CVIndependent

Wed07172019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Jimmy Boegle

I was just flipping through some of this week’s local free print publications—and boy, is it ugly.

One of them is filled with mere press releases (save a couple of bylined culture columns), as it always is. Another features a page-one music story that, at least at the start, seems more about the publishers’ crush on the band than the band itself.

I could go on, but I won’t. If you’ve read these publications before, you know what I am talking about.

(If you think I am being rude by pointing out these publications’ weaknesses: I am sorry, but valley residents deserve better, don’t they?)

That’s why I am particularly excited about the second print issue of the Independent, which will be hitting the streets of the Coachella Valley this week.

There are no reprinted press releases in our summer quarterly (and no stories discuss my crushes, musical or otherwise). Instead, here’s what we do have:

• An opinion section featuring the usual Independent goodness (including ¡Ask a Mexican! and the Desert Potted Garden), as well as pieces from artsOasis’ Robert Stearns and Coachella Unincorporated’s Alexandra Alcaron.

• Seven news and features stories (eight if you count our “Snapshot” page) ranging from an interview with the mayor of Indio to a look at the Salton Sea area’s International Banana Museum.

• An arts section anchored by pieces by Valerie-Jean Hume (theater) and Richard Almada (visual arts).

• Movie reviews from the great Bob Grimm.

• A food section that includes a feature on Fame Lounge, restaurant news, our Sniff the Cap wine column, and Indy Endorsements from restaurants across the valley.

• A variety of music pieces, including features on Teddy Quinn and DJ Day, a review by Brian Blueskye of the Queens of the Stone Age’s new album, and a series of Lucky 13 interviews.

• A fantastic story by Erin Peters, aka the Beer Goddess, on the soon-to-open Coachella Valley Brewing Co.

• Plus comics, Jonesin’ Crossword, and yet more features not mentioned here … all presented in a package that features gorgeous design, fantastic advertisers and a more reader-friendly font size.

In other words, we’re giving the Coachella Valley the alternative publication it finally deserves. And we want to give the valley more: As we’ve mentioned before, we’re going monthly in print, starting in October.

Of course, we’re still posting fantastic pieces each and every day here at CVIndependent.com—at least three things every weekday, with stuff on the weekends, too.

More great stuff is coming, too: This coming week, Anita Rufus—you may know her as the “Lovable Liberal,” or perhaps from her congressional run a while back against Sonny Bono—will debut as a regular columnist for the Independent. The informal theme of her column will be: “Do you know your neighbors?” Every other week, she’ll tell a compelling story about a person, or a group of people, who call the Coachella Valley home. It’s going to be fantastic.

Speaking of fantastic: Robert Victor, an astronomer from Michigan State University who retired to the valley, is now bringing Independent readers a monthly look at the nighttime sky. Look for it at the start of each month—and in our monthly print edition come October.

We’re still looking for other great people to contribute to the Independent. If you want to be a part of the valley’s only true alternative publication, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re especially looking for people who want to tackle news and features.

As always, thanks for reading; let me know your thoughts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What: The Gyros Plate

Where: Nina’s Traditional Greek Cuisine and Pizzeria, 555 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs

How much: $10

Contact: 760-323-8552; www.ninasgreekcuisine.com

Why: The mixture of crunch and moist and creamy

I just finished the gyros plate I got for lunch at Nina’s Traditional Greek Cuisine and Pizzeria. Two words describe how I am feeling right now.

Full. And—foremost—happy.

I am full, because the food on said plate is not a small portion. There are four smallish slices of pita bread, two large Kalamata olives, a fairly generous amount of marinated red onions, slices of tomato, a cup of tzatziki, and a whole bunch of delicious gyro slices.

Let’s talk about that gyro: This spiced mixture of lamb and beef is the best gyro I’ve ever had. The thing that makes the gyro special is the way in which it’s prepared: On the ends, it’s got crunchy-char goodness; in the middle of the slices, the meat is moist and almost spongy. As the saying goes: Variety is the spice of life, and the variety of both flavor and texture offered in a single slice of gyro adds a whole lot of figurative spice. (And the non-figurative level of spice is perfect, by the way.)

Now, let’s talk about that tzatziki: This yogurt sauce (which can be eaten on its own, too) is what sends this plate into the culinary stratosphere. As with the gyro, it’s some of the best I’ve ever had. It adds a cool, tart freshness to anything it comes in contact with—and when added to the gyro, it leads to an almost overwhelming (in a good way) nexus of sensations and flavors.

