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Music News and Features

17 Jul 2019
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On the northern edge of downtown Palm Springs, a new music venue is on the verge of rekindling the music and nightlife scene that seems to have disappeared after the closure of Bar two years ago. There’s one small problem: The venue isn’t fully open quite yet. Until the venue finalizes its aesthetic identity, secures more seating and optimizes its kitchen and menu, The Alibi is in a “soft-opening” phase. Nevertheless, the venue is off to a great start, with an experienced team working together toward a common goal: making the northern portion of downtown Palm Springs a hip place to be once again. Located at 369 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in the space that was for years known as Azul, the venue—directly across from the original Las Casuelas, next door to the Nat Reed Gallery, and a hop, skip and jump away from the old Bar space (which was…
25 Jun 2019
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When I talked to the members of Drop Mob about 2 1/2 years ago, they were working on a new album and playing shows regularly. Then … it seemed as if the locally renowned rap-metal band dropped out of the scene. But in June, the band posted a video on Facebook showing a practice—and announcing Drop Mob’s return. I recently dropped in during one of Drop Mob’s rehearsals at guitarist David Burk’s home in Indio. Burk explained why Drop Mob had been inactive. “You need to take a break sometimes,” Burk said. “I needed to take care of some personal stuff. But I kept in touch with everybody. I never let anybody not know my intentions, but I knew I had to step away and get some personal things back in order.” Vocalist Gabe Perez said that he and bassist Steve Zepeda came back hungry, but there was one issue…
13 Jun 2019
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It’s been a long and winding road for the YIP YOPS, a band many touted as the Next Big Thing to come out of the Coachella Valley. It all started when the members of the band were still in high school, and the band won a spot to play at the 2014 Tachevah Block Party in Palm Springs. The band then signed a contract with a management group that later fell apart; recorded an album with famed local producer Ronnie King that the band members went on to disavow; and crossed playing Coachella off their bucket lists in 2017. However, as the summer of 2019 arrives, the community has not heard much from the YIP YOPS as of late, with no new releases and few local shows. However, never fear: The YIP YOPS are alive and well … albeit at half their former size: The band recently announced both keyboardist/guitarist…
27 May 2019
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Reborn by the Sunshine has flown somewhat under the radar for the last two years—but that’s now changing, thanks to the group’s new EP, These Old Feelin’s. The five-member band has a rustic Americana sound with some roots rock ’n’ roll thrown in. During a recent interview at Luscious Lorraine’s in Palm Desert with frontman James Dorris and bassist Brett McLaughlin, they explained how they began as a band. “We started with songs that I wrote myself that were just me and a guitar,” Dorris said. “Once Brett started playing with me, things just started to change, and we started making different songs. Over the past two years, we’ve been a band and have been writing together, and our music has developed differently. I don’t feel there was ever a script, or, ‘This is exactly what we want!’ … We have a broad spectrum of music to pull from, and…
16 May 2019
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After I saw Thoughts Contained perform at The Date Shed back in January, I left in awe of both the duo’s beats and message. During an interview in Palm Springs, Savier1 (Sal Gomez) and Zeke Martinez talked about their recently released EP, and the group’s evolving hip hop sound. “We started around 2009,” Gomez said. “We were a full band. We had a bass player, a drummer and two guitarists. It was too hard to keep it going.” Added Martinez: “It was really hard to keep it together and work out schedules with everyone.” Thoughts Contained’s self-titled album has a lot of positive and uplifting messages. One song that grabbed me in particular is called “Life Savings.” It talks about saving money, and appreciating life instead of material objects. It includes the lyrics: “It’s not how much you make; it’s how much you keep.” “We like to talk about stuff…
16 Apr 2019
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J. Patron often wears clothing with the slogan “Puro Oro.” This translates to “Pure Gold”—and that’s exactly what J. Patron is in the local hip-hop scene, as an artist who has opened doors for many others. J. Patron (Camilo Gomez) came to the United States from Colombia when he was 4 years old and grew up in the Coachella Valley. Local hip-hop artists Provoked and Willdabeast have talked to me in recent months about J. Patron’s hip-hop talents, which developed at an early age during high school during rap battles. In recent years, J. Patron has toured the United States and Latin America, including a SXSW appearance in March. During a recent interview, Patron explained how he grew up listening to Latin music—and how that went on to meld with his hip hop. “It was everywhere!” Gomez said. “It was all my parents listened to. There is a cool little…
12 Feb 2019
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“Everyone talks about rock these days,” Keith Richards once said. “The problem is they forget about the roll.” Well, local musician Cody White has most certainly not forgotten about the roll. White and his band, the Easy Ride, are now gigging regularly in the high and low desert, and have started to stand out with a ’70s-inspired rock ’n’ roll sound. During a recent interview in Desert Hot Springs, White seemed laid back and smiled a lot while talking passionately about his music. “It’s a lot of the old rock ’n’ roll I love,” White said. “I’ve been known to say that I was born in the wrong decade, because ’70s rock ’n’ roll is my bread and butter. Neil Young, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and that kind of stuff is where I gathered upon when I was a young guitar-player. I’m also a fan of Radiohead, and I…
16 Jan 2019
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When three friends involved in the San Francisco punk-rock scene moved to the desert, they decided they needed to get together and have some fun. The result of that fun is the Hot Patooties, a newly formed band that consists of former San Francisco musicians Nettie Hammar (vocals), Beth Allen (guitar) and Shawn Smith (drums), as well as Yucca Valley bassist and former Gutter Candy member D.D. Gunz. We chatted at Beth Allen and Shawn Smith’s home in Morongo Valley after an alcohol-infused dinner party. “We’re from Morongo Valley, where the morons go,” Allen joked. “Shawn and I are in a band together called the Wastedeads, and we’re a two-piece. Nettie also moved to Morongo Valley. Nettie and I are old friends from way back, and I thought, ‘Oh shit, we need to be in a band together.’ The Hot Patooties were born after that.” D.D. Gunz was recruited after…

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