CVIndependent

Mon08202018

Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Brian Blueskye

Jeff Bowman has largely been a quiet guy in the background, kicking ass on the drums in the local music scene for the better part of three decades.

But he recently had a fantastic idea that brought him into the spotlight: He’s bringing a variety of local musicians to The Hood Bar and Pizza on Saturday, Aug. 25, to play a benefit concert for the Desert Cancer Foundation.

However, this is not a normal benefit show. Here’s how it will work: Various musicians, many of whom have never played together before, were grouped up and given a band name by Bowman. Each group was then given a list of songs to cover—songs the musicians need to learn, rehearse and perform the night of the show.

“I thought that it’d be cool to get a few local people together, learn a set and try to play as a brand-new band by the end of the summer,” Bowman said during a recent interview in Palm Desert. “Then I thought, ‘I wonder if I could get a few more people together, and we could make a whole night of it. Maybe even five bands.’ I’ve played music in the desert now for about 30 years, and there are still a ton of people I haven’t played music with, and we have a ton of talent out here. I called Nigel (Dettelbach) at The Hood Bar and Pizza and asked, ‘You have anything (open on the schedule) at the end of the summer?’ He had something open and booked it.

“I put a Facebook post together on a Wednesday afternoon, and I said, ‘OK, here are some rules, and if everyone abides by these rules, this is going to work. Be open to doing your homework and learning these songs; be open to playing with people you’ve never played with before; and be available on the night of the show. I put it out there around noon. I was practicing with Waxy that night; I had to put a stop on the post because I had so many responses.”

There is a personal reason Bowman chose to do a benefit for the Desert Cancer Foundation.

“My mom is a cancer survivor, but my aunt was not and passed away,” Bowman said. “My uncle was also recently diagnosed with cancer, and it’s stage 4. I think that (cancer) affects all of us.

“Originally, we wanted to do something for the American Cancer Society, but that’s a national organization, and anything we raise will just go into the national pot. Also, because The Hood Bar and Pizza allows smoking on the patio, (the American Cancer Society) won’t support it. But the Desert Cancer Foundation does cancer-treatment assistance for people with cancer right here in the valley, and they were OK with The Hood Bar and Pizza allowing smoking on their patio.

“I think it’s great our local music scene can support people with cancer. It’s a theme that’s close to home.”

After more than 30 local musicians responded to Bowman’s post, he had to turn others away.

“I had a lot of people tell me, ‘I didn’t hear a thing about it!’ It’s true: They didn’t, because it was an idea that I had on a Wednesday afternoon that I put out on Facebook,” Bowman said. “If you weren’t logged into Facebook from noon to 6 p.m. on that Wednesday, you missed it. But there was enough interest in it to where I could see this being a semi-annual or even an annual event. If I did it again, I’d put it out there, saying, ‘The window is open from this time to this time.’”

Bowman said it was surprisingly difficult to completely mix up the one-night-only bands: Each one includes at least two musicians who are currently in bands together, while others used to play together.

“I tried to be as random as I could with the band selections and the song selections, but there were certain band members who have a depth of history to where that was impossible,” Bowman said. “I literally did little pieces of paper with everyone’s name on them and put them together by the drummers, the bassists, the guitar players and the vocalists to try to make it an interesting experience of people playing with others they’ve never played with—generating relationships, generating energy, storytelling and things like that.”

Of course, the newly created bands have had to overcome some obstacles. Coval had issues with rehearsals because the drummer, Benny Cancino Jr., has been on a tour—so Bowman has filled in. The Oneders had to switch gears after Herb Lienau needed to back out. That band, which includes Sleazy Cortez bassist Derek Timmons, will be fronted by Timmons’ girlfriend, Stevie Jane Lee, who will be making her local live music debut after moving here earlier this year from Utah. Lee said she is thrilled to be taking part.

“I am really excited to be a part of it—and what better way to get to know all the musicians in the area that I don’t know already?” Lee said. “I was a bit worried at first, because most of the songs we we’re assigned, I didn’t know, but we have been rehearsing at least once a week, if not two, since the bands were announced. I can honestly say that I couldn’t have hoped for a better group of people to be in. I am getting to do one of my favorite songs that I have always wanted to cover, so I have no complaints.”

Coval will include a reunion, of sorts: Monreaux frontman Giorg Tierez will be performing publicly with Monreaux guitarist Marcus Bush for the first time in two years, as Monreaux has been on an extended hiatus.

“I asked to participate because I needed an outlet back into the scene, and the show is the night before my birthday,” Tierez said. “It just made sense to me. Plus, I didn’t know Jeff Bowman personally, but I knew of him, and after meeting him and jamming with him, I can say that he’s one of my favorite people, by far, and probably one of the best musicians I’ve ever seen.”

Bowman said the show has been the subject of some inaccurate rumors.

“I’ve heard people calling it a competition, and I need to put the kibosh on that: This is NOT a competition. This is not one of those things that’s, ‘Let’s find the best guitar player!’” he said.

The lineups as of this story’s deadline:

The Oneders: Derek Timmons, Stevie Jane Lee, Cara Makuh, Tom Edwards, Nick Hales, Matt King and Troy Whitford.

Blonde Moment: Noe Gutierrez, Natasha Carian, Alex Mirage Burdon, Randy Caserta, Damian Lautiero, Armando Flores and Rob Peterson.

