Every year, I like checking my Last.fm account to see what music I played the most the previous year. This year, my most played artist was Sia. Given that I definitely know I play her music a lot, this doesn’t come as a surprise to me. She’s not my sixth most played artist overall in addition to number one in 2016.
This graph shows just how much more I listened to Sia than anyone else. It also amuses me that Instalok is number six considering I listen to his parody songs that use Overwatch footage.
Four of my most played tracks were by Sia. I only listened to her during the second half of the year as well. I have a Spotify playlist made on July 6 that consisted of the music Anela played while I was driving, and it was during that drive that she introduced me to Sia I think (although I did go on to find new tracks by her that I loved). “Kill Em with Kindness” and “You Don’t Own Me” (which Suicide Squad made me love) was also from that same playlist actually.
Despite enjoying ska concerts, no ska song broke the top ten (although two ska bands were in my top ten most played artists. I guess I must listen to a lot of different Suburban Legends and Half Past Two songs.
I went Reel Big Fish concert a couple weeks ago featuring Starpool, The Maxies, Skapeche Mode, and Stupid Flanders at the Observatory. I didn’t get chance to share any photos. Better late than never.
After watching The Maxies on the main stage with gem, I switched rooms to watch Stupid Flanders. That’s also where I ran into my friend, Amit.
gem left Stupid Flanders to be sure to catch all of Suburban Legends. I missed the first half of the first song or so by the time I got over there. It was packed, and we were separated.
After Suburban Legends’ set, I switched back to the Constellation Room for Skapeche Mode. Can you guess that they do Depeche Mode covers?
I got nice and close! Skapeche Mode has great energy, and I love fun 80s tunes. Plus, they’re pretty friendly! I actually ran into Bryan, the trumpet player, at SDCC.
gem managed to find me at this point even though we couldn’t text. Signal was so bad that our text messages were actually lagging by 20 minutes or so.
After their set, gem and I chatted with Bryan briefly, and I got this photo with Skapeche Mode’s singer. Note the David Bowie homage.
Last was Reel Big Fish. By that time, I just wasn’t feeling it too much anymore. Plus, there was a lot of weed around us, so we left after a couple songs. We did, however, run into Brian Klemm, guitarist for Suburban Legends. I think this is the happiest I’ve ever seen gem. Plus, when I asked Klemm about the band since this is their last tour, he confirmed that they’re not breaking up and should still be playing locally. Awesome!
Following tradition, I ended 2015 by attending the Ska Luau on the 30th and going to a New Year’s Eve party at the Carters’ on the 31st. It was a lot of fun!
gem and I were looking good at the Ska Luau. I need to work on evening my tan.
The two of us were rocking our Suburban Legends shirts! The Luau featured the Magnolia Polynesian Dance Troupe, Karate in the Garage, Hooray for Our Side, Suburban Legends, and Starpool. What a sweet line up!
We ran into our friend Bryan who’s the trumpet player for Skapeche Mode and Failed to Victory. All the bands performed amazing sets. I’d never heard Karate in the Garage, so that was a treat. I’d only seen Hooray for Our Side once, and they gave a great performance. Suburban Legends and Starpool are two of my favorite bands, and they somehow always exceed expectations. I didn’t take many photos of Suburban Legends. There choreography is so awesome that still photos wouldn’t do them justice. However, I have some videos of them playing and dancing in the playlist at the top of this post.
Starpool came out in a bang of confetti!
Throw my hands up and shout! I love when they perform this. You can see T-bone Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa on stage too. My ears were ringing all day the next day.
I brought a lot of food to the New Year’s Eve party – brownies, lemon bars, and biscuit pizzas.
I told Henley that I had a gift for him in the car, and he was pretty excited. He was so adorable asking if it was time to open it yet. He needed some help getting it unwrapped!
He seemed pretty happy with his new Buzz Lightyear! As it turns out, he had really wanted one too. While I was undoing the ties to get Buzz out of the package, Henley repeatedly gave me hugs. He’s so cute.
