CVIndependent

Mon03252019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Brian Blueskye

Coachella’s second weekend started off on Friday, April 18, on a comfortable note: The heat was not overbearing, with temperatures generally remaining in the 80s. Not even the arrival of some ominous clouds in the afternoon would put a damper on the fun.

The Gabba Gabba Heys, a Ramones tribute band, started things off in the Gobi tent at noon. As someone who was fortunate enough to catch the very last Ramones tour during a stop in Cleveland, I can say that the Gabba Gabba Heys sound exactly like the Ramones. When they opened up with “Rockaway Beach,” a portion of the crowd in front of the stage began to mosh. Ramones tunes such as “Teenage Lobotomy,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Rock and Roll High School” and “I Wanna be Sedated” were performed with the Ramones sound intact—although visually, the Dee Dee Ramone was a little pudgier and shorter than the original, and the Joey Ramone was much better-looking.

As the members of GOAT sound-checked on the Outdoor stage, members of Flatbush Zombies, who had just performed, walked into the photo pit and chatted up attendees for a few moments. After GOAT took the stage, they proved to be just as amazing as they were at Pappy and Harriet’s earlier this month. The Coachella crowd cheered “GOAT! GOAT! GOAT!” before the band began to play. GOAT performed “Diarabi,” “Run To Your Mama” and a few other songs from their only album to date, World Music.

As for some of the Coachella art you’ve probably seen on your friends’ Facebook pages: In between performances by GOAT and the Dum Dum Girls, Anthony Green was heard on the Main stage saying, “From where I’m standing, It looks like the Robot is going to fuck the Astronaut in the ass.” From the Outdoor stage area, that assessment seemed spot-on.

When the Dum Dum Girls took the Outdoor stage, frontwoman Dee Dee Penny came out wearing a sheer outfit that revealed her breasts in their entirety, save the nipples, which were covered with black circles. They opened up with “He Gets Me High,” and followed with “I Got Nothing.” The sound of the Dum Dum Girls reminded me of the Pretenders at times, especially during “Are You Okay?” The almost-all-female band drew a crowd and put on a solid set. This is a group we’ll be hearing plenty more about in the near future.

In the mid-afternoon, dark clouds began to form over the Empire Polo Club. The wind also picked up, creating fears of a nasty storm. However, that didn’t stop attendees from having a good time.

At 4:35 p.m., the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion took the stage in the Gobi tent. The Blues Explosion never stopped in between sets, and was all over the place with material. One song that seemed to catch everyone’s attention was a cover of the Beastie Boys’ “She’s On It.” The crowd got a show one would expect from the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, with loud volume, plenty of feedback and Jon Spencer working the crowd like the master of rock he is.

Around the time the sun went down, the threats of rain and high winds subsided—and delightfully cooler temps made the crowd more comfortable.

When Chromeo took the Main stage at 7:40 p.m., a sizable crowd was waiting, even though Broken Bells were performing not too far away on the Outdoor stage. Chromeo did something daring: The band played two of their biggest songs first—“Night by Night” and “Hot Mess.” The smell of marijuana filled the air; glow sticks lit up; inflatable pool toys were held in the air; people were dancing all over the place. The energy was impressive, but could they manage to hold the crowd with their other material? The answer: a resounding yes. The band ended with “Fancy Footwork.”

The Replacements are on a reunion tour—and the members appeared to have some problems early in their set on the Outdoor stage. Before they took the stage, a couch was brought out and put in front of the drum riser. When the band members came out and started “Takin’ a Ride,” Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg didn’t seem as energetic as he had during other recent performances. The whole band was decked out in plaid suits and bowties, except for Westerberg.

After the third song, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong walked onto the stage in his own plaid suit. Westerberg asked, “What are you doing here, Billie Joe?” Armstrong replied: “Dreams really do come true!” After a few songs during which Westerberg planted himself on the sofa, sang along and played guitar, it became evident that Billie Joe was onstage to stay. Westerberg announced that he was having back trouble, and that The Replacements had heard that Armstrong had always wanted to play with them—so they hired him as an “extension” for the evening. Armstrong breathed life into the set and managed to draw a large crowd to the Main stage. During “Bastards of Young,” the three-ax attack was unbelievable.

A rather amusing note: The Los Angeles Times recently suggested that if a family is going to Coachella, the parents should go see Bryan Ferry. Well, when I peeked inside the Mojave tent toward the end of Ferry’s set, the crowd was mostly middle-age-to-older. Another amusing note: One of the balloon chains broke, sending all of the balloons into the night air.

As the evening’s end approached, and Main stage headliner OutKast was preparing to take the stage, The Cult began to perform in the Mojave, and dedicated their set to a 24-year-old woman who died while attending Coachella last week. Cult frontman Ian Astbury told the audience to take care of one another and stay hydrated, just before the band opened up with “Rain.”

