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Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

It’s a new year, so it’s time to give my monthly mix a FRESH new look.

FRESH Sessions will feature not just my own mixes each month; I also plan on collaborating more with other local artists. I’ve always craved some type of outlet to distribute my music here in the Coachella Valley—my home. I always wondered how to get my music out to people—a difficult task for many artists. Well, FRESH Sessions will provide an outlet for such musicians and artists. For you, our readers/listeners, FRESH Sessions will allow you to discover new music while learning about the talent we have in the valley.

This month’s mix is about feeling good! What better way to start the new year than with a mix of uplifting and soulful tracks that can turn your day around? These aren’t your typical dance tracks … they’re deeper! Wonder what that means? Give it a listen, and find out for yourself.

Also: I’m offering Independent listeners a free download of my new single! Head to soundcloud.com/allnightshoes/need-u-dub to get it.

Enjoy!

  • Just Kiddin, “Time, Space and Honey”
  • Bit Funk, “Soul Satisfaction” (Club Mix)
  • Mitzi, “Falling”
  • The Swiss, “Elouisa” (Original Mix)
  • Edwin Van Cleef, “Two as One”
  • Azari and III, “Lost in Time” (Blende Remix)
  • All Night Shoes, “Need U” (Dub Mix)
  • Anna Lunoe, “Up and Down”

Published in Subatomic

Another month, another FRESH Mix!

This is the third edition of the FRESH Mix—and, of course, the last of 2013. I want thank everyone who has been following the FRESH Mix. I am passionate about sharing the music I love with people. I also want to thank the Coachella Valley Independent for being brave enough to host this feature!

Ok, that's enough. Let's get to the music!

This month’s FRESH Mix is focused on a deeper style of music. Not all electronic music features massive synthesizer lines and giant bass kicks. In fact, some has a sound that can best be described as "chilled out." I personally enjoy deep house, because it can easily blend with other styles, such as my favorite—disco!

The final track is a remix from local Coachella Valley DJ/producer A_Onceler, aka 20-year-old Aaron Rodea. While he's still finding his style, Aaron has already done a handful of mixes that show off his skills. I asked him to remix my track "Like This" for my debut album, Slow Emotion, and he did not disappoint.

I look forward to rocking out with you all in 2014! Thank you—and as always, the best is yet to come.

Enjoy this mix, embedded below. Enjoy!

  • Deepjack and Room4Space, “Right Here” (Original Mix)
  • Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith, “La La La” (Oliver Nelson and Tobtok Remix)
  • JBAG, “Mogadisco” (Original Mix)
  • Just Kiddin, “The One” (Original Mix)
  • Bit Funk, “It Ain’t Easy”
  • Quinten 909 and Rob Black, “No One Like You”
  • Fare Soldi, “Frum Frum” (Original Mix)
  • Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E, “Need U (100%)” (Amtrac Remix)
  • All Night Shoes, “Like This” (A_Onceler Remix)

Published in Subatomic

It’s no secret: Disco is back! A genre long mocked has returned with a new face.

I have been a fan of disco since I was a kid. The Bee Gees, Electric Light Orchestra, Chic—I could go on and on. These acts were the top ticket in town for a good part of the ’70s and early ’80s. Of course, some of us may remember a night when a certain baseball team burned disco records, calling it the death of disco.

Fast forward to 2013, and disco has returned to Top 40 radio via acts including Bruno Mars and Daft Punk. The Coachella Valley fell into “disco fever” this year with Splash House, a disco- and dance-themed pool-party festival.

This month’s FRESH Mix is dedicated to disco with some familiar tracks, some new ones, and some you’ve probably never heard. Use this mix at your next house party—and turn up the heat!

Also, don’t forget to catch my “Cosmic Disco” dance party hosted at Clinic Bar and Lounge in Palm Springs on the second Saturday of each month!

Enjoy the FRESH Mix below!

  • Michael Jackson, “Rock With You” (Baptiste Remix)
  • CHVRCHES, “The Mother We Share” (Moon Boots Remix)
  • Stevie Wonder, “Superstition” (Dilemmachine Remix)
  • Funk LeBlanc Featuring T’mar, “Hold On, We’re Goin’ Home” (Drake Cover)
  • Fergie, “Glamorous” (Baptiste Remix)
  • Husky, “Step Back” (Figgy Remix)
  • Just Kiddin’, “Feelin’ Better”
  • Anoraak, “Made-Up” (Les Loups Remix)
  • All Night Shoes, “Last Summer” (Album Version)

Published in Subatomic

Ryan “Motel” Campbell is asked how he’d categorize his art.

