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SnowGlobe Concert

The ZOA Brings Magic to SnowGlobe Music Festival

By burningman, california, culture, dancing, edm, festivals, laketahoe, Millennials, music, musicfestivals, party, rap, renoNo Comments

The annual SnowGlobe Music Festival is a time for trancing music, fun experiences, and exquisite art. This year the festival featured the ZOA sculpture, a playful expression of art made by the Chromaforms Art Collective.

The Chromaforms Art Collective specializes in making playful and interactive art creations with the help of engineers and sculptors. “A lot of our projects are community based, or we try to get a lot of people to help and to make something,” said Martin Taylor, an engineer who helped start Chromaforms. Taylor originally worked as an engineer in a prototype technology lab. After he was done working for the day, he would use the big 3D printers to create little sculptures at night. This is what drove his inspiration to start Chromaforms and to eventually quit his day job and pursue art and creation full time.

Taylor said the goal of the ZOA sculpture is, “To bring out a very playful aspect in people that often gets lost in larger society.” The piece was originally supposed to be a jellyfish that was going to debut at Burning Man. However, Taylor discovered that another artist had that same idea, so he had to change paths. By having the same jellyfish idea in mind, he used rainbow colors and soft and wrinkled materials that can change and be less predictable. There is also a mini faux fur star inside of the creation that adds a hidden magical element to the ZOA.

He wanted the piece to stand out and for participants to “be invited to investigate.” The ZOA piece is one of the first things you see when you walk in and adds an essence to the overall feeling you get from being at the festival. As the night got darker, more people seemed drawn in to the ZOA.

Fans would touch, spin, and often sit under it. “It brings people to a childlike state,” said Taylor, “It’s like a game.” Taylor described the piece as almost like a hologram at night. No matter which stage you are at, the ZOA seems to be the central location of the festival grounds. “There is also the element from seeing it from far away and investigating it.” said Taylor.

The ZOA sculpture made its first major appearance at Burning Man this year and later to EDC Orlando. The Sculpture folds down easily and deflates, so it can depart from one event to the next. “It’s going to be there for a little while, and then it’s going to travel somewhere else.” said Taylor. The overall essence of the ZOA adds a deeper meaning to the culture of what is SnowGlobe Music Festival. The next project Taylor plans to work on will try to star plastic bottles and ideas to bring new energy to things people see as everyday wasteful items. Taylor’s advice to potential artists is to try to have a day job and pursue art at the same time. “Doing art is just equal as much work,” said Taylor.

lady with face paint and flowers in her hair

Artown Reno Presents Día de los Muertos

By culture, musicNo Comments

Día de los Muertos is an ancient Mexican tradition that originated in the Aztec culture. According to tradition, the Aztecs celebrated Mictēcacihuātlon this day, who was the Aztec’s goddess, or “lady of the dead,” and ruled the afterlife.

Throughout the centuries, this sacred day evolved with modern Mexican culture and society. Now, Día de los Muertos continues to be observed all over Mexico and by the Mexican communities in the United States. This traditional event celebrates the lives of the dead, rather than mourning or grieving for them.

As a part of this celebration, bright and colorful altars are set up in people’s homes with different personalized offerings for the deceased, including: hot meals, pan dulce, marigolds, any trinkets that may have belonged to the deceased, and their photos. Cemeteries across Mexico fill up with the deceased’s friends and family members who decorate their gravestones and musicians who gather to play music for the dead and their visitors.

Reno celebrated a little differently this year.

For the first time ever, Artown Reno presented a live performance to honor the Mexican celebration. La Santa Cecilia, Mexrrissey, and Mariachi Flor de Toloache all performed at the Cargo Concert Hall on November 1.

Cargo was filled with the local Latino community and many others who came out to join in the celebration. Many of these people were dressed in the traditional Día de los Muertos attire: bright flowers, rich colors, and skulls.

