Thursday, January 24, 2013

Amazon store picks

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Radio Free Joshua Tree

founded 12/12/12

Joshua Tree to the World

"Joshua Tree" is the National Park, the village itself, the surrounding desert communities - and a state of being, sought around the world.

The mission of Radio Free Joshua Tree (RFJT) is to bring Joshua Tree to the World -- and the World back to Joshua Tree -- through the voices of its musicians, artists and poets; its elders and it's youth. Rising out of a community rich in creativity and natural beauty, RFJT will focus first on the music inspired by or created in the desert, including work by those who pass through briefly, as well as those who have passed before us. RFJT will gather the many different voices that have found themselves in the desert, literally and metaphorically.

Listen closely
It is the role of Radio Free Joshua Tree to hear the many sounds and voices of the desert, veteran songwriters and beginners, the ones who pass through and leave their influence and the ones that take some of the desert with them; The music that accompanied them to the desert and the music that evolved here. Looking down the road, RFJT will become an archive for a vast collection of music.
Radio Free Joshua Tree will share the voices of many who are otherwise rarely heard – and those who speak on behalf of the natural environment which brought us all here.

Beginning with special programs such as Ted Quinn's Variety Show, Kadey Gee's Trust Everyone Under 30 and new ones being added - Overnight Trip Ambient Show; Parsons Country - Cosmic Americana - airing and being archived, along with an initial 1000 - and counting - recordings – RFJT will become a permanent library of the sounds of the desert, the natural ones and those of people finding self-expression through music, poetry, art and sustainable living.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Joshua Tree Retreat Center

JTRC is the oldest and largest retreat center in the Western United States; a unique architectural landmark on a sacred site. As a non-profit 501(c)(3), our mission is to support the education and nourishment of the infinite human potential.

Check their calendar for current events and weekly classes.

Joshua Tree Retreat Center - Inspiration in the Mojave Desert. from Bill Leyden on Vimeo.

Joshua Tree Legends - Gram Parson

Gram Parsons 

(November 5, 1946 – September 19, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Parsons is best known for his work within the country genre; he also mixed blues, folk, and rock to create what he called "Cosmic American Music". Besides recording as a solo artist, he also worked in several notable bands, including the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers. His career, though short, is described by Allmusic as "enormously influential" for both country and rock, "blending the two genres to the point that they became indistinguishable from each other."

Born in 1946, Parsons emerged from a wealthy but troubled childhood to attend Harvard University. He founded the International Submarine Band in 1966, and after several months of delay their debut, Safe at Home, was released in 1968, by which time the group had disbanded. Parsons joined The Byrds in early 1968, and played a pivotal role in the making of the seminal Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. After leaving the group in late 1968, Parsons and fellow Byrd Chris Hillman formed The Flying Burrito Brothers in 1969, releasing their debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin, the same year. The album was well received but failed commercially; after a sloppy cross-country tour, they hastily recorded Burrito Deluxe. Parsons was fired from the band before its release in early 1970. He soon signed with A&M Records, but after several unproductive sessions he canceled his intended solo debut in early 1971. Parsons moved to France, where he lived for a short period at Villa NellcĂ´te with his friend Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones. Returning to America, Parsons befriended Emmylou Harris, who assisted him on vocals for his first solo record, GP, released in 1973. Although it received enthusiastic reviews, the release failed to chart; his next album, Grievous Angel (released posthumously in 1974) met with a similar reception, and peaked at number 195 on Billboard. Parsons died of a drug overdose on September 19, 1973 in hotel room 8 at the Joshua Tree Inn at Joshua Tree, California, at the age of 26.

Since his death, Parsons has been recognized as an extremely influential artist, credited with helping to found both country rock and alt-country.
 His posthumous honors include the Americana Music Association "President's Award" for 2003, and a ranking at No. 87 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."


In the late 1960s, Parsons became enamored with Joshua Tree National Monument (now Joshua Tree National Park) in southeastern California. After splitting from Burrell, Parsons would frequently spend his weekends in the area with Margaret Fisher and Phil Kaufman. Before his tour was scheduled to commence in October 1973, Parsons decided to go on one more excursion. Accompanying him were Fisher, personal assistant Michael Martin, and Dale McElroy, Martin's girlfriend.
Less than two days after arriving, Parsons died on September 19, 1973, in Joshua Tree, California, at the age of 26 from an overdose of morphine and alcohol.[34][35] According to Fisher in the 2005 biography Grievous Angel: An Intimate Biography of Gram Parsons, the amount of morphine consumed by Parsons would be lethal to three regular users and thus he had likely overestimated his tolerance considering his experience with opiates. Fisher and McElroy were returned to Los Angeles by Kaufman, who dispersed the remnants of Parsons' stash in the desert.

