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NDMF 2018 HITS DTEP THE DRUMS INTERVIEW

CAFÉ TACVBA NEON DESERT EN ESPAÑOL

THE SWELL KIDS EXIST1981

FREE #106


FUSION MAGAZINE 106

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Oscar Castañeda — oscar@thefusionmag.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Alex Durán — alexduran@thefusionmag.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Rafael A. Revilla — rrevilla@thefusionmag.com ENGLISH COPY EDITOR Daniel Salas — dbsalas@thefusionmag.com SALES MANAGER Oscar Castañeda Sr — oscarc@hefusionmag.com COVER BY

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CAFÉ TACVBA Fusion Magazine is a free monthly magazine with distribution in El Paso, TX, Cd. Juarez, Las Cruces, NM, Chihuahua, Marfa, TX, Alpine, TX & Mexico D.F. The opinions, views and comments expressed in Fusion Magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the editor and publisher. Authors and collaborators are accountable for the content of the articles. Fusion Magazine is not responsible for the information submitted in the ads by the advertisers.This publication is not suitable for people under the age of 18. Fusion Magazine does not promote or condone the use of firearms and/or violence.

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Fusion Magazine es una revista mensual y gratuita con distribución en El Paso TX…… Las opiniones, comentarios y puntos de vista expresados en Fusion Magazine no reflejan necesariamente la visión del editor y publicista. Los autores y colaboradores son responsables por el contenido de los artículos. Fusion Magazine no es responsable por la información reflejada en los artículos de los anunciantes. Esta publicación no es recomendable para personas menores a 18 años. Fusion Magazine no promueve ni condona el uso de armas y/o violencia.


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SATURDAY, MAY 26TH ......................... MARTIN GARRIX AT THE DRIVE IN LIL WAYNE THIRD EYE BLIND

PLAYBOI CARTI

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CULTS LITTLE JESUS EARTHGANG BOOGIE THE SWELL KIDS GREAT SHAPES DULCE MAL SICK.LIFE PILOTS OF VENUS GILA MONSTER YOUNG DELUXE DIVINE KEGEL MOUNTAIN VIBES THE FIFTH ESTATE MIKEY CLOUD STANGUS THE SANDY OHMS

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SUNDAY, MAY 27TH ........................... DILLON FRANCIS CAFÉ TACVBA THE DRUMS CUCO

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downtown el paso, tx tickets: neondesert.com + the headstand + happy house El Pas o M u s e u m s & C u lt u ra l Affa ir s De pa r t m e n t


HITS DTEP MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

NEON DESERT MUSIC

WORDS: CHANTEL BAUL

AT THE DRIVE IN

MARTIN GARRIX

LIL WAYNE

GUCCI MANE

DILLON FRANCIS

FARRUKO

PLAYBOI CARTI

CULTS

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ow in its 8th year, Neon Desert Music Festival is soon to take over downtown El Paso once again. Known for bringing the biggest names in music along with the best local acts to the borderland stage, Neon Desert is a reverberating celebration of sound and culture that is unlike any other music festival across the country. It’s all going down May 26-27 just ahead of Memorial Day, and tickets are selling fast. The masterminds behind Splendid Sun Productions (Zach Paul and Brian Chavez) came up with the idea for Neon Desert over drinks at a bar in Austin. From its humble beginning, Neon Desert has become fully realized, attracting crowds by the thousands every year. This time around, audiophiles can look forward to an eclectic, energetic lineup with EDM A-lister Martin Garrix, gangster rap icon Gucci Mane and El Paso’s own rockers At the Drive-In among the headliners. Neon Desert is celebrated for the diverse array of performers that it brings to the stage, which includes household names

and underground acts alike. Chavez is particularly excited to host indie-pop band LANY, and self-produced synth experimental soloist Cuco. Of course, showcasing local and Latin talent is one of the festival’s finest appeals. “Neon Desert really incorporated a lot of the culture that El Paso has. Being in a city that’s on the border with Mexico, we definitely took that and made it a pivotal point,” Chavez explained. El Paso artists constitute nearly half of this year’s lineup, which features beloved borderland performers like Space Captains Collective, Medvedi and Gila Monster among others. Beyond the music, festival goers can expect outstanding live art exhibitions curated by El Paso’s very own EXIST1981. Artists from the east coast, San Diego, the local scene and more will create new works of art during Neon Desert— EXIST1981 will be presenting his own work as well. NDMF attendees can also look forward to stellar food. The festival partners with

