COACHELLA M A G A Z I N E
JUSTIN BOWER RYAN MARTIN KENNY IRWIN JASMINE JUE
ROBIN EISENBERG POETIC KINETICS
BRIANNA PARRA MORE
COACHELLA MAGAZINE PUBLISHER/ EDITOR IN CHIEF JORGE E PEREZCHICA EDITOR KRISTIN WINTERS ASSOCIATE EDITOR SARA HYLAND VP MARKETING JERRY PEREZCHICA CREATIVE DIRECTOR LUNAFORA ART DIRECTOR KRISTIN WINTERS WRITERS KRISTIN WINTERS JORGE PEREZCHICA SARA HYLAND MASTHEAD ARTWORK SHARON RYDER
ON THE COVER Moment of Collision by JUSTIN BOWER
©2015 Coachella Magazine Celebrating the Arts & Culture of Coachella Valley, California For all inquiries: email@example.com
ISSUE NO 2 SUMMER 2015 FEATURES EDITOR’S PICKS 12 JUSTIN BOWER 14 RYAN MARTIN
ART 16 22 30 34
JASMINE JUE KENNY IRWIN ROBIN EISENBERG BRIANNA PARRA
FESTIVAL 40 COACHELLA+STAGECOACH
MUSIC 46 DANI MEZA 48 SAFETY NET 54 DESERT DAZE
FILM 60 PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 68 AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
CULTURE 72 CRISÁLIDA ARTS PROJECT 74 EL GATO SKATEBOARD CLASSIC
FASHION 76 FASHION WEEK EL PASEO
DEPARTMENTS 79 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98
FOOD+DRINK BOOKS BUZZ PROFILES COLLAB CHELLA GIRL CHELLA GUY CALENDAR DISCOVER CELEBRATION
pp 2 & 4
hometown: Vina del Mar, Chile instagram: @alieneske playing on repeat: Hiatus Kaiyote online fixation: UFO articles and Googling every possible question that pops up in my mind fashion style: crazy psychedelic artist meets California surf/skate with a touch of elegance currently reading: National Geographic 1973 and How to Make it in the Art World guilty pleasure: raw vegan chocolate truffles summer escape: Cape Cod next on bucket list: backpacking in Chile or going to Paris
DAVID EVANKO photographer pp 54, 55, 56
hometown: San Diego, CA instagram: @minivanphotography playing on repeat: “Glass” by Total Control online fixation: Craigslist free section fashion style: 1994 currently reading: The Trial by Franz Kafka guilty pleasure: Craigslist free section summer escape: Ensenada next on bucket list: surf my way through Indonesia
hometown: Indio, Ca instagram: @greasextrap playing on repeat: Coltranes online fixation: online comics/music blogs fashion style: part thrift store junkie, part hobo currently reading: Supernatural Strategies forMaking a Rock’n’roll Group by Ian F. Svenonius guilty pleasure: binge watching cartoons summer escape: Ensenada next on bucket list: good old American road trip
photographer p 90
hometown: San Diego, CA instagram: @htranphotography online fixation: Netflix fashion style: Jeans; always in, right? currently reading: Finders Keepers by Stephen King guilty pleasure: bacon summer escape: Hawaii
DONNA FITZGERALD GEORGE DUCHANES contributing editor photographer
TOM FOWLER photographer
CHRISTIAN MENDEZ photographer
JEFFREY NORMAN writer
TAYLOR ANN TRAD writer
ENOCH WATERS photographer
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Stagecoach Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival and ShortFest Modernism Week College of the Desert's Marks Arts Center American Documentary Film Festival Cinémas Palm d'Or Arts Media Entertainment Industry Counil Raices Cultura Palm Springs Art Museum Coachella Valley Art Center The Coachella Valley Art Scene Coachella Valley History Museum Palm Springs Grip And Lighting Desert Daze TG Tattoo Dimitri Halkidis Kenny Irwin Gallery 446 Crisálida Arts Project David Gonzalez McCallum Theater
Transmogrify verb: transform, especially in a surprising or magical manner — Oxford American Dictionary
Naturally, seasons change from winter to spring — but here in the Coachella Valley there’s another transformation coaxing a dramatic shift through these mysterious mountains that encircle us like an ancient arena under a sun-loving sky. It cannot be described in just words or pictures. Rather, it must be experienced as an amusement park ride taking locals and travelers for a whirligig — Coachella Season has arrived. I notice the colors and atmosphere become more frenzied, vibrant, neon, and filled with whimsy, like an elixir transporting us back to uncharted youth. Hotels and restaurants are filling up, there’s a spike in tourism, fashion takes a new spin, and conversation veers towards which artists will be playing this year at the fest. Opinions flow to and fro through a multitude of social media feeds as Coachella expands its universe. And so it goes. The frantic days blur and avalanche into one long act of a play: eat, sleep, party, and repeat from late March to May until it drains us with euphoria. And then we pine to do it all over again. “Coachella, I’m missing you already,” I notice someone post on Instagram. Tourists and snowbirds come and go like the wind. But for locals, temperatures over 100 degrees are just around the corner. Yes, it’s true. Then a different transformation will follow and sweep the desert. Out-oftowners will cry out loud, “Damn, it’s so hot!” But yeah, this is how we say “welcome to summer” in the Coachella Valley. And so it goes. In Vol. 1, Issue No. 2, we discover transmogrify in various forms and contexts; from Kenny Irwin’s robots and microwave art, to Jasmine Jue’s gnarly teeth, Justin Bower’s exploding faces, Ryan Martin’s magic kingdoms, plus Brianna Parra’s street photography. We hope you enjoy the Transmogrify issue. And so it goes. — Jorge Perezchica Publisher / Editor in Chief
| HAUTE SPOT
COACHELLA FRESH t-shirts, tank tops, and caps. Available at Instagram @coachellafresh
Coachella Fresh gear at Penny Lane in Palm Desert, CA is custom cut to add the macrame fringe, turning a basic men’s tank into a unique women’s piece. Penny Lane does custom cut tees and denim, as well as add patches, embroidery, and lace for one-of-a-kind clothing. pennylanepalmdesert.com
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FASHION / BEAUTY / ACCESSORIES
Belle and Sebastian limited edition hand-painted concert shirts for the Hollywood Bowl Tour.
Fabulous blue raw druzy dipped in gold. The pendant is on a 14K gold-filled 16 inch chain. Perfect for something blue on your special day.
Sacred Knots is a collection of fiber jewelry based upon the ancient art form of knotting. Folk artists, mariners, and skilled craftspeople symbolically expressed deep desires, created solutions for everyday problems, and decorated objects using simple materials and hours of skillful experimentation entwining cords.
COACHELLA MAGAZINE 9
| HAUTE SPOT
Whimsical artwork printed on a wide range of products from skate decks, to bathing suits, pillows, tote bags, and more.
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FASHION / BEAUTY / LIFESTYLE
Aiming to merge contemporary fashion with contemporary art, Totally Blown creates one of a kind utilitarian objects using guns. Their controversial process challenges clothing to be not only pleasing to the eye, but intriguing to the mind. The goal of Totally Blown is to challenge people to think critically about complex issues.
Palm Springs is a mid-century heaven, depicted here with its butterfly roofed houses, old Hollywood glamour, beautiful detailed buildings, and vintage store mecca. Colored with teals, aquas, a hint of chartreuse, and candy pink, itâ€™s the perfect summertime scarf.
Mermaid Hex offers a variety of handmade items, like this dye pizza shirt and this conventient bag crafted from yarn.
COACHELLA MAGAZINE 11
4th Annual PALM SPRINGS FINE ART FAIR / Editor’s Pick
POST-HUMANS interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
The bio on your website reads: “Justin Bower paints his subjects as de-stabilized, fractured post-humans in a nexus of interlocking spatial systems.” Can you expand on that and tell us about your creative process? Well, I grew up in a generational straddle, in that I remember before this new technology (internet, surveillance, multiple selves, sliding gender and race roles) allowed for today’s new ways to think about humanity as a whole and as a subject. So from there my work evolved into the destabilization of the contemporary subject in an increasing control society, often using the digital realm as the environment to place them in. It’s almost an ontological buildup from scratch, building a new idea of who we are. So from that vantage point, I paint the current status or crisis of humanity today, and in doing so I am participating in an age-old practice in paint. The digital is just a new context or environment to be studied. I feel as though I am carrying on a dialogue of paint and humanity that has existed since the dawn of paint itself.
idea of an archaeological history dig in one painting. All the history of making this picture is either seen or hidden, it can also come to emblemize an entire community, era, epoch, and time/space.
Do you have any major influences? Bridget Riley, El Greco, Bacon, De Kooning, Richter, Picasso, David Fincher, Igmar Bergman, and Basquiat.
Your work resonates to today’s technology, and social media driven culture — do you follow and stay on top of trends? Is there anything about technology that scares you? It’s more of an affirmation rather than a fear — an affirmation that technology is always already inside the subject today. In my paintings this technology infects the subject, moving seamlessly through the body, warping and displacing the integrity of its form. I also see the glitch aesthetic as a happy failure, to which I mean this glitch or fallibility in the system breaks open a rainbow of acid color. It’s quite beautiful. This fallibility in technology will ultimately manifest itself in the human form with each encroaching technological breakthrough.
Has Da Vinci played a major influence in your art and do you feel we are going through a new Renaissance today? I do believe we are going through a massive change, but not like a “return to the past rejuvenation” as the word “Renaissance” evokes. This is an epoch of new medium but with same terrain as the past. I have chosen a theme that inherently bothers me and fascinates at the same time; that being the question of an autonomous subject in an increasing tech/virtual culture and a serious ratcheting up of a control society. We are at the precipice of not being made in the image of God, but in the future image of man. I paint as a way to study our ever-warping and protean definition of who we are. Much like DaVinci’s studies in anatomy, I open up the human but in a different, more metaphorical way. How do you create the illusion of motion in your work and do you plan on venturing into motion art? I do not have any plans to move into moving pictures, although I did have a brief stint in movie writing as a young chap. I find it much more rewarding and difficult to capture what I set to speak about in a single image. An “all in one” 12 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
Has social media had an impact on your approach to art? I agree with most that in the technology boom, social networks have been arguably one of the most impactful and freeing on everyday life and equally hostile with the idea of the human subject as seen through the Enlightenment concept. I also believe an ever-presence of technology can and will birth an architecture of control. A control society that leverages the power of technology for its control needs. This mitigates the autonomy of the contemporary subject. Another theme I attack: Are we autonomous/free in our contemporary world? I am not an alarmist when tackling these concerns, but I always want the decisions we make within this system of technology to be ours, and free.
How do you see the current art scene and is there anything you would like to change or see happen in the near future? I would like to see the 80% rate of “blue chip” artists not come from Ivy League schools, I would like to see a more meritocracy style mobility, and less clique-like culture. What are your currently working on? My solo show with Unix Gallery NYC, in September. INSTAGRAM: @JBOWER23 WEB: JUSTINBOWER.COM
“Insect Kin” (2013) Oil on canvas, 12 x 9 inches
4th Annual PALM SPRINGS FINE ART FAIR / Editor’s Pick
MAGIC KINGDOM interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
So, tell us about yourself and your art. I am an oil painter who mostly does portraiture now. And I’m currently between projects. I recently painted 38 portraits of model/actor Julian Larach, which were recently exhibited at Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art in San Francisco. What is your creative process like and where does your inspiration come from? Any major influences? I typically photograph my model, then use the photographs as reference, painting in the portrait first. As I’m painting in the portrait, I do my best to be open and allow myself to stray from the photo reference. Lastly, I’ll add in other subjects into the portrait, many of which are somewhat arbitrary, and some which come to mind in the moment while I’m painting. Sometimes the surreal elements might be from an article I recently read about a sea creature, or a doodle I did the night before of an orchid. Some of my major influences at the moment are figurative painter Lisa Yuskavage, and also I was recently introduced to Isabella Kirkland. Overall, the most influential has been music, sometimes a simple lyric will change the course of the painting I’m working on. What do you enjoy about painting and being an artist? What I enjoy most is moving the paint around on the canvas. I love blending with the fan brush. I really love laying in colors next to each other and seeing how they play off one another. You grew up in SoCal in the 80’s and 90’s, but live in San Francisco—how have the two impacted you as an artist? I definitely feel more connected to LA visually, especially color-wise. When my portraits have popping colors, or a vibrant sunny feeling, it is something I attribute to SoCal. I remember lots of color from my childhood, lots of purple, hot pink, neon greens, and magentas. Even the illustrative nature of my paintings I attribute to growing up in Anaheim, just a few blocks away from Disneyland. My sister and I had annual passes growing up, so we frequented the Magic Kingdom often, and I grew up encountering that optimistic, dramatic, and illuminative feeling of such a place, over and over again. I think that sort of feeling sticks with someone as they grow up.
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How do you see the current art scene and is there anything you would like to change or see happen in the near future? I would like to see the art scene push further into more of the mass’ conscience. Many art forms such as film, fashion, music, and the culinary arts have made their way into the mass’ homes via television. It would be nice to be able to relate to the majority in a way, and have them educated in visual arts in a similar way we have become acquainted better with music, cooking, and fashion, and kept up to speed in these genres. As far as contemporary art, it has left the general public behind. Maybe that is part of the appeal, the exclusiveness of art. But I hope to be an inclusive artist. Has social media had an impact on your approach to art? In the last year it has. I started getting comments and messages from people around the world and they shared with me what my painting says to them, or what it reminds them of. A lot of times their experiences tip off a new idea for a painting. It has opened up dialogue between people I would have otherwise never been able to hear or learn from. Your work can be described as surreal and narrative — do you plan on creating images for books or animation or do you prefer to work with paintings on canvas? I would definitely be open to creating an animation or a book of sequential imagery sometime. What do you wish the viewer to come away with? I hope it brings a story to their mind; having them imagine what the person in the portrait is thinking, or making up a story to what is happening in the scene. What are your currently working on? I’m currently working on a series of drawings, ink on paper. Subjects of the drawings include more classical themes such as “Adoration of the Magi” or “Birth of Venus,” but of course with a Ryan Martin twist.
