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Sun08192018

Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

In 2017, Yob frontman Mike Scheidt almost died from diverticulitis and a staph infection. However, the extreme trauma led to something good: While confined to his hospital bed, he penned most of the music on the metal group’s new album, Our Raw Heart.

Scheidt has recovered—Yob will be stopping by Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Saturday, Sept. 8.

During a recent phone interview with Scheidt, he talked about his nearly fatal bout with diverticulitis in early 2017.

“My sigmoid colon ruptured, and I almost died from it on multiple occasions,” Scheidt said. “I had two surgeries and was able to survive it with my bandmates, and we received a lot of help from our family and friends worldwide. I was already working on an album prior to getting sick, and then after getting sick, that album … came into better focus, and I was able to finish it up.”

Personal material, however, is nothing new to Scheidt and Yob.

“This is stuff I’ve been writing about since our demo in the late ’90s,” he said. “I’d say over the past couple of decades, I was getting better at it, but I’m not sure, given I’m not very objective about those things. … From day one in Yob, I’ve written songs that come from Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Peruvian Shamanism and stuff inspired by Emerson and Blake. It’s always had a spiritual bent, but it’s always been from the perspective of an imperfect perspective—meaning not trying to sell anything to anybody, and actually being on a path and working through things in the mud that would be considered lofty, or things that have a shiny spiritual quality. … It’s not about trying to paint a pretty picture, but trying to get to a more empowered, aware and better place to live.”

Scheidt said he’s more mindful of his health these days.

“I have to follow a healthy routine, but I’m doing well,” he said. “I don’t know what recovery looks like. I’m not the same as I was. In some ways, I’m stronger; in some ways, I require some maintenance. But it’s a small complaint to have, if there is one. It forces me to have consistently healthy habits, and I can stand to have that anyway. I carry around a little bit of uncertainty, because I know things can go off the rails. But that was no different than before. It informs of truths that were already there; it’s just that I have gotten up close and personal to those truths, and they have a bit of a different meaning to me.”

After traveling around the world, Scheidt said he has realized it’s important to share with others.

“What I find is that sense of kinship with people where maybe we haven’t met before, but we have similar albums in our collections that we’ve listened to for decades,” he said. “We share that love, and certainly our experiences in music and culture are no doubt  informed by where we came from. … (No matter) where we were born, what kind of religion or politics or upbringing in general, we can both still say that we love Melvins or King Crimson. That love is an identical love.

“… It’s interesting to go to places where scenes are insulated, but it’s rabid and fanatical in the love of music in general. The couple of times we’ve played in Athens, people lose their minds and go bananas. I’ve had those experiences in Norway, Sweden, Slovakia, Croatia and certainly in the United States. There’s something about music in general that’s not about any kind of boundaries of country.”

Scheidt said he wants people to hear his music—no matter how they get it.

“For me when I was growing up, it wasn’t easy to hear music. If you could buy music, cool. But there was tape-trading. It was literal tape-trading: people recording albums onto tape, making their own compilations, and trading them around with each other. They’d send tapes via U.S. mail, send tapes to Europe, and get tapes sent back from Europe through pen pals before the internet. I think there are some places where that’s still very much true, like South America. … If they’re selling the stuff online, we kind of say, ‘Eh, please don’t do that,’ but if people can’t get the stuff and make it for themselves, we’re supportive of that. That’s a time-honored tradition that I grew up with. With the internet, any album you want is at your fingertips, but at the same time, it’s still about community, word of mouth and people turning each other on to different music.”

Scheidt said he tries to keep up his new, healthier lifestyle while he’s on tour.

“(There’s) a lot of reading, some meditation, some push-ups, and we occasionally get to places early so we can see the lay of the land,” he said. “None of us live very hard on tour, so it’s not like we’re spending a lot of time recuperating from the night before; we’re all pretty much health-oriented. We party some, but we take the show very seriously, and that requires having some balance on the road so every show can be as good as it can be.”

What was the last book Scheidt read?

A Book of Longing, which is Leonard Cohen’s book of poetry that he wrote when he was in the Zen Buddhist monastery.”

Yob will perform with Acid King and CHRCH at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53668 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews

We’re past the halfway point of the hot season. Maybe. Hopefully. Whatever … at least there are some equally hot events to take in this August.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a full list of August events. At 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Jason Bonham, will be performing his show Led Zeppelin Evening. I’ve read stories about Jason Bonham’s upbringing that are quite fascinating; apparently, when he was a child, his dad used to wake him in the middle of the night to play in late-night jam sessions. Tickets are $29 to $59. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, the frontman of The Who, Roger Daltrey, will be stopping by. Daltrey has done well as a solo artist. I checked out some of the set lists from his solo appearances over the past year, and he’s been playing the entirety of The Who’s rock opera, Tommy. Tickets are $69 to $129. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, the legendary family of Motown R&B, The Jacksons, will be performing. I saw The Jacksons a while back at Fantasy Springs when they toured with The Commodores, and The Jacksons put on a pretty good show—although the Jackson 5 songs were relegated to a five-minute medley. Tickets are $39 to $79. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