As for Outkast’s set: If you burn through all your hit songs at the beginning of your headlining set, you may just lose some of your audience. The same annoying hologram tent was onstage as it was during Weekend 1, and the visuals were not good unless you were really up close.

Outkast opened up with a stellar performance of “Bombs Over Baghdad,” which probably should have been saved for the closing number. On the plus side, Big Boi and Andre 3000 looked a lot more energetic than they did last week. After performing “Gasoline Dreams,” they went right into “ATLiens.” Shortly thereafter came “Rosa Parks” and “Ms. Jackson.”

Many fans, after hearing all these songs so early, decided to skip out to avoid traffic; after all, there was not much to stay for at that point. It made for an odd ending to an otherwise fantastic Day 1.

Scroll down to see a photo gallery.

Anti-Flag, hailing from Pittsburgh, has been cranking out anti-establishment, left-wing-themed songs over well more than two decades. Before the band’s Coachella performance on Friday, April 18, drummer Pat Thetic sat down with the Independent to talk about the band’s history and political ethos.

Thetic said that while the band has matured, the ethics and mission remain the same.

“We’re still angry,” he said. “We’re just more aware of what we’re angry about now. When we were younger, we were just sort of angry about everything. As we’ve gotten older, we’ve traveled a lot; we’ve seen a lot of the world; and we know where the anger is going to achieve goals, and where the anger is just going to burn us up.”

The band’s connection to Pittsburgh has definitely inspired the band.

“We did come from Pittsburgh, which has a very strong labor history and a very strong leftist political action,” he said. “So we felt as though all punk rock should have a political message behind it. We felt if the music didn’t have a political vent to it, there was no point to it.”

One issue Pat Thetic holds close to his heart is animal-rights activism.

“I’ve been vegan for about 15 years,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that if you treat animals poorly, you’re going to treat people poorly. Also, for the band, the message has always been about letting people do what they think is best for themselves—staying out of their sexuality, staying out of what border they live across, staying out of what flag they fly over their head, and letting people be who they are, and cutting out the bullshit that’s on top of all of that.”

He then placed those statements in a Coachella Valley context.

“We’re close to the Mexican border here. On one side of the border, you’re considered one thing. If you’re born on the other side, you’re considered a completely different thing. That’s just such bullshit to me that luck of birth creates your whole existence. In 2014, that makes no sense at all.”

So how does a punk rock band such as Anti-Flag view the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, with $375 tickets, and high-priced food and water?

“That’s always been an issue,” he said. “What we’ve learned over the years is Coachella is going to go off, no matter what. If you don’t have a voice of dissent, then that’s a missed opportunity. No matter where you are, no matter what the environment is, there should always be a voice of dissent. It doesn’t always have to be Anti-Flag; it can be somebody else.

“Over the past two weeks, it’s been our chance to be that voice of dissent. Does it mean it’s going to change Coachella forever? No. If you have a kid that comes out, and he’s like, ‘Fuck! This is bullshit! I don’t want to pay $4 for water!’ I believe that equality is deeper than the Coachella experience. Then that kid comes to see Anti-Flag play; that kid is inspired to make the steps he needs to make things better in his life and hopefully others.”

Pat Thetic also couldn’t deny the fun he’s had during these two Coachella weekends.

“The set last week was great. We played the last set of the night, so that was awesome—it was nice, and the kids were great. I just watched Kate Nash perform, and we played with Kate Nash about five or six years ago in Australia. For me, I just like to walk around and see what’s going on. Sometimes, what I see is bullshit, but sometimes I see something interesting.

“No matter how high the price tag of the festival is, there’s always a group of fucked-up, weird kids, and those are the kids who make sense to me.”

When the Pixies show at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace went on sale a couple of weeks ago, the excitement of local music fans was evident: The show sold out quickly.

When the doors opened for the show on Thursday, April 17, and the people began flooding in, attendees could feel that excitement: Pixies fans spanned every age range and every walk of life, including punk rockers, hippies and even a few Rastafarians.

The opening act, Syd Arthur—a band from the United Kingdom—was a little hard to place, genre-wise. The sound reminded of Destroyer, who use some jazz elements in combination with psychedelic folk and rock. The band suffered through technical issues during their set, as the drummer kept pointing to microphones in between songs while trying to catch the eye of the sound technician. During the end of a songs, the sound technician actually pushed his way to the front of the stage to get a closer look at the setup. Nonetheless, Syd Arthur put on a good show.

