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Saturday, September 27, 2003


Until now, Tony Mason has been seen as a man behind the scenes, whether recording stoner rock such as Queens of the Stone Age offshoot, Desert Sessions - or many of the bands from around the world who have gone there in pilgrimage - at Rancho de la Luna, the Joshua Tree recording studio which the late Fred Drake entrusted to Mason and a handful of other friends, or mixing sound at local outdoor concerts and festivals, contributing ambient music to Elia Arce's First Woman on the Moon, or playing with friends Bingo and Ted Quinn, in the Bingo Band and Dig Your Own Cactus, respectively.

Simultaneous to working on all of these projects, Mason has whipped up a rich, heavy body of Rock, the first solo recorded disc of which, "Individuals and Boundaries," is now in release. Friday the 3rd of October Mason will perform the album in full power trio formation at the Beatnik Cafe in Joshua Tree.

Bingo returns from Portland with his own new CD in hand, to take up bass in Mason's trio, with Roland Gagney (ex-Vedic) on drums. Bingo will perform some of his tunes with Mason/Gagney as his back-up. Also, Quinn will do some Quinn/Mason songs, including one from his new "Help Wanted" CD, with the Mason band.

Tony Mason Band
with Special Guests
Ted Quinn
Beatnik Cafe
Joshua Tree
Friday, October 3

Saturday, September 06, 2003
our hearts go out to the family and friends of Derek Bellman, an artist and musician, bass player for the Aliens?, who was murdered in his home on wednesday, september 3rd, as Dana and Barry waited for him to arrive at a gig in North Hollywood. Details of the terrible crime are still being put together but police think that Derek was killed by someone he knew. A cruel irony is that the police think Derek's missing guitar may have been the murder weapon. Derek and the rest of the Aliens? helped the Rancho celebrate our tenth anniversary in May by performing at the Beatnik.

The Aliens? have been such a major part of the Rancho since they formed several years ago, to open a show for the Earthlings? Lately, Dana and Barry have been helping us move forward around here, always with a true spirit of comraderie and great humor. We can only imagine the feeling of loss they are experiencing and ask for Derek's family to gain some degree of consolation from the work he leaves behind.

It was a strange week, as Fred Burke said, 'of floods and green grass.' Dana was helping Tony and I set up for a recording/rehearsal session with the fabulous Concrete Blonde on Wednesday afternoon, when hail the size of quarters came shooting across the desert, bouncing like ping-pong balls shot from an airgun. As Mars pulls away, we've had at least one or two storms a week for the past six weeks. The old dirt roads are being challenged by occasional streams and rivers, but the floor of the desert is covered with ankle high grass, the cacti are blooming in technicolor. What do you do? Keep on going when you must, stop and observe when you can.

This afternoon, Jupiter Shifter, another visitor from another planet, Las Vegas, is here at the Rancho, resuming the process of making the desert rock.

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