COACHELLA M A G A Z I N E
CHRIS PARDO EDUARDO VALADEZ ARENAS ANTA CLARA LÓPEZ THE FLUSTERS ESJAY JONES DESERT TRIP WANDERESS FASHION SHARON RYDER’S DREAM HOUSE COMPLEXCON + MORE
FEBRUARY 16-19, 2017
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COACHELLA M A G A Z I N E F O U N D ER / PU BL I SH ER E D I T O R I N C H I EF
JORGE PEREZCHICA AS S I STAN T ED I T O R
ROWLAND AKINDURO V P M AR K ET I N G
JERRY PEREZCHICA CR EAT I V E D I R EC T O R
LUNAFORA FAS H I O N S T Y L I N G
VERONICA GONZALEZ ANDREA VILLARROEL LUA W R I T ER S
JORGE PEREZCHICA ROWLAND AKINDURO BRIANNA CASTILLO C O N T R I BU T O R S
PJ GAGAJENA - writer KRISTIN WINTERS - writer LISA MONIQUE - hair/mua LUCY HIGUERA - hair/mua BRIANNA CASTILLO - photography BRIANNA PARRA - photography S PEC I AL T H AN K S
CITY OF INDIO INDIO PERFORMING ARTS CENTER HARD ROCK HOTEL PALM SPRINGS MIRAMONTE INDIAN WELLS RESORT & SPA EXECUTIVE CHEF PAUL HANCOCK TRINA TURK & MR. TURK ARRIVE HOTEL CIRCULATION MEDIA DEXTER’S CAMERA EAST JESUS JOHN GRAY B-FIRE COACHELLA MAGAZINE © 2017 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from the publisher. The views expressed in COACHELLA MAGAZINE are those of the respective contributors and not necessarily shared by COACHELLA MAGAZINE.
VOLUME 2 ISSUE Nº 5 COACHELLA MAGAZINE ( ISSN 2471-5980 ) IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY AND PRINTED IN THE USA.
Celebrating the Arts & Culture of Coachella Valley, California and beyond INFO@COACHELLAMAGAZINE.COM | COACHELLAMAGAZINE.COM
clothes from TIENDIQUE.COM / photography BRIANNA PARRA @YTDOTTIE
COAC HE L L A MAGA ZI N E
DEPARTMENTS 7 8 14 20 22 24 26 28 34 36 38
EDITOR’S LETTER HAUTE SPOT BRAND BUILDER CHRONICLE CHELLA GIRL CHELLA GUY COLLAB PROFILE BUZZ POETS & PROVOCATEURS CHELLAVISION
FEATURES ART 40 EDWARDO VALADEZ ARENAS 50 ANTA52 60 CLARA LÓPEZ MUSIC 70 80 82 84 86
THE FLUSTERS ESJAY JONES CAMERON CALLOWAY THE SUITCASE JUNKET DESERT TRIP
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORT FEST
FASHION 102 COMPLEXCON 112 THE WANDERESS CULTURE 126 138 142 144
DESERT DWELLERS FOOD+DRINK TALK ABOUT IT! INDIO
APPENDIX 146 DESERT BOHEME 148 THOWBACK
ON THE COVER
“SABOR A MI” - portrait series, digital illustration 2016 by EDUARDO VALADEZ ARENAZ
ED I TOR’S LETTER
synesthesia noun: the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body. — Oxford Dictionary During the making of this issue, America was going through a tumultuous new presidential election as filtered through televised debates, 24-hour news coverages, heated discussions that inundated our social media outlets at every turn leading up to election day. Then the results came and a deluge of protests followed. People’s passions, love and anger suddenly reared it’s head as if awaking from a strange dream. It was a race between the first female candidate vs a billionaire celebrity. Either way, it was history in the making that captured the cultural zeitgeist of our times. One chief issue that stood out to me was talk of a big wall the Republican candidate said he was going to build across the border. A pall of paranoia and xenophobia seemed to fill the air. Memories of my past came to mind. I was born in Mexico and arrived to California in the 1970’s with my family. Growing up and trying to fit in, art was a safe place of refuge and support. The awesomeness about art was that I never see any borders, boundaries or rules. When imagination takes flight, I dive in and anything is possible. For anyone who feels like an outsider, socially awkward or wanting to push boundaries, art is a space where everyone can feel welcomed. Art inspires, brings people together and has the potential to revolutionize how we see the world. In Vol. 2, Issue No. 5, we discover how Chris Pardo’s architectural vision is changing the face of Downtown Palm Springs. We get to meet Mike Miller, the photographer behind some of Tupac’s most iconic images, Iota Haus by siblings Isauro and Silvia Meza, LuckyBastardCo. founder Chad Lieske, desert wanderess and blogger Blanca Gutierrez, Freddy Jimenez, experimental art with Desert X, Anta52, the working class aesthetic of Eduardo Valadez Arenas, Clara López, retro-pop band The Flusters, Desert Trip, Sharon Ryder and more. As a bonus, a new section titled “Talk about it!” by Rowland Akinduro who in this issue, covers Contact In the Desert to explore the mysterious world of UFO sightings, crop circles, the secret space program and beyond. Where the trials, tribulations and triumphs of artists come together, without borders or boundaries, we are pleased to present our synesthesia issue.
Jorge Perezchica, Founder / Editor in Chief
H AUTE S POT
FASHION / BEAUT Y / WELLNE SS
Mosaert is the brainchild and creative collective launched between international Belgian superstar Stromae (aka Paul Van Haver), creative director and brother Luc Junior Tam and chief clothing designer Coralie Barbier. Together, they have created a unique world of music, fashion and audiovisual art that continues to capture hearts and imaginations of the public and critics alike. MOSAERTâ€™s clothing endeavor, features three unisex capsules, all inspired by African print, Dandy subculture, and the Dutch graphic artist Escher.
H AUTE S POT
photo JOSEPH MADDON
SOLSTICE INTIMATES SOLSTICEINTIMATES.COM
Solstice Intimates started in January of 2016 by Natalie Maddon with a background in fashion design. “I have always had an obsession with pretty little underpinnings. I found myself spending more money on my underwear than I did on my outerwear and decided to give it a shot. I made my first bralette and posted a photo of it to my personal Instagram and the response was pretty overwhelming. I started making them for my friends, family, and a few other Instagrammers to try to help me perfect my patterns. Within a month of making my first bralette, I started my website. Two months after that, I quit my full time job and now we run Solstice Intimates as a fulltime family affair. My husband, Joseph Maddon, does all of our photography and social media content. My mom is my business partner and my best friend moved across the country to be my operations manager. It has really been a surreal few months and I can only imagine where this is going to take my family. We are all learning as we go and having a blast discovering what an adventure owning a small business is.” — Natalie Maddon
FASHION / BEAUT Y / WELLNE SS
SWEATERS Platform Architect Knit
CIRCLE BACKPACK Platform Architect
backpack MOKUYOBI shoes TEVA
Mokuyobi is an out of this world company that designs bags, accessories, and general radness for the Super Beings of Earth and beyond. Led by a desire to create something different and new using bold colors, magic, and awesome sauce. Based in Los Angeles, CA.
mural JENNY SHARAF ACE HOTEL & SWIM CLUB PALM SPRINGS, CA
H AUTE S POT PROJECT X PARIS PROJECTXPARIS.COM
Project X Paris is a contemporary streetwear brand for men created in 2015 by two young French designers. Project X Paris finds inspiration in urban lifestyle, street fashion, avantgarde music and street art. The collection is designed in Paris. The focus is on innovation in terms of cuts and textiles, high product quality and best fashion trends.
Giving Bracelets was started by founder Lesa Wallace, she wanted to find a way to continue donating to her favorite charity: CASA for Children. Each bracelet provides support and provides a mentor. Designed for purpose, fueled by passion, helping foster children prosper.
MANREADY MERCANTILE MANREADY.COM Manready Mercantile was officially created in in 2012 by Travis Weaver, a small town guy originally from Zephyr, Texas. Travis started by making candles on a stove in his apartment to prove that you donâ€™t need a handout or grow up with a silver spoon in your mouth to start a business. The focus was on all-natural apothecary goods, with everything made in small batches, right here in Houston, Texas. Most of the goods are unisex.
FASHION / BEAUT Y / HOME / WELLNE SS
PEG AND AWL PEGANDAWLBUILT.COM
Peg and Awl was founded by husband and wife, Walter and Margaux Kent, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Peg and Awl is made from olde things, treasures found and recovered from misfortune and neglected relics of the unusual, the confused and the macabre; cut, pulled and built into wearable curiosities, inscribable keepsakes and useable, longlasting treasures. Peg and Awl used to make things for themselves and now they make them for everyone.
Autumnal Library Necklace
BLACKWING® PALOMINOBRANDS.COM/BLACKWING Some of the world’s most legendary Grammy, Emmy, Pulitzer and Academy Award winners have created with Blackwing pencils. The list of known users includes John Steinbeck, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and Chuck Jones, who proudly used Blackwings to create Bugs Bunny and countless other Looney Tunes characters. Its roots go back to the 1930’s when it was first introduced by Eberhard Faber. The Hunter Satchel
Small Medical Desk Caddy: No. 2, Heart
Till Death Us Do Part Ring
Medium Waxed Canvas Pouch
BRAN D BUIL DER
LUCKY BASTARD CO. chad LIESKE, founder
Who and what is Lucky Bastard Co.? LuckyBastardCo. is a gentlemen’s apothecary company based out of Venice, California. We created the Original Gentlemen’s Lip Balm, as well as a cohesive tribe of other essentials that every man needs. To this day, we hand-craft each product in small batches, using only ingredients that exist in nature. We feel that if we’re going to be authentic, we need to do it all the way. My brother and I originally brought LuckyBastardCo. into this world as a concept in design school. At first glance, we thought it was just another flash-in-the-pan idea, but after an epic desert adventure and some late-night beers, we realized we had something truly unique on our hands. Have you always wanted to own a brand? Yes. 100% Where does your inspiration come from? The inspiration for LuckyBastardCo. came from our passion for the outdoors. We made it for us. Constantly being in the elements, we set out to create a product that actually worked in every situation we found ourselves in. Tell us about your education and your hometown — how did it shaped your philosophy? Growing up on a farm, we learned about living a healthy and organic lifestyle. As you can imagine in a family of four brothers, there was no doubt that bones broke, muscles bruised and wounds bled. However our parents instilled natural healing in us, treating our battle wounds by using remedies such arnica montana, essential oils, and other natural healing methods. Never thinking in a million years that those same oils would be a few of the ingredients we used in a lip balm recipe that we created from scratch. What qualities does Lucky Bastard Co. associate itself with through branding? We want our audience to be able to relate to our brand and lifestyle. We post photos to motivate and inspire
others to get out and really experience what life has to offer. There are no do-over’s or second chances. All we have is right now, and we will protect you along your adventure. What is your creative process? Growing up in the country, my brothers and I had to create our own fun. We were taught the importance of hard work and being crafty with our hands, and I think that shines through in how we run LuckyBastard-Co. Everything starts by putting pencil on paper the old fashion way, and all of our branding is completely handdrawn by us. Same goes for every last tin and tube of balm. We do everything by hand, it’s just who we are. How many lip balms do you produce per year? We are on track to pour 60,000+ lip balms this year. What is it like being an entrepreneur? I can’t see myself doing anything else. It definitely has its ups and downs though, however, freedom and complete control are at the top of the list. There is no one telling us what to do, or how to do it. With that being said, the workload is never ending and a man can only do so much in a day. Unlike a traditional job of punching in and out, with LuckyBastardCo., there is no punching out. We are fully in. We are following our passions and not trading hours for dollars only to achieve someone else’s goal, but rather, working relentlessly towards our own vision and learning so much along the way. What is Lucky Bastard Co. known for? Our integrity. There is no bullshit or cutting corners. Do you have a motto or words you live by? Adventure lies ahead, without it I’d rather be dead. Anything else that you would like to add? We have plans in place to make every product that a man needs in the washroom, and we are going to revolutionize mens apothecary. LUCKYBASTARDCOMPANY.COM
C HR ONIC LE
VENUS & THE TRAPS perfroms during
East Valley Voices Out Loud at McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, CA.
RACIES CULTURA art installation for Dia De Los Muertos - November 2016.
ADAM ENRIQUE RODRIGUEZ art painted on lockers for Desert Trip. The Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
ICE CUBE performs on the Coachella Stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on 23 April 2016. © Erik Voake | Coachella
THE FLUSTERS at Coachella, in Indio, CA. © Goldenvoice/ © Coachella/ Ryan Muir
SIA performs on the Gobi Stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on 17 April 2016. © Erik Voake | Coachella KATRINA CHAIR art by Alexandre Arrechea at Coachella, in Indio, CA. On 16 April, 2016. © Goldenvoice
PORTALS art by Phillip K Smith III at Coachella, in Indio, CA. on 16 April, 2016. © Goldenvoice
SNEAKING INTO THE SHOW art by Date Farmers at Coachella, in Indio, CA. April, 2016. © Goldenvoice
SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY performs onstage during Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club on October 8, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Desert Trip) Copyright 2016 Kevin Mazur
PEOPLE / PLACE S / CONNECTED
THE ROLLING STONES perform onstage during Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club on October 7, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Desert Trip) Copyright 2016 Kevin Mazur CRISTOPHER CICHOCKI – CIRCULAR DIMENSIONS A multi-sensory performance inspired by the desert and its underwater origins. Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater.
SYNERGY FEST 2016 presented by Culturas Music Arts
COMIC BOOK LEGEND, STAN LEE RIBBON CUTING AT THE INAGURAL COMIC CON PALM SPRINGS SOFIA ENRIQUEZ painting a mural at STREET presented by Coachella Valley Art Scene & Westfield, Palm Desert
“Divided We Fall” Pig floats over the audience during the Roger Waters performance at Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club on October 9, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/ Getty Images for Desert Trip)
C HEL L A G IRL
blanca GUTIÉRREZ interview JORGE PEREZCHICA potography REYNALDO JAVIER Tell us about yourself and your blog? There is a motto that I live by whenever I feel the need to blog about anything and that is, “aspire to inspire.” I strive to motivate, influence, and inspire people to go out and explore their surroundings. I am a free-spirited collector of moments who is always seeking for a new adventure; a wanderess, always going out, being spontaneous, and exploring. My goal is to encourage individuals to get to know their city more, appreciate it, and cherish it through an every day representation of lifestyle. Whether it’s at a local coffee shop or local botanical garden. There is always something new to discover every day. I also do set design and visual merchandising. Design has always been at heart. What has been one of the biggest challenges in life? Throughout my senior year of high school, my father was in a coma. It wasn’t easy for my mother. I basically became an “at-home” mother while my mother spent days taking care of my father at the hospital. Being an AP student, taking honor courses, playing sports, performing at choir concerts, and applying for colleges and scholarships, this all felt like a challenge for me. That experience shaped me into who I am today. In life we face challenges in order to grow. Those challenges help us realize right from wrong, develop our character, and allow us to talk to others who go through similar situations that we’ve experienced. I don’t ever wish this experience on anybody, but I do tend to look at the good in every difficulty. Every thing has a reason to it. How many brothers and sisters do you have? I have four brothers and one sister. I am indeed the oldest! I live to lead and be a great example to them by constantly reminding them to go after what makes them happy in life. Describe how you first got into blogging. About a year ago. I felt inspired to go out, to dedicate time for myself after a relationship breakup. We don’t realize how much time we must invest in ourselves until we actually do it. Sometimes we get caught up with things in life that we forget to think about ourselves. I felt inspired to go out and make the best of my everyday-lifestyle by finding things that I could bring to the crowd in order for them to feel motivated, to capture great moments and invest in themselves. My feed ranges from vanity (because obviously I’m a girl), my skin care routines, brands
I do collaborations with, coffee shops, sunsets, palm trees, eateries and restaurants, museums, art, botanical gardens, photo shoots, poems, places to explore and all of the other things I love. However, I do remind myself to keep it at a colorful theme. Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging? Consistency, staying focused, driven, passion, networking, engaging with followers, innovation, time, self-motivation, and lots of dedication. Blogging isn’t easy. It takes passion and lots of time for one to love what they do. I enjoy going out, capturing my every day moments, and showing individuals what there is out there to see. I love engaging with my followers when they ask of a place on my feed; I strive to motivate them to check the place out, that way they gain the full on experience of the setting. Life is too short to take for granted. Do you remember the moment you felt this was something you wanted to turn into a career? INDEED! As I noticed my engagement with followers increasing, and the various amount of connections I started to make along the way. I realized, if people are reaching out to me about my posts, why not make something big out of it? Something that will inspire a more bigger crowd? What would you like to achieve the most through blogging and visual communication? My main goal is to inspire individuals to always follow their dreams and live their lives to the fullest. Pictures can be interpreted in many different ways. Through visual communication. I aspire to learn more about the different forms of media and how to apply them effectively to convey positive messages through my posts. What do you like to do on your free time? I love to sit back at a coffee shop and read a book, catch up on emails, or even go out to a local music show with friends. I’m always trying to find something to do. I tend to take advantage of my free time by going out thrifting and exploring new spots around my area. By far, my favorite go-to thrift shops are “The End” and “Hoof and Horn” up in Joshua Tree. There’s never a boring time for me. Plus, yolo, as dumb as it sounds, you only live once, like Julian Casablancas said, so why not make the best of it? instagram @BLANCASUSANNE
CHE LLA G UY
freddy JIMENEZ interview JORGE PEREZCHICA photography DOOKIE
Tell us about yourself and your hometown. FREDDY JIMENEZ: Coachella, when I was growing up, there was more gangs around. I never really got too involved in it and stuff. I knew what the lifestyle was about because I had a lot of friends and a brother that where into it. I’ve always leaned more towards music and art. All that other shit was way to fucked-up for me. When I was in middle school my brother got more involved in the streets, which made me go on my own path. Before that happened, I was always learning from him, that’s how I got into punk. Around that time there was some small music scenes forming consisting of a lot of punk, metal, hardcore, and indie rock. So I grew up going to most of those backyard shows in the East desert and some shows in Palm Springs. What is Blue Hill Studios? Blue Hill Studios is a mixed media creative studio focusing on silk screening and audio engineering. How did you get into screen-printing? I first started with a cardboard stencil, then a couple of years passed and I discovered a better way to produce my stickers, and that was screen-printing. I was really into graffiti and street art in high school. Instead of buying stickers, I’d just make them myself, because it was cheaper and I could just give a bunch of them away without worrying about cost. I would get all my blank stickers from the post office for free. I originally bought my beginner’s kit, a “yudu” to mass produce stickers for street art purposes. But, I eventually grew out of that phase and then bought my professional equipment in 2011. It was really hard to learn it professionally. I was going to just sell my press right after I bought it because it was also super expensive to do it right. But the person who had sold it to me was a really close friend of mine and ended up passing away. Before he passed away, he was trying to convince me not to sell it. He is the reason why I’ve gotten this far with this craft and why I’m not working a shitty “9-5”. His name was Sam Orozco. But, Recording, I’ve been on-and-off because there are only so many hours in a day. Did you get help or mentoring with recording music? Yes! From a man who’s name is Alfonso Recio. He owns Music Proz in Indio, CA. I started going there when
they first opened four years ago. I gravitated towards him because of the amount of knowledge he has in the art, and eventually bugged him enough to get him to teach me his technique and share knowledge with… not many artist or musicians are like him. What was the most valuable thing you learned? Oh man! Patience, persistence, and to keep pushing forward. And then you expanded into a recording studio. Is that in part because you were in a band? I was in a band. I was trying to figure out ways to record our music without paying a studio. So my friend Andrew “Big Sexy” would let me borrow his PA system. And from there, I just looked up techniques to somehow plug that PA system into a computer. I discovered the Behringer interface RCA. And that was the beginning. Are you looking for a studio where you can have both screen printing and the music going? Is that your future goals or plans? That’s the plan. I’m not trying to lean on a certain side. I love both and I’m a certified audio engineer now. I am trying to build a nice studio where people from outside the desert want to come out and record an album; I’m not just doing it for just the local bands. I want it to be open for everybody. Now you are in a band called the Tribesmen. How would you describe the sound. I play drums...It’s all instrumental. That started because we couldn’t find a singer to fit our expectations, but I knew we had something good going. We didn’t need a singer because our music was all based on emotion and the sound felt different from the norm. It’s more cinematic. It’s more like a movie music type of deal you know? And that’s what I kind of want to lean towards. I want to write music and structure music in a way like a movie is formed. Like a movie sound track? Yeah, like that. I would want to eventually score for films. That’s what we hope to eventually do. web COACHELLASCREENPRINTING.COM links TRIBESMENMUSIC.COM
CO L L A B
A Coachella Valley design & fashion collective by siblings Isauro & Silvia Meza
text + photography LUNAFORA ISAURO: We are a fashion collective which started with my sister designing clothes, and me being in the art world. Iota Haus stands for the smallest significance of existence, and then Haus is the ultimate design team that could ever exist. Together, it merges the two ideas. We’re local Coachella Valley designers. What inspired you to get into fashion? SILVIA: I think at a young age we both knew that it was something we were both fascinated by. Even though we were young, we would dress up in outfits and have photo shoots. Once I got older, I noticed that I didn’t really like the style that is portrayed through stores and I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to wear. So I created my own outfits and people were always interested in what I had to make. ISAURO: Growing up, we always spend time together, thinking of all these different ideas. It wasn’t until we executed the idea to have a fashion show that we said let’s make something substantial out of this. Is there a story or narrative that you want to tell through your fashion brand? ISAURO: The identity of IOTA HAUS itself was born from our experience attending Coachella festival together. Every year, we would think, “What are we going to wear to this festival?” We’d try shopping and we would never find what we truly wanted to wear. One year we just decided to make our own outfits and realized, this is something we want to share with people. We decided to make an entire fashion line, instead of just designing for ourselves. SILVIA: Essentially, when you go to a certain place you have an outfit that makes you feel a certain way for that purpose. We want everyone to be able to express exactly what they’re feeling through our clothing. Isauro: At many times when we’re designing, we’re thinking of how it’s going to look in the desert or where we’re going to be, or what we’re going to be doing. Essentially, all of the clothes that we make are to celebrate a utopia that is life, art, and music. Coachella is a grand source of inspiration because it is our home. We drive down for five minutes and it’s the backyard of our house. I would say, growing up with that series
of memories, and experiences with all the different artist that come every year, definitely took a role in shaping our identity and what we found inspiring. It certainly is a different scene than L.A., or New York, or all these other music festivals around the world. Coachella undeniably has a particular style, drawing from a range of distinctive influences. I would say that it most positively inspired us to design our line. When you attend festivals, what’s one of the main things that stuck to your mind? SILVIA: I think diversity has to be one of the main ones. I really enjoyed, and kind of something that we also tied in with models as well. We want it to be diverse, we want to select diversity between our models. It’s something that I think is very important, because we come and we bring styles from all over the world. People all come together in one area to express what we feel about music. I really enjoyed being able to look at everyone’s outfits and people as well, and kind of bring it all together. ISAURO: The experience always evolves, because the first time I went to Coachella fest, I think I was about 15 years old, it sort of takes a part in our life, that sort of evolves with time. Seeing everybody live their lives ecstatically, it’s definitely an inspiration. People putting their best looks forward, and fully expressing themselves without having to commit to a particular style, and conform to like, “I’m going to go to work. I have to wear the classic tie suit and look this certain way for somebody else.” People pick certain outfits and certain looks, because that’s who they want to embrace. For some, it’s their alter ego, for instance. We really enjoy that about the fashion. When we see people coming to our hometown, it’s like this astonishing world, because it’s a liberating yet an exhilarating atmosphere. For these three days that we get to be at this event (Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival), it’s full of people and full of life and color. We hope that through our fashion, we are preserving that noise and artistic creativity, so that it’s here forever. web IOTAHAUS.COM
PR OFI LE
chris PARDO interview + portrait JORGE PEREZCHICA Originally from Seattle, Washington, it’s clear Chris Pardo arrived to Palm Springs with his own vision. At first impression Chris comes across as a rock star of architecture, dressed casually in his trademark navyblue t-shirt and jeans, arms covered in tattoos, and a fohawk haircut. In conversation there is an intense curiosity in his eyes, he will talk about architectural design with fervid energy and enthusiasm; from the big picture to the small details, angles, shapes, materials and colors. With 87 active projects, Chris Pardo dives in fearlessly as if he can see the future mapped in blueprints. JORGE: When did you first get into architecture? CHRIS PARDO: Since I was six years old, I had a subscription to Elle Décor magazine and Sunset magazine. I would go with my dad on the weekend to go to open houses. When we’re walking through the open houses, I would draw the floor plans of the buildings we were walking through. I always had this interest in architecture and design, so I decided to go to undergrad in architecture and construction. Actually, a couple of years into it, my dad’s like, “You’re not very good at math and you’re never going to make a lot of money as an architect.” I actually transferred out of architecture and then into hotel management. My undergrad degree is hotel management, that’s why Arrive and all these other restaurants made sense. It’s been a secondary interest of mine. I ended up going back to grad school for architecture. Then for my thesis project, instead of doing a faux project, we actually built two townhouses from the ground up in the central district in Seattle and started a development design-build company. The first 100 townhouses that we designed, we actually built ourselves as well. That led to us getting more and more clients and ended up being a designer for other people. JORGE: You’re originally from Seattle, right? CHRIS: That’s right, about an hour North in a town called Arlington. JORGE: What inspired you to visit Palm Springs? CHRIS: I came down actually on vacation and fell in love with Palm Springs in 2011. Then started looking at real estate, we found this vacant lot, where we ended up building Arrive. Once we purchased the lot, so I started coming down once a month to go through the permitting with the AAC, Planning Commission and City Council. Every time I would stay a little bit longer, a little bit longer, a little bit longer and then I just stopped going back in March of 2013. I’ve lived here for almost four years.
