More with The Beach Boys’ Bruce Johnston about potential reunion, his role in group

I spoke with Bruce Johnston, longtime singer/songwriter of The Beach Boys, in December for a preview of the group’s New Year Eve’s performance in Temecula and there were additional comments he made about a possible full reunion that did not make my final story.

In my original story, I mentioned how The Beach Boys had a 50th anniversary tour in 2012. It featured a tour, the recording of the album “That’s Why God Made the Radio” and original members Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks famously returning to the group.

Johnston said he enjoyed the tour but described it as a “tense” environment in putting it all together.

“There was just a lot of people tense about things we didn’t have to do like stage lighting,” Johnston said. “I thought it was great. But the thing I really liked about the tour that other people didn’t like was it ended. That was one of my favorite things. I’ll tell you why. We agreed for 50 shows and then we did 73. The British media and others spun it around that Mike Love fired his bandmates. In the meantime, we went 23 shows beyond our agreement. My personal feeling was how long do you want to do it? You don’t want to go into the 51st year celebrating the 50th. That’s my personal point of view.”

As far as another reunion with all the original members, Johnston said it hasn’t been discussed.

“It hasn’t come up,” Johnston said. “I will appear on any stage that Mike Love will appear on. My focus has always been to The Beach Boys in this way. If anything like that (a reunion) happens, it needs to be everybody. But I have no idea. Honest to God. No has said ‘hey, lets do The Beach Boys 2018.’ So who knows? It’s a flattering question to ask. But I would be very unprofessional to give you any hope of that because the question has not been asked among the band. If everyone wants to be up there again, well sure, why wouldn’t you? Yeah, sure I’ll do it (then). But I have to do it from Mike Love’s point of view to have it happen. If three guys said ‘lets do it’ and Mike declined then I would decline. But the other three guys might not ask me.” 

Additionally, Johnston (who joined the band in 1965) said he has never wanted to be the focus of the group and is more than happy with his sideman role.

“I am so lucky,” Johnston said. “Are you kidding? I’m not one of those center stage guys even though I stand next to Mike (Love, co-founder and lead singer). My favorite song I ever wrote was ‘Disney Girls (1957).’ Then the spotlight is on me. I’m not a frontman. I’m excited about life but Mike’s a frontman. That’s the frontman. I get my little 15 minutes of fame and about three minutes singing my song. My real thing I love is songwriting. I have a Grammy. So I’m kind of covered on the attention part you asked about. I always tell Mike he does so much stuff. Like ‘you go be famous I’d rather be right here.’ I’d rather talk about Mike’s achievements.”

Johnston said he feels Love doesn’t get enough credit for helping to write the group’s songs because they get overshadowed by Brian Wilson’s efforts similar to how people think of legendary composer Henry Mancini’s 1961 Grammy winning song “Moon River” but don’t remember the lyrics were written by Johnny Mercer.

“I feel like Mike got skipped over,” Johnston said, adding Love wrote the lyrics to 1965’s “California Girls.” “I’m happy to talk about Mike. I have an amazing supporting role but he’s our boy.”

– Wes Woods II

David Allen, Liset Marquez and Wes Woods list their best albums of 2014


header Hello everyone, The Inland Empire Music Now blog is back and a staff list of best albums in 2014 is an easy way to begin.  We’ll jump right into it.

David Allen:

1. Wussy: Attica! (Shake It)


2. Spoon: They Want My Soul (Loma Vista)

3. The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian)

4. Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire for No Witness (Jagjaguwar)

5. St. Vincent: St. Vincent (Loma Vista)

6. Parquet Courts: Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture?)

7. Courtney Barnett: The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (Mom and Pop)

8. Sturgill Stimpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (High Top Mountain)

9. Loudon Wainwright III: Haven’t Got the Blues (Yet) (429 Records)

10. Various Artists: Role: New Sounds of Brazil (Mais Um Discos)

Honorable mentions: Rosanne Cash: The River and the Thread (Blue Note); Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (Highway 20); Tune-Yards: Nikki Nack (4AD); Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man); Caetano Veloso: Abracaco (Nonesuch).


