February 8, 2016

Judy Collins Brings 50 Years of Hits to Cave

Judy Collins didn’t intend to do a remake of a Stephen Sondheim song that 40 years earlier had spent 27 weeks on the pop charts and earned her a Grammy Award nomination.

Singer-songwriter Judy Collins But for her latest album of duets on which she’s joined by heavyweights Willie Nelson, Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Buffett among others, Don McLean of “American Pie” fame wanted to sing “Send in the Clowns.”

“I wanted to do `Vincent’ with him,” Collins said of the McLean classic. “He said, `You’re going to laugh but I want to do `Send in the Clowns.’ I told him I’m not laughing and it came out so beautifully.” That it did, one of the signature songs of her latest release, “Strangers Again,” her first studio album in four years which was released last fall and immediately charted on Billboard while soaring to the top spot on Amazon.

Expect Collins to sing it on her own, sans McLean, at The Cave Big Bear one night only on February 13 at 7:30 p.m. Along with others songs from the album, a mix of newer songs and classics, from “Someday Soon” with Jimmy Buffet to the Randy Newman hit “Feels Like Home” on which she sings with Jackson Browne. “Plus I’ll sing older classics and a couple surprises too,” she said.

Her captivating sweet voice has seemingly stayed unchanged through five decades of entertaining. Collins received international acclaim in 1967 for her landmark cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides, Now” from the album “Wildflowers” which has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Six years earlier her debut release “A Maid of Constant Sorrow” was well-received too. Through the years she’s proven herself one of music’s most versatile singers, performing folk, show tunes, pop, rock and roll and standards over the course of some 50 albums, garnering several top ten hits and gold- and platinum-selling releases in the process.

“I love things that are beautiful and Judy Collins songs,” she said during a 15-minute interview from New York. “Singing what I love.”

And at age 76 Collins is hardly slowing down. She still performs a hundred shows each year, she has two new CDs in the works even as “Strangers Again” continues to draw a new generation of listeners, and a book is in the works.

“Everything is just getting going,” she said. “If I was a rancher I’d be tired. They work all the time. I’m lucky. I learned long ago music is not 24-7, it’s 48-14.”

The singer-songwriter has done just about everything. Collins co-directed an  Academy Award-nominated film “Portrait of a Woman” about Antonia Brico, the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world—and Collins’ classical piano teacher when she was young and it looked like she might become a concert pianist after dazzling with Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos” at age 13.

She performed “Amazing Grace” and “Chelsea Morning” at President Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993—the Clintons named their daughter after the song. Well-known as an activist, she testified at the Chicago 7 trial, when she broke into song and was admonished by the judge. She sang in the USSR and Poland in 1965.

Her live shows are legendary making seeing her in an intimate venue like The Cave a must. In 2012 she released “Judy Collins Live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art” which aired on PBS and was nominated for a New York Emmy and won bronze at the 2013 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards. She followed up with another live recording in Ireland at Dromoland Castle which won similar awards and also was shown on PBS.

All this despite battling polio as a child. “At about age 10 I was in the hospital for about two months, the first in isolation and another month of rehab. I was lucky and didn’t have any residual issues.”

Upclose and personal seats start at just $38. Call (909) 878-0204 or visit www.thecavebigbear.com.

February 5, 2016

`Snowed In' at Bear with Kalin & Myles, Dawin

Get “Snowed In” at Bear Mountain with free performances by Dawin and Kalin & Myles during Power 106’s annual party on the slopes Saturday, February 6.

The slopeside party on the 13,000 sq. ft. deck features free live performance by Dawin Polanco, best known for last year’s hit single “Dessert” which has over 70 million views on YouTube and peaked at #6 on the official New Zealand Music Chart. His 2014 single “Just Girly Things” reached #2 on the iTunes Electronic chart last year.

Dawin launched his career with a six-second snippet of his debut single and posting it as a Vine online. Now his Facebook page has over a half-million likes and one week after taking the stage at Bear, he’ll be performing in Dubai before heading down under for shows in New Zealand and Australia throughout February.

Also performing is the duo Kalin and Myles. Kalin White and Myles Parrish recorded their debut song “More Than Friends” in 2011 and debut EPs Chasing Dreams and Chase Dreams followed, with the latter reaching #6 on the Rap Albums chart in 2014. Videos like their breakout hit “Summertime Love” jumpstarted their careers.

