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20 years of desert rock underground....and at the other end of 2 decades.....musical magic that pushes the boundaries!

10/11/2013 01:54PM ● Published by Robin Linn

Nick Nava with HORNSS at Dali's Llama's Wild Rumpus! - photo by Herb Lienau

DALI'S LLAMA'S WILD RUMPUS - 20 YEARS OF UNDERGROUND MUSIC.....
And, we gnashed our terrible teeth, showed our terrible claws, and rolled our terrible eyes beneath the starry desert sky to some world class stoner rock!
by Robin Linn



On October 5th....just 24 hours before the dawn of my birth.....I headed out for a desert adventure with friends and bands I hadn't seen live in over a decade. Nothing could have prepared me for the intensity and perfection of that night of wild, irreverent desert rock. There were many different shades and colors, genres and musical styles presented at DALI'S LLAMA'S WILD RUMPUS....CELEBRATING 20 YEARS UNDERGROUND. In this article....I will attempt to revisit that night and share the experience with you via video clips, event memoirs, and pictures. Terry McGuinness and the Huskey's put together a completely viby, exotic desert rock show that turned into visual art and an esoteric audio experience beneath the starry desert sky. The level of musicianship, the quality of the performances, and the excitement of the friends and fans gathered round to celebrate desert life with music was one I will never forget. 20 years of making music.....equals 20 years of experience. These bands, many whom I have seen and written about over a decade ago.....have evolved and grown and shaped their sounds into significant artistic contributions to music world wide. Musicians I wrote about....a lot.....13 years ago in the pages of Desert Rhythms had entirely new acts playing music in a fresh new way one would expect to experience in a large festival setting. The sounds opened up and exploded into the desert night creating high art in the high desert. The way the lavender lights lit up the stage at The Palms in Wonder Valley.....and the way the huge sounds being created just echoed over the vast wide open desert spaces.....fires crackling and glowing red beside the stage......I felt like a gypsy dancing by the fire....and a bit like a character in a Quentin Tarantino film. I would have traveled far and paid much to see this show that was less than 30 minutes from my high desert home and only $5 to attend. For those of you that love desert rock....where it has evolved to....the vastness and magnificence of it all....you totally blew it by not being there. This was quite frankly a historic night of music! And, for once...I didn't miss it!!!!! I would like to encourage readers to click on ALL of the links included below. Experience the wild, unruly, unique and fresh sounds of a dozen rock bands....all highly innovative, talented, and extremely visual and fun to experience live!

HIT IT!
This band plays original punk in the tradition of such bands as Circle Jerks and I am sorry I missed their set. They must have played first and I was lost in the desert and growing scared I would never find the venue at this point of my journey. Click the link below to see actual live footage of some of what I missed and to visit the band on Facebook.
Actual live WIld Rumpust footage....S.W.A.M.P by Hit It!

CAVEMAN VOICEBOX 
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When I arrived at The Palms in Wonder Valley I was an hour late, after driving way too far out into the WRONG part of the desert.  I rolled up to the last couple of songs by CAVEMAN VOICEBOX, whom I have grown quite fond of while listening to on YouTube. They offer an ultra-heavy sound with a pop sensibility, making music that is entertaining and infectious. I was sad to have been late and missed their set. The bands I am into that play at these desert rock shows are as visual as they are sonic.....they have an energy and intensity that make them a rush to watch! Caveman Voicebox played again on October 11th at the Viper Room in Hollywood where they performed with Hidden Amongst Us and Ages. I was so hoping to attend....as...I need a show rain check. I want to publicly apologize for missing the better part of their set. It is a wrong I intend to right soon. I got to hang out with Graham Theftotto and the CMVB boys - Mike (from The Adolescents), Karl and Matt, and they are charming and a lot of fun! Though I didn't see their entire set....they sounded great and they were a special part of my overall show experience. Check them out on Reverb Nation at: http://www.reverbnation.com/cavemanvoicebox and BOMBS AWAY by CAVEMAN VOICEBOX From the New EP "Facial Hair & Harmonies.


