CVIndependent

Mon04222019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Charlie Daniels was already an accomplished musician before he became a legend in 1979 by releasing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” In fact, he played on some of Bob Dylan’s recordings.

The Charlie Daniels Band is back with a tribute album to Bob Dylan, titled Off the Grid: Doin’ It Dylan. The group will be performing at Spotlight 29 on Friday, June 12.

Charlie Daniels’ story begins in the tiny town of Gulf, N.C.

“In my point of view, it was great,” Daniels, 78, said about his small-town upbringing. “I never had anything else to do. At the time, in the days before television, we had very little idea about what the rest of the world was like except for what we saw on the movie screens, in books, or in pictures in magazines and newspapers. I guess you could say, especially at that time, we were kind of isolated. We were pretty much only into what was going on in our particular area, but I wouldn’t take anything away from being raised in a small town.”

Daniels is an extremely talented guitar-player; he’s also quite the fiddler.

“I started playing guitar first and learned a little on it, and then I started playing the mandolin,” he explained. “The keyboard on the mandolin and the fiddle is about the same, so I had a little bit of a leg up when I started playing fiddle. … I didn’t have a teacher, and I didn’t know anybody to teach me how to play. It was all about sticking to it and getting it done.”

He’s known for his aggressive, bow-busting fiddle-playing during live shows.

“I don’t go through as many as it looks like I do, because when I break the bow hairs in the spotlight, it makes them look a lot more broken then they are,” he said. “I get rid of the bows as I break the hair on them and hand them to my road guy, because if I don’t, sometimes the loose hairs will catch under my fingers that I chord with. It’s not as many as it looks like it is—but I’d say I’m a little tough on bows.”

Daniels said he’s not completely sure what inspired him to create his group’s biggest hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

“I don’t really know where it came from,” he said, “possibly from a poem I read in high school called ‘The Mountain Whippoorwill.’ It was about a fiddle contest and the devil being in it, but I just got this thought in my head, ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia,’ and I don’t know where it came from. We just went in the studio, sat down with the band and wrote it.”

Daniels said he was quite surprised when it hit the charts. “I thought it might be a good song, but I had no idea it would be (huge) all these years later, after the fact. That’s just pretty amazing to me. We got lucky with that one.”

Daniels is credited as being one of the founders of country rock, along with protégés Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band.

“I never saw country rock as a genre of music. All of the bands were different,” he said. “Lynyrd Skynyrd was as pure of a rock band as you’d ever find. Allman Brothers Band was basically a blues and jazz band, and we were in the middle of all of them. I never saw it as a genre of music, but a genre of people who all came from the same religious and financial background. They were raised the same way and had a lot in common—but I never saw country rock as a genre.”

Through the years, Daniels’ political beliefs have evolved. He supported Jimmy Carter and performed at Carter’s inauguration in 1977, but his views have shifted to the right over the years, and he expresses a lot of opinions on his website in the area known as “Soap Box.”

“I certainly think we can have civil disagreements, and I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” he said. “I have friends that have an entirely different idea of things than I do, and we still get along fine. You don’t have to agree on every little thing, and people have a right to disagree, or agree to disagree. That’s one of the things lacking in this country: civil discourse.

“You sit down and talk with people, and they all get up in the air. I was watching some of the coverage from Baltimore, and there is so much anger there that I don’t think people even realize what they’re angry about. They want to argue with everybody to the point of getting hostile, and you can’t get anything accomplished that way. … I’m a big supporter of meaningful, calm dialogue.”

Daniels has faced some serious health issues. He’s dealt with prostate cancer and a mild stroke; he also had a pacemaker installed shortly before playing at Stagecoach in 2013. What keeps him going?

“The grace of God, the love for what I’m doing—and really enjoying myself,” he said. “The high point of my day is walking across the stage at night. I truly love it, and I thank God I can make a living doing what I really enjoy.”

What made Daniels decide to do a Bob Dylan-themed album?

“I did some studio work with him on his earlier albums back in 1969,” he said. “I was a big Dylan fan before, and after working in the studio with him, I was an even bigger fan. I wanted to do some of his music, given I have great admiration for it. We finally got around to it this year.”

I had to ask: What is Daniels’ favorite Southern dish? “Fried chicken is hard to beat. I’m not talking about Kentucky Fried Chicken; I’m talking about the way my grandma used to fix fried chicken. I’m also a big fan of rice and gravy, but good fried chicken is hard to beat.”

The Charlie Daniels Band will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, June 12, at Spotlight 29, 46200 Harrison Place, in Coachella. Tickets are $25 to $45. For tickets or more information, call 760-775-5566, or visit www.spotlight29.com.

Published in Previews

Summer is upon us as of this month—but fantastic acts continue to come through our toasty little valley, and there is some entertainment you definitely won’t want to miss in June.