During the setup for the Pixies, the band appeared on the side of the stage as the crew made the final preparations—and it became evident the band had no setlist. The group has been through some recent turmoil within the last year, with original bassist Kim Deal leaving, and replacement bassist Kim Shattuck being terminated; Paz Lenchantin is now playing bass. A bass-line cheat sheet was placed next to her pedal box.

The minute the Pixies took the stage, and the illuminated sign in the background lit up, the sold-out crowd came alive and were ready to sing along with frontman Black Francis, who seems even more intense live than he does on video. When the band played “Bone Machine,” from the 1988 debut album Surfer Rosa, it was obvious: This was going to be a good night to see the Pixies.

It was great to experience a Pixies live tradition: During “Vamos,” guitarist Joey Santiago put on a show for the audience as Paz pounded out the bass line, and David Lovering kept the beat. Santiago held up his guitar as if it were a rifle, put it down on the stage and leaned on the top of the guitar neck, inviting the audience to take photos.

The first half of the nearly two-hour performance included songs such as “U-Mass,” “Isla De Encanta,” “Bag Boy,” “Caribou,” “Broken Face” and the title track from the band’s upcoming album—the first new Pixies album in 23 years—“Indie Cindy.” When they played their classic track “Nimrod’s Song,” some of the people in the crowd looked as if they wanted to start a mosh pit. “Distance Equals Rate Times Time” got a similar reaction.

The Pixies, thanks in large part to Black Francis, really know how to work an audience. He sang in different languages, and always seemed to know when to play slower or speed things up. A Pixies live show proves how well-crafted and creative of a unit the band is.

Toward the end of the show, the band played their cover of “In Heaven” (Lady in the Radiator Song) from the David Lynch movie Eraserhead. It felt a little eerie—which makes sense, since it’s a creepy song in general.

Of course, “Where Is My Mind” was played toward the end of the set, before the band decided to do what I’ve heard Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers refers to as a “fake encore”: The band members acted as if they were going to leave the stage, and then decided to stick around. They closed with an energetic performance of “Planet of Sound” that got a few people near the front of the stage roughhousing with each other.

Various local and semi-local musicians were at the show, such as Jerry O’Neill, the former drummer of Voodoo Glow Skulls; Shawn Mafia from Shawn Mafia and the 10-Cent Thrills; and Travis Rockwell from the Hellions.

What was Rockwell’s perspective of the Pixies? “What’s not to like with the Pixies?” he said. “There’s a lot of heart in these songs.”

Photos by Guillermo Prieto/Irockphotos.net

Shelly Colvin is a natural performer; in fact, she has been performing since the age of 4, and she’ll be bringing her blend of Southern rock and folk music to Stagecoach on Sunday, April 27.

Shelly Colvin grew up in Huntsville, Ala., and her father was a Baptist minister of music. She was singing gospel songs in church before she even started school. Her mother and grandmother were her music teachers, and she even sang in a trio with her parents, touring churches throughout Alabama.

“I was singing in church; I was singing in plays; and I was real active in the community theatre,” Colvin said during a recent phone interview. “It was always a part of my childhood, but there was a period of time when I was in college where I wasn’t really performing much, and I just wanted to be with my friends. It’s always been something I’ve just come back to.”

When I asked her what growing up as the daughter of a Baptist minister was like, she joked, “How much time do you have?"

“It was great. My parents are amazing people,” Colvin continued. “I feel like it prepared me to be a very well-rounded person. He was a minister in a small country church in rural Alabama. It was very rural, and we lived in the city, and I went to city schools. I was around of a lot of different groups of people, and it was really helpful being around people in the country and city-folk. It prepared me for a lot of things and gave me some salvation, for sure.”

She also said her parents were not as strict as people may assume. “They were very open-minded people. … They were OK with me listening to rock ’n’ roll on occasion. They weren’t too overbearing with rules.”

While gospel music was a major influence on Colvin, other unique influences can be heard in her music.

“The Louvin Brothers were a huge influence for me early on,” Colvin said. “They were from Alabama, and I think listening to their records helped me learn how to sing harmony. I definitely gravitated toward the sound in that music. I feel like they were in the house all the time. I also listened to all the bluegrass players and a lot of country artists: I listened to Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.”

She elaborated on how Emmylou Harris has influenced her. Her sound has been compared to the cosmic-country sound that Emmylou Harris was part of with the late Gram Parsons. She cited ’60s folk-rock groups as a big influence.

“I’m a huge fan of those artists,” Colvin said. “I think The Byrds were one of the biggest influences on our music today. Emmylou is for sure a big influence of mine. I’m sitting here with my little Yorkie, who is named after Emmylou.”

Her debut album, Up the Hickory Down the Pine, included the track “Pocket Change,” which has brought her some attention. She said producer Ken Coomer, formerly the drummer of Uncle Tupelo, deserves a lot of credit.