JORGE: Were you already familiar with the iconic Modernism architecture of Palm Springs? CHRIS: I was familiar obviously with the Kaufman house, and I knew of Wexler. I actually really wasn’t familiar with Palm Springs at all. I think partly my generation, if you weren’t in Southern California, you didn’t really know Palm Springs. To me, it was amazing to discover the architecture here and the history. Over the last four years, really learn what it is and what it means and how important it is to the culture here. JORGE: How did you start designing projects in Palm Springs? Was it a challenge or did it happen quickly? CHRIS: Well, for Arrive, we’ve been working on the brand for about seven years, actually. Looking for the first spot to build it. Once I came down here and we started talking about it, my others partners are from LA so they were already familiar with Palm Springs. We felt it’d be the perfect place to launch it. That’s what really got me into building down here, was the hotel itself. Then from doing that, I started meeting a lot of other clients and developers that liked what we were doing here. They would ask me to work on the project and that’s how I ended up working on the downtown project for John Wessman. JORGE: You recently won an award for Arrive hotel, can you talk about that. CHRIS: It was super exciting and unexpected. I didn’t think we would win, but I never think we’re going to win. It was a Gold Nugget Grand Prize Award for best project under 26,000 square feet. We went up to San Francisco and attended the award ceremony, just enjoying the free food and then they called our name. We went up and accepted the award with Dave Johnston, our general contractor. It was really exciting, actually. My son was the only one that really thought we would win. JORGE: When you are designing, are you thinking to blend in with the rest of the architecture in Palm Springs, is there a middle-ground, or do you have your own vision? CHRIS: I definitely have my own vision, but everything’s built on relating to urban fabric that’s already there. I learned a lot from other buildings. How they dealt with the climate here is the main reason that Mid-Century Modern works so well, these large overhangs that cover your windows provide the energy efficiency. I’ve learned a lot from the buildings that were already here. I lived in Alexander home, so I got really familiar with it. I’ve lived in a Wexler. I got up close and personal, so those definitely influenced the design. Although, I never want to replicate anything, because I think
Chris Pardo Customs Coffee at Arrive hotel Palm Springs, CA
it’s not authentic. It doesn’t benefit the community if I’m building something that’s more like Disneyland, making these fake mid-century moderns. Arrive does obviously have influences from mid-century, but it’s not replicating the past. We’re trying to be what Palm Springs is today. JORGE: Can you design however you want, or does the city have guidelines? CHRIS: The city is very particular on the design. They are super particular. Besides general zoning guidelines, they don’t have that many written rules. Once you go through architectural committee and planning commission, you could be there for years if you don’t understand what they’re looking for. It’s an unwritten guideline of what they want, I think. They want high quality materials. In general, they’re supportive of modern projects. They’re questionable on murals. It is a process, for sure. JORGE: Does that push you creatively or does that hinder you? CHRIS: In some aspects, it pushes me to do better and I think that’s mostly in the quality and the refining of details. They’ll even ask me how the railings are connected down to the ground. They want to see the details of how the screws go into it and how it aligns with everything. No other city I’ve ever worked in has asked me for that close of details during preliminary approvals. It does hinder it though, somewhat, on things like the mural. If I want to just do some creative, great project, there’s so many cooks in the kitchen, when you start presenting it to the architecture committee and planning commission. Hypothetically, it ends up not being exactly what your vision was at the beginning. In my experience so far, it’s actually worked out fine, but it always scares me when I’m trying to do a creative endeavor and someone else is controlling what the overall finished project is. JORGE: What makes Arrive unique and stand out from other hotels? CHRIS: One, it obviously is the first new construction hotel, I think in 20-something years. Low rise built on a vacant lot, so it’s urban infill. It’s really a hotel that’s designed around being more of a neighborhood restaurant, than it is necessarily a hotel. You can see the whole building, there’s no lobby, there’s no checkin area. It’s just a restaurant. It’s designed primarily to be for the local community, the people that live in the neighborhood behind us, north of us, east of us. Then the same with the coffee shop. You can see there’s no entrance even into the hotel area from the coffee shop. It’s really for the public, forward facing. The ice cream shop is the same. What’s unique about Arrive, is it’s unlike a typical hotel. Hotels by nature are for travelers and we’re more for the neighborhood itself. That’s how every Arrive that we’re doing in the future is as well. We are working on one right now in Austin and in Memphis. The same concepts, they are community
focused restaurant and entertainment gathering space that happens to have rooms attached. JORGE: Did you design the coffee and ice cream shops from the beginning, or was that an after thought? CHRIS: It’s actually pretty interesting. During the permit process, you have to define or say what you think the space is going to be. At the beginning, I had added two retail spaces. The city asked us to identify what it would be. I said, “This will be a coffee shop and this one will be an ice cream shop.” We were just doing them for placeholders at the beginning, but then we started thinking about it more and more. We were like, “Those are qualities that are additive to the rest of the hotel, the restaurant experience and the neighborhood.” We ran with the concept. Now, every Arrive is going to have a Custom’s Coffee that features a different local roaster. This one, you can see our logo has the Joshua Tree coffee logo in the middle of it, he’s our local partner for roaster. Then in Austin, we have a local Austin roaster that’s going to be featured. In Memphis, it’s a different roaster. Every one is going to be focused on the community roaster, which is kind of fun. JORGE: When guests visit Arrive, what’s the experience and ambience that you want to create? CHRIS: We want it to be a more comfortable experience, less formal than a traditional hotel experience, when you stand in line to check-in and have a concierge talk to you. We want to feel more like you’re staying at a friend’s house or even an Airbnb. It’s just a more authentic experience of getting a residential feel to that city. JORGE: Can you tell us about the Draughtsman? CHRIS: The Draughtsman, I’m super excited about. It was originally a Bob’s Big Boy, I think built in 1971. It then became a Pizza Hut. When we were acquiring the Arrive property, we started talking to the owner and he let us know that Pizza Hut was planning on moving out. We told him that we’d be interested once they do move out. That happened about a year and a half ago. We finally took it over and then started renovating into the Draughtsman. It’s a really a good fit for Palm Springs. It’s a architectural beer pub, basically. A play on the word draftsman, obviously. Draft beer and drafting. It should be a fun place to hang out. JORGE: What about the Downtown Palm Springs project? Is all that designed by you too? CHRIS: I’m working on every single project in some capacity. The Kimpton and Block A. I was hired after the building was designed, basically to refine the overall look of it and get the final approval from the city. My involvement, there has mostly to do with adding a lot of the architectural details on the outside and then doing the restaurants and public space interior design. Block B, I designed from the ground up. It’s more reflective of the Arrive, I would say. It has the swooping roofs that go down from 28 feet to 38 feet and they angulate opposite of each other. Really beautiful, all retail space on the ground floor and residential units on the second
TOP: ARRIVE hotel. Photography by Jaime Kowal BELLOW: Arial view of ARRIVE hotel. Photography by Chris Miller COACHELLA MAGAZINE
floor. Block C, is three restaurants, then I think 68,000 square feet of retail space, four residential lofts. Then the Kimpton, my role was to design the rooftop pool area and the restaurant up there, the café on the ground floor, and coordinating some of the interior design. To the North of that, I designed, from the ground up, the Virgin Hotel, expected to start construction in 2018. Also we worked closely on all of the hardscaping and landscape design for the public paseos and the new streets with Tom Doczi and Allen Sanborn. JORGE: Is that one of the biggest projects you worked on? CHRIS: It is. It’s definitely the largest projects I’ve worked on. JORGE: Was there any pressure, did you ever feel intimidated by that? CHRIS: Constantly. There’s just a million decisions that I’m involved with, from every single detail of the signage for the new streets, the pavers, the colors of all those things. Having to go to the city and meet special committees. Talking about the landscaping, the size of the pots, drainage, everything. It’s been really, really challenging, overwhelming. It’s 60 hours a week at least, just doing that project. JORGE: Do you see yourself following in the legacy of other iconic architects in Palm Springs? Your work is going to change the face of Downtown Palm Springs once that’s completed. CHRIS: The project is definitely going to make a huge impact on the city. I don’t see myself that way though. I don’t think I’m adding what those people have done, Wexler and the others are my heroes. I don’t see myself that way, at all. I’m just trying to do the best job I can for the city. JORGE: How would you describe your personal style? CHRIS: I always used to describe my style as Asian inspired Scandinavian. JORGE: Because everything that I’ve seen you design has a youthful, cool, hip, feel to it. CHRIS: Thank you. JORGE: Is it intended for a younger demographic? CHRIS: That’s not necessarily my intention, but I believe that does come through in my work. Most of my work has to do with public spaces now. I do a lot of single family homes still, but the single family homes are a different style than I’d say my more public buildings are. They’re more modern. The hospitality projects I’m doing, they’re meant to be backdrops for life. They have more entertainment value to them and a sense of humor. More natural materials, brighter colors. JORGE: What has been the public’s reaction to your designs so far? CHRIS: In general, they’ve been pretty well received. Not everyone loves everything. The downtown project for sure has been a challenge, mostly because of the scale of the project. It’s unusual for Palm Springs to
have buildings over 30 feet. Some of the project is 53 to 85 feet tall. It’s not mid-century modern architecture any more, it’s modern architecture. It’s how can you adapt the massing and still have the small town character, the tactile feeling and bring in some of the elements of mid-century into a mass that wasn’t really in that language, that vocabulary of architecture. JORGE: What keeps your creative flow going? CHRIS: I would say music and travel are the two main inspirations for me, and movies. I’m a huge movie fan. Travel, I believe, is how I learned everything I know. Like the tattoos on my arm, that’s everywhere I’ve lived. I was born there, moved there, moved there, moved there, then moved there and now live in Palm Springs. The things I learned in those cities inspire the way I design, the way I think and how I see people. JORGE: What’s the next major project? CHRIS: We have 87 active projects right now and excited about them all, but looking forward to rolling out a number of hotels in the next 12-16 months. JORGE: How many designers work in your firm? CHRIS: I have six here, including me, and one in San Francisco, so seven. JORGE: When you are designing a new project, how do you work together as a team? CHRIS: We dive in. That’s why I work so much, because I love it and I have projects that I just want to dive in immediately and start researching what that’s going to be and figure out all the details. JORGE: What do you love the most about architecture? CHRIS: The thing I love the most is, when I’m done. The fact of creating something into physical form. Tangible. When I’m, done I can go and see the thing that’s been in my head. In this case, Arrive for four years. It took four years to get it built. Now it’s a thing that exists, it has a life of its own, it becomes something that I never even imagined. That’s the fun thing, is seeing how people end up actually interacting and reacting to what I create. It’s more like art to me and that’s what I love about it. It’s creating something in your head, seeing it to fruition, then having people react to, whether that’s positive or negative in the end, it’s great to see either way. JORGE: What advice would you give to aspiring architects who want to dive into the industry? CHRIS: The main thing is that you need to be willing to take risks, make mistakes. A lot of architects are perfectionists and they’re super hard on themselves, it’s not an easy career to be in. It’s one that if you’re passionate about, you can do really well. Don’t be afraid to try new things and really be tenacious about it. You can’t give up. When you’re going through Hell, you just keep going (pointing at a tattoo on his arm) I have advice all over my body. The biggest thing is it’s hard work, but it’s work that’s meaningful. web ELEMENTALARCHITECTURE.COM
Above: WEST ELM exterior from Palm Canyon and Taquitz, Downtown Palm Springs. Bellow: DRAUGHTSMAN interior. Table tops adorned with original Town & Country blueptints aquired from UCLA. Photography by Chris Miller COACHELLA MAGAZINE
ROW LOW APRIL, 2015 / RANCHO MIRAGE, CA Desert 2017 site view, photo courtesy Desert X PHOTOXby TOM FOWLER
DESERT X interview JORGE PEREZCHICA Desert X (Desert Exhibition of Art) is a recurring, international, contemporary art exhibition that will focus attention on and create conversation about environmental, social, and cultural conditions of the 21st century as reflected in the Coachella Valley. Curated by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield, Desert X will take audiences outside the institutional bounds of galleries and white walls — as the desert landscape will become the canvas. Among the internationally recognized artists who will be part of the exhibition are: Doug Aitken, Lita Albuquerque, Jennifer Bolande, Will Boone, Claudia Comte, Jeffrey Gibson, Sherin Guirguis, Norma Jeane, Armando Lerma, Glenn Kaino, Gabriel Kuri, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Julião Sarmento, Phillip K Smith III and Tavares Strachan. The inaugural Desert X will run from February 25 through April 30, 2017. Here are a few insights from Artistic Director Neville Wakefield. What is Desert X? NEVILLE WAKEFIELD: Like the desert, Desert X is many things to many people, but specifically, it’s an exhibition of site-specific contemporary art that ranges across the Coachella Valley, from Whitewater in the North to Indio in the south. How did Desert X go from concept to reality? WAKEFIELD: The project was initially founded by Susan Davis and then developed and formed by a group of founders and collectors who had interests in the area. A year and a half ago, I was brought into the mix as Artistic Director and faced the challenge of creating a radically different kind of exhibition and way of showing art in an environment comprised of equal parts beauty and hostility. Along with the environmental challenges, there are also the issues of working with art that intentionally tends not to conform to the traditional rules. Most of the work is experimental, and the context plays a significant role in that experience, so it’s a very different endeavor from say placing a sculpture in a public setting. The process involved inviting a wide range of artists to come to the desert to both familiarize themselves with it and to seek inspiration. Conversations would then evolve. How will art and social issues mix together? WAKEFIELD: I think all art has a social component and, whether by intention or circumstance, is about raising awareness - it’s about enlarging the conversation and expanding the point of view. In some instances, such as Armando Lerma’s Coachella Walls project, the writing - or in this instance the painting - is literally on the walls of a place that has historically suffered from
social and economic neglect. Other projects refer more or less directly to the history of deserts in other parts of the world. Here I’m thinking of projects like Sherin Guirguis’ One I Call, which obliquely refers to the web of narratives surrounding the desert communities of her native Egypt, or Glenn Kaino’s Hollow Earth which invokes the secret underground tunnels that connect Egypt and the Gaza strip. The exciting thing about this kind of show is that it is about the landscape in the very broadest sense. Why do you feel the desert continues to inspire and attract creative minds from around the world? WAKEFIELD: From biblical times and before the desert has been a place that people have gone to in order to reflect upon themselves in the absence of social and material distraction, to renew their relationship with nature and themselves. Whether literal or psychotropic, this version of being cast into the wilderness has always appealed to creative intelligence. How might the artwork be interpreted if someone were from another culture? WAKEFIELD: The beauty of this kind of art is that it is rooted in experience. You might go to see the Phil Smith installation, the Claudia Comte wall, or Richard Prince’s Third Place and you might see it in completely different conditions which alter the encounter with the work. But the basis of the experience is relatable to fundamental experiences of light, perception, geometry, or habitation that are common to all and in that sense trans-cultural. I think it’s important that even if the cultural nuances are not fully understood, that it’s still possible to enjoy the work. What do you see as the main differences between art in public spaces vs art in galleries, museums, white walls etc. WAKEFIELD: The benefits of working outside of institutional bounds are that you have the opportunity to re-stage the encounter with the artwork. The moment you step through a gallery or museum door you bring to the experience a huge baggage of history and expectation. The beauty of a show like Desert X is that it can be much more democratic in its intent. There are no doors to pass through and no price of admission - actual or metaphorical. What conversations do you want Desert X to create? WAKEFIELD: I’d like it to raise questions about how we create and consume art away from the marketplace and to encourage us to reflect upon the desert as a place where art can flourish unimpeded by the constraints of the so-called art world. web DESERTX.ORG COACHELLA MAGAZINE
P OETS & PR OVO C AT E U RS
1 POETS & PROVOCATEURS is a monthly Open Mic where all mediums are welcomed. Hosted by RowLow and held at Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery in Palm Springs, CA. The vibe is a highly charged, progressive collective energy that is fresh and palatable each time. A key unique feature of Poets and Provocateurs is that it will emerge as a coffee-table book of the same title to be published in November 2017. The book will feature poems, images, and artwork from anyone involved and who has submitted. For more info visit Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery or poetsandprovocateurs.com.
