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Slipping Into Darkness is known for its wild reputation—but the popular local band wants you to know it has a mature side, too.

The group is currently working on a follow-up to 2014’s Shurpadelic. See what the members have been up to at The Hood Bar and Pizza on Friday, Oct. 21, when the band performs with Chicano Batman.

Nigel Dettelbach explained where the band stands in the recording process.

“It’s currently in the works,” Dettelbach said. “We were contemplating different studios to go into, and different offers and ways to go about it. With Adrian (Carreño) living out of the country, it’s harder for us to get together. We have about three or four songs recorded, and we have another six to record. Then it’s off to mixing and mastering. This album is Slipping Into Darkness, but a lot more mature.”

Dettelbach said the Desert Hot Springs band has learned a lot over the last several years.

“We’ve definitely matured,” he said. “I think we’ve realized that we’ve gotten older; we’ve learned what we want and what we don’t want, and we want to make the deals we want to make.”

Dettelbach said Slipping Into Darkness’ sound basically remains the same. The band members always like to throw in different genres, however, and the upcoming album steps that up a notch.

“It’s a bunch of different things. It’s doo-wop; it’s rock ’n’ roll; it’s punk rock. There’s some Latin in it, but this one has a lot of different elements. It’s more musically mature, too, which you’ll hear when it comes out.”

Slipping Into Darkness has gotten around. The group played Coachella in 2013, and has toured, performed at festivals in Mexico, and opened for a lot of bands that have come through Southern California. In fact, the group will soon be opening for another legendary band.

“We were talking to a booking agency that books in Mexico City, where we’re planning to go to do some touring,” Dettelbach said. “So that’s the one thing we want to do, but we’ve been focused on trying to release the record first. But we’ve been invited by The Adicts to open up for them for their Halloween show at the Observatory (in Santa Ana), which is a really big deal for us, because it’s a cool place, and we’ve always wanted to play there. They handpicked us.”

Regarding Chicano Batman, Slipping Into Darkness has performed at shows with the band before, and Dettelbach explained the relationship between the two groups.

“They’re definitely one of our favorite bands. We’re one of their favorite bands as well,” he said. “We both have a strong love for each other, and we’ve gotten to go on tour with them. They’ve hit the big time and have been down to help us release our record. They’re one of the most professional bands I’ve ever seen. As we were waking up in Vegas to go to Phoenix, they were already (in Phoenix) doing the soundcheck. It just goes to show their level of professionalism. We have a lot of respect for those guys.”

As for the new album, Dettelbach said he hopes the record is out by early 2017.

“I’d say within the next 6 months. That’s just giving us some time to get it finished,” he said. “The songs are coming along. They’re kicking ass, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

When Shurpadelic was released in 2014, the cover featured an old photo of a small child smoking a joint. Frontman Michael Durazo said the photo was of a relative of his, taken in the ’70s. The picture made many music fans laugh—although one person wrote to the Independent to complain.

“I’ve never had a negative response, other than the one you mentioned to me,” Dettelbach said. “I’ve always had heard people tell us, ‘That’s really bad ass!’ and, ‘That’s really cool!’ But when they hear what it represents and who that kid is, it’s a deeper thing—and not just a kid smoking or a random image pulled off Google. It’s a real photo.”

Slipping Into Darkness will perform with Chicano Batman at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Tickets are $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit chicanomovement.eventbrite.com.

Published in Previews

Before I dive in to all of the great February goings-on around the Coachella Valley, I want to pay tribute to two big names in music we just lost.

Rest in peace, Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club will be holding a Modernism Week-themed event at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13: There will be a screening of Visual Acoustics in the Commune. The film is a celebration of modernist architecture and a joyful portrait of renowned architecture photographer Julius Shulman. Admission is free. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

