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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Music News and Features

19 Sep 2018
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The local metal scene has been going through a transitional period, with many longtime bands calling it quits—and one of the bands rising from the figurative ashes is When Tides Turn. Slowly but surely, the band has been getting its name out there, playing consistently at venues such as The Hood Bar and Pizza, Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails, Club 5, and Kilo’s Cantina. During a recent interview in Palm Desert with the band members—except for lead guitarist TJ Cazares, who was not able to make it—they shared some amusing stories about their inception, their shared history, and how they all pitch in to support their recording and travel costs. The band’s name is actually a reference to most of the band members’ hometown of Blythe. “We were trying to find something that no one else had, because every name in the world is taken,” guitarist Thomas Lambert said.…
05 Aug 2018
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There are only a few local musicians who are able to make a living via music—and that rather short list includes Derek Jordan Gregg. The Hive Minds frontman plays gigs throughout the valley in hotels and restaurants, and that inspired him to make his first batch of solo recordings while The Hive Minds was on a short hiatus. During a recent interview in La Quinta, Gregg said his solo material has more of a folk sound. “I think when I play by myself, I’ve always gravitated toward that sound,” Gregg said. “I’ve always been a fan of Bob Dylan since I started writing songs. It’s not necessarily a new endeavor, but Hive Minds wasn’t the place for me to let this stuff out, and we were doing so much that that was where my creative energy went. It’s something I’ve always loved, and it’s a lot easier to do by…
18 Jul 2018
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Not long ago, hip-hop trio The Bermuda was getting ready to release a brand-new album. After the departure of one of the members, however, that album will almost certainly never be released. Meanwhile, the two remaining members of The Bermuda—Ivy the Giant (Ivan Recendes) and the Madd Hatter (Taylor Bentz), who have been friends since childhood—are going back to the drawing board and continuing The Bermuda as a duo. During a recent interview in Cathedral City, Madd Hatter and Ivy the Giant talked about what happened. “We were working on a new album called Loading, and we started getting really frustrated during the whole process,” Ivy the Giant said. “Bunkz started hanging out with a different crew and slowly started distancing himself. He never showed up to rehearse, never wanted to go with us anywhere, and never wanted to meet up. We decided to work on our own thing, but…
12 Jul 2018
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When I sat down with Sunday Funeral to discuss the band’s latest album, Hit ’Em Again, frontman Justin Ledesma chuckled when I mentioned the band’s history. After being founded 11 years ago, Sunday Funeral has included a seemingly ever-rotating cast of local musicians with Ledesma. However, the band re-established itself two years ago after parting ways with former vocalist and guitarist Brian Frang. Ledesma has found solid ground fronting the band with Andrea Taboada on bass and Grant Gruenberg on drums. The group’s once-shaky live performances are now solid, and the band has been nominated for awards by readers of both the Coachella Valley Independent and CV Weekly. During a recent interview in Palm Desert, the members discussed how Hit ’Em Again—the first album to feature Taboada and Gruenberg—is a far cry from previous releases. “I hope it goes to show that I put in a lot of work,” Ledesma…
11 Jun 2018
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Since 2013, local DJ Alex Harrington has been beating the pavement, playing countless local poolside and club gigs. He’s also been branching out—regionally, nationally and internationally, collaborating with different artists through various DJ internet communities, and building up his Spotify page with listeners from around the world. On July 25, Harrington will release his new album, Stargazer. During a recent interview in Rancho Mirage, Harrington discussed how the album came about. “Ever since July of last year, I’ve been releasing singles pretty steadily,” Harrington said. “Over the past few months, I started writing and stockpiling tracks, not sure what I wanted to do with them. I sat down and said, ‘I’ve put out about six or seven tracks and have another six or seven that are unreleased.’ I wanted to do an album for a long time, and a friend of mine told me that now would be a good…
28 Apr 2018
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DJ Bad Ash is a well-known club DJ in Los Angeles—and at Stagecoach, she’s taken her talents to the Honkytonk Dance Hall. The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Ashlee Williss, stopped by the press tent on Friday and told me what inspired her to become a DJ. “I’ve always been a singer-songwriter,” Williss said. “I’ve done amazing things in my career, but I’ve never made it. Several years ago, the day I released my big single, my boyfriend at the time passed away. It kind of broke me for a while, and I gave up music for about a year. I couldn’t get out there and sing and give my heart. Somehow, I was missing something and needed some type of music back in my life. An agent of mine suggested, ‘Hey, why don’t you DJ?’ I was like, ‘Oh, no! I’m a singer; I play guitar, and I come…
23 Apr 2018
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Jacob Banks was the first unsigned music act to appear on the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. He’s since released two EPs before scoring a record deal with Interscope Records and releasing a third EP—so it’s appropriate that he finally had his Coachella moment this year. His R&B/soul sound is at times dark, and at times uplifting—with moments featuring a gospel vibe and even some African music. (Banks was originally born in Nigeria.) During a stop at the press tent at Coachella on Sunday, Banks said he never dreamed he would become the performer he is today. “I was never trying to make a name for myself,” Banks said. “The lucky thing about me is I’m from a city in the United Kingdom called Birmingham. The music industry didn’t really know much about me, and I was making music more out of necessity. As long as I could pay my…
19 Apr 2018
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Rap music is arguably the most popular music genre in America—but it’s been slow to take hold in the local music scene. However, that’s starting to change—and one of the artists leading the way is Al Rossi. He’s quickly picking up followers on Spotify; his music shows clarity and quality—attributes of possible future hits. During a recent interview, Rossi explained where he’s at in terms of his music. “I’ve been doing music for the last eight years,” Rossi said. “Now I’ve been taking it more seriously since I’ve been getting a lot of new listeners, and people are starting to know who I am now. It runs in my blood. A lot of my older cousins had their own little projects among their friends, and I picked it up. My grandfather was a blues musician, and I have a bunch of equipment I don’t even know how to use, because…

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