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DS Exclusive: Jim Lindberg Talks Upcoming First-Of-Its-Kind BeachLife Festival, Featuring Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson and More

For moer than three decades, Jim Lindberg’s name has been synonymous not only with the punk scene primarily through his work with seminal SoCal vets Pennywise, but with the surf and sea cultures in Los Angeles’s South Bay as well. And while his “day job” projects like Pennywise and Wraths are still very much active, Lindberg has now lent his talents to a different, more behind-the-scenes role in the music scene: creative director of the upcoming BeachLife Festival.

If you’re not yet familiar, allow me to hum you a few bars. BeachLife is a first-of-its-kind festival taking place in Redondo Beach, California, from May 3rd through 5th. It’s happening outdoors at Seaside Lagoon, a beachfront park right in the heart of the community. As a bonus, BeachLife will also feature more intimate, acoustic performances from some of the festival’s performers that’ll take place not on a large stage but on-board a handful of the boats that’ll be moored in the adjoining harbor. The artists headlining the festival may not be the first performers that come to mind when you hear “Jim from Pennywise is the creative director of this festival.” Instead, it features some down-right legendary artists from across the musical landscape of the last fifty or sixty years: acts like Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Bob Weir, and Ziggy Marley.

We recently caught up with Lindberg over the phone from LA, where he was helping put the final preparatory touches in the lead-up to the festival. We spoke not only about the unique position that he finds himself in as a longtime performer at festivals around the world, but about just how much work went in to getting a massive, three-day festival off the ground. It all started with Allen Sanford, a local promoter who also happens to run the Hermosa Beach club Saint Rocke. “(Saint Rocke) is only about a 300-seater, but (Sanford) also started doing these concerts on the beach for Hermosa Beach, and he had a lot of good bands come down and play for them,” explains Lindberg. “A lot of mellower stuff, like Pepper, Revolution, Everclear…bands that would get by the city council’s purview. They didn’t want any bands like Pennywise coming down and playing, that’s for sure!

After a decade of putting on such shows in Hermosa Beach, 2019 finds Sanford focusing his efforts on the next beach down the coast: Redondo. They found an ideal venue in Seaside Lagoon, essentially a parking lot located right near what used to be the renowned Fleetwood nightclub that played home to many an early Black Flag/Circle Jerks/X/Germs show nearly four decades ago. The new spot allows for an even bigger event and some bigger artists than its Hermosa Beach predecessors. When it came time to put a lineup together, Lindberg notes that even though Redondo Beach was cool with the festival coming to town, prevailing wisdom was still to tread lightly with the type of acts that would be involved. Explains Lindberg: “Once you get that keystone artist… and for our case, it became Willie Nelson and Brian Wilson – the cool thing is there’s a ton of bands who look up to artists like Willie Nelson and Brian Wilson, and once we got them to open up their schedules and take a chance with this festival, all these other artists started lining up.” Those “other artists” that Lindberg refers to includes a cross-section of artists like Grace Potter, Everclear, Slightly Stoopid, Violent Femmes, Berlin (yes, THAT Berlin) and Chevy Metal, which features Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins. For Lindberg, the hope is to not only continue BeachLife for years down the road, but to bring a little more of his personal musical wheelhouse to the table. “In successive years, if we should be lucky enough to keep doing this,” he notes,”we want to get a lot more edgy bands, some punk bands, on there. We just have to ease into that with the city.”

Lindberg views the BeachLife Festival not only as a way to bring live music back to the South Bay, but to help promote a variety of causes that are near and dear to his heart. Lindberg has long championed the idea of using his platform as a means to raise awareness to issues that effect his local community and lifestyle, most notably when he  served on the Board of Directors for the Surfrider Foundation, a charity that’ll be in attendance at BeachLife. “Growing up at the beach and being a lifetime surfer, I definitely wanted it to be a situation where we were giving back to the beach community,” says Lindberg. “We have Surfrider Foundation involved. Also Life Rolls On, which is Jesse Billauer’s foundation for people in wheelchairs and getting them out surfing and into ocean therapy and things like that. Also, Five Gyres, which is involved with reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans, so we have all these great causes we’re working with, and at the end of the day, we’re just trying to put on a really cool festival at the beach with some really great artists and give back to the community.”

Head below to check out our full chat with the great Jim Lindberg – including what it’s like to be in the situation where you have to get the local police department on board with your outdoor festival idea, which is not necessarily the easiest task when you’re the same guy that sang “Fuck Authority.” You can also head here to check out the full rundown on BeachLife, including where to find tickets!