Parsons' body disappeared from the Los Angeles International Airport where it was being readied to be shipped to Louisiana for burial. Prior to his death, Parsons stated that he wanted his body cremated at Joshua Tree and his ashes spread over Cap Rock, a prominent natural feature there; however, Parsons' stepfather arranged for a private ceremony back in New Orleans and neglected to invite any of his friends from the music industry. Two accounts claim that Bob Parsons stood to inherit Gram's share of his grandfather's estate if he could prove that Gram was a resident of Louisiana, explaining his eagerness to have him buried there.

To fulfill Parsons' funeral wishes, Kaufman and a friend stole his body from the airport and in a borrowed hearse drove it to Joshua Tree. Upon reaching the Cap Rock section of the park, they attempted to cremate Parsons' corpse by pouring five gallons of gasoline into the open coffin and throwing a lit match inside. What resulted was an enormous fireball. The police gave chase but, as one account puts it, "were encumbered by sobriety," and the men escaped.[35] The two were arrested several days later. Since there was no law against stealing a dead body, they were only fined $750[38] for stealing the coffin and were not prosecuted for leaving 35 pounds (16 kg) of his charred remains in the desert. Parsons's body was eventually buried in Garden of Memories of Metairie, Louisiana.

Parsons' makeshift memorial in Joshua Tree, California
The site of Parsons' cremation was marked by a small concrete slab and was presided over by a large rock flake known to rock climbers as The Gram Parsons Memorial Hand Traverse.[39] The slab has since been removed by the U.S. National Park Service, and relocated to the Joshua Tree Inn. There is no monument at Cap Rock noting Parsons' cremation at the site.[40] Joshua Tree park guides are given the option to tell the story of Parsons' cremation during tours, but there is no mention of the act in official maps or brochures.[40] Fans regularly assemble simple rock structures and writings on the rock, which the park service sand blasts to remove from time to time.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Local Music - Gram Rabbit

Gram Rabbit is a rock band based in Joshua Tree, California. The group consists of vocalist/keyboardist/bassist/guitarist Jesika von Rabbit, guitarist/bassist/programmer/vocalist Todd Rutherford, drummer Jason Gilbert and guitarist/producer Ethan Allen. Their musical style has been described as an amalgamation of psych-rock and electropop. Their fanbase is sometimes referred to as a self-styled "cult" called The Royal Order of Rabbits.

The band was formed in 2004 by von Rabbit and Rutherford, who had first met in 2003.[2] That same year, the outfit's debut album Music to Start a Cult To was recorded with Ethan Allen producing, and was released on the Stinky Records label. Gram Rabbit were hailed as best new LA Band in 2005 at the LA Weekly Music Awards. The momentum built during the release earned the band a Main Stage slot at 2005's Coachella Music and Arts Festival. The past six years have brought four more full lengths from the band. The spacey introspective “Cultivation” in 2006, the socially political-themed electro-rock “RadioAngel & the RobotBeat” in 2007, the epic spiritually driven “Miracles & Metaphors” in 2010, and the throwback spaced-out country styling’s of 2012’s “Welcome to the Country”. To date their records have produced more than 30 licenses in television series, National commercial campaigns, and film, with more than 20 different tracks used in these spots. NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CW, FX, Bravo, STARZ, and MTV have all used the bands music in hit shows like CSI, Life, the Real World, Sons of Anarchy, Crash, and Ten Things I Hate About You. Kyocera and Fruit of the Loom have used the music to promote their products in National television campaigns. Motion pictures such as “Crazy, Stupid, Love(Steve Carell, Emma Stone)”, “War Inc.(John Cusack)”, and “Interview(Steve Buscemi)”, have included the cinematic sounds of GR in their films. In 2008 the band released Rare Bits, which was a previously unreleased collection of the bands earliest home recordings.

The name Gram Rabbit is a combination of Gram Parsons and Jesika von Rabbit.[3] Jesika had been called "von Rabbit" on the music scene before meeting Rutherford, and after meeting, the duo played covers of Gram Parsons. (Note that Gram Parsons and Gram Rabbit both have strong ties to the Joshua Tree area, including the legendary burning of Parson's casket and remains).

2013 Visitors Guide Just Released

Joshua Tree Gateway Communities Visitors Guide 2013