Coachella Valley Independent September 2021

Page 1


2 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Mailing address: 31855 Date Palm Drive, No. 3-263 Cathedral City, CA 92234 (760) 904-4208 www.cvindependent.com

Editor/Publisher Jimmy Boegle staff writer Kevin Fitzgerald coveR and feature design Dennis Wodzisz Contributors Kevin Allman, Charles Drabkin, Max Cannon, Kevin Carlow, Katie Finn, Bill Frost, Bonnie Gilgallon, Bob Grimm, Valerie-Jean (VJ) Hume, Clay Jones, Matt Jones, Jocelyn Kane, Kay Kudukis, Matt King, Keith Knight, Cat Makino, Brett Newton, Dan Perkins, Guillermo Prieto, Theresa Sama, Andrew Smith, Jen Sorenson, Robert Victor, Madeline Zuckerman The Coachella Valley Independent print edition is published every month. All content is ©2021 and may not be published or reprinted in any form without the written permission of the publisher. The Independent is available free of charge throughout the Coachella Valley, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies may be purchased for $5 by calling (760) 904-4208. The Independent may be distributed only by the Independent’s authorized distributors. The Independent is a proud member and/ or supporter of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, CalMatters, the Desert AIDS Project, the Local Independent Online News Publishers, the Desert Business Association, the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, and the Desert Ad Fed.

One of the buzz phrases in the media industry these days is “tech stack.” What, exactly, is a tech stack? It refers to all of the systems, software and vendors used by, well, a newspaper, like the Independent, to get what it does out to the public. I bring this all up, because we’ve upgraded virtually the entire Independent tech stack in the last 10 months or so. First off, we moved from an outdated Joomla website that was managed entirely-in house, to a brand-new WordPress website via Newspack, a joint project of Automattic/WordPress.com and the Google News Initiative. That happened in December 2020. The next three tech-stack upgrades have all happened within the last month or so. We switched our digital ad service from Google Ad Manager to a company called Broadstreet. We just signed up with a company called BlueLena to help the Independent grow our audience, our revenue and our Supporters of the Independent program. Finally, we just launched our Best of Coachella Valley 20212022 ballot with the help of SceneThink, replacing the plain ol’ Survey Monkey ballots we’ve used in recent years. You may be thinking: This is all well and good … but why should we care as readers? Two reasons. First: It means that your experience in dealing with the Independent— especially online—is now drastically different, and better, compared to what it was just a year ago. Our website is now one of the best news sites in the state, thanks to Newspack and Broadstreet, for both advertisers and, especially, you, our readers. If you go to vote in the Best of the Coachella Valley readers’ poll—which strongly I encourage you to do through Sept. 13, when first-round voting ends—you’ll have a much smoother experience than you’ve had in previous years. Second: All of this new tech costs money—a lot more than our “old” tech. I mention that for three reasons. First, I want to sincerely thank the advertisers who have stuck with us over these trying times since the pandemic arrived. Second, I need to thank the hundreds of readers in that time who have become Supporters of the Independent. Without our advertisers and our generous readers, we would not have survived the pandemic, much less been able to upgrade all the things we have. Third: To those business owners out there who may be inclined to advertise, and to you readers who have the means to become supporters, I ask you to please consider doing so. We need revenue to keep producing quality local journalism—and we’d like to be able to produce even more of it. If you want more information on any of this, or have any other sort of feedback, please write me at the email address below. Welcome to the September 2021 print edition of the Coachella Valley Independent. Thank you, as always, for reading. —Jimmy Boegle, jboegle@cvindependent.com Cover photo/photo illustration by Dennis Wodzisz

CVIndependent.com


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 3

SEPTEMBER 2021

Arts Best Art Gallery Best Indoor Venue Best Local Arts Group/ Organization Best Local Band Best Local DJ Best Local Musician (Individual) Best Local Visual Artist Best Movie Theater Best Museum Best Outdoor Venue Best Producing Theater Company

Presented by Voting is now under way in the Coachella Valley Independent’s eighth annual Best of Coachella Valley poll! Voting in this readers’ poll, to determine the best of the valley’s best, will take place in two rounds: • The First Round (nomination round) of voting will take place online at CVIndependent.com through Monday, Sept. 13. This round consists of fill-in-the-blank voting. The voting is up to our readers, and our readers alone—there are no predetermined “finalists” or candidates. • The top three to five vote-getters in each category will move on to the Final Round of voting, which will take place at CVIndependent.com from Monday, Sept. 27, through Monday, Oct. 25. • The winners and other results will be announced at CVIndependent.com on Monday, Nov. 22; on News Channel 3 the week of Nov. 22; and in the special Best of Coachella Valley section in the Independent’s December 2021 print edition.

Life in the Valley Best Annual Charity Event Best Bowling Alley Best Car Wash Best Comics/Games Shop Best Gym Best Hotel Pool Best Indoor Fun/Activity Best Local Activist/Advocacy Group/Charity Best Local Radio Personality Best Local Specialty Retail Shop Best Marijuana Dispensary Best Pet Supplies Best Place to Gamble Best Plant Nursery Best Radio Station Best Retail Music Store Best Sex Toy Shop Best Staycation Hotel Best Yoga Valley Professionals Best Air Conditioner Repair Best Attorney Best Auto Dealership Best Auto Repair Best Chiropractor Best Dentist/Orthodontist Best Doctor Best Eye Doctor Best Flooring/Carpet Company Best Local Home Improvement Company Best Personal Trainer Best Pest Control Company Best Plastic Surgeon Best Plumber Best Public Servant Best Real Estate Agent Best Solar Company Best Veterinarian Fashion and Style Best Antiques/Collectibles Store

Best Clothing Store (Locally Owned) Best Day Spa (Non-Resort/ Hotel) Best Eyeglass/Optical Retailer Best Florist Best Furniture Store Best Hair Salon Best Jeweler/Jewelry Store Best Nail Salon Best Resale/Vintage Clothing Best Spa in a Resort/Hotel Best Tattoo Parlor Outside! Best Bike Shop Best Hike Best Outdoor/Camping Gear Store Best Park Best Place for Bicycling Best Public Garden Best Public Golf Course Best Recreation Area Best Sporting Goods For the Kids Best Kids' Clothing Store Best Place for a Birthday Party Best Place for Family Fun Best Place to Buy Toys Best Playground Best Restaurant for Kids Food and Restaurants Best Bagels Best Bakery Best Barbecue Best Breakfast Best Brunch Best Buffet Best Burger Best Burrito Best California Cuisine Best Casual Eats Best Caterer Best Chinese Best Coffee Shop Best Custom Cakes Best Date Shake Best Delicatessen Best Desserts Best Diner Best French Best Frozen Yogurt Best Greek Best Ice Cream/Shakes Best Indian Best Italian Best Japanese Best Korean Best Late-Night Restaurant Best Local Coffee Roaster

Best Mexican Best Organic Food Store Best Outdoor Seating Best Pizza Best Salsa Best Sandwich Best Seafood Best Smoothies Best Steaks/Steakhouse Best Sushi Best Thai Best Upscale Restaurant Best Vegetarian/Vegan Best Veggie Burger Best Vietnamese Best Wings Spirits and Nightlife Best Bar Ambiance Best Beer Selection Best Cocktail Menu Best Craft Cocktails Best Dive Bar Best Gay/Lesbian Bar/Club Best Happy Hour Best Local Brewery Best Margarita Best Martini Best Nightclub Best Place to Play Pool/ Billiards Best Sports Bar Best Wine Bar Best Wine/Liquor Store Rules: • Only one vote per person, per round, please! We’re watching IP addresses, so be honest. • Ballots without a full name AND a working email address will be thrown out and not counted. • If you do not have an opinion in a certain category, leave it blank! • Stuffing the ballot box is a no-no. Interested parties can engage in simple campaigning—like putting up signs, linking to the ballot or using social media to encourage fans/customers to vote—but anything beyond simple campaigning is a no-no. Any businesses, groups or individuals suspected of stuffing the ballot box may be disqualified, at the discretion of the Independent publisher. • If you have questions, call 760-904-4208, or email jboegle@cvindependent.com

VOTE AT vote.CVINDEPENDENT.COM

CVIndependent.com


4 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

OPINION OPINION

THE XX FACTOR G

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/OPINION

Meet Jessica Taylor, a renowned singer who came to Rancho Mirage to start over in her 60s

BY KAY KUDUKIS

rowing up in Kentucky in the 1950s and ’60s, Jessica Taylor cannot recall any troubles with racial discrimination—except for the water fountains. One was labeled “colored,” which is where she sipped water. She says that casually: “Oh yeah, there were the colored water fountains and all that.” What she does recall is having issues with the men in her life. When Taylor’s father found out her mother was pregnant, he “peaced out,” and they never heard from him again. Shortly after giving birth, her mother was diagnosed with cancer, leaving little Jessica and her older brother to be raised by her grandmother, a very strict disciplinarian. While at Hunter, Taylor met her second Jessica sang around the house, to which husband, Gayle. He had a great job with the her grandmother responded, “If you can sing government, but he was a philanderer. When around here, you can sing for the Lord.” Taylor got wise to his shenanigans, he came up “Next thing I know,” Taylor says, “4-yearwith a sketchy solution: “If we move to New old me is onstage (at Liberty Baptist Church) York or Los Angeles, I won’t be tempted. It in front of all these people. I started singing. won’t happen again.” By this time, Taylor had They started shouting and clapping.” She her fourth son, Gayle Jr., and wanted to make loved it. the marriage work, so, at the age of 21, she Taylor says she was a tomboy as a child packed up the kids and moved to Los Angeles. and started working odd jobs at the age of At this point in the story, I will tell you I 12. Around the same age, she got interested am at Taylor’s home. She and daughter Mimi in boys. “And when I got interested in boys, I live together, and Mimi is filling in some of was interested,” she says, laughing. the gaps that Taylor can’t recall. Since she’s That led to an ill-advised plan: Get a mere 15 years younger than Taylor, I asked pregnant to get away from grandmother’s if she had some memories of what Kentucky iron grip. That’s when Ricky showed up. was like as a child. “He was smooth,” she recalls with a dreamy “It’s funny,” says Mimi. “I don’t recall really smile. “He had these pretty green eyes. He was nice, tall, slim, and he was a good dancer.” ever seeing lots of white people.” Mimi takes a moment. “The first time I started seeing He made her swoon, and they had three more was when my aunt, who was a cook at a children together: At the age of 15, she country club, took me to what we called ‘rich gave birth to Serenia (called Mimi); then white folks’ homes.’ That’s the first time I saw Ricky Jr. when she was 16; and Christine a whole bunch of white folks together. They by 18. By then, Mr. Smooth was no longer were very nice, very civil, and loved my aunt.” dreamy. Ricky stole and cashed her grandma’s Mimi was 6 when they moved to Los Social Security checks, got caught, and was Angeles—and that, she remembers: “I was sentenced to three years in a federal prison. going to Hooper Elementary, and that was the He got out after one. first time I had ever seen Hispanic people. In Meanwhile, Taylor worked as a hotel maid, Kentucky, we didn’t see any. It was strange to sang in clubs and held other odd jobs, all me, because they spoke differently than I did, while getting her GED. When the Hunter in Spanish, and I couldn’t understand what Foundation began an HMO in the early they were saying. I had never experienced that 1970s, Taylor got in on the ground floor. before, and thought, ‘This is different.’ But we John Hunter was born in 1859 and was the still played together.” first African-American surgeon at Lexington’s Jessica Taylor enrolled in college while St. Joseph Hospital. His son, Bush, was not both singing at jazz clubs and working other only a physician, but a piano player and singer. jobs—at a car wash, an insurance company … Taylor doesn’t recall how she found out about whatever put food on the table. She received the job, but it doesn’t take a great leap of the government assistance for the kids, and she imagination to think she may have met Bush sent as much money as she could back to in a club. The Hunter Foundation trained her Kentucky to help her grandmother, who’d to be a physician’s assistant, giving shots, opened a restaurant. It was a thin tightrope, writing prescriptions, doing minor surgeries but Taylor toed it. She graduated summa cum and setting casts. Although Taylor has no laude with an associate’s degree in music. recollection of racism, gender inequality was Then, for the first time she can remember, rampant—women were paid much less than Taylor was racially profiled: She was shopping the men who had the same job description. CVIndependent.com

Jessica Taylor onstage.

at Macy’s with a white friend, and a store clerk followed Taylor as she shopped. “(My friend) noticed, confronted the clerk and told her she’d never shop there again and insisted (she and I) leave the store,” Taylor recalls. “(My friend) told me that was her first real wakeup call to racism and bigotry.” As you may have guessed, Gayle continued cheating. After 16 years of marriage, they divorced around 1980. “I met (my third husband) on the Pasadena freeway. I was going to a gig with a girlfriend who was also a singer. He pulled up beside us and said, ‘Hey, Happy Mother’s Day.’ We ended up with his phone number, and I invited him to one of my gigs.” Taylor married Anthony (Tony) Taylor the following year, meaning she regained her maiden name by getting married. Tony, she says, was the love of her life, and for the first time, she was happy in marriage. In the early ’80s, Taylor began a gig as “The Dish” in a Platters tribute band. She was with them for a few years before they began to tour internationally; Tony stayed home with the kids. It was the first time Taylor had been overseas, but it was not her last. On the plane to their first trip to Finland, Taylor was told she was not receiving $1,000 per show as contracted, but $500 instead. Although she continued to perform for them for many years, she was constantly calling

out management for cheating them. They eventually fired her. However, there were multiple Platters tribute bands, and Taylor joined the band that was legally allowed to use the name The Platters. “The pay was much better,” she says. But she says she was still getting ripped off. She says she saw a contract that was to pay each member of the group $16,000 per show. They were only paying them $1,000. But she stayed. As life often does, it delivered a terrible blow: In 2005, her son Gayle Jr. was murdered. They never discovered who did it. By 2009, Taylor had left The Platters and was singing in nightclubs across Southern California. Tragedy struck once again on Nov. 23, 2011, when Tony passed away. He’d been sick for a few years, but Taylor was devastated. Her faith, as always, saw her through. She emphasizes that she does not trust religious organizations, but she does trust Jesus with all her heart, so it wasn’t hard for Taylor to take a leap of faith and, along with Mimi, bring her gifted voice to Rancho Mirage. Starting over at any age is exciting, but daunting—and when in your mid-60s it can either break you, or it can make you bloom. Taylor, as it turns out, is a perennial. For more information, visit www.jessicataylor.com.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 5

SEPTEMBER 2021

for ticket information visit

www.thecentercv.org

CVIndependent.com


6 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

OPINION OPINION

HIKING WITH T I

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/OPINION

More-experienced hikers may enjoy treks to Southern California’s highest peaks

BY THERESA SAMA

n recent months, I’ve written about cooler places, just a short drive away, that will appeal to hikers at any level. This month, for the more-experienced hikers and avid outdoor adventurers, I’m going to discuss a few really cool but strenuous trails—involving the two highest peaks in Southern California. Mount San Gorgonio, or “Old Greyback,” is the highest peak in Southern California at 11,503 feet—and it’s on my bucket list to summit. Mount San Gorgonio is located in the San Bernardino National Forest, and is, as of this writing, open for hiking; trails had been closed due to fires, and some portions may still be closed. hiking is best from March until November. According to the San Bernardino National I have done this hike many times, and it is Forest website, there are 81 miles of trails by far the quickest, easiest and smoothest in the San Gorgonio Wilderness, including a route—that is, if you don’t get caught up in small portion of the Pacific Crest Trail; several a sudden thunderstorm, which happened to trails lead to the peak. According to AllTrails, me one time. (That trip quickly became an the Vivian Creek Trail is the steepest and adrenaline-pumping adventure, but it turned most challenging, but is rewarding thanks out well.) The views from the San Jacinto to amazing panoramic views and a waterfall Peak are absolutely breathtaking, making the along the way. It’s my preferred route, as trek to the top worthwhile. On a clear day, I’m currently training to summit Mount San you can see the Salton Sea and beyond to the Gorgonio. The Vivian Creek Trail is 19 miles east, and the Pacific Ocean and even Santa round-trip (an estimated 10 hours) and climbs Catalina Island to the west. Being at the top more than a vertical mile, over less than 8 of Mount San Jacinto is beyond amazing! miles, to the summit. Water may be available For a longer and more-challenging route, along this trail, but don’t count on it, and take the Skyline “Cactus to Clouds” Trail that always bring a filter just in case. Dogs are starts on the desert floor behind the Palm allowed but must be kept on a leash. The trail Springs Art Museum; it’s best used from is best used from March until October, and October until May. This route is a grueling a wilderness permit is required; they’re free 21 miles—and that’s taking the Aerial and can be requested up to 90 days in advance Tramway down the mountain. It’s 16 miles online at sgwa.org/wilderness-permits. Here are a few tips from socalhiker.net that to the peak, and then 5.5 miles to Mountain Station. I took this route and made it as far as will help make your hike to San Gorgonio Mountain Station; that was enough for me— Peak more enjoyable: and at the time, I considered myself to be in • Apply for your permit early. This is great shape. As AllTrails points out, this trail the second-most-popular trailhead in the is not for the fainthearted. The elevation gain San Gorgonio Wilderness, and permit quotas is more than 8,000 feet in the first 12 miles, often fill up in advance. with much of that in hot, dry conditions. • Start hiking early. Trailhead parking Then it’s another 2,600 feet to the summit opens at 6 a.m., and the parking lot fills up from Long Valley. If you choose to hike this fast. It’s a long day, and by starting early, trail, please use caution, and plan accordingly. you’ll avoid the worst of the heat. Note that there is a fee to use the tram; get • Be prepared. For an all-day mega-hike tickets at pstramway.com/tickets. like this, preparation really counts. Carry Another option to summit San Jacinto Peak the 10 essentials. It’s a long trail. Don’t is to take the less-crowded approach from underestimate the water and electrolytes Marion Mountain, aka the Idyllwild side. This you’ll need. is my favorite route, and it is best used from The second-highest peak in Southern June until October. (I’ve been on this trail in California is right in our backyard—Mount March—and found myself in snow up to my San Jacinto. With an elevation of 10,834 knees.) The Marion Mountain trail begins feet, it is the mountain that towers over Palm just north of Idyllwild and is the shortest Springs. There are several routes to the peak, route to San Jacinto Peak—but it’s a steep but most people take the route that begins and a brutal climb of more than 4,600 feet in in Long Valley, after taking the Palm Springs less than 6 miles. It’s just as difficult coming Aerial Tramway up to Mountain Station. back down as it is going up. Although water is It’s 11 miles round trip (approximately 5-6 available at the ranger station in Long Valley, hours) from Mountain Station, and the CVIndependent.com

T at the top of San Jacinto Peak.

among your hiking essentials, you will want to bring plenty of water, food, a warm jacket and gloves. San Jacinto Wilderness day use permits are free but required. They are available at park headquarters in Idyllwild; the Long Valley Ranger Station from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway; the Marion Mountain parking lot kiosk; and at the Stone Creek Campground (for the Marion Mountain trail) at the kiosk to the right, just before entering the campground registration area. Let me emphasize that the trailas mentioned here are not for beginners.

They’re all very strenuous and should be taken seriously—and you probably won’t have cell service. When on the higher trails, make sure you are acclimated to the altitude, or you may find yourself more short of breath than usual. Hiking these trails requires planning, preparation and permits. Be prepared for unexpected weather; high winds and storms could blow in at any time. Always hike with a buddy, and make sure someone knows where you’re going. Bring more water than you should need; stay hydrated; follow all safety protocols; and always expect the unexpected.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 7

SEPTEMBER 2021

TAKE THE INDEPENDENT CHALLENGE

#1 for What’s Happening In Greater Palm Springs

1. Peruse the Independent. Look at the quality of the writing, the layout, the topics, etc. 2. Do the same with any other local publication.

