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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Brian Blueskye

When The Righteous Brothers released “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” in 1964, it changed the music industry forever, creating the term “blue-eyed soul.”

The Righteous Brothers will be appearing at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Friday, Feb. 15.

You can’t talk about rock ’n’ roll without “You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.” It’s been included in soundtracks (most notably Top Gun) and has been cited by music critics for decades; it captures awe whenever it’s played on an oldies radio station. The group scored another hit a year later that was almost as big with their cover of “Unchained Melody.”

After two breakups—one in 1968 and another in 1976—The Righteous Brothers reunited in 1981 and stayed together until Bobby Hatfield passed away in 2003. In 2016, Bill Medley started The Righteous Brothers again with Bucky Heard and began touring again.

The Righteous Brothers accomplished a recording industry first related to “Unchained Melody.” It appeared again on the Billboard charts in 1990 after being featured in the 1990 film Ghost. They re-recorded the song … and that version also made the Billboard charts.

During a recent phone interview with Medley, he discussed the two versions of the same song on the Billboard chart.

“It kind of started when ‘You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ was in the movie Top Gun, and we realized that if they would have released it again, it would have been a hit all over again,” Medley said. “When ‘Unchained Melody’ came out, and the radio stations started playing the hell out of the record, they weren’t up to releasing it. So we went back in and re-recorded ‘Unchained Melody’ and put it out. It was a hit. They were playing the original and buying the new one, so both of them went up the charts.”

Medley said that although it was successful, in hindsight, the re-recording was probably not a good idea.

“You really can’t and shouldn’t mess with a record once a record is made,” Medley said. “Even though I produced the original ‘Unchained Melody,’ I knew how to produce the next one, too. But you should probably leave well enough alone. Financially, it worked, but I don’t think it was a good idea to do. You just can’t capture the magic that a hit record has. Nobody knows what that magic really is, which is a cool thing. Even though it was a hit, and you’re going in the studio to re-record it, you still don’t know what that magic, is and you can’t dupe it.”

Famed producer Phil Spector worked with them on “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” and “Unchained Melody” using his “wall of sound” recording technique.

“I don’t throw this word around too much, but Phil Spector was a genius in the studio,” Medley said. “He was brilliant at what he did. I think with ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,’ he just made a record you could never dupe. It was the perfect storm. It was an incredibly written song by Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, and Phil Spector’s production of it was phenomenal, and I think Bobby and I did a pretty good job on it.”

The 2016 return of The Righteous Brothers was warmly received, and the new duo has been consistently on tour since.

“It’s been phenomenally successful. Bucky does a great job,” Medley said. “You can’t replace Bobby, and we’re certainly not trying to, because he was one of a kind, but Bucky is doing a phenomenal job of filling in for Bobby. He’s a great singer; he’s a great guy; and I really love him a lot.”

The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Medley discussed his feelings on its status in the industry today.

“I don’t think everybody in the business has the need or should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he said. “I’m thrilled to death that we are, and I understand one of the criteria for being in there is that you brought something to the industry that wasn’t there and opened up a new door. Bobby and I opened up a new door for blue-eyed soul. I think it’s all OK, but I think it’s getting watered down. Sticking up for the rappers, I they belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they should have their own hall of fame too.”

The Righteous Brothers will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 15, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, in Indio. Tickets are $29 to $59. For tickets or more information, call 760-342-5000, or visit www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Probe 7 is an electronic-music act that Brent Heinze has kept going since 1992. He re-launched Probe 7 in 2018 with a new vocalist, Charlie Harding. Heinze recently relocated to the Palm Springs area, and Probe 7 will be playing at the Piggy Party at the Tool Shed on Friday, Feb. 8, which will also serve as an album-release party. For more information on Probe 7, visit www.probe7music.com. Heinze was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

I went to see Bruce Springsteen with my dad in 1984.

What was the first album you owned?

Bee Gees' Spirits Having Flown, because I loved the song “Tragedy” and took the album from my mom.

What bands are you listening to right now?

