CVIndependent

Fri12132019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

SynthEtiX —aka Alvaro Sandoval—is a local DJ who has a unique house/techno sound. He frequently collaborates with Independent contributor All Night Shoes, aka Alex Harrington. He has performed at Clinic, Schmidy’s Tavern, Coachella Valley Brewing Co. and a variety of other local spots. For more information on SynthEtiX, visit www.facebook.com/SynthEtiX.Official; hear some of his mixes at www.mixcloud.com/SynthEtiX.

What was the first concert you attended?

Monster Massive (a Halloween-themed electronic dance music festival in Los Angeles), in 2008.

What was the first album you owned?

Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Little Dragon, Chromeo and Darkside.

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

Indie.

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

Chemical Brothers.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Omarion.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Exposition Park (in Los Angeles).

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

“Little sister, can’t you ...,” from “Little Sister,” Queens of the Stone Age.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Richie Hawtin inspired me to experiment and be myself—to DJ what I like to listen to, and to find other people with similar tastes instead of trying to appeal to those I don’t understand.

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

Mat Zo: “Will you work with me?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Thing Called Love,” Above and Beyond.

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

Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Hot Natured,” Benediction. (Scroll down to hear it!)

Published in The Lucky 13

I first met Debra Ann Mumm and Ryan “Motel” Campbell in the weeks leading up to the party the Coachella Valley Independent threw last October to celebrate the launch of our monthly print edition.

Debra’s Venus Studios Art Supply sponsored the event at Clinic Bar and Lounge by donating a 10-by-5-foot canvas (and other materials), on which Campbell painted a gorgeous work of art during the party. (The painting was then donated to the LGBT Community Center of the Desert for the nonprofit’s Center Stage silent auction.)

To say I was impressed by both Mumm and Campbell would be an understatement: They always display an intense passion for the Coachella Valley, its art and its artists.

That’s why I was not at all surprised when Mumm announced she and Campbell were raising funds for PLANet Art Palm Springs (www.exhibitps.com), a project to bring in four renowned muralists in early April to create four murals on and around downtown Palm Springs’ Arenas Road.

From what I know of Mumm and Campbell, I was sure they’d dot their I’s and cross their T’s when it came to planning, permits and permissions. Sure enough, they got a thumbs-up from the city’s Public Arts Commission, as well as all of the needed permissions from the property owners along Arenas Road. Since the city of Palm Springs has no law regulating murals—at least that Mumm or anyone else to whom the Independent has spoken can find—it seemed like clear sailing for PLANet Art.

Such was not the case: As the PLANET Art artists began to paint on the weekend of April 4, police showed up and reportedly threatened to arrest them if they didn’t stop.

Brian Blueskye has a comprehensive report that we posted online yesterday, and will be our May print-edition cover story. That issue will hit streets next week.

There is some good news coming out of this mess: In May, the Palm Springs City Council is slated to take up the mural matter, and will hopefully develop a policy and procedures to prevent such problems from happening in the future. (We’ll definitely keep everyone posted on what happens.)

But even if the city of Palm Springs gets its act together in May, that does not excuse the city for what happened to Mumm, Campbell and the other PLANet Art participants in April. Unless there is some law or statute that everyone is missing, the city officials who had a role in stopping PLANet Art—costing Mumm and Campbell no small amount of money—should be ashamed. If there’s no law regulating murals on the books, and Mumm and company did everything possible to get proper permission—including getting an endorsement from a city commission—then what they did is legal. Period.

People like Mumm and Campbell, who are stepping up and trying to make our community a more beautiful, culturally aware place, should be celebrated, not threatened with arrest. This seems like common sense doesn’t it? Alas, the city of Palm Springs was lacking any and all sense when it shut down PLANet Art.

Published in Editor's Note

The weekend of April 5 and 6 was going to be big for Debra Ann Mumm and local lovers of public art.

The owner of Venus Studios Art Supply had joined renowned local muralist Ryan“Motel” Campbell to launch PLANet Art Palm Springs. The project brought four renowned mural artists to downtown Palm Springs’ Arenas Road area to paint four large-scale murals.

Proper funds had been raised; the city’s Public Arts Commission had even endorsed the week long project. Everything was ready to go.

Except it wasn’t.

