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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Big things are happening for local metal band Ormus. Late last year, the band released its debut album, Apocalyptic Transmissions. Playing guitar for Ormus is Chaz Marriott (who has also been moonlighting in The After Lashes as “Gina”). Ormus will be playing at the Music Benefit for Champion the Dog and Animal Abuse Awareness at Gadi’s Bar and Grill on Saturday, April 13. For more information on Ormus, visit www.facebook.com/ormusband. Marriott was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

I saw my first concert when I resided in Utah. It was my 16th-birthday present. It was Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer on their Jägermeister tour. I remember getting a chair seat, and I just wanted to get down to the pit. I went outside after Anthrax played … and the metal gods shined upon me as I found a pit bracelet on the floor, so I picked it up and pushed through the front to see Megadeth and Slayer up close. It was an amazing first concert experience, seeing all of my influences at the time under one roof.

What was the first album you owned?

The first album I remember getting was Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast. (I was) blasting “22 Acacia Avenue” and “The Number of the Beast,” but that album was short-lived, as my mom was very Christian and tore it up with scissors as soon as the infamous chorus went off.

What bands are you listening to right now?

As of this moment, I have been listening to a lot of System of a Down, Dio, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Tenacious D, Slipknot, Lamb of God, Arch Enemy and Rebelution. I’ve been trying to listen to a variety of music keeping me inspired to keep writing and pushing myself as a musician.

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

Honestly, certain kinds of rap, especially the new rap artists people go crazy for. It’s not for me.

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

I would love to see Van Halen back in the day. Nobody can shred like Eddie Van Halen.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I love me some hair metal! Ratt, Dokken, Quiet Riot, Warrant, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Def Leppard (Bring out the tight leather and hairspray for Gina.) I would always hear it growing up, and it has always stuck with me.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I have not gotten to venture out of the desert too far yet to have a favorite venue, and honestly, I haven’t been blown away by a venue out here in the desert yet. We go for the music, not the venue, though, and all the amazing local talent we have out here makes the trip to any place in the valley worth it.

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

“She’s so elusive magnetically drawn, day tripping lady, what have you done?” from “Strange” by Ormus. We’re going to San Diego soon to record that single. I’m excited and can’t get it out of my head. My bandmate Serene is quite the lyricist.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

I’m not the kind of person that says, “This band saved my life,” or anything. Playing music is what changed my life, and all of my influences around me in my personal life support me doing music, and I’m grateful for that.

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

Mick Thomson of Slipknot: “What got you to this point in your career? How did you go on your first tour?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. Just kidding; have a Nerf-gun fight, and whoever wins can keep my eyeball. Also, play some “Dude (I Totally Miss You)” by Tenacious D.

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

System of Down, Toxicity.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Dan Henig’s acoustic version of “My Neck, My Back.” (Scroll down to hear it! Warning: NSFW.)

Published in The Lucky 13

More than 80 people came to the Copa Nightclub on Wednesday, Dec. 12, with one goal: to celebrate the people, businesses and organizations that make the Coachella Valley a fantastic place to call home.

The Coachella Valley Independent and Copa Nightclub sponsored the fifth annual Best of Coachella Valley Awards Show and Party, an event that honors the winners of the Independent's yearly readers' poll, which features almost 130 categories ranging from the best place to hike, to the valley's best restaurants, to the valley's best sex-toy shop. (Our readers say it's Skitzo Kitty, by the way.)

The biggest contingents at the party—hosted by Independent editor/publisher Jimmy Boegle, with help from assistant editor Brian Blueskye—came to celebrate Barbara Carpenter, voted Best Real Estate Agent for the second year in a row, and Augustine Casino, which took the top spot in a whopping seven categories.

After the awards were given out, Best Local Band winner Avenida Music delighted the audience with a full set.

Below is a gallery of photos from the event, taken by Kevin Fitzgerald. In the media section, find the welcome video from Rep. Raul Ruiz, as well as a video of the event, courtesy of Tantalum Films. (Originally published on Dec. 13; updated with video Jan. 3.)

Published in Snapshot

Best Auto Service for Honesty’s Sake

Cam Stone’s Automotive

Cam Stone’s Automotive in Palm Desert is the kind of auto-service shop every woman dreams of—at least women (and men) like me who know little to nothing about car repairs.

The people at Cam’s do good work, are honest, and never seem to recommend anything you don’t really need. And if money’s really tight … you can ask them what absolutely, positively has to be done; they’ll let you know how far you can push the part you can’t afford to have replaced today before a major mishap occurs.

Guy Allchin (pictured here with his family), who runs it, and Karl, his excellent sidekick, are straight-up guys who explain things so you can understand them and so you can make the best decisions to keep your wheels on the road. 74867 Velie Way, Palm Desert; 760-568-2999; camstonesautomotive.com.

—Anita Rufus


Best Sandwiches Inside a Convenience/Liquor Store

Larry’s Gourmet Market and Deli

From the outside, Larry’s Gourmet Market and Deli looks like a run-of the-mill liquor store, selling the usual stuff. But … go inside, and you’ll see Larry’s is an unexpected, family-run treasure chest.