INSTAGRAM: @RYANMARTINART WEB: RYANMARTINART.COM
“Insect Kin” (2013) Oil on canvas, 12 x 9 inches
TRANSMOGRIFY interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
So, Jasmine, tell us about yourself. Did you always want to be an artist? I grew up in Indio and I’ve been drawing and painting as long as I can remember. My mother said that I first started drawing when I was one. I loved drawing people. Art has always been a big part of my family; we have submersed ourselves and have surrounded ourselves in it. Yes, I think in the back of my mind I have always wanted to be an artist. I notice lots of teeth and flesh in your latest work — what inspired you to go in this direction? I would have to say that it’s my fascination with the entire human body. Admiring the inner workings of the body, as well as seeing beauty in the exterior display of flesh. In my most recent work I was painting strange transforming human sets of teeth and their stages of mutations; with the idea of exploring the connections of our own naturally occurring inner mutations and when science becomes incorporated into rebuilding these structures. These duplicated and mirrored forms originate from looking at teeth stem cells and the way they will be able to regenerate our teeth. Another reason why I have chosen to use teeth in my work is that they also stand in as representations of us as a whole and erase the boundary line of gender; because it is a naturally occurring process that happens to all of us. So it’s a connection in which we can all relate to and at the same time keep in mind that teeth are unique to the individual just like a fingerprint; both being personal identifiers. With the advancements of scientific research on the regenerative properties of the stem cells, it’s as if science is becoming the next evolutionary step. The fact that they are focusing research on teeth intrigued me since naturally the most mutations of our teeth occur during our childhood, when new teeth are being formed and old pushed out. This normally happens at an influential part of life, where memories are usually forgotten but impact choices made as an adult. 16 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
Who are some artists that have influenced your work? Andreas Dobler, Justin Bower, Hannah Stouffer, Shawn Barber, Dan Quintana. You just earned your MFA at Claremont. What was your college experience like? What do you feel are the pros and cons about college? It was incredible! I had my very own studio that I had access to 24/7, with a workshop, for the first time! Meeting with professors one on one to talk about my work was extremely helpful. Also building connections and learning from my fellow classmates. A definite con would be the price you have to pay to go to college. What do you enjoy the most about being an artist? And how did growing up in the Coachella Valley impact you? Mixing my palette and getting my work laid out. Just being in that moment and zoning out everything else that’s going on around me. Being able to express myself without words. I think it taught me how to utilize inexpensive materials and to recreate them into something more refined. I recall when you were younger you expressed interest in computer games as a career, does that still interest you? Outside of painting, what else do you enjoy doing creatively? I am still interested in possibly being an illustrator for video games. I really enjoyed playing video games at a young age and I still do to this day. I also love sculpting with clay and cooking. What’s the next step in your career? To be honest, I’m not too sure yet, but I’m possibly looking at teaching art. Ideally, I would love to open up my own gallery.
INSTAGRAM: @JASMINEJUE WEB: YEHSIMINGJUE.COM
WISDOM REMOVED 5ft X 5ft
TRANSMOGRIFY 3ft X 4.5ft
IT’S MY FASCINATION WITH THE ENTIRE HUMAN BODY. ADMIRING THE INNER WORKINGS OF THE BODY, AS WELL AS SEEING BEAUTY IN ITS EXTERIOR DISPLAY OF FLESH. — Jasmine Jue
TEETH AMONG THE CELLS 9in X 9.5in
DENTAL TISSUE 8ft X 10ft
KENNY IRWIN text KRISTIN WINTERS photography LUNAFORA
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COACHELLA MAGAZINE 23
ROBOVISIONARY When you drive through the Palm Springs movie district, you will come face to face with giant day-glow colored robots towering over palm trees and the surrounding neighborhood. Upon closer inspection, you will find that these extraordinary juggernauts are not your typical sedating public art pieces, but a singular vision of an iconoclastic individual. An image of a mad scientist comes to mind — assembling his creatures with society’s discards: there’s a television here, an alien head there, and... is that an entire station wagon? These sculptures are in fact the creations of Palm Springs’ notorious artist Kenny Irwin, creator of RoboLights, an annual holiday light display and year round art installation sprawling over four acres of his front yard. Kenny’s sculptures are as intriguing and complex and the man himself — reaching far into his imagination, bringing his creations to life. Kenny Irwin describes his sensational microwave show, his surreal dreams, thoughts on society, future plans for a theme park, and of course his infamous RoboLights installation. Allow us to introduce you in the words of the artist himself, “Hello, my name’s Kenny Irwin, the artist that has created everything you see and experienced at RoboLights. Consider yourself transported into a wonderland.” Let’s start off with your microwaving: How did that idea come about and when did it start happening? I was about six years old, walked into the kitchen and something compelled me to reach up into the cabinet, get out a lightbulb, stick it in the microwave, press ‘start,’ and see what would happen. I was memorized. The lightbulb would light up, change all different colors and then explode, which was the best part. Which is the art? The microwaving process or the end product? Both? The process is the performance art and the end product is the physical art, so it’s a two-part process. Then it dawned on me: “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a television show about this?” This was back in 1980. So basically I was still trying to get the microwave show off the ground, and then I started seeing that suddenly YouTube came into existence. As of 2006 I decide to implement the, “dOvetastic Microwave Theater.” It was very well received. I started getting lots of
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subscribers right away. I got tons of them initially. Today, I’ve created 673 microwave episodes. Just about anything you can think of, I’ve probably microwaved it. What is the coolest reaction you’ve seen? Did anything happen that you didn’t expect? Well, I’m the only one in human history that’s successfully microwaved a microwave — not once but twice. No one before or since I’ve done it has been able to do it. And you’re not just microwaving a microwave; you’re microwaving a microwave that’s plugged into an outlet. You’ve got to be able to shut the door with the cord still in and get it to turn on, and I’m not going to tell my secret. So the microwave inside the other microwave, was microwaving at the same time? That is correct. That’s a head-trip! What happened? It sent off some weird sonic residence, and then it started getting some weird interference like it was picking up a radio station. It did some pretty weird stuff. That’s insane. Were there any scary moments or close calls you’ve had in your microwave experience? I graduated from doing any experiments in the house to doing them outside pretty darn quickly. I have microwaved crazy stuff — everything from stereos, boom boxes, iPods, iPhones, game systems. I microwave them generally on release day, so that really gets people going! (laughs) You recently microwaved an Apple Watch. How much did this model cost? This one here retails at $400. It cost $800 for me to get it due to its rarity because of how few of them are still made and the fact that they’re backlogged into June and July. That’s generally when a video’s more prone to go viral — when it’s something hard for people to get. I take some everyday thing and then I transform into art, into something much better than it was to begin with! Well now it’s a one of a kind! That’s right. It’s what the Apple should have called the iWatch.
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IT COMES TO ME IN THE FORM OF DREAMS AND IDEAS, AND THEY’RE ALL INTERTWINED WITH THE ENERGY THAT PROPELS ME TO DO MY ART. — Kenny Irwin
How would you describe RoboLights in your own words? How would you explain it to an alien who just landed? The premise of RoboLights lights is an annual art and lights display started in 1996. It was triggered by what I had seen people do in the world with their resources and their blessings — really bad stuff. They had these talents and these abilities and they were doing bad things. I want to do something equally spectacular in a positive and loving way. So thus the annual art and light display was born, and it was all about, instead of cursing the darkness, I try to light it up one light at a time. Today — fast forward nearly 30 years later — it’s not just the annual light display, buts it’s part of a year round art walk that people can enjoy, comprised of over 1,000 tons of art. It’s made mostly of discards donated by neighbors that would have otherwise eventually ended up in a landfill and poisoning our bodies, but has instead ended up as art that everyone can enjoy. The annual art and light display draws in over 20,000 visitors per season, about five weeks, going from Thanksgiving weekend all the way until New Year’s. People from all over the world come to see it; it’s a legendary icon. Can you describe the process of creating the RoboLights? The physical creation of the art is all created by me — no one can make the art but me. The results that you see out there are a literal psychical manifestations from what I see in my mind in all in its exact details and specifications. I can see it three-dimensionality in my mind before it’s ever created, without any blueprints or anything. Is there a specific material or object you like to work with? Anything you’ve acquired — car parts, computers, wires — that you’ve been inspired by? Actually, in my work there is absolutely zero inspiration. There is no external inspiration feeding into my work. Everything is feeding out; it’s coming from out of me, from within me. It comes to me in the form of dreams and ideas, and they’re all intertwined with the energy that propels me to do my art. Yes, so there is nothing out there that is externally inspired at all- but I hope that it will inspire many others though. (laughs) 26 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
I imagine you get these materials donated from neighbors and others, and then use whatever means necessary to create your work. Is that how it is? You hit the nail on the head. Within RoboLights you use icons from every holiday and religion. In addition to Christmas, there’s Islamic imagery, as well as Santa Claus replaced with aliens and things like that. What does the audience think of all this symbolism mixed together? It sort of knocks them outta the box and gets them laughing and thinking more lightly about life not being so serious. The only thing I make a mockery of in my art is weapons, because they are so ridiculous. Why do we need guns? Why do we need bombs? So I make them look extra goofy because they are really stupid and goofy! Like having the Easter Bunny operating them? The Mongolian Easter Bunny! What could be a perfect match other than chocolate and peanut butter?
(laughs) Let’s talk about your recent exhibit, “The Mongolian Easter Bunny,” at Gallery 446. Would you tell us the story behind the war between the Mongolian Easter Bunny and Santa Claus? Everyone knows that there’s Santa Claus and he seems to dominate the holiday realm. On the other side of the year you have the Easter Bunny. They both give gifts: one gives gifts in square boxes, the other one gives gifts in eggs. They’re both vying for supremacy of the gift-giving realm. But of course, Santa Claus is the ultimate gift giver, and then you have the Easter Bunny — he wouldn’t mind dethroning Santa Claus and taking over the gift-giving kingdom. Thus, The Mongolian Easter Bunny was born. What is the Mongolian Easter Bunny’s army consisted of and what are his specialized weapons? Whatever you found in the bin that day or what? (laughs) He has a bazooka that shoots eggs and he’s got an answer to Santa’s sleigh — its called the “Mongolian Easter Bunny’s Mobile Throne.” He has a synthesized cross between reindeer
photographed in December, 2014 Palm Springs, CA
and cute little bunnies that grew antlers. He has nine of those, like Santa has nine reindeer. It’s a little bit of the, “Nightmare Before Christmas,” theme going on, except it’s Easter taking over Christmas... That’s right. There’s 15 tons of total art weight in there. It took me four months to build — about 12,000 man hours put in of my own time. It was a major job; it involved cranes and big trucks. It was built to be a permanent art installation, that was the intentional design anyway. Unfortunately [the property of the building] got caught in the middle of something between the landowners and the tenants. So my dad and I are still trying to figure out a way to resolve that and save my art. Do you think showing in galleries and museums has established you as a professional artist as opposed to an outsider artist? Well, my ultimate goal has always been to get my work out in the world as much as possible; to produce as much good quality work as possible and get it out into the world by whatever space becomes available whether it’s museums or galleries. But I have other ambitions too that parallel that. I want to build a big amusement park here off the I-10 called “RoboWorld.”
TOP: Microwaved Apple Watch BOTTOM: Mongolian Easter Bunny art installation at Gallery 446 photos courtesy KENNY IRWIN
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Really? Wow! This amusement park that I have in my mind is all about experiencing a visionary experience on a ride. You’re not just going on a roller coaster, you’re going on a roller coaster into another world. It is green in all its aspects: the brunt of it will be built out of recycled materials and all of the contributions the town would put into it — [trash] and a lot of the recycling just gets thrown out into the landfill anyways, we got this big growing mountain in the valley where the trash is just being buried, which is stupid! I can take that trash and I can build a grand amusement park out of it. Coming back to holiday themes, what other holiday mash-ups do you have in mind? Where does Valloween come into the narrative? Valloween is basically what happens when Cupid takes over Halloween and all the ghosts and goblins and all the other gobbledygook — it becomes a love of horror, I guess you could say. When you enter Valloween there would be a large heart-shaped rotating casket in the middle with Cupid as a zombie of course. There will be chocolate hearts, but not like regular chocolate hearts — they will be chocolate heart hearts. What are your thoughts on life on other planets? I 100% believe that there is not just life on other planets, but that there’s intelligent life in this universe. It’s not only just what I believe, but it’s also even revealed in religious texts.
Even in my own religion it’s revealed, the creator is the lord of the worlds — not just one world but plural worlds. There was a poll taken recently on which religions believe in life on other planets to the greatest degree, and actually Islam took number one in the rankings. More Muslims believe in alien life than other groups. I thought that was interesting because I didn’t even know that myself, but it is revealed. There’s hints all over in the Koran. So ever since I was born, I always looked up at the stars and wondered, who’s looking back at us? What would you like to see in the future, not only for your art, but events happening all over the world? I would hope that my work boldly and positively inspires others to utilize their talents and abilities, collectively as a human civilization. To explore and colonize space not just for expanding our horizons, but also for saving the entire human civilization so that it doesn’t blink out in a wink of an eye because we never mastered space travel and therefore we out grew our cradle, which is our earth. I definitely want to see a bright future for humanity. I want to see a future of humanity doing good deeds, advancing in all ways — morally, ethically, religiously, in every way. That would be a beautiful thing. WEB: KENNYIRWINARTIST.COM LINKS: ROBOCHRISTMAS.COM VIDEO: MICROWAVESHOW.COM
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PUNK BABES & POPSICLES interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
What is the Robin Eisenberg universe all about? Babes, food, space, and sex, and foxes! Tell us about your muses: mutant rock n’roll chicks, melting donuts, psychedelic pizza, and more? I like weird dream versions of the normal things that I love. Neon pizza in space, an alien teenager watching X-Files in bed, modern mermaids. Your art is on everything from shoes to shower curtains. What inspired you to go into this venture and what is the craziest object you would want to print your artwork on? It was feeling very limiting just to have my artwork on my computer or on pieces of paper. Putting my art on stuff that is out in the world feels awesome. I just had an avocado dress made and I love it! I think it would be super cool to have bandaids made, but I haven’t found anywhere to get them printed yet. How did you get involved in illustrating for Desert Daze? I’ve worked with Deap Vally on a couple posters/projects, and Julie from Deap Vally was very involved with Desert Daze. She wrote one day and asked if I would be up for doing a few illustrations of some of the bands. That was such a fun project! What influences and inspires you as an artist? Everything! I take notes on my phone constantly throughout the day. (An example of a note on my phone: haircut with cat ears / ramones forever / neon glasses palm trees.) If colors represent emotions, how do you describe your neon world? Bold, sexy, kinda strange. You have bold female sexuality in your work. How do you want to empower women? All women are powerful and sexy regardless of shape, size, color, style, etc. I want women to be able to look at themselves and see how awesome they are, and see that even the weird stuff is beautiful because it makes you YOU. And you are a babe. What are you currently working on? My next big step is to start up a clothing line with big patterns and prints and bright colors. Soon, soon! INSTAGRAM: @ROBINEISENBERGDRAWS WEB: ROBINEISENBERG.TUMBLR.COM
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I LIKE WEIRD DREAM VERSIONS OF THE NORMAL THINGS THAT I LOVE. NEON PIZZA IN SPACE, AN ALIEN TEENAGER WATCHING X-FILES IN BED, MODERN MERMAIDS, ETC. — Robin Eisenberg
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| PHOTOGRAPHY BRIANNA PARRA
LET THERE BE YT interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
Introduce yourself. I’m 25, I live in El Centro, California. I started YT back when I was in high school. The YT came out of an abbreviation of our custom license plates. “Yet bored,” which was the name of a band I made back in the day, the letter “e” wouldn’t fit, so it read “YTBORED.” I liked how it sounded so I started labeling YT on all my art and drawings. Photography came a bit later, shooting in my hometown, as well as my travels. I really like street photography, photographing people, inanimate objects, anything really. I like to describe my photography as rustic, so you’re gonna see a variety of things from cracks on the floor, to these stylish desert shoots. What do you enjoy the most about being a photographer? Being able to make something out of nothing, adding style to a place that probably no one cared for, finding hidden potential in things, people, and places, being able to capture it on a photo. That is the best feeling. Where does your inspiration come from, do you have any major influences? I do a lot of exploring, especially the towns around the desert area, I also don’t live that far away from the border so it helps to see all this culture and different types of people. I think I get inspired from doing that, it’s like a need for me now. I go out and find an interesting place and that’s enough for me to keep going. Do you have a favorite subject or theme you work with? I recently started shooting for a vintage clothing brand. I did some 60’s shoots, 70’s; I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed those as much as shooting in the desert. Is there a link between fashion, film, and music in your art? I believe it’s all connected. I love adding a style to my photos, maybe they’re nothing like the fashion shoots you see in magazines, but I like adding a taste of it. Music as well carries a lot of style, there’s always interesting looking people and it’s something that appeals to me. I like having that in my pictures. 34 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
How do you see the current art scene locally/ internationally? Over the years I’ve seen a lot of growth locally. There’s a lot more people involved with art. We have a yearly art event called Viva el Valle en la Calle where artists from Mexicali as well as locals and myself join in. You see all types of mediums and live art. It’s really great. Internationally, what can I say, there’s just so many talented people out there. What are your major goals as an artist and where do you see yourself ten years from now? Always improving myself and my work, spreading YT in different areas, and perhaps get back at oil painting. Making YT films would be one of my major goals and painting a YT mural in my hometown. In ten years, hopefully making a living in doing what I love. You have an online shop, do you also see yourself as an entrepreneur as well as an artist? Yes I do, there’s always been so much work involved over the years. Designing t-shirts, promoting at events such as art walks, farmer’s markets, having art shows of my own. My shop is www.lettherebeyt.bigcartel.com. What I have now are the books Volume 1 and Volume 2 of YT Photography. I also have assemblages, wood pieces, photographs, and canvases. What is the biggest challenge about being an artist and what is most fulfilling to you? One of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced as an artist is that some of my artwork was not welcomed by certain family members. They misinterpreted it as dark and disturbing. I never saw my work that way. For a while I found myself holding back and not producing the type of work I wanted to do. What’s more fulfilling to me is that I’ve always found a way to express myself freely. Any current projects you are working on? YT Photography Volume 3. It’s coming.