Find Us/Follow Us!

@ILoveGayPS

@GayDesertGuide #ILoveGayPalmSprings #ILoveGayCatCity

3. Compare. CVIndependent.com


8 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

NEWS

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/NEWS

FIGHTING ISOLATION A

by kevin fitzgerald

n October 2020 report from the AARP Foundation and the United Health Foundation came to this concerning conclusion: “Two-thirds of adults report experiencing social isolation and high levels of anxiety since the beginning of the pandemic. … Many of those affected have not turned to anyone for help, perhaps because many don’t have reliable social-support networks.” A June 15, 2021, statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quantified the health risks of loneliness: “Social isolation was associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia and other serious medical conditions. … There is strong evidence that many adults aged Harriet Baron is the director of development 50 and older are socially isolated or lonely in at the Mizell Center, where the building ways that put their health at risk.” reopened to members on June 15, and nonBecause of all this, it was fantastic news members on July 12. She said Mizell staff when in June, the area’s senior centers— prepared the building while closed to be including the Mizell Center in Palm Springs, COVID-19-safer when it reopened. and the Joslyn Center in Palm Desert—were “We had plexiglass installed all the way finally able to open their doors after being around our front desk, for instance,” Baron closed for 15 long months. said. “Due to our lack of space, our staff Then, almost immediately, came the Deltamembers are forced to sit rather close to one variant-driven spike in COVID-19 cases. another, so we had plexiglass placed around However, both Mizell and the Joslyn Center each of their desks. Also, we replaced fabrichave remained open, thanks to both proper covered chairs with 300 brand-new vinylprecautions and a high vaccination rate among covered chairs. We installed air-scrubbers senior citizens. for our HVAC system. We did everything “The members are thrilled to be back,” said we possibly could to ensure to our members Jack Newby, the executive director of the that we were providing them with the safest Joslyn Center. “And it’s really important that environment that we could with the means they be back, because they’ve been isolated that were available to us.” for so long. One of the main reasons for Mizell issued a vaccine mandate for senior centers is (to alleviate) the adverse everyone entering the building, which went health consequences for seniors, which can be into effect Aug. 9. enormous when people are isolated for long “We’re proud to be the first among our periods of time.” peers to put such a policy in place,” Baron said. Newby cited one study that said prolonged “People were so grateful that we put this policy isolation for seniors had similar negative in place that they were coming in with their health effects to smoking two packs of vaccination cards immediately after receiving cigarettes a day. our email notification, asking, ‘Can I get my “Our goal all along during this COVID green dot now?’ (A staff member places a green pandemic has been to try and keep people dot on a member’s center identification card engaged through virtual programs,” Newby after proof of vaccination is shown.) … People said. “Now that we’re open for in-person are relieved and grateful to know that we are programs, we’re limiting attendance; we’re doing everything that can be done to protect taking temperatures and requiring masks. We their health and welfare. Yes, there have been keep detailed class records in case we need one or two people who have left their thoughts to do contact-tracing, and we’ve expanded about this on Facebook, and there have been our cleaning schedule. We’ve (temporarily) one or two people who have shared their re-done our lobby so that it’s not conducive to thoughts in a phone call. By and large, they gathering.” have not been members of our organization.” Newby said he, too, is feeling better now Over at the Joslyn Center, Newby and his that the Joslyn Center’s members are back in team decided not to issue a vaccine mandate the building. for now. “We have (an electronic, website-fed) “We had an extensive discussion about it calendar displayed in our lobby,” he said. “… at one of our board meetings,” Newby said. Sometimes, during days when we were closed, “I have mixed feelings about it. I know that I I’d turn on that calendar just to see what can go on the internet in 60 seconds and get virtual programs were going on, so I could a blank vaccination card and print it out on remind myself that we were out there doing card stock, if I wanted to do that. Perhaps if things.” CVIndependent.com

Despite the Delta-driven COVID-19 surge, both the Mizell Center and the Joslyn Center remain open for seniors

people are able to provide the link to the state of California’s vaccination (database), then that might be something that we would look at. Unfortunately, right now with the Delta variant that we’re dealing with, even if somebody is vaccinated, they could still become infected. So, for a number of reasons, we have not yet decided to require proof of vaccine.” While proof of vaccination is not required at the Joslyn Center, masks certainly are. “There was initially some resistance from some members about wearing their masks,” Newby said. “We had to tell them that, ‘If we have to remind you more than once, we’re going to start by suspending your class activities for a week.’ If they continue to not follow the rules, then we will have to suspend that class activity indefinitely. … We haven’t had to take that step yet, because once we give them the warning, the fear factor sets in, and they go wear their mask. … Our feeling is that this is nothing to play around with. This is a virus. We know it doesn’t care how old you are. It doesn’t care what political party you’re in, how rich you are, or how poor you are. It’s a virus.” Mizell has kept its mask mandate in place as well, even after instituting the proof-ofvaccination policy. “While you’re in our building, you must always have a mask in place,” Baron said. “People have been very compliant with that, and they’re really good about monitoring one another, which is very reassuring. If someone is diametrically opposed to wearing a mask, then we will not invite them in.” Newby said the pandemic has taken a significant toll on the Joslyn Center’s membership rolls. “Prior to COVID, we had a little over 2,100 members,” Newby said. “Because we weren’t able to offer (in-person) classes, many people did not feel that they needed the membership. So, (membership) dropped by about 50%, which for us had a pretty significant financial impact. Now that we are opening more classes, we are seeing more enrollment. We’ve probably made up about 40% of that loss.” Conversely, Baron reported that Mizell’s membership numbers are up: “Off the top of my head, I’d say (our membership numbers) increased about 15-20%.” Both centers offer Meals on Wheels service for homebound and needy seniors—and both have seen the demand skyrocket. “Our Meals on Wheels program has increased, and it was even more at the height of COVID, because we were helping

After being closed for 15 months, Palm Desert’s Joslyn Center reopened in June. Joslyn Center Facebook page

the Riverside County Office on Aging with emergency food,” Newby, of the Joslyn Center, said. “They would call us and ask if we could help them out with meals, and then either our volunteers or their volunteers would deliver them. Now, the city of Rancho Mirage, which invested a lot in the (partially federally funded) Great Plates program, just ended it, so we are starting to see some of the people who were on that program wanting to enroll in our program.” Mizell’s Baron said: “It’s been extremely impactful on our Meals On Wheels program. The number of people we were serving on a daily basis increased by 60%. Same number of staff, same kitchen space, same everything— but just more food, and a lot of hope, and commitment, and heart.” Both Newby and Baron expressed hope that their centers would be able to stay open despite the Delta-fueled case surge. “We’ve come back to the land of the living,” Baron said, “and we’re really happy to be here. … About a year and a half ago, in February 2020, we revealed our new logo and branding. Our new tag line was: ‘Full of Life.’ Well, for the next 15 months, that was just ironic. But we are now very glad and relieved that the Mizell Center is again full of life.” Newby summed up his COVID experience by simply saying: “Support your local senior center.”


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 9

SEPTEMBER 2021

WHAT WAS, AND WHAT’S NOW

By Shonda Chase, FNP Nurse Practitioner, Co-owner, Artistic Director and Advanced Aesethetic Injector at Revive Wellness Centers in Palm Springs and Torrance, and Medweight, Lasers and Wellness Center in Irvine

I

see most of my pa�ents every three to six months (some even more frequently!). Most ask me the same ques�on: “What’s new?” We then share each other’s answers to the ques�on. I learn a lot from my pa�ents, and I’m eager to share what’s new that is great in medical aesthe�cs—and what’s “new” that should be avoided. Last month, I a�ended the Concours d’Elegance classic car show in Pebble Beach. This is where mul�-millionaires “duke it out” with billionaires as to who has some of the most incredible classic cars on the planet. Some�mes, the non-millionaire with the most passion and best skills wins over the “BIGS.” The exhibitors pay all of the expenses to get their car and themselves there, so all of the proceeds go to local chari�es. Everyone has a great �me. It’s also a chance for me to see what the men and women are wearing—and how my aesthe�c colleagues are doing for their pa�ents. Before I get to the trends to look for, let me share what was missing on the thousands of spectators and hundreds of par�cipants: raggedy shredded pants, shabby chic, last year’s shoes, boring drab colors, bad makeup, over-sized implants, apple cheeks and duck lips. What I did see: flawless pants and jeans (mostly white), bright and colorful dresses, lace dresses in all colors, fun and well-tailored men’s wear, On Cloud shoes on both men and women, precision makeup, well balanced-lips and lots of thread li�s. Lips Secrets: Lip injec�ons are not just about replacing lost volume or reversing “granny mouth.” Most of my lip-injec�on �me is spent crea�ng right and le� symmetry, enhancing lip profiles, ensuring top and bo�om lips have the proper ra�o, and improving fine lines. Another factor I always inves�gate with pa�ents is lip moisturiza�on: If dry lips are an issue, then I’ll inject a filler that also improves their lip’s moisture. Thread Li� Secrets: I saw a lot of women with face li�s, but their surgeon didn’t do a neck revision or neck li�. I also saw a lot of women who just had non-surgical thread li�s. The new thread li�s are a wonderful op�on un�l you decide to get a longer-term surgical solu�on. The new thread li�s last two years and are a chance to find out if you’d like the results you could receive from a surgical procedure. Next month, I’ll share the latest Secrets about what’s new to stay away from. Un�l then, keep the “Secrets.” Our Revive Wellness Center loca�ons are in Palm Springs (760-3254800) and Torrance (310-375-7599); www.revivecenter.com. Our Medweight, Lasers and Wellness Center office is in Irvine (949-5869904); www.medweightandlasers.com.

You can email your individual ques�ons to Shonda Chase FNP, or Allan Y. Wu MD, Revive’s cosme�c surgeon, at shonda@revivecenter.com.

“Truly a first-class salon offering an experience unlike any other I have had in the greater Palm Springs area.” —Phillip

750 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 3 Palm Springs • (760) 904-0434 psfinemenssalon.com @psfinemenssalon on Instagram and Facebook

Created for men ... by men! Open Tuesday through Saturday 10-6 Book online at psfinemenssalon.com! CVIndependent.com


10 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

NEWS

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/NEWS

FIGHTING CHANCES M

by kevin fitzgerald

ixed martial arts instructor and fighter Jarred “Bear” Fiorda was feeling pretty good when we chatted recently. His nonprofit Free MMA gym was again open in Cathedral City after being shut down due to COVID-19, and his free martial-arts classes were gradually gaining more participants. Oh, and he just started training in earnest for a major MMA bout, where he’ll fight at 185 pounds, on Oct. 2. The gym, at 68545 Ramon Road, No. C101, offers both free workout space and a variety of free-to-all courses every Wednesday through Sunday. Mixed martial arts, taekwondo, ground a couple of ads to promote their products. work and children’s self-defense are the focus. Everything is really a joint effort, but I think Some classes are taught by Fiorda; others are Jarred has done an incredible thing, not only also taught by experienced MMA combatants. with the gym, but with his social media. And “It feels kind of like it did in the beginning, behind every great person, there’s always a like when you first started out,” Fiorda, 24, team.” said about the gym reopening. “You start Fiorda credits his mother with starting him building your name and getting people’s down the MMA path at a young age as he grew attention. … Just before the pandemic, we’d up in Desert Hot Springs. have classes of 15 to 30 people, and now it’s “When I was 5 years old, my father passed somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 people away, and a large portion of the family that I per class—and sometimes even less than that. knew at that time had also stepped out of my And the donations are not the same. Everyone life and out of my mom’s life,” Fiorda shared. got hit hard, so not everyone’s able to put “That left me very, very angry and aggressive in what they used to, or what they’d like to. as a kid. In school, I was physically acting out. There’s great enthusiasm from the individuals I was getting in fights and attacking other who are coming in, but the numbers are a little students. So my mom decided that, if I’m bit less due to the nature of the pandemic.” going to be this aggressive, she was going to Summer Helene is a marketing-media put me some (place) where I could do that strategist who works closely with Fiorda productively. That’s how I actually started to create, monetize and guide his rapidly martial arts itself, and that was at a taekwondo expanding social-media footprint. His short school. I fell in love with it, and I started video posts on TikTok, Livit, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have netted him roughly competing at 7 or 8 years old.” Fiorda said his mom worked extra hard 1 million followers across the platforms. to keep him in MMA classes when the Great “All of the money that Jarred makes from Recession arrived in 2008-2009. However, not social media and from his fights goes to the all of his friends stayed in the classes. gym,” Helene said. “Everything he does goes “It becomes a matter of paying for electricity toward that gym. He built the branding and and (to keep) the roof over their heads, or put all the money toward the gym, including paying for martial-arts classes,” Fiorda said. any branding deals. The only deals he won’t “When that happened, some (fellow former take are with marijuana companies and things students) got into gangs, or drugs, or violence, like that, because most of his followers are and a couple of them passed away. To me, if children, so he’s a little choosier about the they had stayed in martial arts, that would brands that he works with.” never have happened. They would have gotten Alexis Romero is Fiorda’s manager. She the same opportunities and the same chances handles logistics for the gym and his fights, that I did—that I was able to act on, and that and training arrangements, among other give me the life I have now.” things. We asked her what the funding These experiences are why Fiorda and his foundation was for Free MMA. mother, Michelle, started Free MMA. “He does have a line of merchandise,” “Simply come in, work hard and reap the Romero said, “and he also has livestreams that benefits of what you put in on those mats— he does, and people donate money specifically to the gym. He brings on different sponsorship and we did it as a nonprofit for that reason,” Fiorda said. “We don’t charge for the classes partners, and he gets paid just to do the social at any point. You come in today and take your media itself. The TikTok Creator Fund pays first class, and then come back a year from him, and he (posts on) another application now, and it’s the same price—free.” called Livit that’s currently paying him to do Helene described Fiorda’s mother as livestreams. Also, Crush soda had him do CVIndependent.com

Via his Free MMA gym in Cathedral City, Jarred ‘Bear’ Fiorda offers classes and space to anyone and everyone

“terrifying and incredible, all at one time.” “She’s great. She’ll stand on the sidelines at his fights. She’s his No. 1 fan, and I love their relationship,” Helene said. “He’s the only man I know who would go into business with his mother willingly. She’ll yell to him in the ring to put his hands up, and he’ll respond to her quicker than he will to his coaches. It’s just that ingrained. It’s amazing. … She worked at Animal Samaritans for many years (as) an accountant and bookkeeper. So, she helps him with the gym; it comes out of her pocket, and it comes out of his pocket. And, of course, there are donations. But this past year, it’s come entirely out of their pockets.” Fiorda uses his deep roots and connections in the region’s martial-arts universe to get other teachers—and frequently, these experienced hands also use the Free MMA gym as their training base. “We have people who are either ex-combatants or current combatants at different levels, be it amateur or pro,” Fiorda said. “One of my earliest instructors for Muay Thai kick boxing was a 10-year competition winner in the ring, and he is an active participant in the gym. He’ll come by and train with us, or run a class if need be.” One of those relationships enabled Fiorda to establish an exchange program, of sorts, with another well regarded MMA gym, KBX Fitness in Indio. “KBX Fitness is run by UFC fighter Cub Swanson and his brother, Steve Swanson,” Fiorda said. “Just before the pandemic began, they were coming out (to our gym), and we were holding friendly group sparring sessions where 30-40 people would be in our space throwing their hands and feet. Also, we’d travel out to their gym and do the same thing.” At the risk of dampening the Fiorda’s mood, we asked him if—in the face of the Delta-variant-driven COVID-19 wave—was he concerned that he may have to shut down the gym again. “I’m absolutely concerned,” Fiorda said. “But even when we reopened, we didn’t say, ‘OK, come on in! Throw your masks off. No need for vaccination.’ We never said anything like that, and we never promoted anything like that. When we reopened, we had people wearing masks indoors during the operation of the gym, and we still do. Even in the lessons, (the students) are spaced apart and doing their drills and activities with very minimal contact. During the lockdown, we actually livestreamed all of our classes. So, people still had the

Free MMA gym founder Jarred “Bear” Fiorda poses in front of his Cathedral City gym. Courtesy of Free MMA

opportunity to go on our Facebook page and follow along with the lessons we put out there for everybody. If it comes time to do another lockdown, then we’re ready and willing to start doing so again immediately, the same way we did before to ensure that everyone stays safe.” To date, Fiorda’s career as a fighter has lagged behind his accomplishments as an entrepreneur and teacher. “This upcoming bout is a big fight for me,” Fiorda allowed. “There are supposed to be cameras onsite to televise it. It’s going to be one of the biggest fights I’ve ever had. Personally, to me, this is another bout to not only test myself to make sure that I’m still growing and still a great fighter, but (also whether) I’m still able to represent Free MMA and represent my students, and make sure that I can perform at the optimal level that I need to be successful.” The way Fiorda sees things, the more successful he is as an MMA fighter, the more successful the gym cam be. “They are absolutely entwined,” Fiorda said. “But my fighting represents the gym. My fighting brings money into the gym—the sponsorship money, any online product deals I make. That all goes to Free MMA. The fighting (should) take precedence, as that’s my way to represent the gym.” For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ FreeMMAGyms.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 11