“It was a lot of fun,” Colvin said. “Working with Ken Coomer on that record, he’s such a great player. ‘Pocket Change’ is a little bit of a bar song; it’s an up-tempo kind of a vibe. (Ken) heard that and just spoke out and said, ‘I think we can make this a really big John Bonham kind of vibe on the drums.’ We recorded it, tracked it, and I needed a roots element to really ground it.”

Shelly Colvin made a promise to Stagecoach attendees.

“It’s going to be one hell of a band, I’ll tell you that. We’re going to soak up any minute of time that we have,” Colvin said. “When I play, I don’t like to play the song as it is on the record, so there will be some surprises. We’ll extend the songs and have a lot of fun.”

Ryan Sheridan, a DJ known by music fans as Gossip Culture, has created some great dance cuts—which you can catch for yourself at Birba on Friday, April 18, at the Catching Shade party, produced by Cream and Eventseeker.

The event’s sponsors include the Coachella Valley Independent, and other performers include Templeton, from Los Angeles; Cream DJs, a collective out of Los Angeles; and local favorite (and Independent resident DJ) All Night Shoes, aka Alex Harrington.

If you fire up Sheridan’s Soundcloud, you’ll hear dance music presented in a very unique way. During a recent phone interview, Sheridan discussed Gossip Culture’s beginnings in Cleveland (which is also my hometown).

“In Cleveland, I had my original first band,” Sheridan said. “It was a trio, and it was called Gossip Culture. I played the venues there called Happy Dog, the Grog Shop and the Beachland Tavern for about two years before I moved to Los Angeles.”

While Cleveland is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has a vibrant music history, the city’s local-music scene has been in a bit of a rut, with some of Cleveland’s legendary music venues closing up shop.

“The rock hall is there, and there are a lot of good people there,” Sheridan said. “The Black Keys from Akron, and Kid Cudi—it’s funny, because all of these people come from Cleveland, and it seems like they don’t represent it when they get out of there.”

Sheridan said he left Cleveland for Los Angeles because of opportunity and exposure.

“Gossip Culture is very Internet-based,” Sheridan said. “When I first came here, Binary Records and a lot of bookers in downtown Los Angeles were saying, ‘We’d like to book you and help you get set up.’ So that was my main motivation for coming out here. Gossip Culture as a band slowed down, but once I was out here, I met my producers.”

When he began to start recording material, he had a lot of help in high places.

“A lot of the people who helped me make my music are people from Mayer Hawthorne’s band,” Sheridan said. “We kind of just put all of our brains together, and we had hip-hop, soul and a lot of other things. Topher Mohr co-produced it; I just hit him up online and was like, ‘Hey, I’m in L.A., and I have my demos, and they need a good mix,’ and he directed me to a studio in Culver City, and it went from there.”

The material that Sheridan puts together as Gossip Culture gives him the opportunity to work with many Los Angeles artists. For example, his track “Waiting” features Quincy McCrary, a Los Angeles songwriter and vocalist.

“I feel lucky with the way I got hooked up, but it also happened really fast, because everything was here,” Sheridan said. “In Cleveland, there are a lot of really cool people, but it’s hard to make a record there.”

Sheridan said attendees of Catching Shade will be treated to some brand-new music.

“The DJ set is going to be some new remixes, and there’s a new ‘Waiting’ remix from a guy named OneFive, and he’s actually from Orange County. I’m also going to play a lot of throwback stuff. I feel like a lot of DJs try to pump you up, and I’m trying to slow things down a bit. It’s still going to be tropical, but we’re going to keep the BPMs under 120.”

Catching Shade starts at 9 p.m., Friday, April 18, at Birba, 622 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Admission is $8; 21 and older. For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.

Desert Daze, which started at the Dillon Roadhouse as a lengthy alternative-to-Coachella event in 2012, will return to the Sunset Ranch Oasis for the second consecutive year, this time during Stagecoach, on Saturday, April 26.

Desert Daze combines local, regional, national and world music acts during a day of music. Local bands War Drum and Slipping Into Darkness have played at the festival; last year, the lineup included the Saharan folk band Tinariwen (who, by the way, will be at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Sunday, April 20). This year, the Desert Daze lineup will feature Blonde Redhead, The Raveonettes and actor/musician Vincent Gallo.

The mastermind behind the festival is Phil Pirrone, the founder of Moon Block Party, a festival and concert producer. During a recent phone interview from Pomona, Pirrone recalled the inaugural festival at the multiday Dillon Roadhouse in 2012, and discussed what made him decide to turn it into a one-day event in Mecca.

“We wanted there to be camping. We wanted there to be a wide-open space for it to take place in, and so when it came time to do it again last year … we decided to move it to the Sunset Ranch,” Pirrone said. “But the concept behind it was to just throw an event that would be more for the kind of music that we would like to see than some of the other options out there.”

