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JUNE 2014

A Note From the Editor

Mailing address: 31855 Date Palm Drive, No. 3-263 Cathedral City, CA 92234 (760) 904-4208

Summer is here, more or less, in the Coachella Valley—and I couldn’t be happier. No, I am not one of those masochists who actually like triple-digit temperatures, steering-wheel burns and bouts of sunstroke. Not at all—in fact, I loathe hot weather. Still, this will be the 13th consecutive summer for me in a place where triple-digit summer temps are the norm, so I have obviously learned to deal with it—and in fact, I’ve learned to embrace it, because to me, summers in the Coachella Valley have far more pluses than minuses. Take driving, for example: Yes, driving around the valley on a 113-degree day can have moments of unpleasantness, especially when getting into and out of the car. But driving around the valley on, say, an 81-degree day in March has moments of unpleasantness as well: too much traffic, confused Canadians, etc. So I ask myself: Would I rather deal with a little heat, or would I rather deal with a lost, dipshit snowbird who is dangerously impeding traffic? I’ll take the former, thanks. When it comes to nights during the summer in the Coachella Valley, I have very few complaints. The temperatures, at least to my desert-adjusted body, are manageable, and I don’t have to worry about sunburn. It’s easier to get to, from and into my favorite restaurants—and starting with Restaurant Week, those restaurants often offer amazing summer deals. (More on this in our Food and Drink section.) Yeah, some restaurants close for all or part of the summer, but it seems like more restaurants are staying open for more of the summer each year—because people are indeed still here, and there’s money to be made. There is not as much going on events-wise during the summer— but that’s starting to slowly change, too. Theater companies are beginning to dabble with summer shows, for example. More special summer events, like Splash House (read more in our Music section), are coming to the valley. There may not be as many happenings as there are in, say, November—but there’s still plenty to do around these parts during the summer months. Plus, after the fever pitch of March and April, I find the relative calm to be nice, refreshing and rejuvenating. I can catch up on stuff, like TV shows and movies I want to see. (You can read more on those in this issue, too.) For all these reasons and more, while I hate the heat, I love the summer in the Coachella Valley— and that’s what this issue of the Independent is all about. Welcome to the Summer Survival Guide.

Editor/Publisher Jimmy Boegle Assistant Editor Brian Blueskye Editorial Layout Wayne Acree Advertising Design Betty Jo Boegle Contributors Gustavo Arellano, John Backderf, Victor Barocas, Max Cannon, Kevin Fitzgerald, Bill Frost, Bonnie Gilgallon, Bob Grimm, Alex Harrington, Valerie-Jean (VJ) Hume, Keith Knight, Christina Lange, Marylee Pangman, Erin Peters, Deidre Pike, Guillermo Prieto, Anita Rufus, Jen Sorenson, Robert Victor

The Coachella Valley Independent print edition is published every month. All content is ©2014 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 $1 by calling (760) 904-4208. The Independent may be distributed only by the Independent’s authorized distributors.

cover design by Wayne Acree

The Independent is a proud member and/or supporter of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the Local Independent Online News Publishers, the Desert Business Association, the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, artsOasis and the American Advertising Federation/Palm Springs-Desert Cities.

—Jimmy Boegle,


JUNE 2014




Why Do We See Others of Our Own Species as Inferior?


By Anita Rufus ust before my brother’s wedding in the early 1980s, I got a death threat from my father. He said if I showed up at the wedding with my live-in significant other—in front of my grandparents—he would kill me. He may have thought he meant it. Did I mention my guy was black? My brother called and pleaded with me to come without Milt, to keep peace in the family—in spite of the fact that he and Milt were quite friendly, and we had often socialized as couples. “After all,” he said, “this is the only time I’m going to get married.” I finally agreed, with Milt’s support, to attend the ceremony, but to make a statement by skipping the reception. My brother is now very happily married to his fourth wife, and I have forever been ashamed that I caved. Another wedding just took place. My oldest granddaughter married a lovely man who is crazy in love with her. With due deference to my late mother’s admonition that “family is about happy times, not funerals,” we all flew into Portland, Ore., from around the world to gather and celebrate. I normally cry profusely at such events, but my tears this time were reserved for that moment when I saw my son walk his daughter down the aisle: I realized he was literally handing off his first-born child. It’s a lifechanging event, and I could feel both his pride and his ambivalence. Then the preacher asked, “Who gives this woman to be married?” My son dutifully said, “Her mother and I do,” although his wife had not accompanied them down the aisle. The fact that we are still acting as if a father “owns” his daughter and passes that “ownership” along to another man, only abandoned in public policy in recent history, made me catch my breath. This is 2014. Why aren’t both sets of parents asked to deliver their children to each other? Also on my mind: The highly publicized rantings of Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. We’re all aware of the sensationalized, “You can do anything but … don’t bring him to my games,” statements regarding her public appearance with Magic Johnson, among others. Sterling was apparently upset that his girlfriend/mistress/assistant (take your pick), who describes herself as Mexican and black

(“You’re supposed to be a delicate White or a delicate Latina girl,” he told her), was somehow disrespecting him by appearing publicly with a black man. His racism and ignorance were appropriately publicly censured. But what hasn’t really been discussed is that he apparently holds the belief that his image is based on her behavior, like an employer who tells you how to act with customers, because you are representing him or her and are expected to do nothing that would put that employer in a bad light. Sterling’s racism is proven by his concern about appearances, just as my father was. (To be charitable, perhaps it was only my father’s perception about the racism of his parents.) Then there’s the appropriate outrage, finally, about the girls abducted in Nigeria by some fringe group of idiots who believe that publicly educating females means the end of their world, a notion only abolished from our own public policy in the 20th century. Girls need to be married off, not educated, say the extremists in Nigeria, and somehow, they make the illogical leap that they should therefore fund their activities by selling the girls to men who will own them. Even in America, some can’t abide the notion of true gender equality. Within the space of one week, I experienced my reaction to two weddings and racism, with the ownership of women as the unifying theme among seemingly disparate events. I suppose I could be accused of letting my feminist politics overwhelm and define things that are merely social conventions, or public displays of ignorance, or ego-involvement events, or self-

defined religious extremists going against their own religious teachings. But I’m trying to figure out how to make sense of and promote understanding of the pernicious effect of seeing others of our own species as inferior. This instinct is in all of us, perhaps inherited from a tribal “us vs. them” mentality, but leading inevitably to borders between lands, to slavery, to “the final solution,” to women as property. It pervades everything. It is held on a level often so unconscious that we can’t believe it is motivating us in any way. It permeates our religious teachings and our cultural norms. Unless and until we can “own” this part of our nature, and do whatever is necessary to obliterate it, ownership of women—and others—will continue to be part of the reality of being human. We could start with absolute public censure of people like Donald Sterling, regardless of

position or fortune, and making it impossible for anyone with those views to do business or participate in our institutions. We could make it the social norm that brides walk down the aisle on their own, proudly going toward their own future without anyone passing them on. We could adjudicate that people cannot be defined or punished based on whom they love or with whom they associate. We could recognize that each of us carries this addiction to superiority around inside of us, and the manifestations, while appearing very different, all spring from the same source. The first step toward sobriety is acknowledging there is a problem. ANITA RUFUS IS ALSO KNOWN AS “THE LOVABLE LIBERAL,” AND HER SHOW AIRS SUNDAYS FROM 11 A.M. TO 1 P.M. ON KNEWS RADIO 94.3 FM. HER COLUMN APPEARS EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY AT CVINDEPENDENT.COM.


JUNE 2014



What’s the Pecking Order Among Groups of Day-Laborers? WWW.CVINDEPENDENT.COM/OPINION

When It Comes to Your Desert Garden Landscape, Keep the Number 3 in Mind


By Gustavo Arellano EAR MEXICAN: Is there a pecking order at the places where you see daylaborers waiting to be hired? What’s the hierarchy? Are all those dudes Mexican, or are some Central and South American, and if so, who has priority when the random contractor comes by to pick up a worker for the day? Also, after they make a bunch of loot, do they go back to Mexico and live in the lap of luxury, or what? Gracias! Dude Who Already Got a Job DEAR GABACHO: The ethnic makeup of day-laborers really depends on what part of los Estados Unidos you’re in. In Los Angeles: Research done by the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education and my old boss, Abel Valenzuela, has found that about 15 percent of day laborers in the region are not Mexican. In New York, on the other hand, you have big percentages of Eastern Europeans and South Americans (especially Ecuadorians). As for a pecking order: Those who came first get the prime jobs, while the latter arrivals get the hard stuff. It’s an American tale as old as time: My zacatecano dad, for instance, works for people from Jalisco. Papi hires michoacano-run firms for any construction jobs at his house; those Michoacán natives, in turn, get poblanos to do the sawing and shoveling. And those workers, in turn always hire a Oaxacan or guerrerense as a chalán to do the dirtiest work imaginable. All these guys used to go back to Mexico to live the good life after making their pennies here, but the drug cartels put an end to that quick—no joke! DEAR MEXICAN: It occurred to me that one of the reasons we Mexicans are taking our time reaching our academic potential is an unspoken fear of feminization. There is a phobia that education and the mannerisms that come with it are emasculating. Would you agree? Brown, Down and No Clown DEAR POCHO: “What a question!” responds the Mexican’s go-to Mexican for philosophical insights into mexicanidad, San Diego State professor William Nericcio, author of the scabrous Tex(t)-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the “Mexican” in America.


“My first reaction was that I was going to write, ‘I absolutely disagree.’ But then the waves of memory hit me, plunging me into a fetid pool of negative nostalgia—in Laredo, Texas, growing up, I can’t count the times I was called out as a joto, a maricón or a ‘fucking puto’ for doing well in school (and this was in a pretty well-respected Catholic high school). Now, Laredo in the 1960s and ’70s was not progressive when it came to gender politics, and you can guarantee that the homophobic labels tossed at me and other bookheads was a form of linguistic emasculations. The only thing that really saved me was that my love of rock, alternative media and comic books gave me some breathing room. “I am really thrown by this question—I don’t think it is so much a “fear of feminization” as much as it is an embracing of a macho ideal that will have no truck with books (because women were not spending so much time with books and learning, either). … To be ugly (think Charles Bronson), strong and formal (which means you have your shit together, solid—not necessarily formal, in the English sense), was an ideal that left no room for bookish indulgence. “This is a great, great question—as evidenced by my inability to answer it well!” Hey, Nericcio: I don’t pay you the big shameless plugs for a half-assed answer! Shall I go find another scholar at Scholar Depot?

By MARYLEE PANGMAN hy do we tend to design things in odd numbers? It has to do with our brain: We like to pair things up. When we look at several items, we rationally try to put them together in groups of two. When we create a group of three, the eye is trying to find a pair, so it keeps moving—and that’s a good thing. In a garden, where our “art” is living and breathing, we want to enhance that movement—and having groups of odd numbers does the trick! However, for a more formal or contemporary look, design in a more symmetrical fashion. Even numbers, arranged as pairs, will form a pattern that attracts the eye’s focus. Two pots placed on opposite sides of a front gate or entryway, for example, will help guests focus on the entrance rather than passing it by. How else does an odd number of pots help in our desert landscape design? Long walls and square pots add to the linear look of a backyard wall. Look at the first photo below: These two pots do not seem right against this wall: They stop us dead in our tracks, for some reason. By adding a third pot—round in shape—and twisting the squares to change the angles, the result is much more appealing. Now you see the garden rather than the wall! When you are ready to redesign and are thinking about adding some pots, place some

large objects where you may want to position the pots. (Trash cans, propane tanks and buckets will serve you well without breaking your back.) Once you think you have your design ready, go pot-shopping with my mantra in mind: Bigger is better! If your pots are going to be in the full summer sun, choose pots that are at least 22 inches in diameter. And as always while gardening, remember: Have fun! MARYLEE PANGMAN IS THE FOUNDER AND FORMER OWNER OF THE CONTAINED GARDENER IN TUCSON, ARIZ. SHE HAS BECOME KNOWN AS THE DESERT’S POTTED GARDEN EXPERT. MARYLEE IS AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL CONSULTATIONS, AND YOU CAN EMAIL HER WITH COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS AT POTTEDDESERT@GMAIL.COM; FOLLOW THE POTTED DESERT AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/POTTEDDESERT. THE POTTED DESERT GARDEN APPEARS TUESDAYS AT CVINDEPENDENT.COM


For some reason, two pots don’t seem right—but three pots are a-OK.

