Return to the Desert

By Lynn Lieu

Posted April 25, 2012 in Music

Coco Hames celebrates her birthday and spends some time in Pioneertown

Most of you will probably remember Lindsay “Coco” Hames by her three-piece garage rock band The Ettes, which has graced this side of Los Angeles before and was previously featured in the Weekly. Hames also teams up with Greg Cartwright in The Parting Gifts. In 2010, Hames and Cartwright got together and ended up recording a full-length album complete with guest performers Patrick Keeler (The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes) and Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys). This time, Hames comes to the desert to celebrate her birthday, and makes a solo appearance at Pappy and Harriet’s. She tells us about possible future solo plans and why the arid region is so close to her heart. Happy Birthday Coco!

You’re based in Nashville now, but The Ettes were formed in Los Angeles. Do you still have strong roots in SoCal?
Oh yes. We can’t quit SoCal. We’re in LA a lot, but we’ve been spending some more time in the desert and are just addicted. So when we have the chance to hang out there, we have good friends and friends from LA come out, too. It’s a special place, for sure.

You’ve performed at Pappy and Harriet’s before. It’s kind of an off-beat venue. Any favorite memories? Are you looking forward to returning to the desert?
I love Pappy and Harriet’s. Last time The Ettes played there on tour, I’d been roofied the night before at the goddamn Echo inLos Angeles, absolutely ruined the show, and we were all in a really bad mood. We roll up to Pappy’s and it just totally changed our vibe. We walked around, talked to some horses, dusted up our boots and had a really great time. It’s a great venue. A great place to make those fast and hard road friendships; I even lent my house inNashvilleto a friend of someone I met there without even knowing them. Desert love, man.

From what I gather, you’ll be performing alone at this stop. Is there any reason for that? Is this a hint towards any solo work?
None of us have been on vacation in over 10 years, and it’s my birthday on May 4, so we’re going out to the desert to record a bit and just chill. Since it’s my birthday, I get to go a little earlier, stay a little longer! Even though I’m by myself, I still wanted to go to Pappy’s for a drink, so I thought, maybe I’ll play. I haven’t played a solo acoustic show since I was about 17 so it will at least be interesting!
I will do a solo record soon, for sure, but for now I’m working mostly on the new Parting Gifts record and the new Ettes record . . . I think I’ll play some Ettes songs, songs that make sense on an acoustic guitar. I’ll be missing my band though! Maybe I’ll play some covers. I spend more time playing sad country songs on my acoustic than most people might think.

Last time we caught up with you, The Ette’s had just released Wicked Will. How has the response to the album been since then?
I think from what I’ve heard, pretty good.  I think it’s an album we’re so proud of personally, we kind of have that “I certainly would love it you like it, but don’t care if you don’t” kind of feeling about it. I love it, especially the opening and closing tracks (hint: that’s pretty much what I sound like solo!)

Are you working on anything new?
Yep! Recording new Parting Gifts record in July, and then after that, Ettes! I’ll be spending some time at Rancho de la Luna while I’m out there and doing some work, so we shall see!

Anything else?
Y’all got it goin’ on in the desert. But you already know that. I told a friend I might not leave this time, and he said, “Yeah, because you’ll be in a shallow grave.” I like that.

Coco Hames at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Rd., Pioneertown, (760) 365-5956; April 26, 8:30PM. Free.


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