The McCallum Theatre is fully booked with great stuff in February. At 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6, Frank Sinatra Jr. will be performing. The son of the Chairman of the Board is a great singer and will be singing in celebration of his father’s 100th birthday. Tickets are $61 to $111. Continuing with the Sinatra centennial celebration: At 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14, crooner Steve Lawrence will take the stage. Lawrence was a close friend of Sinatra—in fact, when Sinatra retired, Sinatra gave Lawrence a book of his arrangements. Tickets are $67. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24, get ready for a night of awesome country music: Wynonna Judd will be performing. After starting out as part of a smash-hit duo with her mother, Wynonna has been quite successful on her own. Tickets are $47 to $77. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa obviously made a wise choice when it booked with Johnny Mathis, considering his Feb. 13 show is sold out—but cheer up, because at 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12, you can rock out to Air Supply, or whatever it is crazy fans of Air Supply do. The Australian duo of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock has been soft-rocking since the ’70s and recently had a hit with “Desert Sea Sky,” which was remixed and played in dance clubs. Tickets are $40 to $60. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a fine slate of February events. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, the original Jersey Boy himself, Frankie Valli, will be performing. He was a member of the Four Seasons, and he had a spectacular solo career, so you won’t want to miss this one. Tickets are $29 to $59. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, there will be a double bill with The Commodores and The Jacksons. Both groups have continued on without their famed frontmen, and to an extent, it’s worked for them both. The Jacksons’ reunion since Michael Jackson died in 2009 has come with mixed live reviews, though. Lionel Richie is currently not joining The Commodores, and it doesn’t look like he will anytime soon. Nonetheless, if you’re a real fan, you will enjoy both. Tickets are $39 to $89. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29 has a couple of great events worth mentioning. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, easy-listening superstar Engelbert Humperdinck will be coming back. The ballad singer has spawned numerous legends, including one that claims he’s bagged an impressive number of women—a number that puts Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead and Gene Simmons of KISS to shame. Whether or not that’s true, there’s one thing he gave to us millennials … Fly with me, lesbian seagull! Tickets are $45 to $65. Are you a fan of the ’70s? Did you live through the ’70s but don’t remember it? Either way, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20, the ’70s Time Machine Tour will take you back. Featuring performances by Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, and Denny Laine of Wings, the show will happily invoke the decade of leisure suits, pet rocks, shag carpet, van living and waterbeds. Yay! Tickets are $35. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

As for Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace: I’m sure we’ll be hearing some very big announcements soon regarding outdoor shows for the spring and summer, especially with Coachella right around the corner. But in the meantime, the February schedule is wonderful. At 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5, Joshua Tree locals Gene Evaro and the Family (right) will be appearing. Gene is one of the most talented musicians in the Coachella Valley; Alf Alpha has told me stories about Gene’s production skills in the studio as well. Tickets are $10. At 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14, it will be time for local rock fans to rejoice and celebrate Eddie Spaghetti’s victory over throat cancer, because The Supersuckers are back! Funny story: I saw The Supersuckers in 1995 in Cleveland; the band was opening for White Zombie and the Ramones. Let’s just say The Supersuckers didn’t get a welcome reception that night—and I was one of the hecklers. But over time, The Supersuckers grew on me; they’re an excellent rock ’n’ roll band. Also worth mentioning: My friend Charlie Overbey will be opening. His new record The California Kid is awesome. Tickets are $20. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has one event we know about worth mentioning. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend—at a prom out of a John Waters film, that is—with Shannon and the Clams (below). Desert Hot Springs’ finest, Slipping Into Darkness, is also on the bill. Shurpadelic, dude! Admission is $10 at the door. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Published in Previews

The holiday season is upon us, which means things hectic, and you may feel the need to escape—or find something to that doesn’t involve shopping. Fortunately, there are plenty of great events going on in December (especially in the first two-thirds of the month) for people looking to escape, as well as people looking to celebrate the holidays.

