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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

This past spring, Throw the Goat toured the United States and even made it overseas to play in the United Kingdom. The Idyllwild punk outfit seems to have a promising future; catch the band at the Red Barn on Saturday, Sept. 30. For more information, visit www.throwthegoat.net. Recently, guitarist Brian “Puke” Parnell answered the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

My dad is a bassist, so my first shows as a kid were usually bands that he was in. But when I was in my teens, we won tickets off the radio and saw The Black Crowes at Glen Helen Amphitheater. That was huge. I think possibly my second concert was at the same place the next year for the second annual Ozzfest.

What was the first album you owned?

Because of my folks, we had pretty much all the necessary classic rock, new wave of British heavy metal and hair-metal albums covered in the household record collection. I started to get into hip hop and new jack swing in the early ’90s at the same time I was getting into grunge. The first time I spent money at a record store, I came home with Kris Kross’ Totally Krossed Out on cassette, plus Pearl Jam’s Ten and Boyz II Men’s Cooleyhighharmony on CD.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I’m loving the new Dead Cross album. I’m a big Mike Patton fan, and everything he does with Dave Lombardo is awesome. The new Bloodclot is really cool. Same with Mutoid Man. And the new Prong. I just heard the new Dale Crover album and loved it. And I’m really looking forward to the next record from The Bronx.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I have no idea what the fuck happened to alternative music. What is this supposed to be an “alternative” to, other than “good”? Same thing happened to hip hop. I can’t stand that robot voice on everything.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I’m a hardcore Nine Inch Nails fan. Like, forever. Haven’t seen them live in seven years, and the last one was at a festival. I’d like to see them indoors, maybe a theater show. Other than that, I’m always waiting for the next Snot reunion.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I’m a sucker for The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Smiths and all my old school goth-boy jams. Tori Amos is my homegirl. None of it makes me feel guilty—only when I listen to whiny emo albums from the 2000s, but that’s rare.

What’s your favorite music venue?

This is a seriously difficult question. After so many tours, you end up with favorites all over the place. I’m gonna keep it California and say the Troubadour in West Hollywood. I’ve had so many great times there, and the sound is always perfect. TTG has yet to play there, actually. That would be incredible!

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

Not to plug the band or anything, but the lyric that plays in my head most is usually the chorus to our song “Bullshit.” It really resonates when you’re surrounded by people who seem to gain pleasure from making your life difficult. The line is simply: “I love it, give me more of your bullshit.” Sarcasm is my go-to coping mechanism.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

My music tastes got progressively heavier when I was in middle school. I was listening to a lot of stuff that was supposedly really scary and brutal. I ended up renting The Downward Spiral from the Ontario City Library, already being a fan of the earlier Nine Inch Nails stuff, and it blew my mind. It creeped me out like nothing else had at the time. And it was heavier and grittier than anything I’d ever heard. It was so diverse and musical. I became a mega-fan. From there, I discovered the world of industrial music and IDM (intelligent dance music) by researching bands that influenced NIN, and also bands on his label. It changed everything.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I think I’d ask Dave Grohl to do our next record for us! That would be the raddest thing ever!

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Not sure yet what I want done with my remains. If there’s a casket, I’d want them to play Pantera’s version of “Planet Caravan” by Black Sabbath as it’s being lowered.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

If there was a gun to my head, I wouldn’t have had nearly the same amount of time to come to a conclusion. I’d probably just blurt out something stupid. But after much non-gunpoint consideration, I’ve decided it’s a tie between Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile and Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs for the Deaf. A close (third) would either be Rage Against The Machine’s Evil Empire or Depeche Mode’s Songs of Faith and Devotion.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Halo of Flies” is Track 1 on Sieg Howdy! an album by Jello Biafra with The Melvins. It’s a cover of an Alice Cooper song. I’ve heard a lot of people cover Cooper before. That’s hallowed ground as far as I’m concerned, so I wouldn’t suggest it unless it was really good. Check it out.

Published in The Lucky 13

Some of the valley’s best barbecue is being served at … the Red Barn in Palm Desert?

Yep, the Red Barn in Palm Desert.

The only food I’d remembered there was a stale bag of chips that I once bought from a vending machine on the outdoor patio—until I found myself there one night after Stagecoach in late April. I was hungry, and I heard there was barbecue for sale.

After Reggie Martinez, the owner of the California Barbecue Company, gave me my food, the flavors that hit my taste buds were out of this world: The barbecue was sweet, yet spicy, and smoked to perfection.

I recently had the chance to enjoy more of Martinez’s cooking while we chatted at the Red Barn: He typically runs out of his macaroni and cheese rather quickly, but I was able to try some—and it was unlike any macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had.

Martinez, who received his training from a culinary institute in Monterey Bay, has not been doing barbecue for very long.

