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Iggy Pop, Ty Segall — Rock’s Newest BFFs — Join Hot Lineup at Desert Daze Fest in Joshua Tree Oct. 12-15

Veteran Rocker and Beloved Local Join Forces

By DONNA BALANCIA

The newest BFFs in rock and roll — Iggy Pop and Ty Segall — have signed on to headline Desert Daze fest Oct. 12-15 in Joshua Tree.

And the new force in rock and roll is fitting as Desert Daze has a history of blending vintage alternative acts with up-and-coming young musicians.

Ty Segall to join Iggy Pop at Desert Daze - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia for CaliforniaRocker.com

Ty Segall to join Iggy Pop at Desert Daze – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia for CaliforniaRocker.com

Desert Daze 2017

Pop and Segall join the ranks of some of the most beloved bands in California and around the U.S. when they signed on for this year’s event. Eagles of Death Metal and John Cale are among the staggering list of performers.

Segall is not one to be left in the dust when it comes to wild festivities and once Pop gave the nod to Desert Daze, Segall was in.  Iggy Pop took command of the FYF Fest two weekends ago in Exposition Park.

Jesse Hughes, alias "Boots Electric" and Eagles of Death Metal will be on hand at Desert Daze - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes, alias “Boots Electric” and Eagles of Death Metal will be on hand at Desert Daze – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall, Iggy Pop and the Joshua Tree Connection

Segall opened for Pop at the local fest, and told his audience it was an “honor” to share the stage with the so-called godfather of punk. Segall has a devoted following of his own and is a semi-regular at the Teragram Ballroom as well as the Spaceland venues.

Pop, meanwhile, seems to have a love for everything California these days.  He headlined the Burger Boogaloo fest in Oakland last month prior to FYF and was welcomed by thousands of cheering, moshing California fans there and then in the latter part of July in Los Angeles.

**Check out Iggy Pop and Ty Segall at FYF**

“Ty’s got so many bands it’s hard to keep track,” said Teague Smith, one of Segall’s most serious fans. “He’s one of the best musicians we have and his music is based on appreciation of the history of music.”

Josh Homme is like rock and roll glue joining together all facets of music - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Josh Homme is like rock and roll glue joining together all facets of music – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Josh Homme Will Not Suffer ‘Post Pop Depression’

It’s no surprise Pop and Segall announced they’re on the bill at the same time as they share a friend in common, Josh Homme.  Homme is a frequent visitor to Segall’s shows and vice versa.  Of course, Homme and Pop put together a doozie of a project with Post Pop Depression, including the record, a worldwide tour and the movie, American Valhalla about the making of the movie.

**Read the American Valhalla Review by Dan MacIntosh**

It’s clear the guys are all going to be hanging out at the Joshua Tree compound where the music for Post Pop Depression was created.  Homme said in the movie American Valhalla that he was afraid that after the musical collaboration with the vintage punker he would suffer “Post-Pop depression,” and thus the name. But that seems not to be the case.

Iggy Pop at Desert Daze Photo by Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop leaps during performance Sunday in Exposition Park – Photo by Donna Balancia

Eagles of Death Metal, Thurston Moore, John Cale

Iggy Pop blasts apart an unbelievable lineup that tops last year’s compelling slate that included headliner and proto-punk pioneer Tom Verlaine and Television, Temples and Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Last year, Desert Daze touted some impressive players with Verlaine and Television headlining and beloved acts like Brian Jonestown Massacre, Thee Oh Sees, Temples and Thee Commons keeping the crowds moving in the dusty terrain.

**Check out CaliforniaRocker.com coverage of 2016 Desert Daze**

This year, the festival will take place Oct. 12-15 and will blow doors in blending young bands with the vintage founders of alt music. Iggy and Ty join an illustrious slate including Eagles of Death Metal and John Cale, Thurston Moore Group, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Spiritualized, Sleep, the Allah-Las and many more.

Deap Vally and Jjuujjuu, who played a prominent and welcomed role on the Desert Caravan series of concerts, by Spaceland and Knitting Factory, also appear in the lineup.

For more information go to desertdaze.org

The Buttertones: Dreamy Surf Guys Bring Their Cool California Style — And All the Girls — to The Hi Hat

New Album ‘Gravedigging’ is a Fun Retro Record

By DONNA BALANCIA

When you see The Buttertones, get ready for a new style of surfy beach music, cute guys and screaming women.

It’s part of The Buttertones’ scene and it’s a well-established routine. They’re not exactly The Beatles, but it’s the frenzy these guys cause among the females of Southern California that’s really something to see and appreciate. If they could put this kind of sex appeal in a bottle we’d all be better off.

The Buttertones, the women are falling for them - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Buttertones, the women are falling for them – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

We missed a few opportunities to see The Buttertones in the last six months, once at their Aquarium of the Pacific gig on New Year’s Eve and the other recently at The Bootleg. We hear The Bootleg gig was complete with not only the screaming, swooning females, but plenty of stage divers, leaping into the audience like lemmings over the cliff.

Buttertones at The Hi Hat – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

But we managed to catch them at The Hi Hat, one of our favorite venues in Los Angeles — after all, the staff is awesome and the place is big enough to hold all the fans The Buttertones bring in tow.

Check out The Buttertones’ new album, Gravedigging on Bandcamp.

The Buttertones put on an entertaining show. They light themselves up and then have their routine. The songs are fast-paced and fun and the guys dress respectfully, something that seems to be increasingly more common, buttoned shirt, ties and even socks!

