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First LA Weekend with Jana

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Jana Pants is visiting our city from out of town. We have invited her to go to as many club-sized concerts as she could tolerate. She dipped her pinkie toe into the scene last weekend, and is returning tonight after a brief respite at Big Bear. This was her dispatch that should have been posted on Monday. Whoops.

A weekend of music and drinking is aces in my book. What better way to ring in my vacation in the city of angels than a three-day series of local bands and steady boozing?

On Friday, two vodka tonics and I checked out Boston transplants The Submarines at the Echo. Singer Blake Hazard’s voice is Kahlua-smooth-n-sweet, but not as charming as their story: Hazard and John Dragonetti, moved to California, broke up, and each independently wrote songs about the experience. When they heard each other’s music they reconciled and became the Submarines, as well as man and wife. Now they’re touring with their first album and an incomplete backing band. Their folk-pop sound recalls the Concretes or the Elected mixed with the charming dynamic of Mates of State, and they’ll be a great band to watch on the way up.

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Saturday night, the Lava Lounge featured Orange County rockers The Steve Carson Band. I’m never one to pass up a solid rock act, and this one didn’t disappoint. The easiest points of reference for SCB are U2 (before they sucked) and Keane (with guitars), but they have their own merits; a really tight drummer and truly enjoyable vocals from Mr. Carson himself make this band a great backdrop for chilling out in a small space with a beer and friends.