Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Ozzmania is a local band that pays tribute to the music of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. At 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, they’ll be performing a free show at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio; Dirt—which performs the music of Alice in Chains—is also on the bill. For more information on Ozzmania, visit, or; for details on The Date Shed, head to Mark Knapp, Ozzmania’s Zakk Wylde (or, in other words, guitarist), was kind enough, apparently during the morning hours, to answer The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

Deep Purple in Tucson, Ariz. Let’s just say it was a long time ago.

What was the first album you owned?

Wow… I wish I could remember. I think it might have been Kool and the Gang.

What bands are you listening to right now?


What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Justin Bieber and pop—or is that poop?

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Original Van Halen.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Anything metal.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Anyplace metal.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

At the moment, since I mentioned Kool and the Gang, it's “Jungle Boogie.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Ted Nugent. The second I heard "Stranglehold," my life in music started. I knew I was going to learn to play guitar, and will most likely die with one in my hands.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

It’s way too early in the morning for that question …

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Iron Maiden, “Die With Your Boots On.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Van Halen,Van Halen.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Whatever inspires them!

Published in The Lucky 13

A lot of great bands have come out of San Diego’s music scene—and one of the latest is reggae group Tribal Seeds, performing Saturday, Feb. 1, at The Date Shed.

The band—consisting of Steven Rene Jacobo (lead guitar and vocals), Victor Navarro (bass), E.N. Young (keyboards and vocals), Tony-Ray Jacobo (keyboards and vocals) and Carlos Verdugo (drums)—formally came together in 2005. During a recent phone interview before a show in Fresno, Tony-Ray explained that he and Steven, his brother, were raised on reggae music; in fact, Tony-Ray’s first album purchase was Born Jamericans’ Kids From Foreign.

“It started with me and my brother in 2003,” said Tony-Ray. “We were both in high school at the time, and we were just jamming in our garage. We wanted to take it seriously after a while, and we wanted to do it as a career. We decided to find band members who had the same mindset. We had some who came and went, but we finally got a solid group of guys who believe this is their passion, and this is their love.”

Tony-Ray said San Diego was a perfect place for them to form as a band.

“I think we were blessed to have grown up where we did,” said Tony-Ray. “There’s a strong reggae environment, the whole beach environment, and it just seemed to fit very well; reggae music seems to thrive there. We’re blessed to be from San Diego.”

Since 2005, the band has released three full-length albums; the most recent album, released in 2009, The Harvest, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard reggae charts. They have shared the stage with some heavy hitters in the music industry, including as Gregg Allman; Earth, Wind and Fire; The Wailers; and their musical heroes, Steel Pulse. They have also toured extensively around the world and in the U.S.

Reggae music can be a challenging genre for an American band. While many American groups have given reggae a go, some of the most successful eventually incorporated pop or punk sounds, as Sublime did. However, the members of Tribal Seeds stay fairly true to reggae, and even embrace the spirituality element of the music, rooted in Rastafarianism, the religion that many reggae musicians follow.

“A lot of it is Bible teachings and Rastafarian teachings,” said Tony-Ray. “It’s just something that was in the music we heard while growing up, so we wanted to continue that message. It just seemed natural to us, so the spiritual element for us has been there from the beginning.”

While Rastafarianism may be best known (and is often parodied) for its embrace of marijuana, it’s also known—and criticized—for ultra-traditional views of women, the practice of polygamy, and homophobia. Around 2004, the “Stop Murder Music” campaign was enacted by a group of gay activists who opposed the violent messages in some reggae music; in 2007, a number of reggae artists signed an agreement to fight homophobia.

“I’m totally open-minded to however a person wants to live their life,” said Tony-Ray. “If they’re a good person, it makes them happy, and they’re not hurting anyone else, that’s all good with me. There are a lot of older people teaching the close-minded thing. I think times are changing … even in the Catholic Church with the new pope. It’s all about how we’re trying to live—good positive things.”

Fans who have been waiting since 2009 for a new album won’t have to wait much longer.

“We’re actually close to finishing up our latest album that we hope to release really soon,” said Tony-Ray. “We’re really excited about it. I know it’s been a long time since our last full-length album, and that our fans are anxious—and we’re just as anxious. We’ve got a lot of good artists featured on this one.”

I couldn’t help but ask what the backstage ritual was before a Tribal Seeds show. Not surprisingly, it involves some smoke.

“A lot of the guys like the green. They like to get a little buzz going just to have fun on stage and enjoy it,” Tony-Ray said.

Tribal Seeds performs with Through the Roots, Mystic Roots and Wakane at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio. Tickets to the all-ages event are $15 to $21. For more information, call 760-775-6699, or visit

Published in Previews

Season is finally here! As you make plans for Thanksgiving and prepare for the other big holidays just around the corner, you should also plan on attending some of these great shows.