As the artists started to paint, the police showed up and told Mumm and Campbell that their project was not authorized—it was illegal. Police reportedly threatened arrests if the artists continued to paint.

Campbell took to Facebook and other social media to vent his frustration. He even posted a picture of the police arriving and shutting down the project.

“ART IS NOT A CRIME,” Campbell wrote.


Today, out-of-place white paint can be found along the edges of some of the walls where the murals were intended to be—Lulu California Bistro, Eddie’s Frozen Yogurt, Clinic and StreetBar—illustrating the sudden stoppage of the project.

“I wish I could explain what exactly happened,” Mumm said. “The news articles that came out about it didn’t say a lot, because there wasn’t a lot of explanation for the actions the city took. We showed up to paint, and the police came and said they were told to cite us if we began to work.

“It came as a bit of a surprise to us. We had followed all the procedures that we had to follow for the area we were painting in. There were no permits needed for that area as far as using the sidewalk and everything like that.”

However, Palm Springs City Manager David Ready told the Independent that what Mumm and Campbell had planned was not allowed—despite the endorsement of the city’s Public Arts Commission.

“Currently, the city does not allow murals,” Ready said, adding that the Public Arts Commission lacks the authority to approve mural projects on its own. “However, the City Council had asked to create a policy that would allow murals. The Arts Commission looked at it, and the Planning Commission is currently looking at it, and the City Council will consider it on May 7.”

Mumm said she’s seen no law or ordinance prohibiting murals in Palm Springs.

“There aren’t any procedures for murals in Palm Springs,” Mumm said. “Because there are no procedures, they are taking it from the standpoint that murals aren’t allowed.

“I’m not sure exactly what happened. It was very clear about the dates we were doing this and moving forward, and that there was nothing in the city language that prevented us from doing that.”

Ready also said that property owners did not have proper permits for the murals.

“They never received a permit from the city,” Ready said. “The property owners did not receive or request any approvals.”

Mumm responded that her group did everything possible to get all the proper approvals.

"We thought we only needed use permits for the sidewalks, because all of Arenas is private, and the Arts Commission approved the project."

The confusion has cost Mumm and Campbell. The project featured out-of-town artists for whom Mumm had made accommodations; it was funded, in part, by locals to bring more arts and culture into the city of Palm Springs. (Mumm and Campbell are still raising funds, by the way.)

Mumm said she hopes a fair policy will be put in place on May 7.

“At this point, we’ve created a lot of public support,” Mumm said. “It’s clear that the city needs to move forward in making a procedure, because the public is very anxious for this project to move forward. At least we’ve created that dialogue.”

One of the artists included in the project is Los Angeles painter Saber, described by The Washington Post as one of the most respected artists in the field of murals. (The others are APEX, Jeff Soto and Chad Hasegawa.) Saber went with Mumm to the Public Arts Commission meeting after the project was halted.

“(Saber) was instrumental in helping the city of Los Angeles develop their mural policy,” Mumm said. “We brought copies of the Los Angeles city mural policy to maybe try and help them develop some kind of program.”

Mumm said the plan is to continue work once the city enacts a mural policy and approves the project.

“We’re still on board,” Mumm said. “The artists came here to paint, and they still want to paint, so we’re just going to continue to move forward. It’s just an extreme delay. … At the very least, it’s created the dialogue and created the conversation, especially after the illegal mural activity.”


“Illegal mural activity” is a reference to the mural that James Haunt painted at Stewart Fine Art, 2481 N. Palm Canyon Drive, and the mural at Bar, 340 N. Palm Canyon Drive, painted by Fin DAC and Angelina Christina. There was no attempt for the creators of these murals to get city approval, according to Palm Springs city officials.

“It’s my understanding from the Public Arts Commission meeting that they’ll develop the policy, and once the policy is developed, Bar’s and James Haunt’s mural will both have to go through that procedure,” Mumm said. “They’ll make sure they’re compliant with the newly formed ordinances, and it’s clear that there will be no grandfathering of existing murals. That’s the language that I heard at the meeting. But again, the policy hasn’t been developed yet.”

Mumm said the mural issue is getting caught up in the ongoing conversation about the nature of Palm Springs—and what belongs and doesn’t belong.

