Posts Tagged ‘Not A Chance’

Coincidentally occurring on the night that the LA Kings won the Stanley Cup, a free ska show took place at Centerfield Sports Bar in Huntington Beach last Friday night. Although this show had an original lineup of three bands, one of the bands announced earlier in the week that they could not make it to the show. Luckily, another band stepped in to play the show, completing the night for all the fans that showed up.

Once the Kings had scored their game-winning goal, Not A Chance had already set up their equipment on stage. They jumped right into their set hard and proud, a set that consisted of a blend of new and classic songs. They did not play with their full band on this night – specifically, I noticed that they lacked their keyboard, trumpet, and trombone players. Regardless, these guys always deliver audio explosions at any show they perform in, and perfectly depict the “skacore” genre, a genre rarely represented. Fans of Voodoo Glow Skulls and/or Against All Authority will absolutely love Not A Chance.

A lot of hype surrounds the next band, either for the name or their music. In any case, I finally got to see Stupid Flanders for the first time. This ska band from Orange County often receives more attention for their name rather than their music. Stupid Flanders deserves more credit than just their name, as they perform to entertain the masses. Playing a set of both original songs and cover songs, Stupid Flanders reaches out to all generations with their varying degrees of instrumentals. As a ska band, they perform ska covers of classic songs, some more recognizable than others. Sure many people may recognize Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), but the band also covered Scotty Doesn’t Know, a song from the movie Eurotrip. Because their songs speak to a broad audience, Stupid Flanders has fans from all backgrounds, whether they listen to ska or not.

The originally scheduled third band, Failed To Victory, announced earlier in the week that they could not perform at this show. Luckily, The Longshots could step in to perform as the night’s third band. This band from Oregon plays ska/reggae music, thus closing the night with a more mellow set, as opposed to the fast set of Not A Chance and bouncy set of Stupid Flanders. I think after all the ruckus of Kings fans celebrating, a smooth band like this proved just the right remedy to calm everyone back down and bring them back to a relaxed state.

While The Longshots have not announced any concrete plans for upcoming shows, both Not A Chance and Stupid Flanders have a show in less than two weeks at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Contact any of the performing bands for discounted tickets!

Welcome to the start of Q2 – the quarter that throws things into place. Business builds up during this time, and with it, plenty of events and shows come up in preparation for the busy eventful summer. Southern Californians got a taste of that last week, as Mustard Plug traveled to the west coast for a brief tour, ending at Dipiazza’s in Long Beach. Mustard Plug rarely plays shows outside of their home state of Michigan, so whenever they travel, the locals make it a priority to travel to their show. This particular final show of the mini west coast tour featured a slew of other great local bands as well.

Opening the night, we catch a glimpse of The Last Gang, with rock star Brenna Red at the forefront. I have not seen Brenna in action in almost two years, so seeing her in this new band felt refreshing. Their bio claims that they play punk rock, but at this show, they sounded more like hardcore with a hint of pop, almost as if Civet met The Bombpops. They have an active show schedule around Southern California, so check them out when they play at a show near you.

Up next, we get to The Pocketeers. Making up for the show I missed them at two weeks ago, I finally get to see these kids perform up close. I call them kids not as an insult, but seriously: look how young they appear. Anyways, upon listening to their set, they bear a strong resemblance to Do It With Malice. The Pocketeers play a solid skacore sound with instrumentals and catchy lyrics that will stick in your head for weeks. They play so hard that their guitarist cut open his fingers during the middle of their set. If you want to dance while slamming into people, The Pocketeers will feed your ears with the right stuff.

Another Orange County skacore band, Not A Chance, came up next. Since the last show I saw them at last year, their sound has not altered much – they still sound like the early days of Against All Authority. Their set list now includes a few new songs, but for the most part, they played the same set list, which also includes a cover of Bad Touch. Regardless, a Not A Chance show also lends for a good time, as seen by the very little kids (looked under 10) dancing to the music, in lieu of a circle pit. Why make this an all-ages show if the very little ones cannot enjoy it?

Playing right in the middle of the night, we have Isolated Victims. Much like Not A Chance, I also have not seen these guys in almost a year. They opened up their set strong and fast, stirring up a pit within the first minute. They did not start with their trumpet player on stage – he jumped on for the few songs that required his presence. Isolated Victims played a solid set that kept the fans on their feet and moving the entire time.

The Los Angeles skacore bands continued with La Pobreska. For a band that started within the past decade, La Pobreska sure has a huge following. They performed a balance of English and Spanish songs during their set, all while juggling the few in the audience yelling out blurbs between songs. Something about their performance gives them a professional look about them, as if they have performed on bigger stages for a long time now. This makes me want to see more of them soon.

After a setup time lasting twice as long as the previous bands, Left Alone got started as the night’s sub-headliner. As one of the more well-known ska-punk bands from the South Bay, Left Alone drew a huge crowd of fans and troublemakers. Of course, what kind of punk show does not have troublemakers? This pit contained guys purposely seeking to tackle other people, and it even escalated to one guy getting thrown out of the venue. The nature of the music causes that, yet Left Alone simply plays their music fast and fun. In fact, they even utilize an organ and a slap bass to mix up genres. Their set contained a handful of classic songs, and they ended their set with the crowd favorite, Dead Red Roses.

