By Lisa Morgan
Exhausted as I was from putting in the miles at Stagecoach 2013, absolutely nothing was going to keep
me from seeing the local line up of bad asses playing FOR FREE at The Hood Bar, Palm Desert, Saturday
night. The lineup of Spankshaft, Jokes for Feelings and Warsaw Poland Brothers was a sure thing for a
good time full of amazing musicianship.
The event was brought together to celebrate Spankshaft’s CD release, a party hard earned and a long
time coming. The album, Great Job, is currently in my personal “Top 5- Favorite, Bounce the Blues to
the Curb” music collection. They were being joined by Jokes for Feelings and Warsaw Poland Brothers,
both of which have strong desert roots and an excellent reputation for inspiring dance floor chaos. They
did not disappoint.
As always, Spankshaft came onto the cold stage and turned up the heat instantly with their charismatic,
contagious energy. Spankshaft, regularly consisting of Brandon on vocals and guitar, his brother
Brent on bass and vocals, Russel on drums, Clint on tenor sax and Justin on alto sax was joined by the
infamous Drago on Trombone. I swear these guys just get better and better every time I hear them.
They were followed by the local band Jokes for Feelings who just recently relocated to the Bay Area.
The punk/ska/rock band who boasts of their nunchuck, bow hunting and computer hacking skills have
their own amazing niche on the ska/punk genre. With the electric and vocally powerful multitasker,
Billy Raphael on keys and fiddle, backed by equally strong musical cohorts, the audience had no choice
but to love what was happening to them. It’s not every band that has a chick on trumpet, but Angela
performed with finesse and even crushed a song or two vocally.
Warsaw Poland Brothers, the final act on this skanky playlist, topped off the evening with an
obnoxiously grand crescendo. Armed with Spankshaft players Clint and Drago forming the horn section
from hell, the bands pocket tight, rhythm bending, mood altering performance was perfection. With
energy that threatened to leave the rest of Coachella Valley in an hour long brown out, Aaron led
the band song after song with one of the most talented voices I have ever heard. From rap to reggae
to screaming rants, his voice sang anthem after anthem with genuine vocal depth. I thought I was
impressed until he picked up his magic conk shell and proceeded to add yet another sound to their
already epic compilation. They got the last call notice. They kept playing. The lights came on. They
kept playing. They turned down the vocal mic. They kept playing. They turned the vocal mic back up,
because they knew they couldn’t be stopped. They kept playing. Finally, they closed with the shortest
song they knew and the room fell silent. Silent except for all the patrons who could not stop talking
about the music they had just experienced.
These three bands provided some of the most musically intelligent and energy infusing music I have yet
to hear in any live venue. God bless The Hood Bar for giving them a place to play and be heard.
Follow these bands on Facebook or go to the following links:
Jokes for Feelings: http://www.myspace.com/jokesforfeelings
Warsaw Poland Brothers: http://www.myspace.com/warsawpolandbros