The Faint, Skinny Puppy, The Frozen Autumn, Provision, Empathy Test, and Imperative Reaction.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Honestly, with Kanye West, I have never understood or enjoyed anything I’ve heard from him, not to mention anything he has said publicly.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I would have loved to see Joy Division in their original configuration before Ian Curtis’ death.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Queensrÿche's Operation: Mindcrime album.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I have not had the opportunity to play Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles, but would love to play there.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“I have a reservation for a padded room where all my dreams are of you,” Hexheart, “Lunatix.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Hands down, it was The Cure. They were the first band I got obsessed with, owning all their albums.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Laurie Anderson: “Would you please adopt me?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Deine Lakaien’s “Love Me to the End.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Sisters of Mercy, First and Last and Always.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Fires featuring The Rain Within, “Survive.” (Scroll down to hear it!)

February is the shortest month of the year—but it just so happens to be the time for some of the hottest events of the year.

The McCallum Theatre’s packed schedule includes a lot of great stuff. At 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 4, classical violinist Joshua Bell will be performing. He’s the violinist who was the subject of a Washington Post story about him busking in the subway—with few paying attention to him or knowing who he was. Bell has a classical-music career that goes back 30 years, and he’s played some of the biggest classical music halls around the world. Tickets are $60 to $105. At 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, Broadway star and vocalist Linda Eder will take the stage. Eder is no stranger to the McCallum and has turned in sell-out performances on its stage before. Tickets are $38 to $68. Do you love magic? Then at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17, you’ll love It’s Magic! The show will feature some of the biggest stars of magic, and it’s produced by Milt Larsen and Terry Hill, best known as the producers of America’s Got Talent. You’ll see magicians who have performed in Las Vegas and magicians who have racked up international acclaim. Tickets are $18 to $38. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has some big names coming through; here are just a few to give you an idea. At 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1, The Beach Boys will be performing. Beach Boys member Mike Love is now the only original member remaining, though longtime member Bruce Johnston is still along for the ride. The band’s shows remain wildly popular with fans; you’ll hear all the songs that sold millions of records and changed rock ’n’ roll history in America. Tickets are $39 to $79. At 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8, R&B group Boyz II Men will be performing. This would be a nice Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart, if you have one—or even a great night out with friends. I’ve always been blown away by the Boyz’ singing talents and unbelievable harmonies. Tickets are $39 to $79. If those two big names aren’t big enough for you, you’ll love this one: At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, the Dogg himself, Snoop Dogg, will be performing. Snoop’s name is iconic in hip-hop, and he was one of the biggest rappers in the world back in the ’90s (in fact, he still is today), with rap anthems that get heavy radio and club play. Tickets are $59 to $109. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has some compelling offerings in February. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, the famous all-male revue Thunder From Down Under will take place. If your girlfriend isn’t replying to your text messages that night, that’s most likely where she is. Tickets are $15 to $25. On Valentine’s Day, specifically at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, it’ll be a magical night at the Art Laboe Valentine’s Super Love Jam. Laboe has become comically known for all the people who call into his radio show to give shout-outs to their loved ones in prison, which often involve names like “Baby Joker.” Laboe recently gave an interview where he said that he doesn’t judge his listeners—and that’s kept him on the air and has led to some uplifting moments for inmates and their families. The Love Jam will feature Zapp, Midnight Star, The Jets, GQ and The Delfonics. Tickets are $40 to $60. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, you’ll want to soft-rock all night, because Air Supply (upper right) will be performing. I’m sure Air Supply is hoping for a big resurgence similar to the one that soft-rock contemporary Toto is enjoying having right now … but actually, Air Supply is doing just fine without a Weezer cover and without any memes, because Air Supply has sold more than 20 million copies of its greatest-hits record and is still highly in demand. Tickets are $40 to $60. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 has a few shows booked for the showroom in February. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, comedian Felipe Esparza (below) will be performing. You might remember him from his performances on Comics Unleashed and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, as well as other TV and film appearances. He currently has a hilarious Netflix special out. Tickets are $30 to $40. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, Mexican singer-songwriter Pancho Barraza will take the stage. Barraza is a performer of traditional Mexican music. Tickets are $65 to $85. Now for something different … at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, a comedy play titled A Oscuras Me da Risa will be performed. It’s a multi-character comedy about a happy couple going on a weekend getaway and going their own separate ways. Tickets are $36 to $91. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has some must-see shows, per usual. At 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 15, psychedelic rock-band La Luz will be performing. I recently gave La Luz’s new album Floating Features a listen, and it’s fantastic. This should be a great show—and is a must for any rock fan. Tickets are $15. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, the alt-countryish band Evangenitals will be back. As I always say, you haven’t lived ’til you’ve seen the Evangenitals play. Stick around for their multiple sets, especially the last one at the end of the night. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry … wait, you won’t cry, but you’ll laugh hysterically. Admission is free! At 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28, Pearl and the Canyon Revelry Band will be performing. Pearl Aday (daughter of Meat Loaf) has quite a set of pipes, and at a young age was a backing vocalist in her dad’s band. She’s been performing country and released her debut album in 2010; she just released a new album, Heartbreak and Canyon Revelry. My metal-loving friend Frank pointed out that her husband is Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian—so you might catch a glimpse of him at the show. Tickets are $10. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Purple Room Palm Springs is definitely a nice place to consider taking that special someone to for dinner and a show. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, singer Jonathan Karrant will be performing. Karrant is known for his “Hollywood’s greatest hits”-style show, as he performs songs by Burt Bacharach, Michel Legrand and many others. Tickets are $30 to $35. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, Broadway star and vocalist Roslyn Kind will take the stage. The half-sister of Barbra Streisand has toured the globe performing with Babs and her nephew, Jason Gould. Tickets are $45 to $55. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, cabaret performer and singer Iris Williams will be performing. Her jazzy vocals on up-tempo numbers and her ballads will be a treat to hear. Tickets are $40 to $45. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge and Cabaret has a February event worth noting. At 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 15 and Saturday, Feb. 16, pop-country singer Steve Grand will take the Toucan’s stage. You’ll probably remember him as the singer of “All-American Boy,” a song about a gay man in love with a straight man, which went viral on YouTube. The gay country singer has since found continued success; he’s no stranger to the Palm Springs area, having performed at the LGBT Community Center of the Desert’s Center Stage gala in 2016. Tickets are $35 to $45. Toucans Tiki Lounge and Cabaret, 2100 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-416-7584; reactionshows.com.