Bounce Haus: Robbie Waldman, Linda Lemke Heinz, Lindsey Bowman, Robert Bowman, Bobby Nichols, Matt Whyte and Robert Garcia.

Banned Four: Chelsea Sugarbritches, Nico Flores, Pakko Lopez, Josh Heinz, Rob Martinez and Jeff Bowman.

Coval: Giorg Tierez, Esther Sanchez, David Burk, Chris Rivera, Marcus Bush and Benny Cancino Jr.

A Mixed Up Music Party!, an event to benefit the Desert Cancer Foundation will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is $5 at the door. For more information, call 760-636-5220, or visit facebook.com/HoodBarAndPizza.

In 2017, Yob frontman Mike Scheidt almost died from diverticulitis and a staph infection. However, the extreme trauma led to something good: While confined to his hospital bed, he penned most of the music on the metal group’s new album, Our Raw Heart.

Scheidt has recovered—Yob will be stopping by Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Saturday, Sept. 8.

During a recent phone interview with Scheidt, he talked about his nearly fatal bout with diverticulitis in early 2017.

“My sigmoid colon ruptured, and I almost died from it on multiple occasions,” Scheidt said. “I had two surgeries and was able to survive it with my bandmates, and we received a lot of help from our family and friends worldwide. I was already working on an album prior to getting sick, and then after getting sick, that album … came into better focus, and I was able to finish it up.”

Personal material, however, is nothing new to Scheidt and Yob.

“This is stuff I’ve been writing about since our demo in the late ’90s,” he said. “I’d say over the past couple of decades, I was getting better at it, but I’m not sure, given I’m not very objective about those things. … From day one in Yob, I’ve written songs that come from Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Peruvian Shamanism and stuff inspired by Emerson and Blake. It’s always had a spiritual bent, but it’s always been from the perspective of an imperfect perspective—meaning not trying to sell anything to anybody, and actually being on a path and working through things in the mud that would be considered lofty, or things that have a shiny spiritual quality. … It’s not about trying to paint a pretty picture, but trying to get to a more empowered, aware and better place to live.”

Scheidt said he’s more mindful of his health these days.

“I have to follow a healthy routine, but I’m doing well,” he said. “I don’t know what recovery looks like. I’m not the same as I was. In some ways, I’m stronger; in some ways, I require some maintenance. But it’s a small complaint to have, if there is one. It forces me to have consistently healthy habits, and I can stand to have that anyway. I carry around a little bit of uncertainty, because I know things can go off the rails. But that was no different than before. It informs of truths that were already there; it’s just that I have gotten up close and personal to those truths, and they have a bit of a different meaning to me.”

After traveling around the world, Scheidt said he has realized it’s important to share with others.

“What I find is that sense of kinship with people where maybe we haven’t met before, but we have similar albums in our collections that we’ve listened to for decades,” he said. “We share that love, and certainly our experiences in music and culture are no doubt  informed by where we came from. … (No matter) where we were born, what kind of religion or politics or upbringing in general, we can both still say that we love Melvins or King Crimson. That love is an identical love.

“… It’s interesting to go to places where scenes are insulated, but it’s rabid and fanatical in the love of music in general. The couple of times we’ve played in Athens, people lose their minds and go bananas. I’ve had those experiences in Norway, Sweden, Slovakia, Croatia and certainly in the United States. There’s something about music in general that’s not about any kind of boundaries of country.”

Scheidt said he wants people to hear his music—no matter how they get it.

“For me when I was growing up, it wasn’t easy to hear music. If you could buy music, cool. But there was tape-trading. It was literal tape-trading: people recording albums onto tape, making their own compilations, and trading them around with each other. They’d send tapes via U.S. mail, send tapes to Europe, and get tapes sent back from Europe through pen pals before the internet. I think there are some places where that’s still very much true, like South America. … If they’re selling the stuff online, we kind of say, ‘Eh, please don’t do that,’ but if people can’t get the stuff and make it for themselves, we’re supportive of that. That’s a time-honored tradition that I grew up with. With the internet, any album you want is at your fingertips, but at the same time, it’s still about community, word of mouth and people turning each other on to different music.”

Scheidt said he tries to keep up his new, healthier lifestyle while he’s on tour.

“(There’s) a lot of reading, some meditation, some push-ups, and we occasionally get to places early so we can see the lay of the land,” he said. “None of us live very hard on tour, so it’s not like we’re spending a lot of time recuperating from the night before; we’re all pretty much health-oriented. We party some, but we take the show very seriously, and that requires having some balance on the road so every show can be as good as it can be.”

What was the last book Scheidt read?

A Book of Longing, which is Leonard Cohen’s book of poetry that he wrote when he was in the Zen Buddhist monastery.”

Yob will perform with Acid King and CHRCH at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53668 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

There are only a few local musicians who are able to make a living via music—and that rather short list includes Derek Jordan Gregg.

The Hive Minds frontman plays gigs throughout the valley in hotels and restaurants, and that has inspired him to make his first batch of solo recordings while The Hive Minds was on a short hiatus.

During a recent interview in La Quinta, Gregg said his solo material has more of a folk sound.

“I think when I play by myself, I’ve always gravitated toward that sound,” Gregg said. “I’ve always been a fan of Bob Dylan since I started writing songs. It’s not necessarily a new endeavor, but Hive Minds wasn’t the place for me to let this stuff out, and we were doing so much that that was where my creative energy went. It’s something I’ve always loved, and it’s a lot easier to do by yourself.

