CVIndependent

Sun11292020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Brian Blueskye

The Black Uhuru show was thankfully worth the wait that some unfortunate fans had to endure on Saturday night.

Some people holding tickets for the show at The Hood Bar and Pizza had to wait more than an hour before gaining admission; the poor fans who did not already have tickets were told that only a small fraction of them would be able to get in.

As the fans trickled in, local reggae band Tribe-O showed off their solid traditional reggae sound. The Indio group was a perfect choice to open the show.

Formed in Jamaica in 1972, Black Uhuru’s only remaining original member seems to be Derrick “Duckie” Simpson. Andrew Bees, added to the group in recent years, along with backing vocalist Kaye Stahr, joins Simpson to make up the core of today’s Black Uhuru.

After an introduction by a member of the Black Uhuru crew, the band played a bass-driven reggae instrumental before Duckie, Andrew and Kaye arrived and opened with “Utterance.” While Bees and Stahr were stunning with their vocals, Duckie’s presence was hard to feel—he mostly stuck to backup vocals.

During “Party in Session,” a big guy standing in front of the stage lit up a joint and puffed smoke into the air. it wasn’t long before a member of The Hood’s security made his way through the audience.

Black Uhuru’s set included songs ranging from early classics such as “What is Life,” to a new single released online only, “Chalice.” The 90-minute set also included “General Penitentiary,” “Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner” and, toward the end, “Sinsemilla.” 

The band sounded tight; many of the classics sounded great; and some of the newer songs fit well into the set list. Still, it was obvious that Black Uhuru is not the band it once was. Backing vocalist Puma Jones passed away in 1990, and other veteran band members have moved on. The three core members now have a group of touring musicians backing them, and while that’s not a bad thing, one has to wonder what a Black Uhuru show in the ’70s and ’80s was like. Still, the songs are still great; the Rastafarian spirituality is still fueling the fire; and the band left the audience at The Hood thoroughly entertained.

The star of the show is definitely Andrew Bees. His energy and passion lit up the stage. As long as he is part of Black Uhuru, the band is very much worth seeing.

Local author Harold Gershowitz has written a book with Jewish characters before. His first title, Remember This Dream, told a story of Polish Jews who immigrated to America. Now he’s back with his second book, Heirs of Eden, a political and historical romance.

Heirs of Eden is set in 1949 in Washington, D.C., and follows the love story of Noah, the son of Orthodox Jewish grocery-store owners, and Alexandra, a Christian from a family of Palestinian refugees. Noah spots Alexandra after his bar mitzvah; Alexandra’s family crossed paths with Noah’s family, leading to a friendly invite to the bar mitzvah.

A deep love unfolds between Noah and Alexandra that goes beyond religion, culture and origins; the prologue calls it a “lovers of peace” story. Of course, since the story is set right after the Israeli War of Independence, conflict is undeniable, as the two families struggle, and their children enter what in many ways is a forbidden romance.

Their bond is tested during their early adulthood, when Noah attends Stanford University and meets Karen, a Jewish girl who tries to change Noah’s perspective on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians; and Alexandra returns to Palestine and meets Ali, a passionate political activist who is willing to take matters into his own hands.

As the conflicts in the Middle East lead to issues within their families, Noah and Alexandra go on with their lives, yet they hold on to memories of each other. They learn more about their forbidden relationship in indirect ways thanks to the situations in which they find themselves.

For those who are interested in the histories of Middle Eastern conflict, Israel and Palestine, this is at times a profound, although quite lengthy, story. At the same time, Heirs of Eden will bring up many subjects for debate—subjects that stories such as this one hope are resolved and put aside. In any case, the story is inspiring and proves that love transcends political strife.

Heirs of Eden

By Harold Gershowitz

CreateSpace

538 pages, $17.99

Desert Adventures is well known for eco-tours of locations including the San Andreas Fault and Joshua Tree—and during Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week, the company will be offering something special for foodies.

