CVIndependent

Wed08052020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

This month, I have decided to make a mix featuring some of my favorite tracks at the moment.

While keeping my usual deep-house sound, I’ve developed a playlist that represents my favorite “vibes.” I love getting lost in a song—and the great thing about being a DJ is you get to do that over and over again, while sharing that feeling with those around you.

Come experience this feeling with me! The Independent is sponsoring—along with my new label, Fresh Session Records—FRESH Sessions Live at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. This show will feature CoffeeBlvckk, Synthetix and myself! There’s no cover; 21 and older only, please. We’re hoping this is just the first in a series of events like this, so come out, and enjoy the night with us!

Follow me at Facebook.com/ansofficial for more shows in September—and enjoy the September FRESH Sessions mix below.

  • 4AM, “High and Low”
  • Beyoncé, “Work It Out” (Color K. Remix)
  • One Bit, “Limitless” (Hostage Remix)
  • Quinten 909 and Donagrandi, “Dress 2 Impress”
  • Figgy, “The Truth”
  • Billion, “Special” featuring Maxine Ashley
  • Zeds Dead, “Lost You” (featuring Twin Shadow and D’Angelo Lacy)
  • Michael Calfan, “Prelude”
  • Zhu, “Faded” (Amtrac Remix)
  • Shift K3y, “Touch”
Published in Subatomic

Robbie Waldman’s WAXY may be the next great American rock band to come out of our California desert.

Waldman has a lengthy local history, but he has used this project to truly hone his skills as a writer and performer. In its earliest incarnation, the ever-evolving band had a different feel and vibe: A group with a softer underbelly fueled by acoustic instruments has evolved into a full-blown desert stoner-rock band with a heavy rhythmic infrastructure, poetic lyrics and gorgeous hard-rock vocals offered up by Waldman.

With a collection of memorable, melodic, heavy psych-rock songs under their belts, the members of WAXY have worked their way to the top of the Coachella Valley's original rock-music scene—which is no easy accomplishment. In fact, the band is about to embark on tours to Australia and then Europe.

The band's most recent record, Without Any Explanation Why, is a true stoner-rock classic that features guest performances by some of the most pivotal artists to come out of this music mecca we call home: John Garcia (Kyuss, Vista Chino), Mario Lalli (Yawning Man, Fatso Jetson), Gary Arce (Sort of Quartet, Yawning Man), Jesse Hughes (Eagles of Death Metal), Brandon Henderson (Pedestrians vs. War Party, Parosella), Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet, Ultra Electric Mega Galactic) and Alfredo Hernandez (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Brave Black Sea) all contribute their unique sounds to the recording.

Meanwhile, Robbie has been back in his studio (Unit A Recording and Art in Palm Springs; www.unit-a.com) banging out the next record, anticipated to be released in November 2014.

“I’m of the philosophy that a recorded version of a song should be a complete vision for that song, and if you're making an album, one piece of a larger puzzle,” Waldman said about the recording process. “I think it's OK to double the vocals, even though that can't really be done live. I think it's OK to layer instruments and have small intricate parts that would require 10 people to pull off live.

“In other words, my mindset when it comes to making records is: This is a timeless piece of art. … Splash all the color and shapes you can at the canvas, and see what you get. Sometimes, you get magic; sometimes, you get mush, but the process is what's key—trying to get what’s in your head out on the tape.”

I heard five new tunes from the upcoming record at a live show at Furst Wurld Theatre in Joshua Tree recently, and I was blown away. The show also included the premiere of WAXY's new video for “Over Before It Began,” a first-rate production by Bon Nielsen and Blanton Ross. Robbie said more videos, to support the upcoming record, are coming in the near future.

Waldman has used a revolving cast of musicians to help him live out his musical fantasies within the framework of WAXY, including drummers Sean Landerra Carrillo (Lakota) and Mike “Pygmie” Johnson (Mondo Generator, You Know Who, John Garcia); bassist/guitarist Damian Lautiero (a huge part of the live WAXY sound); and keyboardist Jack Kohler (War Drum).

In September, WAXY will take off for Australia as a supporting act on the John Garcia solo tour. John's latest self titled debut solo album (available on Napalm Records) is getting rave reviews from the press and fans alike.

While Waldman sees the recording process as making art, he views live shows differently.