5 1. RowLow 2. Marco Thoma 3. Vincent Wells and Jasmine Elizabeth Smith 4.Obinne Onyeador 5. Erika Castellanos 6 Maddie Ebersole Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery in Downtown Palm Springs.
OUTSIDER by LEA PHILLIPS
Poem written on a vintage typewriter at GrÃ© Coffeehouse & Art Gallery, 278 North Palm Canyon Suite C, Palm Springs, CA.
CHE LL AV I S I O N
host ROWLAND AKINDURO wardrobe provided by MR. TURK writband by RASTACLAT
FORMAT Talk-Show CATEGORY Arts & Culture WEB CHELLAVISION.COM LOG LINE Rowland Akinduro hosts Chellavision and interviews guest artists, they showcase their work, and a musical performance wraps up the evening. HOST Rowland Akinduro DJ & ANNOUNCER B-Fire HAIR/MUA Lisa Monique & Lucy Higuera LIGHTING/AUDIO John Gray CAMERA Circulation Media LOCATION Indio Performing Arts Center PRODUCED & DEVELOPED by Jorge Perezchica and Rowland Akinduro A SPECIAL THANKS TO The City Of Indio - sponsor Indio Performing Arts Center - venue Mr. Turk - Wardrobe Food & Drink Prepared by Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa’s Executive Chef Paul Hancock
When Chellavision initially launched, I had a feeling right away, we had something special. Once we were fortunate enough to hold the talk show at the Indio Performing Arts Center, in Indio, CA, that feeling became solidified. Hosting a talk show is both completely uncharted yet hauntingly familiar territory for me (us). We were caught between being relatively obscure and wanting to fill a void within the Coachella Valley — all while doing the writing, production, editing, even catering ourselves. As episodes went on, Chellavision started to emerge as a fresh outlet for local talent. Filming in front of a live studio audience allows for a special connection within the moment that is not possible anywhere else. The crowd has access to a completely exclusive experience than the online viewers do. Our collective conundrum was that we wanted a balance between local and renowned talent. The feedback we received kept pointing us in the direction towards the Coachella Valley talent. We have learned an incredible amount since our first episode of Chellavision and I’m greatly humbled and honored. Chellavision has garnered community wide interest in not only sponsorship but also for the purposes of being entertained. It’s exciting and we can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Come Chellaport with us. — Rowland Akinduro
Rowland Akinduro: What are your thoughts on the educational system? Adam Enrique Rodriguez: When I was in art school it was all about learning to do the picture perfect painting. I got to the point where all that concentration kind of led to...I just wasnâ€™t inspired all the time. Once I dropped out of art school (I saw the) potential and range of different types of work. Then I made the decision to abandon all of that scholastic academic approach. It was more about putting my energy into it as opposed to trying to make a perfect image. From the premier episode of Chellavision - Taped October 22, 2016. SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCES BY: EP. 1 ADAM ENRIQUE RODRIGUEZ & THE FLUSTERS EP. 2 JEV PIC & THE HIVE MINDS EP. 3 SOFIA ENRIQUEZ & JESIKA VON RABBIT EP. 4 MICHAEL MURPHY & TRIBESMEN COACHELLA MAGAZINE
Eduardo Valadez Arenas was born in Mexico City, Mexico and then migrated with his family to the U.S. He grew up in Thousand Palms, CA. and experienced adversity living as an only child in a single-parent household with frequent encounters with gangs, drugs and police. Eduardo credits graffiti culture and the hip-hop scene in the community as pillars of support. Through college, Eduardo discovered the possibilities of art as a way of life. He began to meet transformative people who would become mentors and helped launch his career. Much of Eduardo’s work revolves around identity mixing Mexican culture, gangs and street art, which he describes as “working class aesthetics.” Everyday Eduardo tries to make it a goal to wake up and get to work on something daily. “It’s all about making and doing it relentlessly.” interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
SABOR A MI - PORTRAIT SERIES OF ARTIST PEOPLE AND THINGS - DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION 2016 COACHELLA MAGAZINE
LOBOTOMY 1492 - MIXED MEDIA ON WOOD 2015
EL CORRIDO DE HELADIO EL VALIENTE - MIXED MEDIA ON WOOD 2016
JORGE: Can you you tell us your personal background and how you came to be an artist? EDUARDO: I was born in Mexico City, Mexico and migrated with my family to the U.S. I am not sure if we were heading to anywhere in particular, but we ended up in the Coachella Valley. I grew up mostly in Thousand Palms but lived in a few other desert cities. If I had to choose one word to describe my personal story I would have to say: resilience. Growing up as an only child in a working class family which later was a single parent household in Thousand Palms was not easy, and I had to overcome a lot of obstacles, poor brown kid things: Encounters with police, drugs, violence, gangs etc. I have to give credit to the graffiti and hip-hop scene though this community was where weirdos like me could do our thing and still be edgy but creative. Also the College of the Desert where I attended after alternative high school, this is where I learned that art could actually, maybe, possibly, become a real career or way of life. At C.O.D I met a lot of transformative people who would later become mentors, they catapulted my career as an artist and through them, I gained my first formal art related job as a muralist and mural instructor for the Palm Springs Unified School District, where I worked to create over a few dozen murals with students and independently in schools throughout the valley JORGE: How did growing up in Coachella Valley influence your work? EDUARDO: The desert is a very inspirational place which is no wonder why it’s written about in so many text and is a metaphor for life and death. The desert is the epitome of extremes and duality. The desert is barrio and glitz, quiet and violently loud, drought and floods, peace and violence, boring and vibrant. The desert is everything all at once and nothing at all. How inspiring and humbling the duality of the desert can be. The Coachella Valley is also where I learned about resourcefulness. As a kid I remember getting sand in my eyes while building forts in the ditch or in the back roads of Thousand Palms somewhere. there so many materials to choose from, somehow the desert wasteland becomes home to the discarded treasures of everyone who chooses to let go of things. Trash and the things others leave behind is an important part of my practice, the remains both literal and metaphorically are woven into my work. JORGE: How has the move to Oakland, CA influenced your work? Has your approach to art changed? EDUARDO: You know, my approach hasn’t really changed much, however, I will say—and give the Bay Area and Oakland in particular the credit it deserves. It has really given me more accountability as a person of color to hold my truth as evident to history and politics. I would say that both Oakland and the Bay Area being historically radical and progressive places has influenced my work greatly, in many ways
politicizing my views. How much this has changed my approach I do not know, but it certainly has changed and influenced my approach to life and the way I see others and the world in general; particularly issues revolving around people of color, and more specifically the Black and the LGBTQ community. In Oakland you are constantly being confronted with your own self and your preconceptions while also being presented with encounters with people of all genders, ethnicities, races, and backgrounds it’s a beautiful thing and encourages people to look deep inside themselves and love more. JORGE: What are the themes and concepts behind your work? EDUARDO: Much of my work revolves around identity. I was always influenced by gang culture and Mexican culture so I tend to mix those things as well as street art. All of these things make up who I am. I use “working class aesthetics” a term I made up which basically is the use of everyday working class materials to create artwork: painters tape, landscaping tarps, building materials, house paint etc. Also since I am investigating identity I delve quite a bit into history of colonialism, worker’s struggle, social rights and folklore. I get inspired by the most random things here is a list in no particular order: the sights and sounds of Mexico, Jazz, Cumbia parties in Oakland, the wild west feel of thousand palms, trips to the border, Los Zapatistas, Robert De Niro movies, Sci-fi, food from colonized countries, Hip-hop, color swatches from Sherwin Williams, poetry, street gangs, Reggae, Instagram, folklore, Road Trips, 1960s, artist of color, things that people forget, Corridos, my dreams, good books and sex. JORGE: You work with various art mediums and materials. Can you tell us about your creative process? EDUARDO: Lately I have been doing a lot of work for commissions or shows, but I usually find myself looking at reference photos and books for inspiration. I also do online research quite a bit. I can’t really speak to a set process besides that, and lately I’ve been trying to make something at least once a day. Because I work from a variety of mediums one day I could be woodworking the other, painting and the next, graphic design. This makes it hard to keep a consistent process. However, I do try and make it a goal to wake up and get to work on something daily; building something for my garden, screen-printing some clothing, starting a new painting, or working on some freelance graphic design projects. It’s all about making and doing it relentlessly for me. All day, every day. Bob Marley once said “The people who are trying to make this world worse don’t take a day off so why should I.” JORGE: Your work blends cultural references and social commentary — describe how you use them. EDUARDO: I just paint what I see and try and hold no prejudice to what things I bring together in a certain
MUCH OF MY WORK REVOLVES AROUND IDENTITY. I WAS ALWAYS INFLUENCED BY GANG CULTURE AND MEXICAN CULTURE SO I TEND TO MIX THOSE THINGS AS WELL AS STREET ART. ALL OF THESE THINGS MAKE UP WHO I AM. — Eduardo Valadez Arenas
LEFT TO RIGHT: TACOS OVER VATOS - DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION 2016 WORK - SCREEN PRINT 2015 MIRRORS IN THE CLOSET - DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION
LUCHADOR PACIFICO - SCREEN PRINT AND MIXED MEDIA - 2015
PAST AND PRESENT - SCREEN PRINT - 2015
STUDIO INTERNACIONAL - INTERACTIVE MOBILE GALLERY AND PERFORMANCE. 2014
HAND DESIGNED TYPE - 2016
space, if the world were more like this perhaps we would have less violence. JORGE: As an artist, what are you most passionate about? What do you want viewers to come away with? EDUARDO: I am truly passionate about making and have stopped putting emphasis on the expectation of eliciting a response from people on my work. I am selfish, I make art for myself, for my sanity and because it’s what makes me happy, if people come away with something for themselves or are moved by something I do, cool — if not then, that’s cool too. JORGE: You are also an educator and a collaborator with non-profit arts organizations. Can you tell us about that and what have been some of your most memorable experiences? EDUARDO: I have been an arts educator for over 10 years now; working with nonprofits, arts institutions and schools, too. To date, I think the most memorable experience has been working with the residents of the Harrison Hotel — a SRO in downtown Oakland where I led a varied assortment of workshops for the residentsmany of which were underprivileged people of color. Making a space with these people was a profound experience, as many of them were previously on the streets. It further inspired me to continue on the route of art education and healing both for myself and others.
JORGE: What are you currently working on now? EDUARDO: Currently, I am doing a fellowship program at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where I am working on a year-long project that aims to create social systems around the city and asks questions around Place and Freedom. I also work as a freelance designer, sign painter, and am open for commissions in the near future. I hope to return to graduate school to pursue an MFA in fine arts and painting. I recently Curated an Art show titled SEEDS where I collaborated with Printmaker Luna Francesca, furniture maker and land steward Jonathan Bailey, photographer Ave Long, painter and textile artist Leticia Javier and performance artist Suzy Hernandez. The show developed to be a magical experience of art, performance and space making for survivors and friends of survivors of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire. We created a large community altar and used the space as a community gathering site. I wish to continue to curate shows and events like this in the future and have been offered to present SEEDS at the MAC Center on the College of the Desert campus in September of 2017. web EDUARDOVALADEZARENAS.TUMBLR.COM instagram @LACOCINALOCA
EDUARDO VALADEZ ARENAS AT HOME , OAKLAND, CA.
ANTA52 Born and raised in the Coachella Valley, Anta52 was always drawing, sketching, and doodling scenes from Godzilla movies to comic books, but never taking it seriously outside of immature stuff to make his friends laugh. Once in high school Anta52 recalls an awkward incident that almost derailed his creative career indefinately. After losing confidence, Anta52 was challenged by an esteemed art teacher who gave him fouryears-worth of art assignments that needed to be completed in one year to meet graduation requirements. Anta52 not only took up the challenge but came away with a newfound passion and obsession for art. Nowadays, it is impossible not to find Anta52’s work somewhere across the Coachella Valley. Whether it is a sticker slapped on a guitar case of a local band, someone wearing a cap with his signature “Anta” embroidered on the front, the poster and t-shirt designs for the first annual Palm Springs Comic Con and more. Anta52 uses social media as a tool to network and work with people from all across the globe and occasionally gets to travel — but he admits, “I just love it out here. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
ANTA52 HOME STUDIO PALM DESERT, CA.
What is your first recollections of making art? ANTA52: I’ve always been drawing. I’ve always been doing shit. My earliest memories are of drawing scenes from my favorite Godzilla movies. I was always drawing things that had that immediate impact on me as a kid, from gross out Tom Bunk illustrations in Mad Magazine, to the work of Mark McKee on skateboards and my favorite cartoons and comics. A good steady practice of redrawing all of the trash media I consumed. What impact did films have on you? ANTA52: I grew up on Godzilla because those were the old VHS tapes that my mom had — she would go out of her way to find them. I would even go to the local video store and try and find whatever Godzilla movies I hadn’t seen or didn’t have in my collection. That just became a childhood obsession that bled into adulthood. Where did you grow up? ANTA52: Coachella, born and raised. Ok, I was born in Indio, but that doesn’t count. What was it like growing up in Coachella and attending Coachella Valley High School? ANTA52: Coachella was an awesome place to grow
up! Especially back then. Plenty of empty lots and sand everywhere! It was actually at CVHS when I started taking art seriously. I had an instructor by the name of Peggy Long, that really just whipped me into shape. She made me feel like a real sack for not having taken art with her all four years of high school and made me do several years worth of work in one year. I never took art seriously. I took one art class my freshman year and I don’t know why, but I decided to wear all white one day. White shoes, white socks, white hat, white shirt, and one of my friends decided to spill paint on me. Being a socially awkward little fatso with esteem issues, this really upset and turned me off from art for two years. I never really drew much after that, except for habitually doodling on homework and assignments. I would doodle all the time. I would doodle constantly. I would sketch and I would draw, but it never seemed like I wanted to take art seriously outside of drawing immature stuff for the sole purpose of making my friends laugh. My high school had an art academy that you can take general courses and courses that emphasize art and I completely skipped all of it
because it never even seemed like something that I would even want to do. I was that thrown off by getting covered in paint wearing all white one day that... It seems silly looking back now, but that’s how I felt then. Any way, good ‘ol Peggy Long gave me four years worth of assignments that needed to be completed in one year and I took her up on the challenge and art became a new passion and obsession. Did growing up in Coachella influence your artwork in any particular way? ANTA52: In a lot of ways it did because, what living in Coachella did for me, was provide isolation. As in, we were kind of separated from everything. Outside of school it just seemed like the only things to do as kids was run around different parts of town, dick around in the desert and just kick it with close friends who lived within walking distance of my house. We kind of just had this weird, closed-off group. We all grew up together, vandalized property, drew, painted, shared music, partied, hosted backyard shows and did all kinds of stuff together. Even now a lot of the people that I grew up with, especially Freddy from Tribesmen or Jorge from Los Mumblers, like we were all friends because we were living and growing up in Coachella. Like who else were we going to befriend? We were the only people in and out of the shows and bands and all that stuff. We’re still friends to this day. Coachella gave me a community that I didn’t know existed and didn’t know I was a part of. The art community in Coachella that I now gladly consider myself a part of. How important is social media to get your name and work out there? ANTA52: It’s become monumentally important, not to the point where I base my entire existence and base myself on follower count or how much buzz I’m generating online. Social media has become a tool to allow me to network and work with people outside of the desert, because I’m stubborn. I don’t want to leave the desert, I want to try and do as much as I can from the desert and social media has given me the tools to do that. I’ve worked with people from all over the place and I can do it mostly from home, and then sometimes get to travel and go to cool places I’ve never been to and hang out with artists I’ve only known through social media. For the most part I get to just live and work from home and do as much as I can because of social media. It’s important in that sense, it allows me to stay connected with the people I work with and to
find new people to work with. What would you say you like the most about the desert, Coachella Valley? ANTA52: I love living here and being here. It’s hard to describe, it’s almost like a weird connection where if I’m far from the desert long enough I start to feel like some kind of homesickness, I start to get anxiety and just want to go home. Being able to see the windmills when you’re leaving the desert. The mountains off in the horizon in any direction you look. Anything like that, those small little things. It’s hard to describe, there’s no one particular thing. You could chalk it up to the people, you could chalk it up to the climate, you could chalk it up to the environment. Even the blistering heat that keeps out losers who can’t stand the summers is something I enjoy about the desert. I just love it out here. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Can you tell us about some of your recent collaborations with the first annual Palm Springs Comic Con and Epidemic Skateboard Shop? ANTA52: As far as PS Comic Con goes, both Justin Holden and Alex Callego reached out for help, doing graphics for the event and I was more than happy to help. At first it was boring stuff, promotional graphics, setting up templates postcards and shit like that! Eventually they asked if I wanted to contribute art to the con. I jumped on the opportunity! We just started brainstorming and coming up with ideas and we joked about not going in the cliché direction and doing the windmills and palm trees, then we said fuck all and settled on, “Why not just do the windmills, but do like the windmills in the most exaggerated way possible?” Then we were thinking about how do we do that? Then, I forget who, but someone jokingly suggested doing a giant robot windmill and we laughed about it and we were like, “Dude that’s perfect. Let’s just roll with that.” That’s how ML-T0N the earth loving, water bottle crushing, windmill robot came to be! As far as giving him the name, I mean it was just really simple. He’s a windmill, name him ML-T0N, it works. It’s spelled out ML-T0N, so it’s super cool and futuristic...It turned into this whole thing where we were just creating the lore around who is MLT0N and we kind of just stuck on this idea of him being some kind of Captain Planet environmental crusader where he’s here to protect the renewable energy and other progressive energy resources in the desert. Is ML-T0N going to be the logo for the future Palm Springs Comic Cons?
