Hello, readers! My name is Alex Harrington, and I am a music producer and DJ based in the Coachella Valley. I have been playing music for more than 16 years, and I’ve been a DJ for the last six. I’ve been fortunate enough to play at venues across the valley, from downtown Palm Springs to Old Town La Quinta. This has helped me develop my sound—and inspired me to dive into the local scene to find the best spots to enjoy music.
I consider Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley to be an internationally influential location. What does that mean? It means people visit us from all over the world. There is no universal culture here; we’re truly a mixing pot. Still, while the valley has grown, it feels like the music scene has stagnated at times.
Is that because of a lack of talent in our scene? No, it’s not. I know many people out here, true artists, who offer something different—and I think that bodes well for the future of our scene. The valley is home to some artists who provide listeners with a truly unique experience—something people will fly home and talk about. The Flusters are a great example of a band who entertains and tells a story in an original way.
This stagnation has not just been limited to bands. The “producer” and “DJ” monikers have been thrown around a lot in recent years. It’s true that many people can get into DJing, but it’s not necessarily easy to translate this “passion” into something people can actually enjoy. It’s not just about playing the hits; that’s why some people choose to visit places off the beaten path. It’s about having options and variety. Look at Los Angeles, Miami, New York, London and Tokyo. What do all of these places have in common, music-wise? Nightlife and scenes with creative people bringing it to the masses.
I don’t see our valley—and Palm Springs specifically—as being too far removed from those locations. Why? Again, we have a valley full of people from all over the world, both visiting and living here. It’s also no secret that many people here enjoy nightlife, no matter their age or class. So shouldn’t there be more choices when it comes to hearing music? We have great places to hear reggae, hip hop, Top 40 and rock … but what about house, disco, funk, indie and dance? I’m not talking about a disco throwback playlist being played; I’m talking about DJs who dug for tracks and worked them into mixes everyone can enjoy.
Many other cities, and even towns, have numerous lounges and bars that provide DJ entertainment—and people love them. This inspires me to stay original and to strive to bring my listeners something fresh. It’s also why I wanted to start this column!
In this space every month, look forward to interviews, in-depth discussions, local artist features and more. In the meantime, you can hear me play at the Landmark Lounge in La Quinta every Friday and Sunday night, playing the best in funk, soul, house and more. Details can be found at alexharrington.co.