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Sun12152019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Jeff Bowman has largely been a quiet guy in the background, kicking ass on the drums in the local music scene for the better part of three decades.

But he recently had a fantastic idea that brought him into the spotlight: He’s bringing a variety of local musicians to The Hood Bar and Pizza on Saturday, Aug. 25, to play a benefit concert for the Desert Cancer Foundation.

However, this is not a normal benefit show. Here’s how it will work: Various musicians, many of whom have never played together before, were grouped up and given a band name by Bowman. Each group was then given a list of songs to cover—songs the musicians need to learn, rehearse and perform the night of the show.

“I thought that it’d be cool to get a few local people together, learn a set and try to play as a brand-new band by the end of the summer,” Bowman said during a recent interview in Palm Desert. “Then I thought, ‘I wonder if I could get a few more people together, and we could make a whole night of it. Maybe even five bands.’ I’ve played music in the desert now for about 30 years, and there are still a ton of people I haven’t played music with, and we have a ton of talent out here. I called Nigel (Dettelbach) at The Hood Bar and Pizza and asked, ‘You have anything (open on the schedule) at the end of the summer?’ He had something open and booked it.

“I put a Facebook post together on a Wednesday afternoon, and I said, ‘OK, here are some rules, and if everyone abides by these rules, this is going to work. Be open to doing your homework and learning these songs; be open to playing with people you’ve never played with before; and be available on the night of the show. I put it out there around noon. I was practicing with Waxy that night; I had to put a stop on the post because I had so many responses.”

There is a personal reason Bowman chose to do a benefit for the Desert Cancer Foundation.

“My mom is a cancer survivor, but my aunt was not and passed away,” Bowman said. “My uncle was also recently diagnosed with cancer, and it’s stage 4. I think that (cancer) affects all of us.

“Originally, we wanted to do something for the American Cancer Society, but that’s a national organization, and anything we raise will just go into the national pot. Also, because The Hood Bar and Pizza allows smoking on the patio, (the American Cancer Society) won’t support it. But the Desert Cancer Foundation does cancer-treatment assistance for people with cancer right here in the valley, and they were OK with The Hood Bar and Pizza allowing smoking on their patio.

“I think it’s great our local music scene can support people with cancer. It’s a theme that’s close to home.”

After more than 30 local musicians responded to Bowman’s post, he had to turn others away.

“I had a lot of people tell me, ‘I didn’t hear a thing about it!’ It’s true: They didn’t, because it was an idea that I had on a Wednesday afternoon that I put out on Facebook,” Bowman said. “If you weren’t logged into Facebook from noon to 6 p.m. on that Wednesday, you missed it. But there was enough interest in it to where I could see this being a semi-annual or even an annual event. If I did it again, I’d put it out there, saying, ‘The window is open from this time to this time.’”

Bowman said it was surprisingly difficult to completely mix up the one-night-only bands: Each one includes at least two musicians who are currently in bands together, while others used to play together.

“I tried to be as random as I could with the band selections and the song selections, but there were certain band members who have a depth of history to where that was impossible,” Bowman said. “I literally did little pieces of paper with everyone’s name on them and put them together by the drummers, the bassists, the guitar players and the vocalists to try to make it an interesting experience of people playing with others they’ve never played with—generating relationships, generating energy, storytelling and things like that.”

Of course, the newly created bands have had to overcome some obstacles. Coval had issues with rehearsals because the drummer, Benny Cancino Jr., has been on a tour—so Bowman has filled in. The Oneders had to switch gears after Herb Lienau needed to back out. That band, which includes Sleazy Cortez bassist Derek Timmons, will be fronted by Timmons’ girlfriend, Stevie Jane Lee, who will be making her local live music debut after moving here earlier this year from Utah. Lee said she is thrilled to be taking part.

“I am really excited to be a part of it—and what better way to get to know all the musicians in the area that I don’t know already?” Lee said. “I was a bit worried at first, because most of the songs we we’re assigned, I didn’t know, but we have been rehearsing at least once a week, if not two, since the bands were announced. I can honestly say that I couldn’t have hoped for a better group of people to be in. I am getting to do one of my favorite songs that I have always wanted to cover, so I have no complaints.”

Coval will include a reunion, of sorts: Monreaux frontman Giorg Tierez will be performing publicly with Monreaux guitarist Marcus Bush for the first time in two years, as Monreaux has been on an extended hiatus.