“The problem with art is not everyone is going to like it,” Mumm said. “Bar has a fairly controversial mural. It’s a little bit provocative. … What we were bringing to the plate was a little more palatable publicly. I’ve heard people say about the Bar mural that it looks like a strip club. We’re trying to bring internationally recognized, quality artists and experienced muralists to the valley. I love Angelina Christina’s work, but that particular piece (at Bar) got some attention, and maybe all the neighbors aren’t happy about it. There was no public forum for them to come out and say, ‘Oh, man. You can’t do that.’ There was no approval by the Public Arts Commission, either. Everyone just wants the opportunity to weigh in on the subject.”

She also points out that murals have been great for other cities.

“It has made such a big difference for Miami,” Mumm said. “They have the Art Basel event, which draws $500 million in revenue to the Miami area in one week. I know there have been a lot of surveys done that cultural tourism is beneficial. It’s beneficial for businesses. … If you keep doing it, there’s bound to be something for everybody.”

What about people who claim that murals don’t “belong” in Palm Springs?

“I grew up here, and I was born in Indio,” Mumm said. “I’ve seen a lot of changes to Palm Springs from the time when I was a teenager. … I see extreme value in preserving our history, and there’s a lot of significant architecture here. … But the new generation, there’s not a lot to attract them or newer businesses to the area. There’s a lot of clinging to the past, and there’s a certain part of that past that’s important. I’m a big fan and have a lot of respect for what Palm Springs stands for. I think this just adds to it. We’re not taking away from anything that is Palm Springs, but adding something new and creating a new dynamic that can be more than one-dimensional for Palm Springs. It doesn’t have to be just one thing.”

“Forever Marilyn,” the Seward Johnson statue that spent about two years at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Palm Canyon Drive, was the subject of a debate over whether or not it was tasteful—or even art.

“I wasn’t a fan,” Mumm said. “But I’m a fan of what the statue did for the community. Everybody took pictures with the Marilyn. I’m a local, and I don’t like the Marilyn statue, but I have to admit: I have pictures of her on my cell phone.”

When asked whether murals are a good fit for the city, city manager Ready wouldn’t comment specifically, but he did say the city has noticed the potential.

“I think that’s why the City Council requested that we bring forth a policy on murals,” Ready said, “because they recognize murals could certainly have a place in Palm Springs.”

Mumm said that murals are also a good source of graffiti prevention.

“We’ve been invited to bring our program to Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Indio, and even Indian Wells is even interested in looking at some murals,” Mumm said. “They realize the potential for what we’re offering. It is a graffiti deterrent.

“I know if (someone) went up and tagged on a Saber mural, (the tagger) wouldn’t last long,” she said, laughing. “There is a lot of respect even in that culture for significant work like that. You do not tag on a mural unless you’re an idiot, and your whole community around you knows you’re an idiot.”

Published in Local Issues

DJ Femme A (aka Annie Flores) has made a name for herself during her first year in the local music scene. She’s DJ’d special events at Saks Fifth Avenue (on El Paseo in Palm Desert) and for the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce. She also performs regularly at Clinic Bar and Lounge in Palm Springs. She can mix up a variety of different genres, from hip hop and Top 40 all the way to EDM. Hear more and get more info at soundcloud.com/femme-a—and enjoy her answers to the Lucky 13!

What was the first concert you attended?

The first concerts I attended were concerts through the Los Angeles-based radio station KROQ, and they all had tons of different bands playing, but I remember enjoying Linkin Park, Incubus and Hot Hot Heat.

What was the first album you owned?  

Wow, I feel really old, because I don’t remember what my exact first album was, but I know that I owned a bunch of “singles” cassette tapes, and they were mostly R&B and hip hop: Soul for Real, The Notorious B.I.G., New Edition, Michael Jackson and Mary J. Blige, to name a few.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Bands? Lately, I’ve been listening to Santigold, Salt-n-Pepa and some psytrance, when I work out and drive.

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

(English dance-music group) Above and Beyond. Is that even considered EDM?

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

I’d like to see a sweet DJ (maybe Day Din) in Germany at a festival; I’ve seen videos on YouTube and they look awesome. Santigold would be nice to see as well.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

When I really, really love a song, I can listen to it on repeat for days.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I’ve been to a handful of outdoors events and festivals, and they are, by far, my favorite. (I love the) feeling of being free, having friends with you, dancing during the day and at night, frolicking in the grass, and the fact that I don’t need to be dressed up or wearing heels as one would for a “nightclub.”

