Relentless Beats

Last But Not Least: Take Time to Discover at Neon Desert Music Festival

Neon Desert Music Festival in El Paso, Texas is right around the corner, holding its 5th year of festivities over Memorial Day Weekend at Cleveland Square Park in downtown El Paso. This year’s line-up is stacked with big names in all genres including electronic, rap, indie, and alternative. There are a couple of reasons we all attend music festivals: they allow us the opportunity to hangout with some of our closest friends, they provide us with the opportunity to meet new people, we get to see some of the biggest name artists all in one location, and they deliver the space to explore new music. We are all familiar with names like J. Cole, Kaskade, Passion Pit, and Flume, and we are very excited to see them all in one place. However, musical discovery is just as important. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the lesser-known artists on the line-up and provide you guys with a little sample of your potential new favorite artists. Let’s dive straight to the last row of the line up!

Part Time

Hailing form San Francisco, Part Time is an Experimental Pop/Rock group who is known for making music on lo-fi synths and cheap keyboards. Part Time pioneer, David Speck produces under a number of record labels: Loglady, Mexican Summer, and Burger Records. After finding success producing his music he took on the alias Davida Loca and formed the touring band: Part Time. The first thing that comes to mind when listening to Part Time’s music is the soundtrack for the 2011 Ryan Gosling film, Drive. It is very stylish, very sleek, very mysterious, and it just makes you want to pack up and hit the road with your sunglasses on driving toward a neon sunset. Check out their song “Night Drive” below:

Eureka the Butcher

Eureka the Butcher is definitely unique and has a very distinct sound. Although not necessarily dance music, his electronic sound triggers a sense of unease and curiosity. The sound is unfamiliar, yet oddly satisfying. He is most well known for his album entitled “Music for Mothers” which was released in May of 2013. Being an El Paso native, Eureka the Butcher will be sure to put on an especially phenomenal performance for his hometown. Stream “Music for Mothers” here:

The D.A.

Another band born in El Paso, The D.A. is a dance-rock quartet that was founded in 2007. Their music blends the sound of traditional indie rock with the synths of electronic music as well as a unique trumpet flare. According to their Facebook site, The D.A. fuses “the rhythmic explosiveness of The Rapture, the quirky joie de vivreof The Talking Heads, the lyrical wryness of Modest Mouse and an instrumental blend like no other”. Having already taken part in a number of festivals around the country, The D.A. is going to show us that they are true festival veterans and blow the non-existent roof off of the Neon Desert.

Fixed Idea

There is nothing like looking back on the days of playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with my buddies in middle school and listening to the punk/ska soundtrack. The sound of Fixed Idea takes me back to those days of playing H.O.R.S.E. and doing kick-flips. They evoke memories of the 90’s, listening to reggae, kicking back in the sun, and forgetting about everything. Fixed Idea is a band that has been around for about 22 years and is a local favorite in El Paso. Although they started a number of years ago and have endured many changes in that time, the bands one staple is lead vocalist/guitar, Pancho Mendoza. Pancho has grown with the band and has pioneered them to national recognition. This is the tropical sound of yesterday and Fixed Idea is bringing it to Neon Desert in full force.


Last on the line-up, but certainly not least in quality music, Avindale has created some pretty stunning melodies. Their blend of ambient music and indie rock makes me both want to lie down in the grass with my eyes closed and to cheer with the loud crowds at a music festival. The band is hard at work getting their music to reach as many ears as possible, trying even to strike a distribution deal in Japan. Growing up in a small town with not much to bank on for a music career, these guys have the hard work and motivation to take themselves places, rather than relying on their city to do it for them. With two EPs and two singles released so far, Avindale is on a fast track to success.

And thus our spotlight comes to a close. Make your way out to the Neon Desert Music Festival this Memorial Day Weekend to dance to an eclectic array of music including everything from Cypress Hill to Anna Lunoe to Avindale. These spotlighted artists may be on the last line of the line-up, but that only means that they are still working on getting their names out there. Be sure to arrive early and support these talented bands who have worked their asses off to achieve success and who knows, maybe you will have just witnessed a future top-line headliner!

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