When three friends involved in the San Francisco punk-rock scene moved to the desert, they decided they needed to get together and have some fun.

The result of that fun is the Hot Patooties, a newly formed band that consists of former San Francisco musicians Nettie Hammar (vocals), Beth Allen (guitar) and Shawn Smith (drums), as well as Yucca Valley bassist and former Gutter Candy member D.D. Gunz.

We chatted at Beth Allen and Shawn Smith’s home in Morongo Valley after an alcohol-infused dinner party.

“We’re from Morongo Valley, where the morons go,” Allen joked. “Shawn and I are in a band together called the Wastedeads, and we’re a two-piece. Nettie also moved to Morongo Valley. Nettie and I are old friends from way back, and I thought, ‘Oh shit, we need to be in a band together.’ The Hot Patooties were born after that.”

D.D. Gunz was recruited after the others decided to form a band here in the desert.

“(D.D.) sent me a response to the Craigslist ad, and asked, ‘Are you still looking for a bass player?’” Allen said. “This ad has been up for over a month. I was being really sarcastic on my phone, and I said, ‘Actually, we’re looking for an old punk-rocker; are you an old punk-rocker?’ I was about to give up. … He said, ‘Actually, yes,’ and then he sent me a photo of himself with his huge Charged GBH mohawk standing next to Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks. I was totally joking and didn’t expect to find anyone like this.”

D.D. Gunz said his time rehearsing with the Hot Patooties has been a lot of fun and even rejuvenating for him as a musician.

“I don’t want to sound cliché, but when I found these guys and played with them for the first time, I thought it was just real music,” Gunz said. “More so than Gutter Candy, who I used to play bass for; there were no influences or anything. It was just, ‘Who gives a shit? Let’s just play!’ Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, that’s how it used to be for me, but it hasn’t felt that way since.