UNDEAD CUERVO
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UNDEAD CUERVO... had a hard and heavy retro feel reminiscent of early Sabbath. Rick, Kevin and Sean came in from LA and delivered a earthy heavy set of original hard rock. They borrowed the talents of Alfredo Hernandez for one song of their desert set which made for some extra added intensity. They were fun to watch and they gave me a birthday present.... their CD, "End of a Bully" to remember them by! Check out Hell Highway on Bandcamp at:http://undeadcuervo.bandcamp.com/track/high-highway

GREEN BOAR
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GREEN BOAR
Undead Cuervo did a split set with their new band GREEN BOAR. Rick Carles, Kevin Hebbe and Sean Williams were joined by vocalist Brian Vandiver, whom I met just after their set. He was trying to explain the whole matter to me....but it was really loud and I didn't totally get it. Thanks to Erica and Zack Huskey for helping me with facts. ICheck  out Green Boar at: https://www.facebook.com/GreenBoarBand.  

Check out this tune off of the new Undead Cuervo CD I was given for my birthday and which I am very grateful for.
End of a Bully, Angry Soul at Bandcamp. I love the lyrics!
ANGRY SOUL BY UNDEAD CUERVO / END OF A BULLY 
TIRED OF LISTENING TO BULLSHIT 
IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE 
MANY PEOPLE AND NATIONS FIGHT 
I WANNA FEEL ALRIGHT 

MAYBE YOU SHOULD CHANGE 
YOUR STATE OF MIND 
MY ANGRY SOUL 
CAN’T HOLD ANYMORE 

DIRTY THOUGHTS CAME FROM THEIR MINDS 
I NEED TO STAY AWAKE 
I NEVER WILL LET THEM 
KILL MY ONLY PLACE 

MAYBE YOU SHOULD CHANGE 
YOUR STATE OF MIND 
MY ANGRY SOUL 
CAN’T HOLD ANYMORE

released 05 November 2012 
Music by Kevin Hebbe & Ricardo Carles 
Lyrics by Ricardo Carles


RISE OF THE WILLING 
I love the profile names people come up with on Facebook. I made friends with a lot of the musicians I was unfamiliar with on Facebook before the day of the show. One such new FB friend was Caveman Kyle Stratton, frontman and guitarist for RISE OF THE WILLING.  I would have never recognized him anyway when he took the stage with his band. Rise of the Willing (also featuring John Chavarria on drums and Ronnie Snail Wilson on bass) continued to turn up the intensity of the show and as the sun began to set...the music got louder, crazier, and the sky glistened with desert doom. Their record, Dark Desert Tales is filled with dark poetic and often relevant lyrics. Metal meets desert stoner rock.....it is a beautifully recorded first effort produced by Scott Reader.....known for his work with some of the most noteworthy desert rock bands of our time. Check them out and give them a listen. There next show is on November 2nd in Riverside at Kims Bar.
For more detailed information about this band and their history...visit:


WHISKEY AND KNIVES 
WHISKEY AND KNIVES, a 3 piece authentic desert rock band that combines edgy desert metal with a punk rock spirit. Featuring desert rock icon, Alfredo Hernandez on drums, Jon Arnold on guitar, Mike Smith on bass, and Jason Basley on vocals. When Fredo, Jon and the band took the stage.....it was like someone slammed their car into an electric pole....the energy in the air became kinetic.......the music was deeper and different than anything I had heard from them before. Jon has evolved as a player and his style has broadened taking his extraordinary predisposition for speed picking and slowing down moments and lines in a very musical way. He warned me before the set I was going to see a different side of him from before....and, I told him this.....the last thing I want to hear is you sounding just as you did 5 years ago (we were roomies for awhile back then and hearing him play everyday around the house was one of the highlights of surviving that experience). I wanted to hear who he had become....and I did. I loved him, the vocal approach offered by Jason, and the driving rhythms section comprised of Fredo and Mike....a lot! They are currently working on a new release under this name. They have promised me they will keep me in the loop as to when the record is available for listening.....a favor I will gladly pass on to all of you!  I did get to hear the demo in Jon's brand new truck which was fun...and, I know what to expect...and it's GOOD! For now....check them out on Facebook and hang on.....this group is on to something big!!!!! https://www.facebook.com/whiskeyandknives