JUNE 2014



JUNE 2014



After a Tough Year, the LGBT Community Center of the Desert Gets Set for Its New Executive Director


By Jimmy Boegle he LGBT Community Center of the Desert held its annual donor-appreciation party on Thursday, May 15—and the event’s star attraction was the brand-new executive director, Mike Thompson. He hadn’t even started the job yet—in fact, his first day is slated to be Monday, June 2—but Center supporters were excited to meet the man who they hope will fill a staff-leadership void that’s existed since the previous executive director, Gary Costa, stepped down months ago. Thompson’s qualifications are impressive. He spent about a year and a half with GLAAD, as the chief operating officer and the acting president. He was the executive director of Equality Utah for almost four years, and he spent a short stint as the director of development for the AIDS Project Los Angeles. The University of Oklahoma graduate and member of the Cherokee Nation also served as the executive director of a school in Tulsa for five years. On the day after the Center’s party, Thompson spoke to the Independent for about a half-hour. Here’s an edited version of that interview. Visit for an expanded version. What are your thoughts on where the Center is now, and where do you want to take things? I couldn’t be more proud of the work that is happening here. To listen to Dr. Jill (Gover, the Center’s director of counseling, at the donor-appreciation party) and her comments about our mental-health program, and the opportunities for expansion with the school system—that’s impressive. (So is) the (pending) certification that would allow us to be the only place in the state serving this population with that certification. I think that is a hallmark in our work, as is our (NestEggg) Food Bank program. There are a lot of great things happening here. As far as what I want to do, that’s yet to be determined. I can say broadly that the creation of community at the very core is what I am most interested in. The “how” and the “why” are

The LGBT Center of the Desert’s new executive director, Mike Thompson, speaks at the organization’s annual donor-appreciation party on Thursday, May 15. JIMMY BOEGLE

yet to be determined, and I think that yet-to-be-determined piece is going to be informed by the community. I am meeting with the board of directors tomorrow. … I want to understand from them: What is your vision? What is in your heart for this organization? And then I want to ask the community the same thing. It was fairly apparent last night that men far outnumber women when it comes to the Center. (This is a problem shared by many other Palm Springs-area LGBT organizations, too.) One person my partner I talked to last night was, frankly, upset that the new executive director was not a woman. Another criticism is that the Center does not seem to be successfully attracting a significant younger crowd; there’s definitely an older skew. You talk about building community; what, if anything, do you want to do to bring in more women, and bring in more young people? I am aware of exactly those two things; (the male skew) was something I actually brought up to the board (during the interview process), and it’s top of mind for them. I am not sorry that I am a man, but I understand that perception. That (issue of men outnumbering women) has been ongoing in “the movement”; that is a very common concern, and I am aware of that. So rather than me saying, “These are the things we are going to do to attract more women and more young people,” I am going to go back to these community conversations and assessments—this survey I want to do in the community—and say, “Women, what is meaningful to you? How is it that we better engage you?” … Those who want to remain critics will be critics; those who are interested in facilitating change will be part of creating that change. There’s been a lot of turmoil at the Center in terms of staffing changes. Developing a staff and creating some stability is going to be a direct job of yours as the executive director. Tell me your plans. I think my track record as a manager is that (I) create an environment for people to feel valued and significant in their work and in their workplace. That’s really an extension of what I want to do, or a category of what I want to do, within the

community: Within the staff, (I want to make) sure people are valued and that they feel significant, and that they understand what their expectations are, and that they’re held to those. It was a common theme last night: Everyone wants to create a Center that truly is a community center. At this event last year, plans for a new building were announced, and that seems to have been premature. Tell me what you have in mind to make the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, as a physical location, become the welcoming space that everyone wants it to be. I am not quite sure that I’m understanding your question. Is it about the physical space, or is it about being welcoming within whatever space we’re in? Both. Obviously, you can’t separate those two … (Are you asking) if a new space is a priority? Well, let’s make that a question: Is a new physical space a priority? You know, I don’t know. (Laughs.) I haven’t walked down and even set up my desk yet. … I am not prepared to have a conversation about that. Maybe I should let you actually start the job first. (Laughs.) I do understand the value of the space that we create for people. Whether that is in this space or in a different space, it’s like: Are we being good stewards of the space that we have today, and are we creating the type of space that has that community feel to it? That’s why, even though the staff has been reduced to what it is, thank God we’ve got great volunteers who are at that front desk every hour that we are open, so (people) are being welcomed from the moment they walk in the door. THAT is a way that we can do our jobs (of making people feel welcomed). … (I want to make sure) that every person who walks through that door has a personal experience with someone who represents the Center. … I think that’s more important than whatever space we do that in. At some point, we will have a space that might not be this one, because to grow into the program that I think we can be in the desert community, it will require a space beyond these walls. But I don’t know when that may be. Is there anything else you want to share? I don’t think so, other than saying how incredibly excited I am about not only the job, but integrating myself into this community, and calling it home—even more so after last night. I’ve been busy wrapping up my consultant practice; I’ve been busy packing … but last night, when I stepped down those stairs after I spoke … people were so welcoming. I thought, “Wow. I feel like I’m already a part of this.”


JUNE 2014



By Brian Blueskye t’s official: Authorized murals will be coming to the city of Palm Springs. After months of controversy—starting with the painting of a provocative mural at Bar on Palm Canyon Drive, and going through the police-led shutdown of the PLANet Art mural project in April—the Palm Springs City Council voted 3-1 to enact a mural-approval process on Wednesday, May 7. Paul Lewin cast the only opposing vote, citing concerns that the new policy was not restrictive enough. (Councilmember Ginny Foat was absent from the capacity-crowd meeting.) The ordinance states that any mural plans must go through a multi-step process, and get approval from bodies including the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission and, ultimately, the Palm Springs City Council. Existing murals, such as the one at Bar, are not grandfathered in, and must get approval. The ordinance had fairly widespread support, including the endorsement of the Main Street Palm Springs merchants association. The first public speaker at the meeting was Kim Funkey. Her family owns the Smoketree Supper Club, Giuseppe’s and Bar in Palm Springs. It was the mural at Bar, painted in November by Fin DAC and Angelina Christina, that sparked the mural debate in Palm Springs. “I’ve seen my hometown evolve over the years,” Funkey told the City Council, “from a city of empty streets and vacant storefronts, to a place that’s vibrant and bustling with economic activity. Palm Springs is in the midst of a commercial and cultural renaissance that my family is very proud to be a part of. (Our) mural at Bar has drawn accolades from international media such as USA Today, as well as local residents and visitors from around the world.” Funkey said the city’s cultural renaissance is being noticed by a wide variety of people. “(This is) a place many of my childhood classmates fled from, but because of this activity, several have returned and are now proud to call Palm Springs their home.” Following Funkey was Angela Romeo, of the City of Palm Springs Public Arts Commission. She spoke passionately about terms such as “signage” and “art.” “What’s interesting about this ordinance is that it’s very comprehensive in that it does distinguish between signage and art, which the city was lacking,” Romeo said. “What we need to understand is that murals are not alien; they’re not a crime against humanity. It’s just we had no permission for them. A vibrant art community is great for economic development. If you want to bring tourists here, you have to give them something to look at.” When it came time for the council to discuss the issue, member Rick Hutcheson declared support for the ordinance. “I think it has a place in our city. I think this is a careful process, and it’s been recommended by a good friend of mine who used to be part of the mural organization for Los Angeles,” he said. “It’s great to have a process for this, and I think this a good step forward,” Hutcheson said. Councilmember Chris Mills raised questions about some of the language in the ordinance—specifically, a rule limiting murals to being 35 feet tall. He wondered, for example, if an artist could paint only 35 feet of a wall if it was taller than that. The size limit was removed from the ordinance at his request. Councilmember Paul Lewin unsuccessfully proposed limiting the amount of murals visible along Palm Canyon Drive and

Indian Canyon Drive to five, with an additional five allowed elsewhere in the city. He also proposed, again unsuccessfully, painting the murals on a surface that could be detached or removed by property owners. “What that will do is allow the city to digest and experience it,” Lewin said. Debra Ann Mumm, the owner of Palm Desert’s Venus Studios

The Palm Springs City Council Enacts a Much-Needed Murals Ordinance Art Supply, was one of the organizers of the PLANET Art murals project, which brought in renowned artists to create four murals along Arenas Road in April. The project was shut down by Palm Springs police, despite the fact that Mumm had earned approval from the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission. She said the PLANET Art project is probably on hold until the fall. She now needs to submit plans for the four murals to the city. “We’re going into summer, so I don’t think I can get these guys from the Bay Area to come down until it cools down a bit,” she said. When asked about Lewin’s comments about removable artwork, Mumm said it’s not really possible. “I thought it was an unusual request,” Mumm said. “I’ve never heard of anything like that before for a mural program. Murals are traditionally painted on walls. I understand what he was going for, but it’s a different beast. How are you going to cover the Lulu building with removable material?”

The mural at Bar will now need to go through the city’s new approval process. BAR FACEBOOK PAGE


JUNE 2014



Salton City Students Learn About the Legislative Process as They Draw Attention to the Plight of a Threatened Amphibian


By Kevin Fitzgerald ark Twain was one of the first to publicly sing the praises of the California red-legged frog. Back in 1867, in a short story titled “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” he wrote about a fellow “by the name of Jim Smiley … He ketched a frog one day, and took him home, and said he cal’klated to edercate him; and so he never done nothing for three months but set in his back yard and learn that frog to jump.” In 2014, the ancestors of that exceptionally “edercated” California red-legged frog became the catalyst for a local educational experience involving Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez, and some inspirational students and faculty members at Salton City’s Sea View Elementary School: fifth-grade student Samantha Lambarena; sixth-grade student Freedom America Payne; teacher and faculty adviser Virginia Haddad; and principal Dr. Timothy Steele. With stylistic apologies to Mark Twain, Mrs. Haddad begins our modern inspirational tale: “I have an after-school class named the ‘Prodigy Cats.’ Samantha actually named it that, and it’s a group of kids who like to dream—high-achieving kids who like to do projects. “A couple of years ago when I was looking on the Internet for contests for my students to get involved in, I found one art contest through an organization called Save the Frogs. They put me on a mailing list. … One person mentioned their state amphibian, so I was wondering what ours was. I looked and saw we didn’t have one. “So I presented this idea to them: What if we work on getting a state amphibian for California? They thought it was a great idea. … So I asked the head of Save the Frogs, Dr. Kerry Kriger, who’s a well-known expert on frogs: What do you suggest would be a good frog to be our state amphibian? He said the California red-legged frog. … He suggested we go to our local assemblyperson. Then last November, sixth-grader Freedom Payne wrote


the letter; we all pitched in, then he typed it up; about 10 kids signed it, and we sent it up to Assemblymember Perez at his office in Indio. The group didn’t hear back, so they sent a second letter to Perez’s Sacramento office. Samantha takes over the story. “We did get a reply to that,” she says. “After that, we started working on our project and learning more about the frog.” Perez picks up the narrative: “I really didn’t think much about it in the beginning, other than it was a cute idea. But it never left the back of my mind.” Haddad and some students went to an open house at Perez’s Indio office back in January. “There was music and tamales and cookies,” she says. “But Mr. Perez was so nice to these kids. He literally took them under his arms. There were a lot of important people there, but Mr. Perez took time with these kids and showed us around his office.” Perez says, “As a result of that, I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s give this a shot.’ This could truly be an educational experience for the students in which they can see how a bill becomes law and experientially go through it.” Samantha says the students then got to work. “We learned more facts about the frog: its behavior, its habitat and what it eats.” “It’s indigenous to California,” interjects Freedom. It’s a threatened species which does not quite reach the level of endangered. “The bullfrog has been eating the California frogs lately, and it’s our frog’s worst enemy now,” Samantha says. Back we go to the unfolding story of the legislative initiative. “In February of this year, Mr. Perez came to Sea View Elementary and did a presentation for all of our fourth-,

The team responsible for State Assembly Bill 2364, calling for the California red-legged frog to be designated the state amphibian, hails from Salton City’s Sea View Elementary School. KEVIN FITZGERALD

fifth- and sixth-grade students about how a bill becomes law,” Steele says. “Then, Mr. Perez announced that he was going to move forward and present this bill, which he identified as AB 2364. He invited us up to Sacramento.” The students made the trip to the state Capitol and gave testimony. “In the committee session, I said, ‘Mr. Chairman, I waive my presentation. I have a couple of students here who would like to present this bill, and they’re ready for you.’ And they basically took over,” Perez says. “The assemblymembers were impressed. They really appreciated what the kids had to say, and they took a liking to the bill. On the Assembly floor, it was passed by a 52-10 vote, and now it’s going to the Senate.” Steele says it was an amazing experience. “When you talk about learning being a part of students’ real lives, this was the epitome. You can’t get any more involved than sitting in the state Capitol in Sacramento, and you’re facing a panel of assemblymembers, and you’re in fifth- or sixth-grade.” So what hurdles remain before the battle for designation of the state amphibian is won? “It’s going to the Senate, where it will be referred to a committee, in Natural Resources,

perhaps,” Perez explains. “But that’s not going to happen until sometime in June. I’ll have to present the bill to the committee in the Senate as well at that time. It’s expensive to take the students up to Sacramento. It takes a lot of time and resources, so I don’t know if we’ll be able to do that again, quite frankly.” However, Freedom and Samantha would jump at the opportunity. When asked if they’d be returning to Sacramento they reply in unison, “I hope!” Has this ambitious enterprise changed their view on life at all? “Being a part of this whole experience has definitely changed my life,” says Freedom, “because not a lot of kids get this kind of opportunity. And getting this opportunity makes me happy and helps me move on. In my free time now, whenever I’m bored, I go on my iPad and start drawing frogs.” As for Samantha: “It changed my life, because before, I used to feel bored and sad and not knowing what to do. But now, since Mrs. Haddad told me about the Save the Frogs website and because of what we’ve been doing, I stay involved and have been educated about this issue. And I feel better.”