the best local restaurants to showcase Chuco Town cuisine. Between the music, the art and the food, the fest invites attendees to experience and celebrate borderland culture. Ultimately, it’s all about the community and bringing El Paso to the forefront on the global stage. “In the past 4 or 5 years, music coming out of El Paso has taken steps forward and events like Neon Desert definitely help [with] being able to showcase the local talent,” Chavez said. Neon Desert has enjoyed exponential growth through the years, and the trend is sure to continue well into the future. To accommodate amassing crowds, the organizers have made changes to the stage placement, opting for a more spacious layout. Like every year prior, the festival is sure to deliver world-class entertainment, energy and excitement. Chavez added, “For the people who haven’t been there, it’s probably the best party that happens all year long. For the people who’ve gone, they definitely know already.”  NEONDESERT.COM

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NEON DESERT MUSIC

“In the 10 years of being in this band, the biggest lesson that I've learned is that being honest and vulnerable and taking risks by just being yourself, are the most important things, those are the things that are going to bring you joy.”

OPEN UP AND SAY… THE DRUMS! WORDS: DANIEL SALAS

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he honesty and vulnerability of a band that is creatively expressing and channeling their thoughts and experiences effectively, and finding a devoted audience to connect with, is what makes a band like The Drums stand the test of time. With 10 years under their belt and 4 albums to their name, the band has consistently delivered. We

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talk to Johnny Pierce (singer/songwriter) short of The Drums appearance at this years Neon Desert Music Festival in El Paso about the longevity of the band, getting older and making consistently great records. This year marks 10 years for The Drums, how does that feel?

You know, the word that I would use is grateful. I know that being in a band, is hard enough, and keeping a band relevant, and keeping a band putting out good records is a lot of hard work. To be able to keep doing that for 10 years and still be working on new records, feels really good. I see a lot of bands start and put out a record, and then kind of disappear,


so I’m just really grateful that we’ve been able to keep going, and a big part of that is the fans that we have. I feel like we have a really intensely loyal fan base that is sort of the envy of a lot of other bands so, I’m grateful for that too. What else is key to the longevity? You know, I think a really big part is…I feel like The Drums have always filled a void in indie-rock and what I think that void is sort of, I don’t know there are many other bands that make records of their own, not go out and hire outside producers, and kind of keep things a bit DIY, even when there’s been an opportunity to make something much bigger or “bad ass.” There’s something about keeping it pure you know? And I think our fans really appreciate that, and understand that we’re just doing what we’re doing and it’s sort of like, I don’t know, there’s been lots of chances for us to make a big step up you know? We had really famous producers approach us and want to work with us and we turned a lot down because we really believed in what we’re doing. I think that’s a big part of it, and I don’t know that it will be like that forever, so far we’ve really recorded all of our own stuff, produced and mixed our own stuff for the most part and, I think there’s something about that. I think the other part is, look, I’m like a full grown man and in today’s society I think it’s kind of looked down upon for someone of my age to kind of say that... you know I think men need to often feel like they need to come across as having it all together, and they’re strong and brave and courageous and have all the answers and they don’t need to ask for directions. And so I don’t feel that way, so I’m not going to pretend that I feel that way. In my songwriting more and more, I’m just becoming more and more honest and vulnerable about how I feel and you know, I’m not too proud to say that I feel lost a lot of the time, and I feel really depressed a lot of the time, I feel out of sync with the world a lot of the time, and sometimes I feel downright hopeless, and that’s what I talk about. I think that in a lot of the music we listen to today, the message is the opposite. The message is “I’m great” and there’s a lot of self esteem and a lot