Pirrone is passionate about the festival being a platform and an opportunity for local and regional acts.

“It’s the strong thread of our overall ethos of creating a new avenue for artist development,” Pirrone said. “It’s not like being a record label; it’s not like being a management company, or anything like that. It’s all about having community artists make their own festival for big artists that they’re friends with and that they also believe in, not only to showcase the band’s music, but also give the band members an employment opportunity. So there’s a huge local element to the festival.”

Pirrone said that the festival has a staff of more than 100 people—half of them are working musicians. He said that he and his staff members taught themselves how to be masters of promotion, booking and logistics when it comes to music festivals. The efforts have paid off.

“We really love the idea of getting some of our favorite bands from around the world that we would (normally) only dream of seeing, let alone producing a show that they would play,” Pirrone said.

How did Pirrone and co. manage to book the enigmatic Vincent Gallo?

“We invited him, and he said yes,” Pirrone said. “I knew that he and I had similar tastes in music, so I thought it was worth a shot. I shot him an e-mail; he wrote me back in a very short response. He was very old-school about it and told me to give him a call. That’s pretty cool in this day and age when everything is done through e-mail, and it was very nice to talk to someone over the phone for a change.”

As for what attendees can expect from Desert Daze this year, Pirrone said the logistics will be much improved, after listening to attendee feedback regarding last year’s festival.

“The campgrounds is just new and improved in every way imaginable,” Pirrone said. “The entire general camping population will be moved to a new area of the ranch where there’s a dry lake that’s huge. It’s soft, dry, and it’s not a dust bowl. There’s easier check-in, easier parking, easier load-in—it’s really ideal. Last year was our first year at the ranch, so there was some trial-and-error stuff going on where we were really learning the layout of the land. We’ve really improved the way everything is laid out this year.”

Art will also be a big part of the festival this year.

“There are going to be a lot of cool and interesting installations from local artists,” Pirrone said. “There’s all sorts of stuff planned in addition to the music. There are going to be a lot of well-known artists collaborating with some of our headliners this year, which is pretty exciting. It’s new ground for us.”

Pirrone said that while he appreciates Coachella, he and his crew are focused on the smaller scale of Desert Daze.

“We want to improve the quality of the festival,” Pirrone said. “We want to maintain the same feeling at the festival, and we also want to maintain the fact that it’s an affordable option. We want to increase the quality without increasing the price too much. We like what’s happening here with the small one-day, one-night, really concentrated thing, and we want to maintain it.”

Desert Daze 2014 starts at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 26, at Sunset Ranch, 69520 Lincoln St., in Mecca. General admission tickets are $45; camping options are also available. For tickets or more information, visit www.desertdaze.org.

While most of the music world is focused on happenings in the east valley over the next two weekends, the Hard Rock Palm Springs is making sure the west valley is getting in on the action—with a series of eight pool parties featuring world renowned DJs.

On Friday, April 11, the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, in partnership with LED Day Club, hosted A-Trak in the second of eight parties during the Coachella weekends. A-Trak is known for collaborating with Armand Van Helden (under the name Duck Sauce) on the track “Barbara Streisand,” and was once the touring DJ for Kanye West.

A-Trak—in a black T-shirt, twin shades and a backwards cap—took the elevated DJ stage in front of the pool around 11:45 a.m.. He started off with a remix of Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me,” mouthing along to the chorus of “Hey, must be the money!” In between main tracks, he would play deep house as well as nu-disco and hip hop. One transition featured a house cut with beatboxing samples from the ’80s hip-hop group the Fat Boys.

With Friday marking first day of Coachella, the pool-party crowd was not large, but attendance started to increase a bit around 1 p.m. People lounged or hung out in the pool, with the black-and-white LED-logo beach balls bouncing around here and there. Some hotel guests watched from the balconies of their hotel rooms.

One of the more interesting remixes featured Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do It.” This was not the traditional ’90s version of the song; A-Trak's version featured a more modern dance sound. This track would no doubt get an entire dance club grooving.

A-Trak’s talents as a DJ really showed when he took the Temptations’ 1969 track “Cloud Nine” and turned it into a song that sounded just like a modern dance hit; you would never think the song was from 1969.

Other tracks from A-Trak’s set included Snbrn’s “I Remember,” Vanilla Ace’s “Musicology,” Luminodisco’s “Ragazzini,” Musiq Soul Child’s “Just Friends” and Detroit Swindle’s “Woman.” A-Trak invited a friend to share the mixing board with him during the later part of his set; A-Trak lit up a joint which they shared, along with a glass of champagne.

