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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Since winning the Battle of the Bands at The Hood Bar and Pizza in August (I was a judge of the contest), San Jacinto’s Grand Scovell has began gathering more of a following here in the Coachella Valley. Catch them live this Saturday, Oct. 18, at The Hood; also playing at the free 9 p.m. show are Accustomed to Nothing and Brain Vat. You can find Grand Scovell on Facebook at www.facebook.com/grandscovell. Grand Scovell’s frontman, Daniel Gililland, was kind enough to recently answer the Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

I believe it was The Cadillacs when I was, like, 10.

What was the first album you owned?

It was a best of the ’50s cassette tape with some Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper, Fats Domino and a bunch of other greats on it.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Jonny Two Bags, Face to Face, Gordon Lightfoot and Voodoo Glow Skulls.

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

Dubstep, which sounds like video game music, and Kanye West, which sounds like something the Army psy-ops guys would have used on Manuel Noriega. I mean, it’s seriously, seriously bad, but apparently I’m quite alone in this sentiment.

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

If a time machine were available, then The Beatles at Shea Stadium in ’65, or at the Apple building in ‘69 for the final performance.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Canada’s finest ... Gordon Lightfoot.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I really liked Emo’s in Austin’s Sixth Street District. I saw many of my favorites there. I don’t think it’s at the same location anymore, but at the time, it was not very big. That underground awesomeness made the experience very personal between the bands and the fans.

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

“Riding on clay wheels ’til the bitter end,” “Riding on Clay Wheels,” Jonny Two Bags.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

I have to say NOFX. I realize it’s a cliché, with me being in a punk band, but it’s true. They opened my ears not just to punk, but an entirely new version of it—melodies, harmonies, musicianship and just stuff I’d never heard before. It was amazing to me.

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

A couple years ago I caught a Jonny Two Bags’ acoustic set. He played a song that I absolutely loved, and it’s not on his solo release. I would ask him what the name of the song is, and if he has any plans to release it.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Taps,” because I’m a soldier.

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

The Beatles, Revolver.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Next Stop, Pottersville.” And if you know how to find it without Google ... well, you’re a true fan!

Published in The Lucky 13

October is here, and in theory, we should begin to get some relief from the oppressive heat.

In theory.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has two excellent events coming up that you probably shouldn’t miss. First, the Experience Hendrix Tour will be coming through at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11. The lineup is packed with big names, including Buddy Guy, Billy Cox, Zakk Wylde, Jonny Lang and many others. As you can probably guess from the name, the tour pays homage to Jimi Hendrix, and has been going for more than a decade. Tickets are $29 to $69. And now for something completely different: Cheech and Chong and WAR will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24. Cheech and Chong are the comedy world’s biggest stoners, of course, thanks in part to films such as Up in Smoke, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, and Nice Dreams. And if anybody asks, Dave’s not here, man. Tickets are $29 to $69. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 800-827-2946; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has two fine events scheduled. The Beach Boys will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3. Former Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson came through the Coachella Valley in late August, so a performance by the Beach Boys should be a nice follow-up; however, keep in mind that technically, Mike Love is the only original member of this group of Beach Boys, although Bruce Johnston, a touring member since 1965, is also part of the lineup. There’s no word on whether or not John Stamos will be performing on the drums. Tickets are $45 to $75. Creedence Clearwater Revisited will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, featuring Creedence Clearwater Revival members Stu Cook (bass) and Doug Clifford (drums). The group formed in 1995 to play a couple of shows that a friend of theirs wanted to put on—and then they decided to tour. This did not sit well with Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty; Fogerty filed suit against Cook and Clifford, forcing them to perform under a different name until the courts ruled in favor of Cook and Clifford. Tickets are $40 to $60. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has a couple of events worth mentioning. They’re back: Thunder From Down Under returns to Morongo at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $25. If mostly naked men aren’t your thing, you’ll be happy to know that Paquita la del Barrio will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24. The renowned singer has been fighting sexism in Mexico since 1970—and she’ll put you on the spot if you give her any flak. This is a show definitely worth checking out. Tickets are $59 to $69. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