X announce West Coast and Southwestern shows

L.A. punk legends X will be playing a series of West Coast and Southwestern shows this month and in July and August, some of which will feature support from The Psychedelic Furs. The dates and locations are below.

X’s last album containing new material, Hey Zeus!, was released in 1993 on Big Life Records. However, the band stated a while ago that there will be new music; we’ll keep you posted once we get more details on that.

DS Photo Gallery: Riot Fest Chicago – Day One (Nine Inch Nails, X, Buzzcocks and more)

The weekend of September 15-17 saw the annual return of Riot Fest. Riot Fest 2017 was held for the 12th consecutive year in Chicago and for the third consecutive year in Douglas Park. Riot Fest saw an eclectic crowd turn out, including multiple generations of families. There were too many young punk fans, some just a few months old with mohawks and iconic band tees, to count. 

Day 1, held on September 15th, saw, per usual, a wide variety of acts. As with every previous year, legends and veterans gained the headlining spots and the most attention. In this case, the top billed act for Day 1 of Riot Fest, was Nine Inch Nails

NIN also remains relevant for the prolific film and television scoring work that lead singer Trent Reznor and his collaborator Atticus Ross outside of the group. The duo won the 2011 Oscar for the Score for the film The Social Network. Their work for the currently being broadcast and critically acclaimed 10 part PBS documentary by Ken Burns/Lynn Novick “The Vietnam War” is receiving equal acclaim to the reception of the documentary itself.

The NIN set also demonstrated that the group is as electric as ever. Classics such as “Closer” and “Head Like a Hole” had the large crowd at a fever pitch. However, capping the set; and the night out with  “Hurt” was an emotional gut punch. It has always been a powerful song, but as covered by Johnny Cash, that emotional shot to the heart was upgraded several notches, especially as performed in the video accompanying it. Johnny would lose his beloved June Carter Cash just three months after the filming of the video, and he followed her 4 months later.  It seemed on this night that NIN was not merely playing one of their own best tunes, but rather, they were also singing it in tribute to one of our most beloved, acclaimed and greatest singer-songwriters. Again, an absolute emotional gut punch and shot to the heart. Not something many people would immediately associate with or expect from what started out as a punk rock festival, at least those with little knowledge of this music.

Also, per usual, several veteran acts played one of their albums in full. On day 1, X did the honors with their classic album, “Los Angeles.”  Singer Exene Cervanka wore a black t-shirt emblazoned with her surname on the back and the Los Angeles Dodger log on the front. But a good portion of the crowd (made up of both citizens of the Chicago area, as well as fans who traveled in from other states and other nations) surely appreciated it when she donned a black baseball cap (with a slightly altered color-wise version of) the iconic 4 stars from the City of Chicago flag. X also proved they still have the chops and the songs are still highly adored by their fans. 

One of the most powerful sets was that of Saul Williams. He repeatedly challenged the crowd to face truths about the turbulent times brought on in large part by the current occupiers of the White House and Congressional majority party. He made it known, though perhaps not stated outright, that he was about speaking truth to power; and that words of condemnation are not enough,. His message remains that music is meant to spark change. Williams also repeatedly sent out calls to action with his oft-repeated refrain of “Your punk ain’t punk if you don’t smash Fascists.”

Other day 1 acts demonstrated quite the contrary to Riot Fest’s official and self-deprecating motto “Riot Fest Sucks,”  They included legends such as Buzzcocks and Ministry; and newer groups: The Hotelier, Death From Above; and The Story So Far.

It may be popular to hate on musical fests, including Riot Fest; something as noted above, at which the organizers playful wink. However, perhaps the only thing that truly sucked about day 1 was the blazing heat. It reached into the at least the mid to high 80’s but felt even hotter for those making their ways from stage to stage and the carnival areas. Head below to see our full photo gallery from Day 1 of Riot Fest Chicago, and stay tuned for coverage from Days 2 and 3 soon!

X announce annual “A Family X-Mas” Holiday tour

L.A. punk legends X have announced their annual Holiday “X-Mas” shows, which includes mostly shows in California, two shows in Oregon and one in Seattle. The dates and locations are below.

X’s last album containing new material, Hey Zeus!, was released in 1993 on Big Life Records. The band recently announced that they will put out a new album in the future.

D.J. Bonebrake on the possibility of new X album

In a recent interview, X drummer D.J. Bonebrake said that there is a possibility the iconic L.A. punk band will put out a new album, but not anytime soon. He explains:

“You never know. There’s always a possibility we’ll put out some new material, but it’s not going to be soon. We’ve talked about working on new stuff, but to actually make it happen is more difficult.”