On a regular basis, Desert Adventures does a tour of the Palm Springs Indian Canyons for $125. However, during Restaurant Week, the tour will also include lunch at a downtown Palm Springs restaurant such as Trio, Las Casuelas Terraza, Grind Brgr Bar or Kaiser Grille.

Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week takes place this year from Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 8. The week began in 2007 with less than 30 participating businesses; this year, more than 100 are participating. Restaurants offer three-course prix-fixe meals for either $26 or $38, and a number of other businesses—such as Desert Adventures—offer special deals as well.

“You can take the tour, and we’ll give you a voucher good for a free lunch at any one of those locations,” said Bob Schneider, president and CEO of Desert Adventures. “So you have the opportunity to sample some of their food during the lunch hour, and figure out whether or not you want to go back at dinner time.”

As for how the restaurants were selected, Schneider it had to do with the relationships he has with the restaurants’ owners and their willingness to partner with him. He said he’s proud of the diversity of food offered.

“I think from a luncheon perspective, there’s really a broad array there,” Schneider said. “… You really have something for everybody there. You can’t go wrong, and it just depends on what your palate is like, and what you have a taste for on a particular day.”

Desert Adventures is also offering tours during Restaurant Week of the San Andreas Fault, with a meal included at either the Crab Pot or Jackalope Ranch.

Restaurant Week gives foodies a chance to try food at restaurants they may never have considered at a discount, and Schneider thinks more locals need to get in on the action.

“One of the things we’re trying to stress this year with Restaurant Week is we’re really going to zero in on people in the valley and people who live here,” Schneider said. “As I go around the valley and meet with my friends, I’m amazed at how many people don’t know about Restaurant Week and the value that’s represented there.”

Schneider said he loves to try new restaurants himself during the summer months.

“My wife and I make a point of it every year. We’ve done this for the last two years where we get groups of people together; we pick different restaurants; and we go as a group. So the six to 10 of us will go out and try a restaurant, and it’s really been kind of fun. You don’t have a hard time getting a reservation. … It gives you a great opportunity to get out there and experience the restaurants that are available to us in the valley.” 

For more information on Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week, visit www.palmspringsrestaurantweek.com.

Bobby Nichols is one of the better-known musicians to come out of the Joshua Tree music scene. Bobby Nichols and the Inner Planetary Monks are an acid-jazz group with some astounding instrumentals that echo Medeski Martin and Wood, and Miles Davis in the electric era. Here are Nichols’ answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

The Who during the Live at Leeds tour when I was 14 years old.

What was the first album you owned?

Rolling Stones, Aftermath. I was living in Chile at the time.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Fatso Jetson, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Michael Landau, Low Fly Incline, Ben Monder, Charlie Hunter, Wayne Krantz, Alejandro Escovedo. I like a broad spectrum.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Humping life-sized stuffed animals onstage—strange adolescent sexual fantasies disguised as performance art.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Shakti with John McLaughlin. I love a great melding of musical idioms.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Great instrumental surf music.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Baked Potato in North Hollywood: World-class music in a place not much bigger than your living room.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Get up, stand up: Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight,” Bob Marley, “Get Up, Stand Up.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Jimi Hendrix. The freeing of my musical spirit—unbridled, untamed, the perfect balance of the spiritual, the emotional and sexual.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Jeff Beck: WTF? Why Brian Wilson?

What song would you like played at your funeral?

John Coltrane, “A Love Supreme.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys, Live at the Fillmore East.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Pets Eat Their Master,” Jello Biafra and the GuantanamoSchool of Medicine. (Scroll down to hear it.)

The term “desert rock” defines a genre of music and bands, all from the local scene, that changed the face of music—and one of the most important musicians within that genre is Dave Catching, the owner of the Rancho de la Luna recording studio and the guitarist for Eagles of Death Metal.

Catching will be celebrating his 53rd birthday in style with a two-day concert extravaganza on Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.

Beyond the Eagles of Death Metal, Catching has also been associated with Queens of the Stone Age, Tex and the Horseheads, The Ringling Sisters, earthlings?, Mondo Generator and other bands.

During a recent phone interview, Catching told his back story.