INSTAGRAM: @YTDOTTIE WEB: YTPHOTOGRAPHY.TUMBLR.COM
GUSTAV KLIMT MEETS YT
I LIKE TO DESCRIBE MY PHOTOGRAPHY AS RUSTIC, SO YOU’RE GONNA SEE A VARIETY OF THINGS FROM CRACKS ON THE FLOOR, TO THESE STYLISH DESERT SHOOTS. — Brianna Parra
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FLAMENCO EN EL DESIERTO
COACHELLA+STAGECOACH MUSIC / ART / PARTIES
text KRISTIN WINTERS & JORGE PEREZCHICA
When Coachella Season is in full swing, celebrity sightings, pool parties, festivals, and of course the latest music from around the world, flood the Coachella Valley for hedonistic fun. This year ushered in Tachevah: A Palm Springs Block Party, Stagecoach, LED pool parties, Zero Gravity, and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, not to mention the countless pre-parties and after-parties that surrounded these Uber-Events. Coachella’s 2015 lineup offered a wide array of musical persuasions, from rock legends AC/DC to the hip-hop act of Tyler the Creator, and genre-twisting FKA twigs. New Zealand native Kimbra gave a phenomenal performance at both Tachevah and Coachella, complete with light shows, crazy costumes, and her powerhouse voice. Skrillex returned to drop the bass at the LED pool party at the Hilton in Palm Springs and made an appearance at Zero Gravity alongside Kayne West.
The Stagecoach lineup included country music giants Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert, as well as up-and-coming artists Lydia Loveless and Parker Millsap. Breakout star Nikki Lane crooned country-rock anthems with blues and punkrock influences. Truly, this valley has outdone itself again this year as the springtime music and party capital of the world. Along with this frenzied atmosphere come the innovative visual artists who illuminate the scene with monumental art installations, complimenting the natural beauty of the Coachella Valley and raising the euphoria of the festival to its zenith. We’re talking about Poetic Kinetics, who brought the now iconic Coachella Astronaut in 2014 and this year’s interactive caterpillar and butterfly installations that roamed the Polo Grounds as if to exemplify the beautiful transformation of the Coachella Valley itself.
TOP: KIMBRA performing at TACHEVAH SKRILLEX at LED POOL PARTY at the HILTON HOTEL PHOTOS by LUNAFORA CATEPILLAR INSTALLATION at INDIO POLO GROUNDS by POETIC KINETICS PHOTO BY JOHNATHAN ROSS
THE ART: POETICS KINETICS Tell us how Poetic Kinetics came together as a group of like-minded artists and craftsmen? We came together in 2008 as a bunch of skilled fabricators and artists who were working or had worked in the film industry and were feeling unfulfilled with the products of our labor; weeks and weeks spent sculpting a unique animal head that blows up three seconds into a movie, for example. Simultaneously we were going to Burning Man and were inspired by what single artists and communities of artists would do for themselves, without the hierarchy of a movie, commercial, or contract of any kind spurring them to action. Can you tell us about the process of creating your art, from concept to completion? We start at a round table sort of discussion with questions. Where do our inspirations lie in this? What is the goal of the intended piece? Who is it for? How can we make it interactive? How can we break the horizon? And then once we have a cohesive approach, we move to the computer to make specific drawings. We’ve developed a relationship with JLG that has allowed us to explore and hone in on innovative technologies that allow us to integrate our art with heavy machinery. After the computer, we use our collective skill sets and backgrounds to build the piece from the ground up and the inside out. As we near completion we check in with our engineers to be sure that everything is built according to plan, safe and secure. Each of us has an extreme attention to detail and pride in our work so that as we get ready to fire up the engines for the initial run, we are all thinking of ways to make it better and more awe-inspiring for the festival-goer; be it through the flashy sequined fabric on the butterfly’s legs, or the stamp given to patrons, declaring “I walk butterflies.” How does it feel to have your work posted and tagged on millions of feeds on social media and has it impacted your approach to art installations? It feels great! What a wonderful world we live in to be able to see our art across multiple platforms at once, affecting people of all ages. Social media, especially at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, has been an interesting and exciting facet of how the public experiences our art. The interactivity that social media provides is so valuable to the things we create, making them more real: like with the astronaut last year when patrons could tweet their name and a picture of themselves to “become” the astronaut. And then again this year with the beacons in the butterfly and caterpillar that essentially gave the creatures their “voice” so that our caterpillar could tell you when it felt the change coming on after it ate all of the milkweed. 42 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
You’ve created iconic large-scale art for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for years now, what keeps bringing you back? Great people, great exposure. Where else can we make things this big and get such an amazing response? We were really fortunate to place the astronaut in the Science Museum, since their five-story atrium has only inches to spare to get the big white suit all the way upright. But on the field at Coachella, anything is possible and everyone is watching; it’s thrilling. Many of your pieces allude to nature (snails, flowers, caterpillars, butterflies), yet utilizes technology to bring them to life! What inspires this dynamic in your work? Technology makes all of our pieces come to life, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, and especially on the scale that we do it, without state of the art technology. Pushing the boundaries of what is new and innovative in the technological world is super exciting to us and pursuing digital fabrication and cutting edge materials and processes allows us to create what we do. As for nature, we submit a wide array of proposals to Coachella and they choose the ones they like. There is a magical experience playing with scale, walking up to something so big that should be so small. But you have to recognize the thing for that to work. If it were abstract, while still cool, it doesn’t generate that same response. And it should be nature or a space traveler because who wants to see a giant sofa or fire hydrant? Oh hey, they have one of those in Beaumont, Texas! What do you like festival-goers to come away with when they interact with your art? A sense of whimsy and magic. We want them to experience these creatures we’ve made and be inspired to play, dance, make things of their own, and share. And on their ride home, they realize that they couldn’t have gotten that experience anywhere else. If money were no object, what would be your dream installation project? We’ve got a proposal that would make the entire Coachella field an immersive, interactive experience; the installation experience would begin weeks before you arrive at the field, and continue throughout the festival. This installation would incorporate all the things you love about the large creatures, but with the added magic of total and complete immersion into the world we would create in tandem with the festival. INSTAGRAM: @POETICKINETICS WEB: POETICKINETICS.COM
PHOTO BY JONATHAN ROSS
MUSIC+PARTIES LED POOL PARTIES
LED pool parties at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Palm Springs are now a must-do alternative to Coachella. The stage is set alongside the Hilton’s legendary pool — blasting the freshest EMD. Headliners Skrillex and DJ Snake got attendees fist-pumping on the dance floor and splashing in the water. Gorgeous tanned bodies adorned trending neon bikinis and sexy cutout one-pieces: everyone was grabbing drinks and having classic Palm Springs fun. Standout act MIJA was spinning her signature sounds. She boasts the title as one of the major up-coming artists on Skrillex’s label, and at a young age her music is already known around the world. She is coming back to the valley for the August edition of the Splash House pool and music festival. HARD ROCK HOTEL PALM SPRINGS
ELLIPHANT photo By GUEST OF A GUEST
Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs rang in Coachella season with an epic celebration — the “Not a Pool Party” kick off event on Thursday, April 9th. Presented by Culture Collide, the new platform of FILTER mag co-founder (in lieu of the annual FILTER Yacht Parties), the evening consisted of various DJ sets and performances by festival headliners and groovy DJs. None shut it down, however, quite like Elliphant, who performed her feel-good jams late into the night in front of a packed house. The Swedish star’s late night performance was the highlight of the evening and set off the music-filled weekend to start on the right foot. ZERO GRAVITY
KAYNE WEST photo courtesy of SocialNightlife
SocialNightlife presents Zero Gravity: The Afterhours Party in the Coachella Valley came once again to the Indio County Fair Grounds less than two miles away from Coachella. This unofficial afterparty is for festival-goers that still have their adrenaline pumping and want to rage all night long and then some. This year Skrillex and hip-hop mogul Kayne West crashed the party with a guest performance. ACE HOTEL PALM SPRINGS
The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and Tumblr IRL brought in Best Coast’s album release party with art by Adam Harding. Bethany Cosentino crooned to a packed audience of adoring fans in the Commune venue. The beloved SoCal band rocked the night with fan favorites as well as debuting songs from their newly released album, “California Nights.” The performance was an up-close and intimate celebration, the type of show concert-goers brag about long afterwards. BETHANY COSENTINO of BEST COAST
Upcoming artist Nikki Lane brings in a fresh new take on country music to this year’s Stagecoach. Her sultry voice gives her ballads an ol’ time rock n’ roll sound. Miranda Lambert takes the MANE stage on Saturday, bringing fierce attitude to her outstanding performance.
ZZ Top brought their unique sound and experience to Stagecoach and electrified the audience to a packed house.
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| MUSIC NEWS
DE O S
T R E S E L OU
DANI MEZA interview & photography JORGE PEREZCHICA
How would you describe the “Desert Soul” sound? I’m a big fan of soul and R&B music. So when I write songs they are heavily influenced by that genre. But since I’m from the desert, some western motifs are inscribed without me trying. I began calling it “Desert Soul.” The inspiration behind the music is using each instrument to color the song, each have their place in the song. What inspired the music and lyrics in your new EP? The songs on the EP are a part of 15 or so other songs that will be recorded soon and be put out as an album. The inspiration behind the music is using each instrument to color the song, each have their place in the song. The lyrics were inspired by outside stories, they are all being sung in a woman’s perspective, as will the full album.
HOMETOWN: INDIO, CA Guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals GENRE: INDIE SOUL EP TITLE: “MR. SWEET” 1. GOT YOU 2. Cigarrette Kisses 3. Got to Come Around 4. Add No Pain With It 5. I Can Eat My Weight In Love
How did you come up with the title “Mr. Sweet?” It was an ongoing joke a friend and amazing musician Matt Harris, who helped in the recording process of the EP, had between the both of us. I guess you can say it’s my nickname. Can you tell us about how your creative process works? I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a process. I try not to think about writing songs. When I do, they’re finished on the spot, I don’t sit or dwell on them. I like going with that first instinct and emotion that comes out instantly. There is a lot of pacing involved though. What’s up with those Buddy Holly glasses? Ha! I’m just a rickety old man, they help me see.
RELEASE DATE: JULY 30TH, 2015
What are you looking forward to on your tour? Seeing old friends and playing with bands I used to share a stage with.
Is there anything in the music business you would like to see change or happen? It would be selfish of me to say. I think good music draws its own attention and audience. Now whether you want to make tons of money doing it, that’s a whole different story.
Available on Vinyl digital download: iTunes.com
RECORED in PALM SPRINGS at UNIT A-STUDIO
*ON TOUR FALL 2015
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SAFETY NET text KRISTIN WINTERS photography LUNAFORA
CATHEDRAL CITY, CA / MAY, 2015 Photographed at PALM SPRINGS GRIP & LIGHTING
WE LOVE PLAYING BACKYARD SHOWS BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL AGES AND I FEEL LIKE THE DRIVING FORCE IN THE DESERT IS THE YOUTH. — CARRICK
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Safety Net, left to right: Cliff: drummer Carrick: guitarist/singer Austin: bassist
| MUSIC INTERVIEW SAFETY NET
One evening in Coachella at a backyard show, a large crowd gathers around a makeshift stage. The atmosphere is set with kids in flannel and tipped over Budweiser bottles. The wind is picking up and the girls wished they’d brought sweaters. Safety Net comes on and everyone whoops and cheers. The sound quality of the generator-powered stereo is at the mercy of the elements — the sand, the heat and the wind — but no one here seems to care: as long as the music’s loud and the sound is raw. Everyone’s ready to rage. A mosh pit swarms around Safety Net. Kids slam into each other and the band members themselves, thrashing and dancing, getting lost in the roar of the noise. Weeks pass and Safety Net sets the stage at the gallery space, Coachella Valley Art Scene, before they embark on their summer “Bring Yr Dog” tour. The room is dim with red, green, and blue lights outlining their features against the black shadows. The backs of the audience become a black silhouette, quiet and standing still, awaiting the performance of their beloved local band. Carrick belts his heart out while Austin comes in with his bass, gliding across the stage in his Heelys. Cliff kicks in with the beat of his drums and brings the song to life. Everyone smiles and sways to the music, taking it all in. These shows seemingly paint a picture of two very different bands. But in truth, that is just the complexity of Safety Net. Carrick, Cliff, and Austin are desert punks releasing aggression through music, thrashing among the crowd on a brutal summer night. Yet in their quiet hours, they are contemplative young men, searching for meaning in the time and place of this isolated valley. Coachella Magazine sits down in conversation with all members of Safety Net, who reveal their sense of humor, observations, and insight into the desert scene and what being a musician means to them. I see you guys as one of the iconic desert bands playing right now. You’ve played in all the established venues out here and you have a strong presence in backyard shows. I
could name a number of bands and influences I hear in your music, but can you guys describe what Safety Net sounds like to you? Carrick: I feel like the three of us come from three very different music backgrounds — Austin comes from a ska punk background. Cliff: I came from a really heavy punk hardcore background and I tend to swerve my music listening to a lot of electronic music. Carrick: And I’ve always been into pretty chill stuff, so I’d say our music and what we’re trying to pursue is really hard to pinpoint a specific genre because we have so many different influences and other bands that inspire us. If there’s anything we can point it to — the term coined is “noise pop” — but it’s not necessarily that. We try to transcend that. After we write a song we really don’t want to compare ourselves to other bands. Austin: Honestly, I just like the way our music sounds. Every time we go for a new song, there’s a completely different feel to it. How did you guys meet and come together as a band? Cliff: I met Carrick after one of his solo performances, as MS Paint. About a week later I was going to a show with him up to Pappy & Harriet’s and I thought I was never gonna get along with this kid. We seemed to actually have a lot in common musically, but we argued at one point and it was awkward. But something about jamming with him just stuck with me and I admired where his tastes were skewed, and I thought it was worth trying out. Now we’re practically married to each other. Carrick: (laughs) Austin: I met Carrick because we were in Les Miserables together. Carrick: I studied musical theater at COD. Austin: Yeah, he was in Fiddler On The Roof. Carrick: I actually first met Austin because I was taking vocal lessons in the vocal performance program at COD, he was under the same instructor. I didn’t know who this guy was. He had an afro and he looked like a Weeaboo. Austin: I am a Weeaboo!