The Purple Room reopened as The Purple Room Restaurant and Stage just before Labor Day. Machin’, The Judy Show and The Michael Holmes Trio still have their usual weekly residencies, and the fine folks there have added the David Ring Duo on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. They play jazz and old favorites from the American Songbook. There is no cover. The Gand Band will be ending their snowbird season in Chicago and returning to the Purple Room at 8:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $10. The Gand Band is also leading some themed events in October, such as Tiki Chic on Friday, Oct. 10, and an ’80s Halloween on Friday, Oct. 31. The Purple Room Restaurant and Stage, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

The Copa in Palm Springs has a full calendar in October. At 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, and 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, Suzanne Westenhoefer will be appearing. Known as a panelist on GSN’s I’ve Got a Secret, and for her LOGO Television comedy special A Bottom on Top, this lesbian comedian will have you laughing for sure. Tickets are $20 to $40. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, Gloria Loring will be stopping by. The actress and singer has released several albums and helped compose the theme songs for Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. Fun fact: She was married to Alan Thicke—and is Robin Thicke’s mom. Tickets are $40 to $60. Jazz singer/songwriter Tony DeSare will be appearing at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 18. DeSare’s songs have appeared in films such as The Tooth Fairy and My Date With Drew. Tickets are $20 to $40. Copa, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-866-0021; www.copapalmsprings.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has booked several great shows. Dawes will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11. The Los Angeles folk-rock band has played the late-night talk shows, performed with Jackson Browne at an Occupy Wall Street event, and received acclaim from critics and fans alike for their albums. Tickets are $25. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15, The New Pornographers (above) will be performing an outdoor show. The band’s blend of pop and indie-rock has made them popular since they formed in 1999. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider the lineup: Neko Case, Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Kathryn Calder of Immaculate Machine, John Collins of The Evaporators, Todd Fancey of Limblifter, and independent filmmaker Blaine Thurier. Wow. Tickets are $30. Tycho with Com Truise will be at Pappy’s at 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26. Tycho is a well-known ambient-music artist and producer, and Com Truise is a solid name in dance music. Tickets are $25. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Hard Rock Hotel’s schedule is heating up. At 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24, it will be “Dive-In Movies” night, with the Palm Springs Film Society screening the Talking Heads concert film, Stop Making Sense, in the pool area. It’s a perfect pairing of venue and film, isn’t it? Admission is free. BB Ingle will be having his Annual Halloween Bash at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31. I can vouch for the fact that it’s a lot of fun. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $30 at the door; 21 and older only. Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9676; www.hrhpalmsprings.com.

Bar is hosting a special event at 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9. The Rebel Noise will be playing the first show of the band’s California tour for the hometown crowd. Also on the bill are CIVX and former War Drum guitarist John Marek. Admission is free. Bar, 340 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs; 760-537-7337; www.barwastaken.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has two events that should not be missed. At 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3,punk veterans Guttermouth will be returning to The Hood. The controversial and humorous punk band puts on an excellent show. Tickets are $10. At 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, the Koffin Kats (below) will be stopping by for a Halloween show. The Detroit psychobilly group’s performance would be a perfect way to celebrate Halloween. Admission is free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

The Date Shed is back with an encouraging calendar of events going into 2015. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, rapper and producer Warren G will be performing. In 1994, his song “Regulate” was a major hit. Tickets are $25. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe Street, Indio; 760-775-6699; www.dateshedmusic.com.

Here’s some advance notice about an early-November event: Celebrate the Day of the Dead on Saturday, Nov. 1, and Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Dia De Los Muertos festival in Coachella, at Rancho Las Flores Park. Scheduled to perform are Chicano Batman, Noel Torres, Banda Nachos, La Santa Cecilia, La Bikina and others. There will be food vendors, art exhibitions, and many other things Day of the Dead. This is a great event for all ages. Tickets start at $20. Rancho Las Flores Park is located at 48350 Van Buren St. in Coachella. For more information, visit www.diadelosmuertosusa.com.