JUNE 2014



JUNE 2014


JUNE ASTRONOMY Jupiter and Saturn Are Beautiful—Especially With a Telescope WWW.CVINDEPENDENT.COM/NEWS

by Robert Victor hree planets are easy to spot in the evening sky in early June, and two of them are real showpieces, if you happen to have access to a telescope: Jupiter, with its four satellites discovered by Galileo, and its two dark cloud belts; and Saturn, with its spectacular rings. June 2014 at dusk: The six brightest starlike objects visible at dusk are Jupiter (the brightest, of magnitude -1.9 to -1.8); Mars (magnitude -0.5 to 0.0); the stars Arcturus, Vega and Capella (all near 0.0); and Saturn (+0.2 to 0.4). (The lower the magnitude number is, the brighter the object.) Stars appear to twinkle noticeably, because of the Earth’s atmosphere. The planets generally shine with a steadier light, because they are close enough to Earth to show a disk, at least when seen through a telescope. Each point of the planet’s disk twinkles like a star, but if you add up the light from all the points, the sum is relatively constant. June’s easily observed evening planets include Jupiter, sinking nearly to the westnorthwest horizon, preparing to depart; Mars, in the south to southwest; and Saturn, ascending in the southeast to south. Mercury now requires binoculars; it sinks into the bright west-northwest twilight glow very early in the month while fading sharply, from magnitude +1.4 to +2.1, June 1-5. When you see three or more planets widely spaced in the sky, as they are in June, notice how they seem to lie in a nearly straight line across the sky: A line from Jupiter to Mars extended points to Saturn.

In what remains of winter’s collection of stars, Procyon, the “Little Dog” star, departs in the west early in June; Capella, already low in the northwest at the start of June, exits as well. Pollux and nearby Castor, not quite of first magnitude and therefore not shown on our twilight chart, are the last bright winter stars lingering well into June; look for these “Gemini Twins” to the upper right of Jupiter. Regulus, heart of Leo, is in the west-southwest to west, to the upper left of Jupiter. Blue-white Spica, spike of wheat in the hand of Virgo, and golden Arcturus, the “Bear Guardian” star in Bootes, the Herdsman, pass their high points in the south. Reddish Antares, heart of Scorpius, ascends in the southeast. Altair rises north of east to the lower right of Vega and Deneb, completing the Summer Triangle with them, in time for the season’s beginning. Follow the waxing moon in the evening sky as it passes near these planets and bright zodiacal stars: Jupiter on June 1; Regulus on June 3 and 4; Mars on June 7; Spica on June 8; Saturn on June 9 and 10; Antares on June 11; and Jupiter again on June 28—but this time with the moon very low in bright twilight. For planet-watchers: Watch the bent line of Jupiter-Pollux-Castor straighten as June progresses. The “twin” stars are 4 1/2 degrees apart, and Jupiter passes 6 degrees to the lower left of Pollux at mid-month. Follow Mars closing in on Spica all month. On June 1, Mars and Spica are 14 degrees apart; on June 30, they’re within 6 degrees. On July 5, the moon, just past first-quarter

Morning visibility map at mid-twilight. ROBERT D. MILLER

Evening visibility map at mid-twilight. ROBERT D. MILLER

phase and a little more than half illuminated, will pass between Mars and Spica while they’re within 4 degrees. In a colorful pairing on July 13, the red planet will pass just 1.3 degrees north of the blue-white star. June 2014 at dawn: Venus at magnitude -4 is the only naked-eye planet up in morning mid-twilight. This brightest morning “star” appears low in the east to east-northeast during June. Next in brightness are three stars, all of magnitude zero: golden orange Arcturus, setting in the west-northwest; blue-white Vega, just west of overhead; and yellowish Capella, low in the northeast, ascending as the month progresses. Other stars: Altair and Deneb, joining Vega to complete the Summer Triangle overhead; Fomalhaut, low in the southeast to south; Antares, heart of Scorpius, setting in the southwest early in month; and Aldebaran, eye of Taurus, emerging below Venus late in the month. The waning crescent moon in the morning sky passes near Venus on June 24, within 2 degrees, and well worth getting up early to see! Note the beautiful Pleiades star cluster (aka Seven Sisters) 6 degrees to the upper left of Venus on June 23-25. The thin old moon appears to the lower left of Aldebaran, eye of Taurus the Bull, on June 25. Venus will pass just 4 degrees north of Aldebaran on July 1.

The view of Venus, Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster in binoculars early that morning will be breathtaking! Many beautiful sights await you this summer, in both morning and evening skies. Mark the date Aug. 18 on your calendar, to remind yourself to get up early for a spectacular close predawn pairing of the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter. The June through September issues of the Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar will provide illustrations of the best gatherings. Those issues won’t be put online, but you can get information on how to subscribe at www. Check the website of the Astronomical Society of the Desert ( for dates and locations of “star parties,” where everyone is welcome to look through our telescopes at the moon, planets and “deep sky objects.” Our sky watches at the National Monument Visitor Center will resume in October, while our monthly sessions at Sawmill Trailhead, at 4,000 feet, continue all year. ROBERT C. VICTOR WAS A STAFF ASTRONOMER AT ABRAMS PLANETARIUM AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY. HE IS NOW RETIRED AND ENJOYS PROVIDING SKYWATCHING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN IN AND AROUND PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.


JUNE 2014




Images From May in the Coachella Valley

Yucca Valley resident Larry Van Horn, 70, dances at Jesika Von Rabbit’s show at The Hood Bar and Pizza on Friday, May 9. He said that not long ago, he weighed 500 pounds and was close to death due to heart issues and colon cancer. Over an 8-year period, though, he’s lost 200 pounds and has taken up Zumba. He said he prefers dancing to music by contemporary artists such as Lil Jon and Pitbull rather than artists who were popular when he was younger. PHOTO BY BRIAN BLUESKYE

Matthew Hocutt, a senior at Cathedral City High School, speaks to a sold-out crowd of 350 people at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, held on Thursday, May 22, at the Hilton Palm Springs. The budding actor/performer earned a standing ovation at the third annual breakfast by talking about his feelings of alienation and the fact that he was bullied in middle school—and how he overcame those challenges to become a leader who is now mentoring a middle-schooler. PHOTO BY JIMMY BOEGLE

Janet Evans, who won gold medals at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, gives pointers to swimmers at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center on Saturday, May 10, at Just Add Swim. The free day-long swim clinic included more than 1,000 participants who learned swimming and pool-safety basics. The Palm Desert-owned pool is managed for the city by the Family YMCA of the Desert. PHOTO COURTESY OF KIM KIRIKER/SWIM TO WIN FOUNDATION


JUNE 2014

The Summer Movie Preview: Welcome to the Parade of Superheroes, Sequels and James Franco By Bob Grimm

No surprise: Summer movie season 2014 offers plenty of films that have lots of things going boom. We’re also getting a massive number of sequels and, oddly enough, a large quantity of small films with James Franco in them. (Those Franco films are, for the most part, too small to discuss in the space I have here. But trust me: He’s in a lot of flicks.) There are also numerous comedies, and films with smaller price tags. Maybe Hollywood is starting to back off after expensive busts like R.I.P.D. and The Lone Ranger last year. Sure, this season includes some big movies, but there’s quite a bit of cerebral fare on the way, too. Also, this year is definitely frontloaded: Most of the action will be finished with a month left in the summer. I won’t be surprised if some studios shift dates to early September this year. Here’s a sampling of what’s to come. (These release dates are subject to change, depending on studio whims.) A Million Ways to Die in the West (May 30): Seth MacFarlane directs and gives himself his first feature-film starring role as a man in the Old West who can’t help but notice that it’s a place where anybody could die at any time. Charlize Theron, looking awfully cute in her cowgirl getup, co-stars. This looks like a blast. Maleficent (May 30): I run hot and cold on Angelina Jolie. She looks super-creepy as the famed Disney baddie. I’m not sure I want to look at those weird horns and freaky contacts for an entire movie. (Hey, I’m allowed to be shallow sometimes.) Edge of Tomorrow (June 6): Tom Cruise dies again and again and again in this sciencefiction offering from director Doug Liman. Emily Blunt dies a lot, too, in a film that looks like a true mind screw. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13): Sequel to a big cartoon = CASH COW. 22 Jump Street (June 13): Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reteam for another go at the undercover-cop comedy. I hope Ice Cube curses a lot in this one, too. The Rover (June 20): Robert Pattinson

and Guy Pearce star in this strange-looking movie about a guy going after people who stole his car in the Australian outback. The guy who directed Animal Kingdom is making this one, so I’m intrigued. Jersey Boys (June 20): Clint Eastwood directs a musical about The Four Seasons and Frankie Valli. Sounds weird. Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27): Shia is out, and Mark Wahlberg is in for Michael Bay’s fourth go at the robot-trucks thing. I hate the other Transformers flicks, and I hate Bay, so I will probably hate this. Yes, I’m saying I will probably hate it before I see it, which is an unprofessional thing for a film critic to do. Hey, I know myself, people, and I’m nothing if not honest, so leave me alone. They Came Together (June 27): Director David Wain, who so classically spoofed summer-camp films with Wet Hot American Summer, takes aim at the romantic-comedy genre with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as his stars. This … will … be … awesome. There, I judged something before seeing it yet again. Sue me. Tammy (July 2): Melissa McCarthy teams up with Susan Sarandon (playing her grandma) for a road comedy. The last road comedy McCarthy made was the awful Identity Thief. This couldn’t possibly be that bad, right? It’s got the girl from The Rocky Horror Picture Show in it. And So It Goes (July 11): Rob Reiner, who was awesome in The Wolf of Wall Street, directs this reunion with Michael Douglas—

they made The American President together— written by the guy who penned As Good as It Gets. Diane Keaton is along for the ride. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11): While James Franco is in something like 572 small films this year, he doesn’t return to star in the sequel to one of his biggest hits (although there are rumors of a cameo). Caesar (Andy Serkis) remains pissed in the aftermath of a plague that has wiped out most of the planet. He and his ape army look to take advantage of a handicapped human race. Boyhood (July 11): In one of the summer’s biggest curiosities, Richard Linklater directs Ellar Coltrane from age 7 to 18. The catch? Linklater actually filmed the movie over 11 years using the same kid. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette co-star. Jupiter Ascending (July 18): The Wachowskis pair Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis for this futuristic and rather strangelooking movie. Thanks to the presence of Kunis, I have a bad Oz the Great and Powerful vibe. Maybe that also has something to do with the fact I was writing about James Franco a couple of paragraphs ago. Wish I Was Here (July 18): Director Zach Braff finally follows up his Garden State with something that looks gosh-darned cute; it was funded by Kickstarter. Sex Tape (July 25): Jason Segel lost a lot of weight to be naked with Cameron Diaz in this nasty-looking comedy. A Most Wanted Man (July 25): One of

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last movies. I’m depressed now. Hercules (July 25): OK, if Dwayne Johnson as Hercules is supposed to be stupidfunny, then this might be goofy fun. However, I think they’re going for a serious take on the legend, so it could be a disaster. It should be noted that this is 2014’s second Hercules movie, and the first one super-tanked. Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug. 1): On one hand, Marvel is starting to truck out the less-popular figures in the canon with the offbeat team at the center of this action adventure. On the other hand, Chris Pratt is a star waiting to happen; Bradley Cooper as a raccoon looks kind of rad; and films in which Zoe Saldana is a radically different hue usually fare well. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Aug. 8): Michael Bay produces a reboot about the graphic novel turtles, starring his former enemy Megan Fox. I hate Michael Bay. I really hate him. The Expendables 3 (Aug. 15): This time out, Sylvester Stallone has recruited Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Wesley Snipes to join in the mayhem. I’m not a huge fan of these movies, although the second was an improvement on the first. Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Aug. 22): The long-delayed sequel from Robert Rodriguez might suffer from the fact that the look he pioneered with the original in 2005 has been aped many times since.

22 Jump Street


JUNE 2014

Local Coolness: These Places, Activities and Events Wil Keep You Entertained at a Proper Temperature By Brian Blueskye

Summer is basically upon us—and in the desert, that means there’s a need to find activities that keep us cool. Therefore, we here at the Independent have compiled a list of activities, places and events that will help you survive the scorching summer heat. Wet ’n’ Wild The former Knott’s Soak City in Palm Springs has new ownership and is now called Wet ’n’ Wild. The water park offers a definite summer survival activity for children and adults alike. With three slides—Pipeline Point, the Sea Snake, and the seven-story Tidal Wave Tower—the thrill element is there. You can also enjoy Kahuna’s Beach House and the 800-gallon Riptide Reef wave pool. If that’s not enough, you can take a ride on the Pacific Spin, featuring a 132-foot-long tunnel that ends with a ride into a 70-foot funnel. If you just want to soak and relax, enjoy a lazy ride on the Sunset River. With season passes starting at just $59, and general admission passes ranging from $26.99 to $36.99, Wet ’n’ Wild could offer a wonderful getaway all summer— or just for a day. Wet ’n’ Wild, 1500 S. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs; 760-327-0499; www. Boomers! If you have children, you’ll need to get them out of the house when they aren’t in school. One idea: There’s something for everyone at Boomers in Cathedral City. There is an arcade—which means air-conditioning! There are also bumper boats, go-carts and a rock wall. This is a perfect place for a child’s birthday; a party room is available. For a family night together, nothing says fun like miniature golf. Boomers Palm Springs, 67700 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City; 760-770-7522; www. Casinos While our local casinos are a prime spot for gambling, of course, they also offer other things to do. The Spa Resort Casino, Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Spotlight 29 Casino and Morongo Casino Resort Spa, as well as other

local casinos, include fine restaurants, free shows and world-class entertainment (which you can read about in the Independent, of course). The drinks are often cheaper; the crowds in the dance clubs tend to be lively; and the air conditioning is always cranked up for maximum comfort. Orange Empire Railway Museum Sometimes, the best way to beat the heat is to get in the car and venture outside of the desert; even an hour’s drive can lead to a significant temperature difference. Well, the Orange Empire Railway Museum is located in Perris—about an hour outside of the desert. The museum features a collection of Southern California railroad history. A friend of mine who gives tours at the museum has told me in extensive detail about the fully functioning trains that offer short rides; the educational experience that the museum offers to both children and adults; and the great value of the visit. It’s especially great if you’re into trains or looking for a great piece of American history. Admission is free, and on the weekends, an all-day train-ride pass is $8 to $12; a family membership is available for $60. Orange Empire Railway Museum, 2201 S. A St., Perris; 951-9433020, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway If you’re desperate for relief from the summer heat, consider the fact that the temperature difference between Palm Springs and the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway at Mount San Jacinto at 8,000 feet is generally 30 degrees. There are plenty of hiking, camping (great for the family!) and dining options up at the top, as well as guided nature walks. Tickets are $16.95 to $23.95. If want to go up for a nice dinner, the Pines Café offers an incredible package deal of dining and the tram ride for $23.50 to $36. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, One Tram Way, Palm Springs; 760-325-1449; The Ace Hotel and Swim Club Whether or not your home has a pool, consider the Ace Hotel and Swim Club: The Ace has a great pool, with frequent events including DJs and more. A full bar is located near the pool, and the King’s Highway restaurant offers

patio service, so you’ll never go hungry or get thirsty while you spend a relaxing day there. Day passes cost $30 and are available between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. I also suggest dropping in on Bella da Ball on Monday nights for both Sissy Bingo and Trivia Night, held in the King’s Highway restaurant and the Amigo Room, respectively. The Ace Hotel, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival On Saturday, June 14, Joshua Tree will celebrate its sixth annual Gay Pride Festival. I admit I was somewhat skeptical before I attended last year as a volunteer—when I was absolutely amazed at how the community up in Joshua Tree comes out to support the LGBT side of things. The festival brings out some of Joshua Tree’s artists, interesting vendors and the usual gay-related organizations. The entertainment this year is top-notch, with the Joshua Tree Community Jazz Band, the Small Wonder Experience, Indy Amos and many other performers. Attendance is a $5 suggested donation. Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival, Coyote Corner (Highway 62 and Park Avenue), Joshua Tree; find the Facebook page for more information.