The McCallum Theatre has an amazing variety of events booked solid through the month. One show that definitely won’t disappoint music-lovers is an appearance by Crosby, Stills and Nash’s Graham Nash at 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18. While he may be best known for his work with Stephen Stills and David Crosby, he’s had a long and successful solo career; his 1971 solo debut album, Songs for Beginners, was critically acclaimed and reached No. 15 on the Billboard albums chart. Tickets are $35 to $75. Herb Alpert will also be stopping by the McCallum, at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22, along with his wife, singer Lani Hall. The jazz trumpeter, known primarily for his years with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, was a pioneer in jazz because he mixed Latin, funk, pop and R&B styles into his sound. While jazz has been on the decline with audiences over the years, Alpert is still going strong. Tickets are $35 to $75. The Kingston Trio will be appearing at 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 24. Before folk music became political in the 1960s, putting the genre on the path to a major revival, The Kingston Trio was paving the way for that revival. One downside: The original three members are long gone from the group, so the trio continues in a “third phase” with collaborators who worked with the original lineup or were otherwise affiliated with the trio. That shouldn’t stop you from going to see them and taking in some of the songs that inspired the folk revival of the 1960s. Tickets are $25 to $45. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787;

Aaron LewisAgua Caliente Casino Resort Spa is hosting some big events, too. Theresa Caputo, aka the “Long Island Medium,” will be there at 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15. What can be expected from Caputo? Well, it’s a safe bet that she’ll be communicating with the spirits and talking directly with their living relatives in attendance. Tickets for the event were $60 to $100, but we received word just before our deadline that the show is sold out. (I do NOT suggest shouting out a request for “Freebird” to her.) The following night, Neil Sedaka will take the stage; the “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” crooner will be performing at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16. Sedaka was a pop icon before the British Invasion and rock ’n’ roll took America by storm. He’s still a success today; he’s been involved with American Idol and had his first big-hit album in two decades in 2007 with The Definitive Collection. Tickets are $50 to $75. For those who remember the band Staind from the infamous nu-metal era: Aaron Lewis, the frontman of the band, will be there at 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30. Lewis became a hit after he did a live duet at Korn’s Family Values Tour in 1999 with Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit of a song Lewis penned called “Outside.” He turned in solo acoustic performances in the later part of the last decade and has now transitioned to country music while Staind is on hiatus. Fun fact: In July 2012, Lewis had a bitter feud with Carrie Underwood after she released her song “Last Name,” which he said “made her sound like a complete whore.” Whoa! Tickets for the event are $25 to $55. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995;

The Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has two big music events booked this month. Modern R&B superstar Ne-Yo will be performing at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16. The three-time Grammy Award-winning artist is currently touring behind his latest album, R.E.D., an acronym for Realizing Every Dream. He has crossed over into pop and dance-pop; his recent single with Sia Furler, “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself),” was well-received and even included a successful music video—in an era when the music video isn’t appreciated much any more. Tickets are $49 to $109. Burt Bacharach will follow in Ne-Yo’s footsteps a week later, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23. Like Sedaka, Bacharach was part of the pop scene that came before the British Invasion and rock ’n’ roll, but he always stood out because of his unique songwriting. With 73 Top 40 hits in the U.S., Bacharach has also won Grammys, Academy Awards and pretty much every other award a singer-songwriter can win. Tickets are $29 to $69. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000;

Spotlight 29 Casino has a light music schedule for the month of November; however, the resort’s Free Friday Concert Series kicks off with a Johnny Cash tribute by Rusty Evans at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15. Admission is free. Also, the venue will be hosting The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience: Moonwalker at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9. With a live band and a cast of singers, the show is a must-see for Michael Jackson fans. Tickets are $15. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566;

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has just one big scheduled November event: The Cabazon resort will host comedian and TV host Craig Ferguson for a standup performance at 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8. Ferguson has established himself as the host of The Late Late Show and is a possible replacement for David Letterman if The Late Show host ever decides to step down. We’re dying to know: Will Ferguson bring along his robotic skeleton sidekick? Tickets are $55 to $65. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499;

