CVIndependent

Thu04272017

Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Previews

27 Apr 2017
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The first Stagecoach Country Music Festival was back in 2007—meaning this is the 10th anniversary of the country companion to Coachella. There are a lot of familiar names on the bill this year … and there are some serious oddities, too. To help attendees plan, I’ve come up with a list of acts I certainly won’t be missing. Friday, April 28 John Moreland I interviewed John Moreland in advance of his 2015 appearance at Stagecoach after hearing about him in the underground alt-country forums. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow spoke highly of him on her show, in part because he’s modest, down to earth and soft-spoken. Oh, he’s mega-talented, too: This singer-songwriter who spent his teenage years playing and touring in punk-rock bands is truly special. Even though he stays seated during his entire performance, Moreland offers folk/Americana songs that enter the depths of your soul. He’s mesmerizing as a performer and…
25 Apr 2017
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A poet at Stagecoach? Yes, indeed. Renowned cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell will be returning to Stagecoach to serve as the Mustang Tent’s emcee for the entire weekend, April 28-30. Mitchell, who has recorded eight albums, is known for his poems such as “Story With a Moral,” “The Bristlecone Pine,” “The Rawhide Braider,” and “Night Before Christmas on the West Texas Plains.” During a recent phone interview, he discussed his love for poetry that goes back to his childhood in Elko County, Nev. “It was just always there for me,” Mitchell said. “I grew up on a ranch that was really remote. We were 60 miles from town and about 30 miles from a dirt road. We were 14 miles away from the nearest neighbor. We didn’t even have electricity, and we did the strangest things at night: We sat around and talked to each other. People have forgotten this, but…
24 Apr 2017
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Blending country music with jazz and pop is not easy—but for Robert Ellis, it seemingly comes naturally; just check out his latest (self-titled) album. Ellis will be making his second appearance at Stagecoach on Saturday, April 29. During a recent phone interview, Ellis said he did not use a specific formula while recording his latest album, which was his fourth. “As much as I’d like to take credit for every decision and say that it’s all premeditated and conscious, a lot of what happens in making music is pretty accidental,” Ellis said. “You just chase down a vibe, and you go in a direction of things that excites you. At the end of the process, you can turn around and say, ‘I intended to make it this way,’ but in reality, it’s not always like that. It’s more about what your boundaries are and what your parameters are. If you…
21 Apr 2017
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The name Justin Townes Earle tells several stories. The middle name pays homage to Townes Van Zandt, and his last name … well, yes, he’s Steve Earle’s son. But Justin Townes Earle has made a name for himself; his music is truly his own. Like his father, he’s a country musician who frequently strays from the Nashville mainstream. Like both his father and his father’s mentor, Townes Van Zandt, he’s battled drug addiction. He’ll be returning to Stagecoach on Friday, April 28. His most recent albums, released in 2014 and 2015 respectively, were titled Single Mothers and Absent Fathers. During a recent phone interview, Earle talked about the differences between the similar albums. “I ended up getting frustrated with the first record, Single Mothers,” Earle said. “I ended up writing Absent Fathers during (a) second year. They ended up coming together, because they were written really close to each other.…
12 Apr 2017
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In the summer of 2015, I visited music producer Ronnie King’s studio, “Chateau Relaxo,” in Thermal as the Yip Yops recorded a new album. At the time, the Yip Yops seemed ready to take the mainstream-music world by storm. The young band had just signed with talent-management company Hood and Associates, which was helping the band create that aforementioned album. Shortly after that August 2015 article came out, the band’s name was changed to IIIZ. However, after a performance at the 111 Music Festival under that name in the fall, the band announced it had left Hood and Associates and was returning to its original name. Nonetheless, Hood and Associates released the album under the IIIZ name. (Today, the Yip Yops disavow that album.) However, talent wins out—and the Yip Yops are as popular as ever, as shown by the band’s addition to the Coachella lineup. In between Saturday Coachella…
11 Apr 2017
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From the time it was announced through Lady Gaga’s late addition as a headliner fill-in for the pregnant Beyoncé, this year’s Coachella lineup has been one of the most questioned and talked-about ever. Beyond the headliners, however, there are always gems among the names in the smaller font on the poster. Here are some acts I’ll make sure to see—and I recommend that you check them out, too. Friday, April 14 and 21 Tacocat The name is funny, and so is some of the music, but this Seattle band, around since 2007, has a seriously interesting punk-rock sound. Three of the band’s four members are women, and during an interview with VICE, bassist Bree McKenna claimed that she was the illegitimate child of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine. She was kidding … we think. Don’t dawdle on Friday; get to Coachella early to catch this band’s feminist messages, humor and sarcasm.…
10 Apr 2017
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Many music fans know about Australian psych-rock band Tame Impala—but they probably don’t know about Pond, even though the band has featured and continues to feature various members of Tame Impala. Here’s the current breakdown: Pond’s frontman is former Tame Impala touring member Nick Allbrook, and the band includes Tame Impala member Jay “Gumby” Watson. Other Pond members are Shiny Joe Ryan, Jamie Terry and Ginole. In between performances at Coachella on Sunday, April 16 and 23, Pond will be playing at Pappy and Harriet’s on Monday, April 17. During a recent phone interview from Australia, Jay Watson told me why so many bands from Australia have made a splash in the United States over the last decade. “If you think about it proportionately, (the number of bands to find success) is probably the same as it is in the United States,” Watson said. “There are, like, 23 million people…
07 Apr 2017
How much history can one man touch? Meet songwriter Jack Lawrence. Born to modest beginnings in 1912, at the age of 20, he graduated from the First Institute of Podiatry. However, it turns out this would-be doctor was also a budding songwriter—and in the same year, his first song, “Play, Fiddle, Play,” was published. Songwriting won out. Lawrence was openly gay at a time when this was a dangerous admission. His surviving partner, Richard Lawrence, said Jack frequented so many clubs in Harlem, so often, that he was known by a pet name that he refused to let me print. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Richard Lawrence, Jack’s longtime partner and—because they were together at a time before marriage equality—adopted son. (This made Richard his legal heir.) I also talked with Burt Peachy, with 100 Hundred Miles From Hollywood Productions. They’re the team behind They…

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