ICE CREAM DREAMS
BABY BAPHOMET & MADONNA
I’VE ALWAYS BEEN DRAWING. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN DOING SHIT. MY EARLIEST MEMORIES ARE OF DRAWING SCENES FROM MY FAVORITE GODZILLA MOVIES — Anta52
“ML-T0N” INK and Digital Illustration, 2016
2016 END OF YEAR
BETA SOCKS FOR EPIDEMIC STATEBOARD SHOP
NEW YEAR, NEW VITAMIN C
NEW YEAR, NEW UGLY
NEW YEAR, SUE ME
NEW YEAR, NEW PROFANITY
ANTA52: Well, we discussed using it as a mascot and I’m open to whatever they want to do with him. I had a great time coming up with the images. I had a great time coming up with the different products that we came out with and it was just a really nice exercise in being a designer. They didn’t really tell me what to do, I just went for it. I mean it was so like loose and last minute that I was just coming out with shit at the very last minute, calling in all the homie cards I hadn’t redeemed yet, with friends who are printers and people who produce goods and just started getting stuff made. I was over my head with how much stuff I made, but we ended up selling most of it. It was a lot of fun. For me it was a fun exercise in just running loose. Being able to just create without any real outside direction, as in just me trying to make an appropriate image and graphic that works for this convention. Everyone at the con loved it, and I was happy that they chose me and we were able to reach a happy conclusion on the project. I think 58
that’s why the image was so successful, it was because, ML-T0N is a representation of just me at ease, having fun and being able to just create. How did the project for Epidemic come about? ANTA52: That was all Glen Coy, he used to be the owner and creative director at Epidemic and he always hits me up with a lot of different projects that we have fun on. It’s a skate shop, none of it is to be taken too seriously, but at the same time we just go back and forth on different ideas. He hit me up about a collaboration with the company Psock-A-Delic, they were going to make shop socks. That immediately just struck a bolt in me because I’ve never done socks. I was like, “Yeah, I’m totally into this project.” I was into the idea of creating graphics that were going to be reproduced as knitted patterns. I was just super into it. We came up with three different ideas, one of them being the Beta face, which is the one that ultimately got produced...It’s the shop dog Beta. She’s kind of like a mascot for Epidemic, so they
COACHELLA GAVE ME A COMMUNITY THAT I DIDN’T KNOW EXISTED AND DIDN’T KNOW I WAS A PART OF. THE ART COMMUNITY IN COACHELLA THAT I NOW GLADLY CONSIDER MYSELF A PART OF. — Anta52
do a lot of imagery with her. I only recently got my hands on a pair. I was just completely blown away and I bought three pairs on the spot, not including the complementary pairs they gave me. Let’s talk about your series titled “New Year, New Me.”It’s going to be a zine correct? ANTA52: Right, “New Year, New Me” it’s a series of daily drawings that are more an exercise in just drawing and not having to think about something too much. I tend to overthink most of what I work on and take far too long drawing, painting and putting stuff together. The whole point of the series is to come up with a new end rhyme for “Me” in “New Year, New Me.” Same goes for “New” in “New Me”. The whole project was a stupid half-assed idea that I cooked up for the sole purpose of making a series of drawings that I can share online. The project was way more than I expected. It just became a challenge for me to have, to put out a drawing every single day, however ill-conceived, however poorly thought out, however quick or brief. However sloppy! I thought it would be easy. I was in the middle of moving into my current spot at the time, working full time as a production designer at a print shop and committed to weekly sit down sessions with an artist who was teaching me how to paint with acrylics. Still, sleepless and exhausted I stubbornly saw the series all the way through. Initially the drawings were just silly for the sake of being silly. Then the series, as it progressed, slowly just became more and more personal. It became whatever I was feeling during the day, whatever I was going through, it was reflected in the drawing. Is it like a journal, but in visual form? ANTA52: I would say it’s like visual Tweeting. You just get that initial stupid thought and then you draw it and you post it and you didn’t really think about it. I just kind of did it. Right now, I have all the originals and I’ve had people suggest
doing an art show with the originals and that might be an interesting idea, to actually maybe do a whole exhibit, or make it a part of an exhibit. Put all the originals up in frames on a wall for people to check out. A lot of people see them and I still have people ask me what apps am I using, because they don’t know they’re all hand drawn. They’re all just markers on watercolor paper. Then occasionally mixed media, depending on what I was doing that day. The drawings will be in two separate zines, one for the 29 drawings of 2016 and the current 31 drawings I’m finishing now for 2017. What is the core of what you do as an artist? ANTA52: I would say it would be one part love of the craft and one part just trying to make sense of everything through my art. I’m the kind of person who can’t pick up social cues, has most things fly clear over my head and would much rather be at home drawing, doing my studies, reading my books or slaying demons on DOOM. The core of me as an artist is trying to communicate the thoughts and ideas I have a hard time articulating with words alone. Is there anyone you want to give a shout-out to? ANTA52: It would definitely be AJ Davila, for everything he’s done for me and how much he’s helped with promoting me as an artist and my work. A huge shout out to Mike Rios and all my friends at Cactus Tattoo for how much they push me on the daily and really just inspire me with my personal work and being able to help them with their projects. Lisa Soccio at the Marks Art Center. One last super fat shout out to all of the people who have been following me and my work since the Myspace days. To anyone who has bought anything off my site and all of the people who buy prints and originals from me! Thanks a ton! web ANTA52.COM
ART INTE R NATI ON A L
A sea of people and a hybird of odd characters populate the scene from edge to edge; each figure tells a unique story that interweaves a mysterious narrative between sci-fi and mythology, but all revolving around the female theme. These complex visual tales accentuated with bold colors are the work of up-and-coming artist Clara López, born in Santander, a city north of Spain. Clara began to draw since early childhood and continued as an adult. Growing up, she was taught to love art as evidenced by her books, desk full of drawings and scrawls, which she felt embarrassed by. Drawing was a way for her to communicate, escape reality and tell tales through visual communication. After finishing high school, Clara’s path took a turn. Seeking a career that provided financial security, she pursued a Pharmacy degree but didn’t like it. Feeling like an outsider, Clara quit and enrolled at The University of the Basque Country to study Fine Arts. Clara was happy for a while but realized that art was going to be a difficult career choice. After finishing fine arts education, she stopped drawing for a while to work and earn money. The biggest issue for Clara was to earn enough money to get by and continue to create full-time. Between solitary work and struggling to always be inspired, Clara sometimes asks herself, “Did I make a good choice?” Nowadays Clara is still fighting against that issue with paint on paper — and the results have proved a resounding yes. interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
UNTITLED â€” acrylic on paper
UNTITLED â€” watercolor on paper
JUNGLA â€” acrylic on paper COACHELLA MAGAZINE
SUEÑO — acrylic on paper
I FIND INSPIRATION IN SCI-FI MOVIES, BOOKS, MYTHOLOGY… I LOVE INTRODUCING CHARACTERS FROM THIS TOPIC IN MY DRAWINGS, MIX THEM WITH OTHER ELEMENTS OR ORDINARY PEOPLE. SOMETIMES THEY MERGE AND RESULT IN HYBRIDS WHO OWN BOTH PARTS. — Clara López
ESPESURA - acrylic on paper
AESTHETICALLY SPEAKING, I ENJOY DRAWING BODIES, SOMETIMES THEY’RE HYBRIDS, I LIKE TO ADD LEGS, EYES, ETC. BUT IT ALL REVOLVES AROUND A WOMAN THEME. — Clara López
ARDO - acrylic on paper COACHELLA MAGAZINE
Tell us about your personal background as an artist? CLARA LÓPEZ: I was born in Santander, a city north of Spain. I began to draw since childhood, as any other child I suppose, but I kept on drawing over the years. Since an early age, my mother taught me to love art. At school, my books and desk were always full of drawings and scrawls, which I felt embarrassed of. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t avoid it. Drawing was a way for me to escape the reality, tell tales, and communication. Art was always present in my life, rather as a hobby. I didn’t consider studying fine arts until stumbling several times on my academic career, since following other paths. After realizing what I really wanted to do, I started a Fine Arts degree at The University of the Basque Country. Since then, I specialized in drawing and illustration. What was it like growing up in Spain? Living in Spain has pros and cons I suppose. It may sound slightly topical but the thing that I like the most is food, hahaha. Sadly, Spain is not the best place to be an artist. In my case, I find it difficult to develope my artistic career because in my opinion, art is underestimated and not well-paid. In general people are not truly interested in art. My favorite place is the city I’m living now, Bilbao. I studied here and had a real good time. After finishing my degree I left Bilbao and lived in other places but a few months ago I came back because I really like this place. Being an artist, what are some of the struggles you had to overcome? Well, after finishing high school we all were looking for the right path opening to job opportunities, so I started Pharmacy but actually I didn’t like it at all. I felt like an outsider and I needed to find myself and know what I really wanted to do with my life. I quit and started Fine Arts. I was happy for a while but I realized that it was gonna be hard. I think this is the big issue, earn enough money to get by and going on creating, working fulltime, and only few people get it. It’s a very solitary work, and it’s hard to be inspired all the time, so sometimes I ask myself, “Did I make a good choice?” Nowadays I’m still fighting against that issue. Where do you find inspiration? I have always been keen on Sci-Fi and all related to astronomy. I find inspiration in Sci-Fi movies, books, mythology. I love introducing characters from these topics in my drawings, mix them with other elements or ordinary people. Sometimes they merge and result in hybrids who own both parts. How would you describe your personal style? I find it difficult to describe my personal style. I would say that it’s figurative and expressive, although I would describe it otherwise in a few weeks, if you ask me again. Your work features a crowd of figures across the canvas. How do you use the human form in your art? I have always been interested in human shape as a leading role element of the story. I usually get inspired
by experiences, sensations or even dreams, and human shape, specially the female one, is to me, the best way to tell those stories. Aesthetically speaking, I enjoy drawing bodies, sometimes they’re hybrids, I like to add legs, eyes, etc. but it all revolves around a woman theme. What is the story or narrative in your art? Each one of my drawings tell a lot of stories, each character appeared on it has her/his own circumstances, her/his past. I like making complex plots, so that the observer has to stop and stare, discover all the details and imagine what the reason is that these shapes behave like that. They’re always in the middle of an action. What has been the reaction to your work so far? There are either people who like it or feel frightened by it. I’ve been told that my illustrations are impressive and tough. Everyone has its own perception, and this is curious. Actually, I don’t try to transmit anything in particular. I like that different readings are done. Tell us about your creative process. My creative process is quite random, I don’t follow a guideline at all. It depends on whether I am on a personal project or an ordered one, where I try to be more disciplined. I surf the Internet, read books to look for inspiration. I make a bunch of sketches, then I choose the final image and redo it as many times until I am satisfied with it. When it’s about personal works, I let myself flow, so the process is different every time. At the moment, my day to day routine is pretty monotonous, basically drawing the whole day. Some days, I try to set a schedule, but I end up working more hours than planned before. I do try to save time for a stroll and rest, because drawing takes up most of my hours, and time passes without noticing. What are some of the challenges and benefits artists face today in the new digital world? I think nowadays artist can reach interesting tools for self-promoting and spreading his/her work. Internet is a great way to showcase and discover other artists from all around the world. It would be impossible to know them otherwise. The drawback about it is this huge competition generated. It’s way too hard to stand out. I try to be active in social media which are the main tools I use to show my art, to be updated with the proposals, calls, events and so on, and of course to be in touch with other illustrators or editors. I also focus on being myself and work on my recognizable style but, the truth is, that it’s difficult to stand out so I simply keep working hard and gain experience. What are you currently working on? I am working on several projects right now, such as the 5th issue of Pan de Molde fanzine, together with Y Peluda collective (which I belong to), this is the oldest project made by the collective. Some exhibitions are coming as well. And beyond that, I work on my personal illustration and projects. ✪ web CLARADELAVERNO.COM
UNTITLED - acrylic on paper COACHELLA MAGAZINE
ENTER ANOTHER DIMENSION WITH RETRO-POP BAND
FLUSTERS text + photography JORGE PEREZCHICA
(LEFT TO RIGHT) DOUGIE VANSANT JR: VOCALS/GUITAR , DANNY WHITE: GUITAR/VOCALS MARIO ESTRADA: BASS/VOCALS, DANIEL PERRY: DRUMS
YOU'RE TRAVELING TO ANOTHER DIMENSION OR ANOTHER PLANET AND YOU'RE BEING BROUGHT BACK. IF YOU LISTEN TO THE ALBUM FROM BEGINNING TO END, EP NUMBER ONE, YOU CAN SORT OF HEAR THERE IS AN UNDERLYING NARRATIVE THAT YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO PUT YOUR FINGER ON. — Dougie VanSant Jr.
The place is here, the time is now, and the sound is familiar, yet nostalgically new. An upbeat amalgamation described as “Retro-Pop” The Flusters arrived like time-travelers wearing black suits, shinny shoes, and imbuing classic iconography. From their performance at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to the release of their EP titled “Extended Play Number 1 — Every imperfection and fuzzy note and this and that, is just 100% The Flusters and there’s more to come. COACHELLA MAGAZINE: Who are The Flusters? DOUGIE: The Flusters are a band of guys who got together about two years ago. It started with Danny and I, we met at an event we were both playing and slowly but surely grew into Danny, Mario, Perry and I doing something really special. CM: Where are you from originally? DOUGIE: I’m from Bridgeton, New Jersey. DANNY: I’m from Jackson, Mississippi. PERRY: I’m originally from Seattle but I grew up down here in the valley. MARIO: I’m from right here in the Coachella Valley. Technically, I was born in El Centro, but I came here when I was one so I’m from here. CM: Did you always want to do music? DOUGIE: I kind of grew up as a performer. I’ve done theater and acting. I actually got my start because my mom used to vacuum a lot. The vacuum would hum at a certain key and I would sing little solos in my head to the hum of the vacuum cleaner. MARIO: I used to do that with the turn signals of the car. DOUGIE: I found music in really unlikely places. When I was nine, I got a Talkboy when the movie Home Alone 2 came out. I would record myself singing little songs I made up and change the pitch. I picked up a guitar when I was 12 and taught myself how to play “You Really Got Me” by watching a Starburst commercial on TV. I got a drum set that year too. As I started to learn how to play little of each instrument, I knew I wanted to create. For me it was never really about being the god of an instrument. For me it was like, I have these ideas in my head and I want to find a vehicle to transport them from inside myself to outside myself. Instruments were always a tool that could help me get my ideas out and that’s what they still are today. I view myself as a songwriter and that started when I was a teenager. In high school, I started writing full songs. I’ve been playing music on some sort of professional level since I was nineteen. I started with cover bands and things like that and crappy original bands. Finally, when I was around 30, I moved out here (Coachella Valley) and started this project unexpectedly and two and a half years later, it grew into The Flusters. DANNY: I’ve always been into music. When I was in the third grade, or the second grade, or one of those really early grades, I was put into violin class in elementary school and that was where I learned how, originally I guess, to play and read music.
CM: What was your hometown like and how did that influence your music? DANNY: I grew up in between Jackson and New Orleans and I grew up on blues and R&B and gospel and soul. I always thought that was where I wanted to take my music and I came out here and I met Doug and it turned into something completely different than I had imagined, and a thousand times better than I ever could have hoped. We’re all winners here I guess. PERRY: I was born up in Seattle and I moved down here into the valley when I was seven. I’ve always had an interest in music since I was three or four years old. My babysitters had musical instruments and I’d always play on those. I started marching band in middle school and then I really got into that and that’s when I kind of discovered I really wanted to be into music. After I was finished with middle school I started taking private drum set lessons for about two years and then it got to the point to where my teacher literally could not teach me anything else, so I decided to move on with my musical career. I started my first band when I was 18 and then around that same time I was actually offered a sponsorship with a company called Shine Drums, which unfortunately is not around anymore, but I had gotten an the offer from them and I took it. I had the sponsorship for a while and after that I laid low for a few years, just took some music lessons, expanded my knowledge at COD (College of the Desert) and then went on about a three-year hiatus and then Mario hit me up to jam and now I’m in The Flusters. MARIO: I’m going to say something that you guys didn’t even know. My musical thing kind of goes back to the womb. My mom used to listen to Luciano Pavarotti all the time when I was in her stomach. No joke, when I was a little kid I used to be singing all these opera songs and my mom was like, “How does he know this?” I was just into it. After that, same thing as Danny. I played violin when I was in second grade and I was in band in middle school but I was never super into music, honestly, until probably the end of middle school or something like that, and then suddenly I was like, “Okay, I really like this music thing,” after my uncle gave me a Tool CD and I was just, “Oh, this is music? Oh, okay this is pretty cool.” I started getting into better things and local band after local band here in the desert and just being part of the scene was fun. I met Doug and Danny a little over a year ago. Our homie Nate hit me up and said, “Hey, my friends are looking for a bassist for their band. Are you interested? Are you still playing bass?” I’m like, “Well, I’m still playing bass. I’ll see. I’ll see what”s up with this band, check them out.” He’s like, “Yeah, they’re real serious guys so make sure you’re serious when you come to them.” I’m like, “Alright, for sure.” I kept up that super serious thing for a couple of weeks and then I kind of started laughing a little more and more and Doug was like, “Oh, I guess he’s a guy that likes to laugh...”
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE EYE RETENTION OF A SHINY, POLISHED BAND THAT ALWAYS ATTRACTED ME. THE SUITS FIT THE THE FLUSTERS’ SOUND PERFECTLY AS WELL AS ALL OUR IMAGERY AND ICONOGRAPHY. EVERYTHING HAS THIS SYNESTHETIC, LIKE GEL. — Dougie VanSant Jr.
and I’m like, “Yeah, that’s kind of who I am.” Yeah, now we’re The Flusters. CM: (To Dougie) You were in theater. Does that help you when you’re performing for an audience? DOUGIE: Oh, absolutely. I use theater as an adjective. I always ask myself “Is there theater in what we’re doing?” and the answer is “yeah” and I think that it’s really important. I think showmanship visually and audibly is a really important thing and it was something that we tried to instill from the very beginning. We’ve always wanted to put on a real show beyond just standing on stage and playing. In the 50s and the 60s all the rockers I idolize wore sharp suits, they threw their hair up, they had big, shiny guitars, and always looked cool as hell. I don’t know, I’ve always been attracted to that. There’s something about the eye retention of a shiny, polished band that always attracted me. The suits fit the The Flusters’ sound perfectly as well as all our imagery and iconography. Everything has this synesthetic-like gel. You know what I mean? I always liked the black suits. I knew that I wanted a look, and when you’re starting a band the easiest thing to say, “Everybody get this…” is a black suit. CM: What about the shoes? DOUGIE: There’s just something about, a classic, timeless appeal, whether it’s my watch or my guitar or my shoes or our suits. Just our whole deal kind of has been regarded as this ‘nostalgically new’ feel. It’s like, we’re oddly familiar to people that have never even heard us before, so it all plays a part. Theater, showmanship, all that. Presentation. It’s all part of it. Iconography, the suits are really about iconography. CM: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote? DOUGIE: It was about mashed potatoes. “Mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes, do you have any mashed potatoes? Mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes, do you have any mashed potatoes?” That was it. Then everybody in the neighborhood started learning it and we’d walk down the street and I’d have like six kids behind me. Mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes. I would just write little funny songs and it was always about making people laugh. It was like humorous stuff that I would write about. It grew into whiny emotional songs when I was like 19. It’s like, yeah, I’m going to write emotional songs that suck. I wasn’t one of those teenage, early 20s geniuses that were just writing truth at 20 years old. I couldn’t find truth at 20, I was completely lost in my life. I wasn’t able to find my center and my truth musically, lyrically, ‘til I was 30. I couldn’t. I had ideas, fragments, broken and busted songs rattling around in my head, but I never had anything like this. It just came out. CM: What is your creative music process? DOUGIE: At first it was a rocky road. Danny and I were going two different directions musically. He had a guitar that didn’t even work for what I was doing and we didn’t get each other’s references or style of
playing. It was just like, you know what let’s just try to make it work. We had two other guys in the band then and it was kind of like, the thing is, in the beginning everybody thought we were a novelty band. But the cool thing is our original bass player,Todd Hunt, ended up doing all the synth parts on the EP. We are stoked to have his name in the credits, he’s a great musician and a great friend. Everybody thought we were just going to be this like ‘surf’s up dude’ band, like we’re going to play little beach parties and be that kind of thing. People that thought that have recently contacted me and said they were very surprised by what we’ve become. The other way that we write is kind of like songs just kind of like arrive in the room. The song Lake Street just kind of arrived. I was playing a melody, Danny started playing a chord over it and then Mario started playing bass and that was with our other drummer (Chris O’Sullivan) but, I mean, even since we recorded our first EP the whole sound has really come together because of Perry too, so he’s kind of added his fingerprint to the sound as well. We’re growing into a band that writes more as a unit and less me coming in with my ideas and saying, “This is what I think it should be...” and then we do some editing. It’s becoming more of a germination as a team now, which is really cool to see where it’s going to go. CM: You guys played a lot of shows this year. From backyard shows to festivals like Coachella and Echo Park Rising 2016. What would you say has been on of your most amazing moments. DOUGIE: Our EP release show. The thing is like... The hardest people to convince that we’re legit is ourselves. It’s hard for us to understand. It’s been very difficult for us to understand how we’re actually affecting people, the valley, our fans, whoever. It was like, we put ourselves out there so hard and so persistently over this past month and to sit backstage and be tightening up my tie and somebody comes back at 10:15 p.m. and says, “Dude, there’s a line all the way down the street. We’re at capacity. There’s people trying to get in. They’re turning away …” Dude, we had no clue that was going to happen. I mean, we wanted it more than anything and we worked our asses off to get it, but still it was like the best feeling to sit up there and have our ears hurt from the people screaming for us. That was the best moment as a band we’ve ever experienced. CM: One of the things I noticed was the support from the art community. DOUGIE: Another mission of The Flusters is to bring together and showcase the local talent. Local artists, local craftsmen. We commissioned probably a dozen local people to have their hands in either our EP creation and/or our release. Just to name a couple, Mary Walker of Reel Made Embroidery did all of our tote bags. Glenn Coy from Windmill City Screen Printing did our shirts. Freddie (drummer for Tribesmen) of Zen Screen Printing did our show bill posters Jenny Ferrell
I'LL TELL YOU, AS IMPORTANT AS IT WAS TO HAVE THAT BIG FAT BULLET POINT ON YOUR RESUME, IT'S LIKE WE WANT THE RESPECT OF THE VALLEY, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? THAT'S WHAT WE WE WORK FOR TOO. WE WILL FOREVER REP THIS VALLEY BECAUSE IT'S JUST BEEN NOTHING BUT GOOD TO US. — Dougie VanSant Jr.