August is a great month for The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. At 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2, country-music superstar Brad Paisley will be performing. Paisley has sold millions of albums, won three Grammy Awards, and charted 24 No. 1 singles. Tickets are $160 to $200. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4, enjoy stoner-comedy duo Cheech and Chong. I remember when I was about 13 years old, and Cinemax played a marathon of Cheech and Chong movies. That scene in the car at the beginning of Up and Smoke made me laugh until my sides hurt. Tickets are $40 to $60. If the names performing at The Show couldn’t get any bigger, prepare yourself: At 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24, Steve Martin and Martin Short will offer up An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. Also performing: Steve Martin’s band, Steel Canyon Rangers, and keyboardist Jeff Babko. Tickets are $130 to $160. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29’s August brings some great Latin music—and another hot event. Need some pecs and abs in your life? Well, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11, the world-famous Chippendales will be performing. The Chippendales nd became part of the pop culture of the 1980s. A friend of mine recently mentioned that she dated a Chippendale during the ’80s who put himself through medical school thanks to his bare-chested performances. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 8 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 19, Argentinian sibling duo Pimpinela (below) ill be performing. Lucia and Joaquin Galan have become international superstars with their romantic musical pieces and are touring behind their musical show, Brothers, The True Story; expect a giant screen, dancers, choirs and a lot of other surprises. Tickets are $45 to $90. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

There is a lot going on at Pappy and Harriet’s during the month of August (per usual). Be sure to check out the full schedule online (per usual). Here are but a few noteworthy events: At 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11 indie-punk band Swearin’ will be stopping by. There’s been a lot of talk about this band since it released its first EP in 2012; since then, Swearin’ has dropped albums that have received critical acclaim, and has embarked on some popular tours. Tickets are $15. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, psychedelic folk band Timber Timbre will take the stage. Timber Timbre has an interesting sound that sounds at times like some of the mellower Marc Bolan songs. I was pretty amused when I heard their song “Run From Me” in the recent Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country, which is about Indian guru Osho and his Rajneeshpuram community in Oregon. Tickets are $16. At 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 30, the 14th Annual Campout will get under way. The Campout is an annual weekend event curated by Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker frontman David Lowery. As of our deadline, the entire list of performers had not yet been released, but you can expect to see Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven and the usual characters associated with both bands. Weekend passes for the three-day event are $125. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Date Shed will be open for an event in August. At 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, reggae and R&B artist J Boog will be performing. Some of his best-known songs are “Let's Do It Again,” “Sunshine Girl,” and “Good Cry.” Servant is also on the bill. Tickets are $20 to $25. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-775-6699; www.facebook.com/dateshed.

Published in Previews

Shooter Jennings—the son of the late, great Waylon Jennings—is usually considered a country artist. However, his love of taking creative risks has allowed him to transcend country in some awesome ways.

On Thursday and Friday, Aug. 9 and 10, he’ll enjoy a rare two-night stint at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace—coinciding with the release of his new album, Shooter, on Aug. 10.

“This time around, I feel like we really set out to make a real country record,” Jennings said during a recent phone interview. “‘A Hank Jr. record’ is what we were kind of calling it, and we set out to make a record that was fun to listen to, and I feel like the most left-turn thing I could have done was make a very country record, especially when everyone is doing experimental records these days. For me, I set out to make a very boogie-woogie, a little Jerry Lee Lewis, a little Hank Williams Jr. kind of record. That was the spark, and we saw that through.”

His previous album, Countach, was a tribute to record producer and electronica pioneer Giorgio Moroder, and included covers of some of Moroder’s contributions to film soundtracks, including title song from The Neverending Story with Brandi Carlile, and the title song from Cat People with Marilyn Manson.

“Every record is different. With the (Moroder) record, the idea was to explore his music and expand it into a more-country realm,” Jennings said. “I learned so much from doing that record. I watched this documentary on Hunter S. Thompson called Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride, and he talked about how he would retype Ernest Hemingway novels, like the whole book, and he would learn his writing by doing that. Exploring these Giorgio arrangements and chord progressions, and adapting to them was a learning process. I became really obsessed with his solo records, and I thought they were so unique and definitive of the time.

“Doing that record was really fun, but after that was over, I didn’t want to go back and do something like that again. It made sense to do a left turn and make a country record afterward. It felt like the rebellious thing to do.”

When I asked Jennings if he has ever felt like he’s alienated his audience, he mentioned Black Ribbons, a concept album that he released in 2010, which included the voice of Stephen King narrating between songs as a disc jockey after the U.S. government had taken control of the airwaves. Many of the songs reference conspiracy theories.