Kalin & Myles were nominated for a Teen Choice Award last year in the category “Choice Music: Next Big Thing” and traveled the East Coast during the “Just for Fun” tour with Timeflies while supporting their self-titled debut album.

February 4, 2016

Friedman Brings Roswell, UFOs Down to Earth

At the end of a typical lecture Stanton Friedman likes to ask the audience one question: “Have you seen a flying saucer?
“Hands will cautiously go up as they look around at each other, and about 10% will admit they’ve seen one,” the nuclear physicist and renowned Ufologist said. “Then I ask how many reported it. All the hands immediately go down.”

Friedman has made a career as probably the nation’s most recognizable UFO authority by keeping his up. Early lectures after he became interested in UFOs in 1958 to fellow nuclear physicists in Los Alamos— birthplace of the atomic bomb— and engineers in Detroit were titled “Flying Saucers are Real.” How much chutzpah did that take? Yet after speaking at over 600 colleges and 100 professional groups in 50 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces and 18 other countries the past 50 years, Friedman said he’s only faced 11 hecklers.

People take his viewpoints on the subject serious, as audiences during the first “Space & Alien Snowfest” at the Convention Center at Big Bear Lake, home of Oktoberfest, on February 5-7 will discover. There’s no denying his credentials; he worked 14 years as a nuclear physicist for GE, GM, Westinghouse, TRW Systems, Aerojet General Nucleonics and McDonnell Douglas on highly advanced, classified and eventually cancelled programs like nuclear aircraft, fission and fusion rockets, and other high-tech stuff.

Yet Friedman’s no egghead; our 90-minute interview was filled with laughs and jokes as he discussed otherworldly lingo and science in down-to-Earth language. Which is why he’s a favorite authority on History Channel shows like “Ancient Aliens” and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs including Larry King in 2007 and twice in 2008. Friedman has provided written testimony to Congressional Hearings and appeared twice at the United Nations.

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February 2, 2016

Puddle of Mudd, Hal Ketchum, Judy Collins, More at Cave

Artists like Judy Collins and country legend Hal Ketchum and name bands including Puddle of Mudd, Buckcherry and Fishbone make February a month of headliners at The Cave Big Bear.

Last month was epic at The Cave with Los Lobos, Jack Russell’s Great White and Dale Bozzio and Missing Persons performing up close and personal feet from the audience, and February promises to be just as exciting.

PUDDLE OF MUDD has sold over seven million albums and brings a string of mainstream rock hit singles to The Cave on Feb. 6. Their major label debut “Come Clean” sold over five albums itself and the 2007 release “Psycho” was a smash single from the album “Famous” along with the single of the same name and was also certified gold. Thus earning Puddle of Mudd Billboard’s #1 Mainstream Rock Song of the year and #2 Rock Band of the Year, finishing behind Foo Fighters. Other hit Puddle of Mudd songs include “Blurry” and “Spin You Around.” Tickets start at $25 and audiences never know what to expect at a Puddle of Mudd show.

Headliner weekend follows starting with HAL KETCHUM on Friday, Feb. 12. The country legend has released 11 albums in his amazing career and he’s had 17 songs hit the Hot Country charts. Three of his singles, “Small Town Saturday Night,” “Past the Point of Rescue” and “Hearts are Gonna Roll” all reached #2 on the chart with three others—“Sure Love,” “Mama Knows the Highway” and “Stay Forever”—entering the Top Ten.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 15 years ago, Ketchum took a five-year hiatus from music to focus on his health. Now he’s touring again armed with songs from his 2014 album “I’m the Troubadour” and The Cave is one of only three Southland shows. Tickets start at $25.

Singer-songwriter JUDY COLLINS takes the stage next night on Feb. 13 (click here for interview) before the big weekend concludes with special Valentine’s show on Feb. 14. “Point Break Live!” is an action stage show that thrilled audiences and critics for over five years and returns to the Southland for a limited engagement with the original cast.

It’s a wild and crazy spoof of the 1991 classic film starring Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, an ex-college football star turned undercover agent. With one twist: someone out of the audience gets the starring role! The unrehearsed volunteer is voted for by the rest of the audience. Staying in your seat doesn’t ensure anonymity though, for viewers get robbed at gunpoint, wet, blood spilled on them or...you get the idea. All in great fun with LA Weekly and others raving about the show. Tickets $20.