custom illustrated our UFO posters. Gary Lopez, did our graphic design. Monica Morones of Maniac Art & Photography, she did all of our photographs and she helped me lay out the album concept art. Will Sturgeon played keys, co-produced and mixed our EP. It’s just like, the list goes on and on. Brad from The Hood came together with me to help with the release show. All the other bands that played: The Yip Yops were great to support and help to promote. Cakes & Brains coming through with a diehard local fan base, our friends Brightener — it was just like people coming together to help. Giorg Tierez helped us, constantly sharing our event and helping us promote because he’s such an avid supporter and a big fan. Eevaan Tre’, an amazing musician and always an active supporter of us and always pushing for us, telling people about us. I could sit here and tell you person after person. The thing is, for us, we are proud to acknowledge the importance in helping people with rich talent monetize their skills. The one thing we did was always pay people for their services. It’s like, yeah I’m sure they would do us the favor, but it’s like why not pay someone for something they’re good at if you can and show them that there’s value in what they do. Get their name on something and then you promote them, they promote you, everybody’s getting paid. It’s like, man this is what it’s about. We’re really happy to do that. CM: What was Will Sturgeon’s role in production? DOUGIE: Will Sturgeon from brightener was the instudio co-producer with myself. He was also playing keys and was kind of like our eyes and ears in the booth with the recording engineer, helping us get through the whole process. He did a really good job. We recorded vocals at his house in Palm Desert and he helped us mix and he connected us with the mastering house that we used as well. CM: Tell us about the songs in Extended Play 1. DOUGIE: Extended Play Number One means that there’s an Extended Play Number Two. It’s the first half of a two-part story, so there’s a 10-song concept that all goes together and it’s kind of this idea of you’re traveling to another dimension or another planet and you’re being brought back. If you listen to the album from beginning to end, EP Number One, you can sort of hear there is an underlying narrative that you might not be able to put your finger on and as we start Little Mexico, a song I wrote about saying goodbye to my hometown in New Jersey and then Egyptian Musk was actually written about a stick of incense but then it turned into being taken from the planet, right, and then you’re leaving this existence and you’re going somewhere else. When It’s Late at Night… CM: Like a UFO? DOUGIE: It could be a UFO or it could be something else, you don’t really know. We don’t even really know. When it’s Late at Night its like you’re being brought up to this other dimension and then you’re brought
back down to earth and Your Arms is all about your return and you’re finally home and then Lake Street you’ve fallen deep and have sunk to the bottom of the lake down into the earth. The story is going to continue in Extended Play Number Two. They all have their meanings as individual songs but then they all have meaning as a little section of a bigger narrative. We’ve recently been labeled as “retro pop”. It’s like, people couldn’t put their finger on what we were and we’ve been calling ourselves “dream surf” but now we’re starting to call ourselves retro-pop because we’re reminding people of the pop music of the late 50s, early 60s: this kind of upbeat, retro-pop sound is heard underlaid by the weird concept that we have throughout the whole EP. CM: What about playing Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival? DOUGIE: To see how a high caliber event is ran is really cool. To be a part of the operations end of it to see what it’s really like to plot your stage on a that large a scale and work with professional sound men that have worked with The Pixies and to be prepping on stage right before The Cold War Kids and A$AP Rocky, Beach House, who all had their scoring tape on there. Just to share the stage with these working, legitimate acts was really amazing. To be that busy and get all the press that we got, it was kind of like we were just in this whirlwind. We didn’t even realize it was happening. Since then we still haven’t stopped. We’ve just been on the tumble cycle since that whole thing went down. I’ll tell you, just from like a resume standpoint, it’s like we played Coachella, it’s like boom, you’re qualified. You’re in. That is really important to us for outer valley stuff. Coachella was really important to us as we get booked all over the place, it’s a really good bullet point on our resume and that experience was really incredible. We’re really grateful that Goldenvoice finds it important to showcase local art and local music. They find a place for it. There’s a lot of stuff that you have to arrange just to be the 12 p.m. opener. A lot of people are involved in getting you onto that stage and for Goldenvoice to find it important enough to have a couple of local boys up there doing it, we’re very grateful that there is such a locally conscious company and that they do that. I’ll tell you, as important as it was to have that big fat bullet point on your resume, it’s like we want the respect of the valley, you know what I mean? That’s what we work for too. We will forever rep this valley because it’s just been nothing but good to us. CM: What do you think of the music scene in the Coachella Valley? MARIO: I’ve been part of the music scene here in the Coachella Valley since at least 2009. I was in a band called Save the Whales and after that I was in band after band. It’s like I’ve been part of the scene, I’ve seen it growing at least since the late 2000s because there’s been a scene out here since forever with Eagles
I MEAN, WE WANTED IT MORE THAN ANYTHING AND WE WORKED OUR ASSESS OFF TO GET IT, BUT STILL IT WAS LIKE THE BEST FEELING TO SIT UP THERE AND OUR EARS HURT FROM THE PEOPLE SCREAMING FOR US. THAT WAS THE BEST MOMENT AS A BAND WE'VE EVER EXPERIENCED. — Dougie VanSant Jr.
of Death Metal and Queens of the Stone Age back in the day. Honestly, the scene’s a little bit different now. There’s definitely like an east side scene and there’s a west side scene. I feel like the two scenes don’t really play too much together that often and I think it’s just because there’s different venues on the east side, and there’s different venues on the west side. There’s different styles of music on the east side and different styles of music on the west side. DANNY: I think because we are in Palm Desert, we’re right in the middle of everybody, and we’re serving as sort of like a bridge from the east to the west. You could see that when we played the backyard show, that show was full. There was a bunch of kids back there just totally enjoying it. We support all the other east and west valley bands. There is a lot of talent. There’s a lot of cool bands that I’m a big fan of, Tribesmen, The Kathys, Venus and the Traps. There’s just a lot of cool bands that I really have a lot of respect for and we’re just really grateful that they think of us and they ask us to be on their bills occasionally. I think this scene is probably one of the most supportive music scenes that I’ve ever been involved with. There are so many people that are trying to help you and lift you up and to help you succeed. There’s just overwhelming support and it’s beautiful. PERRY: Definitely growing up here in the music scene like Mario has and actually, I had a band around the same time as him called Rip Torn and we have actually played shows together and everything. Seeing how much different it is just within these past seven years, just from ... Not going to lie, back then everybody was kind of about themselves, nobody was really open to sharing and helping one another anywhere near as much as they are today. This music scene has developed so much in the time that I’ve been here in this valley and actually been active and avid in this music scene. I hope it continues where it’s going and if it does it’s going to make something of itself. MARIO: I think honestly a lot of people are actually maturing too so it’s like they’re seeing that they don’t have to make it by themselves only, they can support everyone around them and have everyone get up together with each other. Nobody has to be like, “Oh, they’re playing music and I’m playing music so my band has to succeed and I have to talk crap and shit about their band.” They understand now it’s like, “Oh, if I succeed they can succeed too and we can succeed
together in this entire valley and everything can be great if we all work together.” CM: What is something your fans don’t know about you that they would be really surprised about? MARIO: I teach catechism for kids, which is like Sunday school but for Catholics on Tuesdays. Shout out to my kids. CM: What about nothing to do with music. Like, what are you a bone collector or something? DOUGIE: Actually, wow yeah. CM: Are you for real? DOUGIE: Yeah. I have quite the bone collection. I’m into osteology. I collect, clean and preserve animal skulls. I have them in glass cases in my house. I have a monkey skull and a wolf skull and a bear skull and a beaver skull. I’ve got a bunch of skulls. CM: Where do you find all these things? DOUGIE: Sometimes I just find them. Sometimes my dad will send me heads in the mail. He’s a good dad, he’s awesome. Sometimes I’ll just find them in my travels. Seriously, I’ll find them. There’s a story for each one. Some of them are already done and I find them in curiosity shops and stuff. CM: Is there a song about that? DOUGIE: No, not yet. Not yet. PERRY: Animal skulls and Sunday school. CM: What would you say is the most challenging part of balancing the creative and the business sides of music? DOUGIE: I think we’ve got it. The mix of business and art is a very hard thing for a lot of acts and a lot of artists. I think that we have a very good handle on the importance of business and the importance of artistic integrity. I think that it’s different for everybody but, I think what’s most important about an artist is finding your truth. From a photo to a recording, to sitting at a party and playing an acoustic; if you are not telling the truth, people will feel it. They’ll know right away if you’re a liar. You have to find your truth as an artist or you will not succeed. Period. CM: What would you like fans or new listeners to know about your new EP? DOUGIE: That it is The Flusters. That is us, 100% us. That was recorded in a live room with all of us at once. Every imperfection and fuzzy note and this and that, that is just 100% The Flusters and there’s more to come. web THEFLUSTERS.COM
ESJAY JONES interview JORGE PEREZCHICA
Esjay Jones has partnered up with the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs to present THE ACOUSTIC & GLOBAL LOUNGE SESSIONS every Friday and Saturday in the atmospheric Hotel Lobby Lounge. Bands and Artist are curated from around California and the world to perform as a complimentary experience to the Hard Rock Palm Springs’ guests and Palm Springs visitors. . COACHELLA MAGAZINE: Can you tell us about your personal and musical background? ESJAY JONES: I am a South African born, singer/ songwriter, I grew up in Durban, South Africa. My band had seven number one hits in South Africa and then I came out to America for the American dream. I’m now writing and producing music for Top 40 artists. I’ve been in the states since 2008 — I just became an American citizen. I think it’s amazing, I’m so excited, America is really the land of opportunity. It was a little bit of a tumultuous time with the election and everything but you know, I’m excited to be an American. CM: What kind of music did you listen to growing up? ESJAY: I grew up in the Church, so I had a very religious family. I listen to a lot of Christian Rock stuff like Skillet or the kind of Church stuff like Lifehouse. All of that kind of Rock stuff, and as I progressed from that, I got a little bit more into Alternative and Metal and Deftones and Incubus became the grounding for the music that I love. CM: What instruments do you play? ESJAY: I play guitar, most times I’m on guitar, but I play the drums, and a little bit of keys. So, as a producer you have to kind of be able to play everything. Slap the bass every now and again. CM: Did you always want to do music? ESJAY: You know before I got into music, I wanted to be a chef. Food and music are my two favorite things. And still now when I’m not doing music, I’m cooking. CM: When did music start to take over your life? ESJAY: I actually went straight out of school into a record deal. So, I’ve actually been in the music industry my whole life. I haven’t had a job outside the music industry, ever. I’ve been in touring bands my whole life and now I am on the other side producing music for other artists. CM: When did you arrive to Palm Springs? ESJAY: I’m between LA and Palm Springs. You know, LA is such a rat race and I started coming out here on the weekends for some DJ gigs. Then I realized that life is such a different pace out here, it’s so creative, it really is such a great energy out here in the desert. I just commute to LA now. I have a little production room out here, which I do all of my work from in Palm Springs. I do all of my records from my studio here. CM: Can you tell us about your new shows at the Hard Rock Palm Springs? ESJAY: Growing up in South Africa, I watched VH1
Storytellers, which is possibly one of the coolest shows from the 90s. I had a vision to create something like VH1 Storytellers in the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs. We have this lounge, this intimate setting with candles and a Persian rug and just a cool sound system. That was when I approached the hotel with this idea, this was the concept. The lounge is just perfect downstairs. It’s cozy and comfortable and intimate and vibe-y. CM: Which artists have you invited to perform at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs? ESJAY: On the Friday evenings at the Acoustic sessions, we’ve had almost all of the up-and-coming artists from Palm Springs and from Coachella Valley out to perform. The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs is offering the space for bands to come and showcase their talent. The property and their team is incredible. They’re just pushing it, they love music, they support local music and it’s just such a great setup for 2017. CM: Is there any dream artist you would love to have perform at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs? ESJAY: Chino from Deftones. If I could have Chino from Deftones out here doing an Acoustic set, I would literally just die. That would be amazing. CM: Is there any local up-and-coming artist in the Coachella Valley that you would like to produce? ESJAY: I’m a huge fan of the band Caxton. I think that they probably have the biggest potential out of any band that I’ve seen in the desert to be something. If produced correctly they could be something really huge. I mean Christina Reyes’ voice is just ridiculous. CM: Your thoughts on the current music scene. ESJAY: Music just isn’t what it used to be and I don’t think it’ll ever be what it used to be again. Even though it’s really given artists marketing power, it’s taken away a lot of the revenue that would come to artists from album sales. You know everyone just pirates music now, nobody goes and buys a single, they just rip it off YouTube. I think that that’s really taken away from the income but I think that it’s added to the value of marketing. More bands are known out there because of social media and all that good stuff. CM: What does Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs provide to the local music community? ESJAY: The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs and myself, as Esjay Jones Productions, want to offer Coachella Valley and the music scene a place that is the musician’s home. That people can come and they don’t have to bring anything, it’s plug in and play. That they can develop themselves, that they can see a level of different touring artists that are coming in. They can come in and watch other artists and better themselves. Once they get to that level, they can perform on the Hard Rock stage here themselves. We definitely are community-orientated. web HRHPALMSPRINGS.COM
CAMERON CALLOWAY: SOUL CHILD
interview + Photography BRIANNA CASTILLO
Cameron Calloway, a Filipino American soul singer and song writer, was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cameron started off doing acoustic music and then later developed a band. Members include Jason Corpuz on keys, Chris Foster on the drums, Brittney Valen on the guitar, and Bren Shen on the bass guitar. Some of Cameron’s inspiration to write music comes from artists such as Ceelo Green and John Lennon, but often comes from the need of bringing people together for peace and love. One of Cameron’s most recent songs, “Extraordinary,” is about bringing awareness of self-love to women. Cameron mentions his favorite line is “Never, never, never let no one kill your pride. Embrace who you are from your lips, hips, thighs, and cup size.” Cameron has been performing around Vegas and says he would love to perform at more festivals. Cameron Calloway performed at the Joshua Tree Music Festival in October 2016. Calloway put on an a energy-filled performance from beginning to end and looks forward to what has yet to come in his career.
Coachella Magazine had the opportunity to interview Cameron Calloway after his performance at Joshua Tree Music Festival fall 2016. BRIANNA CASTILLO: What’s your favorite thing to do in Vegas? CAMERON CALLOWAY: Favorite thing to do here in Las Vegas? I don’t think I have one particular thing I enjoy doing but every now and then I like to go out to Red Rock Canyon and hike! Definitely a gorgeous place to be that’s away from the strip. I also like to check out comic book stores and go to the movies occasionally. I goof around here and there but other than that, I like to keep to myself when I’m not performing. BRIANNA: Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? Describe it to me. CAMERON: The very first song I wrote was titled “Emma” a song about Emma Watson! At the time I was still fairly new at playing the guitar and just wanted to write a catchy love tune. And as I look back it was indeed a cheesy love song and I even reference Doug & Pattie Mayonnaise.