“The big difference between this and the Hive Minds stuff is the lyrics are so much more personal. I didn’t worry about any of the songs being upbeat or catchy, and they all cut really deep. They’re the heaviest lyrics I’ve written in my life.”

Gregg said these songs would probably not go along with the Hive Minds’ indie-rock sound.

“I think that Sean (Poe) and Sam (Gonzales) really like my folk stuff,” Gregg said. “I have a whole catalog of folk material, but I’m really more protective of these songs. If I did put these in a band, I wouldn’t want to play them as a trio; I would want a huge Americana band. I don’t know if that would change the trajectory of the Hive Minds songs or the Hive Minds sound, but it would mess with the cohesiveness of the album, because you’d have really mellow, slow and depressing indie rock.”

Gregg plays solo in a wide variety of venues, some of them rather challenging—ranging from clubs to restaurants to hotels.

“It takes a lot of energy just to come into these shows with a positive outlook and never look at it like a job. I’ve been in those head-spaces where I’m like, ‘Ugh! Time to go to a gig!’ and I have to snap myself out of it,” he said. “I do a fair amount of covers, and I make those covers my own, but the minute that it starts to feel like a job to me, I’ll quit, and I’ll go wash dishes. I’d rather wash dishes and hate it than hate playing music.

“Where I’m at now, it doesn’t hinder my creative process. I play a ton, and I’ll even create stuff on the spot at these gigs. If I get into a negative head space or a depression and start to look at this as work, I either need to learn a lot more stuff and make it my own, or I need to start doing more original music at these shows. That’s the tightrope that I walk.”

He even went so far as saying that a scene in the movie Fight Club—during which Edward Norton goes into a meditation and sees a penguin that says the word “Slide”—inspires his views on being a musician.

“I almost want to get that tattooed on my arm,” he said. “I think that it’s more about the place that he goes, and it’s like when you’re spacing out at work, and it takes you out of the moment. You’re pissing on the moment if you’re just chugging through your chords and letting the words come out.”

He’s recently been using a looper during his shows.

“When I bought it, it was supposed to be for me to practice at home with. Once I got it out of the box and started dicking around with it, I used it for the show I had that night,” he said. “I don’t think I have as good of chops as Calvin Williams—who plays with Eevaan Tre—Bobby Nichols or Kal David, but my rhythm (is just as good). It’s all about rhythm, which has never been an issue for me. I play with a really simple looper. I’ve never been much of a guitar nerd, which is why the folk music thing works for me.”

The Hive Minds have had some local success, including a few high-profile shows, but Gregg expressed humility regarding the band.

“When we first started, Patrick Mitchem was on bass, and then we went to being an acoustic duo with Sean and I, and then playing with Sam Gonzales … playing TED talks, and playing the Bernie Sanders rally,” he said. “It’s almost like it doesn’t feel like it’s happened. I don’t know if that’s how people feel when they do something they’re really proud of. … I’ve always believed if you’re living in the past, you’re living on memories or anxiety. If you’re living in the future, you’re existing in your imagination. But now that I’m thinking back on it, it is pretty crazy.”

For more information on Derek Jordan Gregg and the Hive Minds, visit www.facebook.com/thehiveminds.

Mega Sun's lineup includes three very talented musicians—and if any one thing stands out, it’s Chris Rivera's guitar work. A recording from Mega Sun is currently in the works with producer Mike Doling (of the band Snot), and the band is currently raising funds to finish it; find details at www.gofundme.com/mega-sun-recording. Chris Rivera was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil Tour.

What was the first album you owned?

KISS, Alive.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Gojira, Desert Rhythm Project, Twelve Foot Ninja, Black Pussy, Atala, and Throw the Goat.

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

I can usually find something I dig in all music, to be honest. But if I had to choose one, I guess I'd have to say new country music. I just prefer the old stuff.

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

AC/DC with Bon Scott.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Old Elton John.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Showbox in Seattle.

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

“Momma just killed a man, put a gun against his head,” Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Stevie Ray Vaughan. He just had it, man. It came straight from the heart. He made me realize you get what put in; there's no cheating the guitar.

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

I'd like to ask Gary Moore how to play guitar.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

James Taylor, “Fire and Rain.”

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

Rush, 2112.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Snooze Button” by Snot. (Scroll down to hear it!)

Peter Frampton’s 1976 double live album Frampton Comes Alive! sold 8 million copies in the United States and went on to become legendary.

The struggles Frampton endured right after its release are just as legendary. His next album was a relative flop, which led to hard financial times. He starred in the epically terrible 1978 film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. That same year, he was in a near-fatal car accident. 

However, in the late 1980s, Frampton’s career began to rebound. In 2007, he won a Grammy in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for Fingerprints, which has just been re-released on vinyl. He’ll be stopping by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Friday, Aug. 31.

During a recent phone interview, Frampton said he liked the idea of the re-release of Fingerprints.

“We wanted to put it out on a limited-edition vinyl,” Frampton said. “When that was brought up, they said it would be a good idea to reissue the CD as well. That came along as a plus, but the main intent was to just get it out on vinyl (after fans) had been shouting out for it.”

Fingerprints included some great collaborations with members of Soundgarden and the Rolling Stones.