of people you know, talking about how wonderful that life is, and I think it’s kind of rare to have a band be as vulnerable as we’ve made ourselves. Does it get any easier or harder creatively, making music for so many years? When I first started the band the songs were just flying out of me. I would write a song a day, and those songs, I released all of them. It’s not like I wrote a song a day and I never released a bunch, it’s just like, boom boom boom boom boom and then I had a record. It really just was almost completely effortless. The songs were good, and then, Portamento once again, there wasn’t a lot of work involved it just was a total joy to create, it wanted to be written. And then with Encyclopedia I think we sort of went through, the band was down to just Jacob and I, and so we wanted to make a record that really showcased both of our strengths. I really love songwriting, and Jacob loves synthesizers, and we decided to sort of, really push that side of things. It’s almost sort of like a synth-pop record, ultimately. To me it didn’t feel fully like a Drums album, and that one was harder to make because people really just kind of aware of all of we were doing, we got a little more like, nerdy on it. And then Jacob went his own way and I was able to kind if bring things in a little bit. Being alone kind of, there was 2 sides to that coin: in one hand there was a big weight because I had to carry this entire album on my own—record it, produced it. I sat down and I was co-mixing it, I was there when we mastered it, you know, very much a Johnny Pierce record, but it was kind of easy to make because for the first time since the very beginning, I felt as though it was kind if like a fresh start. You remind me a lot of Morrissey because of your strong connection to your Mexican and Chicano fan base, and I saw that you recently put out that single Meet Me in Mexico, can you tell us more about that? I was at a point where I was really pissed off at Donald Trump and his whole bullshit world, and sick of hearing him talking shit about Mexicans and you know, and I am fully aware that if it wasn’t

for my Mexican fans that, there’s a big chance that we wouldn’t be putting out records because I receive so much encouragement, so much love from my Mexican fans, it’s undeniable. Wether it’s from Mexico itself or Mexicans living in America, or anywhere else you know, I really feel it ,and I pick up on that love. And so I wanted to write a song dedicated to my affection towards my Mexican fans. What would you like for people to take from the music of The Drums? For me, in the 10 years of being in this band, the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is that being honest and vulnerable and taking risks by just being yourself, are the most important things, those are the things that are going to bring you joy.

When I was starting a band I was really nervous about being gay, and I didn’t really want people to know, and I kinda shy away from it, and so I was kind of playing a part, and I progressively stepped into who I am and I talk about who I am now. What I’ve noticed is that I connect better with the audience, and I connect better with myself, so when I’m playing a show or making a record, it’s much more fulfilling. I hope that on some small level I can be connecting with my fans and that people will maybe follow my lead and start connecting with each other in a more and more open and honest way. That’s really the only real point that we’re on this planet just to kind of be there for each other, the only way we can do that is by living with openness. 

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NEON DESERT MUSIC

“Cada gira de Café Tacvba y cada vez que sacamos un nuevo disco, renovamos la forma de entender nuestra historia. La gente que nos haya visto durante nuestra última visita en El Paso va a ver un concierto renovado y contemporáneo”

EL CAFÉ DEL NEON DESERT WORDS: FERNANDA LEÓN

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na de las bandas de rock alternativo en español más reconocidas de América Latina estará visitando y presentando su repertorio musical durante el ya tradicional evento del Neon Desert Music Festival - NDMFen la ciudad fronteriza de El Paso, Texas. Café Tacvba, es un grupo formado en el año 1989 en la Ciudad de México que ha ido creciendo con el paso del tiempo y, en la actualidad, cuenta con grandes éxitos de su género musical que gustan a una gran variedad de generaciones de fanáticos. Tuvimos la oportunidad de platicar con Quique Rangel, bajista de la banda, quien nos cuenta de su próxima visita durante el NDMF. ¿Cómo se siente la banda de volver a la ciudad de El Paso? Quique: Muy contentos de regresar a Texas. El año pasado tuvimos una gira en el periodo de septiembre donde estuvimos de cuatro a cinco días en Texas pero no fuimos a El Paso. Fuimos a Ciudad Juárez el año pasado también, a principios de la gira de nuestro más reciente disco pero me parece interesante la posibilidad de regresar a El Paso porque en este festival no vamos solos sino que vamos a compartir con muchos más músicos y, además, en este momento en el que me parece importante que la tension que se puede estar dando entre las ciudades frontera y las ciudades que, para mi, no es la división entre los países de Estados Unidos y Mexico, sino las ciudades que unen a estos países pues, me parece importante que esta visita se de en este momento. ¿Qué es lo que les parece a ustedes como banda, o a ti individualmente, el público fronterizo? A mi me gusta mucho y disfruto mucho esas tocadas, como que yo no siento la división entre el público de El Paso con el de Ciudad Juárez o el público de San Diego a diferencia del de Tijuana, para mi es una misma comunidad y me parece que disfrutan de dos formas de vida que conviven y me parece que enriquece la forma de vivir. A veces es complicado y supongo que esta es una temporada complicada para esa situación, pero también tiene esa otra parte de poder ver esa convivencia y se nota en los conciertes que hay una celebración interesante en los conciertos en estas ciudades. ¿Es la primera vez que participan en un festival masivo aquí en la frontera? En la frontera ya hemos tenido algunos festivales pero esta es la primera vez que se da uno en la frontera de Texas, pero ya ha habido varios más en el área de California por ejemplo. ¿Como se sienten de compartir lo escenarios con varios artistas? Es muy bueno. A mi me gusta que los festivales le permiten al público que va a ver a un solo artista o que tiene

