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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

When Juli Crockett of the Evangenitals called, I asked her how she felt about the band returning, yet again, to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.

“We can only go so long without returning to the source!” she replied.

The Evangenitals band has become a Pappy and Harriet’s regular due to its popularity among the crowd, and will be returning on Saturday, June 29.

Crockett explained the mutual love between Pappy’s and the Evangenitals, a self-described “folked-up genre-bending good time band.”

“We try to keep it on a schedule of at least once every three months, or at least once a season,” Crockett said. “Every time we play, we kind of start the process of, ‘When is the next time we can come back?’ Robyn (Celia, Pappy’s co-owner) loves us, and we love Pappy’s.

“It’s funny, because people in Los Angeles ask us where we play locally, and we always say, ‘Um, Pappy and Harriet’s?’ We’d always rather take the trek to the desert and play there than play in Los Angeles.”

In 2014, the Evangenitals released Moby Dick; or, The Album. Since then, there have no new Evangenitals recordings.

“After you do an album on Moby Dick, the question is, ‘OK, now what?’ You’ve taken on a literary epic,” Crockett explained. “One of the jokes that we have is (our) repertoire is so gigantic. We have so many songs, and we’re so behind schedule in releasing them. We’ve been trying to catch up. The working title that we’ve been talking about forever for the next album is The 100-Song Demo. Everybody asks us, ‘What kind of music do you play?’ And we’re like, ‘Hmm, I dunno.’ We can always say, ‘Well, you can listen to our demo; it’s 100 songs!’ We figured that should fulfill the requirements for an epic follow-up and give people a real overview of the things we do.”

How, exactly, would a 100-song demo work?

“How do you release such a thing? Are we really going to release an eight-volume album?” Crockett said. “I recently gave a CD to a millennial artist who I met on the Melissa Etheridge Cruise, but she’s like, ‘I don’t own a CD player! Who owns a CD player anymore?’ So … our idea is to release the 100-song demo as a podcast, so every episode is another song, but then after 20-odd episodes, we’ll release these in albums, and call (the first one) Season 1. I also want to do the 100-song livestream where we actually play them all over a span of 24 hours. We’ll move from being a band into performance artists.”

Wait, the Melissa Etheridge Cruise?

“It was amazing. It’s ruined cruises for us forever. It was incredible,” Crockett said. “Her cruise is its own floating country. It was such an incredible experience. For one, just the demographic: The cruise was 93 percent women, so it was just the energetic difference of not being in a patriarchal society, (but instead a society) dominated by women. It was like being in the Amazonian culture for a week.

“It was such a bad-ass, loving, supportive, talented group of people, from the artists to the fans. My husband, Michael (Feldman), who plays keyboards in the band, said it was such a weird experience, because of the 7 percent of men on the cruise, 1 percent of them were in the Evangenitals. He said it was an interesting experience to see every conversation and every important decision made between women. Women were the deciders of everything. I got to kick off the ’80s-night show in a metallic thong singing Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy.’ I’m still having a hard time coming back from that experience.”

One of the obvious influences of the Evangenitals is Ween.

“We’ve been playing ‘Alone’ from The Pod album a lot lately. That’s one of our favorite things to play right now, period,” Crockett said. “Sometimes we do ‘Cold Blows the Wind’ from The Mollusk album. It’s a Chinese poem that they sing that goes into our sea-shanty aquatic theme. We’re actually going to license ‘Alone,’ because we’ve been working on a recording of that.”

I asked Crockett what the best part of an Evangenitals show is.

“I have no idea what it’s like to see our band, because I’m in it, so I’m always asking, ‘What is this like for a human being to come to Pappy and Harriet’s and be like, What the fuck is happening?’ The feedback that I get that I love the most is that it’s so different than what anyone’s expectation might be. If you think it’s going to be a punk band, it’s like, ‘Yeah, but there’s this other stuff.’ If you think it’s going to be a country band, it’s the same thing. People tell me how life-affirming it is, because it’s so open, so dynamic, and so full of love and humor—which I feel is what the world needs right now. That’s why we keep it so open in terms of genre and everything else.

“There’s a Kierkegaard quote that says (paraphrased), ‘Either God is everything, or God is nothing.’ Part of the Evangenitals is, ‘God is everything, including the fucking shit on the ground, anal sex and anything else you can think of.’ You don’t have to exclude parts of yourself to be alive or have an experience.”