“At this point in time, I think it’s become expected. When we did Black Ribbons, that was the first big left turn,” Jennings said. “When we did that record, there were definitely some people at the moment who didn’t understand what we were doing. But over time, that record has given back to me more than any other record. I got the most out of the records that are the most experimental. I don’t feel like I’ve divided (my audience), but I’m sure there were people who were like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ But now it’s like become a mainstay. Sturgill Simpson did A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which is a very experimental record. … At the time, it might have been polarizing, but if I lost anyone, they were people who were not there for me in the first place. I never felt like there was a reason to believe it wasn’t OK to push the boundaries.”

Jennings has collaborated with a long list of musicians from various genres—but one that sticks out is Billy Ray Cyrus; Jennings collaborated with him on a song called “Killing the Blues.” When I asked Jennings about it, he laughed.

“I’ve known him over the years, and we did this series of shows in Los Angeles where it was me and a band, and we’d add a bunch of different singers to come in and play,” Jennings said. “I asked him to do that, and when he did that, I said, ‘We should go in the studio just for fun.’ I had really been in love with that song, particularly John Prine’s version, for a really long time. He loved it, and it was like, ‘Why not?’ It was cool, and he let me steer with the two songs we did, and it was just fun.

“He’s an incredibly talented singer. His personality has kind of overshadowed who he really is in a way, but he’s this crazy stylistic vocalist, kind of like Freddie Mercury or something. He does layer after layer of harmonies. He’d do them in all these different voices—like one that was a woman, and one that was like Sammy Hagar—and he had all these names for these different voices. It sounds like 10 different people singing, but it’s him changing his voice.”

Jennings married his wife in Joshua Tree, and they are regular visitors to Pappy and Harriet’s.

“I love it up there. It’s a special place to me. There’s kind of a mystical vibe to it,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of adventures in Joshua Tree, and it’s become me and my wife’s place to go and get away. I love playing Pappy and Harriet’s. When my wife and I go out there, we go and eat at Pappy and Harriet’s.”

I had to ask: What did Jennings think about the episodes regarding his father on Mike Judge’s new Cinemax animated series, Tales From the Tour Bus?

“I didn’t know what to expect, especially after seeing the Johnny Paycheck episode, which was a little harsh,” he said. “I wondered what was going to happen, and I didn’t get too involved in it, because I was worried about the platform and whether it included people who had an ax to grind. But I think they did a really good job at the end of the day, and I think Mike Judge’s heart was in the right place. The Jerry Lee Lewis episode was fantastic, and it had some really cool stuff in it. You could tell (Judge) really loved country music, and you could tell he was trying to do something really cool and entertaining.”

Shooter Jennings will perform at 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Aug. 9 and 10, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets for Friday’s show are sold out, but $25 tickets remained for Thursday’s show as of our press deadline. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews

Stoner-rock band Fu Manchu was founded back in 1985—and went on to become one of the pillars of the genre. Today, the band is still around, having outlasted many of its contemporaries, including local legendary stoner-rock band Kyuss.

The band is currently touring behind its 12th album, Clone of the Universe, released back in February. The group will be coming to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Saturday, July 28.

During a recent phone interview with frontman and guitarist Scott Hill, he said the formula Fu Manchu has used to start recording its albums hasn’t changed in more than 25 years.

“We have this cassette 4-track machine, and we all sit in a circle with our amps pointing inward. We put one microphone straight down the middle, and on one track, we just record all of the music,” Hill said. “I have three more tracks to do vocals on. We do that, take the songs home and listen to them, and rearrange them. We’ve been doing that since 1992. This is kind of a rough demo of songs before we head into a studio.”

Fu Manchu has recorded its albums in a variety of different settings, and with a range budgets.

“We’ve spent a lot of money and gotten a great recording, and we’ve spent not a lot of money and gotten a great recording,” Hill said. “It’s all about who you go with as a producer and where you go. You can spend a lot of money in an expensive studio that’s really nice with air conditioning and a big lobby, or you can do what we did with our last couple of records, at a small storage place where the studio is. It’s really hot, and you sweat after walking into the place, but you get a really good recording. It depends on what you want to do, where you want to do it, and what your budget is.”

Fu Manchu’s rock ’n’ roll sound has not changed much since its first full-length album, No One Rides for Free, in 1994. That’s a source of pride for the band.

“We just all like this straight-forward riff stuff. To me, it’s never boring, and there are always new riffs and drum beats,” Hill said. “With Clone of the Universe, we did an 18-minute song, which we’ve never done before. It took up the entire Side 2. We all like playing like straightforward, heavy and fuzzy rock ’n’ roll. It never gets old, and we’re not tired of doing it.

Hill said he sees many ethos similarities in the stoner-rock and punk-rock scenes.

