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Music News and Features

03 Oct 2014
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When Jesika Von Rabbit takes the stage these days, she’s often accompanied by a 70-year-old man who’s dancing his tail off. Meet the life of the party, Larry Van Horn, aka OO Soul. Van Horn grew up in Atherton, Calif., in what he described as a wealthy family. He eventually attended the University of Southern California. “USC … is what they call a closed campus,” Van Horn said during a recent interview. “Back in the ’60s, even though they had Fraternity Row—which is a few blocks away from the main campus—you could not visibly have alcohol at a fraternity party. When the fraternities would organize their parties, they would organize them off-campus. That created a very unique campus atmosphere as far as weekend activities go, in and around USC.” Van Horn lived in an apartment building off-campus. “I wanted to have a social life,” Van Horn said. “I had enough…
22 Sep 2014
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Scott Reeder is one of the early pioneers of desert rock. In fact, no one man has been more pivotal to the sounds that have gone on to shape the core of our desert's music scene than this drummer, bassist, producer and sound engineer. Reeder has enjoyed a brilliant music career—as a bassist in some of the most noteworthy bands in metal, doom and stoner rock, and on the other side of the soundboard as a producer. He’s sometimes referred to as “The Magic Man,” because bands travel across the globe to seek his technical prowess in the studio; he’s worked with Karma to Burn, The Freeks, Black Math Horseman, Low Fly Incline and Atala, just to name a few bands. Reeder is known for reinventing the wheel, revamping vintage gear and drawing on fresh technology to achieve unique recordings. Reeder has been at the heart of the desert’s music…
05 Sep 2014
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Almost everyone in the Coachella Valley and high desert music scenes knows the name Jesika von Rabbit. Heck, she even has a menu item named after her at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. However, not everyone knows about the person behind that famous name. Her half-eponymous band, Gram Rabbit, is currently on a break—no, the band has not broken up—and von Rabbit has been spending time completing her first solo album and playing shows locally and regionally. The story of Jesika von Rabbit starts in Green Bay, Wis. “I was kind of a musician naturally by birth. I think I came out of the womb as a musician,” she said, with a laugh, during a recent interview. “My mother was a singer; she sang in cover bands in Green Bay, and she also sang in some commercial jingles. So I grew up with a singer for a mother, and my…
11 Aug 2014
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The Yip Yops won a coveted slot at the Coachella-related Tachevah block party back in April. And then, the three teens seemingly disappeared, save a few shows here and there. Turns out they’ve had quite a summer vacation. The band recently invited me to frontman Addison Van Winkle’s home in Palm Desert. The band practices in the pool house behind the Van Winkle family home—and these are the nicest digs I’ve seen any local band have for a practice space. There’s air conditioning. There’s nice carpet, couches and top-of-the-line equipment, featuring brand names like Fender and Gibson. The band played two new songs for me; Van Winkle’s father, Tony, played the keyboards on one of them. Van Winkle’s vocals are somewhat similar to those of late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, and the band’s sound hints at ’80s alternative—but with an experimental touch that is not typically heard in music…
28 Jul 2014
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I discovered the depth of composer and multi-instrumentalist Vince Meghrouni when I heard him last year with the Rubber Snake Charmers, a side project involving him and Mario Lalli (Yawning Man, Fatso Jetson). But it wasn’t until I heard him performing with Fatso Jetson that I realized what an absolutely incredible musician he is. His sexy sax lines and ultra-vibey harmonica solos brought new depth and layers of dimension to music I had experienced many times before. Meghrouni’s name recently came up was when I was prodding drummer-percussionist Rob Peterson (Sort of Quartet, The Pedestrians) about his next musical project. I have been a huge fan of Rob since his early days with Groovalopocus, and I would follow The Pedestrians to the ends of the Earth! Rob filled me in that he had just signed on with The Atomic Sherpas … a Vince Meghrouni-led project. I immediately looked into the…
18 Jul 2014
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The Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club is now open—and the Hacienda’s resident DJ, Colour Vision, is elated about the venue’s potential. Colour Vision (Corey Hurley) recently relocated to the Coachella Valley from San Diego. He said the music scene there is quite different from the scene here. “I grew up in San Diego and started DJing when I was about 21,” Hurley said. “The scene down there is kind of interesting, because I had to do a lot of parties, especially with the kind of music that I do, which is tropical, disco and house. There’s not really a market for it there. Me and a couple of other people were the only ones doing the whole scene for it there, which is great, because we got to bring in all of our friends, and I’ve kind of worked at every stage of the music industry at this point. Now…
23 Jun 2014
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The music of Mario Lalli and Gary Arce has inspired and moved me since the mid-’80s, when I first discovered the desert’s underground music scene. Mario Lalli, with his band Fatso Jetson, is loved and respected as a leader in the worldwide music community that has more than embraced desert (stoner) rock. He is world-famous for hosting the generator parties at which the very first desert rock shows took place—in box canyons, empty swimming pools and abandoned nudist colonies. “I left for L.A. after high school and moved to Culver City for a year,” he said. “While I was there, I met David Travis and many other people who are still dear to me today. When I returned to the desert, David and I began hosting the generator parties.” Those legendary parties began getting busted by local law enforcement and eventually wound down and largely disappeared. Today, they still exist—very…
16 Jun 2014
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During a recent interview, War Drum keyboardist Jack Kohler and bassist Robbie Waldman (also a member of the band Waxy) revealed that the band plans on taking a break from live gigs. However, fans have nothing to fear: In fact, the band is making plans to record a brand-new new album. War Drum also includes of Ehren Groban (guitar), John Marek (guitar) and Peter Leighton (drums). The band formed in the summer of 2010 while Kohler and Groban were employees of the Ace Hotel and swim club. Waldman watched the band play without a bassist shortly after the formation. “I remember hearing about War Drum a little bit, and I saw them playing at the Ace Hotel,” Waldman said. “There was a different drummer back then, this guy named Carlos. Peter was playing guitar; Ehren was playing guitar; and Jack was on keys. I saw what they were doing as…