referencia de algunas cosas que sabe que va a ver, tiene las posibilidades de describir muchas otras. Así es como a nosotros nos ha surgido un público que no sabíamos que podíamos tener en festivales como en Lollapalooza de Chicago, en Coachella, en el Austin City Limits también y esta es otra oportunidad de nosotros mismos también de poder ver artistas que reconocemos o que no hemos podido ver en vivo. Yo tengo curiosidad de ver a At the Drive-In y de ver como esta en este momento a los Bomba Estéreo. ¿Qué se puede esperar el público durante esta presentación? En este momento, y desde mayo del año pasado, estamos presentando parte del nuevo disco de Café Tacvba, no tan nuevo porque ya va a cumplir un año, pero que todavía mucha gente no se ha acercado a más de dos o tres canciones que han estado sonando. Esto es parte importante de la presentación pero también, por supuesto, un recorrido de la larga historia que tenemos con el público a través de muchas canciones que vamos a recrear sobre el escenario y, pues, la entrega que normalmente se espera y de esa comunicación que el público nos da, que pone una energía sobre el escenario, y se hace una gran celebración. Me va a dar mucho gusto que esa celebración se de en la frontera y que se vea que no vamos a hacer nada malo cuando cruzamos esa frontera. ¿Vienen a demostrar que la música no tiene fronteras? Eso es muy importante porque cuando hacemos gira en todo Estados Unidos, y de hecho vamos a repetir este año, yo a veces siento que no estoy en otro país y siento que la gente que esta ahí no estamos pensando en de donde viene y si es bueno o malo porque viene de un lugar. ¿Alguna novedad por parte de Café Tacvba que vayan a estar presentando aquí? Las canciones nuevas. En este momento nos sigue acompañando Luis Ledezma que es nuestro baterista, pero también se sumó Ramiro Del Real en guitarra y en otros instrumentos para complementar la parte musical. Cada gira de Café Tacvba y cada vez que sacamos un nuevo disco, renovamos la forma de entender nuestra historia. La gente que nos haya visto durante nuestra última visita en El Paso va a ver un concierto renovado y contemporáneo a lo que esta pasando en las cabezas y los sentires de los Café Tacvba. Además de una gira, ¿Qué sigue para ustedes? Sigue también una visita a Europa en julio. Tenemos una gira por siete países en lugares como España, Inglaterra, Holanda, Paris. ¿Alguna otra cuestión por la que les emocione venir aquí? Nunca nos negamos a un buen burrito. 

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NEON DESERT MUSIC

THE SWELL KIDS WORDS: TANYA TORRES

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s Memorial Day approaches the Sun City, music lovers from all around are preparing for Neon Desert’s 8th annual event. The downtown festival will have a lineup of 40 artists including the popular local band The Swell Kids, who will be returning to Neon Desert for the second time. “Playing in the VIP lounge at Neon last year was a huge eye opener for us because there is so much that goes on behind the scenes," said The Swell Kids member, Alexander Bejarano. "It really inspired us to step it up that entire year to make sure that we got a chance to play on an actual stage in the 2018 festival.” To prepare for the upcoming festival, The Swell Kids have been marketing themselves with the help of their manager and creative director, Adrian Correa. They have also been putting out new music, remixes and have even been hosting their own events at Prickly Elder called “Swell Sessions.” After releasing their full-length album Good Problems, they were asked to open for Cut Copy at Tricky Falls and other big names at venues like Lowbrow Palace, Later Later, Buchanan’s Event Center, Born & Raised and Club Here I Love You. Before the duo began their careers as The Swell Kids, they were standing in front of a different kind of audience back in 2010. The pair originally began working together by teaching hip-hop dance lessons to people throughout El Paso after forming a friendship over their love of a group called Chiddy Bang. It wasn’t until years later that the twosome would think of pursuing a musical career over their already established dance career, bringing

