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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

That time of year is upon us when we say our temporary goodbyes to the snowbirds—and the valley becomes a lot quieter. However, there are still shows that’ll be just as hot as the weather will be.

Alas, the McCallum Theatre goes dark during the summer months—but there are still a handful of great events there in May. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, everyone’s favorite comedy/parody rocker, Weird Al Yankovic, will be performing. Weird Al has brilliantly spoofed many great pop, rock and rap songs through the years, and starred in his own “successful failure” of a movie, UHF. Speaking of which, Emo Philips, who played Joe Earley in UHF, will also be appearing. Tickets are $37 to $87. At 7 p.m., Saturday, May 12, singer-songwriter and actress Melissa Manchester will take the stage with the Coachella Valley Symphony. She’s released numerous albums since the early ’70s, and appeared in television shows such as Blossom and films such as For the Boys. Tickets are $27 to $67. At 4 p.m., Sunday, May 13, 70 high school music students from throughout the Coachella Valley will perform as part of the 2018 All-Valley High School Honor Band. This is the third-annual concert, for which students must audition in front of College of the Desert faculty members to perform. Tickets are $10. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

May is flat-out hot with spectacular events at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 5, Train will be performing. The band arrived with its debut album in 1998, scoring a hit with “Meet Virginia,” and then found it on the very top of the charts in 2010 with “Hey, Soul Sister.” Tickets are $69 to $129. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 19, legendary R&B outfit Earth, Wind and Fire (right) will be performing. Although frontman Maurice White passed away in 2016, Earth, Wind and Fire remains as popular as ever. It is one band every music-lover should experience live at least once; I’m speaking from experience. Tickets are $49 to $79. And now the highlight: At 8 p.m., Sunday, May 27, ’80s rock icon and badass Billy Idol will take the stage. Idol’s mainstream success was well-deserved … but there was a punk-rocker inside of him who always needed to unleashed—and that side of him comes out at times. Tickets are $59 to $99. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has a great May schedule. At 8 p.m., Thursday, May 17, former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar will be performing with his band The Circle. That band includes drummer Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham), bassist Michael Anthony (of Van Halen) and longtime Hagar guitarist Vic Johnson. Hagar was a successful solo artist in his own right before temporarily replacing David Lee Roth. Tickets are $95 to $125. At 8 p.m., Friday, May 18, enjoy a double bill from Tower of Power and Average White Band. There’s a lot of truth in Tower of Power’s name, as it is one of the most powerful R&B bands in music history. Average White Band may have a funny name, but it is one of the best-known names in funk music, most remembered for “Pick Up the Pieces.” Tickets are $45 to $65. At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 26, husband-and-wife Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will be performing. Benetar and Giraldo married in 1982, and have been performing together at times ever since. Tickets are $55 to $75. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 has a fun Cinco de Mayo event: At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 5, enjoy performances by Nacho “Nash” Bustillos, Mariachi Serenata Mexicana and DJ Morales. Mariachi Serenata Mexicana has been performing in the Coachella Valley for several years and is quite popular. Tickets are $10. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace is showing no signs of a post-Coachella/Stagecoach hangover, with a packed May. At 8:30 p.m., Sunday, May 20, X bassist John Doe will be performing a solo set. John Doe’s performance at Stagecoach last year impressed me; he’s a fantastic songwriter, and his style of performance will go over well at Pappy and Harriet’s. Also on the bill: J. Micah Nelson (son of Willie, performing as Particle Kid), and Feisty Heart. Tickets are $20. At 9 p.m., Thursday, May 24, punk/ska band Fishbone will rock Pappy’s. If you’ve never seen Fishbone, you have no idea what you’re missing. Nearly the entire original lineup is back. This is going to be a high-energy show in a small setting, and you’ll love it. Tickets are $30. At 8 p.m., Friday, May 25, the instrumental band Godspeed You! Black Emperor (below) will perform outdoors. I’m personally stoked for this one, given I have always wanted to see the band. Godspeed’s “songs” are not songs in the classical sense; they are long and evolving jams that go to some dark and psychedelic places. Tickets are $40. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Copa Room Palm Springs is hosting the return of a longtime favorite. At 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26; and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 27, comedy and music duo Amy and Freddy will be performing. They've shared the stage with some great names such as The Supremes, Kathy Griffin and even Bea Arthur. Tickets are $25 to $35. Copa Palm Springs, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-866-0021; www.coparoomtickets.com.

Published in Previews

Dear Mexican: I have visited other countries. None would appreciate me waving my flag in their country.

It all comes down to this, MI AMIGO: If you enter this country from any other country, you must have the necessary paperwork to allow you to stay and/or work here. If you enter without paperwork, you have committed a crime. It’s called ILLEGAL ENTRY. All over the world, this law will send you back to your country of origin. Why the hell do Mexicans think for a minute that they are excluded from this law?

Donald Trump has some muy loco ideas. There will be no wall or his other mierda. But be prepared: Should he become the boss, he will look very closely at criminals, reoffending, running back to Mexico and coming back—at the very least. It can’t keep going this way.