The Hard Rock’s LED Day Club parties offer a great opportunity for locals to enjoy world-renowned DJs—some of which, like Skrillex, are also playing at Coachella—in a more intimate setting. Oh, and the Hard Rock folks definitely know how to throw a pool party, too.

For tickets or more information, visit leddayclub.com.

When it comes to pre-Coachella shows, Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace almost always has some of the best—and such was the case on Thursday, April 10, when the Afghan Whigs put on a fantastic outdoor show.

Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle (right) took the stage as the sun began to set. During a set of mostly Distillers songs, Dalle opened with “Die on a Rope.” Dalle explained that earlier in the day, she had been in some sort of accident with a Joshua tree, and that her left leg was a little numb—but she never showed any signs that it hindered her. When Dalle and the band (which includes Distillers and Spinerette guitarist Tony Bevilacqua) played “Sick of It All” and “I Am Revenant” toward the middle of the set, she was on fire, belting out the lyrics and playing her guitar masterfully. It’s been said that Dalle’s voice is not that attractive; however, she is a punk-rock frontwoman, after all, and her voice suits the themes of her songs quite well.

Toward the end of her set, Dalle pointed out two young kids standing in front of the stage and asked how old they were; when the boys said they were 13, she cheered them on. One of the boys screamed out that it was his birthday; Dalle then wished him a happy birthday.

One of the last songs in her set was a cover of the Misfits’ “Hybrid Moments,” before she closed out with “Underworld.”

The Afghan Whigs broke up in 2001, with a temporary reunion in 2006 before reuniting again in 2012—but the band played like they’d never left. After an instrumental intro, the band blasted into a song that will be on their upcoming album, Do the Beast, called “Parked Outside.” Their second song, “Matamoros,” is also on the upcoming album, and the songs prove that Greg Dulli and the rest of the guys still have their songwriting abilities. Do the Beast marks the band’s return to Sub Pop Records, and is one of the most anticipated albums of 2014.

A special moment occurred when the Whigs played “When We Two Parted”: Some members of the audience noticed during the mellow instrumental that the moon in the Pioneertown sky had an aura around it. People immediately took out their phones and started photographing the remarkable sight; the band seemed a little lost as to what was going on before Dulli began to sing.

Before playing two more new tracks—“Royal Cream” and “I Am Fire”—Dulli announced that the new album was recorded “right down the road” at Rancho de la Luna, and dedicated both songs to Eagles of Death Metal’s Dave Catching, the owner of the Rancho de la Luna, who was in the audience.

The band returned to the stage for the encore with a cover of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Heaven on Their Minds” from Jesus Christ Superstar, and immediately followed with “Somethin’ Hot,” which was played with such intensity that everyone was moving along to the music, including Pappy’s security man, Big Dave Johnson, who was caught headbanging to the song.

Before the Afghan Whigs left, the band said they had been virgins to playing at Pappy and Harriet’s, and thanked the crowd for “popping their cherry” and “going easy on our hymen.” They then closed with a great performance of “Faded.” Throughout the entire show, the vocals were flawless, and the guitar solos were extraordinary.

After the Afghan Whigs were finished around 10:30 p.m., it was time for Pappy’s second show, this one indoors, featuring GOAT. Many people were curious about the mysterious band which claims to be from a village in Sweden that was pillaged by Christians who accused the villagers of practicing witchcraft. The members perform in costumes and masks, concealing their identity.

Before GOAT took the stage, Holy Wave, a psychedelic rock band from Austin, Texas, performed a short but impressive set consisting of a sound as if someone took the Doors and combined them with Moby Grape. The band members of the band, with the exception of the drummer, rotated instruments, moving between keyboard, bass and guitar.

Cell phones came out the minute that GOAT, minus the two female vocalists, walked in from the patio behind Pappy’s onto the stage and began to tune their instruments. After what seemed like a 10-minute-long tuning session, the band began to play rather suddenly. The two female vocalists seemingly came out of nowhere, dancing and chanting vocals over the psychedelic-rock-meets-Afrobeat sound. They then performed an incredible live set that included their jams “Goatman,” “Let It Bleed” and “Run to Your Mama.”

Pappy and Harriet’s owners Robyn Celia and Linda Krantz deserve applause for assembling the best Coachella celebrations, and things are only getting better: The Pixies are playing at Pappy’s next Thursday night.

Below: The Afghan Whigs. Photo by Guillermo Prieto/Irockphotos.net.

Tachevah, a Palm Springs Block Party, offers a great concept: It allows up-and-coming local acts to take the stage with nationally recognized bands—in the midst of all the Coachella-related music insanity.

In the second year of Tachevah, Fitz and the Tantrums and Classixx will be joined by three local acts who won their slots via a public poll, followed by showcases at the Hard Rock Palm Springs: CIVX, from Cathedral City; One11, from Coachella; and the Yip Yops, from Palm Desert.