X’s last album containing new material, Hey Zeus!, was released in 1993 on Big Life Records.

TNT Fest 2014 announces lineup (X, Cro-Mags, Sheer Terror, and more)

Hartford, CT-based TNT Fest has just announced a major lineup for their 2014 Labor Day Weekend festival, which takes place annually The Webster Theater and will feature a number of of punk and Oi! bands.

Groups performing at the festival include Judge, X, Cro-Mags, Negative Approach, Sheer Terror, Jook, Bad Co. Project, and many more. You can view the full lineup on the poster above.

A variety of food trucks will be available for fest-goers throughout the weekend and a number of record vendors will be present for music and merch.

For greater detail on the festival, you can find more information here.

X to play first four albums over four nights in four cities, announce other dates as well

L.A. punk rock legends X have announced plans to play their first four albums ,over four nights ,in four different cities.

According to the group:

“With our 4 album plays in LA, NYC, Chicago and Cleveland the band will be performing their first four records in their entirety with guest musicians helping the band to recreate live the recorded versions of their songs. Some of the songs have never been performed live by the original line up.”.

The band will also be playing select acoustic dates on the West Coast, and regular shows while on the tour.

You can find out when they are coming to your town by clicking below.

Bad Religion announce one-off show in O.C. with X

After their summer European tourBad Religion will play a one off show in Orange County with L.A. punk legends X. The show, which is part of the O.C. Fair series, will take place at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa on July 17th, and tickets go on sale this Saturday, March 29th at 10am PST.

Bad Religion last released Christmas Songs on October 29, 2013 on Epitaph Records, and are currently working on a new album.

Contest: Win a set of vinyl test pressings from X

X are regarded as one of the finest punk bands ever to emerge from Los Angeles.

You can celebrate their annual X-Mas tour as well as the release of the hand numbered edition of their new vinyl box set “The Masterpiece Collection” by entering this contest to win a set of Test Pressings of the albums “Los Angeles,” “Wild Gift,” “Under the Big Black Sun,” and “More Fun in the New World.” You can see the entire package here.

All you have to do is fill out the form below below! We’ll pick the winners on December 31.

“The Masterpiece Collection” from Porterhouse Records is due in stores on November 29, and the band’s X-mas tour dates are here.

X to release “Masterpiece Collection” via Porterhouse Records

Los Angeles punk icons X have teamed up with Porterhouse Records to release their “Masterpiece Collection” box set, featuring remastered versions of the band’s first four albums “Los Angeles,” “Wild Gift,” “Under the Big Black Sun,” and “More Fun in the New World.” Additionally, the box includes a photo booklet and the band comments on the making of all four of the albums.

Head over here to check out pre-orders for the collection.

X to support Blondie on “No Principals Tour”

L.A. punk legends X have been announced a supporting act for Blondie‘s upcoming “No Principals Tour”, which will take place this September and October. Here’s what X had to say about the tour:

“We have been waiting a long time for this one! How great is this bill? New York and Los Angeles together, coast to coast. Blondie has invited us to some cities we haven’t been to in a while or ever! Can’t wait to play these shows!

We kick off September 5th on the East Coast and will hit some great cities including Atlantic City, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Nashville, Atlanta and Philadelphia before wrapping October 4th in New York City at Roseland Ballroom. Also, every ticket purchased for the tour will include five exclusive new Blondie tracks from their upcoming album.”

All the dates can be found here.

X haven’t released an album featuring new material since 1993’s Hey Zeus!, but keep your fingers crossed for new music from the band. As for Blondie, they are currently working on a follow-up to 2011’s Panic of Girls.

The Doors keyboardist and X producer Ray Manzarek dead at 74

The Doors may have never been a punk rock band, but their keyboardist and one of the founding members of the band Ray Manzarek died today at the age of 74.

According to Washington Post, Ray died in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family, said publicist Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald. Robinson-Fitzgerald said his manager, Tom Vitorino, confirmed Manzarek died after being stricken by bile duct cancer.

Ray is not only famous for being the keyboardist of The Doors, but he is also notable for producing influential albums, such as X‘s 1980 debut album Los Angeles, which contained a cover version of “Soul Kitchen” (the original is taken from The Doors’ 1967 iconic debut self-titled album), and their next three albums, Wild Gift (1981), Under the Big Black Sun (1982) and More Fun in the New World (1983).