The OC Music Awards saw its fair share of quintessential Orange County flair with the reggae-rock/flip-flop rock/ska night at the Tiki Bar. Mikey Pauker won the award for most spiritually-inclined with his yoga-flavored beach pop, Katastro funked up their reggae sound, Solution pretty much killed it with their metal-punk-reggae amalgamation, the Wheeland Brothers bribed us with dope beats and bangin’ hula dancer, and The Originalites made us remember how much we miss our high school days of ska and skateboarding.
Pauker started off the night, bringing a diverse crowd of fans who were into his empowered sounds. The singer said it was good to be home; he’s been on tour for over two years all over the United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom with his last local gig being a year ago at the House of Blues in Anaheim. He said he wants to teach Torah to the masses.
“My music is based off spiritual text, Chassidis, and mysticism,” said Pauker. “I wrote most of the new album while I was studying at yeshiva and living in Jerusalem and Tzfat. These songs have been inspired by my spiritual transformation.”
Katastro got funky and brought effects, with fog, lights, and a lot of murmurs because of their announced location of Tempe, Arizona. Their actual residence aside, they did a pretty awesome cover of Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side’ and it seems they are playing a lot more local shows, which might explain their entry into the awards showcase.
“We have been playing shows in Southern California,” said Andrew, the drummer. “In December, we played with Sublime w/ Rome at House of Blues Anaheim,” although coming up in March they are “going back home to Tempe, AZ to play a festival with Atmosphere, Rebelution, Pepper, Iration, etc. “
Hard rock reggae crew, Solution, are definitely the solution to mediocre reggae-infused jams with their crossover tunes. After that was the Wheeland Brothers who covered Bob Marley’s “Is this Love” and brought out a hula dancer to dance to their Sublime-esque sound.
Last of the night as The Originalites, who were not only rocking awesomely patterned shirts and the only band with dreads, but their psych-rock ska was infused with Spanish-language lyrics. They were basically what the world imagines when it thinks of the Orange County music scene. In an interview, the Fountain Valley four-piece talked about their sound, saying: The music we are currently working on is about being deep with your life, its about surfing, skateboarding, drug addiction, money, love/hate, weather, politics, extraterrestrial biological entities(aliens), earth, and relationships so far. The very first step of the writing process is always the same for us, we get together as a band and do some type of inspirational activity to get our heads right and our vibe right to be fully creative, deeply aware and unembarrassed of our musical mistakes. This way, no musical stone is left unturned. “
There you have it folks. If you want to check out more bands, check out OCMUSICAWARDS.com for more info.