Splash House is returning for two 2015 weekends, and the June version of the festival will be held on Saturday, June 13, and Sunday, June 14, at The Saguaro, the Hilton Palm Springs and the Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club. Shuttles will run between the three venues. Performers include Bakermat, Cashmere Cat, Gigamesh and Wave Racer, just to name a few. Tickets start at $115. For more information, visit www.splashhouse.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino’s month is highlighted by Cheap Trick and Peter Frampton at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 13. Peter Frampton was a staple of ’70s rock, and they joked in Wayne’s World that his album Frampton Comes Alive! came in the mail with samples of Tide. He continues to record to this day—and he’s a brilliant performer. Cheap Trick is a big name in rock music that won over young fans through the ’90s. Don’t miss this one. Tickets are $49 to $89. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 26, Latin music icon Marco Antonio Solís will be stopping by. After 30 years and 50 million albums sold, he’s one of Latin music’s most successful performers. Tickets are $59 to $129. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has busy June schedule. At 7 p.m., Saturday, June 6, Art Laboe will be returning with his Summer Love Jam IV. The “Oldies but Goodies” radio show is popular, and I love it when listeners call in to declare their adoration for their loved ones in lockup. Tickets are $40 to $60. At 9 p.m., Friday, June 12, the Doobie Brothers will be returning to the Coachella Valley. While many members have come and gone over the years, Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons keep it going, and they have a devoted following. Tickets are $55 to $75. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino has a great lineup this month. While Magic Mike XXL doesn’t come out until July 1, you’ll be happy to know that at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 6, Hunks: The Show will be at Spotlight 29. The Las Vegas-style show is similar to the performances by the Chippendales and Thunder From Down Under. Tickets are only $20, which means you’ll have more dollar bills to “tip” the performers. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 19, Gregg Allman will be following up on his Stagecoach performance. Allman is a true survivor who has managed to return spectacularly after a liver transplant a few years ago. Tickets are $35 to $55. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa is filling up the summer schedule. At 9 p.m., Friday, June 19, Tim Allen will be performing. The star of Home Improvement and the voice of Buzz Lightyear can breathe a little easier now that his current sitcom, Last Man Standing, has been picked up for another season. Tickets are $65 to $85. At 9 p.m., Saturday, June 20, Wynonna and the Big Noise will be stopping by. This is a new project for country star Wynonna Judd (above right), and it’s been well-received by her fans. Tickets are $49 to $69. Partridge Family fans will be thrilled to know that at 9 p.m., Friday, June 26, David Cassidy will be performing. Cassidy has admitted to problems with alcohol and received another DUI in January 2014. Let’s hope that’s behind him now. Tickets are $29 to $39. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace recently announced some great new shows. At 7 p.m., Thursday, June 4, indie-folk band The Mountain Goats will be appearing. The North Carolina trio has put out 15 records since forming in 1991 and has performed around the world. Tickets are $20. At 7 p.m., Saturday, June 13, country singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard will take the stage. Hubbard has been considered a traditional country musician while also getting tagged with “cowpunk” and “folk” labels. Whatever you want to call him, the man is a brilliant songwriter, and this is indeed one of those June shows you don’t want to miss. Tickets are $20. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 26, the Paul Chesne Band will be playing. Chesne played at the Campout last year and has brought in the New Year at Pappy’s. This regular puts on a great show. Admission is free. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Copa in Palm Springs has one event worth noting in June. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 12, and Saturday, June 13, well-known dragapella beautyshop quartet The Kinsey Sicks (below) will be stopping by. The name is a play on words referring to the Kinsey scale, of course, with six being the number on the scale that defines “exclusively homosexual.” The group sings parodies of various songs a cappella and has remained a crowd-pleaser in the LGBT community despite lineup changes. If you want to mix things up, take your dad as a Father’s Day gift! Tickets are $30 to $50. Copa, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-866-0021; www.copapalmsprings.com.

Published in Previews

May is here, which means the Coachella Valley is quieter, with less traffic and temperatures starting to rise. However, locals know the truth: The Coachella Valley never sleeps, and there are plenty of great things going on to see and do.

At 1 p.m., Saturday, May 2, the Desert Daze festival will be taking place at the Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca. The bill includes Warpaint (right), RJD2, Deap Vally, Minus the Bear and many others. General admission tickets are $55. Sunset Oasis Ranch, 69520 S. Lincoln St., Mecca; desertdaze.org.

The Joshua Tree Music Festival is back, coming Thursday, May 14, through Sunday, May 17 to the Joshua Tree Lake Campground. The Last Internationale, The Floozies, Airtist and many others will be performing. Single-day passes start at $60 to $90; it’s $180 for a four-day pass. Joshua Tree Lake Campground, 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree; www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is rocking into May. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 9, you’ll be yelling “Timber!” when Pitbull takes the stage. The rapper has racked up a bunch of hits since his career began in 2001; it’s been said on the interwebs that the new formula for a popular song involves collaborating with Pitbull. Tickets are $69 to $129. At 8 p.m., Friday, May 15, you can enjoy some family tradition with Hank Williams Jr. The son of Hank is quite popular with country-music audiences, but in recent years, he’s pissed off a lot of people with his controversial statements—including his former friends at Fox News, whom he scorned in one of his recent songs, “Keep the Change.” Tickets are $49 to $109. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 23, R. Kelly will be stopping by. It’s no secret that R. Kelly was the subject of a lot of news back in 2002 when a video surfaced of him … um … well, let’s just say it was a dirty video that supposedly showed him with a minor. (He was acquitted of charges, by the way.) Fun fact: R. Kelly was a talented basketball player; he even played in the USBL from 1997 to 1999. Tickets are $49 to $109. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa is hosting some events worth mentioning. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 16, it’ll be a magical night with Kalin and Jinger. This couple has left audiences speechless with their magic show and has enjoyed numerous television appearances. Tickets are $30 to $60. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 23, you won’t want to miss Lynda Carter. The star of Wonder Woman is also a talented songwriter, as well as a gay-rights activist. She’s sure to impress. Tickets are $25 to $45. At 6 p.m., Sunday, May 31, you will be happy to know Theresa Caputo, the “Long Island Medium,” will be back at The Show. She’s received praise from a large fan base and criticism from figures such as James Randi; in any case, she’s a star: She sold out The Show the last time she was here. Tickets are $85 to $125. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino has a couple of events you won’t want to miss. Dwight Yoakam will be performing at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 9. Yoakam is also an accomplished actor who appeared in the movie Sling Blade, with Billy Bob Thornton, as the foul-mouthed, drunken boyfriend, Doyle. Yoakam’s Bakersfield sound is a throwback to the era of Buck Owens, and he’s a master performer. Tickets are $45 to $65. At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 16, there will be a Mariachi Festival, featuring Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, Graciela Beltrán and Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. Tickets are $20 to $40. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

After a packed April, Morongo Casino Resort Spa has at least one must-see show in May. You heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend that at 9 p.m., Friday, May 15, REO Speedwagon will be performing. The ’70s and ’80s were good years for this arena-rock band, and they’re still going strong, having done several tours with Styx and other bands from that period. Tickets are $60 to $70. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace is operating at a slower pace after a crazy round of Coachella-related shows in April. There’s a sold-out Neutral Milk Hotel show taking place in late May. Beyond that, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 7, there will be a performance by Mojave Sky. Mojave Sky is local to the Joshua Tree area and includes Pappy’s security man David Johnson, who plays bass. Admission is free. At 7 p.m., Friday, May 29, there will be another performance at Pappy’s by JD McPherson. McPherson’s vintage rock ’n’ roll sound, combined with a little bit of Americana, has been a hit; he played Stagecoach in 2014. Tickets are $15. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Copa in Palm Springs has a special music event coming in May. At 8 p.m., Friday, May 8, songwriter Crystal Bowersox (below) will be performing. She was a runner-up on American Idol in 2010 and is remembered for her struggles during the show with Type 1 Diabetes. Tickets are $25 to $35. Copa, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-866-0021; www.copapalmsprings.com.