“I got into punk rock in December of 1980; that was the first time I heard live Black Flag and was like, ‘What is this?’ I guess it’s kind of the same in the sense that you play where you can,” he said. “You play backyards, little clubs or big clubs … you go for it wherever and whenever you can. Hardcore and punk rock are my main influence, and that’s when I really got into music and started wanting to play guitar. I’d go to shows and think, ‘That looks so fun!’ and would just watch the guitar-players. As the late ’80s rolled around, I’d pull out the old Deep Purple and Blue Cheer records and mix it all together. I’ll listen to Foghat, and I’ll listen to Black Flag in the same sitting. It’ll all make sense to me.”

On Clone of the Universe, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson makes an appearance on the aforementioned 18-minute-long song, “Il Mostro Atomico.”

“Our manager is friends with (Alex Lifeson’s) manager, and our manager asked what Alex was up to, and he was like, ‘Oh, he’s just in the studio recording guitar stuff.’ He asked what we were up to, and we were getting ready to record. Our manager asked, ‘Hey, would Alex like to play guitar on a Fu Manchu song?’ He got back to us and said, ‘Yeah, send him a song.’ We thought our manager was kidding. We sent it to him, and he asked us what we wanted him to do, and we said, ‘Wherever you want to do something, for however long you want to do something, whatever you want to do—do it.’ He did a bunch of guitar stuff all over the song.”

Hill told me a story about one of the strangest shows the band has ever played.

“We flew to Spain for one show that was actually a festival,” he said. “We flew there the night before and hung out. We went to the big festival and played a couple of bands under the headliner; it was probably about 40,000 people. We got up onstage, set up and played four songs, and they said, ‘OK, that’s it!’ It was getting really windy and stormy, so that was it. We went all the way to Spain to play four songs and went home. It was the weirdest one for me, given we flew all that way to play four songs.”

Fu Manchu will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 28, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53668 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets are $18. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews

July is the hottest month of year in the Coachella Valley—and the month is bringing some hot shows along with the toasty temps.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has three big shows in July. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 7, enjoy your post-Fourth of July weekend with Michael McDonald. McDonald has been part of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. He’s also been an iconic force as a solo artist, winning five Grammy Awards and collaborating with greats like Elton John, Ray Charles and many others. Tickets are $29 to $59. At 8 p.m., Friday, July 13, venture back to the ’90s with the Counting Crows. It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the Counting Crows helped define ’90s pop-rock when hit single “Mr. Jones” was played endlessly. Tickets are $49 to $109. If you think it couldn’t get hotter, there’s more: At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 21, famed producer and electrifying performer Pitbull will take the stage. The man is known as “Mr. Worldwide,” and it’s been said that one way to guarantee a song’s success these days is to have Pitbull on board as a collaborator or producer. Tickets are $69 to $129. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa sails into July with some old-school events you won’t want to miss. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 7, head down the highway to the danger zone with Kenny Loggins (right). It’s amazing how many epic ’80s movie soundtracks Loggins found himself on—and even if the movies were box-office bombs, the songs were still hits. One example I’ll leave you with: “Meet Me Half Way” is from my favorite box-office stinker of all time, Over the Top. Tickets are $65 to $85. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 14, you may not be able to handle all the disco when the Village People stop by. If there was ever a time to see the Village People, it’s now, because the original frontman, the cop/admiral himself, Victor Willis, is back after a lengthy absence. Willis had problems with drugs but has cleaned himself up and has enjoyed an epic run since rejoining the Village People in 2017. Tickets are $28 to $98. At 8 p.m., Friday, July 27, continue on with the tradition of the ’70s with Donny and Marie. The two famed Osmonds are part of a large family of entertainers, and are a regular act in Las Vegas. Tickets are $95 to $150. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 has a relatively quiet July, but there’s still some cool stuff going on. At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 14, Bronco will be performing. The traditional Norteño band has been going for almost 40 years, has sold more than 10 million records, and continues to put out new music. Tickets are $49 to $69. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

On the flip side … Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has a lot going on in July. Here are but a few events to consider for a high desert night out: At 8 p.m., Saturday, July 7, jam-band Moe (below) will be performing. The Buffalo, N.Y., band members are contemporaries of Phish, Widespread Panic and the Dave Matthews Band. Bassist Rob Derhak recently won a hard-fought battle against cancer—and Moe returned to the stage without missing a beat. Tickets are $30. At 8 p.m., Thursday, July 12, stoner-rock band Dead Meadow will be performing. If that’s not enough, desert-rock band Yawning Man, featuring Gary Arce and Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson, is also on the bill. Tickets are $15. At 8 p.m., Thursday, July 19, Los Angeles producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Adams, aka The Blank Tapes, will take the stage. If you’ve never heard of him, you should stop what you’re doing and look him up. Admission is free. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews

We Are Scientists’ Chris Cain and Keith Murray met at Pomona College in 1997. Several years later, they’d take the world by storm.

