Gram Rabbit, from Joshua Tree, California, has been around for at least a decade and has released several albums, beginning with 2004’s Music to Start a Cult To. An underwear manufacturer broke them out in a big way when one of Gram Rabbit’s originals was licensed for a national television campaign. But then, licensing has always been an integral cog in the Gram Rabbit machine. Their music’s been all over cable-TV dramas — Sons of Anarchy and the like. It’s easy to see how that could happen. Gram Rabbit wears many musical hats, most of which are unrelated. Country rock? Got that. Electro-dance? Got that, too. “Desert space rocktronica,” Gram Rabbit calls it.
...from Gram Rabbit's Welcome to the Country album
The savvy reader will no doubt connect Gram Rabbit, Joshua Tree, and the late Gram Parsons, who died in a motel there in 1973 at the age of 26. The father of alt-country formed the Flying Burrito Brothers with ex–San Diegan Chris Hillman before he OD’d in his room. That Parsons’s remains were appropriated by his manager and burned near Cap Rock only enhances the man’s dark legend.
- Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
$22 - $39
Jesika von Rabbit fronts the group. A small-scale Lady Gaga, she’s a kind of Halloween Playboy-bunny type originally from Green Bay; she had a high school band back in Wisconsin called Porn Flakes. She met future Gram Rabbit member Todd Rutherford after she fled the music scene in Los Angeles for the sanctity of the high desert. Rutherford was deep into Parsons and Emmylou Harris and so on, and he connected Rabbit to that music. With producer/guitarist Ethan Allen and drummer Jason Gilbert, Gram Rabbit went on to win Best New Artist from LA Weekly and landed on the main stage at Coachella. So, how do they make all of their cinematic alt-country dance-floor grooves work? That remains a mystery. There’s no sense of continuity. Nothing fits. Don’t even try to get a handle on it.
Eagles of Death Metal also perform.