“I asked to participate because I needed an outlet back into the scene, and the show is the night before my birthday,” Tierez said. “It just made sense to me. Plus, I didn’t know Jeff Bowman personally, but I knew of him, and after meeting him and jamming with him, I can say that he’s one of my favorite people, by far, and probably one of the best musicians I’ve ever seen.”

Bowman said the show has been the subject of some inaccurate rumors.

“I’ve heard people calling it a competition, and I need to put the kibosh on that: This is NOT a competition. This is not one of those things that’s, ‘Let’s find the best guitar player!’” he said.

The lineups as of this story’s deadline:

The Oneders: Derek Timmons, Stevie Jane Lee, Cara Makuh, Tom Edwards, Nick Hales, Matt King and Troy Whitford.

Blonde Moment: Noe Gutierrez, Natasha Carian, Alex Mirage Burdon, Randy Caserta, Damian Lautiero, Armando Flores and Rob Peterson.

Bounce Haus: Robbie Waldman, Linda Lemke Heinz, Lindsey Bowman, Robert Bowman, Bobby Nichols, Matt Whyte and Robert Garcia.

Banned Four: Chelsea Sugarbritches, Nico Flores, Pakko Lopez, Josh Heinz, Rob Martinez and Jeff Bowman.

Coval: Giorg Tierez, Esther Sanchez, David Burk, Chris Rivera, Marcus Bush and Benny Cancino Jr.

A Mixed Up Music Party!, an event to benefit the Desert Cancer Foundation will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is $5 at the door. For more information, call 760-636-5220, or visit facebook.com/HoodBarAndPizza.

Published in Previews

If the desert-rock gods of Kyuss had a baby with the members of the band Primus … you’d get Sleazy Cortez.

The local outfit that features bassist Derek Timmons, guitarist Nick Hales and drummer Damian Garcia has played a long list of shows over the past year—and released the album Trailer Trash Blues late in 2017.

But Sleazy Cortez actually goes back some years … eight years, to be exact, when Timmons was part of Robotic Humans with Lalo Beat, and a jam session with Nick Hales indirectly led to the creation of Sleazy Cortez.

“We’ve existed since 2010, although not consecutively,” Derek Timmons said during an interview on the patio of The Hood Bar and Pizza. “There are some big gaps where we were busy with other bands, but we would still jam. That was back in the days when we had Lalo Beats on drums. Lalo and I were in Robotic Humans at the time, and we started jamming, and we had a gig come up at the Red Barn, and we were unable to do it as Robotic Humans. We were like, ‘Let’s just do it as Sleazy Cortez, even though we don’t have any songs.’ We went there and made it up on the spot, and there were a bunch of people groovin’ and loving the songs. We decided to go ahead and put some songs together.”

The songs on Trailer Trash Blues have existed for years. Former drummer Lalo Beats even came back to help finish and style them.

“A lot of those songs have existed since I was living in Indiana years and years ago—not exactly as they are now, but mostly fully formed,” Timmons said.

Drummer Damian Garcia was praised by Hales and Timmons during the interview as bringing more groove and funk to the band—elements which have helped them stand out in the local music scene.

“It was very complicated for me to switch between Lalo’s drums and mine. … He was more metal, and that was what he was doing in Robotic Humans,” Garcia said. “When I heard this, I was obviously going to try to imitate his style, given it was already there, but I threw some of my own style into it. The way I emphasize that is to add accents on the songs and bring them out more. I added more feeling and more groove to them.”

The album actually sat collecting dust for a long period of time.

“It was recorded back during the fall of 2015,” Hales said. “From the time we started, it took about five years to actually come from, ‘Hey, we played this random-ass show with no fucking songs,’ to a whole full-length EP.”

Timmons said the delay was due, in part, to Sleazy Cortez being put on the backburner.

“It was everyone’s part-time thing for a while,” Timmons said. “We had that whole album already done, and then didn’t play for a year before we got back together and got it together the way that it finally came together. Every song except ‘Backwoods Woman’ was already like it was for the album. But we would play ‘Bud the C.H.U.D.’ however we wanted. We would be like, ‘We should at least determine how long we’re going to play that one,’ instead of 15 minutes one time, and seven minutes the next time.”

Timmons was frustrated—amusingly so—the day he received their initial shipment of CDs late last year after he spotted a defect in the artwork on the cover. He declared that as long as they and others had been waiting for the album, they were willing to wait longer for it to be perfect.

“The cover is still not perfect, though,” he said. “We’ll probably do another pressing of it, given it bothers me when shit isn’t right. It’s good now, but later, it’ll be better.”

Songs like “Mountain Man”—about a guy who owns a marijuana farm who shoots trespassers—as well as “Beat Up Your Mom” make some people raise their eyebrows.

