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21 Apr 2015
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ABBA is one of the most successful music groups in the history of the world. Active from 1970 to 1983, the band sold millions of albums and toured the world—and thanks in part to the hit musical Mamma Mia!, ABBA remains wildly popular. Now ABBA is being honored by the Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus, which will be performing ExtrABBAganza at the Jewish Community Center of Palm Springs on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26. David Sanchez, the president of the Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus, explained the inspiration for doing ABBA. "Every year, we try to do something different that will be appealing to our supporters who come to our concerts,” he said. “We've been doing shows that were about our gay history, our gay culture, and some of the struggles we've been through in the past within the gay community. This year, we decided we were going…
20 Apr 2015
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Steve Earle will tell you that he’s an outsider in country music, despite a wildly successful career—including a stop at Stagecoach on Friday, April 24. At the age of 14, he ran away from home while in San Antonio, Texas, so he could follow his idol, Townes Van Zandt. In 1974, he moved to Nashville, where he began writing songs and playing bass for Guy Clark. He joined the music publishing company Dea and Carter and wrote hit songs for Johnny Lee and Carl Perkins. Eventually, Earle signed a seven-record deal with MCA Records. His Copperhead Road included a single, with the same name, about the Vietnam War; it would go on to be one of his biggest hits. Politics, broken relationships and historical perspectives are all common themes in Earle’s records, and he’s known for his left-wing political stances. During a recent phone interview from Nashville, where he was…
21 Apr 2015
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Mark your calendars: On Saturday, May 16, The Last Internationale will headline the 13th Annual Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival. The Last Internationale is a powerful trio of modern-day musical revolutionaries who ride the cusp between hard rock and folk-protest music. They move from aggressive rock riffs with arousing vocals to acoustic ballads with sweet melodies. TLI sound like what might happen if Joan Baez and Bob Dylan joined forces with Rage Against the Machine—and it works. Delila Paz’s illuminating lyrics exposing social injustice are poignant and lucid. Guitarist Edgey Pires emboldens Delila’s socially relevant lyrics with gritty rock tones, forming an aggressive rhythm section punctuated by the forceful drum chops of Brad Wilk, formerly of Rage Against the Machine. Paz and Pires began as a duo in New York. They wrote their first songs protesting violations against the labor force and human rights. Their first gigs were protest rallies…
17 Apr 2015
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Deap Valley is a powerful rock-based duo that’s stunned audiences with their live performances. Lindsey Troy (vocals, guitar) and Julie Edwards-Pirrone (drums) have been to incredible places—and will be at the Desert Daze festival on Saturday, May 2, at the Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca. The Independent caught up with Julie Edwards-Pirrone while she was DJ’ing at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs. She is the wife of the founder of Desert Daze, Phil Pirrone, aka JJUUJJUU. I asked her what inspired her and Troy to perform as a two-piece. “I don’t really know the answer to that,” said Edwards-Pirrone. “The only other band I’ve been in was a two-piece, and to me, it seemed very normal. The music Lindsay did before me, she did with her sister. It was a very normal way for us to work, and we just went with it.” It was important…
17 Apr 2015
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While the 2015 Stagecoach headliners are larger than life, there are a lot of other acts you should include in your schedule. Here are our suggestions. Friday, April 24 Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys It’s always a good thing to hear the upright bass and banjo at Stagecoach. Featuring singer-songwriter Lindsay Lou, this folk group has a beautiful sound—and Lindsay Lou can sing. The Lone Bellow These days, the term “alt-country” is (over-) used to describe country music that doesn’t fall in with the mainstream. Well, The Lone Bellow is often described as an alt-country band, so take that for what it’s worth. Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., this group has some great tunes that are heartfelt—and isn’t afraid to rock. Steve Earle Sugarland wrote a song called “Steve Earle” for a reason: The chorus goes “Steve Earle, Steve Earle, please write a song for me.” He’s one of the best…
14 Apr 2015
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The Devil Makes Three is used to being “the odd band out”—yet that has not stopped the band from enjoying a lot of success since its founding in 2002. After touring with big names such as Willie Nelson, and playing at festivals such as Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, the band will be sharing its folk-bluegrass sound with the crowd at Stagecoach on Saturday, April 25. The Devil Makes Three’s members—Pete Bernhard (vocals, guitar), Lucia Turino (upright bass) and Cooper McBean (banjo, guitar)—originally hail from Brattleboro, Vt. During a recent phone interview, Bernhard talked about the band’s name. “To be honest, it was just sort of convenient, because there were three of us,” Bernhard said. “When we first started the band, we were all arguing over what the name should be, and no one could agree—and we had already recorded our first album. We were really needing to put…
13 Apr 2015
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Rachel Maddow once said via Twitter: “If the American music business made any sense, guys like John Moreland would be household names.” Well, the singer-songwriter isn’t a household name—yet. He may be on his way, though, considering the fact that his music has been featured on Sons of Anarchy, and he’s performing at Stagecoach on Saturday, April 25. John Moreland has spent most of his life in Tulsa, Okla. He was singing and writing songs by the age of 10, and fronted hardcore punk bands in high school. “When I was about 12 or so, the first music I found that was on my own was punk rock,” Moreland, 29, said during a recent phone interview. “I loved Minor Threat, and I loved a lot of D.C. hardcore and ’80s hardcore, but I’ve been through every punk rock phase. I went through the Social Distortion phase; I went through the…
10 Apr 2015
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It’s becoming an age-old tradition to gripe about the Coachella headliners. However, if you look past the big names on the poster, you’ll find a lot of great acts. Here are some to consider including in your Coachella schedule. Friday, April 10 and 17 The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger I’m amazed that this band is listed so low on Friday’s lineup. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger consists of American fashion model Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon (yes, John Lennon’s son). After meeting each other and falling in love at Coachella in the mid-2000s, Lennon realized Muhl had talent as a singer. In 2010, they released their first album, Acoustic Sessions, which was warmly received. This band definitely belongs at Coachella. Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band Sadly, this is another small-print booking. Locals should recognize this name—and if you don’t, you have some…