For one thing, the deli is really good. We’ve enjoyed everything we’ve gotten there, but our favorite is the meat-filled Don Veto specialty sandwich (pictured here).

Larry’s also has a variety of interesting gourmet items you might not find elsewhere. One example: On a recent trip, we got a box of delicious rose-flavored Turkish delight candy.

Along with a nice variety of beer and hard liquor, Larry’s carries a respectable wine selection that goes from very cheap to the $100-a-bottle range. There’s even a refrigerated wine room in the back that feels great in the heat of summer.

Just don’t go to Larry’s looking for lottery tickets. They don’t sell them … which, for us, classes up the place. 2781 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-832-7188; larrysgourmetmarket.com.

—Jeffrey Clarkson


Best Place to Avoid If You’re Arachnophobic

The VW Spider on Indian Canyon Drive at Interstate 10

When you’re driving by, you can’t help but notice the massive spider looming large in front of a warehouse with “Hole in the Wall” emblazoned across the front. And you may have wondered, like me: What? How? Why?

After some sleuthing, I discovered that the 28-foot high, eight-legged hunk of metal formerly fronted a Volkswagen repair shop, Hole in the Wall Welding. The enormous recycled artwork (the spider body is a full-size VW bug) was created by owner/welder/mechanic/desert rat Bob Miner, who passed away in 2008. The repair shop no longer exists, but Bob’s family still resides in the warehouse.

If you’re into kitsch and not afraid of creepy crawlers, this hairy-legged arachnid is a quirky must-see landmark. If you are afraid … avoid Indian Canyon Drive (next to Jack in the Box), just south of the Interstate 10.

—Beth Allen


Best Place to Pretend You’re on the Set of a David Lynch Movie

Open-Mic Night at the Palms Restaurant in Wonder Valley

The Palms is one of those middle-of-nowhere places that’s really a groovy hangout. It’s a throwback, with very affordable booze—$1.50 for a can of Pabst beer; $3 for a domestic bottle; shots starting at $4—and cheap tasty, eats (the onion rings and fried zucchini are delish), all in an atmosphere that’s weathered, worn-in, kooky and cool.

Every Friday at 7 p.m. (with signups starting at 6:30), The Palms hosts an open-mic night, where there’s a good chance reality may become fuzzy—all in the name of “entertainment.” Spoken word, comedic acts, genuinely gifted musicians, not-so-gifted musicians … there’s something for everyone. You may witness folks like “Grannie”—a toothless senior in a cute wig and cowboy hat—crooning “Stand by Me,” a cappella, in a gruff, “I’ve been smoking a pack a day for the last 60 years” voice. The Palms’ open mic is truly strange and endearing at the same time. The Palms Restaurant, 83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley; 760-361-2810. (Pictured: Guitar-player Karl Van Dyke performs at The Palms’ open-mic night. Photo courtesy of Joseph Barrett.)

—Beth Allen


Best Tapas and Wine Hideout

Counter Reformation at the Parker Palm Springs

With its semi-mandatory valet parking, fancy-schmancy main restaurant and well-heeled celebrity clientele, the Parker Palm Springs can be a bit intimidating … despite the hotel’s ostensible casual-hip vibe. However, we’re madly in love with Counter Reformation, the hotel’s cozy wine bar, featuring friendly service and great music.

The door to the bar is hard to find—head toward the pool and take a left—but discovering this well-designed and inventively Catholic-themed spot is serendipity. The wine choices are not extensive, but the selections are diverse and interesting enough. And at the prices … well, at the Parker, at least, they’re bargains.

We’ve sampled about half of the tapas on the menu, and everything so far has been delicious. These small plates, along with the free loaves of fresh-baked bread and the complimentary olives and cornichons, can make for a filling meal … a meal you can partially work off during the walk back to your self-parked car on the street outside. 4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-770-5000; www.parkerpalmsprings.com/food-and-drink. (Pictured: The Jamón Iberico at Counter Reformation.)

—Jeffrey Clarkson


Best New Band

Mega Sun

Mega Sun arrived in early 2018—and the group quickly earned the admiration of the local music scene.

The band’s sound reminds of stoner rock, circa the early ’90s, and the group’s live shows are always loud and fantastic.

The power trio is currently in the process of completing some recordings. I’m excited to see what this band will do in 2019 … and beyond.

—Brian Blueskye


Best Album

Throw the Goat, The Joke’s On Us

Throw the Goat had a great year in 2018 after finishing off 2017 on a mind-blowing note: The group won a contest, as announced on New Year’s Eve 2017, put on by Dave Ellefson of Megadeth to release an album on his Combat Records label. The Joke’s On Us was released shortly thereafter.

The name of the album is a reference to the presidency of Donald Trump and has political themes. Produced and recorded by guitarist Brian “Puke” Parnell, the album shows the band going heavier with more punk. It’s a great example of a musical evolution.

While Throw the Goat might confuse audiences who question whether the band is punk or metal, we can all agree: The Joke’s On Us is a great album.

—Brian Blueskye


Best All-Female Band

The After Lashes

I have enjoyed watching the all-female four-piece band The After Lashes improve its sound over the course of 2018; in fact, every time I take in one of the group’s shows, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much the talented band has improved since I first saw The After Lashes.