“I went to Seattle after having made friends a few years before with the Pearl Jam people. I’m getting chills right before I say this, but to be doing ‘Black Hole Sun’ with the same drummer, Matt Cameron, who played in Soundgarden, as well as Pearl Jam—what a way to start!” he said. “Not only did we do that song, but we wrote one together in their warehouse rehearsal area, which was amazing. It started at the top, and everything else seemed to be just as exciting. It was like doing an album for each track. It took about a year to get around and do all these things. Of course, reuniting Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman—who I have both known since I was 14, and to actually have them on a session and write the tune that brought them back together again—it was phenomenal.”

I told Frampton that when he had an acoustic guitar in his hand, it was evident that Django Reinhardt is one of his influences. He responded with a laugh.

“He’s been with me my entire life, even though we lost him in 1953. My parents before, during and after the second World War were huge fans,” Frampton said. “That was something when we got our first record player. I was probably 8 or 9, and I wanted to get an album by The Shadows, and I got it, and my mom and dad bought Quintette du Hot Club de France. I hated it; I thought it was disgusting, and it was this jazzy stuff. I’m listening to stuff featuring Fender Stratocasters and Vox AC30s—the early beginnings of rock ’n’ roll. Every time I finished playing my Shadows album about four or five times, I’d go upstairs to play what I’d just heard, and then my mom would put on Quintette du Hot Club de France, and I couldn’t get out of the room fast enough. So, I’d gradually get up the stairs and hear a solo from Django, and I’d go, ‘What? That’s hard!’ Gradually, I’d stay in the room—and I was the guy putting on that album and not my parents. They were very happy about this.

“He’s someone I still listen to, at least a track or two a day. I’m obsessed with his soul, the choice of notes and the way he could play a thousand notes a second.”

There’s a video online of Peter Frampton shopping at Amoeba Records with his daughter, Mia Frampton. Frampton said he and his kids share music back and forth.

“I listen to everything they tell me to listen to,” he said. “My son, Julian, turned me on to Radiohead, and I wondered why I hadn’t picked up on it sooner. I’ll send them old Otis Redding tracks or stuff like that. All of my kids are very involved in and have a passion for music.”

Frampton was not the only artist who found wild success in the late 1970s—before enduring dry periods due to the changing musical landscape in the ’80s.

“What happened in 1979 was the drum machine, and from then on, everyone was playing to a drum machine in the ’80s,” he said. “That’s why everything seems so sterile to me—but not everything; there were the Pretenders, who are still phenomenal to this day. (Drum machines) were very appealing, but we don’t have a drummer anymore, and it’s gone computerized. I got involved in it, too, but I think everything got a little too sterile and perfect. Bands weren’t playing in the studio anymore.”

Frampton admitted there was a bigger issue at hand that led to his downfall, and joked about his appearance in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which last year was released on Blu-ray.

“I think it was me—I think that was the reason it took so long to come back,” he said. “I had been working since I was 14 with my first semi-professional band, until I became 30. That’s when I took a bit of a break. I was exhausted and disillusioned by those people around me who took a lot of my money that wasn’t theirs, and I went through going from the biggest-selling record of all time to a great fall. I made a couple of really bad mistakes, and I take full responsibility, but I was talked into things that weren’t good, and one of them just was re-released. They always get re-released!

“I can’t offend the people that love it—and I don’t understand why they love it!” Frampton said, holding back laughter. “I can’t offend them, because the people who like it are very passionate about it, and I’m very happy for them!”

He credits an old childhood friend for helping him resurrect his career.

“David Bowie—or Dave Jones as I knew him, and who I went to school with—said in 1986, ‘I love what you did on your last record. Would you come play on my record?’ Finally, we get to play again together. The last time was on the steps of the school. When I was in Switzerland doing the album with him, he asked if I would play on the Glass Spider Tour. He showed me a huge picture of the stage, and I said, ‘Absolutely!’ What I didn’t realize at the time was how powerful it was. I thought, ‘It’s great to play with David on the same stage at the same time.’ But then I realized afterward that he was so clever: He knew what I was going through at the time, being a well-respected guitar-player and writer turned into a teeny-bopper pop star, and the guitar was kind of forgotten. What he gave me was a gift. He took me around the world twice in stadiums and reintroduced me as a musician and guitar-player, which changed my trajectory, and I’ve never been able to thank him enough. I still thank him.

“It was a very powerful gift. After David, a few years went by, and I was touring like crazy again and building it back up. I started in clubs and ended up in arenas again.”

Peter Frampton will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, in Indio. Tickets are $29 to $69. For tickets or more information, call 760-342-5000, or visit www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

We’re past the halfway point of the hot season. Maybe. Hopefully. Whatever … at least there are some equally hot events to take in this August.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a full list of August events. At 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Jason Bonham, will be performing his show Led Zeppelin Evening. I’ve read stories about Jason Bonham’s upbringing that are quite fascinating; apparently, when he was a child, his dad used to wake him in the middle of the night to play in late-night jam sessions. Tickets are $29 to $59. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, the frontman of The Who, Roger Daltrey, will be stopping by. Daltrey has done well as a solo artist. I checked out some of the set lists from his solo appearances over the past year, and he’s been playing the entirety of The Who’s rock opera, Tommy. Tickets are $69 to $129. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, the legendary family of Motown R&B, The Jacksons, will be performing. I saw The Jacksons a while back at Fantasy Springs when they toured with The Commodores, and The Jacksons put on a pretty good show—although the Jackson 5 songs were relegated to a five-minute medley. Tickets are $39 to $79. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

