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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Reviews

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…
22 Aug 2015
There was so much buzz surrounding the Pappy and Harriet’s indoor show by Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real that the crew cleared as much space in the adobe music venue as possible. Of course, there was the normal droning on social media about how Pappy’s should have moved the show outside, where there’s more space. Never mind that it was hot as hell, plus the logistics of an outdoor show are immense. Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, aka POTR, started performing live in 2008. One reason for all the buzz: Lukas Nelson is the son of Willie Nelson, and he has toured with his father. One of his major influences is Neil Young. Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real played on Neil Young’s 36th album, The Monsanto Years, and POTR just wrapped up a tour with Young. This may explain the demographic shift at Pappy’s…
17 Aug 2015
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Deep Purple was once listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s loudest band. On Saturday night at Fantasy Springs, the band made it clear that although Deep Purple may no longer hold that title, “loud” still defines the group’s live setup. The 75-minute performance started off with “Highway Star” from the 1972 album Machine Head. Deep Purple’s live sound is much more powerful than what you hear on the records. Thanks to Steve Morse and Don Airey, the guitar solos and keyboard work, respectively, are quite tight. While the show got off to a good start, much of the performance was improvised, which was both good and bad: The show was bogged down by long guitar solos and lengthy keyboard solos. It seemed like frontman Ian Gillan spent at least half of the show off stage while Morse and Airey improvised. After the first 25 minutes of the show,…
14 Aug 2015
I have never seen Redd Kross live, nor do I own a Redd Kross record. This confession may result in the removal of any punk cred I may think I have. I did not know what to expect from the band’s Friday, Aug. 7, show at Pappy and Harriet’s, but I envisioned something in line with contemporaries like Black Flag. I even came prepared by bringing a little muscle in the form of a friend who is a paralegal by day, and a rock photographer by night: I did not want to repeat the Jello Biafra show incident of 2013, which resulted in me getting up close and personal with a speaker monitor, and my eyeglasses becoming a Frisbee. Entering through a side door was tall lead vocalist and guitarist Jeff McDonald; he has long, flowing hair that would make Peter Burns of Dead or Alive envious. “This is our…
14 Aug 2015
To understand Splash House, look to the great Scottish band Belle and Sebastian, which declares: “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance.” This formula for success brings to Palm Springs the younger set, which was virtually banned from Palm Springs in the ’80s and ’90s. However, gone are the rabble-rousers popping wheelies with bikini-clad girls holding on for dear life; instead, this is a smaller house-music festival with a more-intimate feel, thanks to approximately 4,000 in attendance. This was the second Splash House celebration this summer, this time taking over three venues: Saguaro, the Hilton and Hard Rock. The Saguaro’s pool was packed to capacity, requiring security to use a hand-held counter to determine how many people could get in the pool. You could, at times, walk from one end of the pool to the other—if you dared to balance yourself on the armada of floaties. Fans dealt with the scorching…
13 Jul 2015
Pappy and Harriet’s was packed for the outdoor Lord Huron show on Friday, July 10. Attendants squeezed cars into every inch of possible parking to accommodate the sold-out crowd. I am always surprised by the logistics necessary to accommodate a larger touring band. Roadies were running around getting everything right, including towering speaker stands hanging on both edges of the tiny stage. Jason, the Pappy’s sound dude, was fixing Lord Huron’s guitar rack with the help of the band’s guitar technician. Prior to sunset, Widowspeak warmed up the crowd with a mellow Mazzy Star vibe that was perfect as the Pioneertown sunset moved from blue to green to dark. Brand-new single “Girls” was perfect; it will be out in September, according to Molly Hamilton, the lead singer. As everyone waited for Lord Huron, some fans talked about how many times they’d seen the band, and how far they’d traveled. Most…