YouTube rendered a liberal interpretation of our pet-friendly policy during their recent party at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. Is that Li’l Sebastian in a wig?

YouTube rendered a liberal interpretation of our pet-friendly policy during their recent party at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. Is that Li’l Sebastian in a wig?


Dynasty Handbag performs tonight at Valentine’s in Portland with Alicia McDaid, New Moon Poncho and DJ Jen O of Akin Jewelry. It’s not something that you want to miss on — avoid crushing regret by attending.

Dynasty Handbag performs tonight at Valentine’s in Portland with Alicia McDaid, New Moon Poncho and DJ Jen O of Akin Jewelry. It’s not something that you want to miss on — avoid crushing regret by attending.


INTERVIEW : REGGIE WATTS

Reggie Watts performs tonight at Ace Hotel New York with The Dance Cartel at On the Floor in Liberty Hall. He woke up early to do his hair and found a few moments to talk to us about life, love, luxury problems and Comedy Bang Bang.

How is your morning, er afternoon, going?

Uh, it’s going good. Not out of bed yet, but I’m getting there.

You’ve just been taking interviews from bed? That sounds pretty good.

It’s not bad, it’s fun.

You’re a busy man. Last week when we were having technical problems you were like “Okay you have ten minutes. I have another one in ten minutes, then ten minutes before that.” That doesn’t sound like very much fun for you. Or maybe it is.

Well sometimes it can be. It’s just a matter of it lining up or not. Sometimes people will not call or they will forget. Something like that. Then sometimes they will call a little bit later and then the whole thing is derailed. “I’ll call you ten minutes later, then ten minutes later.” That can be weird, but it’s fine. Literally almost everything is worse than that.

They are first world problems, it’s true. Have things been kind of blowing up since Comedy Bang Bang premiered?

Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I think I definitely noticed people a little bit more. I mean people notice me more is what I meant to say. Ha.

You and Alex (Calderwood) are old friends from Seattle.

Yeah, I’ve known him probably since, I’m going to guess like 1996 or something like that maybe. He was throwing parties at — I can’t remember the name of the club, it was right under the monorail. It was the only thing in town that really had any elegance or sophistication to it when it comes to parties. They were killin’ it. But yeah they were cool guys, I’ve known them forever. I love the Ace.

I interviewed Vijay Iyer recently when he was coming to Portland for the Jazz Festival. We were talking about jazz being this democratic wildland where anything can happen. And I was watching some videos of your work on YouTube and various places over the last week, and thinking that jazz and comedy feel kind of related. Especially the sort of performance you do — it’s pretty singular — you have peers in the comedy world and peers in the music world, but what you do with them is sort of unprecedented. I was wondering if you feel like there is some feedback loop with how you approach comedy and how you think about improvisational music, and if they feel related to you in any way?

Yeah, they are definitely related. I mean, if you can improvise in music and if you have a love of music you can just transpose that to being more lyrical. It’s the same technique, it just depends on what you understand. Improvisation is inherent in any art form.

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Reggie Watts at Ace Hotel New York as we speak. Posted a few moments ago on Twitter by  Molly Smith.

Reggie Watts at Ace Hotel New York as we speak. Posted a few moments ago on Twitter by  Molly Smith.


Our friend Reggie Watts premieres his new show Comedy Bang Bang with Scott Aukerman tonight on IFC at 10pm EST — they’ll be joined by Zach Galifianakis and his wailing pipes, as well as other surprises. Reggie is our pal from way back in the day when the first nascent spores of Ace were gaining strength on the streets of Seattle, Washington. He’s one of the funniest, kindest and most talented people we’re blessed to know. Stay tuned here next week for an interview with Reggie about what he’s been up to lately.

Our friend Reggie Watts premieres his new show Comedy Bang Bang with Scott Aukerman tonight on IFC at 10pm EST — they’ll be joined by Zach Galifianakis and his wailing pipes, as well as other surprises. Reggie is our pal from way back in the day when the first nascent spores of Ace were gaining strength on the streets of Seattle, Washington. He’s one of the funniest, kindest and most talented people we’re blessed to know. Stay tuned here next week for an interview with Reggie about what he’s been up to lately.


DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : FRED ARMISEN

Fred Armisen, half of comedy duo ThunderAnt with Carrie Brownstein, has an impressive resume of comedic characters ranging from Brutus, “a monkey who has been having sex with a doctor,” to Manuel Ortiz, host of The Manuel Ortiz show on Television Dominicana where he “helps with whatever it is” his audience members are going through. Fred is extremely helpful. Tonight, he impersonates a DJ and horses around with Ms. Brownstein in the Amigo Room at Ace Hotel & Swim Club for Desert Gold.

What are some roadside attractions that have…attracted you? 

There’s a small family vacation/amusement park area north of Chicago called The Wisconsin Dells. It has these sort of homemade attractions, and one is called Robot World. It’s just a sweet place.

There’s also this amazing place (pictured with Fred above), an incredible record store/record label in Nashville. We visited a nearby record pressing plant nearby as well. Here’s xcess vinyl that’s stripped off and then used again for another pressing.