SEPTEMBER 2021

NEWS

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/NEWS

DELTA’’S DAMAGE C

The Desert Healthcare District calls for more mask and vaccination mandates—but most public agencies refuse to heed the call

by kevin fitzgerald

OVID-19 is resurging in the Coachella Valley—a trend that began in June. Meanwhile, with a few notable exceptions, local public officials have remained on the sidelines as the Delta variant has run amok. On July 28, Desert Healthcare District CEO Dr. Conrado Barzaga issued a strongly worded public statement, on behalf of the DHCD Board of Directors, urging all eligible unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated immediately in order to protect themselves, their family members and the community at-large. In part, the statement read: “The Desert Healthcare District and Foundation Board is to be vaccinated or tested weekly.) calling for swift action from the Coachella “From my perspective, I think it’s Valley’s business and educational leaders unfortunate that we don’t yet have a to protect residents from COVID-19, as requirement in place,” Barzaga said. “We have hospital admissions dramatically increase other requirements for vaccinations in place across Riverside County due to the Delta such as diphtheria, varicella (chickenpox), variant. On Tuesday, July 27, the board pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis and polio. All strongly recommended full vaccination for those and some other vaccines are mandated employees and all eligible students returning to enroll in schools. My recommendation is to campus for in-person learning, as well as that the COVID-19 vaccine is added to those recommended that everyone wears a mask in requirements.” public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination One could argue that the largest positive status. These community health and safety recommendations would remain in place until impact on vaccination numbers in the valley would come as the result of a mandate or a vaccination rate of at least 80 percent is requirement issued by the Riverside County reached in the valley, according to a report Public Health Department, or as an action from the Healthcare District and Foundation. taken by the county’s Board of Supervisors. More than 238,000 people have been fully However, a majority of supervisors have said vaccinated so far, but an additional 106,707 such mandates will not be issued. individuals must be fully vaccinated to “I think it would be important for the state accomplish this goal.” and the county to look into what language In an interview, the Independent asked Dr. they can use,” Barzaga said, “and what Barzaga what spurred him and the DHCD regulatory power they have in their chapters, board to speak out while other local leaders that they can exercise to the maximum of remained mute. their capacity to ensure that the highest “From a health-care agency perspective, number of people that we can get vaccinated, I believe we have that ethical responsibility do get vaccinated. I think that’s imperative for to advocate for this,” Barzaga said. “And as a our community.” health-care professional, I feel the same way. Even though the DHCD has no legal I think it is imperative that we talk about a authority to enforce mask or vaccination (COVID-19 vaccine) mandate in that ethical mandates, Barzaga said it was important for context, because we’re living in a closely the district to speak out. connected society, and some people choosing “The Desert Healthcare District chose not to be vaccinated is creating a safety to use the words ‘strongly recommending’ and public-health risk for the rest of our the vaccine for everyone, which I think is community. I think that the libertarian ideas a politically correct term,” he said. “There which might be the justification that some are some agencies who are in a position to people use not to be vaccinated were OK 200 mandate, or require, that everyone (under years ago, when we had a population density their influence) is vaccinated. It is an issue of three people for every 10 square miles, but of feeling a deep sense of leadership and that’s not the case today.” social responsibility to say, ‘I am in a position The valley’s three local school districts all to require my employees, my students, my opened campuses to students and staff in August, and Barzaga expressed disappointment staff to be vaccinated. It’s the right thing to do for everyone.’ I hope to see that there are that vaccinations were not being mandated agencies that take this opportunity to exercise for everyone (age 12 and older) by the that leadership seriously.” administrators at each district. (On Aug. 11, The Palm Springs City Council, in Barzaga’s Gov. Gavin Newsom stepped in and said all words, took the opportunity to exercise that California teachers and school staffers needed

leadership a week after the DHCD statement, on Aug 4. Cathedral City’s council did the same on Aug. 11. The Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously to enact the indoor mask and vaccination/testing requirements—as well as a mandate that anyone attending ticketed large events, such as August’s two Splash House weekends, either have proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. However, the 5-0 vote only came after a spirited discussion on whether mandates or recommendations were best for the city. At one point late in the session, Mayor Christy Holstege mentioned that three of her colleagues had spoken out in favor of recommendations rather than mandates. “I talked to a number of businesses, and they’re actually asking us to mandate it,” she said. “So I’m really concerned that … recommendations just aren’t working, unfortunately. You know, the recommendation or even the requirement that unvaccinated people wear a mask, I don’t think that’s happening broadly. The honor system here is just not working. So, I’m a little concerned about putting the onus on workers and employers of these businesses to police these policies. What I keep hearing

from workers and businesses is that they want to show the city seal on the order as protection, so that they’re not engaging or policing these rules.” After the 5-0 votes on three separate motions, Councilmember Lisa Middleton delivered a pointed plea to any members of the community. “Vaccinations are available. If you have not been vaccinated, please go out and get a vaccination. It saves lives,” Middleton said. “There are over 600,000 Americans, members of families from all over the place, who are dead. Each and every one of us has lost family or close personal friends. The vaccinations have been administered to millions of your fellow Americans, and it’s helped save lives. Whatever your reluctance, consult with your physician. Go to the person who you trust to take care of your family in times of crisis and medical emergencies, when lives are at stake. … Please get a vaccination. You’re putting your life at risk by not doing so, and you’re putting others’ lives at risk by not doing so. “None of us want to be doing the things that we are doing here tonight, and the more that individuals voluntarily go out and get that vaccination, the more lives we will save, and the earlier we’ll be able to say that we have lived through this crisis.” CVIndependent.com


12 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

OPINION NEWS

UNSUNG HEROES

MAKE THE EASY CHOICE

THE #1 CHOICE COMFORT AIR WE'RE #1 FOR A REASON

ASK US

ABOUT OUR 0% FINANCING

Awarded Best AC Repair Company By Coachella Valley Independent Up to $1000 Off + Special Financing On A New HVAC System HIGHEST QUALITY EQUIPMENT EXTENSIVE WARRANTIES

BEST PRICE GUARANTEED 24/7 LOCAL SUPPORT

SAVE UP TO

60% ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL*

LENNOX SIGNATURE SERIES SYSTEM

*SAVINGS AND RESULTS MAY VARY

CALL TODAY FOR DETAILS! CVIndependent.com

760.320.5800 comfortac.com

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/NEWS

Meet Claudia Herrera, who works with Olive Crest to help at-risk children and their families

C

by madeline zuckerman

laudia Herrera has always been dedicated to helping others. Born and raised in Indio, Herrera has been a preschool teacher and a child-development specialist, and she was a career counselor at Martha’s Village and Kitchen for more than 14 years. For the past four years, Herrera has been an instrumental part of Olive Crest’s successful Wraparound Program, which works with at-risk children and their families in a comprehensive team approach. “All those valuable past experiences and my work at Martha’s Village and Kitchen really prepared me and gave me a good foundation to work at Olive Crest,” Herrera said. has had many successes,” Herrera said. “We The Olive Crest Wraparound Program start with a referral; then we meet the family consists of four team members: a facilitator, and introduce ourselves as the team to start a parent partner, a behavior specialist and a building rapport with the family. The children clinician. Facilitators act as case managers, and family need to get to know us and trust us, closely working with each family and as much as we need to get to know and trust collaborating with social workers, teachers, them in order to help them.” foster-family agencies, Court Appointed Kids in these at-risk families carry so much Special Advocate probation officers and other on their shoulders. They may be dealing with community members. The parent partners fear and anger, and many of them are put into provide peer-based support to parents through the foster-care system for a while. As a result, advocacy, coaching and unconditional positive the kids may act out and display challenging regard. The behavioral specialists work behaviors. The Wraparound team has the one-on-one with the youth to build strong challenge of identifying the problems and relationships and support them in making coming up with solutions. The team works positive changes, through motivational around the family’s schedule, which might techniques and by identifying strengths. The involve going to the home in the evening if a clinicians provide age-appropriate therapy to family member or members are working during address any past traumas. the day. Herrera spent one year as a parent partner On average, families are involved with the in the Wraparound Program before working Wraparound Program for 1 1/2 to 2 years. No to become a facilitator, because she wanted matter how long it takes, Herrera and her team a new challenge and felt her background and never give up and will always advocate for these experience would be a good fit. Herrera has families all the way through. now been a facilitator for three years. Working “We are here for these children and families,” alongside Olive Crest children and their Herrera says. “Our philosophy is that we are not families, Herrera identifies different strategies going to judge a family, and we will be there to and develops solutions to their problems. Her help you—no matter how long it takes.” common-sense approach and individualized programs work to motivate the at-risk children For more information on Olive Crest, visit and their families. olivecrest.org. Madeline Zuckerman is the owner “We are always thinking of new ways to get and president of M. Zuckerman Marketing and these children and parents to work together, Public Relations. Olive Crest is a client of her firm. effectively, within the family unit,” Herrera said. Herrera recently worked with a family with various safety concerns, mental-health struggles and communication barriers. The children were at risk of being removed if changes were not made. Herrera supported the family by creating a safe space for the members to come together each week, to talk openly about the past, and practice positive communication skills. She helped the family through some difficult decisions, increasing the safety of the children while improving communication and keeping Olive Crest’s Claudia Herrera: “We are always the family together. thinking of new ways to get these children and “This, at times, can be very challenging and parents to work together, effectively, within the family emotional work, but our proven team approach unit.” Courtesy of Olive Crest


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 13

SEPTEMBER 2021

NEWS

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/NEWS

As autumn arrives, planets

SEPTEMBER ASTRONOMY

Planets and Bright Stars in Evening Mid-Twilight dominate the 2021 evening sky—but they For September,

all depart before morning twilight

This sky chart is drawn for latitude 34 degrees north, but may be used in southern U.S. and northern Mexico.

C

N

By Robert Victor

elestial highlights for September 2021 include a string of bright evening planets, old and young thin crescent moons, striking pairings of the moon with planets and stars, and a Harvest Moon with conveniently early evening moonrises. Meanwhile, pre-dawns showcase a huge collection of bright stars. And as of Sept. 22 … welcome to autumn! September provides sky watchers with the opening act of an evening planetary display that will get increasingly spectacular through 2021. Earth has recently overtaken the two giant planets of our solar system, Saturn (Aug. 1) and Jupiter (Aug. 19). Those are the dates of this year’s oppositions, when we see each planet by facing directly away from the sun. A planet at opposition is near its closest to Earth, reaching maximum brightness, and visible all night, from dusk until dawn. On Sept. 1, at evening mid-twilight, Jupiter Mercury still 15 degrees to the lower right of is prominent at magnitude -2.9, low in the Venus. On Sept. 11, locate Spica about midway east-southeast, with Saturn at magnitude +0.3 between Venus and Mercury. in the southeast, 17.5 degrees to Jupiter’s upper On Sept. 12, the fat 42 percent lunar cresright. The sun is then 9 degrees below the cent appears about 3 degrees above Antares. west-northwestern horizon. On that date, our On Sept. 13, the 53 percent moon is just more Spaceship Earth is racing directly away from a than 90 degrees east of the sun, rather low in E point 5 degrees above the star Antares in the the southern sky around sunset. That same south-southwest. evening, Mercury reaches greatest elongation, The two planets interior to Earth’s orbit are nearly 27 degrees east of the sun. now visible in the western sky at dusk: Venus is On Sept. 16, the 83 percent waxing gibbous prominent at magnitude -4 in the west-southmoon is 4-5 degrees to the lower right of Satwest. You’ll need binoculars to spot zero-magniurn, while bright Jupiter passes 1.4 degrees tude Mercury, very low in bright twilight and north of the third-magnitude star Delta Capriwithin 16 degrees to Venus’ lower right. corni, or Deneb Algedi, tail of the Sea-goat. During September and October, Mars is lost On Sept. 17, the moon, 91 percent full in in the glare of the sun. the southeast, is 5-6 degrees to the lower right Look within 5 degrees to the upper left of of Jupiter. On Sept. 18, the 96 percent moon Venus on Sept. 1 as the sky darkens, and you’ll appears 11 degrees to the lower left of Jupiter. find Spica. Each day, Venus shifts position On Sept. 20, the fourth full moon of summer against the background stars by slightly more 2021 appears very low, about 8 degrees south than one degree. On Sept. 5, Venus will pass of east at evening mid-twilight. Try for a dif1.6 degrees to the upper right of Spica. The gap ficult pairing, very low in the west-southwest between them will widen to 4 degrees by Sept. in bright twilight on Sept. 20 and 21: Mercury 8, with Spica to the lower right of Venus. passing within 1.5 degrees south (to the lower A very thin crescent moon may be visible on left) of Spica. Using binoculars, try for the pair Sept. 7. Using binoculars, look about 30 min19-20 degrees to the lower right of Venus. utes after sunset for the 2 percent crescent, very The Northern Hemisphere’s autumn begins low in the west, 28 degrees to the lower right here on Sept. 22 at 12:21 p.m. as the sun, movof Venus. Next, find Mercury 14 degrees to the ing southward, crosses directly over the equator. moon’s upper left. Mercury is highest in twilight Besides the moon and planets, bright stars around this date. visible at dusk include golden Arcturus, nearly The 6 percent moon is much easier to spot halfway from the horizon in the west as Sepon the next evening, Sept. 8. Look 15 degrees to tember opens, and dropping lower as the month the lower right of Venus, then find Mercury 5 progresses; Spica, some 33 degrees to the lower degrees to the lower left of the moon, and Spica left of Arcturus; and the Summer Triangle of 4 degrees to the lower right of Venus. Vega, Altair and Deneb, reaching overhead. In Dusk on Thursday, Sept. 9, provides a specSeptember, watch for Fomalhaut, mouth of the tacular view of a 12 percent crescent moon, just Southern Fish, rising 22-23 degrees to the lower 3-4 degrees to the upper right of Venus. Find left of Jupiter. Spica 5 degrees below the moon, and Mercury These gatherings are illustrated on the Sky 10 degrees to the lower right of Spica, and 14 Calendar. Subscribe for $12 per year, or view a degrees to the lower right of the moon. sample copy, at www.abramsplanetarium.org/ Dusk on Sept. 10 finds Venus within 12 skycalendar. degrees to the lower right of the moon, and The morning sky: There no planets—but

September's evening sky chart. ROBERT D. MILLER

Deneb Vega

W

Arcturus

1 Mercury 8

Altair 1 1

8

Jupiter 15 22 1

8 Spica

8 15 22 29 Saturn

22

29 Antares

Fomalhaut

lots of bright stars! After Jupiter Evening mid-twilight occurs sets in the when Sunbefore is 9 below horizon. west-southwest dawn, Sirius, the “Dog Sept.1: 40 minutes sunset. Star,” is the brightest star.after In September’s morn15: 39 " " " ing mid-twilight, Sirius is found in the southeast 30: 39 " " " to south. Trace out the huge Winter Hexagon of bright stars. Beginning with Sirius, its southernmost and brightest member, proceed clockwise through Procyon; the Twin stars Pollux and Castor, 4.5 degrees apart; Capella, the Mother Goat Star and northernmost member; Aldebaran, eye of Taurus the Bull and follower of the Pleiades star cluster; Rigel, Orion’s foot; and back to Sirius. Betelgeuse, shoulder of Orion, lies inside the Hexagon. On Sept. 1, as Spaceship Earth races away from Antares in the evening sky, it’s heading toward a point about 5 degrees above Aldebaran in the morning sky. The sun is in Leo, below the east-northeastern horizon. As we follow our orbit around the sun during September,

22

15

Venus

29

15

S

the stars will shift theirStereographic positions westward. Projection Map bycrescent Robert D.moon Miller On Sept. 2 and 3, the waning appears near Pollux and Castor. On the morning of Sept. 5, let the 3 percent, old crescent moon, low in the east-northeast, be your guide to Regulus, heart of Leo, just emerging from solar conjunction. Look for the star 6-7 degrees to the lower right of the thin, lunar crescent. The moon makes its next pass through the morning sky, waning from full to a thin crescent, Sept. 20-Oct. 5. Watch the waning gibbous moon pause midway between the Pleiades and Aldebaran on Sept. 26. See a fat crescent moon pass 3 degrees south of Pollux on Sept. 30. Robert Victor originated the Abrams Planetarium’s monthly Sky Calendar in October 1968, and still produces issues occasionally. Whether in the Coachella Valley, the Grand Canyon or in Michigan, he enjoys sharing the wonders of the night sky. CVIndependent.com


14 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

John Cerney had coffee with

Photo/illustration by Dennis Wodzisz CVIndependent.com

James Dean this morning. No matter that Dean’s been deceased since 1955. Blackwell’s Corner General Store and the Shell station on Highway 46 near Lost Hills, in Central California’s Kern County, share two of Cerney’s over-sized painted images of Dean in all his iconic glory. One painting is a headshot, with Dean’s eyes squinting, unsure of what’s next; the other is a full-body image of a cocky wiseass. This is the last place anyone saw Dean alive in his Porsche Spyder before his fatal accident en route to Salinas for an auto race. The closeup of Dean contains dozens of painted tiles; the full-body image at the opposite end of the parking lot is a more traditional Cerney work—four or five large puzzle pieces assembled together and painted in stunning Technicolor, almost like an advertisement for a movie. Cerney, whose studio is in Salinas, has watched Dean’s three credited films numerous times. “Because I’m self-employed, I’m by myself most of the time,” says Cerney, 67. “Sometimes, I’ve got to leave the shop to go see a movie. Then I’m connecting with people in the audience.” Cerney loves the road. His black Dodge Ram pulls a trailer containing the disembodied artwork and carpentry tools needed to put his oversized images together. He blasts the Phlash Phelps program on SiriusXM and intermittently pulls to the side of the road to return work calls, answer e-mails and check his Instagram page. He departed Salinas late and is well behind two couples: construction right-arm Phil Catalano and his wife, videographer Carol; and utility player Ken Bonano and his wife, Amy, a nurse. He’s meeting them in Palm Springs for his latest installation. “Popsicles is a grouping of five popsicles— lemon, rainbow, raspberry, strawberry, creamsicle—closely packed together, held by a Black child, a Latina, and three Caucasians,” says Cerney. “The three in the back row are 12 feet tall, and the two in the front row are 10 feet tall. My initial inspiration came from a small book an artist friend gave me on French artist Maurice de Vlaminck (early 1900s). His work was bold and colorful. I was inspired by the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud, who in his early work painted cupcakes and colorful confections. Also, by the outdoor installation near Las Vegas called Seven Magic Mountains by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone.” Popsicles will become one of Cerney’s smaller installations. There have been 18-foottall farmworkers in the fields along Highway 68 between Salinas and Carmel; an entire side of a barn comprising 1,100 painted plywood panels paying tribute to farmers Pisoni and Breschini in Gonzales, Calif.; a lit-up flying

saucer (that has landed) and its inhabitants being greeted by a local family alongside Highway 285 south of Roswell, N.M.; George Harrison entertaining three fans roadside in Benton, Ill.; Amelia Earhart and her airplane in Atchison, Kan.; an oversized toddler playing with fearsome creatures on Interstate 94 east of Miles City, Mont.; a gigantic Neil Armstrong, beside his orbiter and the moon, in Wapakoneta, Ohio; and Cerney’s sprawling tribute to the James Dean/Elizabeth Taylor/ Rock Hudson film Giant alongside Highway 90 west of Marfa, Texas. Cerney’s works are in 25 states and Canada. Carney’s road to making art was long and twisted. Finishing 270th out of 350 high school graduates, Cerney went to work in the produce business. He rose up the ranks from forklift driver to loader to office worker and was making more money than his college-graduate friends. He spent eight years working in Brawley and El Centro in the winter, and Salinas in the spring, having no steady relationships, and watching his co-workers cheat on their wives with frequent jaunts to Mexican whorehouses. (Cerney says he visited one once, paying $7). He then decided to pull the plug. Cerney had started to do small drawings on the side that he sold as gifts for a couple hundred dollars. He took art classes at Cal State Long Beach, graduated, and tracked down his new favorite artist, renowned photorealist D.J. Hall. (Cerney, at first, incorrectly thought Hall was male.) “Meeting D.J. Hall probably gave me my biggest push,” says Cerney. “She drew like an angel. I had to connect with her somehow. She gave me a couple of early gigs she didn’t want any part of, and they were the start of my career.” After Hall passed along a $1,000 commission for a drawing from a Scarecrow and Mrs. King television writer, Cerney quit the produce business and moved to Los Angeles. He ended up being the house-sitter for Hall and her husband, architect Toby Watson.

Cerney is late for a group dinner

at Blue Coyote Grill. The two couples have checked into Alcazar. Cerney has chosen the Motel 6 on South Palm Canyon Drive. This motel is deluxe compared to some establishments he’s stayed at. One in New Mexico comes to mind: It featured exposed electrical wiring, and, in the shower, scrawled in Magic Marker, COLD and HOT. This motel is perfect, because there’s plenty of parking for his truck and trailer, and the installation site is a just block away, at 605 E. Sunny Dunes Road. Cerney has already checked out the vacant lot by the time publicist Janet Spiegel picks him up.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 15

SEPTEMBER 2021

Pitchers of margaritas are served. Everyone imbibes but Spiegel, who is celebrating 30 years of sobriety. Phil and Carol and Ken and Amy were neighbors for years. Cerney and Phil grew up across the street from each other. Cats, dogs, COVID-19, travel and injuries are discussed. Cerney and Phil figure that Popsicles will be their 10th installation together: Cerney directs, and Phil is his loyal first assistant. They were all at the Marfa, Texas, Giant installation, which was a four-day marathon. Former Monkee Mike Nesmith participated musically and financially. The drinks and Mexican food are devoured as Cerney takes it in. He works hard at presenting a roadside ode to the Burma Shave advertisements from the ’20s and ’30s. He’s honest. He’s corny. He picks up the check.

