Our music picks for 2015

Here are the top picks–at least from some members of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin publication–for 2015 albums. Any questions, comments or hate please respond in the comment section.

David Allen (columnist):

1. Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder)

2. Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom + Pop)

3. Iris DeMent: The Trackless Woods (Flariella)

4. Jeffrey Lewis and Los Volts: Manhattan (Rough Trade)

5. Adele: 25 (Columbia)

6. Sleater-Kinney: No Cities to Love (Sub Pop)

7. Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop)

8. Yo La Tengo: Stuff Like That There (Matador)

9. Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO)

10. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: Surf (free download)

Runners-up: Nellie McKay: My Weekly Reader (429), The Bird and the Bee: Recreational Love (Rostrum), Boz Scaggs: A Fool to Care (429), Joan Shelley: Over and Even (No Quarter), Cecile McLorin Salvant: For One to Love (Mack Avenue)

Liset Marquez (Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont and Upland reporter):

1. Jamie xx: In Colour (Young Turks)

2. Adele: 25 (Columbia)

3. Leon Bridges: Coming Home (Columbia)

4. Florence and the Machine: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Island)

5. Odesza: In Return (Counter)

6. Tame Impala: Currents (Interscope)

7. Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop)

8. Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO)

9. Other Lives: Rituals (PIAS)

10. Boxed In: Boxed In (Nettwerk)

Wes Woods II (Culture/entertainment reporter):

1. Future: DS2: (A1 Recordings, Freebandz and Epic Records)

2. Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder)

3. FKA Twigs: M3LL155X (Young Turks)

4. Vince Staples: Summertime 06 (Def Jam Records and ARTium Recordings)

5. Oddisee: The Good Fight (Mello Music Group)

6. Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO)

7. Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom + Pop)

8. Tame Impala: Currents (Interscope)

9. Ty Dolla $ign: Free TC (Taylor Gang Records, Pu$haz Ink and Atlantic Records)

10. Jamie xx: In Colour (Young Turks)

Runners-up: Mountain Goats: Beat the Champ (Merge Records), Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop), The Game: Documentary 2 & 2.5 (Blood Money Entertainment and Entertainment One Music), My Morning Jacket: The Waterfall (ATO Records and Capital Records),  Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: Surf (free download)

Interview with Paul Van Dyk, who is set for Dreamstate in San Bernardino

Below is an email interview with superstar DJ Paul Van Dyk, set to perform at Dreamstate in San Bernardino, that I was not able to use because of time limitations. For more information on the sold-out Dreamstate festival, head to http://www.dreamstateusa.com/losangeles/.PaulvanDyk2015-3

Q: What is your name and where do you currently live?

A: Hello, my name is Paul van Dyk and I live in Berlin

Q: You will be a headliner at Dreamstate USA in San Bernardino (and congratulations on that), which is being advertised as “your trance destination.” What is the state of trance right now compared to the past? Does it feel like a resurgence (or maybe its popularity never went down)?

A: Everyone has their own take on that. For me, it feels like the popularity has remained far closer to ‘constant’, than ‘resurgent’. I do get though, more and more, the vibe from other people see it as resurgent. There’s lots of different ways to gauge that, but with trance-specific events like Dreamstate selling out in 4hrs, I do see where people are getting that feeling from.

Q: What do you think of the concept of the all trance “Dreamstate USA” lineup in San Bernardino and San Francisco?

A: It’s a very positive move. It’s giving something to the U.S. scene that’s been consistently enjoyed by people on other continents for well over a decade. That can’t be a bad thing.

Q: Your Facebook lists your genre of music as “advanced electronic music”. Do you try and distance yourself away from the trance label (and if so, why)?

A: Fans, media or anyone out there who refers to me as ‘a trance DJ’ or ‘a trance producer’, I have no problem with. The need to categorize is fundamentally human. Personally, I don’t need to box myself into anything more specific than the bracket of ‘electronic music’ though. I’ve worked for the freedom to produce what I like, when I like over a long period of time now. For me personally, constraining that frame any further is counterintuitive.

Q: How important has social media been in your career? I ask because you have been around since the early 1990’s when there was no real online presence.

A: Very important. ‘Revolutionary’ is not too big a word.

Q: Do enjoy social media?

A: Not so much enjoy as absolutely love it. It provides a barrier-free bridge between the people who follow what I do and myself… For an artist, you can’t get a better, more healthy ‘relationship’ than that.

Q: What piece of advice would you give younger artists?