Why has the band improved? The members of The After Lashes put in the work. Combine that hard work with talent, attitude and energy, and The After Lashes are amazing.

—Brian Blueskye


Best Pizza Joint You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Pizzeria Bambinos

I’m kind of shocked that Pizzeria Bambinos wasn’t a Best Pizza finalist this year. But then again … this fantastic pizza joint seems to be flying under the figurative radar. In fact, it may be the valley’s best kept pizza secret.

Maybe it has to do with the location; this small pizzeria is tucked away in the same shopping plaza as Big Lots in Cathedral City, and has limited seating … but it makes fantastic pizza, with other delicious options as well. 69040 Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City; 760-770-0505; pizzeriabambinos.com.

—Brian Blueskye


Best Comfort Food in a Desert Dining Wasteland

Two Guys Pies

I moved to Morongo Valley a year ago from the Bay Area … and my taste buds have been suffering terribly in this desert wasteland. Nearby Yucca Valley is more of a mecca for fast food (including ridiculous overexcited buzzing about the recent opening of a Popeye’s Chicken) than any sort of place for fine dining. However, all is not lost.

I am in the midst of a comfort foodgasm over my discovery of Two Guys Pies, aka TGP. Specializing in brick oven ’za, Guy and Guy, the two guys behind Two Guys Pies, promote rock ’n’ rolling all night and ’za-ing every day. Their double-decker pepperoni pizza ranked 24th in the world at an international pizza expo just last year!

Aside from the delicious pizza, Two Guys has salads, pastas and sandwiches … all with creative rockin’ names like Sound Tomato Garden, Bon Chovies, The Hungry Rollins Band, Spinach Tap, Weird Al-Fredo, Run DMCaesar, etc. The Basket Case bread balls with Love Potion No. 9 dipping sauce are an absolute must-have.

It’s hard for me to refrain from eating at TGP every night. My only complaint: It closes at 4 p.m. on Sundays. 56969 Yucca Trail; Yucca Valley; 760-418-5075; 2guyspies.com. (Pictured: A Two Guys Pies employee hard at work. Photo by Shawn Smith.)

—Beth Allen


Best Local Event for Car Lovers

McCormick’s Palm Springs Collector Car Auctions

Keith McCormick is a classic-car guru, and whether you’re looking for a rare foreign vehicle or a domestic beauty from the ’50s, a Porsche or a Corvette, chances are you can find one at McCormick’s showroom on Indian Canyon Drive downtown Palm Springs—or at his twice-a-year car auction.

McCormick is an import himself: He moved from the outskirts of Liverpool in England to Palm Springs in 1981.

“I’ve been into the cars since I was 18,” he said. “Moving my exotic car biz here was a no brainer: It was the same (here) as in England, except for the sunshine and no rain over here.”

In 1985, he put together the Palm Springs Vintage Grand Prix and Concours d’Elegance show to help promote local tourism.

“We raced the vintage cars where now the new Convention Center is,” he said, proudly pointing out that he himself owns a cool Ferrari 488 GTB.

The McCormick family—with his wife and son, Jason, working alongside—has put together 65 Palm Springs Collector Car Auctions so far. The event is held twice a year, in February and November, with more than 500 cars at each event.

The McCormicks sell and ship cars all over the world, from Japan to Germany.

“We have sold Sinatra’s, Liberace’s and Elvis’ cars—even the Batmobile,” McCormick said with a grin. “Classic cars are like art to me—it’s like looking at ‘Mona Lisa,’ but a lot less expensive.” www.classic-carauction.com. (Pictured: Keith McCormick. Photo by Brane Jevric.)

—Brane Jevric


Best Artery-Clogging Meal

The Disco Superfries at Blackbook

If you’ve ever been hungry while in downtown Palm Springs, you know there are many, many options for food … but when my friends and I are in the mood to be bad, we always pick the cardiac special of disco superfries at Blackbook on Arenas Road.

These little yummies are a home run every time. Think nachos … but instead of chips, you get fries! That’s right—fresh fries topped with gooey cheese, sour cream, tomatoes and hot sauce.

You can share them, or you can make them a meal—you get a whole small cookie sheet of them! Warning: This is an item that’s just begging to be shared, so even if you’re alone and intend the superfries to be your meal … you will always have “friends” magically appear, even if you didn’t bring any with you. 315 Arenas Road, Palm Springs; 760-832-8497; blackbookbar.com.

—Dwight Hendricks


Best Karaoke

Peabody’s Café

The Coachella Valley is certainly not suffering from a lack of talented professional singers. But if you’re not a professional … it’s hard to carry your shower out on the town with you, so check out Peabody’s Café on Friday and Saturday nights for karaoke.

Even if you don’t want to croon yourself, you can kick back and hear some great singers … and some not-so-great singers. There is a great music selection, and the DJ is a nice guy. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m., but get there early—it fills up fast!

Enjoy the menu and bar while you’re waiting for your turn on the mic; Peabody’s has killer Bloody Mary’s. Heck, bring your friends and make a night of it! 134 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-1877; www.peabodyscafeandbar.com.