“Playing shows is about the moment—different song orders, new songs mixed with old ones, etc.,” Waldman said. “Playing live also has the unique ability to move air: The sound actually hits you! There's nothing like it when the kick drum is thumping you right in the chest. It's like the difference between seeing a movie versus going to the theater and seeing actors onstage. One is a deliberate, enormous and repeatable act, while the other is different every time simply by its very nature. … When we play live, it's always an adventure!”

Before John Garcia and WAXY leave for the land down under, desert fans will be treated to a live show by them at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert, at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5. Also on the bill is space-rock jam-band Fever Dog. Admission is $15, and this show WILL sell out. It has been a good long while since Garcia fans have been able to see a live set here at home, and we will be out in droves to hear his long-awaited desert performance—and to say a temporary goodbye to what could be the desert's next great band.

For more information on WAXY, visit www.facebook.com/WAXYOfficial and www.waxy-music.com. Read more from Robin Linn at rminjtree.blogspot.com. Photos by Samantha Schwenck.

Published in Previews

As we head into August, there’s cause for celebration: Fall, and more reasonable temperatures, are approaching! There’s another reason to celebrate: What’s traditionally been the slowest month in the Coachella Valley is actually packed with great things to do.

The Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club is the new hot spot in town. The Hacienda has announced that it will now have “Swim Club” every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with DJs performing poolside. Admission is free for those 21 and older. Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-778-8954; www.haciendacantina.com.

The Palms Restaurant, up in Twentynine Palms, is hosting two great shows put on by High Desert Underground Productions. (Full disclosure: The Independent is a sponsor of these shows, and we’re selling tickets to them in the Independent Market at CVIndependent.com.) Rock Formations II, starring Spindrift and the great Jello Biafra, starts at 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23. Admission is $10. The following weekend, the Bat Country Labor Day Blast takes place at 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 31. Headlining is former Social Distortion guitarist Rikk Agnew (right); Silke Berlinn, Rawbone, 30 Foot Demon and Swords of Fatima will also be appearing. Admission is $10. The Palms Restaurant, 83131 Amboy Road, Twentynine Palms; 760-361-2810.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club is a great spot to lounge around the pool and catch some great entertainment. At noon, Saturday, Aug. 9, Fleetmac Wood, a DJ collective/party, will be performing/taking place by the pool. As you can probably tell, it’s an afternoon dedicated to the music of Fleetwood Mac. Admission is free. At 10 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22, Joel Jerome will be performing in the Amigo Room. The singer/songwriter was part of the psych pop group Dios Malos. Admission is free. At 10 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29, the Amigo Room will host indie-pop band Crystal Skulls. Considering the Amigo Room’s small size, this show should be a great live experience. Again, admission is free. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has a couple of noteworthy events coming up in August. First up is a show by Boston, performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1. The band that took its name from its home city soared to success after its first, self-titled album in 1976. Songs such as “More Than a Feeling” and “Peace of Mind” helped the band fill stadiums—and an incredible 17 million copies of that album were sold. While lead guitarist and band founder Tom Scholz is the only remaining original member, this should still be a great show. Tickets are $75 to $115. The Gipsy Kings will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29. While the Gipsy Kings are from France, they perform Spanish flamenco and salsa music. These highly successful world-music artists have won the praises of audiences worldwide. Tickets are $65 to $95. 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 great August slate. At 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1, Marco Antonio Solís will be performing. The Latin music singer/songwriter has sold more than 50 million albums, and is a multi-Latin Grammy Award winner. This show’s a big deal. Tickets are $59 to $129. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2, Daughtry (below) will be stopping by. The American Idol finalist from Season 5 has managed to achieve a higher level of success than many of that show’s winners; in fact, his band has sold 5 million albums. Tickets are $29 to $59. If you’re aching to relive the 1970s era of soft-rock, go see Michael McDonald and Toto at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 9. McDonald, who spent time as the frontman of The Doobie Brothers, is still very relevant in the music industry today. Tickets are $29 to $59. Check the Fantasy Springs website for details on more great shows. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has some excellent events in August. KC and the Sunshine Band takes the stage at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 8. The group is well-known for songs such as “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “Shake Your Booty,” “I’m Your Boogie Man” and other disco jams. Tickets are $29 to $39. Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, who performed at the McCallum Theatre not too long ago, is taking the Morongo stage at 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 17. Botti has worked with the likes of Sting, Paul Simon, Roger Daltrey of The Who, and many others. Tickets are $50. At 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22, country singer Sara Evans will be performing. She’s one of the most recognizable stars of country music, and she’s touring to promote her new album, Slow Me Down. Tickets are $35 to $55. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace rolls into August with Courtney Barnett (above) performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 8. The Australian singer-songwriter is currently touring behind her 2013 album, How to Carve a Carrot Into a Rose. Her psychedelic-meets-country sound has been praised by the indie-music press. Tickets are $12. The Woodsist Festival will start at noon, Saturday, Aug. 16, featuring indoor and outdoor performances by an amazing list of musicians, including Cass McCombs, Foxygen, Amps for Christ and Little Wings. Tickets are $47.50. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27, the Murder City Devils will be performing. The Seattle punk outfit reunited in 2006 after a five-year breakup—and hasn’t stopped performing since. In August, the band is slated to release its first album since 2001. This show is already generating a lot of buzz, so we recommend getting tickets ASAP. They’re $20. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza will be hosting a Battle of the Bands every Thursday in August at 8:30 p.m. The judging panel will consist of local concert promoter Ming Bob, CV Weekly editor/publisher Tracy Dietlin, and yours truly. The finals will take place on Thursday, Aug. 28, with the first-place band receiving $1,000. Come on out and support local music! At 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22, psychedelic rock band Sleepy Sun will be stopping by with special guests War Drum. Tickets are $5. So-Cal punk-rock pioneers Agent Orange will be returning to The Hood at 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30. Be sure to check out this show! Tickets are $10. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Published in Previews

