements, the world now not only sees curry widespread, but also a plethora of variations of curry. For those that have not tried curry before, some restaurants, such as Beachwood BBQ, allow customers to sample various types of curry.

Clockwise from top left: Chicken, Shrimp, Pork, Goat

Back in action with their continuing series of special monthly dinner nights, Beachwood BBQ hosted an IPA & Curry Night last Thursday night. Just like with the last time they held a Curry night last year, Beachwood BBQ presented a menu with five different choices of curry, along with five different IPA’s that each correspond to a type of curry. Individual curry entrées cost between $15 and $18, while a sampler plate of four of the curry dishes cost $19. To go with the sampler plate, guests could add on the beer pairings for $6. Traditionally, an IPA goes very well with meaty, flavorful dishes, as the bitterness penetrates the flavor of whatever you eat, acting as a pseudo palate cleanser. Thankfully, Beachwood BBQ tapped the perfect pairings for each curry dish. I ordered a sampler of the four dishes with meat, and each had its own unique presentation.

  • Chicken: the spiciest curry, I regret starting with this one. Great texture and consistency with the meat and broth, which ate well with the basmati rice.
  • Shrimp: I only got two pieces of shrimp, so this one went down fast. The watery broth did not go with the rice too well.
  • Pork: the most savory curry, this one had the greatest salt profile, typical of pork. Very tender pork made this one a well-balanced curry that anyone could enjoy.
  • Goat: more for the aroma and presentation. Very gamey texture and mild flavor, making this a great starting curry, not one to follow the chicken or pork.

Beachwood BBQ typically runs these special dinner nights every two months, each time selecting a new type of food. Word has it that a dinner night will return as early as next month during the week following Easter, and will feature Poutine! As for what day that will occur, keep your nights open on Wednesday the 23rd and Thursday the 24th, as Poutine Night will certainly return on one of those two days, should Beachwood BBQ decide to run Poutine Night.

Middle Class Rejects Backyard Party with The Rikk Agnew Band
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 27
House of Blues, Anaheim

Some local punk bands hit up the House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim this Thursday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15. Guests can park for free for up to five hours, so plan your arrival accordingly.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – Last Thursdays @ One Eyed Gypsy
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 27
One Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles

Get your fill of burlesque every last Thursday of the month at One Eyed Gypsy in Downtown Los Angeles, for free! Guests can park on the street for free after 8pm. No one under 21 may enter.

Death Hymn Number 9 @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, March 27
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Check out some funky rock music this Thursday night at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. The cover for this show costs only $5. No one under 21 may enter. Guests should park on Orizaba, or in the neighborhood across the street.

2nd Annual Bankers Hill Art & Craft Beer Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, March 28
The Abbey, Bankers Hill, San Diego

Bankers Hill will host a beer and art festival this Friday night for the second year in a row. Tickets cost $30 presale and $35 at the door, and include ten 4oz beer pours plus unlimited food from participating local vendors while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

The Perverts – Final Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 28
Café NELA, Los Angeles

Check out some local punk rock bands for FREE this Friday night in Los Angeles. No one under 21 may enter.

Lower Class Brats, Old Firm Casuals, JFA, and More @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 28
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Some famous names in punk rock will perform this Friday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10. Arrive early to find free parking in the venue’s parking lot. Arrive late, and pay $10 to park in a parking lot down the street.

Guitar Center Musician’s Expo
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, March 29
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach

Check out tons of the latest music equipment, meet & greet with industry reps, and browse through many music vendors at this one-day music expo. Guitar Centers sell tickets to this all-ages expo for $5, or you may purchase tickets at the door for $10. Parking at the convention center costs $10, so you may opt to take public transportation, or park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Ave.

2014 Hammerhead Release Party
11:00 am – 12:00 am, March 29
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands

Hangar 24 will release another strong beer from their Barrel Roll series this Saturday. Head over to the tasting room in Redlands, where you can order an 8oz pour of Hammerhead for $8, no admission fee required.