“I’m 43, and I’m playing good music, and that’s a true story. It’s raw, and it’s real, and it’s cool.”

Back in the SF music scene, Hammar was in a band called the Mighty Slim Pickins, and Beth Allen was in a band called the Meat Sluts before they joined forces.

“We were a dyke-abilly band,” Hammar said about the Mighty Slim Pickins. “We were all rockabilly gay-wads, and we played with the Meat Sluts, who were an all-girl punk band, and it just worked. The shows were always packed. We played for a lot of years together before my band broke up and the Meat Sluts broke up. But it was a lot of fun.”

Allen and Smith are a couple; Smith told a story about how he met Allen after a Meat Sluts concert.

“I was in San Francisco for six months at the time and went in to talk to my band and said, ‘OK, who knows Beth Allen?’” Smith said. “My bass player, my guitar player and lead singer all raised their hands and said, ‘We all know Beth.’ I said, ‘OK, she’s going to be my girlfriend within three months!’ And it happened!’”

The Hot Patooties are entering the local music scene with no big intentions.

“We’re all a little older and have done our time,” Allen said. “I’ve toured and have done all that shit. We just want to show the desert how to have some fun.”

Hammar told me a story about touring Europe and making no money.

“We’re all comfortable with ourselves,” Hammar said. “We’re old people. We’re rocking our shit, and we all just got together to have fun. What we’re doing is having fun.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Hot-Patooties-2071750783142932. Disclosure: Beth Allen is an Independent contributor.

The Lettermen began performing in the late 1950s, had their first hit record in the early ’60s, and went on to have an amazing career that’s still going today.

The trio will be stopping by the McCallum Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 24.

Tony Butala is the only remaining original member of The Lettermen; the others, Jim Pike and Bob Engemann, sold their interests to Butala. Today, Butala is joined by Donovan Tea, who joined in 1984, and Bobby Poynton, who joined originally in 1989 and returned several years ago.

During a recent phone interview, Butala explained how The Lettermen worked to stand out in the pop scene.

“We didn’t take (success) lightly, and made sure we did something more in person than stand onstage and do hit records,” Butala said during a recent phone interview. “So many of the other acts at the time were not entertainers and were lucky to have a hit record or two. With The Lettermen, we started with three solo singers when I put this group together. We made sure each individual was a lead singer as well as a performer. So many groups had a lead singer and two or three guys in the background going, ‘Doo-wah, doo-wah, doo-wah.’ We never had that philosophy.”

The Letterman became popular thanks, in part, to popularity at colleges.

“When we had a hit in the early ’60s, we were wanted in the colleges,” Butala said. “We’d go around playing 150 colleges a year—the large universities on the weekends and smaller colleges on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays.

“When you work a lot, it’s like rehearsal. You’re learning what works and what doesn’t work. We found audience participation was the most important thing in our shows. People can always buy a record and hear how pretty you sound, but in person, we wanted the audience to leave with something intangible—that was the fact that they were being entertained.”

When The Lettermen went on to tour the world, Butala said the group had an advantage over other performers.

“When I was a kid, I was in a choir that sang in 17 different languages. We went around the world,” he said. “Capitol Records was an international record label, and instead of our records just being hits in the United States, our records were released around the world. Our popularity was romantic ballads; they were universal, because people fall in love in every language in every country. The Beatles were known for their British Invasion music; the Beach Boys are known for their surfing and hot-rod music; The Lettermen are known for our backseat music.

“When we received inquiries to go to different countries, I taught the other two guys at least one song in each language of the countries we were going to. They wanted us in their country because they played the Lettermen songs in English, but we’d do two or three songs in their language. We showed them we cared, and we tried harder to please them instead of looking down on them.”

Butala said being on Capitol Records was a great experience.

“When we signed to Capitol in 1960, they were just expanding, and they became the first international company,” he said. “Shortly after we signed to Capitol, they signed my friends the Beach Boys. Then shortly after, they signed the Beatles. We were the first ones in … (and were) three big recording acts that helped each other. If you’re a disc jockey in Des Moines, Iowa, playing a Lettermen record, when the Capitol promotions person went there a couple of months later, he’d say, ‘We have this new group called the Beach Boys, and if you play the Beach Boys, I’ll give you the first play of the next Lettermen hit.’ It was a big help and an exciting label to be on at the time.”

