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Previews

26 Mar 2019
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For a decade or so, the Desert Stars Music Festival brought beloved bands like Dinosaur Jr., The Raveonettes, The Lemonheads and others to a yearly celebration at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. However, the festival in the fall of 2017 brought the Pappy and Harriet’s chapter to a close. This coming weekend, a new chapter for Desert Stars fest will begin, at a new location—in the east arts district in Joshua Tree, where the lineup over two days will include headliner Luna, as well as Dean Wareham performing Galaxie 500 and Chaos Chaos. During a recent phone interview, festival founder Tommy Dietrick discussed the festival’s history. “When you think back to 2006, there weren’t a lot of outlets for indie bands to do a festival scenario,” Dietrick said. “If you wanted to play Coachella, you had to be a lot bigger. You had to have a lot of contacts who…
14 Mar 2019
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Willdabeast is one of the best-known hip-hop artists in the Coachella Valley—even though he has not released any music or done any interviews. However, thanks to a nudge from friend and collaborator Provoked, Willdabeast (William Randal) is now working to put himself out there more—including an upcoming music release, and a chat with me. Willdabeast’s home in Sky Valley is off a dirt road, with a large dog standing guard over the property. After greeting me, he explained that he liked the location because it was quiet and beautiful. He said his love for hip hop began to develop when he was in the eighth-grade. “I asked my mom to get me turntables for Christmas,” Willdabeast said. “… On Christmas morning, there was this big ol’ box, and I was like, ‘I got turntables!’ When I opened it up, it was a huge keyboard. I was like, ‘What?’ She opened…
28 Feb 2019
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March brings both the revelry of St. Patrick’s Day and increasingly warmer weather—which, given the relatively cold February we had, will be even more welcome than normal. Oh, and March is also bringing a lot of great shows, too! The McCallum Theatre has plenty going on in March. At 8 p.m., Friday, March 8, get in the Saint Patrick’s Day mood with The Irish Rovers. The Irish Rovers provide audiences with a good time featuring traditional Irish music; don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing and clapping along. Tickets are $25 to $85. At 8 p.m., Saturday, March 9, Grammy Award-winning vocalist Steve Tyrell will be performing. Tyrell has been a regular at the McCallum for 15 years now. After a dozen or so albums, appearances on soundtracks for films such as That Thing You Do and Father of the Bride, and other accomplishments, he’s guaranteed to put on…
28 Feb 2019
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Matthew Morrison is a quadruple threat: His résumé includes acting, dancing, singing and songwriting—but the Broadway star is best known for playing Will Schuester on the TV show Glee. Morrison will be performing at the McCallum Theatre on Thursday, March 21. During a recent e-mail interview from London—he was unable to speak on the phone as his tour took him to Europe and Asia—Morrison discussed his stints in Broadway musicals such as Hairspray, South Pacific, Finding Neverland and others. “Performing on Broadway, to me, was the big stage that I was preparing for years in advance,” Morrison said. “When something is your passion, I believe there’s no room for fear. I took that mentality into each role I was fortunate enough to attach myself to. There was a lot of pressure when I was offered the role of Link Larkin in Hairspray, but I’m thankful for that, as it prepared…
20 Feb 2019
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In 1974, a young guitarist named Craig Chaquico joined the newly formed Jefferson Starship, and remained with band through the transition to Starship. He left the band in 1991 and has been performing as a contemporary jazz guitarist ever since. Craig Chaquico will be playing at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa on Saturday, March 2. During a recent interview, Chaquico explained how he became a founding member of Jefferson Starship. “Jefferson Airplane broke up and stopped performing together in 1972. … Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady did Hot Tuna, and Grace Slick and Paul Kantner did solo records,” Chaquico said. “I actually played on their solo records, and my own band had a recording contract on their label. The idea was to maybe start a new band, and we went out on tour as Jefferson Starship before we recorded anything. My band opened, and I played in…
14 Feb 2019
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On Saint Patrick’s Day, you can always expect to hear Celtic music in some form—including, most likely, some music by renowned Celtic punk band Flogging Molly. Flogging Molly is currently on tour and will be stopping by Morongo Casino Resort on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day—Saturday, March 16. When former Fastway and Katmandu frontman Dave King started Flogging Molly in 1997, he entered uncharted territory by combining punk rock with Celtic music—in America. The first album, Swagger, released in 2000, was well-received by critics, and the second album, Drunken Lullabies, released in 2002, reached Gold status. During a recent phone interview, guitarist Dennis Casey said starting a Celtic punk band was a unique challenge. “The hard part for me was being a loud guitar-player,” Casey said. “It’s a bit of a challenge to mash all those instruments together, and less is more when you’re playing with so many people…
07 Feb 2019
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When The Righteous Brothers released “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” in 1964, it changed the music industry forever, creating the term “blue-eyed soul.” The Righteous Brothers will be appearing at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Friday, Feb. 15. You can’t talk about rock ’n’ roll without “You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.” It’s been included in soundtracks (most notably Top Gun) and has been cited by music critics for decades; it captures awe whenever it’s played on an oldies radio station. The group scored another hit a year later that was almost as big with their cover of “Unchained Melody.” After two breakups—one in 1968 and another in 1976—The Righteous Brothers reunited in 1981 and stayed together until Bobby Hatfield passed away in 2003. In 2016, Bill Medley started The Righteous Brothers again with Bucky Heard and began touring again. The Righteous Brothers accomplished a recording industry first related to “Unchained…
31 Jan 2019
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February is the shortest month of the year—but it just so happens to be the time for some of the hottest events of the year. The McCallum Theatre’s packed schedule includes a lot of great stuff. At 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 4, classical violinist Joshua Bell will be performing. He’s the violinist who was the subject of a Washington Post story about him busking in the subway—with few paying attention to him or knowing who he was. Bell has a classical-music career that goes back 30 years, and he’s played some of the biggest classical music halls around the world. Tickets are $60 to $105. At 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, Broadway star and vocalist Linda Eder will take the stage. Eder is no stranger to the McCallum and has turned in sell-out performances on its stage before. Tickets are $38 to $68. Do you love magic? Then at 3…