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SAFETY NET MAY, 2015 / CATHEDRAL CITY, CA at THE COACHELLAA VALLEY ART SCENE
Carrick: (laughs) He would walk into the lessons and say, “Hey, sounds good man.” Later we became friends because we had Music Theory classes together. Cliff and I were jamming and it sounded hollow, so I asked him, “Hey, do you want to jam with us?” and that’s pretty much how it started. Austin: Once we started jamming together, that was it. Do you think the desert environment has affected you, good or bad, as an artist and your approach to your craft? Cliff: I think it allowed us to be more fearless in expressing the sound that we play. Ourselves being fans of the environment and the scene, we try to keep up with what goes on around here as much as possible. But I remember early on thinking to myself that I didn’t know how well our sound would really fit out here, if it was really a “desert sound.” Carrick: I love the desert and the way it inspires us: its beautiful. It’s so secluded, it’s like our own little paradise. There are a lot of good sounding bands in the desert scene: Active Kissers is a great band, and a new upcoming band, Slow Paradise, is amazing. We love playing out here. We love playing backyard shows because they’re all ages and I feel like the driving force in the desert is the youth. 52 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
Cliff: I think in places like LA or in larger cities there’s an impending fear of over saturation, where a band like us wouldn’t even get the light of day. Here, because of how tight-knit the culture and community is, it’s eager to find new things. This desert rock thing, whatever it means, is sort of reinventing itself. Carrick: If you move to LA there’s 3,000 other people doing exactly what you’re doing. But out here, you really have the chance to be unique and achieve something. The desert gave the option to be as original as we possibly could. Austin: I feel like that. The second I got into music I started a band and just started playing those backyard shows. That molded me into the kind of player I am today. I started off in a completely different area, I started off as singing in a ska band, and now I’m a bassist for whatever we are now. I just grew up with these kind of people. Backyard shows in the desert happen on the outskirts of town, in neighborhoods where you can get away with large crowds and loud noise. Do you find that there’s a more dynamic mix of people in this audience that you wouldn’t find in other places? Cliff: Absolutely. I’ve seen metalheads come to our shows. We
even played DIY house shows with bands that are completely different. I admire that, because it shows that bookers don’t really have an agenda to attract a certain crowd — it’s more catered to trying to promote a venue of diversity and promote a coexistence of different interests. We’ve played shows like Coachellita where In The Name Of The Dead headlined, Batskinners played, and a rapper played at some point. Completely different genres of music, all homebred. It showcases what kinds of talent we have out here. What sucks about being in a band or playing in the desert? Is there anything you would want to change? Austin: I hate that a lot of the scene is 21 and up. There’s a lot of places we’ve played where, I’m still 20, and I’ve been kicked out of my own show. I feel like everyone should hear music — it’s music. Just let them hear the music! A lot of places we’ve played in other areas it’s all ages. Out here, the only time you’ll get an all ages show is a house show. Those are fun, but it should be everywhere. Cliff: What sucks about being in a band? I dunno. Carrick: Coordinating our schedules. Cliff: (laughs) Yes. Obviously money is an issue, especially for a band of our meager standings that we’re at right now. The way the music industry is, and the occupation of a musician in general, there’s no promise of success. I came into it knowing that, so it didn’t really ever bum me out. But then you see how hard you’re working right now: all the driving, and all the bitching we do at each other, just all the work, and there’s still no heavenly light at the end of the tunnel that’s going to be guaranteed to you. In a way, that could be a total caveat to some people, and to others totally inspiring. To me it’s inspiring because it strips away any superficial motives. It’s more just allowing passion and allowing the release to speak for itself. Carrick: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Coachella, the festival, is a bad thing. I think it’s great and Tachevah’s cool too, but I feel like since the introduction of Tachevah has happened and local publications are promoting “Battle of Bands,” it’s made playing music out in the desert a competition. We turn our focus on expanding outside the desert and touring rather than winning any competitions, because we believe art shouldn’t be a competition. Everyone who creates their own art does it a little bit differently, so you really shouldn’t compare it. Do you think this competition has changed the dynamic in the desert? Cliff: Absolutely. I think when music becomes a competition and that sort of attitude becomes the forefront of what musicians out here see and are given as this outlet, that it becomes this ambition for a lot of artists in the area, and an inverted influence. But it’s a false ideology to adopt when you are starting a band. Aspirations of musicians shouldn’t be
to compete with others that you should be having solidarity within a scene. You should be more focused on expression and artistic integrity, pushing yourself and aspiring to capture the attention of people you admire outside of the scene. I think that’s something we all stand by. What’s something you want to see in the future for the Coachella Valley scene? Is there something crucial that needs to happen? Cliff: I love the scene out here, I’m in love with it and I feel so fortunate be a part of it. I want to see good things happen for it. I want to see it thrive and really be a name for itself, so that one day people can talk about it the way they talk about the Seattle grunge scene, or the Mid-West emo scene, or the New York punk scene. I don’t know what it took for those places to really get to the point where they did, maybe it really was just places like CBGB, or bands like the Ramones or American Football to come out of the woodwork, or Nirvana blowing up out of nowhere. I think as much as we talk about Tachevah being a contest, I feel like it’s good that these huge entities are trying to tune into what’s going on around here. I would like to see them try to highlight more of this unique thing happening around here. I just want to see more solidarity across the press, and across the bands that play out here. More DIY venues, more collaborations on bringing in more bands to play here, not just locally, but bring in traveling acts all the time. To really have a real space, a good venue like the Troubadour, whether or not it fails or it succeeds. I think the thing that would be crucial and key is to just have everybody tune in and pay attention. What does the future hold for Safety Net? Carrick: After our tour I want to take a break from shows. I want to sit down and write, because once we got started we didn’t stop rolling. We really haven’t taken a break since we started playing shows. As far as the future goes, we’re focusing on expanding our sounds, not necessarily transcending genres, but just taking the time to write a goddamn song. I feel like we have so much more potential, we like weird time signatures and weird chords, and we want to experiment with that more. I hope after the end of our tour or June 5th is done we just sit down and just have a summer of writing. Well, summer lends itself to that, since it’s too hot to do anything anyway. Cliff: It’s when your nerves get fried and you’re frustrated, and you just want to take it out somehow. I think that’s how we wrote a lot of our stuff to begin with. BAND: CARRICK, GUITAR, VOCALS / AUSTIN, BASS / CLIFF, DRUMS WEB: SAFETY-NET.BANDCAMP.COM
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KIM & THE CREATED PERFORMING AT DESET DAZE PHOTO BY MINI VAN PHOTOGRAPHY
KRISTIN’S NOTEBOOK: The sun rose on the Sunset Ranch in Mecca CA, casting purple shadows against the rust colored mountains, illuminating the crystal blue sky. Once again the nomadic Moon Block Party set up camp for the Desert Daze psychedelic music festival. “The culture is vibrant and the atmosphere is mellow, like a backyard BBQ but exciting like a safari adventure,” said founder and organizer Phil Pirrone. Concert goers from all over the country come to Desert Daze seeking memorable performances by boundary defying artists. It’s a true experience that is all about the music, art, vibes, and feel of camping under the pitch black desert night.
ART INSTALLATION by AUBERI ZWICKEL
This year’s Desert Daze brought in a killer lineup including RJD2, Warpaint, Minus The Bear, and Deap Vally. These artists embrace psychedelic, progressive sounds, and audience interaction. The artists get lost in their music onstage, creating magical moments for festival attendees and musicians alike. It is this openness that makes Desert Daze a unique experience in contrast to the larger commercial festivals the Coachella Valley is known for. Each stage provided different vibes for the artist’s performance. The Party Stage created a trippy atmosphere with a dramatic liquid light show onstage; the neon colors created the illusion of morphing entities, swirls that turned into galaxies and abstract expressions. This surreal backdrop for bands such as Fever The Ghost and Mr. Elevator And The Brain Hotel, enhanced the psychedelic feel of their music. The Block Stage boasted a clear sound system despite the wind and dust, with lights and plenty of room for dancing. Dan Deacon’s spazeinducing set lead the audience into a spontaneous dance contest, including a crowd surfing panda bear that ended up dancing onstage with them — a true performance piece.
Artist Team Celeste Byers And Aaron Glasson’s Interactive Piece INTER-DIMENSIONAL TELEPORTER
Desert Daze also exhibited art installations throughout the campgrounds to add a human element to the festival. Tepees and illustrated tents gave concert goers a place to relax, take cover from the wind and heat, and a chance to contemplate their inner experience. Artist team Celeste Byers and Aaron Glasson’s interactive piece “Inter-dimensional Teleporter” was composed of a richly textured diamond-shaped white cocoon, nestled against the Sunset Ranch’s lake. As the sun set, it reflected the breathtaking sky transitioning into the blues, pinks, and purples of the desert twilight with the moon beaming down on those in view. The “Inter-dimensional Teleporter” portrayed an otherworldly scene, dreaming of life on another planet and its habitat. When you come to this one-night-only desert happening, don’t expect the status quo. Open yourself to the sensual enchantment and formation of lifelong memories.
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MUSINGS ON CHELSEA WOLFE Often, Desert Daze evening performances are delayed with multiple sound checks and interference due to the high wind and dust tampering with the equipment, and this set was no exception. But the audience could swear the music had already started, with the hypnotic melodies of guitars and keyboards coming through the speakers. As the industrial baselines and drone noise built up, couples wrapped their arms around each other in a sensual embrace, while others smiled and swayed like kelp forests in the ocean. Then, Chelsea Wolfe’s voice bled out over the microphone and the dream sequence had begun. She transformed into a desert sorceress, the audience bewitched under her spell. Wolfe cites a major influence in her music is her battle with sleep paralysis: the helpless state between wakefulness and dream state. Is it any wonder she grips the psyche of her audience? Onstage the purple and contrasting yellow lights illuminate her face and the figures of the other accompanying musicians. The effect is that of a graphic novel coming to life before our eyes, but instead of the dialogue bubbles, the audience holds up their iPhones to record the event. The climax of the set was Wolfe’s performance of “Iron Moon,” a seductive ballad that lured the crowd in with gentle, whispering plateaus that cascaded into hallowing drum beats over her passionate roar.