Published in Previews

It’s that time of the year again: Coachella and Stagecoach are here, and things are crazy before the season begins to wind down. Consider April to be last call before the summer heat comes.

I will be throwing my third NestEggg Food Bank Benefit Show, this time at the Coachella Valley Art Scene, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 4. On the bill: John Robbins, The Rebel Noise, Alchemy and CIVX. There will also be a closing DJ set by Pedro Le Bass. The Rebel Noise and CIVX have recently had to reshape after changes to their lineups—but both bands are back and sound great. There will also be raffle items. Admission is $10, and all proceeds go to the NestEggg Food Bank. Coachella Valley Art Scene, 68571 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City; www.thecoachellavalleyartscene.com.

The McCallum Theatre is concluding its season with a couple of great locally focused events. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 11, the McCallum will host a special anniversary gala for the The Desert Symphony. The gala will be hosted by Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame. Tickets are $65 to $125. At 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 22, Jewish Family Service of the Desert will be presenting Michael Childers’ production of One Night Only, which features music from the ’60s. Tickets are $75 to $195. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino will host Marie Osmond at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 4. She performed with her brother Donny under the name “Donny and Marie”; that led to a variety show during the late ’70s. She’s recorded 35-plus albums and has appeared on Broadway. Tickets are $39 to $79. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 25, Earth, Wind and Fire (first below) will be performing. One of those disco groups that defied “Death to Disco,” EW&F has been inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame, earned eight Grammy awards and sold 90 million albums worldwide. Tickets are $49 to $79. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa only has one big music event scheduled in April, but it’s a good one: At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 4, it’ll be time to boogie with Kool and the Gang. Since 1964, the band has sold 70 million albums worldwide. Tickets are $45 to $65. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 has a couple of events worth mentioning in April. At 8 p.m., Friday, April 3, you can enjoy a personal evening with Barbara Eden (above right), of I Dream of Jeannie fame. The actress has had an acting career for six decades—and she has a lot of stories to tell. Tickets are $25. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 18, R&B singer Keith Sweat will be stopping by. With several hit singles in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Sweat became a household name. Tickets are $30 to $45. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa is the place to be in April. At 9 p.m., Friday, April 3, Lily Tomlin will be performing. She’s as busy as ever, with rumors of a possible 9 to 5 sequel and various television appearances. This is a great time to see her live. Tickets are $49 to $59. You’ll be happy to know Margaret Cho will be returning to the area at 9 p.m., Friday, April 24. The Korean comedienne includes anecdotes from her family and personal issues in her comedy. Just a warning: She can get raunchy. Tickets are $35 to $45. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace looks ready to open the outdoor stage for the spring/summer season, so there are probably some great outdoor shows coming. At 7 p.m., Saturday, April 11, The Evangenitals will be returning to Pappy’s for a free show. If you missed them back in December, don’t miss them again. I can guarantee there will be plenty of laughs. At 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 14, Jenny Lewis will be performing in between Coachella performances. Tickets are $25. At 7 p.m., Thursday, April 16, Jamie xx from The xx will be performing. Tickets are $35 to $45. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The LED Day Club will be featuring performances during both weekends of Coachella at the Hilton Palm Springs. On Thursday, April 9, Chromeo will be doing a DJ set; on Friday, April 10, Panda Funk will be appearing; on Saturday, April 11, Odesza will be doing a DJ set; on Sunday, April 12, Flosstradamus will be appearing. On Thursday, April 16, CHVRCHES will be doing a DJ set; on Friday, April 17, Porter Robinson will be doing a DJ set; on Saturday, April 18, Skrillex and “friends” will be appearing (that guy has friends?); and on Sunday, April 19, DJ Snake will perform. A four-day pass to the event is $125 per weekend (which is really not bad); day passes vary. Hilton Palm Springs, 400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs; leddayclub.frontgatetickets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has a couple of notable events taking place in April. At 6 p.m., Thursday, April 9, Fishbone will be performing at an outdoor show. The Pedestrians, which now features Machin’s David Macias on guitar, will be opening. Tickets are $25 pre-sale and $35 at the door. My suggestion: Get your tickets now! Remember McLovin from Superbad? Or “The Motherfucker” in Kick-Ass? Well, Christopher Mintz-Plasse will be bringing his band Bear on Fire (second below) to The Hood at 9 p.m., Saturday, April 18. Local bands Caxton and War Drum will also be on the bill, and admission is free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Published in Previews

For more than 45 years, Paul Rodgers has been one of the most powerful voices in all of rock music.

The front man of Bad Company has also fronted Free and The Firm; he can also say that he’s performed with the members of Queen. He’ll be stopping by Spotlight 29 for a Valentine’s Day performance on Saturday, Feb. 14.

Paul Rodgers is originally from Middlesbrough, a large industrial town in the northeast region of England.

“It was heavy industry,” Rodgers said during a recent phone interview. “It was shipbuilding, steelwork and chemicals. It was very bridge-y as I remember it. It’s changed an awful lot now, because a lot of the shipbuilding went to Japan, and the steelworks went to other places—but chemicals are still there, actually. We had the most amazing sunsets because there are so many chemicals in the air.”

Rodgers credited the atmosphere in Middlesbrough for helping him to become a musician.