He pauses to contemplate. “I’d say that my work is … contemporary, fluid motion, cubist, urban, contemporary.”

He laughs. “That’s the short version,” he adds.

The description (aside from the two mentions of “contemporary,” perhaps) actually fits Campbell’s works nicely—as everyone can see at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, when Campbell will paint a 10-foot-by-5-foot mural live, as part of the Coachella Valley Independent’s Official Launch Party.

The Independent is celebrating our one-year anniversary online, as well as the launch of our monthly edition, with free drinks from 6 to 8 p.m.; a DJ set by All Night Shoes; and the live creation of the mural on canvas, which will later be donated to the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, for the organization’s silent auction at the Center Stage event.

Campbell, 32, is an accomplished artist whose works and installations have been featured in galleries far and wide. (See just a small sampling of his works at www.ryanmotelcampbell.com/index.html.)

Ryan “Motel” Campbell—the nickname came to be, he says, because friends used to regularly stay at his house, aka the “Motel Campbell”—teaches regularly at Venus Studios, which is co-sponsoring the launch party; the good folks there are donating the canvas on which Campbell will paint, as well as other materials.

He says he often came to the desert while he was growing up in Los Angeles, and he credits the Coachella Valley for giving him inspiration.

“I really love the desert—something about the energy, something about just being here, I connected with immediately,” he says. “I would come here from Los Angeles and feel just completely disconnected, which is great.”

As a kid in L.A., Campbell fell in love with graffiti.

“I went and wrote on every mailbox and every sidewalk, and I’m not proud of it,” he says. “… I knew better. I had a very nice upbringing. My family taught me to always be respectful. But I needed to have my voice heard.”

In 2001, he decided to move to the Coachella Valley; his mom already lived in here, in Palm Desert.

“I had the opportunity to move here and jumped all over it,” he says. “I moved here—and found myself totally bored out of my mind.

“Oddly enough, in the bag of things that I brought with me—my worldly possessions—I had my sketchbook. So I broke out my sketchbook, and I just started drawing. I started looking at a lot of the graffiti I was doing and saw the monotony in it. I saw that I wasn’t really progressing. … I felt like I needed to push myself.”

Campbell started visiting local museums and galleries; those visits led to what he called a “wave of inspiration.”

“I said, ‘You know, I want to do something different. I want to try to really take the fundamentals of this graffiti art … and put it into creating something that’s more fine art’—art that spoke to me, that I was able to connect with and identify with and really enjoy.”

The melding of influences has led to Campbell’s “contemporary, fluid motion, cubist, urban, contemporary” style.

“It’s very inspired,” Campbell says about his art. “It’s inspired by movement. It’s inspired by motion, a lot of fluidity. I think that depicted where I was and where I am in life. I like to cruise through. I don’t want to fight too much.”

Today, in a way, Campbell has come full-circle: He often teaches alternative-education classes to kids with whom he can closely relate.

“I was basically going in to teach (kids who were just like) myself when I was in high school,” he says. “I was going in to teach kids who were rebellious and angry and wanted to do vandalism and go out and make a name for themselves.”

He says some kids even recognized him and his works from his graffiti days.

“The question (from the kids) was always like, ‘How come you don’t go out any more?’ he says. “For me, the necessity and the outlet have changed over time.”

Today, he says, kids have more outlets than he did when he was young. He cites skate parks as an example, as well as some of the efforts that forward-thinking arts organizations like Venus Studios are making.

“Kids want to go out and paint. They want to go out and write their name,” he says. “They want people to go out and see the work that they’re making. What I’ve been able to do with Venus Studios is we have Spray Paint Session Saturdays, where we invite people to come in and bring their spray paint. We give them a large-size canvas to paint on, to display their work in a venue where they’re not harming anybody, and they’re not getting into any trouble. They have an audience that’s interested in what they have to say, in a place where they can show their work.”

When asked what attendees at the Independent Launch Party can expect while Campbell spends four to six hours creating a brand-new work of art, he says that he often draws inspiration from the audience when he produces live works.