I UNDERSTAND THAT I CAN’T CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT I CAN BRING HUMANITY A STEP CLOSER TOGETHER WITH THE MAGIC OF MUSIC. — Cameron Calloway
BRIANNA: What does “being creative” mean to you? CAMERON: Being “creative” means being able to fully express myself with my art and my words. It’s an emotional outlet for me you know? I can fully express my thoughts, feelings and words through music and at the same time it’s therapeutic, it’s medicine. BRIANNA: What inspires you to write music? CAMERON: It may be cliche to say but honestly everything around me is an inspiration for my writing. The struggles of everyday people, the oppression of the black culture, the friction between the different races, relationships, love, love loss, unrequited love, essentially the state of the human condition in this changing world is what drives me. BRIANNA: What artists have been inspirational to you and your work? CAMERON: Some artists that have been a major influence to me and my music are 2pac, Michael Jackson, John Lennon and Donny Hathaway. These 4 artists wrote and performed from a very honest and vulnerable place and at times have said things in their music that people didn’t necessarily agree with. That’s admirable in my book and shows a great sign of courage and fearlessness which is something I strive to do with my own music, they’ve all individually put together a tremendous body of musical work that is forever timeless. BRIANNA: Who had the biggest influence on your life? CAMERON: There’s a few people who’ve actually had a huge influence on my life. Over the years my mother has inspired me to love unconditionally, my dad has showed me where hard work and self discipline can lead to and to never give up on what you’re trying to achieve. And lastly, Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross. Bob let me know that having a big imagination is a beautiful thing and that you should never abandon that while Mr. Rogers taught me to respect, love and treat each other as good as we treat ourselves. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. BRIANNA: What has been your most touching or amazing moment you’ve experienced while performing? CAMERON: One of the most touching moments I’ve had while performing was during a performance opening for The Internet. After the show a young lady came up to me to tell me how much she loved a song of mine titled “April 23rd” but to also let me know how
much more inspired she was because she just quit her day job to pursue her passion of traveling. And as she’s telling me this tears start to fill up in her eyes and at that moment I had an even better appreciation for music and how I could inspire someone in that way, we all inspire each other in some way and it’s a beautiful thing. BRIANNA: What is your favorite song that you have written and why? CAMERON: One of my favorite songs that I’ve written has to be one I titled “extraordinary.” It’s a song I dedicate to all the women and growing little girls everywhere. Society has built this horrible facade of what beauty should look like that soon enough there’s enough people (women) thinking they’re inadequate and I think it’s bogus. I too had self image problems in my adolescent years so I could only fathom how it feels being a lady in society really trying to embrace everything about yourself, inside and out. So, “Extraordinary” is a reminder that you are already a beautiful human being and don’t let anyone tell you differently. BRIANNA: What was your experience like performing at Joshua Tree Music Festival? CAMERON: Performing at the 11th Annual Joshua Tree Music Festival was a magical experience! “Magical” is the best word I can use to describe my experience. I played with my band ( Jason Corpuz on keys, Chris Foster on drums, Brittney Valen guitar and Bre Shen bass guitar ) for 90 minutes and from start to finish everybody just continued to pile in and rock with us. There was a moment in the set where the crowd participated in my song “April 23rd.” I could feel that they were there enjoying life and having a good time and that always makes me feel good. BRIANNA: What are you up to next? What does the future hold? CAMERON: I’m currently recording music and I will be debuting my 1st EP in early 2017. I’ve got a mix of R&B/Rock mixed with some classic throwback soul music, I’m excited about it and can’t wait to share it with everyone! Going forward, I will continue to strive to make music that speaks of peace, love and truth. I understand that I can’t change the world but I do believe that I can bring humanity a step closer together with the magic of music. CAMERONCALLOWAY.COM
THE SUITCASE JUNKET
interview + Photography BRIANNA CASTILLO The Suitcase Junket, is Matt Lorenz – a Vermont born musician, swamp-yankee, and visual artist. He has released three albums as The Suitcase Junket Sever and Lift (2009) and Knock It Down (2011) and Make Time (2015). Coachella Magazine had the opportunity to interview Lorenzo after his performance at Joshua Tree Music Festival fall 2016. BRIANNA CASTILLO: Where did you grow up? MATT LORENZO: I grew up in Vermont, rolling hills in the woods, I went to public school for a couple years and did homeschooling for a while. Homeschooling really made you follow things that you enjoyed. My parents were really supportive of us doing music. BRIANNA: How did you get into the music scene? MATT: My family got a free piano when we were young. My sister started taking lessons and as soon as she started playing I was like, “I wanna do that.” My parents didn’t play music themselves but they were always encouraging us to play. BRIANNA: What did you listen to growing up? MATT: I played the violin for a couple years after piano, then alto saxophone, and then started playing the guitar when I was a teenager. All of the music I listened to had guitar in it. I listened to The Who, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles. When I went to public school, about 7th or 8th grade, it was about pop music. I was into Green Day, Sound Garden, and Nirvana. I was really into female vocalists and heavy rock. BRIANNA: What are your other hobbies besides music? MATT: I really like doing sculptures or assemblage type pieces out of found objects and that started a little bit from doing construction work and seeing the amount of waste generated from construction. The idea of throwing wood was very egregious to me, like, you can’t do that, it’s like a living thing… just cause it’s easy, you can’t just throw it away. I was also into science for a while. I was really into science and music. Wine making and beer making made me feel like a scientist. BRIANNA: Have you always wanted to do music? MATT: There was a point when I was in college, I felt like I had some choices, where it was, “I’m either gonna study animals and be in the natural sciences or go into this creative side.” When I was making that decision, it felt like there was this part of me that said, ‘well, you have this kind of gift’ because I naturally took to music as a kid. There was always this natural feeling to be in music. So, I chose the creative side. BRIANNA: What are you up to next? What does the future hold? MATT: I just recorded a new album that will be coming out late winter, early spring, pretty sure it’s gonna be called ‘Pile Driver’ which has to do with the fact that I’ve always
been some sort of “File By Pile” kind of person in the way I organize. Put it in a pile and see how it works. I call my rig my pile; when I bring out all my instruments, thats my pile. BRIANNA: Describe your style in one word. MATT: SWAMP-YANKEE. There’s a story behind it. I was in West Virginia and I’ve got this one song called Twisted Fate and there’s a lyrical line in it where this guy comes up after the set and goes “hey do you remember that song where you ate a muskrat” and I said I was flattered that he noticed. Halfway through the song we eat a muskrat. So I was like “yeah what about it?” and he goes “well are you a swamp-yankee?” and I said “damn I hope so.” Cause that sounds like a great thing to be – I didn’t know what it was and he sort of explained it a bit. It means sort of like a countrified yankee. For some reason it had this ring that summed up my sound. I grew up in Vermont so I’m definitely a yankee with a little bit of an edge to me. But I love the idea of a swamp. If I was gonna be any kind of horror movie I would be a swamp monster because I just have this affinity for swamps. I would love it if I felt comfortable in a swamp. But you don’t. Imagine if there was a leech on you you’ll just be like ‘hey my friends have come over for tea- its great.” So, swamp-yankee is the word. BRIANNA: What was it like performing at Joshua Tree Music Festival? MATT: Today was interesting. I was doing my thing. The thing that you want the most is this exchange of energy while performing. So the more people that you have with you, the more it feeds with what you’re doing. The most exciting thing to me is to get people close so we can develop a relationship with the performance. I’m up there alone so when you have a band there’s a certain energy. So, I have my own sphere of energy going on so I draw up the energy from the people that are close to me. When you look out and see that you’re moving people either physically or emotionally- there has been a few moments where I was like we got it.” BRIANNA: Is there anything you would like to add? MATT: This landscape is sort of deeply starkly moving. I was really happy to be able to spend a couple days out here. Just exploring the landscape and the people here. It’s a really special thing. I was talking to Barnett, who runs the festival, we were talking a little bit about how magical stuff happens here. And you can kind of feel that. When I pulled in last night, I had this really weird dream that involved Mr. Rogers. I never dream about Mr. Rogers and it’s been like 25 years since I’ve seen Mr. Rogers on a television. The man is not a part of my life in anyway. It was weird and it was funny. But, we pull into the festival and one of the first things we see is a women with a Mr. Rogers tattoo on the back of her calf. Later, one of the first bands ends up playing the Mr. Rogers theme song. So, you know, this is a magical place and I’m really happy to be a part of this scene.” THESUITCASEJUNKET.COM COACHELLA MAGAZINE
Desert Trip text ROWLAND AKINDURO photography LUNAFORA
When I first held the pass for Desert Trip in my hand, I must admit the thought did cross my mind, “here we go, oldchella.” I had a bias and it was simply a generational one where I was skeptical about the type of show these aging superstars of years past could possibly put on. Very quickly, it became all too apparent that due to the tremendous amount of massive performance experience these entertainers possessed, they would be capable of delivering such a mind blowing and memorable spectacle. From the Desert Trip Photography Experience, to what appeared to be an infinitely replenished pop up record shop, The atmosphere was rich with a general sense of comradery and an overwhelming amount of respect that permeated unlike any other festival held at the Empire Polo Fields. This may have been due to the collective wisdom possessed by the demographical majority occupying the festival. One striking difference between Desert Trip and other festivals was the construction of the large grandstand seating accommodations providing the unique feel of an outdoor arena. There was still also a floor area for the hardcore fans. I interacted with a patron in line who was wearing a rather tattered Rolling Stones shirt. I commented on his shirt and he proceeded to tell me that it was the same shirt he wore in the 70s when he saw the Rolling Stones live. He was in the pit then and as he lifted up his pit pass it was very apparent that he intended to do the same this time around. I couldn’t count how many millennials were there together with their parents seeing mom and/or dad’s household name musical idols perform for the first time. I also had the chance to interact with people from all over the world that had a genuine interest in musical greatness and everything that comes along with it including performers that have been performing for decades such as the Artists booked for this festival. The vibe of the whole event was very relaxed and informal. Just taking a moment to overhear passing conversations, one could tell there were many affluent individuals in the audience. Virtually all of the iconic performers that took the stage had several hits that
have transcended time and permeated through almost every aspect of American society. This resulted in a choir like projection from the crowd into the cosmos when these songs were performed. The two stand out performances of the weekend were The Rolling Stones and Roger Waters. From Keith Richard’s descriptive traditional mumbling to Mick Jagger’s consistent stage wide power walk, to the amazing lighting and projection work of the production crew, the musical virility displayed by the stones was phenomenal. The anthems that they’ve had decades to conjure up rang far and wide throughout the evening with epic crowd participation.There was even a priceless moment where Jagger poked fun at himself and the other performers of Desert Trip: “I still don’t wanna do any age gags but welcome to the ‘catch em before they croak’ festival”. A man who laughs at himself never runs out of stuff to laugh at i guess. Roger Waters carried the Pink Floyd torch or should I say, prism, passed the wall, around the darkside of the moon, and back. Roger’s show featured a giant anti-Trump blow up Pig floating around the crowd, elevating smokestacks extending from the top of a digitally re-created LED wall, transcendent message driven piercingly colorful images, perfectly timed fog that hovered over the crowd, a very large three dimensional pyramid fashioned out of what appeared to be perfectly aimed lasers with the full color spectrum of beams shooting directly through to recreate the Dark Side of the Moon album cover in a physical space. It was a very politically charged yet potent experience that left people in awe. Desert Trip for many was a nostalgic journey into one of the golden eras of modern music history for some and for others it was an introduction to or possibly even an affirmation of what makes the greats truly great. To keep with Desert Trip’s nostalgic vibe, Coachella Magazine decided to take some snapshots on 35mm film with a disposable camera. Thank you Dexter’s Camera in Ventura, CA for processing the rolls. Enjoy. web DESERTTRIP.COM
“THE BUS TRIP” film still courtesy of Sarah Gampbel
A short conversation with
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORTFE ST 2016
interviews by JORGE PEREZCHICA
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORTFEST 2016
THE BUS TRIP writer/director SARAH GAMPEL SYNOPSIS: Sarah is invited to Israel as part of a film festival, but her desire to talk politics isolates her, leaving her to talk with her dead father over a noisy phone line. Can you tell us your film background? GAMPEL: I studied at art schools and my major was in drawing and painting but my drawings and paintings have always had sort of a storytelling element into that. While I was at art school I started doing animation as well.Then I wanted to learn more about filmmaking and animation so I started to take courses in screenwriting and then I took more courses in animation and I moved more towards filmmaking but I still like to have an approach from the arts. I like to view film and to mix art and film and those both perspectives. What is your short film about? SARAH GAMPEL: So, The Bus Trip is about the trip I made in Israel and Palestine about two years ago in 2014. I went to Israel to take part in a film festival called Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival. Part of the festival was a bus trip where film students travel around Israel showing their short film in different small cities. This trip was When I came back to Sweden, where I’m from. I had a lot of emotions and feelings and I was trying to grapple and to understand what I have seen in Israel and in Palestine because while I was there, I took the opportunity to visit the West Bank. It’s a small country so everything is really close and when you’re there, you can travel to it. That is an occupied area by Israel. So I went both to Ramallah and to a city called Hebron and basically met with Palestinians who told me about their hardship because of the occupation. They told me that the situation is not good. They have trouble
in traveling and their life is very restricted because of the occupation and the violence that it brings into their everyday life. My film is a way of trying to understand that and also my own feelings about the trip. So, there’s also a part of the film that is about me and my Jewish family and my father. I was born and I grew up in Sweden but my parents are immigrants from Poland. Your film mixes live action and animation, can you tell us about the creative process? GAMPEL: While I was on the trip, I took a lot of photos and small videos of landscapes and kind of like, touristy photos and when I came back home I started to look at it and also trying to reassemble, understand this trip through its photos. I was still a film school student, so it was my school who accepted that I could go on this trip instead of taking classes. They told me I should do something like write a report about it and add some photos. I thought that maybe I would just like write something and assemble some photos for just something small and it would take me maybe a week. But the project kept growing and growing and I understood it was much bigger and that I wanted to make it into a proper film. So, the whole making of it took two years. I started by looking at the photos and finding settings that I thought that I had enough photos or footage of to do something with and then set the scenes according to that. Your film won an award—tell us about it. It played at a film festival called The Swedish Short Film Festival and I won an award for best student film and best documentary, also in student film category. web VIMEO.COM/SARAHGAMPEL
A SHORT CONVERSATION ON CINEMA
THE GENEVA CONVENTION actors ADIL DEHBI, SOUMAYE BOCOUM, MOHAMED SEDDIKI & TITOUAN LABBE SYNOPSIS: A bus-stop brawl is brewing, and chocolate croissants may be the key to a peace treaty. How did you guys all get cast for the movie? ALISON VALENCE: We had to pass one or two auditions, and we have to improvise. We were in groups at the audition, and we had to improvise. We didn’t know the pitch of the movie at the audition, so we improvise. Are you in film school or theater? ALISON VALENCE: I am in theater school in Paris. I’m working in theater and film. Tell us about your character in the film? ALISON VALENCE: I’m playing Cassandre, and she’s the sassy one of the group. She wants people to fight, and she’s ironical all the time. SOUMAYE BOCOUM: My character is the most pacifist. I try to resolve all problems because I hate fighting, and so I try to find a solution at the end of the movie. What was the experience like making the film? ALISON VALENCE: It was a week of rehearsing, and a week of shooting, and it was very cool because the director (Benoit Martin) is the nicest person in the world. He’s also wants quality, so it takes time to make everything good. We could shoot all day and do it again, and again, and again, but he never shouts, and never yells at us, always nice and always...he was wonderful. Could you relate to all the characters in the film? ALISON VALENCE: He (Benoit Martin) told me that the characters were already written, but during the audition as he saw us, he changed it a little bit. What he prefers in cinema, is teamwork, so everything we could bring, he will take it. He listens to everyone.
This being the world premiere, what was the audience’s reaction when it screened in the theaters? SOUMAYE BOCOUM: We heard people laughing a lot. Was the movie what you had expected from reading the script, or was it different in any way? ALISON VALENCE: I think it’s better than what I expected. Everything is better and better as we go on this trip. Did you all become friends and keep in touch after making the movie? MOHAMED SEDDIKI: Yes, but not all of us because, you know everybody has his life to go on and everybody’s working in different places, but we have a Facebook page where we can stay in touch. Can you tell us about your experience here at the Palm Springs International ShortFest? SOUMAYE BOCOUM: First of all, it’s my first time in the United States, so I enjoyed to see the landscapes. It’s really interesting to see other movies, to meet other people, to meet Americans, like the party last night was great. TITOUAN LABBE: The weather is a bit hard, but good. The people are so nice. In terms of art and network it’s definitely here that everything happens. ALISON VALENCE: We want to thank everyone from the festival, because it was amazing for us, first time in California, and we were like kings and queens here. We want to thank everyone from the depth of our hearts because we will never forget that. SOUMAYE BOCOUM: We want to thank Benoit Martin, the director. We are here because of him. web ANNEE0.COM
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORTFEST 2016
LORNE director JESSE LEAMAN writer TAYLOR ADAMS SYNOPSIS: The psychological effects of extreme isolation are explored in this mysterious thriller starring an almost unrecognizable Guy Pearce traveling through the Outback on an existential mission. Can you tell us your background as a film maker. JESSE LEAMAN: I did a lot of little skits and stuff like that with friends and then didn’t really kickoff until I made like a kind of little short film with some friends. Then I realized this is really what I want to do. Later, I met up with Taylor and we collaborated on this project. The first project was Lorne, we wrote it in two days. And then, yeah, then we got Guy Pearce into it and then, bam! — and now we’re here. Do you make films full-time? JESSE LEAMAN: Essentially this is what we want to do for the rest of our life, make films, plays, stage plays as well. I’d personally love to have a go at the whole New York play thing. I think theater is something that shouldn’t be ignored even as a filmmaker. Can you tell me a little bit about the inspiration for behind the film Lorne? JESSE LEAMAN: The inspiration... it’s about a lonely bushman that’s traveling in the outback. It deals a lot with isolation and the boundaries of that. Questioning oneself and one’s sanity. And it deals a lot with the existential fears that a lot of us have regarding death, regarding what’s going on outside my little sort of zone. We just came together and it just works really well. TAYLOR ADAMS: A lot of it is to do with what death is and what death means to one person. JESSE LEAMAN: It’s that desperation, you know, and
a lot of what we talk about is the whole death thing and the longing for a reason, a beautiful reason to die really. To die for a meaning you know, for your loved one. You want to be remembered. To be remembered almost the way you would fantasize, like I want to die for saving someone, you know? But he’s at this point where he’s in a world it’s like, “How do I get there?” How did you cast actor Guy Pearce for the main role? JESSE LEAMAN: When we were writing it, we kind of both imagined Guy from what we’ve seen him do and we both kind of said, “It’s Guy Pearce or no one.” We... like...we were thinking, “Ah, Guy would be perfect for this. Ah, Guy, Guy, Guy, Guy, Guy.” And then so we kind of put that thought into the universe that we would make it with Guy or we would make it with no one and then we sent it to him. He said he loved the script. He said he’d love to make the film. He said, “I’ll do it for free.” He helped out a great deal. Essentially, we write the words. You know, Taylor writes these words, but essentially the character gets taken by the actor. You’ve got to trust the actor and obviously we had Guy, which is someone that we had no doubt in trusting that he would bring the character to a whole new level. TAYLOR ADAMS: And he really did. Is it the film you imagined? JESSE LEAMAN: It’s the intensity...the kind of Australian culture of it, the way that it reads and whatnot, it’s pretty much exactly how I wanted it. How we wanted it. Which is a great feeling. web LEAMANFILMS.COM
A SHORT CONVERSATION ON CINEMA
actress TAM JACKSON SYNOPSIS: Cindy, a young pregnant woman, learns that she won the grand prize at a local baby supply store. When she goes to pick up her winnings, she finds herself in the middle of another woman’s deranged plot. Tell us about Neonatal and the character you play. TAM JACKSON: It’s a thriller. A little bit of a thriller a little bit of a horror genre and I play a crazed, psychopath bent on getting a baby. How is this role different than other characters you played in the past? JACKSON: It’s difficult being middle-aged to find any roles that have teeth. A lot of the roles that I get offered and I wanna work, they are very one dimensional. They are the lead of the mom and you just love your son and it’s just, there’s not a lot to it that anybody with skills couldn’t just step into the role. I like this because, when I read the casting call I could tell this was a very layered character. At least the way I view her and hopefully the way I portray her is very deep, very layered. Was it scary to play a psychopath? JACKSON: I love playing something complex and there aren’t a lot of true psychopath’s in the world and I met a couple of them, through my job as a psychologist. So I feel like I have a little, as much insight as anybody would want to have into the heart of a psychopath. But, no it doesn’t scare me. I love it. I love playing something very different from who I am. What was the reaction to the film screening? JACKSON: I felt that it was very positive. I ran into a lot of strangers who said I’m totally horrified by you! I consider that the ultimate compliment. Because
the way the director filmed and edited the piece was to make it, build in tension and so you don’t see me initially in the film but hopefully, what we wanted is, when you get the first flash of my character you know this woman is insane. What was the audition process like? JACKSON: There was an initial audition and a call back and then another call back with the female that they initially cast. Brandi Blevins who plays my colead. So our final audition was two of us together and I walked out of their thinking if he (Andrew McDonald) doesn’t cast the two of us, I don’t know what’s wrong with this guy, because we just clicked. We really clicked. How did you prepare for the role? JACKSON: I do a lot of character research before I ever even go to the audition. But, then especially once I get the script I cant tell you the amount of time I spent developing this character. But, I really tried to make her not only very mentally illed, psychopathic but also, I wanted the audience to have compassion. Because if I play her pure evil, nobody’s gonna care. Can you tell us about the production schedule. JACKSON: Ten days, which sounds like a lot compared to a lot of people here. But, initially our film was about 30 minutes and Andrew McDonald, the director had cut it down to fifteen and I think he did a great job on editing. This was the first time I saw it, here (Palm Springs ShortFest), that’s first time I’ve seen the completed project. web VIMEO.COM/170228809
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORTFEST 2016
ENEMIES WITHIN director SÉLIM AZZAZI SYNOPSIS: This close-up on France’s troubled history with its former colonies has one man controlling the fate of another with the stroke of a pen during a turbulent period in the 1990s. Can you tell us about your film? SELIM AZZAZI: It sets up in a police station where a French policemen of North African origins interrogates an older man, asking for French citizenship and himself also of North African origin, and specifically from Algeria. This talk slips down the road of blackmailing over the terrorist era of the 90s in France, where the man will have to make a choice between giving names or not getting his citizenship. Is this something you want to keep as a short or do you want to expand it as a feature film? AZZAZI: I want to keep it as a short story. This idea was at the crossroad of my father experiencing a blackmail with the French police in the 90s and the questionings of House of Un-American Activities Committee in the 50’s. I really liked the idea of keeping a short form to tell the story of a man resisting and then giving up. That works well within 20, 30 minutes. Was this film inspired by true events? AZZAZI: Yes… In the 90s, my father was in the same personal situation as the man. He was born in Algeria before 1962, hence he was French, then after the independence he became Algerian as a kid. He lived
all his life in France and finally decided to ask for French citizenship in the 90s. This is when the police asked him to work for them by looking for certain informations. This was before the 98 soccer world cup. The police was afraid there could be bombings. He was supposed to spy on neighbors and people he knew. It was inspired by that. He refused and his naturalization was rejected. That was the starting point. Did you do any other research for this film? Azzazi: It’s a mixture of all my experience in life as the son and a grandson of a Algerian-French, Algerian people living in France. This is one of my main sources of inspiration, I mean, of information. I did a lot of research on the police part which I was not very aware of; and the questioning and the logic, what type of logic do you have when you do that type of work. What did your dad think of the film? AZZAZI: My father unfortunately passed away. I just started working the script when he got sick. When he passed away, I dropped it for almost a year because it was too difficult. Then after the grief, I took it back and finished it.