We suggested he open gem’s gift while I got Buzz out of the box. gem gave him a jacket that looks like a polar bear, complete with bear ears of course. He’s wearing it in that photo, although he didn’t want the hood.
Dev’s dog, Happy, is totally a lap dog.
Here’s me and Dev! He’s one of my oldet friends. We met in 8th grade.
I guess Mike likes my brownies! Actually, he was wondering why Dev scooped them out of the pan with a spoon.
gem made cheesecake ice cream as gifts and left them in a freezer. I realized that Gracie and Jon forgot to take one, so we began discussing the ice cream. Somehow we realized we could heat up my homemade brownies and serve them with gem’s homemade cheesecake ice cream.
Super success! A picture doesn’t really do it justice, but trust me that it was delicious.
And that was my New Year’s Eve! Thanks to Alex, Darnell, Henley, gem, Devin, Lorena, Gracie, Jon, Mike, Dev, and a couple people who I didn’t really know (sorry, I forgot names after a day already) for a fantastic end to 2015!
A few weeks ago, gem and I went to see Suburban Legends at Lake Forest Palooza. While they were playing, I ran into Tazy!
gem and I also danced with All the Way Jay of the Maxies! It was his birthday!
I had to get my photo with the legends themselves too!
On a different day, I was an extra at a filming of a movie called The Big Day. Suburban Legends did some music for the movie, so they were there hanging out. It was pretty awesome. We even got to be in a promotional music video!
gem wins the awesomeness contest though for getting a picture with the band… with her ukulele… on stage! Yeah! I don’t want to post it because she should get the pleasure of sharing it herself. Fun!
Friday night was the first screening of Rude Boy the Movie at the Frida. It follows Rudy, a Mexican-American teenager from Anaheim in 1984 who doesn’t fit in at school. He eventually finds ska and rude boys. It was a lot of fun!
Saturday was Wayzgoose at UCI! I walked to campus and spent a little time wandering around, taking in the festivities. It seemed a lot smaller than previous years honestly.
The Psychology Student Association had this awesome Adventure Time booth with sweet cosplay. I had to get some tacos from them for that! I hope tons of people bought from them.
Some people seemed to be practicing quidditch too. It wasn’t a full game, but they were definitely out there having fun. I talked with them a bit, and they seemed really cool. Quidditch sounds like a pretty fun activity, and it’s cool to see people at UCI playing! Thanks for all the info, Anteater Quidditch!
I’ve been going to Wayzgoose since 2007, and every year I get a shawarma from the Muslim Student Union. Yum, yum, yum. Besides the tacos and shawarma, I also had horchata, a churro, spam musubi, and a brownie. It was a delicious day.
The 3D printing club had a booth showing some of the neat things they made. Here’s a bulbasaur.
And here’s a squirtle. I like the bulbasaur more. I didn’t see a charmander even though charmander was clearly the best of the three.
The anteater was pretty cool though!
On my walk back home, I decided to walk through Middle Earth. I stopped to take a picture from Gondolin.
I also saw cool restrooms in Middle Earth. When I lived there, they were men’s and women’s. Now they’re both all-inclusive. Pretty cool.
I had to stop by my old dorm too. It seems weird to think that I lived there a decade ago.
Later that night I went to Sean’s reggae yoga workshop. It was a two hour yoga workshop with DJ Tory playing reggae music. It was a lot of fun. After the workshop, I went to an after party. There were a couple people I knew and a lot more that I didn’t. Everyone seemed really cool, making a really awesome night!
Last night was the fifth annual Ska Luau at the House of Blues Anaheim, and it was an awesome show! I was ready to go with a new (or at least never worn to a concert) Half Past Two shirt, and despite it being 42 degrees outside, it was nice inside!
The show opened with the Magnolia Polynesian Dance Troupe. They did dances from a bunch of a different countries and had both men and women, but I didn’t record very much.
The first band to perform was Failed to Victory. I’ve seen them before, and they’re great.