So come and help create Campbell create a contemporary, fluid-motion, cubist, urban, contemporary piece of art—for a good cause to boot.

Ryan “Motel” Campbell will paint starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Coachella Valley Independent’s Official Launch Party. The event takes place at Clinic Bar and Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. A hosted bar will be open from 6 to 8 p.m., and All Night Shoes will spin music all night. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-904-4208. Below: “Reclining Nude” (from life study), 48 by 36 inches; acrylic, spray paint and charcoal on wood. Above: “Sorting It All Out,” 24 by 24 inches; acrylic, spray paint and charcoal on wood.

Published in Visual Arts

The summer heat is finally subsiding—and that means the Coachella Valley is starting to come alive with events.

Of course, one of the month’s most exciting events is the Coachella Valley Independent’s Official Launch Party, starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Clinic Bar and Lounge in Palm Springs. We’re celebrating the launch of our monthly edition and the one-year anniversary of CVIndependent.com with a hosted bar from 6 to 8 p.m.; a live art exhibition by Ryan “Motel” Campbell (read more about him in the Arts & Culture section); and a set by Independent resident DJ All Night Shoes. Admission is free, so there’s no excuse for you not to attend! Clinic Bar and Lounge, 188 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-864-4119; www.clinicbarps.com.

The McCallum Theatre will host Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9. Edie Brickell will be joining the fun. Considering how much acclaim the funnyman has received for his recent music albums, this should be quite a show. Tickets are $65 to $125. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa’s The Show is the home of numerous great events in October. Fans of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, take note: Daniel Tosh is bringing his stand-up show here for a sold-out performance at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5. While Tosh is known for mocking ridiculous Internet video clips on TV, his stand-up shows are full of witty sarcasm and political incorrectness … which is pretty much what his video-clip musings include, too. Lovers of ’80s music will be flocking to see Bryan Adams at 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 20. (I personally believe Bryan Adams is aging in reverse, as he keeps looking younger and younger.) The “Summer of ’69” singer has been on a “Bare Bones” tour in 2013, during which he’s been turning in acoustic performances of his hits. However, it doesn’t appear that will be the case when he comes to the Coachella Valley—which is a relief, because an acoustic performance of “(I Wanna Be) Your Underwear” sounds like a terrible idea; tickets are currently $50 to $80. Back to comedy: Lewis Black will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25. Expect Black to be his usual, no-holds-barred self; no part of the political spectrum is safe from his rants. Tickets are $50 to $100. The month of November will start out hilariously, as Wanda Sykes performs at 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1. (Perhaps the lovely lesbian will drop in on Palm Springs Pride that weekend!) Tickets are $35 to $65. The next day, The Show will host The Moody Blues, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2. The legendary English prog-rock band has sold more than 70 million albums—and has been around for almost 50 years! If those facts don’t make you want to go see them, I don’t know what else to say. Tickets are $55 to $100. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

The Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is packed with big names this month. Country star Trace Adkins, who performed at Stagecoach in April, will be returning to the valley to perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11. In May, he released a new album, Love Will … . This will be a great show for those who saw him at Stagecoach and want to relive the experience; tickets are $39 to $79. If there’s one show you don’t want to miss at Fantasy Springs this month, it’s Sheryl Crow, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12. After nine Grammy awards, a slew of hit singles, and the release of her new album, Feels Like Home, back in September, Crow is still going strong. Go figure; some predicted she’d be a mere one-hit-wonder back in 1994, when “All I Wanna Do” was playing all over the place; tickets are $49 to $99. Not many music stars are hotter right now than Mr. Worldwide, aka Pitbull, who will be performing at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25. Considering the success Pitbull has had with his most-recent album, Global Warming, and the sold-out performances he’s played around the world, you should get your tickets early—if they haven’t sold out already, they’ll cost you $69 to $129. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29 has a fun show booked for those who are feeling nostalgic for the ‘80s and ‘90s. The Women of Soul concert at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, will feature En Vogue, Lisa Lisa, Even “Champagne” King and Jo Jo of the Mary Jane Girls; tickets are $25 to $45. Country-music fans should be happy to know that Josh Turner will perform there at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25. He’s touring behind his latest album, Punching Bag, which features the recent hit single “Time Is Love”; $45 to $65. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa doesn’t have a lot of music booked at the moment—but one show that’s on the schedule should be a real treat: At 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18, Morongo will host WAR. While nearly every member of the original lineup has departed, the band is still going strong. With hits such as “Low Rider,” “Summer” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” WAR still has audiences around the world craving live performances; tickets are $20.25 to $26.75 via Ticketmaster. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

