Past Stories

The Cupid of the Airwaves

From a still-standing, all-time ratings record to a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, pioneering radio DJ Art Laboe has done it all. But the man who coined the term “Oldies But Goodies,” and placed hit songs by va...


IEMAS Recap

Well, the 2008 Inland Empire Music awards are over, so now we can all resume our lives, or, like Punxsutawney Phil, climb back into our holes until next year. The IE is now completely sick of the words Big Papa…


The Weekly Jive

The Hands—The Hands (Selector Sound) The Hands eponymous release is like a shrink-wrapped bar fight. The album takes about 30 seconds to gain its momentum, and then you’re caught up in their social altercation, fist...



The Weekly Jive

Lightspeed Champion—Falling Off the Lavender Bridge (Domino) Buzz here is that Dev Hynes has butterflied after stints as Nigga Bullshit and other pupal stages of self-discovery, but the truth is that, as with all super ta...


The Desert Sublime

With all the amazing bands that claim to come out of the IE, it’s easy to forget that the greatest ever to emerge from these here parts was an act so utterly seminal in construct that popular music mag’s like…


4th Annual Inland Empire Music Awards

As the sun rises on another beautiful day in the Inland Empire, the IE Music Awards producer Martin Brown rubs the sleep from his eyes. Or rather, he would rub the sleep from his eyes had he slept. Unfortunately the…



Wolves in Geek’s Clothing

“I’m just stoked that we have any fans at all,” marvels The Black Dahlia Murder’s lead screecher Trevor Strnad. “This whole thing is basically mind-blowing to all of us. We just try to have as much...


Bells Toll on Rock & Roll

The following words were written for Ryan Adams and H-heads everywhere. These are letters—confessions?—to each from the seventh row of Ryan’s show at Claremont’s Bridges Auditorium, penned by yours truly...


The Weekly Jive

Dengue Fever —Venus on Earth (M80 Music) If nothing else, this third album by Dengue Fever proves to the world that personal fetishes, if properly harnessed, can become fruitions. Brothers Zac and Ethan Holtzman got thems...



Bells Toll on Rock & Roll

“Words they just get in the way . . . words they drive me wild” –Richard Ashcroft   Our confusion begins with his name. Masquerading under the manufactured mystery of a procured pseudonym, Riverside arti...


The Weekly Jive

Evangelicals—The Evening Descends (Dead Oceans) So let me get this straight: The point here is that the drugs are obviously stronger in Norman, OK—and the Evangelicals have snorted, eaten up and smoked every last tr...


Heavy Artillery

There are the bands that are easily recognized sonically—they’ve got that signature musical flair that you can grasp in a “Name That Tune”-esque “I-can-do-it-in-two-notes” madness. And then t...



The Guilty Parties

The Guilty Parties are a native Riverside ska band at a time when ska music is virtually obsolete in the mainstream scene. That is, they’re at least semi-ska, or mostly-ska, predominantly ska, if not altogether-ska. In th...


The Weekly Jive

Marah—Angels of Destruction (Yep Roc) It takes a distinctive voice to overcome the solipsistic march-of-the-clichés that characterize most Hello Sobriety records, so hand it to Marah for keeping the navel-gazing in...


The Bells Toll on IE Rock & Roll

“The dreams I had I still believe in . . . I got to spread my wings again and again” –Alonso Benjamin Chan   So we’ve determined that Alonso Benjamin Chan of Moreno Valley-based group AlonsoandFri...



The Spinal Tap of hip-hop

Govinda Sky—Surrender (Govinda Sky Music) The Spinal Tap of hip-hop, Boston’s Gavinda Sky not only claim to have “created a new genre”—“Transcendental Hip Hop”—but have copyrighte...


Bells’ Toll on Empire Rock & Roll

Halloweenheads—Cardinal-speak for Ryan Adams’ disciples, stoners and outsiders—are about as widespread as alt-country, the genre that spawned this southern-seed monster and his covert dialect. Though only one ...


The Kings of Swing Hit Again

I am morbidly entertained by the music myth Hollywood writers love to foist upon moviegoers who see films about bands “making it.” A couple of scrappy kids get together in a garage with instruments they mowed lawns ...



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The Weekly Jive

OneRepublic—Dreaming Out Loud (Mosley Music/Interscope) OneRepublic aren’t a band; they’re a cynically contrived cash-grab. Dreaming Out Loud isn’t an album; it’s a pathetic, groveling attempt to please as many people...


The Weekly Jive

The Brit Box—UK Indie, Shoegaze and Brit-Pop Gems of the Last Millennium (Rhino) This wittily packaged, four-disc, 78 band/song boxed set offers the most thorough document of 15 influential years (1984-99) of British-base...


On Pins and Needles

“This is the time of the independent label and the independent artist,” says Voodoo Nation Records A&R representative Tim Ballard. And after talking with Ballard at length—he himself is also a hip-hop arti...



PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE

The Skeletones have a new album. You know the Skeletones. Riverside-raised ska band? Surfers of the Third Wave? The band that shoulda/woulda/coulda? Yeah—them. Still around. A bit more spread-out than they used to be (the...


BAND OF THE WEEK

Depressing notes from a week begun with a three-night sojourn to Little Rock, Arkansas (long story—too long): no alcohol sold anywhere on Sundays; black men who are so subjugated by the ghosts of Southern history that the...


BAND OF THE WEEK

Another Corona/Riverside band determined to dispel the stereotype of the IE as a dumping ground for atrocious, unlistenable vomitrawk, Winston & the Telescreen are instead the 180-degree flip of that scourge—sort of a...



PARTY LIKE IT’S 1996!

Pasquale Rotella woke up one recent morning to find he was the last promoter standing. It wasn’t like this wavy-haired guy recruited a team of thugs and ran every competitor out of business. No, Rotella’s the one wh...


SLY BOOGY

Music careers are often synonymous with professional setbacks and marred by boardroom politics. But the best manage to persevere through the inanity of the industry in order to add their musical vision to the world.   Sel...


JACK OF ALL TRADES

Singer-guitarist Ronny Cox was just another dusty folk picker from New Mexico with big dreams until fate intervened and he landed his debut big-screen role in 1972 backhills shocker Deliverance. That break, of course, handily s...



GO PSYCHOBILLY!

Describing a band merely by the genre of music they play is usually reserved for creatively indifferent, mercilessly generic groups that are content to ride the wave of their style’s appeal instead of actually writing ori...