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys is a big fan of the Lettermen, and the Lettermen style can be heard as an influence on many Beach Boys songs.

“He came to one of our sessions saying, ‘I want to sing just like you guys,’” Butala said. “Well, the great thing is he’s a genius, and he did some ballads after that, but he did them in a different way. There was no competition, and it was all camaraderie. It was a wonderful time.”

As pop music faded in popularity in favor of rock ’n’ roll, which itself began changing, The Lettermen tried to adapt with times. However, it proved to be too difficult, Butala said.

“People just never heard the stuff we tried, because it was commercially never played,” he said. “In the ’60s, when all the counterculture music was coming, the Lettermen actually recorded a song called ‘All the Gray Haired Men,’ and it was kind of a rebel song. It was putting down the people older than 30 in a way that was saying you can’t think old; you have to think young. We got about five air plays and sold 10 copies to our relatives. We learned by experiment: That wasn’t us. After that, we stuck to what we knew about and kept the romantic ballads coming.”

When I asked Butala if he was tired of touring, he scoffed at the question and said he had no gripes.

“We’ve performed at least 50 shows a year for 56 straight years,” he said. “We try to adapt our shows to the audience that we’re performing to.”

The Lettermen will perform at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24, at the McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, in Palm Desert. Tickets are $28 to $68. For tickets or more information, call 760-340-2787, or visit www.mccallumtheatre.com.

When I first started going to the open-mic shows at The Hood Bar and Pizza, I was constantly taken back by Daniel Scopelitis. Sometimes performing under the moniker of Fantasma Satanica, Scopelitis is often in costume, with face paint, and performs various songs with an instrumental track. Scopelitis was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; and here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

Knotfest 2014, when I was 19. That was awesome. If and when I can afford it, I will go again.

What was the first album you owned?

A Led Zeppelin greatest-hits compilation.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Avatar, Ghost, Aviators and Miracle of Sound.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Mumble rap. In some instances, the voice can somewhat become an instrument, but for the most part, I don’t understand it—ؙnothing against people who are into it.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Michael Jackson.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Disney music, mainly from the classics. Sometimes you’ll find me singing “Hellfire” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Hood Bar and Pizza, mainly for sentimental value; it’s where I got the best feedback for my performances.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“So may your dreams be monumental, when your spirit guides the way,” “Monumental,” Aviators.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Ghost. It got me more into theatrical bands, and I guess you can say it’s made my life a lot less boring. It’s also inspired me to make my show more unique.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

“Could I perform for you?” to James Hetfield of Metallica.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Pro Memoria” by Ghost.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Black Sabbath, N.I.B.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Danny Don’t You Know” by Ninja Sex Party. (Scroll down to hear it!)

Palm Springs’ Church of St. Paul in the Desert wants to help tell the Coachella Valley’s story.

Working with the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission, the Church of St. Paul and artist Bernard Hoyes have begun work on a community mural, “Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters.”

On a recent visit to the in-progress mural—on the church’s wall facing the alleyway behind Trina Turk—Hoyes was finishing up after a group of children from BRAFF (Building Resilience in African-American Families) had done some painting with him. Hoyes said he welcomes people to come and share ideas.

“I’ll just enlarge and re-realize it,” Hoyes said, pointing to a wagon wheel some of the kids had painted. “I’ll just make it more realistic as a wagon wheel so it can be recognized. They suggested things, and I’ll make them come alive in a way that makes them a part of what I’m doing with the mural.”

The Rev. Andrew Green, the rector of St. Paul in the Desert, at 125 W. El Alameda, agreed with the community vision.

“This is one of the elements that makes it a community mural,” Green said. “The vision is adjusting and changing as different people participate.”

Hoyes said he wants the mural to acknowledge the cultural history of the Coachella Valley and its different ethnicities.