Only 10 bands were selected to play at the Hard Rock showcases, where they performed for the likes of country singer Shelby Lynne, The Desert Sun music editor Bruce Fessier, and representatives of Goldenvoice (which puts on the party with The Desert Sun, P.S. Resorts, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and the city of Palm Springs).

During the first showcase, CIVX beat out local scene veterans Blasting Echo, along with In Viridian, Elektric Lucie and the mysterious local band Alchemy. At the second, One11 and The Yip Yops won slots, beating out one of last year’s winners, Tribesmen, along with The Mellowdie and The Morning After.

We decided to get to know these three local bands a bit.

CIVX

Cathedral City’s CIVX was born after the dissolution of local band PSSSTOLS. Former PSSSTOLS members Nick Hernandez, Salvador Guti and Joel Guerrero formed the band after recruiting guitarist Dillon Dominguez.

“When Sal and I were in PSSSTOLS, we were writing music on the side,” Hernandez said. “I would do my solo thing and record the songs by myself with drums, bass and guitar, and this was while PSSSTOLS was fading out a bit. I told Sal I wanted to do something with one of the tracks that I did, and Sal played on that track. From there, PSSSTOLS just kind of broke up, and we planned to do something else. So Dillon, the other guitar-player we have, he was in another band that I played in, and he decided to come with us, too. After that, we got Joel to come along, too.”

In January, CIVX played its first show under the name of Past Decades, along with Parosella and Tribesmen.

“We didn’t let anyone know that we had formed another band,” Hernandez said. “We had just gotten Joel in the band, and we only had about four original songs, and one of them, I didn’t even write the vocals for yet, so I just hummed out the melody for that whole song. People didn’t understand it; they thought I was singing vocals, but I was just sort of humming and making up stuff as I went along.”

When the band entered their video for the Tachevah poll, the members had low expectations.

“We just wanted to enter the competition,” Hernandez said. “We were like, ‘We’ve only been a band for such a short time, and we have nothing but having just played a show.’ We had one of our fans record us about a week before the deadline. Two days before Tachevah, we went out to the desert for recording the video with our cell phones. That whole night before, we just worked on the video. We didn’t know what to expect, because we just did it for fun.”

The members were stunned when they learned they had nabbed a spot in Tachevah.

“It was one of the best things I have ever felt,” Hernandez said. “I’ve never been in a competition like that. A lot of the local bands we like have played something for Goldenvoice, and it felt so good to play at that level.”

The members of CIVX have been working on new material, and Hernandez said the band will play a new song during their performance. “We have this one new song that we’re working really hard on, and it’s already done. We’re just adding new stuff here and there, and this song is pretty much Tachevah-made. When we write music, we want people to be into the music as much as we are, and just going into it with that.”

The Yip Yops

Like CIVX, The Yip Yops are also new—in fact, they are only about six months old. During a recent interview, guitarist and lead vocalist Addison “Ison” Van Winkle talked about how Jacob Gutierrez (bass) and Ross Murakami (drums) joined him to create the band.

“I met Jacob in seventh-grade at a talent show; we actually competed against each other,” Van Winkle said. “After we performed, he came up to me and asked me if I was doing anything or if I was in a band. I didn’t really have answer, and being the douche that I am, I was blowing him off for a little bit. I met Ross about a year or so before I started the band. … It was one of the reasons why I started the band, because I saw him and his former band playing at a family friend’s house, and it was a life-changing experience seeing how cool it was interacting with other guys playing music and sharing music.”

While the members of The Yip Yops certainly didn’t expect to earn a Tachevah slot this year, it was a goal they had in mind. 

“When we first got together, our main goal was to play Tachevah,” Van Winkle said. “That’s kind of what we were getting ready for a little bit. We knew it was going to be a real big struggle, because we weren’t around as much; we didn’t have as many fans like Parosella or One11 does. Somehow, we just spread the word, and we got in. We’re kind of blessed to be in this position and have all the fans and support we have behind us.”

Playing the showcase at the Hard Rock alone was a dream come true for the band.

“Speaking for the whole band, I think that was one of the best experiences that we’ve had as a band and probably in our entire lives,” Van Winkle said. “Just the energy of the crowd, the energy of getting up on stage in front of Goldenvoice and Shelby Lynne—I think we just liked the pressure of doing that kind of thing.”

Van Winkle said his band hopes to turn in a solid performance at Tachevah.

“It’s not like any other gig because of the exposure, and a lot of people are going to be there,” Van Winkle said. “It’s going to be bigger than anything than any of us have ever thought about. I just think we’re going to do the same thing as we did for the voting: We’re just going to tell as many people, and hope for the best. We’ll see what happens.