August is a great month for The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. At 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2, country-music superstar Brad Paisley will be performing. Paisley has sold millions of albums, won three Grammy Awards, and charted 24 No. 1 singles. Tickets are $160 to $200. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4, enjoy stoner-comedy duo Cheech and Chong. I remember when I was about 13 years old, and Cinemax played a marathon of Cheech and Chong movies. That scene in the car at the beginning of Up and Smoke made me laugh until my sides hurt. Tickets are $40 to $60. If the names performing at The Show couldn’t get any bigger, prepare yourself: At 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24, Steve Martin and Martin Short will offer up An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. Also performing: Steve Martin’s band, Steel Canyon Rangers, and keyboardist Jeff Babko. Tickets are $130 to $160. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29’s August brings some great Latin music—and another hot event. Need some pecs and abs in your life? Well, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11, the world-famous Chippendales will be performing. The Chippendales nd became part of the pop culture of the 1980s. A friend of mine recently mentioned that she dated a Chippendale during the ’80s who put himself through medical school thanks to his bare-chested performances. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 8 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 19, Argentinian sibling duo Pimpinela (below) ill be performing. Lucia and Joaquin Galan have become international superstars with their romantic musical pieces and are touring behind their musical show, Brothers, The True Story; expect a giant screen, dancers, choirs and a lot of other surprises. Tickets are $45 to $90. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

There is a lot going on at Pappy and Harriet’s during the month of August (per usual). Be sure to check out the full schedule online (per usual). Here are but a few noteworthy events: At 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11 indie-punk band Swearin’ will be stopping by. There’s been a lot of talk about this band since it released its first EP in 2012; since then, Swearin’ has dropped albums that have received critical acclaim, and has embarked on some popular tours. Tickets are $15. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, psychedelic folk band Timber Timbre will take the stage. Timber Timbre has an interesting sound that sounds at times like some of the mellower Marc Bolan songs. I was pretty amused when I heard their song “Run From Me” in the recent Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country, which is about Indian guru Osho and his Rajneeshpuram community in Oregon. Tickets are $16. At 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 30, the 14th Annual Campout will get under way. The Campout is an annual weekend event curated by Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker frontman David Lowery. As of our deadline, the entire list of performers had not yet been released, but you can expect to see Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven and the usual characters associated with both bands. Weekend passes for the three-day event are $125. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Date Shed will be open for an event in August. At 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, reggae and R&B artist J Boog will be performing. Some of his best-known songs are “Let's Do It Again,” “Sunshine Girl,” and “Good Cry.” Servant is also on the bill. Tickets are $20 to $25. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-775-6699; www.facebook.com/dateshed.

David Rothmiller and LD Thompson have learned some unsettling lessons since founding the LGBT Sanctuary Palm Springs—a transitional housing facility for LGBT and allied youth—back in 2015.

They’ve also had to jump through a lot of hoops related to licensing and regulations before finally opening and taking in residents—but in March of this year, The LGBT Sanctuary finally moved into the building it now calls home.

That does not mean everything has been easy since then.

“We’ve had some (residents) come and some go, and we know with the population here that it’s common,” Rothmiller said. “Not every one of our applicants and residents is a match (for The Sanctuary). Some of our kids just weren’t ready; we’re not a treatment facility, so we are unable to help some of these kids. They sometimes have issues that are far beyond us, but we can refer them. The Desert AIDS Project is our partner in health, dental and mental health. … We cannot have violence. We tell the kids, ‘We are a non-violent home.’ Some haven’t worked out, and that’s the bottom line.”

The residents currently living in the home are doing well, Rothmiller said.

“The kids we have now are great; they understand the program,” he said. “We are called a ‘transitional housing program plus foster care.’ It’s a state license we have written the program for; we have to meet state guidelines, and we have to meet our own program guidelines. In those program guidelines, our residents have to be working 80 hours a month, or in school—completing their GED, completing high school or earning college credits.

“The nice thing about our (Coachella Valley) community is they are supportive, and business owners have come forward and have hired our residents. We have two who have graduated and aged out; we can only have them from 18 to 21. It’s part of the extended foster care that the state realized was a necessity for these kids. Some 62 percent, after five years of leaving foster care, are on the street, homeless, doing drugs, prostituting themselves, dead, in jail or in combination. The state of California realized we were failing kids in foster care who graduate out of it at 18. That’s why they have made money available to assist those who are 18 to 21.”

Rothmiller explained why there’s a need for this program specifically for LGBT youth.

“The kids who come to us are LGBT youth or LGBT allies. We are all-inclusive, but (residents) have to be allies to the LGBT experience,” he said. “(LGBT kids) have suffered more at the hands of foster care. LGBT kids are bounced (around) three times as much as their straight counterparts in foster care. They keep losing families.

“There are various reasons kids are in foster care. One of them is because they’ve come out as gay, so they’re afraid to come out to their foster family for that same reason. In fact, many foster families are religious-based, so the gay experience is something they don’t want in their homes. Our kids are bounced more often, and each time they are bounced, they lose six months of academic achievement. Our kids come to us neglected educationally and socially, and we have a lot of work to do. They may not be adopted at this point in their life. … That’s our whole push—get them included; get them connected through our mentoring programming; and get them working or volunteering in the community.”

Shockingly, The LGBT Sanctuary does not currently have a waiting list for youth seeking services—even though there is definitely a need.