Chelsea Wolfe’s latest album Into the Abyss debuts this August. She’s back with her haunting voice, siren-like at times. At others, it is dark as a bottomless lake, as if she’s calling to us from underwater. This album comes from a much darker place, as the industrial baselines and the more nebulous, atmospheric distortion exemplifies. Wolfe’s production is both anxiety-riddled and blissful, her voice quiet and screaming at the same time. This is Chelsea Wolfe at her most vulnerable, peeling back the layers of her skin to reveal the music inside. KYLIE’S NOTEBOOK: Take a slow drive into the heart of a thriving desert abyss fluid with promise. The journey is the destination. Concert goers arrive at Desert Daze and commune as though they were a tribe separated merely by time and space. They converge in a ritual of music worship primal in its purity. Everywhere an animal in heat. The campground is a long, winding corridor lush with vegetation and rich with new friends who take me in as their own, swap stories, feed me beer, and offer me hallucinogens. An arid expansion of whatever is left of our minds. I wonder briefly about the lives of these specimens, but eventually
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8:15PM-9PM CHELSEA WOLFE / BLOCK STAGE
regard their story as my own, just another head like so many others seeking a new experience in an alien atmosphere, either for the sake of the experiment or for the raw, blinding love of music. In any case, the scene is refreshing. Up-andcoming acts are embraced by an audience of like-minded individuals, and a young take on old ideas grow into the new flesh of this community-grown grassroots project. Unlike the more commercialized Coachella Festival, Desert Daze seems to be birthing fresh life into the now stale, repetitive, and calculated music and arts festivals which seem to be the butt of every blogger’s joke. More of a selfie opportunity than a music event, these festivals are no longer appealing to a large group of influences who are fed up with rising ticket prices and less than shocking headliners. To Desert Daze attendees, there is something appealing about the DIY, hands-on approach that’s supporting this newfound community of artists, musicians, and doers. “The first Desert Daze was held at Dillon’s Roadhouse in our own backyard — Desert Hot Springs,” reminisces bass 58 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
player Nigel Dettelbach of local Coachella Valley based band Slipping Into Darkness. “It was eleven days of music and about one hundred bands, which was wild for us. A lot of crazy shit went on! Now it’s more like a raw, less electronic version of Coachella for pennies on the dollar.” Slipping Into Darkness played the first and most recent Desert Daze. The festival is now condensed into a day, but still manages to breed the same sense of local patchwork. Falling into the night, the performers are lit up amongst palm trees and reflected by a conscious oasis. Strangers smile at one another, a child walks hand in hand with their mother, a couple sits inside a cocoon and time is suspended, music howls overhead like a wave when the tide is coming in. The moon isn’t full, but you’d swear it was. Everyone is dancing to a new rhythm, you don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. MUSINGS ON DEAP VALLY The first time I had the ear-piercing experience of watching Deap Vally perform, all I could think to myself was, “Where
9:30PM-10:05PM LINDSEY TROY OF DEAP VALLY / PARTY STAGE the hell did these rad chicks come from?” This was back in 2012 at a dive bar called Dillon’s Roadhouse, which was holding the first ever Desert Daze, at the time advertised as “11 Days of Music” set to the backdrop of the Desert Hot Springs mountains. Seemingly effortless, the rock n’ roll twopiece completely slayed the entire audience, and the fact that they were both chicks only seemed to heighten the experience. The band features vocalist Lindsey Troy and drummer Julie Edwards, which after the show I found out to be avid knitting enthusiasts. Apparently, they met at a knitting class before birthing Deap Vally, something you’d never fathom when assaulted by their passionate, pissed off stage persona. Living up to their original Desert Daze debut if not surpassing it, this year they attacked with a sexed-up, full force, rock n’ roll blow to the audience. Taking the stage shortly after sunset, they helped us transition into a state of newfound vibrating, nocturnal energy as the audience became loose and exalted, getting amped for the night to come. Although the desert heat had dissipated, Troy and Edwards never bothered to cool down, reminiscent of the sexual backbone behind 70’s
rock n’ roll, but with an honest, feminine edge all their own. Between songs I briefly surveyed the crowd, faces alert, mouths hung open, complete silence, everyone waiting for something to happen. Everything about Deap Vally is pure energy. They don’t just play, they perform. They give you the show that so many musicians have forgotten how to give, even their outfits are an example of this. Outshining even the brightest stars that began to peak out over the night sky was Troy’s star-studded red, white, and blue one-piece leotard, another testament to their love of the American rock n’ roll aesthetic. As the night began to fade into a darker shade of blue, Deap Vally charged the stage up until their final closing song, catchy riffs becoming heavier as Troy’s primal screams and edgy lyrics dizzied us into a state of ecstasy. Leaving us with jaws agape and blown-out eardrums, the silence after their performance seemed to be the most deafening. We wandered on, confused and exhilarated, a herd of misplaced animals looking for another band to devour. WEB: DESERTDAZE.ORG
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ANDY SIEGE JANUARY 2015 at the RENAISSANE HOTEL PALM SPRINGS, CA
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
text & photography JORGE PEREZCHICA
BETI AND AMARE WRITER/DIRECTOR
Born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1985 to a pair of German aid workers, Andy Siege is a self-proclaimed “do-it-yourself ” filmmaker and director. While spending his childhood growing up between Africa and Europe, he was often asked what he wanted to be as an adult. His answer? “Cowboy, and film director.” His journey began at 13 years old after publishing his first short story in the German children’s magazine Der Bunte Hund. Siege has written and directed various short films and plays, and has since added the critically acclaimed Beti and Amare to his already impressive resumé. “I realized my dream,” he says. Siege studied Creative Writing and Film in Canada and, in 2010, he earned a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. At one point, he started working towards a Masters Degree in Business, but quit after two months. Then, in 2011 he went to Ethiopia with his friend Pascal Dawson, who stars in Beti and Amare. “I kind of wrote the part for him,” said Siege. “He was my muse.” Actress Hiwot Asres stars as Beti, and choosing her was a gut instinct. “At auditions, 30 people showed up and [Asres] was the eighth person,” Siege said. “I just knew she was the one.” Beti and Amare is a science fiction film with classic elements of beloved fairytales. The story centers around an Ethiopian girl who struggles to survive her war-torn country in 1936. It includes an introduction with archival footage, an alien who falls inexplicably from the sky, an unorthodox love story, and both color and black and white scenes. The film will leave you wondering, “What’s the meaning of the red flower?” It will make you cry. This and more is the result of Siege’s virtuosity. He does almost everything, including writing, directing, and producing on a micro-budget of $14,000. “I always wanted to be a filmmaker,” Siege said. “I wanted my first movie to be about issues that matter.” Siege structured Beti and Amare in his head for three months in Ethiopia before spending two weeks writing the play. “I wanted to make a movie about opposites attracting,” he said. While traveling in Ethiopia, Siege was instantly influenced by his surroundings. “Ethiopia inspired me,” he said. “The landscape — it’s like walking through the Bible.” This film has already been nominated for the Golden Saint George at the Moscow International Film Festival. “[Beti 62 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
and Amare] was self-financed, and partly through IndieGoGo,” said Siege. “I didn’t have the connections, I didn’t have the money. But I made something that competes with the big boys. I have several projects with bigger budgets, but no matter where I go in my career, I also want to make DIY films. It is possible because of the digital revolution. There are some huge changes happening. We are a part of a new renaissance... Years from now we will look back with nostalgia. So, I am extremely fortunate every day to be one of the pioneers.” It took 30 days to film Beti and Amare, and the entire editing process took nearly a year and a half in post-production. “I had very little experience,” Siege admitted, “but I was learning as I went along. When you watch a lot of films you become an expert in the cinematic language. It’s not a language of words, it’s a language of images, with sequences and sound.” With an international team behind him in Germany, Siege was able to complete the film in all areas, even those he didn’t have experience in, including the music and special effects. “From beginning to end, people were engaged,” he said. “The post-production was the most collaborative. The way it was made was organic, like sculpting something.” “While making Beti and Amare I always thought of it as a kind of love letter to my future audience,” Siege said. “It is a great feeling to have people come up to you after your screening with tears in their eyes because your movie touched them so much. I like making people cry — in a good way (laughs). It has also been great to connect with aspiring filmmakers who came to see my movie and were inspired by it.” Siege’s intention for the film was to leave audiences with a universal message: Humans can become worse than monsters, and love will conquer all. “Storytelling is my thing,” he said. “I read a lot of fantasy.” As far as his vision for the style and content of the film, he said, “I wanted to combine my African roots with science fiction. I believe that sci-fi and magical realism are the same thing... I think the best art is created by madness and structured by reason.” Beti and Amare isn’t at the end of its journey; it still has many more festivals and nominations ahead. WEB: KALULUENTERTAINMENT.COM
actress HIWOT ASRES as BETI in a scene from BETI and AMARE
actor PASCAL DAWSON as AMARE in a scene from BETI and AMARE
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ELINA ABAI KYZY JANUARY 2015 at RIVIERA PALM SPRINGS, CA
ELINA ABAI KYZY
KURMANJAN DATKA QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAINS ACTRESS
Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains was released in honor of the 200th anniversary of Queen Kurmanjan of Kyrgyz Kaganat, national hero and mother of their nation. “It was a very laborious and long process,” expressed director, writer, and producer Sadyk Sher-Niyaz. “The idea of the film nurtured for nearly 20 years. And only in 2012 the government supported [us] and we started shooting. For me, every period of the film was important and left a lot of memories.” The result of this labor of love became Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains, a sweeping historical epic drama shot in lush locations with lavish costumes and set productions that transport viewers to another world. The film sets the story in the year 840 as the narrator states, “As time passed with conflicts amongst locals and merciless invasions by Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, the great power of Kyrgyz Kaganat fell... Over a thousand years, this former great empire shattered into pieces. Only 40 remaining tribes are still surviving in the mountains.” Immediately, we are introduced to Kurmanjan as a child in 19th century Central Asia. It is predicted that she will have a great destiny and that she will become the ruler
of her country and save the nation from total destruction. Her parents are told, “Your daughter is worth ten sons. Our country will need you tomorrow. Let the lord give you a long life.” This prediction was mocked, as women at that time had no rights. Soon, we cut to Kurmanjan as a young woman, portrayed impeccably by actress Elina Abai Kyz, forced into an arranged marriage with a man she does not love. However, she runs back home the night of her wedding, breaking with tradition and bringing shame on herself and her family. The feud between the two families is resolved by Alymbek Datka (Aziz Muradillaev), ruler of the Alai highland country, who frees Kurmanjan from the imposed marriage and later takes her as his wife. Initially, Kyz didn’t expect that she could play the part of Kurmanjan, being one of 500 candidates, 200 being professional actresses, but one of the producers encouraged her to audition. Kyz waited four months before she was approved — after that, she says she doesn’t remember much because everything was so hazy. For the part, Kyz learned to ride a horse and she had to block out all social media because there was so much involvement. “It was very difficult because
actress ELINA ABAI KYZY in a still from the film KURMANJAN DATKA QUEEN of the MOUNTAINS
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KURMANJAN DATKA QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAINS DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER it was in the mountains,” Kyz recalls. Now that everyone has seen the film and likes it, she forgets about all the hardships and says that she has an opportunity to represent her country. Occasionally, director Sher-Niyaz takes creative liberty placing a fierce tiger on as Kurmanjan’s spirit, illustrating her strength and courage. “[The] tigress in the film [is] named Shakira. Yes, exactly, the name of the famous pop singer,” explained Sher-Niyaz. “We brought her from Moscow. [She] is a definite symbol of courage, bravery and resilience... and appears when Kurmanjan Datka took heavy trials of life.” After her husband’s death, the burden of the responsibility for the safety of the people and the independence of her country falls on the shoulders of Kurmanjan. As time progresses, the Russian Empire invades Central Asia and begins its colonial policy, but after long battles and numerous losses, eventually a peace agreement is signed with Kurmanjan. Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains was submitted to the 87th Academy Awards, filled with passion, intrigue, bloody battle scenes, spectacular landscapes, and lavish
costumes. The film was shot on location with a budget of merely $1.5 million in various parts of the beautiful country of Kyrgyzstan. Remarkably, they were able to shut down St. Petersburg’s Square in front of the Winter Palace in Russia for filming. Over 10,000 people were involved with production in front of and behind the camera. “[Kurmanjan] is very famous,” clarified Sher-Niyaz. “It is very difficult because everyone knows her. Everyone at school learned the history of this woman.” Although he admitted feeling a great deal of pressure from the media, he tried to balance between making a film that was very factual, but also very entertaining. Now the highest box office grossing film produced in Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains has become the most successful film the country has ever seen, and only two months after its release. “The reaction of the audience in Kyrgyzstan and in America was delicious,” said Sher-Niyaz. “The audience warmly received the film after watching, actively discussed [it], and [said] good words. It was a victory. This is what we have achieved with the team.” WEB: KURMANJAN.COM
Still image of a battle scene from KURMANJAN DATKA QUEEN of the MOUNTIANS.
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DIRECTOR: DARWIN SERINK PRODUCER: TOMMEE MAY WEB: ABANKHORSHID.COM SADYK SHER-NIYAZ at RIVIERA PALM SPRINGS, COACHELLA MAGAZINE CA 67
AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
ZACHARY KERSCHBERG & CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS
SEEING THE FULL SOUNDING interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
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WINNER: BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
So, tell us about yourselves and the award-winning documentary short film Seeing the Full Sounding. Zach: I was born on a commune in West Virginia, but moved to east Oakland when I was seven years old, and have since lived in South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. I studied literature and romance languages at UC Berkeley before doing an MFA in Dramatic Writing, and I am currently completing a second MFA in film at NYU. My goal with Seeing the Full Sounding was to create a film that would give a traditional audience access to the music, and I think we accomplished it. Chris: I’m a Berlin-based musician originally from San Diego, where I studied music at UCSD. In addition to composing, playing the bass, and curating concerts in Berlin and abroad, I’m working on a PhD at the University of Leiden (Holland). The film began as a research project for these studies, an attempt to discover and share how the eyes, mind, body, instrument, and sound work together with this kind of music notation. Seeing the Full Sounding refers both to how we make the sounding music visible through the camera, and to “Sounding the Full Circle,” an anthology of scores and texts by Malcolm Goldstein, whose music I perform in the film. How did you meet each other? Was there a specific moment that inspired you to document and tell this story? Zach: We met through a mutual friend, an Italian painter that was moving back to Barcelona and looking for someone to take over his room. In this way, we became friends and roommates at the same time. Chris had the idea to apply for to the Agosto Foundation for an artist residency in Czech Republic where he could explore two unconventionally notated scores by Malcolm Goldstein and I could document the process as part of his PhD. As soon as we started shooting, we knew the material would be strong enough to cut a short film. In the film, Christopher Williams shows us a line drawing that looks like a map with Roman numerals — can you tell us what it represents? Chris: That’s the score! The lines represent bow movements — fast, slow, up and down the string, etc. The Roman numerals tell me when to move the bow back and forth and on what string to play. It’s rather different from “normal” music notation because it deals with movement rather than notes and rhythms. It may look (and sound!) abstract, but in fact everything is explained in the written instructions. What do you hope the audience to come away with after watching Seeing the Full Sounding? Zach: We hope that the audience takes away a better understanding and appreciation of improvised music and graphic scores.
Chris: Also bigger ears! The world is worth listening to closely. What inspired you to venture into experimental music and documentary filmmaking? Zach: I first got involved with documentary filmmaking in college when a friend invited me to collaborate on a series of films about disability. I loved the intimacy and the opportunity to dive into subjects I knew nothing about. Since then it has taken me to American prisons, South American beauty pageants, UN refugee camps, and Berlin’s art scene. Chris: It’s difficult to pinpoint one experience or person. I suppose I’m a native experimentalist — even as a teenager, I knew I wanted to spend my life thinking and making music and living at the edge of experience. Great teachers hipped me to the fact that this music was how I could do it. Who are some artists that have influenced your work? Zach: In terms of documentary filmmaking, I am heavily influenced by Albert and David Maysles and Walter Ruttmann, though our film’s greatest influence is the music itself. Chris: Another tough one to pinpoint. The deepest are my teachers and collaborators — Bertram Turetzky, Chaya Czernowin, Charles Curtis, Derek Bailey. Recently I’ve been totally absorbed in the music and writings of Cornelius Cardew, an Englishman who wrote some very radical scores in the 1960s then later disavowed them when he became a Communist. What are you currently working on? Zach: Well, the film’s title will definitely change. It has grown into a trilogy that follows six Berliners who are struggling with acceptance, independence, identity, reality, history, and connectedness; the same issues that define Berlin 25 years after the fall of the Wall. What’s really cool is that through them we discover the vibrant art scene that is happening in Berlin. Chris: The impossible task of doing less! At this very instant I’m finishing a radio piece called “A Treatise Remix,” based on Cornelius Cardew’s mammoth and controversial graphic score “Treatise.” I take historical recordings of this piece, texts about it, and a new recording with three other Berliners, and layer them like a lasagna. Do you plan on collaborating again on another film? Zach: Actually, Chris is one of the supporting characters in the Berlin trilogy! Chris: Woe is me! DIRECTOR: ZACHARY KERSCHBERG WEB: WINDMILLSANDGIANTS.COM WEB: CHRISTOPHERISNOW.COM
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4th Annual AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL: Official Selection
THE LOST MARINER
WINNER: BEST ANIMATED SHORT
interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
Tell us about yourself and your award-winning animated film The Lost Mariner. How did you come across Dr. Oliver Sacks’ case study in his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. What inspired you to tell this story? I had read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat a number of years ago, but it wasn’t until my mother sent me a copy in her Christmas 2013 package and I reread it, that I had the idea for the short film. Actually I had the idea to create a whole series of shorts based on patients with rare neurological disorders, and this idea has now morphed into a feature project I’m currently working on. But I thought The Lost Mariner was a great place to start. The particular memory condition described was so challenging to depict, and my mind immediately started buzzing with ideas about which animation technique would be best. How many photo stills were taken to create The Lost Mariner and how long did it take to complete the film? The film is five minutes and 45 seconds, and the cutouts were animated at either six or 12 frames per second. Normally I work at 12 frames per second, but because of all the cutting involved in this film I halved the frame rate of many scenes so my hand wouldn’t fall off. I would say the final film is made up of roughly 3,000 still images. Today it seems most animation is done with 3D software on computers — what inspires you to work with a more traditional and experimental approach to animation? There is something incredibly attractive and relatable about animation made one frame at a time with physical material. I think it works on our sense of empathy as viewers. We can see it was touched and made by a person and that just doesn’t come across as easily in digital animation, especially 3D digital animation. And also, that’s where the fun lies for me. Getting my hands dirty, and figuring out what practical technique is best to tell this story, that’s fun. And the possibilities are endless! You can animate anything: sand, objects, dust, flowers, ink, puppets, rice. Though the possibilities are equally wide in 3D digital animation, I haven’t seen artists really take advantage of its scope. Mostly you just see animators try to recreate reality, and what’s the point of that? 70 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
Were you always a creative person growing up? What inspired you to venture into animation to begin with and what do you enjoy the most about the animation process? Ya, art class was always my favorite class growing up, but it took me a while to find my artistic home. I signed up for an undergraduate BA in Fine Art (at the University of Brighton in the UK) and was doing weird conceptual paintings and installations the first year. But during that summer I saw a puppet show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that changed my life. I wish I remembered the name of the troupe, but it’s lost to time. It was a puppet show where the puppeteers interacted with their puppets openly. Probably this is not revolutionary in the world of puppetry, but I’d never seen it before. I was really inspired by the way the puppeteers infused life into their puppets, and when I got back to art school I started making little wire puppet and paper cutout films one frame at a time. And I’ve just never stopped. For me, making animated films is my artistic practice. Who are some artists that have influenced your work? My early inspirations were the animators Yuri Norstein, Caroline Leaf, and Jan Svankmejer. I’m constantly discovering new work by older animators I didn’t know about and new ones coming up. I would say the qualities I find most inspiring are creativity in storytelling — in structure of the narrative and technique used. I like a film that challenges me, doesn’t spell out the story for me. Do you have any advice for aspiring future animators? My main advice would be to think about what type of animator you want to be — do you want to be an animator for hire at a big studio? Do you want to be a freelancer with your own business who does primarily client work? Or do you want to make primarily your own films? All of these are valid directions, and they are all possible. If you are surrounded by a community that only fits into one of those categories, it can be hard sometimes to realize that the other options exist. PORTFOLIO: VIMEO.COM/TESSMARTIN WEB: TESSMARTINART.COM
Actor Ruud Aarden stars as Young Jimmie in The Lost Mariner.