Liset Marquez

1. Damien Rice: My Favourite Faded Fantasy (Vector Recordings) (Video:

2. St. Vincent: St. Vincent (Loma Vista/Republic)

3. RAC: Strangers (Cherrytree, Interscope)

4. Mr. Little Jeans: Pocketknife ((Sony Music, Australia)

5. Sylvan Esso: Sylvan Esso (Trekky/Partisan)

6. Frazey Ford: Indian Ocean (Nettwerk)

7. Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker (ATO Records, Rough Trade Records)

8. Zola Jesus: Tiaga (Mute)

9. Banks: Goddess (Harvest)

10. David Gray: Mutineers (Good Soldier Songs)


Wes Woods II

1. Run the Jewels: “Run the Jewels 2″ (Mass Appeal)

(Video and caution explicit language)

2. The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian)

3. D’Angelo and the Vanguard: Black Messiah (RCA)

4. YG: My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

5. Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp)

6. St. Vincent: St. Vincent (Loma Vista)

7. Spoon: They Want My Soul (Loma Vista)

8. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib: Piñata (Madlib Invazion)

9. Ex Hex: Rips (Merge)

10. Wussy: Attica! (Shake It)

Honorable mentions (and not in any kind of order): Damien Rice: My Favourite Faded Fantasy (Vector Recordings); Little Dragon: Nabuma Rubberband (Because Music); Big K.R.I.T.; Cadillactia (Def Jam); Caetano Veloso: Abracaco (Nonesuch); Mac DeMarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks); Slipknot: .5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner) 

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments with your selections also.

Some quick Coachella 2014 act descriptions and thoughts

coachella2014The 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival lineup was released Wednesday evening and here are some quick descriptions for each day:

Friday (April 11 & 18)

Atlanta hip-hop megastars OutKast and Minneapolis alternative rock pioneers The Replacements are absolutely HUGE gets (but not completely surprising as rumors have been out for awhile) while plenty of standouts in the undercard such as rock’s HAIM, electronic duo The Knife, indie pop’s Ellie Goulding, electrofunk’s Chromeo, indie rock’s Neko Case, soul singer Aloe Blacc (of Avicii fame) and even the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Other acts include Kate Nash, Anti-Flag, the Cult, Broken Bells and more.

Saturday (April 12 & 19)

English rock band (and Coachella veterans) Muse returns as a headliner with Coachella veteran rock act Queens of the Stone Age (from nearby Palm Desert) but the biggest buzz might be for New Zealand indie/art pop’s Lorde (known for massive 2013 hit “Royals.” Additionally, dub step’s Skrillex, singer Pharrell Williams, DJ Fatboy Slim, hip-hop’s Nas (as well as Kid Cudi), electro pop’s Chvrches, garage rock’s Ty Segall, electronic pop’s Pet Shop Boys … the list of talented acts goes on and on.

Sunday (April 13 & 20)

Canadian indie rock stars Arcade Fire returns as Coachella headliners as well as Los Angeles alternative rock’s Beck, Scotland electro house DJ Calvin Harris, a reunion of indie rock’s Neutral Milk Hotel and even English heavy metal band Motorhead. This doesn’t even take into account for new stars like Disclosure, veterans like Fishbone and rising stars like Chance the Rapper and Jhene Aiko.

Outside of OutKast, one can argue the headliners (and a good chunk of the acts actually) aren’t anything new but all three days look really interesting this year (at least initially). I would have liked to see David Bowie, Daft Punk, Black Sabbath, Beyoncé, Rihanna or Kanye West on the bill but you can’t have it all I guess. It seems like they tried to add some more hip-hop this year also which I approve of.

Festival passes for both weekends go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday but general admission passes for weekend one must be purchased as a shuttle combination, according to Coachella officials.

The passes with shuttle combination are $435.

All types of passes are available for weekend two (a general admission ticket is $375 with no shuttle combination), according to officials.

Additionally, the price you see is the price you pay, according to officials.

The festival is at 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio.

To purchase tickets or for more information, head to

Our music picks for 2013

Here is our office’s music selections for 2013

Columnist David Allen

  1. Best Coast “Fade Away” (Jewel City)
  2. Bombino “Nomad” (Nonesuch)
  3. Vampire Weekend “Modern Vampires of the City” (XL)
  4. Bleached “Ride Your Heart” (Dead Oceans)
  5. Arcade Fire “Reflektor” (Merge Records)
  6. Neko Case “The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You” (Anti-)
  7. Girls Names “The New Life” (Slumberland)
  8. The Julie Ruin “Run Fast” (Dischord)
  9. David Bowie “The Next Day” (Columbia)
  10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Mosquito” (Interscope)

Journalist Liset Marquez

  1. The National,Trouble Will Find Me” (album)
  2. San Fermin, “San Fermin” (album)
  3. London Grammar, “If You Wait” (album)
  4. The Head and the Heart, “Let’s Be Still” (album)
  5. Guards, “In Guards We Trust” (album)
  6. The Avett Brothers, “Magpipe and the Dandelion” (album)
  7. Local Natives, “Hummingbird”(album)
  8. Vampire Weekend, “Modern Vampires of the City”(album)
  9. Arcade Fire, “Reflektor” (album)
  10. The Civil Wars, “The Civil Wars” (album)