Chris Long, the frontman of Boycott Radio, has music in his blood. On top of fronting rock band Boycott Radio (www.facebook.com/boycottradio)—which has performed at The Hood Bar and Pizza, Schmidy’s Tavern and other venues—Long hosts Beer Pong every Wednesday night at The Hood. Here are his answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

I saw James Taylor at the Coors Amphitheater (in Chula Vista) in 1996. I knew right away that (performing) was what I wanted to do.

What was the first album you owned?

I think the first album that I purchased with my own money was Green Day’s Dookie when I was 7 years old. It changed my perception of music. I bought it with my lunch money I had saved all week.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Every Time I Die’s new album, From Parts Unknown. These guys make me smile. Also I have the Kirby video game anthology soundtrack in my car. Takes me right back.

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

That's a great question. Had you asked me a week ago, I would have easily replied, “Country!” but I've been hearing it more at my place of work, and even country has its place in my heart!

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

John Williams with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing the Star Wars films live with a laser show.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Dubstep. I like it!

What’s your favorite music venue?

Is Coachella a venue? I guess it’s more of an event, but aside from that, I would say Pappy and Harriet’s.

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

“I’ve been waiting on you!" from Future Islands, “Seasons (Waiting on You).”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Pink Floyd, when I was very, very, young. I would lie in bed in the dark as a kid and listen to my dad’s records, and Dark Side of the Moon blew my tiny little 6-year-old brain.

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

Nickelback: “Why?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Stevie Wonder, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” I defy people at my funeral not to smile and dance.

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

Reel Big Fish, Turn the Radio Off. Because I just saw it on my computer desk.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Grazin' in the Grass” by the Friends of Distinction. That's my pops on the drums! (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

The Black Uhuru show was thankfully worth the wait that some unfortunate fans had to endure on Saturday night.

Some people holding tickets for the show at The Hood Bar and Pizza had to wait more than an hour before gaining admission; the poor fans who did not already have tickets were told that only a small fraction of them would be able to get in.

As the fans trickled in, local reggae band Tribe-O showed off their solid traditional reggae sound. The Indio group was a perfect choice to open the show.

Formed in Jamaica in 1972, Black Uhuru’s only remaining original member seems to be Derrick “Duckie” Simpson. Andrew Bees, added to the group in recent years, along with backing vocalist Kaye Stahr, joins Simpson to make up the core of today’s Black Uhuru.

After an introduction by a member of the Black Uhuru crew, the band played a bass-driven reggae instrumental before Duckie, Andrew and Kaye arrived and opened with “Utterance.” While Bees and Stahr were stunning with their vocals, Duckie’s presence was hard to feel—he mostly stuck to backup vocals.

