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20 May 2019
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Rodney Carrington became a big hit in the late 1990s with his brand of comedy that includes both standup and comedic country songs. The 50-year-old Texan’s albums continue to soar up the comedy charts today. Carrington will stop by The Show at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage on Friday, May 31. During a recent phone interview, Carrington tried to prank-call me, before turning serious and telling me it was him. He said he didn’t originally see comedy as a career option. “I was in college at Kilgore College in Texas studying theater, and they had a comedy night in a little bar, and the only reason I went to do it was because it was something I thought would help me with theater,” Carrington said. “I thought it would be terrifying and scary, and if I could do that, I could do anything. I did, and I…
07 May 2019
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Neil Sedaka’s career has taken many twists and turns over the years. He was one of the most successful early rock ’n’ rollers before his career derailed in the 1960s—setting the stage for an amazing comeback in the 1970s. And today, he’s focusing on … classical music? That’s correct—although concert-goers can expect to hear his hits when he returns to the area to perform at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa on Friday, May 24. The concert will come within days of him receiving a significant honor. “I’m getting an honorary degree in music from the Moravian College in Pennsylvania. It’s a big music college, and it’s my first honorary degree. I’m very excited,” Sedaka said. “I never finished Juilliard. I went to the prep school for eight years and the college for three years. They’re doing an evening of Neil Sedaka songs, and a great pianist is going to…
03 May 2019
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The Creepy Creeps is a wild San Diego band that puts on one of the best live shows you’ll ever see. Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Saturday, May 11. The Creepy Creeps is a surf-punk band made up of members of bands including The Locust, Struggle, and Tarantula Hawk. Onstage antics include crowd-taunting and heckling, and the members wear themed masks for each show (like, for example, Planet of the Apes). During a phone interview with Creepy Creeps guitarist Dave Warshaw, he said they’ve never performed sans masks. “It’s always hot (under the masks), but it’s never unbearable,” Warshaw said. “We’ve been doing this for 20 years, so we have what it takes. We never take it off. We’ve been in some pretty rough situations where it’s been really, really hot. Even when the room is baking in the summertime, we…
01 May 2019
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The summer slowdown is beginning after a rainy, windy, busy season. The snowbirds are gone—but May is still packed with a lot of compelling events. The McCallum Theatre is winding down with a couple of events before going dark over the summer. At 7 p.m., Thursday, May 2; 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4; and 2 p.m., Sunday, May 5, College of the Desert Performing Arts will be performing Phantom of the Opera. Tickets are $23 to $43. Take a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9; 2 p.m., Friday, May 10; and 2 and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 11, with Shen Yun. This is a musical and dance performance of various tales and legends from China. Tickets are $120 to $150. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is rocking into May. At…
13 Apr 2019
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In June 1969, the Stonewall riots took place, marking a seminal moment in the gay-rights movement—and the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus has joined forces with other LGBT choruses across the country to mark the occasion in a big way. The chorus will conclude its season with Quiet No More–A Choral Celebration of Stonewall with shows Friday through Sunday, April 26-28. During a recent phone interview with Douglas Wilson, the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus’ artistic director, he explained the highlight of these concerts. “It’s a new masterwork that was commissioned by 20 choruses in the United States, and it was composed by six different composers who each wrote a different movement—and it’s a big production,” Wilson said. “The whole piece is in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the moment that really started the gay pride movement. The first four movements focus on that night and what happened…
15 Apr 2019
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Stagecoach has changed in the past couple of years; the lineup is shorter—but Goldenvoice is still including smaller Americana bands and classic country acts while Nashville’s big stars take to the Mane Stage. Here’s a list of acts I certainly won’t miss at Stagecoach. Friday, April 26 Cordovas When I listen to Cordovas (right), I picture them playing in one of those smoky country-Western bars shown in films during the ’70s and ’80s. The band performs country music with a bit of the Grateful Dead and the Band thrown in. Cordovas will help you start off Stagecoach right—along with a cold beer and a comfy seat on a blanket or in a lawn chair. Cody Johnson There’s something enjoyable about many country singers from Texas—and Cody Johnson definitely has that certain something. On just about every album of his, you can hear the rodeo, and you can hear the honky…
11 Apr 2019
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A while back, Parker Millsap tweeted: “I ain’t no son of Ronnie.” Indeed, there’s no relation, and the names are spelled differently, anyway. Still, the men share some similarities; they were both influenced by gospel, blues and rock ’n’ roll—but Millsap’s sound is all his own. He’ll be coming to Stagecoach on Sunday, April 28. When Parker Millsap first started, his sound had more acoustic and gospel elements, but over time, he has added more of a rock sound—and his latest album, Other Arrangements, is almost entirely rock ’n’ roll. During a recent phone interview, Millsap discussed the evolution. “A lot of that is based on the live show,” Millsap said. “I started out doing listening-room and house concerts, and I did an acoustic thing for quite a while. Gradually, as I made money and could afford to have more of a band, I really wanted the shows to move…
09 Apr 2019
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Whitey Morgan and the 78’s music is called “outlaw country” by some. Whitey, however, doesn’t care for the word “outlaw” when it comes to his band—and many other bands as well. The band will return to Stagecoach on Sunday, April 28, after playing the festival for the first time in 2016. Whitey Morgan, whose real name is Eric Allen, is originally from Flint, Mich. During a recent phone interview, he talked about his upbringing in the town that has become part of the national conversation due to the American auto industry’s problems, as well as the town’s drinking-water catastrophe. “It was a typical Midwestern industrial town,” Allen said. “Dad worked in the factory, and Mom didn’t work. My grandpa was retired, and I spent a lot of time with him, and that’s where I learned a lot about country music. I got in a lot of schoolyard fights and stuff…

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