If you feel like traveling off the beaten path, Pappy and Harriet’s continues to book great bands while cooking up the barbecue. We have room to mention just three of many shows this coming month. In the fall of 2010, Pappy’s hosted Bright Eyes front-man and king of the hipsters Conor Oberst. I was one of the attendees crammed into the restaurant for Oberst’s performance, which featured the Felice Brothers as his backing band; it was a marvelous show. Well, Conor is coming back for another performance with the Felice Brothers, at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10. He’ll be performing on the outdoor stage this time—but the show is nearly sold out, so you’d better buy your tickets now. Get there early so you can watch the Felice Brothers open (sans Conor); they are one of the best modern folk-revival bands out there. Tickets are a steal at $20. The Day of the Dead is the date for Pappy and Harriet’s annual Halloween show, at 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1—featuring Joshua Tree’s very own Gram Rabbit. It’s worth the trip to celebrate the spooky holidays with the Royal Order of the Rabbits while taking in the band’s psychedelic electro-pop sound. Tickets will be $10 at the door. If that still isn’t enough music for you, Pappy’s will be hosting a performance by alt-country/Americana singer Lucinda Williams at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2. I remember hearing Williams’ “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” everywhere when I was a senior in high school in 1999. She and her rustic style of Americana have come a long way since; tickets are $30. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; pappyandharriets.com.

Also in the high desert: The Eighth Annual Fall Joshua Tree Music Festival will take place Friday, Oct. 11, to Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Joshua Tree Lake Campground. The festivities will include performances by Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Scott Pemberton, The Last Internationale, and many others. A three-day festival pass is $100, and single-day passes are $40 to $60; camping space is also available for a separate fee. Joshua Tree Lake Campground, 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree; www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com.

Just down the road, Zena Bender will be throwing a fundraiser for Radio Free Joshua Tree at the Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca Valley at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9. The online radio station, started by Ted Quinn and Michael Roark, has been showcasing local music and a variety of programs—all streaming for free. Of course, Ted Quinn will be performing, as will Rex Dakota, Anthony Dean, The Nobodies and others. Admission is a $10 suggested donation. Sky Village Outdoor Marketplace, 7028 Theatre Road, Yucca Valley; 760-365-2104.

Back down in the valley, The Date Shed will feature a performance by Helmet at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12. Helmet is a highly influential alternative metal band, quite popular in the mid-to-late ’90s, often mentioned in the same breath as the Melvins, Tool, the Deftones and System of a Down—but don’t call them a “nu-metal band.” Tickets are $20. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-775-6699; www.dateshedmusic.com.

DJ Day informed me that in addition to his weekly ¡Reunion! shows at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club (10 p.m., each Thursday), he will be adding a monthly show called Highlife, on the last Saturday of every month: Catch it on Saturday, Oct. 26. When I asked DJ Day what will be different, he said Highlife will offer more of a party vibe, adding: “I doubt I’ll be playing Tame Impala and African funk on Saturday nights.” Admission is free. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings.

The LGBT Community Center of the Desert will be throwing the annual Center Stage gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30. The gala will start with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Later, enjoy a concert by The Voice finalist Frenchie Davis, emceed by Alec Mapa from AMC’s Showville. Tickets are $85 for members of the Center, and $100 for nonmembers. Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs; call the LGBT Community Center of the Desert at 760-416-7790; www.thecenterps.org.

The new Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs is slated to open on Friday, Oct. 4, and it will be the spot for BB Ingle’s Annual Halloween Party. Ingle will be teaming up with Troupe Productions for the party at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31. It will feature a Monster Rock Ball as in previous years, but Troupe Productions and Ingle are promising to take the party to a whole new level this year. Tickets start at $40. Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, 150 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; get tickets at www.feartastic.com.

Submit your music information to Brian Blueskye at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Previews

Welcome to the first FRESH Monthly Mix with All Night Shoes!

FRESH is a live mix of music curated by me, All Night Shoes, aka Alex Harrington. Each month, I will be featuring the best music in the dance/indie/electronic scene—both locally and globally.

