DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : DAREK MAZZONE OF KEXP

Darek Mazzone is a coat of many colors. A DJ with 20 years notched on his belt, he’s a crown jewel at Seattle’s community radio station KEXP, is currently working some magic with Microsoft (top secret stuff) and Native Instruments, and he’s also partnering with Dubspot, a NYC-based electronic music production and DJ school whose aim is to get thousands of youngsters DJing from their labtops within the next year. His Balkan Beat Box is in-studio now at kexp.org — go have a listen.

Darek spins by the pool for Desert Gold at Ace Hotel & Swim Club tomorrow, Saturday from noon to 5pm with Kane Mathis and J Boogie. Read on for his most memorable road trip memories and musings, and we’ll see you by the pool.

What are some roadside attractions that have…attracted you? 

The fake and true to size Stonehenge on the Columbia. Dinosaur Town with the Volcano toilets.

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

Route 1 or Route 99.

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

The beginning.

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

Hunter S. Thompson or Jack Kerouac.

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

Any good classic rawk. The Who, Zeppelin. I always turn up Radar Love especially on a long road trip.

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

Left my wallet at a cafe. Discovered it was missing 200 miles into the trip, turned around, went back to the cafe and it was still on the table.


Steven Harrington is painting a ginormous mural on the side of the Commune for Desert Gold 2012. Steven’s also taking a break from his pop-up shop with Generic Surplus, Roadside Attraction, to guest DJ Saturday night in the Amigo Room with Stronghold.
There’s still a handful of rooms available, but they’re going fast. See the full line-up and book a room.

Photo from Generic Surplus

Steven Harrington is painting a ginormous mural on the side of the Commune for Desert Gold 2012. Steven’s also taking a break from his pop-up shop with Generic Surplus, Roadside Attraction, to guest DJ Saturday night in the Amigo Room with Stronghold.

There’s still a handful of rooms available, but they’re going fast. See the full line-up and book a room.


Photo from Generic Surplus


Smoking in bed, sexual inhibition, canned meats and a planetary eclipse of bellbottoms and zippered skinny jeans — these comprise some of telling marks the 1970s left on our collective psyches. Brad Elterman saw all that and more — at the blushing age of 17, he started capturing the likenesses of Tinseltown’s most influential legends including Bob Dylan, Joan Jett, The Beatles, Jane Fonda, John Travolta and Peter Frampton.
We’re very happy that Brad will be our first Artist in Residence during the first weekend of Desert Gold: Roadside Attraction at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, resurrecting his Beverly Hills party shot skills poolside and late night in the Amigo Room and Commune. We’ll be posting his shots mid-week so you might just see yourself on this page very soon. See the full schedule here and catch some of the last remaining rooms here.

Smoking in bed, sexual inhibition, canned meats and a planetary eclipse of bellbottoms and zippered skinny jeans — these comprise some of telling marks the 1970s left on our collective psyches. Brad Elterman saw all that and more — at the blushing age of 17, he started capturing the likenesses of Tinseltown’s most influential legends including Bob Dylan, Joan Jett, The Beatles, Jane Fonda, John Travolta and Peter Frampton.

We’re very happy that Brad will be our first Artist in Residence during the first weekend of Desert Gold: Roadside Attraction at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, resurrecting his Beverly Hills party shot skills poolside and late night in the Amigo Room and Commune. We’ll be posting his shots mid-week so you might just see yourself on this page very soon. See the full schedule here and catch some of the last remaining rooms here.


DESERT GOLD INTERVIEW : AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA

Brian Shimkovitz is curator of Awesome Tapes from Africa — an outfit that formed out of a blog he ran for years posting, you guessed it, awesome tapes from Africa that he found while traveling. He now releases new LPs, CDs and MP3s from African artists and tours the world playing both his finds and his releases. The forthcoming release from Awesome Tapes From Africa is by a gentleman named Bola from Northern Ghana. He plays the kologo (a two-stringed lute), expanding a traditional style of praise singing and frenetic strumming into a minimal drum machine and synth-laden future sound. Check it out here.

Brian be spinning poolside this Friday at Desert Gold at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, and his marks the first in our “Roadside Attraction” interviews with Desert Gold luminaries — stay tuned for more, and eat your heart out in the meantime.

What are some roadside attractions unknown pit stops or oddities along America’s shoulders that have…attracted you?

I grew up in Chicago and my sister went to college in Kansas and Missouri so we used to drive around the Midwest a lot. I was always obsessed with the Elvis Is Alive museum, which is along the road between Kansas City and St Louis. Recently I was very attracted to (pleasantly fulfilled by) Andersen’s Split Pea Soup joint along the road between LA and SF. 50s diner meets Danish culture in coastal California was really bizarre.

If you could be any highway or US route which would you be? I-5? Route 69? Manlove Rd. in Rosemont, CA? (Technically not a highway.)

I’d be the Pacific Coast Highway around Big Sur. Best air ever, a seasonal view of elephant seals and an annual Philip Glass festival.