During “Party in Session,” a big guy standing in front of the stage lit up a joint and puffed smoke into the air. it wasn’t long before a member of The Hood’s security made his way through the audience.

Black Uhuru’s set included songs ranging from early classics such as “What is Life,” to a new single released online only, “Chalice.” The 90-minute set also included “General Penitentiary,” “Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner” and, toward the end, “Sinsemilla.” 

The band sounded tight; many of the classics sounded great; and some of the newer songs fit well into the set list. Still, it was obvious that Black Uhuru is not the band it once was. Backing vocalist Puma Jones passed away in 1990, and other veteran band members have moved on. The three core members now have a group of touring musicians backing them, and while that’s not a bad thing, one has to wonder what a Black Uhuru show in the ’70s and ’80s was like. Still, the songs are still great; the Rastafarian spirituality is still fueling the fire; and the band left the audience at The Hood thoroughly entertained.

The star of the show is definitely Andrew Bees. His energy and passion lit up the stage. As long as he is part of Black Uhuru, the band is very much worth seeing.

Published in Reviews

Brandon Ray Henderson is an icon in the Coachella Valley music scene. On top of being a great bass-player, he’s an accomplished guitar-player who has toured Europe with Brant Bjork, and was a founding member of Half Astro. He currently plays guitar in The Pedestrians, as well as a Misfits tribute band called Astro Zombies; finally, he plays bass for Parosella. However, he may be best known locally for his booking talents; he recently finished a stint at The Hood Bar and Pizza, during which time The Hood hosted Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Adolescents, and legendary surf-guitar virtuoso Dick Dale, as well as many others. Brandon will be playing with Parosella on Friday, June 6, and Astro Zombies on Saturday, June 7, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace for Eagles of Death Metal guitarist Dave Catching’s Birthday Spectacular; get full details and ticket info at pappyandharriets.com. Here are Henderson’s answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

I went to a lot of small, random punk shows as a young teenager. My first real concert would be the 1997 Warped Tour where I saw Descendents, blink-182, The Vandals, Strung Out, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Pennywise, and the Aquabats, from what I can remember.

What was the first album you owned?

Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill. I used to play the cassette in my Teddy Ruxpin that I got for Christmas in 1986.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I always have my favorite go-to bands like Lagwagon, RKL, Bad Religion, Descendents, NOFX, The Vandals, and AFI that I keep in steady rotation. Lately, I’ve been into other artists like Radical Face, Brothers Comatose, Jason Cruz and Howl, the Dresden Dolls, Metric, Sun Kil Moon and Arcade Fire. The most recent Queens of the Stone Age record is very enjoyable. I wish had some Tribesmen recordings; I would listen to the shit out of them.

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

Jay-Z.

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

Elliott Smith, or Jimi Hendrix with Band of Gypsys would be super-rad.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

“Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga. That song rules! I always look both ways to see who is paying attention before I start singing along.

What’s your favorite music venue?

It’s pretty hard to narrow that down to just one. I love intimate venues like the Troubador in West Hollywood. The Melkweg in Amsterdam and The Arena in Vienna, Austria, are also great to perform at and/or see a show at.

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

“Am I following all of the right leads, or am I about to get lost in space?” “Lost in Space,” The Misfits.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

I heard the record No Control by Bad Religion when I was 9 years old and have never been the same. That sparked my intense passion for punk rock and vocal harmonies.

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

I would like to ask Prince: How many pairs of shoes do you own?

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Hopefully after the service, everyone has a big party, and they play “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights. I’m pretty sure my dear friend Ryan Edgmon will oversee and make that happen.

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

Lagwagon, Trashed.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“The Decline” by NOFX. It’s an 18-minute song packed with musical variety and lyrics that make you think. (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

