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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Previews

03 Jan 2017
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The Mod subculture from the 1960s in the United Kingdom involved fashion—but it was also about great music. Lee Joseph, the founder of Dionysus Records and the bassist for Jesika Von Rabbit, and Bob Deck, also known as DJ Bobby California, love the Mod culture, and started throwing the monthly Mod-themed Desert Soul Club parties at the Tonga Hut over the summer. They’ll be throwing the first Desert Soul Club of 2017 at 9 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 14. “One of the inspirations is we were in Palm Springs and hearing the word ‘Mod’ all the time in reference to mid-century modernism,” Joseph said. “We wanted to do something genuinely Mod in Palm Springs.” The music in Mod culture was generally soul, ska and British rock from bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks. “We wanted to do the true British kind of Mod sound,” Deck said, “not…
15 Dec 2016
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When the members of the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus take the stage this weekend for their two Hollywood Holiday—Christmas at the Movies concerts, they’ll be without one of their most prominent and beloved colleagues. David Murdock, a singer who had also done everything from sound to public relations for the chorus over the last half-decade, died suddenly on Oct. 17. Murdock was also an active member of the Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert, and was a key organizer of Palm Springs Leather Pride. He’d spent much of his life working in the entertainment and technology industries. Countless people—myself included—considered David a friend. The chorus performed at Murdock’s memorial service at the Palm Springs Pavilion on Dec. 4, and this weekend, the PSGMC is dedicating its performance of “The Prayer”—a song from the film Quest for Camelot popularized by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli—to Murdock. “I can’t even…
13 Dec 2016
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The Martini Kings have played every type of gig you can think of—corporate parties, weddings, retro-theme parties and even backyard martini parties. On Friday, Dec. 16, the band will be bringing its old-school holiday show to the Purple Room. During a recent phone interview with Anthony Marsico, he talked about the history of the band. “The Martini Kings are a spinoff from the rock stuff I’ve been doing since I was a kid,” Marsico said. “It’s a cool-jazz combo, with a full-on retro ’50s and ’60s vibe. “We’ve actually been around since 1982. We’ve put out 17 albums. The best way to describe the music is ‘California cool jazz’; that’s kind of our vibe. It’s not too stuffy, and I love to have fun with it.” When Marsico and his brother started the band in 1982, some audiences didn’t appreciate what they did. “My brother was a jazz guy and…
08 Dec 2016
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If you watched the first season HBO’s True Detective, you’re familiar with The Handsome Family’s “Far From Any Road”—it’s the title-sequence song. That fact marks a career highlight for Chicago husband-and-wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks, who have been performing as The Handsome Family for 23 years, recording 10 albums in the process. They’ll be performing at Pappy and Harriet’s on Saturday, Dec. 10. During a recent phone interview, Rennie Sparks credited the work of Uncle Tupelo for paving their way in the Americana-music world. “Just about every band there at the time was some kind of version of Americana,” Sparks said. “Chicago is kind of a heartland of music. I think Uncle Tupelo set a template that was good for most of the bands for the next 20 years. … We were always inspired by older things than that—mostly early 20th-century recordings and folk music. Luckily, most American…
30 Nov 2016
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During the month of December, there are more than enough events to keep you entertained—whether you’re in the Christmas spirit or not. The McCallum Theatre has a great list of Christmas-themed events. At 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5, enjoy a special Christmas presentation from the Vienna Boys Choir. One of the best known boys’ choirs in the world, the group’s various incarnations perform about 300 concerts a year. Fun fact: The boys in the choir are around the ages of 10 to 14. Tickets are $37 to $77. Locals will take the stage at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, in a show being assembled by Best of Coachella Valley radio personality Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald of CV 104.3 called “A CV Christmas.” The show will feature Kal David and Lauri Bono, Ronnie King, Brightener, John Stanley King and others. Tickets are $27 to $67. At 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16, and…
22 Nov 2016
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Wayne Newton has seen his fair share of controversy and financial problems over his nearly six-decade career. However, Mr. Las Vegas is still standing—and will be bringing his Vegas swagger to Morongo Casino Resort and Spa on Friday, Dec. 2. During a recent phone interview, I asked him what makes him still love singing. “I think it’s the fact I’ve done it my whole life,” Newton said. “When I was 4 years old, my parents took me to see a Grand Ole Opry roadshow that had come to Norfolk, Va., which is where I’m from originally. On the show was Hank Williams and many of the other greats of country music. We were way up in the nosebleed section, given my father was an auto mechanic, and we couldn’t afford better seats than that. I couldn’t even see the performers. I found myself looking around at the faces of the…
02 Nov 2016
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The profile of the Desert Winds Freedom Band, Palm Springs’ gay and gay-friendly concert band, has grown in recent years—and over Greater Palm Springs Pride, the 16-year-old group will be hosting musicians from around the world. Hear the Desert Winds Freedom Band and friends—a whopping two 150-member concert bands, with an honors jazz band to boot—on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Palm Springs High School Auditorium. Dean McDowell, the director of the Desert Winds Freedom Band, explained the group’s history during a recent phone interview. “The Desert Winds Freedom Band was founded by Gary Moline, who is still on our board, back in 2001,” McDowell said. “He came from San Francisco, where the first gay and lesbian band was founded, and he was involved in that back with Harvey Milk and the gay-rights movement. “When he came here … he decided it was time that Palm Springs had (an LGBT…
02 Nov 2016
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The holiday season is approaching, as are cooler temperatures—and hotter events, now that season is back in swing. The McCallum Theatre has a busy schedule in November, with a number of great events to consider. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, you’ll be singing “Urgent,” because Foreigner will be performing. Foreigner is one of the world’s best well-known rock bands, with 16 Top 30 hits, 75 million records sold and great songs such as “Dirty White Boy,” “Feels Like the First Time” and many others to its credit. Tickets, if there are any left by the time you read this, are $47 to $97. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, bossa nova and jazz great Herb Alpert will take the stage alongside his wife, Lani Hall. Herb Alpert has made some great records in his long career, and many of them are now Latin and American music staples; Alpert is…