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Previews

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…
07 Apr 2019
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Local audiences are going to get a rare chance to enjoy the music of Mon Laferte, the most successful music artist in Chile today. That’s no exaggeration: She’s the most listened-to artist from Chile on Spotify. She’s the Chilean artist with the most Latin Grammy Award nominations in one year (five, in 2017), and she’s the best-selling Chilean music artist in the digital era. Mon Laferte will be playing Chella at the Riverside County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, April 17, and will be appearing at Coachella on Friday, April 12 and 19. Laferte is currently living in Mexico. During a recent phone interview, Laferte talked about the differences between there and her native Chile. “In Mexico, the music industry is much bigger,” Laferte said. “It’s obviously much more consolidated. It’s bigger; the roof is higher; there’s more diversity; there’s room to grow, and that nurtures an artist in several ways. In…
03 Apr 2019
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After Beyonce headlined Coachella last year, it was hard to imagine how Goldenvoice could top that this year. And … uh, they haven’t. That said, there are a lot of great acts on the bill at Coachella. Here’s a list of the performers I, personally, won’t miss. Friday, April 12 and 19 U.S. Girls This is the experimental pop project of producer and musician Meghan Remy. She has released seven albums, and after I heard her most recent album, last year’s In a Poem Unlimited, I hoped U.S. Girls would be on the Coachella lineup for 2019. Just about every music publication that reviewed the album gave it a high score. Remy’s brand of experimental pop goes into some interesting territory. It’s easy on the ears; it’s catchy; and it’s mesmerizing. Remy’s live performances have received strong praise, and it will be interesting to see what she does for Coachella.…
03 Apr 2019
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Superorganism may very well be the most interesting band you’ll see at Coachella. Superorganism is actually more an art collective than a band, made up of eight members from the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. The group’s closest comp may be Gorillaz … but even that’s not quite right. Figure out Superorganism for yourself on Saturday, April 13 and 20. Superorganism’s videos seem like pop-culture propaganda—spoofing modern society. During a recent phone interview from London, Harry (real name: Christopher Young) explained his view on their music videos. “I think it’s always propaganda to a degree,” Young said. “It’s certainly not a conscious thing on our part, but I think the ego that drives you to write songs and (makes you) feel like you have something meaningful to say to the world is inherently propaganda. We don’t set out to do that, but I think you can pick up…
29 Mar 2019
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Latin music has always been a vital part of Coachella Valley culture—but it hasn’t necessarily received much attention outside of the Latino community. However, that’s started to change, and Goldenvoice—the mega-promoter that puts on Coachella and Stagecoach each year—has taken notice, last year adding the event known as Chella in between Coachella weekends. The concert, at the Riverside County Fairgrounds, is returning this year, on Wednesday, April 17. Ocho Ojos, a local cumbia band (right), performed at last year’s Chella, but is not on this year’s bill. Instead, the group is playing at Coachella itself—and is even listed on the official poster. This will actually be the band’s second Coachella appearance; Ocho Ojos was one of the local bands selected to play at the festival in 2017. I recently talked with the members of Ocho Ojos at the La Quinta Brewing Co. taproom in La Quinta about the band’s sound.…
28 Mar 2019
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Coachella and Stagecoach dominate the music coverage in April—but there are a whole lot of great events going on before, during and after the festivals throughout the Coachella Valley. The McCallum Theatre will soon enter its summer hibernation, but not before a fantastic April schedule. At 8 p.m., Thursday, April 4, find out who’s the boss when Tony Danza brings in his one-man variety show. He’ll be telling stories about his life and playing music with the Desert Symphony. Tickets are $75 to $250. At 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 10, popular Christian-contemporary music artist Stephen Curtis Chapman comes to the McCallum. He’s won five Grammy Awards and sold more than 10 million albums. Tickets are $39 to $88. At 7 p.m., Saturday, April 27, the Coachella Valley Symphony will be holding its 26th Anniversary Gala, joined by Under the Streetlamp, a fun music group that performs rhythm and blues, rock…