Festivals, Conspiracy Theories, And Cartoons- Oh My!

Festivals, Conspiracy Theories, And Cartoons- Oh My!

Desert Daze Music Festival and an Accidental Interview with its Art Director, Mason Rothschild

Imagine an electric wonderland of music and art where cowboys and aliens not only coexist but—dance, on gritty desert sand, surrounded on all ends by wistful mountain ridges. What if I told you this utopia for music lovers far from civilization yet in the heart of the desert is a reality? What if I told you it’s all happening in a few months? Well, this wonderland will have you in daze.

With exciting additions Iggy Pop, Cigarettes After Sex, and Sleep being the final touches to already killer lineup it’s no wonder Desert Daze is expected to bring thousands out to Joshua Tree’s Institute of Mentalphysics in October. Moon Block, the organization behind this marvelous madness, has also included in this year’s festival lineup Eagles of Death Metal, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Twin Peaks, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Allah-Las, La Femme, and Ariel Pink amongst many more.

With the recent release of this full lineup, now is as good as anytime as ever to share my accidental interview with Mason Rothschild, guitarist of the band JJUUJJUU and art director of this whole euphoric shebang.

From talk of a magical music festival, to 90's Nickelodeon, to reptilian humanoids and the Illuminati my time with him was anything but ordinary.

It was 11:30 pm on a weekday in March when I found myself sitting beside Rothschild of the universe in a black-lit zebra striped room. To my left was Claire Hawley, the photographer half of our Claire Squared journalistic duo. She was capturing the moment as I conversed and commemorated my first official interview. Thank heavens Mason had a lot to say.

He was traveling with the Desert Daze Caravan tour, where he along with other featured artists from the past lineup ended up in our very own Downtown Las Vegas for Neon Reverb festival.

The conversation began with a personal explanation of how I was an aspiring journalist to which I was cut off with Mason’s reassurance, “Well no, you’re just a journalist. I feel like if you’re writing for a blog then you just are, you know?” “The first time I played a show, I’m a musician. The first time I was an art director—I was an art director.” he laughed and shrugged. With his words of wisdom, my mini notebook, color-changing pen, and my homemade badge I felt legit enough to continue with the confidence of the badass I could pretend to be.

I learned quickly Mason was a really cool guy to talk to and soon enough the basics were answered and conversation elevated. He shared his vision as art director “I wanted a story to tie all the installation, all the sculptural artists together so it wasn’t like Burning Man, a shipwreck here and a computer lab there.” With 125 people in his art department there was plenty of room for error and nervousness but Rothschild assured, “I luckily hired all these people that are such wonderful, talented individuals…” he was able to achieve sharing the wonder and amazement Disneyland brings little kids, with adults. “I wanted there to be more of a show than just a band on a stage.” He, and everyone involved in the making of Desert Daze ultimately aim to create an experience, “With our lineup and all our artists combined, we’ve just got the magic.”

“[When I think of music] I want to go to place with likeminded individuals…When you bring likeminded bands and all this very curated content you bring in a curated crowd. So the people that come in are all there for a singular purpose—to listen to music and experience art; not to show off fashion and hangout, that’s bullshit. That’s why we’re the anti-festival, Desert Daze is for a smaller audience…bringing the scene together.” He hopes Desert Daze can be a model for new festivals in other genres; more events that tailor to smaller crowds attending specifically to take in the environment created.

The commercialism of major leagues in the LA festival scene, like Coachella and Burning Man, was brought up. Mason affirms Desert Daze is simply not like that, “The commodification is just a byproduct. We want to do the coolest fucking thing for our community, but we also need to pay everybody.” Desert Daze is a rarity, genuinely by musicians and artists for musicians and artists, “we had to learn all this shit because none of us are from the festival world… we’re just trying to have a party, dude.”

We gabbed on a bit more about logistics and technicalities behind the creation of this experience before somehow ending up discussing Saturday morning cartoons. “I love cartoons,” after serious contemplation Mason declared his favorite had to be The Ren & Stimpy Show; a unique Nicktoons choice but a great one and no surprise at that. Talk led to internet streaming, the FBI, smart TVs, and finally conspiracies. Mason laughed, “Those fucking smart TVs they’re spying on your fucking house. Reptilian shape shifting aliens all the way at the top of the government—everyone’s fucked!” He denied being labeled a conspiracy theorist but did mention his name, “…the [Free] Masons and the Rothschilds are both kind of funny.” He did reveal one of his favorite books which he recommends to anyone, Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret of the Illuminati by Robert Anton Wilson; it’s the first in a series of autobiographical exploration pieces into the works of various conspiracies, religions, and perceptions; once again, an interesting choice to which I would expect nothing less.

An enormous thank you is due to Mason for not only taking the time to exchange words and share Desert Daze, but for bearing with me on the achievement of this milestone in my journalistic career and being undeniably interesting the whole way through. This will forever be one of my favorites in my reserve of stories to tell.

Mason’s and his partners’ with Desert Daze intention is to “create an experience that relates more to the senses than just a one dimensional band.” They create a temporary psychedelic sanctuary for lovers, funsters, and even punks to gather, revel, wallow, and enjoy. It’s a weekend of energetic multidimensional entity with a remarkable team coordinating and even greater attendees. So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets to #DesertDaze2017 now!


Cover Image Credit: Claire Hawley

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.


Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.

Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

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Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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