If you could be any highway or US route which would you be?

I’d be the 405 North.

If there was a highway named after you, where would it begin and end? Points between?

It would start in Baltimore, then circle out, then circle back, then out again, and back over and over, so that the highway resembled flower petals around the city. It would be the country’s only recreational highway.

Who is your ideal road trip mate, living or dead? (But this involves pretending they’re alive, not a corpse in your car.)

Boris Karloff.

Is that a pun? Also, what is your favorite song or band to listen to on a road trip? Do you have any songs you search the dials for? Be honest.

I search for Howard Stern if I’m in a rental with Sirius radio. And for music, dub is always nice for roadtrips. Yo La Tengo too. 

Best unexpectedly amazing thing you’ve seen on a roadtrip.

Nevada City, California.

(The Portlandia travel group.)


DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : CARRIE BROWNSTEIN

Carrie Brownstein really requires no introduction. Early sightings include basement punk shows in Portland, OR with Sleater-Kinney and recent sightings include Portlandia and Wild Flag — both projects are taking off like rockets. Carrie DJs with co-pilot Fred Armisen Tuesday night for Desert Gold at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, and they’ll throw in some hijinks and group fun, so come ready.

What are some roadside attractions that have…attracted you? Along the lines of Ball of Yarn, BFI, Roswell, or any number of the lesser known or unknown pit stops or oddities along America’s shoulders?

Prairie Dog Town and Wall Drug. In the case of the former, I’d say it repulsed me more than attracted me. In fact, I am afraid to Google Prairie Dog Town because I really hope that it no longer exists. Basically, it’s an animal freak show with 5-legged cows and other oddities. It’s very squalid. In the gift shop is a pit of live snakes. The best case scenario is that one day the snakes will eat the owner. It’s a feel good movie waiting to happen, replete with an animal uprising. Wall Drug is one of those things wherein you’re beaten into submission via signage. Then you stop and it’s nothing and you move on.

If you could be any highway or US route which would you be?

I would want to be a logging road or some dusty stretch of road in the western part of the US.

If there was a highway named after you, where would it begin and end? Points between?

Probably the same answer as above, just somewhere quiet.

Who is your ideal road trip mate, living or dead?

My dog, Tobey. He has traveled with me across the country and back. He isn’t a great driver but he is easy to talk to and he lets me pick the music.

Favorite song or band to listen to on a road trip? Do you have any songs you search the dials for? Be honest.

Lately, I prefer podcasts like This American Life, Savage Love, Freakonomics Radio or Marc Maron’s WTF. I like listening to stories while I drive. If I’m listening to the radio, I’m never disappointed to stumble upon some late-night Sam Cooke or Otis Redding tunes; their songs always sound good under a starry sky.

Best unexpectedly amazing thing you’ve seen on a roadtrip.

Seeing a frozen Mississippi River is pretty surreal.


LA Exodus at Ace Hotel & Swim Club was our third annual Jewish Christmas in the desert, replete with Chinese food, yoga and general cheer.




Photos via Twitter from Rachel Sklar

LA Exodus at Ace Hotel & Swim Club was our third annual Jewish Christmas in the desert, replete with Chinese food, yoga and general cheer.



Photos via Twitter from Rachel Sklar


Mose Kasher yuks it up tonight with other storytellers and funny people at Ace Hotel & Swim Club for LA Exodus. Join us after the Jewish Christmas Chinese Buffet in King’s Highway.

Mose Kasher yuks it up tonight with other storytellers and funny people at Ace Hotel & Swim Club for LA Exodus. Join us after the Jewish Christmas Chinese Buffet in King’s Highway.


We celebrate the holidays in the desert, too, though in place of a crackling fire we have the blazing sun and instead of egg nog we drink mojitos and eat Chinese food (we actually have fireplaces, too). Tonight at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, we’ll be watching a star-studded line-up from Fort Lowell Records, eating a 3-course feast in King’s Highway and catching some songspinners by the communal fireplace. Tomorrow, a thrilling combo of live comedy and Jewish yoga. We’ll also be slathering ourselves in a few Solstice Feel Good Spa specials while we’re here. Anyways, it’s going to be pretty great so come join us if you either don’t celebrate Christmas or are just interested in a new tradition.

This photo was taken by our friends at Fort Lowell Records when they rolled into the Amigo Room this afternoon.

We celebrate the holidays in the desert, too, though in place of a crackling fire we have the blazing sun and instead of egg nog we drink mojitos and eat Chinese food (we actually have fireplaces, too). Tonight at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, we’ll be watching a star-studded line-up from Fort Lowell Records, eating a 3-course feast in King’s Highway and catching some songspinners by the communal fireplace. Tomorrow, a thrilling combo of live comedy and Jewish yoga. We’ll also be slathering ourselves in a few Solstice Feel Good Spa specials while we’re here. Anyways, it’s going to be pretty great so come join us if you either don’t celebrate Christmas or are just interested in a new tradition.



This photo was taken by our friends at Fort Lowell Records when they rolled into the Amigo Room this afternoon.


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