I draw influence from artists all over the world, and discover amazing music daily. Being a DJ and producer, I find that sharing great music is rewarding and exciting. My goal in the months to come is to introduce you to all kinds of new artists and new sounds.

This month’s theme is “Summer After-Party.” The hottest season is coming to the end, and the tracks I’ve featured are perfect for chilling out with friends—or getting close to someone you love. I enjoy tracks that take me for a ride, and feel like a journey. I’ve packed this mix with big beats, deep vibes and just enough funk to make you want to dance.

You can hear all these tracks and more when I play the Coachella Valley Independent Release Party, hosted at Clinic Bar and Lounge, on Wednesday, Oct. 16! Stay FRESH and enjoy!

Enjoy the fresh mix below!

  • Chris Malinchak, “So Into You”
  • Aimlo, “UH OHHH”
  • Anna Paul, “Cold Heart” (produced by Vanilla)
  • Miguel, “Adorn” (Oliver Nelson Remix)
  • Patrick Baker, “Blissed Out” (Club Edit)
  • Cyclist featuring Maiko Watson, “Shine”
  • Breakbot, “Easy Fraction” (Yaaman Remix)
  • All Night Shoes, “Like This”
  • Disclosure, “You and Me” (Pat Lok “Homies Wear” Remix)

Published in Subatomic

For her DJ pseudonym, Cici Ochoa combined her middle name, Ivanna, with the word that describes her point of view—that music is love.

Ivanna Love will be closing out the American Cancer Society’s 24-Hour Dance Party, during the afternoon tea-dance portion of the event on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Ochoa, who lives in La Quinta, has been DJing publicly since 2011, but she spent many years of honing her skills before she felt up to the task.

“I learned to DJ in my bedroom, and after doing that for so many years, I just was like, ‘You know what? I think I need to get out there,’” Ochoa said. “Music has always been a huge passion of mine. After a while, I knew it was something I had to pursue. The love for music is just so central to my life that I need to be able to get people to feel the rhythm that I hear. I just want to share it with everyone.”

Inspired by trance artists such as Armin Van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, ATB and Tiësto, Ochoa’s sound is energetic, funky, delightful and undoubtedly great for dancing. Ochoa said she believes that while anyone could become a DJ, only great artists can create a signature sound.

“The signature sound is what makes it unique,” said Ochoa. “… For a DJ to take you into another place is remarkable. I think it has a lot to do with the DJ having a symbolic sound to captivate the crowd.”

She admitted that it was a tedious process for her to find her own sound.

“It was nerve-racking,” Ochoa said. “You don’t know how people are going to take what it is you’re playing out there. … It really takes courage to go out there and be original.”

Her first gig outside of her bedroom was at the now-defunct Space 120 in Palm Springs, in January 2011. She’s done DJ gigs at various fashion shows, and for the International School of Beauty. An appearance at the Hue Music and Arts Festival in Coachella back in April may have been her best gig to date, she said.

“For me, being able to close the set for that, it was just inspiring, because I got to see kids just take in an amazing reaction to what I was putting out there,” Ochoa said. “I’ve always said this: Children are the future of music. I think it’s really important for them to get the vibe of Coachella and artists who stick themselves out constantly to make them feel a sensational moment of dance music.

Joining her on the tea-dance bill will be another local DJ, All Night Shoes (Alex Harrington), and Canadian singer Angie Whitney. She is elated and has nothing but accolades for Harrington’s “Tropic Trance” sound.

“I have always been drawn to (Alex’s) style. His vocals and synths are very captivating and soothing,” Ochoa said. “I am so excited to be playing with him at the tea dance. Great energy will definitely be brought to the stage.”

When Ochoa was approached by the American Cancer Society to take part in the event, she was quick to say yes, inspired by her vision that music is love, and because she knows people who have fought cancer—including some who have lost the battle.

I had a strong instinct that this was going to be right up my alley,” Ochoa said. “Overall, I feel like a tea dance (should have) overall feel-good music. Everyone can just get together, dance and have a great time. I do want to say: Prepare yourself; just let go; be free; and go with the rhythm of the beat. It’s going to be a huge success.”