I’d never heard Skadonna, but they were really fun. You might guess that they perform Madonna covers. I’ll admit, the songs that I didn’t know weren’t as cool, but I really enjoyed hearing the covers.
Los SuperSpies graced us with their debut! Not all of their songs were new to me though. Here they’re playing The World is New. If you’re a fan of Save Ferris or Starpool, you’ll probably become a fan of Los SuperSpies too!
Half Past Two is one of my favorite bands, so it was awesome that they performed as well.
Hey, look what I just found.
Sorry, that has nothing to do with the Ska Luau, but it came up as a recommended video at the end of the one I recorded. I didn’t know they covered this, and I like Vampire Weekend.
Back to the Ska Luau! Here some friends joined Half Past Two on stage.
Suburban Legends! Another one of my favorite bands! I love their awesome choreography (and music of course).
This little guy was rocking out too! Well, honestly, he was mostly napping. But his parents were enjoying the show.
There might have been a surfing contest too. Competition is fierce when a prized pineapple is on the line.
It was such a terrific show with a truly amazing line up. Spending the 30th with excellent ska and the 31st, tonight, with friends is a great way to end 2014.
And the best way to end a night of ska is carne asada fries. My diet was upset, but my taste buds were happy.
Welcome to Goon Holler, a new book from Parker and Christian Jacobs, came out a few days ago, and today there was a signing at Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach. These two guys are amazing: Christian Jacobs is the frontman of The Aquabats, and Parker, his brother, is the frontman of GOGO13. They’re also responsible for The Aquabats Super Show! and Yo Gabba Gabba! (What a rad family, because their brother Tyler is one of the creators of CinemAttack!)
I forgot to add when I first posted this that I came across a really great interview with Parker Jacobs. Check it out.
Here Christian is reading the story, standing in front of the table, while Parker sits and provides voices.
Look at that turn out!
When we lined up for autographs, a kid behind us wanted to try gem’s ukulele. I think she was a little worried, and he was a little rough, but it was fine! Speaking of ukulele’s, I knew that Parker uses one in GOGO13, but I wasn’t expecting him to bring one and play it at the signing. Now that would have been cool all by itself, but in addition, there was a ukulele song with chords in the book! Super rad!
There was a family in front of us with four kids. We had a good time chatting with them. The woman was actually the singer in Los Pantalones, a band that contained a lot of people that later went on to form Save Ferris!
This is her daughter, Scarlett, who was very sweet. She looks like such a natural with gem’s ukulele. (Also, check out that awesome cats-in-space dress.
Later while we were in line, we ran into our friends Remy and Tawney who run Pizza Beat Entertainment (of It’s a Ska World). I love running into people I know from the ska scene.
Here I am with Tooba the hungry bigfoot (from the book) and two of the three Parker brothers! Parker told me that he and Christian are like peanut butter and chocolate. I asked how Tyler fit, and after thinking about it, he said that Tyler is the wrapper that holds them together.
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra gave an awesome performance yesterday at The Observatory! Half Past Two posted about it, but I wasn’t planning on spending money. However, when Max talked to me about it at this week’s Ska Parade Lounge on Wednesday, he convinced me to go. I’m glad he did!
I’d never been to The Observatory in Santa Ana, but it was a pretty sweet venue. Reviews on Foursquare seemed pretty negative honestly, but I thought things were fine. There was a lot of space and multiple tiers as well. Multiple tiers also means multiple walls on which to lean so there’s a lot of room for people who want to take it easy.
The show opened with Viernes 13, a ska band from LA. Before they started, I noticed that the woman next to me was with a man who kept leaving for long periods of time. As it turns out, he was the keyboard player. I seem to be running into a lot of Spanish ska lately! They were fun with a good variety of music, including a Skatalites cover. I talk to the guy on keys, Francis “The BubbaMaster” Sanchez (assuming their Facebook is current), a little after the show too.