Pappy and Harriet’s has booked Cass McCombs for a gig at 9 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12. McCombs blends folk, rock, blues, country and several other different styles into one big, awesome mess. He’s toured with the likes of Band of Horses and Cat Power—and he’s definitely someone you should see live at least once. Tickets are $15. (Read my review of his latest album at The following evening, at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 13, Bill Callahan will take the stage. The underground rock artist, who has also performed under the moniker of Smog, continues to push the boundaries of simplicity in songwriting; it’s said that he can repeat the same chord progression throughout the entire song. He’s another musician who has tried his hand in writing, releasing a novel, Letters to Emma Bowlcut, in 2010. Tickets are $15. After an appearance earlier this year at The Date Shed, Reverend Horton Heat will be playing Pappy and Harriet’s at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 24. The Texas trio and warriors of the road never disappoint and always put on a great show. I saw them on the same night as the 2009 Academy Awards when they played the House of Blues, right down the street from the awards ceremony and Vanity Fair after-party; the show was packed despite the traffic and all the Oscars craziness. They’re truly one of the hardest-working independent bands in the business today. Tickets are $25. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956;

The ExpendablesThe Date Shed hosts The Expendables at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16. No, this group does not include Sylvester Stallone, the Governator or any of those guys; it’s the Santa Cruz surf-rock band that mixes reggae and punk. The resulting sound is similar to that of Sublime. Tickets are $15. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-775-6699;

The Hood Bar and Pizza continues to get some great bands thanks in part to their booking genius, Brandon Henderson. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, the Palm Desert venue hosts a retro-themed show going back to the big-band and rockabilly eras featuring Vicky Tafoya and the Big Beat, the Jennifer Keith Quintet and the Deadbeat Daddies; the show will include a pinup contest. Admission at the door is $10. Guttermouth plays at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16. Guttermouth’s shockingly humorous and offensive lyrics reportedly got them booted from the 2004 Warped Tour; you never know what to expect from the Huntington Beach group. Antics aside, they’re a great punk band that shouldn’t be underestimated. Admission to the 21-and-over show is $10 at the door. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220;

Azul Tapas Inspired Lounge and Patio features a November party that is not to miss—Bella Da Ball’s Star Dedication. It will take place at 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, in front of Azul, followed by an all-star concert at 7:30 p.m. with food and drink specials. Performers such as Allison Annalora, Doug Graham, Keisha D, Marina Mac and others are all scheduled to perform. Admission is free, and the full menu is available, but reservations are suggested. Azul Tapas Inspired Lounge and Patio, 369 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs; 760-325-5533;

The Hard Rock Hotel is open for business and moving forward with events. The hotel will kick off an entertainment series titled The Edge at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, with repeats on Friday and Saturday the following two weekends. The Edge is variety show that brings together actors from the screen and the stage in a production of rock classics, similar to Rock of Ages and other Broadway productions that include classic rock and stage performance. November’s show is titled “Top Rock.” Tickets for the event are $45. Hard Rock Hotel, 150 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs;

Neil Sedaka

Published in Previews

The summer heat is finally subsiding—and that means the Coachella Valley is starting to come alive with events.

Of course, one of the month’s most exciting events is the Coachella Valley Independent’s Official Launch Party, starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Clinic Bar and Lounge in Palm Springs. We’re celebrating the launch of our monthly edition and the one-year anniversary of with a hosted bar from 6 to 8 p.m.; a live art exhibition by Ryan “Motel” Campbell (read more about him in the Arts & Culture section); and a set by Independent resident DJ All Night Shoes. Admission is free, so there’s no excuse for you not to attend! Clinic Bar and Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-864-4119;

The McCallum Theatre will host Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9. Edie Brickell will be joining the fun. Considering how much acclaim the funnyman has received for his recent music albums, this should be quite a show. Tickets are $65 to $125. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787;

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa’s The Show is the home of numerous great events in October. Fans of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, take note: Daniel Tosh is bringing his stand-up show here for a sold-out performance at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5. While Tosh is known for mocking ridiculous Internet video clips on TV, his stand-up shows are full of witty sarcasm and political incorrectness … which is pretty much what his video-clip musings include, too. Lovers of ’80s music will be flocking to see Bryan Adams at 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 20. (I personally believe Bryan Adams is aging in reverse, as he keeps looking younger and younger.) The “Summer of ’69” singer has been on a “Bare Bones” tour in 2013, during which he’s been turning in acoustic performances of his hits. However, it doesn’t appear that will be the case when he comes to the Coachella Valley—which is a relief, because an acoustic performance of “(I Wanna Be) Your Underwear” sounds like a terrible idea; tickets are currently $50 to $80. Back to comedy: Lewis Black will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25. Expect Black to be his usual, no-holds-barred self; no part of the political spectrum is safe from his rants. Tickets are $50 to $100. The month of November will start out hilariously, as Wanda Sykes performs at 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1. (Perhaps the lovely lesbian will drop in on Palm Springs Pride that weekend!) Tickets are $35 to $65. The next day, The Show will host The Moody Blues, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2. The legendary English prog-rock band has sold more than 70 million albums—and has been around for almost 50 years! If those facts don’t make you want to go see them, I don’t know what else to say. Tickets are $55 to $100. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995;

The Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is packed with big names this month. Country star Trace Adkins, who performed at Stagecoach in April, will be returning to the valley to perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11. In May, he released a new album, Love Will … . This will be a great show for those who saw him at Stagecoach and want to relive the experience; tickets are $39 to $79. If there’s one show you don’t want to miss at Fantasy Springs this month, it’s Sheryl Crow, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12. After nine Grammy awards, a slew of hit singles, and the release of her new album, Feels Like Home, back in September, Crow is still going strong. Go figure; some predicted she’d be a mere one-hit-wonder back in 1994, when “All I Wanna Do” was playing all over the place; tickets are $49 to $99. Not many music stars are hotter right now than Mr. Worldwide, aka Pitbull, who will be performing at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25. Considering the success Pitbull has had with his most-recent album, Global Warming, and the sold-out performances he’s played around the world, you should get your tickets early—if they haven’t sold out already, they’ll cost you $69 to $129. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000;

Spotlight 29 has a fun show booked for those who are feeling nostalgic for the ‘80s and ‘90s. The Women of Soul concert at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, will feature En Vogue, Lisa Lisa, Even “Champagne” King and Jo Jo of the Mary Jane Girls; tickets are $25 to $45. Country-music fans should be happy to know that Josh Turner will perform there at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25. He’s touring behind his latest album, Punching Bag, which features the recent hit single “Time Is Love”; $45 to $65. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566;

Morongo Casino Resort Spa doesn’t have a lot of music booked at the moment—but one show that’s on the schedule should be a real treat: At 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18, Morongo will host WAR. While nearly every member of the original lineup has departed, the band is still going strong. With hits such as “Low Rider,” “Summer” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” WAR still has audiences around the world craving live performances; tickets are $20.25 to $26.75 via Ticketmaster. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499;

If you feel like traveling off the beaten path, Pappy and Harriet’s continues to book great bands while cooking up the barbecue. We have room to mention just three of many shows this coming month. In the fall of 2010, Pappy’s hosted Bright Eyes front-man and king of the hipsters Conor Oberst. I was one of the attendees crammed into the restaurant for Oberst’s performance, which featured the Felice Brothers as his backing band; it was a marvelous show. Well, Conor is coming back for another performance with the Felice Brothers, at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10. He’ll be performing on the outdoor stage this time—but the show is nearly sold out, so you’d better buy your tickets now. Get there early so you can watch the Felice Brothers open (sans Conor); they are one of the best modern folk-revival bands out there. Tickets are a steal at $20. The Day of the Dead is the date for Pappy and Harriet’s annual Halloween show, at 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1—featuring Joshua Tree’s very own Gram Rabbit. It’s worth the trip to celebrate the spooky holidays with the Royal Order of the Rabbits while taking in the band’s psychedelic electro-pop sound. Tickets will be $10 at the door. If that still isn’t enough music for you, Pappy’s will be hosting a performance by alt-country/Americana singer Lucinda Williams at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2. I remember hearing Williams’ “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” everywhere when I was a senior in high school in 1999. She and her rustic style of Americana have come a long way since; tickets are $30. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956;

Also in the high desert: The Eighth Annual Fall Joshua Tree Music Festival will take place Friday, Oct. 11, to Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Joshua Tree Lake Campground. The festivities will include performances by Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Scott Pemberton, The Last Internationale, and many others. A three-day festival pass is $100, and single-day passes are $40 to $60; camping space is also available for a separate fee. Joshua Tree Lake Campground, 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree;

Just down the road, Zena Bender will be throwing a fundraiser for Radio Free Joshua Tree at the Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca Valley at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9. The online radio station, started by Ted Quinn and Michael Roark, has been showcasing local music and a variety of programs—all streaming for free. Of course, Ted Quinn will be performing, as will Rex Dakota, Anthony Dean, The Nobodies and others. Admission is a $10 suggested donation. Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace, 7028 Theatre Road, Yucca Valley; 760-365-2104.

Back down in the valley, The Date Shed will feature a performance by Helmet at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12. Helmet is a highly influential alternative metal band, quite popular in the mid-to-late ’90s, often mentioned in the same breath as the Melvins, Tool, the Deftones and System of a Down—but don’t call them a “nu-metal band.” Tickets are $20. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-775-6699;

DJ Day informed me that in addition to his weekly ¡Reunion! shows at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club (10 p.m., each Thursday), he will be adding a monthly show called Highlife, on the last Saturday of every month: Catch it on Saturday, Oct. 26. When I asked DJ Day what will be different, he said Highlife will offer more of a party vibe, adding: “I doubt I’ll be playing Tame Impala and African funk on Saturday nights.” Admission is free. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900;