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

It would start in the hills of southern Indiana and end in the swamps of Louisiana, passing through Vermont for maple syrup and Brooklyn for Jamaican food. Not an express route but lots of mountains, floral diversity and epic roadside gift shops.

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

My ideal road trip mate is my dad because he sleeps most of the time and won’t ever comment on the music I play. He will stop to eat any time, any place.

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

ABBA on the radio and Grateful Dead on the tape deck.

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

The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD sounds really lame but it is mind-blowing! It’s a huge theater with a facade covered in murals and designs made of corn and corn cobs. Super intricate and surprisingly cool, classic small town American genius.


To see the full schedule for Desert Gold and to book a room, visit the DG HQ.


Welcome all ye wanderers and weirdos — Desert Gold lives again. This year, our pal Steve Harrington is putting together a pop-up shop in the Clubhouse that pays homage to road trips, curiosity shops and the forgotten places tucked along the long black river where all the magic happens. He’s also creating a gigantic mural on the side of the Commune and launching a capsule collection inspired by his chalk drawings scattered through the Joshua Tree desert, including a shoe in collaboration with Ace and Generic Surplus exclusively for the event, so if you show up with only a walking stick and a crazed look in your eye, we can at least outfit you with some kicks.
Stay tuned for more interviews with performers as well as our very special 2012 artists in residence.

Welcome all ye wanderers and weirdos — Desert Gold lives again. This year, our pal Steve Harrington is putting together a pop-up shop in the Clubhouse that pays homage to road trips, curiosity shops and the forgotten places tucked along the long black river where all the magic happens. He’s also creating a gigantic mural on the side of the Commune and launching a capsule collection inspired by his chalk drawings scattered through the Joshua Tree desert, including a shoe in collaboration with Ace and Generic Surplus exclusively for the event, so if you show up with only a walking stick and a crazed look in your eye, we can at least outfit you with some kicks.

Stay tuned for more interviews with performers as well as our very special 2012 artists in residence.


The dogs of Desert Gold, poolside, in the Doc Martens suite, at Converse, and by the Rudy’s pop-up barbershop.

Photos by Justin Kent and Matt Devincenzi


Saturday night at Ace Hotel Palm Springs — the last late night bacchanalia of Desert Gold. The Tim and Eric Show and Odd Future met at last, Magic Kids tore down King’s Highway with falsetto and high-waisted pants, Aziz Ansari ate a bunch of sour cream, and people embraced, danced and hammed it up all through the night.


Saturday afternoon at Desert GoldJenny O by the pool, Shannon Funchess of Light Asylum in the Docs gifting suite, make-your-own Havaianas cart, sun-gazing from the Stargazing Deck and one third of A Tribe Called Quest in the Converse suite. We had a super labor-intensive afternoon of drinking Kanon with homemade lavender syrup and cold Vita Coco, swimming and getting ready for tonight. Pity us.


Last night at Desert Gold, we swayed, bounced, imbibed and cheered along with Flying Lotus, Fucked Up and lots of other talented folks in the Commune, King’s Highway and the Amigo Room. Here are some shots from the field.






Photos by Justin Kent and Matt Devincenzi

Last night at Desert Gold, we swayed, bounced, imbibed and cheered along with Flying Lotus, Fucked Up and lots of other talented folks in the Commune, King’s Highway and the Amigo Room. Here are some shots from the field.



Photos by Justin Kent and Matt Devincenzi


Some shots from the first cycle of the sun on Desert Gold weekend. In a few minutes, we’re headed off to see Flying Lotus, Fucked Up and some special guests play into the wee hours. For now, we’re looking back over a really good day with new and old friends. Last night, Phoreyz played in the Amigo Room with DJ Day, Gaslamp Killer and friends. This afternoon, Garrett of Ace Palm Springs played with his sister and brother as Hawks and Doves by the pool, Doc Martens hooked a bunch of people up with kicks, we got some swag from the Opening Ceremony vending machine and perused the vintage goods and desert-made masterpieces at Mt. Fuji’s Soul Mountain pop-up. Stay tuned tomorrow for more music and sun — you can click on the button in the sidebar to see our updates.





Photos by Justin Kent and Matt Devincenzi

Some shots from the first cycle of the sun on Desert Gold weekend. In a few minutes, we’re headed off to see Flying Lotus, Fucked Up and some special guests play into the wee hours. For now, we’re looking back over a really good day with new and old friends. Last night, Phoreyz played in the Amigo Room with DJ Day, Gaslamp Killer and friends. This afternoon, Garrett of Ace Palm Springs played with his sister and brother as Hawks and Doves by the pool, Doc Martens hooked a bunch of people up with kicks, we got some swag from the Opening Ceremony vending machine and perused the vintage goods and desert-made masterpieces at Mt. Fuji’s Soul Mountain pop-up. Stay tuned tomorrow for more music and sun — you can click on the button in the sidebar to see our updates.

Photos by Justin Kent and Matt Devincenzi


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