Richard Araiza of The Buttertones – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Their recent album, Gravedigging, is a gas, with some killer tunes with catchy, simple titles including “Geisha’s Gaze,” “Ghost Safari,” “Sadie’s a Sadist,” and “Morroccan Monsoon.” All upbeat and rowdy in a surfy and snappy manner. This show is so worthwhile and moves fast.

Silent X wrapped up the night at The Hi Hat – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Buttertones are: Bassist Sean Redman, guitarist/singer Richard Araiza, drummer/polyinstrumentalist Modesto ‘Cobi’ Cobiån, saxophonist London Guzmån and guitarist Dakota Boettcher. All accomplished and impressive musicians, and cute to boot.

Matter Room was a fun opener, Espresso really cranked on the drums, Violet Mindfield held the audience spellbound and Silent X was a great topper on the evening.

Energetic and innovative: The Buttertones – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The ASCAP Expo 2017: ‘Livelihood’ and ‘Advocacy’ are The Important Words for Songwriters Today

By DONNA BALANCIA

Musicians need to present one singular message to change laws and be paid what they’re worth, ASCAP representatives said at the 2017 ASCAP EXPO Kickoff Thursday.

Paul Williams, president and chairman of the board of ASCAP, Beth Matthews, CEO, and membership EVP John Titta kicked off the 2017 ASCAP EXPO with a serious but hopeful message to attendees.

Tom Higgenson with John Titta - Photo 2017 Donna Balancia

Tom Higgenson with John Titta – Photo 2017 Donna Balancia

“You want to have a livelihood, keep writing,” Williams said. “You are a songwriter, you don’t want to be flipping burgers.”

William said he is hoarse from yelling at the television screen for the last three months, but that the new administration presents new opportunities.

“We are songwriters we don’t build walls,” he said “We even put bridges in the middle of our songs.”

He said music touches people in a way that forms cannot.

“When they walk up to you and say ‘My girl is playing one of your songs,’ That’s when I’m proud to be an American songwriter.”

Beth Matthews says ASCAP continues to grow through membership and partnerships - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Beth Matthews says ASCAP continues to grow through membership and partnerships – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Williams went on to say the consent decrees are outdated that songwriters’ music is underrated and over-regulated.

“We live in a world where we stream music, and that crap has got to change,” he said.

He said a free market system like in other industries is needed.

“If millions of people around the world want to stream your music, you need to be paid for it.”

Williams said that reforming licensing was a priority with ASCAP and that the big words are “advocacy” and “livelihood.”

Beth Matthews, CEO, said there was some good news for songwriters.

Beth Matthews says music business growth is solid but slow - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Beth Matthews says music business growth is solid but slow – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The music industry is rebounding now but still has a ways to go, she said.

Revenue is growing but not at a good enough rate, she said.

Matthews said ASCAP’s growth last year was more than $1 billion in revenue with a $45 million increase over the prior year.

The music has incredible value and the customers don’t know and most of our politicians don’t know, she said.

Tom Higgenson with John Titta - Photo 2017 Donna Balancia

Tom Higgenson with John Titta – Photo 2017 Donna Balancia

Music licensees don’t want to pay the fees and they have to understand why they should be paying, she said.

There is a need for copyright law reform and ASCAP has resorted to litigation in at least 39 cases, Matthews said. She added that there’s a need to involve the department of justice.

Matthews said there is an overwhelming need to get along with other aspects of the industry so that musicians can approach and change laws in the united fashion.

Ashley Gorley has written songs for Carrie Underwood and many more - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ashley Gorley has written songs for Carrie Underwood and many more – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

“We believe one of the reasons the Department of Justice didn’t help us is because they are confused and we didn’t have a singular message.”

ASCAP is working on a range of projects to enhance community and advocacy, Matthews said. Are our new ideas being floated out there involving digital assets and also improving the website.

Various musicians performed during the kick off including Tom Higgenson of Plain White T’s, Ashley Gorely and Brett McLaughlin.

For a powerful finale, Michael McDonald, played some Doobie Brothers tunes with the house band.

Michael McDonald launches ASCAP EXPO with Doobie Brothers tunes - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Michael McDonald launches ASCAP EXPO with Doobie Brothers tunes – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

PHOTOS: An Evening With the Photographic Greats Richard Young and Chris Cuffaro in West Hollywood

By DONNA BALANCIA

They have captured greatness, these rock photographers, but tonight Richard Young and Chris Cuffaro were the center of attention. Young’s show, “Rebels” was held at the Leica Store in LA and Cuffaro held an exhibit at Gibson’s Tower Records.

© Donna Balancia

From Rebels to Greatest Hits

Ranging from Marvin Gaye to The Sex Pistols, Young’s exhibit showed the inner rebellious spirit of the musicians he shot primarily in the early 1980s.  It was a time of transition for many with music moving into the disco era, as his photographs — taken in the dance clubs of New York City  and beyond showed.

As for Cuffaro, whose event was punctuated with performances by emerging bands and appearances by other photographers notably Henry Diltz, the 1990s was his heyday. In addition to Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and NXS, Cuffaro captured a range of artists whose legacies continue on.

Sweet Relief was supporting and President Bill Bennett and Executive Director Rob Max were on hand.

For more information on Richard Young, check out his page.  Chris Cuffaro has a website where all his work is displayed as well.

© Donna Balancia

 

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