passes are also available. For more information, visit 10th Annual Campout with Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven David Lowery, his two bands, and his friends will be heading to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace for the 10th annual Campout in September. A lineup has not yet been released for festival-style event, but we know the dates: Thursday, Sept. 11, through Saturday, Sept. 13. Keep checking Pappy and Harriet’s website for ticket info and details. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road; Pioneertown; 760-365-5956;

Splash House If you are looking for a mini-Coachella-like festival that includes ample pool time, Splash House—from Friday, June 13, through Sunday, June 15—is definitely for you. The lineup this year includes Moby, Neon Indian and Purity Ring, just to name a few of the bigname DJs. This is definitely an awesome event, and your ticket includes a shuttle pass between the three venues: The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, the Saguaro, and the Hacienda Beach Club. Tickets are $103. For more information, visit 21st Annual Jazz in the Pines in Idyllwild If you’re looking to get out of the desert for a day or two, the Annual Jazz in the Pines up in Idyllwild on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16 and 17, will be a nice retreat: The temperatures will be a little cooler, and you’ll be in the wilderness of Idyllwild. Of course, the music will be fantastic, too. Tickets are $65 per day for walkup admission; advance tickets and two-day

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers an escape to a place that’s usually 30 degrees cooler than the valley floor. COURTESY OF PALM SPRINGS BUREAU OF TOURISM


JUNE 2014

The Summer TV Preview: What’s Hot on the Tube in the “Off” Season Bill Frost

Television used to take a break in the summertime— but that was back in the dark ages, Grandpa. Today, networks are more aggressive than ever about establishing the fabled 52-week programming schedule, so the real winner is you! Here’s what you should be watching while it’s hot: JUNE Following the Season 2 premiere of 2013’s hit alien-western Defiance, it’s the debut of Dominion, a new supernatural drama about rogue angels bent on possessing mankind in the—wait for it—post-apocalyptic future. It’s based on the 2010 flick Legion, so the fact that Dominion doesn’t completely suck is a … miracle. (Syfy; Thursday, June 19) Quiet breakout series Rectify, about a former death-row inmate trying to fit back into his small Georgia home town, returns for a 10-episode second season. The gorgeously hypnotic Southern Gothic doles out details slower than molasses, but it earns every last drop of its critical mass—binge Season 1 on Netflix for proof. (Sundance; Thursday, June 19) Before the Season 4 premiere of alieninvasion epic Falling Skies, new series The Last Ship tackles an enemy of a different kind:


Producer Michael Bay. Actually, it’s a pandemic that kills 80 percent (!) of the planet’s population, and only the crew of a surviving Navy ship is positioned to find a cure for the remaining 20. It’s like Battleship, but with more plot. (TNT; Sunday, June 22) It’s about five years late, but the seventh and final season of True Blood is upon us— and after you begin saying your goodbyes to (everybody whisper it together now) Sookie and the Bon Temps fang-gang, say hello to the un-Raptured souls of The Leftovers, about a group of confused suburbanites stuck behind on Earth. It’s like This Is the End, but with less weed. (HBO; True Blood: Sunday, June 22; The Leftovers: Sunday, June 29) If it weren’t already canceled, it would be easy to accuse FX of inhumanely putting down loveable mutt Wilfred by moving Season 4 to FXX, the euthanasia lab of cable. On the upside, we may finally get some answers as to why Wilfred appears to Ryan as an Australian asshole in a dog suit … but probably not. (FXX; Wednesday, June 25) Also premiering in June: Halt and Catch Fire (AMC; Sunday, June 1); Longmire (A&E; Monday, June 2); Mistresses (ABC; Monday, June 2); Orange Is the New Black (Netflix; Friday, June 6); Power (Starz; Saturday, June 7); Rookie Blue (ABC; Thursday, June 19); Teen Wolf (MTV; Monday, June 23); Tyrant (FX; Tuesday, June 24); Covert Affairs (USA; Tuesday, June 24); Big Brother (CBS; Wednesday, June 25); Girl Meets World (Disney; Friday, June 27); Under the Dome (CBS; Monday, June 30). JULY Halle Berry gets knocked-up in space! That’s all the summation you need for Extant, CBS’ next stab at a Summer Event Thriller after the network got a little too cocky last year with the success of Under the Dome. How did this female astronaut become pregnant during her year alone in space? What’s growing inside her? Who came up with the lousy title Extant? Expect answers … maybe during the summer of 2015, if the ratings blow up. (CBS; Wednesday, July 9) Now that Dexter is over, and Homeland has jumped (hung?) the shark, Showtime’s new flagship dramas Ray Donovan and Masters

(MTV; Tuesday, July 8); The Bridge (FX; Wednesday, July 9); Hemlock Grove (Netflix; Friday, July 11); Satisfaction (USA; Thursday, July 17); Rush (USA; Thursday, July 17); Sharknado 2: The Second One (Syfy; Wednesday, July 30).


of Sex both return for their respective second seasons. A gritty crime/family drama about a troubled “fixer” for the Hollywood elite and a period soap about pioneering 1950s sex researchers Masters and Johnson may seem like an odd combo, but they’re the network’s best series in years. (Showtime; Sunday, July 13) Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s book trilogy The Strain becomes a TV series, brought to you, coincidentally, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. When an ancient disease strain begins turning the world’s population into vampires—and not those pretty Twilight/Vampire Diaries bloodsuckers, either—it’s up to a Centers for Disease Control doc and a ragtag group of New Yorkers to save humanity. Apparently, it’s the Summer of the Apocalypse. (FX; Sunday, July 13) Would you believe a soccer star by day who’s an international spy by night? That’s Matador. If the balls-out TV re-imagining of From Dusk Till Dawn has taught us anything, it’s to trust Robert Rodriguez and the El Rey network. (El Rey; Tuesday, July 15) Harried-marrieds comedies have been done to death—but one starring Judy Greer, Nat Faxon, Jenny Slate and Bret Gelman? That’s a killer cast who’d be canceled in five minutes on a broadcast network; fortunately, the new Married is on cable, and it’s far funnier and more heartfelt then the generic title suggests. Fellow debuting comedy You’re the Worst, about two toxic singles who enter into couplehood, wins the name game. (FX; Thursday, July 17) Also premiering in July: Witches of East End (Lifetime; Sunday, July 6); Finding Carter


AUGUST You can’t kill The Killing: After being canceled by AMC, like, a dozen times, the crime drama returns for a fourth and final season on Netflix … but is it really the last? There’s still Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and Yahoo! TV, right? (Netflix; Friday, Aug. 1) A married World War II nurse is mysteriously transported from 1945 to 1743, where’s she’s “forced” (just go with it) to wed a dashing Scottish warrior. Outlander, based on a best-selling book series, is equal parts romance, sci-fi, history and utter ridiculousness. Hence, it’ll be a huge hit—at least by 10th-tier premium-cable standards. (Starz; Saturday, Aug. 9) Also premiering in August: Masters of Illusion (The CW; Friday, Aug. 1); Legends (TNT; Wednesday, Aug. 13); Franklin and Bash (TNT; Wednesday, Aug. 13); Dallas (TNT; Monday, Aug. 18); Breathless (PBS; Sunday, Aug. 24); MTV Video Music Awards (MTV; Sunday, Aug. 24); Emmy Awards (NBC; Monday, Aug. 25). CATCH BILL FROST’S TRUE TV COLUMN EVERY WEDNESDAY AT CVINDEPENDENT.COM.


JUNE 2014


CALIFORNIA WORKS The Palm Springs Art Museum Shows Off Art Influenced by the Golden State


By Victor Barocas alifornia Dreamin’, the iconic song of the 1960s, conjures up images of the peace and love movement for many. Today, however, the Palm Springs Art Museum is offering its own take on the phrase. The exhibit California Dreamin’: Thirty Years of Collecting shows off the works of artists who worked in or were influenced by California over the last three decades. California Dreamin’ marks the first time these pieces, all museum-owned, have been exhibited at the same time. Movements represented include Bay Area Figurative Art; Funk Art; Assemblage; Light and Space; Hard Edge and Geometric Abstraction; and Latino. Christopher Brown’s painting “800 Hours” evokes the same sense of loneliness and isolation created by Edward Hopper a century before. In contrast to Hopper and his recognizable figures, Brown paints forms that are concurrently figurative and abstract; he enhances the sense of anomie by creating humanoid forms devoid of facial features. The artist’s figures appear in a shadowy black, with the exception of one painted in a yellowish green, and another painted in both yellowgreen and black. The entire top third of the canvas is in shades of deep aqua. Angled across the middle section of the wide image, Brown paints a bright, broad swath of yellowish-green, which serves as a harsh counterpoint to the softer aqua. The dark left foreground is painted in deep aqua muddied by the yellow-green. In addition to being a path along which these

ambiguous figures move, the wide yellowgreen strip creates dimensionality and forces the viewer’s eyes to travel across the entire painting. Brown’s choice of materials softens the harshness. By employing oil on silk, a soft sheen infuses a humanity into what could otherwise be an overly strident composition. Rooted in commercial art, Ed Ruscha grew his portfolio thanks to his interest in words and typography. His work bridges the pop and conceptual art movements. The artist deftly creates paintings that have an intellectual element and provoke an emotional response, as can be seen in “Exploded Crystal Chandelier Headache.” In a soft white, Ruscha paints each word vertically from the top to the bottom of the large canvas. The background begins in a dark-charcoal black and transitions first to mauve and then finally to a light yellow-white. “Exploded” appears sits stark against the dark charcoal. Paired with mauve, “Crystal” seems

relaxed. With a backdrop of yellow, the word “Chandelier” comes across like a soft light. Ruscha’s presentation of the word “Headache” is contradictory: The word representing a painful condition becomes peaceful, calm and nearly invisible juxtaposed against the faint yellow-white backdrop. Robert Therrien’s “No Title (stacked plates, butter)” can be summarized in two words: whimsical and fun! The cream-colored plates are reminiscent of Melmac, the kitschy dinnerware popular between the 1940s and 1960s. The plates are positioned so that they appear to be teetering, creating what is experienced as an unstable, tottering 10-to-12foot tower. “The Big 4,” painted by Robert Motherwell, is wide and expansive; it consumes the exhibit’s entranceway. Using his signature colors, the artist produced a powerful, inspiring work that deserves to be exhibited as frequently as possible. However, including “The Big 4” in a show titled California Dreamin’ at first blush seems problematic. Motherwell’s ties to the California art scene seem dubious; he is the youngest member of the globally recognized New York Abstract Expressionist Movement. However, his ties to the Golden State are there. Motherwell lived in both the north and south parts of the state, and he graduated from Stanford University. The exhibit contains many excellent examples of California schools, including Nathan Oliveira’s oil and vine charcoal on campus “Untitled Standing Figure 1,” William Allan’s oil on canvas “Wyoming Pond,” and An-My Le’s gelatin silver print “29 Palms: Night Operations IV.” However, one of the works in particular does not fit. Rupert Garcia’s pastel “Un Ramo de Flores para Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (A Bouquet of Flowers for Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz)” seems more like three independent illustrations; it is not a cohesive triptych.


The artist demonstrates his expertise as a fine draughtsman. In addition to creating an attractive, mysterious Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz, he skillfully draws flowers. However, no bouquets exist: To the right and left of the sister, Garcia draws stems with either a single flower or two flowers and buds. Even symbolically, these straggly, unappealing flowers do not constitute a “bouquet.” CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: THIRTY YEARS OF COLLECTING IS ON DISPLAY THROUGH THURSDAY, JULY 31, AT THE PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM, 101 MUSEUM DRIVE, PALM SPRINGS. REGULAR MUSEUM ADMISSION FEES APPLY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 760-322-4800, OR VISIT WWW.PSMUSEUM.ORG.