The LGBT Community Center of the Desert will be throwing the annual Center Stage gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30. The gala will start with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Later, enjoy a concert by The Voice finalist Frenchie Davis, emceed by Alec Mapa from AMC’s Showville. Tickets are $85 for members of the Center, and $100 for nonmembers. Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs; call the LGBT Community Center of the Desert at 760-416-7790;

The new Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs is slated to open on Friday, Oct. 4, and it will be the spot for BB Ingle’s Annual Halloween Party. Ingle will be teaming up with Troupe Productions for the party at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31. It will feature a Monster Rock Ball as in previous years, but Troupe Productions and Ingle are promising to take the party to a whole new level this year. Tickets start at $40. Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, 150 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; get tickets at

Submit your music information to Brian Blueskye at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Previews

There are currently two versions of Queensryche—but the band’s driving force is undeniably Geoff Tate, and it’s his version of Queensryche that’s stopping at The Date Shed on Friday, Aug. 23.

Queensryche began to develop in the late ’70s in Bellevue, Wash. The original lineup consisted of Geoff Tate (vocals), Michael Wilton (guitars), Chris DeGarmo (guitars), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums). They recorded their first demo tape in 1981, which went on to gain the attention of radio stations around the world and led to a record deal with EMI. They released The Warning in 1984, followed by Rage for Order in 1986. In 1987, the band began recording Operation: Mindcrime, a concept album/rock opera that told the story of a drug addict and political radical who was frustrated with the world around him.

“When the album was done, I felt very good about it,” said Tate during a recent phone interview. “I felt I achieved what I set out to do. I wanted to create a concept album that was inspired by the great concept albums I grew up with that were inspirational to me. I feel good about how the music has been received over the years. I like hearing all the wonderful things people say about the album, as anyone would.”

The album went on to reach platinum status, selling more than a million copies in the U.S. alone.

In 1990, Queensryche released Empire, which landed them even more success, thanks in part to hits “Silent Lucidity” and “Jet City Woman.” Empire went on to sell 3 million copies.

Despite the success, Tate said that neither sales nor critical claim were ever his main priority or focus.

“I never think about that kind of thing, honestly,” said Tate. “To me, success is measured on the accomplishment of actually making a record, writing it and performing it. That’s where I get my satisfaction and my pleasure.”

Throughout the ‘80s, when heavy metal was full of bands like Poison, Motley Crue and Ratt, Queensryche stood out, in part due to Queensryche’s unique sound and lyrics content. Tate said his songwriting abilities are due to the experiences he’s had, and due to him being a conversationalist with all sorts of people.

“I don’t know how I do it, exactly,” Tate said. “I try to live an inspirational life and be grateful for what I have and what I’ve experienced. I take a lot of pleasure in experiences. I like to travel and meet people. I’m kind of an experience junkie. I was recently in Malaysia on a motorcycle trip through the jungle that was really, really incredible. It was one of the high points of my life as far as experiences go. Life is really interesting to me. The relationships I have in my life are where I find a lot of inspiration.”

The band enjoyed success through the ‘90s, they were also one of the ‘80s metal bands who found themselves accepted among Seattle’s grunge scene. Tate has an interesting point of view on that era.

“I guess if you’re talking about bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains—a lot of those bands toured with us,” said Tate. “It was a focus on a certain area of the country at the time and their music; it was Seattle’s time. The whole moniker of grunge—if you ask the bands I just mentioned if they would call it grunge, they’d probably punch you in the face. Everybody hates that term. It was just a marketing term designed to separate a certain band’s music from another band’s music.”

Recent years have been tough on the band. In the spring of 2012, the other remaining original members—Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield—alleged that Tate’s wife was mismanaging the band’s finances; the three also fired Tate’s stepdaughter from running the band’s fan club. Before a show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the argument got heated, and security officers had to separate Tate from the rest of the band.

Ever since, Tate and the other members have been engaged in a heated legal battle over use of the Queensryche name; a judge said that the two versions of the band are both allowed to use the name until a hearing in November. (The other version of the band, featuring former Crimson Glory vocalist Todd La Torre on vocals, is also active.)

Tate said that he doesn’t see him and his former bandmates ever being able to put aside their differences to reunite. He also said he understands that some people are baffled about the fact that there are currently two bands called Queensryche.

“I suppose it’s probably confusing to some fans,” he said. “But you know, in today’s world, you can really find out anything that you want to find out: The Internet is a great and powerful tool, and all it takes is a couple of buttons to push. You can do a lot of research. I think for, perhaps, lazy people, it could be confusing. For most of us, it’s pretty easy to find out the difference.”

Tate’s version of Queensryche released a new album, Frequency Unknown, back in April. Tate’s version includes guitarist Kelly Gray, a member of Queensryche from 1998 to 2002 who returned in 2007 and stayed with Tate during the split.