Coachella, Stagecoach and the White Party are all now behind us in 2014, which means the summer slowdown is beginning to set in. However, there are still some great events that’ll keep both Coachella Valley visitors and locals entertained in May.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa will host funnyman Gabriel Iglesias at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 3; 6 p.m., Sunday, May 4; and 8 p.m., Monday, May 5. The comedian also known as “Fluffy” is best known for his hilarious standup act, but he found a degree of acting success as Tobias in Magic Mike. He’s even hosted his own showcase on Comedy Central called Stand-Up Revolution. Tickets are $45 to $75; get them fast, as they were close to selling out as of our press deadline. 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 variety of entertainment options in May. Robin Thicke (right) will be in town at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 3. (He was originally slated to perform in March but had to reschedule.) The son of Growing Pains actor Alan Thicke has become an international superstar after the success of his hit single “Blurred Lines.” Tickets are $49 to $109. At 8 p.m., Friday, May 9, Earth, Wind and Fire will be appearing. The group has sold 90 million albums since forming in 1971, and they’re still going strong. A few years back, they toured with a reunited Van Halen as the opening act. Tickets are $49 to $79. If you missed Stagecoach and need a good dose of country music, Alan Jackson will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Friday, May 16. He sounds more traditional than some of today’s other “mainstream” Nashville country artists, and that has led him to a great deal of success. His post-Sept. 11 track, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” was a smash hit that comforted many. Tickets are $59 to $139. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino has a great post-Stagecoach event for country fans: Leann Rimes will be appearing at 8 p.m., Friday, May 9. At the age of 13 in 1996, she had a hit record with Blue. Since then, she has become a country music superstar—despite personal issues involving her parents, unflattering write-ups in the tabloids accusing her of being a home-wrecker, rumors about her supposed diva complex, and various lawsuits. Hey, no one said being on top was easy. In any case, she’s an amazingly talented woman who can still perform. Tickets are $45 to $65. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has a couple of intriguing events in May. Ladies, if you’re not hot enough from the desert heat, you’ll be happy to know that Australia’s Thunder From Down Under will be stopping by at 9 p.m., Friday, May 2. The all-male revue that is giving the Chippendales a run for their money will be in town, so get ready. The best part: You don’t have to bring any singles with you! Tickets are $25. If you’re not into all-male revues and are looking for some more-traditional entertainment, relax, because Smokey Robinson will be at Morongo at 9 p.m., Friday, May 16. The Motown legend has been to hell and back, but he’s still performing. Tickets are $69 to $79. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has an excellent event in May worth noting: Reggae legends Black Uhuru (below) will be stopping by at 11 p.m., Friday, May 23. The group formed in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1972, and had a magnificent string of success in the ’80s. In 1985, the group won the first Best Reggae Album Grammy Award. The show is $15 at the door and is first-come, first-serve. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.thehoodbar.com.

After an unparalleled April during which Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace hosted the Afghan Whigs, The Pixies, GOAT, Future Islands and Little Dragons, the venue has another strong slate of bookings in May. Some highlights: At 2 p.m., Saturday, May 24, Pappy’s will host Freaks for the Festival II featuring two live sets from Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson. The festival will also include Buffalo Killers, Howlin Rain, Mystic Braves and live DJs. Tickets are $40. Pappy’s, in partnership with FYF (the FYF Festival is approaching this summer, by the way), will host Panda Bear and Peaking Lights during an outdoor show at 7 p.m., Monday, May 26. Panda Bear features Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox; it’s his psychedelic pop project, and he’s been at it since about 1998. This is one show worth checking out. Tickets are $16. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The 12th Annual Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival will take place Thursday, May 15, through Sunday, May 18, at the Joshua Tree Lake Campground, 2601 Sunfair Road in Joshua Tree. The festival has a history of featuring artists who are on the brink of breaking out nationally, as well great artists who are already stars; past performers have included Chali 2na from the Jurassic 5, and Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Last year, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires played the festival just before getting signed to Sub Pop Records. This year, the festival will feature performances by Future Rock, Third Ear Experience, The Revivalists and many, many others. An all-weekend pass is $140, while individual days cost from $20 to $80. For more information, visit www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com.

Published in Previews

Not going Coachella? You’re far from alone; most of us can’t afford the cash or the time it takes to go to the festival.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience a taste of what Coachella has to offer: A number of local venues throw affordable parties and events before, during and between the Coachella weekends.

We asked representatives of a variety of venues what they had planned. Some declined to tell us, at least as of our late-March press deadline—perhaps because they didn’t want to let the cat out of the figurative bag too early, or perhaps because the details had not yet been finalized. For example, we’ve heard rumors that venues including Bar, Clinic Bar and Lounge and others may hosting some great parties and events, but we couldn’t get the details. (Watch CVIndependent.com for news.)

Here are four great events about which we have the details.

