By Rich Henrich
AMFM Fest: art, music, film and more sponsored by Cathedral City will close this year’s festivities with a Wrap Party, sponsored by CV Weekly, at Schmidy’s Tavern in Palm Desert. The bands are set and ready to take the stage. This year’s line up will feature local stand outs Burning Bettie and CIVX with the closing act featuring a return from last year’s festival, Tramps in Stereo lead by Coachella Valley tied rocker Jesse Vasquez.
Schmidy’s Tavern will run the beer garden during the Festival of Art, Music, Film and More on Friday and Saturday night November 14-15th featuring a great quality selection of beer the Tavern has developed a reputation for in the area. “We are thrilled to have Schmidy’s Tavern on board for AMFM Fest this year. They share a common vision for community, like we do, and we couldn’t be happier to partner with them,” says Festival Director Stephanie Bell. In addition to the beer garden, Schmidy’s will host the official wrap party for the festival. Schmidy’s owner Dennis Ford says: “We’re thrilled about it. It’s our first time to be involved with anything like this and we are honored to be part of it. It’s exciting! We’re a big supporter of local music at the Tavern and we’re happy to support AMFM Fest.”
Giorg Tierez, tattooed and bearded, the inconspicuous front man for Burning Bettie, will bring a healthy dose of charm mixed with melody and music to bring the AMFM Fest to a close. The band, formed through Craig’s List, represents the spirit of the festival well, as a group of talented musicians all seeking to find a perfect mix of synergy to create music and lyrics from the heart. While their genre may be listed as rock, they have a unique take on rock music that comes out in refreshing new ways. Their music plays of the past with reminiscent riffs of Buddy Holly and The Beatles through classic hard rock and surf and punk rock and into rockabilly licks that fade into 80’s and 90’s indie, rock and metal. The melding of sound is a treat to the music lover and something to discover.
Cathedral City locals CIVX, formed in early 2014 consists of Nick Hernandez on Vocals and Bass, Dillion Dominguez on Guitar, Sal Gutierrez strumming the strings and Joel Guerrero banging the drums. All members came together after stints with various other projects. Three of the members played at last year’s AMFM Fest with the PSSSTOLS. The band has quickly taken the world by storm, landing on the stage at Coachella, with their intricate style, texture and sonic noise that recalls a sound like Interpol but delves beyond. CIVX’s blend of punk and post-punk rhythms recently attracted the attention of chart-climbers Fitz and the Tantrums, a band they opened for this year. This band definitely represents the homegrown talent in Cathedral City and the Coachella Valley.
Palm Springs resident and front man, Jesse Vasquez of Tramps in Stereo, brings in the sounds of electro pop, analog synth and guitar bits mixed with 60’s mod, return to the AMFM Fest stage for a closing night performance. Their latest single “Searching for a Paradise,” is getting some air play and the band is definitely picking up momentum. Tramps in Stereo have produced an album with heartfelt lyrics, catchy melodies and beats that move the body. The music that comes from this band calls in the sounds of Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, The Smiths and David Bowie.
This year’s AMFM Fest will kick-off on Thursday Nov. 13th at the UltraStar Mary Pickford Theatre with a play by Ed Asner and Mark Rydell, who directed The Cowboys with John Wayne and On Golden Pond. The festival will run through November 16th and will feature art in the Pickford mezzanine, music on Friday and Saturday night in the Town Square and plenty of films and panels inside the theatre. The event will host several celebrities such as Robert Loggia (Scarface, Lost Highway, The Family Guy) and BooBoo Stewart (Twilight, X-Men: Days of Future Past) with their film An Evergreen Christmas screening on Friday night, Nov. 14th. The festival will benefit an arts-based scholarship fund for Coachella Valley students wishing to pursue arts education.
VIP Passes now on sale at the Mary Pickford box office. Individual tickets will go on sale Nov. 1st and will be available for purchase through the Pickford box office.
More announcements to come so stay tuned to www.facebook.com/AMFMfest and to Coachella Valley Weekly for continuous coverage of the event.