Handmade origami paper boat sails the seas in a still image of The Lost Mariner.
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A PROJECT OF THE McCALLUM THEATER
text JEFFREY NORMAN photography CHRISTIAN MENDEZ
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Danzanates del Sol performing at CULTURAS MUSIC and ART Rancho in Coachella, part of Crisálida’s East Valley Voices OUT LOUD
When writer/poet/storyteller/arts activist Dr. David Gonzalez visited the Valley a couple of years ago, he had the opportunity to speak to a large group of McCallum Theatre donors and volunteer leaders. Captivating the crowd with his charm and ebullient enthusiasm for the impact the arts can have on people of all ages and backgrounds, he shared a simple philosophy: We all have a story. And each of our stories has value in the retelling. Especially when they are shared artfully. On a parallel trajectory, McCallum President and CEO Mitch Gershenfeld and his staff had been thinking pretty hard about the role of a performing arts venue in the twentyfirst century. Was it possible and, indeed, necessary for a theatre to be more than what goes on in its building? All of this dovetailed with ongoing discussion in the national arts and community development fields about “creative placemaking.” According to a report commissioned by The Mayor’s Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, “in creative placemaking, partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities” and “bring diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.” Gershenfeld started a series of conversations with Gonzalez. What evolved was an idea to serve the communities in the East Valley in a more expansive, mutually meaningful way. To be certain, there are amazing cultural activities going on in towns like Indio, Coachella, Thermal, and Mecca all the time. The question became: Could the McCallum Theatre leverage its own resources as the Valley’s premier performing arts venue to give greater voice to the cultural traditions and aspirations already being celebrated in these communities? And thus, the Crisálida Community Arts Project was born. Crisálida’s aim is to encourage active participation by residents of all ages in creating, sharing, and preserving unique cultural experiences using storytelling to write and perform personal narratives, fictional stories, poetry, and folk tales. Enter The Irvine Foundation. Through its Exploring Engagement Fund for Large Organizations, the Foundation was accepting proposals for projects that would “promote engagement in the arts for all Californians – the kind that embraces and advances the diverse ways that we experience the arts, and that strengthens our ability to thrive together
in a dynamic and complex social environment.” With the support of The Irvine Foundation, the theatre and Gonzalez began laying the groundwork for the success of the Crisálida Community Arts Project. Gonzalez, recipient of the 2011 International Performing Arts for Youth Lifetime Achievement Award for Sustained Excellence, set his calendar to spend six months over the next two years in the Coachella Valley. Things kicked off in early July when Gonzalez visited the Valley for a luncheon co-hosted by the McCallum and Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., at the Indio campus of the College of the Desert. Over forty community leaders from the East Valley attended the session to meet Gonzalez and learn firsthand about the goals of the Crisálida Project. “I really want to get to know the people, the leaders, the organizations, and the existing cultural assets in the East Valley,” said Gonzalez. “In fact, the Irvine Foundation has given us the luxury of dedicating the first part of the project to exactly that. What develops from that is what really has me excited. It will all develop organically, depending heavily upon the people and organizations that get involved with Crisálida.” “There is a world of opportunity and lots of stories to hear, to tell, to share, and to preserve,” said Gonzalez. There are several Crisálida initiatives in place including: Community Outreach in collaboration with various community partners including the Coachella Valley Housing Authority, the newly formed bilingual East Valley Repertory Theater Company (Carlos Garcia is Artistic Director), and East Valley Voices OUT LOUD – a performance series highlighting the creative talents of local residents. “It’s our hope that the Crisálida Community Arts Project is the beginning of a mutually fruitful relationship with the Valley’s Hispanic community,” said Gershenfeld. “One that fosters artistic expression, engages the wider Valley in cross-cultural experiences, challenges McCallum staff and volunteer leadership, and ultimately serves as a roadmap for continuing and expanding interaction with a significantly important constituency,. Let the stories begin… PROJECT: CRISALIDA COMMUNITY ARTS ORGANIZATION: MCCALLUM THEATER WEB: CRISALIDA-ARTS.BLOGSPOT.COM
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photo by MRZ
EL GATO CLASSIC EDDIE ELGUERA
interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
How did the idea for “El Gato Classic” event come together and how much planing was involved? I wanted to put together an event to gather some of my heroes from the late 70’s. I shared the idea with my wife and a few friends and it just started to evolve. We spent about four months planning the details and during that time the “little gathering” that we had envisioned began to grow into a weekend event that far exceed our initial ideas. Your website says the first El Gato Classic event will bring together what you call the “Revolutionary Age of Skateboarding.” Can you tell us more about it? In the early 1970’s, skateboarding began to evolve from skateboarding on the streets to skating in empty swimming pools. During that time skateparks began spring up that incorporated “swimming pool” style bowls specifically for skateboarding. Up until that time, the only contests consisted of Slalom and flatland freestyle. Slalom world champion Henry Hester wanted to put together a contest series that would focus on vertical skateboarding. The Hester Series consisted of two seasons, 1978 and 1979. Then in 1980 the Gold Cup Series of Skateboarding followed with one more season. Those three years became the catalyst to what vertical skating has become today, as seen in the XGames. Do you have any particular highlight moments from the El Gato Classic event that stands out to you the most? Definitely. Some of the greatest highlights of this past El Gato Classic was skating with some of my heroes that I haven’t seen for over 35 years! Another highlight would have to be skating doubles with Tony Hawk on the vert ramp! The entire weekend was like a big reunion for us all! What are somethings to expect for the second annual? The next El Gato Classic Legends Weekend will be December 4-6th and will be more in the downtown area of Palm Springs with a block party feel. Tony Hawk will be with us again and we will also include a music element, and more activities to draw tourists and locals. Can you tell us what it was like being a two-time world champion skateboarder during 1979-1980 years? During those years there was a lot of innovation going on. New tricks were being invented so fast that there was a lot
of pressure to keep inventing new tricks. If you couldn’t stay up with the latest tricks, you got left behind real quick! The tricks back then became what are now foundational maneuvers to vertical skateboarding. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed in the sport of skateboarding since you first started? It has become more mainstream. More corporate sponsors have gotten involved, but one of the biggest changes is accessibility through the internet. Back in the day you would have to wait months for the skateboard magazines to come out in the newsstands to see what the latest tricks were. There wasn’t a lot of video either. But now everyone has phones that film quality video and can be posted online for the world to see immediately. Large corporate sponsors have definitely come on the scene but, for the most part, skateboarding remains an individual sport for the everyday skater. Is there anything you would like to see happen in the sport of skateboarding or here in the Coachella Valley? I would like to see the El Gato Classic host major pro-am contests gathering the world’s greatest skaters. There are so many great skaters these days, and there aren’t many opportunities for them to get exposure. I believe that we can provide a series of contests that will provide the exposure for these great skaters, both guys and girls. What keeps you inspired and motivated to continue skateboarding today? I love that fact that I can still be relevant and an inspiration to my generation as well as the next generation. It was never thought of that a 52-year-old would be able to do what is being done today. When I was world champion, skaters were considered old if they were in their late 20’s. Now, I am inspiring guys in their 30’s and 40’s to continue pushing the limits. Are there any other goals you have your mind set on towards your skateboarding career? I would like to continue to do skateboard events that honor the past legends and champion the future generations. I believe if we do, skateboarding will never die. INSTAGRAM: @ELGATOCLASSIC WEB: ELGATOCLASSIC.COM
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FASHION WEEK EL PASEO PALM DESERT, CA / MARCH 21-28, 2015 THE SUPERSTARS OF PROJECT RUNWAY: Michael Costello, Los Angeles-based fashion designer is best known for dressing top A-list entertainers, and this year he hand-picked designers for the Project Runway event. “I try to find designers with different points of views when it comes to the Project Runway show — so you really get something different,” said Costello. “They have the opportunity to showcase their work. Patricia [Michaels], interesting, fun and exciting. Michelle [Lesniak], expert tailoring and details. Daniel [Esquivel] — I just love how creative he is — reminds me of Hollywood glamour. Dom [Streater] — I’m excited what she’s going to do.” Costello’s own show consisted mainly of stark, black attire he described as “Japanese warrior and samurai — really sexy. I’m excited about what people say.” Costello grew up in Palm Springs where he opened his first boutique, and he quickly became a household name after his appearances on the Project Runway television series. He reminisces, “That was definitely a turning point.”
FIDM: The 2015 Couture Debut Show featured the collections from the third-year fashion students of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Each designer reflected their own unique aesthetic while presenting a vision for the future of fashion. Their inspirations ranged from world travels, cinema, and rock n’ roll icons. Highlights included three young designers whose collections were applauded with standing ovations. Marly Kluge presented flowing jumpsuits and dresses with bright topical prints and colors. Dustin Mangan pushed men’s fashion to new limits with jean material and black leather joggers and trenchcoats, complete with built-in backpacks. Leetal Platt closed the runway show with her stunning take on women’s evening wear. Her one-of-a-kind gowns featured intricate hand sewn silver metal chains with contrasting silky fabrics. Her final piece closed the show and earned the loudest applause with its hand-crafted, sliver chained crown.
DESIGNER: LEETAL PLATT
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DESIGNER: DOM STREATER
DESIGNER: DUSTIN MANGAN
text KRISTIN WINTERS & JORGE PEREZCHICA photography LUNAFORA
BEAUTY: Stylist and co-owner Roberto Madera of Roberto Madera Salon has been a part of Fashion Week El Paseo for the last seven years. “One of the best parts creating this event is working with designers, stylists, producers, and directors,” said Madera, who admires the collaboration of the fashion and beauty industry. His perseverance is to be appreciated. “We all make it happen. There’s no ifs or buts,” he said. Madera mused about his travels all over the world to explore trends, but he acquires most of his inspiration from the Coachella Valley, including the hotels and people walking downtown. Much of his fashion influence comes from the more classic designers like Gianni Versace, who tragically died in 1997. This year Madera’s salon created the glamour for both FIDM and Michael Costello. With 15 years of experience, the salon has styled for numerous A-list designers including Cavalli, Oscar de la Renta, and Ralph Lauren.
MODELS: Rachel Sklar, 5’ 10”, born and raised in Valencia, CA, is represented by LA Models, “Most of the girls in the shows were from there,” said Sklar. “It was fun being together like a big family; getting to know the new girls and reuniting with the older models. My favorite moment is the ‘first look’ before each show. I get so excited with butterflies in my stomach as hair, makeup, dressers, and designers bustle about me with last minute touch-ups... it’s like acting a part in a movie.” Sklar had some favorite designers she modeled during Fashion Week El Paseo: “I felt especially elegant walking the runway in the lacy, long-sleeved Daniel Esquivel gown, Dom Streater’s vibrant personality showed through in the edgy, two-slit, black and white gown. Candice Held’s silk mini-dress was also a fun, carefree look... and if given another opportunity, I would jump at the chance to work with Michael Costello.” WEB: FASHIONWEEKELPASEO.COM
DESIGNER: MARLY KLUGE
DESIGNER: DOM STREATER
DESIGNER: MICHAEL COSTELLO
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| FOOD + DRINK
EUREKA! INDIAN WELLS, CA In the short time since opening, Eureka! has established itself as the go-to place for fresh cocktails and delicious gourmet burgers. The architecture and decor is smartly designed and customized to the Indian Wells location, boasting minimalist metal light fixtures alongside tables and paneling created out of hardwoods retrieved from historic American barns. The repurposed materials exudes a beautiful rustic feel and reflects Eureka!’s eco-conscious philosophy. The bar has crisp refreshing cocktails served with style. Their exceptional drinks include the weekly rotating farmer’s market cocktail, beer flights from all over world, and their signature Old-Fashioned. All craft cocktails are made with hand-pressed juices and fresh organic ingredients. The natural flavors and liqueurs set the mood for a romantic date night or a jubilant Sunday brunch with friends. Eureka! describes its menu as, “comfort American cuisine with a modern twist.” This inspiration delivers 78 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
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a fun remix of familiar foods from their appetizers, Lollipop Corndogs and Mac n’ Cheese Alfredo to popular entree burgers and hand-cut fries. Excellent standouts are the Fresno Fig Burger and Cowboy Burger, with specialized ingredients and exquisite flavors, stacked together with fresh baked buns and local produce to elevate the gourmet experience. For a truly decadent meal, the Bone Marrow Burger is a must try; a perfectly juicy patty combined with bone marrow porcini butter, charbroiled onions, and mustard aioli. When paired with a robust cabernet, these complex flavors are pure perfection. In the dog days of the desert summer, when it’s too hot to fire up the grill — escape to Indian Wells for food and drinks: The All-American menu with gourmet flair will make your taste buds shout in delight “Eureka!” WHERE: 74985 HIGHWAY 111, INDIAN WELLS, CA WEB: EUREKARESTAURANTGROUP.COM
WE’RE BACK! Sundance NEXT FEST kicks off August 2 with an outdoor screening of Cop Car–fresh off the 2015 Sundance Film Festival–at one of LA’s coolest cinematic venues, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, presented by Cinespia. The celebration of film and music continues August 7–9 at the historic Theatre at Ace Hotel with LA premieres of six films, paired with music and conversation. Tickets on sale now.