2014 Los Angeles Ramen Yokocho
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, March 29-30
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia

Guests can try different styles of ramen from all around the world at this all-ages ramen festival this weekend at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Parking per vehicle costs $4, and entry to the festival costs $5 per adult, or free for children under 18. All ramen bowls within the festival cost $8 each.

Latitude 33 Brewing 2nd Anniversary Party
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, March 29
Latitude 33 Brewing, Vista

Latitude 33 Brewing celebrates two years of their tasting room this weekend, and to celebrate, they will invite local bands and foodtrucks to join in on the festivities as they tap many of their rare beers, plus their 2nd anniversary brew, Biere de Mars. Anniversary packages cost $25 and include a t-shirt & eight beer tasters. Guests may opt to visit the brewery like a normal visit: pay for beer and food at regular price.

2014 Spring Busker Festival
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, March 29-30
Seaport Village, San Diego

Basically, Circue du Soleil. This artful all-ages outdoor festival brings out performers of various entertainment trades (jugglers, contortionists, stilt-walkers, etc) to entertain visitors. Free to attend, guests should seek alternate methods of transportation to arrive here, such as carpooling or public transportation, as decent parking will likely take a long time to find.

Bottle Share #12
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, March 29
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra

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.

JFA, Naked Aggression, and More @ The Church on York
6:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 29
The Church on York, Eagle Rock

Punk rock fans will not want to miss this all-ages show this Saturday night in Eagle Rock, which features JFA, Naked Aggression, and more. Tickets to this show cost $12 presale and $15 at the door.

8Kalacas & South Central Skankers @ The Black Castle
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 29
The Black Castle, Los Angeles (Inglewood)

Enjoy some South Bay music at this show this Saturday night between Inglewood and Southgate. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Bonecrusher @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 29
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

One of the most popular independent hardcore punk bands of this generation will headline a show this Saturday night in Anaheim. The cover for this show costs only $6. No one under 21 may attend.

T.S.O.L. @ Characters Sports Bar
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 29
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona

Catch legendary punk rock band T.S.O.L. in their only Southern California show this year this Saturday night in Pomona. Tickets to this show cost $13 presale and $15 at the door. No one under 21 may attend. Guests can find plenty of free parking around the area, so avoid paying unnecessary parking fees.

Vintage Clothing & Textile Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 30
The Pickwick Gardens, Burbank

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.

Long Beach Restaurant Week
March 30 – April 5
Participating locations, Long Beach

Long Beach finally gets their own restaurant week to celebrate the entire city, after decades of “Tastes” of just communities within Long Beach. Participating locations throughout Long Beach during this week will provide lunch and dinner specials, so refer to the website for a full list of locations and their specials.

Who appreciates the warmer weather recently? With Spring starting this week, Southern California definitely feels the turn of the seasons in the weather. The warmer weather combined with increased daylight hours allow people to do more things that they could not do a month or two ago due to weather restrictions. Perhaps people opt to travel to the beach as the most popular option. The beach certainly feels like a unifying area bringing together strangers onto one strand of sand all for the purpose of relaxation. Find other reasons to gather large groups of people, and the beach turns into the perfect venue for attracting said large groups. In this case, Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades provides the right expanse for AID LA to host their annual Holi On The Beach.

Holi originated in India, where they celebrate the arrival of Spring with a grandiose public party filled with colors, music, and joy. Traditional celebrations included nonstop live music, dancing, and the unique act of throwing or smearing color on other people. Like the color runs prevalent across the world today, these events typically involve using dry colors made with natural ingredients as to not stain the attendees’ clothing; however, traditional Holi also utilized wet colors, which the attendees at Holi On The Beach love to use.

Holi On The Beach lacks a structured schedule – instead, attendees simply arrive, receive colors from the organizers, and let loose on the sand. A live DJ provides music all throughout the afternoon while everyone dances and get merry with colors. Whereas other fests contain vendors and other content such as yoga, Holi On The Beach only provides the colors and the space to run around and get dirty. A food vendor eventually sets up on the sidewalk between the parking lot and the beach, but other than that, all attendees just show up and get crazy. Sometimes, you need no rules to live a joyful life.

