CVIndependent

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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Reviews

10 Oct 2016
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Desert Trip’s inaugural weekend is now in the books—and not even the highly anticipated debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could keep people away from the final-day performances by The Who and Roger Waters. Some music critics and fans in recent years have mused that it might be time for The Who to hang it up, since the only remaining original members are frontman Roger Daltrey and songwriting wizard and guitarist Pete Townshend. These musings ignore the fact that The Who includes some great touring members, including Ringo Starr’s son, Zak Starkey, who has sat in the late Keith Moon’s spot on drums since 1996; and bassist Pino Palladino, who took over bass duties after the death of John Entwistle in 2002. Palladino has played with Paul Simon, Joe Walsh and Nine Inch Nails. Critics have also claimed that Townshend’s hearing issues have caused problems with The Who’s live…
09 Oct 2016
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After a thrilling (if traffic-choked) first day of Desert Trip, attendees returned on Oct. 8 for Day 2—excited about the performance of Saturday headliner Paul McCartney. But before Sir Paul took the stage, it was time for Neil Young and his current band, the Promise of the Real, which includes Willie Nelson’s sons, Lukas and Micah. Let’s just say the appearance of the stage was … odd. On both stage right and left were large teepees with “Water is Life” painted on them; two smaller teepees flanked each of the large ones. The backdrop resembled a canvas bag of seeds, with the words “Seeds of Life. Indio, CA. Organic.” This was a reference to Neil Young’s latest album, recorded with the Promise of the Real, titled Earth, which references the plight of the small farmer, Monsanto, environmentalism and many other farming and environmental issues. Considering Young sits on the board…
08 Oct 2016
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The unofficial nickname of Desert Trip, as everyone knows, is “Oldchella.” The jokes have been flying regarding the possibility of AARP discounts at the Empire Polo Club, where Goldenvoice is holding the three-day affair over two consecutive weekends. After night one of Desert Trip, it’s official: The crowd at Desert Trip is certainly older than the Coachella audience. Nonetheless, the concert, featuring older legends of rock ‘n’ roll, still had an incredibly exciting vibe. First up on Friday night, Oct. 7, was Bob Dylan. I’m a fan of Dylan’s recordings from the 1960s; I own all of them and know most of them by heart. But in the ’70s, he went electric and shifted his musical style—and his live shows can be a disappointment if you’re not a fan of everything he’s ever done. In fact, during one recent concert, he apparently did not have a song in his set…
06 Sep 2016
Campout 12, the annual party and music festival arranged by Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, returned to Pappy and Harriet’s for three days, Thursday, Aug. 25, through Saturday, Aug. 27, filling Pioneertown, Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree with “no vacancy” signs thanks to the temporary resettlement of music fans. This festival has ingrained itself into the high-desert community. One example: I was seeing discount offers on social media specifically for fans of the event. ArtFx and Furnishings offered a 10 percent discount if you mentioned the Campout, and 2 Guys Pies Brick Oven Pizza did the same if someone used the code word “Crumb,” the moniker of Cracker fans. Skylar Gudasz, hailing from Durham, N.C., opened Thursday night, keeping with the tradition of having great new talent appear at Campout. “Oh my God, this place is gorgeous!” she said, quickly understanding the unique vibe of Pappy and Harriet’s. She hooked…
09 Aug 2016
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The Warped Tour returned for its annual appearance at the Fairplex in Pomona on Sunday, Aug. 7. The 2016 stop represented a huge improvement over last year, thanks to a far-less-stale lineup, welcome layout modifications and stage changes. Here are some of the musical highlights. Sum 41 The Canadian pop-punk band, which reached peak popularity in the early 2000s, has seen soaring highs and cratering lows. Those lows included the drama surrounding frontman Deryck Whibley’s four-year marriage to Avril Lavigne, the departure of guitarist Dave Baksh, the exit of drummer/vocalist Steve Jocz, and a trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo—where the band and other civilians needed to be rescued by armored United Nations carriers after being holed up in a war-zone hotel. On Sunday, Sum 42 played a noon-time set to a large crowd at the Journeys Left Foot Stage. While Dave Baksh has returned to the band,…
27 May 2016
Deserted at the Palms came to Wonder Valley on Saturday, May 21, and the mini-festival represented the best of the indie, punk and dream-pop bands who spend much of their time earning their keep in the clubs up and down the Sunset Strip. The Palms is a small restaurant and bar owned by the Sibleys, located on Amboy Road; it’s one of the last buildings you see before you drive north on the well-known Palms Springs short cut to Las Vegas. Of course, many super music fans were present, like Echo Park native Patti Castillo, aka “Cave Girl,” who received this moniker during the Charles Bradley show at Pappy’s, for using a found rock to pound her tent stakes into the ground. Since camping was encouraged and free for this event, it was no surprise to run into Stewart as she pitched her tent with the help of a fellow…
23 May 2016
I had no idea who Charles Bradley was until a month ago, when Jesika Von Rabbit told me I had to go see his show at Pappy and Harriet’s. I trust Jesika, so I went to the Saturday, May 14, show—pulling a double-shift, of sorts, as I had also covered the Joshua Tree Music Festival that day. Yeah, I am slow to the train sometimes; I missed him at Coachella in 2015, too. For the uninitiated, as I was until Jesika’s advice: Bradley is a 67-year-old funk soul singer who started his entertainment career in 1967 as a James Brown impersonator. At Pappy’s, under a waxing moon, Bradley walked onstage and asked: “Brother and sisters, do you like going to church?” With that statement, Bradley launched into a show of pure optimism and joy. Charles and his Extraordinares preached about love, sin and hope during his hour-plus set, which included…
22 May 2016
Last weekend, great music came to the high desert during the 14th annual spring Joshua Tree Music Festival. Locals refer to this event as “our festival”—for good reason. Most of the festival staffers are friends and family members who volunteer their time to make the festival happen. The icing on this gluten-free cake is the talent of the promoter Barnett English, who brings in great musical acts from all over America and the world. Gene Evaro Jr., who recently toured with Elle King (Grammy nominee and JTMF alum), kicked things off on the Boogaloo Stage on Thursday. Gene is a homegrown star who gets better and better every time he performs. This is to say: When I saw him opening for King last year at the Observatory in Orange County he was amazing. Now you get that feeling that he could really become a star. Dam-Funk and the Light closed…