Published in Previews

Authority Zero formed two decades ago in Mesa, Ariz., and through five albums and many tours with some of the biggest names in music, the band’s reggae and skate-punk sound has helped it stand out.

The band will be stopping by The Hood Bar and Pizza for a show on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Authority Zero came together in 1994 as a trio consisting of guitarists Bill Marcks and Jerry Douglas, and drummer J.W. Gordon. The three put out songs that didn’t have basslines or even vocals until 1995, when Jason DeVore visited Douglas from his home state of Wyoming. The band members soon learned DeVore had the ability to write effective songs quickly—and he became the band’s singer.

Over the years, the band has seen members come and go, but DeVore remains the frontman. During a recent phone interview done right after Authority Zero’s recent European tour, DeVore talked about the band’s sound.

“We’ve heard while touring the world that our sound takes (people) back to that ’90s generation of punk music and takes them back to that awesome place,” DeVore said. “I remember a lot of good times, and I have some good memories of that era when we first started.”

Authority Zero has toured with bands including Guttermouth, Everclear and Unwritten Law. The one band DeVore remembers touring with most fondly is Pennywise.

“We toured with them abroad, as well as in the United States and Canada,” DeVore said. “We toured with the original lineup and the one with Zoli (Teglas). Over the years, we’ve managed to become pretty good friends with them. They were a band I grew up with and looked up to as a kid, and it got me influenced to do my own band. I got a phone call from Fletcher (Dragge) to try out for the singer position after Jim (Lindberg) left the band. My relationship with those guys has crazily evolved over the years, and it’s been great.”

Punk-rock music is trying to pull itself out of the pop-punk era, and the Warped Tour seems to be once again including some of the original bands that made it prominent, as well as some promising punk up-and-comers. DeVore said it’s evident that punk is coming back.

“(The Warped Tour) has its positives and its negatives, obviously,” DeVore said. “For what punk rock is, it’s gone from old school to new school, and it’s always evolving as well, and people are trying to do new things. … With the new bands and lack of the old-school bands, it’s a new generation, and I think things are changing. I don’t really think it’s a bad thing, but I do think it’s been coming back around with the old ’90s sound. So like I said, it has its positives and its negatives.”

While many of Authority Zero’s contemporaries have gone to a part-time status, Authority Zero continues to tour and record new albums; most recently, the band put out The Tipping Point in 2013. DeVore explained the approach the band took with the new album, and how it was recorded with members living in different states.

“To start off, the writing process was done back and forth over e-mails, voicemails and that kind of stuff,” DeVore said. “Our guitar-player lives in Texas, so we had to do a lot of it back and forth that way, and have him fly out to my place and really hash out the ideas that developed in the raw form. Once we did that, we flew out to Santa Ana and recorded the album with Cameron Webb. We … lived out there for a month and a half and stayed with our manager, sleeping on his floor. We had a great time with it, and it was a great new experience. It was a fresh new sound, going back to talking about the ‘evolution of sounds’ thing.”

While the band continues to tour, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

“It’s certainly hard to go on tour and leave your loved ones behind,” DeVore said. “That never gets any easier, and it obviously gets a little harder in that regard. You’re leaving behind your whole household, your responsibilities such as your bills and all that stuff, and the people you care about and you miss to where you’re putting a big load on them. You feel a little guilty when you’re all like, ‘Well, I’m going to go out and do my rock thing,’ As far as the touring thing goes with my wife and me, we’ve gotten a little numb in that regard, too, and you just kind of get used to going out and doing it and expect that it becomes part of your daily life and routine.”

DeVore added that it’s extremely difficult for independent bands like Authority Zero to make a living these days. However, the band presses on.

“You have no label support. You’re out there signing your T-shirts; you’re busting your ass to stay alive out there, and that’s what it really comes down to—it’s a complete DIY process, and if you don’t love it, you’re going to fall on your face, and you’ll probably stop doing it.