Coachella Valley Brewing Co’s Pre-Coachella Warehouse Party

We admit we’re a little biased about this one, because we’re sponsoring it: On Saturday, April 5, from 3 to 8 p.m., Coachella Valley Brewing Co. will host a party featuring two stages of music, live art, great food and—of course—delicious beer.

Independent contributor All Night Shoes (Alex Harrington), with the help of with Phonetix Entertainment Group, has assembled an impressive DJ lineup that includes Synthetix, Ivanna Love, Femme A, RowLow and CreamSFV. Caitie Magraw and Michael B. Perez will create a live work of art in the midst of the festivities, too. The $35 ticket includes four CVB beers, and proceeds will go to EcoMedia Compass, a group working to restore and promote awareness of the Salton Sea.

Coachella Valley Brewing Co. is located at 30640 Gunther St., in Thousand Palms. Get tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/594166.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace

Pappy and Harriet’s has announced a fantastic series of events going on before and during Coachella, and there may be more to come: Robin Celia, one of the owners of Pappy’s, told me one additional event may be announced in April; watch the Independent Facebook page for details.

Here’s what we already know: At 7 p.m., Thursday, April 10, the Afghan Whigs will play an outdoor show on the eve of their Coachella appearance. The Afghan Whigs announced their reunion earlier this year, along with news that they are recording new material. The show’s opener is Brody Dalle, the former frontwoman of the Distillers, and Queen of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme’s wife; she’s currently working on her debut solo album. Both of these acts should bring the house down! Tickets are $30.

Later that night, at 11:30 p.m., Goat and Holy Wave will be playing an indoor show; tickets are $15.

The good news: At 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, Little Dragon and The Internet will play an outdoor show. The bad news: The event is already sold out.

Pappy’s is located at 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Call 760-365-5956, or visit pappyandharriets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza’s Coachella Kick-Off Party

The Hood Bar and Pizza has scheduled two shows by Mickey Avalon, at 9 p.m., Thursday, April 10 and Thursday, April 17. Avalon is a white dude from Hollywood who raps about drugs, prostitutes and his sexual escapades; he has a rather strange appearance that includes eyeliner and makeup. If you’re feeling brave enough to check this one out, and you’re 21 or older, tickets are $15. There are no pre-sales, so it’s first-come, first-serve.

The Hood Bar and Pizza is located at 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Call 760-636-5220, or visit www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Desert Gold at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club

Desert Gold is returning for 2014—even though we reported just the opposite in our print edition, due to incorrect information we had received. The festival will take place Thursday through Monday, April 10-14 and April 17-21

The free mini-festival will feature events curated by Festival NRML, described by the Ace as “a crucial convergence point between emerging artists from Latin America and the rest of the world.” Kindness will be doing a DJ set at a pool party from noon to 6 p.m., Friday, April 11. Later that day, Stronghold with Jonas Acunas will take place in the Amigo Room at 10 p.m. Festival NRML will hold pool parties on Saturday and Sunday both weekends from noon to 6 p.m. From noon to 6 p.m. on both Sundays, The Do Over will take over the Commune with barbecue, booze, and a lineup of mystery musical guests. (You need to RSVP on The Do Over’s website at www.thedoover.net/dodesert14 for these parties.)

DJ Day will be doing his usual Reunion shows in the Amigo Room on both Thursdays, and there’s no doubt he’ll have some special guests in what they are referring to as “Reunion Kickback.”

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club is located at 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Call 760-325-9900, or visit www.acehotel.com/desertgold.

Powered Wig Machine is an unsigned band from a small Arizona town—but they’re starting to make a big name for themselves, thanks to high-quality music and bar-raising creativity.

See for yourself when they stop by The Hood Bar and Pizza for a show that starts at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 15.

Powered Wig Machine—the name was inspired by a track on Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions Volume 9—was founded around 2007 in Sierra Vista, Ariz., a town that’s a 75-minute drive from Tucson. The band consists of Wayne Rudell (vocals/guitar), Brian Gold (guitar), Joey Rudell (bass) and Daniel Graves (drums).

The band’s roots are in “stoner rock,” a term applied to a lot of West Coast bands in the early ’90s—including many of our local desert-rock bands.

“A lot of it goes back to music that came out of the ’70s,” Rudell explained, “(with) the fuzzy guitar and the thicker sludge sound, and bands like Foghat and Led Zeppelin. It is such a broad term. If you play vintage style rock ’n’ roll, it can be considered stoner rock.”