“We’ve had to work hard within the social system with social workers, case managers and probation officers to let them know we are here, and we are here to serve this demographic,” Rothmiller said. “When we first opened, Riverside County wasn’t capable and missed a state deadline to be our licensing agent. So we had to go to San Bernardino (County) for our licensing. They said, ‘You will have such a waiting list; please make sure you have beds.’ Fast forward, and we have one empty bed right now. We expected a long waiting list.

“We have identified anti-gay bias in the system, and we identified some ignorance to the situation of LGBT youth in foster care. The Los Angeles LGBT Center did a study that showed close to 20 percent of kids in foster care identify as LGBT. A lot of them aren’t identifying (as such) in foster care, because they are afraid to, so we believe the number is much higher. Riverside County is the least up-to-date (jurisdiction in terms) of meeting the needs of LGBT kids in foster care. They aren’t even asking kids in foster care. … It’s a broken system. One of their social workers said, ‘I believe (the percentage of kids in foster care who are LGBT) is about 3 percent.’ There’s a huge mistake in ignoring the fact that these kids have special needs. They need to be welcomed and understood. We tell the residents, ‘Yep, you have issues, and we understand that, but being gay is not one of your issues. Let’s move forward.’”

While the community’s response to The LGBT Sanctuary has been largely positive, there are always critics, conspiracy theorists and bigots. Those involved with The LGBT Sanctuary have come up with a fascinating way to deal with the negative responses.

“What we are doing is gathering residents, supporters and board members in front of the camera, and we’re doing something similar to the ‘Mean Tweets’ that Jimmy Kimmel does,” Rothmiller said. “It’s to shine the light into the darkness to remind those of us in the community that we’re still hated. It’s a controversial thing to do, but I feel it’s important in this time to tell our truth, and to share comments that are so mean and ugly. Our intention is to remind people that we are here for our residents.”

For more information, visit www.sanctuarypalmsprings.org.

Shooter Jennings—the son of the late, great Waylon Jennings—is usually considered a country artist. However, his love of taking creative risks has allowed him to transcend country in some awesome ways.

On Thursday and Friday, Aug. 9 and 10, he’ll enjoy a rare two-night stint at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace—coinciding with the release of his new album, Shooter, on Aug. 10.

“This time around, I feel like we really set out to make a real country record,” Jennings said during a recent phone interview. “‘A Hank Jr. record’ is what we were kind of calling it, and we set out to make a record that was fun to listen to, and I feel like the most left-turn thing I could have done was make a very country record, especially when everyone is doing experimental records these days. For me, I set out to make a very boogie-woogie, a little Jerry Lee Lewis, a little Hank Williams Jr. kind of record. That was the spark, and we saw that through.”

His previous album, Countach, was a tribute to record producer and electronica pioneer Giorgio Moroder, and included covers of some of Moroder’s contributions to film soundtracks, including title song from The Neverending Story with Brandi Carlile, and the title song from Cat People with Marilyn Manson.

“Every record is different. With the (Moroder) record, the idea was to explore his music and expand it into a more-country realm,” Jennings said. “I learned so much from doing that record. I watched this documentary on Hunter S. Thompson called Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride, and he talked about how he would retype Ernest Hemingway novels, like the whole book, and he would learn his writing by doing that. Exploring these Giorgio arrangements and chord progressions, and adapting to them was a learning process. I became really obsessed with his solo records, and I thought they were so unique and definitive of the time.

“Doing that record was really fun, but after that was over, I didn’t want to go back and do something like that again. It made sense to do a left turn and make a country record afterward. It felt like the rebellious thing to do.”

When I asked Jennings if he has ever felt like he’s alienated his audience, he mentioned Black Ribbons, a concept album that he released in 2010, which included the voice of Stephen King narrating between songs as a disc jockey after the U.S. government had taken control of the airwaves. Many of the songs reference conspiracy theories.

“At this point in time, I think it’s become expected. When we did Black Ribbons, that was the first big left turn,” Jennings said. “When we did that record, there were definitely some people at the moment who didn’t understand what we were doing. But over time, that record has given back to me more than any other record. I got the most out of the records that are the most experimental. I don’t feel like I’ve divided (my audience), but I’m sure there were people who were like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ But now it’s like become a mainstay. Sturgill Simpson did A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which is a very experimental record. … At the time, it might have been polarizing, but if I lost anyone, they were people who were not there for me in the first place. I never felt like there was a reason to believe it wasn’t OK to push the boundaries.”

Jennings has collaborated with a long list of musicians from various genres—but one that sticks out is Billy Ray Cyrus; Jennings collaborated with him on a song called “Killing the Blues.” When I asked Jennings about it, he laughed.

“I’ve known him over the years, and we did this series of shows in Los Angeles where it was me and a band, and we’d add a bunch of different singers to come in and play,” Jennings said. “I asked him to do that, and when he did that, I said, ‘We should go in the studio just for fun.’ I had really been in love with that song, particularly John Prine’s version, for a really long time. He loved it, and it was like, ‘Why not?’ It was cool, and he let me steer with the two songs we did, and it was just fun.

“He’s an incredibly talented singer. His personality has kind of overshadowed who he really is in a way, but he’s this crazy stylistic vocalist, kind of like Freddie Mercury or something. He does layer after layer of harmonies. He’d do them in all these different voices—like one that was a woman, and one that was like Sammy Hagar—and he had all these names for these different voices. It sounds like 10 different people singing, but it’s him changing his voice.”