“Kelly and I have been friends for going on 40 years now,” said Tate. “We played in bands together; we wrote a lot of music together; his kids have grown up with my kids; we’ve gone through divorces together; and he’s been a good friend. He was working with Queensryche when the split happened, on the technical side of things, working our monitors. Next thing you know, he and I are standing on the stage together.”

When it comes to the show at The Date Shed, Tate said he is happy to be returning to the Coachella Valley.

“I love playing live and I love touring. I might be one of those rare people who like to be on the road,” he said. “I look forward to playing there, seeing what the audience is like, and it should be a great time.”

Queensryche with Geoff Tate will perform an 18-and-older show at 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 23, at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio. Tickets are $20. For tickets or more info, call 760-775-6699, or visit

Published in Previews

The members of local band Pssstols are serious about their music. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love to party—and they’re bringing the party to the Date Shed with a free show on Saturday, Sept. 7.

When the band showed up for a recent interview in Rancho Mirage, they had plenty of stories to tell. Among the topics of discussion: a tale of two of the members partying with DJ Day some years ago, with one of the band members winding up in a children’s car seat; a recent radio interview they did in Los Angeles while intoxicated; and various hijinks with other local bands.

Victor Aguirre (vocals), Joel Guerrero (drums), Jesus Escarrega (guitar), Salvador Gutierrez (guitar) and Nicholas Hernandez (bass) are longtime friends. Inspired by bands such as The Clash, Joy Division, Gang of Four, Foals and the Arctic Monkeys, Pssstols is a relatively new band that has found success after playing shows at The Hood in Palm Desert, Bar in Palm Springs, and the AMFM Fest.

They jokingly refer to their sound as “post-desert rock.” They started playing music together in late 2011, and they officially came together as Pssstols in January.

“It was back in summer 2011, and I asked Sal if he just wanted to jam,” said Guerrero. “At the time, I was living in L.A. and going to UCLA; we didn’t think it was really going to go anywhere. I started driving down every weekend, and we just started finishing stuff that Sal had written before. After that, we got Jesus in September 2012, and we were just a three-piece. We just kept at it, and eventually, we got Victor.”

They are still riding high following their show at AMFM Festival, which the group believes was their best show to date.

“I didn’t know what to expect from it,” said Aguirre about the June event. “We thought the festival was going to be a lot bigger than it was, and it ended up being really good for us, personally. A lot of the other bands didn’t have a good draw or big crowd, but we had the biggest crowd there, and we were blown away. We had really good live energy. The band was giving the energy and the crowd was giving it right back.”

The band is also getting ready to enter the recording studio to make their first album; Escarrega said they have nine songs ready to record.

“I think given the opportunity and given the chance, we can approach it to where we’ll come up with things that are completely original,” said Escarrega. “There’s this comedian named Reggie Watts, and he said something about how if you gave him the same instrument as another person … he could guarantee if they both took the same approach, they (still) wouldn’t play the same thing, and it would sound completely different.”

Said Gutierrez: “All I know is that you have to keep moving forward. You have to keep moving until you find that sound that makes the band and the people who hear it go ‘WHOA!’ and then it works.”

Guerrero said that while all the members of the band are Latino, they enjoy playing their music.

“We’re all Mexicans, but this is what we love to play,” said Guerrero. “I grew up listening to Spanish music. The first music I heard was Spanish music. Anything that was from the early ’90s, that’s what I grew up listening to. We have a song called ‘Eyes Like Rain’ where we tried to incorporate our roots, to some extent.”

While the band loves a good live performance, they also love the partying that comes with being in a band.

“I’ve always said the performance doesn’t end when you get off the stage; you still have to perform for the people who want you to go to parties with them,” said Escarrega. “They want to be like ‘PSSSTOLS ARE HERE MAN! THOSE GUYS ARE FUCKING COOL!’ Partying is about 50 percent of the business—seriously. It’s cool to kick it with your mates, but meeting the girls is awesome”

When asked about their favorite alcoholic beverages, they all agree on Rumple Minze and Patron.

And then there’s their wine of choice: “Space wine,” Gutierrez said, referring to the grape goodness of Franzia or Carlo Rossi boxed wine—minus the box. “It comes in a bag, and it’s like what the astronauts would drink.”

Added Aguirre: “We don’t hang out with people who are too sophisticated to tell us it’s cheap wine.

The band said they’re excited to be returning to The Date Shed.

“Kids out there are more passionate about finding things to do,” Aguirre said. “The east valley is more boring than anywhere else in the valley. When there’s a show, those kids are fired up for it. When it’s a free 18-and-over show, there’s no excuse for not showing up.”

