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Previews

21 Jun 2019
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Mary Bridget Davies nabbed the lead role in a 2005 touring production of the Janis Joplin musical Love, Janis—and that would eventually help lead her to Broadway, and a 2014 Tony Award nomination when she once again played Joplin in A Night With Janis Joplin. She has also toured Europe with Janis Joplin’s band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. While it’s possible some Joplin music will make its way into the show, expect to hear hits from the ’80s when she joins her high school friend Ryan Sudick for Shady in the 80’s at the Copa on Saturday, July 6. During a recent phone interview, the Cleveland native said she still lives in the area—specifically in the hip neighborhood known as Lakewood. “Everybody has to live in Lakewood; I think it’s right of passage,” Davies said. “As a rule, everyone in the Cleveland area in their early 20s has…
24 Jun 2019
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When Guster went to Calgary to record the band’s new album, Look Alive, producer Leo Abrahams made it very clear: “The world doesn’t need another fucking Beatles pastiche!” Guster, known for quirky folk rock and pop songs, has constantly evolved since the band started in 1991—now fusing colder sounds with the usual warmer sounds. Look Alive is by far Guster’s most bizarre and darkest album so far—and it’s brilliant. For the first time, Guster will be appearing at Pappy and Harriet’s, on Saturday, July 13. During an interview with frontman Ryan Miller, he agreed that Look Alive is the band’s most distinct album to date. “I think if you saw us back in the ’90s or when we opened for Barenaked Ladies, and you’re just sort of plugging back in, it’s a pretty massive shift,” Miller said. “But I think every record is a different approach. This is the eighth…
18 Jun 2019
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Chris Shiflett’s new album, Hard Lessons, proves that he’s onto something with his high-energy, kick-ass rock-country sound. After touring with the Foo Fighters behind the band’s 2017 release, Concrete and Gold, Shiflett released Hard Lessons in June and announced a four-date record-release tour—and one of those dates is Friday, July 12, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. During a recent phone interview before he was scheduled to go back to Europe with the Foo Fighters, Shiflett discussed how Hard Lessons was recorded in Nashville during a hectic time. “I made this record in the middle of a Foo Fighters tour schedule,” Shiflett said. “We toured behind Concrete and Gold for about a year and a half, and in the middle of all that, if we had a week or two off, I’d head out to Nashville. It was kind of nuts.” Shiflett said that he enjoys heading into the studio,…
13 Jun 2019
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What do you get when you take ’50s-style rock ’n’ roll and meld it with folk-music songwriting? The answer: You get Don McLean. The man—best known, of course, for his wildly successful 1971 single “American Pie”—last year released his first new studio album in nine years, Botanical Gardens. McLean will be stopping by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, July 13. McLean—a Palm Desert resident—has called Botanical Gardens his “most reflective” album, saying the title uses gardens as a metaphor for heaven, in the context of life and death. During a recent phone interview, McLean said Botanical Gardens may be his final original album. “I may do one more, but I don’t know,” McLean said. “I’m at the end of the road as far as writing and recording. I think I have fairly interesting songwriting ideas that other people can use.” The material on Botanical Gardens is beautiful, and it…
10 Jun 2019
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When Juli Crockett of the Evangenitals called, I asked her how she felt about the band returning, yet again, to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. “We can only go so long without returning to the source!” she replied. The Evangenitals band has become a Pappy and Harriet’s regular due to its popularity among the crowd, and will be returning on Saturday, June 29. Crockett explained the mutual love between Pappy’s and the Evangenitals, a self-described “folked-up genre-bending good time band.” “We try to keep it on a schedule of at least once every three months, or at least once a season,” Crockett said. “Every time we play, we kind of start the process of, ‘When is the next time we can come back?’ Robyn (Celia, Pappy’s co-owner) loves us, and we love Pappy’s. “It’s funny, because people in Los Angeles ask us where we play locally, and we always say,…
31 May 2019
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Pluko could be the next great electronic music artist—even though he’s only 18 years old. Within days of his high school graduation, he’ll be appearing at Splash House in Palm Springs, on Sunday, June 9. Pluko (Sam Martinsen) released his album Sixteen on ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective label last year. Before I called Martinsen for our scheduled phone interview, I listened to Sixteen as it rained here in the Coachella Valley. I found it calming—as if it were made for a rainy day. Strangely enough, Martinsen said that’s what influenced it, in a way. “I think my biggest inspiration for Sixteen is where I live,” Martinsen said. “I live in Central Pennsylvania; it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I’m constantly driving around and getting inspiration from being out on the road. The summer, when I spent a lot of the time writing the album, was pretty dreary and…
30 May 2019
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June means the start of summer—and a relatively quiet month as far as big events go. However, never fear, because there’s still plenty of entertainment to enjoy. The Fantasy Springs Resort Casino’s Special Events Center is fairly calm in June, but the Rock Yard is in full swing on Saturday nights. Here’s the list of performers, with each show starting at 7:30 p.m. June 1: Journey tribute band Escape. June 8: Sammy Hagar tribute band Three Lock Box. June 15: Eric Clapton tribute band Clapton Road. June 22: Ozzy Osbourne tribute band Mr. Crowley. Saturday, June 29: The Who tribute band The Who Experience. All Rock Yard shows are free! Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com. Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage has a fine June slate. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 7, Mexican singer-songwriter Christian Nodal will be performing. When he released his…
20 May 2019
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Rodney Carrington became a big hit in the late 1990s with his brand of comedy that includes both standup and comedic country songs. The 50-year-old Texan’s albums continue to soar up the comedy charts today. Carrington will stop by The Show at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage on Friday, May 31. During a recent phone interview, Carrington tried to prank-call me, before turning serious and telling me it was him. He said he didn’t originally see comedy as a career option. “I was in college at Kilgore College in Texas studying theater, and they had a comedy night in a little bar, and the only reason I went to do it was because it was something I thought would help me with theater,” Carrington said. “I thought it would be terrifying and scary, and if I could do that, I could do anything. I did, and I…