A SHORT CONVERSATION ON CINEMA
POOL director LEANDRO GODDINHO SYNOPSIS: On a quest to understand her grandmother’s past, Claudia meets Marlene, an old woman who’s created an homage to her memories inside an empty pool. Can you tell us your background as a film maker. LEANDRO GODDINHO: I’m from Brazil, but currently living in Berlin/Germany. I have a degree in cinema and another one in theater and I am currently doing my Master in Media & Visual Anthropology. I used to be an actor, but now I’m a director, screenwriter, and editor. I have directed five short films, 2 medium length films and 2 video clips. Pool is my first film made with a considerable budget. I’m living in Germany now because I got a fellowship called German Chancellor Fellowship for Prospective Leaders, from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, an institution from the German government, to research and develop a documentary film about homophobia. What inspired you to write and tell this story? GODDINHO: In 2012 I visited a concentration camp in Munich, called Dachau, and there was an exhibition there about gay persecution in the Nazi period. So I started to research about this and I wrote the screenplay. I decided that I should write a screenplay that took place in one set only. I thought about which place it could be, and then I decided, “okay it’s a pool,” but why a pool, and why does this lady lives there? And what happened in her past? Then I started to make
questions for myself and answer those questions. How did you feel after your research on concentration camps, how did it affect you? GODDINHO: I was very shocked because when people talk about the Holocaust they only talk about Jewish people. In school, books and films, we don’t have too much documentation and footage material about gay persecution in the Holocaust. I know that most of the victims were Jewish, but there were other victims there and the History should talk more about those people and honor their lives. But nobody wants because homosexuality is still a taboo. Can you tell us about how you cast the actors. GODDINHO: Mos of them are my friends because I went to drama school and I know some of the best actors in São Paulo. But, the old lady (Sandra Dani) is from Porto Alegre, and I didn’t know her personally. I’ve watched her in a film and I called her and asked her to be a part of my movie. Which do you prefer theater versus film? GODDINHO: I prefer cinema (laughs). Because theater is only rehearse, and rehearse and more rehearse, and at the end, when the actors go to the stage, it’s their jobs, you know? You can’t do anything anymore. And I think in cinema the director has more control of the final product. So I prefer it. But I love directing theatre. web FACEBOOK.COM/SHORTFILMPOOL
PHOTOGRAPHER MIKE MILLER HOLDS A COPY OF HIS BOOK [MICHAEL MILLER WEST COAST HIP HOP: A HISTORY IN PICTURES] AND STANDS NEXT TO HIS PHOTO OF TUPAC SHAKUR
COMPLEXCON interview ROWLAND AKINDURO Photography LUNAFORA
EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER HAS THEIR OWN WAY ABOUT TAKING A PHOTO; COMPOSITION, HOW YOU RELATE TO THE PERSON ETC. I TRY TO STAY COOL AND CALM. THERE IS A LOT OF PRESSURE TO DO A GOOD JOB. â€” Mike Miller
omplex Con was a whirlwind of modern digital culture C with an urban centricity. The fusion of fashion, music and art inspired by what is commonly perceived to be the most progressive and dynamic sector in industry: the youth. Coachella Magazine was in our element exponentially. We were introduced to the next wave of taste makers in street style/art and musicians that could nearly insight riots with their hypnotic anthems. We witnessed an unprecedented host committee including major influencers like visual artist Takashi Murakami, award winning producer Skrillex, and Executive Chair Pharrell Williams. Complex Con seemingly brought to life all of the interesting and even controversial new media of todzay. Live interactive art installations, panels with cultural captains of their fields, and even a full on concert to top off the event was an extraordinary experience that will resonate eternally. Complex Con is by far the modern template for a multi-cultural contemporary expo. A captivating image of Tupac held within one of the many art installations initiated a rather serendipitous conversation with the world renowned photographer behind the photo who just happened to be there. We got a chance to chop it up with Mike Miller. ROWLAND AKINDURO: How did you get started in photography? MIKE MILLER: While living in Paris my friend gave me a camera, and there was a model apartment nextdoor. Right away my images where strong and I started shooting the models for their portfolios, so that kept me in Europe for a couple years, shooting portfolios for models. Then I began shooting different campaigns for European clothing brands, fashion houses etc. Cacharel Fashion House was my first big gig. AKINDURO: How did you meet Tupac? MILLER: Tupac? He found me, I was in the middle of the west coast hip hop scene. Take a look at my book [Michael Miller - West Coast Hip Hop: A History in Pictures] you’ll know why. AKINDURO: Ok how did he find you? MILLER: Hard work! I was shooting a lot of album covers and I was the go to man in the West. A brief history; It started out when I came back from Europe and I photographed 3 ads for American Vogue, then I told my agent I like hip-hop because I grew up listening to 1580 KDAY. My hip hop first shoot was Ice Cube for Spin Magazine in 1989. Then I shot Arabian Prince Album cover for RCA in 89, he just left the NWA. Then fast forward a little bit, I met a guy named DJ Muggs and we of created the image for Cypress hill demo. The photo is on the back of my book, it helped them get signed on roughhouse records with Joe the butcher. I hung out with Muggs and the cypress crew, we used to DJ together then I shot WC’s first cover. And the list
goes on, I help create the West coast look. AKINDURO: Do you have a certain kind of approach to photograph somebody as far as capturing their persona or who they are? MILLER: Every photographer has their own approach of taking a photo; composition, how you relate to the person etc. I try to stay cool and calm, There is a lot of pressure on me to do a good job. Album covers where big money back in the day before Napster and free music ruined the music industry. We used to get paid! I would to get flown from Jamaica to Hawaii. I got flown to New York for Timbaland’s cover, Aaliyah, Missy Elliott; I photographed covers all over the world. I would show up search locations, and then go to work. I needed to get front, back covers, inside content, publicity, merchandise, single covers etc.. A lot of content in a short period of time. AKINDURO: Did you ever get intimidated or nervous working with these acts? MILLER: Every time. Every single time. Mainly because I was a fan. Back in the day, I’d be on the airplane going to New York or wherever tripping out that I was getting paid to shoot. AKINDURO: What was the most fun you’ve had on set of a photo shoot? MILLER: I was flown to Hawaii to do a cover and I surfed the north shore, that was a lot of fun. I went to Jamaica for Island Music that was dope. Tupac was a lot of fun because he was Tupac, he was at the height of his career. So when he hired me to do his cover. I was chilling with the thug life crew, that was dope. We spent a long day together that first time we shot together, good times. We shot three more times together. AKINDURO:That’s cool. What about Snoop? MILLER: Snoop’s the homie. Look at the back [his book] how many shots do I got of snoop? We did the last meal cover, movie posters, etc... AKINDURO: Do you think there was more loyalty then than there is now as far as continued work? MILLER: Well, YG is my homie he hired me for his 1st and 2nd cover so it’s all about connections if you want to be a photographer you got to know people. Last week I hung DJ mustard working on directing one of his viedo’s. A$AP [Rocky] has my art work and kicked it with him at his crib and shot him. Kendrick, Drake we have worked together. AKINDURO: How did you connect with Complexcon? MILLER: My wife told me last night, she goes, “you should be there knucklehead.” I don’t ever want to impose or bug people but I tried to go online and they were sold out. So I called Chief Keef’s manager, AKINDURO:Thank You MILLER: Thank You, My pleasure. web COMPLEXCON.COM
COMPLEXCON GRAPHICS BY LEGENDARY ARTIST TAKASHI MURAKAMI
CONTEMPORARY DOMINICAN ARTIST UZUMAKI CEPEDA
MAKING CULTURE POP
ADIDASORIGINALS = PHARRELL WILLIAM’S HU COLLECTION CELEBRATES A SPIRIT OF EQUALITY, ACCEPTANCE, CO-EXISTENCE AND UNDERSTANDING @ADIDAS_HU
“ASK THE DUST” AWOL ERIZKU IN COLLABORATION WITH SARAH LINEBERGER
MAKING CULTURE POP
UNION POP UP SHOP IN COLLABORATION WITH PLEASURES
G-STAR & PHARRELLâ€™S PANT COLECTION FOR ELWOOD
SKATBOARD RAMP AT COMPLEXCON
ARTIST AUSTIN ENGLAND SITS WITH HIS DOG AT THE ZUMIEZ BOOTH
MAKING CULTURE POP
THE SEVENTH LETTER
GLO GANG WORLDWIDE
MAKING CULTURE POP
GLADSTONEB AND ROWLOW
FASH I O N
clothes vintage shoes LACOSTE socks STANCE skateboard from EPIDEMIC SKATEBOARD SHOP mural in the back “THE TANK” by CHRISTINA ANGELINA X EASE ONE
The Wanderess photography
ANDREA VILLARROEL LUA VERONICA GONZALEZ hair / mua LISA MONIQUE models
MARISSA CRUZ MARIANA VILLARROEL GRACE MINOR JANALYN GUILLORY-PEREZ ANDREA VILLARROEL LUA
socks STANCE clothes vintage
desert shit tank top PEAKS & VALLEYâ€™S from EPIDEMIC SKATEBOARD SHOP socks STANCE shoes LACOSTE
socks STANCE clothes vintage
clothes VINTAGE bracelets THE GIVING BRACELETS socks STANCE shoes LACOSTE
left: demi script crewneck fleece // red from HUF WORLDWIDE socks STANCE shoes LACOSTE right: chunk varsity jacket // black / white denim slim fit // light bar logo 60/40 strapback from HUF WORLDWIDE socks STANCE sandals TEVA
clothes VINTAGE bracelets THE GIVING BRACELETS socks STANCE shoes LACOSTE
t-shirt PEAKS & VALLEYS from EPIDEPIC SKATEBOARD SHOP socks and underwear STANCE
mural ANGELINA CHRISTINA & EASE ONE Slab City, CA
adapt packable anorak // concrete print / gray from HUF WORLDWIDE socks STANCE shoes LACOSTE
shoes TEVA clothes vintage
DE SE RT DW E L LE R S
SHARON RYDER stands next to her artwork.
DREAM HOUSE interview KRISTIN WINTERS photography LUNAFORA
Sharon Ryder is an artist, designer, curator, and community builder. Over the summer of 2016 Sharon hosted several monthly shows called Dream House in Joshua Tree, CA. The events were an eclectic mix of music, art, food and local vendors that drew audiences from all over the Coachella Valley and beyond. The Dream House overflowed with good vibes, energy and excitement until the wee hours while guests fell asleep outdoors under the stars. Sharon Ryder not only opened the Dream House doors to the community but it culminated with a benefit show for Standing Rock. Through the success and experience, Sharon Ryder continues to forge a bold, creative career onto her next endeaver: a solo exhibition titled “Art Pop.” KRISTIN WINTERS: Can you give us a background about who you are, what your art is? SHARON RYDER: I was born in Chile and lived there until I was 11. Then I moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to live with my father. When I turned 18, I had savings to buy a car and to leave the state. So, I moved across the country to California. I ended up in Palm Springs because it was close to LA. I love the desert. I lived in the desert when I was a young girl living in Chile, so something about it brings back my childhood, and it’s a place to develop as a human being and to, “Grow up.” Since then, I’ve experimented with jobs at art galleries, selling my work in galleries. I decided to become self-employed, to follow my dream, which it’s a really multifaceted dream, but the first step is to become an artist. I’m trying to master my own abstract style and delve into other forms of art. WINTERS: Can you describe your artwork? RYDER: My work is very much self-psychoanalysis. It’s kind of like a visual mapping of my psyche, of the human psyche, of the things I experience. I’ve been exploring my colors, to diversify my color palette, to play around with new compositions. Lately, I’ve been transitioning to oil painting. My body of work is a mixed media on canvas, mostly. But now, I’ve taken on this new project, which has to do with community building and putting together the many talented people in my life, to give them a proper platform, to let them show their work
and a place that feels really safe and where you can be comfortable being yourself in your community. WINTERS: What inspired you to hold events and collect artists and bands and bring them together? RYDER: It all started when my friend, Laura, a.k.a. Fingerprince, told me that she wanted to book more house shows. We happened to be at my house and I looked around, and I looked at her, and I said, “Let’s do a house show here. I’ll get you a show.” I asked a couple friends who knew a couple friends, and we found a really strong first lineup. It worked out really, really well. The people in our community and from outside our community joined together to share ideas and to enjoy an eclectic mix or musicians and artists. It was so fulfilling for the people around me, that I felt like, I had to keep going. WINTERS: Why is it called Dream House? RYDER: The reason why Dream House is called, “Dream House,” is not because it’s my dream house at all. In fact, I was driven here by poverty and by struggling to sell my work, which I still sometimes do, especially during the summer. It’s called Dream House because, I found that there was so much potential here, and I felt very depressed living in a place where there was no one around me, and I just decided to reach out into the pool of people I met to help fulfill their lives along with my own. So, Dream House happens to be the platform for people’s dreams to come true. WINTERS: It’s cool that you talk about the necessity of it. Can you tell me a little more about how you feel the desert brought this together? You mentioned isolated. RYDER: I think everywhere in the world we have created this dynamic where, we have this need to separate because of our differences, and we have so many problems going on in our world that no one can really talk about, but the first step to fixing those problems is coming together somehow. It doesn’t really matter how at first, but just peacefully, and open to new experiences. I think this is an integral part of creating a healthy community as well… when you can go into a place where you feel accepted and loved and supported, everyone is creative, everyone’s weird, they COACHELLA MAGAZINE
The God Awful
Heavy Handed COACHELLA MAGAZINE
I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT ONE OF THE MESSAGES OF DREAM HOUSE IS TO INSPIRE OTHERS TO FIND THEIR TRIBAL... TO MEET THEIR TRIBAL NEEDS AGAIN. HUMANITY IS RELIANT ON ITS SOCIAL STRUCTURE, SO WHY NOT HELP FIX IT SIMPLY BY OPENING UP OUR HOMES, OUR HEARTS, TO SHARING WITH OTHERS. — Sharon Ryder
accept who you are; you can just walk in and feel like you’re one of the group. WINTERS: What do you think the desert and this environment provides for you? Do you think that it fills a void that was once there? Are those personal feelings at all related to the concept of the Dream House? RYDER: It’s almost a social experiment.. and it’s a really beautiful way to learn how to plan events and how to create a living piece of art. This is one of my attempts at curating strong work from a... It’s almost like an art gallery. This is an art exposition with live music. WINTERS: Can you talk about how you acquired the house and what were some of the aesthetic choices that you thought of? RYDER: I actually didn’t acquire the house. I’m a very low budget artist, and this is a grass roots movement. I just happen to have a landlord who is completely lenient and understanding, and she really believes in me and what I’m doing, so she’s happy to see it done. Joshua Tree is a great place for the eccentric, for new ideas being brought into execution. Painting the house is my way of taking something that might otherwise be seen as old and unwanted and making it extremely valuable, different, shocking and attractive. WINTERS: Especially around such a spare environment, it just pops out. RYDER: Yeah. It stands out, especially off the highway.
WINTERS: How does the desert environment in Joshua Tree affect your mental space and your art practice? RYDER: The desert atmosphere can sometimes be isolating. It can be stagnating, and that environment has almost forced me to push myself out of the rut. I love the desert. I have learned to love it. Before, I wasn’t too happy to be here. Now, I have changed as a person, and I’ve found a refreshed perspective. I can see so much more beauty in it, and I’ve been going into the national park, organizing Dream House and making my art. WINTERS: What are your future ideas for the Dream House? Is there different types of events you would like to hold here? RYDER: Yes. There’s a limit. This is more of a series, and I’m sure that a threshold will be reached, as the property only allows for an intimate setting, which is what I love about it, but if I were to continue hosting these events and they got larger, which they are, exponentially, we will probably find another venue or someone who would like to open up their land to do it. WINTERS: Great, so this is your first step into community building. Would you say that? RYDER: Yes. ❀ instagram @SHARONRYDERART web SHARONRYDERART.COM COACHELLA MAGAZINE
FOOD + D R I N K
T&T: TIME & TEMPERATURE text JORGE PEREZCHICA JW Marriott, Desert Resort Springs and Spa introduces a delectable new culinary experience to the Coachella Valley called T&T, for time and temperature. “It’s definitely an experiential thing,” says executive chef Thomas Horner. “One is that, chef ’s are most of time working behind the scenes, and, we don’t have a lot of guest interaction. In this experience, you are working or eating with, and around, the chefs. So, the chefs are really a part of the show. It is also an educational piece, because, as we roll out the menus, the menus have time and temperature relationships to it. So, we talk about what time went into this dish.” Cooking is Thomas Horner’s labour of love that began serendipitously at the age of 15 while working as a dishwasher and trying to get a car. “One day the cook didn’t show up, and literally, I was pulled out of the dish room and taught how to flip a hamburger, and 25 years later I’m still flipping hamburgers,” Thomas says modestly. Horner continued his education at International Culinary Academy, part of the first Le Cordon Bleu in the United States, and worked under a legendary chef by the name of Chef Joe. “Joe, was a legend in the field. Joe taught me a lot about hard work, and dedication, and refining your craft, on a daily basis.” T&T’s time and temperature pays homage to how those two factors work with cooking food. “The dining room is the kitchen, and the kitchen is the dining room. And, there is no servers, there is no bartenders, just the cooks and the
customers. There is a direct relationship, between the people that are cooking the food, and the people that are eating the food. It’s designed in the sense that it’s educational, and much as it is experiential as much as it is entertaining as well,” explains Horner. Dishes come in a small plate form and courses, and each chef has a different course. So, as the courses arrive, you get to learn a little bit about that dish, a little bit about that Chef. “I think what makes it unique is that you get to actually interact with somebody who’s creating a dish for you, and, they might create it from anything, from a history of their repertoire, or something that their grandmother taught them, or something that they wanted to experiment with. And, so now you start to understand the passions of the chef. We use it as educational. We’ll use this space for cooking classes, and wine tastings.” For foodies and novices alike, T&T creates a multi-purpose space with the true feel of a kitchen. “I like to refer it as ‘dinner and a show.’ But, the thing is, that you really get to interact with the chefs, and start to pick their brains a little bit.” When it comes to chefs there’s really two rules in this place, says Thomas Horner, “One is, cooking with passion, and put enough on the plate that the person wishes that they had just one more bite.” T&T: TIME & TEMPERATURE JW.MARRIOTT.COM
FOOD+ D R I N K
GRÉ COFFEEHOUSE & ART GALLERY text JORGE PEREZCHICA
Kelly and her husband Jim Segre own and operate Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery in Downtown Palm Springs, a throw back to an analog era that features photographic art, books, vinyl, vintage typewriter, live music and open mics. Originally from Ventura, CA., the couple visited Palm Springs as a destination for their anniversary every single year in the middle of the summer. “We just loved it here. I love the heat, I’m weird like that, and I love to swim,”Kelly enthuses. The idea of a coffeehouse for creatives began as a young teenager for Kelly, “I was fourteen, I asked my mom to open a coffee shop and she said ‘No,’ it’s not the cheapest thing to ask your parents to do.” But that did not stop Kelly from dreaming. “When I was younger, I used to hangout at coffee shops a lot, it was the early 90’s and in the community that I lived in, we had a lot of these underground type of coffee shops that had the poetry nights. So, it was something I loved doing when I was a young adult.” An an adult, Kelly made a living working as a photographer for twenty-five years. Over time and experience Kelly’s childhood dream began to take flight. “So there were a few times where I started taking action, but it was quite an expensive action to take when your young. I just kept putting it on the back burner, but I did open my photo studio. And with my photo studio I realized that while it’s fun to take photographs. I enjoy it more
for myself and so, I decided that I wanted to open up a space for creatives, and that’s when it really started to blossom — I felt the coffee shop was a perfect outlet.” Now open, Gré Coffeehouse & Art Gallery sets the tone, whether you write, draw or perform. Gré Coffeehouse also imbues all of Kelly’s favorite things and obsessions: “We have one featured artist every single month on the wall. The vinyl records, I grew up listening to that era of music. We have the book exchange so people can take a book, bring a book. Type writers if anyone wants to write analog, we really like the analog feel and the idea of people interacting instead of like just playing on their phones. We have our game nights on Wednesday. We want everyone to come in here and not feel like they are an outsider. I really want people to feel welcomed, because I know creatives always struggle with whether or not they are accepted. Even though we shouldn’t care, but I want a place where creatives can express themselves.” One question people always ask Kelly though is, why the coffeehouse is so far back in a hidden nook — it’s located in the historic Henry Frank Arcade. “I kinda like being that hidden gem. I don’t want something new and I wanted it to feel nostalgic when you come in here. And so the building actually does play a big role in that.” I guess we can talk about our coffee a little bit (laughing). web GRECOFFEEHOUSE.COM
“Desert Dreaming” by David Palmer
MARCH 31 ‑ APRIL 2 AT THE INDIAN WELLS TENNIS GARDEN
Featuring fine art and quality crafts by 200 juried artists representing more than 25 countries in the desert’s most exquisite outdoor art show with special exhibits, live demonstrations, children’s activities, food, spirits, live entertainment & more! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Admission $13 | Children Admitted Free | Free & Valet Parking IndianWellsArtsFestival.com Produced by Dianne Funk Productions © 2016 Festival Information: 760.346.0042
TALK AB O UT I T!