So, yeah. I am full—so, full, in fact, that an extra 20 minutes of cardio at the gym is a must next time. But thanks to this homestyle, made-with-love food at this small, almost-cramped counter-service restaurant, I am happy. Really, really happy. 

Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:30

The Lucky 13: DJ Sugarfree

Indio native Noemi Rodriguez, 26, is also known as DJ Sugarfree. A few weeks ago, she spun a guest set at Clinic Bar, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive—and was so impressive that this Saturday, June 29, she’s returning to Clinic to turn in a five-hour set EDM set. Admission to Clinic is free; for more information on the bar, visit www.facebook.com/ClinicBarPalmSprings. For more on DJ Sugarfree (fun fact—she is also a part-time sign-spinner), peruse her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/9Sugarfree9.

What was the first concert you attended?

*NSYNC. My favorite boy band as a kid. Ha!

What was the first album you owned?

The first album I ever owned was probably one of my favorite Mexican pop bands.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I listen to all kinds of bands and artists; I’m very open-minded about music, but some of my favorite artists right now: Best Coast, Tame Impala, Markus Schulz, W&W, Andrew Rayel, Suarez, Interpol, The Neighbourhood, and Tegan and Sara.

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

I really don’t know why all kinds of people are obsessed with “twerking” music right now; it’s just not my cup of tea. Sure, I like some songs, but I cannot listen to that stuff for more than 10 minutes straight.

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

I’ve been dying to see Tegan and Sara live. I totally missed them at Coachella fest this year.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Indian music. There’s just something so captivating and special about that kind of music. Even though I don’t understand the words, the music is awesome.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Right now, my favorite music venue is the Yost Theater (in Santa Ana). They always have the best DJs perform there! They have amazing sound and lighting! I go there as much as I can.

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

The one song lyric that is always stuck in my head is in Spanish: “Tengo que reconocer nunca va a cambiar la sensacion del dolor cuando me acuerdo.” It’s a song (“Stacy”) by a band called Suarez. The lyric in English would be: “I have to recognize that this painful sensation will never change every time I remember.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

My favorite band for a while was Interpol. When my mom died about 9 years ago, I would listen to their album Turn on the Bright Lights every day. It got me through the pain I was feeling, and it really helped me a lot. That band will always be special to me, but an artist who really changed my life was DJ Tiesto. He inspired me to become a great DJ and play like my heart is telling a story.

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

If I could ask any artist a question, it would be: If you never get married and stay single until the day you die, would you still be happy just knowing that you made so many people happy with your music? I would definitely ask DJ Tiesto that.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“The Funeral” by Band of Horses.

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

Elements of Life by Tiesto and Turn on the Bright Lights by Interpol. I couldn’t just choose one.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Everyone should be listening to “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood. Such a lovely tune! (Scroll down to hear it.)

As thousands of people celebrated in 100-plus-degree heat, Rancho Mirage City Councilmember Scott Hines had sobering words.

Standing directly under the Forever Marilyn statue in downtown Palm Springs, the gay family man, military veteran and elected official explained that he was there representing not the city of Rancho Mirage—just himself. He had asked the current mayor of Rancho Mirage, Richard Kite, to issue a proclamation celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court's partial repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, as well as the decision effectively appealing Proposition 8—therefore setting the stage for gay marriage to be legal once again in California.

But Kite refused, Hines said. Such a proclamation, or even allowing Hines to speak on behalf of the city, might be offensive to some.

Despite Hines' sobering words, thousands of people showed up to celebrate the happy events. Below are images from the celebration of this historic day.

The Legendary Purple Room Slated to Reopen This Week

The bad: The Legendary Purple Room, located inside of the Club Trinidad time share at 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, closed in early June.

The good: If everything goes according to plan, it will reopen at 4 p.m. this Friday, June 28.

The ugly: Since the closure, there’s been drama.

Here’s what happened, according to Art Brigman, the longtime CEO of Club Trinidad: Tom and Susie Pacholik, who took over management of the club in 2011, informed Brigman they’d be ending their Purple Room involvement, and decided to close while Brigman was on a multi-week vacation.

When Brigman returned, he says, the Purple Room was essentially cleared out—including some items owned by Club Trinidad and not the Pacholiks, Brigman says.

“I have an inventory of what was mine, and what was theirs,” Brigman says.

Brigman also says the Pacholiks failed to pay the state the club’s taxes for the last quarter; he says he’s paying the state, and that if the former managers don’t pay him back, he’ll take them to small-claims court. (This could not immediately be confirmed with the state Board of Equalization.)

However, Tom Pacholik tells a different story entirely. First, Pacholik says the taxes have indeed been paid; second, he says everything he took from the Purple Room was, in fact, his. He says he may have even left some of his own stuff behind.

