Steven Harrington painted this awesome mural at Ace Hotel & Swim Club during Desert Gold 2012 and he got black paint all up in his custom Generic Man x Ace Hotel x Steve Borstal Shoes. That’s cool. If you want some, snatch up one of the few remaining limited edition pairs on our shop.


Dev Hynes of Blood Orange at Ace Hotel & Swim Club during Desert Gold 2012, emblazoned in the annals of human history by Noisey.


MWE is a five-piece Balkan and Turkish brass troupe with a loud ass shoulder slung drum to drive it all home. They’re playing today at Desert Gold, poolside, with Alex Pasternak of Lemonade and friends. 
MWE put a modern and eclectic twist on Turkish and Balkan folk music. This five member acoustic wind ensemble plays traditional songs with the rarely paired clarinet and the double-reeded zurna, drawing on the same musical traditions as Gogol Bodello and Balkan Beat Box.  Add a clarinet, a saxophone and a davul, a shoulder slung marching drum, and you’re about the closest to heavy metal you can get without amplification. Their shows are loud, wild, and raucous affairs known for drawing entire audiences on their feet in one song or less. MWE are often found playing hit-and-run gigs in San Francisco’s Mission District, they’ve also played at established world music venues including Ashkenaz and Yoshi’s Lounge. 

MWE is a five-piece Balkan and Turkish brass troupe with a loud ass shoulder slung drum to drive it all home. They’re playing today at Desert Gold, poolside, with Alex Pasternak of Lemonade and friends. 

MWE put a modern and eclectic twist on Turkish and Balkan folk music. This five member acoustic wind ensemble plays traditional songs with the rarely paired clarinet and the double-reeded zurna, drawing on the same musical traditions as Gogol Bodello and Balkan Beat Box.  Add a clarinet, a saxophone and a davul, a shoulder slung marching drum, and you’re about the closest to heavy metal you can get without amplification. Their shows are loud, wild, and raucous affairs known for drawing entire audiences on their feet in one song or less. MWE are often found playing hit-and-run gigs in San Francisco’s Mission District, they’ve also played at established world music venues including Ashkenaz and Yoshi’s Lounge. 


DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : ALEX PASTERNAK OF LEMONADE

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.


A sneak peak, literally and figuratively, at our Desert Gold 2012 shwag — a Canvas Bag, an Arrows Shirt and a Mountains Shirt — premiering at Ace Hotel & Swim Club this weekend and available on our online shop. Get a room and come trip the light fantastic with us.

A sneak peak, literally and figuratively, at our Desert Gold 2012 shwag — a Canvas Bag, an Arrows Shirt and a Mountains Shirt — premiering at Ace Hotel & Swim Club this weekend and available on our online shop. Get a room and come trip the light fantastic with us.


Alona is racing through the dry golden plains on her way to Desert Gold's second weekend. We still have a handful of rooms available, and a schedule full of Balkan Brass, African luminaries and top secret guest performers.

Alona is racing through the dry golden plains on her way to Desert Gold's second weekend. We still have a handful of rooms available, and a schedule full of Balkan Brass, African luminaries and top secret guest performers.


DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : VANESSA WRUBLE OF OKAYAFRICA

Okayafrica editor Vanessa Wruble co-hosts a night of live music from the heart of Africa in the Amigo Room Saturday April 21 for Desert Gold. Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 present Chief Boima from Sierra Leone and Sinkane from Sudan, with Afro-futurist visuals by Just A Band from Kenya. See the full schedule and get a room.

Put some Okayafrica in your life long after the fires have cooled in the Amigo Room — check out their sick mixtape series, Africa in Your Earbuds, and tune into their video series, The Roots of…, where they trace artists’ DNA back to their real ancestral roots in Africa. So far, they’ve explored where ?uestlove, Q-Tip and Black Thought have come from on the continent. You can also catch them at The Roots Picnic in Philly in early June.

For now, take a little road trip with Vanessa. And we’ll see you Saturday night through the haze.

What are some roadside attractions that have…attracted you?

The Okayafrica team hasn’t traveled soooo much in the good ole US of A recently, but we’ve been wowed by plenty of roadside attractions on our various travels to the Bright Continent.

Some of these include: a gorilla orphanage and a metal church built by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame) in Gabon, some unexpected child-manned checkpoints and roads covered by smashed mangoes during mango season in Sierra Leone, a hidden island full of magic and mermaids in Corisco, Equatorial Guinea, jungle-grown airplanes in Principé, flower farms in Sao Tome, and, one of our all-time faves, the Hot Sweet & Jumpy Relaxation House (a “ramping shop” – google it!).

Also don’t want to forget our favorite ride –- a “poda-poda” called “Destiny Is Unknown.” Holler.

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

It would go from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to Brooklyn, NY –- an overpass (longest bridge in the world?). How cool would that be???? Maybe we’d name it after our hot ride: “Destiny Is Unknown Overpass.”

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

Fela Kuti –- riding around in his speedos, smokin’ spliffs and raging against the machine –- what could be better? This is how we picture him…

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

The FOKN BOIS make us feel good n’ dirty, Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew gets us hyped, Just a Band puts us in an electro groove, and Fela Kuti gets our “yansh” shakin’. You can find alla them here.

Best unexpectedly amazing thing you’ve seen on a road trip.

A double rainbow. Kidding. Kind of.


Steven Harrington invented a pictorial language of symbols and runes for his collaborative capsule collection with Ace Hotel and Generic Surplus for this year’s Desert Gold: Roadside Attraction pop-up shop. Steven has constructed his vision of a roadside desert pit stop — a place evocative of the odd wonders that dot the blacktop in the wide open spaces, filled with original art and desert-celebratory wares.
The Teepee Tee, California Tee and Long-Sleeve Shirt, Painted Rock Tee, Iconography Tank, Harrington Bandana and Harrington Towel are available now on our online shop. The Borstal Shoe Collection is available for pre-order and available for shipping in early May.

Steven Harrington invented a pictorial language of symbols and runes for his collaborative capsule collection with Ace Hotel and Generic Surplus for this year’s Desert Gold: Roadside Attraction pop-up shop. Steven has constructed his vision of a roadside desert pit stop — a place evocative of the odd wonders that dot the blacktop in the wide open spaces, filled with original art and desert-celebratory wares.

The Teepee Tee, California Tee and Long-Sleeve Shirt, Painted Rock Tee, Iconography Tank, Harrington Bandana and Harrington Towel are available now on our online shop. The Borstal Shoe Collection is available for pre-order and available for shipping in early May.


We took some of our Opening Ceremony x Ace Hotel & Swim Club vending machine souvenirs out to desert for some ribs — but they’ll be back for Desert Gold by sunrise. Don’t wait up. Photographed up in Pioneertown, CA, behind Pappy & Harriets.

We took some of our Opening Ceremony x Ace Hotel & Swim Club vending machine souvenirs out to desert for some ribs — but they’ll be back for Desert Gold by sunrise. Don’t wait up. Photographed up in Pioneertown, CA, behind Pappy & Harriets.


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