“I started playing music when I was 15 back in Memphis, Tenn.,” Catching said. “My brother was a musician, and I used to sneak his guitar out from under his bed. He caught me, and he showed me a few chords so that I could actually play stuff. That was the first time I started playing music.”

Catching said his brother and his uncle played in bands together, including a band that played covers of songs by Alice Cooper, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie.

“I used to go to their rehearsals and hang out with them. They were both really great musicians and singers who inspired me.”

Catching never had any plans to own a recording studio or to live in the High Desert. However, that began to change in 1994. Fred Drake was interested in purchasing Rancho de la Luna; at the time, Catching owned a restaurant in New Orleans.

“(Fred Drake) called me when I owned my restaurant and asked me if I wanted to be partners,” Catching said. “It was so cheap that I sent him the money to buy it. I had no intentions of ever living in Joshua Tree. I thought I was going to be in New Orleans for the rest of my life. But it was such a great deal, and I loved Fred so much, so I just said ‘Yes,’ and we started the studio then.”

Drake, a founding member of earthlings?, died in 2002. He was beloved in the local music scene.

“He was in several bands, and he worked in another studio called Dominion Way. It was a rehearsal studio, and I used to rehearse there. Iggy Pop used to rehearse there back in 1988, and I started rehearsing there. (Drake) was an established figure around that part. It’s amazing what things he could do with the little equipment they had. It was incredible.”

After an electrical fire at his restaurant in New Orleans, Catching found himself living at and working out of the studio. Shortly after Catching moved, the Rancho de la Luna recorded a band called Kyuss, featuring Josh Homme. The rest, as they say, is history.

“I got a phone call from my best friend Hutch, who did sound for Kyuss; he now does sound for Queens of the Stone Age and Jack White. I called him to check in and say hi, and he told me Kyuss was going to Europe and needed a guitar tech,” Catching said. “I’d already met those guys through him before. … I needed something to do to get out of town. I became their guitar tech for a couple of tours, and we all became friends.

“Kyuss broke up, and Josh got a phone call from Roadrunner Records to do a song for a compilation record. He asked me and a couple of friends to be a band to do the song, and we called (the group) Queens of the Stone Age. Their producer, Chris Goss, had always told Kyuss, ‘You guys sound like Queens of the Stone Age.’”

As the Queens of the Stone Age began to rise, Rancho de la Luna became more established and has since become a prime recording spot for numerous well-known bands, including the Arctic Monkeys and, more recently, Foo Fighters. Catching said he never expected Rancho de la Luna, co-owned by Teddy Quinn, to become what it is today.

“We were just doing our thing,” Catching said. “(The members of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age) were just kids, and I was older than those guys, and we were just having a great time. They just wanted to come up and check out our studio, and did some recording. I didn’t really think about anything other than just having a good time at my place.”

Catching today splits time between New Orleans and Joshua Tree.

“I get the best of both worlds living in Joshua Tree and New Orleans: The driest place on Earth, and the wettest place on Earth,” he said, exaggerating slightly. “I’m pretty much sober when I’m in the desert, and I’m pretty much not sober when I’m in New Orleans. I think both places save me and keep me sane.”

The former restaurateur said he still loves to cook, too.

“It’s one of the best ways to bring people together,” Catching said. “It’s an enjoyable time to gather around the kitchen, throw a bunch of things together—and you have to eat. If it’s really good, it makes everybody a little happier.”

As for the local music scene circa 2014, Catching said it’s increasingly diverse—and he’s including a lot of those local-music friends, old and new, during his birthday celebration.

“A lot of the bands I like such as Parosella, Jesika von Rabbit and many others are playing,” he said. “We’re also going to do the Rancho de la Lunatics, which is a bunch of us just jamming. It will showcase a lot of bands that I like that are around the area now.”

Dave Catching’s Incredible Pappy and Harriet’s Birthday Spectacular takes place on Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Friday tickets are $15; Saturday tickets are $20. For tickets or more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit pappyandharriets.com.