—Dwight Hendricks


Best Weekend Culinary Classes

Wabi Sabi Japan Living

One of my favorite places to hang out is Wabi Sabi Japan Living. It may sound weird that I like to hang out at a small Japanese-goods store, but don’t judge.

Not only does Wabi Sabi have great merchandise; the owners, Darrell and Sam, offer amazing classes on how to enjoy and use their products. Check out the website for dates and times; the classes are usually held on Saturday afternoons. I have been to the bonsai tree and ramen classes … but I have yet to attend the class I want to take most of all: the sushi-making class. You learn how to make three rolls by actually making them … then you get to eat them! You have to sign up early; the class fills up quickly. Wabi Sabi also offers sake and Japanese-grilling classes.

Not only do Darrell and Sam know what they are talking about; you can feel their passion. Take note: Wabi Sabi is set back off of the road a bit; look for the Rising Sun flags. 258 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-537-3838; www.wabisabijapanliving.com.

—Dwight Hendricks


Best Seafood Towers and Tostadas

Mariscoco’s Culiacan

Because I am a west valley resident, I don’t get down to the east valley that much … but I can tell you that an east valley trip is coming soon. In fact, it’s probably already happened by the time you’ve read this.

The reason: I have a huge, honking hankering for the food at Mariscoco’s Culiacan.

The last time I was at this Coachella mainstay, I ordered the tostada especial (pictured here): an individual-sized plate of delicious, fresh and cool seafood, including shrimp, abalone, octopus, fish, sea snail and scallops—plus cucumbers, onion, avocado and other ingredients—all mixed in with Mariscoco’s special smoky-tasting sauce. It was really, really good.

Still, I looked longingly at the seafood towers—including many of the aforementioned ingredients, and then some—as they went by to other tables. These huge creations are meant for more than one mere mortal … so next time I go to Mariscoco’s, I won’t be going alone.

Hey, west valley friends: How about a short road trip? We can meet our east valley friends at Mariscoco’s. 51683 Harrison (Cesar Chavez) St., Coachella; 760-398-5666; www.facebook.com/mariscocosymaristorresculiacan760.

—Jimmy Boegle

Published in Staff Picks

Esther Sanchez is known as a Coachella Valley music journalist, but she’s also got another thing going on: fronting the local all-female punk band The After Lashes. These women punk-rockers are mixing it up in an awesome way. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/theafterlashes. Esther was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are her answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

Including attending the Christian school connected with my church, I spent the vast majority of my young life in church, and that is where I grew my musical performance chops. That said, it may have been Amy Grant, but I also have strong memories of seeing Stryper in Pomona as a kid with my mom who was, and is, still a big fan of Christian metal. She also took me to see other Christian metal bands when I was 9 or 10 that never achieved Stryper’s success, such as Whitecross and Barren Cross.

What was the first album you owned?

I can’t for the life of me remember the first actual album I ever owned, because I was raised under a very strict “no secular music” rule. The first music I remember purchasing myself when I was a kid (behind my mom’s back) was the single for Young MC’s’ “Bust a Move.”

What bands are you listening to right now?

My list is getting really local as of late. We have so much great music locally, and I spend a lot of time listening to guys like Throw the Goat, Sleazy Cortez, Right On Right On, 5th Town and Thr3 Strykes. Other than that, I am a big NPR dork and like pretty much anything from the Tiny Desk series, particularly, Tank and the Bangas, who I caught at Coachella.

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

I am into a bit of everything. That said, a genre I don’t get is modern pop/country. I love me some Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Dwight Yoakam, etc. I just don’t get the majority of the new country.

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

I have to go defunct with this one: The Fugees had one amazing album, and I hate that I never had the opportunity to see them live. Also, The Beastie Boys. I kick myself all the time for waiting as though they would always be here to enjoy live.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Easy: Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.” My sister Serene and I love to bust it out when we are feeling particularly sassy. One of these days, I would love for The After Lashes to do a punky cover of it.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Some of the coolest concerts I have ever attended have been intimate shows at various House of Blues locations.

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

Probably from my peeps from 5th Town. ”Why don’t you tell me I’m pretty?!?!”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Led Zeppelin, because my mom layered them, and they are arguably the greatest. A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde showed me how deep and poetic hip-hop could be.

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

“Hey, Little Richard? What do you really think of Elvis?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta,” Geto Boys.

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

The Fugees, The Score.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Tight Pants/Body Rolls” by Leslie Hall. (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

When I recently sat down with the members of The After Lashes, the members of the all-female garage-punk band were excited about what’s happened to them over the last year—and what the coming year may bring.

In 2017, The After Lashes played 17 shows, with their sound steadily improving since their start in 2016. And to begin 2018, the band recorded seven tracks over 12 hours on the day I showed up at the home of Ali Saenz (aka Death Valley Ali) in La Quinta.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, The After Lashes will be perform at The Hood Bar and Pizza with GayC/DC and The Hellions at the monthly Coachella Valley Independent Presents show.

But before we talked about the past and the future, I had to ask: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name?

