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Music News and Features

05 Oct 2015
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The Stagecoach 2016 lineup was released today—and it marks a huge improvement over the 2015 slate. That’s not to say the lineup for the 10th Stagecoach festival does not include a lot of performers that have taken the Stagecoach stage before. Eric Church headlined Friday night in 2014; Luke Bryan also headlined in 2014, on Sunday. With two headliners returning just two years later—on the same nights to boot—one has to wonder if there are a limited amount of artists from which festival organizer Goldenvoice can choose. That’s also not to say that many people weren’t disappointed in the absence of one, big rumored name: Garth Brooks. While there don’t seem to be too many complaints about the lineup on the Stagecoach Facebook page as of this writing, there are some comments about how it seems the list of headliners and performers seem to be repeating. There are also complaints…
28 Aug 2015
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In October, Eagles of Death Metal will release a long-awaited new album, Zipper Down. It’s been almost seven years since Eagles of Death Metal released Heart On, heretofore the Palm Desert group’s latest album. What in the heck took so long for Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme to record Zipper Down? “We had a lot of bodies to bury. No, I’m kidding,” Hughes said, with a laugh, during a recent interview. “We’ve been asked that question, and it sort of took Josh and me by surprise, because we hadn’t realized it had been that long. It seemed like it was a couple years, but then it was like, ‘Holy shit, it’s been that long.’ We don’t really believe in a concept of a certain time. … Josh made the Them Crooked Vultures album and a Queens of the Stone Age album, and I made a solo record, and the right…
24 Aug 2015
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Ruben Romano has had success with every project since he founded his very first punk band, Virulence, back in 1985. He is a world-class drummer whose ambition has taken him around the world. But first and foremost, he is a songwriter. Fearless and dedicated to creating new sounds, Romano will pick up any instrument, regardless of whether he knows how to play it—and he’ll find his way to music. He founded veteran stoner-rock groups Fu Manchu and Nebula, and he’s now put down the drumsticks, picked up the guitar and built one of the hottest stoner-rock bands to come on the scene in recent years: The Freeks. Ruben Romano talked about his musical beginnings. “Before Fu Manchu, there was Virulence,” he said. “We did a couple of demos and then actually put out If This Isn’t a Dream on Alchemy Records. … We were tadpoles in a pond of heavyweight…
21 Aug 2015
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The members of the Yip Yops spent much of last summer holed up in their Palm Desert practice space, writing new material and honing their skills. Turns out all of that work paid off: This summer, the Yip Yops have spent much of their time recording with producer Ronnie King at his studio, Chateau Relaxo, in Thermal—thanks to a recently signed a record contract. I arrived at Chateau Relaxo on a recent Saturday afternoon just as Mari Brossfield (right), the newest Yip Yop, was getting ready to record her vocals for a song called “Straw Dogs.” Through a handful of takes, her vocals kept sounding better and better. Alvin Taylor, producer and a local drummer who has performed with Elton John, Eric Burdon and Sly and the Family Stone, was also present, and tutored Brossfield on where her vocals fell flat a couple of times. The Yip Yops have certainly…
17 Aug 2015
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The Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus and the California Desert Chorale are both preparing for their new seasons—and they’re both looking for new members to join in the fun. At 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the Church of St. Paul in the Desert in Palm Springs, the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus (www.psgmc.com) will be holding auditions. During a recent phone interview, artistic director Doug Wilson explained the audition process. “What I’m looking for are people who can match pitch,” Wilson said. “They can come in and sing a song that they prepared, something that they have worked on before, or they can sing a simple song like ‘My Country ’Tis of Thee’ or ‘Happy Birthday.’ I’ll take them through a couple of scales just to see if they can match pitch, and that’s all I need to know. If they can match pitch, we bring them into the…
28 Jul 2015
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After a recent performance by EeVaan Tre and the Show at the Coachella Valley Art Scene, I asked Tre: “Why R&B and soul music?” He laughed. However, David Morales, the bassist, had an answer. “It’s how we feel.” The powerful R&B and soul of EeVaan Tre and the Show has not only made the group one of the valley’s best bands; it also landed the group a slot at Coachella in 2015. The band’s live show is exceptional; it’s truly feel-good music. “I personally love the R&B from the ’80s,” Tre said, “the real cheesy love stuff. I guess it’s just a reflection of how we grew up and what we like. We all really dig the same stuff. … I guess that’s why I like to perform R&B and soul. I guess for myself, my exposure to it was in a specific way. I grew up listening to doo-wop.…
28 Jul 2015
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In 2006, guitarist and songwriter Jamie Hafler left Ohio and headed to Los Angeles via Twentynine Palms to visit his brother Jeff, a singer/songwriter. Back then, Jeff had just hired a then-recent desert transplant as a nanny for his son, Cash: artist and singer/songwriter Cristie Carter. Cristie is a native of San Francisco with deep roots in the Bay Area metal scene of the mid ’80s. She moved to Los Angeles and got into the punk-rock music scene of the mid-’90s, most notably as the manager for the all girl teenage punk band The Grown Ups. There, she formed a close relationship with artist Zaina Alwan (now married to desert-rock icon Brant Bjork). The two women came to Joshua Tree with artist Paul Hadley, known to some as “Bing.” In 2006, Cristie fell for Wonder Valley, and Zaina fell for her “dream house” in Twentynine Palms. Jeff then introduced Jamie…
10 Jul 2015
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For the first time in years, a band performed inside a venue on Arenas Road in downtown Palm Springs. And it was good. EeVaan Tre and the Show kicked off the NestEggg Food Bank Concert Series at Chill Bar on Tuesday, July 7, playing to an enthusiastic and late-arriving crowd. The series is presented by Brian Blueskye and the Coachella Valley Independent. The concert raised $175 for the food bank, which is a project of the LGBT Center of the Desert. The food bank feeds about 275 people, including many seniors and people with disabilities, each week. The series continues at 9:30 p.m. every Thursday in July at Chill Bar, located at 217 E. Arenas Road in Palm Springs. Attendees are asked to make an optional donation to the NestEggg Food Bank of $5 or more. On Tuesday, July 14, DJ and EDM artist Alex Harrington (www.alexharrington.co) will perform. Formerly…