The McCallum Theatre has an awesome December schedule. If you missed Merle Haggard at Stagecoach back in April, you’ll be happy to know the Okie from Muskogee will be coming back at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2. Haggard, one of the creators of the Bakersfield sound, has written an astonishing number of great country songs throughout his long career. Tickets are $77 to $97. At 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 15, there will be a performance of The Nutcracker performed by the Los Angeles Ballet. Tickets are $27 to $87. At 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 20, country star LeAnn Rimes perform a Christmas-themed concert. Back in the ’90s, Rimes captured the admiration and support of people everywhere as a star at the age of 13. She’s since carved out a fine career, with two Grammy Awards, a Country Music Association Award, 12 Billboard music awards and an American Music Award to her credit. Tickets are $37 to $87. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has some great holiday events on the schedule. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, you’ll know it’s time for Christmas when Mannheim Steamroller returns. This is the 31st year that Mannheim Steamroller has taken its rock and electric-synth style Christmas show on the road; the concert includes dazzling multimedia effects, too. The group has sold 28 million copies of Christmas albums! Tickets are $39 to $69. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19, it will be time to boogie for the holidays when The Brian Setzer Orchestra takes the stage. Setzer’s swing/rockabilly holiday shows have become a Christmas tradition; if you haven’t had the pleasure, check it out. Tickets are $39 to $69. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has a light schedule, but there are two great events you should to know about. At 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4, Mama, the star of Mama’s Family, and comedienne Vicki Lawrence will be performing her “Two Woman Show.” Tickets are $20 to $40. If you don’t have plans for New Year’s Eve, you’ll be happy to know that at 10:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 31, former Runaways member Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (right) will be rocking into 2016. Forget attending those expensive parties where you stand in line all night to buy expensive drinks, and create fond New Year’s Eve memories with a legend! Tickets are $60 to $80. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has a great list of December shows. At 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17, Brant Bjork and the Low-Desert Punk Band will take the stage. Bjork, a founder and former drummer of desert rock gods Kyuss, performed at Coachella back in April. If you call yourself a fan of desert rock, you need to get your ass to this show—because Bjork delivers live. Tickets are $15. At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 26, you can celebrate the day after Christmas with The Evangenitals. If you had a good Christmas, the Evangenitals will make it even better! If you had a bad Christmas, the Evangenitals will have you laughing, therefore lifting you out of your holiday blues. It’s become a tradition at Pappy’s to have the Evangenitals perform after Christmas, so go partake! Admission is free. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Date Shed has some nice things happening in December. At 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4, things are going to get festive thanks to EeVaan Tre and the “Holiday Show.” EeVaan and the boys have quite an impressive R&B act, so you know their holiday show is going to be something you don’t want to miss. Admission is free. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, the vibe will be quite different, because rapper Paul Wall will be performing. The Houston-based rapper has been going since 1998 and has had songs on the charts. Tickets are $20 to $23. If you were concerned the Date Shed’s schedule was initially missing some performers who come back year after year … relax: Ghostface Killah is indeed returning to the venue, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19. Ghostface, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan, performed a hop, skip and a jump from the Date Shed at Coachella back in April with fellow Wu-Tang member Raekwon. Tickets are $28 to $38. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-775-6699; www.dateshedmusic.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has released a list of nice events for the month. At 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4 rock/reggae band Fayuca will be stopping by; Machin’ and DJ Alf Alpha will also perform. Admission is free. At 9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10, you’ll be happy to know that Chicano Batman (below) will be coming back to perform at The Hood—and, of course, their compadres Slipping Into Darkness are also on the bill. Yay! Admission is free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Tryst Bar and Lounge continues to diversify downtown Palm Springs’ music offerings, with free shows at 10 p.m. virtually every Tuesday and Saturday. The month’s highlights include Derek Jordan Gregg on Tuesday, Dec. 1; and local metal-punk favorites Gutter Candy on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Tryst Bar and Lounge, 188 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-832-6046; www.facebook.com/trystpalmsprings.

Published in Previews

Terry Reid has stories … lots of them.

It’s well-known that Reid almost became a member of Led Zeppelin during its formation, and the session player has remained active throughout the years.

He’ll be playing at the Purple Room in Palm Springs on Saturday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Oct. 9, with Nigel Dettelbach and Nigel Carnahan of Slipping Into Darkness.

During a recent interview, Reid, aka Superlungs, explained how he ended up in the Coachella Valley.

“About 25 years ago, I knew people who lived here, and I used to come to town and stay at the La Quinta Resort,” Reid said. “After the first time I went to the La Quinta Resort, I went, ‘Oh, this is unbelievable!’ It was so beautiful and peaceful out there. I started coming here all the time during the weekends. I was living in Santa Barbara, and it was a bit of a stretch, and to drive here for the weekend took serious consideration.