“We don’t advocate anything we sing about,” Timmons said. “We like to sing about picking up high school girls from the bowling alley, killing people trespassing on a drug farm, and backwoods prostitutes. It’s more fun to sing about them than get involved in any of those things in real life. People can do whatever they want with our music, but I feel I’m not responsible, even if I said to do it.”

Sleazy Cortez will perform with Throw the Goat and Bossfight at 9 p.m., Friday, June 1, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is free. For more information on Sleazy Cortez, visit sleazycortez.bandcamp.com.

Published in Previews

Derek Timmons is well-known in the local music scene for his time with Robotic Humans, but he’s now playing bass in Sleazy Cortez with Nick Hales and Robotic Humans drummer Luiz Carranza. He also performs with the newly formed Death in Pretty Wrapping, with Michael Keeth and House of Broken Promises members Arthur Seay and Mike Cancino. For more information on Sleazy Cortez, visit sleazycortez.bandcamp.com. Here are Timmons’ answers to the Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

Nine Inch Nails with A Perfect Circle back in May 2000.

What was the first album you owned?

The first tape I bought with my own money was Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails. Before that, I was into my parents’ tapes: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen, Queen, ZZ Top, etc.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Within the last few days, I’ve listened to High on Fire, Om, Bill Withers, and House of Pain.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Lame radio rap where there’s no real music, and the guy can’t even rap, either. I also hate pop country.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

1970s ZZ Top, early ’90s White Zombie, ’70s Misfits, early ’70s Black Sabbath, and, of course, Jimi Hendrix.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I don’t really feel guilty about it, but I suppose I’d have to say the pure nostalgic pleasure of early ’90s radio rap, like Vanilla Ice or Snow.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Probably The Hood. I get to see tons of good bands there for cheap. It was definitely better before they moved the stage all awkward and changed their treatment of bands for the worse, but, hey, I still have a good time every time I go. As far as a real, legit venue, El Cid in Silver Lake is bad-ass.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

When I bought Welcome to Sky Valley from Kyuss at the Piggy Banc Pawn Shop in Vincennes, Ind., for $1 one day after band practice, it set me on a musical journey that moved me 2,000 miles across the country, so that’s gotta be one specific instance.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Lemmy: “Can we party?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Tiny Tim, “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” Take that, bereaved friends and family!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Damn, I’d probably get shot by the time I narrowed it down to my Top 10!

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Bill Withers, “Harlem.” (Scroll down to hear it!)

Published in The Lucky 13

Sleazy Cortez is “a newish three-piece band in the Coachella Valley,” according to the band’s only-occasionally updated Facebook page. “(The band features) rock and riffs, psychedelic funk and beyond, with a strong focus on improvisation. DIG IT.” Dig it yourself at 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, at Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails, 32025 Monterey Ave., in Thousand Palms. There is no cover. Also on the bill: Right On, Right On. For more information on the band, check out that aforementioned Facebook page; for more on Plan B, visit www.myplanbbar.com. One of those three Sleazy Cortez members is Indio’s Derek Timmons, 29, who installs Murphy beds by day, and plays around town in bands including Sleazy Cortez and the Town Troubles by night. Here are Timmons’ answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle in St. Louis, 2000.

What was the first album you owned?

Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine, was probably the first cassette I purchased for myself after thoroughly absorbing my parents’ Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Queen, Elton John, Van Halen, etc. … Dang, I might have purchased Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer first, actually. D’oh!

What bands are you listening to right now?

New albums I’ve been hung up on are the latest ones by Baroness, Red Fang, The Sword, Clutch, Rob Zombie, Hank III, Vista Chino, Blaak Heat Shujaa, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Monster Magnet. I’ve been on a Misfits kick as of late, too, and posthumous Hendrix.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Most pop, especially pop country; emo; and hip hop with no musicians present.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I am super-stoked to see Monster Magnet on Nov. 27 at House of Blues in L.A., especially now that they have Chris Kosnik from The Atomic Bitchwax on bass.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Can’t even admit to it.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Right now, The Hood in Palm Desert, to be honest. That’s where I’ve been getting my musical rocks off the most lately.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Can’t get you out of my head,” by Kylie Minogue.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Kyuss, among others. But when I bought (Welcome to) Sky Valley on cassette from the Piggy-Banc Pawn Shop in Vincennes, Ind., after band practice one day in high school, I found a kind of music that I didn’t even realize was what I had been attempting to play in my garage.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

“Like, how’d you get so awesome at playing the bass, bro?” to Les Claypool.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Hmm. “Break on Through (to the Other Side)” by The Doors? Or maybe it would be more fun for my family and friends if it was “Everything Dies” by Type O Negative. Or maybe “Buried in the Backyard” by Cannibal Corpse.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

That’s a tough one. ZZ Top’s First Album? That’s not my favorite at all, but it is a damn good one. Sky Valley from Kyuss? The Elephant Riders or Jam Room from Clutch? Suck on This from Primus? La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 from White Zombie? This is an unfair question.