“The ‘Lashes’ part was always there in my head,” Saenz said. “The After Lashes is an off-shoot of a previous band I was in. A couple of the members and I had been kicking around one word—’Lashes.’ I am going to be honest: I went through a band-name generator, and just started asking, ‘What words rhyme with this?’ or, ‘What could we make of this?’ When ‘After’ and ‘Lashes’ popped up, I was all like, ‘Fuck yeah! There it is!’ It doesn’t really have a specific meaning, but I kind of like that, and I like that it leads people to ask what it means and where we came up with it.

“I like to leave a little mystery there. There are some feminine qualities in there, as well as a little of that S&M that we love,” Saenz added with a laugh.

The After Lashes have melded feminism and politics into their sound—in an entertaining yet serious way.

“We always knew we were going to be feminists and kind of raw and out there, but I don’t think we went into this thinking we were going to be a political band,” said lead vocalist Esther Sanchez. “The times we’re in sort of just call for it. We’ve been finding it difficult to write fun songs lately because of the vibe and our mindset of what’s going on around us—and who’s president. Everything going on has made it difficult to write fun songs, and we’re just writing about what we feel right now. We’re just trying to be truthful to ourselves and who we are.”

When I brought up the song “Dictator,” Saenz noted that the song is not political—and was actually written about a quarrel she had with her husband, well-known drummer Greg Saenz.

“It was the first song I ever wrote, and it’s the song I actually presented to Esther when I was begging to join the band,” Saenz said. “… I was very pissed off at my significant other one night. It was great, because he actually helped me structure everything together in GarageBand—and then he realized it was about him, and I found my lyric book floating in the pool one day.”

Some music fans wrote off the After Lashes after the band’s first few gigs—but the group has become better with each show.

“We started (playing live) too early,” said bassist Serene Tahtinen. “But it’s good to experience it. Me and Jen (Corradi) are on the shy side, so with me and her, every experience is a plus for us to push ourselves more and get ourselves out there more.”

Each of the four members takes part in the songwriting process, they said—an interesting fact, considering they all come from different musical backgrounds. Sanchez grew up singing in church and sang vocal jazz with local musician Alex Santana, while guitarist Corradi comes from a folk-music background. Saenz is inspired by melodic and British-punk influences, while Tahtinen is metal-influenced, although she played jazz bass while she was a music-theory student in college.

“My main influence is acoustic and folk music, if someone told me I’d be playing punk rock with a bunch of badass chicks onstage, I’d say, ‘You’re fucking crazy, man!’” said Corradi, who joined the group later than the others. “My first show with this band was last year at the Date Shed in front of 250 people. I had to deal with my own stage fright, and only after a couple of weeks of jamming with them, they said, ‘We have a gig at the Date Shed!’”

After putting in several hours of work, and as the producers of their upcoming release—Dennis Cooper and Dan Housel—packed up, the band members said they felt good about their recording efforts.

“For me as a mom who has two kids, I feel like this is another child to me,” Saenz said. “It’s the first record I’ve ever recorded, and we had two amazing professionals in here working their asses off, taking us under their wing and showing us the ropes—and they’re going to make us sound like rock stars. This means a lot to me and will be something I cherish for the rest of my life.”

The After Lashes will perform with GayC/DC, The Hellions and others as part of the Coachella Valley Independent Presents series at 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-636-5220, or visit facebook.com/HoodBarAndPizza.

Published in Previews

A while back, Independent contributor Baynard Woods put out a call for alternative publications across the country to share information about musicians who are writing and performing protest songs in the era of President Donald J. Trump.

The response was amazing: More than 20 publications—including the Coachella Valley Independent—did writeups on protest songs created in their markets. Many of them are fantastic.

Here is the compilation—and we’ll start off our abbreviated list with the Independent’s contribution. —Jimmy Boegle

The After Lashes, “We the Sheeple”

Coachella Valley

The After Lashes is a new all-female punk band that features Ali Saenz, the wife of former Dwarves and Excel drummer Greg Saenz.

Frontwoman Esther Sanchez explained the inspiration behind the band’s song “We the Sheeple.”

“‘We the Sheeple’ was an easy song to write, because it came from a place of frustration and growing resentment toward the current powers that be, and, of course, more specifically, Donald Trump,” she said. “We have a president who calls anything he doesn’t like ‘fake news’ while simultaneously spending an insane amount of time tweeting nonsense and lies like a crazy person.

“The policies he intends to establish are harmful to pretty much everyone who is not wealthy; unfortunately, so many who voted for him were unknowingly voting against their own best interests. The song is very much about uniting against a tyrant, because that is precisely what we believe Trump to be.” —Brian Blueskye

Keith Morris, “What Happened to Your Party?”

Charlottesville, Va.