“I’ve been cooking for over 20 years,” Martinez said. “I was working at Circle K, and I was out of the food industry. … Then I was in management at Del Taco.

“My friend ran the barbecue inside of Neil’s Lounge in Indio. He called me and told me that he had a position for me. I went in there, and I learned how to smoke a little bit from him, but I took it to another level; I was watching YouTube videos at home and filling notebooks full of notes. I did as much research as I could to perfect my craft. I realized there wasn’t much competition (locally) as far as barbecue, so I knew that I had a legitimate chance in succeeding: I learned I could not only compete with what was out here, but surpass what was out here.”

Martinez eventually took over the kitchen at Neil’s Lounge when his friend left for another job. However, he left earlier this year.

“Back in December or January, the contract was offered to me, and I had a helper in the kitchen. He became my partner, and we named it Harley’s,” Martinez said. “We opened up Harley’s, and from the very beginning, we had miscommunication. He was hell-bent on doing Texas barbecue, but I had already developed my own style, my own rubs and my own sauces. I wanted it to be what I call California barbecue, because there’s not a market for it, besides Santa Maria tri-tip. I wanted to create my own style with flavors that represent California—sweet, spicy, and dry chili flavors from Mexico. … I’m Filipino, but I grew up in Mexican culture. Those are the flavors I grew up with, and they represent California to me, so I incorporate them.”

After leaving Neil’s Lounge, he started the California Barbecue Company and began serving at the Red Barn.

“I opened the California Barbecue Company with $45 to my name and my own smoker. That’s where I’m at,” he said. “My strength in the beginning was my tri-tip—and then I started doing ribs, and the popularity took off on the ribs.”

How did he create his famous macaroni and cheese?

“One day, I was outside in the front doing tacos, and my fire went out, and I didn’t have a side dish for my food,” he explained. “I had made my daughter a huge tray of macaroni and cheese, and I called the house and asked (them) to bring me the macaroni and cheese. All of a sudden, the most popular item I sell is macaroni and cheese. People come back just for macaroni and cheese. It never fails, and I hear, ‘This is the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had.’ It’s really taking off, and everything is happening so fast.”

How did Martinez end up at the Red Barn, of all places?

“I build a rapport with my customers. One of the guys I met, and his wife, they introduced me to John Labrano, the owner of the Red Barn,” Martinez said. “This customer came to me during a time when I was down, because I didn’t have a light at the end of the tunnel or know what I really wanted to do. I was thinking about going back to Del Taco. He was telling me I had something to offer, and he was going to help me. Three days later, I got a phone call from John, and we met the same day. John had already tasted my food, and he was pretty confident that I would succeed here, so he brought me here to the Red Barn.”

Palm Springs Life recently included California Barbecue Company among eight places to taste great barbecue in the Coachella Valley.

“I think that between social media and … word of mouth, people are learning who I am and what I do. I think that I’ve got a really good opportunity to move forward,” Martinez said. “That article ranked me among the top eight places in Palm Springs to get barbecue. I’m not going to say any of those names, but one of the top establishments on that list has been in the valley for more than 15 years. Harley’s was also on the list, which isn’t bad for being open since January, and I’ve only been open since March. It wasn’t a blind taste test. The lady and her husband who wrote the article went to all these places over a span of two weeks and tried them all.

“It built up quick. I did have a lot of bar food on the menu in the beginning, but I learned that people couldn’t get consistently solid good barbecue, so I wiped that menu clean and went to straight barbecue and sides that went with barbecue.”

Martinez plans on opening his own restaurant in Rancho Mirage later this year, but he said he’ll keep cooking at the Red Barn as well.

“Excited isn’t even a word,” he said about his future. “It’s like Christmas Eve. There are all these gifts under the tree, and you just cannot wait. I know there are going to be hurdles, and I know there are going to be trials and tribulations, and I’m going to go through it all, but I’m ready for it. I feel I have so much to offer, and I feel like I’m going to be able to give the valley something that they can’t get anywhere else.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/thecaliforniabarbecueco.

Published in Features & Profiles

Desert Hot Springs band Chill Magnet has finally put out an album—and it lives up to the band’s name.

Surf Chica Bonita includes some truly bang-up tracks that will remind listeners of bands such as Tame Impala, Foals and MGMT. Parts of the album have deep, psychedelic tracks, while other sections have tracks that are … well, chill.

Chill Magnet will be playing a show with Daytime Moon at the Red Barn on Friday, Aug. 18.

During a recent interview with Tom Murray (lead vocals/bass/guitar/keyboards), he explained the foundations of Chill Magnet.

“It really started in 2013 with my (then) former band mate Randy Banis,” Murray said. “He had a recording studio in his house, which is a funny story, because he won money to build it on a game show. I asked him, ‘Did you win this on Jeopardy?’ and he said, ‘No! It was The Weakest Link.’ He pulls it up and shows it to me—and there he is. He won $25,000. He said, ‘Since I won it in entertainment, I’m going to build a studio.’

