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Reviews

20 Apr 2014
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Coachella Day 2 is always the festival’s busiest—and that was evident on Saturday, April 19, as people came to enjoy numerous up-and-coming artists, in addition to the big headliners. Early in the afternoon, Laura Mvula took the Gobi stage. I was in the nearby press tent, and the drum beat coming from the Gobi stage captivated me to the point where I had to get up and see what was going on. Mvula’s drummer turned out a unique set of beats throughout the entire set, while Mvula’s stunning soul-style vocals resonated through the whole tent. People were dancing and grooving, with some simply amazed by her performance. Meanwhile, a man in a marching-band outfit stomped through the crowd as people took photos of him. Speaking of soul, The Internet (yes, that’s what they’re called) followed Laura Mvula. Fronted by a woman named Syd Bennett (aka Syd tha Kyd), the neo-soul…
19 Apr 2014
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Coachella’s second weekend started off on Friday, April 18, on a comfortable note: The heat was not overbearing, with temperatures generally remaining in the 80s. Not even the arrival of some ominous clouds in the afternoon would put a damper on the fun. The Gabba Gabba Heys, a Ramones tribute band, started things off in the Gobi tent at noon. As someone who was fortunate enough to catch the very last Ramones tour during a stop in Cleveland, I can say that the Gabba Gabba Heys sound exactly like the Ramones. When they opened up with “Rockaway Beach,” a portion of the crowd in front of the stage began to mosh. Ramones tunes such as “Teenage Lobotomy,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Rock and Roll High School” and “I Wanna be Sedated” were performed with the Ramones sound intact—although visually, the Dee Dee Ramone was a little pudgier and shorter than the original,…
18 Apr 2014
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When the Pixies show at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace went on sale a couple of weeks ago, the excitement of local music fans was evident: The show sold out quickly. When the doors opened for the show on Thursday, April 17, and the people began flooding in, attendees could feel that excitement: Pixies fans spanned every age range and every walk of life, including punk rockers, hippies and even a few Rastafarians. The opening act, Syd Arthur—a band from the United Kingdom—was a little hard to place, genre-wise. The sound reminded of Destroyer, who use some jazz elements in combination with psychedelic folk and rock. The band suffered through technical issues during their set, as the drummer kept pointing to microphones in between songs while trying to catch the eye of the sound technician. During the end of a songs, the sound technician actually pushed his way to the…
13 Apr 2014
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While most of the music world is focused on happenings in the east valley over the next two weekends, the Hard Rock Palm Springs is making sure the west valley is getting in on the action—with a series of eight pool parties featuring world renowned DJs. On Friday, April 11, the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, in partnership with LED Day Club, hosted A-Trak in the second of eight parties during the Coachella weekends. A-Trak is known for collaborating with Armand Van Helden (under the name Duck Sauce) on the track “Barbara Streisand,” and was once the touring DJ for Kanye West. A-Trak—in a black T-shirt, twin shades and a backwards cap—took the elevated DJ stage in front of the pool around 11:45 a.m.. He started off with a remix of Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me,” mouthing along to the chorus of “Hey, must be the money!” In between main…
12 Apr 2014
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When it comes to pre-Coachella shows, Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace almost always has some of the best—and such was the case on Thursday, April 10, when the Afghan Whigs put on a fantastic outdoor show. Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle (right) took the stage as the sun began to set. During a set of mostly Distillers songs, Dalle opened with “Die on a Rope.” Dalle explained that earlier in the day, she had been in some sort of accident with a Joshua tree, and that her left leg was a little numb—but she never showed any signs that it hindered her. When Dalle and the band (which includes Distillers and Spinerette guitarist Tony Bevilacqua) played “Sick of It All” and “I Am Revenant” toward the middle of the set, she was on fire, belting out the lyrics and playing her guitar masterfully. It’s been said that Dalle’s voice is not…
31 Mar 2014
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Pappy and Harriet’s was packed on Saturday, March 29, for a show by Linda Perhacs, a folk singer from the ’70s whose first record, Parallelograms, was rediscovered in the Internet age. The crowd, with ample numbers of fans both younger and older, enjoyed a wonderful performance. Parallelograms was released in 1970 and featured a unique psychedelic folk sound and haunting, yet beautiful songs. However, the album didn’t find an audience, and her music career fizzled. But much like Rodriguez and the band Death, Perhacs was rediscovered by young music fans who sought after obscure artists, thanks in part to the rebirth of vinyl. When the folk label Wild Places sought out Perhacs, it reportedly took three years for them to find her; she was working as a dental hygienist. On March 4, she released her second album, The Soul of All Natural Things, 44 years after Parallelograms. Perhacs walked onto…
12 Jan 2014
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There was not much evidence that Snoop Lion, aka Snoop Dogg, aka Snoopzilla, was serious about going reggae (as part of his 2012 conversion to Rastafarianism) when he performed at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, Jan. 11. His first local performance since Coachella 2012 (when he played with Dr. Dre) was supposed to start at 8 p.m.; however, the show didn’t start until 8:45. Thankfully, what followed was well worth the wait: Snoop showed the enthusiastic crowd that he was still on top of his game. After a lengthy intro performed by his full band and DJ, Snoop finally took the stage. He soon launched into “California Gurls,” performing his parts in the Katy Perry song. After getting the crowd dancing and grooving to “I’m Fly” and “Ups and Downs,” he transitioned into the classic material for which he’s best known. The crowd gave him a loud reception when…
10 Dec 2013
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The “Hard Rock” name has become synonymous with glitz, glamour and—of course—music. In recent decades, the Hard Rock has stepped up its game with new hotel locations and live music productions around the world. The new Hard Rock in Palm Springs is now offering a regular series called The Edge, a revue-style music show, with a different theme each month, featuring up and coming performers. Throughout December, The Edge, no surprise, is offering a Christmas production known as Rockin’ the Holidays. The show is built around a repertoire of Christmas songs you’d expect to hear, such as “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night,” as well as more-recent Christmas hits by pop artists. All 12 cast members are excellent, as is the backing band. However, the show has some serious faults. The biggest fault: The show is held in a ballroom, not a theater…