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Previews

17 Apr 2018
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If you’ve never heard of Lewis Brice, stop what you’re doing, and check out this new country-music artist. Brice—he’s Lee Brice’s brother—not long ago left South Carolina for Nashville, and he’s determined to make a name for himself in country music. He will be at Stagecoach on the new SiriusXM Spotlight Stage on Sunday, April 29. During a recent phone interview, we discussed his music video for “Best Ex Ever,” which may be a first in country music: It’s a song actually praising an ex-girlfriend. “When I was writing that song, I thought, ‘I have a few exes, and they don’t hate me,’” Brice said. “I told this one story that’s half true where I got into a sticky situation and had one phone call on a pay phone to use, and I remembered my ex-girlfriend from a couple of years before—and she picked up a collect phone call from…
12 Apr 2018
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Stagecoach has always offered attendees a lot of variety in terms of country-music subgenres—but this year, the lineup seeks to skimp on alt-country, Americana and old-timers (like Willie Nelson). Still, there is a lot to see. Here are my Stagecoach recommendations. Friday, April 27 Jade Bird: It’s shocking, yes, but this young woman who excels at Americana … is British. Regardless, she has one hell of a voice. Her music would perhaps better fit a Coachella crowd, but she’s likely going to be awesome at Stagecoach. Her main showcase is her vocals. I highly recommend her single “Lottery” and her song “Something American.” Joshua Hedley: It’s no surprise Joshua Hedley was named one of the “10 New Country Artists You Should Know” by Rolling Stone in 2016. He’s a throwback to the era of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. He’s a purist, thank you very much, and does not wish…
10 Apr 2018
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If you saw Jack White perform at Coachella in 2015, you couldn’t miss his violinist, Lillie Mae. Well, Lillie Mae is an accomplished musician in her own right; she has released two country albums on Jack White’s Third Man Records, her most recent being last year’s Forever and Then Some. She’ll be performing at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival on Sunday, April 29. During a recent phone interview, Lillie Mae—her full name is Lillie Mae Rische—talked about her humble beginnings growing up, including busking around the country with her family, traveling in an old RV. “You can’t set the bar too high,” Rische said with a laugh. “I’ve had a very unique life, growing up and traveling in a motorhome. We were playing music in new places every day. I’ve been steadily gigging forever. … I’ve done the same thing in different forms. I’ve had a lucky layout. Our family…
09 Apr 2018
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When you hear the word “Banditos,” perhaps you think of the Frito Bandito. Or maybe you think of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. However, you really should be thinking of an awesome rock ’n’ roll band—because that’s exactly what the Birmingham, Ala., six-piece is. See for yourself when Banditos play at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival on Friday, April 27. I was blown away by how many different things I heard in the sound when I listened to Banditos’ self-titled record from 2015. You hear the Rolling Stones in slower songs, ’60s rock with a kick in the ass on others—and all the songs have an Americana/outlaw country vibe, including banjos. The band’s newest release, last year’s Visionland, sounds as if the members were channeling Ty Segall and the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. During a recent phone interview, vocalist and banjo player Stephen Pierce said the band’s varying styles provide a…
03 Apr 2018
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Barring any huge surprises, Coachella 2018 will be known as the year of Beyonce … and no rock headliners. The lineup might be hard to navigate—but I have you covered with this compilation of acts you should make time to check out. Friday, April 13 and 20 The Buttertones: OK, we did not say Coachella 2018 was going to be completely devoid of rock. The Buttertones are a Los Angeles outfit that has been getting buzz for its brand of garage rock. The band features Sean Redman on bass (formerly of Cherry Glazerr) and Modeste Cobián on drums and other instruments. (I remember Cobián from Jeffertitti’s Nile; he’s a show of his own.) If you want to hear how weird this band can get, check out new track “Baby C4.” If you’re a fan of bands such as Shannon and the Clams and Ty Segall, you’ll love The Buttertones. Perfume…
30 Mar 2018
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April is the final month of the busy season—and it seems like some venues have saved the best for last. April marks the final full month of events at the McCallum Theatre. At 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 3, Lucie Arnaz—actress, singer, producer and daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz—presents Stepping Out for College of the Desert: Latin Roots. The show will pay tribute to Arnaz’s Latin roots, especially the man who helped bring Latin music to America—her father. Tickets are $67 to $127. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 7, enjoy a rock show by Boz Scaggs. His soulful singing combined with his rocking guitar is always a treat—and “Lowdown” is a great song to hear live. Tickets are $100 to $250. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 14, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra will be performing A Tribute to John Williams. Considering how many great films for which Williams has…
28 Mar 2018
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Punk-rock band FIDLAR released its self-titled debut full-length in 2013—creating a wild party that seemed like it would never end. FIDLAR’s songs—with lyrics paying homage to wild partying and skateboarding, all with a psychedelic/surf-rock feel—were a breath of fresh air, and paid tribute to the original days of Los Angeles punk. Then came follow-up Too in 2015. Frontman and guitarist Zac Carper was singing a different tune with a new perspective after a stint in rehab—although the songs sounded just as gnarly and chaotic. The Los Angeles outfit, whose name stands for “Fuck It Dog, Life Is a Risk,” also features Elvis Kuehn (guitar) and Max Kuehn (drums)—both of whom are sons of T.S.O.L. keyboardist Greg Kuehn—as well as bassist Brandon Schwartzel. The group will be performing at Coachella on Sunday, April 15 and 22. During a recent interview with Schwartzel, he said the band members were amused that they…
28 Mar 2018
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In 2014, Benjamin Booker became one of the most-talked about independent artists of the year—earning a slot at Coachella in 2015. Today, he’s still dazzling audiences with his brand of garage rock mashed up with soul. He’ll be making his second trip to Coachella on Saturday, April 14 and 21. Booker released his self-titled debut album in 2014, and spent two years touring behind it. He emerged again in 2017 with his second album, Witness. During a recent phone interview, Booker discussed what happened after the tour was over, and he returned to his home in New Orleans. “I was riding my bike—and I got shot at while I was on my way to a dinner party,” Booker said. “I don’t really like to talk about it, though, because I don’t want to give New Orleans a bad reputation.” After touring extensively, Booker was exhausted. “We did a lot of…

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