Brandon Ray Henderson is an icon in the Coachella Valley music scene. On top of being a great bass-player, he’s an accomplished guitar-player who has toured Europe with Brant Bjork, and was a founding member of Half Astro. He currently plays guitar in The Pedestrians, as well as a Misfits tribute band called Astro Zombies; finally, he plays bass for Parosella. However, he may be best known locally for his booking talents; he recently finished a stint at The Hood Bar and Pizza, during which time The Hood hosted Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Adolescents, and legendary surf-guitar virtuoso Dick Dale, as well as many others. Brandon will be playing with Parosella on Friday, June 6, and Astro Zombies on Saturday, June 7, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace for Eagles of Death Metal guitarist Dave Catching’s Birthday Spectacular; get full details and ticket info at pappyandharriets.com. Here are Henderson’s answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

I went to a lot of small, random punk shows as a young teenager. My first real concert would be the 1997 Warped Tour where I saw Descendents, blink-182, The Vandals, Strung Out, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Pennywise, and the Aquabats, from what I can remember.

What was the first album you owned?

Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill. I used to play the cassette in my Teddy Ruxpin that I got for Christmas in 1986.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I always have my favorite go-to bands like Lagwagon, RKL, Bad Religion, Descendents, NOFX, The Vandals, and AFI that I keep in steady rotation. Lately, I’ve been into other artists like Radical Face, Brothers Comatose, Jason Cruz and Howl, the Dresden Dolls, Metric, Sun Kil Moon and Arcade Fire. The most recent Queens of the Stone Age record is very enjoyable. I wish had some Tribesmen recordings; I would listen to the shit out of them.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Jay-Z.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Elliott Smith, or Jimi Hendrix with Band of Gypsys would be super-rad.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

“Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga. That song rules! I always look both ways to see who is paying attention before I start singing along.

What’s your favorite music venue?

It’s pretty hard to narrow that down to just one. I love intimate venues like the Troubador in West Hollywood. The Melkweg in Amsterdam and The Arena in Vienna, Austria, are also great to perform at and/or see a show at.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Am I following all of the right leads, or am I about to get lost in space?” “Lost in Space,” The Misfits.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

I heard the record No Control by Bad Religion when I was 9 years old and have never been the same. That sparked my intense passion for punk rock and vocal harmonies.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I would like to ask Prince: How many pairs of shoes do you own?

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Hopefully after the service, everyone has a big party, and they play “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights. I’m pretty sure my dear friend Ryan Edgmon will oversee and make that happen.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Lagwagon, Trashed.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“The Decline” by NOFX. It’s an 18-minute song packed with musical variety and lyrics that make you think. (Scroll down to hear it.)

Joel Guerrero was showing me the practice space his father, Noel Guerrero, helped him construct for Joel’s up-and-coming band, CIVX.

Sound insulation supposedly helps keep the noise contained at the Guerreros’ Cathedral City home, but I was skeptical; after all, CIVX can be loud. For example, Nick Hernandez’s bass literally shook the ground at Coachella during the band’s the Mojave-stage performance.

However, Joel Guerrero, CIVX’s drummer, assured me that the space he and his father constructed is indeed legit. “The neighbors seem to be cool with it and have never called the police during a practice,” he said.

Formed after the dissolution of the band PSSSTOLS, which included Guerrero and two of his CIVX bandmates, CIVX has had a whirlwind six months of existence. The band played its first show—with hardly any material—in January. Mere months later, the band was selected to play at the Tachevah block party in Palm Springs—where the band announced that CIVX play at Coachella’s second weekend.

Nobody was more elated about the good news than Noel Guerrero, himself a well-known local musician.

Noel Guerrero immigrated to Miami from Morelia, Mexico, in the late 1980s. Joel was born in 1988, and the Guerreros settled in the Coachella Valley soon after.

“I came to the United States for a better life,” Noel Guerrero said. “I wanted to get away from everything that holds you down in Mexico.”

Joel Guerrero said life wasn’t always easy for his parents. “Even here, you struggle a lot, and my parents really struggled. But there was a better chance of actually making something of themselves, and it was their dream,” he said.

