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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Music News and Features

30 Apr 2016
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Dale Watson is a honky tonk hero and a legend of country music—in part because he wholeheartedly eschews the mainstream. Originally from Birmingham, Ala., Watson now calls Austin, Texas, home. He owns a saloon there called the Little Longhorn Saloon, which is home to “Chicken Shit Bingo”—a weekly event during which a chicken is placed on a table with numbers on it. If you have the number on which the chicken does its business, you’re a winner! I chatted with Watson before his Friday Stagecoach performance, and asked him the question: What do you love about country music? “I don’t love country music,” Watson replied. “Not today’s country music—not one bit. I love what used to be called country music. I’m a big fan of a genre called Ameripolitan right now, which is what country music used to be: Western swing, rockabilly and honky tonk music. In that regard, what…
29 Apr 2016
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It is unbelievable how far the band The Flusters has come in such a short amount time. Last Saturday at noon, the members of the band crossed an item off their bucket lists when they stepped onto the Outdoor Stage at Coachella. Each year, a local band or two gets the coveted, albeit difficult slot. There’s usually not much of a crowd on hand at noon, but many locals—including Ian Cush of the Coachella Valley Art Scene, Matt Styler of the Hive Minds, Giselle Woo and some devout Flusters fans turned out—turned out to watch the band play, as did a handful of Coachella early birds who did not know The Flusters. While the Flusters were playing, Goldenvoice founder Gary Tovar appeared onstage and took some photos and video of the band with his phone. Shortly after the impressive show, frontman/guitarist Doug Van Sant, guitarist Danny White and new drummer…
27 Apr 2016
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Kal David is a white guy from the South Side of Chicago—but, man, can he play the blues. Kal—aka David Raskin—appears at Oscar’s Café and Bar with the Kal David Trio on Monday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. for “Blues and BBQ” when he’s not off touring the world. He also plays regularly at the Purple Room. One interesting fact about Kal David: He played in a band called Kal David and the Exceptions, which included Peter Cetera, who went on to join the band Chicago, and Marty Grebb, who went on to join The Buckinghams. “Peter was in my band and was my bass-player, and I like to kid around and say I taught him everything he knew,” Kal David said during a recent interview. “He came to me fully skilled, and we were just kids. I was just out of high school, and he was still in…
19 Apr 2016
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Until recently, brightener was flying under the radar in the Coachella Valley music scene. Then brightener advanced to the finals of The Desert Sun’s Tachevah competition. And then the group was added to the first-weekend lineup of Coachella. Add in the fact that a new album in the works, and brightener’s Will Sturgeon is definitely on the rise. During a recent interview, Sturgeon discussed how he came up with the band’s name. “I had been putting out a bunch of solo stuff for years on the Internet, and there was a period of time when I had an active YouTube following from all over the world,” he said. “At one point, I released a solo record under my name, and some Turkish fans commented on my page and said they called me brightener, because I brightened their day. I kind of liked that, and it meant something to me. So…
07 Apr 2016
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This is shaping up to be quite a sad year for the music world: 2016 has already taken David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Lemmy Kilmister and Natalie Cole—and today, it took the great Merle Haggard. He passed away at his Northern California home on his 79th birthday, after suffering from complications from pneumonia. Merle Haggard was a larger-than-life figure in country music. He was an outlaw in every sense of the word: Theft, bad checks and robbery were part of his criminal past, which eventually landed him in San Quentin Prison, where he began to turn his life around. In the early 1960s, when Merle Haggard began his recording and performing career, he and Buck Owens were instrumental in forging the Bakersfield sound, a subgenre of country music that protested the commercialization of Nashville’s country-music scene. It’s a never-ending trend in country music, it seems, to commercialize the music of the…
25 Mar 2016
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At a time in world history when relations between the governments of Russia and the United States are strained, a strong alliance has developed between American gutter punks The Dwarves and Russian hard-core punksters the Svetlanas. Blag Dahlia, the veteran punk-pop troubadour who has guided the Dwarves through three decades and a dozen albums (and whom we talked to recently for this space), may have met his match in Russian songstress Olga Svetlanas, who prefers flipping the bird to waving the peace sign, and spews profanities with one eye cocked like it’s nobody’s business. At its best, punk rock challenges social norms, pisses on convention, steps on value systems and rebels against authority. Religious groups and government agencies that set standards and practices drop their jaws and point their fingers in contempt of the vile, low-brow art form, which throws the bird and asks, “Who’s watching the kids while mom’s…
20 Mar 2016
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Dali’s Llama formed in 1993—and went on to become one of the desert’s most legendary bands, defining the DIY business model along the way. After 23 years and inclusion in the new desert-rock documentary Lo Sound Desert, Dali’s Llama is not slowing down. In fact, the band just released a new album, Dying in the Sun. During a recent interview in Palm Springs, Zach Huskey (lead vocals, guitar) and his wife, Erica Huskey (bass), talked about the new album’s title. “We’re feeling a little older,” Zach Huskey explained. “I spend a lot of time out in the canyons and in Thousand Palms doing some Jeeping. That’s where I also do a lot of writing. It wouldn’t be a bad way to go, I guess. (There is) sort of a connection with the desert in our music and feeling comfortable there, versus being surrounded by people, work, kids and all that…
18 Mar 2016
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After six years at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs, DJ Day has decided it’s time for his popular weekly ¡Reunion! party to come to an end. He recently announced that the sixth-anniversary edition of ¡Reunion! on Thursday, March 31, will be the final show. “Honestly, after six years every week, which is something like 320 nights, it begins to take its toll,” DJ Day said during a recent interview in Palm Springs. “Long story short, I just got burnt out on the whole nightlife thing. It’s run its course, and I’d like to start doing something else. I want to get back into recording music, and I’m ready to move on as a person and just take a different path in my life. It’s been great, but it’s also a very trying thing. “When I first started out, I talked to someone who had a weekly…