Buckcherry plays The Cave Big Bear Feb. 19, 2016Two more top shows are on tap the next weekend. BUCKCHERRY on Feb. 19 brings hard-edged rock to The Cave with hits songs like “Crazy Bitch” and Billboard Hot 100 top ten hit “Sorry.”

The band’s gold-selling self-titled debut album in 1999 featured the smash hit “Lit Up” and some 15 years later it released an edgy F-bomb laced EP. In between albums like “15” and “Confessions” turned Buckcherry into a multi-platinum phenomenon. Tickets start at $30.

Next night on Feb. 20 FISHBONE presents its unique mix of American ska, funk, punk, rock and fusion. The band has toured the world with the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, George Clinton, The Dead Kennedy’s and many more. Up tempo music and entertaining stage show continues to make Fishbone fan favorites, at Coachella in 2014, Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Blues Fest and more.

“Freddie’s Dead” is one of the iconic hits and other favorites include “Party at Ground Zero” and “Everyday Sunshine.” Tickets priced from $15.

On Feb. 27 DSB Band presents its classic tribute to JOURNEY. Vegas Rocks! Magazine named DSB Band top Journey tribute band as it captures the power and energy of the 1980’s supergroup and vocalist Steve Perry in their prime.

DSB has played national premier venues singing the many chart-topping Journey hits. Including at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood for “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands.” Juan del Castillo is amazing as he captures the legendary voice of Steve Perry but the whole band is tight and puts on a great show—dance floor should be busy. Tickets start at $20.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with shows at 7:30.  The Cave; 40789 Village Dr.  (909) 878-0204 or www.thecavebigbear.com.

January 28, 2016

Out of This World Fun at Alien Snowfest

Renowned speakers like national radio host George Noory and stars from the television series “Ancient Aliens” bring UFOs down to Earth during three days of otherworldly adventure February 5-7.

The first “Space & Alien Snowfest” at the Convention Center at Big Bear Lake features some of the biggest names in UFOology discussing alien sightings, abductions, secret space programs and more. Discover evidence of past visitations and the not-so-distant exploration of Mars as well as government cover-ups during panel discussions, movie screenings, meet and greets and much more.

Noory hosts the nationally syndicated program “Coast to Coast AM” and is heard by millions of listeners on some 564 stations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Guam. He was recruited to guest host the show by Art Bell and took over hosting duties of the phenomenally successful overnight program in 2003 following Bell’s retirement. He captivates listeners with discussions of paranormal phenomena, time travel, alien abductions, conspiracies and other curious and unexplained topics.

Also appearing at Space & Alien Snowfest is famed nuclear physicist and UFO expert Stanton Friedman who ironically was Noory’s first interview when he started in radio on a Detroit station. Friedman is well known from appearances on History Channel programs. He has lectured at over 600 colleges and 100 professional groups in all 50 States, 10 Canadian provinces and 18 countries. (Pick up February 2016 Big Bear Today for interview with Friedman or check back to this site and it will be posted online)

Friedman has published more than 90 UFO papers appeared on countless radio and television programs including Larry King. He is the original civilian investigator of the Roswell Incident. “Top Secret/MAJIC,” his controversial book about the Majestic 12 group, has gone through six printings with an expanded new edition published in 2005. He has provided written testimony to Congressional Hearings and twice appeared at the United Nations. Friedman  was presented with a Lifetime UFO Achievement Award by UFO Magazine of the UK and will be given a similar honor in Big Bear.

The conference is star-laden to be sure, featuring participants who have reported for television and radio programs on the History Channel, CNN, Discovery and others about Area 51, unexplained sightings and more. From “Ancient Aliens” attendees will recognize Jason Martell, Mike Bara, Linda Moulton Howe and Marshall Klanfield. The lineup also includes expert UFOologists Micah Hanks, Richard Dolan and Chase Kloetzke.

The conference opener on Friday, Feb. 5 features Hanks presenting “UFOs and the Hidden History of Aviation.” Other highlights include the movie screening of “Stranger at the Pentagon” by Emmy nominated and award winning filmmaker Craig Campobasso. Noory and Friedman talk Saturday with the latter discussing “Star Travel” and on Sunday Friedman is back with “Truth About MJ-12.”