Honorable mention:

  1. The Lone Below, “The Lone Below” (album)
  2. Valerie June, “Pushin’ Against a Stone” (album)
  3. Lorde, “Pure Heroine” (album)

Sports reporter J.P. Hoonstra (these are all songs) OR

1. The Strokes – Call it fate, call it karma

2. The Holydrug Couple – Paisley

3. Mayer Hawthorne – Her Favorite Song

4. Castle – Rotten Sushi / The Mushroom Of Course!

5. Tame Impala ~ Prototype [Outkast Cover]

6. Beautiful Eulogy – Release Me From This Snare (@beautifuleulogy)

7. Midlake – Provider

8. Phoenix – Trying To Be Cool (Official Video)

9. The Stepkids – Moving Pictures (Official Video)

10. Thundercat – “Heartbreaks + Setbacks”

Journalist Beau Yarbrough (songs)

1. “Party Kids” by Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside off of “Untamed Beast”

2. “The Sword by My Side” by the Thermals off of “Desperate Ground”

3. “Awkward” by San Cisco off of the “Awkward” EP

4. “Black Sheep” by Gin Wigmore off of “Man Like That”

5. “Holy Roller” by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

6. “Delicate Cycle” by The Uncluded off of “Hokey Fright”

Reporter Wes Woods II

1. Kanye West “Yeezus” (album)

2. Valerie June, “Pushin’ Against a Stone” (album)

3. Vampire Weekend “Modern Vampires of the City” (album)

4. Run The Jewels “Run the Jewels” (free album)

5. The National “Trouble Will Find Me” (album)

6. Youth Lagoon “Wondrous Bughouse” (album)

7. Bombino “Nomad” (album)

8. Neko Case “The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You” (album)

9. Earl Sweatshirt “Doris” (album)

10. David Bowie “The Next Day” (album)

11. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down “We The Common” (album)

12. Pusha-T “My Name Is My Name” (album)

Honorable mention:

Chance the Rapper “Acid Rap” and Danny Brown “Old” because their voices annoy me but you can’t deny their writing abilities.

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Cary Brothers headed to Aloft in Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday

carybrothersRANCHO CUCAMONGA – Cary Brothers, a Los Angeles based indie and alternative rock artist known for the 2004 song “Blue Eyes,” will play an acoustic performance at 6 p.m. Saturday at Aloft hotel.

To watch the performance, you must RSVP at

For more information on the concert, head here:

The song “Blue Eyes” was on the soundtrack to the movie “Garden State.”

The hotel, near the northeast corner of Fourth Street and Haven Avenue, is at 10480 4th St.

MUSIC – Stagecoach brings country stars to Indio including The Honky Tonk Angels Band

MUSIC – Stagecoach brings country stars to Indio

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA) – Friday, April 26, 2013
Author: By Wes Woods

The annual Stagecoach Country Music Festival makes its seventh trip to the Empire Polo Grounds this weekend with country superstars Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band, among others. The reunion of the Inland Empire’s The Honky Tonk Angels Band another attraction.

The festival, featuring nearly 50 country acts, follows just a week on the heels of the two-weekend Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held at the same location.

“We all are obviously super grateful for this. You really don’t get a second chance in the music business,” said Kurt Ross, Honky Tonk Angels Band vocalist and Claremont resident, who added the group would play at 1:45 p.m. Saturday on the Palomino stage located inside the huge Sahara Tent.

Other acts include Hank Williams Jr., Trace Adkins, Jeff Bridges & the Abiders, Dierks Bentley, Rodney Atkins, Darius Rucker, Thompson Square, Lonestar and more.

Ontario-raised Ross said his band came out of the punk scene in 1988 and their early material consisted of cover songs and “goofing around.” Soon, though, the group was performing “smoking originals,” he said. “It works so well. The people would come and see us and it was so awesome. We were kicking out songs left and right.”

Eventually the group, which blended Americana, rock and Southern rock, broke up and Ross is now a production manager who has been working at the Stagecoach festival since its first year.

Ross said Stagecoach organizer Paul Tollett heard him sing vocals on the Unforgiven’s “Hang ’em High” at last year’s festival and asked him to put the Honky Tonk Angels back together.

Ross said he is looking forward to Commander Cody performing at the festival. “Absolutely. We love him. He’s right up our alley and Dwight (Yoakam) and Nick 13 from Tiger Army. A punk-rock guy country thing.”