JUNE 2014

JUNE ARTS Comedy Kathy Griffin The famous, profane and controversial comedian brings her comedy and D-list fame to the desert for two shows. 9 p.m., Friday, June 6; and 8 p.m., Saturday, June 7. The Show at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage. 888-999-1995;

worldwide for the extraordinary community of filmmakers it attracts, and for the quality and scope of its programming. ShortFest 2014 will present more than 300 short films from more than 50 countries. Tuesday, June 17, through Monday, June 23; times, prices and venues vary. General public sales begin June 10;

Wayans Brothers Live! In 1990, the world of comedy welcomed an irreverent sketch comedy that changed the playing field. In Living Color debuted to critical acclaim and adoration by millions of American fans. Leading the charge was trailblazing creator, writer, director, producer and actor Keenen Ivory Wayans. He and his brothers take the stage together. 8 p.m., Saturday, June 21. $29 to $59. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway. 760-342-5000;

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is a mystical, surreal and challenging film exploring questions of memory, reincarnation and the afterlife. On the edge of the florid jungle lies a man on the edge of death, who begins to recall his past lives in the company of his deceased wife and son who have returned in non-human form to usher him into the afterlife. 5:30 p.m., Friday, June 6. Free. Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, 72567 Highway 111, Palm Desert. 760-322-4800;



20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is the only science-fiction film produced by Walt Disney himself and remains one of the most highly regarded live action films of Walt Disney Productions. Infusing fresh life and color into the Jules Verne classic, the film doesn’t shy away from the challenges of its ocean setting, featuring outstanding underwater sequences, a legendary special-effects battle with a giant squid, and a regrettably “true to the text” depiction of “cannibal island.” 5:30 p.m., Friday, June 13. Free. Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, 72567 Highway 111, Palm Desert. 760-322-4800;

America America created a sound of their own with their flawless blend of contrasting genres, consisting of pop rock, folk-jazz and even Latin-leaning rhythms. Since the 1970s, America band members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell have been producing inspiring music that has brought them chart-topping success. 8 p.m., Saturday, June 7. $35 to $55. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566;

Movies in the Park: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 Bring chairs, kick back and enjoy the start of summer! The movie will begin the second the sun goes behind our mountains. 5 p.m., Friday, June 13. Free. Thousand Palms Community Park, 31189 Robert Road, Thousand Palms. 760-343-3595; Palm Springs International Shortfest and Film Market Palm Springs International ShortFest is renowned

Art Laboe Summer of Love Jam III The show features El Chicano, Rose Royce, MC Magic, Amanda Perez and Club Noveau. 7 p.m., Saturday, June 14. $35 to $65. The Show at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage. 888-999-1995; Christina Bianco Drama Desk and MAC Award-nominated actress, singer and impressionist Christina Bianco has become a worldwide YouTube sensation thanks to her diva impression videos going viral. Christina also just sold out a critically acclaimed extended run headlining at London’s famed Hippodrome. 8 p.m., Saturday, June

21. $20 to $40 with a two-drink minimum. Copa, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs. 760-322-3554; Hot as Hell Pool Party With Zulluu Zulluu is an Anglo-African fusion band/theater group, pioneering a new trend of blending world beats and sounds into a mix of theater, music and dance. They are highly vocal, singing lyrics in both English and the African language of Zulu. Bring your swimsuit! 7 p.m., Monday, June 2. Free. Sidebar Patio and Circa 59 at Riviera Palm Springs, 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-327-8311;

Special Events Desert Chiefs Football Presents Desert Bowl Battle for the ball, 7-on-7 football tournament. All sponsorship proceeds go the DHS JAA Football and Cheer. 10 a.m., Saturday, June 14. Free. Desert Hot Springs High School, 65850 Pierson Blvd., Desert Hot Springs. Juneteenth in the Coachella Valley’ The event promises good food, exciting entertainment and an atmosphere that inspires community unity and support. All proceeds will directly benefit the Family Health and Support Network foster-care program. The evening will include a performance by special guest artist and renowned vocalist Ms. Alfreda James. 6 p.m., Saturday, June 14. $65; $85 VIP. La Quinta Resort and Club and PGA West, 49499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta. 760-340-2442;

Visual Arts California Dreamin’: Thirty Years of Collecting The exhibit includes art works purchased by the Palm Springs Art Museum with funds provided by the Contemporary Art Council and other contributors since 1984. The acquisitions were created by contemporary artists who worked in California or were influenced by spending some time in California during their artistic careers. This is the first time these artworks have been on exhibition together. The exhibit is a celebration of the commitment of the Contemporary Art Council to growing the museum’s collection of significant contemporary artists, and is a survey of art in California since the 1980s. On display through Thursday, July 31. Included with museum admission (free to $12.50). Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. 760-322-4800;


JUNE THEATER Children’s Theatrical Series at the Annenberg Theater The Annenberg Theater of the Palm Springs Art Museum offers a summer series of children’s live theatrical productions on Saturdays. Each performance will be offered twice, at noon and 3 p.m. June 7: Let’s Go Science. June 14: Jest in Time Circus. June 21: Bella and Harry. June 28: Super Scientific Circus. $15 children 16 and younger; $20 for adults. At the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-4490; www. A Doll’s House—From Theatre 29 Torvald Helmer loves his wife, Nora, but he considers her a child and a possession. When a secret debt comes back to haunt her, Nora’s seemingly idyllic domestic existence becomes a fraught battleground. Shows at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, from Friday, June 20, through Saturday, July 19, with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Sunday, June 29 and July 13. $12; $10 seniors and military; $8 students. At 73637 Sullivan Road, Twentynine Palms. 760-361-4151; The Haunted Host—From Desert Rose Playhouse The LGBT and LGBT-friendly playhouse presents one of the first contemporary gay plays, Robert Patrick’s comedy The Haunted Host, on the 50th anniversary of its Greenwich Village premiere, at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday, through Sunday, June 1. $25 to $28. At 69260 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage. 760-202-3000; www. Laughter, Love and Lunacy— From CV Rep’s Summer Cabaret Series Alix Korey, Janene Lovullo and Sal Mistretta star in this show featuring “songs you can or can’t take seriously,” at 7 p.m., Friday, June 27, and Saturday, June 28; and 2 p.m., Sunday, June 29. $25. At the Atrium, 69930 Highway 111, No. 116, Rancho Mirage. 760-296-2966; Live It Up Productions’ Masterpiece Broadway performers pay tribute to some of the world’s most celebrated pieces of classic art; it’s a fundraiser for the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Desert AIDS Project, at 7 p.m., Friday, June 6. $15; $10 museum members and DAP clients. At the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-4490; Southern Hospitality—From Desert Theatreworks This is the story of The Futrelle Sisters—Frankie, Twink, Honey Raye and Rhonda Lynn, whose town is facing extinction! It’s billed as a “laugh-out-loud Southern farce”; at 7 p.m., Friday; and 2 and 7 p.m., Saturday, from Friday, June 20, through Saturday, June 28. $25; $23 seniors; $15 students; $10 kids 15 and younger. At the Arthur Newman Theatre in the Joslyn Center, 73750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert. 760-980-1455; The Stops—From Desert Rose Playhouse Three women (played by men here) embark on a mission after their friend and mentor, an Evangelical Christian composer and organist, is ousted from his music-minister position—because he’s gay; at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday, from Friday, June 13, through Saturday, July 19. $28 to $30. At 69260 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage. 760-202-3000; True West—From Palm Canyon Theatre Austin is a college-educated Hollywood screenwriter working on a screenplay while house-sitting for his mother. Enter his older brother, Lee, a drifter and a thief who has been living in the desert; at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday, from Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 8. $35 to $40; At 538 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-323-5123;


JUNE 2014



Western Lit: Local Author Harold Gershowitz Tells a Story of Forbidden Love Between a Jew and a Palestinian WWW.CVINDEPENDENT.COM/ARTS-AND-CULTURE


ocal author Harold Gershowitz has written a book with Jewish characters before. His first title, Remember This Dream, told a story of Polish Jews who immigrated to America. Now he’s back with his second book, Heirs of Eden, a political and historical romance. Heirs of Eden is set in 1949 in Washington, D.C., and follows the love story of Noah, the son of Orthodox Jewish grocery-store owners, and Alexandra, a Christian from a family of Palestinian refugees. Noah spots Alexandra after his bar mitzvah; Alexandra’s family crossed paths with Noah’s family, leading to a friendly invite to the bar mitzvah. A deep love unfolds between Noah and Alexandra that goes beyond religion, culture and origins; the prologue calls it a “lovers of peace” story. Of course, since the story is set right after the Israeli War of Independence, conflict is undeniable, as the two families struggle, and their children enter what in many ways is a forbidden romance. Their bond is tested during their early adulthood, when Noah attends Stanford

University and meets Karen, a Jewish girl who tries to change Noah’s perspective on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians; and Alexandra returns to Palestine and meets Ali, a passionate political activist who is willing to take matters into his own hands. As the conflicts in the Middle East lead to issues within their families, Noah and Alexandra go on with their lives, yet they hold on to memories of each other. They learn more about their forbidden relationship in indirect ways thanks to the situations they find themselves in. For those who are interested in the histories of Middle Eastern conflict, Israel and Palestine, this is at times a profound, although quite lengthy, story. At the same time, Heirs of Eden will bring up many subjects for debate—subjects that stories such as this one hope are resolved and put aside. In any case, the story is inspiring and proves that love transcends political strife. HEIRS OF EDEN, BY HAROLD GERSHOWITZ (CREATESPACE), 538 PAGES, $17.99


JUNE 2014



Two Blu-Ray Releases and Two Films Available Online That Are Worth Your Time


TOP 10 LIST for MAY 2014


By Bob Grimm Her Warner Bros., released May 13 Director Spike Jonze gives us a beautiful yet odd love story about a man smitten with his computer’s operating system (voiced by a lovely Scarlett Johansson). Johansson does mesmerizing voice work as Samantha, a Siri-like voice-operating system that is so charming, her new owner (Joaquin Phoenix) finds her far more interesting than actual humans. She makes you believe a man could fall in love with his computer. Jonze (who won a screenwriting Oscar here) does a good job of dealing with the awkward circumstance. Jonze has made a movie that looks and feels realistic, creating a future land in which it’s perfectly OK to date your computer. He approaches the topic seriously—and somehow manages to make it all work. There are few directors who could make a film like this come together. The movie not only looks spectacular; it also sounds great, thanks to a soundtrack from Arcade Fire. Meanwhile, Phoenix turns in some of the finest acting of his career. Chris Pratt, soon to be a megastar with Guardians of the Galaxy, gives a good supporting performance as one of Phoenix’s co-workers. Johansson deserved an Oscar nomination. She created a fleshed-out character without ever being seen in the flesh—and that’s no easy feat. Special Features: There’s a short makingof film and some interviews about modern relationships. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Paramount, released April 1 After nearly a decade away from movie screens, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), the world’s greatest newscaster, has returned. This time, it’s the 1980s,

and a new media craze called “24-hour news” has Ron and the boys (Paul Rudd’s Brian Fantana, Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland and David Koechner’s Champ Kind) working the late-night shift in New York. The plot is just a place-setter for weird, random humor involving bats, sharks, shadows, scorpions in RVs and hair. Ferrell and crew manage to sell the dumbest of things, and they make so much of it funny. Carell goes super-dopey with Brick as he finds a love interest (Kristen Wiig); Champ still loves Ron in a dangerous way; and Brian has a new condom cabinet. I laughed my face off; this is a sequel that continues the comedic legacy of the brilliant original, and even ups the ante when it comes to anchor-on-anchor battles in the park. Director Adam McKay has stated that this is the end for Ron Burgundy. I say nuts to that. I want 10 more films. Special Features: McKay had enough footage left over for not only an extended, R-rated version of the film with more than 700 more jokes, but for an extended unrated version, too. The unrated version just has a few more dirty jokes, while the R-rated version is basically a different movie. The plot is mostly the same, but it’s fueled by enough alternate scenes to change the viewing experience drastically. It’s pretty damned funny on its own. In addition to the bountiful alternate versions, you get a killer commentary with director and cast, behind-the scenes footage, outtakes galore and a gag reel. This is a great package.

The Double

The Double Available via online sources including Amazon. com and iTunes.

Director Richard Ayoade pays nice visual homage to the likes of David Lynch and Terry Gilliam with The Double, an adaptation of the 1846 novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Jesse Eisenberg plays Simon, an employee at a bleak office (that reminds of Gilliam’s Brazil) where he is unnoticed by co-workers, and hapless in his pursuit of Hannah (Mia Wasikowska). When his exact double—a new employee named James—shows up, he’s everything Simon wants to be: brash, confident and great with the ladies. James mentors Simon for a while, but things go bad quickly. Eisenberg is given the task of creating two genuinely different personalities in people who look exactly alike, even down to their bland clothing. However, he accomplishes the feat, mainly in the cadence of his voice: James rolls off sentences with no hesitations, while Simon is prone to stammering. Wasikowska, who can be rather drab, is good here, as she was in some of her better efforts like Stoker and The Kids Are All Right. The Double stands as proof that Ayoade is a formidable director; he develops a distinct vision even when he’s taking bits and pieces from other directors. It also stands as proof that Eisenberg being cast as Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman might wind up being a very cool move.

Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin Available via online sources including Amazon. com and iTunes Director Jeremy Saulnier has fun with revenge-thriller clichés and creates a few twists of his own with Blue Ruin, a darkly funny and sometimes disturbing showcase for actor Macon Blair. Blair plays Dwight, a homeless man who takes baths in other people’s houses, gets his meals from trash bags, and lives in his car. In its opening moments, Blue Ruin seems

Kevin Costner in 3 Days to Kill.

1. 3 Days to Kill (20th Century Fox) 2. Pompeii (Sony) 3. The Monuments Men (Sony) 4. That Awkward Moment (Sony) 5. I, Frankenstein (Lionsgate) 6. About Last Night (Sony) 7. Endless Love (Universal) 8. Her (Warner Bros.) 9. The Art of the Steal (Anchor Bay) 10. Vampire Academy (Anchor Bay) as if it will just be an interesting case study of a dude trying to survive on soda bottles and discarded hamburgers. Then, about five minutes in, a policewoman knocks on Dwight’s car window. The cop is informing him that the man who allegedly killed his parents is being released early from prison. This sets into motion a revenge story like no other, in which a hairy homeless guy returns to his childhood home and makes a bunch of people wish they had different last names. Saulnier does a lot with a small budget, shooting a solid-looking movie with some pretty heavy gore effects. No, the movie isn’t wall-to-wall bloodletting, but the moments in which the blood sprays are quite impactful. With Dwight, Blair gives us an original, vengeful character to go alongside the likes of Uma Thurman’s Bride in the Kill Bill movies and Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs. He’s unforgettable—and just a little heartbreaking.


JUNE 2014



Be Patient—Some Wines Just Need a Little Air


By Deidre Pike ednesday On the night we open the Milano 2004 Redwood Valley Valdiguié, Dave skips his Italianlanguage class to stay home with me. Nice, right? Because of our jobs, my husband and I live hundreds of miles apart. We’re together a few days a month. The downside? Living alone; doing housework and errands and chores alone; cooking alone; and drinking good wine during our nightly Skype chats. Together—but alone. The upside? We make the most of time together. Doing housework and chores together becomes a novelty. Meals are magical moments. When together, we drink our spectacular wines—smooth golden oldies or obscure varietals, bottles we don’t want to drink alone. What’s not to love about a monthly honeymoon? This month, it’s my turn to drive from my California home to Dave’s place in Reno. The house is at the desert’s edge, overlooking the Truckee Meadows and Sierra Nevada foothills. In the late afternoon, we walk the dogs out into dry hills of sage and rabbit brush, talking about everything from spirituality to parenting to our most important decision: What wine will we drink with our dinner? Tonight’s planned meal is light: arugula salad with avocado, and baked mahi mahi fillets rubbed with cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. We ponder a white. We have some nice ones. A Kenneth Volk chardonnay and a Holly’s Hill viognier. Because of the spice on the fish, we also might pull off a light-bodied red. “Do you have a barbera or pinot noir?” I ask. Dave mentally checks his wine collection, noting a bottle or two of each. He maintains a list of bottles on a shared Google spreadsheet that I can pull up on my phone. If we sort the list by vintage, we quickly see our most-mature bottles at the top. Lately, we’ve been working our way through oldish reds. “Library” wines. Many California wines are released at a fine drinking time, close to their “peak.” Some varietals age better than others, so you don’t want to wait too long. A wine way past its prime can turn to sour vinegar—perhaps for use in zesty cole slaw. Thus our conversation turns to the oldest wines on our list, one of which is the 2004 Valdiguié from the Milano Family Winery near the Russian River in Mendocino County. The Valdiguié, a single-varietal wine, was a gift from Dave’s Mendoloving wine friend. The production was limited to 105 cases. The bottle appears pricey but wasn’t terribly expensive when released—$14.50 a bottle. By comparison, the most recent 2006 vintage released sells for $35. Valdiguié is a varietal from southern France, known there as Gros Auxerrois and in California wine country as Napa Gamay. Tasting notes at Milano’s website describe the 2004 Valdiguié as having a “soft fruit nose” with “huge cherry and raspberry flavors.” Full mid-palate. Soft, elegant finish. It won a silver in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and a bronze from the Orange County Wine Society. I’m intrigued. Why have we not opened this bottle earlier? Is this the perfect pairing for a spicy mahi wine? Probably not. But

no prob: We’ll enjoy it with some cheese before we eat dinner. Maybe with dark chocolate after dinner. An unopened bottle of wine is an unread book. You pull it off the shelf, crack open the cover for the first time, and take a gander at the first sentence. Huh. Not exactly what you were expecting? That’s the Valdiguié. We open it and pour it into our decanter. “Uh-oh,” says Dave. “Hmm.” He hands me the cork, which smells … off, unpleasantly acidic. It’s far stretch from this odor to yummy deliciousness. I pour about half an ounce in my glass. Swirl. Sniff. Meh. Taste. And dump. The remaining sip goes down the sink, and I rinse the glass. “No good?” Dave says. “Should we dump it?” I don’t know. It doesn’t hurt to leave it in the decanter, and see if it changes with some air. The fermented juice has been in the bottle for a decade. It’s gotta be feeling cramped. While we’re waiting, we open a 2009 Zinfandel from Humboldt County’s Moonstone Crossing ($19). If Mendo disappoints, go north, wine-lovers. We love the earthiness of this wine. We enjoy the zing of the zin grapes that travel by pickup truck from Amador County to the Lost Coast, where winemaker Don Bremm crushes, ferments and bottles in the cool fog. I taste the Valdiguié again before bed. It might be opening up. We pour it back into its bottle and cork it for tomorrow. Thursday He isn’t going to share it at first. “You pooh-pooh’d this wine yesterday,” he says, orally volatizing the Valdiguié’s esters. He’s making what friends politely refer to as Dave’s wine “O” face. “Yesterday, it smelled weird,” I remind him. He pours me a glass. I don’t swirl, because the wine’s probably open enough from being in the decanter and getting funneled back into the bottle before we crawled into bed last night. What a difference a day makes. The flavor matches the wine’s ruddy color, rich and viscous. As for texture—what other words can be used to describe velvet? Heavier than silk, softer than leather. More body than

flight. Ooh and aah. The finish is plenty long and sultry. Tantric tannins. Shivers and goosebumps. Tonight, we’re grilling St. Louis-style ribs. A loaf of sourdough bread is in the oven. We have olive oil and balsamic for dipping. A crisp afternoon gale—Nevada’s zephyr wind—wafts through the warm house, rattling the blinds. Summer’s here. We’re listening to The Tallest Man on Earth’s Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird. The lyrics of “The Dreamer” seem a propos: “I watch the birds, how they dive in then gone / It’s like nothing in this world’s ever still.” With a little bit of patience, flavors resolve in wines and in relationships. Some tastes are worth the wait. The ribs pair nicely with the decade-old Valdiguie that’s been introduced to some out-of-the-bottle atmosphere. We eat and spend some time planning summer wine-tasting adventures in Italy. We’ll be together three weeks. After dinner, the last of the Valdiguié accompanies a soak in the hot tub under the starry desert sky. To the west, a sliver of moon slides over the Sierra and sinks into California. Tomorrow, I’ll drive home.



JUNE 2014


FOOD & DRINK Celebrate the Goddess’ Sixth Anniversary at Schmidy’s on June 21


By Erin Peters t’s been the best of times … it’s been the beeriest of times. My appreciation for craft beer began developing while I attended San Diego State University in the mid-’90s. Rearrange the letters in SDSU, and you get SUDS. Coincidence? Or divine inspiration? Either way, The Beer Goddess was meant to be. It was in the ’90s when Stone Brewing Company released the in-your-face Arrogant Bastard—blowing all of the San Diego beer-drinkers’ minds. I often hosted small dinner parties with my college friends. I started switching from Keystone Light and Bud Light (we all have to start somewhere, right?) to Bass, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Pete’s Wicked Ale and, of course, Stone’s Arrogant Bastard. I discovered more taste. I discovered more depth. And dammit, it was good. However, it was in 2008 when I began to pour my mind and passion into writing about the craft of craft beer. That summer, I received an email from my older brother that our dad was in the hospital, suffering from a fever that wouldn’t subside. We had recently celebrated his 70th birthday on the lake in Westlake Village. I took many trips to the hospital, and began researching his sudden condition— Felty’s syndrome. He passed away 17 days later. It was devastating. I felt like my world was literally tipped on its axis. My father was my hero. He spent most of his life as an entrepreneur, growing his company, Franklin Telecom, and later Franklin VoIP. He later became one of the founding fathers of phone-to-phone voiceover IP. He instilled dedication, passion and innovation in all of his five children. One week later, I was laid off from my project-management job in Culver City. Not knowing how I was going to pay my high Los Angeles rent, and wanting to call my dad for advice, I felt lost. I started feverishly applying for jobs. My boyfriend at the time and I were living in our new place—a warm, 1930s-style townhome near the Wilshire Corridor. He witnessed my anguish and tried everything to keep my spirits at a manageable level. It was then he suggested I start writing about beer. I thought it was a funny idea at first—and it was the first funny thing I had heard in more than a month. (Even though it was just six years ago, beer wasn’t quite the widespread and celebrated hobby it is today.) In an attempt to steer my mind toward learning something culinary and crafty, I took his advice and dove

headfirst into research and blogging. I first wanted to figure out an angle, or at least a personality, for my new blog. I started jotting down tag lines, cute sayings and titles. Nothing resonated. Nothing stuck. So I just started attending beer events and writing. I soaked it in like a sponge. After a family call to talk about how my father’s business would be handled, I recall staring at a plaque that was awarded to him and his company. I dazed at it, motionless, for about 10 minutes as my eyes welled. He named the company Franklin Telecom after his idol, Ben Franklin. His name was Frank. That was it. Ben Franklin also appreciated beer! I wanted to tie this extraordinary founding father into the tone of the blog, because he was my dad’s idol. “There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking,” was one of many Franklin quotes. You’ll see a spin off to this quote on “There is good living, where there is good beer.” It was placed there not just an acknowledgement of my recently departed father, but as an appreciation of how he exuded a passion for living life to the fullest. It’s a constant reminder of how lucky I was. This year, I’ll be celebrating six delicious, fascinating, entertaining and humbling years in the world of craft beer. Beer is an integral part of the lives of many communities. Hundreds of breweries use local foods and spices that are indigenous to their areas. Craft beer tells a story of the land, of the area and of the brewers. I’ve met numerous culinary, creative and passionate people along the way, from brewers and bloggers to the folks marketing the beer—and, of course, the craft-beer consumers themselves.

It’s not about drinking more (a concern I think my mother had early on—now she’s one of my biggest fans). It’s about drinking well. It’s about creating something from the earth. It’s about feeding our economy, one small business at a time. It’s about the people. It’s about giving U.S. consumers more choice. I choose beer with innovation, style, integrity, quality and character. I advocate and celebrate what’s become known as the “craft beer revolution.” Ben Franklin also once said, “Either write something worth reading, or do something

worth writing.” Join me as I celebrate The Beer Goddess’ 6 Pack Sixth Anniversary, starting at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 21, at Schmidy’s Tavern, 72286 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. We’ll feature a special collaborative brew between Coachella Valley Brewing Co. and me; there will also be live music and all sorts of fun. Why haven’t you heard of any of the anniversaries until now? I haven’t celebrated the past years. I was too busy trying to write something worth reading.


JUNE 2014


Restaurant NEWS BITES


By Jimmy Boegle RESTAURANT WEEK IS ALMOST HERE! It may be the greatest time of year for local foodies: Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week is almost here! The “week” is actually 10 days long, and this year, it takes place from Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 8. (Last year, the “week” was actually 17 days long. Go figure.) Here’s how it works: Participating restaurants offer three-course prix-fixe meals for either $26 or $38, either in addition to or in place of their regular offerings. Some deals are quite impressive; when else can you eat an amazing three-course meal at a place like Dish Creative Cuisine, Figue or even Peaks (at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway) for less than $40? The week began in 2007 with less than 30 participating restaurants and businesses; this year, more than 100 are involved, from all across the valley. Other valley businesses are getting in on the act, too; for example, Desert Adventures is offering eco-tours of the Indian Canyons or the San Andreas Fault, followed by lunch or dinner, for a special price. (Read more about that at Get the complete lowdown, including menus and more, at COMING SOON: THE HACIENDA CANTINA AND BEACH CLUB If everything goes according to plan, the Hacienda Cantina and Beach Club, located at 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, will quietly open its doors the weekend of May 30. It’ll be a baptism-by-fire sort of opening for the Hacienda: Just two weeks later, the new restaurant/ beach club/events space will be hosting thousands of people as one of the three venues that are part of the second annual Splash House. More on that in the music section; this is the Food and Drink part of the paper, so we’re obviously more concerned about the eats and the cocktails. Here’s some of what we know, culled from a news release: “By day, we are a hip sun-lovers’ paradise with an intimate desert-inspired pool scene with outdoor bar, cabanas with bottle service and live DJ music. At night, we are a chic restaurant, bar and lounge that synergistically combines to serve up fresh, organic and responsibly sourced high quality chef created Mexican cuisine. All drinks are masterfully hand-crafted with fresh juices and natural sweeteners.” Wait. Did they really use the word “synergistically” there? Wow. Anyway, the website ( offers more hints on what to expect: A posted menu includes appetizers like sea bass crudo and wood-smoked bone marrow (!); tacos and tortas with a halfdozen filling options, including duck confit (!!); ensaladas and sopas; and entrées such as duck-breast mole, and eggplant-stuffed poblano pepper (!!!). There’s a brunch menu, too. As for the cocktails? The focus of the online menu us squarely on tequila, mescal and the drinks that can be made with these Mexican liquors. We’re dying to try the South x Southwest, which includes St. Germain, Moscato d’Asti, lemon, bitters and rosemary. As for the prices? They remain a mystery—none are posted on the online menus. Head to the aforementioned website, or call 760-778-8954 for more information. SESSIONS AT THE HARD ROCK OFFERS LOCALS’ SUMMER SPECIALS After experimenting with a locals’ discount a couple of months back, the folks at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs’ Sessions restaurant have brought the discount back for the entire summer. Quite a discount, it is: Anyone with an identification card or a business card showing local residency or work ties can receive 50 percent off at Sessions. 50 percent! Of course, there are some restrictions: The discount is only good for breakfast and lunch, and it’s only valid Mondays through Thursdays. Still, it’s a great deal! The discount is being offered through Sept. 30 at Sessions, located at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive. For more information, call 760-325-9676, or visit www. IN BRIEF The much-anticipated Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise—mentioned in this space last month—is now open at 105 S. Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs … Gone at 362 S. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs is Asian Bistro. Coming soon in its place, says a big banner on the building: Tlaquepaque Mexican Restaurant, which has called Sunny Dunes Road home for years. … So long to the Hog’s Breath Inn. The Kaiser-owned restaurant in La Quinta recently closed after a decade in business.