A: Follow your heart, not the herd. Producing or play what feels really right inside, not what’s today’s trend. Once artists lose sight of that, they’re in great danger of beginning to chase their own tail. That produces a vicious cycle. Electronic music, by its nature, and over its history, has changed very fast. Once someone starts bandwagon-jumping a trend, they’ve unconsciously putting themselves on a road to obsolescence. They’re carbon dating their output and history’s not typically kind to those that have. Thus the best thing to do is to focus on what you, in your own mind, feels good and sounds right. That’s stood me well over the longer run.

Q: You were an active participant in Rock the Vote in 2004 and 2008. Why is voting so important to you and what do you say to people who don’t feel it is as important?

A: Voting is ones of the foundations of democracy. Freedom of speech and the right to vote are fundamental to making our society as fair and equal as possible. The thing is we are at the crossroads of where this world is going. There are many different ideas as to what should happen with this planet. If you go out and vote, you can have, at least a say in that. You are an importance, this importance is given to you by democracy and democracy is the best way for us all to live together on this planet. There are many countries in the world where people still don’t have any right to vote at all. So if you have the chance, go and do it.

Q: With “The Politics of Dancing 3” is there a message or anything specifically you want fans to get out of it?

A: There is, very much so. In Ibiza whilst DJing many a year ago, I watched Lebanese friends dancing with Israeli friends – without war, without anything in their minds other than treating each other respectfully. In 2015 the need for this type of diplomacy is even greater than it was in 2001. In a very personal respect I see what sort of potential electronic music has for uniting people who otherwise would not normally be united. It’s tremendously powerful in that way and that’s what ‘the politics of dancing’ really means to me.

Q: It’s been 10 years since the last “Politics of Dancing 2” record. Why do a third edition now?

A: Over the years many people asked if there would ever be another ‘Politics Of Dancing’. I’d thought about the idea myself and often. Three years back I finally decided ‘why not?’ If there was a project that we all still had so much enthusiasm for, that is requested by the audience regularly, and over such a long period of time, then really, what’s to stop it?

Q: Are Southern California trance audiences different than other audiences you perform in front of?

A: Not really, no. Back, a good few years ago, you used to see big, and I do mean really gulf-sized differences in how audiences reacted and responded at gigs. These days though, hardly at all – power of the internet, I think!

Q: With the San Bernardino lineup, is there any other acts you’re looking forward to seeing?

A: If I get the chance, I always like to catch what Ben Nicky, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Aly & Fila and Jordan Suckley are up to. Those guys never disappoint.

Q: What is next for you?

A: ‘Politics 3’ will still be very much the focus into 2016. The tour has been going for 6 months now and in that time we’ve reached 30 different shores with nearly 60 shows. There’s still many more to reach in the first half of next year though.

There are some new remixes of three of the album tracks out at the start of December too. I imagine they’ll all be getting dropped in San Bernardino next week.


In Cabazon, the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon have added acts like LeAnn Rimes, Huey Lewis and the News, MC Hammer and Lonestar

The Morongo Casino Resort & Spa have added a wide range of acts to its schedule.

Country’s LeAnn Rimes is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. March 22 with tickets priced at $69.50 or $79.50.

Rock’s Huey Lewis and the News will play at 9 p.m. May 17 with admission at $69.50 or $79.50.

Hip-hop’s MC Hammer will take the stage at 9 p.m. June 21 and ticket prices are $48 or $58.50.

Country’s Lonestar will perform at 9 p.m. July 19 with prices at $44 or $65.50.

The casino is at 49500 Seminole Dr., Cabazon.

For more information, contact www.ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

wes.woods@inlandnewspapers.com or on Twitter @IEMusicNow

Hip-hop artists Noa James, Curtiss King on tour with Murs

San Bernardino’s Noa James (http://noajames.com/) and Curtiss King (http://curtissking.com/) are currently on the Road to the Paid Dues Independent Hip-Hop Festival tour with Murs, Prof, Fashawn, DJ Foundation and DJ Fundo.

The tour is scheduled to make stops in central, northern and the southern California coast before it stops in San Bernardino.

The March 30 Paid Dues festival takes place at the National Orange Show.

Moreno Valley’s Stevie Crooks is scheduled to perform, while Black Cloud Music, the label James and King are on, is an event host.

For more information, or to donate money to help them tour, head to www.blackcloudmusic.com/.

