So who’s pumped for the Hazel Miller Art and Jazz Festival? That’s what we are calling it now, right? I just assumed so because she’s headlined this thing longer than it took me to finish college ... twice.
I’ve got to say, I had to do a double take when I saw this year’s lineup. I thought I was looking at the 2012 festival lineup, or the lineup from the year before that, or the year before that.
Well, as it turns out I had the correct announcement. Miller is headlining, again.
Not to take anything away from Miller and her band, she is a great singer, but we’ve seen that act and know how it goes. This year’s Art and Jazz Festival is the same as it ever was, and I’m not impressed.
Complacency is not good enough. There is no buzz, no thrill around the Art and Jazz Festival. This thing is dead on arrival.
All the things that make music festivals great, mainly anticipation and unpredictability, are missing. All the things people love about jazz music — improvisation, creativity and enthusiasm — are missing. Rolling out another predictable and tired line up is just not good enough.
Over the last four years, I’ve been to more than 250 live shows and 12 music festivals across the country. The thrill of live music, and the reason I keep going to see bands play, is variety. I want to see something fresh and inspiring, something stunning, something outside of my imagination. Mostly, I want to be entertained, and I can’t see that happening at this year’s fest.
The organizers of the Art and Jazz festival owe us an explanation. This event has the potential to bring vibrant, radiant energy to Main Street, yet it has languished in mediocrity for far too long. What’s going on here?
Isn’t this supposed to be a marquee event for downtown Grand Junction? It sure doesn’t feel like it.
Why, exactly, should I get excited about this? At face value, this year’s event is no different than the last four. In fact, besides a beer garden, the difference between the Art and Jazz Festival and the summer Farmers Market on Main Street is negligible.
If we are not committed to bringing new performers and fresh energy to the Art and Jazz Festival, then what’s the point of having it at all?
Meanwhile, back in Grand Junction, we are getting the same event over and over.
Imagine how quickly we would be bored with Country Jam if it booked the same headliners year after year. No one would tolerate it, so why do we do it with Art and Jazz?
Those in a position to influence the Art and Jazz Festival have a responsibility to the community to put on a show that we can get excited about. How does the event ever grow if we never demand anything more than what’s already been established?
My hope is that the Art and Jazz Festival can become more than a glorified road block between Orchard Mesa and Grand Junction. I want this event to be special and something we eagerly look forward too each year.
I love downtown Grand Junction and I’m a huge supporter of live music but I’m telling you here and now this isn’t good enough.
Our expectations for this event need to be raised. We can do better.
Local pop/synth group Starship Romance just dropped their latest single "Dirty Little Secret" for streaming today.
"We're really stoked to finally be releasing Dirty Little Secret," Jeremy Poland said. "We've put in a ton of work to make sure it's awesome from every angle. Not just the song, but the video, album art, promotion materials, everything needs to be as five-star as possible."
The band teamed up with Dallas producer Loren Moore aka IDestiny for "Dirty Little Secret," which is heavily influenced by the four on the floor sound currently dominating pop radio.
If you are new to the band Starship Romance have been performing in the area for sometime and have developed a legion of fans in the process. One of the more impressive live shows I've seen from a local band, Starship Romance don't skimp on production. They've got more lasers and lights than just about anyone else in this town and they aren't afraid to use them.
This June Starship Romance will be on the Sonic Invasion Tour starting out on the East Coast. Poland promises that exact dates will be posted on the band's Facebook page within the next couple weeks.
Check out the single "Dirty Little Secret" for yourself. Stream the song live on their Facebook page or click on the link below.
Last October Robotic Pirate Monkey came to Grand Junction and I wasn't able to go. I was out of town at another show and didn't think too much about missing the Boulder trio's debut gig at the Mesa Theater and Club. Then I saw the videos...
Wow! Look at this crowd! At first I couldn't believe that this was in GJ. My buddy J had to convince me this happened here. Great turn out, everyone had their hands up, dancing, and engaged in the music? That doesn't sound like GJ. As it turns out, people love Robotic Pirate Monkey so much so they are coming back for more. Playing this Saturday (3/4/13) with R/D, Alpha Data, and local DJs Daytona and Lazuli, Robotic Pirate Monkey should be another fun dance party. Lasers, fire, strobe, and bass. If you are a young kid who likes heavy dance music, what else could you ask for?
Visual production for Kill Paris at the Mesa Theater, December 14, 2012.
If you haven’t been to an EDM show at the Mesa Theater and Club recently, you don’t know what you’re missing. Thanks to Fix Your Face Lazer Patrol and Lucid Visions Video, the pleasure of attending a show now extends far beyond the music.
Cody Jacobs and Colter Mckay are master technicians when it comes to creating visuals for shows. Combining lasers and lighting with a relatively new technique called 3D video mapping, these VJs (video jockeys) create a multi sensory experience that is truly mind blowing.
The quality of production they bring is unmatched in the area and totally professional. They are game changers for sure.
“It's important that people feel that they get their money's worth,” Jacobs said. “Concert goers would still pay to go and see their favorite artists, but our main focus is to give them a full on experience for their ticket price.”
Jacobs, the founder of Fix Your Face Radio and Fix Your Face Lazer Patrol and Mckay of Lucid Visions Video are instrumental in the live music scene. The two have provided visuals for many recent shows including Kill Paris, Digital Connection, and Fresh 2 Death. They have also worked with KAFM Community Radio on Zombie Prom and Radio Soul Train and provide lighting for a variety of shows and events outside of the EDM world.
“Atmosphere is key,” Mckay said. “Lighting and visuals just enhance what would have already been a great show.”
Where the two really excel and separate themselves from the pack is with 3D video mapping.
Projection mapping has been a prominent feature in European shows for years, but it’s still an emerging art form stateside. Essentially video mapping is projecting an image on a 3D object. In the past Jacobs and Mckay have used columns, spheres, boxes, and even entire buildings for their projections.
“Video mapping is a multi step process for sure,” Jacobs said. “We are constantly mining for video clips, some purchased, some found in obscure places.”
Between searching for video to building props and lining up the projections, the whole process can take more than six hours to complete.
“We are the first ones at the venue, and the last ones to leave,” Mckay said.
Up next for the team is a special production for the OG Status, Chris Epic, and Chamber Bot show this Saturday. This time around they are focusing on killer visuals. They promise more projectors, more screens, and more props. That means more fun for the audience.
Catch the visual spectacle tomorrow if you can and be sure mark your calendars for May 4 for Robotic Pirate Monkey for another Fix Your Face Lazer Patrol and Lucid Visions Video production.
Denver's version of South by Southwest, The Underground Music Showcase, just released its 2013 line up and look who made their way onto the bill. That's right Junction boys Bronco Country are nestled right in there with the likes of Cults and Mudhoney.
This is big news for one of Grand Junction's most exciting indie bands.
"We are really pumped to spread our message of love and freedom of expression," front man Matt Zurek said. In response to if the band was excited about traveling to Denver to play the UMS Zurek simply added, "hot dog!"
The UMS has grown into a massive showcase featuring over 350 national and local acts in venues and clubs up and down Broadway in downtown Denver.
“We are incredibly excited for the 13th UMS. Today’s lineup release represents a compelling mix of local and national talent — solid evidence that the music scene in this region is thriving. While this announcement includes almost 350 acts, we still have more to come,” said UMS Executive Director Kendall Smith.