"I absolutely did not take anything that belonged to the Club Trinidad," Pacholik says.

Pacholik claims that it was Brigman who made the decision for them to part ways: He says Brigman gave them a 90-day termination notice, and that they responded by later giving Brigman 30 days of notice, as called for in their contract.

"I really didn't want to leave. This is what (Brigman) does all the time," Pacholik says, adding that the Purple Room name was revived by his wife and him when they took over the club in 2011. (The lounge was known as the Purple Room in its old-school heyday.)

Brigman’s plan was to have the bar in business again on Friday, June 28. He intends to have it open—with an ample amount of live music, starting with Bill Baker this Friday and Saturday—at 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

Whatever happened surrounding the closure, we’re elated that it was only temporary. The Purple Room is a unique, quirky and decidedly old-school club—a club that more people need to know about.

Dish Creative Cuisine Having an Amuse Night

When dining at Dish Creative Cuisine (68525 Ramon Road, No. A-101, Cathedral City), the greatest delights often don’t come from the appetizers, entrées and desserts on the menu (although these menu items are, in fact, delightful). Instead, it’s the complimentary amuse-bouches that lawyer-turned-chef Joane Garcia-Colson offers all of her customers, delivered between the various courses, that often turn a very good meal into something truly special.

And on Thursday, July 18, Garcia-Colson is going to give her delicious little bites the starring role they so richly deserve.

That’s the date for “Amuse Night,” when for $75 (not including beverages, tax and gratuity), she’ll offer her diners 18 to 20 amuse-bouches as their meal. (She’ll be offering optional wine-pairings, too!) My fingers are crossed that one of those amuses will be what I call “beet nipples”—a bite-sized pleasure (pictured) with a hardened meringue outside, and a delicious creamy beet filling inside. (These are amazing, folks … and this is coming from someone who generally loathes beets.)

We asked Garcia-Colson for a sneak preview, and she shared this tidbit: One of the planned courses is a lobster lollipop with sweet miso caramel sauce and crispy leeks. Mmmm. And liquid nitrogen MAY be involved in creating some of the amuse-bouches, if everything works out.

Reservations for this most unique meal at one of the valley’s most innovative restaurants are sure to go fast; call (760) 832-6526 to get your spot before they’re all gone. (And be sure to leave for the meal a wee bit early, as the stretch of Ramon on which Dish sits is currently under construction!)

Tropicale Owners Prepping to Open the Copa Room

Diners at Tropicale, 330 E. Amado Road, may have noticed that the building next door to the restaurant is currently under some serious construction.

When that construction is done later this year, the building will become the Copa Room bar/nightclub.

The Copa Room will be owned and operated by the same folks behind Tropicale. According to a recent Palm Springs Life article, the club is slated to open this fall, and people eager for updates should bookmark www.coparoomps.com, which should be up and running soon.

Update on Twin Palms (or a Lack Thereof)

The future of the newish Twin Palms Bistro and Lounge, 1201 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, is in limbo after an April 9 fire.

While Twin Palms management kept an active presence on the restaurant’s Facebook page immediately after the fire (including some now-heartbreaking posts expressing plans to reopen within mere days), the posts have steadily decreased—and the restaurant remains shuttered. A May 28 Facebook post says, in part: “This should have been an easy fix to a small problem. … We continue to be at the mercy of the landlord and the insurance companies to get things resolved.”

Folks, keep your fingers crossed that a resolution comes soon.

(Editor's note: The first item here was updated Monday afternoon, June 24.)

What: The picnic eggs

Where: Bar, 340 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $6

Contact: 760-537-7337; www.barwastaken.com

Why: A deliciously spicy twist on an American classic.

Question: Is there anything more all-American than the deviled egg?

Answer: Well … yeah, there is: mom, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Vin Scully, for starters. Still, deviled eggs are pretty gosh-darned American—they’ve been a picnic and party staple for years, after all. And at downtown Palm Springs’ Bar, one can enjoy this all-American classic—with a distinctly Asian twist.

The menu says it all: Picnic eggs. Eggs siracha wasabi. Yeah, they misspell “sriracha,” but we’ll forgive them, because these deviled eggs are splendid. The eggs definitely have a back-draft-style kick, so if you don’t like spicy foods, either start liking spicy foods, or get something else from Bar’s charmingly unique menu.

While bar-food standards like burgers, sandwiches and fries are indeed present, they all have a decidedly non-bar-food twist. The burger is a Caprese burger with tomato chutney and basil. The sandwiches include a chicken club with a “spicy Vietnamese” flair. And the fries come with garlic freakin’ aioli.