Known to at least one of his fellow musicians as “our rockin’ protest grouch in chief,” Keith Morris has a slew of protest songs, such as “Psychopaths and Sycophants,” “Prejudiced and Blind” and “Brownsville Market,” from his Dirty Gospel album, plus “Blind Man,” “Peaceful When You Sleep” and “Border Town” from Love Wounds and Mars. His latest release: “What Happened to Your Party?” —Erin O'Hare

Thunderfist, “Suck It”

Salt Lake City

Sure, there are more articulate ways to denounce Trump than a song called “Suck It.” Countering blustery, bigoted bullshit with artfully composed, well-reasoned takedowns is how we’ll effect change. That doesn’t mean we can't occasionally vent our rage by strapping on Les Pauls, cranking up Marshalls, raising middle fingers and offering a blues-based, punk-rock invitation to fellatio. And maybe also, as the final, snarling chord slides into silence, by calling him a “fat baby fuckface.” —Randy Harward

Dooley, Lor Roger and TLow, “CIT4DT”

Baltimore

This Boosie-tinged Thee Donald diss from Baltimore, which dropped long before inauguration, still thrills: “Boy ain’t even white, you yellow / You said you’d date your own daughter; you a sicko.” Stakes are high here, too—the mastermind behind it, Dooley, is Muslim—and right-wing semi-fascist snowflakes took the song totally seriously, denounced it as a “death threat” (“CIT4DT” stands for “chopper in the trunk for Donald Trump”) and bemoaned its Baltimore origins. Meanwhile, the trio responsible for it thought the shit was hilarious. —Brandon Soderberg

Trombone Shorty and Dumpstaphunk, “Justice”

New Orleans

Trombone Shorty and Dumpstaphunk teamed up on a song called “Justice”—released on the day Donald Trump was inaugurated president. A mélange of funk, jazz and New Orleans brass band sounds, the video for “Justice” slyly marries video footage of Trump against pointed lyrics.

“Inauguration day seemed to be an appropriate time to voice the need for equal say and opportunity for all people,” said Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville. “We entered a New Year with a lot of unanswered questions on the subject of ‘justice’ that we all felt a little uneasy about. But there’s only so much we can do and this track is our way of expressing our worries.” —Gambit Weekly

Lonely Horse, “Devil in the White House”

San Antonio, Texas

Shots fired! Lonely Horse comes out guns-a-blazing with the track “Devil in the White House.” Opening with a sludgy cadence that crescendos into a tumultuous rock ’n’ roll explosion, the “desert rock” duo of Nick Long and Travis Hild make very clear their feelings about the 45th POTUS. —Chris Conde

Mal Jones, J Blacco, Lost Firstborne, and DJ Shotgun, “CODE RED: Hands Up, Don’t Shoot"

Jacksonville, Fla.

The spate of deaths at the hands of law enforcement led Mal Jones and his collaborators to take action.

“We came up with this song after all of the recent acquittals in the cases related to the steadily rising murders of unarmed black men in the hands of law enforcement in America,” Jones said. “We wanted to protest about this issue in the most effective way we know how—through song. Blacco explained how the song came together.

“My inspiration for writing my verse was, first, the climate of events going on at the time,” he said. “It was right after the Alton Sterling situation (Alton Sterling was shot and killed in Baton Rouge, La., by police while he was being held down on the ground.) When my man Lost Firstborne played the beat, that’s just what the track was speaking to me. It had a haunting soulful vibe about it, so once I heard it, everything flowed rather easily,” —Claire Goforth

Lingua Franca, “A Man’s World“

Athens, Ga.

Shortly after Inauguration Day, two Athens studios invited 19 local bands to commemorate the dawn of the Trump Age, tracking 20 songs in a marathon 48-hour session. While much of the resulting album, Athens Vs. Trump Comp 2017, is suitably bleak, ascendant emcee Lingua Franca’s “A Man’s World” stands out for its sheer defiance. “Frenzied and indiscreet,” it’s a fiery feminist anthem for the resistance. —Gabe Vodicka

OG Swaggerdick, “Fuck Donald Trump”

Boston

Among diehard hip-hop heads as well as artists, Boston’s underground rap scene is renowned as one of the most lyrically elaborate and intellectual anywhere. But when it comes to straight-up protesting and verbally impaling the potty-mouthed POTUS, there’s something undeniably satisfying, even admirable, about OG Swaggerdick’s simple and straightforward election anthem, “Fuck Donald Trump.” From the fittingly filthy rhymes—“never give props to a punk ass trick / motherfuck Donald Trump, he can suck my dick”—to the strangers on the street who gladly join along in rapping in the video, these are protest lyrics you’ll still be able to remember and perhaps even rap for relief on occasions when the president leaves you otherwise speechless. —Chris Faraone

Clint Breeze and The Groove, “Blood Splatter”

Indianapolis

Featuring more than a dozen guest contributors—including poets, rappers and jazz musicians—Clint Breeze’s album Nappy Head weaves a phantasmagoric assemblage of words and sounds into a razor-sharp critique of racial oppression in modern America.

“I wanted to symbolize the state of oppression that black people experience every day,” he said, “from not getting fair treatment in the justice system, to getting shot and killed by law enforcement, to being unfairly treated in the workforce—you name it. I wanted to make a statement on how we as black people view this oppressive society that we live in. I also wanted to give a different perspective from white people. I have a couple of my friends who are white on the album speaking about the nature of white privilege.”

“Blood Splatter” is the record’s most cutting track, featuring spoken word artist Too Black, with cascading cymbal cracks and careening sax. —Kyle Long and Katherine Coplen

Priests, “Right Wing”

Washington, D.C.

There’s been no shortage of scathing political protest songs coming out of D.C. since, well, the birth of punk. But in recent years, post-punk quartet Priests has succeeded in reminding the rest of the country that D.C. is, and always has been, pissed the fuck off.