Noel Guerrero’s music career began in Mexico, and continued in the United States. On top of being a vocalist, Noel can play a “little bit of everything,” he said. He has played in Latin groups such as Los Bukis, Los Temerarios and Los Tigres del Norte. He also plays every Saturday night at Mr. Patron in Cathedral City with Inesperado; he also helps book bands at Mr. Patron.

“I started playing music about when I was 8 years old,” Noel Guerrero said. “I started in a choir when I was 14. When I was 16, I broke out of the choir scene and started my own band. I was in a band that played Quinceañera ceremonies. In Mexican culture, Quinceañera is when a young girl crosses into being a young adult woman. … They hire bands to play; they have a traditional Mariachi band and then a regular band. I also played in other venues in Mexico.”

Grupera, a genre of Mexican folk music, was popular in Mexico through the ’80s, and it influenced Noel’s tastes.

“In every state in Mexico, there are different kinds of genres that appeal to people. Mariachi really appeals to those in Jalisco. Where I grew up, Grupera was really big at the time,” Noel Guerrero said.

When Joel was about 13, Noel decided to teach Joel how to play guitar. One of Joel’s fellow students was his cousin, CIVX bandmate Salvador Gutierrez.

“The reason I started playing music was because of my dad,” Joel Guerrero said. “He started giving me, Sal, and our two other cousins guitar lessons.”

What kind of students were they?

“They gave it their best,” Noel Guerrero said. “We gave it a try, and there were definitely times that it seemed like they didn’t want to play—especially Sal. Sal is a great guitar-player now, but when he started, he just wasn’t into it and didn’t like it. He was 15 years old and into the whole DJ thing. I didn’t see him actually taking it far.”

However, Gutierrez did wind up embracing the instrument.

“My uncle definitely sparked the flame inside of me,” Gutierrez said, “Once I learned how to play my first Ramones song, it allowed me to start learning everything I could by myself. If it weren't for that little push on the guitar, I would have probably ended up being a DJ and just pressing the ‘play’ button on the iTunes.”

Joel, however, moved on to another instrument.

“Around 14 or 15, I picked up the sticks and took up the drums,” Joel Guerrero said. “My cousins and I wanted to start a band, and we were all playing guitar. My cousin Frank moved to bass; my cousin Nester played guitar and was the vocalist, too; our other cousin Raul already knew how to play guitar; and I just moved to drums. It was natural.

“It’s funny, because the first song I played on the drums was ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay, because it was super-repetitive and easy. At the time, I was into punk music like The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Dead Kennedys. I was listening to that, but of course, I couldn’t play that kind of music. So, I started with Coldplay,” he said, laughing.

Noel Guerrero said he’s proud that he was able to share his love of music with his son.

“It’s one of the best things I could pass on to my son,” Noel Guerrero said. “I’m really satisfied and happy with how far Joel has come. It’s something I value highly as a musician myself. It’s something a musician dreams of, to pass on to their son or daughter.”

Joel said he’s proud of his father, too. “At first, thinking back to playing guitar—I didn’t want to play. I could tell it bummed him out. When I finally started taking the lessons and playing drums, to see how far I’ve come in music is something he’s really happy about and values a lot.”

Joel is especially grateful that his father has been realistic regarding the music industry.

“The one thing I’ve always said to him is the life of a musician is hard,” Noel Guerrero said. “It’s not what you see on TV. You can play a big show and then have little money to eat afterward, or you have to save money for gas if you’re touring—especially if you’re not signed to a big label. It’s a tough life and a tough industry.”

Joel said he values his father's advice.

“I took it to heart, because it’s the truth,” Joel Guerrero said. “… It’s coming from an actual musician, somebody who lived it, and someone who has done it. I value that over someone saying, ‘Don’t worry, you’re going to make it; it’ll be easy, and you’ll make big bucks.’ I think all of that is bullshit. It can happen, but like my dad was saying, ‘Work hard, and as long as you don’t give up, believe in yourself, and the music, you’ll get somewhere.’

“He’s always told me to love what you do, or there’s no chance.” 

