In a world where all the music venues are closed, concerts and livestreams have been popping up in unorthodox locations.
For example: Have you ever seen a band play in a flower shop?
Hermano Flower Shop, located inside the Mojave Flea Trading Post at 383 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, recently released a video of a live session featuring local indie band Israel’s Arcade rocking through a 20-minute set.
“It’s a passion project of mine,” said Adrian Romero, co-owner and creative director of Hermano Flower Shop, during a recent phone interview. “I think I was meant to do something like this. … I love watching those Tiny Desk performances and learning about how they record them. It was very natural. It was, ‘I have the resources now; I’m gonna do it now.’ I have this setting in downtown Palm Springs, and it’s interesting, so this is the perfect place to do it.
“I’m in a place in my life where I can focus on this. The concept is having the flowers support the arts and the music, and pay the bills so that we can do these things. Hopefully the fans of these artists will find out about Hermano, and they’ll buy some flowers—and it’s just like a full circle.”
Romero and partner Sesar Orozco started the shop in a spare room at Orozco’s home.
“(Sesar) was already doing the whole floral thing for a while; he’s just a natural at it,” Romero said. “I used to work in events and event technology before COVID took that away. We’re best friends, and I told him that we should do this; I would handle the business and the branding side of it. I’m a technologist, so I do the website, and I take all the photos and just build the world around him. He handles the product. He’s the actual talent.”
Romero has been part of the local music scene for a while.
“I grew up playing music here in the Coachella Valley,” he said. “I’ve been in a couple of bands and got to play Coachella in 2017 with this band called Kayves. I have this huge passion for music, so once we had a roof over our heads in Palm Springs, I wanted it to be more than just a flower shop. It’s an opportunity to be creative and do whatever we want to do. The goal is to give back to the community and the artists out here, and help them to have a platform to put out for their fans, or just to help them have content for people to be able to find. We’re doing full audio and full video production for every single artist that comes in here—and it’s pretty much just right in the middle of the flower shop, which is a completely open concept. We want to get cool artists … and use our skills that we’ve had for the last 10 years. I learned how to record music; I learned how to use a camera. I just learned all of these things.”
How do flowers and music combine?
“We listen to the artists’ music, and we just go off of their vibe and what kind of person they are,” said Romero. “Flowers and music—they just go really well together, because they’re both art forms. When you arrange an arrangement of flowers, it takes talent to make it look good and make it make you feel something when you look at it. Just as there are different types of moods and genres for music, there are different types of moods and genres for flowers. They’re both very expressive. … The goal is to always have flowers in the background of the performances, and have them somewhat relate to the artists that are playing at the time.”
Romero said he hopes future shows will have small audiences.
“I like the concept of something very small and intimate,” Romero said. “… This concert series is always going to be small and intimate. There is going to be an audience eventually. When shows start coming back, we will allow people to come watch it live while it is being recorded.”
Romero said he’s looking for local artists with an online presence for shows at Hermano.
“I do want them to have a Spotify or something, so that when they play here, this isn’t all they have: They have already music out, and are already trying to do it,” Romero said. “I’m not just going to get any random person that wants to do an open-mic-night kind of thing. I’ve always been the type of person who just looked for new music. Israel’s Arcade is right up my alley, and I’m actually a huge fan, so it was really cool to be able to have him as our first Palm Springs artist.”
Israel Pinedo, of Israel’s Arcade, said the Hermano show was a “cool experience.”
“I think it’s really cool what Adrian is doing,” Pinedo said. “It’s the first I had ever heard of anything like Hermano—a flower shop, but with a more stylistic concept. When you think of a flower shop, you think about a 50-year-old woman with a straightforward, ‘Here are the flowers; now leave.’ This guy is doing something different.”
Pinedo said the show idea was an easy sell.
“He just hit me up on Instagram and said he wanted to do a little NPR Tiny Desk-type thing,” Pinedo said. “I was instantly into it, and he sent me a video of one prior performance they had done. It looked super-clean and sounded great, and I was like, ‘Fuck yes.’ All of the videos that we have on YouTube of our live performances have such shitty quality, so I said, ‘Let’s do it,’ and I know the fans will appreciate it.”
It was Pinedo’s first live show in a while.
“It was a little odd, because it was our first time performing for, like, four people, but we had to act like we were performing for a whole crowd,” Pinedo said. “Usually at shows, we feed off of people’s energy, and people are dancing, jumping around and screaming. Here, everybody was just working, recording and holding their cameras, so that was interesting.”
Pinedo said the pandemic has changed the band—as has growing up a bit.
“We all have jobs now,” said Pinedo. “When we were playing tons of shows before the pandemic, we were all still in high school. When we would get out of school, we would all just hang out and practice almost every day. Now we have real responsibilities. As far as performing, It was the first sober show I had done. I was really nervous and awkward, and not having a crowd, I just didn’t know how to handle it, but as the show went on, I got into the swing of things again.”