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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Code Blue - Code Blue
In 1980, Code Blue, a no-nonsense power trio featuring Dean Chamberlain of The Motels, released its first and only studio album. Although commercial success on a grand scale was not to be, the band's potent melodic concoction remains one of the most original sounds of the New Wave.

While at U.C. Berkeley, Chamberlain formed the group that would become The Motels. Soon after relocating to L.A., the unit fractured as singer Martha Davis became the primary focus, attracting attention from none other than Phil Spector. Chamberlain left to form Skin with drummer Randall Marsh and Michael Ostendorf on bass. Soon they had a record deal with Warner Bros. and a new name, Code Blue. Nigel Grey, fresh from work on the first two Police albums, signed on as producer, and Gary Tibbs of The Vibrators replaced Ostendorf on bass.

After initial sessions at the legendary Olympic Studios in London and overdubs at Grey's studio in the south of England, the band shifted stateside and work continued in L.A. with engineer Mike Stone. Released in 1980, Code Blue harnessed the raw, melodic spirit of the New Wave without relying on its musical cliches. While less heralded than some of their '80s contemporaries, Code Blue brought their delightful "Whisper/Touch" to the classic teen film Pretty In Pink, cementing their place among the finest the decade had to offer.

Also included on this expanded, remastered edition are 12 bonus tracks, including demos, live performances, and 2003 remixes of "Whisper/Touch" and "Hurt."

Code Blue is available as an individually numbered limited edition of 2,500 copies. Get it at: www.rhinohandmade.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
hey y'all-

thanks for signing up to receive all the latest rancho information. the support of our lovely friends has made 2003 a very successful year for great music.

we've managed to upgrade our equipment, adding pro-tools, with help from the alternator guys, eleven's alain johannes and bingo's pal from portland, yasha. we've also installed a classic neotek elan console. many thanks to hutch for getting that neotek out here & to our new friend - and tony mason's father, bobby's, lifelong friend - jimmi mayweather, as well as tim johnson & robben david, for getting it up & running, as it were...

we also celebrated the tenth anniversary of fred drake's rancho in may with an amazing three night concert and party, with fred's parents (jo & charles) and sister, melanie, in attendance, featuring fantastic performances by lots of our rancho friends: the aliens?, elia arce, barking pupfish, dean chamberlain, devil's acre (cathy cooper), robert floyd and wendee lee, joe city garcia, chris goss, adriene jenik, shawn mafia, marcus kuilland-nazario, geoffrey long, lisa marr, martinez del rio, tony mason, the millionheirs, moroccan, ted quinn, linda carmela sibio, billy stobo, the stumblejunkies and victoria williams.

other highlights included a chanupa ceremony at the cottonwood tree, jell-o shots at the joshua tree saloon, a massive cambodian feast at the country kitchen, swimming at the joshua tree inn and the presence of one tattoo'd, pierced and dread-locked woman with a bone through her nose and a pet black and white laying hen upon her shoulder.

this year started with the recording and ends with the release (as soon as it's released by US customs!) of josh homme's desert sessions volume 9 & 10 (island records), with guest artists including chris goss, pj harvey, alan johannes, twiggy ramirez and dean ween. david catching engineered the sessions and co-wrote and played on a bunch of the songs.

other rancho recordings due, or just recently released, include: mark lanegan's second rancho-recorded solo album; orquesta desierto 'dos'; shawn mafia's 'tales from a street corner confessional;' debut solo works by tony mason ('individuals & boundaries') and ted quinn ('help wanted') and the great sounds of moroccan and yellow # 5.

dean chamberlain's great 1980's band, code blue, has a limited edition re-issue coming out on rhino handmade records on october 14. live shows will coincide with the release. also, there's a collection out there by the quick, billy bizeau's 1976 power pop band - featuring danny wilde (rembrandts) and steve hufstedter (the cruzados.) no word as yet on a quick reunion tour.

special thanks go to chris goss, ruben martinez, outrage, sparta and david yandell, for their help in keeping our front door open this year. many thanks to our other great clients this year, including: jason colker, concrete blonde, digital d's soundtrack sessions for 'jailbait,' dave houle, jupiter shifter, lo 5 and jesse tate.

currently, the studio is booked solid through the end of the year, minus a few open days at the end of october. now is the time to book time for the new year. january in the desert is beautiful, wth snow gathering atop the joshua trees in the national park and the wood-burning stove keeping everyone nice and toasty inside.

the rancho is now also offering the two-bedroom 'middle house' as a daily, weekly and monthly rental. it's great for bands recording at the rancho, some more room to spread out, or for any of our friends just wanting to spend some time in the desert.