Jennings married his wife in Joshua Tree, and they are regular visitors to Pappy and Harriet’s.

“I love it up there. It’s a special place to me. There’s kind of a mystical vibe to it,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of adventures in Joshua Tree, and it’s become me and my wife’s place to go and get away. I love playing Pappy and Harriet’s. When my wife and I go out there, we go and eat at Pappy and Harriet’s.”

I had to ask: What did Jennings think about the episodes regarding his father on Mike Judge’s new Cinemax animated series, Tales From the Tour Bus?

“I didn’t know what to expect, especially after seeing the Johnny Paycheck episode, which was a little harsh,” he said. “I wondered what was going to happen, and I didn’t get too involved in it, because I was worried about the platform and whether it included people who had an ax to grind. But I think they did a really good job at the end of the day, and I think Mike Judge’s heart was in the right place. The Jerry Lee Lewis episode was fantastic, and it had some really cool stuff in it. You could tell (Judge) really loved country music, and you could tell he was trying to do something really cool and entertaining.”

Shooter Jennings will perform at 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Aug. 9 and 10, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets for Friday’s show are sold out, but $25 tickets remained for Thursday’s show as of our press deadline. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

The desert isn’t just a place to create art for Cristopher Cichocki; the desert is also his muse—and at times, his art includes actual pieces of the desert. His works have showcased the beauty, the darkness and the catastrophes of the desert and its ecosystem.

Cichocki’s work has been shown around the world, and he’s taking many of his pieces to the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster for an exhibition called Divisions of Land and Sea; it’s part of a larger exhibit called The Robot Show, which features eight artists, each with their own solo exhibition. It will be on display from Saturday, Aug. 4, through Sunday, Sept. 30.

During a recent phone interview with Cichocki while he was in Guadalajara, Mexico, he explained his exhibit.

“It’ll be an installation of new paintings, video works, sculptures, photographic works and my audio work,” Cichocki said. “It relates to the collision that we’re in between humankind, the natural world and industrial production.”

Some of Cichocki works are not what they appear to be at first. For instance: If you look at his photos, you’ll discover he’s combined them with paint.

“After Palm Desert High School, where I graduated in 1997, I went directly to CalArts,” he said; also known as the California Institute of the Arts, the renowned school is located in Valencia. “CalArts is potentially one of the most multidisciplinary art schools in the world, and I was exposed to highly experimental and conceptual practices. They were completely mind-blowing, and to challenge myself and experiment, and I’ve always been striving to take my practice and insights to a different level. CalArts was a laboratory for me to work through this hybrid framework.

“As to when the work came into this cohesive relationship, I feel that really came around 2010, when I started combining my elements with the video, the photography, the painting and the performance. They came together and started to work together as a cross-reference—meaning they’re all pieces of a larger puzzle. I’m producing paintings that are photographs; I’m producing videos that are paintings, and vice versa. I find it necessary for exhibitions such as Divisions of Land and Sea to combine all of these elements into a larger narrative.”

Cichocki was part of a KCET documentary on the Salton Sea. He voiced his concerns about the growing ecological and environmental threat the lake poses to the Coachella Valley.

“The Salton Sea is one of the largest pending airborne catastrophes threatening the United States, and it’s right in our backyard,” he said. “It’s this issue that I feel is out of sight and out of mind for a majority of people in the area—not only in the Coachella Valley, but even spanning all the way into Los Angeles, people don’t even know about the Salton Sea.

“The Salton Sea was a manmade accident in 1905 when the Colorado River split and started filling what was then the Salton Sink, which was a huge basin ready for this water to enter it. Now we have California’s largest lake … and if the dust or particulate matter begins to advance further with the receding shoreline, we’re going to have major problems with the air quality. We already do have major problems. The high school in Mecca has one of the highest asthma rates in the nation. It’s not just dust that’s blowing around in the air; it’s particulate matter entering into people’s blood streams and causing asthma, especially in younger generations. There’s selenium, arsenic and all of these other things. It truly is this synthesis of nature and industry because of 100 years of agricultural runoff.”

His work gets quite detailed at times. His latest painting, “Shoreline,” includes barnacles, fish bones, sand and salt from the Salton Sea.

“I look at (Divisions of Land and Sea) as a hybrid between natural history and contemporary art. I’m bringing in elements of land art, minimalism and other historical points of trajectory,” he said. “Also, I’m bringing in raw organic materials. My paintings have actual barnacles; they have actual soil and things that are transforming within them. There’s black-light reactivity, which I actually refer to in the technical term—ultraviolet radiation. There’s evidence that there’s a metaphysical property under these elements. I’m interested in reality and also the biological and phenomenological structural makeup of these elements. There’s this idea that there’s something constantly in motion, and the work is alive.”

I asked Cichocki if there was a spiritual element to his work. He seemed to struggle with the question at first.

“I certainly feel that nature has a certain awareness to it. It can be as simple as we water a tree, or we don’t,” Cichocki said. “Or it can be as simple as we have classical music playing, and the tree thrives beyond the other trees in areas where there isn’t any classical music.”

Cichocki will be going out of state for his next exhibition.

“In September in Taos, New Mexico, I’ll be performing Circular Dimensions at a large video and installation festival called The Paseo Project. Circular Dimensions is ever-evolving, so I have new tricks up my sleeve for Taos.”

