Things to do in Orange County for Music People

I’ll cut to the chase – here are my top “Things to do in Orange County for Music People”:

1. Jam at Funhouse Studios – of course I have to say this, but seriously – we have a skull that’s a bottle opener.

(The rest are in no particular order)

  • Stop by Left of The Dial Records in Downtown Santa Ana – find that obscure 80’s metal record or Miles Davis B-Side, this place has gems.  Word on the street is that they just picked up 10,000 records – yes four zeros.

  • Catch a show at Beatnik Bandito Music Emporium – Named by ABC in their OC’s top 100 – always hosting great all-ages shows, great record selection and more – and a cool “vibe” if I can say that.  Plus, the guy working there told me he once smoked a doobie with the Germs.

  • di Piazzas - A long beach pizza and bar that has surprisingly great lineups and a great pie. Catch Mike Watt and the Second Men (or the Missing Men) here regularly!

  • Santa Ana Art Walk – You don’t know what you’re going to get here – but it’s not a typical street fair (no trinkets here) – painters, musicians, book stores and more set up booths and perform – and it’s free.  First Saturday of every month in DTSA.

  • Marty’s On Newport – This small venue in Tustin just opened up and has stupid line ups.  It’s the size of a large garage and hosts some of the biggest names in music:  Wu-Tang, Le Butcharettes, X, Eagles of Death Metal… bands so big I’m not even allowed to talk about it.  And of course, they show love to local bands and smaller touring bands.  One of Orange County’s best secrets.

  • The Wayfarer – Used to be called the Detroit Bar, this Costa Mesa venue has been around forever.  The new incarnation of this bar is slick and has great sound.  They support local bands, have delicious food, and it can be a great place to catch a game.  Simple, but places this good are hard to find.

  • Amoeba Records Hollywood - This place isn’t exactly under the radar, but hosting signing sessions, free live shows from big names (Steve Earle and Peter Murhpy of Bauhaus played there recently) makes Amoeba worth visiting anytime your in the area. They also have memorabilia and are across the street from a Scientology building. Catch a free show and then get a “Free” personality test across the street!

  • TKO Records - Located in Huntington Beach, this store has a great punk selection honoring the punk history of SoCal and Huntington Beach in particular. They often host events and have sell tickets to local shows.

I’ll continue to update this list – please feel free to send me recommendations.

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Grant LoughranComment