You will all work yourselves out of your American dream. I’m sick and tired of Mexicans thinking that this land belongs to them. NOT ANYMORE. Get in line in the legal way. Everybody needs to stop using and abusing the American system. We are now in so much debt that poor citizens don’t have jobs and money to support their families. STOP that CRAP NOW. If you don’t belong here, go back to your country.

Tool for Trump

Dear Gabacho: Don’t blame Mexicans for the national debt; blame the Iraq War and Reaganomics. Don’t blame Mexicans for coming into this country, with or without papers; blame NAFTA, capitalism and the people who hire unauthorized Mexicans. Don’t blame Mexicans for saying the American Southwest belongs to them; blame an unjust war. Don’t blame Mexicans for using and abusing the U.S.; blame an American system that has encouraged cheating every step of the way ever since the Boston Tea Party. Better yet, blame EVERYTHING: That’s all Trump supporters do, anyway.

Man, I haven’t come across a whinier bunch of CHAVALAS since hearing Mexicans defending the use of “puto” during soccer matches.

Dear Mexican: How do I keep my Mexican friend from stealing all my shit?

Amigo de Aztlán

Dear Gabacho: Coat your stuff in condoms—that’s like kryptonite to Mexican men!

Dear Mexican: My co-worker donned a poncho and sombrero for Cinco de Mayo and got totally wasted. He said he had no bad intentions and does not understand why Mexicans get so upset when he embraces Cindo de Drinko. Oh, and he does not understand why “Cinco de Drinko” is offensive, because it’s an American holiday, anyway.

Can you help explain why some Mexicans get offended when a gringo wears our attire on Drinko de Cinco?

I’m the Mexican in the Office Who Brings Tamales During Christmas

Dear Pocho: At this point in America’s history, I say let the gabachos dress up as gross caricatures of our raza. They have little else going for them: Birthrates are down; death rates are skyrocketing; and all their daughters are shacking up with paisas. They’re tilting hard for a new identity, so now’s the time to enact the final stage of Reconquista: Get them borrachos while wearing sombreros and bigotes, then sic la migra on them. Just like it was prophesized in the Florentine Codex, you know?

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I have a Mexican friend at work, and we happened to get into a discussion that started off fine—but I believe I offended her as the discussion progressed. My intention, of course, was not to do such.

We were talking about a Cinco de Mayo celebration, and I asked if she knew the true meaning behind Cinco de Mayo. “Of course I do,” she said. “It was a famous battle we won”—“we” meaning Mexico.

“That’s great,” I replied, “because a lot of people have the wrong idea. They think it’s when Mexico got its independence.” She then said, “Yeah, only you gringos think that.”

She implied that she should know because she is Mexican American. I said that she’s really an American who happens to have Mexican heritage. “I don’t call myself a European American,” I told her. I was born here, just like she was! I also said she should call herself a Roman-Moorish-Spanish-Mexican-American. Showing signs of being upset, she then said that we are really in Mexico. I was at first confused, and then realized that she was suggesting that Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico were originally Mexico’s land. I said, “Actually, we’re in Nevada, which I don’t think was part of that region.” I also stated that it was originally Indian land, and that the Mexicans took the land from the Native Americans. We, being Americans, took it from the Mexicans.

Seeing that she was upset, I apologized for upsetting her. What’s your opinion?

H.R. Harridan

Dear Gabacha: Nevada is not a former part of Mexico? Where do you think the name came from—The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle? That said, you were in the right.

She shouldn’t have called you a gringo at work—she should know better that we save that for when you’re out of sight, or we mutter it under our breath when you’re one cubicle over. She also shouldn’t be telling you that this land is Mexico—although it is, it’s a classified secret not ready for revelation until Nevada is majority-Mexican, like Southern California.

Finally, her whole weepy-moany act is beneath a true mexicana—she should’ve dismantled your weak-ass arguments with the facts or—better yet—a well-placed chinga tu madre.

I’m a very white man who lives in a small town about 13 miles from the Mexico border. In this small town, there is a coffee shop, and an attractive Mexican lady started working there. She does not speak English. I have a Spanish/English dictionary, and I have been writing her notes when I go into the coffee shop. She writes back, in Spanish, short little notes. She says hello to me every time I go in there; I have been practicing my Spanish “hello.” That is about as far as we have gotten. Her children speak English, but she does not. I cannot see spending my life talking to her through her children.

I am not sure what to do next. Can you help me with the next step? I would enjoy spending more time with her …

Still On Spanish

Dear SOS: Wow, a Marty Robbins song come to life! While your average Chicana scholar would rightfully rip you apart for your paternalistic, colonialist, macho, hetero-normative attitude, I’ll be a bit more sympathetic: You’re getting WAY ahead of yourself.

Already talking about seeing a lifetime with this woman? Get to a situation where you can slip off her chonis first, son! And to get to that step, learn some habla first. And to get to that step, get thee to a Spanish-language class; since you’re near la frontera, a soccer league will suffice.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Published in Ask a Mexican