Rudell explained some of the technique behind the sound. “Standard guitar-tuning is E-A-D-G-B-E; a lot of times, you can get a deeper and lower sound by dropping the tuning. Queens of the Stone Age drop it down to a C-tuning, which gives them that deep sound. A lot of it is old tube amps, and tube amps in conjunction with fuzz pedals.”

While the band has a heavy sound, they meld that sound with some rather unique songwriting. Their EP Bearded Goddess featured songs such as “Mullet Man,” “Recipe for Badass” and “Death by Suplex.”

Rudell explained that comic books have inspired many of the songs that he’s written—and that inspiration comes to the forefront on Supa-Collider, the band's brand-new independent album.

“This album is sort of a concept based around a comic-book idea that we came up with a while back,” Rudell said. “It never got to paper, and it never got anywhere besides the creative shelf. All the song titles relate to the story, and all the songs are tied together. It’s less satire and more of a story.”

Rudell said he’s had a lifelong love of comic books.

“I’ve always been a fan of a lot of the stuff Marvel puts out,” he said. “I like The Hulk. There was a series called The Infinity Gauntlet that I’ve always been a big fan of; Preacher; and stuff like Watchmen—all that stuff with the huge story lines. I’ve always been a fan of how intricate comics are.”

The band released a music video for their song “At the Helm of Hades,” a track that will be on Supa-Collider.

“It was real fun,” Rudell said. “I wrote most of the story for that video, and we had a friend of mine who was a film student come in and put in all the effects. We actually spent about four months on it, and we recorded it like it was a comic-book story. There are multiple car chases, old vintage bikes and cowboys. I’m real proud of that, and that we put it out in this last year.” (Scroll down to watch the video.)

While the band’s creative juices are definitely at an all-time high after recording Supa-Collider and the music video for “At the Helm of Hades,” Rudell said the band plans to take things to a whole other level.

“We hadn’t really been searching for a record label,” Rudell said. “With the new album coming out and with the tour, we’ll probably be actively seeking one. Personally, I didn’t think we were ready yet, and we were doing a pretty good job ourselves. Now we’re ready to get that extra push.”

Powered Wig Machine will play with Fever Dog and The Hellions at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 15, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-636-5220, or visit www.facebook.com/Poweredwigmachine.

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While many great local bands have come and gone, The Hellions are still going strong after 16 years.

Fans will get several chances to see them in March. They’ll be opening for Powered Wig Machine at The Hood at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 15, and they’ll be headlining the benefit show I am putting on for The NestEggg Food Bank, at Bar in Palm Springs, starting at 7 p.m., Friday, March 28.

When The Hellions came together 16 years ago, they didn’t anticipate becoming an ongoing, serious band. Angel Lua (aka Angel Shakedown, lead vocals and rhythm guitar) and Bob Llamas (aka Bob Smack, drums) remembered how the band began to come together.

“I think the way we met was Angel was one of the only people in the desert who had a leather jacket,” Llamas said. “(Former member Christian Reyes) and I had leather jackets, and we met Angel because he had a leather jacket. He was into the same bands that we were—The Cramps, Social Distortion and other old punk bands and rockabilly music. He stood out, because wearing a leather jacket out here in the summer isn’t too common.”

Lua said fate led him to meet Llamas and Reyes.

“The cool thing about it was we met, and we never asked each other, ‘Hey, you want to play music?’ or anything like that,” Lua said. “We knew on instinct that we were musicians, and we were going to play music. We had common interests in movies and music, and it was weird.”

The Hellions first played at house parties—and anywhere else they could.

“There wasn’t anything out here,” said Llamas. “There was no place to get music or find cool shit. We both somehow found ways to get all the cool shit, and we had a lot in common that way. Back then, there was Record Alley, but even back in those days, we’d have to go in and ask them to order us stuff. That was also back when there wasn’t a lot of shopping to be done over the Internet.”

Lua said he remembers those days well.

“You had to have money,” Lua said. “We had to drive two hours to go to the record store in places like San Bernardino or Ontario, and make a whole day out of it. You’d come home with hours and hours of music.”

Llamas and Reyes were already playing music. They invited Lua to come over one day; they began to write songs as a band. Because some of the members were younger than 21 at the time, they couldn’t play in a lot of places. One of the few was the former Rhythm and Brews in Indio, owned by Mario Lalli of local-band Fatso Jetson.

