By Lisa Morgan –

Sponsored by Goldenvoice, MyDesert.com., PS Resorts, Harold Matzner & Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians –

How many times have I heard the valid complaint that our local musicians are not given the opportunity to play at the huge, Goldenvoice produced, music festivals that make their home here in the Coachella Valley every year?  Well, at last, Goldenvoice has heard our cry and will be celebrating three of our local, original bands.  They will do so at their Tachevah Block Party, Sunday, April 17th from 5-11pm at the Spa Resort and Casino.  Each band will play before Goldenvoice executives and block party attendees for 30 minutes, giving them priceless and rare exposure and opportunity.

The competition was tough as over 80 video submissions were reviewed and voted on by more than 95,000 fans.  While there were many deserving bands, props should be given to Goldenvoice; these top three bands are truly “local” and none of which could have won based on social network numbers (Facebook “likes”) alone.  These three bands are uniquely wonderful in their delivery of non-commercial, original music and are sure to fabulously represent our phenomenal desert music scene.

The Pedestrians ~ Speaking with Brandon Henderson of The Pedestrians, a name familiar to our desert music scene as a player and promoter (nominated for CV Weekly’s Best Promoter 2013), he shared his experience with the contest.  “We really felt like the underdogs.  We didn’t have a video produced when Mondo, our bass player told us about the contest.   We are still building our EPK (electronic press kit).  So we just filmed our next gig at the Firehouse at the last minute.  There were so many good bands and we didn’t feel the video was a full representation of our music.”  If you’ve had the opportunity to see The Pedestrians, the band that Tachevah describes as “a horn-supplemented band from Indio featuring a fusion of punk, ska, funk and hip-hop”, you know exactly why they are worthy victors.  They are the hometown boys of funk infected punk who have been dedicated to perpetuating the creativity of desert music scene since 1993.  “We were totally stoked to make top 20 not to mention the top three!  This gives us huge motivation to get all our marketing together with proper studio recordings of our solid material,” says Brandon. The Pedestrians were also nominated in CV Weekly’s Best of 2013 for Best Band and Best Live Performance Band. Follow the Pedestrians on FB at The Pedestrians Official. For booking, contact Ray Phillips (AKA DJ Ray) at 760-497-8900

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The Tribesmen ~ Tachevah lists these guys as “an indie experimental band from Coachella that emphasizes instrumental music”.   It was pleasantly surprising that a strictly instrumental band would make the cut, but these guys are a virtual sonic candy store delivering unique instrumentation and arrangements that make your ears and emotions dance as easily as any lyrically based band.  They too had to rush into production of a video for their submission.  It so happens that a mutual friend from another band that entered the contest filmed their video for them.  Freddy Jimenez, the group’s drummer shared, “We love what we’re doing.  This is our dream.  We have new songs being mixed and hope to be ready to distribute them by the day of the show… we will be practicing real hard between now and then.”  You can follow this Coachella based band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tribesmencv.

You Me & Us ~ This band is listed on Tachevah’s website as “a Bermuda Dunes indie duo that recently played South By Southwest”.   While it is true they have been on the road with a rather full touring schedule, including performing at the recent South X Southwest in Austin, Texas, this band is actually a trio now.  “We heard about the contest from Carlee’s brother initially, and a lot of people kept telling us we should enter. We had never shot a video before, and were just about to leave on tour. So we decided to take Ignacio’s dad’s VHS camera from the 90’s with us and just shoot whatever footage we could. We set it to a new song that hasn’t been released yet, and we were just excited to give people a sneak preview of our new record.”  When asked what they felt their chances were they responded, “We were definitely hopeful.  We were really happy with the video and song we submitted. But at the same time we understood that a lot of bands from all over were submitting and that it could really be anyone’s game.”  I asked what they were going to do to prepare for the big show.  They answered, “We are so excited to play a hometown show, especially one of this caliber. We’re just practicing our set, hanging out with our dogs, and eating celebratory tacos.”  You can follow You Me & Us (no commas, and an ampersand) at the following links:

Official website- youmeandusband.com
Bandcamp- grumpybear.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/youmeandus
Twitter- twitter.com/youmeandusband

Congratulations to all of our local entries.  We cannot say enough how impressed and proud we are of every single one of you, and are dedicated to supporting you, “the music makers, the dreamers of dreams”, the ones who make this desert an even more beautiful place to live, one creative song at a time.