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Music News and Features

18 Apr 2015
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Sales of music have been on the decline—yet vinyl has enjoyed a recent resurgence, a fact that’s apparent on the third Saturday of April each year, a day now known as Record Store Day. A co-founder of Record Store Day, Michael Kurtz, explained the genesis of the idea during a recent phone interview. “At the time in 2007, all the media coverage of record stores was negative,” Kurtz said from his home in New York City. “They were all going out of business, and people used to talk about us being the equivalent of selling monkey whips. It was just a dark time. We modeled Record Store Day after free comic-book day after we saw the success they had bringing common folk into stores.” While the idea is to support local businesses and create enough sales to help them survive, Kurtz said there’s also a sentimental meaning to it beyond…
09 Mar 2015
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Aimlo has made a name for himself as a local DJ, thanks to gigs at the Ace Hotel, Bar, the Coachella Valley Art Scene and, most recently, the Purple Room. Now Aimlo is looking to make a name for himself as a producer—with his own record label. Aimlo, aka Anthony Araiza, sat down with the Independent and talked about his 15 years of experience as a DJ before a recent show at the Purple Room. “I was in second- or third-grade and going to family parties and seeing a DJ play those—and I was asking my parents every birthday and every Christmas for turntables,” Aimlo said. “Finally, when I was 15, my mom bought me some turntables and a mixer.” He laughed when asked about the quality of his first DJ turntables: Were they any good? “Not the ones she got me! She got me super cheap ones—plastic, super-lightweight, belt-driven…
06 Mar 2015
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La Quinta’s Alchemy has been around for several years, and has featured several different sounds. However, the band is finally coming into its own—as proven by the fact that the psychedelic-meets-indie-rock band will be on the roster for the Tachevah block party, after winning the first Tachevah showcase on Jan. 28 at The Date Shed. During a recent interview in La Quinta, guitarist Danny Gonzalez, keyboardist Roger Chavez and vocalist Andrew Gonzalez talked about the history of the band. “This is kind of a project we’ve had going on for about two or three years—maybe even four,” said Danny Gonzalez. “It was me and Eric (Lopez), the bass player, and Luis (Monroy), the drummer. We just started jamming and playing cover songs. We decided to play some shows and get this thing going. We went through a lot of singers. We found some who were actually willing to do it,…
20 Feb 2015
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To tell the story of the Yawning Sons, you have to head across the pond and first tell the story of the Sons of Alpha Centauri. The Sons of Alpha Centauri (pictured below) feature Marlon King on guitar, Nick Hannon on bass, Stevie B on drums and Blake on textures. They came up in Swale/Kent UK during the late 1990s and began exploring space and time with instrumental music that was expansive and conceptual. By 2004, the quartet had written 25 compositions. Several years later, the band began reaching out beyond the boundaries of their own project by producing splits on vinyl—records featuring two bands, one on each side. They began collaborating with instrumental stoner-rock bands from America, including West Virginia’s Karma to Burn—and the desert’s very own Yawning Man. Now we can finally get to the story of Yawning Sons. It’s a joint project of SOAC and desert-rock guitarist…
09 Feb 2015
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Elektric Lucie is the alternative/post-grunge brainchild of guitarist/vocalist and songwriter Viktor Estrada, which rose from the remnants of his former group, Zinema. Viktor began forging this new sound with bassist and bandmate Jorge “Bassman” Carrillo (3rd Ear Experience) in 2012. The powerful rhythms section created by Bassman and drummer Hernan Hernandez fuels the fire for Estrada’s melodic guitar work and keyboardist Danny Sandoval’s hypnotic space-rock soundscapes, pulling from the earthy vibes and universal energy fields of the desert. “We are veering away from our early Latin influences to create electrifying compositions with a shoegazalicious twist,” Estrada said. In the short time the band has been together, Elektric Lucie has built a loyal fan base while performing multiple impressive shows. The year 2014 brought the band to Coachella’s Synergy Fest, the Hue Festival, Hollywood’s House of Blues and cutting-edge venues such as Schmidy’s Tavern, a haven for original desert rock. The…
19 Jan 2015
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Kyle Stratton, the brains behind the band Atala, is a man with bold, straightforward views on politics, the state of the human condition, the economic and social climate of today’s America—and his right to pursue art and music on his own terms. His diversity stems from adversity, and he expresses himself through multiple mediums, answering only to himself. He seems to vibrate at a frequency that penetrates the middle earth—he’s a true lover of the underground as a painter, a tattoo artist, guitarist and a psych-rock composer. He visits dark places and creates twisted spaces that are oddly welcoming. Once you enter his headspace, you’ll realize he is a master at fusing the dark and the light. Using spray-paint cans and canvas, double-stacks and single notes, he sends out shockwaves as he explores cosmic meltdowns that produce paradoxes. He has a beautiful way of taking simple ideas to complex places.…
13 Jan 2015
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Fans of Independent resident DJ All Night Shoes’ monthly FRESH Sessions mix were treated last July to a guest mix by JF//Discord. The “De:Volve” mix showed just what makes JF//Discord (Jeremy Ferguson) unique: It featured some familiar dance music—tinged with a darker side. Ferguson recently discussed his interest in becoming a DJ. “I just wanted to move people with good underground electronic music,” Ferguson said. “I think I have a good ear for underground electronic music and hopefully translate the connection I have with people to where they can dance.” Ferguson isn’t shy about his adoration for metal music. He often wears a hoodie jacket with the logo of the metal band Death. He’s also known for his saying, “Horns Up!” He said first discovered metal music when he was in the fourth-grade. “I first started off with Def Leppard and Pyromania, and I got that on cassette,” Ferguson said.…
06 Jan 2015
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The lineup for the 2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival—you know it simply as Coachella—was released today, and it turns out some of the speculation was true: Goldenvoice has made AC/DC, Jack White and Drake this year’s headliners. Of course, opinions on the lineup vary; much of the criticism focuses on Drake being listed as one of the three headliners. Also, many are scratching people their heads and muttering: Steely Dan is part of the lineup? Really? Steely Dan jokes aside, AC/DC is undeniably a strange, yet compelling addition for Coachella. The classic rock band from Down Under is certainly worthy of headlining honors, but it’s hard to imagine enthusiasm from fans who attend the festival for its large offerings of indie rock and EDM. Also, the timing is unfortunate: Longtime rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young was recently admitted to a nursing home due to dementia, and drummer Phil Rudd’s…