HORNSS
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HORNSS
I would be lying if I said I recognized Mike Desertt and Nick Nava from back in the days when I wrote about their band Solarfeast. Twelve years go by...and we all look a bit different. But, nonetheless.....these desert rockers have always been innovative and cutting edge. They moved away from the desert to the Bay area,  where they put together this band, which included  Bil Ninetynine on drums.  At the Wild Rumpus they literally rocked my world.  They had it all....the depth, the heaviness, the desert vibe.......they really got inside my head and expanded it. After that set, I was alive and ready for anything. The music had a fresh approach and the songs opened up, twisted around time, and got really psychedelic. Mike's skill level as a guitarist is masterful.  When they finished their set I ran up to them and let them know how much I loved them.   I won't miss a show within reach featuring Hornss....EVER! They were that good.  There is plenty to discover about this band online. Take my advice and get out and experience the live show. You will be hearing this a lot from me by the time this story is over. Check out THE MAKER OF MOONS by HORNSS on Bandcamp at: http://hornss.bandcamp.com/, Graceless and Aged by Hornss:  https://soundcloud.com/mike-desertt/hornss-graceless-and-aged and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HORNSS


ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC
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ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC featuring Ed Mundell from Monster Magnet, Collyn McCoy from Trash Titan, and Rick Ferrante from Sasquatch……this band gave us one hell of a live set!  Ed is a beautiful, expansive  guitarist who creates some deep, gorgeous vibes. He plays with the  psychedelic spirit of Hendrix and brings the heaviness one would expect from a stoner rock band. He is an emotional player with his own unique sound. This rhythm section is B-A-A-A-D and lays down solid feels offering Ed the perfect format to stretch as a player. The compositions are inspired and they took me far deeper into their musical realm then I could have anticipated. At this point in the show....I had to continually pinch myself to see if I was experiencing a desert mirage. How in the world was I seeing this crazy great music in the middle of nowhere with 150 of my friends. Remember....by now I was just hours away from turning another year older......and the gifts just kept on coming. No kidding.....this story goes on!!!!!!  Visit the band's website to hear how amazing they sound and to learn where to catch their next live show. I will be going back for seconds of this band for sure!!!!!!! http://www.theultraelectricmegagalactic.com/music.html and https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151648043202885
Also....listen to their latest live release on Soundcloud at: http://www.mixcloud.com/TheOtherEnd/wake-up-at-the-other-end-of-the-universe-24-09-2013/

JOSH HEINZ
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In between the sets Josh Heinz gave a very emotional and powerful solo performance on the inside stage at The Palms.   He played in between some really heavy desert stoner rock.....and then used his powerful voice to bare his soul with some meaningful and beautifully written lyrics that touched us all.   It  takes conviction to open up like that in front of this crowd.  Josh played on and there was a "Seattle-esque" overtone to his material which I liked.  It was a nice contrast to hear some singer songwriter material between all of the electrifying music that flooded over the desert that night. This is the song that brought tears to my eyes...written for his Autistic son.....dedicated to Bobby Nichols and our  21 year old boy, Sean....on Reverb Nation - Fighting Back the Tears  http://www.reverbnation.com/joshheinz/song/14247269-fighting-back-the-tears also check him out on https://www.facebook.com/joshheinzmusicpage


THE FREEKS
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The Freeks feature former members of Nebula, Fu Manchu, Backbiter and The Angry Samoans.   Straight up......this band gave an epic performance out in the middle of the desert I won't soon forget.  By the time they were into their 3rd song I was looking to others to see if they had the same staggered expression on their faces I was sure I had on mine.  I was now a dancing gypsy by the fire.  They were dark, free, and beautiful.....just like the desert. The Freeks have their own unique stoner rock sound. This was another of the bands that brought a new jazzy attitude to hard rock. The compositions had an open and often hypnotic affect on me that took me off into the distance,  yet there was that grungy driving rhythm section keeping me grounded. I loved the way their music made me feel. Ruben Romano, Hari Hassin, Tom Davies, Esteban Chavez, and Jonathan Hall - Visit them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/TheFreeks or at http://thefreeks.com
And, here is a podcast of the band.http://theobelisk.net/obelisk
Additionally, they will be playing in LA on November 1st at The Haunted Garage. Click the event poster above for details. I am going to try to get out to this show. I really loved this band...a lot! You can also purchase their music and goodies here: http://thefreeks.com/shop/