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

“Ey, ey, ey, ey, you don’t lie,” from “Unstoppable” by Santigold.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The Cure! I first heard them when I was 18. I went to this small club/dive bar every Sunday night that played new-wave and electro, and I remember whenever “Just Like Heaven” played on those club speakers, we’d drop our dirty cigarettes and run to the dance floor. Having that music during that moment in my life created memories for some of the best times of my late teens and early 20s—being young, free, underage and having fun. During that same period, I discovered so many new types of sounds that still influence me today, like Benny Benassi, and Felix Da Housecat and Miss Kittin (which led to me have an appreciation for EDM—electro house, progressive house and psytrance, to be exact).

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

The question is for Gwen Stefani: “Will you marry me?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Wolfsheim, “Once in a Lifetime.”

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

No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Chali 2na’s “Gadget Go Go.” (Scroll down to hear it!)

Published in The Lucky 13

Thanks for checking out another FRESH Sessions installment!

To keep things FRESH, I will be bringing in various local DJs to guest mix throughout the year. This month, we are featuring our first FRESH Sessions guest DJ!

Ivanna Love aka, Cici Ochoa, is a local who has been in the scene for some time now. Ivanna’s style is eclectic; in just one set, you’ll most likely hear tracks from several different genres. She keeps it upbeat; she keeps it fun; she keeps it FRESH. Ivanna is an inspiration with her positive attitude and impressive tastemaker skills.

This month’s mix offers a perfect example of the vibe that Ivanna Love brings. She’s a great person who creates great music. So without further ado, I present to you Ivanna Love’s FRESH Sessions, which you can enjoy below.

Oh, and don’t forget to catch my Cosmic Disco House Party, starting at 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, at Clinic Bar and Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. There’s no cover!

  • Lusine, “Lucky”
  • Aimlo, “Understand (I Love You)”
  • Maya Jane Coles, “Something in the Air”
  • Kartell, “Sierra”
  • Simian Mobile Disco, “Everyday”
  • Sharam Jey, “Here I Come”
  • Alf Alpha, “Planet Rock” (Remix)
  • Franz Ferdinand, “Evil Eye” (Alan Braxe Remix)
  • Cut Copy, “Saturdays”
  • Hot Natured, “Reverse Skydiving”
  • Ed Ed, “Mulackritze” (Oliver $ Remix)
  • Crazibiza, “Keep It Comin”

Mixed by Ivanna Love; mastered by All Night Shoes.

Published in Subatomic

The month of December is full of holiday magic—and many of the local venues are bringing in great holiday-themed shows, along with other worthy acts.

The Palm Springs Festival of Lights starts at 5:45 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. It’s a huge parade on Palm Canyon Drive featuring floats, marching bands and other special participants. Past guests have included the Budweiser Clydesdales, Snoopy and the Gang, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Attendance is free. 760-323-8276; www.psfestivaloflights.com.

The newly formed Modern Men, the Coachella Valley Men’s Chorus, is holding an inaugural concert at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Temple Isaiah in Palm Springs. There will be a second performance at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. Tickets are $20. The chorus is also asking those who attend to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the LGBT Community Center of the Desert’s NestEggg Food Bank. Temple Isaiah, 332 W. Alejo Road, Palm Springs; 760-992-5109; www.modernmen.org.

The Classic Club in Palm Desert will host a special fundraiser thrown by Opera Arts and the Steinway Society for their children’s music programs in the Coachella Valley. For the Children starts at 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8, with a wine-and-cheese reception; it’s followed by a sit-down dinner at 7:15 p.m., and a musical presentation at 8:15 p.m. with Shana Blake Hill and Gregorio Gonzalez. Tickets are $125. 75200 Classic Club Drive, Palm Desert; 760-323-8353; www.operaartspalmsprings.org.

The Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus will be performing their holiday concert “With Bells On” at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, and 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Palm Springs High School Auditorium. They say they’re going to be performing a mix of sentimental, spiritual, humorous and classical songs. Tickets are $25 to $50. 2401 E. Baristo Road; www.psgmc.com.

The city of Palm Springs is hosting yet more special events at Forever Marilyn. The free Forever Marilyn Holiday Concert Series will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21, and 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 22. The performers include Celine Dion tribute performer Brigitte Valdez, Just Like That and local band New Sensations. 101 N. Palm Canyon Drive; www.visitpalmsprings.com.

