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Music News and Features

16 Jun 2014
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During a recent interview, War Drum keyboardist Jack Kohler and bassist Robbie Waldman (also a member of the band Waxy) revealed that the band plans on taking a break from live gigs. However, fans have nothing to fear: In fact, the band is making plans to record a brand-new new album. War Drum also includes of Ehren Groban (guitar), John Marek (guitar) and Peter Leighton (drums). The band formed in the summer of 2010 while Kohler and Groban were employees of the Ace Hotel and swim club. Waldman watched the band play without a bassist shortly after the formation. “I remember hearing about War Drum a little bit, and I saw them playing at the Ace Hotel,” Waldman said. “There was a different drummer back then, this guy named Carlos. Peter was playing guitar; Ehren was playing guitar; and Jack was on keys. I saw what they were doing as…
19 May 2014
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The term “desert rock” defines a genre of music and bands, all from the local scene, that changed the face of music—and one of the most important musicians within that genre is Dave Catching, the owner of the Rancho de la Luna recording studio and the guitarist for Eagles of Death Metal. Catching will be celebrating his 53rd birthday in style with a two-day concert extravaganza on Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. Beyond the Eagles of Death Metal, Catching has also been associated with Queens of the Stone Age, Tex and the Horseheads, The Ringling Sisters, earthlings?, Mondo Generator and other bands. During a recent phone interview, Catching told his back story. “I started playing music when I was 15 back in Memphis, Tenn.,” Catching said. “My brother was a musician, and I used to sneak his guitar out from under his…
12 May 2014
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Joel Guerrero was showing me the practice space his father, Noel Guerrero, helped him construct for Joel’s up-and-coming band, CIVX. Sound insulation supposedly helps keep the noise contained at the Guerreros’ Cathedral City home, but I was skeptical; after all, CIVX can be loud. For example, Nick Hernandez’s bass literally shook the ground at Coachella during the band’s the Mojave-stage performance. However, Joel Guerrero, CIVX’s drummer, assured me that the space he and his father constructed is indeed legit. “The neighbors seem to be cool with it and have never called the police during a practice,” he said. Formed after the dissolution of the band PSSSTOLS, which included Guerrero and two of his CIVX bandmates, CIVX has had a whirlwind six months of existence. The band played its first show—with hardly any material—in January. Mere months later, the band was selected to play at the Tachevah block party in Palm…
21 Apr 2014
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The band CIVX has come a long way since three of the members broke from PSSSTOLS to form their own group late last year. Nick Hernandez (bass), Joel Guerrero (drums), Dillon Dominguez (guitar) and Sal Gutierrez (guitar) were chosen to play at Tachevah, a Palm Springs Block Party, this past Wednesday, April 16—and shocked those in attendance when they announced they would be playing at Coachella on Sunday, April 20. One thing is for sure: They looked like they belonged on the Coachella stage. At 11:25 a.m., CIVX took the Mojave tent stage. The hard-core fans of the Cathedral City band were on hand to witness it, including Guerrero’s girlfriend, Aurora Jimenez. Ross Murakami, of The Yip Yops, who played with CIVX at Tachevah, was also on hand. The band had a decent-sized crowd, considering the doors had just opened, and fans were trickling in the festival grounds. At Coachella,…
19 Apr 2014
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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…
01 Apr 2014
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Not going Coachella? You’re far from alone; most of us can’t afford the cash or the time it takes to go to the festival. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience a taste of what Coachella has to offer: A number of local venues throw affordable parties and events before, during and between the Coachella weekends. We asked representatives of a variety of venues what they had planned. Some declined to tell us, at least as of our late-March press deadline—perhaps because they didn’t want to let the cat out of the figurative bag too early, or perhaps because the details had not yet been finalized. For example, we’ve heard rumors that venues including Bar, Clinic Bar and Lounge and others may hosting some great parties and events, but we couldn’t get the details. (Watch CVIndependent.com for news.) Here are four great events about which we have the details. Coachella…
17 Jan 2014
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When Throw Rag frontman Sean Wheeler and Circle Jerks/Weirdos multi-instrumentalist Zander Schloss came together to record their debut album, Walk Thee Invisible, in 2011, the two icons of the punk-rock scene showed off a lighter side. More music is coming from them, too: Amid several tours and appearances at festivals such as Punk Rock Bowling and the Muddy Roots Festival, the locals have recorded a new album that’s due out sometime this year. Not too long ago, they played their first show together after a short break, at Schmidy’s Tavern in Palm Desert. While Zander Schloss had played a high-energy show with the Weirdos at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown the week prior, it had been awhile since Sean and Zander had played a local show together. They are quite a sight to see: Schloss strums away on his 12-string acoustic guitar while Wheeler sings. It’s just them—with no bassist,…
16 Dec 2013
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The Purple Room at the Club Trinidad became a legendary place to have dinner and watch a performance in the 1960s, thanks in part to appearances by the Rat Pack. After numerous changes over the years, the Purple Room is under brand-new management, and has gone through a complete makeover in an effort to return the classic venue to its glory days. Who is in charge of the entertainment aspect of this ambitious effort? None other than Gary and Joan Gand, who handle booking for the venue, and themselves play Friday and Saturday nights at the Purple Room. The Gand Band’s story starts long before the Gands' arrival here in Palm Springs—back in the city of Chicago. “We met when we were 17 years old,” said Joan Gand. “Gary was a guitarist in my friend’s band, and I was the keyboardist in another blues band.” Said Gary: “She was going…