The Evangenitals will perform with The Shadow Mountain Band at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 29, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews

The Evangenitals are known for their funny name and their amusing songs. Now they’re known for their genius: The band’s Moby Dick; or, The Album is an amazing collection of songs based on Herman Melville’s 1851 classic.

See them bring the smarts and the funny when they stop by Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Friday, Dec. 26.

Juli Crockett Feldman has done a lot of different things in her 39 years. She’s been an amateur boxer and a theater director. She’s pursuing a doctorate in media and communications. She’s a wife and mother—and, oh yeah, she fronts the Evangenitals.

During a recent phone interview from Los Angeles, she talked about how the idea for the band was originally sort of a joke.

“Our very first show was Christmas night in 2003. It was our first open-mic appearance that we measure it from,” Crockett Feldman said. “It was at Mr. T’s Bowl in Highland Park, and it was sort of a joke. We did two Christmas carols and our song ‘Queequeg’ at the open-mic.”

Whose idea was all of this?

“(Vocalist/percussionist Lisa Dee) and I worked together … at a company in Silver Lake. It was an Internet-based company, and we spent a lot of time on computers. I did the marketing, and we were actually trying to come up with a name for a manufacturing wing for the company, and I was just being random and shooting out crazy words, and I came up with ‘Evangenitals.’ We were all cracking up and said, ‘That should be a band!’ So we actually bought the website and made a fake website for a band called the Evangenitals. Lisa had a background in opera, and I had a background in theater, and she was in a play that I wrote.”

Crockett Feldman said she found some notebooks in which she had written some silly songs while living with an ex-boyfriend in New York; they had the idea to craft a song and play it at the open-mic. They wound up forming an entire band for the show—and everyone in the crowd loved it.

“If anyone would have told us in the first six months that we sucked, I probably would have quit,” Crockett-Feldman said. “I was so scared and nervous. I wore big flannel shirts and a trucker hat, looked at the floor and played my guitar. We’d sing these totally dirty songs and songs about these random things. This guy saw us at the open-mic and asked if we wanted to play a real show at El Cid in Silver Lake. I said, ‘Sure, but I have to write more songs.’”

They began recording and put out We Are the Evangenitals in 2005. Through the years, they’ve had some well-known musicians in Los Angeles’ music scene come through the band, including a drummer for Dwight Yoakam. Crockett Feldman joked about the band’s lineup.

“The people who end up on Evangenitals records are completely random,” she said. “The joke here is that one in 10 people in Los Angeles have been in the Evangenitals. Lisa and I are the core, but we have this huge company of folks who keep it flexible, so the lineup is never really solid.”

Several Evangenitals songs are usually saved for the last set of the night, given their raunchy subject matter: “The Vagina Song” and “Fuck ’Em All,” for example. When it comes to their favorite subject about which to write, Crockett Feldman didn’t hesitate.

“We’re interested in sex,” Feldman Crockett said. “It’s funny that four out of five songs are a love song in some manner, and that’s true in most music—maybe nine out of 10. People literally laugh and cry at our shows.”

The new album Moby Dick; or, The Album has an amusing back-story. She credits that aforementioned ex-boyfriend in New York, who was taking a literature class.

“He’d come home and tell me these stories from Moby-Dick, and I generated my own version of Moby-Dick in my head based on someone else telling me the story of the book; I had never read it yet. I’ve always had a love affair with the idea of the book. We broke up, and I went off to school, but when I was getting my master’s in directing at CalArts, we had a project that we had to do at the end of the year, and I said I wanted to make a spoken-word opera about Moby-Dick. The school finally approved the project, and what very few of the people at the school know is that I still had never read Moby-Dick. So I read the book, and I loved it even more, and I wrote a play.”

The Evangenitals are no strangers to Pappy and Harriet’s. Crockett-Feldman explained why she loves the venue.

“Other than it’s just the greatest place on Earth and a musician’s dream … it is the perfect balance of a listening audience who is truly there to listen to music, and the good-time audience who is there to tie one on and dance,” she said about Pappy’s. “We’re in L.A. and we’ve been playing these shows at the Coffee Gallery here, and people are really listening and engaging in what you’re doing. But … you start to miss the bar atmosphere, where people are totally losing their mind, and (you miss) what you can get away with in that environment. Pappy’s is the perfect balance between those two things.”

The Evangenitals will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 26, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit pappyandharriets.com.

Published in Previews