In the years since the band’s debut, We Are Scientists released six albums that helped define today’s indie rock—before pushing the bar even higher with Megaplex, the group’s seventh album, released in May.

We Are Scientists will be performing at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Saturday, July 14.

During a recent phone interview with Chris Cain, he explained the process the band went through to make Megaplex.

“With each record, I think we’ve been reacting to the music that we were listening to at the time, or a year or two prior,” Cain said. “That’s part of why each one ends up a bit different: It’s our natural shifting tastes and interests. There’s also a very conscious effort on our part to make sure we don’t make the same record over and over again.

“With this one, we consciously set out to incorporate some synth elements and electronic beat elements that we haven’t really dabbled with on previous records. That’s because Keith and I have become more conversant with the software everyone uses, which had never really been a part of our workflow in the past. We figured it was time to learn that stuff and begin that journey during the writing process. … Any of the tools you use to create are inevitably going to create a different result. Combine all those things, and this record for us definitely feels like a pseudo-generational thing that we’ve made. I assume the next one will be earth-shattering as well.”

Many mainstream bands today make music that follows a certain formula.

“There is sort of a new perceived wisdom about how quickly you need to get to the chorus, how quickly you need to get yourself through the first verse, and so forth,” Cain said. “I think that’s true for a certain type of outreach that you are doing with your music. There’s always kind of a balancing act. (You want to) really get your existing fans fired up. These are people who are automatically going to give a new record more time to impress them. We prefer a record that takes a minute to grow on them. You’re balancing that with a desire to reach new people. Poor old U2 got in trouble for trying to reach new people by having their record placed on everyone’s iTunes account a couple of years ago. There’s no point where a musician wants to stop trying to have new people hear what they’re making.”

When the band signed with Virgin Records, the members insisted on using Ariel Rechtshaid, who was then largely unknown, as the producer. Rechtshaid would go on to become one of the world’s most popular producers, recording U2, Adele, Beyoncé and many others.

“We had made a demo with Ariel that ended up on Love and Squalor,” Cain said. “We really loved that, and we made that album without a label and just with a publishing company footing the tiny bill for the production. We thought he totally knocked (that album) out of the park, working on a short deadline and no money for studio time. He really got the best out of us. When it was time to do Brain Thrust Mastery and we signed with Virgin Records, they had a clause in the deal that they needed to approve any producer, and we fought to have an exemption in there that if we wanted to do it with Ariel, they would have to accept that. They didn’t want to do that, but ultimately, they let us. They begged us to consider alternatives—and obviously, history is on our side.”

I asked Cain if he felt like rock music and its subgenres were in a sort of music purgatory right now.

“I’m concerned by it in the sense that I’m attentive to it. It’s a very uncertain time, but I don’t feel a sense of dread,” he said. “I think it’s more that there are a lot of unknowns about how consumer behaviors are going to change and how distribution is going to change—also, the technology for making music and how that will change. I think those all affect how we do our job, and they’re all changing. I don’t know how to predict where they will go. I am concerned, but not in a critical way.”

The unique atmosphere and history of Pappy and Harriet’s does not concern We Are Scientists.

“We’ve sort of managed to entertain in a pretty wide variety of venues in our career,” Cain said. “We’re not the kind of obstinate dudes who refuse to read the room and just do what we want to do. Part of the pleasure of playing live is pleasing the audience.”

We Are Scientists will perform with Beverly at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 14, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53668 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews

Yo La Tengo has been together nearly 35 years—and the band finally made it to Pappy and Harriet’s for a sold-out outdoor show on Sunday, June 10.

Yo La Tengo is often compared with the Velvet Underground—so much so that Yo La Tengo played the nameless band evocative of Velvet Underground in the movie I Shot Andy Warhol.

As a public service to all baseball outfielders who may find themselves with Spanish-speaking teammates, I will now explain the origin of the band’s name: In 1962, Mets center fielder Richie Ashburn went to catch a fly ball, yelling, “I got it!” repeatedly. Shortstop Elio Chacón had the same idea …and collided with Ashburn, because Chacon did not speak English. Ashburn learned the phrase, “¡Yo la tengo! ¡Yo la tengo!” in order to avoid this mishap in the future. I could go on with the story, but this is a music review, not a baseball history lesson.

The band kicked things off with “You Are Here” from newest release There’s a Riot Going On; the song is an expansive instrumental that starts with a sole hum before becoming a wistful blend of guitars and steady drumming. Yo La Tengo is currently a trio with husband-and-wife Ira Kaplan (lead guitar) and Georgia Hubley (drummer), and bassist/multi-instrumentalist James McNew. The band rotated places throughout the stage as they switched instruments.