Authority Zero will perform with The Bunny Gang and TJ Nasty at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, PalmDesert. Admission is $10. For more information, call 760-636-5220, or visit the event’s Facebook page.

Published in Previews

The Hood Bar and Pizza in Palm Desert has become known in recent years for both its incredible bookings of big-name punk-rock bands and its support of local music.

Now, the venue may become known for another thing: a fantastic electronic dance music night.

On Saturday, Sept. 20, The Hood will be hosting Fresh Sessions Live, hosted by Independent contributor All Night Shoes (Alex Harrington), with special guests Synthetix and Coffee Blvckk. (The Independent is also a sponsor of the event.)

During a recent interview, Harrington and Jack Kohler, the booking agent for The Hood, said the idea for the EDM night developed in part due to a successful birthday bash for Synthetix back in July. They realized that creating a regular dance-music night might be a good idea, especially since the eastern Coachella Valley doesn’t have a lot of music venues.

“It was my idea, but Jack encouraged it,” Harrington said. “The main idea behind it is it’s all about a form of collaboration. It’s not just one person or one thing, and it’s not just The Hood throwing a show. It’s artists coming together and doing something at The Hood.”

Kohler said he was happy to work with Harrington to put something together.

“I’ve noticed what he’s been doing locally, and I think it’s a neat thing,” Kohler said. “There are people out here who are cutthroat about working together. I think it’s rad that someone is starting a collective group of people. Another thing that’s difficult with this style of music is pairing people. I have a couple of favorite local DJs, with Alex being one of them. Coffee Blvckk is kind of an up-and-comer doing his thing. I had a night scheduled with him that we had to drop because of another show that interrupted it, so it’s cool that he’s going to be a part of this.”

Kohler has joked in the past that The Hood is more known for bros “high-fiving each other and throwing up,” and he said that some of the venue’s patrons have left “Boycott DJs!” messages on The Hood’s Facebook page.

“People would get so upset that we even had DJs,” Kohler said. “People have a kind of negative definition for a disc jockey and someone who uses new technology, so there’s a lot of purism with certain people. The funny thing is: In this town, you can’t just use this venue for straight rock ’n’ roll; it’s impossible to do that without repeating certain acts. Adding DJs to our schedule gives people a new flavor.”

Harrington agreed.

“That’s what I like about The Hood: The Hood just isn’t an average venue,” Harrington said. “They’re always trying to bring in the freshest and highest quality of musicians—and the people here don’t realize it. That’s what I’m trying to do with this event: bring my knowledge and view on (music) to a place like The Hood, and keep that edge, keep that freshness—but also keep an underground vibe.

“People who go out to dance at places like the Hard Rock Hotel don’t necessarily want to go there all the time and be around that; sometimes, it’s just bit much. Sometimes, it’s nice to go somewhere where there’s not a pretentious fiasco going on. You want to let yourself go, but still have that experience with a DJ, and I think that’s something that people are looking for.”

Both Harrington and Kohler said they hope to make the EDM night a regular event.

“I’ve reached out to multiple artists in the area, and I’ve gotten positive feedback and people wanting to do it,” Harrington said. “If this takes off, it could be used in a way to combine local artists and DJs with acts from Los Angeles and San Diego. We don’t really have a place out here that’s like a real dance club; everything is kind of commercialized, to an extent. So I’d like to use it as a hub for local artists and DJs, and broaden the horizons of the scene out here.”

The event will be free. The Hood is also known for being on the cheaper side regarding beer and cocktails, so Kohler sees the potential in creating something new that people can enjoy without breaking the bank.

“I don’t like doing covers for events here,” Kohler said. “I also don’t like the high prices at clubs. That’s why I don’t really do that scene personally. I don’t want to spend a ton on drinks, and I don’t want to pay to see something I believe I can universally see somewhere else. This is a neat opportunity for us. … It’s not douchey, and you don’t have to ‘fit in.’

“I don’t want this bar to be selective to just punk rock, because that’s what it was for so long, and people have gotten over that. I have a lot of national punk rock coming up over the next couple of months, but I don’t want to stick to just that.”

