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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Reviews

06 Jul 2015
Nick Waterhouse and his band, The Tarots, are becoming regulars at Pappy and Harriet’s, and this is a good thing—because Waterhouse is turning out one of the best modern versions of vintage rock in the music world today. As I walked in for the Fourth of July show, Waterhouse was talking to Beth the Door Person about the positioning of the merchandise table. I later spied Waterhouse working on the set list at the edge of the storied bar. All hands were on deck as the band moved a large organ through the side door. Meanwhile, the audience members started to work their way toward the front of the stage. It looked like a typical Pappy’s weekend crowd, including a blond cowgirl who revealed that she was on a dry run with her Campout 11 outfit. (The Campout is an annual event at Pappy’s headlined by Cracker and Camper Van…
22 Jun 2015
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The Warped Tour is back, and kicked off Friday, June 19, at the Pomona Fairplex, about 80 miles from Palm Springs. The lineup was a little different this year: Metalcore came second to only pop-punk. Gone are the days of pure punk. Shortly after the festival kicked off, the Family Force 5 (below) performed on the Unicorn Stage. The Atlanta “crunk-rock” band, which comes out of the Christian rock scene, was an interesting sight to see; it felt like the early days of !!!, given the band has a dance music element to it. During various songs, people in tiger costumes came out to dance on the stage; fog machines blew huge clouds of smoke; and frontman Jacob Olds at one point played on a second drum set, keeping in sync with drummer Teddy Boldt. “We thought we’d copy every hipster band in the world that has a million drums,”…
16 Jun 2015
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When you’re at Splash House, you have a choice: Should you focus your attention on the world-class DJs and EDM artists, or should you watch what’s going on in the pools? The answer, if possible, is to do both. All three participating venues this past weekend—the Hilton Palm Springs, the Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, and the Saguaro—featured both crowds and music that were quite entertaining. As for the crowds: Splash House attendees go all out when it comes to wild choices regarding pool floaties. I saw them in the shape of everything from slices of pizza, to an ice cream sandwich, to a pig—an even an alpaca. The body paint, swimsuits and T-shirts worn by attendees are also often quite creative, and the dancing ranges from silly to downright mesmerizing. When the DJs demanded attention, the crowd was there to give it to them—if attendees were into it, of…
13 Jun 2015
There was another capacity crowd at Pappy and Harriet’s on Thursday, June 4. At the door was chief doorologist Beth, banding ticketholders as she smiled. I’d never seen Beth actually stay to see an entire show. This changed when Aimee Mann came to Pioneertown. Beth was stage right for Mann’s performance with the Mountain Goats. Aimee Mann first hit it big with her band ’Til Tuesday, which had the high-rotation MTV video hit “Voices Carry.” (For the youngsters reading this: MTV actually played music videos a long, long, long time ago.) As Mann entered through a side door, she commented, “They sure packed you guys in,” and went straight into “The Moth,” from her 2002 album Lost in Space. Mann would often pause to tune her acoustic guitar, at one point saying, “This is the tuning part of the show. I would like to blame the tuning problems on the…
11 Jun 2015
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After playing at Tachevah and Coachella, local band Alchemy has continued riding its wave of success by releasing a five-song EP. The release was celebrated at a show at The Date Shed in Indio on Saturday, June 6, which also featured CIVX, a local band to whom Alchemy has grown close in recent months, as the bands have shared the stage at several recent local shows. There’s been one consistency throughout all the Alchemy shows I’ve seen: The band has a loyal, supportive fan base that always turns out, and such was the case at The Date Shed show. Unfortunately, even though Alchemy put on an enjoyable performance, the band’s fans defied requests by The Date Shed security to stop moshing and crowd-surfing. As a result, the venue closed the curtain on the band and turned on the house lights during what were supposed to be the final minutes of…
25 May 2015
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Despite a series of embarrassing legal issues and odd behavior, R. Kelly remains a powerful and relevant figure in the ever-changing R&B music world—which means it was no surprise that his show at Fantasy Springs on Saturday night, May 23, was nearly sold out. His live show was full of surprises—not all of them good surprises. R. Kelly took the stage about 45 minutes late. When the lights shut off, and his DJ started the intro, a curtain opened—revealing what looked like a bar complete with an actual bartender, tables, chairs and lamps. Some members of R. Kelly’s entourage were out in the audience recruiting ladies to stand on the stage and fill the bar space. The video wall showed images of the Chicago skyline—referencing R. Kelly hometown. R. Kelly eventually appeared, sending the mostly female audience into screams and howls. For what seemed like 20 minutes, he appeared to…
14 May 2015
Desert Daze returned to Mecca, just east of the storied Empire Polo Club, on Saturday, May 2. Mecca once served as the backdrop for Roger Corman’s film The Wild Angels, which helped inspire the motorcycle counterculture films of the 1960s. Desert Daze inspires a different counterculture—part hipster, part hippie and totally unique. If you wanted a Coachella-type ambiance at Desert Daze, you were disappointed. If you expected amazing music in near apocalyptic conditions, you left with a smile on your face. Desert Daze is the brainchild of Phil Pironne (JJUUJJUU) and Julie Edwards (Deap Vally). Improvements to this year’s festival included elimination of delay in entering Sunset Ranch Oasis, used for the day’s festivities; gone was the traffic jam in the middle of nowhere, replaced by a faster security checkpoint in the parking lot. As I exited the car, I noticed the temperature gauge was at 98. Not bad for…
27 Apr 2015
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It was another great day in the Palomino Tent at Stagecoach on Sunday, April 26, when the audience got to enjoy both new talents and familiar faces. Starting things off at 1 p.m. was singer-songwriter Andrew Combs. “We haven’t had anything to drink yet, so this is rough,” Combs said to the small audience. Combs’ songs, a mix of country-rock and folk, were deep and sentimental. He announced his ballad “Suwannee County” was “a song about a conversation I had with an older gentleman about fishing and God.” Before noting the beautiful landscape and departing, he played “Emily.” The chorus was catchy: “E-m-i-l-y, why, why, why, tell me why, Emily.” Following Combs was a rising talent in Nashville: Logan Brill. She gave a nod to Andrew Combs and his song “Month of Bad Habits,” asking, “Can you keep the party going one more day? I want to see bad habits…