(Slipping Into Darkness, photo by Sarah Scheideman of The Coachella Valley Art Scene)

Desert Rock Series

A Night of Local Talent

A story told by Michelle Castillo

for the Desert Valley Star

The term “Desert Rock” -what exactly does it sound like? Desert Rock has fallen into the category of endless jam sessions fused with blues, psychedelic, and heavy metal riffs. Bands such as Fatso Jen- son, Kyuss who later formed into Queens Of The Stone Age, were the front-runners of the genre paving the way for what our local music scene is today. Yet, is Desert Rock still the same?

From attending local shows, hanging with the musicians, and talking to attendees, our desert sound has definitely changed. Although the sound may not be quite the same as the original, “Desert Rock” and its type of music has now fused, evolving into a tapestry of genres along with beats to what my generation knows and calls their own “Desert Rock.” Anywhere from ambi- ent, indie, to underground Hip Hop can be found at weekly shows going around the Coachella Valley.

(Gene Evaro, photo by Sarah Scheideman of The Coachella Valley Art Scene)

Wanting to bring back the current Desert Rock Scene we find sponsors like mydesert.com, 99.5 The Heat, Coachella Valley Art Scene, Coachella Valley Art Al- liance, our newspapers (Desert Valley Star, the American Free Journal) along with one the pioneers Mario Lalli launching the “Desert Rock Series” at the Indio Perform- ing Arts Center for the next six months. Each month there an event is showcasing our valley’s local talent.

This past Sunday night the all-ages show was sold-out thanks to the collabora- tive effort of bands, artists, and sponsors at this premiere venue blossoming in the Coachella Valley. The Indio Performing Arts Center is the perfect host.

Walking in one is immediately en- tranced by the sights, sounds, along with the lively vibe of what makes up our local music and art scene. You are greeted by lo- cal artists such as Aaron Hansen doing one of his live paintings alongside liquid art art- ist Jocelyn Guareca and her unique visuals projected onto a screen. The newly reno- vated IPAC is a fitting venue because of the good-sized stage and several theater set ups available for performances.

(War Drum, photo by Sarah Scheideman of The Coachella Valley Art Scene)

The eclectic audience for the night con- sisted of old and young – from families (in- cluding seniors) to the youth of the desert. To kick off the event local Palm Springs/ Palm Desert based band, War Drum, smoothly introduced their ambient infused “Spook Rock” onto the stage, finishing up their set while smoke from the fog machine danced around them.

In between sets, the famous local Hip Hop DJ Alf Alpha dropped some of his funky mixes for the crowd’s listening pleasure. Soul Opus had taken the stage next, reminding me of dancing in the middle of the desert, while enjoying life with reggae soul music in the background. The aura from Soul Opus’s set made the crowd move and groove the whole time.

(Soul Opus, photo by Sarah Scheideman of The Coachella Valley Art Scene)

To keep the music of the night go- ing… Evaro, a family-member band hail- ing from Joshua Tree making their name known throughout California, headlined for the night. The blues, soul infused, with a little spice of Latin beats, kept the audi- ence interested and pleased. The family chemistry in the group was tightknit, and it was seen throughout the togetherness the band expressed during their set. To close the night, we were lucky to have Slipping Into Darkness bringing again a little bit of the old Desert Rock music along with their electric, dark bluesy, riffs to top it off. As the night ended, attendees were able to taste the local music scene with all their senses involved.

(Evaro, photo by Sarah Scheideman of The Coachella Valley Art Scene)

As one can see and hear, “Desert Rock” is ever changing, yet it will never forget its roots and how it came to be. The night was filled with whatever your Desert Rock may be, whether it is a little Punk or a little rock to go with the Hip Hop, plus some Blues for your soul. The Desert Rock Series at the IPAC is definitely something hot on the ra- dar for the upcoming months, so stay tuned for the next show!

– all words provided by Michelle Castillo

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More photos from the evening:

War Drum

War Drum

War Drum

Soul Opus


Slipping Into Darkness

Slipping Into Darkness

Slipping Into Darkness

Slipping Into Darkness

Slipping Into Darkness

DJ Alf Alpha (photo by Michelle Castillo)

Thank you to all who came out and supported.  Make sure to add the Desert Rock Series on Facebook and follow their upcoming shows.  There are still 4/6 more shows to go on!  If you missed this one, the next one is a must.

See you there!…