What song should everyone listen to right now

“N.I.B.” by Primus with Ozzy from Nativity in Black II. (Scroll down to hear it.) Or better yet, something by someone playing at your local bar—especially if it happens to be Sleazy Cortez, Town Troubles, Robotic Humans or Las Feas.

Published in The Lucky 13

The Town Troubles are a developing local band—but their signature sound has already made them a new jewel of the Coachella Valley music scene.

Take a listen to their Bandcamp page, and you’ll find a delightful sound, similar to that of Radiohead’s OK Computer era.

Formed in 2010, the Town Troubles consist of Bolin Jue (guitar, vocals), Derek Timmons (bass), Bryan Garcia (drums) and Rafael Rodriguez (drums). They can’t deny that they were influenced by Queens of the Stone Age and the White Stripes.

During a recent interview, Jue and Garcia explained that the band members have been friends for years.

“I was in another band, and then I just happened to break up with that band, and Bryan called me up. So, it was like an old girlfriend calling me back,” Jue said.

Said Garcia: “And I was the rebound.”

While the Town Troubles have been around since 2010 and have played a handful of local shows, Jue and Garcia insist their sound is still a work in progress.

“We’re still forming our sound right now. We’re in the middle of it. It’s very wet cement right now,” said Jue. “As far as live shows go, every live show is different, or (else) I get bored very easily. We try to make each show very different, and every show is a new set—a new song, a new member—and we’re always trying to change it up.”

Both Jue and Garcia laughed when asked how the two-drummer setup works during live shows.

“It doesn’t work,” said Jue. “It’s still a headache, and we’re still trying to get it to work.”

“It’s adding a little spice to the percussion, I think,” said Garcia.

“The idea isn’t necessarily to get them to play different rhythms. We want them to be in sync, and not in sync at the same time. It’s really weird,” said Jue.

They have played at The Hood Bar and Pizza in Palm Desert, Bar in Palm Springs, and the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood. Jue admitted there’s been some hesitation at times to play live shows.

“I don’t like to play live shows too often,” said Jue. “We play once a month if we’re lucky. There aren’t a lot of places in the desert that I’m really trying to get into that we haven’t been able to. We used to play a lot of backyard shows.”

As for those backyard shows: The element of surprise and the suspense regarding potential trouble makes backyard shows more entertaining, Jue said.

“You don’t know if the cops are going to show up, which makes them more fun. The crowds are hit or miss. Sometimes, backyard shows are packed; sometimes, it’s just a few underage kids,” said Jue. “The cool thing about backyard shows is a lot of people go, because there’s nowhere to go and see bands play if (music fans) are under 21. The kids just really like the music, and they want to see a band play.”

Added Garcia: “Word gets out, and they want to go see somebody play. It’s better than just sitting around at home.”

Jue said the band is working on new material for a limited-print vinyl release sometime in the near future. Jue explained that he tries to keep his songwriting at a high creative level.

“I try to take different approaches,” Jue said. “Lately, I’m on this thing where if you write a poem, a lot of the time, the form matches the content of the poem, or at least it’s aiding the content. So I believe in writing songs where the music is the form, and the words are the content of the song. In other words, (I’m) getting away from verse, chorus and verse, chorus—and it’s sort of flowing together.”

The band’s apprehensiveness regarding live shows has nothing to do with laziness or a poor work ethic. What material they have released has caught on, and they are becoming one of the better-known local acts in the Coachella Valley—and when they do play a live show, everyone knows it won’t be like a previous show.

“Basically, I like to keep it fresh. I like to keep our shows changing, and it takes a while to make that happen sometimes—sometimes longer than I would like,” Jue said. “I’m a fan of the process of writing and recording. I think the main reason I would want to play live shows is to not only travel, but get the music out there. It’s the best way to get music out. I feel there’s only so much more we can do in the desert—but I feel that we haven’t done as much as we can actually do.”

For more information, visit thetowntroubles.bandcamp.com or www.facebook.com/TownTroubles.

Published in Previews