It’s 6:30 a.m., and there’s already a

line at Townie, the bagel, pastry and coffee establishment diagonally across the street from the vacant lot where Cerney awaits a delivery of wood and cement. The lot has a “for sale” sign near the street and a lot of refuse—bottles, cups, newspapers. The location is not the usual type of site for a Cerney installation. He prefers highways, roadsides. “I never really felt the need that my work should be in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and command huge prices,” says Cerney. “The generic, public-art thing became central to my thinking. There’s a place for my giant cutout pieces in society. I almost created a new art form, in a way, of highway art, for the person

Photos by Leslie Bertram in their car driving around on the highway that may not have gotten to an art museum in 10 years—and wasn’t planning on it.” The owners, workers and patrons at Townie, the Tool Shed, the nearby antiques outlets and Kennard’s Automotive are interested. Some approach Cerney to ask what’s going on. “Popsicles. For those 120 degree days.” The building-supply company’s Bobcat delivers pallets of pressure-treated 4-by-6 and 6-by-6 posts, as well as numerous 60-pound bags of cement. The posts will be buried in the ground, supporting horizontal 2-by-6 boards

which will be attached to 15 pieces of painted 3/4-inch MDO plywood—three sections per popsicle. Cerney uses Nova Color acrylic paint, a standard in the mural industry, and the pieces are varnished with three coats of antigraffiti glossy varnish. The artwork stands ready in the trailer as Cerney, Phil and Ken unload the truck: bags of painted nails, screws, Makita electric drills, an electric power saw, a handsaw, shovels, hammers, scaffolding and a Honda EU2000i generator. Carol sets up a Canon camera and a smart phone on tripods to record the construction. Amy starts to clear the lot of garbage. It’s an overcast late-March day. Temperatures today will be in the 70s, tomorrow the 80s. Cerney constantly checks his notes attached to a clipboard like a director consulting a script. He’s Hitchcock in the art world: The project has already been conceptualized, measured, cut and painted. Today, the pieces of the puzzle will come together for the first time, like viewing a

movie print after months of writing, casting, filming and editing. The back row of popsicles goes up first. Bill, co-owner of Townie, pays a visit. He is honored that the installation is angled toward his bagel shop. “It’ll be tagged,” he says before heading back to work. Cerney’s artwork has been ripped from posts, lit on fire and spray-painted. In one case, a painted cutout penis was added to a 16-foot-tall male fieldworker.

The back row of three popsicles—

lemon, rainbow, raspberry—is up. A small crowd gathers. An older woman asks whether an ice cream shop is going in. A patron of the Tool Shed enthusiastically yells, “I want to lick it!” Selfies are already mandatory. Russell Pritchard, a Palm Springs Public Arts commissioner—with a leg in a cast due to a tennis injury—gingerly walks to the site. Cerney greets him, and they go over the events of the past month. What started as public art evolved into conversations between Pritchard and the Planning Division regarding detailed drawings, building permits, licensed contractors, lumber size, use of concrete, contacting the utility companies to check the mural site for water, gas, or electrical lines, etc. Pritchard waded through the installation kerfuffle with the city and told Cerney, “Proceed with our agreed-upon installation date, and we’ll deal with the city.” Phil stops driving nails for a moment and shakes his head. “It’s all these Democrats in continued on next page CVIndependent.com


16 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

continued from Page 15 California. … This would never happen in Texas!” “Popsicles is on private property,” says Cerney. “Anything a private property owner does to his land has to be approved by city engineers. Popsicles is being treated like a shed. … It has to be structurally sound.” One of Cerney’s art heroes was the late Christo, whose battles and negotiations with government agencies are legendary. Pritchard is also documenting the Cerney in progress. “Our goal is to get art in every neighborhood in town, and Sunny Dunes in particular is a street I’ve been wanting to do for the last year, to help support the merchants who are here, and make it look more lively,” Pritchard says. “We have put money in the pockets of approximately 65 local artists in this past year.” A standard Cerney piece would cost between $15,000 and $20,000 and appear roadside; Popsicles—a temporary installation through 2021, on private property on a public street—serves Cerney’s vision of the piece standing in a desert community. The Palm Springs Public Arts Commission is covering $3,500 in expenses. Christo is cracking a smile in heaven, where he has covered the Pearly Gates in fabric.

The bottom row of two popsicles

is intact. Although it’s only 75 degrees, a beer would be lovely right about now. Cerney checks each popsicle, front and back, consulting his sketches and diagrams on his clipboard. He seems content. His team celebrates with elbow taps, and the small group observing the construction breaks into applause. Another installation is in the ground. “Those are my babies,” says Cerney, eyeing each piece and removing small rocks near the posts. “Each one, I devote 100 percent to when I’m working on it. Not being a gallery artist, I can guarantee eyes on my work. Whether I made enough money to be rich, I never cared about that. I probably spend 60, 65 hours a week working. On Saturday night, it’s 9 o’clock, and I’m still painting. My social life revolves around a lot of friends.” Spectators are snapping selfies, unaware that they’re standing next to the creator, designer, artist and carpenter responsible for their temporary delight. Phil is tired, sweaty and bleeding. A 6-by-6 post ripped through his T-shirt, peeling away the top layer of skin. All in a day’s work. He stands next to Cerney. “Popsicles have the power to unite the world!” The workers and observers laugh and applaud. CVIndependent.com

Photo by Leslie Bertram

Cerney and his gang

of five have cleaned up and are enjoying a cocktail at Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge while awaiting the guests of honor: Cerney’s mentor, D.J. Hall, and her husband, Toby Watson. Cerney is distant. He is pleased with the installation, but he’s already moved on to the next job, an oversized female fieldworker to be mounted at the Monterey, Calif., airport terminal. He had to hustle work during 2020, but 2021 is coming together nicely. “D.J. Hall was on top of the art world when I met her,” says Cerney. “She feels frightened by being no longer relevant. Her talent is still there, and she’s the best painter I’ve ever seen, but sometimes that doesn’t matter.” D.J. and Toby arrive, but hugs and handshakes are a thing of the past. D.J. launches into a nerves-driven monologue on the current art world: “A dirty bed with used condoms, needles and bottles of booze on it. That’s art?” As the group scans the eclectic menu, Phil, who used to be an accountant for a fishery, says, “Don’t order swordfish. They have tumors, and they’re treated like bottom feeders.” Cerney orders the carne asada. D.J. asks the table about the COVID year. The couples are closer, talking about missing family visits and live events, and the fact that animals inhabiting the world are better off. Most of the table is happy with the new president. Toby speaks quietly to his end of the table. Janet asks for Eight4Nine owner Willie Rhine to drop by when he has a moment. Cerney and D.J. share two orders of the toffee marshmallow dessert. Another bottle of pinot noir is ordered. New friends have been made.

but the exposure to extreme heat may take a toll. Cerney is pleased that the sun hits the installation from the front for at least half a day. The rich, deep colors make a bright, bold statement: They sell everyone’s love of something cool on a hot day. A few Townie customers approach Cerney with questions and ask for photo ops. The Catalanos and Bonanos pull up. Amy produces two boxes of popsicles from Ralph’s while Carol sets up her cameras for a self-portrait group shot. “After art school, in Salinas, I painted a fake garage scene called Tony’s Friendly Auto

Service on the side of a barn. That got me a lot of attention,” says Cerney. “Then I painted a mural called Enjoy the Game, a fake baseball scene, like Wrigley Field in Chicago, on the side of a barn on Highway 101, north of Salinas. I sold four billboard spots to support the painting of the mural—and got into trouble with Caltrans for putting up my own billboards. I had to repay $20,000. I was the sad-sack artist, Caltrans bust. “But produce companies started paying me to do generic ads on the mural, and friends paid me $100 each to be represented in the ballpark stands. I repaid my clients and got a lot of commissions from it. Twelve years later, I renovated it, but this time, I removed five boards at a time, brought them to my shop, repainted them, then screwed them back in at the site. I learned more about longevity and better preservation methods. It will last for several more decades.” The workers/friends break up before heading back to Salinas. Cerney pays a visit to D.J. and Toby, ensconced in their new home above the Coachella Valley, where they enjoy blueberry muffins and coffee over art talk. Cerney won’t arrive back at his industrialpark studio in Salinas until well after dark. He listens to the 60s on 6 channel on Sirius XM along the way. By Blackwell’s Corner near Lost Hills, Cerney is too tired to stop and see his ol’ buddy James Dean. He’ll catch up with the actor the next time he hits the road for an installation. Robert Crane is the co-author of My Life as a Mankiewicz; SCTV: Behind the Scenes; Jack Nicholson: The Early Years; Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder; and Hollywood Plateau. He contributed to Playboy magazine for 20 years, and his writing has been publications including the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, USA Today and HWY 111. Crane contributed a short story to Beyond Where the Buses Run, a collection from Oregon Greystone Press due in 2022. He lives in Los Angeles.

It’s 6:30 a .m., and Cerney is at work, touching up a few places on the popsicles, painting over exposed nails and screws. The lifespan of Popsicles is roughly 10-12 years,

John Cerney’s James Dean-inspired art installation in Lost Hills. Courtesy of John Cerney.


SEPTEMBER 2021

COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 17

CVIndependent.com


18 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

ARTS & CULTURE

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/ARTS-AND-CULTURE

A PLAYFUL LIAR I

Magician Michael Carbonaro brings tricks and whimsical deceit to The Show at Agua Caliente

By MATT KING

n this era of rampant misinformation, it’s hard to trust anyone … including entertainers. This is just one of the many things on the mind of Michael Carbonaro, the entertainer and magician who hosts the TV show The Carbonaro Effect. He just returned to live performances, including one coming up at The Show at Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage, on Saturday, Sept. 25. “I need magic in my life,” Carbonaro said during a recent phone interview. “I always have, but I think the world, which also needs magic, needs it more than ever now. We need wonder and magic back in our lives, and I am so excited to just get out and play live. As a community, we need entertainment that isn’t just on our screens or phones that are glued to our eyeballs. The magic pandemic-era magic will look like, exactly. of theater is its own kind of magic—and then “It’s very strange, particularly because we you add magic tricks, and you’ve got something haven’t shot any of the TV show yet (since really special for the down times.” COVID-19 arrived),” Carbonaro said. “I’ve been While Carbonaro is primarily known for The shut down since the pandemic, and I didn’t Carbonaro Effect, he said he prefers a live show know if I was going to do another season, over TV “100% of the time.” anyway, even before the pandemic. It’s not the “It’s so fun to have a TV show, and to same. Even looking out at the crowd, if (faces) even be on television—but the thing about are all covered in masks, I’m not going to see television, though, is it’s really fun later, when those jaws dropping in astonishment. I think you’re watching. It’s not as fun doing it,” he we’ve all learned over the last year and a half said. “It’s very difficult … and you don’t really how to read people’s eyes, and that’s kind of get the payoff until later. In the moment, on neat. You really get a lot out of somebody’s The Carbonaro Effect, I see the people reacting, eyebrows moving, or the way somebody’s eyes and we win the bits and everything, but it’s sparkle or flicker. We’ve all learned how to usually an extremely stressful day trying communicate with a lot less facial recognition, to pull this stuff off. With a live show— and that’s pretty cool.” particularly with a whole audience who knows Carbonaro applauded rules requiring that I’m a magician and who are ready to see me entertain—it’s great to share that energy in the audience members provide either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. room and just feel that presence live.” “I don’t want to make it political or Carbonaro said COVID-19 remains very whatever, but I’m liking the trend I’m much on his mind. seeing where Live Nation just announced “Everything is in flux right now,” Carbonaro everything’s going to be vaxed or proofsaid. “I’m all about following, to the letter, of-negative, and that sounds pretty safe,” the CDC recommendations, and so be it. I’m Carbonaro said. “I’m for that plan. It sounds prepared to make these segments work in good, and I don’t know if it’s going to funnel different ways. I’m developing routines sort the audience in a political way, or even funnel of on a triad split, like if it’s just me up on people who aren’t going to be able to get the the stage, or if I do have someone up on the test. You’re going to reduce the amount of stage with me, if I can have them near me— whatever is safest is going to be the best way to sales, but if that’s what we have to do, then that’s what we have to do.” execute it. I approach the material differently While Carbonaro is taking public health now with that in mind. It’s definitely a concerns seriously, he’s also intent on different time.” He looked back on some The Carbonaro Effect providing an escape. “I’m just ready to have big fun. I think that’s segments that would land differently in this what we need,” said Carbonaro. “I’m working pandemic-stricken world. on brand-new effects and routines for this “There used to be a game we would play: tour. It’s an all-new tour, and these are things ‘Can Michael get the person to eat the weird I’ve been dreaming of forever, but really had item?’” he said. “Because I made a lot of weird the chance to perfect over the last year and a items on The Carbonaro Effect, like strange blue putty that turns into perfect ravioli, and people half. It’s just big, fun moments of true wonder and astonishment where people can expect would always eat it, even though it was totally to laugh, be amazed and learn important life weird. I don’t know how that would go over lessons—like avoiding evil garden gnomes, and now. There are no segments in the live show how to lie for fun and profit. where anybody needs to eat anything.” “I’m going to teach the audience some Carbonaro admitted he’s not sure what CVIndependent.com

Michael Carbonaro.

Carbonaro Effect pranks, like how to scare their friends, and (there will be) some real pure moments of magic and really fantastical stuff, like causing someone in the audience to disappear. … (There are also) off the wall segments like how to milk the air and how to magically separate your laundry. I just want to have a lot of fun with everybody in the nutty way that I know they love to watch me lie.” In fact, the title of Carbonaro’s new show is Lies on Stage, a title he admits is “bizarre in these times.” However, he said he believes he actually helps people think. “I know that people know me for being a playful liar, and I think that’s an important distinction, because what we actually need right now is truth, in our society, in our

world—concrete facts and information,” said Carbonaro. “… Teachers at colleges and stuff have called and said, ‘Your show really helps kids, and it makes even myself and my family think critically. … You present to us something that looks so real, and we watch people believe it, and then you tell them that it’s a prank. It teaches us to think critically when we see things in front of us.’ I do happy, positive lying.” Michael Carbonaro will perform at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, at The Show at the Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive. Tickets are $25 to $175. For tickets or more information, call 888-999-1995, or visit www. hotwatercasino.com.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 19

SEPTEMBER 2021

www.GayAndLesbianPages.com

FREE • SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Defending Marriage Equality! It’s The Law! Your Family Hardware Store Since 1947!

EUROWÜRX

Hardware • Electrical • Plumbing Locksmith • Screens Glass - Repairs & Custom Orders Drywall • Computer Color Paint Matching & Much Much More!!

the truth in european automotive tuning Audi – BMW – Mini – VW All Factory Scheduled Maintenance APR, Neuspeed, BBS, Bilstein, Brembo Our Technicians are Former Dealer Techs Over 40 Years of Combined Experience

EMIL’S

HARDWARE

COX PAINT

Shop Online @ www.EmilsHardware.com

SINCE 1945

Free Shipping on Ship to Store Orders!

We Carry Environmentally Friendly Paints

(310) 839-8571

509 South Victory Blvd. • Burbank, CA 91502 vic@eurowurx.com

2525 South Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034

www.EurowurxAutoBurbank.com

Entrance on Corner of Robertson Blvd. & Beverlywood St. (1 Mile South of Pico Blvd. or 1/2 Mile North of Santa Monica Freeway Exit) Like Us on Facebook for Upcoming Sales and Special Offers

ONE ON ONE SPECIALIZED CARE

Marc Berton, Agent

YOUR HOME TOWN VETERNARIAN

Insurance Lic. #: 0630665

Bus: 818-905-1911 Toll Free: 800-924-4459 Bus: 323-872-0482

MEDICINE - SURGERY - DENTAL CARE - FLEA CONTROL - X-RAYS

HOLLYWOOD CAT & DOG HOSPITAL

S

Fountain

www.marcberton.com

Lexington

We all feel the same commitment to care for our families. Helping you meet your insurance needs is part of my commitment to you.

DR. PAUL GIRGIS, D.V.M.

(323) 469-3000 1146 N. La Brea, LA 90038 (North of Santa Monica Blvd.) Across the Street from McDonald’s on La Brea Supporting the Gay Community

20%

So Comfortable, You’ll Never Count

HOT BUY

399

$

Not good with any other discounts.

As Low As

‘Sustaining Donor’ LA LGBT Center

50 BUSINESS

$

PLUS YEARS IN

599

We don’t need Holidays, Gimmicks or Package Deals... “Just Everyday Low Prices”

Limit 2 per customer

Self Storage 760-318-9166 www.palmspringsselfstorage.com

818.766.4289

Mon-Fri Mon-Fri10am8-pm 10am-8pm Sat • Sun 10am6-pm Sat10am7-pm 10am-7pm • Sun 10am-6pm

WEBSITE: WWW.ALSDISCOUNTFURNITURE.COM

Gourmet Cupcakes, Chocolates and Other Tantalizing Desserts Custom-Designed Cakes for All Occasions Temperature & Humidity Controlled 55 - 58 Degrees 70% Humidity Controlled Access Deliveries upon Request

AIDS WALK

Starting and ending at the steps of L.A. City Hall

318-9166

7 6 0

Fall 2017

aidswalk.net

Special thanks to Essential Gay & Lesbian Directory

www.palmspringsselfstorage.com

RV Units - 13’ x 50’ & Up to 90’ x 60’ Warehouse Size Units Purchase or Lease Starting at $97,500 Washer & Dryers Ice Machine Limited RV Supplies

BENEFITING

213.201.WALK

3690 Airport Center Drive Palm Springs, CA 92264

760-318-1105 Right next to Palm Springs Airport Self Storage

Created and produced by MZA Events. AIDS Walk Founder/Senior Organizer: Craig R. Miller. © MZA Events, 2017

www.SHGEsq.com

Cake and Art “The Edible Art Experience”

Palm Springs Wine Storage

3950 Airport Center Drive Palm Springs, CA 92264

OCT. 15, 2017

310.641.8259

NORTH HOLLYWOOD (NOHO Art District) - 4900 Lankershim Boulevard

State Farm, Bloomington, IL

Palm Springs Airport Individually Alarmed Units 24 Hour Video Surveillance Gated On-Site Security Environmentally Controlled Wine Storage Air Conditioned Units Same Staff for Past 12 Years Best Gate Hours in Town 6am - 10 pm Open 7 days a Weeks

EMPOWERMENT • EXCELLENCE • EMPATHY • EFFECTIVENESS

Visit our website at: www.CakeandArt.com 8709 Santa Monica Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90069

310.657.8694 order@cakeandart.com

Celebrate your day to remember surrounded by your closest friends and family and leave the details to us. Palm Springs has ideal wedding weather and the Riviera Palm Springs is the perfect backdrop, offering luxurious and contemporary indoor and outdoor weddings.

OurGayApp.com

GLPages.com

Client Testimony - “It may sound dramatic but I owe my legal motherhood to David Moore. During a tenuous legal time, I began working with him in 2005. His attentiveness to my queer identity, my relationship with my daughter and family dynamics assured me in a way for which I will be forever grateful.” Frankie Travis “non-bio” mother

• Adoptions • Child Visitation • Divorce • Litigation • Restraining Order

• Asset Divisions • Child Custody/Support • Alternative Dispute Resolution • Dissolutions • Domestic Partnerships • Real Property Divisions • Pre/Post Nuptial Agreements • Estate Planning • Mediation/Negotiation • Wills & Trusts

Equality and justice using our laws and court systems demands representation by an experienced legal representative who knows the law, understands the application of the law, and that is capable of overcoming legal inequities that sometimes exist for Community members. Using my legal experience, knowledge of the court system and dedication to justice for all, I lead my clients through family law litigation, negotiation, and collaborative agreements. In addition my office provides mediation and alternative dispute resolution, custody advice, and other valuable services to address client’s individual legal needs.