JUNE 2014




At These Palm Springs Pizza Joints, It’s All About the Sauce

By Jimmy Boegle WHAT The Bill’s Favorite (with several sides of Bill’s Sauce) WHERE Bill’s Pizza, 119 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs HOW MUCH $24.50 for an 18-inch pizza; personal size (10 inches) also available CONTACT 760-325-5571; www. WHY Because of the extra Bill’s Sauce. On busy Palm Springs nights, danger lurks near La Plaza and Palm Canyon Drive. Caloric danger, that is. Is this case, danger takes the form of a pleasant person handing out pizza samples— more specifically, Bill’s Pizza samples. Consider yourself warned: These samples are good. Very good, in fact, and they often succeed at their intended purpose: luring people, some of whom have already eaten dinner, one short block to La Plaza and Indian Canyon Drive, where Bill’s Pizza sits. Once at Bill’s, diners have a variety of choices of thin-crust pizza options (including by-the-slice choices for the less hungry, i.e., the aforementioned diet-busting souls who have already eaten dinner) in terms of both toppings and sauces. However, when it comes to sauce, those in the know always get what’s simply called Bill’s Sauce. Simple, it is: It’s a mixture of the red (tomato) sauce, and the pesto sauce. As for flavor, simple, it isn’t: There’s something about the mixture of the hearty tomato, the fresh basil, the oil and the spices that makes this sauce splendid. Pictured here is the Bill’s Favorite, a perfectly delightful pie with—of course— Bill’s Sauce, as well as pepperoni, salami, Sicilian sausage and tomatoes. (We held the onions.) However, the keys to making this great pizza into a mouthgasm-inducing experience can be found in three of the pizzabox corners: extra Bill’s Sauce. Put that extra sauce on top of the pizza. Dip the crusts in it. Hell, dip a finger into it and enjoy it by itself. It’s caloric danger that’s worth a few extra minutes at the gym. Always ask for extra Bill’s Sauce. Trust us.

WHAT The ChicagoStyle House Special Pizza WHERE Giuseppe’s Pizza and Pasta, 1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs HOW MUCH $26.50 large; $22 medium; $15 small CONTACT 760-537-1890; www.giuseppesps. com WHY Oodles and oodles of yummy sauce. When one picks up a large Chicago-style pizza from Giuseppe’s, the sheer weight of the pie is vaguely startling: It’s heavy. For most folks, a slice of “normal” thincrust pizza is a nice snack; add on another slice or three, and you have a meal. However, one slice of the Chicago-style House Special Pizza here can be a meal in and of itself—and what a meal it is. A thickish, spongy-on-the-edge, tasty crust. Huge chunks of a savory sausage. Pepperoni, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and— smothered on the top of it all—a delicious, tangy tomato sauce. Yum. It’s that tomato sauce that brings this brick of a pizza (and we mean “brick” in a really, really good way) all together, and the fact that the sauce is placed on top of the pie makes each bite an adventure: Who knows what ingredients lie underneath? Giuseppe’s offers more than just Chicagostyle pizza; thin-crust pies are also available, as are a large variety of delicious pastas and Italian-style entrées, as well as salads, appetizers and desserts. The restaurant also offers a killer Sunday brunch—and every brunch entrée comes with a side of bacon! On the booze side, whisky/bourbon aficionados, take note: Giuseppe’s selection is pretty spectacular. However, whenever we find ourselves at Giuseppe’s, we are consistently drawn to the Chicago-style pizza. It’s just too good. Just remember: If you have leftovers, or if you’re getting the pizza to go, lift with your knees, and not your back. You don’t want to injure yourself, do you?

JUNE 2014



JUNE 2014

•• Dave Catching gets ready for his big birthday party •• The blueskye report: Splash House, Flirt, America, Gladys Knight, and much more! •• The Lucky 13 With Bobby Nichols, Brandon Ray Henderson •• FRESH Sessions All Night Shoes: June 2014

CIVX’s Joel Guerrero Is Thankful for Lessons From His Father, Inesperado’s Noel Guerrero


29 Guerreros


JUNE 2014




Dave Catching Gets Set to Celebrate His Birthday Over Two Nights at Pappy and Harriet’s


By Brian Blueskye he term “desert rock” defines a genre of music and bands, all from the local scene, that changed the face of music—and one of the most important musicians within that genre is Dave Catching, the owner of the Rancho de la Luna recording studio and the guitarist for Eagles of Death Metal. Catching will be celebrating his 53rd birthday in style with a two-day concert extravaganza on Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace. Beyond the Eagles of Death Metal, Catching has been associated with Queens of the Stone Age, Tex and the Horseheads, The Ringling Sisters, earthlings?, Mondo Generator and other bands. During a recent phone interview, Catching told his back story. “I started playing music when I was 15 back in Memphis, Tenn.,” Catching said. “My brother was a musician, and I used to sneak his guitar out from under his bed. He caught me, and he showed me a few chords so that I could actually play stuff. That was the first time I started playing music.” Catching said his brother and his uncle played in bands together, including a band that played covers of songs by Alice Cooper, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie. “I used to go to their rehearsals and hang out with them. They were both really great musicians and singers who inspired me.” Catching never had any plans to own a recording studio or to live in the High Desert. However, that began to change in 1994. Fred Drake was interested in purchasing Rancho de la Luna; at the time, Catching owned a restaurant in New Orleans. “(Fred Drake) called me when I owned my restaurant and asked me if I wanted to be partners,” Catching said. “It was so cheap that I sent him the money to buy it. I had no intentions of ever living in Joshua Tree. I thought I was going to be in New Orleans for the rest of my life. But it was such a great deal, and I loved Fred so much, so I just said ‘Yes,’ and we started the studio then.” Drake, a founding member of earthlings?, died in 2002. He was beloved in the local music scene. “He was in several bands, and he worked in another studio called Dominion Way. It was a rehearsal studio, and I used to rehearse there. Iggy Pop used to rehearse there back in 1988, and I started rehearsing there. (Drake) was an established figure around that part. It’s amazing what things he could do with the little

equipment they had. It was incredible.” After an electrical fire at his restaurant in New Orleans, Catching found himself living at and working out of the studio. Shortly after Catching moved, the Rancho de la Luna recorded a band called Kyuss, featuring Josh Homme. The rest, as they say, is history. “I got a phone call from my best friend Hutch, who did sound for Kyuss; he now does sound for Queens of the Stone Age and Jack White. I called him to check in and say hi, and he told me Kyuss was going to Europe and needed a guitar tech,” Catching said. “I’d already met those guys through him before. … I needed something to do to get out of town. I became their guitar tech for a couple of tours, and we all became friends. “Kyuss broke up, and Josh got a phone call from Roadrunner Records to do a song for a compilation record. He asked me and a couple of friends to be a band to do the song, and we called (the group) Queens of the Stone Age. Their producer, Chris Goss, had always told Kyuss, ‘You guys sound like Queens of the Stone Age.’” As the Queens of the Stone Age began to rise, Rancho de la Luna became more established and has since become a prime recording spot for numerous well-known bands, including the Arctic Monkeys and, more recently, Foo Fighters. Catching said he never expected Rancho de la Luna, co-owned by Teddy Quinn, to become what it is today. “We were just doing our thing,” Catching said. “(The members of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age) were just kids, and I was older than those guys, and we were just having a great time. They just wanted to come up and check out our studio, and did some recording.

Dave Catching

I didn’t really think about anything other than just having a good time at my place.” Catching today splits time between New Orleans and Joshua Tree. “I get the best of both worlds living in Joshua Tree and New Orleans: The driest place on Earth, and the wettest place on Earth,” he said, exaggerating slightly. “I’m pretty much sober when I’m in the desert, and I’m pretty much not sober when I’m in New Orleans. I think both places save me and keep me sane.” The former restaurateur said he still loves to cook, too. “It’s one of the best ways to bring people together,” Catching said. “It’s an enjoyable time to gather around the kitchen, throw a bunch of things together—and you have to eat. If it’s really good, it makes everybody a little happier.”

As for the local music scene circa 2014, Catching said it’s increasingly diverse—and he’s including a lot of local-music friends, old and new, during his birthday celebration. “A lot of the bands I like such as Parosella, Jesika von Rabbit and many others are playing,” he said. “We’re also going to do the Rancho de la Lunatics, which is a bunch of us just jamming. It will showcase a lot of bands that I like that are around the area now.” DAVE CATCHING’S INCREDIBLE PAPPY AND HARRIET’S BIRTHDAY SPECTACULAR TAKES PLACE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, JUNE 6 AND 7, AT PAPPY AND HARRIET’S PIONEERTOWN PALACE, 53688 PIONEERTOWN ROAD, IN PIONEERTOWN. FRIDAY TICKETS ARE $15; SATURDAY TICKETS ARE $20. FOR TICKETS OR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 760-365-5956, OR VISIT PAPPYANDHARRIETS.COM.


JUNE 2014


JUNE 2014

The Blueskye REPORT

JUNE 2014 By Brian Blueskye The heat is here. The snowbirds have gone home. But great events are taking place in June for the ample number of us who remain. The first big event worth mentioning is the second annual Splash House. The three-day event featuring pool parties and world-class DJs at three different venues returns this year with an amazing lineup, from Friday, June 13, through Sunday, June 15. The venues this year are the brand-new Hacienda Beach Club, the Hard Rock Hotel, and the Saguaro. The lineup includes Moby, Purity Ring, Neon Indian

Moby, Splash House, June 13 through June 15

and many others. Tickets start at $103. For more information, visit The Hard Rock Hotel has a great new weekly event. Flirt is a Thursday show hosted by friend of the Independent Bella da Ball. Each week revolves around music, entertainers, dancing, partying and rocking, and includes local personalities Marina Mac, Sassy Ross, Jersey Shore and others. The shows start at 7:30 and 9 p.m. There is no cover charge, but there is a two-item food/ drink minimum. Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, 150 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760325-9676; Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has some good stuff going on heading into the first month of summer. The very funny and controversial Kathy Griffin will be appearing at 9 p.m., Friday, June 6, and 8 p.m., Saturday June 7. Tickets are $45 to $75. Fans of Art Laboe’s radio show, take note: The Art Laboe Summer Love Jam III will take place at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 14. The show will feature El Chicano, Rose Royce, MC Magic, Amanda Perez and Club Nouveau. I wonder if you can call in a live dedication for that loved one of yours who couldn’t make the show with you, or that special someone who is far, far away. Tickets are $35 to $65. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Continued on Page 28


JUNE 2014 continued from Page 27

Saturday, June 7. After 44 years, the duo is still going strong and has influenced numerous contemporary musicians, including former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha. Tickets are $35 to $55. Latin-music fans will be happy to hear that Roberto Tapia will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 14. Tapia has been at the top of the Billboard Latin music charts and brings electronica and hip-hop to his traditional Norteno sound. Tickets are $30 to $50. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566;

Kathy Griffin: Agua Caliente, June 6 and 7

Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; We realize this is primarily a music column, but Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in June has a sporting event and a comedy event that we can’t help but mention. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 6, is the Golden Boy Boxing tripleheader. The main event is a bout between Hugo “The Boss” Centeno and Domonique Dolton; both fighters are undefeated. Tickets are $25 to $45. In what should be a great night of comedy, The Wayans Brothers will be performing at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 21. Damon, Keenen, Marlon and Shawn will all be there. I grew up with In Living Color, and I have seen many of their films, so I feel comfortable saying this is one you won’t want to miss. Both Damon and Keenen are excellent stand-up comics, while Marlon and Shawn aren’t too far behind. Tickets are $29 to $59. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; Spotlight 29 will be bringing the folkduo America back to the desert at 8 p.m.,

America: Spotlight 29, June 7

Gladys Knight: Morongo, June 13

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has booked Motown legend Gladys Knight to perform at 9 p.m., Friday, June 13. Gladys Knight and the Pips is one of the best-known Motown acts, usually mentioned in the same conversation as Marvin Gaye or the Temptations when discussing Motown’s legacy. In recent years, Knight has talked extensively about her conversion to Mormonism, and how that helped her keep her life together. Obviously, this woman still has a lot of soul. Tickets are $59 to $79. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www. The Date Shed—remember that venue?— actually has an event booked in June. San Diego reggae band Big Mountain will be stopping by at 9 p.m., Saturday, June 28. Since 1991, the San Diego group has put its city on the reggae map, along with Tribal Seeds. Big Mountain’s cover of Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way” was a smash hit, and the group has had a solid career ever since. Tickets are $15 to $40. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-7756699;

Big Mountain: The Date Shed, June 28


JUNE 2014



By Brian Blueskye oel Guerrero was showing me the practice space his father, Noel Guerrero, helped him construct for Joel’s up-and-coming band, CIVX. Sound insulation supposedly helps keep the noise contained at the Guerreros’ Cathedral City home, but I was skeptical; after all, CIVX can be loud. For example, Nick Hernandez’s bass literally shook the ground at Coachella during the band’s the Mojave-stage performance. However, Joel Guerrero, CIVX’s drummer, assured me that the space he and his father constructed is indeed legit. “The neighbors seem to be cool with it and have never called the police during a practice,” he said. Formed after the dissolution of the band PSSSTOLS, which included Guerrero and two of his CIVX bandmates, CIVX has had a whirlwind six months of existence. The band played its first show—with hardly any material—in January. Mere months later, the band was selected to play at the Tachevah block party in Palm Springs—where the band announced that CIVX would play at Coachella’s second weekend. Nobody was more elated about the good news than Noel Guerrero, himself a wellknown local musician. Noel Guerrero immigrated to Miami from Morelia, Mexico, in the late 1980s. Joel was born in 1988, and the Guerreros settled in the Coachella Valley soon after. “I came to the United States for a better life,” Noel Guerrero said. “I wanted to get away from everything that holds you down in Mexico.” Joel Guerrero said life wasn’t always easy for his parents. “Even here, you struggle a lot, and my parents really struggled. But there was a better chance of actually making something of themselves, and it was their dream,” he said.