PROGRAM SCHEDULE KICK OFF EVENT SUN, AUG 2 • 8:30 PM
NEXT FEST FRI, AUG 7 • 8:00 PM
Film: COP CAR Cinespia at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Film: MISTRESS AMERICA Music: Sky Ferreira
Film: CRONIES Followed by a Conversation with Filmmakers
SAT, AUG 8 • 3:30 PM
SUN, AUG 9 • 8:00 PM
Film: FINDERS KEEPERS Followed by a Conversation with Filmmakers and Subjects from the Film
SUN, AUG 9 • 3:30 PM
Film: TURBO KID Music: Neon Indian (DJ set) B2B Toro Y Moi (DJ set)
SAT, AUG 8 • 8:00 PM Film: ENTERTAINMENT Music: Sharon Van Etten (solo)
Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that discovers and supports independent film and theatre artists from the U.S. and around the world, and introduces audiences to their new work.
| FOOD + DRINK
SELVAREY RUM Three brothers teamed up with fellow rum aficionado Bruno Mars to change people’s perception of what rum can be and elevate the drink to its rightful place alongside the finest vodkas, tequilas, and whiskeys. After years of searching, they finally found legendary Master Blender Don Francisco “Pancho” Fernandez, former Minister of Rum who’d carved out a distillery from the jungles of Panama. The process of creating Selvarey rum starts with the world’s best sugarcane grown in the small town of Pesé, Panama. With its combination of the perfect climate and geology creating fruitful land and the richest cane, this is where the finest rum begins. Once the sugarcane is washed and its juice is collected, everything is settled and broiled to separate the crystalized raw sugar and the molasses, which is cooked to a grade A standard for the final product. Yeast is added to the molasses and both are fermented together. After this, the distillation process can begin, creating notes of floral, banana, herbs, pears, apples, and guava in Selvarey’s unique copper columns stills built in 1922 by American Copper & Brass Works. 80 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
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Everything is then transferred to American White oak barrels, where the rum is aged to perfection in a single batch. After the filtration process, the color is removed and the purest water in Latin American is added, forming a pristine crispiness that garnered it the nickname “The Champagne of the Chagres.”
THE COCKTAILS: Cacao Colada 2oz SelvaRey Cacao Rum 1oz Pineapple Juice 1oz Coconut Milk or 3/4oz Coco Lopez Shake and strain Reyhound 2oz SelvaRey White Rum 4oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice Mix together and garnish with grapefruit. WEB: SELVAREY.COM
KINDS OFBLACK CHRISTIAN ALVAREZ
interview & photography JORGE PEREZCHICA
So, tell us about yourself and your new book of poetry. I’m from the Bay Area and was raised in Arizona. I performed music most of my life and writing really took hold when I discovered the beat writers and slam/def poet scene. I was fortunate enough to hit the road with Saul Williams as his drummer and met heroes of mine that were MCs and poets and gave me a hope that you can make your way doing what you consider a dream. The title is a riff on Miles Davis’ “Kinds of Blue.” When I listen to certain music or read certain authors work a certain feeling, a wash of emotion sets a mood and hopefully this is something readers can do with my work. This is the latest of 11 books and it is my favorite currently. Probably because it’s the baby, but it is a big collection — maybe 60 poems. Who is the woman on the cover? That was a romantic goofy selfie taken at the Rumor Hotel in Las Vegas back a few years ago with an old flame... I’m a huge fan of the Blue Note record covers and being able to have covers on the books and artwork takes me back to reading liner notes and staring at the album covers with headphones on. I want to record versions of my work with music and this summer when I have reading dates in L.A., Phoenix, and clear up to Seattle, I hope to bring along the aspect of live art, a DJ, and various forms of live music. When you moved to the Coachella Valley — did your writing style change? It was a side thing for me when I got here. I had just gotten off tour and when I landed here in Palm Springs. I was in a few musical projects mostly in the studio or up in Twenty82 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
Nine Palms with guys I’ve made music with for years in that lush scene, but writing took over. The valley has a certain vibe that no where else can match. The desert is magical and mysterious and beautiful. It is a perfect place to get away or be on the pulse of everything. From your experience, what have been some of the most difficult things to express in your poetry? I wanted to tell stories and true stories bare-bone, but I didn’t want to get in trouble or name names and really felt uncomfortable, so I thought about a painting and how a moment was expressed fully in a still. This led me to believe I could use metaphors and words to express the feelings behind the scene giving the reader all the tools needed to not only try to figure out what I was talking about but how those unspoken feelings were easily related to. Some of the most difficult things in life are only able to be expressed through art and poetry. To me it is a perfect way to tell the ins and outs of a scenario and leave that mark for others to see. What are your currently working on? I’m currently writing a web series with Anthony D’Juan out of Sacramento. I’m also working on a one-man play with him to be performed over a two-night live filming this year. The other project is a dinner theater play involving a couple and a waiter. But mostly for now DailyOne poems on my Facebook and photo posts on my Instagram. BOOK: KINDS OF BLACK INSTAGRAM: @CHRISTIANALVAREZ WEB: BEATPOETFLASH.COM
((Why I Sleep)) why I sleep picture me taking my suitcase from the bent track closet a logo’d pill a bag of tricks long enough to live on incase the morning late if this night to utter cut tonight in dreams the smiling boy knows that smooth means time and wrinkles mean soft that fur needs to be petted eyes need to be fed and that if he wears a bird suit with flippers a squirrel tail and a fireman’s hat he could climb a high tree leap into the sky fly inside the clouds plunge into the sea channeling the puissant swell to douse the dancing flames obeisant tonight the smiling boy knows only that if ’s mean yes that maybe’s are just pauses before serenity and no’s is a thing that allows you to breathe in the scent of mothers hair and rain and tiny pieces of light
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CREATIVO IDENTITY & DESIGN text & photography JORGE PEREZCHICA
Luis Fausto has successfully operated CREATIVO, a graphic design boutique out of an office in Indio, CA for three years. “I don’t want to have a huge company. I would just like to have five at the most — creative people.” Simplicity is definitely something Fausto strives for, considering he chooses to run his businesses with “no one in between,” meaning no salespeople or accountants. Before starting his own business, Fausto earned a graphic design diploma from College of the Desert. “I realized I was really good at design,” he enthused. When he applied for work at several agencies throughout the Coachella Valley it came easy. “I just showed my portfolio and got hired,” he says. At first, he worked as an in-house graphic designer for a golf clothing company for three years and eventually got his own office. However, he left to pursue more challenging work and got an even better job. At one point, he headed a campaign for a golf tournament that proved so successful that the owner came back with a new car. “I felt a little jaded that they were profiting off my work,” he admits. Later, he designed a logo that earned $21,000 for the company, and, he confesses, “This time I was even more pissed.” Although the company had a good mix of people, it eventually floundered due to mismanagement of funds. “That’s when I decided to start my own business,” Fausto says. “I built good relationships with some of those clients.” After the letdown of his previous employers, the work he does at CREATIVO he describes as wanting it to be “genuine.” Fausto admits, “I’ve never done anything else besides graphic design work.” He has been a graphic designer for 12 years and, now that he is in charge of his own business, something he worries about that he didn’t before is the insecurity. “We need more, or is this good enough?” he often muses. “Will this come through? Do I know how to do this?”
When Fausto started his business, he was working at home; but his luck quickly changed when he met Bill Schinsky, executive director of Coachella Valley Art Center in Indio, CA. “He said, ‘How is it working from home?’” Fausto remembers. “I said, ‘Oh, it’s awful.’ He said, ‘Would an office change that? What kind of space do you need? How many people?’” Fausto returned the next day to find Schinsky had emptied out his office. “He said, ‘This is better for you,’” Fausto recalls. “Bill is one of those people, to facilitate art... That’s when I realized we should be working for nonprofits.” Three years later, Fausto still occupies the same space. Over the years, a major lesson experience has taught him is this: “When you have money, make sure you take care of everyone.” The world of graphic design is constantly evolving and has taught Fausto much, including: “You have to strategize your business, you can’t get caught up in the day-to-day. We have to consistently design stuff. Otherwise you’re not profiting enough, you’re just barely making a living. Ideally, you want to look five years ahead.” Still, Fausto feels there is a need to fill creative jobs here in the Coachella Valley. “To be honest with you, the Valley is a good 8-10 years behind the world.” As a result, “Good, talented people end up leaving. It’s tough because you need to convince people that you need design.” Nonetheless, most of the clients he works with are non-profit businesses. “I always believed you should do community work,” he enthused. “If we can help them through design, you should do it.” Some of Fausto’s clients include College of the Desert’s Marks Art Center, The Coachella Valley History Museum, S.C.R.A.P. Gallery, and the Coachella Valley Symphony. WEB: CREATIVOIDENTITY.COM
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Steven ‘BIG BELLI’ text & photography JORGE PEREZCHICA
Tattoo artist Steven ‘Big Belli’ has been at TG Tattoo for five years, specializing in black and grey tattoos. “I was 19 when I started tattooing from home,” he says. “And I’ve been working at Tattoo Gallery ever since we opened in 2009.” Six years later, Big Belli is 28 and still going strong. Before he chose tattooing as a profession he was always drawing, starting at the age of five years old. Big Belli’s background in art and 3D drawing has proved instrumental with tattooing. “I took art classes all through high school,” he recalls. “I went to a lot of schools, I was a troublemaker. I used to get teased a lot about my last name.” Overcoming adversity, he gathered inspiration from the creatives he grew up with, including an uncle who was into art, and whom he used to steal his spray paint from, along with a friend in high school named Tommy “Cyclone” Garcia who was into tattooing. “He taught me a little bit about tattooing,” says Big Belli. After being kicked out of La Quinta High School because his grades were too low, Big Belli eventually earned his degree from Amistad and received a $500 scholarship to go to college. “I used it to buy a tattoo kit,” he admits. In addition to his career as a tattoo artist, Big Belli recently became a father to a son, Dinero. “I work more because I want more things,” says Big Belli. “[It pushes] you to work and struggle more. Living in Coachella, really it made me a hustler. I hustle to get what I need. I’m a desert rat. I used to sneak [into] Coachella Fest when it first started off. There’s a loophole to everything — it made me a hustler. ” When he’s not tattooing or focusing on fatherhood, Big Belli keeps busy with anything from metal work to woodworking,
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agriculture, and architecture. In addition, he tries to find time for fishing, camping, and playing paintball with his own father. His future plans include writing and illustrating children’s books, along with designing clothes for kids. Only 17 years old when he got his first tattoo, Big Belli plans to keep getting inked until he is completely covered with them. His favorite thus far is his 1979 Monte Carlo on his arm because, as he says, “I can’t afford it.” In the meantime, he’s etching his art into customers from all around the Valley and beyond. “People are collecting tattoos the same way they collect art, [and] I have a lot of repeat customers,” he admits. “They pay me and sometimes I never see them again. It’s work and money, but it’s not like a job. This is my lifestyle, not a job. I see myself doing it for a very long time.” A year ago, Big Belli participated in and helped organize the first ever Palm Springs Tattoo Convention at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs. “We went to Home Depot and built all the booths from supplies,” he says. “I’d never been to a tattoo convention and we’re throwing this one.” The new experience made him nervous, but he says the convention ended up being an opportunity for himself and other Valley artists to meet with out-of-town tattooers to learn and connect with them. About the process of tattooing, Big Belli says, “There’s so much to learn. I’m learning every day. I don’t think I’ll ever reach where I want to be — but it’s that journey.” INSTAGRAM: @BIGBELLI SHOP: TGTATTOO.COM
CKEELAY interview & photography JORGE PEREZCHICA
What is the Ckeelay sound all about? The Ckeelay sound is too complex. It’s like if music were colors and I shoveled a ton of paint over a desert so you could walk through it and see what I made. I also feel like my sound can be diverse in terms of genre. It’s easy to call it all hip-hop, but I think it’s harder to explain. You just graduated from high school and mentioned going into business and sound engineering, can you tell us about your career goals for the future? I would love to know so much about business that I could start anything I want, and take it anywhere I’d like to go. Start a record label, build a farm, make a homeless shelter, really something to help myself and others at the same time, but to the next level of help. As for sound engineering, I love to produce and engineer. I handle it for myself and all the projects that come out of my group. I think it would be amazing to master sound engineering and do it for artists that don’t get the help. I feel like all major artists are able to get the most top notch engineers to mix and master their work and get it played on the radio because they created songs the label wanted to appeal to “the public,” yet all artists that don’t get signed to major labels and don’t have great engineers don’t get to create the music they want because a sound engineer isn’t there to put the sounds together in a way that anyone can and would listen to it. What influences and inspires you as an artist? I try to let every piece of art I see or music I hear influence me any way it can. I don’t let any opinion on a work of art interfere with what I can take from it, and how I can make it my own. But what inspires me to continue pushing comes from myself. I want to believe I take confidence and strength from my family and friends and throw that into my ambitions like a giant ass war is about to happen. Do you sing in the shower? Hell yes! I even end up freestyling and end up in there for too long. It sucks. Can you tell us about your creative process from your album Petals and what goes into creating a song? The creative process behind Petals started off simple. I tried to create ideas based on how I wanted to look in the music as if you could see sound, and see me. Overall I think I came 88 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
close to bringing out these ideas. This process helped me first create songs like “Life Of Pi,” “Savage,” “Systematic,” “Holidaze,” and a few other songs. But I started to get too close to the deadline I made for myself to be done with Petals and try to release it. By then, the process became “Let’s act on impulse and add shit that sounded cool,” which wasn’t the best plan (ha), but still helped me create songs I was proud of listening to afterward like “NghTme,” “Abraham,” “Rose,” and a few other songs as well. After I finished all 18 tracks I learned I really felt more comfortable and happier with feeling like I have all the time in the world to finish these songs and perfect them instead of pressure under a deadline I put on myself. Tell us about some of your collaboration with Yo$hwa and Da Grant and any others you want to send a shout out to. I love working with Yo$hwa and Da Grant because of how our styles can be so different from each other, but can play such a huge part in each project we decide to put out. Same with the rest of our group including Bcray & Ace, sZun God Ra, Lord Gabe, City Bound, and more! We focus efforts into each other’s projects and come out victorious! It’s awesome. How would you describe the overall music scene in the Coachella Valley, anything you would like to see happen? The music scene of the Coachella Valley holds so much talent, yet the cities don’t hold any places for artists that are trying to push themselves to be known and get around. I think the Coachella Valley music scene needs to expand by opening bigger and better venues, being open and familiar with each other’s music, create a cool ass hub of a website that everyone can meet on, and let go of judgment. What sets Coachella Valley apart is how different everyone is, what kind of music we create, and how to bring a crowd big enough to watch every one of them no matter how different they are. Overall, I want us desert rats to scrap up some cool big places for any artists to play at and have fun, or else everyone will still be trying to chase the dream in L.A. or Atlanta or something. That’s fine and all, but the Coachella Valley could do so much more. Also, the people listening to unknown artists intending to search for some “familiar” or mainstream sound need to lighten up. MUSIC: SOUNDCLOUD.COM/CKEELAY WEB: AEROSPACEMOVEMENT.COM
TAYLOR ANN TRAD JUNE 2015 SALTON SEA, CA PHOTO by HENRY TRAN 90 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
| CHELLA GIRL
Taylor Ann TRAD text TAYLOR ANN TRAD photography HENRY TRAN I feel extremely blessed to be a Coachella Valley native. There is something so serene and tranquil about this land. My family has been a part of this up-and-coming valley since the 1940/1950’s. My grandparents, Tianne Sanders and Shepard Sanders, play a huge role in why I do what I do. Poppop (Shepard Sanders) is an old school actor who funded his Hollywood career through his G.I. Bill. Tianne Sanders is a famous dancer/actress who started the first ever dance studio in Palm Springs called Palm Springs Dance Company. Acting is one of the strongest connections to truth I know. Having that artistic outlet from such a young age definitely played a huge role in my overall sanity. I found a family in the theatre, a family that loved me no matter how weird or uncool I was. To express everything you are feeling through your craft and to utilize your every being, that is art to me. I was never trying to get into modeling as much as it was trying to get into me. Growing up on the stage I constantly had people telling me, “Wow you should be a model.” Did it fill my head up? Maybe... Kidding, but still to this day when people ask me if I am a model, I say no — I am an artist. A lot of people ask about American Apparel, and what that was like. Well, I moved to Los Angeles at nineteen to study at Play House West. I was approached to model for AA while shopping for a leotard (dancer’s duties). I had a test shoot and two months later I found my face on the corner of Hollywood/Highland. It was fun fulfilling one of my childhood fantasies. In middle school I used to browse their website and look at all the beautiful representations of real women with real bodies, no makeup — just in the raw, wearing basics. My sense of fashion, I would say, is like dressing an excited little five-year-old girl who just snuck into her parents’ closet. I wear lots of colors, I own an article of clothing from every era. I can go from Lolita to lumberjack real quick, it all just depends on my mood. Sometimes I don’t even care, I’ll walk outside in what I slept in, unbrushed hair, no makeup; I like that look too.