The McCallum Theatre certainly is the place to be during the month of December. The McCallum will host The Ten Tenors for five shows, Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8. The Australian musical ensemble is well known for choral covers of Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” as well as other pop and rock classics. Here, they will be performing an all-new show of holiday classics. Tickets are $25 to $95. Willie Nelson will be making a stop at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 17. The Red Headed Stranger is still going strong at 80 years of age; he’s still doing what he can to help out farmers through his Farm Aid concerts; and, yes, he’s still advocating for the legalization of marijuana. Tickets are $60 to $100. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Of course, the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has some fine holiday shows on tap in December. Jazz saxophonist Dave Koz will be performing a Christmas show at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14. He’ll be bringing special guests Oleta Adams, Jonathan Butler and Keiko Matsui. Tickets are $40 to $60. If you’re suffering from a Christmas hangover, Chris Isaak can help at 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 27. While Isaak is a well-known actor with roles in Little Buddha, The Silence of the Lambs and The Informers, he’s also a brilliant recording artist with a music career that goes back almost 30 years. Tickets are $40 to $75. At 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Agua Caliente will be hosting Danny Bonaduce’s ex-wife, Gretchen Bonaduce, and her band, The Fatal ’80s. I don’t know what to make of a woman who divorces Danny Bonaduce and continues to keep that last name, but more power to her! Tickets are $25. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino will be hosting Mannheim Steamroller (right) at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. Not to be confused with the near-heavy-metal, prog-rock Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mannheim Streamroller is also known for holiday shows full of MIDI-sounding keyboards and an electronic-symphony sound. Tickets are $39 to $69. America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho will be appearing at Fantasy Springs at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14. Evancho, now 13, won the hearts of America during the fifth season of the show and finished as the runner-up—sparking outrage among her fans who felt she should have won the competition over Michael Grimm. Tickets are $49 to $89. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino is hosting the Winter Gathering Pow Wow from Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6-8. The pow wow will include Native American tribes from across the country sharing clothing, dances, songs, arts, crafts and food. There will also be a drum and dance contest. Hours are 7 to 11 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6; 1 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7; and 1 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8. Admission is free. The Spinners, a legendary Motown R&B group, will be making a stop at Spotlight 29 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 28. Most of the original members of the Spinners are not active, but original member Henry Fambrough remains. Tickets are $25 to $45. At 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Stayin’ Alive, a tribute to the Bee Gees, will ring in 2014. Tickets are $20. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has a solid schedule for December. At 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13, Charo will be performing. The Spanish-American actress known for both her campy comedy and her flamenco-guitar music is still going strong—and she’s a huge hit in the LGBT community. Tickets are $20 to $29. Hiroshima plays at 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20. The Japanese-American act was a hit in the ’70s in the electric-jazz scene, and even performed as the opening act for Miles Davis. While the band has gone through several lineup changes, Dan Kuramoto, June Kuramoto and Danny Yamamoto are still around. Tickets are $15 to $20. Morongo’s Vibe Nightclub will host a New Year’s Eve Party at 10:30 p.m. The Dazz Band will be performing their high-energy R&B to bring in 2014. Tickets are $25, or $40 on the day of the show. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s will be hosting Dengue Fever (the band, not the virus) at 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7; the show is one of the highlights of an absolutely packed month for the Pioneertown venue. The Los Angeles band is known for combining Cambodian pop music with psychedelic rock—a unique and eccentric combination. If that wasn’t enough, Jesika von Rabbit from Gram Rabbit will be the opening act, performing under the moniker JVR. Tickets are $10. Pappy’s will be throwing a New Year’s Eve concert featuring the blues-rock sound of the Paul Chesne Band. Doors open at 6, and tickets are $5. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; pappyandharriets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza in Palm Desert has established itself as a hot place to be, especially after November’s show with Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine. Rick Thorne and his band Thorne will play at 10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6. Thorne is one of the most-recognizable BMX riders around today—but he also puts on an excellent show as a punk-band frontman. Attendance is free. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21, The Hood will host Strung Out. The Simi Valley band has been performing its brand of punk since 1992 and has been on Fat Wreck Chords since its debut, Another Day in Paradise, in 1994. There’s talk of a new record coming out in 2014. Given the intimate size of The Hood, Strung Out should be another wild show. The cost is $10 at the door for those 21 and older; or $15 for those 18 to 20. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.thehoodbar.com.