Cristopher Cichocki’s Divisions of Land and Sea, part of The Robot Show, will be on display from Saturday, Aug. 4, through Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, 665 W. Lancaster Blvd., in Lancaster, about 135 miles northwest of the Coachella Valley. For more information, call 661-723-6250, or visit www.lancastermoah.org. Below top: “Center of the Sea,” 2018, Salton Sea barnacles on wood composite with LED video panel. Below bottom: “Property Division,” 2016-2017; left side is a tilapia nest at Riviera Keys, Salton Sea, Calif.; right side is algae with birds, Salton City, Calif.

Not long ago, hip-hop trio The Bermuda was getting ready to release a brand-new album.

After the departure of one of the members, however, that album will almost certainly never be released. Meanwhile, the two remaining members of The Bermuda—Ivy the Giant (Ivan Recendes) and the Madd Hatter (Taylor Bentz), who have been friends since childhood—are going back to the drawing board and continuing The Bermuda as a duo.

During a recent interview in Cathedral City, Madd Hatter and Ivy the Giant talked about what happened.

“We were working on a new album called Loading, and we started getting really frustrated during the whole process,” Ivy the Giant said. “Bunkz started hanging out with a different crew and slowly started distancing himself. He never showed up to rehearse, never wanted to go with us anywhere, and never wanted to meet up. We decided to work on our own thing, but keep the group intact. Our side project was going to be called the Madd Giants. We posted a picture, because we were done slowing down. We needed to pick up our pace and get back up on it. After a while, I gave Bunkz an ultimatum, and he said, ‘Consider me out.’”

Madd Hatter said Bunkz put the group in a difficult spot.

“We’d just finished making this album,” Madd Hatter said. “It was the best work the three of us had done to date. Now, he’s leaving, and it’s like, ‘What are we going to do?’ (Ivy) said, ‘OK, let’s just not drop the album.’ We already figured at that point that it was done. We knew it was coming sooner or later.

“We just disappeared for a couple of months, and we were stuck on whether we keep The Bermuda name … or do we change our name to the Madd Giants? After talking with our fans, they said, ‘No, keep the name going!’”

Bunkz (Giancarlo Stagnaro) explained his side of the story via e-mail.

“The friendship died, and I didn’t want to kick it with them anymore,” Bunkz said. “I wasn’t even planning on leaving the group up until I saw Madd Hatter post up a picture on Instagram of him and Ivy the Giant talking about ‘Cheers to new beginnings!’ So when I saw that, I said, ‘Fuck that, and fuck you guys; I’m out.’”

There was also a major problem with the aforementioned album.

“The reason why that album will never see the light of day is we had a third-party producer work on it, so he owns that album now,” Madd Hatter said. “Some shady things went on between us and him, and now we don’t want to pay for that album. When we announced the album wasn’t coming out, and Bunkz left, (the producer) texted us and said, ‘You still have to pay for this album.’ It was fully understandable, given it was mixed and mastered. Then he hit up Bunkz behind our backs, saying, ‘Hey, I’ll cut you a deal: I’ll cut their parts out, and it’ll be your album.’”

At that point, the two remaining members of The Bermuda decided not to pay for the album. “We didn’t even trust it anymore, and the majority of the beats on the album were done by Bunkz, so it wouldn’t have worked out anyway,” Ivy the Giant said.

Bunkz confirmed the producer did extend that offer to him.

“What happened is that he suggested I remove their verses and drop the album with only my verses on it. And I kindly declined that offer,” he wrote via email.

Despite all the bad, Ivy the Giant said something good has come out of the chaos.

“We were so frustrated when we were recording that album with all the bullshit going on in the studio, and after every studio session, there was something we didn’t like,” he said. “It was back and forth after a session, and now it’s just two minds. We can go back forth, and we don’t have to worry about that third party. I feel like it’s better as it is now. We just wanted to start fresh, and that’s what we’re doing.

“We’re working on a new EP called The Madd Giants Part 1. It’s going to drop in August, so we’re excited for that.”

Both members of The Bermuda expressed optimism about the future.

“It feels good to be doing this music shit again—without any worries, and without any bad thoughts in the back of my mind while we’re performing,” Ivy the Giant said. “Now we know what we’re doing, and it feels good again, so we can continue.”

Bunkz said he’s also found closure.

“My new name is Jon Goat, and I’m dropping my first project called Bunkz Is DEAD soon,” he wrote. “I think I made the best decision of my life. I’m a better solo artist, and everyone agrees. I’m very versatile, and I can rap in Spanish and in English and on any beat—and not to talk shit, but they can’t do that.”

The Bermuda performed at The Hood Bar and Pizza last year with the local metal/hip-hop band Drop Mob. I asked if a rumored recording of the song they performed together exists and will ever come out.

“For a while, we were super-hyped and into the rock/rap thing. Obviously, it’s in the future,” Madd Hatter said. “Drop Mob reminds me of Rage Against the Machine and early Cypress Hill. When I hear them, I hear that sound. We were always like, ‘We have to collaborate with these dudes.’ We did a few shows with them, and then we hit them up and said, ‘Hey, we need to do something together.’ We actually did a demo song together and performed it. It is still in the future, but we haven’t kept in touch with Drop Mob.”

Said Ivy the Giant: “We’re still down to do a rock/rap collaboration. That was different, and we had never heard ourselves in something like that. It’s always cool to do that, and that was a lot of fun. But for right now, we’re focused on getting ourselves back where we need to be.”

For more information on The Bermuda, visit www.facebook.com/therealbermuda.

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