It’s official: Authorized murals will be coming to the city of Palm Springs.

After months of controversy—starting with the painting of a provocative mural at Bar on Palm Canyon Drive, and going through the police-led shutdown of the PLANet Art mural project last month—the Palm Springs City Council voted 3-1 to enact a mural-approval process.

Paul Lewin cast the only opposing vote, citing concerns that the new policy was not restricted enough. (Councilmember Ginny Foat was absent from the capacity-crowd meeting.)

The ordinance states that any mural plans must go through a multi-step process, and get approval from bodies including the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission and, ultimately, the Palm Springs City Council. Existing murals, such as the one at Bar, are not grandfathered in, and must get approval. The ordinance had fairly widespread support, including the endorsement of the Main Street Palm Springs merchants association.

The first public speaker at the meeting was Kim Funkey. Her family owns the Smoketree Supper Club, Giuseppe’s and Bar in Palm Springs. It was the mural at Bar, painted in November by Fin DAC and Angelina Christina, that sparked the mural debate in Palm Springs.

“I’ve seen my hometown evolve over the years,” Funkey told the City Council, “from a city of empty streets and vacant storefronts, to a place that’s vibrant and bustling with economic activity. Palm Springs is in the midst of a commercial and cultural renaissance that my family is very proud to be a part of. (Our) mural at Bar has drawn accolades from international media such as USA Today, as well as local residents and visitors from around the world.”

Funkey said the city’s cultural renaissance is being noticed by a wide variety of people.

“(This is) a place many of my childhood classmates fled from, but because of this activity, several have returned and are now proud to call Palm Springs their home.”

Following Funkey was Angela Romeo, of the City of Palm Springs Public Arts Commission. She spoke passionately about terms such as “signage” and “art.”

“What’s interesting about this ordinance is that it’s very comprehensive in that it does distinguish between signage and art, which the city was lacking,” Romeo said. “What we need to understand is that murals are not alien; they’re not a crime against humanity. It’s just we had no permission for them. A vibrant art community is great for economic development. If you want to bring tourists here, you have to give them something to look at.”

When it came time for the council to discuss the issue, member Rick Hutcheson declared support for the ordinance.

“I think it has a place in our city. I think this is a careful process, and it’s been recommended by a good friend of mine who used to be part of the mural organization for Los Angeles,” he said. “It’s great to have a process for this, and I think this a good step forward,” Hutcheson said.

Councilmember Chris Mills raised questions about some of the language in the ordinance—specifically, a rule limiting murals to being 35 feet tall. He wondered, for example, if an artist could paint only 35 feet of a wall if it was taller than that. The size limit was removed from the ordinance at his request.

Councilmember Paul Lewin unsuccessfully proposed limiting the amount of murals visible along Palm Canyon Drive and Indian Canyon Drive to five, with an additional five allowed elsewhere in the city. He also proposed, again unsuccessfully, painting the murals on a surface that could be detached or removed by property owners.

“What that will do is allow the city to digest and experience it,” Lewin said.

Debra Ann Mumm, the owner of Palm Desert’s Venus Studios Art Supply, was one of the organizers of the PLANET Art murals project, which brought in renowned artists to create four murals along Arenas Road in April. The project was shut down by Palm Springs police, despite the fact that Mumm had earned approval from the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission.

She said the PLANET Art project is probably on hold until the fall. She now needs to submit plans for the four murals to the city.

“We’re going into summer, so I don’t think I can get these guys from the Bay Area to come down until it cools down a bit.”

When asked about Lewin’s comments about removable artwork, Mumm said it’s not really possible.

“I thought it was an unusual request,” Mumm said. “I’ve never heard of anything like that before for a mural program. Murals are traditionally painted on walls. I understand what he was going for, but it’s a different beast. How are you going to cover the Lulu building with removable material?”