Harrington hopes to see the place as packed as it was for Synthetix’s birthday party back in July.

“It got pretty busy,” Harrington said. “That event was thrown together (at the) last minute, so we’ll see what happens with this.”

Fresh Sessions Live, hosted by Independent contributor All Night Shoes (Alex Harrington) and featuring special guests Synthetix and Coffee Blvckk, takes place at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is free; this is an event for people 21 and older. For more information, call 760-636-5220, or visit www.facebook.com/thehoodbar. Below: Synthetix.

Published in Previews

It’s time to celebrate the beginning of the end of summer with some great events!

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has some big names scheduled for September. Funny man George Lopez will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 6. The Mexican-American comedian’s impressive career has included his own talk show, several sitcoms and various other acting credits. Tickets are $39 to $99. If that’s not a big enough name for you, sit down, because Diana Ross will be returning to the Coachella Valley for a performance at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20. The former Supremes singer is a Motown legend and R&B powerhouse. At 70 years old, she’s still going strong. Tickets are $49 to $109. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 800-827-2946; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has a couple of excellent events worth mentioning. The first one: Janelle Monae is performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12. The psychedelic soul singer has performed at Coachella, won six Grammy awards, and supported many artists on various tours. Hers is not typical R&B music by any means. Tickets are $45 to $75. Peter Frampton (right) will take the stage at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19. If you were a child of the ’70s, you definitely were enveloped in the music of Peter Frampton. It’s been said that everyone once owned his record Frampton Comes Alive, because it came with free samples of Tide in the mail. Tickets are $50 to $70. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has an event in September that you definitely shouldn’t miss: The legendary Engelbert Humperdinck (below) will be appearing at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19. The British crooner’s career goes back to 1956, and he enjoys a large following of female fans of all different ages. Legend says that he has more notches on his bedpost than Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead and Gene Simmons of KISS. Tickets are $59 to $69. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club has some great things going on during September. On Friday, Sept. 12, and Saturday, Sept. 13, the Ace Hotel will host Beer Culture: Craft Beer Weekend. There will be more than 20 craft breweries on hand, including the local big three: Coachella Valley Brewing Company, La Quinta Brewing Co., and Babe’s. There will be live music from Tijuana Panthers, Beach Party, RT n the 44s, and Pearl Charles and the Pipes Canyon Band. Prices vary. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

The Copa in Palm Springs is offering an impressive lineup in September. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 6, the Copa will host American Idol contestant Melinda Doolittle. Doolittle finished third during the show’s sixth season and almost always received praise from the judges. Tickets are $27.50 to $37.50. Drag legend Charles Busch will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19, and Saturday, Sept. 20. Busch is also known as a playwright and a singer. Tickets are $35 to $65. Nita Whitaker, a vocalist who has shared the stage with Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand, will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27. Tickets are $25 to $40. The Copa Palm Springs, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-866-0021; www.coparoomps.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has had an excellent summer and has an awesome schedule coming up for the fall. In September, Pappy’s is hosting one event you don’t want to miss: The reunited Cibo Matto will be appearing at 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 28. The indie-rock band fronted by two Japanese women, Yuka Honda and Miho Matori, reunited in 2011 after almost a decade-long breakup. Yuka Honda worked with Damon Albarn as part of the animated band Gorillaz. Tickets are $15. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has a big fall and winter ahead, according to The Hood’s booking man, Jack Kohler. John Garcia of Kyuss will be having his album-release party at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5. This is the celebration of his self-titled solo album, which has been getting good reviews. Admission is $15. Now for some shameless self promotion (although it’s for a good cause): My second NestEggg Food Bank Benefit Show will happen at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13. Scheduled performers include The Yip Yops, Burning Bettie, Sunday Funeral and The Hellions. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested. The Voodoo Glow Skulls will be returning to The Hood at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19. Also on the bill will be local band Machin’. Admission is $5. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27, Arizona punk outfit Authority Zero will be dropping in. Admission is $10. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Published in Previews

This month, I have decided to make a mix featuring some of my favorite tracks at the moment.