The tea-dance portion of the Relay for Life Palm Springs’ 24 Hour Dance Party begins at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Riviera Palm Springs, 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive. The whole party begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2. Admission is $20; cancer survivors are admitted for free; attendees may re-enter. The event is an alcohol- and tobacco-free event, though cocktails will be available at other parts of the Riviera during alcohol-serving hours. To donate, create a team or receive more information, call 760-568-2691, ext. 3, or visit relayforlife.org/palmspringsca.

If you are a cancer survivor or are currently battling cancer, and need support, services or simply someone to talk to, call 800-227-2345. The line is open 24/7. You can also visit cancer.org for more information.

Published in Previews

Since 1985, the American Cancer Society has held Relay for Life fundraising events in thousands of cities across the world.

But as far as local organizers know, there’s never been a Relay for Life quite like the one taking place next Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3, at the Riviera Palm Springs.

The Relay for Life formula is fairly tried and true: People form teams, gather pledges, and then take turns walking or running around a track (at a high school, for example) for a certain time period—often 24 hours. Spectators and supporters can show up and buy items from the various teams, each of which has a table set up. The proceeds go to the American Cancer Society—and those proceeds can be substantial: Cathedral City’s Relay for Life generally raises around $80,000 per year, and little Yucca Valley’s garners $100,000, said Jennifer Heggie, the local ACS Relay for Life manager.

“They are amazing up there in the high desert,” Heggie said. “They’re super-dedicated to the cause.”

However, Palm Springs’ Relay for Life—the first held within the town’s city limits in a decade or so, Heggie said—won’t follow this successful formula. Instead, this Relay for Life is going to be a dance party.

From 5 p.m. on Friday to 5 p.m. on Saturday, the grand ballroom at the Riviera will be the setting for a 24 Hour Dance Party. For $20, attendees can come and go, all the while enjoying a wide range of entertainment including a swing-dance class, line-dancing, a drag show hosted by the ubiquitous Bella da Ball, and, of course, tons of great music from well-known DJs from Southern California and the Coachella Valley (including friend of the Independent Alex Harrington, aka All Night Shoes).

Heggie said the goal for this year’s Palm Springs Relay for Life is $25,000 (and money can be raised through Aug. 31). On one hand, that’s a modest amount when compared to the fundraising done in other desert cities (such as the aforementioned Relay for Life events in Cathedral City and Yucca Valley). On the other hand, that’s not a bad haul for a brand-new event.

“It’s hard to ask a town that’s starting a new event to raise $80,000,” she explained.

Since this is also a brand-new type of event, Heggie said she’s had problems fitting the 24 Hour Dance Party into the Relay for Life paradigm. For example, all of the standard marketing materials from the ACS have to do with … well, walking or running and tracks and whatnot.

“With this concept, we don’t necessarily have a track; we have a dance floor,” she said. “We kind of slightly leaned away from the team concept to be a little more inclusive.”

Of course, locals can still put together teams and “relay” their dancing throughout the night and day—in fact, Heggie said that arrangement is “ideal” in terms of fundraising. According to the local Relay for Life website, as of this writing, 13 teams with a total of 37 participants have already raised almost $11,000—a number which is sure to rise. Teams will each get a table to decorate and sell non-food items, like glow sticks, beads and boas, to raise extra money. (As for food, that will be available via the Riviera; Over the Rainbow Cupcakes and Desserts has also donated delicious goodies for purchase.)

If the 24 Hour Dance Party is successful—and considering it’s a kick-ass dance party with great entertainment and a moderate cover charge, why shouldn’t it be?—the concept could be picked up by other communities, Heggie said.

But despite the morph from track-relay event to dance-party event, this is still a Relay for Life, and most of the Relay for Life traditions remain intact.

First and foremost, Relay for Life has always been about honoring and celebrating cancer survivors, just as much as the events have been about raising money. Thus, all cancer survivors are invited to attend the event for free, and from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, the event will include a three-course dinner for survivors and a caregiver. (Attendees need to register for the dinner by Thursday, Aug. 1, via the Relay for Life website or by calling the ACS’ Palm Desert Office; the number can be found below. Survivors who want to attend the dance party but not the dinner do not need to preregister.)

“The survivors open the relay,” Heggie said. “They do the first lap … so this means they’ll do the first dance.”

The event will feature a luminaria ceremony, led by singer Kris Searle, to honor loved ones whose lives were taken by cancer. And fans of Sissy Bingo at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club will be happy to know that the legendary Linda Gerard—who is currently in the midst of a heated battle with lung cancer—is scheduled to sing from 8 to 9 p.m. on Friday.

