The Purple Room Restaurant and Stage is known for its residencies featuring acts such as the Gand Band and The Judy Show—but the venue hasn’t been particularly well-known as a place to see edgier, younger talent.
However, that is beginning to change, thanks to a new series of programming called Purple Room After Dark. The series features local and visiting acts in shows that start at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Handling the booking for Purple Room After Dark is Alex Callego, who has worked with the Ace Hotel and Swim Club, as well as Bar. He also handles the Palm Springs Comic-Con and various other local events.
“I was approached by Tony Marchese, and by Dean McFarlane, who I used to work with over at the Ace Hotel,” Callego explained. “When Dean moved over to Purple Room, I said, ‘Hey, maybe you can get me in there. I’d love to try to do some entertainment over there.’
“It took about a year. Tony contacted me and basically wanted to have a meeting. We sat down, and I gave them a proposal, and we are launching our first shows at the end of February. This is the first time I’ve been able to actually be creative with what I’m doing—and there’s a lot of stuff I’m really excited to do.”
Local acts slated to play at the Purple Room in February include Waxy (Friday, Feb. 20), DJ Aimlo (Saturday, Feb. 21 and 28), CIVX (Friday, Feb. 27) and Independent resident DJ All Night Shoes (Saturday, Feb. 28).
Callego said he has big plans for March.
“I have Organic Junk Fude on Friday, March 6, with the Yip-Yops. Organic Junk Fude is a band that was around in the early 2000s and sort of had a cult following. They were this punk band that were kind of like GWAR, and also did hip-hop. It was a really strange stage show—and I was actually in the band for a bit. They were gone for a few years. They all have kids, and now they’re back and writing new music.” (See The Lucky 13 for more on Organic Junk Fude.)
Callego also isn’t afraid to go beyond musical acts for Purple Room After Dark.
“Another thing I have that I’m excited about is a stand-up comedy show on Friday, March 20, with Allen Strickland Williams, Eric Dadourian and Solomon Georgio. Allen Strickland Williams is part of a sketch group called Women; they’re getting a lot of attention and just got picked up by IFC.com. … All of them individually in Women are really talented and do different things. Solomon Georgio was just on Conan, and he did a lot of awesome comedy writing. Eric Dadourian was written up somewhere as part of the 100 Best Comics in Los Angeles.”
The band Roses is scheduled to appear on Saturday, March 21. It features members of the late, lamented group Abe Vigoda.
“Abe Vigoda played Coachella, but they are now defunct,” Callego explained. “Roses just did a mini-tour and played in New York. They also part of the scene that plays at The Smell in L.A. I’m also going to have Dunes on Saturday, March 28, which also features ex-members of Abe Vigoda.”
Callego said admission to most shows is free for the time being.
“We will have some shows that will have a $5 or $10 cover charge at the door, but I would say a good 90 to 95 percent of our shows will be free,” he said.
Purple Room After Dark takes place at 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, at the Purple Room Restaurant and Stage, located at 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Admission to most shows is free. For more information and a complete schedule, call 760-322-4422, or visit afterdark.purpleroompalmsprings.com.