“Years later, I got married, and my wife was living in the Los Angeles area at the time, and I was ready to get out; I never really liked Los Angeles much. I told her I wanted to move to the desert in La Quinta, and she said, ‘Oh that’s funny; my parents just bought a house down there.’ I went, ‘Oh! That was easy.’ I just love it out here.”

How did this veteran musician wind up performing with two members of Slipping Into Darkness, the locally famous Desert Hot Springs band? Dettelbach and Carnahan met Reid in the spring.

“We have a mutual friend named Alex. We got together, and she wanted to sing some songs at this event,” Reid explained. “She came in, and we worked some things out, and Nigel (Dettelbach) and the guys were playing. So that’s when we first met. We moved on from there, and Nigel and I talked about putting something together. Nigel only has about seven bands, anyway!”

Dettelbach said working with Reid has been quite fulfilling.

“It’s been great and a lot of fun,” Dettelbach said. “He plays guitar like no one has ever played it, and he can play cross-rhythms. It’s definitely a whole different deal than I’m used to.”

Dettelbach and Carnahan, who also used to be part of the group Little Red Spiders—which this year won the Tachevah block party competition and earned a slot at Coachella—backed Reid for that performance at Coachella.

“That was all Nigel, too,” Reid said. “I was leaving the next morning for Europe to do a six-week tour. Nigel had been talking about it and the Tachevah competition. He asked me if (the band) won the Tachevah competition and got to play Coachella, if I would come and sing some songs, and I went, ‘That’s lovely! Thanks, Nigel. Now go win the competition first. Let’s not hatch rabbits here.’

“Lo and behold, they won it, and then he asked me, ‘Do you want to do Coachella?’ I asked, ‘When is it?’ and he said, ‘Tomorrow.’ I got all this stuff packed in the hallway, and we went and did that. Then I was gone for six weeks.”

Dettelbach also set up the gigs at the Purple Room.

“I was looking into casinos and more high-profile gigs, basically to try to get the band paid what we deserve,” Dettelbach said. “I contacted a few people, and Tony Marchese from the Purple Room responded, and he agreed to pay us what we demanded, and I guess he’s already sold enough tickets.”

The performances will feature songs throughout Reid’s solo career.

“We have so many bloody songs to go over,” Reid said. “We’re still formulating which ones we’re going to play. …  You try to find things that work. You sometimes think, ‘Oh, they’ll love this,’ but the reality is they fucking hate it. Whether I like it or not, you have to work as a clock and as a whole unit. Bands argue all the time about that shit.”

Reid and Dettelbach both said they hope to continue working together.

“It’s all a matter of what the ticket is. If you can do well, and people want to come watch you play, you’re OK,” Reid said.

Dettelbach said he’s working on adding more gigs with Reid.

“I’ve been talking to some booking agents up in Los Angeles, and Terry has fans all over the world,” Dettelbach said. “We’re working on one gig at a time and talking about doing some residencies. Right now, we’re just working on figuring out the songs.”

Terry Reid will perform with Nigel Dettelbach and Nigel Carnahan at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Oct. 9, at the Purple Room Palm Springs, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Tickets are $20. For tickets or more information, call 760-322-4422, or visit purpleroompalmsprings.com.

Published in Previews

To some, the success that Little Red Spiders enjoyed in April—the band won a slot at the Tachevah block party, and played on the Coachella stage during Weekend 1—seemed like it came out of the blue.

However, the band has actually been around for a while, and two members are in the well-known Desert Hot Springs band Slipping Into Darkness.

During a recent phone interview, bassist Nigel Dettelbach talked about Little Red Spiders’ origins.

“There was a band a few years back called The Dead Suites. Our former lead singer, Anthony Taboada, passed away last year, and Jesse (Williams), who is now the singer of this band—they would sing together. We had a different drummer at the time, and now we have Nigel Carnahan. So it’s basically the same band with a different lineup. We play one or two of the songs from back then in dedication to our former lead singer. … It feels like a new band, but it’s not, given we’ve been playing together for a long time.”

During Tachevah, the group’s psychedelic rock sound stood out and got people moshing. It reminded me a bit of the music of Ty Segall.

