Colorado deserves its own Coachella. Commerce City's Mile High Music Festival isn't quite there yet, but we had to start somewhere. The third installment of Denver's biggest aural smorgasbord definitely featured its most diverse lineup to date. Case and point? Day two Bison Tent headliners Bassnectar and Z-Trip--not to mention the mostly local Beta Beach stageâ€”ramped up the event's electronica edge in a major way. Mootownâ€”as Westword's Dave Herrera would sayâ€”ate it up.
Tired of being invited to nightclubs by stock photography models who'll never step foot inside? Beta, arguably the number one club in the country, offered a remedy in March when it kicked off a fairytale-inspired promotional campaign featuring actual club employees. Novel idea, right? Lauren, one of Beta's VIP hostesses, played Dorothy for the introductory Wizard of Oz images. I weaseled my way into the part of Scarecrow. And Toto was masterfully channeled by an ankle-biter belonging to photographer Jonathan Shoup's girlfriend.
Kostas Kouremenous has been searching The Mile High City high and low for the perfect set of pipes. Kostas isn't a plumber, though, he's a producerâ€”a DJ and dance music producer, to be exact. Although he's had his fingers in many different Denver pots over the yearsâ€”a shoe store, a modeling agency and a number of nightclubs now (Amsterdam, Pure, Lotus, DC10, Zen)--partnering with Triad Dragons' Ha Hau on Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks was his single most in-the-black business decision to date.
Dragon, one of Beta's resident DJs, recently orchestrated another Mile High milestone: Homegrown. Compiled by the Triad mascot, Homegrown is a mixed CD consisting primarily of Colorado producers. Pretty Lights, Shawn Astrom, Ty Tek, Venaccio, Satori-C, Entropy, Lea Luna, Sonaris, mLe, Shawn Mitiska, Joman, Sir Thomas, Jquintel, Manufactured Superstars, Dirt Monkey, Savoy, Kostas K, Samples, Jontron and Dragon himself are among the individual artists included.
Tommie Sunshine is a DJ for the ADD generation. ADD DJ. Appleâ€™s omnipresent shuffle feature has obviously influenced tastes in an unprecedented way, and a brand new breed of beat matcher is adapting to meet the resulting dance-floor demand. While doctors continue to over-prescribe Ritalin for attention deficit cases, though, music is the only mind-altering substance Sunshine craves these days.
Alex Khadiwala deserves credit for first turning me on to MGMT. These days, Khadiwala is one of Beta's Noise Friday resident DJs. At the time, though, he played â€œPoptronicaâ€ on Beta's patio for the Beatport â€œPool Partiesâ€. One of his very first Poptronica mix CDs featured the MGMT track â€œElectric Feelâ€. I won't pretend that I was immediately blown away, but the tune definitely grew on me over time. Apparently, I wasn't alone.