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Previews

05 Nov 2013
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Eccentricity can either be a gift—or a curse. For Cass McCombs, it’s thankfully a gift, as he proves on his latest album, Big Wheel and Others (Domino). McCombs, who turned down an interview request from the Independent, has now turned in seven albums that have been generally well-received by critics and indie-music fans. The album starts out with an audio clip from the 1969 documentary Sean, about a 4-year-old, Sean Farrell, who was raised in the San Francisco counterculture and was already a marijuana-user at that age. There are also two other audio clips of Farrell on the album. These odd inclusions prove that if you’re expecting rhyme, reason or a specific formula on a Cass McCombs album, forget it: He’s all over the place. The first proper song, “Big Wheel,” is an Americana-meets-rock song about trucks, trucker life, bulldozers and other rigs. He proclaims: “What does it mean to…
30 Oct 2013
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Season is finally here! As you make plans for Thanksgiving and prepare for the other big holidays just around the corner, you should also plan on attending some of these great shows. The McCallum Theatre has an amazing variety of events booked solid through the month. One show that definitely won’t disappoint music-lovers is an appearance by Crosby, Stills and Nash’s Graham Nash at 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18. While he may be best known for his work with Stephen Stills and David Crosby, he’s had a long and successful solo career; his 1971 solo debut album, Songs for Beginners, was critically acclaimed and reached No. 15 on the Billboard albums chart. Tickets are $35 to $75. Herb Alpert will also be stopping by the McCallum, at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22, along with his wife, singer Lani Hall. The jazz trumpeter, known primarily for his years with Herb Alpert…
21 Oct 2013
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Irene Soderberg is a larger-than-life figure within the LGBT community. She’s a comedienne, a singer and an actress. She’s suffered from health problems in recent years, but she’s back and better than ever. She’s performing at the Stonewall Equality Concert, which will kick off Palm Springs Pride on Friday, Nov. 1, at the “Forever Marilyn” statue at Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. A child of Finnish immigrants, Soderberg grew up in New York state. “Even as a kid, I was always singing. We worked from the time we were 8 years old … in the fields, hard labor—people would say it would be slave labor now, but that’s all we knew. We worked from February to November every year, picking all the fruits and berries. We also worked in a cannery.” While Soderberg has varied talents, she’s especially passionate about singing. “I knew that singing was always my…
29 Oct 2013
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Many bands meld politics with their music. However, no one does it quite like Jello Biafra. The former Dead Kennedys frontman is coming to Palm Desert for a post-Coachella encore at The Hood Bar and Pizza on Friday, Nov. 8, with his band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine. Dead Kennedys formed in 1978 in San Francisco as part of the hardcore punk scene that was sweeping America. When Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray put out a newspaper advertisement for band mates, Jello Biafra (vocals), Klaus Flouride (bass) and Ted, aka Bruce Slesinger (drums), joined together and took the hardcore punk scene by the horns thanks to their psychedelic, surf-guitar-infused sound, and Biafra’s political satire-based lyrics. Songs such as “Holiday in Cambodia,” “California Über Alles,” “Too Drunk to Fuck” and “Police Truck” became their most recognizable anthems. The band released its albums on its own label, Alternative…
08 Oct 2013
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It wasn’t long ago that two members of Sunday Funeral faced separate, life-changing horrors. The lead singer suffered a near-fatal car accident on a long desert highway. The rhythm guitarist was robbed at gunpoint after buying groceries for his ailing father. Brian Frang and Justin Ledesma now use these experiences to inspire their music. Sunday Funeral’s influences range from swamp rock to grunge, with a bit of classic punk and almighty ’70s metal thrown in. Now add fire-hoop dancers, perhaps, to their well-thought-out rock songs, and it becomes clear why Sunday Funeral is gaining fans across the valley. Brian Frang (singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist), Justin Ledesma (singer, songwriter and lead guitarist), Jeff Mazer (singer, bassist and keyboardist), Jason Obando (keyboards) and Johnny Elsewhere (drums) love to bring a diverse set of sounds to their rock ’n’ roll. “We want our audience to enjoy themselves,” Ledesma said. “We play just…
07 Oct 2013
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If commercial radio stations were interested in sharing great new music with listeners, perhaps you’d already have heard of Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires. The recently formed Southern rock/alt-country band is bringing its gospel-influenced sound to the three-day Joshua Tree Music Festival on Friday, Oct. 11. When I spoke to Bains over the phone, his thick Alabama accent was hard to ignore. I could also tell that he lives and breathes rock ’n’ roll, and he expresses a genuine sense of excitement when he talks about his music. The band from Birmingham formed in 2010, and the group has been receiving critical acclaim from independent music critics ever since. Bains’ love of music goes back to when he heard gospel music for the first time as a child. “The church I grew up in didn’t really do gospel music. It was more hymns and that kind of thing,”…
03 Oct 2013
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The summer heat is finally subsiding—and that means the Coachella Valley is starting to come alive with events. Of course, one of the month’s most exciting events is the Coachella Valley Independent’s Official Launch Party, starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Clinic Bar and Lounge in Palm Springs. We’re celebrating the launch of our monthly edition and the one-year anniversary of CVIndependent.com with a hosted bar from 6 to 8 p.m.; a live art exhibition by Ryan “Motel” Campbell (read more about him in the Arts & Culture section); and a set by Independent resident DJ All Night Shoes. Admission is free, so there’s no excuse for you not to attend! Clinic Bar and Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-864-4119; www.clinicbarps.com. The McCallum Theatre will host Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9. Edie Brickell will be joining the…
04 Oct 2013
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The members of the Meat Puppets have been to hell and back. Their appetite for drugs once derailed them—but they’re back and better than ever. In fact, they’re on a national tour, including a stop at Pappy and Harriet’s on Sunday, Nov. 3. The brothers Kirkwood—Curt (guitar, vocals) and Cris (bass)—founded the band in Phoenix in 1980 with drummer Derrick Bostrom, as the hardcore-punk scene was developing across the country. Bands such as Black Flag, Minor Threat and Bad Brains were finding fans with in-your-face, nihilistic music. During a recent phone interview, Curt Kirkwood talked about the early days of the band. “We didn’t think that much into it back then. I had been playing in bands for a few years—a disco band, a hard-rock band. We just got into playing whatever we wanted. All we ever really wanted to do was play what we wanted to play,” Curt Kirkwood…