“We all like the ’60s and ’70s psychedelic rock ’n’ roll, blues, and all that stuff. So it just comes out naturally; it’s not contrived at all,” Dettelbach said. “It’s not like we’re trying to fit within a certain genre. If we make a song, we just put our color on it, and it turns out that way. We don’t go out to shoot a certain sound. It’s just all part of our natural writing process.”

Dettelbach said the band went into the Tachevah contest thinking the slot was already theirs.

“You kind of have to go in there thinking you’re going to do it; otherwise, it’s not even worth it,” he said. “I can speak for myself and the rest of the band when I say we’re not into the whole ‘pay to play’ and ‘battle of the bands’ thing, but for something like this? We weren’t going there to lose. We figured that the judges would be hip to what’s going on, and that our sound is a likable sound—catchy, good and relevant.”

Dettelbach said he and his bandmates were never nervous about playing in front of the judges. “For us, it just felt like another show. We didn’t go into it with any butterflies. It didn’t feel much different at all.”

Dettelbach and Carnahan had played Coachella before—in 2013, with Slipping Into Darkness—and they enjoyed their return to the Coachella stage with Little Red Spiders during Weekend 1. The band played with Terry Reid, a vocalist and guitarist who was almost made a member of Led Zeppelin, and who was a judge in the Tachevah contest.

“Nigel (Carnahan) and I were talking about that, and we were really happy and appreciated it,” Dettelbach said of their Coachella return. “It’s great to know even though we’re in different projects that we could do something like that.”

The Slipping Into Darkness crowd has welcomed Little Red Spiders with open arms; in fact, the two bands’ fan bases overlap quite a bit.

“Technically, it’s half the band and the rhythm section of Slipping Into Darkness,” Dettelbach said of Little Red Spiders. “Everybody that’s into the Spiders is also into Slipping, and it’s one big community.”

Dettelbach said a debut Little Red Spiders album is in the works.

“We’ve already started working on the tracking; we’re working on more songs,” he said. “We have a recording facility that we’re able to work in, and we don’t have to worry about paying people to record us, and we can spend as much time as we want on it. It’s a great thing to have. We’ll have something out fairly soon—within the next few months, to be honest.”

Dettelbach thinks both projects can achieve national success through hard work and independent promotion.

“Technically speaking, we are a local band, but we don’t think of ourselves as just a local band,” he said. “…  We plan on leaving the country and being gone for a while. We want to be a national act.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/LittleRedSpiders.

Nigel Dettelbach has great taste in music, as this Lucky 13 questionnaire proves. This is no surprise, considering Dettelbach is the bassist for Slipping Into Darkness, one of the Coachella Valley’s best-known bands. The group released the album Shurpedelic in August and has been spending much of November on tour throughout California and Mexico. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/slippingintodarknessmusic. Here are the aforementioned answers by Dettelbach to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

It must have been a good one, because I can't recall it. The best one I can remember was the Black Lips in 2007 at the Glass House in Pomona. I was with all of my friends/forefathers of the SHURP revolution.

What was the first album you owned?

If were talking vinyl, then Beatles’ Abbey Road.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Los Saicos, Black Lips, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Iggy Pop and the Stooges.

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

Crazzy Lirasis from Desert Hot Springs.

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

Deep Purple with Ritchie Blackmore on guitar.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Money Man from Desert Hot Springs.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix.

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

Any song from Spinal Tap.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

The Beatles, James Jamerson, Jaco Pastorius, Deep Purple, Spinal Tap and the original Alice Cooper lineup. Need I say more?

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

Thomas Escobar: Who woke you up?

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I'll leave that to friends and family.

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

Alice Cooper’s Love It to Death.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“A Minha Menina” by Os Mutantes. (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

Michael Durazo, the frontman of Slipping Into Darkness, called me one recent day with welcome news: The band’s independently released first album was finally finished.

We met at a location in Desert Hot Springs, and he put a copy of Shurpedelic in my hand.

Others will be able to experience the excitement I felt at that moment on Saturday, Aug. 9, at Schmidy’s Tavern in Palm Desert, where the band will be celebrating the album’s release. Also included on the bill will be local bands Facelift, CIVX and Waxy.