“We don’t really have any fears. … It’s all part of the experience for us. It’s cool enough for us just to be on the lineup and playing there.”

One11

One11 may be more experienced than CIVX and The Yip Yops, but they aren’t exactly the Rolling Stones: The group has been together for just two years.

However, the band has made the most of that time, playing more than 200 shows both locally and in well-known venues around Los Angeles, such as the House of Blues, The Roxy, and The Key Club.

One11 has become a local favorite thanks in part to their combination of pop-punk and an alternative sound.

“We all have a lot of different inspirations,” said drummer Ryan Cenicola, whose bandmates are Evan Boydstun (lead guitar), Michael Ramirez (lead vocals, guitar) and Matt Sutton (bass). “Our guitarist is really into classics like Led Zeppelin; I’m into Green Day; our other guitar-player is into Arctic Monkeys, and it all just comes together into this unique sound. We all bring our own unique twist into it.”

When it came to entering Tachevah, they focused on putting together the best video entry that they could. When they found themselves in the showcase, they knew they had some intense competition.

“The competition was really, really fierce,” said Cenicola. “I saw CIVX when they played, and they were awesome; The Yip Yops are really cool, and every band that played was awesome. After we played, we felt good about ourselves, but with the competition being so fierce, we knew it could have gone either way.”

While One11 has played many shows, Cenicola said he was still blown away the amount of support they received during the showcase.

“I can’t believe how many people came out to see us,” Cenicola said. “It was awesome how many people came out to support us. All of us were overwhelmed with the love we were given. It was a really unique show, because it was intimate, and I just wanted to play my heart out so I could earn this spot at Tachevah.”

Cenicola said that Tachevah represents the big time to the band.

“This show is obviously going to be of a higher caliber, because a lot of people are going to be there, and it’s on such a huge stage,” Cenicola said. “Because it’s on a huge stage, we need to make it a huge show. We’re going to tweak our show and make it as big as possible, as great as possible, and bring as much energy as we can.”

The Tachevah Block Party takes place on Wednesday, April 16, at the Spa Resort Casino, 401 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs. Doors open at 5 p.m., and admission is free. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Tachevah. Below: One11.

Some of the biggest names in electronic dance music are coming to the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs during Coachella.

The hotel, in conjunction with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice, is hosting a series of pool parties during both Coachella weekends. The big names include Skrillex, Tiesto and David Guetta.

The Hard Rock Hotel recently celebrated its official grand opening, and this will be its first Coachella season. Vice president and general manager Hector Moreno said these LED Day Club parties are only the beginning of the great stuff to come.

“We have a great partnership with Goldenvoice and LED,” said Moreno via email. “I believe this will be the first of many epic events at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs.”

Their events surrounding Coachella are already generating a lot of buzz.

“The response has been overwhelming (from) music-lovers all over the world who know our lineup. Our locals have shown amazing support to us, and we look forward to an amazing month.”

The doors open at 11 a.m. for each party.

On Thursday, April 10, Dirty South will play. The DJ from Australia is one of the world’s top DJs and should kick off this series of pool parties in style. Tickets are $40.

On Friday, April 11, A-Trak will be bringing his hip-hop style grooves. The Canadian turntablist has worked with Travis Barker, and he was the tour DJ for Kanye West in 2004. While he’s more known for his hip-hop collaborations, he has also done some nu-disco. Tickets are $40.

On Saturday, April 12, Disclosure will be returning with a DJ set after playing Coachella last year. The English duo has been on fire ever since releasing its debut album, Settle, last year. They two were also nominated for a Grammy. Tickets are $100.

On Sunday, April 13, David Guetta will be bringing his nightclub style of DJ’ing to the Hard Rock. He has turned in hit collaborations with people such as Sia, Nicki Manaj, Snoop Dogg and many others. If you have the time and/or funds to attend just one LED Day Club party, this is it, in our humble opinion. Tickets are $100.

Brace yourself on Thursday, April 17: Skrillex will be bringing his infamous hardcore dub-step sound to the Hard Rock. What will the neighbors think? Tickets are $60.

On Friday, April 18, Dutch DJ and Tiësto protégé Martin Garrix will be performing. His electro-house style should provide a nice vibe for the pool. If you haven’t heard his track “Animals,” be sure to check it out. Tickets are $100.

On Saturday, April 19, superstar DJ Tiësto will be performing. He’s known for his performance at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, as well as his spectacular live show. This should be one hell of a performance. Tickets are $125.

On Sunday, April 20, Showtek will close things out. The techno and electro-house duo will put on an insane show that should whip people into a dancing frenzy. Tickets are $40.

For tickets or more information, visit leddayclub.com.