In other words, this is bar food … that’s not bar food.

We recommend dropping in for a before-dinner nosh, or an after-dinner snack. Or, hell, drop in for dinner. Order a drink. (We’re partial to the whiskey sours. And don’t skip the egg whites.) Enjoy some live music.

Have an all-American good time.

What: The shaved spit-roast organic pork

Where: Figue Mediterranean, 47474 Washington St., La Quinta

How much: $29

Contact: 760-698-9040; www.eatfigue.com

Why: Savory + sweet + pork skin = OMG

Can we talk about pig skin for a moment?

No, I am not referring to football here. I am talking about cracklins, or chicharrones, whatever you want to call this most delicious of foods.

It’s chewy. It’s salty. It’ll send your cardiologist into a snit. And it’s one of the factors that make the shaved spit-roast organic pork at Figue Mediterranean worth the $29 price tag.

While chicharrones could make almost any food better, perhaps even ice cream (hey, don’t judge; we’re all friends here), they merely play a supporting role in this fantastic dish. The pork shavings—rustically uneven slices, if you will—are the nominal star, with the mustard vinaigrette a potential nominee for Best Supporting Actor. The stone fruits add a nice touch of sweetness, and the arugula adds freshness.

And then there are the chicharrones. There could be more of them, yes—some would even say there should be more than the mere handful that’s tossed lovingly atop the dish—but if there were too many more, they’d overwhelm these other fantastic ingredients, and that wouldn’t be fair, now, would it?

To overextend the acting analogy a bit: This dish is not a vehicle for one big star (even though some of the ingredients may indeed have incredible star power). Instead, it succeeds based on its fantastic ensemble cast.

So, go. Enjoy. If pig skin and pork shavings aren’t your thing, go anyway: Figue—fully open for not quite three months yet—offers plenty of other delicious foods in a high-end restaurant atmosphere unlike any other in the valley. Think big windows, modern touches and lots of wood, to go along with delicious food and great service.

And just the right amount of pig skin.

Meet the Tribesmen, one of the busiest local bands these days—and specifically, meet Wilber Pacheco. The 24-year-old Indio native works in retail when he’s not playing indie rock with his bandmates—and you can catch Pacheco and co. on Sunday, June 16, the final day of downtown Cathedral City’s AMFM Fest. For more information on the inaugural film, music and art festival—including ticket information—scope it out at amfmfest.com or the festival’s Facebook page. For more on the band, peruse their Facebook page.

What was the first concert you attended?

Interpol, when I was 13 or 14.

What was the first album you owned?

Blink-182, Enema of the State.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Wild Nothing, This Will Destroy You, and Foals.

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

Anything industrial or progressive, like Nine Inch Nails, for example. I just don’t get it.

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

Every now and then, I think about the fact that I will never see the Ramones live, and it depresses me.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Taylor Swift. Don’t judge me.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Out of the ones I’ve been to, it’s probably the Glass House (in Pomona).

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

"Enjoy the Silence," Depeche Mode.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The former local band Something Vague. I had no idea there was a local music scene down here until I discovered them. Their shows really encouraged me to get a band of my own started.

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

Yannis Philippakis from Foals, and I would ask him if he wants to party.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Saves the Day, “At Your Funeral.”

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

I would figuratively be dead, because I wouldn’t be able to choose.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Las Feas, “Porn Star Love.” (Scroll down to hear it.)

Shann Carr thinks that The Center—the Coachella Valley’s community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks—is grossly underutilized.

She says that when she discusses The Center with locals who are L, G, B or T, she learns that a shocking number of them aren’t familiar with the services it provides. “Half of them have never even been here,” says the center’s volunteer and community outreach coordinator.

Therefore, she’s decided that it’s time for The Center to get the word out—and that’s where its Commercial-Making Contest comes in.

(Disclosure time: I’ve helped Shann and her “secret meeting volunteers” here and there as they got the contest off the ground—and the Coachella Valley Independent is a sponsor of the contest. That's just how we roll.)

The rules for the contest, which can be found at thecenterps.org, are pretty simple: Anybody can sign up for the contest, and winners will be selected in two categories: One category is for the general public (i.e. anybody, from anywhere); and another is for students between the ages of 14 and 25 who have been enrolled in a school of some sort within the last year. Submissions of the 60-second commercials are due on Wednesday, July 10, and the winners in each category get $1,000 each.