Kaplan was chatty: “Nice to be here; we have never been here before. If you have any questions, don’t shout them out; write to us, and we will reply.” The band went into new-song “She May, She Might”—also from the band’s latest release via Matador Records—which ponders the idea that you may not know the individual you live with: “She hears, not quite, your voice to reply, she knows by sight too well all that’s being left behind.” Also from the same album was “Shades of Blue,” a down-home song sung by Hubley as she contemplated anguish and solitude: “Staring at walls when I’m feeling down, staying indoors cause you’re not around, indigo, violet; doesn’t matter; what’s the use? Whenever I see them, they’re all shades of blue.”

The quieter songs mellowed the crowd but set the tempo for a more-upbeat set as the night progressed. Kaplan said, “We were surprised on how many people are here.” Adding a press-conference feel, Ira Kaplan pointed to a person in the audience and said: “Question from the front.” The audience member asked: “Have you ever been to the Integratron?” He replied, “Some of us, but not all of us.” Yo La Tengo then shifted into “Autumn Sweater”: “Me with nothing to say, and you in your autumn sweater, so I looked for your eyes, and the waves looked like they’d pour right out of them. I’ll try hard, I’ll try always, but it’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of time, if I can’t smile easily, like in the beginning.”

After that tearjerker, Kaplan announced: “We are going home tomorrow; you can tell by looking at us that we are happy people.” He then added: “As we drove around this area, we asked: ‘Are we the type of band that will do a Gram Parsons song?’ This song has lots of chords.” The band then wound down the set with “How Much I’ve Lied” by Gram Parsons and Pam Rifkin: “Darling, there is something I must tell you, you must know, but it’s so hard to say the words I feel. This fancy that I’m on has been going on too long. It’s time we stopped pretending things are real.”

The band briefly walked off stage before returning with the first encore, “Sugarcube.” Andrea Svenneby, a super-fan from Long Beach, identified that song for me; she’s a former Yucca Valley resident was there with her sister Erica Svenneby, an artist and local real estate agent. As I stepped away to say hello to a friend, I saw Andrea looking at Hubley talking with a fan. Erica tried to coax her to talk to Hubley—but Andrea won’t go over. Finally, as Hubley passed by, Erica got her attention and introduced her to Andrea. What followed was an adorable conversation about the time Andrea thought she saw Georgia on the subway in New York. It was just one of the amazing little moments that routinely occur at Pappy and Harriet’s.

Published in Reviews

It’s June, which means that summer is officially arriving. While some venues close or slow down for the summer, there are still plenty of great shows from which to choose this month.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has some fine events. At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 23, Latin-music greats Pandora and Yuri will be performing. They have become world-famous since they started performing music together in the ’80s. The vocal power that these women have is remarkable. Tickets are $49 to $89. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 29, country group Little Big Town will take the stage. Little Big Town performed at Fantasy Springs in 2015 to a packed house—and the electrifying show was one of the best I’ve seen. The group puts on a mind-blowing show no matter the size of the stage. Tickets are $69 to $129. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has a nice variety of events. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 1, Mexico’s hilarious comedy duo, Adrian Uribe and Omar Chaparro, aka Imparables, will be performing. Uribe and Chaparro are known for their battle style of comedy that includes numerous colorful characters. Tickets are $55 to $85. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 15, Michael Carbonaro will bring his magic to The Show. On top of his awesome talents as a magician, he’s also an actor who has appeared in Grey’s Anatomy and Another Gay Movie; he also has his own truTV television show, The Carbonaro Effect. Tickets are $25 to $160. At 7 p.m., Saturday, June 30, my favorite annual event, Art Laboe’s Summer Love Jam, will return for its seventh year. I used to listen to the dedication hour of the radio show just to hear the “love and kisses” to people’s loved ones in prison, with names like “Baby Joker,” “Lucky” and “Little Brown Eyes.” Performing at this year’s event will be Peaches and Herb, Manhattans, Deniece Williams, MC Magic, Lighter Shade of Brown, Aalon, and the man himself, Art Laboe. Tickets are $45 to $65. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino’s June calendar includes a couple of heavy hitters. At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 2, Banda Los Recoditos will be performing. Banda Los Recoditos, from Sinaloa, Mexico, includes performers with different vocal ranges, as well as a huge brass section. The group was nominated for a Latin Music Grammy in 2010; one of the group’s songs is “Ando Bien Pedo,” which translates as “I Am Very Drunk.” Hey, sounds like a good time to me! Tickets are $59 to $79. At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 23, Eric Paslay (right) will bring the country. Paslay had a hit song called “Friday Night” that reached No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot Country Chart in 2014. Tickets are $25 to $45. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has some big things slated for June, along with appearances by regulars. At 10 p.m., Saturday, June 9, Rancho de la Luna will be celebrating the release of its very own branded mezcal. It seems appropriate, given tequila seems to be the adult beverage of choice at the ranch, seeing as there’s a sculpture outside including a lot of Patron bottles. Performers include Mojave Lords, Bone Acre, Sinner Sinners and some “surprise guests.” Who knows who will show up? Tickets are $20. At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 23, enjoy the majestic comedic country vibes of Pappy’s regulars The Evangenitals. The group always puts on a show that will make you laugh until it hurts. The Evangenitals recorded an album that tells the entire story of Moby Dick, and created “The Vagina Song,” so you can’t go wrong. Admission is free. At 8:30 p.m., Thursday, June 28, Scottish indie-band the Trashcan Sinatras will be performing. If you’re thinking this is some kind of tribute act with a name like that, you’re wrong: Trashcan Sinatras is a fantastic indie-alternative band that has been compared to The Smiths, and the album Cake is considered by some to be a masterpiece. Tickets are $20 to $25. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Purple Room Palm Springs is preparing to go on a summer break—but it will be open through the end of June! At 8 p.m., Friday, June 1, R&B and pop performer Jake Simpson will take the Purple Room stage. He’s performed with Stevie Wonder, Adam Lambert, and Earth, Wind and Fire, and he’s been on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 23, the alt-cabaret performers known The Skivvies will perform. The show features musical comedy …performed by Skivvies duo Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley in their underwear. Wow! The “undie rock” stars will also be joined by surprise guests. Tickets are $30 to $35. At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 30, it’s the last The Judy Show of the season. It’s performed by Purple Room owner Michael Holmes, in drag as Judy Garland … and others. It’s wild, over the top and one of the most popular regular live events in Palm Springs. Tickets are $25 to $30. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