“We demoed 20 songs that I wrote while I was living in Malibu. We decided in 2014 to make a record, and I started recording up here in Desert Hot Springs. I’d send them to Randy, and we made an EP that we released in 2015 called Gringo Mariachi.”

Chill Magnet started to appear live while the band continued to release singles.

“People liked (the band), and I thought we should start playing live gigs, but we had no band,” Murray said. “It was the two of us. We got a couple of musicians and started playing live. We were playing punk-rock songs, given we were a four-piece. We weren’t playing the tracks.

“After a year, we put out two singles, and Randy and I wanted to go back to the original lineup of him and I so we could play the tracks and put the music out the way we recorded it. We did that around the summer of 2015, and I started to record and finish my vocal tracks in 2016. I had to wait a whole year for him to finish his tracks and produce the record.

“This album took over a year to make. It taught me a lot about patience, given I’d see these other bands out here in the scene ask me, ‘Where have you been?’ and I’d be like, ‘Just waiting to come out, but it’s going to be great!’ I didn’t want anyone to hear it; I just waited patiently. In the meantime, I wrote an entire new album while Randy was doing his parts. He was pissed at me. I recorded another album. We do theme albums, and we have two more albums that we’re recording with certain styles of things we’re jamming on.”

The response thus far to Surf Chica Bonita has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The success of the band now with the new record—people are really loving our live show and really digging the album,” Murray said. “No one is more surprised than me. You just never know when something is going to connect.”

Murray said there is a term he uses to explain Chill Magnet’s sound.

“We had to come up with our own sound. We were having trouble defining it, so we came up with what we’re calling EDR, which stands for electronic dance rock,” he said. “So what we do is take traditional alternative rock from the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s, and bands that influence us from that time period, and we’re fusing it with EDM techniques. We use a lot of sub-bass and a lot of drum loops—things that are more common in EDM music. It really confuses people, and they tell us, ‘It’s like rock, but it’s not. It’s like trance, but it’s not.’ There are other bands that are doing it, like Beck; Death Cab for Cutie’s last album is like EDM meets rock. … We like to say we’re the pioneers but not the inventors.”

Murray said being part of the Coachella Valley music scene has been rewarding.

“It’s been unbelievably supportive. It’s so warm and fuzzy that it almost makes me weak,” he said. “I’ve been looking forward to going into Los Angeles, and we’re opening for Sponge (at Whisky a Go-Go on Sept. 29). It’s going to be tough on us, and people will be more critical. Out here, people are so nice and supportive. Randy and I are older guys; we’ve been around, and we never expected to be accepted by these young bands that we play shows with. The BrosQuitos, The CMFs, Daytime Moon—they are so accepting of us. I can’t believe it: In my middle age, I’m getting to play cool music.

“We’re trying to be new and relevant-sounding, so I’m sure that makes a difference. No one here is pretentious, and you don’t have to be a 20-something boy band out here. You can be all shapes and sizes, and the people are accepting of it if it’s good music. I bet you there are 100 great bands here.”

Chill Magnet will perform with Daytime Moon at 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 18, at The Red Barn, 73290 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.chillmagnet.net.

Published in Previews

Meet the men of Brain Vat—and be there at 10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20, at the Red Barn, 73290 Highway 111 in Palm Desert, when they’ll be making a live recording. Joining the heavy rock band for the free show are Wooden Nomad and Fever Dog. For more information, peruse the band’s Facebook page.

All four of the local-music veterans took the time to answer The Lucky 13. Here are their answers.


Sheridan Carnahan, 24, vocals, Palm Desert

What was the first concert you attended?

Ozzfest 2002. It was a great time with buddies and family.

What was the first album you owned?

Pantera, Cowboys From Hell.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I’ve been listening to the Atomic Bitchwax a lot lately.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Anything mainstream, it seems.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Stevie Ray Vaughan, or good old Lynyrd Skynyrd, or Pantera, perhaps. I love me a good Gwar show.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

GG Allin.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The one with the cheapest drinks, ha ha.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

Thats a hard one; everyday, it’s a new one—and not usually something I want in my head. I randomly get a lot of The Doors stuff.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Jon Coty, FYB. R.I.P

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

To Dimebag Darrell: “You want to take a shot?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I’d like a lot of songs, not just one song looping constantly, though that would be pretty funny. “Have a Drink on Me,” AC/DC, maybe.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Disc 3 of Box Set.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Brain Vat, “My Infinity”


Brad Garrow, 45, guitar, Palm Desert

What was the first concert you attended?

The Pretenders and Bow Wow Wow.

What was the first album you owned?