The Pssstols will join Machin, Giselle Woo and the Night Owls, Tribesmen and the Desert DJ Entertainment Group for a show at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7, at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-775-6699, or visit

Published in Previews

Indio native (and current Coachella resident) Giorg Tierez, 31, is a paraeducator at an elementary school—and a member of Burning Bettie, a band which touts itself as playing good ol’ fashioned rock ’n’ roll. You can catch some of that rock this Friday, May 31, at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio. The music kicks off at 9, when Burning Bettie, Boycott Radio, DJ Guy Worden and DJ J Sizzle will open for Dirt, a band which plays the music of Alice in Chains. Tickets are $5, and you can get ’em at To learn more about the band, mosey over to their Facebook page.

What was the first concert you attended?


What was the first album you owned?

(An album by) R&B group Shai.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Queens of the Stone Age, and Muse.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

The Harlem Shake.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Queen … or Queens of the Stone Age.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I’m not sure … lol.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Whisky a Go Go (in West Hollywood).

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Give me something good to die for, to make it beautiful to live,” Queens of the Stone Age, “Go With the Flow.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Incubus: To be so different and influenced by so many genres and to put it together to make a unique sound is what blew my mind. It's what I would like to think Burning Bettie has to offer!

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I dunno. I'd ask myself a couple of questions, I think.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Sleep Walk,” Santo and Johnny.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Songs for the Deaf, Queens of the Stone Age.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Sweet and Bitter” by Burning Bettie. We’re still in the recording process … but you can watch it live this Friday at The Date Shed.

Published in The Lucky 13

It’s called “Beer Pong and Acoustic Night,” and it’s going down at Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails, 32025 Monterey Ave. in Thousand Palms, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 6. What else do you really need to know? How about some info on Rob Lawrence, one of the acoustic performers? The 29-year-old Palm Springs native and current Palm Desert resident was in Sol Jah Rock, and is currently focusing on solo reggae/rock, so says his ReverbNation page—which is a fine place to go for more information.

What was the first concert you attended?

Pearl Jam, at their reunion show in Seattle, Wash., when I was 14.

What was the first album you owned?

Green Day, Dookie.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Slightly Stoopid, NOFX, Rebelution, Authority Zero, Dirty Heads, the Expendables … the list could go forever.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Country music is the only thing I really have never understood. But even it is starting to grow on me. I can listen to pretty much anything and find something to take from it.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Pink Floyd.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Watching live concert footage on YouTube for hours after everyone else passes out. (Laughs.) My friends think its weird, and my girlfriend hates it.

What’s your favorite music venue?

To play at locally, it would have to be The Date Shed. My favorite venue to see a show is definitely the Gorge in George, Wash.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

Depends on the day. Seems to usually be something Top 40, just because I hear it all day at work!

What band or artist changed your life? How?

I'd say Slightly Stoopid, just because once I started listening to them, my writing took more of a turn from punk rock to reggae. And then reggae opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at life, a way of treating people: a more positive, happy and caring way of life that I am extremely thankful for.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

"Hey, yo, Fat Mike! Can I jam with you guys?"

What song would you like played at your funeral?

NOFX, The Decline.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

NOFX, “The Decline.” (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

Reverend Horton Heat frontman Jim Heath is content with his career thus far. After 28 years of bringing an unabashed celebration of sex, booze and hard living to venues across the country, Heath and his band have cultivated a diverse and loyal fan base.

Few rock 'n' roll bands last a decade, let alone more than a quarter-century—especially with a rigorous tour schedule. In the band's early days, it wasn't uncommon for them to play 300 gigs a year. These days, though, the group only tours about one-third of the year—and the current tour is bring the band to The Date Shed this weekend.

"We were always a party band. ... In every town, people were waiting there to party with us. The next night would be really difficult to play music," said Heath. "We knew if we kept this up, we were going to die. So we had a band meeting and decided we are here to play music, and we cut out the partying."

Heath is feted by peers and loved by fans for his ability to make his guitar cry the blues and wail rock 'n' roll with blistering, reckless abandon. He loves extremes: sudden drops from loud to soft, or a sweet, sustained guitar riff followed by a jolt of speed.

Heath absorbed all kinds of music growing up and was influenced early on by Johnny Cash, The Cramps and The Blasters, along with blues artists such as Howlin' Wolf, Freddie King and Buddy Guy.

"I took a few lessons, but what really worked for me was just listening and trying to copy what I heard," Heath said. "I dropped the needle about a million times until I could imitate what I heard."

When he started Reverend Horton Heat in the mid-1980s, Heath didn't want to be pigeonholed into a specific musical genre. Instead, he used rockabilly as a foundation from which to build an original mix of surf guitar, swing, country, blues and up-tempo rock 'n' roll.