Coachella, Stagecoach and the White Party are all now behind us in 2014, which means the summer slowdown is beginning to set in. However, there are still some great events that’ll keep both Coachella Valley visitors and locals entertained in May.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa will host funnyman Gabriel Iglesias at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 3; 6 p.m., Sunday, May 4; and 8 p.m., Monday, May 5. The comedian also known as “Fluffy” is best known for his hilarious standup act, but he found a degree of acting success as Tobias in Magic Mike. He’s even hosted his own showcase on Comedy Central called Stand-Up Revolution. Tickets are $45 to $75; get them fast, as they were close to selling out as of our press deadline. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a variety of entertainment options in May. Robin Thicke (right) will be in town at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 3. (He was originally slated to perform in March but had to reschedule.) The son of Growing Pains actor Alan Thicke has become an international superstar after the success of his hit single “Blurred Lines.” Tickets are $49 to $109. At 8 p.m., Friday, May 9, Earth, Wind and Fire will be appearing. The group has sold 90 million albums since forming in 1971, and they’re still going strong. A few years back, they toured with a reunited Van Halen as the opening act. Tickets are $49 to $79. If you missed Stagecoach and need a good dose of country music, Alan Jackson will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Friday, May 16. He sounds more traditional than some of today’s other “mainstream” Nashville country artists, and that has led him to a great deal of success. His post-Sept. 11 track, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” was a smash hit that comforted many. Tickets are $59 to $139. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino has a great post-Stagecoach event for country fans: Leann Rimes will be appearing at 8 p.m., Friday, May 9. At the age of 13 in 1996, she had a hit record with Blue. Since then, she has become a country music superstar—despite personal issues involving her parents, unflattering write-ups in the tabloids accusing her of being a home-wrecker, rumors about her supposed diva complex, and various lawsuits. Hey, no one said being on top was easy. In any case, she’s an amazingly talented woman who can still perform. Tickets are $45 to $65. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has a couple of intriguing events in May. Ladies, if you’re not hot enough from the desert heat, you’ll be happy to know that Australia’s Thunder From Down Under will be stopping by at 9 p.m., Friday, May 2. The all-male revue that is giving the Chippendales a run for their money will be in town, so get ready. The best part: You don’t have to bring any singles with you! Tickets are $25. If you’re not into all-male revues and are looking for some more-traditional entertainment, relax, because Smokey Robinson will be at Morongo at 9 p.m., Friday, May 16. The Motown legend has been to hell and back, but he’s still performing. Tickets are $69 to $79. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has an excellent event in May worth noting: Reggae legends Black Uhuru (below) will be stopping by at 11 p.m., Friday, May 23. The group formed in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1972, and had a magnificent string of success in the ’80s. In 1985, the group won the first Best Reggae Album Grammy Award. The show is $15 at the door and is first-come, first-serve. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.thehoodbar.com.

After an unparalleled April during which Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace hosted the Afghan Whigs, The Pixies, GOAT, Future Islands and Little Dragons, the venue has another strong slate of bookings in May. Some highlights: At 2 p.m., Saturday, May 24, Pappy’s will host Freaks for the Festival II featuring two live sets from Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson. The festival will also include Buffalo Killers, Howlin Rain, Mystic Braves and live DJs. Tickets are $40. Pappy’s, in partnership with FYF (the FYF Festival is approaching this summer, by the way), will host Panda Bear and Peaking Lights during an outdoor show at 7 p.m., Monday, May 26. Panda Bear features Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox; it’s his psychedelic pop project, and he’s been at it since about 1998. This is one show worth checking out. Tickets are $16. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The 12th Annual Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival will take place Thursday, May 15, through Sunday, May 18, at the Joshua Tree Lake Campground, 2601 Sunfair Road in Joshua Tree. The festival has a history of featuring artists who are on the brink of breaking out nationally, as well great artists who are already stars; past performers have included Chali 2na from the Jurassic 5, and Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Last year, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires played the festival just before getting signed to Sub Pop Records. This year, the festival will feature performances by Future Rock, Third Ear Experience, The Revivalists and many, many others. An all-weekend pass is $140, while individual days cost from $20 to $80. For more information, visit www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com.