“I’ve been living in the desert permanently now for about five years,” Hoyes said. “I’ve been coming here for about 30 years, with my studio in Desert Hot Springs. Since I’ve been out here, I’ve been involved in the community, and I’ve seen the development of Palm Springs from year to year, and I wanted to do something that was an exposé of the development. What are the important elements of the development? One of those things was water. … Water is a nutriment, or in some parts of the Bible, a sacrament, and it’s an important part of the mural. There are different ethnicities from one side to the other side, and we have Esther Williams (who was a Palm Springs resident) in all her glory making water a kind of iconic element during the ’40s and ’50s as entertainment.”

Green said he’s had a mural in mind for the church for about two years.

“Originally, it was on a different wall,” he said. “I was talking with the people from the Palm Springs Art Commission. … They had an exhibit of young people’s art for a Martin Luther King celebration. When we were setting up for that … two people from the Arts Commission came and said, ‘Are you still serious about doing a mural?’ There were two artists who came and checked it out, saying that this wall was better than the other one we had in mind.

“The designs (artists) were submitting went to my church’s board, and they selected this design. But one of the ideas for it was that a mural is a very participatory kind of art. It invites people to get involved in the production end, but it also invites people to get involved at the viewing end. … People will find this to be a sacred space for them and their own spirituality. It would be an offering of our church to our community.”

Hoyes said he’s enjoying painting the mural.

“There’s a level of satisfaction with being involved, especially with the church,” Hoyes said. “My art speaks to religious and spiritual enlightenment and continuity. I made a name for myself as an artist with spiritual works. Most of the work has been derivative of African religious retention. I was raised in a backyard church in Jamaica, and it has stayed with me. I’m kind of versed in the Bible, and I’ve studied other religions. The commonality that is existent—I understand it, and I can inform with the symbols and make an informed statement about spirituality.”

Since the city of Palm Springs temporarily banned murals before creating a new murals ordinance—mandating a rather restrictive and expensive approvals process—back in 2014, few new murals have gone up. But that may change soon, Green said. 

“Palm Springs has had a change of heart in murals,” he said. “The existing mural code was designed to make it hard to do murals. But the Public Arts Commission and the City Council have changed and want to encourage murals—but encourage murals going through a planning process with the Arts Commission in advance. For example, the Arts Commission … said, ‘If you do this and set this up, we’ll approve this, and we’ll take care of paying the city fees.’  … We waited four months to get the process accomplished before (Hoyes) put a brush to the wall so that it was completely appropriate with the city. I did not find anything they asked for onerous or creatively muzzling; the process just takes time.

“Some of the code said for this mural to receive the benefit of the fees, about $1,500 being reimbursed, it would have to be up for at least two years.”

Green said he hopes the mural inspires people to look into the church and to find meaning.

“Far too much, what we do with church is aimed at supporting the building and the institution as a corporation or a facility. What I’m interested in is seeing the church as engaged and embedded in the community,” he said. “I hope that does bring people here. It might bring them here for 12-step groups; it might bring them here for lunch when Well in the Desert is serving lunch on Wednesday—or all different types of things. If it brought them to church, I’d love it.”

When I met with Daniel Sullivan, who goes by the stage name of Provoked, he brought a portfolio that chronicles his history in the local music scene.

A couple of nights before, he’d performed at The Date Shed, celebrating the release of his new album, One Life.

The portfolio included write-ups from publications including The Desert Sun and Desert Entertainer, information on his history with local television and radio, and news about music releases from more than a decade ago.

I asked him about the gap in his history. He sighed and then spoke publicly for the first time about what happened—a felony assault charge.

“I made a mistake that I’m remorseful for,” Sullivan said. “I went to prison. I was gone for five years. I had a lot of time to think—spiritually, mentally, physically and all of that. I feel that it was really the best thing to have ever happened to me. It (led to) the discipline that I needed, and it put everything into perspective.

“I’m back now, and I’m really thankful to be back. I feel blessed that I’ve been getting the response that I have. I want people to know that I’m remorseful for what I did, and I’m thankful for that experience. This might sound crazy; the happiest times of my life were in there, because I knew it was the adversity that would produce the refinement in life that I needed.”