Clinic Bar and Lounge in Palm Springs is picking up steam with a regular schedule of music nights. On Thursdays at 9 p.m., Symara Stone hosts Spotlight, a local talent showcase. A variety of performers bring their own instruments, and it’s guaranteed to be a good time. On Wednesday nights at 10 p.m., Derek Gregg and Sean Poe, now known as the Hive Minds, are putting on a show. Considering the quality of Derek’s originals, it’s not a surprise he’s continuing to make a name for himself in the local music scene. Clinic Bar has a lot more to offer with regular DJ sets by talented people including Independent resident DJ Alex Harrington (aka All Night Shoes) and various other music nights. Admission is free. Clinic Bar and Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-864-4119; www.clinicbarps.com.

The Purple Room in Palm Springs is back, and the Rat Pack-inspired lounge is now hosting a regular schedule of shows. The Judy Show, a comedy and song show, will take place on Sunday nights at 9:30. Tickets are $20. The Gand Band will perform on Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. The cost is $10. The Michael Holmes Trio will perform on “No Cover Wednesday” nights from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and Machin’ will be bringing the Spanglish Jive every Thursday at 7 p.m.; there is no cover. Watch the website for yet more shows. The Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

Below: Strung Out: The Hood, Dec. 21.

Published in Previews

It was not just another night in downtown Palm Springs.

Hundreds of people from across the Coachella Valley and beyond gathered at Clinic Bar and Lounge in downtown Palm Springs on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 16, for the Coachella Valley Independent's Monthly-Edition Launch Party. 

The crowd was enticed by a live work of art created in front of their eyes by Ryan "Motel" Campbell; a DJ set by All Night Shoes (aka Alex Harrington), followed by several sets from The Vibe; and, of course, two hours of free drinks.

Scroll down to see some photos of the event (most of which were taken by Kevin Fitzgerald). If you have pics you'd like to add to the photo gallery, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thanks to all who came, as well as the fine folks at Clinic Bar and Lounge, and Venus Studios Art Supply.

Published in Snapshot

Ryan “Motel” Campbell is asked how he’d categorize his art.

He pauses to contemplate. “I’d say that my work is … contemporary, fluid motion, cubist, urban, contemporary.”

He laughs. “That’s the short version,” he adds.

The description (aside from the two mentions of “contemporary,” perhaps) actually fits Campbell’s works nicely—as everyone can see at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, when Campbell will paint a 10-foot-by-5-foot mural live, as part of the Coachella Valley Independent’s Official Launch Party.

The Independent is celebrating our one-year anniversary online, as well as the launch of our monthly edition, with free drinks from 6 to 8 p.m.; a DJ set by All Night Shoes; and the live creation of the mural on canvas, which will later be donated to the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, for the organization’s silent auction at the Center Stage event.

Campbell, 32, is an accomplished artist whose works and installations have been featured in galleries far and wide. (See just a small sampling of his works at www.ryanmotelcampbell.com/index.html.)

Ryan “Motel” Campbell—the nickname came to be, he says, because friends used to regularly stay at his house, aka the “Motel Campbell”—teaches regularly at Venus Studios, which is co-sponsoring the launch party; the good folks there are donating the canvas on which Campbell will paint, as well as other materials.

He says he often came to the desert while he was growing up in Los Angeles, and he credits the Coachella Valley for giving him inspiration.

“I really love the desert—something about the energy, something about just being here, I connected with immediately,” he says. “I would come here from Los Angeles and feel just completely disconnected, which is great.”

As a kid in L.A., Campbell fell in love with graffiti.

“I went and wrote on every mailbox and every sidewalk, and I’m not proud of it,” he says. “… I knew better. I had a very nice upbringing. My family taught me to always be respectful. But I needed to have my voice heard.”

In 2001, he decided to move to the Coachella Valley; his mom already lived in here, in Palm Desert.

“I had the opportunity to move here and jumped all over it,” he says. “I moved here—and found myself totally bored out of my mind.