we wish you all a great end of the year. we'll see you in 2004 (or in late october '03!) be sure to join the hallowe'en party at the greek theatre in hollywood's griffith park, with queens of the stone age, chris goss' masters of reality (with david catching sitting in), tomahawk and the cramps!!

happy trails,

the partners at rancho de la luna

contact the rancho by e-mailing:
or by calling (760) 366-3498

Friday, October 03, 2003
while doing a search for more news on the 'desert sessions 9 & 10' customs bust, we came across this site full of vintage photos from 'ds 7 & 8' featuring some great shots of fred drake, kashmir, smokey the bear, 'porkchop' aka duke, sam maloney, brendon mcnichol, mark lanegan, chris goss, alan johannes & josh homme (who is erroneously listed as the owner of the rancho de la luna!!) we all know this is fred drake's studio, even today. in a related story, josh said he hopes to do 'desert sessions 119 & 120' here at the rancho and all the desert sessions in between. for an inside peek, go to: http://www.rekordsrekords.com/photos_01.html



DESERT SESSIONS, the ongoing collaborations project founded by QOTSA frontman JOSH HOMME, has been busted on the week before its release.

'Desert Sessions 9 & 10' is released on Monday, and was due to have been available on limited-edition vinyl alongside the CD release.

However, the entire 5,000 consignment of 12" editions has been seized at customs at New York's JFK Airport. A spokesperson for the collective's UK label, Island, could not confirm why the records had been seized or whether they would be returned or destroyed.

'Desert Sessions 9 & 10' features Homme alongside PJ Harvey and former Marilyn Manson guitarist Twiggy Ramirez. A single, 'Crawl Home' is released on November 3.

('Desert Sessions 9 & 10' was recorded at Rancho de la Luna.)

ORQUESTA DEL DESIERTO "dos", new album CD, in stores: October the 27th.

In respect to the music of our time, Orquesta del Desierto is reminiscent of something that flittered over the waves of AM radio when cars still had the look of muscle and romance. A combination of Latin beats, mariachi horns, rock grooves, and a heavy blues influence, Orquesta del Desierto takes all that is the Mojave desert and paints its portrait in sound.

Started in the confines of the Coachella Valley, and inspired by the insanity of the heat, sand and mountains, the first Orquesta del Desierto release (Meteorcity Records 2002) was labeled as a turning point in Latin and heavy blues music. "If all goes the way it should be, this record will break new ground, as it defines a new genre of its own. A new trademark in a way, the blueprint to a new kind of music." Laurent Remizalles, Transit Magazine.

Conceived by producer Dandy Brown (Hermano) during periods of experimentation in the high and low desert of southeastern California, Orquesta del Desierto is a new flavor of music that draws upon the influences of an assortment of musical styles and takes them forward in a combination that has a breath of desert air. Uniting the experimental genius of singer Pete Stahl (Wool, Goatsnake, earthlings?), and guitarists Mario Lalli (Desert Sessions, Fatso Jetson), Country Mark Engel, and Mike Riley, Orquesta del Desierto's first release was critically acclaimed by independent music publications and fans around the world.

Recorded and produced by Steve Dandy Brown at the historic Rancho de la Luna studio in Joshua Tree, CA, and The Green Room, Palm springs, CA, The new album from ORQUESTA DEL DESIERTO, "Dos", delivers a beautiful collection of songs, "classic songs" reminiscent of old giants such as Neil Young, Creem, Bill Withers, and the sounds spawned from Motown.

Dandy says:" After ironing out all of the rough edges from the first release, and everyone having time to gel with the concept of the project, this time around I think we have come up with something extremely special, and certainly more along the lines of how I envisioned this project from the beginning"(...)

"After talking with Pete Stahl about where to begin the production on this record, he was the one who convinced me that Rancho was the place to track. I already knew the sounds that had come out of Rancho, and my first stop upon moving to Joshua Tree was there. I instantly fell in love with the location, and knew that we could turn out something special in that studio". "My first encounter with Rancho came through the recordings I heard from there. Listening to the Kyuss, earthlings?, and Queens of the Stoneage recordings that came out of there, I could definitely hear something in the texture of those records that was placed there by the studio itself".

Since the days of the mighty Kyuss , no one has been able to express the beauty of the desert with such personality, honesty and subtlety. Truly, this is the definitive step forward and a turning point in the so called "Stoner Rock" genre of music . . . carrying the all the emotion of the bands identified with that scene but taking it beyond any label or comparison.

"Dos" is the perfect soundtrack for the emotions of any season. Somewhere between classic Santana and Gram Parsons under Castaneda´s influence, this record is a magic trip through the Mojave desert.

Released in a co-effort by The Stone Circle (Alone + Freebird) in Europe and Meteorcity in USA , hitting the shelves from late October 2003 to the end of January 2004 in different territories worldwide.

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