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them back to their shared love of music. “What people don’t know is that The Swell Kids began as a choreography duo back in 2010, 2011,” said Bejarano. “Around 2015 or 2016, we decided to put dance on the backburner. That’s when we started experimenting with making music instead of just teaching dance classes.” Although their dancing career was set aside, the 2 of them continued to use their musical influences to help create the sound they have today which varies from indie, R&B to hiphop trap music. Despite having a shifting sound, the 2 believe the overall energy and unique sound will leave the listener wanting more. “Our sound is completely 2 different spectrums,” said The Swell Kids member, Eddie Vasquez. “I like to just say it’s like indie/R&B futurebeats type of genre. It’s definitely different in the El Paso area for sure.” Right now, The Swell Kids are focusing on honing their sound while making a name for themselves as they spread their music to the masses through every possible outlet available to them. They are currently working on hosting a music video release party on April 26, along with a “Fuck The Swell Kids” pop-up shop the following day, then a pre-party the day before Neon. “We don’t really have an end game to things, we’re just going with the flow but as a manager and creative director, I feel like we built something big, and now my plan is to take them outside of El Paso and see what other waters are out there for us,” Correa said.  THESWELLKIDS.COM


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NEON DESERT EN ESPAÑOL WORDS: BJÖRZH ZNCHZ

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l festival Neon Desert se ha convertido un muestrario de talento multi cultural. Todos sus line ups desde su primera edición nos ha entregado lo mejor de las propuestas musicales actuales. Las bandas locales que se incluyen, son agrupaciones que están en constante desarrollo y evolución, lo cual queda constatado en sus exitosas presentaciones año tras año. Aunado al talento fronterizo las afamadas agrupaciones internacionales rompen la noche en cada uno de los escenarios en los que se presentan dentro del festival. Este año el centro de El Paso recibirá a propuestas musicales que son los dignos representantes de cada uno de sus géneros. Sin embargo, la escena latina presente en cada una de sus ediciones es la que siempre nos deja un grandioso sabor de boca con ganas de más y este año el Neon Desert sin duda le apostó a lo grande.

La banda fronteriza Dulce Mal es el primer frente en el contingente latino; con su interesante fusión entre reggae y bossanova son los perfectos abanderados para enseñarnos lo que se está haciendo musicalmente en las ciudades hermanas Cd. Juarez y El Paso.

La raza chilanga se hace presente con la banda Little Jesus que nos presentan una propuesta que está llamando la atención de propios y extraños. Ellos lo definen como “Tropipop” pero la verdad suenan a un indie rock rompe madres, sin duda, son una de las propuestas más exitosas de los últimos años en México. Junto a ellos, una de las legendarias bandas mexicanas que han puesto el nombre de nuestro país y de latino américa entera en los cuernos de la luna: Café Tacuba. La banda originaria de Ciudad Satélite en el área metropolitana de la CdMx. dejará muestra de su legado musical con su público fronterizo con quien tiene una relación muy estrecha. Sin duda, Café Tacuba es uno de los platos fuertes en este festín musical llamado Neon Desert. La brújula ahora apunta hacia el noroeste de México y quien más que Caloncho para ponerle voz y sonido a la nueva música que se crea en la norte. Este sonorense que tiene a medio mundo comiendo de su mano trae una avalancha de éxitos bajo el brazo. Una joya que la música independiente mexicana luce en todo su esplendor cada vez que este cantautor esta frente a un micrófono. Vecino oriundo de California, subirá al escenario Cuco, este músico que con su