Los Angeles, Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties

(323) 680-0210 • (805) 643-1671 • (805) 660-8066 Vivian Lee Arber M.S./M.P.S. • Alternative Dispute Resolution • (805) 746-4586 www.DivorceCalif.com

B.G Loan & Jewelry ..................................13 years Cal Pet Crematory .................................... 13 Years Ed’s Coffee Shop .......................................13 years Eurosport German Auto Performance ...13 years Greg Cash Tax Plus ................................... 13 Years Hollywood Cat & Dog Hospital ............... 13 Years Hollywood Divers .................................... 13 Years Jeffrey Greathouse Attorney ................... 13 Years Sea View Optometric ............................... 13 Years Signal Hill Pet Hospital ............................ 13 Years Twenty Four 7 Cleaning ........................... 13 Years Canyon Interiors ...................................... 12 Years Cox Paints ................................................. 12 Years Done Right Discount Flooring ................ 12 Years Emil’s Hardware ....................................... 12 Years Gregory Cason Psychologist ................... 12 Years JR Hardware Sash & Door ........................ 12 Years KFK Jewelers ............................................. 12 Years Marc Berton Insurance ............................ 12 Years North Hollywood Hardware .................... 12 Years Paragon Cleaners ..................................... 12 Years Rush Hour Jewelery .................................. 12 Years Stuart Garrison Attorney .........................12 Years The Mail Box ............................................. 12 Years Venice Beach Suites ................................. 12 Years Abe’s Garage Door ................................... 11 Years Alcid Hair Design ..................................... 11 Years Animal Dermatology ............................... 11 Years Barak Chiropratic ..................................... 11 Years Dana Bruce Attorney ............................... 11 Years Elliott Salter Pawnshop ........................... 11 Years Jaguar Car Service ................................... 11 Years Japanese Auto Center .............................. 11 Years Larry’s Custom Furniture ......................... 11 Years Max Muscle of Long Beach ...................... 11 Years New England Divers ................................. 11 Years Santa Monica Yoga ................................... 11 Years

R E A L I Z I N G T H E D R E A M. T O G E T H E R .

Say “I do” in your style. 1600 North Indian Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, CA 92262

760.327.8311 rivierapalmsprings.com

Plug and go without worries till your next trip

NOBODY TAKES CARE OF YOU LIKE STATE FARM®.

Open 7 Days a Week

JULY

At State Farm® you get a competitive rate and an agent dedicated to helping you get the coverage that’s right for you and the discounts you deserve. I’d love to take care of you too. Call me today.

Proudly Representing the LGBT Community and Everyone for Equal Justice for Over 30 Years

Se habla español

7601 Goddard Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90045-3219

Queen Mattress

The Best Buy Seal and other licensed materials are registered certification marks and trademarks of Consumers Digest Communications, LLC, used under license. For award information, visit ConsumersDigest.com.

AL’S DISCOUNT FURNITURE 1-800-RING-ALS •

0907504

Law Office of David Lee Moore

Spectrum Quality Paint

• Wrongful Termination • Employment Discrimination/Harassment • Workers’ Compensation • Sexual Harassment • Work Place Civil Rights Issues • Serious Personal Injury Please e-mail your concerns or questions at: shg@shgesq.com

These Guys Again.™

OFF

All Serta products with this coupon

Proudly Serving Our Community Since 1982

Pratt & Lambert Purdy Woodkote

Kelly-Moore Paint

Stuart H. Garrison Over 30 Years of Dedicated Trial Experience on Your Side

Civil Trial Practice

Queen Adjustable Bed

CALL ME TODAY.

• Auto • Business • Life • Homeowners

Featuring These Fine Paint Products: Benjamin Moore Donald Kaufman Color Farrow & Ball Fine Paints of Europe Frescatti Modern Masters

Law Offices of

Queen Mattress Starting at

12 Months Same as Cash!

Santa Monica

www.HollywoodCatDog.com

LOS ANGELES

Cox Paint - Culver City 11153 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232 (1/2 Block East of Sepulveda) 310.838.2284 Hours: Monday to Friday 6:30 - 5:30 Saturday 7:00 - 4:30

www.coxpaint.com

Same Sex

Family $199 is why we do it all.

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.®

Sunset

E

Highland

N

N. La Brea

W

Sycamore

Detroit

FULL BOARDING FACILITIES • LOW COST VACCINATIONS ON WED. & SAT. • SPAY • NEUTER BATHING • ULTRASOUND • MICRO CHIPPING • LASER THERAPY • X-RAY • SURGERY • DENTAL IN-HOME EUTHANASIA • HABLAMOS ESPAÑOL Come See Our Newly Remodeled Hospital!

Call For Doctor’s Hours

Cox Paint - Santa Monica 1130 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Corner of 12th St.) 310.393.7208 Hours: Monday to Friday 6:30 - 5:30 Saturday 7:00 - 5:00

CERTIFIED SERVICE & REPAIR

FULL SERVICE VETERINARY CLINIC

Office Hours: Mon-Sat: 8am – 6pm Sun: Closed

Specialist in Custom Blended Colors Two Convenient Westside Locations:

818.843.4400

MON-FRI 8AM-5:30PM • SAT 8AM-5PM • SUN 9AM-1PM

DAVID HOOD & GEORGE SELLERS present

SPECIAL THANK YOU!

2018

$75 - 4 Wheel Alignments $50 - 2 Wheel Alignments (Most cars) Car - Truck - Boat - RV

Auto Fire Business Life • Health

Kristin Brinkema Agent

$26.75 + Cert. 3449 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. • Signal Hill, CA 90755

Toll Free 877-226-2668 Fax 562-597-0249

www.signalhillpethospital.com

850 Colorado Blvd, Suite 204 Eagle Rock, CA 90041-1733

Ragi Boctor, D.V.M. Mirette Attalla, D.V.M.

323-256-2251

Complete Service Hospital & Boarding Facility General Medicine • Internal Medicine • Orthopedic Surgery General Surgery • Laser Surgery • Dentistry • Radiology • Ultrasound

Fax 323-256-6339

www.kbrinkema.com kristin.brinkema.c8o8@statefarm.com

• Low Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic on Wednesdays • Low Cost Vaccinations Every Day Extended Hours for Easier Drop Off/Pick Up Mon-Fri. 7am-7pm • Sat. 7am-4pm • Sun. 9am-4pm

Most Cars from 1996 to Today Not valid with other offers.

Coupon Required $30 off regular price. Most cars & light trucks

$50 OFF Not valid with other offers. Coupon Required

$50 off regular price. Most cars & light trucks

$40 OFF

$50 OFF

Transmission Service

Brake Service

Not valid with other offers. Coupon Required

Not valid with other offers. Coupon Required

$40 off regular price. Most cars & light trucks

$50 off regular price. Most cars & light trucks

$24.95

FREE Inspections

AC Service & Inspection

• FREE Tire Inspection • FREE Belt & Hose Inspection • FREE All Fluid Inspection • FREE Brake Inspection • FREE Estimates on Repair Jobs • FREE Filter Inspection • FREE Body Work Estimates

OIL CHANGE SPECIAL

• Oil Drain & Fill • Perform Multipoint Inspection • Including Filter & 5 Quarts Oil • $5 Extra for Each Additional Quart • Syntetic Extra • On most cars

(323) 462-8383 • (323) 462-2764 1787 North Highland Ave. Hollywood, CA 90028

www.FSARepair.com

Support Those Who Support Our Rights!!

2017-2018 www.GLPages.com

SERVING THE LESBIAN, GAY, BI-SEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY

13th Edition

Facebook.com/GayYellowBook Twitter.com/GayYellowPages YouTube.com/GayYellowBook

COMPASS ROSE

FI NANCIAL PLAN N I NG A FINANCIAL PLANNING & INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT FIRM

Your Fiduciary Advisor DESERT BUSINESS ASSOCIATION’S 2019 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation and get acquainted with an independent, Fee-Only financial planning & investment management firm located here in the Coachella Valley.

GIRLFRIEND The Smash-Hit Rock Musical by TODD ALMOND &

Allow us to show you the benefits that result from a financial plan tailored to helping you achieve your goals.

MATTHEW SWEET

October

27-30

COMPASS ROSE FINANCIAL PLANNING 760-322-5200 • www.compassrosefp.com 333 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 112-A • Palm Springs, CA 92262

starring PATRICK ORTIZ & EDDIE VONA

“Under The Stars” Event at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater

TICKETS ON SALE NOW DEZARTPERFORMS.ORG • (760) 322-0179 GIRLFRIEND is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals. CVIndependent.com


20 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

2021-2022 EVENTS

#1 for What’s Happening In Greater Palm Springs

For the latest Events, Visit GayDesertGuide.LGBT

Sept. 17-19 Sept. 18

Aging Positively / Reunion Conference

Sept. 22

Taste of Palm Springs and Business Expo

Sept. 29-Oct. 3 Oct. 4-17

Club Skirts Dinah Shore BNP Paribus 2021

Oct. 14-17

Modernism Week Fall Preview

Oct. 15-17

Casual Concours (Great Autos)

Oct. 16

Faux Fur Ball Gala 2021

Oct. 22

LGBTQ Community Center Stage

Oct. 24

LGBTQ Community Center, Reopening Celebration

Oct. 28-31

Leather Pride 2021

Oct. 30

DAP Health Desert AIDS Walk

Oct. 31

Halloween Palm Springs on Arenas

Nov. 1 Nov. 3-6 Nov. 6 Nov. 6-7 Nov. 7

George Zander Candlelight Vigil and March Light Up the Night HRC Palm Springs Garden Party Palm Springs Pride Festival Pride Parade

Nov. 10

Michael Childers One Night Only

Nov. 13

Desert Hot Springs Pride

Nov. 19-20

Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival

Nov. 19-21

McCormick’s Palm Springs Exotic Car Auction

Nov. 20 Jan. 6 2022

Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala Palm Springs International Film Festival

Feb 24-28

International Bear Convergence IBC 2022

Apr 15-17

Coachella 2022 Weekend 1

Apr 22-24

Coachella 2022 Weekend 2

May 6-8

@ILoveGayPS

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Jan. 6-17

Apr. 29-May 2

CVIndependent.com

Gay Days Anaheim/ Out on the Mountain

White Party Palm Springs 2022 Palm Springs Hot Rodeo

Find Us/Follow Us!

@GayDesertGuide #ILoveGayPalmSprings #ILoveGayCatCity @KGAYPalmSprings


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 21

SEPTEMBER 2021

ARTS & CULTURE

MID-WEEK LAUGHS

Oscar’s Palm Springs brings the LGBTQ-themed funny on the last Wednesday of every month

E

by kay kudukis

veryone needs a good laugh—and that’s what comedian and Rancho Mirage resident Max Mitchell is bringing to Oscar’s Palm Springs the last Wednesday of each month. The creator and host of Last Laugh Wednesday, Mitchell described his comedy as “kind of dry and politically oriented. I tend to like controversy, but you know it pretty much runs the gamut.” Mitchell added: “I like one-liners. I want to laugh every eight seconds.” So who is he bringing to the stage with him? “(The comedians) tend to be more like what I do, but not entirely,” he said. “Some of the acts have a funny style; they could almost just read the phone book and get laughs.” The series began in July, and the fun films, Get Your Stuff and Horror in the Wind. continues on Sept. 29 with headliner Dana Both are gay-themed comedies that play to all Eagle. Seen on CBS’ The Late, Late Show, audiences; he has similar aspirations with this Comedy Central, NBC’s Last Comic Standing series. and Comics Unleashed, Eagle has performed “The goal at Oscar’s is to serve the LGBTQIA several times for the troops in Iraq. Her community, but keep it open enough so that one-woman show was featured at the HBO the straight community will enjoy the comedy U.S. Comedy Arts Festival with a sequel as well,” Mitchell says. “Every show, I balance premiering at the Los Angeles Theater it. … I try to make it as diverse as I can.” Festival. She has also written a book, How to Be Depressed: A Guide. The last line in Eagle’s Last Laugh Wednesday takes place at 7 p.m. every bio: “Eagle began her career in musical theater last Wednesday of the month at Oscar’s Palm but was asked to leave.” Springs, 125 E. Tahquitz Canyon Road. Tickets When asked how she feels about working are $35 and include a $10 food/drink credit. For with Mitchell, Eagle circuitously answered by more information, call 760-325-1188, or visit bringing up the COVID-19 vaccine: “I’m a gay oscarspalmsprings.com. bipolar Jew with a lazy eye—what’s a vaccine gonna do to me?” There was a brief pause. “I hope this doesn’t get out, because I tell my family I’m anti-vax just so that I don’t have to see them, but I’d get three more vaccines to do this show with Max.” Sept. 29’s scheduled featured acts are Renee Percy and Wyatt Cote. Percy describes herself as “an award winning actor, writer, comedian and ninja.” (She does hold a second-degree black belt in karate, but to date, has won no awards for being a ninja.) Her first gig, at the age of 12, was as Pipi, a series regular, on Degrassi High. She has opened for the likes of Jeff Garlin, Preacher Lawson, Jamie Kennedy, Bill Burr, Yakov Smirnoff and Jay Leno, and has performed sketches on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Cote has four comedy contest wins and two network television appearances to his credit. His comedy career began as a teenager—while he was also a competitive surfer. Just one year short of a degree in biochemistry from the University of Hawaii, Cole decided to leave college to pursue comedy. How’s it going? Cote says he will not be returning to the University of Hawaii any time soon. Upcoming headliners on the schedule include Julie Goldman (October), Nat Baimel (November) and Vicki Barbolak (January). Mitchell’s credentials go beyond standup; he’s also the writer and director of two feature Sept. 29 headliner Dana Eagle.

CVIndependent.com/ support-our-publication

CVIndependent.com


22 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

DESERT AIDS WALK OCTOBER 30, 2021

together again

PRESENTED BY

Register today at desertaidswalk.org CVIndependent.com


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 23

SEPTEMBER 2021

FOOD & DRINK

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/FOOD-DRINK

CAESAR CERVISIA G

These three L.A.-area breweries create fantastic beers using Old World styles

BY brett newton

ermany. England. Los Angeles. I’ve been to just one of these places recently—but thanks to beer, I sort of visited all three. I have a history with L.A. It chewed me up and spat me out in the 2000s when I went there to follow my dreams of being a rock star. I tend to speak poorly about the experience, but the truth is that I loved my time at the Musicians Institute, and I met a lot of great people with whom I still keep in contact today. Being a beer-lover at that time, however, was a disappointing experience. While L.A. took its sweet time to get into the craft beer game, it eventually made up for it. On my recent Los Angeles trip, I chose to visit three breweries that are committed to Old World beer styles. I did so not to be a contrarian or If the phrase “Yorkshire squares” sounds a hipster, but because these are styles that familiar, it might be because every Samuel helped nurture my love of beer, and I still Smith India Ale bottle mentions the great deeply love them when I come across breweries stone squares in which their beer has been that do them well. fermented. I’d heard of this brewery and the My oft-mentioned time in Bavaria more prospect of legitimate cask ale. I suspect that than 20 years ago sealed the deal for me if most uninitiated American beer-lovers think with German lagers and hefeweizens. A good of cask ale, they think of room-temperature, version of one of those transports me back to a flat beer. The truth is the cellar temperature more innocent time in my life. That, and more, is around 52-55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why my first stop was Enegren Brewing is quite cool (especially for a desert rat). The Company in Moorpark. result of natural carbonation from the cask While not technically in L.A., Enegren and cool beer is a delicious, smooth beer Brewing Company is just outside of its reach, experience—and that is exactly what I had and that, for me, is a bonus. I pulled into when I ordered their At Last the 1948 Mild, a an industrial area and found my way to the 3.6 percent ABV brew that was malty, slightly taproom, where I found lots of outdoor and fruity and nutty. It was a creamy beer that indoor seating, and a truly heartwarming sight was extremely easy to drink in the 80-degree to behold: lagers galore on tap. It’s no secret weather out on the patio. Following it up with that I’m actively rooting for the next trend in the Early Doors “pub bitter,” at the same ABV, craft beer to be clean, crisp, subtle, delicious gave me a similar mouthfeel, but with a little lagers. If that day comes, Enegren will be more grassy, floral hop balance. Sealing the among the breweries leading the charge. deal flavor-wise was their Proper Chips—large I decided a flight would be the best way wedges of fries, which I had with their curry to try everything I hadn’t yet tried—from sauce. With restraint, I took home crowlers a wheat lager they call Rasenmäher Bier of just the Ingenuity pale ale and the Tweedy (translating to “lawnmower beer”) to a series English IPA. The latter offered a great balance of pilsners that were dry-hopped differently of newer hop varieties with a biscuity malt (variously citrusy, dank and tropical in flavors) backbone. A bottle of their How Heavy This to a couple of their more malty offerings, Mash, an English barleywine, also awaits me in Valkyrie and Nighthawk. Valkyrie is an altbier, my fridge. toasty with a hint of chocolate. Nighthawk is After a recommendation by the bartenders a schwarzbier in a dark-lager style that’s lightat Yorkshire Square, I made my way to another bodied, but has some coffee, dark fruit and brewery devoted to British ales: MacLeod licorice flavors. Every beer mentioned but the Ale Brewing Co., in Van Nuys. I was able to Valkyrie was at 5 percent alcohol by volume or get in touch via email with founder Jennifer less. All had plenty of flavor. Febre Boase and head brewer Stephen Reeves. I finished with a glass of their hefeweizen, When I asked what the inspiration for the Schöner Tag, and it is simply the most genuine brewery was, Boase replied: “Alastair (husband American example of a Bavarian hefe I’ve had and co-founder) is from Scotland, and I grew the pleasure to experience. Marie, the bar up in England. When we mentored with manager, was knowledgeable and great to talk Tom Hennessy of Colorado Boy, he highly to—as she served the whole taproom. My only encouraged us to do cask ale for several regret is hearing that they needed to hire help reasons: No one else was doing it; we were well behind the bar and not living close enough to suited because of our backgrounds in the U.K.; offer myself! and, most importantly, we could save money Later in the week, I wended my way south on equipment, because we could go directly to Torrance, and Yorkshire Square Brewery. from the fermenter to firkins. No filtration, no

Enegren Brewing Company, in Moorpark, does American styles of German beer right. Brett Newton

carbonation tanks.” Reeves’ path to the brewery was a little less obvious: “I moved out to L.A. from the East Coast in 2014 to pursue a career in the film industry. After … working freelance, I wanted work that was more consistent and stable. I specifically was looking for a bartending job at a brewery. At that time, there were only a handful of breweries with tasting rooms in L.A. After sending out some applications, MacLeod got back to me with a potential job in the tasting room.” That led him to managing the taproom, getting into the production side, brewing and then being head brewer. Perhaps because Reeves has a homebrewing background, you’d never know he hasn’t been brewing for decades when tasting the beers. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the brewery is its location. “We are nestled in between auto-body shops and tow yards in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, so it does seem a bit odd to open a British cask ale brewery in our location,” Boase said. “At first, we were supported mainly by beer enthusiasts and British ex-pats or Americans who had traveled or even attended college in Britain. However, we have been fully embraced by the neighborhood and are proud of our customer

base, which is extremely eclectic.” I can confirm the parking lot-turned-patio area was full of families and friends chatting over pints and appetizing pizzas. “We really try to offer a wide variety of products for people to enjoy here, while maintaining the drinkability of traditional classic styles, even when we created the subbrand, Van Nuys Beer Co., to focus on current new-wave styles such as hazy IPAs,” Reeves said. “We ultimately try to produce a very drinkable pint, one in which people can have multiple of. Currently, we are in the process of a large brewhouse expansion and adding a tasting room/restaurant to be located in Highland Park.” I am so happy these three breweries exist at a time when craft beer seems to be dominated by murky, same-y IPAs, and viscous, supersweet pastry stouts. Take heart: You can find full-flavored, quaffable beers motivated by styles from around the world—just a couple of hours away. Brett Newton is a certified cicerone (like a sommelier for beer) and homebrewer who has mostly lived in the Coachella Valley since 1988. He can be reached at caesarcervisia@gmail.com. CVIndependent.com