Eventually, the band added Jamie Hargate (aka Colonel Lingus, guitar). They soon discovered their band name was not all that unique.

“Later on, thanks to computers, we started finding other bands who were called The Hellions,” Lua said.

Hargate chuckled when he brought up one band that e-mailed them.

“We were threatened with a lawsuit once, but that was 10 years ago,” said Hargate. “(It was) some metal band, and they went away; they didn’t try too hard.”

“Generator parties”—often thrown in the desert, with the help of generators—helped launch Kyuss and some of the other desert-rock-scene bands.

“I did a shitload of those,” Hargate said. “I was inspired as a kid going to these parties with older friends. We would drive to these parties in the middle of the desert, and I was blown away every night by these rad bands like Kyuss and Unsound. I caught the last wave of their parties, so I tried to do what I could in high school to bring that back. My stepdad had a generator; I would take it, put it in the back of my little Honda Civic, and drive to the middle of the desert. … Today, you can’t do that—you’ll get arrested.”

While The Hellions are known for energetic shows, they’re also known for their trademark denim jackets. The jackets pay homage to the Norwegian band Turbonegro. “Turbojugend,” which is printed on the back of their jackets, references the Turbonegro’s “Navy” of fans. Turbojugend chapters have popped up all around the world, and The Hellions make up the Palm Desert chapter.

“We came across Turbonegro in late 2003,” Lua said. “I used to read this magazine called Gearhead, and they had a lot of punk and rock ’n’ roll shit in it. There was this chick in there who used to do all these reviews of records, and she talked about Turbonegro, who were broken up at the time. I said, ‘Fuck it; I’ll buy a CD or whatever I could find.’ I bought their Apocalypse Dudes album at Virgin Records in Ontario. On the way home, I put it on, and I was blown away by it.”

That album led The Hellions out of a hiatus.

“There was a point where the original drummer went to school, and Christian moved to Texas, and we almost stopped playing,” Llamas said. “When Angel came over and played us that CD, we started jamming again. That’s where we got Travis, and really got something going. That album really inspired us to keep playing.”

When the band first added Travis Rockwell (Travis Rawkhard) on bass, he had never played the instrument.

“I couldn’t even play standing up,” Rockwell said. “I had to sit for the first seven months, because standing up and trying to play was just too hard—and I’m still learning. … It took a couple of months before I was comfortable playing during practice. I’d fuck up a lot, but I just learned and kept going with it.”

One fabled bit of the band’s history came when they played at a Video Depot Christmas party—with Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes on the drums.

“Somewhere, someone has a video of that, but I’ve yet to see it,” Hargate said. (In fact, if anyone has footage of that show, the band would like to hear from you.)

Since Rockwell joined The Hellions around 2004, the band has been playing on an ongoing basis. They’ve played shows out of town, and have opened for some of the national acts that have passed through town—most recently The Angry Samoans.

The band also recorded six songs at the Rancho de la Luna recording studio up in the high-desert; it’s the studio responsible for some of the recordings of Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, and the Arctic Monkeys. The sessions led to a three-song demo.

“The only time we’ve really recorded and finished something was at Rancho de la Luna,” Llamas said. “We all took the weekend off and did that for a few days. It was awesome. You go up to that place, and you don’t feel like you’re in a recording studio; you feel like you’re in someone’s home.”

Right now, their only release is a self-made EP on a CD-R, which the band selectively distributes.

“That’s the Best of The Hellions at this point,” said Hargate. “That has about four songs from the Joe Dillon era, when Joe Dillon played guitar. … There are three songs … we did at Rancho de la Luna, and then a live song. We made it just to show everyone how we’ve progressed over the years and what’s available.”

They’re looking toward the summer, when they hope to write more songs and finally make it into the studio to record a proper album.

“We’re writing, rehearsing and figuring things out for a new release,” said Hargate. “We finally have some coin in The Hellions fund, and we look forward to getting back into the studio for the first time in five years. It’s time to get back in the studio and give our fans a proper release.”

The Hellions will play with Powered Wig Machine and Fever Dog at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 15, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-636-5220, or track down the event page on Facebook. They’ll also perform at The NestEggg Food Bank Benefit Show, at 7 p.m., Friday, March 28, at Bar, 340 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; $5 suggested donation.

Published in Previews