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Previews

24 Jan 2019
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The Lettermen began performing in the late 1950s, had their first hit record in the early ’60s, and went on to have an amazing career that’s still going today. The trio will be stopping by the McCallum Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 24. Tony Butala is the only remaining original member of The Lettermen; the others, Jim Pike and Bob Engemann, sold their interests to Butala. Today, Butala is joined by Donovan Tea, who joined in 1984, and Bobby Poynton, who joined originally in 1989 and returned several years ago. During a recent phone interview, Butala explained how The Lettermen worked to stand out in the pop scene. “We didn’t take (success) lightly, and made sure we did something more in person than stand onstage and do hit records,” Butala said during a recent phone interview. “So many of the other acts at the time were not entertainers and were lucky…
26 Dec 2018
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After the holidays, you may need some excitement to perk you up and recharge your batteries. Well, January features plenty of exciting events to help rejuvenate your spirit. The McCallum Theatre has some great post-holiday hangover-busters. While many shows are sold out, tickets are still left for these shows as of our press time. Back by popular demand, at 3 and 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 13, the Capitol Steps will be performing. The Capitol Steps is a troupe of former congressional staffers who perform a comedy show based on current affairs. It’s a lot of fun. Tickets are $30 to $70. At 8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22, the sons of the Okie From Muskogee, Ben and Noel Haggard, will be performing. Ben and Noel will be paying tribute to their late father in an intimate performance. Ben played in his father’s band, while Noel struck out on his own; this…
24 Dec 2018
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When the Flesh Eaters first hit the Los Angeles punk scene in 1977, the band instantly stood out among its contemporaries. After breaking up in the early ‘80s, resurfacing in the early ‘90s, and reforming once again in 1999, the Flesh Eaters now feature a reunion of frontman Chris D. and the 1981 lineup heard on the album A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die, including Dave Alvin (The Blasters), Bill Bateman (The Blasters), John Doe (X), D.J. Bonebrake (X) and Steve Berlin (The Blasters, Los Lobos). In fact, the reunited superteam is releasing a new album on Jan. 18 titled I Used to Be Pretty—and on that same day, the band will perform at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace with Mudhoney. During a recent phone interview with Chris D. (Desjardins), he said the recent reunion shows have been a lot of fun. “We did five shows in 2015,…
13 Dec 2018
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When you watch all-female band No Small Children perform, you’d never guess that by day, all three members are schoolteachers in Los Angeles. Mark your calendars: They’ll be playing in the Coachella Valley for the first time at The Hood Bar and Pizza at the CV Independent Presents show on Saturday, Jan. 26. Since the band’s start in 2012, No Small Children has released three full albums and an EP, covered the Ghostbusters theme for the 2016 version of the film, licensed various music to television shows and video games, and toured nationally. In September, the band played at Riot Fest in Chicago with Bad Religion, Beck, Suicidal Tendencies and many others. During a recent phone interview with drummer Nicola Berlinsky, she explained how she and her bandmates—Lisa Pimentel (guitar and vocals) and Joanie Pimentel (bass and vocals)—entered the teaching profession as musicians. “I studied music in college—not just drumming,…
29 Nov 2018
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Tony Orlando is best remembered for recording and performing with Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson—best known as Dawn—in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the trio is back together for a Christmas tour—which will include a stop at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino this Saturday, Dec. 1. During a recent phone interview, Orlando said that a holiday album the group released back in 2005 inspired the tour. “We cut an album in Nashville many years ago; it was called A Christmas Reunion,” Orlando said. “I spoke to Telma, and she said, ‘Why don’t we go out and do a little Christmas tour? It’d be fun!’ The reaction has been unbelievable. Christmas was the right thing for us to do, and it was our favorite album that we ever did.” Orlando explained why he has such fond memories of the album. “We love the music. Michael Omartian was the producer for that…
30 Nov 2018
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The Christmas season is upon us! It’s a magical yet busy time of the year—so be sure to escape the hustle and bustle, and take in some great events. The McCallum Theatre has an excellent December schedule. At 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2, country icons Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen will be performing. While Lovett may be best known for once being married to Julia Roberts, he’s actually one of the best things to come out of Texas’ country music scene. Robert Earl Keen is also a fantastic singer-songwriter, known mostly for his Americana style. Tickets are $45 to $85. Are you a fan of the Boss? While Springsteen himself won’t be coming to the valley, here’s the next best thing: At 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6, the Desert Symphony with various guests will be performing Bruce in the USA. This should be a great show. Tickets are $65…
22 Nov 2018
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As I was watching videos of Shawn Ryan singing, I wondered why he hasn’t become the next Michael Bublé. Yes, he sings that well—and the comedic genius he brings to his act makes it even more intriguing. Shawn Ryan will be performing his show Mistle-Ho, with the Kelly Park Band, at the Purple Room on Saturday, Dec. 1. During a recent phone interview, Ryan discussed how the madness of combining vocal jazz with comedy came to be. “I actually was a theater major in school,” Ryan explained. “I went to the American Academy in New York and studied acting, and right out of college, I got my first professional job in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The contract ended two or three months early, and I was paid for the entire contract, and I thought ‘What do I do now?’ There was a cabaret contest in San Francisco at a…
21 Nov 2018
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Jimmie Dale Gilmore is generally classified as a country artist—but that’s a classification Gilmore doesn’t necessarily embrace. The singer-songwriter and actor—he played Smokey in The Big Lebowski—is currently on tour with Dave Alvin in promotion of their collaboration Downey to Lubbock, and they’ll be appearing together at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Friday, Dec. 7. During a recent phone interview, Gilmore explained his collaboration with Dave Alvin. “We’ve been really good friends for 30 years,” Gilmore said. “We’re mutual fans of each other, but we never played music together until last year. My booking agent called one day and said, ‘What do you think about doing a songwriting tour with you and Dave?’ It worked out so well and turned out to be such a good pairing. We had so much in common musically that we hadn’t really been aware of and discovered that we both had a lot…