electro pop está a cargo de endulzar la noche del Neon Desert 2018. Y a pesar de ser nacido de aquel lado del rio, sus raíces mexas están presentes en todo su trabajo. Un chicano que derrocha talento en cualquiera de los idiomas. Y es aquí cuando comienza la verdadera fiesta. Desde Puerto Rico llega el chico malo del reggaetón: Farruko, este colaborador de una centena de artistas latinos nos viene a poner a mover el cuerpo como solo los buenos caribeños saben hacerlo. El Trap es su fuerte y este festival tiene al público idóneo para hacer explotar la noche. Y hablando de explosivos, música y fiesta llegamos a los máximos exponentes del electro rap latino: Bomba Estéreo. Estos colombianos que han puesto a bailar a los cinco continentes con su fusión de reggae, cumbia y champeta aterrizan en El Paso para mostrarnos por que ocupan los primeros lugares de popularidad a nivel mundial. Es el line up completo, es el público perfecto, el lugar ideal, es fiesta, música y desmadre, es el Neon Desert en español, ¡pa´que tú me entiendas! 

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CARLY EALEY

NEON DESERT LIVE ART SECTION

Carly Ealey is self-taught in fine art, is a muralist and a photographer based out of San Diego, CA. With a natural inclination to painting the familiar figures of women in her work, she is drawn to the seductive and celestial, while exploring an introspective view of human existence, spirituality and the natural world. Ealey prefers acrylic ink on wood panels when painting small, and a combination of paint and aerosol when working on large-scale murals. Ealey is passionate about the ocean, and has participated in and produced mural festivals for Pangeaseed Foundation’s Sea Walls in collaboration with her artist organization, Cohort Collective. CARLYEALEY.COM

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NEON DESERT LIVE ART SECTION

EXIST 1981 WORDS: FUSION MAG

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treet art has been a part of El Paso culture for quite some time now— spanning a few decades with artists such as Dave “Grave” amongst others pioneering the movement locally. Picking up where all these great El Paso artists left off, EXIST1981 has taken street art to the next level with his style and skill. His ability to network and connect with local business owners has helped make street art palatable and fashionable. You’ve probably seen his work on buildings in downtown El Paso as well as the newly developed Montecillo area in West El Paso. He is also responsible for curating the live art at the annual Neon Desert Music Festival. We recently had a conversation with Exist about how he started off and what he’s currently up to. Can you tell us a little bit about you?

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I was born and raised in El Paso Texas. I moved to San Diego in 2000. I am a multimedia artist specializing in large scale murals. I am also cofounder of the Cohort Collective based in San Diego and curator for PDA Gallery in Downtown El Paso. For the past 6 years I’ve been responsible for the art installations at the Neon Desert Music Festival. How did you get into art? Growing up, I liked to draw and create. My parents, who are also creative, were very supportive, not of the graffiti, but of my paintings. I knew as a kid it was something I could do forever, when I was totally content to spend hours drawing til my hand hurt. Inspiration has come from various people, places and music over the years.

When did you start taking art to the streets and how? I started doing stickers in [the year] 2000, before that was crude tags in ditches and tunnels. Stickers lead to posters, and posters lead to murals. The goal was to always go bigger. What forms or style of art do you specialize in? I enjoy creating many forms of art: fine art, street art, painting, graphic design, screen printing, murals, making music, photography. For the past few years my focus has been fine art and large scale murals. You are responsible for a lot of street art and/or murals we see today around El Paso, can you share your thoughts with us about that?


I am involved with the Montecillo development and bringing artists to paint there. I’ve started a mural program called Murals of Montecillo, and I am focused on bringing internationally known and local artists to share their vision. It has definitely made the community even more interesting and progressive. The last murals I painted in El Paso are at Born & Raised off Zaragoza, and at the new Aloft Hotel in downtown. What significant murals or installations are you most proud of? My mural in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. It is a large 25ft tall colorful mandala wrapping the corner of Robinson and University. I’m also very proud of the Fintan Magee mural in Montecillo that I facilitated. He is an internationally known artist from Australia. The mural he painted in El Paso, “Two Worlds” was on the cover of Juxtapoz magazine. Tell us a little bit about PDA, what is it? What can people find there? What do you wish to accomplish with it? PDA is my gallery and retail space. We carry cool merchandise like shirts/ hats/hoodies/prints and skate decks. I plan to start hosting art shows there this summer. My studio is in the back. PDA is my ‘Public Display of Affection’ for El Paso and the goal is to support and push the local art scene. Where can people find your art? PDA - 114B Mills Ave. & EXIST1981.COM 