JOE DILLON, SCOTT BROOKS (photo by Sophia Possiden)
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JOE DILLON, SCOTT BROOKS, AND ONNACA HERON 
performed inside the venue while Mario and Rubber Snake Charmers set up outside. All original roots-Americana with a desert, punk rock attitude. It was a real show of family love at this event. The way everyone moved to the stage inside or out to view the live sets, and support the fellow artists.....and while Joe, Scott and Onnaca performed...there was a wonderful energy in the air. Beautiful people creating completely original music. 


RUBBER SNAKE CHARMERS (Mario Lalli)
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RUBBER SNAKE CHARMERS
When Mario Lalli and Rubber Snake Charmers took the stage.....something went terribly wrong.  I don't know if I caught the flu and it reared it's ugly head right at that moment, but an ill feeling washed over me..... fortunately,  I heard EVERY NOTE from the spot in the desert where I purged for an hour...or more! This is a true story and not a sad one. In between hurling my guts up....I still found it in me to whistle my country girl whistle.....the music was moving me....right through my violent episode. The band line up included: 
Mario Lalli - (Fatso Jetson, Auto Modown, etc...)
Mike Pygmie - (You Know Who, Mondo Generator)
Herb Lineau - (Half Astro, Super Fun Happy Slide)
Mathias "Schneebi" Schneeberger - (Masters of Reality, Sa Fi)
Alfredo Hernandez (Kyuss, Whiskey and Knives)
Sa Fi (Sa Fi)
The set started out instrumental...open....exotic.....and then entered Sa Fi's haunting vocal....keep in mind....I couldn't see a thing...just hear. The spaces and feels created by RSC were hypnotic, expansive, and in the true tradition of Mario Lalli.....exploratory.  I loved every moment of their set.  I am a HUGE fan of all of Mario's projects....but, I must admit....this is my favorite so far. There is a jazzy element that takes the music deeper than ever before. His ideas have always been exciting to me...... in the Rubber Snake Charmers there are beautiful layers of  instrumentation exploring new  textures and sounds,  adding  depth and  room to explore his wild imagination.
Mario has multiple projects going on at every conjuncture of his life. This November 8th, his band Fatso Jetson will be playing with Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedy's) and The Guantanamo School of Medicine at The Hood. I highly recommend getting out to see this show!
Here is the link to learn more about that show: https://www.facebook.com/JBGSM?filter=2


DALI'S LLAMA (photo (left) by Iris Eaton) (photo (right) by Rick Carles)
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DALI'S LLAMA
Desert doom......thick as pea soup....like a fog that sets in and lays heavy in the atmosphere.....that is the vibe created by Dali's Llama.  Erica, a small framed woman, a beautiful soul, and a fantastic bass player lays down slow, heavy deep bass lines.  Combined with the drumming of Craig Brown they create a backdrop for the intense and heavy sounds created by Zach Huskey and Joe Wangler on guitar.  I have been a fan of Erica's bass playing for many years.  She has developed  and really come into her own. There is something crazy about seeing that tiny frame up on that stage creating those gigantic sounds with her bass. The spirit of the band, the originality of the material, the poetic lyrics......the whole presentation is so unique,  and is a true part of the mosaic of sounds and genres that make up the whole of the vintage desert music scene. Celebrating their 20 years of DIY, Zach and Erica have also released their first vinyl "Twenty Years Underground", now available on http://www.heavyripples.bigcartel.com. Check Dali's Llama out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dalisllama YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/dalisllamarocks/videos and Reverb Nation: http://www.reverbnation.com/dalisllama
Live Wild Rumpus footage of Dali's Llama: http://youtu.be/3DZVeA7H9mE

Erica and Zach Huskey celebrating 20 years of music underground in the desert!
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Zach gave a brief talk thanking everyone for attending, performing, and sharing the joy of the event. It was a perfect day and night of music. Call it stoner rock, desert rock...or both......I call it a night of pure magic! I have to thank the Huskeys and all of the musical artists, the good folks at The Palms, and Terry McGuinness for one special night I will never forget.