The three-day festival will be broadcast on AXS TV. For information on the live telecast, go to, or @AXSTV on Twitter.

wes.woods@ @ClaremontNow on Twitter @IEMusicNow on Twitter

Stagecoach 2013: Katey Sagal and John Reilly go from acting to singing with different results

Stagecoach 2013: Katey Sagal and John Reilly go from acting to singing with different results

Posted:   04/29/2013 03:40:01 AM PDT
Updated:   04/29/2013 04:09:10 AM PDT


INDIO – Actors John Reilly and Katey Sagal had different results singing with their bands Sunday night at the Stagecoach country music festival.Reilly, who performs in movies and television under John C. Reilly, was a much stronger performer on the Mustang Stage performing a blend of Americana and folk songs and he would joke with the audience between songs.

“How about Riders in the Sky?” he said early on about the group who performed before him who wore elaborate stage outfits in the 105 degree weather. “They don’t sweat in those shirts. They must have sweat comptments in the back.”

Meanwhile, he performed songs like “Good Morning Captain” and a song he recorded for Jack White’s record label “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar” while using a guitar with the words “Dewey Cox” written on it similar to his spoof movie “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”

Sagal, however, waited a couple of songs to perform as she let her band The Forest Rangers take center stage. The band who also performs music for the television show “Sons of Anarchy” that Sagal is on sounded good, even performing a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” but the audience was restless to hear Sagal.

When Sagal performed, her voice sounded off and she was slightly off beat on the Tom Petty cover “Free Fallin.’” She recovered for the next song “Bird On A Wire” but still did not appear entirely comfortable singing to the beat.

Stagecoach 2013: Charlie Daniels Band and Charley Pride show they still have style

Stagecoach 2013: Charlie Daniels Band and Charley Pride show they still have style

Posted:   04/29/2013 03:31:58 AM PDT
Updated:   04/29/2013 03:39:54 AM PDT

INDIO – North Carolina’s The Charlie Daniels Band and Sledge, Mississippi’s Charley Pride provided a jolt of musical energy to the Palomino Stage on Sunday at the Stagecoach country music festival.

Charlie Daniels, who has been releasing albums since 1971 and is age 76, earned the crowd’s respect with his guitar playing, fiddle skills and musical selection and Pride won his audience with vocals, stage presence and his body of work.

Daniels performed hits like 1975′s “Long Haired Country Boy,” 1990′s “”(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks” and newer material like “Black Ice.” He ended his set, of course, with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

A good portion of the audience lingered for Daniels, even as his set ran into the time for Zac Brown Band, and it paid off when the country legend performed his biggest hit.

Pride, introduced by “American Idol” judge Randy Johnson as a “country music legend,” immediately jumped into a cover of Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road” (which was also on a Pride live album in 1969) 1970′s “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and 1966′s “Just Between You and Me.”

After performing his No. 1 1969 hit “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me),” Pride simply said it “was my first No. 1. Thank you. I’m glad you remember that.”

During much of the entertaining set Pride, who has been around since 1966 and is age 75, performed hit after hit and would walk to the left side of the stage to linger for pictures as as well confidently walk each side of the stage with his microphone.

Stagecoach 2013: Mane stage audiences enjoy Zac Brown Band and Darius Rucker

Stagecoach 2013: Mane stage audiences enjoy Zac Brown Band and Darius Rucker

Acts perform covers of popular songs to entertain on final day of festival
Posted:   04/29/2013 02:36:28 AM PDT
Updated:   04/29/2013 02:40:15 AM PDT

INDIO – Stagecoach country music festival headliners Zac Brown Band and Darius Rucker earned some of their biggest ovations with cover songs on Sunday night.

The Zac Brown Brown performed Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” during their set while Rucker selected Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” and Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

Before the Daniels song, the group described the performer who played the same song less than an hour before on the side Palomino Stage as “a living legend” to cheers while the opening guitar riff of sandman sent the mane stage crowd into a headbanging frenzy.

Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel, a hit for him this year, made the crowd line dance, sing, pour beer, join hands together and even play a simulated game of football but “Purple Rain” drew both people leaving for the exits and a singalong.

While the Zac Brown Band are admittedly not one of my favorite acts because I can’t get into the way they blend their different musical styles together, there was no denying the effect their well engineered sound and songs had on the rabid audience, which appeared to be the largest for any headliner.

The group performed songs such as “It’s not OK” and “Toes” from 2008′s “The Foundation” and “Colder Weather” from 2010′s “You Get What You Give.”

Rucker, who’s baritone sounds exactly the same as it did in the mid 1990′s with Hootie & the Blowfish, performed “Only Wanna Be With You” and “Hold My Hand” from his old group as well as 2010′s “This” and 2008′s “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.”

I liked Rucker’s sound and choice of songs and despite some people leaving during “Purple Rain,” it appeared most of the audience appreciated it too.