CVIndependent

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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Reviews

14 Aug 2015
I have never seen Redd Kross live, nor do I own a Redd Kross record. This confession may result in the removal of any punk cred I may think I have. I did not know what to expect from the band’s Friday, Aug. 7, show at Pappy and Harriet’s, but I envisioned something in line with contemporaries like Black Flag. I even came prepared by bringing a little muscle in the form of a friend who is a paralegal by day, and a rock photographer by night: I did not want to repeat the Jello Biafra show incident of 2013, which resulted in me getting up close and personal with a speaker monitor, and my eyeglasses becoming a Frisbee. Entering through a side door was tall lead vocalist and guitarist Jeff McDonald; he has long, flowing hair that would make Peter Burns of Dead or Alive envious. “This is our…
14 Aug 2015
To understand Splash House, look to the great Scottish band Belle and Sebastian, which declares: “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance.” This formula for success brings to Palm Springs the younger set, which was virtually banned from Palm Springs in the ’80s and ’90s. However, gone are the rabble-rousers popping wheelies with bikini-clad girls holding on for dear life; instead, this is a smaller house-music festival with a more-intimate feel, thanks to approximately 4,000 in attendance. This was the second Splash House celebration this summer, this time taking over three venues: Saguaro, the Hilton and Hard Rock. The Saguaro’s pool was packed to capacity, requiring security to use a hand-held counter to determine how many people could get in the pool. You could, at times, walk from one end of the pool to the other—if you dared to balance yourself on the armada of floaties. Fans dealt with the scorching…
13 Jul 2015
Pappy and Harriet’s was packed for the outdoor Lord Huron show on Friday, July 10. Attendants squeezed cars into every inch of possible parking to accommodate the sold-out crowd. I am always surprised by the logistics necessary to accommodate a larger touring band. Roadies were running around getting everything right, including towering speaker stands hanging on both edges of the tiny stage. Jason, the Pappy’s sound dude, was fixing Lord Huron’s guitar rack with the help of the band’s guitar technician. Prior to sunset, Widowspeak warmed up the crowd with a mellow Mazzy Star vibe that was perfect as the Pioneertown sunset moved from blue to green to dark. Brand-new single “Girls” was perfect; it will be out in September, according to Molly Hamilton, the lead singer. As everyone waited for Lord Huron, some fans talked about how many times they’d seen the band, and how far they’d traveled. Most…
06 Jul 2015
Nick Waterhouse and his band, The Tarots, are becoming regulars at Pappy and Harriet’s, and this is a good thing—because Waterhouse is turning out one of the best modern versions of vintage rock in the music world today. As I walked in for the Fourth of July show, Waterhouse was talking to Beth the Door Person about the positioning of the merchandise table. I later spied Waterhouse working on the set list at the edge of the storied bar. All hands were on deck as the band moved a large organ through the side door. Meanwhile, the audience members started to work their way toward the front of the stage. It looked like a typical Pappy’s weekend crowd, including a blond cowgirl who revealed that she was on a dry run with her Campout 11 outfit. (The Campout is an annual event at Pappy’s headlined by Cracker and Camper Van…
22 Jun 2015
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The Warped Tour is back, and kicked off Friday, June 19, at the Pomona Fairplex, about 80 miles from Palm Springs. The lineup was a little different this year: Metalcore came second to only pop-punk. Gone are the days of pure punk. Shortly after the festival kicked off, the Family Force 5 (below) performed on the Unicorn Stage. The Atlanta “crunk-rock” band, which comes out of the Christian rock scene, was an interesting sight to see; it felt like the early days of !!!, given the band has a dance music element to it. During various songs, people in tiger costumes came out to dance on the stage; fog machines blew huge clouds of smoke; and frontman Jacob Olds at one point played on a second drum set, keeping in sync with drummer Teddy Boldt. “We thought we’d copy every hipster band in the world that has a million drums,”…
16 Jun 2015
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When you’re at Splash House, you have a choice: Should you focus your attention on the world-class DJs and EDM artists, or should you watch what’s going on in the pools? The answer, if possible, is to do both. All three participating venues this past weekend—the Hilton Palm Springs, the Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, and the Saguaro—featured both crowds and music that were quite entertaining. As for the crowds: Splash House attendees go all out when it comes to wild choices regarding pool floaties. I saw them in the shape of everything from slices of pizza, to an ice cream sandwich, to a pig—an even an alpaca. The body paint, swimsuits and T-shirts worn by attendees are also often quite creative, and the dancing ranges from silly to downright mesmerizing. When the DJs demanded attention, the crowd was there to give it to them—if attendees were into it, of…
13 Jun 2015
There was another capacity crowd at Pappy and Harriet’s on Thursday, June 4. At the door was chief doorologist Beth, banding ticketholders as she smiled. I’d never seen Beth actually stay to see an entire show. This changed when Aimee Mann came to Pioneertown. Beth was stage right for Mann’s performance with the Mountain Goats. Aimee Mann first hit it big with her band ’Til Tuesday, which had the high-rotation MTV video hit “Voices Carry.” (For the youngsters reading this: MTV actually played music videos a long, long, long time ago.) As Mann entered through a side door, she commented, “They sure packed you guys in,” and went straight into “The Moth,” from her 2002 album Lost in Space. Mann would often pause to tune her acoustic guitar, at one point saying, “This is the tuning part of the show. I would like to blame the tuning problems on the…
11 Jun 2015
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After playing at Tachevah and Coachella, local band Alchemy has continued riding its wave of success by releasing a five-song EP. The release was celebrated at a show at The Date Shed in Indio on Saturday, June 6, which also featured CIVX, a local band to whom Alchemy has grown close in recent months, as the bands have shared the stage at several recent local shows. There’s been one consistency throughout all the Alchemy shows I’ve seen: The band has a loyal, supportive fan base that always turns out, and such was the case at The Date Shed show. Unfortunately, even though Alchemy put on an enjoyable performance, the band’s fans defied requests by The Date Shed security to stop moshing and crowd-surfing. As a result, the venue closed the curtain on the band and turned on the house lights during what were supposed to be the final minutes of…