24 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

CVIndependent.com

SEPTEMBER 2021


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 25

SEPTEMBER 2021

FOOD & DRINK

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/FOOD-DRINK

VINE SOCIAL JASON DAVID

Dust off that fancy decanter you inherited— and start using it to make your wines taste better

HAIR STUDIO

I

By KatieLOVE finn YOUR

HAIR

recently tasted an incredible cabernet from Sonoma that cost less than $25 per bottle—an anomaly in the wine world these days. It showed the most beautiful, expressive notes of blackberry, black cherry, leather and warm spices. It was like velvet across my palate, with just the right amount of backbone from the tannins. Country Club and Cook Street “I’ll take five cases!” I enthusiastically told the wine rep. I just knew it was going to be a huge hit. Detasting, sert it wasn’t a huge hit. But when I put this show-stopping cab in the lineup for ourPalm weekly It was dull. Flat. It wasn’t showing all those glorious flavors and aromas like it had when I tasted it 760-340-5959 with the rep. Was this a bad bottle? What hapstudio apartment. You would be a little bitter pened to that incredible Sonoma cab I loved? and desperate for some fresh air and wide-open www.jasondavidhairstudio.net Ah, yes … then it dawned on me: The spaces. Your wine feels the same way. bottle of cabernet the wine rep was showing Wines in their youth benefit from decanting around town would have been opened that to reveal more subtle and complex aromas that morning, or maybe even the day before. By might be masked by the intensity of their fruit. the time he got to me, that cabernet would Wines that we call “fruit-bombs” often just need have been exposed to air. It would’ve had time to breathe and mellow out a bit. to “breathe.” That little bit of oxygen allowed Older wines are primarily decanted because any negative aroma compounds to dissipate, of their sediment. These are those little crunchy shifting the focus to the fruit and savory notes floaties in the bottle caused by the tannins I was supposed to taste. precipitating out, or perhaps the wine was unfilThis is the very reason you have that crystal tered. They are not a flaw and a very normal decanter (or, like, 12 of them?) that you thing to find in your wines, both red and white, inherited that makes you swear like a sailor, but they are not exactly something you want because all it does is collect dust, and it’s a pain a mouth full of when you’re sipping your 1962 in ass to clean … or maybe that’s just me? In Chateau Cheval Blanc. However, a word of cauany case, it’s high time that decanter gets put to tion here: With older wines, the aromas become good use. more delicate and can evaporate much faster, If you have questions about which wines leaving you with a beverage that doesn’t taste should be decanted—if you should decant white much like anything. When you open an older wine, old wine, young wine, sparkling wine or bottle, my suggestion is to drink fast, because in cheap wine—you’re not alone. I get asked these some cases, even after a short 30 minutes, your questions all the time, and the simple answer is: wine can be on its flavor deathbed. Yes. Decant your wines. All of them. Why not? I But inexpensive wine doesn’t need decanting, mean, other than the whole cleaning thing, you right? Sure. You’re also free to eat your frozen don’t have anything to lose. dinner out of the plastic container, but you’ll Think of it like this: As a wine is fermenting, probably experience a little more enjoyment it’s housed in a large barrel, a stainless steel if you put it on a plate. Will decanting an tank or a concrete vat. It has a lot of room to inexpensive wine turn it into Opus One? No. move around and be comfortable. Then, one But it will make the wine more aromatic, softer day, it’s evicted from its expansive space and and pleasurable. And that is the point, isn’t it? moved into a little bottle—kinda like going So what about whites and sparkling wine? from a 10,000-square-foot house to a tiny I say absolutely! I have tasted many decanted

chardonnays from Burgundy and Sonoma, sauvignon blancs from Sancerre and Napa, and vintage Champagnes—and these wines were explosive, like tasting a wine under a microscope, with all its nuances and grandeur on display. Now, I know other experts will disagree with me about bubbles being decanted. The wines will undoubtedly lose some of their fizz, and yes, that’s why most people drink them. However, if you’re a flavor-craver like me, I encourage

you to give it a try. See what it’s like to taste a Champagne that’s been allowed to slowly open up like a flower. I think it’s pretty magical. If for no other reason, decant so you can give your wine a fancy new home for its last night of existence. We should all be so lucky. Katie Finn is a certified sommelier and certified specialist of wine with two decades in the wine industry. She can be reached at katiefinnwine@ gmail.com.

Call 760-779-5000 Open Thursday through Tuesday 71680 Highway 111 #F, Rancho Mirage (Next to Hilton Garden Inn)

CVIndependent.com


26 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

FOOD & DRINK

ON COCKTAILS

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/FOOD-DRINK

Reflections on how the service industry is depicted in movies, TV and more

BY kevin carlow

W

here are all the movies about bartenders? Yeah, I know, this isn’t a movie column, but I feel a lot more like a streaming-content reviewer than a bartender as of late. A misstep on an electric scooter took me out of commission for two months and counting … so much for going carless. In related news: If anyone wants a commuting scooter for half-price, let me know. So … I’ve had a lot of time to find movies and TV shows featuring bartenders or bartending. There is Road House, of course, and it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. That movie is about bars, the menu at my last job. That’s certainly not however, like Snowpeircer is about trains, a bartending movie, but a boozy one. James in that they’re mere settings for violence. Bond popularized the vodka martini (and Patrick Swayze plays a famous bouncer who the Vesper, before Smirnoff got hold of the has a degree in philosophy and does splits in studio’s marketing), changing the industry a farmhouse window in between stitching his forever. Mad Men is the only reason so many knife wounds. It’s ridiculous, but I did start my young men drink old fashioneds these days. career in a place like that. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas had me drinking Cocktail was a big one, and although it’s Singapore slings (with mezcal on the side) for rather silly, it does sort of capture the lifestyle most of my early 20s. I’m still waiting to see if as it existed in the ’80s (or so my Dad tells Once Upon a Time in Hollywood re-popularizes me). It certainly popularized some drinks; the the whiskey sour. red eye and the Long Island iced tea come to If you want something more about mind. The Big Lebowski did the same for the the actual craft, Hey Bartender had some white Russian, and every bearded dude-bro good moments, covering the scene at one I waited on lost his mind when he saw it on

Patio and indoor dining takeout 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-SUNday 1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive (760) 778-6595 www.533vietfusion.com CVIndependent.com

of the most famous cocktail bars in the country and the work it takes to get to the top. Overall, it’s just OK, but it has some serious bar heavyweights in it; I found it a little pretentious. I generally find most documentaries on spirits and wine to be a snooze, unfortunately. On second thought, maybe you’re better off sticking to books when it comes to bartending—but I have covered those enough over the years. Broadening the focus to depictions of the service industry, there are plenty of movies and shows about food and chefs to remind me of the good elements of the biz. These days, with irate customers hitting peak levels, good elements are something we all could use. There have always been food shows in the modern era. I grew up watching The Galloping Gourmet, Yan Can Cook, Louisiana Cookin’ and others on PBS. Since then, the number of shows has risen as all the streaming services desperately try to deliver content. The idea of the food-travel show as something more than “star goes to place and shoves local delicacies into face on camera” started, perhaps, with Anthony Bourdain. I realized watching his new biopic, Roadrunner, that I had some more things to unpack regarding his stardom. (The death of Joe, my former chef in Boston, at 40 after a long struggle with opioids, made things a little more poignant.) Anthony Bourdain became a hero to a lot of industry lifers when he published Kitchen Confidential and hung up his chef’s whites for stardom. He was self-aware the entire time—perhaps to a fault. He knew the guys he sweated with in the trenches were still sweating there, and he often celebrated them while putting down his own abilities, at least as much as he could. He did his best to show the sacrifices that go into feeding people really good food. He got out of this industry of substances, stress and ungodly hours … then he got out of life. We could have used him this last year

and a half, while our industry was crumbling around us. Now a million lesser lights are trying to fill his role, including other chefs pretending to be journalists. (In a small way, that includes even me, I guess.) Bourdain never intended to become a surrogate father to a million-plus mutant orphans of the service industry. He took the corporate cheese and led us all along with him, while being critical of the machine of which he was very much a part. I would’ve never had the confidence to write about our world if he hadn’t led the way, because I never would’ve thought anyone would give a damn about what I do for a living. I owe him a debt. Roadrunner does a really good job of celebrating his life. It does leave the kid gloves on when it comes to the end, merely hinting at some of the root causes behind his early demise. All in all, it’s worth watching as a fan, even as a fan who still has some stuck feelings about the end of Bourdain’s life. On a brighter (?) note, my most surprising movie of the year—and one that really made me think about the industry and the importance of food to memory—is Pig, starring Nicolas Cage. It’s absolutely not what you would think; it zigs where you expect it to zag. As our reviewer, Bob Grimm, hints at, Pig starts looking like a revenge film … before it becomes a tour of the dark side of Portland’s food scene. While it goes to some Chuck Palahniuk extremes sometimes—maybe it’s a Portland thing—Pig ends with a lot of heart. If you have ever loved food and what it can mean to someone’s life, or believe in the power of forgiveness and compassion, the film will likely give you an emotional kick. That’s enough for now. I should be back behind the stick with some fresh inspiration by next month. In the meantime, a little escape can be good sometimes—and I will take it while I can get it. Kevin Carlow can be reached at CrypticCocktails@gmail.com.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 27

SEPTEMBER 2021

The Desert’s Real Estate Experts

WANT TO JUMP START YOUR WORKOUTS? TruSculpt ID permanently reduces stubborn fat by 25% with one, pain-free treatment.

Give Me A Call

KEVIN STERN

TownCA.com

LET OUR EXPERIENCE AND LOCAL KNOWLEDGE HELP TO GUIDE YOU!

KEVIN STERN

OWNER/BROKER CalDRE #01376548

760-250-1977

Judge for yourself. ID results a�er one treatment. Revive has ID discounts! Show this ad and get $100 off per area Expires 9/30/2021 650 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way: (760) 325-4800 Torrance Ofice: (310) 375-7599 Irvine Office: (949) 586-9904 www.revivecenter.com CVIndependent.com


28 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

FOOD & DRINK

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/FOOD-DRINK

MEXICAN WITH FLAIR C

BY andrew smith

hef Andie Hubka has been brightening up the east valley food scene for a decade now. She’s introduced fresh, contemporary concepts including Cooking With Class, Cork and Fork, Heirloom Craft Kitchen and Citrine. With Indio’s Tu Madres Cantina and Grill, she’s now bringing her signature flair to Mexican cuisine. When I first met Hubka in 2019, she pitched Tu Madres as “modern Mexican, lots of seafood, healthy, vegan options, prepared with fresh organic ingredients.” She’d been inspired by trips to Baja California with her husband. of Indio and La Quinta, and just 10 minutes “Mexico’s culinary scene is off the from the Jefferson Street exit from Interstate charts,” she raved. “It’s not Mexican food 10, for those coming from elsewhere in the like Americans understand it. It’s very desert. The minimal décor is modern, fresh Mediterranean: beautiful, clean food, a lot of and clean—an ideal prelude to the food. The local produce and fish.” left side of the room offers a mix of tables and A delayed start led to Tu Madres launching booths, while the right houses the showcase in December 2019, during the busy Christmas bar. It is indeed a showcase, with more than 50 period. “By February, we were just hitting our tequilas and 20 mezcals on display. stride,” Hubka said. “Then the whole world We were initially drawn in by the dedicated shut down. It was a really bad time for us.” vegan menu. (Yes, Coachella Valley restaurants, Having procrastinated, we missed the we’re part of that annoying but ever-growing opportunity to check out Tu Madres, and it crowd in search of flexible dining options.) would be nearly 18 months before we finally made it there. It was everything I’d anticipated. Vegan food is something Hubka has embraced and facilitated across her concepts, along with Tu Madres is ideally located for residents

CVIndependent.com

Chef Andie Hubka offers Baja-inspired fare— and a lot of tequila—at Tu Madres Cantina

gluten-free options. While my wife enjoyed her fried avocado tacos and her salsa trio, it was time for this omnivore to explore the menu further. The short rib barbacoa is fantastic. It’s perfectly seasoned and melts in the mouth. I enjoyed the creative appetizer that saw barbacoa spread over a grilled avocado and topped with queso fundido and tortilla chips. You’ll also find the barbacoa as an entree plate and in a burrito. The aforementioned queso fundido is available as its own appetizer, too; made with a blend of Oaxaca and goat cheese, it’s creamy with an intriguing tangy and earthy twist. While we were off to a great start, the pick of the appetizers was definitely the shrimp taquitos. They wrap jumbo shrimp and flashfry them in local corn tortillas, then top them with chipotle lime aioli, pico de gallo and micro cilantro. It’s a fun presentation that satiates both the palate and the eye. You’ll find plenty of traditional fare like tortilla soup, carne asada tacos and carnitas, each with an original touch—but it’s the reimagined dishes that really shine. Chiles gueritos are filled with shrimp and dressed with mayo and soy sauce. The Baja shrimp cocktail comes with an optional tequila shot. If you’re stuck deciding between beef or shrimp, try the surf and turf burrito. “Baja Bowls” include ahi, chicken and a rotating seafood selection. They’ve even created Mexican versions of the Caesar and the Cobb. The sides extend beyond rice and beans to include beach fries, esquites, zucchini and

mushrooms. Tu Madres is also a fine bar and happy hour spot. That’s no surprise, since Hubka’s first restaurant, Cork and Fork, was founded on small plates and shareables. There’s an eclectic array of small plates at Tu Madres as well. If you’re just there for drinks, grab the salsa trio. At $5, it’s an absolute steal. Expecting three small ramekins the first time we ordered it, we were nodding in approval at three full cups of salsa verde, charred tomato salsa, and pico de gallo. The tequila and mezcal selections make Tu Madres a Coachella Valley standout. For newcomers, check out the tequila flight. The place has attracted a sizeable following of catadores (yes, there’s a term for tequilatasters). Tequila has been so popular that Tu Madres has doubled its selection during its brief existence. Several tequilas are off-themenu reserves, so be sure to ask about them. The craft-cocktail menu is equally impressive, with everything made from scratch. Tequila is barrel-aged in-house for one recipe, and infused over whole rosemary for another. “It’s just as important as the food,” Hubka said, “If you’re going to have food that’s made with love, you have to make the drinks with love, too.” Tu Madres has become a staple for us. We live on the opposite side of the valley, but we’re hooked enough to regularly make the drive. As she’s done across her concepts, Chef Hubka has reimagined Mexican cuisine, presenting it with an exciting breath of fresh air.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 29

SEPTEMBER 2021

the

FOOD & DRINK INDY ENDORSEMENT On this month’s menu: soup and a sandwich—both with a bit of Asian flair By Jimmy Boegle

WHAT The combo banh mi (dac biet) WHERE La Baguette, 34580 Monterey Ave, No. 106 HOW MUCH $8.50 CONTACT 760-620-5308; labaguettepd.wixsite. com/store WHY The fresh, crunchy pickled vegetables. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching food-competition shows, it’s that a little acid can almost always improve a dish. Therefore, it makes sense that acid, semi-indirectly, is the element that makes a properly made banh mi sandwich so darned delicious. Here are the ingredients in the combo banh mi at Palm Desert’s La Baguette, as listed on the website: “pork roll (cha), cured pork (thit nguoi), pate, house pickles (daikon and carrot), cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, soy sauce and house mayonnaise.” There are a lot of strong flavors in there, including three different pork preparations, prominent vegetables and assertive sauces. Yet it’s the humble carrot and daikon, helped along by vinegar and whatever pickling spices the folks at La Baguette use, that make this sandwich sing. That’s not to say the other ingredients don’t have key roles. The meats offer salt and savory notes, while the cucumber provides some extra crunch, and the jalapeno and cilantro contribute freshness and pep. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fresh-baked French roll, which is both tasty and strong enough to hold the banh mi together. (The French introduced baguettes and pate to Vietnam in the mid1800s when European imperialists took control of the area.) If you’re not a fan of pork, La Baguette also offers beef, chicken, mushroom and tofu banh mi versions (plus, why not, a Spam and egg version), as well as vermicelli bowls and spring rolls, in the restaurant’s small-ish and somewhat antiseptic strip-mall space. The menu and the décor are limited, but the flavor is not. It’s also worth pointing out that this fantastic sandwich is a mere $8.50. Where else can you find so much flavor in the Coachella Valley for less than $9?

WHAT The tonkotsu black garlic ramen WHERE Torakichi Ramen, 5001 E. Ramon Road, No. 2-A, Palm Springs; also at 79775 Highway 111, La Quinta HOW MUCH $13.99 CONTACT 760-699-8607; www. pstorakichiramen.com WHY The surprising nuances. The recent opening of Torakichi Ramen, in a space at Gene Autry Way and Ramon Road that previously housed a WaBa Grill, may represent a bit of Palm Springs culinary history: It is, to my knowledge, the first ramen-focused restaurant to call Palm Springs home. Given that the restaurant was doing a surprisingly brisk business during our recent visit, at 4:30 p.m. on a Sunday, it’s clear there’s a pent-up demand for good ramen on the Coachella Valley’s west side. This is the second Torakichi Ramen—the first opened in La Quinta last summer—and after tasting the tonkotsu black garlic ramen, I understand why the business is quickly expanding. The ramen was, in a word, delicious … but not in the way I normally prefer my ramen. To my palate, the stronger, richer and more savory the broth is, the better—and while Torakichi’s tonkotsu broth was adequately strong, rich and savory, it didn’t knock my figurative socks off. Instead, this ramen delighted my taste buds with nuance. The roasted black garlic oil added just the right amount of flavor; it didn’t overwhelm. The fact that the broth and garlic oil didn’t dominate allowed the pork chashu to shine. (On my next visit, I’ll gladly pay the extra $3.50 to get two extra pieces.) The soft-boiled egg, the nori and the veggies all subtly but noticeably played their parts. Even though I didn’t get the flavor-bombin-a-bowl type of ramen that I normally prefer, I found myself wanting more after I was finished, and then craving more later—true signs of an endorsement-worthy dish. Not only did I leave Torakichi Ramen delighted that Palm Springs finally has a worthy ramen-focused restaurant; I learned a thing or two about the joys of ramen nuance. Who knew?

