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Tue06272017

Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Reviews

19 Oct 2015
As you drive in the dark to the Joshua Tree Music Festival on Highway 62, you have to look carefully for the right turn. As I tried to enter, I was met by a security person manning a handmade level barrier with the word “Alto” hand-painted on it. I stopped. Lucky for me, I am bilingual. This was the 10th year for the fall Joshua Tree Music Festival, which took place Oct. 8-11 at the Joshua Tree Lake Campground. This micro-festival takes place an hour away from the spot where those mega-festivals take place in Indio. With the help of volunteers, this is definitely a DIY affair. Familiar faces were everywhere, helping with everything from food to production to the construction of the grounds. Gene Avaro Jr. and the Family (which just finished a national tour with RCA recording artist Elle King) provided the soul of the festival: The musical…
05 Oct 2015
The Eighth Annual Desert Stars Festival brought more than 30 bands to two outdoor stages and one indoor stage at Pappy and Harriet’s on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and 26. In other words, attendees really had some tough decisions to make regarding which bands to see. The Desert Stars Festival is a traditional celebration of all things desert. Promoter Tommy Dietrick started the event as the Clean Air Clear Stars Festival in 2007, and changed the name in 2013. Via the festival, Dietrick did a excellent job of promoting the galactic efforts by the Mojave Desert Land Trust. MDLT had a petition table to urge POTUS to create several new land monuments. Dietrick reminded everyone to sign the petition and thanked MDLT for preserving 60,000 acres in the desert. To my surprise, I ran into some music fans I met at a metal show in Orange County, and a…
02 Oct 2015
Oakland’s Shannon and the Clams appeared at Pappy and Harriet’s on Thursday, Sept. 24, in support of the group’s fourth album, Gone by the Dawn, which dropped Sept. 11. The front of the stage was crammed, with one fan dressed in an undersea-themed outfit. You could feel the love for the band as fans talked about the building excitement. The band’s sound can be described as retro doo-wop, with some influence from early ’80s California surf punk. “It is an extreme pleasure to play here,” said Shannon Shaw, the lead vocalist and bassist, as she positioned herself onstage. “This is the best place we have played.” Shannon has a voice somewhere between a soprano and a tenor. She plays a glittery Danelectro bass, and she can be distracting as you listen to her sing as she plays the bass with amazing intricacy. Those in attendance were ready to hop the…
14 Sep 2015
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Back in July, Little Big Town was scheduled to perform at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Just a couple of weeks before the scheduled July 3 show, the quartet released a statement saying Jimi Westbrook needed surgery to remove a polyp from one of his vocal chords. Little Big Town said the band would reschedule all of the cancelled shows—and the group made good on the promise to perform at Fantasy Springs, on Friday night, Sept. 11 The night began with an opening performance from Ashley Monroe. Monroe has had a lot of success in her brief career. The Nashville star has a side project known as the Pistol Annies with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley, and has performed with Jack White and Third Man Records. Unfortunately, her performance was a little flat on Friday. There wasn’t much to her sound at times, and some of her live material just didn’t…
04 Sep 2015
Campout 11 came to Pappy and Harriet’s for three days starting last Thursday, Aug. 27, bringing to Pioneertown the annual migration of “Campers” and “Crumbs” fanatics from all over the United States, Canada and even the United Kingdom. Custom, of course, dictates that there are dress themes everyday. Thursday’s unofficial theme was “Pink,” in commemoration of fan Karen Pratt-Mills, aka “KPM,” who passed earlier this year due to cancer. A sea of pink demonstrated the strong bond among this family of music fans. The Hickman-Dalton Gang was the first band to perform inside. Hickman entered stage-right, strapped on his Gibson Les Paul “Lucky Seven” guitar and said: “Lots of love for Karen.” Johnny Hickman was wearing a pink KPM sticker in the style of the ETG logo (Eurotrash Girl). Claire Wilcox, one of the Queen Crumbs, told me Nancy Wheeler produced the sticker to hand out to fans with the…
01 Sep 2015
I’ve seen Buzz Osborne several times at Pappy and Harriet’s; last time, he performed his one-man King Buzzo show, which highlighted his crazy charisma as he strolled around the stage with an acoustic guitar. Last Wednesday, gloom-metal fans got to see Buzz with the Melvins—complete with two drummers, Dale Crover and Coady Willis, who provided the sonic freight train. Jared Warren was on bass, showing off a black eye he said was courtesy of a mugging. He claimed he fought off a dozen or so robbers who said, “Give me all your money.” The sonic drenching that smashed fans rivaled any sound-bath chamber designed by aliens from Venus in the nearby town of Landers. Thank God for foam earplugs. I felt my kidneys move a little with the roar from Osborne’s guitar—but I have two, and that helps in these sweet situations. I was thankful for the lack of moshing,…
24 Aug 2015
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While jazz music has been declining in mainstream popularity in recent years, Diana Krall remains a big name in the music world. Her stop at Fantasy Springs on Saturday proved she’s a masterful performer who knows how to entertain a crowd. The stage setup offered a throwback to vintage radio days: There was a replica of what looked like a huge old radio from the 1930s; other items gave a big-band era feel. When Krall took the stage with her band, they opened with “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye,” from her 2012 album Glad Rag Doll. At one point in between songs, a woman in the front row screamed, “I’m from Ontario, Canada!” Krall—a Canadian herself—said, “I’ve been there a few times. … I think I saw you there!” Krall’s show offered elements of jazz from the big band era, Dixieland, and even some Latin and bossa nova sounds. A…
23 Aug 2015
Prior to heading to Los Angeles’ FYF Fest for a Saturday, Aug. 22, performance, the London-based band the Savages made its first appearance on the West Coast at Pappy and Harriet’s on Thursday, Aug. 20. This may have been the first adobe movie-set cantina in which this band has played. The Savages brought a lattice backdrop and special LED lighting that gave the stage the feel of a dark, smoky cabaret, thanks in part to a dry-ice machine. French-born vocalist Jehnny Beth greeted fans with, “Hello! Are you all right? You are really close,” before kicking things off with distortion-heavy “I Am Here,” off of the Savages' 2013 debut album, Silence Yourself. When you hear Beth sing, you think you may have discovered Lene Lovich and Peter Murphy’s secret musical protégé. The song brought to life some meatheads in the audience, who created an impromptu mosh pit. There was no…