Admission to this all-ages events costs $10 presale and $15 on the day of the event. The first 150 cars receive $2 off the parking fee in the beach’s parking lot, so try to arrive early! Guests can avoid the hassle of parking by driving up Temescal Canyon Road and parking on the street. Most importantly – wear old clothes, and keep spare towels in your car.

On the day that the 2014 San Diego Comic Con sold out in under an hour, all the fans that could not obtain passes sulked around. Some fans searched for other similar events, such as the 2nd Annual CRE-8-Bit Craft Show & Art Gallery held at A Little Known Shop in Anaheim. This small gathering featured local artists showcasing their 8-bit themed arts & crafts for sale to visitors. A treat for video games fans, all the vendors brought a little nostalgia with their neat works of art. From art to apparel to accessories, everything had some sort of video game theme to it. Throughout the night, shop staff would call out raffle tickets for visitors to win prizes of items from the shop. Towards the back of the event, a video game tournament took place, where visitors could challenge each other in games like Mortal Kombat, Mario Kart, Shaq Fu, and more.

As the second annual event, they rode on the success of this little art fair from last year. This hidden gem feels like a sanctuary in an otherwise divey neighborhood. Outside the shop, old dive bars crowd up the front of the strip mall, but when you step into the realm of A Little Known Shop, you find yourself in a peaceful place. Check out A Little Known Shop for their amazing art selection, or if you missed the event and badly want to check it out, head on down this Friday from 7-9pm for their redux of CRE-8-Bit, where they will still feature arts & crafts as well as the video game tournament, but with fewer vendors present.

St. Patrick’s Day
March 17

Too many places to name will do something special on this day, so check with your favorite local establishment to see what they have going on. Have a good time, and stay safe!

Burlesque Fandom Battle: Star Wars vs Star Trek
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm, March 18
Bar Lubitsch, West Hollywood

The age-old debate of Star Wars versus Star Trek remains in a stalemate, and will remain that way for eternity. You can witness a more entertaining take on that debate this Tuesday night with this burlesque show depicting one world versus the other. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Bottle Share @ The Rookery
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 19
The Rookery, Pomona

Share your favorite craft beer with other craft beer enthusiasts at this bottle share this Wednesday night in Downtown Pomona. Bring in a 750ml bottle of craft beer and order at least $10 of food in order to participate. Guests can find plenty of free parking in the area, and can avoid paying for parking entirely.

Scrapbook Expo – Orange County
10:00 pm – 6:00 pm, March 20-22
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim

The nationally-famous Scrapbook Expo comes to Southern California this week! Admission to this all-ages expo varies in price, starting at $8 for a one-day general admission adult ticket.

IPA & Curry Night
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 20
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach

Beachwood BBQ returns with another special food night. This time, they will serve five variations of curry, similar to Curry Night last year. In addition, catch special IPA pairings for each curry variation. No reservations required – simply show up, have a seat, and order!

7th Annual Musink Tattoo & Music Festival
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 21
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 22
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 23
OC Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa

Welcome to Musink, an all-ages music, tattoo, skateboarding, and pin-up festival that takes place at the OC Fairgrounds this weekend. Some of the largest names in punk rock will perform this weekend, such as The Descendents and The Vandals. Over 300 tattoo artists from around the world will fly in for the weekend. Tickets will remain on sale until the end of the fest on Sunday, so do not worry about not obtaining a ticket. Bring cash, as most of the vendors do not accept cards. Parking costs $10 per vehicle, so I highly recommend carpooling or getting dropped off.

Free Punk Show @ Blacklight District Lounge
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 21
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach

Catch a free local punk rock show this Friday night in Long Beach. No one under 21 may attend.

Free Punk Show @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 21
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Take our some inner aggression at this free show this Friday night in Anaheim. No one under 21 may enter.