350 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs Open at 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday Order online at rioazul.pay.link CVIndependent.com


30 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/FOOD-DRINK

Restaurant NEWS BITES By charles drabkin IF YOU’RE GOING OUT TO EAT, MASK UP, AND BRING VACCINATION PROOF As COVID-19 continues to surge, restaurants and their employees continue to take on a huge burden. Longtime server Felipe Cuahuizo, a beloved employee of Manhattan in the Desert in Palm Springs and the Roost Lounge in Cathedral City, recently passed away after a two-week battle with COVID-19. Food-service workers have continued to put themselves at risk throughout this pandemic, and the best way you help protect them—and the community as a whole—is to wear a mask when inside any business; stay home if you have symptoms; and get vaccinated! To help protect all of us, the cities of Palm Springs and Cathedral City (as of this writing) have both approved orders requiring people to wear masks inside all businesses, regardless of vaccination status. The cities are also requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to dine indoors. Both cities’ vaccination requirements were slated to go into effect by the end of August, although many restaurants and bars began enforcing the rules early. COMING TO MORONGO: THE MARKETPLACE, BY FABIO VIVIANI We previously reported that chef Fabio Viviani, of Top Chef fame, would soon be opening something at Morongo Casino Resort and Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, in Cabazon. We now know what that something is: a food hall in the space that used to be the buffet. According to a news release, The Marketplace will feature seven eateries featuring dishes from around the globe. Diners can soon enjoy Italian cuisine at Mercato Centrale, Mexican and South American tastes at Al Comal, and seafood and an oyster bar at Pescato. Pork and Waffles will offer barbecue plates and Southern comfort food, and Prime Cuts will be part steakhouse, part Brazilian churrascaria. Sukiru will highlight Pan Asian dishes; customers can end their meal with desserts from Sweet Things. Learn more, and watch a video explaining how this will all work, at www.morongocasinoresort. com/dining/fabio-viviani.

according to Yelp, Tripadvisor & OpenTable WE ARE ONE OF THE VERY BEST with 9,000 Sq feet keeping you safe is easy OPEN DAILY FROM 11AM - 3PM & 5PM - 9PM 849 N PALM CANYON DRIVE . PALM SPRINGS EIGHT4NINE.COM 760.325.8490 CVIndependent.com

IN BRIEF If you have been craving authentic Hong Kong-style snacks, the new outpost of Coconut Jelly King is here for you—or, well, it’s a short drive up Interstate 10 for you, inside Desert Hills Premium Outlets, at 48400 Seminole Drive, in Cabazon. Given the selection of milk and bubble teas, Hong Kong-style waffles, curry fish balls and the eponymous coconut jellies (with flavors including mango, peach and taro, to name just a few), you are sure to find something refreshing; learn more at coconutjellyking.com. … Tower Market, which bills itself as “your local neighborhood market in the desert,” has begun construction on a new building in Palm Springs, at the corner of Indian Canyon and San Rafael drives. Why is this news, when there are already six Tower Markets located in the valley? Well, this one is a bit different: It’s going into an area the city describes as a food desert, and the new market will devote at least 15% of its space to perishables, including meat, dairy and produce, and an additional 30% of space to staple foods like bread, pasta and canned food. Get more info at www.towermarket.com. … Are you in Palm Springs and running low on wine? Don’t worry, because Palm Springs Bottle Shop is opening in the Mojave Flea Trading Post, at 383 N. Indian Canyon Drive. This bottle shop is a bit different in that it’s a queer-, Black- and woman-owned business that focuses on promoting and selling products, including beer and wine, from LGBTQ+, BIPOC and women-led, -created and -owned businesses from around the country. If you’re not a fan of beer or wine, you should know that the owners envision the business as a highend convenience store, so there should be lots of exciting treats to try, in any case. Watch www. psbottleshop.com for updates. … Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs, at 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive, has opened its new JWB Grill, featuring dishes like miso-marinated salmon, prime steaks and chicken mole. JWB Grill serves lunch and dinner; learn more at www.margaritavilleresorts. com/margaritaville-resort-palm-springs. … Chef Adam Morales, formerly of the now-shuttered of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Rancho Mirage, has opened Smokey Lips BBQ, a home-based micro-enterprise in Cathedral City. Morales’ fare is currently only available for pickup and delivery, but he’s making plans to open a brick-and-mortar space in the near future. Check out Facebook or Instagram for the most up-to-date menus and ordering info @SmokeyLipsBBQ. … Coming very soon: Luchows Palm Springs, an American Chinese food restaurant and cabaret, is set to open in September at 4771 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in the space that most recently housed Supreme Dragon. It’s being spearheaded by Paul Kakuschky, one of the two Pauls that opened Paul Bar + Food. Watch luchowspalmsprings.com for details. Got a hot tip? Let me know: foodnews@cvindependent.com.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 31

SEPTEMBER 2021

33 33 34 37

Throw the Goat’s Brian Parnell wants to help the music community via his new Audiowild Studios the venue report: the reopening of the Purple Room and Fantasy Springs' Events center James Montenegro, formerly of Venus and the Traps, goes solo with Dead Talk Back The lucky 13: Learn a bit about singer/songwriter Bob Gentry and local icon Keisha D

www.cvindependent.com/music

Algiers brings political lyrics melded with hardto-describe sounds to Pappy and Harriet’s

35

MORE THAN MUSIC Christian Högstedt

CVIndependent.com


32 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

Roger Derrik Lewis Bengston John Lindner Jeffrey Trent Maggard Bernstein Alex McCune Matthew Clark Alan McPhail Jeffrey David Mendez Clarkson Sheila Miller Kellin Defiel Carol Moore William Follett Lex Ortega Anthony Gangloff Scott Phipps Mike Genova Raul Rodriguez Lea Goodsell Spirit of the Occasion Ted Guice Diana Super Richard Hart Mark Laura Hein Talkington C. Stuart Kent Christopher Steven Kurrein Winslow James James Zarndt Lawrence Thank you for being 350 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs Supporters of the Independent! Open 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

CVIndependent.com/support-our-publication Order online at rioazul.pay.link CVIndependent.com

SEPTEMBER 2021

Opens September 24!

From Safety Net programs to Life Enrichment

I love this town. Thomas Gleeson Ins Agcy Inc Thomas Gleeson CLU ChFC, Agent Insurance Lic#: 0K08021 225 S. Civic Drive, Suite 1-1 Palm Springs, CA 92262 Se habla Español

Thanks, CV Independent. I love being here to help in a community where people are making a difference every day. Thank you for all you do.

we are here for you visit us online at

www.thecentercv.org 1301 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262 & 1515ILSixth Street, Coachella, CA 92236 2007004 State Farm, Bloomington,


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 33

SEPTEMBER 2021

MUSIC

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/MUSIC

ONE STOP SHOP

Throw the Goat’s Brian Parnell wants to help the music community via his new Audiowild Studios

By matt king

T

hrow the Goat is one of the area’s hardest-working bands. Between national tours, Warped Tour performances and multimedia experiences, the band rarely passes up an opportunity. That’s why I was not surprised when I learned that frontman Brian “Puke” Parnell had just opened a recording studio, rehearsal spot and performance space. Audiowild Studios, up the mountain in Idyllwild, has taken over a building—right in the middle of town—that used to be a church. hit up everybody who owed me anything, and “I started recording bands out of my a very generous friend offered to handle the apartment maybe five years ago,” Parnell said remainder,” Parnell said. “I’ve had the keys during a recent phone interview. “I started by since mid-March and have been working on helping Johnny Wilson, aka Johnny Trash, the the soundproofing, remodeling and getting original rhythm guitarist of Throw the Goat. everything up and running. I was wondering He had written some solo acoustic songs, and when I was going to be able to open the doors, after we recorded all the vocals and acoustic and then I reached out to The People of the Sun guitar, I kind of heard some other instruments to see if they were interested in playing. We in there. We started reaching out to people we worked out the date (July 10), and I just locked know up in Idyllwild who are musicians and it in to force myself to be ready by then.” were trying to see who wanted to contribute to Parnell said he loves to help others with the album. We ended up with, like, 22 different their music. musicians on there. I just kept the ball rolling “I like to geek out on my own stuff, but that after that, and did the 5th Town record, Sweat only goes so far,” Parnell said. “It’s kind of like Act, the Instigator demo and their full-length. masturbation, in a way. For some reason, I “The idea was always to not be recording in hear songs on the radio, or I listen to albums, my apartment anymore, but have some place and I’ve always been able to pick apart the with a little more space, and not annoy my production that already exists.” neighbors as much. So at the beginning of this Creating a recording studio and performance year, I was going through some rough stuff, space is already a great feat, but as Parnell and I decided that I was just going to take a explained, it’s in his nature to “tack on more swing and go for it. There was a unit in the and more and more.” middle of town that I had my eyes on for quite “The idea from the beginning was to be able a while; I reached out to the people who own to do live performances as well as recording, the building, formerly a church, and just threw and then it occurred to me that I might as well it out there. I fully expected them to tell me paint the walls behind the stage in chroma key to fuck off, and instead, they said, ‘That it’s a green—to be able to do green-screen filming, great idea.’” because nobody really has that capability up That meant Parnell had to then come up here,” Parnell said. “I brought my guitar bench with the funds to take over the space. over, so that way, I would be able to do guitar “I basically cashed in everything that I could, repair and stuff on top of that. A lot of times,

Brian Parnell hopes that his new Audiowild Studios becomes a one-stop shop for the music community.

bands get into the studio, and there will be an issue with one of their instruments, or they break a string, so having a workbench in-house is a very helpful thing.” Parnell said he’d eventually like to be able to do screen-printing and even make CDs in the space. “I want to basically have it be a one-stop shop for all things musical, and it really helps out that it’s in the middle of town,” he said. “It’s actually kind of shocking that nobody has created a commercial recording studio in Idyllwild. I think it’s going to be a really beneficial thing all around—not just for me and my selfish desires, but for everybody else in the whole music contingency in Idyllwild and beyond.” I asked Parnell to explain how Audiowild could fuel his “selfish desires.” “There are lots of different projects and stuff that I’ve been wanting to work on beyond Throw the Goat—little experimental things that I’ve wanted to do, but I just haven’t had the time or patience or proper workspace to be able to do it,” Parnell said. “A lot of my friends who are in bands feel the same way, and they all have little pet projects and stuff they want to be able to do, so having a decent work space to be able to do that is really paramount. Even just having the space in general has been so beneficial to my mental health and well-being, because even when disaster strikes, and I’m having a shitty day, all I have to do is unlock the doors, go in, and start playing around, and it automatically makes everything better. I halfway feel guilty for it. I ended up coming out of the pandemic a better person, and with a rosier outlook, and definitely not everybody can say the same.” People of the Sun, The Spaceman Trilogy and Throw the Goat have all either already performed or are set to perform at Audiowild. (Full disclosure: My band The CMFs was also slated to perform there as well.) “I definitely have plans to utilize the space for basically anybody who wants to put a private show together,” Parnell said. “… I’d also like to branch out and be able to do showcases and stuff for bands that are interested in getting record deals, if that’s still a thing. … Get the industry bigwigs to come up to Idyllwild; put them up in a fancy little cabin; and have a private little show for them. I think that would be pretty cool.” For more information, visit audiowildstudios.com.

The Venue REPORT September 2021 By matt king

Little Big Town

Welcome to September! Good news: As of this month, most of the area’s entertainment venues are back in action! Bad news: The Delta variant sucks! Both Palm Springs and Cathedral City are now requiring masks indoors, as well as proof of vaccination to go inside bars, restaurants and other public spaces. We recommend calling ahead and being alert for any changes or cancellations—and most importantly, be safe! Headliners have returned to Fantasy Springs, starting with Chicago, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 11. Tickets range from $59 to $99. Grammy-winning country band Little Big Town will mosey in to the Special Events Center at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 17. Tickets are $79 to $129. George Lopez aims to bring laughs to Indio on 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18. Tickets cost $59 to $99. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www. fantasyspringsresort.com. Coachella Crossroads is back this month with two big-name events. On Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18, the El Grito festival commences. Catch Mexican legends like Ramon Ayala, Gerardo Ortiz and Los Rieleros del Norte, as well as … Snoop Dogg? Yep, he’ll be performing both as himself and as his alter ego, DJ Snoopadelic. Tickets range from $95 to $175 per day. At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, country icon Miranda Lambert is slated to stop in for a performance. Tickets range from $80 to $229. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www. coachellacrossroads.com. Meanwhile, inside the casino, Spotlight 29 is hosting one big name this month in the Spotlight Showroom: Comedian Felipe Esparza is slated to lighten the mood at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4. Tickets are $30 to $45. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison continued on Page 36 CVIndependent.com


34 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

MUSIC

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/MUSIC

SYNTH MOODS T

James Montenegro, formerly of Venus and the Traps, goes solo with Dead Talk Back

By matt king

he pandemic shut in artists and forced them to rethink things. For James Montenegro, his rethinking led him to craft music with a new outlook—completely by himself … for now. Dead Talk Back, a solo project by Montenegro, released a self-titled debut album on Aug. 3. The Bandcamp bio describes the songs as “synth-based mood music,” but those moods stretch from end-of-the-world disco on “Motavia,” to last-transmission-from-a-spaceship somberness on “Somnambulism.” “The project itself is more or less an outlet for me to get my music out,” Montenegro said during a recent phone interview. “I had Valley 2016-2017 poll. Since focusing on a solo gotten to a point where I was collaborating endeavor, Montenegro has faced his share of with certain artists. Collaborations come challenges. and go, and it’s all well, but I wanted to do “I’d say the main struggle would be trust: I something that I knew was strictly my musical had to have total trust in myself,” Montenegro baby. Whatever collaborators come along, said. “I had ideas, and I couldn’t bounce them we’ll be fine, but at the end of the day, this is on to someone else and have them bounce back something that’s mine. with their ideas or criticisms or alterations. “The album itself came from a lot of what I had to tell myself, ‘This is the sound I’m I was feeling, as I’m sure a lot of people were making, and I just gotta trust that it is the also feeling, toward the end of 2020. The sound that I want, and that it’s good enough to world’s been an interesting place for the last put out into the world.’” year and a half with the pandemic, all sorts of Montenegro explained how Dead Talk Back political upheaval and a lot of social changes in marks a change in his sound. the quote-unquote cultural war that we seem “When I was in Venus and the Traps, I started to be engaged in here in the Western world. playing with Edgar Hernandez, who was in There are also a few personal things, and I The Kathys, and they had a more-dark sound thought, ‘What better way to express it all to them, or at least a sound that had a little bit than what I know best? Music!’” more sorrow and its tinge,” Montenegro said. Venus and the Traps, Montenegro’s former “When I started hanging out with Edgar, we group, was selected by Independent readers as noticed that we had a lot of bands that we liked the Best Local Band in the Best of Coachella in common, like Siouxsie and the Banshees,

CVIndependent.com

or The Cure or Bauhaus, and they’re a little darker, a little more bizarre than what we were playing. We started playing around with what would become this three-year obsession that I’ve started to have with creating something that would be more of a gothic, dark way of music. This is something I’ve been thinking and dreaming about for a while. “I’m usually making something that’s more psychedelically tinged—something that others would probably call indie rock or alternative rock. I’m not really sure what the catch-all objective definition of those terms are, but I know people just kind of label that for anything that’s not classic, blues-driven rock.” Montenegro recently debuted Dead Talk Back in a live setting at Bart Lounge in Cathedral City. “I’d have to say, the crowd appeared to be pretty receptive to it,” Montenegro said. “I think people will take any change in music and will accept even really dark and moody music as long as you let them trust you, because they’re in the passenger seat, being the audience, and they need to trust their driver. If you can tell them that you’re getting them from point A to point B, and they’re not going to be witnessing something so bizarre and alien that will turn them off, they’ll go along with it. That was actually pretty nice—and it’s just nice playing live in general. “It’s always a hard sell when you’re doing something that’s eclectic, that people can’t really pinpoint. Some people will cherry-pick what their favorite moment of the set is, and then walk away. If you’re doing something that’s an established genre, like goth music or dark wave or post-punk, you have a very definite crowd for that. In a way, I’m fortunate enough to be dabbling in music right now that already has a clear-cut audience, but at the same time, it also creates an expectation. When you get onstage, you tell yourself, ‘This has to be a good show, because how many times have they seen these kinds of acts?’ I definitely put a few months of preparation into it, and I think it paid off.” While the show was a success, there’s still room for improvement—and that involves bringing more people into Dead Talk Back, Montenegro said. “I need to put together a functioning live act, because most of my live act was based on backing tracks for the rhythm,” Montenegro said. “I was fortunate enough to be working with Alec Corral, who provided a lot of the guitar work and a lot of the effects, but I knew

that I needed a live bassist and maybe even a live drummer or at least a drum-machine programmer just to give it that good live feeling, because you can tell the difference between a show that is all backtracked, and a show where there’s the possibility that there might be some departure from what’s already established within the song. What I’m doing right now is trying to piece together a live group that can fully envision what I want plus have room for those musical departures within the confines of a setlist.” Montenegro said people should expect the unexpected when it comes to Dead Talk Back. “I’m working on another set of music, and it’s definitely going to be a little more on the electronica side,” Montenegro said. “I’m a big fan of electronic music and ambient music, and this project is where I really just want to explore all of the different music genres and musical stylings that I like, and see what I can do with them. Even though I have this darkwave album that I’ve just released, and it’s probably going to flavor the image that people have of me for some time to come, it’s probably not going to be the one genre that I stick around in for a while. I recorded this in the springtime. I’ve just spent the last few months mastering and preparing it, so I’m kind of, for lack of a better term, over it, in terms of the genre trappings. I’m already moving into something a little more beat-driven, a little more dance-driven, so this is a thing that’s going to be evolving.” For more information, visit deadtalkback. bandcamp.com.

James Montenegro.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 35

SEPTEMBER 2021

MUSIC

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/MUSIC

MORE THAN MUSIC

Algiers gets ready to bring political lyrics melded with hard-to-describe sounds to Pappy and Harriet’s

By matt king

A

lgiers is a band that presents various contradictions. For starters, Algiers writes, records and tours despite the fact that the members are often spread across the country. The band’s sound has variously been described as “gospel-punk,” “post punk meets Motown” and, plainly, “rock”—even though none of these terms accurately describe the type of music being created. Then there are the politically charged lyrics, which garner Algiers a lot of more live-sounding record. Personally, I don’t attention—and yet the band’s popularity have any qualms about just doing a bunch endures. of stuff on my own. I’m not thinking, ‘What The band will perform at Pappy and is going to make it to the final cut?’ I’m just Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace—which, as a trying to do my best. If something inspires a Western movie set-turned-music venue, is new idea, or takes us in a different direction familiar with contradictions—on Wednesday, and still doesn’t get used, that’s great.” Sept. 29. Tong added that not only does the musicDuring a recent interview, drummer creation process require trust; it also requires Matt Tong said the band—like many other that oversized egos get set aside. groups—made the best of a bad situation “I hate to say it, but at the end of the day, during the COVID-19 shutdowns by focusing we’re all middle-aged men,” Tong said. “I think on making music. at some point, you have to let go of your ego, “The music that Frank (singer/songwriter and some of that youthful drive and ambition Franklin James Fisher) brought to the band, has to mature and evolve into something along with some demos from Ryan (Mahan, else. For me, personally, I consider myself bassist/synthesizers), were really strong, and fortunate to still be somewhat involved with it really felt like we benefited from being able the culture industry at this age—an age where to actively engage with new ideas and not most people either kind of just give up, are have to think about the demands of touring,” burnt out, or just feel like their ideas are Tong said. old-fashioned. I think one way to maintain Tong explained how the band continued involvement is actually being able to see the working together despite being spread across bigger picture, and to actually celebrate the the country. collaborative process. It has been hard to “Frank and Ryan are mainly based in New kind of distance myself from what’s going York, but they’ve kind of been shuttling on with the record right now, and it doesn’t back and forth between Atlanta and other always feel good, but I know deep down that’s parts of the South, between different family the way it’s got to be. You have to trust, and members,” Tong said. “Lee (Tesche, guitarist) you have to celebrate your collaborators’ has been in Florida for most of the pandemic achievements, even if they don’t include you.” as well. I’m in New York, so there hasn’t In addition to working on new music, the been a stretch where we’ve all been together members of Algiers are preparing for their at all, really, so that’s kind of informed the tour, which is slated to begin on Sept. 10. Of recording process. What I’ve heard so far is course, the Delta variant-driven COVID-19 really strong, and I’m very excited about it. spikes have thrown everything up in the air. “This has been a very unfortunate time in “Not to be too much of a downer, but it’s world history, but I think for us, the break still a little bit hard to think about touring, came at a pretty good time. I think we were given everything that we know about the burning out a little bit prior to the pandemic.” Delta variant right now,” Tong said. “We’re The separation forced the band members going to give it a go, and it’s going to be very into recording separately, a process which strange, because we haven’t been together in Tong said required trust. almost two years. … We definitely have a lot “For Frank and Ryan, there is a bit more of of work to do to get back into touring shape.” a need to exercise a certain amount of control Tong took pride in the cautiousness the over the direction of where the song is going,” band is showing heading into these live shows. said Tong. “By and large, in this band, I’m “We’re actually having a meeting soon augmenting rhythm tracks versus directing specifically about COVID protocols,” said Tong. the way a rhythm is going to inform a song. “I’d like to think that, at the very minimum, We might get to a point where that process we’ll be stipulating that people have to be changes quite a lot, and we may try to make a vaccinated, and be wearing masks at shows,

Algiers. Christian Högstedt

other than to eat and drink. We’re obviously all vaccinated ourselves at this point. “It’s been a very fluid situation. It keeps changing, and we’re just going to have to do our best to be on guard and be reactive. I would imagine that’s the same for any band that’s about to embark on an event, or (tour the) entire country for a month. There are also financial implications as well when it comes to the prospect of having to cancel shows, or someone getting sick on tour. I don’t think anyone’s particularly excited about the idea of having to spend money on quarantine, in a hotel or motel, but this is stuff that we need to figure out, and figure out our various comfort levels with. Otherwise, we’ve just got to carry on … and we have to figure out how to rehearse and work our new songs and new pieces of musical equipment into the set.” The band was actually on tour in support of There Is No Year, released in January 2020, when the COVID-19 shutdowns began. That fact may help out the band members as they get set to head back on the road.

