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13 Feb 2018
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Melissa Etheridge’s career has been undeniably magnificent. The Kansas native continues to reach impressive highs more than 30 years after she started playing the club circuit around Boston while attending the Berklee College of Music. Today, she’s an iconic singer-songwriter—and an inspirational force in the LGBT community. She’ll be playing at Morongo Casino Resort and Spa on Friday, March 2. During a recent phone interview, she discussed her Midwestern upbringing. “I grew up with the feeling that you play fair, work hard, and you love yourself and your family,” Etheridge said. “The Midwestern values stick with me, and I think the best of people.” Early in Etheridge’s career, four songs from her first two albums were included in the film soundtrack for the 1992 film Where the Day Takes You, a low-budget film about teenage runaways in Los Angeles—with an incredibly impressive cast that included Sean Astin, Will Smith, Lara…
09 Feb 2018
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Swing music will forever be associated with 1990s culture, thanks to the genre’s revival that made stars out of many swing groups during the decade. You’ll remember how Brian Setzer formed the Brian Setzer Orchestra—with an electric guitar kick to the ass. The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies brought a radio-friendly pop groove to the band’s swing sound, while Lou Bega performed swing-style songs over hip-hop beats. And then there were the Squirrel Nut Zippers—which were a different thing altogether. The band brought out some of the dark elements of swing music, and added in older sounds such as calypso, gypsy jazz, Delta blues—and even some of the old New Orleans sound. Following some turbulent starts and stops since the band’s 1990s heyday, the band is back and touring again. The group has survived lawsuits, the divorce of frontman Jimbo Mathus and former Squirrel Nut Zippers vocalist Katharine Whalen, and scorn from…
05 Feb 2018
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Lance Riebsomer is one of the Coachella Valley’s most active singer-songwriters, probably best known for his old band, Foxy Cleopatra. More than a year ago, Riebsomer took part of Foxy Cleopatra’s sound and morphed it into a new band called Black Water Gospel, which includes other notable locals such as David Morales (Eevaan Tre and the Show and Foxy Cleopatra), Matt Claborn, Alex Maestas (Robotic Humans) and Dan Dillinger (Bridger, and the Sweat Act). Black Water Gospel will be throwing an EP release party on Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Big Rock Pub in Indio. The Flusters and Brightener will also be performing. During a recent interview in Palm Desert over lunch, Riebsomer explained the link between Foxy Cleopatra and Black Water Gospel. “Black Water Gospel plays some Foxy Cleopatra songs,” Riebsomer said. “Foxy Cleopatra was kind of like a collaboration until my mindset solidified. I kind of wanted to…
02 Feb 2018
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Two things probably come to mind when I mention Loverboy: red pants, and “Working for the Weekend.” The band—the members of which famously blamed Nirvana and grunge music for its decline—is still rocking hard, touring and releasing new music. Loverboy will be stopping by the Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs as part of the Concerts Under the Palms series on Saturday, Feb. 17. During a recent phone interview with guitarist Paul Dean, I mentioned that Loverboy seemed to be kind of stuck in the middle during the ‘80s—the group wasn’t new wave enough to be a new wave band, and not metal enough to be considered a glam-metal band. I asked if it felt that way to the band. “You’re the first person in my career to ever ask me that, and that’s an amazing observation, because it’s so true,” Dean said. “We came out on the heels…
01 Feb 2018
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February is the month for love—and there’s plenty of love to go around at fantastic events throughout the month. The McCallum Theatre has numerous events you’ll love in February. At 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 19, classical organist Cameron Carpenter and his electric International Touring Organ will take the stage. I interviewed Cameron two years ago, and not only is he a brilliant organist (with a rather unorthodox appearance compared to many other organists, starting with a Mohawk); the story of his electric organ is pretty remarkable. Tickets are $27 to $77. At 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, Broadway singing sensation Linda Eder will be performing. If Eder’s name doesn’t ring a bell, check out her impressive performances from the Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde on the interwebs. Tickets are $37 to $87. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, you’ll get to see one of the talented women shown in the…
25 Jan 2018
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When I recently sat down with the members of The After Lashes, the members of the all-female garage-punk band were excited about what’s happened to them over the last year—and what the coming year may bring. In 2017, The After Lashes played 17 shows, with their sound steadily improving since their start in 2016. And to begin 2018, the band recorded seven tracks over 12 hours on the day I showed up at the home of Ali Saenz (aka Death Valley Ali) in La Quinta. On Saturday, Feb. 24, The After Lashes will be perform at The Hood Bar and Pizza with GayC/DC and The Hellions at the monthly Coachella Valley Independent Presents show. But before we talked about the past and the future, I had to ask: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name? “The ‘Lashes’ part was always there in my head,” Saenz said. “The After Lashes is…
18 Jan 2018
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Gary Allan’s songs about heartbreak and dark places have made him one of country music’s biggest stars since the 1990s—and continues to draw large crowds. He’ll be coming to Fantasy Springs this Saturday, Jan. 20. During a recent phone interview, Allan he has a new album in the making. His most recent album, Set You Free, topped the country charts in 2013. “I ended up switching record labels during the middle of making it,” Allan said about the upcoming album. “We’re looking for a launching point right now. The label hasn’t heard a single, and I’m going to go in and cut three songs, and one of those three songs will be a single for the launching point of the record. I’m with EMI now, which is still under Universal, but I switched from MCA.” On Allan’s 1998 album, It Would Be You, he recorded a hidden track called “No…
18 Jan 2018
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Anticipation is building for the long-awaited new album by Jesika von Rabbit—and the former Gram Rabbit frontwoman promises it’s coming soon. The Queen of the High Desert will be performing at Pappy and Harriet’s with the psychedelic Western music outfit Spindrift on Friday, Feb. 9. During a recent phone interview, von Rabbit said she’s been hard at work on the new album with her producer and former Gram Rabbit bandmate, Ethan Allen—and talked about a cover song that has led to big things. “The new album just got finished,” von Rabbit said. “I put out ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?’ back in June. I gave KCOD a song that probably wasn’t in its completed state, but I really haven’t released anything since June. “I thought about covering Culture Club’s ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?’ a couple of years back, and I wasn’t figuring out the chords…

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