“Right Wing,” off the band’s breakthrough EP Bodies and Control and Money and Power, so perfectly captures the ass-backwardsness of living in a country controlled by capitalists, fascists, racists, and war mongers. “Everything everything / So right wing / Everything everything / So right wing / Purse searches, pep rallies / Purse searches, SUVs,” sings Katie Alice Greer. It reads like a short, poetic treatise on how the toxicity of right-wing ideals infects everyday life. —Matt Cohen

Withdraw, “Disgust”

Columbia, S.C.

On its 2017 debut EP Home, Columbia’s Withdraw oscillates violently between bristling, pedal-to-the floor emo (think At the Drive-In) and brutal, clawing crust punk. And on “Disgust,” the band proves the virtue of its versatility, shifting from an unflinchingly blackened hardcore blitz that bashes sexual abusers to a more expansive, anthemic coda that seeks to lift up the victims— “You are not tarnished!” It’s a potent statement, a searing declaration of alliance in musical realm more often derided for problematic gender politics. —Jordan Lawrence

NODON, “Alt-Wrong”

Burlington, Vt.

NODON is an anti-fascist, anti-hate power-punk duo born out of the 2016 presidential election. Seething with caustic epithets, the duo’s songs condemn xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, white supremacy and, above all, President Donald Trump.

“Alt-Wrong,” from the 2017 EP, Covfefe, delivers a swift and vicious kick to the alt-right’s figurative crotch. Over razor-sharp guitar riffs and seething drums, NODON screams its battle cry: “Annihilate this hate! Not right! Alt-wrong!” —Jordan Adams

Rmllw2llz, “So Amerikkkan”

Louisville, Ky.

Nationwide, when you think of the Louisville music scene, your mind probably bounces to My Morning Jacket, Bonnie “Prince” Billy or maybe even White Reaper—all who are great—but the city’s hip-hop scene is packed with poignant hip-hop artists, and if you’re looking for a pure protest song, look no further than Rmllw2llz’s “So Amerikkkan,” in which he says: “Fuck Trump, he’s a bum and Hillary trash, too.”

The song was released a few months ago, but if you give it a listen, you can hear a lot of the country’s past, present and future angst packed into a few powerful minutes. —Scott Recker

Michael Bone, “My Peace Will Outlive You”

Chico, Calif.

Michael Bone is a Chico musician, husband and father who has a day job teaching music to developmentally disabled kids, a night job playing drums for jazz-combo Bogg, and dozens of side projects including running the 1day Song Club. The latter is a songwriting group that receives a one-word prompt every other week, after which participants are tasked with writing, recording and submitting a song to be posted online (at www.1dayclub.com) within 24 hours.

“My Peace Will Outlive You,” an angst-ridden yet hopeful slice of psychedelic pop, is Bone's contribution to the prompt of “Trump.” —Jason Cassidy

Dais, “Atrocity”

Rochester, N.Y.

Dais tells you exactly where it stands on “Atrocity,” the first track off its self-titled debut EP. The post-hardcore band makes a racing, pounding apology to the Earth before (sort of) slowing down to confront the powers that be.

“Show us a tyrant / And we’ll show you our grievance / Fuck that, we will fight this,” vocalist Travis Rankin yells and strains in defiance.

“The person who the States had elected was talking about withdrawing us from The Paris Climate Accord,” Rankin says. “We felt betrayed and began writing this song. It’s an apology to the Earth for us not being as good to it as it has been to us.” —Jake Clapp

Iris DeMent, “We Won’t Keep Quiet”

Iowa City, Iowa

Back in February, Iowa City held a Solidarity Rally Against the Ban, proclaiming support for immigrant populations and refugees in the wake of Trump’s first and most ridiculous attempted travel ban. In between the community leaders, local politicians and youth speakers, a variety of area musicians performed, including the brilliant Iris DeMent. She debuted a song, “We Won't Keep Quiet,” that captured the feeling in the crowd that day in a really powerful way. —Little Village

Joshua Asante, “No Time for Despair”

Little Rock, Ark.

Joshua Asante, best known for fronting the bands Amasa Hines and Velvet Kente, is also a photographer—someone who delights in the tangible process of making art. It’s in his latest work as a solo artist that this becomes most evident, Asante hunching down over a briefcase stuffed with loop stations and processors.

Of “No Time For Despair,” Asante says: “In times of distress and turmoil, it’s easy to get kinda caught up in the collective despair, so the lyrics are very much about, like, ‘Yeah, times are tumultuous, but there’s also a lot of really wonderful magical things that are going on in your life.’ ... That is probably the supreme act of defiance—to be joyful, to be loving.” —Stephanie Smittle

The Whiskey Farm, “Flag Pin”

Madison, Wis.

The Whiskey Farm is an Americana/folk rock band from Madison, Wis. Formed in 2010, the band has produced four albums and won Madison Area Music Awards in the Folk/Americana and Ensemble Vocals categories.

The band’s most recent album, Songs of Resistance (2017), is the band’s first record comprised entirely of social and political music, covering topics including immigration policy, faux patriotism, money in politics, gun control, equal rights and gerrymandering. “Flag Pin” is a tongue-in-cheek blues-inspired indictment of opportunistic patriots, including Trump.