“We had already completed a month-long European tour, and we’d gotten about four dates into the U.S., so I think the songs that we decided we were going to perform from There Is No Year were pretty well-realized,” Tong said. “I think we had pretty much figured out, by that point, which songs were going to work live, and which ones probably would never have worked live, or would have needed much more work in order to get to a point where we felt comfortable bringing them to an audience. I’m counting on the fact that muscle memory will kick in at some point, and we’ll be able to swap back into those songs. We have been playing them for a little bit, at least, and I think we’ve gotten fairly good at playing those songs for people.” Algiers will perform at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 29, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets are $20, and proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours is required. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com. CVIndependent.com


36 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

The Venue REPORT continued from page 33

MARKET

GET 25 TO 50 PERCENT OFF GIFT CERTIFICATES TO SOME OF THE VALLEY'S TOP RESTAURANTS!

ONLY AT CVINDEPENDENT.COM

T U E S DAYS

ROSE MALLETT

Jazz Legend Sings the Music of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Duke Ellington & More

W E D N E S DAYS

MICHAEL HOLMES & DARCI DANIELS

Swinging to the Music of the Rat Pack Era Special Date Night Menu

T H U R S DAYS

SHARON SILLS

Sass, Sex and Songs – One of the Desert’s Most Popular Performers

6:30-9:30 PM | NO TICKET/COVER

JOIN US FOR THE DESERT’S BEST

RESERVATIONS:

PurpleRoomPalmSprings.com (760) 322-4422

CVIndependent.com

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 4 - 6pm LIVE JAZZ with Mark Kahny

Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www. spotlight29.com. Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage has a stacked September lineup. At 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 3, Spanish rockers Caifanes will absolutely shred. Tickets range from $75 to $95. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4, rock legends Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will bring their history of hits to The Show. Tickets are $60 to $90. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 11, two of the funkiest groups to ever get down, Tower of Power and Average White Band, come to town. Tickets range from $45 to $75. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18, classic-rock pioneer band Styx is set to perform. Tickets range from $65 to $105. Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com. Meanwhile, in Cathedral City, the Agua Caliente there is set to host rising country star Tyler Rich at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4. Tickets are $25. Pay tribute to Jenni Rivera with Joyas Prestadas, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18. Tickets are free to members at the ACE Club. Agua Caliente Cathedral City, 68960 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City; 888-9991995; www.aguacalientecasinos.com/cc. Agua Caliente in Palm Springs is continuing its popular Jazzville series, taking place every Thursday at 7 p.m. Some highlights: On Sept. 9, catch the Tony Guerrero Quintet, led by jazz flugelhornist, trumpeter, composer, producer and namesake Tony Guerrero. You can celebrate Oktoberfest with Die Sauerkrauts on Sept. 23, or enjoy some samba and jazz with Brazilian producer Munir Hossn on Sept. 30. Tickets for all shows start at $10, and they’re available at www.jazzvillepalmsprings.com. You must be 21 or older to attend. Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs, 401 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 888-999-1995; www. sparesortcasino.com. Morongo Casino Resort and Spa is hosting a living legend this month, as Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson is set to perform at 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16. Tickets range from $59 to $99. The next night, catch La Septima Banda, playing a variety of Mexican music, at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 17. Tickets are $45 to $65. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www. morongocasinoresort.com. Pappy and Harriet’s, per usual, is hosting some sold-out shows this month—so get tickets for what’s left while you still can! Note: Pappy’s is now requiring proof of a COVID vaccine, or a negative test within 72 hours of the event for entry, as well as masks indoors. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, catch the resurgence of Islands, the indierock group that had been inactive since 2016.

Menno Versteeg set to open, and tickets are $20. At 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 9, witness living country legend Wynonna Judd with The Big Noise. Tickets are $45. At 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 19, new wave icon Gary Numan brings The Intruder Tour to the high desert. Tickets are $35. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www. pappyandharriets.com. After almost 18 months of being closed, The Purple Room in Palm Springs is finally open again, as of Aug. 31. Some entertainment highlights for the month: Comedy duo Lee Squared, who imagine how Liberace and Peggy Lee would navigate today’s world, is coming for a two night stay, at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18. Tickets range from $35 to $40. Another two night stay will take place at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24, and Saturday, Sept. 25, featuring singer Jane Monheit, performing Ella Fitzgerald songs. Tickets are $55 to 65. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-3224422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com. Coachella Valley Brewing Company is yet again hosting an abundance of local talent. At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 11, celebrate Chelsea Sugarbritches’ Birthday Bash, featuring Long Duk Dong and The People of the Sun. An Acoustic Afternoon is slated 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 19, and will feature performers Nick Hales, Courtney Chambers and Wesley Gainey. Local rock fans can flock to Brewhouse Rock on 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, and listen to Sleazy Cortez, Fever Dog and others. All shows are free and open to all ages. Coachella Valley Brewing Company, 30640 Gunther St., Thousand Palms; 760-343-5973.

Brian Wilson


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 37

SEPTEMBER 2021

MUSIC

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/MUSIC

the

LUCKY 13

Learn a bit about singer/songwriter Bob Gentry and local icon Keisha D by matt king What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get? Techno!

NAME Bob Gentry MORE INFO Palm Springs’ Bob Gentry is set to release the follow-up to his Back on the Horse EP, and continue the third stage of his career, with full-length album Fortune Favors on Sept. 10. The singles released so far, “Lonesome” and “One Lucky Guy,” show experimentation with vocal harmonies and instrumentation. Gentry is the latest to take The Lucky 13; here are his answers. What was the first concert you attended? I have two that I count as first concerts. My stepdad was a smokin’ banjo player, so as a kid, he took me to see Ronnie Milsap at the Grand Ole Opry (which was awesome), but my first concert that I went to of my own free will was Soul Asylum with The Lemonheads. Seems pretty wild that I’d end up on the same record label as Soul Asylum all these years later. What was the first album you owned? The first full album was A Hard Day’s Night—a gift, which was a quick gateway to owning the entire Beatles collection, and also learning how to play LPs backward. “I buried Paul …” The first 45 I wore out? Snoopy vs. The Red Baron on one of those old kids’ record players, where you’d have to close the lid just right to get the record to play. What bands are you listening to right now? The last three artists I played: Jim Croce, Roan Yellowthorn and Jeffrey Osborne.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live? Wow … too many to mention, but I’d give anything to travel back to the ’70s to catch a KISS concert. As a kid, I really got off on hearing all those stories, like, “Gene Simmons’ tongue was surgically transplanted with a with a cow’s tongue,” or, “Someone snapped a photo of them without their makeup, so their bodyguard broke the photographer’s arm.” It’s really funny—all silly stuff I believed, but those huge stadium KISS concerts back then seemed like they would have been amazing to experience!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time? Abbey Road. Everything about it is brilliant— the production, the songs, the cover, and especially how it’s really a full experience. In today’s iTunes shuffle world, you can’t just listen to a track since almost all the songs flow together as one. When my song shuffle lands on “Golden Slumbers,” I immediately cue it back up to “You Never Give Me Your Money” and listen to the rest in order. What song should everyone listen to right now? Roan Yellowthorn, “Acid Trip.” NAME “Keisha D” Mimms MORE INFO “Keisha D” is truly one of the Coachella Valley entertainment world’s crown jewels. Her vocal ability and stage show are astounding; in fact, our readers voted for her as the Best Local Musician in our 2020-2021 Best of Coachella Valley Readers’ Poll. When she talked to us late last year, Keisha D spoke about her recent health battles—and she is currently on the figurative mend after a bout with COVID-19. What was the first concert you attended? Ozzfest! What was the first album you owned? Disney’s Cinderella soundtrack.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure? The Carpenters. I absolutely love cranking those songs in the car.

What bands are you listening to right now? Bruno Mars.

What’s your favorite music venue? I really love the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, but outdoor music can’t be beat anywhere!

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get? Music with a lot of profanity or the N-word.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head? “Rainy Night in Georgia.”

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

What band or artist changed your life? I know it’s probably a stock answer to say The Beatles, but it’s an honest answer. If not for getting hooked on them, I’m certain that I wouldn’t be doing music today. I don’t really get starstruck, but I admit sitting next to Paul McCartney at a Brian Wilson concert about 12 years ago had me doing the “OMG, I can’t believe I sat next to Paul” thing for, like, 10 years. (Unless, of course, that wasn’t the real Paul.)

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure? Journey’s Greatest Hits.

What’s your favorite music venue? The Hollywood Bowl. What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head? “So now I come to you with open arms, hoping you’ll see what your love means to me,” Journey, “Open Arms.” What band or artist changed your life? So many influential musicians! Steve Perry, Etta James, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald. You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking? Steve Perry: How did he overcome cancer, and how did losing his voice affect him? What song would you like played at your funeral? “Rise Up,” Andra Day. Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time? I really love everything! I just can’t say. What song should everyone listen to right now? I’m always inspired by “Rise Up.” It’s so powerful. It’s uplifting.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking? Probably Prince: “Can we do a song together?” What song would you like played at your funeral? “The End,” The Beatles: “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.” CVIndependent.com


38 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

CANNABIS IN THE CV

CVINDEPENDENT.COM/NEWS

HISTORIC EFFORT O

by jocelyn kane

n July 14, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Sen. Cory Booker introduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act in the U.S. Senate. If passed into law, the bill would finally end the federal prohibition of cannabis, once and for all. On one hand, the bill is truly historic, because this is the first time senators from a major party have introduced a bill that would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. On the other hand, it’s nonsensical that this federal conversation is just beginning, since weed (or, as the feds still call it, marijuana) has now been fully legalized for adult use in 18 states, earmarking funding for restorative-justice starting with Colorado and Washington in programs, establishing tax rates for cannabis 2012, and 37 states have approved medical products, and formally allowing states to programs. In California, cannabis has been decide whether to legalize cannabis. legal for medical use since 1996 and for In states where recreational use is already recreational use since late 2016. legalized, removing federal penalties would But those are all state laws. Under solve those aforementioned banking, federal law, cannabis remains quite illegal: transport and taxation problems for cannabis It is classified as a Schedule I drug under businesses. In places where weed is still illegal, the Controlled Substances Act. Because of state governments could opt to keep it that federal restrictions, the cannabis industry way. The Food and Drug Administration faces significant challenges with banking, and the Treasury Department’s Alcohol transportation and paying taxes, even in states and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau would where it is legal. regulate the production, distribution and sale This bill, which as released as a “discussion of cannabis. In an effort to address injustice draft,” is partially based on a failed effort from caused by federal marijuana prohibitions, 2020 out of the House of Representatives the Justice Department would establish an known as the MORE Act. Among many office to help people convicted of nonviolent actions, it proposes removing federal penalties marijuana-related violations transition out of for cannabis, expunging criminal records for incarceration. nonviolent offenders of federal cannabis laws,

We’re Doing Business with PRIDE in the Coachella Valley. Our 250 members support equality – and they support you! See what our members have to offer at desertbusiness.org CVIndependent.com

Affiliate Chamber

A major party is finally trying to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level—but attempt is likely to fail

“While under the hood there are some items that require more public input, this breakthrough legislation is a great starting point in addressing all of the federal obstacles for the cannabis industry to be legitimized just as any other industry in America,” says local cannabis entrepreneur J. Alex Gomez, the publisher and editor-in-chief of AloftMagazine. com, a Palm Springs-based online cannabis lifestyle and information magazine. However, not all the news in the bill is good for the cannabis industry. While cannabis businesses are currently subject to federal income taxes and state excise taxes, products currently are not subject to any federal excise taxes. The bill would impose a federal excise tax on cannabis products in a manner similar to the tax imposed on alcohol and tobacco. The general rate of tax would be 10% in the first year, followed by annual increases up to 25% over the next three years. In year five, the tax would be levied on a per-ounce rate in the case of cannabis flower, or a per-milligram-ofTHC rate in the case of any cannabis extract. Small cannabis producers would be eligible for a 50 percent reduction in their tax rate via a tax credit. Also, a sales permit would be required from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, similar to what is required for alcohol products. Any producer of cannabis products would have to register with the Food and Drug Administration. The tax issue is a big one, according to Rich Eaton, the owner of The Vault in Cathedral City. “I have concerns with the level of

taxes, and you might as well forget about cannabis as a viable industry in California, with a compounded tax rate at 70%,” he said, referring to the sales and cannabis taxes already paid to local governments, as well as state taxes paid to Sacramento. As taxes are passed along from the cultivators and producers to the retail side, the price of products would certainly rise—and this is bad news to an industry that is fighting a robust illegal marketplace. In its current form, the bill is unlikely to pass. Schumer needs to convince 10 Republicans in the Senate to vote for the bill while guaranteeing all 50 Democrats remain in favor. Michael Correia, director of government relations for the National Cannabis Industry Association, recently mentioned that the bill might be more of a campaign booster for Schumer—who faces a re-election campaign next year—rather than a plausible attempt at lawmaking. Even if the bill passed the Senate and then the House of Representatives, President Joseph Biden would have to sign the legislation into law—and it’s unclear if he would do so. He has expressed support for decriminalizing marijuana, but not for full legalization. At a news briefing just after the draft bill was introduced, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said “nothing has changed” regarding Biden’s views on cannabis reform. Jocelyn Kane can be reached at jocelyn@ coachellavalleycan.org.


COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT // 39

SEPTEMBER 2021

OPINION COMICS & JONESIN’ CROSSWORD

“Exchanging Letters”—a different kind of letterchange puzzle. By Matt Jones

movie)? 36 Actress Shire of Rocky 37 Rogue computer in 2001 38 ___ apso (small Across terrier) 1 Is perfectly snug 42 Mount where 5 ___ and the Tramp transactions take 9 Barroom battle place (from a 1999 14 Home of the Jazz horror video game15 Presque Isle’s lake turned-movie)? 16 Lofty nest 45 Revolutionary 17 A short and Guevara unsatisfying dating 48 Pick show (from an ITV/ 49 Singer Corinne Bailey CBS reality dating ___ show)? 50 Aloha garlands 20 Word after social or 52 “Life ___ Highway” mixed 53 Doctor Who 21 Luggage on a winter broadcaster vacation, maybe 56 Oscar-nominated 22 Uranus, for instance composer Danny 24 Aladdin monkey 58 Landing site 26 Cannes entertainment 59 Dairy product that 27 “I think I know this hides facts under the one!” lids (from a thicker 28 English-speaking variety of a dairy country of Central product)? America 64 Got down, perhaps 31 Jerk-faced jerk 65 Remove from the 32 Mixtures that create schedule purple (from a 1999 66 Those things, to high school football Tomas

67 Sets up a vendor booth 68 “I cannot tell ___” 69 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch actress Caroline Down 1 It gets petted 2 Suburban suffix 3 Mausoleum built by Shah Jahan 4 Martin of The West Wing 5 #1 Beatles tune of 1970 6 Pavarotti specialty 7 God, in Italy 8 Tokyo currency 9 Enjoy the beach (if you don’t burn easily) 10 Archaeological find 11 Lawrence of ___ (1962 epic) 12 Grammy-winning gospel singer CeCe 13 Cliff protrusions 18 AB followers 19 Trooper maker 22 Put on Snapchat, say 23 “Livin’ La Vida ___” 24 Country on the Adriatic 25 Listed on a program 29 Branch of philosophy 30 Long swimmers

33 Cage piece 34 Compliment 35 Quieter “Quiet” 39 Photo touch-up tool 40 Bacon hunk 41 Match Game host Baldwin 43 Le Havre’s river 44 Do an old printmaker’s job 45 Early Kevin Smith movie 46 Cosmetician Curtis 47 French engineer Gustave 51 One of the five senses 54 Ni ___, Kai-Lan (Nickelodeon cartoon) 55 The ___ Sanction (Clint Eastwood film) 57 The A in STEAM 58 Ice Road Truckers truck 60 Magic org. 61 ___-de-sac 62 Sturgeon eggs 63 Agcy. at a gate © 2021 Matt Jones Find the answers in the “About” section at CVIndependent.com!

CVIndependent.com


40 \\ COACHELLA VALLEY INDEPENDENT

SEPTEMBER 2021

Celebrating All Things Modern Fall Preview October 14-17 Featuring More Than 40 Events DOUBLE DECKER ARCHITECTURAL BUS TOURS OUR SIGNATURE TOUR IS BACK!

Enjoy an overview of the most significant midcentury architectural treasures of Palm Springs.

Sunnylands House Tour

Tour H3K’s latest renovation of a 1956 Lawrence Lapham property in iconic Deepwell.

$110

Various times

Curated Vintage Event

MODERNISM SHOW & SALE PREVIEW PARTY AT PALM SPRINGS CONVENTION CENTER

Major

Grand

modernismweek.com

FEATURED HOME TOUR SUNBURST PALMS • ENCORE

Design Project Tour: Limón

On Friday, October 15, beat the crowds and enjoy a festive wine reception and early-buying opportunity.

TICKETS AT

$35

Various times

Neighborhood Walking Tours

FEATURED HOME TOUR SEVENTIES SACKLEY • ENCORE

Grace Home Furnishings seamlessly blends contemporary and vintage furnishings in this stunning home.

$75

Per person

Civic Presenting

Premier

$35

Various times

Platinum

2022 sponsors as of August 18, 2021 | Photos by Jake Holt Photography, David A. Lee, Clinton Meyer. Sunnylands photo copyright The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. Photo by Ken Hayden. Limon rendering courtesy H3K Design.

CVIndependent.com


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.