While keeping my usual deep-house sound, I’ve developed a playlist that represents my favorite “vibes.” I love getting lost in a song—and the great thing about being a DJ is you get to do that over and over again, while sharing that feeling with those around you.

Come experience this feeling with me! The Independent is sponsoring—along with my new label, Fresh Session Records—FRESH Sessions Live at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. This show will feature CoffeeBlvckk, Synthetix and myself! There’s no cover; 21 and older only, please. We’re hoping this is just the first in a series of events like this, so come out, and enjoy the night with us!

Follow me at Facebook.com/ansofficial for more shows in September—and enjoy the September FRESH Sessions mix below.

  • 4AM, “High and Low”
  • Beyoncé, “Work It Out” (Color K. Remix)
  • One Bit, “Limitless” (Hostage Remix)
  • Quinten 909 and Donagrandi, “Dress 2 Impress”
  • Figgy, “The Truth”
  • Billion, “Special” featuring Maxine Ashley
  • Zeds Dead, “Lost You” (featuring Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy)
  • Michael Calfan, “Prelude”
  • Zhu, “Faded” (Amtrac Remix)
  • Shift K3y, “Touch”
Published in Subatomic

Robbie Waldman’s WAXY may be the next great American rock band to come out of our California desert.

Waldman has a lengthy local history, but he has used this project to truly hone his skills as a writer and performer. In its earliest incarnation, the ever-evolving band had a different feel and vibe: A group with a softer underbelly fueled by acoustic instruments has evolved into a full-blown desert stoner-rock band with a heavy rhythmic infrastructure, poetic lyrics and gorgeous hard-rock vocals offered up by Waldman.

With a collection of memorable, melodic, heavy psych-rock songs under their belts, the members of WAXY have worked their way to the top of the Coachella Valley's original rock-music scene—which is no easy accomplishment. In fact, the band is about to embark on tours to Australia and then Europe.

The band's most recent record, Without Any Explanation Why, is a true stoner-rock classic that features guest performances by some of the most pivotal artists to come out of this music mecca we call home: John Garcia (Kyuss, Vista Chino), Mario Lalli (Yawning Man, Fatso Jetson), Gary Arce (Sort of Quartet, Yawning Man), Jesse Hughes (Eagles of Death Metal), Brandon Henderson (Pedestrians vs. War Party, Parosella), Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet, Ultra Electric Mega Galactic) and Alfredo Hernandez (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Brave Black Sea) all contribute their unique sounds to the recording.

Meanwhile, Robbie has been back in his studio (Unit A Recording and Art in Palm Springs; www.unit-a.com) banging out the next record, anticipated to be released in November 2014.

“I’m of the philosophy that a recorded version of a song should be a complete vision for that song, and if you're making an album, one piece of a larger puzzle,” Waldman said about the recording process. “I think it's OK to double the vocals, even though that can't really be done live. I think it's OK to layer instruments and have small intricate parts that would require 10 people to pull off live.

“In other words, my mindset when it comes to making records is: This is a timeless piece of art. … Splash all the color and shapes you can at the canvas, and see what you get. Sometimes, you get magic; sometimes, you get mush, but the process is what's key—trying to get what’s in your head out on the tape.”

I heard five new tunes from the upcoming record at a live show at Furst Wurld Theatre in Joshua Tree recently, and I was blown away. The show also included the premiere of WAXY's new video for “Over Before It Began,” a first-rate production by Bon Nielsen and Blanton Ross. Robbie said more videos, to support the upcoming record, are coming in the near future.

Waldman has used a revolving cast of musicians to help him live out his musical fantasies within the framework of WAXY, including drummers Sean Landerra Carrillo (Lakota) and Mike “Pygmie” Johnson (Mondo Generator, You Know Who, John Garcia); bassist/guitarist Damian Lautiero (a huge part of the live WAXY sound); and keyboardist Jack Kohler (War Drum).