Published in Previews

A handful of performers are semi-regulars at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace—and Paul Chesne is fortunate enough to be one of these select few.

He performed at the Campout in 2014, and has turned in some New Year’s Eve concerts there in the past. He’ll be returning for a show on Saturday, June 16.

Why is Chesne a Pappy’s regular? For one thing, his band’s alternative-country sound works nicely on Pappy’s stage—and Chesne’s stage presence works nicely anywhere. During a recent phone interview from Los Angeles, Chesne talked about why he loves coming back to Pappy and Harriet’s.

“The people (who go there) are great,” Chesne said. “There’s something about it that I say sometimes from the stage: Because you’re so far away from everything, you can do whatever the hell you want, as long as you don’t hurt anybody. You have freedom, and it’s close enough to Los Angeles, but you’re in a whole different world. You’ve transferred into a place where you can let loose, and the crowd really does let loose.”

The crowds at Pappy and Harriet’s New Year’s Eve shows were huge when Chesne played them.

“It’s kind of like that every night there now,” he said. “It’s a congregation of people on any given night, and Pappy’s always has that certain vibe. I always thought of New Year’s Eve in general as arbitrary numbers that were sort of meaningless. It’s a reason for amateurs to get drunk—but I’ll take a gig if they’re getting drunk and having fun. (At Pappy’s), it’s getting loose and having fun in the desert. It’s always nice to bring that kind of milestone in people’s lives, and we all share that changing of the number, whether it’s arbitrary or not.”

Playing country-style music in Los Angeles can be tough, but Chesne said he has it figured out.

“Over the years, I’ve sort of honed in on places that are welcoming through a collective of musicians and friends,” he said. “The interesting thing about Los Angeles is that it’s so compartmentalized, and there are so many different neighborhoods, so we can play in Hollywood and have no people come out from the westside of Los Angeles. It feels like you can do a tour of Los Angeles where you have different crowds every night. We’ve gone from Venice to Santa Monica, playing two nights in a row, and having 150 people each night.”

In 2016, Chesne teamed up with singer-songwriter Matt Ellis for a song called “They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To,” which talked about the changing times in terms of culture and music.

“I’m pretty progressive and open to the things that are happening technologically and culturally,” he said. “… The resistance parts and women’s rights are at the forefront with gay rights, and Black Lives Matter is still trying to fight back against the never-ending war that we’ve been fighting forever in this country. It feels like things have only gotten better slightly.”

Chesne comes from a unique family: His father is a surgeon, and one of his siblings has had a successful career in music.

“My brothers are both very talented. One of them wrote music for television shows like Family Matters and Full House and other ones back in the ’80s or ’90s,” Chesne said. “Now he’s a music teacher and has a music institute that he runs out of his house with his wife for kids. My other brother taught me everything I know about guitar. When I’d ride in the car with my dad, I heard a lot of Mozart and Beethoven. My brothers would always bring around The Beatles’ Let It Be or Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. I wound up with the bug, and I’m mostly self-taught, but I started writing and singing—and I couldn’t really stop.”

