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Music News and Features

22 Mar 2020
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We’re under an emergency shelter-at-home order in California, with a lot of businesses closed down—meaning many people are now without a steady income, including the Coachella Valley’s hard-working, talented musicians. Many of us also now have a lot of time on our hands … so why not use that time to get to know the local music scene better—while supporting these musicians in the process? Also, remember that music can be a healer of wounds! For me, music can turn a terrible day into a great day—so I hope that this list can bring you joy in this uncertain time. Because of all this, I’ve compiled a “Coachella Valley Quarantine” playlist of some of my favorite songs by valley bands. By streaming their songs on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube or any other service, you will also assist them financially … not much, but every little bit helps! Click here for…
18 Mar 2020
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It all started—or, well, seemed to start—with Goldenvoice’s cancellation of Coachella and Stagecoach. “I completely understand the stance of Goldenvoice in postponing Stagecoach in light of the virus threat right now,” said Alice Wallace, who was slated to play in Nikki Lane’s Stage Stop Marketplace at the festival. I had an interview scheduled with her, and she was kind enough to give me a statement after the postponement was announced. “From everything I'm reading, the postponements and cancellations of this festival and others are warranted and necessary, and I certainly want all of my fans to remain safe and healthy. “But as a musician who makes her living playing music on stages across the country—as so many do—the next few months could prove to be pretty devastating. I think we are only seeing the beginning of cancellations, and I worry about the impact it could have on the music industry…
20 Feb 2020
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Embedded in the air of Joshua Tree, one can find the soothing psychedelic folk sounds of the Adobe Collective. Every song from the group sets a listener in a state of extreme calm, and they create a perfect soundtrack for a lazy day. My favorite tracks include “Carousel” and “Home (Sins)” The band released its third album, All the Space That There Is, in January, and has been playing various shows around the Coachella Valley, including a February Monday-night residency at The Alibi Palm Springs. I spoke to brainchild of the band, Tim Chinnock, over the phone about music, life and, of course, the name of the band. “It’s always hard to give something a name, but somebody once told me that you just have to name it,” Chinnock said. “In 2011, my wife, Faith, and I were stationed at the Marine base in Twentynine Palms. When we first moved…
21 Jan 2020
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Local music fans should be no stranger to Throw the Goat. The semi-local band—it’s based in Idyllwild—has been a dominant force in the music scene since 2011. Its brand of punk and thrash melds well with quirky lyrics on standout tracks like “Havin’ a Beer” and “Beef,” while more-political lyrics on “Melt Away” blend with pounding punk to create a sense of anger. The band went through a major lineup change last year, with the addition of Derek Timmons—of Sleazy Cortez and Death Pretty Wrapping—on bass, and the departure of lead vocalist/bassist Mike Schnalzer. Brian “Puke” Parnell remains the guitarist, and is now taking on lead-vocal duties, while Troy Whitford remains the drummer. The band has now performed a handful of shows with the new lineup, and I recently sat down with the Goat bros right before one of their practice sessions, which I was intrigued to learn are actually…
17 Dec 2019
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Michael Murphy could have perhaps been a comedian, if he’d wanted to be: He’s a great conversationalist who likes to make people laugh. In his words, he lives “to make you happy.” This spirit extends to his approach to operating Bart Lounge, his Cathedral City bar and nightclub, which Independent readers have made a frequent finalist in the Best Nightclub and Best Bar Ambiance categories of the Best of Coachella Valley readers’ poll. Before opening Bart with an assist from his father, Kelly, Murphy spent a couple of years working at clubs in Las Vegas, aspiring to “do his own thing.” He wanted to do something decidedly un-Las Vegas like, where “the cover is $100, and a vodka-cran costs $20,” Murphy said. Instead, he took inspiration from clubs he would go to in Riverside, Redlands and Los Angeles. “My favorite spots were hip, chill spots like Good Times at Davey…
19 Nov 2019
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It’s 8 p.m., and Freddy Jimenez is taking a break from working on a project for local artist Cristopher Cichocki to practice playing drums—before checking Instagram regarding details for his next project. At the age of 28, Jimenez is finally the self-sustaining artist he set out to become. The path was not easy, but his dedication to technique, artistry and community has sustained him and made him into a driving force in everything he does. Jimenez is a simple guy: He wears plain black clothes; he has short hair and no visible tattoos; he doesn’t drink or smoke. Thanks to his passion for art and love of community, Jimenez has managed to create a name for himself by producing both high-quality art and events, collaborating with numerous local artists, musicians and designers along the way. His company, Blue Hill Studios, is a homegrown operation, started out of his parents’ house…
15 Nov 2019
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When the Big Rock Pub organized a songwriting competition to benefit Coachella Valley Sexual Assault Services, many local musicians went all out to create and showcase a song that would raise awareness about the terrors of sexual assault and human trafficking. There were some beautiful and heartwrenching songs—yet it was a performance by 16-year-old Mikayla Fazzone that won over the judges and audience. Her song “Stronger Than Me” is a rallying cry for a group of broken individuals to fight back—and it will be released on Thursday, Nov. 28, via the various streaming services, like Spotify, iTunes, etc. “Music has always been in my life. I’ve always loved doing it,” Fazzone told me. “The first instance of my love for music came when I was a toddler, and my parents took me to Old Town San Diego. They bought me this little toy purple guitar, and then happened to lose…
23 Oct 2019
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The Coachella Valley is brimming with musical talent—yet it’s lacking when it comes to music venues. Thank goodness for The Hood Bar and Pizza in Palm Desert. Over the years, The Hood has transformed from a simple metal bar into … well, a metal-and-everyone-else bar that is also one of the premier performance venues in the valley, with events being held every day. While countless local bands have gained popularity thanks to a boost from The Hood, the venue has also hosted numerous famous acts, such as surf-rock legend Dick Dale. In recent years, The Hood has also started hosting events such as a weekly Drag Queen Bingo night, and has become a regular participant in the Desert AIDS Project’s annual Dining Out for Life night. This fascinatingly vibrant mix is due in large part to its owner, Brad Guth—an out-and-proud gay man. “I grew up in a time when…

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