“I have happy memories as a child, because there were parks where we would go to play, and strangely, there was a great deal of interest in music. By the time I was of the age to go to clubs when I was 13 and 14, there was a lot of great music around.”

Those club visits led to Rodgers taking up singing.

“I started out singing when I was 14,” Rodgers said. “My strong influence was Otis Redding and a lot of the blues guys like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker—but I really discovered those people through the Rolling Stones. The power of that music reached out to me and really made a strong connection. What I loved about it was the passion that these singers had for the music. When I heard (soul/R&B duo) Sam and Dave singing, I thought, ‘Wow! I would love to be able to sing like that.’ I’ve been trying ever since.”

One of the first bands Rodgers was in was Free, a blues-rock band that also included bassist Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke. The band was reportedly an incredible live act, but sales of Free’s albums were slow—at first. The group eventually went on to sell more 20 million albums and were later named “British Hard-Rock Pioneers” by Rolling Stone.

After Free dissolved, Rodgers and Kirke formed Bad Company with Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell. The rest is history: Bad Company became one of the most successful bands of the ’70s.

“We were into the stadiums in the U.S. very quickly, and we loved it. When I first came to America with Free, we were definitely not ready. We didn’t have the equipment or the organization to play very well in these huge arenas. Eventually, when I came back with Bad Company, we were much more prepared for that kind of venue. We had the management; we had the songs; we had the equipment. We had a private airplane that could take us from one show to the next, and we really could cover a lot of ground. We were doing six to nine nights in a row. We loved it, and we were flying high—but it got to be a bit much toward the end. In my opinion, theaters provide the best of the arena and club attributes. There’s a kind of intimacy there that doesn’t get too big.”

In the mid-’80s, Rodgers formed The Firm, which also included Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, Uriah Heep drummer Chris Slade and session bassist Tony Franklin. However, the band was short-lived.

“At that time, I had left Bad Company because I had come off the road and wanted to spend more time at home, and I had built a studio in my house,” Rodgers explained. “There was a very sad demise of Led Zeppelin as a result of John Bonham’s death. Jimmy and I were with the same record company and management, but Jimmy started coming around to my studio, and we started to write songs together. Jimmy really wanted to go on the road, and he was very keen to take the band out to do the whole thing, but I was less keen, and we came to a compromise to where we would do only two albums, and that would be it. That’s really what we did and why we didn’t continue, but we are still really good friends.”

Through the years, Bad Company became one of history’s most influential rock bands. Many bands covered the group’s title song—and “Feel Like Makin’ Love” was famously covered by electrolarynx-using Ned during the infamous “Chef Aid” episode of South Park.

“I thought it was a vast improvement, I must say,” Rodgers said with a laugh. “I laughed and thought it was great.”

During the ’90s into the early 2000s, Rodgers focused on his solo career before eventually reuniting with Bad Company for a couple of years. In 2004, Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen approached Rodgers with the idea of a collaboration—and the band Queen + Paul Rodgers was born. The group performed Queen songs as well as Bad Company songs.

“It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done,” Rodgers said. “You have to remember in my history that I don’t join bands; I form them. This was the first band that I actually joined forces with. They did play my songs as well and did a beautiful job, so it was kind of a deal that we would play my songs, and I would sing theirs. In the end, after four years, they felt they were up and running, and I didn’t really feel that it was happening, and I returned to my life and my music. I was happy to have had a hand in resurrecting Queen, and their fans were fantastic. They really were great. ”

It’s been said that the members of the Doors tried to replace Jim Morrison with Paul Rodgers after Morrison’s death.

“It was way back in the ’70s, and I didn’t find out about it until years and years later when I bumped into Robby Krieger. … He told me, ‘We got on a plane; we went to England, and we were looking for you,’” Rodgers said. “I said, ‘Really? Why?’ Robbie said, ‘We wanted you to join, but we couldn’t find you. So we got in the plane and went home.’ I was completely amazed by that, and it wouldn’t have been possible, because I was forming Bad Company at that time. But it was a huge compliment—and who doesn’t love The Doors? But Jim Morrison was such a huge part of who they were, and I don’t know if it would have worked.”

Rodgers most recent album, The Royal Sessions, was released last year, and consists of songs that inspired Rodgers when he was growing up; works by Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Burt Bacharach and others are included. The Royal Sessions was recorded in Memphis with some of the city’s most legendary session players.

“All the session players are from Memphis, and are all from the Royal Studios, which is where they played with people like Isaac Hayes, Albert King and Al Green. My producer, Perry Margouleff, called me and said, ‘You’ve always told me you had a dream about coming to Memphis and to play with the musicians who played on all these great records that you used to listen to. Here’s your chance.’”

Rodgers said he has no plans to retire. However, he is taking time to stop and smell the figurative roses.

“This year, I’m only playing a limited number of shows—just nine in North America,” he said. “Elvis Presley sent me a note back in the ’70s that said, ‘Take time to live.’ I never understood what that meant, but I do now. I want to keep each show very special, and so I’m taking time to live.”

Rodgers recently became a Canadian citizen and is living in his adopted home of Vancouver.

“I met a beautiful woman, and she stole my heart away. I’m very happy to live there. She’s Canadian, of course, and that’s why,” Rodgers said. “I was commuting back and forth from London to Vancouver, and I began staying longer and longer, and I said to her, ‘You know, I think I live here.’ She said, ‘Yep, I think you do; let’s get married.’ It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Paul Rodgers will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14, at Spotlight 29, 46200 Harrison Place, in Coachella. Tickets are $45 to $75. For tickets or more information, call (760) 775-5566, or visit www.spotlight29.com.

Published in Previews

February is the shortest month of the year—but it’s also the high season in the Coachella Valley, which means there’s a wealth of great shows you should keep in mind.