There are a lot of reasons to go see the Paul Chesne Band—and there are testimonials in that regard, ranging from serious to funny, on his website. Here’s my testimonial: Seeing him at Pappy’s is always a treat.

“It’s a great place to let the city sort of wash off your back and get some fresh air,” he said. “They have great food, and we put on a happening, spectacular extravaganza of music.”

The Paul Chesne Band will perform with the Shadow Mountain Band at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 16, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53668 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews

That time of year is upon us when we say our temporary goodbyes to the snowbirds—and the valley becomes a lot quieter. However, there are still shows that’ll be just as hot as the weather will be.

Alas, the McCallum Theatre goes dark during the summer months—but there are still a handful of great events there in May. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, everyone’s favorite comedy/parody rocker, Weird Al Yankovic, will be performing. Weird Al has brilliantly spoofed many great pop, rock and rap songs through the years, and starred in his own “successful failure” of a movie, UHF. Speaking of which, Emo Philips, who played Joe Earley in UHF, will also be appearing. Tickets are $37 to $87. At 7 p.m., Saturday, May 12, singer-songwriter and actress Melissa Manchester will take the stage with the Coachella Valley Symphony. She’s released numerous albums since the early ’70s, and appeared in television shows such as Blossom and films such as For the Boys. Tickets are $27 to $67. At 4 p.m., Sunday, May 13, 70 high school music students from throughout the Coachella Valley will perform as part of the 2018 All-Valley High School Honor Band. This is the third-annual concert, for which students must audition in front of College of the Desert faculty members to perform. Tickets are $10. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

May is flat-out hot with spectacular events at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 5, Train will be performing. The band arrived with its debut album in 1998, scoring a hit with “Meet Virginia,” and then found it on the very top of the charts in 2010 with “Hey, Soul Sister.” Tickets are $69 to $129. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 19, legendary R&B outfit Earth, Wind and Fire (right) will be performing. Although frontman Maurice White passed away in 2016, Earth, Wind and Fire remains as popular as ever. It is one band every music-lover should experience live at least once; I’m speaking from experience. Tickets are $49 to $79. And now the highlight: At 8 p.m., Sunday, May 27, ’80s rock icon and badass Billy Idol will take the stage. Idol’s mainstream success was well-deserved … but there was a punk-rocker inside of him who always needed to unleashed—and that side of him comes out at times. Tickets are $59 to $99. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has a great May schedule. At 8 p.m., Thursday, May 17, former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar will be performing with his band The Circle. That band includes drummer Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham), bassist Michael Anthony (of Van Halen) and longtime Hagar guitarist Vic Johnson. Hagar was a successful solo artist in his own right before temporarily replacing David Lee Roth. Tickets are $95 to $125. At 8 p.m., Friday, May 18, enjoy a double bill from Tower of Power and Average White Band. There’s a lot of truth in Tower of Power’s name, as it is one of the most powerful R&B bands in music history. Average White Band may have a funny name, but it is one of the best-known names in funk music, most remembered for “Pick Up the Pieces.” Tickets are $45 to $65. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 26, husband-and-wife Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will be performing. Benetar and Giraldo married in 1982, and have been performing together at times ever since. Tickets are $55 to $75. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 has a fun Cinco de Mayo event: At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 5, enjoy performances by Nacho “Nash” Bustillos, Mariachi Serenata Mexicana and DJ Morales. Mariachi Serenata Mexicana has been performing in the Coachella Valley for several years and is quite popular. Tickets are $10. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace is showing no signs of a post-Coachella/Stagecoach hangover, with a packed May. At 8:30 p.m., Sunday, May 20, X bassist John Doe will be performing a solo set. John Doe’s performance at Stagecoach last year impressed me; he’s a fantastic songwriter, and his style of performance will go over well at Pappy and Harriet’s. Also on the bill: J. Micah Nelson (son of Willie, performing as Particle Kid), and Feisty Heart. Tickets are $20. At 9 p.m., Thursday, May 24, punk/ska band Fishbone will rock Pappy’s. If you’ve never seen Fishbone, you have no idea what you’re missing. Nearly the entire original lineup is back. This is going to be a high-energy show in a small setting, and you’ll love it. Tickets are $30. At 8 p.m., Friday, May 25, the instrumental band Godspeed You! Black Emperor (below) will perform outdoors. I’m personally stoked for this one, given I have always wanted to see the band. Godspeed’s “songs” are not songs in the classical sense; they are long and evolving jams that go to some dark and psychedelic places. Tickets are $40. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Copa Room Palm Springs is hosting the return of a longtime favorite. At 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26; and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 27, comedy and music duo Amy and Freddy will be performing. They've shared the stage with some great names such as The Supremes, Kathy Griffin and even Bea Arthur. Tickets are $25 to $35. Copa Palm Springs, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-866-0021; www.coparoomtickets.com.

Published in Previews

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