Judas Priest, Unleashed in the East.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Bloodsimple, Alice in Chains, Rival Sons.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

It would have to be pop punk.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I would like to see Led Zeppelin and old, old Rush!

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I don’t believe there is such a thing. There is no wrong with music.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The National Bowl in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. In 1998, I saw Soulfly, Tool, Slipknot from the stage, and then the original Black Sabbath from the side of the stage!

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“If you should die before me, ask if you can bring a friend,” from “Still Remains,” Stone Temple Pilots.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Randy Rhoads and Mikey Doling.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Tony Iommi: “What do you think of Randy Rhoads?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Diary of a Madman,” Ozzy Osbourne.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Diary of a Madman, Ozzy Osbourne.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“2112,” Rush.


Frank Joseph Ramirez, 44, drummer, Indio

What was the first concert you attended?

I attended Summer Strut in 1982 at Anaheim Stadium with my two sisters; I was 12 years old. Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Loverboy and Foreigner were on the bill.

What was the first album you owned?

I inherited my sister’s album collection, but my first album with my own money would have to be Kiss, Alive!

What bands are you listening to right now?

Black Label Society, Truckfighters, Rush, Rainbow, Iron Maiden. I stick with the old stuff.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I don’t get pop punk. It’s pretty lame.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I would love to see Snot again, and Soundgarden.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I love country music, artists like George Strait, Toby Keith, and Keith Urban.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Greek Theatre (in Los Angeles) has to be the best; I was able to see Santana and Boston together on the same night. Those are two of my many favorite bands.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“So live for today, tomorrow never comes,” from “Die Young,” Black Sabbath.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

It absolutely has to be Rush. I was blown away by how much music could come out of three guys. They were way ahead of their time.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Jim Morrison: “Why?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“The Long and Winding Road,” the Beatles.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

It’s a tie between Rush’s Hemispheres and 2112.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Trenches,” Pop Evil.


David Gonzalez, 24, bass, Indio

What was the first concert you attended?

Ozzfest 2004. So epic!

What was the first album you owned?

It had to be Slipknot, Slipknot.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Generation Kill, and Channel Zero, from Belgium. Channel Zero is currently recording a new album which I am really looking forward to. Mikey Doling from Snot and Soulfly is in the band. They got Roy Mayorga from Stone Sour and Soulfly, recording drums only.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Techno and pop punk. Oh, and melodic metal. I hate it!

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Snot with Lynn Strait, in 1997. He had so much energy!

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I love classical. … Symphonies are great.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Roxy (in West Hollywood). I saw Invitro there, and it was epic.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“If you’re 555, then I’m 666!” from “The Heretic Anthem,” Slipknot.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

It has to be Snot. The style was so unique to me. They were hardcore; the lyrics were hardcore. I’m a originally a guitar-player. Once I heard their guitar style, it was epic to me: It had punk, and was bluesy, and heavy. I learned to (mix) different styles.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I would ask Jimi Hendrix, along with Dimebag Darrell: “Do you want to smoke a couple of joints?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Goodbye to Romance,” Ozzy Osbourne.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Pantera, Cowboys From Hell.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Pantera, “Cowboys From Hell.” (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

Eric Taylor, 32, the guitarist and vocalist for Campaigning for Zeros, grew up in Healdsburg (in Northern California), and now calls Coachella home. Catch the Best Buy warehouse supervisor at a solo acoustic show on Friday, March 1, at the Red Barn, 73290 Highway 111 in Palm Desert. The free show is also slated to include Rob Lawrence from Sol Jah Rock doing a solo acoustic set, and full sets from Blared the Surface and The Rebel Noise.

What was the first concert you attended?

Green Day at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland in 1994.

What was the first album you owned?

Michael Jackson, Bad, on cassette.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Green Day, ¡Tré!; Pearl Jam, Backspacer; Led Zeppelin, Coda; Unwritten Law, Swan; and The Strokes, Angles.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I am tired of hearing about Taylor Swift. I don't see what the big deal is.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I would have loved to see Nirvana.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

It would have to be trance music. I still have an album by Mars and Mystrë, from the Bay Area.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Fillmore in San Francisco.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

The lyric that is currently stuck in my head is the chorus of "Nevermind" by Unwritten Law: "I never get what I want when I want to. I never do what I need when I need to. I never say what I mean when I see you. I guess you're never gonna know so never mind."

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Michael Jackson changed my life. I met him in 1989, after I had been shot in a school shooting. All the injured students and their families ended up getting a promo pack with a shirt, signed picture and a copy of Bad. I listened to that tape nonstop for a couple years. That's what led to me playing music.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I would ask Daniel Johns from Silverchair if there is any chance the material they were recording before they called it quits would ever be released.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Nugget" by Cake should be played!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Nirvana, Nevermind.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

"Never Trade You" by the local band The Rebel Noise. (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13