The band released Songs of Resistance as a benefit for the ACLU of Wisconsin. —Catherine Capellaro

E-Turn, “Ill Legal Alien”

Orlando, Fla.

Orlando MC E-Turn raises a particularly eloquent middle-finger in the face of Donald Trump. The Persian American, outspoken, femme MC is a firebrand on the mic, and her lyrics deftly meld the personal with the political in ways that hardcore dudes could only dream of. The fury and technique with which she drop bars—and other, usually male, MCs—onstage is the proud definition of a nasty woman. Her anthemic “Ill Legal Alien” may predate Trump’s election, but the Swamburger-produced track (Solillaquists of Sound) is still furiously of-the-moment. —Matthew Moyer and Bao Le-Huu

Cheap Perfume, “Trump Roast”

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Cheap Perfume is a four-piece Colorado Springs band who followe in the tradition of feminist punk acts like Le Tigre and The Slits. “Trump Roast” is, not surprisingly, one of the band’s biggest crowd-pleaser, as Stephanie Byrne and Jane No deliver a “Dear Don” letter to the resident president, culminating in a final verse that grows more timely, and more serious, with each passing day: “You wanna ban Muslims? Well, we wanna ban you / Your fascist ideas wrapped in red, white, and blue / Your KKK clones won’t be the ones to choose / Enjoy your last gasp ’cause racism’s through.” —Bill Forman

DBL DRGN, “Trim the Bushes”

Charleston, S.C.

Several election-reflection songs that came out of Charleston following Nov. 7, 2016. One of those that stood out is by a local hip-hop duo—Damn Skippy and Bad Mojo—dubbed DBL DRGN. Before releasing the audio, the guys filmed the video for the song “Trim the Bushes” on Election Day. With Bad Mojo dressed as a dragon, high-fiving passers-by, the silly aspect of the visuals was meant to complement the circus-like atmosphere of the 2016 election; it also brought a smile to the faces of voters on an otherwise stressful day. The video was released on Inauguration Day, another attempt to lift the spirits of those who felt the doom and gloom all too well that January morning. The duo rather brilliantly mashes up George Bush (“Fool me once ... can’t get fooled again”) with Bob Marley (“You can fool some people sometimes but you can’t fool all the people all of the time”), while the video shows footage of Donald Trump’s remarks on everything from immigration and Mexicans to birtherism, Putin, John McCain and women. The acknowledgment of all the things progressives find disturbing about the current administration, coupled with the sense that folks should keep their heads up (and alert) and stick together for the duration of the hand we’ve been dealt, made for a perfect combo. —Kelly Rae Smith

The After Lashes are a new all-female garage-punk band with Esther Sanchez (lead vocals), Sepultura Moon (bass), Jen Corradi (guitar) and Death Valley Ali (drums). The After Lashes play kickass covers and originals. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TheAfterLashes. Death Valley Ali (Ali Saenz), was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are her answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

This one is a little fuzzy. My parents are total music-lovers, and they, thankfully, hauled me out to all of their concerts with them when I was young. My very first concert was either Elton John or Bob Dylan. … The first concert I actually bought my own ticket for was AC/DC in ’83.

What was the first album you owned?

Oh, how I miss record stores—thumbing through records and trying to pick your next soundtrack to life based on the album cover! I was in a dilemma over what to spend my allowance on: Pink Floyd’s The Wall, or Blondie’s Eat to the Beat. Blondie won out.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I just got a trial subscription to satellite radio, and I’m constantly listening to the new wave station. I’m really digging on bands like Squeeze, New Order, The Police, Devo, Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen right now.

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

Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely believe music of all kinds is artistry. … Modern-day pop, I guess, would be the biggest one that I don’t get. Don’t people know that they are being spoon fed pre-packaged crap?

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

Queen. Out of all the concerts I’ve seen in my life, I somehow missed out on Queen, and it kills me.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I like what I like and make no excuses for it. Would some people be surprised that I go to Air Supply concerts and sing along to every word? Probably! I really love, love looove ABBA. I mostly grew up in the ’70s, so all of that cheesy music you hear on the “oldies” stations—that’s the stuff I love.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I’m a lucky gal who’s been to many venues around the world. I think the one that’s probably nearest and dearest to me would be Slim’s in San Francisco. It’s a great venue (despite the stage pole), and I have many great memories from there.

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

If I am ever looking at you with a semi-vacant expression on my face, it’s a guarantee that I’m singing it to you silently: “Whataya Want From Me,” Adam Lambert.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The Damned, in many ways. They were one of my first introductions to English punk—well, punk in general when I was a teenager. It was a total attitude change. Their music brought a sense of rebellion and resistance and fun and letting go and just being yourself. … Some of them are actually my friends now, and it’s hard to believe sometimes when I’m face to face with my teenage idol. It’s a bit surreal.

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

Mick Jagger: “Will you be my boyfriend?” (Sorry, Greg.)

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Bonus if Eric Idle is still alive to sing it at the memorial.

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

The Damned, Machine Gun Etiquette.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” by the Rolling Stones. Because it’s a brilliant effing song! (Scroll down to hear it!)

Published in The Lucky 13