Social media has definitely helped my modeling and acting career — I’ve actually booked jobs. So, that’s always fun. I definitely see a huge shift in the modeling industry. A lot of people are sick and tired of the impression that all models are stick, skinny individuals who have eating disorders. Our youth is our future, and it is very important to teach these girls and boys good self-loving tactics at a young age. I am also a new business owner. My best friend Melinda Vida and I opened up a business called Palm Springs Dates N Shakes. Dates are something that make Palm Springs Palm Springs, and to get an actual date shake that is good for you is hard. Our shakes will be made with 100% love, all organic goodies, and we believe in supporting locally. Everything will be eco-friendly and BPA-free. I’m new to music creation, but I am lucky enough to have met an amazing partner, Dean Tepper, aka @flyhatsmusic. He just lets me be my crazy, wild self. Recently I have started putting my poetry to lyrics, and the music I hear in my soul into production. One song we’re currently working on is based off of a meditation I was having… literally a meditation into the microphone. Flowing freely, we want our audience to feel that when they’re listening. Where do I see myself in ten years? Whoa, that’s a big question, especially for this momentary woman. I want to have already toured the world with my music and played multiple times at Coachella Fest. I want to expand on all of my business ventures, inspire young teens to love and appreciate themselves, star in a few award-winning feature films, and possibly teach. Your beauty comes from your heart. To love and to be loved, and, most importantly, to love yourself. You never know what you’ll find out there, maybe you’ll even find yourself. INSTAGRAM: @MERMAIDVISION MUSIC: SOUNDCLOUD.COM/MERMAIDVISION
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ROW LOW APRIL, 2015 / RANCHO MIRAGE, CA 92 COACHELLA PHOTO by TOMMAGAZINE FOWLER
| CHELLA GUY
BACK FROM THE FUTURE text JORGE PEREZCHICA photography TOM FOWLER
Born in Vienna, Austria, raised in Southern California from the age of four, Rowland ‘RowLow’ Akinduro has arrived from the future. He’s half Austrian, half African, 6’ 3”, and “31 going on 22,” as he likes to put it. On his website bio he is described as, “an inter-dimensional being.” He grew up in Yucca Valley, but confesses,“There are things here that are so unique and under-appreciated because, if you grew up in Yucca Valley, there isn’t much to do. So, you are forced to focus on your craft.” Calling himself “a galactic activation portal that is here to universalize special forms of art and music along with helping to raise the frequency of earth into a positive state,” RowLow inhabits many titles, including: “lyrical visionary, music producer, MC, actor, researcher, philosopher, teacher, locksmith, and genius.” A self-proclaimed “innovative, progressive thinker, and a born entrepreneur that is here to bring the ideas of the future into the present,” he has a different way of looking at our beloved planet Earth. “The way I see things, everything goes around frequencies,” he explains. “Higher vibrations will result in more positive thoughts — we’re here to learn positive thought.” Music has always been a part of the RowLow life since he was young, and he calls his personal form of music “inter-dimensional music, super-concious music.” “My mom always enjoyed playing music around the house.” He admits, naming Korn, 2Pac, UTIOG, Marilyn Manson, and HIM as some of his many inspirations. Arguably, these are some otherworldly artists as well. Perhaps they, along with RowLow, all come from the same dimension? RowLow hopes his music will have a global impact, influencing other parts of the world, and what he aspires to achieve through music is “knowing that I made a positive impact, positive feedback.” Like most artists, RowLow has
his own creative process, and says it’s all about “balancing the creative process with the mundane necessities of everyday life.” His eccentric life has recently become more like our own, with fatherhood beckoning him down to Earth. “It makes me focus,” he says about being a father, and pays the bills by operating a locksmith company in-between acting gigs. Still, he confesses to being his worst critic, despite being “ahead of the time and ahead of the curve.” RowLow’s music is his biggest passion, and he strives to become an influence on today’s music. “The better [you are], the more that you’re able to express what’s on your mind, the better the music will get,” he says. “Bring ideas from the future to the present.” Aside from his solo career, he makes time to jive creatively with his crew, AMFM (Animals Made For Music). It’s important to him to have like-minded creatives. He feels that “seventy-five percent of music today is electronic, because people like perfection.” Major projects RowLow is excited about right now are collaborations with U.K. producer GadManDubs, Texas producer Sleazee, upcoming performances with AMFM in partnership with Culturas Music+Arts at Synergy Festival on November 14th in Coachella, and upcoming East Valley performance sponsored by Crisálida. He hopes these outlets will give him an opportunity to perform and share his music with not only this Valley, but the world. Looking ahead in his career, RowLow hopes to expand his creativity and move towards writing and directing movies. And when the time comes for him to leave this dimension for the next, he hopes he will be remembered as “someone that liberated a generation.” WEBSITE: IROWLOW.COM MUSIC: SOUNDCLOUD.COM/ROWLOW TWITTER: @IROWLOW
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| CALENDAR MOIST JUNE 6-JULY 11
CONNECTED: A COMMUNITY OPEN MIC JUNE 20th & 3rd Saturday
Moist casts a long, slow look at sensuality, sexuality and eroticism in today’s art, giving free reign to desire. Orange County Center for Contemporary Art www.occca.org PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORT FEST JUNE 16— 22
of each month. Presented by desert writers, artists and musicians. Hosted by Michelle C. & Donna F.
BOHEMIAN CAFÉ JUNE 27
(Art pictured by Gegam Kacherian)
Coachella Valley Art Center gets transformed into a beatnik cafe. Time: 5:30pm-8pm 45140 Towne St, Indio, CA
in Los Angeles hosted by the Coachella Valley Art Center.
OC ZINE FEST 15 JULY 19
FESTIVAL OF ARTS OF LAGUNA BEACH JULY 5 – AUGUST 31
FREE EVENT. Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. 117 N Sycamore St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
The Laguna Beach Festival of Art has offered a breathtaking showcase for artists and art lovers for over 80 years.
foapom.com JESIKA VON RABBIT JULY 9 PAPPY & HARRIET’S JULY 11 BAR in PALM SPRINGS
PALM SPRINGS TATTOO CONVENTION JULY 10-12 A two-day, retreat-style gathering bringing together some of the hottest names in the industry. At the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs. palmtreesandtattoos.com
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VINYL RELEASE PARTY reverbnation.com/ jesikavonrabbit
STRONGHOLD ACE HOTEL PALM SPRINGS EVERY 2nd SATURDAY
SUNDANCE NEXT FEST AUGUST 7-9
Reggae, dancehall and roots with resident selectors DJ Journee and Dash Eye, plus special guest DJs. acehotel.com/calendar/ palmsprings
3-Day Summer Festival Celebrates Renegade Spirit of Independent Artists at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles sundance.org/next
ART & CULTURAL EVENTS IN THE COACHELLA VALLEY + SO-CAL 22nd annual JAZZ IN THE PINES FESTIVAL AUGUST 15/16
SPLASH HOUSE pool+music festival in Palm Springs, CA AUGUST 8/9
The Idyllwild Arts Foundation proudly presents the 22nd annual Jazz in the Pines Festival this August 15th and 16th, featuring over two dozen bands. Performers and fans of jazz, blues, and R&B.
11-day celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture in Palm Springs, CA.
COMMUNITY DRUM CIRCLE
BURGER RECORDS PRESENTS: BURGER A-GO-GO SEPTEMBER 5
AUGUST 28 Crystal Fantasy welcomes you to the Palm Springs Community Drum Circle. It happens on the last Friday of every month 7pm-9pm
At the Observatory Orange County observatoryoc.com
CINEMA DIVERSE SEPT. 17-20
BHAKTI FEST SEPTEMBER 9-14 Bhakti Fest, a series of festivals which celebrates devotional Living through Yoga, Kirtan Music, Workshops & Meditation. Joshua Tree, CA bhaktifest.com CRUSH 2015 SEPTEMBER 19 Enjoy a walk-about tasting of award winning Temecula Valley wines paired with tasty culinary bites from local and winery restaurants. temeculawines.org
The Coachella Valley Art Scene
68571 East Palm Canyon Dr. Cathedral City, CA 92234 cinemadiverse.org
MAEXFEST SEPTEMBER 19-21 Musicians & Artists Experience Festival
photo by Leigh
DESERT STARS FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 25-26 The 8th Annual Desert Stars Festival is an Independent Music Festival held at Pappy & Harriets Featuring 3 stages and over 30 bands.
2-Day music festival, music industry seminar, and art & technology expo 18+ www.maexfest.com 10th ANNUAL FALL JOSHUA TREE MUSIC FESTIVAL OCT 8-11 Experience the great outdoors amongst fellow music lovers. joshuatreemusicfestival.com
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| DISCOVER ART SUNNYLANDS CENTER & GARDENS
PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM
Tours, art exhibitions, gardens, film, café, shop Thur-Sun 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (closed July & August) Free admission and parking
(760) 322-4800 101 North Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262 psmuseum.org
(760) 202-2222 37977 Bob Hope Drive Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 sunnylands.org
COACHELLA VALLEY HISTORY MUSEUM
AGUA CALIENTE CULTURAL MUSEUM
(760) 778-1079 219 S Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262 accmuseum.org
82616 Miles Avenue Indio, CA 92201 cvhm.org
MARKS ART CENTER
(760) 776-7278 43-500 Monterey Avenue Palm Desert, CA 92260 marksartcenter.com
A COMMUNITY ARTS PROJECT OF McCALLUM THEATRE
The Crisàlida Community Arts Project is an initiative of the McCallum Theater to celebrate, facilitate, inspire, create, and chronicle organic, meaningful and relevant cultural experiences.
THE COACHELLA VALLEY ART SCENE
(760) 409-6445 Gallery / Office Address: 68571 East Palm Canyon Dr. Cathedral City, CA 92234
RAICES CULTURA 1494 Sixth Street Coachella, CA 92236 Raicesdelvalle.org Facebook: Raices Cultura
COACHELLA VALLEY ART CENTER The Coachella Valley Art Center (CVAC) is an innovative non-profit facility for the arts, providing artists of all levels access to art space were they can cultivate growth and exposure. (760) 799-4364 coachellavalleyartcenter.org
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CULTURAS MUSIC+ARTS Non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts in the Eastern Coachella Valley.
ART / THEATER / MUSIC / FASHION / MISC. THEATER
VINTAGE THE FINE ART OF DESGN
CAMELOT THEATRES (760) 325-6565
Mon thru Fri 11am-7pm Seasonal Hours. Open Monday - Saturday 11 - 5
2300 E. Baristo Rd Palm Springs, CA 92262 camelottheatres.com
73717 Highway 111 Palm Desert, California thefineartofdesign.com
CINÉMAS PALME D’OR
A shop & gallery featuring vintage and new artisan work, ranging from clothing, jewelry, textile/fiber art to paintings and home decor.
(760) 779-0730 Westfield Palm Desert 72840 Highway 111 Palm Desert, CA 92260 thepalme.com
55872 29 Palms Hwy Yucca Valley, CA 92284 Instagram @theendyuccavalley
STREETWEAR EPIDEMIC SKATEBOARD SHOP
GRAPHIC DESIGN CREATIVO IDENTITY DESIGN
(760) 808-9906 epidemicskateshop.com
45140 Towne Street Indio, CA 92201 creativoidentitydesign.com
specialty hair | hair extensions | airbrush | body paint | weddings
ALWAYS WATCHING P.O. Box 7086 La Quinta Ca, 92248 alwayswatching.bigcartel.com Instagram: @awcollective World-class keepers of the light, expressing our message through superior goods.
PALM SPRINGS VINYL RECORDS AND COLLECTIBLES
(760) 778-2636 220 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
PALM SPRINGS GRIP AND LIGHTING
Studio, Camera, grip and Lighting: Call for inquiries (760) 328-4480 68896 Perez Rd., #12 Cathedral City, CA 92234 palmppringsgripandlighting.com
DESERT OASIS COMICS
Open Tuesdays thru Saturday. New Comics arrive every Wednesday.
(760) 799-6938 73-241 Hwy 111, Suite 4B Palm Desert CA 92260 desertoasiscomics.com COACHELLA MAGAZINE 97
| CELEBRATION 6 1
JANUARY-MAY 2015 1) James Franco and filmmakers of Don Quiote movie at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival 2) Meghan Trainor headlines The Dinah 2015 3) Luis Fausto at the City of Indio 7th Annual Chalk Festival 4) Ivy Levan performs at The Dinah 2015
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5) Jim Evans artist reception at Gallery 446 6) Venus and the Traps perform for the launch of Denisse Martineâ€™s official artist website 7) Michael Costello collection at Fashion Week El Paseo 8) SARCASTIC and the Date Farmers present: Cosmic Discoteca in Coachella, CA w/ DJ Daniele Baldelli
12 14 8 11
13 10 VENUS & THE TRAPS by ENOCH WATERS all other photos by LUNAFORA
9) Jesika Von Rabbit album release party at Bar in Palm Springs, CA 10) 00 Soul at Jessika Von Rabbit release party 11) Selma director Ava DuVernay and actors David Oyelowo and Common at the Palm Springs International Film Festival 12) Performers at Desert Daze music festival
13) The Theory of Everything Q&A with actors Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones following the screening at the Palm Springs Art Museum 14) Ken Photo performs at Artchella hosted by Raices Cultura in Coachella, CA 15) Taylor Ann Trad at Stagecoach
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CLOTHING — Palm Springs Resort Wear —
In Vol. 1, Issue No. 2, we discover transmogrify in various forms and contexts; from Kenny Irwin’s robots and microwave art, to Jasmine Jue’...
Published on Jul 10, 2015
In Vol. 1, Issue No. 2, we discover transmogrify in various forms and contexts; from Kenny Irwin’s robots and microwave art, to Jasmine Jue’...