And to make it even more simple, after contestants sign up for the contest via thecenterps.org, they’ll get an link to a resource kit containing pictures, PDFs, video clips and more that can be used in the 60-second spots. And if that isn’t enough, The Center and its NestEggg Food Bank will be open for contestants to come by and shoot their own footage each Thursday (preferably before noon) between now and the July 10 deadline.

So why a 60-second commercial contest?

“Because tiny bits of information are how people communicate now. Sixty seconds is as long as anyone will stare at anything anymore,” Carr laughs.

The Center hopes to use the winning commercials online, as public-service announcements on local stations, and at the numerous local festivals and events where The Center has a presence. The ultimate goal: for more people to know about all of the services The Center provides, from health-and-wellness activities to job-training to a computer center.

The entries are starting to trickle in, Carr says—and they include one contestant who plans on making the commercial using only a smartphone. However, she’s hoping for a larger turnout of contestants—especially in the student category.

“Some people won’t read an article, but they’ll click on a 60-second ad. It’s the lazy person’s article,” Carr says.

To enter or receive more information, head on over to thecenterps.org.

The Legendary Purple Room Closes

Sad news for fans of the swanky, old-school Palm Springs vibe: The Legendary Purple Room, located inside of the Club Trinidad time share at 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, has closed.

When we called the Club Trinidad to learn more, a woman identifying herself only as Jackie confirmed the closure, and said it was unclear when the Purple Room would reopen. When we asked if that meant that the venue would reopen at some point, she said she didn’t know, and that we needed to talk to Club Trinidad manager/CEO Arthur Brigman—who is on vacation this week.

We’ll check in with Brigman when he’s back, and pass along what we learn.

I was fortunate enough to enjoy a cocktail or two at the Purple Room several times before it closed (although I never saw any live music there), and it breaks my heart that it’s gone. It was a unique, quirky and decidedly old-school club—a club that stunningly few people seemed to know about. My fingers are crossed that it will, in fact, reopen at some point—hopefully with a little more promotion and advertising heft behind it.

Total Wine Opening in Palm Desert

While the alcohol gods take away, they also giveth: The valley’s first Total Wine will open tomorrow (Thursday, June 13), with a grand-opening shindig from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring free tastings and live music.

The chain store, at 72339 Highway 111 in Palm Desert, boasts that it offers more than 8,000 wines, 2,500 beers and 3,000 spirits.

While the valley is already home to another big-box booze behemoth—there’s a BevMo location in La Quinta—this store will make it easier for local liquor aficionados to acquire those hard-to-find spirits.

Find more info at www.totalwine.com.

POM Changes Up Its Menu

The folks at POM, one of Fantasy Springs Resort Casino’s signature restaurants, have changed up the menu for the toasty summer months.

Lunch menu highlights include a Moroccan chicken salad (with Moroccan-spiced chicken, mesculin greens, roasted beets, goat cheese, dates, almonds and cranberries, all topped with a citrus-mustard dressing). The new dinner menu includes wild mushroom ravioli, osso bucco and pork empanadas (with yummy Manchego cheese included in the filling).

Get the full lowdown at www.fantasyspringsresort.com, or call 760-345-2450. Fantasy Springs is located at 84245 Indio Springs Parkway in Indio.

Restaurant Week Enters Its Final Days

The 17-day dining bonanza that is Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week will come to a close this Sunday, June 16.

I have been fortunate enough to enjoy the three-course prix-fixe menus, for either $26 or $38, at a decent-sized handful of the participating restaurants, and for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the heck out of myself. It’s especially fantastic when a restaurant really embraces the concept and offers their customers, both old and new, a great deal and/or something special. The best example of this I have seen has been at Trio (707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs), where the good people there even revamped their main menu to feature, first and foremost, their Restaurant Week offerings.

However, not all of the participants are embracing the week so fully. At least one restaurant we visited didn’t give us their Restaurant Week menu. (Thank goodness we did our research in advance.) And at yet another couple of restaurants, they’re offering smaller portions of regular menu items—without warning customers that the portions are, in fact, smaller.

I completely understand why restaurant managers may want to offer smaller portions of certain items (for example, soup) for the lower prices featured during Restaurant Week. But if they do so, they should say they’re doing so: Call the smaller portion “petite,” or say it’s a “small bowl” of whatever it is. But offering smaller portions of regular menu items without saying they’re doing so just hurts the restaurant’s image: Newcomers assume the portions are always that small, and in-the-know regulars are disappointed when the smaller portions arrive at the table.

But enough complaining. Nitpicks aside, Restaurant Week is a great event for foodies of all stripes; get out and enjoy it while you can. Find full details at www.palmspringsrestaurantweek.com.