Alex Pasternak grew up in Half Moon Bay, California playing punk and hardcore and jazz bass. He studied ethnomusicology and anti-boasts a repertoire of rare magic from all four corners of the planet including Turkish Cifteteli, North African Rai, samba-reggae and Folklorico, and he mixes it all with two-step, grime, kuduro and cumbia digital. He lives in Brooklyn, plays drums with Lemonade, has reigned over the decks in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York, and will be gracing us poolside tomorrow at Desert Gold, with a 5-piece Balkan brass band. Dude makes it happen.
Read on for more background on his degree from the School of Hard Knocks and advanced certification in Variegated Horizons & Shifting Sands. And we’ll see you tomorrow — see the schedule and get a room.
What are some roadside attractions that have…attracted you?
I really loved having a picnic at Shoshone Falls a few years ago on tour with Delorean. If you’re ever passing through Idaho, it’s a great relaxing stop.
Also, Tammy’s Truro Tavern in the middle of fucking nowhere Iowa is amazing Americana.
If you could be any highway or US route which would you be?
Highway 1. Eeeeaaaaasy. Called the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway in So-cal) though Hwy 1 is me. I was raised on it, literally, between San Francisco and Santa Cruz at a little cove named Martins Beach and have driven that road all my life. From Mendo down through Big Sur to Santa Barbara, I love it.
Who is your ideal road trip mate, living or dead?
My best buddy Chris White. We’ve been taking road trips and surf trips together down the California coast since junior high. Headed to Mex with him this May to find some waves in Oaxaca and visit my sister in Mexico City.
Favorite song or band to listen to on a road trip? Do you have any songs you search the dials for? Be honest.
My classic California road trip album is Neil Young’s “On the Beach.” Makes the sunset especially bright when cruisin down Hwy 1 and somehow ties my dad’s generation and mine together.
Best unexpectedly amazing thing you’ve seen on a road trip.
One time I lost the keys to our rental Mercedes Sprinter in Vancouver and freaked out, not knowing what to do. The ONLY spare was in SF and there was no way to make one in time to make a show in Minneapolis. I somehow convinced my little sister Anna to pick up the key for me in the Mission District and drive to the airport with hopes of sneaking it onto a plane to Vancouver. Years ago I worked for SkyWest Airlines and still know a few folks there. I called the gate and found someone I knew though to my dismay she said she was too busy to run outside of security to grab the key…. Desperate, I told my sister to ask someone near the ticket counter for an extreme favor. Not sure how but she got the key (and electronic clicker) through security with some baggage dude and onto a plane to vancouver with the flight attendant. I took a taxi to the airport, grabbed the key, cabbed back and we were on our way. Phew.