Slipping Into Darkness, the Desert Hot Springs band that played on the main stage at Coachella in 2013, has long been at work on Shurpedelic. During a recent interview, Durazo and guitarist Adrian Carreno explained the delays.

“We had a bunch of setbacks,” Durazo said. “We had a change in band members, band members moving away, and money (problems). We recorded it, and it got erased by accident, so we had to start over.”

Carreno said he couldn’t believe how much time the album took.

“It took us almost two years to make this album because of all that stuff,” Carreno said in frustration, “changing drummers, changing recording studios, and (raising) the money to finally get it made.”

Slipping Into Darkness melds psychedelic rock with surf guitar and blues riffs, and the quality of the recordings on the album is excellent. Shurpedelic includes the songs the band has played live in the Coachella Valley over the past couple of years—songs the band’s fan base has gotten to know and love, like “Mexicali,” “Some Way,” “Tell It Like It Is” and “Ahh Doo.”

Then there’s the album cover: It shows a small child smoking a joint. (See below.) On the back is a group of Catholic priests standing on a street corner in the 1970s. Durazo confirmed the photo on the front cover is indeed real.

“It’s one of my family members smoking a joint at the beach in the ‘70s. (That family member) was probably 4 or 5,” Durazo said. “We thought it’d be great to fuck with people, with the kid smoking on the front, and the priests on the back.”

The album cover is sure to grab people’s attention. The songs are, too.

“They’re all about my life. I’m not really good at saying shit like this, but they’re all about my life experiences in the desert. I’ve lived in Desert Hot Springs for 23 years, and all my friends live here. We’ve been bullshitting for 22 years here,” Durazo said with a laugh.

On the day of the interview, Carreno was leaving to return to his home in Mexicali, Mexico. With the exception of Durazo, all of the members live outside of the Coachella Valley. (Bassist Nigel Dettelbach and drummer Nigel Carnahan live in Northern California.) So how do they all manage to come together for shows in the Coachella Valley? Carreno discussed how frustrating it can be to do so.

“It’s tough, because I have to wait in line at the border,” Carreno said. “It’s a half-hour to an hour to get across, and then I have a two-hour drive. Sometimes, the wait is longer, and I turn off my air-conditioning so my car doesn’t overheat. When there’s a show coming up, or we’re recording, they have to tell me about two weeks before just so I can prepare for all of that. I’ll usually stay at Michael’s house for four or five days.

“It’s tough, but at the same time, it’s refreshing when you start playing, because you haven’t seen each other in a long time. It’s not the same boring thing, and you have more ideas.”

The band has also played some shows in Mexico—and those experiences haven’t always gone smoothly.

“My friends got in a fist fight. I stopped it, and then the Federales thought I had something to do with it, even though I didn’t,” Durazo said about one incident. “They took us to the middle of the desert; they made us strip; and then they made us give them all our money.”

Carreno added, jokingly: “I think they made you do more than just strip.”

Durazo explained how the CD-release show came together.

“We wanted to do it at the Dillon Roadhouse in Desert Hot Springs, but they sold it, and it’s under new ownership,” Durazo said. “The people at Schmidy’s seemed really cool, so we went to check out the spot, and it was cool. Waxy will be opening the show, (followed by) CIVX, our best friends Facelift, and then us. In between sets, Planet Lunch is going to be spinning records. CIVX are buddies of ours; Facelift are like our brothers; and we just hit up Waxy, and they said they were down.”

The Slipping Into Darkness album-release party will take place at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 9, at Schmidy’s Tavern, 72286 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is $8 and includes a copy of the album. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Slippingintodarknessmusic.

Published in Previews

Who knew this band from Desert Hot Springs would taste the “big time” so quickly?

Slipping Into Darkness was selected as the local act to perform at Coachella back in April; they’ve wrapped up recording on their first album, which is due to be released any day now; and the show they played at The Hood Bar and Pizza on Friday, Nov. 15, was extraordinary, despite the absence of a band member.

The band is a throwback to the days of psychedelic rock, melded with a more-modern sound. Echoing guitars, hard rock, and bits that remind of Black Angels and the Brian Jonestown Massacre are all part of the Slipping Into Darkness mix.