In September, WAXY will take off for Australia as a supporting act on the John Garcia solo tour. John's latest self titled debut solo album (available on Napalm Records) is getting rave reviews from the press and fans alike.

While Waldman sees the recording process as making art, he views live shows differently.

“Playing shows is about the moment—different song orders, new songs mixed with old ones, etc.,” Waldman said. “Playing live also has the unique ability to move air: The sound actually hits you! There's nothing like it when the kick drum is thumping you right in the chest. It's like the difference between seeing a movie versus going to the theater and seeing actors onstage. One is a deliberate, enormous and repeatable act, while the other is different every time simply by its very nature. … When we play live, it's always an adventure!”

Before John Garcia and WAXY leave for the land down under, desert fans will be treated to a live show by them at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert, at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5. Also on the bill is space-rock jam-band Fever Dog. Admission is $15, and this show WILL sell out. It has been a good long while since Garcia fans have been able to see a live set here at home, and we will be out in droves to hear his long-awaited desert performance—and to say a temporary goodbye to what could be the desert's next great band.

For more information on WAXY, visit www.facebook.com/WAXYOfficial and www.waxy-music.com. Read more from Robin Linn at rminjtree.blogspot.com. Photos by Samantha Schwenck.

Published in Previews

As we head into August, there’s cause for celebration: Fall, and more reasonable temperatures, are approaching! There’s another reason to celebrate: What’s traditionally been the slowest month in the Coachella Valley is actually packed with great things to do.

The Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club is the new hot spot in town. The Hacienda has announced that it will now have “Swim Club” every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with DJs performing poolside. Admission is free for those 21 and older. Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-778-8954; www.haciendacantina.com.

The Palms Restaurant, up in Twentynine Palms, is hosting two great shows put on by High Desert Underground Productions. (Full disclosure: The Independent is a sponsor of these shows, and we’re selling tickets to them in the Independent Market at CVIndependent.com.) Rock Formations II, starring Spindrift and the great Jello Biafra, starts at 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23. Admission is $10. The following weekend, the Bat Country Labor Day Blast takes place at 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 31. Headlining is former Social Distortion guitarist Rikk Agnew (right); Silke Berlinn, Rawbone, 30 Foot Demon and Swords of Fatima will also be appearing. Admission is $10. The Palms Restaurant, 83131 Amboy Road, Twentynine Palms; 760-361-2810.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club is a great spot to lounge around the pool and catch some great entertainment. At noon, Saturday, Aug. 9, Fleetmac Wood, a DJ collective/party, will be performing/taking place by the pool. As you can probably tell, it’s an afternoon dedicated to the music of Fleetwood Mac. Admission is free. At 10 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22, Joel Jerome will be performing in the Amigo Room. The singer/songwriter was part of the psych pop group Dios Malos. Admission is free. At 10 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29, the Amigo Room will host indie-pop band Crystal Skulls. Considering the Amigo Room’s small size, this show should be a great live experience. Again, admission is free. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has a couple of noteworthy events coming up in August. First up is a show by Boston, performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1. The band that took its name from its home city soared to success after its first, self-titled album in 1976. Songs such as “More Than a Feeling” and “Peace of Mind” helped the band fill stadiums—and an incredible 17 million copies of that album were sold. While lead guitarist and band founder Tom Scholz is the only remaining original member, this should still be a great show. Tickets are $75 to $115. The Gipsy Kings will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29. While the Gipsy Kings are from France, they perform Spanish flamenco and salsa music. These highly successful world-music artists have won the praises of audiences worldwide. Tickets are $65 to $95. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a great August slate. At 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1, Marco Antonio Solís will be performing. The Latin music singer/songwriter has sold more than 50 million albums, and is a multi-Latin Grammy Award winner. This show’s a big deal. Tickets are $59 to $129. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2, Daughtry (below) will be stopping by. The American Idol finalist from Season 5 has managed to achieve a higher level of success than many of that show’s winners; in fact, his band has sold 5 million albums. Tickets are $29 to $59. If you’re aching to relive the 1970s era of soft-rock, go see Michael McDonald and Toto at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 9. McDonald, who spent time as the frontman of The Doobie Brothers, is still very relevant in the music industry today. Tickets are $29 to $59. Check the Fantasy Springs website for details on more great shows. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has some excellent events in August. KC and the Sunshine Band takes the stage at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 8. The group is well-known for songs such as “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “Shake Your Booty,” “I’m Your Boogie Man” and other disco jams. Tickets are $29 to $39. Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, who performed at the McCallum Theatre not too long ago, is taking the Morongo stage at 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 17. Botti has worked with the likes of Sting, Paul Simon, Roger Daltrey of The Who, and many others. Tickets are $50. At 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22, country singer Sara Evans will be performing. She’s one of the most recognizable stars of country music, and she’s touring to promote her new album, Slow Me Down. Tickets are $35 to $55. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace rolls into August with Courtney Barnett (above) performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 8. The Australian singer-songwriter is currently touring behind her 2013 album, How to Carve a Carrot Into a Rose. Her psychedelic-meets-country sound has been praised by the indie-music press. Tickets are $12. The Woodsist Festival will start at noon, Saturday, Aug. 16, featuring indoor and outdoor performances by an amazing list of musicians, including Cass McCombs, Foxygen, Amps for Christ and Little Wings. Tickets are $47.50. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27, the Murder City Devils will be performing. The Seattle punk outfit reunited in 2006 after a five-year breakup—and hasn’t stopped performing since. In August, the band is slated to release its first album since 2001. This show is already generating a lot of buzz, so we recommend getting tickets ASAP. They’re $20. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza will be hosting a Battle of the Bands every Thursday in August at 8:30 p.m. The judging panel will consist of local concert promoter Ming Bob, CV Weekly editor/publisher Tracy Dietlin, and yours truly. The finals will take place on Thursday, Aug. 28, with the first-place band receiving $1,000. Come on out and support local music! At 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22, psychedelic rock band Sleepy Sun will be stopping by with special guests War Drum. Tickets are $5. So-Cal punk-rock pioneers Agent Orange will be returning to The Hood at 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30. Be sure to check out this show! Tickets are $10. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Published in Previews