“Oddly enough, in the bag of things that I brought with me—my worldly possessions—I had my sketchbook. So I broke out my sketchbook, and I just started drawing. I started looking at a lot of the graffiti I was doing and saw the monotony in it. I saw that I wasn’t really progressing. … I felt like I needed to push myself.”

Campbell started visiting local museums and galleries; those visits led to what he called a “wave of inspiration.”

“I said, ‘You know, I want to do something different. I want to try to really take the fundamentals of this graffiti art … and put it into creating something that’s more fine art’—art that spoke to me, that I was able to connect with and identify with and really enjoy.”

The melding of influences has led to Campbell’s “contemporary, fluid motion, cubist, urban, contemporary” style.

“It’s very inspired,” Campbell says about his art. “It’s inspired by movement. It’s inspired by motion, a lot of fluidity. I think that depicted where I was and where I am in life. I like to cruise through. I don’t want to fight too much.”

Today, in a way, Campbell has come full-circle: He often teaches alternative-education classes to kids with whom he can closely relate.

“I was basically going in to teach (kids who were just like) myself when I was in high school,” he says. “I was going in to teach kids who were rebellious and angry and wanted to do vandalism and go out and make a name for themselves.”

He says some kids even recognized him and his works from his graffiti days.

“The question (from the kids) was always like, ‘How come you don’t go out any more?’ he says. “For me, the necessity and the outlet have changed over time.”

Today, he says, kids have more outlets than he did when he was young. He cites skate parks as an example, as well as some of the efforts that forward-thinking arts organizations like Venus Studios are making.

“Kids want to go out and paint. They want to go out and write their name,” he says. “They want people to go out and see the work that they’re making. What I’ve been able to do with Venus Studios is we have Spray Paint Session Saturdays, where we invite people to come in and bring their spray paint. We give them a large-size canvas to paint on, to display their work in a venue where they’re not harming anybody, and they’re not getting into any trouble. They have an audience that’s interested in what they have to say, in a place where they can show their work.”

When asked what attendees at the Independent Launch Party can expect while Campbell spends four to six hours creating a brand-new work of art, he says that he often draws inspiration from the audience when he produces live works.

So come and help create Campbell create a contemporary, fluid-motion, cubist, urban, contemporary piece of art—for a good cause to boot.

Ryan “Motel” Campbell will paint starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Coachella Valley Independent’s Official Launch Party. The event takes place at Clinic Bar and Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. A hosted bar will be open from 6 to 8 p.m., and All Night Shoes will spin music all night. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-904-4208. Below: “Reclining Nude” (from life study), 48 by 36 inches; acrylic, spray paint and charcoal on wood. Above: “Sorting It All Out,” 24 by 24 inches; acrylic, spray paint and charcoal on wood.

Published in Visual Arts

Meet Lino A.F. Mendoza. The Santa Ana native works as a server as his “day job,” but at night, the Rancho Mirage native becomes a member of the House Whores. The DJ/electronic dance music group regularly plays at Azul/Alibi, and has a standing gig every other Saturday—including this Saturday, Sept. 21—at Clinic Bar Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive. The music starts at 9 p.m., and admission is free. Lino, “da sound guy,” recently was kind enough to take the time to answer The Lucky 13. For more info, find the Whores on Facebook.

What was the first concert you attended?

I believe it was Santana and Rusted Root at Glen Helen (now known as the San Manuel Amphitheater).

What was the first album you owned?

Violent Femmes.

What bands are you listening to right now?

None. I like EDM, so I like a lot of Sonny Fodera, Little Louie Vega, and Julz Winfield

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

This is a hard one, because I can’t say one thing is bad or worse than the other, so I’m gonna quote Ray Charles (and others): “There is only good and bad music.” It just depends on what’s being played.

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

It would be Pink Floyd—Roger W. Pink Floyd. And Prince!

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

L.A. underground deep house.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Greek Theatre (in Los Angeles).

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

Jamiroquai’s “Little L”: “Why does it have to be like this? … With a little ‘l.’”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The Doors. Jim Morrison music was always really deep. He made you think, like, in 5-to-1.

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

It would be Little Louie Vega: “How much has the music scene evolved since you were playing at Studio 54 in NYC?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Spirit in the Sky.”

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

Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz Vol. 1, and/or Bare Essentials or Carte Blanche Vols. 1 and 2.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Anything from the Butter Factory.

Published in The Lucky 13

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.)

Published in The Lucky 13