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Reviews

20 Oct 2014
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In the late 1960s and early 1970s. Creedence Clearwater Revival produced what would become legendary rock anthems—and even headlined Woodstock in 1969. On Friday night, Oct. 17, Creedence Clearwater Revisited—the current incarnation of the band, notably without Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty—stopped by The Show at Agua Caliente, and gave one remarkable performance. The only Creedence Clearwater Revival member currently playing in Creedence Clearwater Revisited is bassist Stu Cook. The band is fronted by former People! guitarist Johnny “Bulldog” Tristao and includes Steve “The Captain” Gunner on guitar/keyboards/percussion, and World Classic Rockers guitarist Kurt Griffey. CCR drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, a usual member of Creedence Clearwater Revisited, is not participating in the current tour. The group walked onstage and began to tune their instruments as an intro track played. When the instrumental track stopped, the band got down to business, opening with “Born on the Bayou.” Johnny “Bulldog” Tristao…
06 Oct 2014
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The Rebel Noise just released new album I Hear You via Soundcloud, offering fans higher-quality versions of the songs the band has been playing for local audiences since the group moved to Palm Springs from Paso Robles in 2011. It’s hard to believe that frontman Leo Rodriquez has only been playing guitar for about three years. His ability to front a band seems to have come naturally to him, a fact proven by the quality of I Hear You. The album starts off in the same way as many of The Rebel Noise’s shows: “Possessed” begins with feedback, guitar buildup and then Rodriquez screaming—before he soulfully hums and sings about the one who possess his soul. Then, of course, he returns to full-blown screaming. The band had a recording of this track posted on the Soundcloud page before, but this newer version definitely sounds tighter and more intense. A highlight…
29 Sep 2014
Shelton Hank Williams III—you may know him as Hank 3—walked on to the Pappy and Harriet’s outdoor stage approximately an hour later than scheduled. “Is it going to be one of those kind of nights?” he asked—a question which was met with a cheer from the raucous crowd. With that, the pride of Tennessee kicked off a three-hour plus set of country, punk and metal on Sunday night, Sept. 28. Hank 3 was backed by a rhythm section with an upright bass, a banjo-player, a fiddle-player and a drummer (partially hidden by a wall of amps). The Pappy’s audience recited almost every word to every song during the country set. When Hank 3 sprang into “Gutter Town,” good ol’ boys and gals began to form a circle pit about 15 feet from the barrier which had been erected between the stage and the audience. Two security staffers guarded the stage…
25 Sep 2014
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While Modest Mouse has not released a collection of recordings since 2009’s No One’s First and You’re Next, the band still has an incredibly strong fan base: The band appeared at Coachella last year, and the Tuesday, Sept. 23, show by Modest Mouse at Pappy and Harriet’s quickly sold out. On Tuesday night, the outdoor stage at Pappy’s was crammed full of equipment, and the stage was extended to the maximum. From the evening’s start, nothing went smoothly: A sound check by opening band Mimicking Birds delayed the opening of the doors from the scheduled 7 p.m. until almost 8—when the show was slated to begin. The Mimicking Birds didn’t wind up taking the stage until close to 9 p.m. The group’s sound was mellow with some hints of psychedelic folk. While much of the crowd seemed uninterested, the band did get some good ovations. The transition from Mimicking Birds…
31 Aug 2014
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The Beach Boys formed in 1961, and would soon go on to forever popularize the idea of being a Southern California teenager. On Saturday night, Aug. 30, Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Al Jardine stopped by Fantasy Springs to play a show for their original teenage fans—as well as a surprising number of younger people. After the lights flicked off, the backing band took the stage, followed by Wilson, who hobbled over toward his piano, which had a teleprompter in front of it. Al Jardine soon followed with his guitar and took a spot in front of a microphone not too far from Wilson. They received welcoming applause as they started off with “California Girls,” from the 1965 studio album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). They followed with “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “Catch a Wave,” which featured the amazing harmonies for which the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson are known.…
12 Aug 2014
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Splash House, like every other large-scale music festival these days, is inevitably compared to Coachella. The two festivals both feature a variety of acts—including a mix of locals, up-and-comers and superstars—spread over a three-day period. However, that’s where the similarities end. For one thing, the culture surrounding the festivals is completely different. EDM culture features many musicians who work with a DIY ethic, yet have played to large crowds around the world. However, these DJs are often not the focus of attention during their shows: Attendees and their crowd participation is often more of a spectacle. Oh, there’s one other huge difference: Swimming pools! It’s a popular joke that all it takes for a DJ to be successful is to “push play.” However, a true DJ doesn’t just “push play.” Instead, he or she has the job of selecting the right music to set the vibe; manipulating the mixing board…
21 Jul 2014
Interstate 10 brings travelers from Los Angeles to the Palm Springs area—but for a show this weekend, the band X took the road less traveled: Highway 62, to Pioneertown and Pappy and Harriet’s. After 37 years of music and exploring, X turned in an enchanted evening beneath the desert stars. As you pull into Pappy and Harriet’s, you are guided to the sandy parking lot next to the faux Western town, left over from the black-and-white cowboy serials made famous by Gene Autry. As I walked toward the rear entrance, I could see John Doe relaxing on the porch of P&H’s green room, aka the “little house,” which is part of the former movie set. Doe wore a flowered shirt and patent leather boots, and appeared tranquil. Many of the estimated 700-plus fans lined up early to try to get close to the stage. Waiting for the show to start,…
07 Jul 2014
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Despite Art Garfunkel's recent problems with vocal-cord weakness, expectations were high regarding his performance on Saturday, July 5, at Fantasy Springs. After all, he’s a legendary and highly influential artist with a career that spans more than a half-century. Those expectations were more than fulfilled: The man who was half of Simon and Garfunkel brought the down the house and filled the room (which had a surprisingly small audience) with great music. When he took the stage, he held up a poster promoting the show—featuring a photo taken of him many years ago—and said, “You probably expected this guy to show up.” Garfunkel no longer has the red Afro-like hairstyle for which he was previously known, and he now looks many years older and wiser. Backed by an acoustic guitarist, Garfunkel read a poem he wrote before going into the first song. This became the norm throughout. The stories and…