Joel Guerrero plays drums as a teen.

Noel Guerrero’s music career began in Mexico, and continued in the United States. On top of being a vocalist, Noel can play a “little bit of everything,” he said. He has played in Latin groups such as Los Bukis, Los Temerarios and Los Tigres del Norte. He also plays every Saturday night at Mr. Patron in Cathedral City with Inesperado; he helps book bands at Mr. Patron, too. “I started playing music about when I was 8 years old,” Noel Guerrero said. “I started in a choir when I was 14. When I was 16, I broke out of the choir scene and started my own band. I was in a band that played Quinceañera ceremonies. In Mexican culture, Quinceañera is when a young girl crosses into being a young adult woman. … They hire bands to play; they have a traditional Mariachi band and then a regular band. I also played in other venues in Mexico.”

CIVX’s Joel Guerrero Is Thankful for Lessons From His Father, Inesperado’s Noel Guerrero

Grupera, a genre of Mexican folk music, was popular in Mexico through the ’80s, and it influenced Noel’s tastes. “In every state in Mexico, there are different kinds of genres that appeal to people. Mariachi really appeals to those in Jalisco. Where I grew up, Grupera was really big at the time,” Noel Guerrero said. When Joel was about 13, Noel decided to teach Joel how to play guitar. One of Joel’s fellow students was his cousin, CIVX bandmate Salvador Gutierrez. “The reason I started playing music was because of my dad,” Joel Guerrero said. “He started giving me, Sal, and our two other cousins guitar lessons.” What kind of students were they? “They gave it their best,” Noel Guerrero said. “We gave it a try, and there were definitely times when it seemed like they didn’t want to play—especially Sal. Sal is a great guitar-player now, but when he started, he just wasn’t into it and didn’t like it. He was 15 years old and into the whole DJ thing. I didn’t see him actually taking it far.” However, Gutierrez did wind up embracing the instrument. “My uncle definitely sparked the flame inside of me,” Gutierrez said, “Once I learned how to play my first Ramones song, it allowed me to start learning everything I could by myself. If it weren’t for that little push on the guitar, I would have probably ended up being a DJ and just pressing the ‘play’ button on the iTunes.” Joel, however, moved on to another instrument. “Around 14 or 15, I picked up the sticks and took up the drums,” Joel Guerrero said. “My cousins and I wanted to start a band, and we were all playing guitar. My cousin Frank moved to bass; my cousin Nester played guitar and was the vocalist, too; our other cousin Raul already knew how to play guitar; and I just moved to drums. It was natural. “It’s funny, because the first song I played on the drums was ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay, because it was super-repetitive and easy. At the time, I was into punk music like The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Dead Kennedys. I was listening to that, but of course, I couldn’t play that kind of music. So, I started with Coldplay,” he said, laughing. Noel Guerrero said he’s proud that he was able to share his love of music with his son.

Noel Guerrero earlier in his music career.

“It’s one of the best things I could pass on to my son,” Noel Guerrero said. “I’m really satisfied and happy with how far Joel has come. It’s something I value highly as a musician myself. It’s something a musician dreams of, to pass on to their son or daughter.” Joel said he’s proud of his father, too. “At first, thinking back to playing guitar—I didn’t want to play. I could tell it bummed him out. When I finally started taking the lessons and playing drums, to see how far I’ve come in music is something he’s really happy about and values a lot.” Joel is especially grateful that his father has been realistic regarding the music industry. “The one thing I’ve always said to him is the life of a musician is hard,” Noel Guerrero said. “It’s not what you see on TV. You can play a big show and then have little money to eat afterward, or you have to save money for gas if you’re touring—especially if you’re not signed to a big label. It’s a tough life and a tough industry.” Joel said he values his father’s advice. “I took it to heart, because it’s the truth,” Joel Guerrero said. “… It’s coming from an actual musician, somebody who lived it, and someone who has done it. I value that over someone saying, ‘Don’t worry, you’re going to make it; it’ll be easy, and you’ll make big bucks.’ I think all of that is bullshit. It can happen, but like my dad was saying, ‘Work hard, and as long as you don’t give up, and believe in yourself and the music, you’ll get somewhere.’ “He’s always told me to love what you do, or there’s no chance.”


JUNE 2014





By Brian Blueskye

NAME Bobby Nichols GROUP Bobby Nichols and the Inner Planetary Monks MORE INFO Bobby Nichols is one of the better-known musicians to come out of the Joshua Tree music scene. The Inner Planetary Monks are an acid-jazz group with astounding instrumentals that echo Medeski Martin and Wood and Miles Davis in the electric era. What was the first concert you attended? The Who during the Live at Leeds tour when I was 14 years old. What was the first album you owned? Rolling Stones, Aftermath. I was living in Chile at the time. What bands are you listening to right now? Fatso Jetson, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Michael Landau, Low Fly Incline, Ben Monder, Charlie Hunter, Wayne Krantz, Alejandro Escovedo. I like a broad spectrum. What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get? Humping life-sized stuffed animals onstage— strange adolescent sexual fantasies disguised as performance art. What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live? Shakti with John McLaughlin. I love a great melding of musical idioms. What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure? Great instrumental surf music. What’s your favorite music venue? The Baked Potato in North Hollywood: worldclass music in a place not much bigger than your living room. What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head? “Get up, stand up: Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight,” Bob Marley, “Get Up, Stand Up.”

What band or artist changed your life? How? Jimi Hendrix. The freeing of my musical spirit—unbridled, untamed, the perfect balance of the spiritual, the emotional and sexual. You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking? Jeff Beck: “WTF? Why Brian Wilson?” What song would you like played at your funeral? John Coltrane, “A Love Supreme.” Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time? Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys, Live at the Fillmore East. What song should everyone listen to right now? “Pets Eat Their Master,” Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine.

NAME Brandon Ray Henderson MORE INFO On top of being a great bassplayer, Brandon Ray Henderson is an accomplished guitar-player who has toured Europe with Brant Bjork, and was a founding member of Half Astro. However, he may be best known locally for his booking talents; he recently finished an impressive stint at The Hood Bar and Pizza. Henderson will be playing with Parosella on Friday, June 6, and Misfits tribute band Astro Zombies on Saturday, June 7, at Eagles of Death Metal guitarist Dave Catching’s Incredible Pappy and Harriet’s Birthday Spectacular. What was the first concert you attended? I went to a lot of small, random punk shows as a young teenager. My first real concert would be the 1997 Warped Tour where I saw Descendents, blink-182, The Vandals, Strung Out, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Pennywise, and the Aquabats, from what I can remember.

Meet Two Busy Local Music Icons What was the first album you owned? Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill. I used to play the cassette in my Teddy Ruxpin that I got for Christmas in 1986. What bands are you listening to right now? I always have my favorite go-to bands like Lagwagon, RKL, Bad Religion, Descendents, NOFX, The Vandals, and AFI that I keep in steady rotation. Lately, I’ve been into other artists like Radical Face, Brothers Comatose, Jason Cruz and Howl, the Dresden Dolls, Metric, Sun Kil Moon and Arcade Fire. The most recent Queens of the Stone Age record is very enjoyable. I wish had some Tribesmen recordings; I would listen to the shit out of them. What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get? Jay-Z. What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live? Elliott Smith, or Jimi Hendrix with Band of Gypsys would be super-rad. What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure? “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga. That song rules! What’s your favorite music venue? I love intimate venues like the Troubador in West Hollywood. The Melkweg in Amsterdam and The Arena in Vienna, Austria, are also great to perform at and/or see a show at. What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head? “Am I following all of the right leads, or am I about to get lost in space?” “Lost in Space,” The Misfits. What band or artist changed your life? How? I heard the record No Control by Bad Religion when I was 9 years old and have never been the same. That sparked my intense passion for punk rock and vocal harmonies. You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking? I would like to ask Prince: “How many pairs of shoes do you own?” What song would you like played at your funeral? Hopefully after the service, everyone has a big party, and they play “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights. I’m pretty sure my dear friend Ryan Edgmon will oversee and make that happen.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time? Lagwagon, Trashed. What song should everyone listen to right now? “The Decline” by NOFX. It’s an 18-minute song packed with musical variety and lyrics that make you think.

FRESH SESSIONS WITH ALL NIGHT SHOES: JUNE 2014 I am excited to bring you the second entry in my summer Poolside Vibes series! These Poolside Vibes mixes are meant to offer a backdrop for the events of your summer. It’s no secret that the pool is the place to be once the hot weather hits us. Last month, I introduced you to my brand of pool-themed sounds to help you both heat up and cool off. Vol. 2 continues that trend and takes you deeper into the sounds of summer. Enjoy this mix, and share it with those you love. Listen to it at! Catch me this month at The Hood Bar and Pizza on June 5 for locals night; at Schmidy’s Tavern on June 21 for The Beer Goddess’ 6-Pack Anniversary Party (more on that elsewhere in the issue); and at Francesca’s Summer Music Festival at The Gardens on El Paseo on June 27! More dates will be announced, so follow me on Twitter at @allnightshoes. I hope to see you out there! • Glen Check, “The Coast” (Glen Check Summer Remix) • Lovebirds featuring Lisa Shaw, “Holdin On” (Lovebirds 808ies Matrix Edit) • The Alexanders featuring Anna Lunoe, “Don’t Miss” • Alexander and The Supertraxxe, “Only a Feeling” • Katy B, “Still” (Billion Remix) • 50 Cent, “Straight to the Bank” (R0se Remix) • Indeep, “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” (LeMarquis Remix) • All Night Shoes, “Do It Baby” • Lorde, “Tennis Court” (Flume Remix)


JUNE 2014


Across 1 Brother of Dubya 4 Does nothing 10 “And others” abbreviation 14 Let go 15 Fed. securities 16 1958 Chevalier musical 17 Actress Kirshner 18 Like some fibrillation 19 Agents under J. Edgar Hoover, informally 20 Put effort into test prep 22 Serviceability 23 Ex-R.E.M. lead 24 Hiccups, e.g. 27 “Dang straight!” 30 Certain Sooner 31 Problem while drying out 33 Backside 34 Not quite transparent 35 In-basket stamp: abbr. 37 Necklace part 39 Address for Bill and Ted 40 Detach 42 Become less hostile 44 Irish airline ___ Lingus 45 Research your blind date, say 46 Mister, in Rio 48 Polar expedition vehicle 49 10-rated Bo

51 Amateur 52 Bunk up 56 Cupid’s specialty 58 Bar in a steering mechanism 59 “32 Flavors” singer DiFranco 60 Attack of the flu 61 Leisurely walk 62 Alkali in cleansers 63 Barracks bunks 64 Where everything from the theme answers collects 65 Young bloke Down 1 Impromptu concerts 2 Goes offstage 3 Reason cosmetology is a no-go? 4 “Freeze!” 5 Where sand and plastic shovels go? 6 When tripled, a 1970 war film 7 Make Kool-Aid 8 Abacus piece 9 Fashionable initials 10 Sandwich spread 11 Party in New York City? 12 Get better in barrels 13 Jeremy of the NBA 21 “Lock Up the Wolves” metal band

22 “___ and Away” 24 The two things tires do best? 25 “Harold and ___” 26 Nasty expression 28 Course for U.S. immigrants 29 “___ how I roll” 31 “Hugs not ___” 32 Carpentry joint part 36 Horse-drawn vehicles, despite their name 38 That naval vessel 41 Cosmetics aisle brand 43 Sweet-talk 47 Day division, in Venice 50 Great Rift Valley locale 52 In ___ (as found) 53 Alpaca group 54 Longtime Yankees nickname 55 Conked out 56 “Resurrection” network 57 Ranch call 58 Cough syrup amt. ©2014 Jonesin’ Crosswords ( Find the answers in the “about” section of!


JUNE 2014

Coachella Valley Independent June 2014  

The June 2014 issue of the Coachella Valley's alternative news source.

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