Savvy Sossa’s latest video “Born To Win” has more than 112,000 views

Savvy Sossa’s latest video “Born To Win” a 49ers Super Bowl anthem song featuring Yung Muusik has reached more than 112,000 views on YouTube.

The video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8DnSUjOlfg

More about Pomona’s Sossa, who recently performed with Too $hort in Pasadena, can be found here:


Crystal Castles to perform in Pomona on April 25 and Hollywood April 26

Crystal Castles were recently announced to perform at the Fox Theater in Pomona and the Hollywood Palladium.

The electronic, experimental act Crystal Castles will perform at 9 p.m. April 25 at the Fox Theater in Pomona, according to the www.foxpomona.com.

Tickets are selling for $39.20, according to http://www.livenation.com

Doors open for the show at 8 p.m. An opening act has not been announced.

The Fox Theater is at 301 S. Garey Ave., Pomona.

Additionally, the group will perform April 26 at the Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., in Hollywood.

Ticket prices for the Hollywood show are $53.

For more information, head to http://www.livenation.com/

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa, in Rancho Mirage has a wide variety of acts upcoming ranging from Alabama to Men of Soul.

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa, in Rancho Mirage has a wide variety of musical acts upcoming.

Soul singer Natalie Cole will perform at 9 p.m. Dec. 28.

Admission ranges from $55 to $95.

Men of Soul (featuring former L.T.D. lead singer Jeffrey Osborne, R & B singer Peabo Bryson and R & B vocalist Freddie Jackson) will take the stage at 8 p.m. Jan. 5.

Entrance prices range from $35 to $75.

Singer and actress Lea Salonga, who was the original Kim in “Miss Saigon” and won a Tony Award, will perform at 9 p.m. Jan. 25.

Tickets range from $25 to $55.

Country music legends Alabama will perform at 9 p.m. Feb. 1. Ticket prices were not available as of Wednesday as they are scheduled to go on sale Saturday.

The casino is at 32-250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage.

For more information and ticket information, head to www.hotwatercasino.com

wes.woods@inlandnewspapers.com 909-483-8549

Founding member of The Jefferson Airplane Jorma Kaukonen at Pappy & Harriet’s

Fingerstyle guitarist and singer Jorma Kaukonen will perform Jan. 31 at Pappy & Harriet’s, 53688 Pioneertown Rd., Pioneertown.

Kaukonen is a founding member of The Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna and a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Tickets are $30 for seats and $20 for standing room.

To purchase tickets, head to www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=3081714&pl=pappy%C2%A0

Also to purchase tickets or more information, contact 760-365-5956 or www.pappyandharriets.com/.

wes.woods@inlandnewspapers.com 909-483-8549

Berlin featuring Terri Nunn and Patty Smyth and Scandal in Riverside Nov. 30

At the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside, an 80’s rock concert with Berlin featuring Terri Nunn and Patty Smyth and Scandal are on deck for Friday Nov. 30.

Berlin is known for the 1986 hit “Take My Breath Away” from the movie “Top Gun” while Scandal is known for its 1984 hit “The Warrior.”

The show is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. at the center, which is at 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside.

For more information, head to www.ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

wes.woods@inlandnewspapers.com 909-483-8549

Glass House in Pomona to feature Moving Units, Emmure and Whitechapel and Curren$y

Some well known hip-hop, indie rock and metalcore acts will soon be performing at the Glass House in Pomona.

– New Orleans hip-hop artist Curren$y, who performed at the Rock the Bells hip-hop festival at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino in 2011, will bring his conversational style to the Glass House.

Curren$y, who actually broke his ankle at the San Bernardino show and missed the next stop in San Francisco, will take the stage on Dec. 8.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets range from $20 to $25.

– Los Angeles’ indie rock and dance punk act Moving Units will headline Dec. 22.

The group performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio in 2011 and doors for their show open at 7 p.m.

Tickets went on sale Wednesday and are $15.

– Queens, New York metalcore act Emmure and Knoxville, Tennessee deathcore band Whitechapel will headline a bill on Jan. 19.

Emmure and White Chapel were on the Vans Warped Tour lineup that made a stop at the Fairplex in Pomona in 2010.

Besides the two warped tour veterans, other acts featured are Unearth, Obey The Brave, The Plot in You.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the show and tickets went on sale Wednesday.

Tickets are $18 to $20.

The Glass House is at 200 W. Second St., Pomona.

For more information, contact www.ticketfly.com or 877- 435-9849 or www.theglasshouse.us.

wes.woods@inlandnewspapers.com 909-483-8549