He showed me an employee performance review that was stellar, as well as past and present letters of support from people including County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez; Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia; and Oralia Ortiz, co-founder of Culturas Music-Arts, who wrote in 2012 that she was surprised to hear about his situation due to his community work—including mentoring kids to stay in school.

“I would say that the discipline is really what upped my drive to the fullest and to write as much as I fully could,” Sullivan said. “I have a whole new attitude and gratitude that makes me want to write things that are uplifting. I grew up as a battle rapper, although most of my music was positive. But I was used to saying negative things when I was rapping about other people and clowning around. I want to spread a message of love, consciousness and the things that really matter right now, especially in this crazy time we’re living in.”

One of the tracks on One Life, “17 Years,” features local hip-hop artist J. Patron, whom Sullivan has known since they went to school together. Patron performed at the show at The Date Shed, as did another classmate of theirs, Willdabeast.

“We all went to La Quinta High School together. I met them in 2000,” Sullivan said. “When I met J. Patron, we met battling each other. I was trying to find anyone who was rapping. We had just started going to school there. They told me J. Patron was the guy, so we battled, and then we became friends shortly after. He’s been making music since the late ’90s. Willdabeast has also been rapping since around 1999, too—so we’ve all been rapping for about 20 years or more.

“It’s a trip that everything is coming full circle right now. For me, J. Patron has definitely done a lot out here, and I respect him for that. There’s a lot of history. From 2005 to 2010, we had a really strong five-year run of shows out there. There was so much local hip-hop that was really good. It was so cool. J. Patron said it was like our golden era. It was something really strong that we had at the time.

“But I feel like right now, it’s about to be stronger than ever.”

Sullivan said he sees a lot of positive things going on locally.

“I was happy to see so many artists really doing it. It isn’t even just the hip-hop, but the art and music scene in general and the growth I’ve seen,” Sullivan said. “We’re finally getting to the point where we’re almost giving people out of town no choice but to recognize what we have going on in this desert. This is ushering in a local time for us where local music and local art will get the exposure it deserves. It’s really unique, and we have a really good vibe out here.”

He wasn’t originally planning to make a new album.

“It’s kind of crazy how it all came together,” Sullivan said. “My friends Kancun and Sourcefirst were a big help to me. Originally when I got out, I was doing as many videos as I could, because I felt that was the formula that was really going to work for me. I was focusing on videos, and I never really planned on doing another album.

“I was close to a dozen videos I had done with my friends, and I was like, ‘I have an album.’ I just started organizing it, and it just came together. I was really excited. I felt like the videos were the important thing at the time, but I forgot about the importance of an album and giving people content they can listen to. I have seen how important it is … based on the reception I’ve gotten from this album. I feel like it’s such a full product that was produced in the Coachella Valley, down to the engineering and the graphics.”

Sullivan has returned to helping local youth.

“My friend Roland Gomez at MAEX Academy has been doing stuff with kids out here for a long time. What we’re doing is youth mentoring through music and art,” Sullivan said. “My approach is more toward the at-risk kids. I’ve been through what I’ve been through, so I’m trying to tell them there are a lot more resources for them now when it comes to the music and art. There are centers for them, and we’re working on creating a center for them as well. … If kids can actually meet some of these more established artists and artists that are really big right now, as well as local artists out here, it’s something that can really inspire them. … There are so many different aspects for them to get involved in. I feel like career-wise, aside from music, that’s what I’m really interested in.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ProvokedPoetry or provokedmusic.com.

Director Nick Frangione had a troubled upbringing in rural Pennsylvania—but he used those experiences to inspire Buck Run, a film that will premiere as part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The film follows 15-year-old Shaw (played by Nolan Lyons), who is reunited with his alcoholic father as he’s coping with his mother’s death.

“It’s very, very similar to my childhood, but it’s not exact,” Frangione said during a recent interview. “I did grow up in rural Pennsylvania; my mother passed away when I was a teenager, and my father and I had to renegotiate our relationship. It’s very similar, but there are slight differences. My father wasn’t a hunter, for example, and we didn’t live in a hunting cabin. I also was out of place in my town, and I didn’t really fit very well.”

In the film, the funeral for the mother provides a major plot point.