People who can’t attend, of course, are encouraged to donate to the event via the website. Another option to both give and receive: At 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 (i.e. the day after this story is posted), Relay for Life will be holding the Little Black Dress and Pearls for a Cause Party at Azul, 369 N. Palm Canyon Drive. Tickets for two people are $100, and that ticket includes a buffet, four hours of open bar (we recommend a cab afterward), a silent auction and tons of entertainment, emceed by Bella da Ball. (Seriously: Does Bella ever take a night off?)

In other words: Everyone has a chance to support a great cause while having a great time doing so. So … go do so!

Relay for Life Palm Springs’ 24 Hour Dance Party takes place from 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 2, to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Riviera Palm Springs, 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive. Admission is $20; cancer survivors are admitted for free. The event is an alcohol- and tobacco-free event, though cocktails will be available at other parts of the Riviera during alcohol-serving hours. To donate, create a team or receive more information, call 760-568-2691, ext. 3, or visit relayforlife.org/palmspringsca.

If you are a cancer survivor or are currently battling cancer, and need support, services or simply someone to talk to, call 800-227-2345. The line is open 24/7. You can also visit cancer.org for more information.

Published in Features

Alex Harrington—music fans know him as All Night Shoes—says that in the world of electronic music, it’s hard to stay unique.

Harrington hesitates when I ask him how he would define his music, which blends ambient and dance music together with a hint of Daft Punk.

“I’ve been referring to it as ‘tropical house,’” Harrington says. “I don’t like to put labels on myself, but if I had to put a label on myself, that’s what I would define it as.”

The 26-year-old La Quinta resident who once played acoustic-guitar performances in local coffee houses always had a desire to make electronic music. He saved his money to purchase the equipment he needed and made the transition a year ago. He makes his music on a MacBook with Logic Pro software and uses various keyboards and synthesizers.

Alex’s initial challenge was to create a sound of his own.

“The challenge is actually trimming down the influence I put in my songs,” he says. “Often times, for me, I love the genres. … But to get them to work together is where it’s a challenge.”

Over the past year, as Alex continued to develop his own songs and remixes, he has found himself generally unconcerned about sounding like too much like his influences while trying to stay original.

“I didn’t think I started to sound like Daft Punk, Brian Eno, Moby and all my other influences until about six months ago, because you just start to enjoy your own music, and you start notice the influences coming in naturally in your own music,” he says

Alex is aggressive in terms of how he produces his music as an independent artist; he’s a passionate believer in social media and utilizes it to connect with other local artists with whom he can collaborate. He’s driven and motivated to manage his own music, noting the advantage of being in business for himself and therefore collecting 70 to 90 percent of his own royalties.

Alex’s talent as a producer comes into play when he finds himself working with other artists.

“With social media, it’s very easy to reach out to other artists. I ask my friends who are artists if they want to be on my tracks. It’s really just about working with as many people as possible and being open-minded. The way I look at it, if I’m working with a new artist who isn’t that polished, it’s a challenge for me to get them to that point for my song. I think there’s a beauty in that, because you can help make each other better.”

Alex’s hard work has managed to pay off. In August 2012, he released his first EP, Crystal Son, via iTunes; he released his follow-up EP, Frisco in February, which he says is a nod to his Northern California roots. (Scroll down to hear the song “Frisco.”)

While he continues to evolve as an artist, he aspires to be in commercial production and to play in more clubs. He’s also currently working on new material titled Pacific Dreams that he hopes to release in May.

His first live performance will be on Saturday, April 6, at The Hue Music and Arts Festival at Dateland Park in Coachella.

“The way I see it, every band and DJ playing The Hue is bringing something different,” he says.

He mentions the diversity of the festival with some of the bands playing, specifically mentioning Ivanna Love.

“She’s played at some of the clubs in Palm Springs. She’s pretty (big) in the LGBT culture here, which is really cool, because having an artist like that represented in The Hue Festival shows how eclectic it’s going to be.”

All Night Shoes will play Saturday, April 6 at The Hue Music and Arts Festival at Dateland Park, 84521 Bagdad Ave., in Coachella; admission is free. For more on All Night Shoes, visit soundcloud.com/allnightshoes.

Published in Previews

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