Space & Alien Snowfest isn’t all business though; an ice sculpting contest is scheduled along with workshops. Attend all three days for $179.

Call (909) 648-5776 or visit www.aliensnowfest.com.

January 18, 2016

Learning Aerial Tricks is `In the Bag'

Want to learn how to stick sick jumps and insane air, without paying the consequences of a hard landing? At Bear Mountain getting better at going off jumps is in the “Bag.”

Learn aerial tricks on the bag jump at Big Bear resortsThe High Cascade Air Bag debuts on select weekends at both resorts. The giant 50’x50’ air bag makes learning new tricks or dialing in old ones a snap, as skiers and snowboarders launch themselves off a sick jump without worrying about having to stick the landing.

Flip, twist or corkscrew away; landing in the jump is just like flopping onto a giant pillow, marshmallow soft. Bear has featured a bag jump the past couple seasons as a sponsor promotion, but the High Cascade Bag Jump will be on the slopes select weekends all winter long. Bag jump costs just $10 and skiers and snowboarders are free to use it all day.

Plus there’s no age limit. “Before riders had to be 21 and over to use the bag jump,” said Bear’s Clayton Shoemaker. “Lots of kids wanted to try it but couldn’t. Now it’s open to everyone.”

Plans call for two different takeoffs into the bag, a tamer one plus another that’s steeper for more intense tricks. Either is safe and a lot of fun! “We’ve had guests who can barely ski or snowboard launch into the bag,” Shoemaker said.

The bag jump is presented by famous High Cascade Snowboard Camps and is available by the session. Look for the bag jump at Snow Summit on January 8-10 and at Bear Mountain on Jan. 15-17, February 5-7 and 26-27, and March 4-6. For more information visit www.bearmtn.com or www.snowsummit.com.

January 13, 2016

40 or a Million, Missing Persons Still Draws

For the very first Missing Persons concert in 1980, at the since-closed Club 88 in West Los Angeles, exactly 40 tickets were sold.

That was back in the days when the band’s lead singer Dale Bozzio would hang fliers and posters to telephone poles up and down Laurel Canyon, standing on the roof of her car to get them high enough to be seen. “We paid the road crew and split the money that was left,” Bozzio said during a pre-New Year’s phone interview.

Flash forward three short years later. Missing Persons was playing to an audience estimated to be up to one million people at the famed US Festival, taking the stage with heavyweights like David Bowie, U2, The Pretenders, Stevie Nicks and others. By then Missing Persons had released its famous album “Spring Session M” which went gold, spawning four hit singles including “Words,” “Walking in L.A.,” “Destination Unknown” and “Windows.” A far cry from the first four-song album Missing Persons released just two years earlier, that they had to fund themselves!

“We were looking out on a sea of people out there that just didn’t end,” Bozzio said. “That was an amazing moment. I thought that was what fame was.”

When Bozzio brings the current lineup of Missing Persons to The Cave Big Bear for a “Totally `80’s Party” that also includes Bow Wow Wow and When in Rome 2 on January 23, the crowd figures to be something between 40 and a million. For people who remember what some have dubbed “The decade that defined us,” the show will be a trip down memory lane.

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January 11, 2016

Catch the Rally Bus for Luxury Ride to Big Bear

Leave the winter driving to someone else by catching new Rally Bus service to Bear Mountain and Snow Summit weekends from Southland locations.

The luxury shuttle bus features a variety of amenities—including on-board restroom—plus entertainment with TVs, DVD, adjustable climate control, roomy overhead storage and undercarriage storage for gear and coolers. Some motorcoaches even offer Wifi and power outlets. Buses pull right up to the resorts, eliminating parking hassles and getting skiers and snowboarders to the slopes quickly.

Rally pickup locations include Anaheim, Irvine, Orange, Newport Beach, Escondidio, San Diego, Temecula, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Redlands and San Bernardino--all cities where you can also pickup a free copy of Ski and Ride Big Bear Magazine with complete coverage of the slopes. Buses are scheduled to head to Big Bear each Saturday and Sunday including January 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24 and 30-31. Service continues each weekend through early April.

It’s crowd-powered travel—trips usually need a minimum of 25 passengers and price is determined by how many are going—but Rally Bus makes it easy to hook up by offering a free downloadable app for booking, trip details and more. Call (855) RALLY BUS or visit rallybus.net/big-bear-mountain-resorts.