It all came full circle, as Mustard Plug returned to play at Dipiazza’s, just like they did last year. Playing a rather packed set list, Mustard Plug ensured to play lots of fan favorites, playing nearly every recognizable song amongst all the fans present. The crowd must have spent all of their energy during Left Alone, as Mustard Plug did not get much of a pit during their set. With the exception of the first few songs, the crowd remained fairly docile the entire time. As for their set list, they made a few changes from what I saw: “Shakin” = Mendoza, and they did not play anything with Vodka in it, moving straight from Life Is Too Short to Thigh High Nylons. Where last year they covered Waiting Room, Mustard Plug covered Roots Radicals this time. The rest of the set list included tons of known songs, such as Skank By Numbers, Mr. Smiley, Brain On Ska, Lolita, and ending the set with Beer Song.

Miss out on Mustard Plug? They may return to the west coast by next year, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates. In fact, give a Like to the Facebook pages of all the bands that performed at this show. They all did a great job, and deserve a great turnout at their next shows.

Old habits sure die hard, but old traditions will never fade away. Many trends gain their initial 15 minutes of fame, and while many of those eventually falter, some persist and last for decades, whether people want it to or not. Much like how food trends constantly change, the music industry changes often too. New genres crop up every year, while a few songs may go viral throughout the year. While music fans tend to try to keep up with the changing times, fans of specific genres will stick with that genre and search for more bands similar to their favorites. Attending an entire show or concert headlined by a particular band can expose early attendees to similar bands from the local area. By showing up within an hour of when the show doors open, attendees can discover other great local bands of the same genre as the headliner. Check out some of this year’s memorable Southern Californian bands that have opened for bigger names in punk rock.

5. Bombay Snakes

Bombay Snakes has yet to expand to a headlining act at a sizable venue, but do not let their fan base size fool you, as their fans show heart and commitment. For a band usually opening a show, they play a solid set with very little downtime and a strong sound similar to Civet. Should they play another show locally, I encourage you to attend their show to appreciate and support local music.

4. The Interrupters

If you appreciate female-fronted ska bands, you will love The Interrupters. The Interrupters play a much more mellow ska/punk music similar to Save Ferris or The Barrymores. They emphasize having fun and enjoying the night rather than getting rowdy in the pit. Vocalist Aimee Allen also manages her own solo singing career, so check out her work when you get a chance. If you miss Save Ferris, you owe it to yourself to check out The Interrupters very soon.

3. Not A Chance

The music of Not A Chance carries the fast element of Falling Sickness, but they sound more like older Against All Authority. Their energy never fades, and they string together all their songs as best as they can, minimizing down time. They play a handful of original songs, and they also cover Bloodhound Gang and Ol’ Dirty Bastard at one point in their sets. I can see Not A Chance going far – they just need their big break.

2. Rottbite

I would go so far as to call Rottbite the most underrated punk band of Southern California. Unlike your typical hardcore street punk band that only screams and plays loud music ad nauseum, Rottbite actually has some variety in their music. This local street punk band from Orange County does not just hit everything at once – they follow a method to the urban madness in their music. When you hear Rottbite’s music, you would expect to hear something like this on the radio by now. With talent this great, I expect to see a lot of Rottbite in the near future.

1. Slow Children

Slow Children has come a long way to carve out their musical style and build a unique brand of their own. They have broken out of the rookie’s vibe and now plays like professionals. Their developed sound now resembles a younger version of A Wilhelm Scream, not just because their bassist wore the shirt, but because Slow Children actually sounds like old A Wilhelm Scream. At this rate of progress, Slow Children will go far in the music industry.

LA Restaurant Week
Now through July 26
Greater Los Angeles Area

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

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

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

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
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 26 @ The Glass House, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

When most Americans like to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with lots of drinking and Mariachi music, they stray away from the traditional purpose of Cinco de Mayo, and instead celebrate it the American way. Historians will tell anyone that properly celebrating Cinco de Mayo involves listening to ska music, particularly the Latin-influenced kind. Since Cinco de Mayo fell on a weekend this year, many local bands took it upon themselves to play Cinco de Mayo tribute shows, starting with Friday the 3rd. Down in Orange County, eight local ska and punk rock bands played a small all-ages Cinco de Mayo show last Friday night, resulting in a long six-hour show filled with music and very small down time. To fit all eight bands in the allotted time, the venue gave bands no more than 15 minutes to set up following the previous band. Consider this, and that the venue allowed no in-and-outs, plus no food or drinks available (contrary to the advertisement), meant many tired fans by the end of the night. Admission started at $10, but at some point, admission had increased, as one fellow later in the night admitted to paying $12 to enter.

Local band PSA kicked off the night with their ska-core set. This group of kids has yet to create any sort of foundation, as they carry no official recordings or merchandise. At the moment, they only play small gigs locally. They sound most like very old Falling Sickness with their quick riffs and ska-like chords. This early in the night, no more than 20 people had shown up; however, a few crowd members displayed significant enthusiasm, meaning PSA brought their close friends in, which I later found out got in free.