Spawned from the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, the band would play in the punk-y Twilight Room one night, and around the corner in a blues bar the next. Further along, RHH opened for Johnny Cash and, two weeks later, played with Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.

Today, the trio serves up a hearty mix of rock swagger at a surf-rock speed, topped with a dash of blues and some countrified melodies. The band released the two-CD-and-DVD box set 25 to Life in 2012, and recently announced it signed with Victory Records and plans to release a new album in 2013.

The Rev is currently flanked by upright bassist Jimbo Wallace and drummer Scott Churilla. Ultimately, though, it's Heath's original compositions and guitar skills that drive the band.

"I'm an electric-guitar player, and I hear all instruments in a song." Heath explained. "So I come up with the whole arrangement before I have a song for the band to work up. I am very focused on the beat."

Heath also experiments with a variety of guitar techniques.

"One technique I worked on my whole career is mimicking pedal-steel and steel-guitar licks with my guitar. The way you hold three notes, and then bend one of them will give you a kind of pedal steel guitar swell effect," Heath said.

Another signature move calls for Heath to play lead and rhythm guitar simultaneously—a technique he uses to fill out the trio's sound which he's named the "hurricane."

"I play a drum note on the low end while I am playing the strings on the top end. The key to that is how I mute the strings," said Heath.

But Heath's aptitudes aren't confined to the technical realm. Lyrically, few topics are taboo for RHH. For example, the song "One Time for Me" is about female masturbation, while the track "Slow" reveals the band's familiarity with female physiology: "It took a long time but I learned what they like / Once you've learned my lesson it's like ridin' a bike ... Drivin' real slow gets you home pretty fast / Keep a cool head gonna make it last."

On "Cowboy Love," a country tune in which Heath pines for the attentions of a tall, black, gay cowboy, he sings: "That's why each night by the campfire / I thank my lucky stars above / For inter-racial cowboy homo kind of love." And in the fast-tempo "Big Little Baby," Heath pens a love song for his tall girlfriend, whose "heart is as big as her feet are long": "Well, I got a sweet baby who's six foot tall / Well, she's a full grown woman who's got it all."

On stage, Heath has it all—mingling anarchy, virtuosity, deep blues and a hammy guitar playing shtick that keep all eyes focused on him.

Whether he's singing with gentle menace or bending new curves into a blues note, Heath is a master of tension and release. It's during a live show that bona fide Reverend Horton Heat fans are born. And Heath says fans are everything to the band.

"We party with the people who come to see us at the show. ... To me, music is an art form that involves getting up there and playing in front of people," Heath said.

The Reverend Horton Heat plays at 8 p.m., Friday, March 8, at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St. in Indio; $25. Also on the bill are Deke Dickerson, and Wade Crawford and the Country Trash. For tickets or more information, call 775-6699, or visit A version of this piece appeared originally in the Boise Weekly.

Published in Previews

It’s time for funk! Israel “Izroc” Andrade, 37, brings said funk as the lead guitarist for the What the Funk Hip-Funk All-Stars. The Indio native and current Cathedral City resident spends his days as the director of operations for an audiovisual company. This Saturday night, March 2, Andrade and the rest of What the Funk will join DJ Paul Z, DJ J Sizzle, Wyte Gye, DJ Guy Worden, Boycott Radio and DJ Crux with MC Manny G at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio. Admission to the “Rock the Funk” show, which runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., is $5; a portion of the receipts will go to families of local law-enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty. For more information on What the Funk, track the band down on Facebook or Reverbnation; for more info on the show, visit

What was the first concert you attended?

Megadeth, seventh grade, a small show in Riverside. My uncle took me.

What was the first album you owned?

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles, age 6.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I listen to a lot of stuff, right now I'm into Die Antwoord. Crazy African rap group.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I can pretty much get down to anything except country.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

’70's yacht rock … shhhhhh!

What’s your favorite music venue?

The old Blockbuster Pavilion in San Bernardino. Locally, though, the Tack Room Tavern.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Shine bright … like … a … diamond” (from Rihanna, “Diamonds”). Thanks; now it’s in my head again.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Sublime. There’s something about Bradley Nowell’s lyrics and delivery. And the eclectic style; it definitely changed my life. It’s just pure emotion.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Jimi Hendrix: "How do you do it?"

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Jimi Hendrix, “If Six Was Nine.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

It’s a toss-up between Jimi Hendrix, Axis: Bold as Love, and the Beatles, Abbey Road. Hmmmm. Abbey Road’s “Oh! Darling!” is the song of my wife and me!

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Mamacita” from What the Funk ... ha ha. Shameless plug. (Scroll down to hear it!)

Published in The Lucky 13

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