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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Previews

22 Nov 2018
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As I was watching videos of Shawn Ryan singing, I wondered why he hasn’t become the next Michael Bublé. Yes, he sings that well—and the comedic genius he brings to his act makes it even more intriguing. Shawn Ryan will be performing his show Mistle-Ho, with the Kelly Park Band, at the Purple Room on Saturday, Dec. 1. During a recent phone interview, Ryan discussed how the madness of combining vocal jazz with comedy came to be. “I actually was a theater major in school,” Ryan explained. “I went to the American Academy in New York and studied acting, and right out of college, I got my first professional job in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The contract ended two or three months early, and I was paid for the entire contract, and I thought ‘What do I do now?’ There was a cabaret contest in San Francisco at a…
21 Nov 2018
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Jimmie Dale Gilmore is generally classified as a country artist—but that’s a classification Gilmore doesn’t necessarily embrace. The singer-songwriter and actor—he played Smokey in The Big Lebowski—is currently on tour with Dave Alvin in promotion of their collaboration Downey to Lubbock, and they’ll be appearing together at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Friday, Dec. 7. During a recent phone interview, Gilmore explained his collaboration with Dave Alvin. “We’ve been really good friends for 30 years,” Gilmore said. “We’re mutual fans of each other, but we never played music together until last year. My booking agent called one day and said, ‘What do you think about doing a songwriting tour with you and Dave?’ It worked out so well and turned out to be such a good pairing. We had so much in common musically that we hadn’t really been aware of and discovered that we both had a lot…
31 Oct 2018
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November is here, which means the weather has been cooling off, and the holiday season is about to arrive. It also means the Coachella Valley and high desert are full of great events. Speaking of great events: The McCallum Theatre has a busy November, including shows by Lea DeLaria and Jake Shimabukuro, which you can read about elsewhere in this issue. Here are a few others you should consider: At 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, country-music star Travis Tritt will offer an intimate acoustic-style performance, during which he’ll share stories about his life and career. These types of shows are always interesting, and the McCallum is the perfect venue for this type of concert. Tickets are $38 to $88. At 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15, singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell will take the stage. He’s written hit songs for many country musicians, including Keith Urban, and he’s won two Grammy Awards. Tickets…
26 Oct 2018
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Did you know the Coachella Valley has a growing reggae scene? Higher Heights is one of the bands that’s come out of that scene, playing shows consistently while in the process of recording the band’s first full-length album. A single, “Indian on the Mountain,” was produced by Ronnie King in 2015 and is available on streaming services. Higher Heights will be playing at the seventh annual Synergy Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, Nov. 10. During a recent phone interview, frontman Mike Fernandez discussed his passion for reggae music. “When I first heard Bob Marley back in 1981, it was the message. I could understand it, but I couldn’t figure out why he was singing about it,” Fernandez said. “If I wanted to dance to it, how would I do it, or how would anyone go about doing it? It was the newness of it, and I had never heard…
18 Oct 2018
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Lea DeLaria is known for different things in different circles. Mainstream audiences know her for stealing scenes as Carrie “Big Boo” Black on Netflix’s hit series Orange Is the New Black. LGBT audiences know her as a pioneering comedian. She started performing in San Francisco in the early 1980s, and became the first openly gay/lesbian comic on a late-night show when she appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1993. Music-loving audiences know her as a fantastic jazz musician—who paid tribute to the great David Bowie with her album House of David, released in 2015, just months before Bowie passed away. All of DeLaria’s talents will be on display when she performs at the McCallum Theatre at 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8. In fact, DeLaria usually blends these talents when she performs—because audiences can’t handle her otherwise, she said during a recent phone interview. “I do music and comedy together,…
16 Oct 2018
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Sticky Doll recently moved to the high desert from Los Angeles—and the band’s first couple of local shows have proven the group is definitely an oddity … in a good way. There’s a shock-rock element to Sticky Doll’s brand of punk, and frontwoman Cynna Luchia is a show all by herself. Bassist El Sancho plays through both a guitar amp and a bass amp. On Saturday, Nov. 10, Sticky Doll will be putting on Sticky Fest at the Palms Restaurant in Wonder Valley, and has invited local bands such as Instigator, Karr, Throw the Goat, Sleazy Cortez, Drop Mob, Ormus and others to take part. During a recent interview in Yucca Valley, El Sancho (Greg Gendron) discussed what brought Sticky Doll to the high desert. “We found out how cheap it was to buy a house, and we thought, ‘Why not move out to the desert?’” Gendron said. “It happened…
29 Oct 2018
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In 2006, a YouTube upload of Jake Shimabukuro playing a ukulele rendition of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” became one of the early viral videos. After that, the Hawaiian-born Japanese American became an ambassador, of sorts, for the ukulele, and his career has taken him to some incredible heights, including performances with Jimmy Buffett, Jack Johnson, Bette Midler, Ziggy Marley, Bela Fleck and many others. He’ll be performing at the McCallum Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Shimabukuro said during a recent phone interview that ukulele renditions of rock songs never feel strange to him, even when he ventures into works such as New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” and Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9.” “I’m a big fan of so many different bands and different music, so when I have the opportunity to cover one of their songs, it’s like the equivalent of wearing your favorite athlete’s jersey,”…
11 Oct 2018
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When I called Thom Gimbel of Foreigner to discuss the band’s upcoming show at Agua Caliente Casino, he was upfront about his drinking problem. In fact, he confessed that he had already started that morning. “For a while, I was up to about two or three smoothies a day,” Gimbel said. “I was going to a bar every night … the salad bar. I was a mess. But now I’ve switched to Martinelli’s sparkling cider, so I’m doing OK.” Kidding aside, Foreigner is one of the greatest rock bands of all time. The group has sold 80 million records, and although only one original member remains with the band—guitarist Mick Jones—Foreigner remains in high demand. The show at Agua Caliente on Saturday, Nov. 10, will be special for several reasons. First, the current lineup will be joined by some of the surviving original members. Second, the Rancho Mirage High School…