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club will be hosting a performance by L.A. Witch at 10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6, in the Amigo Room. The psychedelic female trio has been playing shows with the likes of the Black Angels, The Melvins and Blonde Redhead. Admission is free. The Ace is also hosting a special Valentine’s Day weekend put on by The Do-Over, known as the Lovers x Heartbreakers Palm Springs Weekender, on Saturday, Feb. 14, and Sunday, Feb. 15. There will be a special lineup of surprise musical guests hosted by Haycock, Strong and Blacc. Admission is free. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

Local DJ duo The Deep Ones have started an open-mic night for DJs. What does this concept involve? Well, if you ever wanted to try your skills on a turntable and a mixer, you’ll get your chance at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26. Get more info on The Deep Ones’ Facebook page. Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails, 32025 Monterey Ave., Thousand Palms; 760-343-2115; www.myplanbbar.com.

The McCallum Theatre has a solid schedule for February—with shows on 24 of the month’s 28 days! At 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 3, A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor will be bringing his show featuring anecdotes from the American Midwest and other amusing portions of his life. Tickets are $45 to $75. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7, Great American Songbook singer Michael Feinstein will perform while sharing the history of these famous tunes. Tickets are $65 to $95. If you’re looking for something to enjoy with the whole family, the Vienna Boys Choir will be performing at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19. The choir is split into four touring choirs of boys between the ages of 10 and 14; many are from Austria, but kids from other countries are included, too. Tickets are $25 to $65. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has great shows scheduled throughout the month. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7, it will be hip to be square with Huey Lewis and the News. True story: I asked for a Metallica album for Christmas one year during my childhood—and my mother bought me Huey’s Sports album instead. Needless to say, I was not happy. Huey has been going since the late 1970s and has had quite a career. One of his more memorable moments was a cameo in Back to the Future, to which he contributed “The Power of Love.” Tickets are $40 to $80. If you had a great time at Air Supply’s Valentine’s Day performance at The Show last year, you’ll be happy to know they’ll be back to soft-rock your face off again, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14. Tickets are $40 to $60. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28, Mexican musician and composer Espinoza Paz will be appearing. Paz went back and forth between Mexico and the United States in the late ’90s when he was an aspiring songwriter and musician. He eventually found his calling and released his first album, El Canta Autor Del Pueblo, in 2008. Tickets are $65 to $85. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino’s February lineup is packed with great shows. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7, you can relive the short reggaeton era (remember that?) with Yandel. He is half of the duo Wisin and Yandel, and he released his second solo album, De Lider a Leyenda, in 2013; a brand new album, Legacy, is slated to drop just before this show. Tickets are $39 to $69. Natalie Cole (above right) will be performing on Valentine’s Day, 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14. The daughter of Nat King Cole was a big success in the ’70s before falling into drug addiction. She made a remarkable comeback in the late ’80s and has been going strong ever since. Tickets are $39 to $79. The great Burt Bacharach will be returning at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 22. Bacharach has had 48 Top 10 hits over a 50-year period, and his songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. Tickets are $29 to $69. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino has a star-studded lineup this month. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 7, former Saturday Night Livewriter John Mulaney will be appearing. Mulaney was responsible for writing the “Weekend Update” portion of the show and created the character of Stefon! Tickets are $30 to $50. If you want a little edge on your Valentine’s Day, former Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14. He also performed with the members of Queen for five years. Tickets are $45 to $75. Martina McBride will be bringing her “Everlasting Tour” to Spotlight 29 at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26. The country vocalist has had a long and successful career, and her latest album, Everlasting, features duets with Kelly Clarkson and Gavin DeGraw. Tickets are $79 to $139. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace will be busy during the month of February. At 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 10, Pappy’s will be hosting the first performance in 18-plus years of Babes in Toyland. The Riot Grrrl trio has had a rough go of it since disbanding. Frontwoman Kat Bjelland suffered a schizophrenic episode and had to be hospitalized in 2007; bassist Maureen Herman has written about a sexual assault that resulted in a pregnancy; and drummer Lori Barbero suffered from Lyme disease. Babes in Toyland is an intense band that will take you back to the days of grunge and alternative rock. Tickets are $20. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21 singer-songwriter Brett Dennen (below) will be appearing. The Northern California folk singer has a unique voice, and his deep lyrics have landed him on the bill at the Newport Folk Festival, at Coachella and on various TV soundtracks. Tickets are $25. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Copa has had a steady season, and that trend continues in February. Leslie Jordan will be appearing at 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 13, and Saturday, Feb. 14. Leslie may be short, but he’s a larger-than-life performer, guaranteed to be funny. Tickets are $25 to $45. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, actress and cabaret singer Emily Bergl will perform. You may remember Bergl from her appearances on Gilmore Girls, CSI: Miami and Law and Order: Criminal Intent, among other shows. Tickets are $20 to $40. Copa, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-322-3554; www.coparoomtickets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza is hosting a couple of notable events. At 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 15, metal goddess and poet Otep will appear. Not only is Otep a poet and metal singer; she’s also a painter and writer. She’s been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry series. She also spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Advance tickets are $10, available at The Hood, and they’ll be $15 at the door. Word to the wise: Buy your tickets in advance. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28, there will be a special birthday party for local hip-hop artist MC Manny G featuring EeVaan’ Tre and the Show, Thr3 Strikes and others. Admission is free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Published in Previews

It’s time to put away the ugly holiday sweaters, throw away the wrapping paper and embrace the new year—including the fact that season is in full swing.

The McCallum Theatre is hosting some excellent events, as always. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 7, the red-headed stranger, Willie Nelson will be returning for another performance at the McCallum. He’s 81, and it seems like nothing can slow him down. Tickets are $65 to $100. At 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 16, America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho will be stopping by. She was only 10 years old when she competed on the show in 2010 and has since seen a great deal of success, including becoming the youngest person to ever play at the Lincoln Center. Tickets are $55 to $125. At 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 23, iconic actor Hal Holbrook will be performing Mark Twain Tonight. For 59 years (!), Holbrook has portrayed Mark Twain in his one-man show. Tickets are $45 to $75. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a fabulous lineup this month. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 10, Paul Anka will take the stage. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Anka started off his career with the 1957 hit song “Diana.” He’s been on and off the best-seller charts ever since. Not bad for a career that’s lasted almost 60 years. Tickets are $39 to $79. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 17, Motown singing sensation Smokey Robinson will perform. His honey-coated voice has produced some beautiful soul hits, and he continues to sing beautifully today. Tickets are $29 to $59. At 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 30, the legendary Tony Bennett will be returning to the Coachella Valley. He has 17 Grammy Awards; he’s a Kennedy Center honoree; and he has more than 70 albums to his credit, including his latest with Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek. What more can you say? Tickets are $49 to $99. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 800-827-2946; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

The Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs announced recently that it would begin an outdoor concert series. Kicking things off, The Guess Who will be performing at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 10. The Canadian rock band was an international success in the late ’60s through the mid ’70s. You know them thanks to their hit song “American Woman.” Admission is free, and the concert will be on the corner of Calle Encilia and Andreas Road. Spa Resort Casino, 401 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 888-999-1995; www.sparesortcasino.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has two great events scheduled. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 17, you can venture back into the ’50s with The Golden Boys. The group consists of Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell and Fabian. Considering these guys once ruled the music charts, seeing all three together should be a real delight. Tickets are $50 to $70. If you prefer something with a little more edge, you’ll be happy to know that Styx will be performing at 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24. When Styx started in 1972, the band offered a truly unique sound that blended hard-rock songs with brilliantly written ballads. However, the band was never the same after a bitter dispute between frontman Tommy Shaw and keyboardist Dennis DeYoung. While Styx fans hope for an eventual return by DeYoung, that’ll probably never happen. Tickets are $45 to $85. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 will host some fun January shows. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 10, country greats Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers (above right) will be performing. During 50 years in the business, they’ve racked up numerous country music hits. Tickets are $20 to $40. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas will play. If you remember Jefferson Airplane, they turned into Jefferson Starship, and now they’re just Starship. Hmm. Tickets are $20 to $40. Spotlight 29, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has one noteworthy concert scheduled during the month. At 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 23, Vince Neil—Mötley Crüe frontman and star of Janine and Vince Neil: Hardcore and Uncensored—will be performing. Given Mötley Crüe has announced its retirement, expect Neil, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx to promote themselves through their solo acts … until they decide to come out of retirement. Tickets are $40 to $60. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Copa will be booming in January. At 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 16, and Saturday, Jan. 17, former Mouseketeer Lindsey Alley will be performing. She was part of the revival of the Mickey Mouse Club from 1989 to 1994. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 18, former American Idol and The Voice contestant Frenchie Davis will sing. Davis was the subject of controversy in 2003 when topless photos from years previous began to surface during her run on Idol. In 2011, she was a contestant on The Voice, and made it to the semifinals. Trust me: If you plan to meet her after the show, don’t bring any of that up; she doesn’t like to discuss her past. Tickets are $25 to $45. Copa, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-322-3554; www.coparoomps.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace was the talk of social media after announcing that Neutral Milk Hotel will be playing in May; tickets quickly sold out. Meanwhile, in January, the venue will be hosting some great indoor shows. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 3, there will be a performance by The Solid Ray Woods Raw Soul Revival. Frontman Ray Woods has worked with some big names, including as The Jayhawks and Victoria Williams. Admission is free. At 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 15, Ryan Williams will take the stage. He is described as an Americana performer with a knack for songwriting. Admission is free. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 31, the indie-rock band We Are Scientists (below) will play. They have toured with the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Kings of Leon since breaking on to the scene in 2000. Admission is $7. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; pappyandharriets.com.

The Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club has an event planned you won’t want to miss. At 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 4, there will be a poolside DJ performance by FSQ. FSQ is made up of several people—including Chuck Da Fonk, who used to tour and record with George Clinton and Parliament during the ’90s, and The Hourchild, from Tommy Boy Records. Resident DJ Colour Vision will also perform. Attendance is free to those 21 and older. Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-778-8954; www.haciendacantina.com.

Mark your calendars for a couple of cool events at The Hood Bar and Pizza. At 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 23, there will be an album release party for local Latin/hip-hop artist J. Patron. Admission is free. At 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 30, a triple bill will include the Hellions, You Know Who and the Chuck Norris Experiment. Admission is again free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

Published in Previews

Music and More

Cabaret 88: Joan Ryan

Winner of Broadway World’s Top Female Cabaret Artist award of 2013, Joan Ryan has a four-octave range which has led to leading roles in Little Shop of Horrors, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Footloose, Les Miserables and Nunsense. 6 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 2 and 3. $88. Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-4490; www.psmuseum.org.

Copa Events

Comedian Wendy Liebman performs at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12 and 13. $25 to $35. The Nina Whitaker Holiday show takes place at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20. $30 to $40. Amy and Freddy return with their holiday show at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 27; and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 28. $25 to $35. All shows are 21 and older, with a two-drink minimum. Copa, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs. 760-322-3554; www.coparoomtickets.com.

CV Symphony Presents ‘Holiday Magic’

A heartwarming holiday concert features the vocal talents of Patricia Welch performing seasonal favorites. 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20. $25 to $25, with discounts. Helene Galen Performing Arts Center at Rancho Mirage High School, 31001 Rattler Road, Rancho Mirage. 760-360-2222; cvsymphony.com.

Ensembles Concert

This choral concert includes chamber singers and jazz singers, directed by Tim Bruneau. 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 4. $5 to $10 goodwill donation. CSUSB Palm Desert—Indian Wells Theatre, 37500 Cook Street, Palm Desert. 760-773-2574.

For the Children

Support the music programs sponsored by the Steinway Society of Riverside County and OperaArts. This event includes a cocktail hour, special piano concert, dinner and an “opera” dessert. Enjoy an evening of classical piano featuring some of the Steinway Society’s youngest and most talented artists; it’s a fundraiser to support music programs for students in the Coachella Valley. 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7. $125. Bellatrix Restaurant and Wine Bar, 75200 Classic Club Blvd., Palm Desert. 760-323-8353; steinwayriverside.org.