CONTACT IN THE DESERT: UFO SIGHTINGS, CROP CIRCLES,
THE SECRET SPACE PROGRAM...AND BEYOND. text ROWLAND AKINDURO It’s no secret that our planet and even solar system for that matter, are physically in a different place than we where before. In fact, although our bodies on earth give us the illusion that we remain relatively still, we are constantly occupying a vastly different area within the greater multiverse, as we are quite literally hurling through space in a vortex like manner. One of the events in life that Coachella Magazine was fortunate enough to temporarily occupy space within recently, was Contact in the Desert. This was an incredible journey into the exploration of ancient astronauts, extraterrestrial life, human origins, crop circles, UFO sightings, contact experiences, the secret space program, metaphysical healing, inner earth beings, alternative energy sources, the nature of our reality, and much more. When one directly interacts with multiple people who share such a spell bounding interest in these occult, taboo, fringe, and in some cases, dangerous subjects, an interesting amalgamation of cultured dialogue emerges. Thus resulting in hidden and even suppressed knowledge
permeating through and from the illustrious Joshua Tree Retreat Center during the event. Best selling author, lecturer, and TV personality Mike Bara, who has an extensive knowledge base in the fields of aerospace and UFOlogy, possessed a healthy level of skepticism and a down to earth approach to the entire field despite his very voluminous research. He demonstrated this when I approached him with a potentially derailing question pertaining to his thoughts on computer simulation theory (the idea that we are most likely living in a ‘The Matrix’ like simulation). His response was both hilarious, yet profound. “When you’re finally with the girl you’ve always wanted, does it make any difference?” Out of the several interviews that were captured, I will feature one that stood out and occurred rather serendipitously with television producer, journalist, author, photographer and researcher Alan Steinfeld. ROWLAND AKINDURO: What was one of the major highlights for you thus far at this event?
ALAN STEINFELD: Whitley Strieber and hearing him reevaluate his whole abduction experience. Now he doesn’t really know what it was. He thought it was alien, but it could be something much bigger than thatmuch stranger than that, whatever that would mean. But I realized, wow, we’re trying to put these things in a box. We call it UFO and we think we know what it is but we don’t even know what that even means. We have to keep expanding because we don’t even know what alien is. We think we know what things are when we label them but we have to tear away the labels and stay in the unknown. So, anytime people tell you this is what it is, “oh yeah that’s an alien”, they’re trying to narrow it down to human limitations. What we have to do is expand beyond the human realm and start to include more of reality without putting it into a box. ROWLAND: In regards to this community, what do you feel your role has been? Obviously, this being a microcosmic example relative to the world as a whole. ALAN: Part of my role as a researcher has been to gather information from many, many different angles as an experiencer, as someone who is a journalist interviewing other people about their phenomena, as a historian looking at government cover-ups and how in some ways what’s stranger than aliens, is that the government is not telling us what it knows while hiding the facts. I mean that’s more unacceptable than the fact that there are beings visiting us here. My role is to kind of connect the dots. How do all those things connect? And I put it all in the framework of new realities. We have to expand perception in order to realize we’re living on a much different planet than we’ve been conditioned to think we are on. Reality is much broader than putting our heads in the ground and walking along and doing your job and listening to what they are telling you on television. We have to look up to the stars and the stars are where the answers are. We are from the stars. ROWLAND: Thank you. So frequencies as well? ALAN: Oh yeah, there’s a whole thing about frequencies, dimensions and crop circles. I think what’s really happening is that we are vibrating at a quicker frequency than we were before and I think that’s why there’s more contact and there are more sightings. People are thinking about this. It’s why this festival grows every year by thousands. First year it was a thousand then two thousand than three then over three. So something’s being activated. We are getting ready for or we are preparing for something bigger. That’s what I feel. So my role is to keep connecting all these pods together and to study up on all of them and see how they all relate as far as the government cover-ups, UFOs and abductions. How does it all relate to human psychology? I’m interested in how perception dictates reality. If your perception and your frequency is low then your reality isn’t going to be very varied and it’s going to be very narrow. The bigger the frequency, the wider the possibility & the bigger the experience we can have here. We are here to have great
experiences and expanded experiences. ROWLAND: That sounds like a very spiritual perspective. ALAN: It’s spiritual but it’s also cognitive in the sense that we are expanding perception. ROWLAND: So it’s quantifiable as well. ALAN: Well, yeah it’s quantifiable, but we’re using more of our brain so, neurological. Quantifiably neurological or something like that. ROWLAND: What has been a chief frustration for you in regards to the field at large or government cover-up? ALAN: Whatever these things are, if they’re real, why are they so illusive first of all; and why is the government so elusive? They kind of mirror each other. The government is hiding. They’re hiding. Most of the human population is caught in the middle of government denial and these things that are definitely there. 95 to 99% of the people here [at Contact in the Desert] have either seen something or experienced something. There’s definitely something and why is that so elusive? Why is the government not telling us? Why do we have to figure it out for ourselves? Maybe that’s why. Maybe we’ll only get it when we have to figure it out for ourselves. We have to go by our own instincts and say, “I know it this time.” I think the only way we really get something is when we teach it to ourselves. If the government gives it to us, it’s too passive. If they show up, it’s like well, we don’t know what to do with that. ROWLAND: Do you feel as if it’s beyond our perception? ALAN: No because our perceptions have been conditioned and brainwashed by our culture, but naturally it’s not, but we’ve been shut down through the conditioning via political, media all that, to not think to the capacity that we can. So it’s yes and no. It’s not beyond our perception and it has become beyond because we have not been allowed to expand. ROWLAND: Social conditioning ALAN: Social conditioning limits our perception. ROWLAND: Do you feel that social conditioning is the main impact on our perception being limited? ALAN: I think that’s one of them. We need social conditioning in order to function but we also need education that starts to expand it [perception]. ROWLAND: Would you be able to tap into the different levels of intelligence whether it’d be emotional, social intelligence, academic etc? Would you be able to talk about the different levels of intelligence that exist. ALAN: The bigger picture? Yeah. I think what sums it all up is, you have to go within your own self and feel into a situation and develop a sensitivity through feeling. I guess that’s feeling intelligence, but I’d start there and that’s the key that connects it all. ROWLAND: Authenticity. ALAN: Yeah. Thanks, that was great! ✪ web CONTACTINTHEDESERT.COM where JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA when MAY 19-22, 2017
INDIO: BEYOND FIELDS AND FESTIVALS text PJ GAGAJENA photography CHRIS MILLER As I’m writing these words, my six-year old daughter is asking, “What story are you writing daddy?” Without giving me a chance to respond, she begins to tell me a dramatic fairy tale with a thrilling plot, and back-andforth dialogue between a prince and a lost princess. I’m thinking, “Wow! This little miracle has come up with a great story!” When she’s done, she takes a seat at her small table and quickly gets back to finishing her drawing of a horse named Candy without skipping a beat. I had to stop and sit back to understand what I just saw. This moment was about imagination, the unexpected, artistry, family bonding, and seeing my daughter as her authentic self, which in many ways is the essence of my Indio experience that I’m about to share. I was first introduced to the City of Indio and the Indio Performing Arts Center (IPAC) almost nine months ago and I’m now finally able to come out of the womb to share a few thoughts, experiences, and observations. As a Los Angeles south bay native, Indio was originally for me only words written on green freeway signs along the 10 and 60 freeways whenever I visited
family and friends in Riverside. I also associated it with the Salton Sea during camping and fishing trips with my dad in the ‘80’s as a kid. Now that I’m here and have experienced Indio first hand, I can see what makes it an amazing place – people, culture and history – three basic elements of a vibrant community. Indio was originally the home of the Cahuilla tribe and was the first city founded in the Coachella Valley in 1930. It was a key stop for the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1800’s and became an agricultural community known as the nation’s date capital in the 1920’s. Today, Indio is still a key destination for travelers who attend its arts and music festivals but instead of the railroad, people reach the area by plane, car or bus. Its ties to farms, fields and the date fruit also remain, with the Riverside County National Date Festival in Indio serving as a prominent reminder since 1947. Raising crops has been replaced with restaurants serving authentic Mexican, Italian, Asian and American cuisines, which are operated mostly by family businesses with deep roots in the desert. Native American ancestry also lives on with the
sovereign nation of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. Powwows are still held today by people of the first nations to gather for music, singing, and dancing. I’ve realized that these cultural celebrations, along with fiestas held by the long-standing Mexican American population, are Indio’s true legacy as the City of Festivals. Another significant piece of Indio’s past is its downtown core. It was once the center for trade and commerce for the entire Coachella Valley. However, similar to other cities across the country after the second world war, populations shifted out to the suburbs and families left the main city center. The Great Recession and the loss of redevelopment funds further stripped the life out of downtown Indio during the past decade. However, there is something brewing beyond the empty streets and vacant lots in downtown that is slowly uncovering the soul of the city. I saw glimpses of it at Indio’s Winterfest, the Tamale Festival, the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital groundbreaking, and the College of the Desert’s (COD) unveiling of its downtown campus expansion. What is taking shape is a downtown that is truly becoming a community gathering place once again. It’s important to note that plans and optimism aren’t enough for residents who have seen promises come and go for downtown. But
a walk through the COD campus off of Oasis Street, and seeing the building that will house the new Loma Linda University clinic on Bliss Avenue shows physical evidence of a growing resurgence. I also witnessed something magical take place at IPAC during the past few months while managing the facility – residents, businesses, community organizations, parents, seniors and teens talked to me about the need for artistic space and the importance of IPAC to revitalizing downtown. Shows and events quickly booked up the schedule early on. While visiting IPAC one day, I felt a small heartbeat in downtown upon noticing the parking lot full, and seeing programs being held in its three theaters and main hall. There is still a ways to go to fully realizing downtown Indio’s and IPAC’s potential, but a shape and outline is beginning to form. As with any artist, like my daughter, everything begins with the imagination, and once the brush touches the canvas or the shoe taps the floor or the finger strums the string, our soul and humanity is revealed and everyone sees, hears and feels who we really are. This is Indio. ✪ PJ Gagajena serves as the Public Information Officer for the City of Indio and he may be contacted for questions regarding the availability of IPAC for shows and events at (760) 541-4444 orpgagajena@ indio.org. More information about the City of Indio can be found at www.indio.org.
DE SE RT B O H E M E ART PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM (760) 322-4800 101 N Museum Dr Palm Springs, CA psmuseum.org MARKS ART CENTER (760) 776-7278 43500 Monterey Avenue Palm Desert, California KCOD COACHELLA FM coachellafm.com COACHELLA MAGAZINE coachellamagazine.com OLD TOWN ARTISAN STUDIO 78134 Calle Tampico, Ste 160 La Quinta, CA oldtownartisanstudio.org THE COACHELLA VALLEY ART SCENE (760) 409-6445 thecoachellavalleyartscene.com COACHELLA VALLEY ART CENTER (760) 799-4364 coachellavalleyartcenter.org AGUA CALIENTE CULTURAL MUSEUM (760) 778-1079 219 S Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA accmuseum.org RAICES CULTURA 1494 Sixth Street Coachella, CA raicesdelvalle.org
COYOTE STAGEWORKS, INC. (760) 318-0024 coyotestageworks.com INDIO PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (760) 775-5200 45-175 Fargo St Indio, CA
H OTELS/RE SO RTS ARIVE HOTEL (760) 507-1650 1551 N Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, CA arrivehotels.com ACE HOTEL & SWIM CLUB (760) 325-9900 701 E Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA acehotel.com/palmsprings HARD ROCK HOTEL PALM SPRINGS (760) 325-9676 150 S Indian Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA hrhpalmsprings.com THE SAGUARO PALM SPRINGS (760) 323-1711 1800 E Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA thesaguaro.com/palm-springs
CULTURAS MUSIC+ARTS facebook.com/culturas.musicarts
KORAKIA PENSIONE (760) 864-6411 257 S Patencio Rd Palm Springs, CA korakia.com
VENUS STUDIOS & ART SUPPLIES (760) 340-5085 44850 Las Palmas Ave Suite C Palm Desert, CA venusstudiosartsupply.com
THE RIVIERA PALM SPRINGS (760) 327-8311 1600 N Indian Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA rivierapalmsprings.com
JACK FARLEYâ€™S ART SUPPLIES jackfarleysartsupplies.com
MIRAMONTE INDIAN WELLS RESORT & SPA (760) 341-2200 45000 Indian Wells Ln Indian Wells, CA miramonteresort.com
T HE AT E R /M OV I E S McCALLUM THEATRE (760) 340-2787 73000 Fred Waring Dr Palm Desert, CA mccallumtheatre.com
CAMELOT THEATRES (760) 325-6565 2300 E. Baristo Rd Palm Springs, CA camelottheatres.com
THE PARKER PALM SPRINGS (760) 770-5000 4200 E Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA heparkerpalmsprings.com
VINTAGE THE FINE ART OF DESIGN (760) 565-7388 73717 Highway 111 Palm Desert, CA thefineartofdesign.com THE END (760) 418-5536 55872 29 Palms Hwy Yucca Valley, CA theendyuccavalley.tumblr.com HOOF & THE HORN (760) 365-6100 55840 29 Palms Hwy Yucca Valley, CA hoofandthehorn.com FLOW MODERN (760) 322-0768 768 N. Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA flowmodern.com PALM CANYON GALLERIA (760) 323-4576 457 N Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA TIENDIQUE (760) 554-0754 617 West Main St. El Centro, CA tiendique.com
LIFE ST YLE EPIDEMIC SKATEBOARD SHOP (760) 770-4177 68802 Ramon Rd Cathedral City, CA epidemicskateboardshop.com GUITAR CENTER (760) 674-1628 72-399 California Hwy 111 Palm Desert, CA PALM SPRINGS VINYL RECORDS AND COLLECTIBLES (760) 778-2636 220 N Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA palmspringsvinylrecords.com HOODOO! (760) 365-9505 55866 29 Palms Hwy Yucca Valley, CA shophoodoo.com
A SHORT GUIDE TO START YOUR JOUNEY IN THE COACHELL A VALLEY & BEYOND
INTERSTELLAR COMIC BOOKS (760) 325-1814 180 E Tahquitz Canyon Way Palm Springs, CA
NIGHTLIFE PAPPY & HARRIETS (760) 365-5956 53688 Pioneertown Rd Pioneertown, CA pappyandharriets.com BART LOUNGE (760) 799-8800 67555 E Palm Canyon Dr, # 124 Cathedral City, CA bartlounge.com THE HOOD (760) 636-5220 74360 Highway 111 Palm Desert, CA thehoodbarandpizza.com DATE SHED (760) 775-6699 50-725 Monroe St Indio, California dateshedmusic.com TACK ROOM TAVERN (760) 347-9985 81800 Avenue 51 Indio, CA tackroomtavern.com AMIGO ROOM (760) 866-6180 701 E Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA RED BARN OF PALM DESERT (760) 327-4080 73290 Highway 111 Palm Desert, CA redbarnpalmdesert.com COSTA’S NIGHTCLUB (760) 346-0191 74855 Country Club Dr Palm Desert, CA COPA NIGHTCLUB (760) 866-0021 244 E Amado Rd Palm Springs, CA copapalmsprings.com CLUB 5 BAR (760) 554-0754 82971 Bliss Ave Indio, CA
ZELDAS NIGHTCLUB (760) 325-2375 611 S Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA zeldasnightclub.com
SALON/SPA/BE AUT Y TERRA LANE HAIR DESIGN (760) 568-3900 73-300 El Paseo Suite C Palm Desert, CA terralaneonelpaseo.com
BAR (760) 537-7337 340 N Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA barwastaken.com
J. RUSSELL THE SALON (760) 341-4641 72996 El Paseo Palm Desert, CA jrussellthesalon.com
THE TROPICALE 330 E Amado Rd Palm Springs, CA (760) 866-1952 thetropicale.com
LIBERTY SALON (760) 340-5346 41750 Rancho las Palmas Dr, Ste I Rancho Mirage, CA
WORKSHOP KITCHEN + BAR (760) 459-3451 800 N Palm Canyon Dr, Ste G Palm Springs, CA workshoppalmsprings.com EUREKA! INDIAN WELLS (760) 834-7700 74985 Highway 111 Indian Wells, CA eurekarestaurantgroup.com BIG ROCK PUB (760) 200-9844 79-940 Westward Ho Dr. La Quinta, CA thebigrockpub.com CHILL BAR PALM SPRINGS (760) 327-1079 217 E Arenas Rd Palm Springs, CA chillbarpalmsprings.com LULU CALIFORNIA BISTRO (760) 554-0754 200 S Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA lulupalmsprings.com DRAUGHTSMAN (760) 507-1644 1501 North Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA draughtsmanpalmsprings.com SHIELDS DATE GARDEN (800) 414-2555 80225 US Hwy 111 Indio, CA shieldsdategarden.com GRÉ COFFEEHOUSE & ART GALLERY 278 North Palm Canyon Suite C Palm Springs, CA grecoffeehouse.com
S HO PPING EL PASEO SHOPPING (877) 735-7273 73472 El Paseo Palm Desert, CA shopelpaseopalmdesert.com TRINA TURK + MR TURK (760) 416-2856 891 N Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA trinaturk.com DESERT HILLS PREMIUM OUTLETS (951) 849-6641 48400 Seminole Dr Cabazon, CA premiumoutlets.com/outlet/desert-hills THE SHOPS AT THIRTEEN FOURTY FIVE (760) 464-0480 1345 N Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA theshopsat1345.COM
AT T RACT IO NS THE INDIAN CANYONS (760) 323-6018 38520 S Palm Canyon Dr Palm Springs, CA indian-canyons.com COACHELLA VALLEY PRESERVE (760) 343-2733 29200 1000 Palms Canyon Rd Thousand Palms, CA coachellavalleypreserve.org PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY (760) 325-1449 One Tram Way Palm Springs, CA pstramw ay.com
THR OW BACK
Janalyn Guillory-Perez holds an umbrella under 120ยบ in Slab City, CA
The Hair & MUA team: Lisa Monique and Lucy Higuera
The desert princess, Mariana Villarroel.
The Wandress crew: Grace Minor, Janalyn Guillory-Perez, Andrea Villarroel Lua, Mariana Villarroel & Marissa Cruz.
The flower children at Salvation Mountain
Jam in the Van
COAC H E L L A M AGA Z I N E P RE S E N TS
MARCH 17-19, 2017 A WEEKEND CELEBRATION OF FASHION ART MUSIC FOOD+DRINK SPONSORED BY THE CIT Y OF INDIO
“ The Kinetoscope” SL AB CIT Y, 2015 — BY CHRISTINA ANGELINA X E ASEONE
Published on Mar 8, 2017
In Vol. 2, Issue No. 5, we discover how Chris Pardo’s architectural vision is changing the face of Downtown Palm Springs. We get to meet Mik...