(photo (left) of Joerg Steineck with a dead guy....courtesy of Joerg)
(photo (right) Zach Huskey working on score for Lo Sound Desert)
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BUT WAIT......THERE IS MORE!!!!!
LO SOUND DESERT
A FILM BY GERMAN FILMMAKER, JOERG STEINECK
Lo Sound Desert is a film created through the vision of Joerg Steineck.   Stoner rock (a very broad term encompassing so many sub-genres...it doesn't say a whole lot) and desert rock have captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe.   Bands like the TruckFighters from Sweden have been heavily influenced by the music we are making here in the wild desert. Why is the music we are creating in the middle of the desolate desert so unique?   I have a theory!  In the cities, the areas where there is original music being made and dozens of venues to experience it.....different things happen quickly.  But, in the 70's, 80's, and 90's when most of these bands were coming up around here...I can tell you from first hand experience........kids HAD to make their own form of entertainment to survive desert boredom....which turned to desert doom, punk, metal.....they were literally forced to come up with their own ways to create live music. And......they did. Here we are....20 years into the future....and these bands aren't just thrashing about playing 3 chords anymore. They have developed sounds, styles,  and become fantastic at their instruments.   They now travel   the globe playing to huge numbers of people who thrash about with them to the raw authentic live desert stoner rock experience. Joerg captured the magical journey of bands to get "there" by documenting the players, personalities, and bands that make up our significant and strangely unique music scene. And, to see the 30 minute screening in this setting....nearly everyone there was in the movie.....was the perfect end to a perfect night.   I managed to feel better enough to sit with my beloved musician friends and watch this film by the fire an hour past midnight. . I was now 53. It was official. And, to turn 53, in the middle of the desert, with Alfredo, Jon Arnold, Mike Desert, Erica and Zach Huskey, Caveman Kyle, Graham Theftotto, Emily and Chris, so many people I love for their musical prowess and strong contributions to a music scene I couldn't break away from if I wanted to. The following thought dawned on me after seeing Lo Sound Desert and hearing where all of the music has evolved to.....I started writing about music in the pages of Desert Rhythms in the 90's because I was so inspired by the original desert sounds I was hearing.  I am even more inspired now and I am sure this is why I found my way back to writing again......there is just too much great music to not pay attention to.....closely!  As I close this story, I have chatted with Joerg who is still raising funds to finish editing 3.5 hours of film down and get this project released. I will be working with some of these bands and a local venue to raise money to help get this film off of Joerg's shoulders and out to the public very soon. Keep you all posted. Joerg is currently working on the new video for the new recording by Swedish desert stoner rock band, TruckFighters. Lots of exciting things are happening in the world of stoner rock, desert rock, and music in general and I intend to keep my pen on the pulse of what is going on and share the news with you....my musical friends. 

Music enthusiasts, friends of the arts, film friends who wish to contribute and help get this film out to the public (trust me when I say it is high art and meant to be viewed by music lovers world wide) can contribute financially to this venture. To learn more about Lo Sound Desert, filmmaker Joerg Steineck, or how to contribute, visit this link and sign in with your email address. It will guide you to make a financial contribution. 
LO SOUND DESERT:  www.losounddesert.com 
Joerg's other film...TRUCKFIGHTERS FUZZOMENTARY:  https://www.facebook.com/truckfightersmovie?fref=ts

Caveman Voicebox on Reverb Nation

http://www.reverbnation.com/cavemanvoicebox

BOMBS AWAY by CAVEMAN VOICEBOX From the New EP "Facial Hair & Harmonies.

http://youtu.be/p63jMNlDpDs
Culture, Today josh heinz mario lalli alfredo hernandez joe dillon dali's llama wild rumpus the palms hornss whiskey and knives ultra electric mega galactic ed mundell mike desert rise of the willing caveman voicebox hit it the freeks rubber snake charmers undead cuervo green boars
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