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BIRDCAP Michael Roy is a contemporary muralist and illustrator working under the moniker Birdcap. Born during the Reagan administration in an indistinct small town in Mississippi, Roy now lives mostly out of his suitcase, painting murals from city to city with installed works in places as far flung as Tokyo and New York. His work is inspired by an international hodgepodge of religious and mythological themes combined with a dedicated nostalgia for the Saturday morning cartoons of his childhood. Taking visual and narrative cues from the places he travels, Roy’s work builds on the cultural accumulation of a transient life. Roy enjoys long walks in congested cities, pineapples and daydreaming about an alternate reality in which he is the only artist in Bushwick.Â

NEON DESERT LIVE ART SECTION

BIRDCAP.NET

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NEON DESERT LIVE ART SECTION

NICHOLAS

MCPHERSON

Nicholas McPherson is a San Diego-based illustrator, graphic designer, contemporary painter and muralist. Originally from Texas, Nick’s sardonic imagery feeds off west coast symbols of excess. The idea of a lost or misguided notion of paradise reemerges in his artwork, which ranges from large-scale dystopian scenes, painted through a vintage cartoon lens. He works as a full time illustrator and designer, specializing in editorial work and branding, and painting murals in southern California. NICKMCPHERSON.COM

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CRAVE MASTERMINDS HAVE A NEW VENUE IN THE WORKS WORDS: DENISE NELSON PRIETO

L

ocal entrepreneurs Nick Salgado, Octavio Gómez and Rudy Valdés (best known for the Crave enterprise) have done it again. They’re adding a new venue to their flourishing collection of restaurants and bars. They describe their latest endeavor Electric Cactus as simply a “west Texas bar.” The location, which is slated to open in May, will take over the space of TI:ME at Montecillo’s Stonewood Grill. Gómez and Salgado said preparations for the Electric Cactus are already underway. Although sparse with the details to affect the surprise element, the 2 did give us some hints on what to expect with the new bar. “We’re definitely changing the look,” Salgado said. “People who know Stonewood aren’t going to recognize it.” Salgado and his crew are currently on the lookout for Stonewood’s new home. They added their west Texas idea, which does not include spurs and saddles, but something more in line with El Paso’s look, feel and culture.

They presume due to the location and the demographic that frequents TI:ME, the bar will serve a very diverse crowd. They likened it to the variety of people who hang out at sister venue, Cantina Malolam, located right next to Stonewood. “We expect in the afternoon it will be a casual neighborhood bar you meet at to have drinks with friends,” Gómez said. “At night it will get more animated. We’re going to have a DJ and things will get livelier.” Among the full menu of cocktails, liquor and beer will be some offerings from local breweries Ode and Deadbeach. The trio is also working on opening up far east side locations of Hillside and Independent Burger, also located in Montecillo. They look forward to a successful new venture with the Electric Cactus, which given their track record of success, may not be hard to accomplish.

The first location of Crave Kitchen and Bar opened 10 years ago in the Cincinnati Entertainment District. The concept has proven to be a runaway train of success, with 4 locations around the city. The Crave restaurant at the Fountains at Farah proudly sports the title of first local restaurant to occupy space at the ultrahip, chain restaurant- heavy venue. The group also plans to open far east side locations of their Hillside Donut Company and Independent Burger concepts, located at TI:ME. In an August 2017 El Paso Inc. article, Salgado said the demand from their customers is the decision that prompted them to expand east. The 3,000 square foot venue is sure to add to the area’s energetic, fun loving and quirky vibe.  ELECTRIC CACTUS TI:ME at Montesillo • El Paso, Texas


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Fusion Magazine #106  

Art and music lovers rejoice! Neon Desert Music Festival is back to kick off the summer fest season and Fusion Mag is here to preview covera...

Fusion Magazine #106  

Art and music lovers rejoice! Neon Desert Music Festival is back to kick off the summer fest season and Fusion Mag is here to preview covera...

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