The final day of Stagecoach on Sunday, April 27, closed out three weekends of Coachella/Stagecoach awesomeness with more great music—and a notable dud as well.

Kicking things off, on the Palomino Stage, was I See Hawks in L.A., a band with a traditional country-music sound that hearkens back to the late ’60s and early ’70s. Frontman Rob Waller has a voice that is similar to that of the late Waylon Jennings; the lap-steel guitar and harmonies felt like a throwback to the legacy era of country music.

When I recently interviewed Shelly Colvin, she spoke about the influence of Emmylou Harris, and explained how being raised in a Southern Baptist household tinged her music. Her performance on Sunday afternoon certainly showed those influences: Gospel music and a rustic country sound were mixed with Colvin’s stunning vocals. She didn’t sing any of her songs like she sang them on her debut album.

Bangles member Susanna Hoffs took the Mustang Stage after Colvin. She performed the Stone Poneys’ “Different Drum” and followed with the Bangles’ “Manic Monday” early in her set. While she is primarily known for her pop/rock sound, her set did have a country feel. She was an interesting addition to the Stagecoach lineup.

People who were lucky enough to be inside the Palomino tent around 3 p.m. were blown away by Shovels and Rope. The duo—consisting of Cary Ann Hearst and her husband, Michael Trent—is like a country-Americana version of the White Stripes. Hearst’s voice is beautiful, yet gritty and powerful when it needs to be. They played both acoustic and electric, and switched positions between guitar and drums. Their performance was the most interesting and entertaining of all the sets I saw at Stagecoach, thanks in part to their excellent energy and stage presence.

Wanda Jackson a highlight of the late afternoon. She explained during her set that she’d undergone shoulder surgery about three weeks ago—around the same time she was added to the Stagecoach lineup. She opened her set with “Riot In Cell Block No. 9”—which, simply put, was awesome. She said the dust in the air was causing her some problems, yet her voice was incredible. She went through hits such as “Funnel of Love” and “I Betcha My Heart I Love You,” and talked about her relationship with Elvis Presley in the mid-’50s. She said he gave her a diamond ring before he became wealthy, and that she had the ring checked out; the diamonds were indeed real. In a nice bit of showmanship, she performed a cover of Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel” after the story. One interesting moment came when she talked about a Sunday afternoon in 1971 when she was sitting in a church in Oklahoma and realized she had everything she needed—except for a relationship with Jesus Christ. She followed with the gospel song “I Saw the Light.” She closed out her set with a cover of the song that made Jerry Lee Lewis famous, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On.”

Michael Nesmith of the Monkees followed Wanda Jackson on the Palomino Stage—about 10 minutes late. Wearing a white sport jacket, he told the crowd that he was only going to perform songs that he had written personally—which led to a good number of people leaving from his already somewhat-dismal crowd. His performance of songs from his solo records in the ’70s didn’t impress, and neither did his showmanship; he basically made hand gestures and sang lyrics from the iPad attached to his microphone. He ended his performance by saying: “I’M SO OUTTA HERE! GOODNIGHT!”

There was one positive outcome to Nesmith’s performance: He cleared out plenty of space for people to get good spots to see John Prine, who closed out the Palomino by opening with “Spanish Pipedream.” Prine recently had lung surgery, yet he still managed to sing well. He didn’t socialize much with the crowd, and instead let the music do most of the talking. After performing “Six-O’Clock News,” he told the audience, “I hope it wasn’t too loud for you,” which got some laughs, considering the song’s slow pace. Highlights of his set were “Iron Ore Betty,” and “Lake Marie.” After a brief encore, he returned to perform a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Paradise,” which was a perfect way to close out the Palomino for Stagecoach 2014.

Before headliner Luke Bryan took the Mane Stage to close out the festival, the lights went dark as a video played of him lighting the end of an arrow on fire and shooting it with a crossbow. The stage then had a trail of fire as Luke Bryan blasted into his opening number, “That’s My Kind of Night.” Bryan had the largest of crowd of any Stagecoach 2014 headliner, with few people leaving during his performance.

And with that, Stagecoach 2014 was a wrap.

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