Palm Springs Opera Guild’s 31st Annual Vocal Competition

Young men and women between the ages of 18 and 32 compete and are reviewed by three esteemed judges. Each finalist performs two arias. Singers receive prizes totaling more than $20,000. In addition, an audience choice prize of $1,000 will be awarded. 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7. Free. Helene Galen Performing Arts Center at Rancho Mirage High School, 31001 Rattler Road, Rancho Mirage. 760-325-6107; palmspringsoperaguild.org.

Special Events

Coachella Christmas Parade

The city of Coachella presents its annual Christmas parade. 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 5. Free. Sixth Street in Coachella. Coachella.org.

Coachella Inauguration of Elected Officials and Christmas-Tree Lighting

The city of Coachella and the Coachella Chamber of Commerce invite the public to attend the inauguration of elected officials, immediately followed by the annual Christmas-tree lighting, where Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be present. Complimentary champurrado and pan dulce will be served. 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 3. Free. Coachella City Hall, 1515 Sixth St., Coachella. 760-398-8089.

Festival of Lights Parade

The holiday tradition in downtown Palm Springs features a host of marching bands, performing groups, and Santa and Mrs. Claus! Lisa Vanderpump will be the celebrity grand marshal. 5:45 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6. Free. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. 760-325-5749; psfestivaloflights.com.

Gourmet Food Truck Event

Try food trucks for lunch featuring burgers, barbecue, tacos, California cuisine, sushi and dessert. Outdoor seating is available, or bring a blanket. Dabble in the local farmers’ market; listen to music provided by The Coachella Valley Art Scene; enjoy a beer garden with some of the best craft beers from La Quinta Brewing Company and Coachella Valley Brewing Company. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the first Sunday of the month. Free. Cathedral City Civic Center Plaza, 68700 Avenue Lalo Guerrero, Cathedral City. Thecoachellavalleyartscene.com.

Indio International Tamale Festival

Food Network ranked the Indio International Tamale Festival as one of the Top 10. “All-American Food Festivals” in the nation. The festival is a special occasion that kicks off the holiday season and brings the entire community together. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7. Free. Downtown Indio. Tamalefestival.net.

Santa Fly-In

Santa arrives at the Palm Springs Air Museum to meet children and give them goody bags. 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13. Free admission children 12 and younger; regular admission $14 to $16. Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs. 760-778-6262; palmspringsairmuseum.org.

Walk for the Animals 2014

The desert tradition includes a one-mile dog walk around the park, pet vaccinations and microchipping, blessing of the animals, police K-9 demonstration, dog and puppy adoptions, pet costume contests and more. The event proceeds benefit Animal Samaritans’ no-kill animal shelter and humane-education program. All dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6. Free, but donations accepted. Palm Desert Civic Park, 73510 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert. 760-835-6465; ansamswalkfortheanimals.org.

Walking Tour of the Inns

A self-guided walking tour of Palm Springs’ unique collection of boutique hotels and historic inns takes. The tour begins at any of the participating hotels, or at Palm Springs Art Museum, which will also provide free maps and flashlights. 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 11. Free. Neighborhoods between Ramon Road and Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs. 800-347-7746; www.walkingtouroftheinns.com.

Winter Gathering Powwow

Tribes from all over North America will compete in dancing and drumming contests, with participants ranging from 6 to 65 and older. Various times Friday through Sunday, Dec. 12 through 14. Free. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella. Spotlight29.com.

Visual Arts

Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition

Celebrate the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park and the art it has inspired, at the historic Oasis of Mara in Twentynine Palms. Various events are staged at five cultural venues in the Oasis of Mara. In addition, a special exhibit will be on display at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center. Various times Friday through Sunday, Dec. 5 through 7. Most events free. Oasis of Mara, Twentynine Palms. Jtnparts.org/jtnp-art-exposition.

A Grand Adventure: American Art in the West

The epic 19th-century landscape paintings of Yosemite and Yellowstone by Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran introduced the American public to the grandeur of the West. By the turn of the century, a new genre of Western art had developed. A Grand Adventurebrings together 40 significant classic and traditional artworks from private collections. The artworks span nearly 100 years, dating from the latter half of the 19th century through the early decades of the 20th century. The exhibit is on display through Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. Included with regular admission prices. Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, 72567 Highway 111, Palm Desert. 760-346-5600; www.psmuseum.org/palm-desert.

Submit your free arts listings at calendar.artsoasis.org. The listings presented above were all posted on the ArtsOasis calendar, and formatted/edited by Coachella Valley Independent staff. The Independent recommends calling to confirm all events information presented here.

Published in Local Fun

In 2007, Australian standup comedian Jim Jefferies was attacked while performing at the Manchester Comedy Store. However, he turned something horrifying into a blessing: Ever since the incident, his career has taken off, as he’s won over audiences with comedy that covers topics such as alcoholism, religion and sex.

Jefferies will be performing at Spotlight 29 on Saturday, Nov. 29.

During a recent phone interview, Jefferies discussed what inspired him to go into comedy.

“I’ve been a fan of standup comedy since I was a little kid,” Jefferies said. “My favorite TV show was a show called The Big Gig. It used to be on every Saturday night, and it was just standup comedians and one band, or something like that. My biggest inspiration for being a comic was this guy named Anthony Morgan in Australia, who was like Lenny Bruce to me. He never really got big overseas, and he’s become a bit of a recluse now, but I thought he was awesome.”

Jefferies said that his first time onstage was rather unusual.

“I did very good on my first gig, but I didn’t do too good on my second one. It would have been better if I didn’t do quite as good on the first one, because then I wouldn’t have been so cocky on the second one,” Jefferies said with a laugh. “I did three open spots when I was 17, and I didn’t do it again until I was about 23. That second one went so badly that I didn’t have the confidence to get up and do it again for a few years.”

Jefferies now takes poor performances in stride.

“I’ve been through enough of them. It’s happened several times. I’ve been punched in the head; I’ve been booed off a few times—and worse than that is when there are no laughs. With being booed off stage, at least (the crowd is) in some emotional state where you could argue that they’re enjoying themselves. At least they’re working as a team and have had a better night than you have.”

Jefferies is also doing more acting as of late, and he said he hopes there will be more roles in his future.