Skapeche Mode performed second. Given their name, it should be no surprise that they play ska covers of 80’s music. Their Facebook says that they’re “Committed to ruining both the eighties and ska, one show at a time.” Well, they certainly weren’t ruining either because they were awesome. Skapeche Mode had awesome stage presence – especially the singer and horn section. Is the trumpet played Bryan Lackey, the same trumpet player from Failed to Victory? Did I somehow see him two nights in a row? Rad, because he’s great!
I know what you were thinking. You wanted to check out what they sound like considering these jerks aren’t on Spotify. There you go.
Last but not least we have Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, a ska band all the way from Japan! Composed of drums, percussion, trumpet, trombone, tenor sax, baritone sax, vocals, guitar, bass, and even a melodica, they really rocked! They just had so much energy and really commanded the stage and enthralled the audience. I particularly enjoyed the bari sax player. Also, and I’m sorry if it’s weird that I noticed, but their clothes, especially their jackets, fit. It’s rare.
I know you’d be sad if you got to see a bad video of Skapeche Mode but no bad video clip of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, so there you go. They do have an album on Spotify too, so check them out. One thing I really liked them about them is that despite having guitar, bass, and vocals, I really felt like the horns stood in the spotlight. Their line up isn’t very different than a lot of full ska bands (besides the melodica), but normally it seems like vocals take center stage with guitar and horns standing side-by-side. I liked the feature on the horns! They also did a fantastic rendition of the song from Tetris. How could I not fall in love with that?
Another successful ska night! At the beginning of the night, I’d never seen these three bands. By the end of the night, I have three more bands I’d love to see again in the future!
Last night was the October Ska Parade Lounge! But let’s back up for a second. Michael, a member of the Spectacles Improv Engine, recently made a post with an interesting proposition – he’d share his passion for improv with you by taking you to an improv class and even paying if you share your passion with him by taking him to do something. I contacted him, and while I haven’t done the class yet, he came to the Ska Parade Lounge. Funny story – he used to be really into ska, played bass, and even played with some cool bands. Pretty cool!
Anyways, I met Michael and gem at the Slidebar and also ran into a couple people I know from ska shows – Amit, Max (of Half Past Two fame), and of course, Tazy. His friend Amy, also from Spectacles, joined us as well. It was pretty great night!
The first band that performed was the Bear Brass Band, an amazing brass band with which I wasn’t familiar. Who needs strings? Who needs vocals? Not these guys. I’d love to see them again.
The Paranoias were up next. I’d never heard of them either, but they definitely got me moving.
Failed to Victory played third. Sorry for the crappy photo. F2V was the only band that I knew; I saw them Ska & Punk Night 5 at Centerfield Sports Bar & Grill a week or two ago. They were awesome as I knew they would be.
Lastly, Profesor Galactico performed. I think it was basically The Paranoias with a different vocalist. I’m a little confused, but I had fun. There was a lot more Spanish ska that night than I usually hear. I might not know what the lyrics mean, but that doesn’t stop the music from being good.
All in all, it was a great night! Michael said he’d like to come back to future shows, and Max discussed another show tonight – Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. On that note, I should get going to that concert.
Friday night was Ska & Punk Night 5 at Centerfield Sports Bar & Grill in Huntington Beach. Half Past Two posted about it, which is how I found out. Stupid Flanders was headlining, and somehow they didn’t actually post about it until after Half Past Two despite HP2 not performing in it.
The line up was Not A Chance, Failed to Victory, Revancha, and Stupid Flanders, with Stupid Flanders being the only band I’d seen. Not A Chance, a punk band, played first. I noticed that Max, guitarist and vocalist for HP2, was there, so I said hello between sets. gem and I ended up joining him.
Failed to Victory is pictured at the top. For some reason, my clip of them won’t upload to YouTube and has no audio when I try to play it on my PC.
It’s fine on my phone and on Instragram though.
Despite a long wait as they fixed a blown out amp, F2V was really good! Unfortunately, it got so late that we didn’t stay for Revancha or Stupid Flanders, but I’m really glad to have learned about Failed to Victory. Plus it was cool to hang out with Max!