Chris Long, the frontman of Boycott Radio, has music in his blood. On top of fronting rock band Boycott Radio (www.facebook.com/boycottradio)—which has performed at The Hood Bar and Pizza, Schmidy’s Tavern and other venues—Long hosts Beer Pong every Wednesday night at The Hood. Here are his answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

I saw James Taylor at the Coors Amphitheater (in Chula Vista) in 1996. I knew right away that (performing) was what I wanted to do.

What was the first album you owned?

I think the first album that I purchased with my own money was Green Day’s Dookie when I was 7 years old. It changed my perception of music. I bought it with my lunch money I had saved all week.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Every Time I Die’s new album, From Parts Unknown. These guys make me smile. Also I have the Kirby video game anthology soundtrack in my car. Takes me right back.

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

That's a great question. Had you asked me a week ago, I would have easily replied, “Country!” but I've been hearing it more at my place of work, and even country has its place in my heart!

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

John Williams with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing the Star Wars films live with a laser show.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Dubstep. I like it!

What’s your favorite music venue?

Is Coachella a venue? I guess it’s more of an event, but aside from that, I would say Pappy and Harriet’s.

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

“I’ve been waiting on you!" from Future Islands, “Seasons (Waiting on You).”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Pink Floyd, when I was very, very, young. I would lie in bed in the dark as a kid and listen to my dad’s records, and Dark Side of the Moon blew my tiny little 6-year-old brain.

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

Nickelback: “Why?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Stevie Wonder, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” I defy people at my funeral not to smile and dance.

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

Reel Big Fish, Turn the Radio Off. Because I just saw it on my computer desk.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Grazin' in the Grass” by the Friends of Distinction. That's my pops on the drums! (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in Reviews