The first performance was Mariachi Flor de Toloache, an all-female mariachi band. This band is known for breaking gender barriers in the mariachi world because it is a largely male-dominated world. The Latin Grammy-nominated band members walked on stage wearing traditional mariachi attire and had half of their faces painted by makeup to represent skulls. To top it all off, they wore the classic bright, big flowers on their heads.

Mariachi Flor de Toloache energized the crowd with their twist on the regional Mexican genre of mariachi music. The people in the crowd sang along with their famous covers, screamed the “mariachi grito,” or the mariachi call, and danced along while honoring their culture.

The music continued with performers Mexrrissey and La Santa Cecilia. They followed the ladies of Toloache by sustaining the crowd’s energy and finally culminating that energy at the very end of the night. The night ended with all three performers hopping on stage and performing together. The small stage was packed with the performers and the vibrant energy of Día de los Muertos.

As the show ended and the Cargo concert hall closed it’s doors on the night’s event, Downtown Reno’s streets led the celebrators and their colorful skull attire back to their homes.

The Día de los Muertos event at the Cargo created a space for the Latino community to celebrate a traditionally important and cultural holiday. As joyful and celebratory as the energy at the event felt, I noticed a woman who wept as she sang and swayed along to the performer’s music.

This moment reminded me of the reality behind Día de los Muertos. While it is a rich and colorful holiday, it is only human to miss our loved ones after they’ve passed. But, traditions like Día de los Muertos gives us the opportunity to miss our loved ones while su

rrounded by music,  community, and marigolds.

Two guys in brightly colored clothes playing their guitars

Off Beat Music Festival, On Beat and On Point

By culture, music, renoOne Comment

 SWIGS performs at the 2017 Reno Offbeat Music Festival Friday night at Shea’s Tavern.

RENO – Pink Awful kicked off day two of the 2017 Reno Offbeat Music Festival this Friday at Shea’s Tavern. The line-up included bands Bloody Waters, SWIGS, and Apache. 

Pink Awful vocalist, Ashley Costelloe, led the band with exceptional stage presence, intelligible lyrics, and looks reminiscent of Uma Thurman in “Pulp Fiction.” The five-piece noise pop band played a set full of dream pop melodic style and cut-throat drum beats. 

The mellow yet electric sound waves pierced the air and soothed the bar at the same time. Costelloe engaged the crowd which gathered around the stage in enthusiastic response. 

Bloody Waters brought the energy, channeling western surf rock grooves in their Hawaiian shirts and beachy hair waves. The bass made itself heard through the high-pitched guitar, in an excellent balance of frequencies. 

Guitarist Brian and bassist Bryan utilized a wide assortment of effects pedals while the drummer accentuated hits and riffs on his four-piece kit. Bloody Waters’ songs were mostly instrumental, something not often performed with such success. 

Not many bands have more than one singer, but both Brian and Bryan sang with dignity. Bloody Waters displayed effective use of dynamics and time changes, things many garage bands struggle with. 

Local surf rock band SWIGS entertained the masses with their witty banter in between upbeat nerd rock songs about Mario and The Fresh Prince. Adorned in bright colors, the trio lit up the stage as they celebrated the release of their new EP “Dumb Fun.” 

SWIGS stands out not only for their catchy tunes, but their appearance. In addition to their colorful attire, they don sunglasses and sing into colored microphones. The band is named for taking swigs of alcohol, so Shea’s Tavern was the right venue to play.

The crowd was in full-force as San Francisco band Apache took the stage. Apache had more of a classic rock feel that nearly everyone seemed to appreciate. Lead singer Apache repeatedly invited the audience to enjoy the hot tub in his hotel room after the show. 

Wooden four-piece drum kits were the theme of the night. Drummers are a dime a dozen; good drummers not so much. Every drummer of the night played well-placed fills in addition to keeping precise time. 

Day two of the three-day city-wide Offbeat Music Festival ended with thunderous applause and a lively crowd at Shea’s Tavern. Day three promises to be something local music aficionados will not want to miss. The last day is Saturday, November 4.