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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Previews

21 Apr 2017
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The name Justin Townes Earle tells several stories. The middle name pays homage to Townes Van Zandt, and his last name … well, yes, he’s Steve Earle’s son. But Justin Townes Earle has made a name for himself; his music is truly his own. Like his father, he’s a country musician who frequently strays from the Nashville mainstream. Like both his father and his father’s mentor, Townes Van Zandt, he’s battled drug addiction. He’ll be returning to Stagecoach on Friday, April 28. His most recent albums, released in 2014 and 2015 respectively, were titled Single Mothers and Absent Fathers. During a recent phone interview, Earle talked about the differences between the similar albums. “I ended up getting frustrated with the first record, Single Mothers,” Earle said. “I ended up writing Absent Fathers during (a) second year. They ended up coming together, because they were written really close to each other.…
12 Apr 2017
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In the summer of 2015, I visited music producer Ronnie King’s studio, “Chateau Relaxo,” in Thermal as the Yip Yops recorded a new album. At the time, the Yip Yops seemed ready to take the mainstream-music world by storm. The young band had just signed with talent-management company Hood and Associates, which was helping the band create that aforementioned album. Shortly after that August 2015 article came out, the band’s name was changed to IIIZ. However, after a performance at the 111 Music Festival under that name in the fall, the band announced it had left Hood and Associates and was returning to its original name. Nonetheless, Hood and Associates released the album under the IIIZ name. (Today, the Yip Yops disavow that album.) However, talent wins out—and the Yip Yops are as popular as ever, as shown by the band’s addition to the Coachella lineup. In between Saturday Coachella…
11 Apr 2017
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From the time it was announced through Lady Gaga’s late addition as a headliner fill-in for the pregnant Beyoncé, this year’s Coachella lineup has been one of the most questioned and talked-about ever. Beyond the headliners, however, there are always gems among the names in the smaller font on the poster. Here are some acts I’ll make sure to see—and I recommend that you check them out, too. Friday, April 14 and 21 Tacocat The name is funny, and so is some of the music, but this Seattle band, around since 2007, has a seriously interesting punk-rock sound. Three of the band’s four members are women, and during an interview with VICE, bassist Bree McKenna claimed that she was the illegitimate child of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine. She was kidding … we think. Don’t dawdle on Friday; get to Coachella early to catch this band’s feminist messages, humor and sarcasm.…
10 Apr 2017
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Many music fans know about Australian psych-rock band Tame Impala—but they probably don’t know about Pond, even though the band has featured and continues to feature various members of Tame Impala. Here’s the current breakdown: Pond’s frontman is former Tame Impala touring member Nick Allbrook, and the band includes Tame Impala member Jay “Gumby” Watson. Other Pond members are Shiny Joe Ryan, Jamie Terry and Ginole. In between performances at Coachella on Sunday, April 16 and 23, Pond will be playing at Pappy and Harriet’s on Monday, April 17. During a recent phone interview from Australia, Jay Watson told me why so many bands from Australia have made a splash in the United States over the last decade. “If you think about it proportionately, (the number of bands to find success) is probably the same as it is in the United States,” Watson said. “There are, like, 23 million people…
07 Apr 2017
How much history can one man touch? Meet songwriter Jack Lawrence. Born to modest beginnings in 1912, at the age of 20, he graduated from the First Institute of Podiatry. However, it turns out this would-be doctor was also a budding songwriter—and in the same year, his first song, “Play, Fiddle, Play,” was published. Songwriting won out. Lawrence was openly gay at a time when this was a dangerous admission. His surviving partner, Richard Lawrence, said Jack frequented so many clubs in Harlem, so often, that he was known by a pet name that he refused to let me print. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Richard Lawrence, Jack’s longtime partner and—because they were together at a time before marriage equality—adopted son. (This made Richard his legal heir.) I also talked with Burt Peachy, with 100 Hundred Miles From Hollywood Productions. They’re the team behind They…
07 Apr 2017
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Can a punk band have a serious message and still be a fun listen? The Interrupters have answered that question—with a resounding yes. On Friday, April 14 and 21, the Los Angeles two-tone punk band will be making its Coachella debut. Fronted by female vocalist Aimee Interrupter, the band also includes the Bivona brothers: Kevin (guitar), Justin (bass) and Jesse (drums). You may recognize Kevin Bivona; he is also a member of Transplants (with Tim Armstrong of Rancid and Travis Barker of Blink-182), and he played on Jimmy Cliff’s 2011 EP, Sacred Fire. The Interrupters have addressed political subjects on the band’s first two albums. The 2014 song “Take Back the Power” includes the lyrics: “What’s your plan for tomorrow? Are you a leader or will you follow? Are you a fighter or will you cower? It’s our time to take back the power.” The 2016 track “She Got Arrested”…
06 Apr 2017
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Brightner’s last full-length record, Hummingbird, was largely acoustic. Headroom, Brightener’s Kickstarter-supported follow-up, is quite different. Returning home after a brief tour, Brightener will celebrate the release of Headroom on Friday, April 7, at the Art Pop Gallery in Palm Springs. During a recent interview, Brightener mastermind Will Sturgeon talked about the successful Kickstarter campaign, which recently surpassed the $7,500 goal. “It’s been going well,” Sturgeon said. “I did a Kickstarter a couple of years back for the first full length, Hummingbird. I prepared a lot for it and was very successful. We’ve hit over our goal, which is incredible. “Artistically, it took me six years to record that record (Hummingbird). That led to a sense of really wanting to be immediate with the next one. I really loved doing the Kickstarter thing last time, and I didn’t have funding coming from anywhere else, so that made it easier to produce…
05 Apr 2017
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T.S.O.L. helped define the Los Angeles punk scene after the band’s start in 1978. However, its initial punk success was short-lived: After frontman Jack Grisham, drummer Todd Barnes and keyboardist Greg Kuehn left in 1983, T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) reconfigured as a rock band. After a legal battle over the name, Grisham became part of T.S.O.L. again in 1999, with Kuehn rejoining in 2005. They’ve been performing together ever since—and recently released a new album, The Trigger Complex. T.S.O.L. played the first-ever concert that Coachella promoter Goldenvoice put on, so it’s appropriate that T.S.O.L. will be playing Coachella on Sunday, April 16 and 23. During a recent phone interview with Grisham while he was in traffic driving home to Huntington Beach, he was an open book. Grisham’s history includes a love for drugs and alcohol, legal issues, a marriage to a 16-year-old girl in Mexico, and eventually sobriety, which…

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