“I just did a spot on a Christmas episode for a show on TNT where I play Santa Claus, and then I did a guest spot on Bad Judge on NBC  … and I’ve got a movie coming out with David Hasselhoff,” he said.

He told an amusing story about when he first met David Hasselhoff: “He was standing next to the Knight Rider car. So that’s all you can ask for, really.”

Jefferies often covers atheism and guns in his act.

“In my experience, when it comes to overseas, atheism is a norm. It’s always weird when you meet a religious person, and it’s like, ‘Wow, you believe in God? OK,’ he said. “When it comes to over here, it’s a lot more common to meet a religious person than a nonreligious person. … I think the atheist angle works better over here in standup than it does in the other countries, because now you’re dealing with a counterculture. I didn’t really have religion shoved down my throat, but most atheists in America had religion shoved down their throats when they were kids, and their atheism has probably been more of a struggle for them than it has for me.”

Jefferies also discussed his point of view on assault weapons in the U.S.

“I think most people agree on assault weapons—not that they should be banned, but that there should be some control,” he said. “There’s no reason anyone needs a fully automatic (gun). … Who needs protection like that? They’re called ‘assault rifles,’ not ‘protection rifles.’”

Jefferies is best known in some circles for his FX sitcom Legit, which was cancelled earlier this year after two seasons. He’s still a little bitter about it.

“I would maybe like to make a movie just so I can wrap it all up. All I need is an hour and a half,” he said. “The way it ended was very unsatisfactory for me. I wake up some mornings like, ‘Oh, it ran for two seasons,’ and then I wake up some mornings angry about it.

“It’s been six months, and I’ve never had anything upset me more. A girl can dump me, throw me out of my house, and I can be over it in six months. But with a show like this, I have good days and bad, and I don’t think it should have been cancelled. It wasn’t shit, and the reviews were good—but it just didn’t get the right push for people to see it.”

Jim Jefferies performs at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 29, at Spotlight 29, 46200 Harrison Place, in Coachella. Tickets are $25 to $35. For tickets or more information, call 760-775-5566, or visit www.spotlight29.com.

Published in Comedy

East Valley Restaurant Week

Let’s face it: As great as Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week is, the vast majority of the participants in the May-June event are located in Palm Springs, Palm Desert or somewhere in between. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, there’s a lot right about the new East Valley Restaurant Week, a creation of the Indio Chamber of Commerce. According to CVDining.com, the event “will showcase restaurants throughout the eastern portion of our valley, from the cove of La Quinta to the emerging developments in North Indio,” from Thursday, Oct. 23 through Saturday, Nov. 1.

As of this writing, 14 places are listed as partner restaurants, ranging from old favorites like the Shields Date Garden Café and El Rincon Norteño, to newer hotspots like JOY at Fantasy Springs, to … Sizzler? Yes, Sizzler. Anyway, each participating restaurant will feature at least two discounted popular menu items during the week.

Also included are satellite events, including the Taste of the East Valley Sampler, at Shields, 80225 Highway 111 in Indio, from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22; admission is $10.

Get the list of participants and more information at CVdining.com.

Another Restaurant Crowd-Sourcing Campaign: Bart Lounge

The minds behind Bart Lounge are calling it “the art bar and live music venue”—and they want your help in bringing this “creative fusion of art, alcohol and live music” to fruition.

Here’s what we know about Bart Lounge: Michael Murphy, 27, is the driving force behind the proposed bar. He said he’s raised most of the $75,000 he needs to open the doors sometime in early 2015, but he’s launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise about $22,250, running through Oct. 9.

“I really wanted a place where I could bring the snooty art gallery world into a more-laid-back, casual setting,” Murphy said in a news release. “You know, a place where you could grab a beer and check out some art without some jerk security guard breathing down your neck.”

Murphy said the bar would also have a small dance floor and host live music.

What we don’t know: Where Bart Lounge would actually be located. Murphy said the spot can’t be revealed until the “final lease is signed,” and that had apparently not happened as of our press deadline. (A picture on the Bart Lounge Facebook page may offer a clue: It showed a “design board” with Cathedral City listed as the location. But who knows?)

Want to contribute to the cause, or at least get more info? Head to BartLounge.com, or visit the Bart Lounge Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bartlounge.

New: La Suerte at Spotlight 29

Coachella’s Spotlight 29 has added a new Mexican restaurant to its mix.

La Suerte opened in September in the spot once occupied by JEM Steakhouse, and offers Mexican specialties in addition to steaks and seafood.

La Suerte opens at 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. To make reservations or peruse the menu, head to www.spotlight29.com/dining/suerte.php.

’Tis the Season: Summer Closures Coming to an End

It’s October, and that means nearly all of the restaurants that closed their doors during the toasty summer months will be reopening this month, if they haven’t already—and some of the restaurants will be showing off some improvements, too.

Take Vicky’s of Santa Fe, for example. The restaurant, located at 45100 Club Drive, in Indian Wells, will reopen Friday, Oct. 3, with a party featuring jazz musician Janis Mann. The restaurant will be showing off a new courtyard and entrance featuring paving stones, as well as new flooring and furnishings inside.

There’s also a new website at www.vickysofsantafe.com, where you can find menus, a music schedule and much more.

In Brief

Congrats to Dish Creative Cuisine, formerly of Cathedral City and opening soon at 1107 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. It was recently named one of OpenTable.com’s Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants in America. … Simon Kitchen and Bar at the Hard Rock Palm Springs, 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive, opened Wednesday, Sept. 24. The executive chef at the Kerry Simon venture is Jeremy Saccardi, formerly of the Parker Palm Springs. … Sad news: The owner of Hamburger Mary’s Palm Springs, which is located at 415 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page that he would not be reopening the restaurant in the fall—although the post seemed to leave the door open for a possible new owner. If that happens, we’ll let you know. … The Palm Springs Air Museum’s Seventh Annual Chili Cook Off and Classic Car Show takes place on Saturday, Oct. 25. The chili-tasting goes from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.; get six tastes for $5, plus museum admission. Get more details at www.palmspringsairmuseum.org.

Published in Restaurant & Food News