“The father is very poor, and he’s kind of forced into this situation where he doesn’t have the means for (the funeral), and the main character, Shaw, doesn’t understand that or have the ability to understand that,” Frangione said. “He just really wants to honor his mother and honor her memory and have the normal things one would expect when a parent passes away.”

The on-screen chemistry between Nolan Lyons and James Le Gros, who plays the father, is splendid; Frangione said the casting couldn’t have been any better.

“(Nolan) was just amazing. I wanted a very sensitive kid, and I didn’t want the story about a rough kid. Nolan was just that immediately in the audition: He blew everyone away,” Frangione said. “We really wanted James (Le Gros), because I don’t think there is anybody in the world who could have played that role as well as he did, and it was just perfect.”

The film was shot in rural Pennsylvania.

“We shot in a farmers’ market when it was really happening; we got real Amish people to be in the film,” Frangione said. “We embedded ourselves in the community for a number of months to be able to do that, and we became a part of it, which is the only way I wanted to do it—all real locations, real people’s homes. They all got to know us, and we got to know them, and we made lifelong friends.”

Making a film that’s loosely based on your own life can lead to some perspective-challenging moments, according to Frangione.

“It brought up a lot,” he said. “At first, I really only saw Shaw’s perspective, and I realized no one would want to watch that film, because it’d be too cynical. It was a process of understanding my own father and understanding the people and the place I came from. It ended up being very cathartic, and yet beautiful. It was hard at times, and also really beautiful and worth it at the end of it all.”

Frangione said he plans on working again with the writer of Buck Run, David Hauslein.

“The writer of Buck Run and I are working on another film about a 1970s trucker. It’s sort of a similar thing,” he said. “I didn’t know a lot about truckers, but I’ve grown up around them and have seen them in Pennsylvania. It’s about a trucker and his wife whose son gets kidnapped.”

Buck Run will be screened as part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival at 5 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 6, at Palm Springs High School, 2401 E. Baristo Road; and 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 8 at Mary Pickford is D’Place, 36850 Pickfair St., in Cathedral City. Tickets are $13. For tickets or more information, visit www.psfilmfest.org.

Se7en4 has made a lineup change, welcoming guitarist Chris Williams into the band. Earlier in December, Se7en4 played at the Viper Room in West Hollywood, where Williams made his Se7en4 debut. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/se7en4. Williams was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

A concert called Smoke Out when I was, like, 14 years old. It was 311, Limp Bizkit and System of a Down. It definitely made me want to play a show one day, even though I wouldn’t get into music until I was 21 years old.

What was the first album you owned?

Metallica’s Master of Puppets.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I listen to so much different music, and I go through phases, and currently, my phase is Falling in Reverse, Highly Suspect, The Pretty Reckless and A Day to Remember. Yeah, I’m all over the damn place.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Mumble rap. It is just ridiculous. But these dudes are making money doing it; I will, of course, give my respects to any musician who finds a way to make money doing what they love.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Honesty, Mötley Crüe. Mötley Crüe back in the Sunset Strip days would have been fucking awesome. That was rock ’n’ roll at its funnest.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Elton John. Honestly, I don’t really feel guilty, because his songs and albums are structured so damn well. Wow! What a great songwriter.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I just played at the Viper Room, and it was pretty damn awesome, so there for now. But Se7en4 is playing the Rainbow in Hollywood in February possibly, so that may be my favorite. I don’t know. I’m just eager to play the shit out of the Hollywood venues.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“I’m ready for love and I’m ready for war, but I’m ready for more,” “My Name Is Human,” Highly Suspect.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Ozzy Osbourne—well, the Randy Rhoads days anyway, because (Osbourne’s guitarist) Randy Rhoads had a slick way of melding classical with metal/rock, and it was really a game-changer for me, because it let me know I could have a love for classical and rock, and use one to benefit the other in my practice regimen.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I’m asking Freddie Mercury: How does one just let go and just be who they know they are on the inside as an artist and performer? He had courage, and was a true performer.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Easy: Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses. It’s hands down one of the most in-your-face, bad-ass, epic and immortal rock albums ever produced.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Everyone should listen to that song. (Scroll down to hear it.)