Damaged came on next, replacing Niño Zombi on the lineup. Imagine some very offensive backyard punk rock music, and you have Damaged. This local punk rock band from La Habra did not hesitate to piss off the crowd with all the F-bombs thrown around the entire set. They purposely wanted to anger everyone to stir up the pit this early. Although they succeeded in generating a pit, the pit contained no more than four boys circling around acting tough. Damaged took an extra five minutes to set up, and ended their set after 20 minutes. This gave the next band five free minutes to set up for their set.

Once Damaged ended their set early and left their mark on the crowd, Corrupted Youth started their set right on time. A street punk band from Los Angeles, these guys do more than just play shows – they organize shows too. They also play some good fast hardcore punk music, resembling The Casualties in their music. Although they still took breaks between songs, their gaps did not last as long as the previous bands, who felt the need to talk between songs. Corrupted Youth just took a quick breather before entering the next song. This 30-minute set of carnage set off the night, as the pit started going hard from this point on.

Not A Chance played next with their ska-core set. Their music carries the fast element of Falling Sickness, but they sound more like older Against All Authority. Having just seen them less than a month ago, I already had high expectations for them, and this set did not disappoint. The energy never faded, and they stringed together all their songs as best as they could, minimizing down time. They play a handful of original songs, and they also cover Bloodhound Gang and Ol’ Dirty Bastard at one point in their set. I can see Not A Chance going far – they just need their big break.

The night truly picked up when the next band entered the stage. Does the face look familiar? Original punk rock fans will recognize the lead vocalist as Mike Virus from The Virus and Cheap Sex. He now heads another band called Evacuate, which carries similar hardcore and street punk music that Mike sang for in his previous bands. For a moment, I wondered why they chose to play this small show, and why they did not headline this show. Regardless, after having thought I would never see Cheap Sex again, I rejoiced by joining in with the pit, which had escalated significantly by now. Evacuate played a 45-minute set, well over their allotted time slot, but who cares when everyone had fun?

South Central Skankers, the first of the night’s three headliners, took to the stage next. One of the true Latin-based ska bands, South Central Skankers played one of the smoothest sets I had ever heard. True to their name, they got the entire room skanking in a wide circle. During their set, they threw out free CD’s and t-shirts as well. They really know how to take care of their fans, and played the right songs to get them moving, including a sing-along song. Most of the crowd had attended this show just for South Central Skankers, evident by the thinner crowd presence for the next bands.

The second headliner marked the final hardcore/street punk band of the night. Narcoleptic Youth drew out all the punk fans in the crowd, who in turn essentially pushed all the ska people aside so they could mosh in the pit. They did not fail to meet expectations – just some good old street punk would get anyone up on their feet and moving. Thankfully, most of the night’s crowd attended the show for South Central Skankers, and most of them left after that set. This cleared out lots of room in front of the stage, allowing for a wider pit. As I had not seen these guys since last year, I most looked forward to watching Narcoleptic Youth on this night.

Last but not least, Matamoska filled up the stage. Another Latin-based Californian ska band, Matamoska bases their style around the punk rock side rather than the smoother side, creating a Latin ska-punk sound for their band. Matamoska often plays with South Central Skankers, as Matamoska’s keyboardist also played for the South Central Skankers set. In return, some of South Central Skankers’ brass players came out to play with Matamoska during one of their songs. Crossovers never get old, and this act added some extra fun to a long and tiring night.

Ska shows occurred all Cinco de Mayo weekend all over Southern California. Although I could not attend them all, I certainly hope you did to check out the ska scene here in California. Shows will keep coming too, so always check back weekly to discover a show near you!

On January 1st, 2013, the punk rock world lost one of its greatest venues – the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The reason for its closure remains private, but this little shack once housed some of the biggest names in the industry today, such as The Offspring and Social Distortion, when they first started out as a local band. The Doll Hut’s legacy lives on in memory and in the spirit of many local bands that once graced the tiny stage of the Doll Hut. Last Wednesday night, local bands gathered at Dipiazzas in Long Beach to play a show for friends & family, but decided to open up ticket sales to the public. Just like old times at the Doll Hut, these local bands did not play to a massive crowd, just a small crowd consisting of the band members’ friends & families, and a few other local punk rock lovers. This all-ages show only required a $5 cover, and last a good four hours.

Rodents of Unusual Size

The Blob

Not A Chance

Plan A

The four bands all played a solid punk rock set expected at any show – loud and fast, with occasional smack talk between songs. Of the night’s bands, Not A Chance stood out as a multi-genre band. This eight-man band carried brass players, providing a ska sound, while at times they sounded jazzy. The lead singer quickly proved their punk rock roots with his shouting and incredibly fast singing. Interestingly, I had recognized their trumpet player from various recent shows – when you go to enough shows in a short period of time, you start to recognize faces, and he definitely stood out when I saw him enter the room. On a night where major punk band The Casualties played not too far from here, these four bands put on a solid show. For those that had a choice of which show to attend, those who attended here got more than their money’s worth by electing to come here instead of going to see The Casualties. Remember – support local music!