The show started off with the band playing possibly the best cover of Link Wray’s “Rumble” that I’ve ever heard. They then jumped into their set of energetic, psychedelic rock ’n’ roll. “Ahh Doo” was a poppy ’50s-style rock ’n’ roll anthem. “Tell It Like It Is” could have used one of those trippy videos playing in the background with tie-dye or a blast of multiple colors.

Michael Durazo traded guitar riffs with Adrian Carreno Lafarga, while drummer Nigel Carnahan was a well-oiled machine; his performance had the audience screaming his name in between songs—or were they screaming for the other Nigel, bassist Nigel Dettelbach?

The band sounded tight, but there was something missing: Natalie Alyse, the band’s tambourine player and backup vocalist. (Before the show, Durazo told me The Hood’s security team turned away Natalie, as well as some of the band’s friends who were either younger than 21 or without ID.)

Durazo is a man of few words. I tried to interview him back in October, and it did not go well. Durazo is not interview-savvy, a fact which is evident in the interview the band gave to KMIR Channel 6 back in April before Coachella (embedded below). Durazo is either very shy, or he simply lets the music do the talking—I haven’t determined which one yet. The only thing he had to tell me about playing Coachella on the main stage before bands such as Ghost B.C. and The Gaslight Anthem: “It was cool.”

I was surprised that I didn’t hear chants of “shurp” or “shurpadelic” from the band’s friends in the audience—it’s a reference the band made up for having “good times” in Desert Hot Springs. Shurpadelic is also reportedly the title of the band’s upcoming album. Durazo played me some tracks when I attempted to interview him, and the band’s recordings sound just as incredible as their live shows. When Shurpadelic drops, and the band announces more local shows, take note: They’re worth seeing.

Slipping Into Darkness has the potential to be the next local band to make it big. We’ll be watching.

Published in Reviews

Moon Block Party, a collective from Pomona, Calif., has for a second year in a row organized an area music festival that overlaps with the Coachella festival.

Their intention, organizers say, is not for Desert Daze—taking place on Saturday, April 20—to be an alternative to the monumental Coachella fest, but to add to the number of music-related activities that are available to music aficionados storming the area in April.

Last year, Moon Block Party was invited to put on Coachella-related parties. This, they did, but not in a small way: They coordinated musicians and bands to play a Desert Daze Festival for 11 days in a row, largely at Dillon’s Roadhouse in Desert Hot Springs. This year, they downsized to a one-day, festival, at the Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca.

Phil Pirrone, who spearheads the festival and the collective, explains they found that location.

“We scoured the desert to find this year's location,” he recalls. “One night, my wife and I were literally scrolling Google Earth, trying to find what looked like ranches or parks or something. … We eventually found a ranch north of Bermuda Dunes. … That didn't work out, although they were very nice people—so nice, they referred us to Sunset Ranch.”

So nice, indeed! The location boasts a lush desert oasis complete with palm trees and lake in Mecca. Bring your tents; there is camping on the lake (though no swimming is allowed).

On offer is music from bands from Mali, Los Angeles, Seattle and Brooklyn, as well as Coachella Valley band Slipping Into Darkness (which was also a last-minute addition to the Coachella fest). Expect an eclectic assortment of music from post-punk and drone to dark folk, anti-apocalypse rock, and so on.

One highlight is the mighty band Tinariwen, a group of Tuareg musicians hailing all the way from the Saharan region in Mali. They are very much established on the world-music scene, and are coming all the way to Mecca to perform their lush poetry and guitar-based, rhythm-heavy music.

“Most of the bands on the festival are friends and bands we really believe in,” Pirrone says. “The others, like Tinariwen, have been our dream list for a very long time. We just reached out to their agent, and the timing was right, and it worked out.”

Pirrone and the crew of the Moon Block Party want to make this regular, annual event. It looks like the Eastern Coachella Valley is on its way to becoming a Mecca for alternative and mainstream music alike.

The Desert Daze Festival takes place starting at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 20, at Sunset Ranch Oasis, 69520 S. Lincoln St. Tickets start at $35. For tickets or more information, visit www.desertdaze.org.

Published in Previews