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Previews

11 Jan 2020
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We truly do live in the land of music festivals. As the 2000s have progressed, the Coachella Valley has become a hotspot for music festivals, with up to 125,000 attendees flooding the streets from Palm Springs all the way to Indio and beyond for one weekend event alone. Whether it be for the extremely hip Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (best known as simply Coachella), the country-tinged of Stagecoach, or any of the one-offs like the headbanging Big 4 or the classic-rockin’ Desert Trip, there is no doubt: The Coachella Valley is one of the world’s most popular places for music festivals. The year 2020 brings yet another festival to the fold: On Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18 and 19, 4xFAR, presented by Land Rover, will bring a new kind of festival experience to the valley—specifically, Empire Grand Oasis in Thermal. Some of today’s top artists are set to…
01 Jan 2020
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Country rock has an undeniable feel-good vibe. When you encounter it in the right situation—driving home from a long trip as the sun is setting, or simply sitting on your porch and watching life go by—it can help one appreciate the little things in life. This brings us to Ted Z and the Wranglers. I’ve been stomping along to their brand of “outlaw country-charged rock”—and the Americana lyrics, backed by acoustic rhythms and the occasional minimalistic-yet-oh-so-great guitar solos, have made me an instant fan. Check out their Jam in the Van performance of “Rambler” to see exactly what I mean—or see the group in person on Friday, Jan. 24, at Pappy and Harriet’s. The Wranglers are Collin Mclean on bass; Jackson Leverone playing lead/slide guitar and providing background vocals; and Jordan Lipp on drums, with Ted Z being the leader, on acoustic guitar and vocals. I got to talk to…
01 Jan 2020
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Is there anything as cool as that good ol’ rockabilly sound? The old greats really knew what they were doing … but we haven’t heard much of that classic sound recently. Then again, maybe we just haven’t been looking in the right places: If you’ve got the no-blues blues, check out Molly Hanmer and the Midnight Tokers. Debut record Stuck in a Daydream covers all the bases of blues essentials. “Take a Walk with Me” kicks off the record with a rockabilly jam that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Johnny Cash record, while the title track is a soft, somber, slow-burning blues song that’ll rip your heart out with a tale about a lack of confidence. Hanmer’s voice is perfect for these different scenarios; it sounds so meaningful on the slower tracks—and playful, yet sinister, on the faster ones. The group will perform at Pappy and Harriet’s on…
26 Dec 2019
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January is bringing a brand-new festival to the land of festivals! 4xFAR, presented by Land Rover, is a brand-new music, food and adventure festival coming to Empire Grand Oasis in Thermal on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18 and 19. It will feature music with headliners Anderson .Paak and Mark Ronson, as well as a plethora of adventure activities, such as mountain biking, climbing, fly fishing and off-roading! General-admission tickets are $95 for one day, or $185 for both; head to 4xfar.com to get ’em. The illustrious McCallum Theatre is featuring wonderful events throughout January. At 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 10, double-trouble actor and singer Jack Jones will grace the McCallum stage. He has more than 50 years of jazz and pop performances under his belt, so it’s no wonder The New York Times said that “he is arguably the most technically accomplished male pop singer.” Tickets are $40 to $90.…
24 Dec 2019
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Imagine this: You’re at a concert. It’s finally time for the curtains to roll back, and you see … four middle-age dudes, with a piano and a cello? Yep. Before you can turn away, you’re hit with the piano melody of one of your favorite songs. One man is playing the piano while the other guys are making drum beats on the sides, or even pulling the strings of the piano, to create all the parts of that song. The Piano Guys are doing what they do best—and you just can’t help but be amazed. See them for yourself on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 18, when they perform three shows at the McCallum Theatre. Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson and Al van der Beek are four Utah dads who—with a little charm, luck and what they call blessings from God—have been winning the hearts of audiences…
03 Dec 2019
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Canadian rock-band Black Mountain is on its 15th lap around the sun—and each year has seemingly been different for the group. The members have constantly explored different genres—including hard rock and long psychedelic jams—and founders Amber Webber and Joshua Wells are no longer with group. Still, the band plays on, releasing its fifth album, Destroyer, in May of this year. Black Mountain will perform at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Friday, Dec. 6. The band got a taste of the high desert earlier in May when it played at a famous desert-rock festival. “We recently played at Stoned and Dusted, and thought it was a beautiful zone,” said keyboard-player and founding member Jeremy Schmidt. “We’ve never played at Pappy and Harriet’s, so we’re excited for the debut.” Black Mountain recently performed at the Levitation festival in Austin, Texas. “I wouldn’t want to just do festivals, and I wouldn’t want…
28 Nov 2019
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The holiday season is here! It’s December in the Coachella Valley—which means venues are hosting a whole lot of events that’ll put you in the holiday spirit. Here’s but a sampling of the offerings local venues have in December. The glorious McCallum Theatre has a packed schedule of shows that’ll get you in the Christmas mood. On Sunday, Dec. 1, at 3 and 7 p.m., come experience one of the greatest musical groups ever: The Beach Boys. While the group is famous for surfing hits and the visionary masterpiece Pet Sounds, the band is coming to Palm Desert on the “Holiday, Harmonies and Hits” tour; expect songs spanning the Boys’ entire career, as well as some holiday greats. Tickets are $68 to $118. This is the giving season, so it makes sense that the McCallum is hosting its 2019 McCallum Theatre Annual Gala, featuring legendary singer Seal. Proceeds from the…
13 Nov 2019
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Fans of A Tribe Called Quest are familiar with the group’s genre-melding sound—including creating rap beats using jazz music. The Midnight Hour, the latest project from Ali Shaheed Muhammad, a founding member of ATQC, offers a similar sound—just without the rapping. Muhammad has joined composer Adrian Younge for this new jazz-fusion group that will move and groove you in the ways the jazz bands of old could do. On the group’s self-titled debut album, Muhammad and Younge are surrounded by a full orchestra, and have a few special vocal guests on duty. Stand-out tracks include the instrumental “Black Beacon” and the lead single “Questions,” which features CeeLo Green on vocals. The Midnight Hour will perform this Saturday, Nov. 16, at The Alibi Palm Springs. “Ali and I met when I was working on a project for (hip-hop group) Souls of Mischief,” Younge said during a recent phone interview. “I was…

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