photo taken by Ken Foto

A Night at Krazy 8’s

The Growing Desert Music Scene

a story told by Michelle Castillo

(provided by the Desert Valley Star)

I do a type of live lighting used in the ’60’s and ’70’s with a projector, inks, and oils and whatever I can find to project onto a screen,” Guareca said. “There really isn’t any process. Whatever happens – happens. It’s like an “in the moment” type of art. If you screw up, you screw up and you better fix it fast.”

The light art show created by local desert artist Jocelyn Guareca is strikingly unique and different. She is working Krazy 8’s, a sports bar that has been in operation less than a year and located by Palm Springs Lanes in Cathedral City. The venue has recently begun hosting festivities showcasing valley bands ranging from Ambient to Rock and illuminated by Guareca’s art in the background.

Nigel of Slipping Into Darkness, photo by Ken Foto

We arrived to catch the second set of the night by Slipping Into Darkness. Heavy beats emanated off their instruments and turned the room into one psychedelic bluesy aura. Suddenly, Krazy 8’s was packed from front to back with music moving everyone in a collective place where art and music reigned. Krazy 8’s is recently growing into a new music venue for local bands.

The music scene has been expanding through the years by the work of local bands, promoters, up-and-coming venues and music/art based blogs like The Coachella Valley Art Scene (

Slipping Into Darkness, photo by Ken Foto

Feeling the Music, photo by Ken Foto

Standing outside in between sets, we were surrounded by an eclectic group of people. Running into a man named Jael, noticing his skull ring on his hand I asked him about it. He said, “One day we will all die, this skull is just a daily reminder to live life to the fullest.” Random meetings of the night gives us all just a little more to think about.

The desert scene is definitely a mixture of music, art, culture, and insight. War Drum ( took the stage next, a band whose heavy drumming and droning chords put the audience in a trance like state. Band members also wore war paint signifying who they are. Not only were their unique collection of sounds heard throughout the night but the music was magically lit by Guareca’s art projected behind the bands.

War Drum, photo by Ken Foto

Afterward, I get a chance to talk with Jack Kohler, Ehren Groban, Peter Leighton, and Robbie Waldman from War Drum for their story.

MC: Who is War Drum?

WD: We are a self-discovery band and have made a habit from making something out of very little, rooted in a minimalist approach. We did not form like most bands do, out of friendship; we were just musicians looking for others who shared the common pursuit of playing live music.

MC: What do you think about the local music scene?

WD: The venues and local bands are not many but are steady growing. The scene is small, but has a dedicated following. As for ourselves, we feel people come to our shows because they want to be spectators and from there stems further curiosity.

War Drum, photo by Ken Foto

MC: Describe your sound.

WD: We coined the term “Spook Rock” where the music is not just something you hear, but blends audio, visual, and mood perception that emerges through our songs. We call it a full sensory experience. Our sound is organic made from scratch.

MC: Where do you see Wardrum in the future or fitting in the local music scene?

WD: The desert will always be the band member’s home base, and they want to bring something to the desert that has not been seen, done or felt, before. The music we bring is expressive and free form and this is just the beginning.

There went another hot night in the desert at Krazy 8’s …where the desert scene was cool, or whatever “cool” is these days. One could say, “It’s all happening!”

* all words by Michelle Castillo

some more photos from that night at Krazy 8’s:

local band, The Town Troubles, photo by Ken Foto

Jocelyn Guareca - light + oil artist, photo by Ken Foto

Music fans - Aaron Hansen + friend, photo by Ken Foto

pretty girl at the party, photo by Ken Foto

amigas at the show, photo by Ken Foto