For some reason I just can’t stop myself from writing about local music festivals. You may remember, last time I checked in with you I wasn’t overwhelmed with excitement about a certain downtown event, but now I find myself cautiously optimistic about a little thing happening Saturday evening, May 18.
I’m talking about the WestCO Music Festival at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens. It’s an all ages event that promises to “celebrate our local lifestyle” and has enough potential to become a major competitor for all music events in the Grand Valley and change the way we think about local music.
No pressure or anything. But, yeah, I’m excited.
For the inaugural event there will be performances by The Williams Brothers Band, Jack + Jill and The Pineapple Crackers. All tried and true local bands with area name recognition and solid fan bases, pretty much what you’d expect for the first year.
There is a lot to like about WestCO. First off, James Williams is involved.
Williams, from the Williams Brothers Band, generally does not involve himself or his band with ill-conceived events. The fact that he is part of WestCO is encouraging as it indicates the event is thought out and worthy of our attention.
Second, I love the location. The amphitheater at the botanical gardens is a fantastic, under-appreciated venue. Located right off the Riverside Parkway and an easily biking distance from downtown Grand Junction and Orchard Mesa, it’s a piece of cake to get there.
And, once you’re there, you don’t really want to leave. With the backdrop of the Colorado River and the warm glow of the sunset to your back, it’s really the total embodiment of western Colorado life.
The addition of Kannah Creek’s Edgewater Tap and Grill to the area makes it that much more appealing. Talk about our local lifestyle: beer and the beauty of the West is so GJ.
What I like about WestCO’s potential is that it is set up with the future in mind. Already backed by hugely popular local companies such as Loki Gear, Enstrom Candies and Kannah Creek, WestCO has a sturdy sponsorship foundation, which bodes well for success.
All successful music festivals around the region and across the country have the same things in common: capable leadership, a great venue and consistent sponsorship. It looks like WestCO has those tangibles in place.
Where those festivals excel, and what will ultimately determine the success of WestCO, is in creating an unforgettable experience for fans.
Those festivals, such as Telluride Bluegrass Festival and even Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Festival, sell an experience, not the music.
Don’t get me wrong, the music matters. Music certainly plays into the overall festival experience, and I expect a more diverse and expanded offering from future WestCO events.
Think about this though. A cold craft beer on a sunny afternoon in Colorado is an experience in itself. Adding music to the mix is just gravy.
Again, it looks like WestCO has those tangibles in place.
Perhaps what has me most excited about WestCO is that it is a music festival with a focus on local bands. Building a sustainable event means cultivating local talent. There is more music ability in Grand Junction than most people realize, and this event is an ideal showcase.
Let’s hope that WestCO can be what we need it to be. First, a great event we anticipate year to year. Second, a kick in the butt to all area music events.
Competition forces everyone, bands and promoters alike, to do better. Competition also means a better experience for us fans.
WestCO’s got me feeling cautiously optimistic. You should feel the same.
It's bittersweet news to report that local EDM producer Daytona is moving out of Grand Junction and over the hill to pursue music dreams on the Front Range.
"Denver just seems right," Daytona said. "Denver is booming with extremely talented producers in the EDM field and I'm fortunate to know most of them."
Living in the Mile High City will give Daytona a chance to play more often and to larger crowds as he continues to grow as one of the best young producers in the region.
If you are unfamiliar with his work, Daytona has been tearing up speakers with massive beats for quite sometime. As the gold standard for Western Slope DJs, Daytona has been a stalwart in the growth of the local dance scene. Thought highly of by area DJs and fans alike, it was only a matter of time before he left for new challenges.
"I'm not sure what's completely in store for me," he said. "All I know is that I've enjoyed my life so far and I believe with a good attitude it can only get better no matter where I go."
It's only fitting that he exists with one last epic throw down in the company of all his friends at the appropriately named party "Exodus." Daytona will spin one last hometown set with help from friends Jontron, Chis Epic, and S Mayjor. Lucid Visions Video will also be on hand, providing another killer light show.
"Exodus" starts at 10 p.m., this Friday at the Audio Underground Warehouse located at 601 Pitkin Ave. Cost is $5 and is an 18 and up event.
Check out this exclusive interview BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe scored with Daft Punk. It's basically everything you need to know about their new album, "Random Access Memories."
In the interview Daft Punk, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalterand, talk about their unique style of making records and how they live in a timeless world when it comes to music. Anyone interested in music production will appreciate the level of detail and the duo goes into and how they view technology when recording.
With so many people calling themselves a DJ lately, its become increasingly difficult to sift through the nonsense. I'm here to offer a helping hand by compiling the definitive list of Grand Junction DJs on Soundcloud. Now keep in mind this isn't a complete list, rather a work in progress.
What we have is a listening collection from eight area DJs, each representing a particular style of electronic music. A DJs bread and butter is in the mix so I specifically picked out live sets so you can hear the transitions and creativity each one of these DJs bring to the tables. The following DJs all perform regularly in area clubs and/or on radio, so keep an eye out for their next show.
Enjoy. Round 1.
1) Lazuli - Robotic Pirate Monkey Opening Live Set Redo
2) Chamber Bot - Ear Blood Volume 3, Live Set
3) Chris Epic - Electron 3 DJ mix
4) DJ Strangefellow - Zombie Prom 2012, Live Set
5) Denim Party - Ultrasound 5/3/2013, Live Set
6) Dusty Thunders - Spring Affair Hotmix '13
7) Zionexx - 400 Followers Mix
8) DJ Trizz - (F)unky. (S)ummer. (B)reeze. FSB Mixtape
It's easy to see why Twista has had so much success in the rap world. The guy spits lyric tongue twisters faster than that Micro Machine dude and has material for days. Even Kanye West admits that he can't do it as fast as Twista. High praise from someone who is self proclaimed the "greatest of all time."
Twista's worked with everybody. West, Diddy, Ludacris, Mariah Carey, Chris Brown, Waka Flaka Flame, Pharrell, etc ... and this Saturday (3/11) he brings over 20 years of experience to the Mesa Theater Main Stage.
The World's Fastest Rappers hasn't slowed down a bit on his latest mixtape, "Twista Reloaded."The Chicago rapper takes on classic hip hop topics (money, swag, girls, and hustle) with unprecedented speed and clarity. To really understand Twista's unique flow check out the contrast between him and AB-Soul on "3rd Eye" (warning foul language alert). It's stunning just how quickly he can go through a verse.