Dirty Ass Punk Night
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 21
Loaded Hollywood, Hollywood

Local punk bands hit up Hollywood this Friday night. Check out this fun lineup for just $5 at Loaded Hollywood. No one under 21 may enter.

The Zombie Run Extreme/Black Ops – Los Angeles
9:00 am – 10:00 pm, March 22
Acton Movie Ranch, Acton

You never truly run a 5k or obstacle course until you have to run it under fear! This two-part zombie run places you in the shoes of a survivor or zombie. In the morning, participate in a 5K obstacle course, where you can register as a fleeing human, or as a zombie seeking to capture the humans. At night, participate in the same setup, but under the cover of darkness with little to no light. Registration varies depending on the course, time, and role, starting as low as $45 for a single zombie.

3rd Annual Winners’ Circle BBQ Championship
10:30 am – 4:00 pm, March 22
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia

Enjoy some traditional BBQ meats this Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Admission to this all-ages food fest costs around $12 per person, and once inside, tasting tickets cost $1 each. Each vendor takes a varying amount of tickets depending on the item offered.

Holi on the Beach 2013
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 22
Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades

Missed Festival of Colors last weekend? You have another chance at it this Saturday. For those unfamiliar with Holi, if you have ran in a color run before, Holi takes the running part out of it, and adds music, dancing, and other activities, such as yoga. Celebrate Indian culture by getting covered with color and listening to entrancing music. Admission to this all-ages events costs $10 presale and $15 on the day of the event. The first 150 cars receive $2 off the parking fee, so try to arrive early! Most importantly – wear old clothes, and keep spare towels in your car.

Let There Be Light: A Spring Equinox Design Fair
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, March 22-23
405 Mateo St, Downtown LA Arts District

This all-ages design fair showcases the latest seasonal trends in furniture, objects, fine arts, sculptures, and fashion. Tickets cost $8 presale and $10 at the door, and admit you for one day only. Attendees should park at any metered parking spot on the streets nearby, which only requires coinage until 4pm. Attendees can park on the street for free on Sunday.

FirkFest – A Cask Ale Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, March 22
Anaheim Farmers Park, Anaheim

Craft beer fans will want to travel to Anaheim this Saturday, as Anaheim hosts FirkFest, a beer fest with only cask ales. FirkFest will feature over 30 breweries, and costs $50 to get in. Use promo code mothercolony to save $10! No one under 21 may attend.

Sam Fest – The Inaugural Los Angeles Barleywine Festival
12:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 22
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra

This Saturday, 38 Degrees will tap over 30 different barleywines in honor of Sam Samaniego, a beer enthusiast who traveled to Toronado Barleywine Festival annually. Come enjoy some barleywines, and check out some of the rare beers available too. This event requires no admission fee – simply show up, and pay as you drink. Guests can park for free in the parking lot behind the restaurant.

Ska Night @ The Glass House
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 22
Glass House, Pomona

Get your skanking on this Saturday night in Pomona with this great lineup of local ska bands. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10. Guests can park for free around Downtown Pomona, so avoid paying for parking where possible.

Punk Night @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 22
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

For just $5, rock out with some great local punk rock bands at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. No one under 21 may attend.

CH3 @ Redwood Bar
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 22
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles

CH3 headlines a small show this Saturday night in Downtown Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter. Street parking meters go off at 8pm, so guests can park on the street for free.

Naked Aggression @ Billy O’s
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 22
Billy O’s Restaurant & Saloon, Ventura

Naked Aggression will headline a small local show this Saturday night in Ventura. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may attend.

Los Angeles Seafood Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, March 23
Olvera Street, Downtown Los Angeles

Dozens of food vendors will serve up delicious seafood along Olvera Street this Sunday afternoon. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can simply pay for the food that they want without the worry of paying to enter.

Voodoo Glow Skulls @ Dipiazza’s
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 23
Dipiazza’s, Long Beach

Voodoo Glow Skulls currently tours along the west coast, and they will swing by Long Beach for an all-ages show this Sunday night. Although not specified, this show should cost around $10.