Life in the Snow Globe
Christopher J Carr
I found myself cornered at the edge of the bar with a balding yet exceptionally friendly man who talked my ear off about the music industry. It is important to take every person seriously because you never know who they may be or become yet in the same breathe savor your words and speak lightly because they can also be batshit crazy.
I flip flopped down past the harbormaster lighthouse to my 85 VW Vanagon Desmond.
We rushed up the CA 1 with the glorious sunset exhaling electric pinks and gilded gold cloud tips on top indigo purple silhouettes. Soaring at sixty five feeling the chipper engine purr at a high idle I meditated on a pleasant journey.
The band was stoked to see I made it before sound check and luckily Omar of the B-Side Players blessed me with his bass rig to backline the show. It was so small and blown yet we sounded nice through the house. A quick Irish goodbye post jamming and I was off.
I switched out my VW in Apple Hill for a 91 Toyota Corolla with a hatchback and folding seats that became my rockstar suite and sheltered me from the subzero Tahoe temperatures. My New Years morning awakening ceremony consisted of scraping a layer of ice from inside the car that had resulted from my moisture freezing on the inside.
I drove into SnowGlobe like I owned the place hoping for a parking pass but came out with a 3 day shuttle wristband. Tahoe homies helped me out down the road and I took the clutch spot by the middle school fully equipped with porta potties and conveniently located walking distance from the event.
Buzzing ravers had a contagious bounce in their step walking down the way following the flags the organizers set out for us. I tip my hat to the organizers of SnowGlobe they truly made the experience space cadet proof.
South Lake Tahoe is truly God’s country yet it is wild. A young girl who decided to walk back from the festival last year froze and was found days later in a snow bank. This vibe was felt and explicit throughout the experience. “Take care of each other and always have a buddy” were the parting words of many performers.
Walking in were the many smiling faces of the cozy and colorful crowds in fleece pajamas, ski suits, leg warmers and animal onesies. This heady couple carried the California Republic flag hoisted high on a long pine limb marking the collective heritage of the gathering. My experience with the people inside was a celebration of all the major California regions. Tahoe is the underground capitol of the golden state.
I waltzed in after having the traditional bag search and welcomed warm frisking to the Floozies. One fat space jam. These good ole’ boys laying it down with a nice fusion of space bass and funk instrumentation. Mark and Matt Hill make up the dynamic innovative music duo with that old school classic rock influence in their cutting edge new interpretation of live music performance.
Amidst transitions between groups bundled up ski bums and bunnies toast their northern california pints while cotton candy plumes wobble above deep blue and purple skies.
It’s 5pm. Amp Live is onstage digital snowflakes precipitate behind him. Standing alone so stoic and pensive he set up the sound.
“My name is Amp Live and I’d like to warm this up for you”.
Powerful vibes. Zion I crew stoking the people inferno with words. Interactive syphers with the crowd these pros represented up in the 530 and the people responded big for that drop it on them big daddy bass.
Bay Area thunder.
Zion I crew blew up the place.
Zed’s Dead. Solid hypnotism whipping wet calculated drops Zed’s Dead plays a big bag of tricks nice range of badass bass music. Zed’s Dead: top notch, world class crew doing big things with their sound.
These artists gave me that quintessential close your eyes raise your hands up and release the hips experience.
Sitting on the edge of the railing above I somehow found myself in the VIP tent watching Kaskade.
This set resonated groovy and full of clarity. The lights were so enthralling they almost upstaged the music but the beauty of this set was taking in an ideal reservoir of people. I felt an electric atmosphere humming above this crowd and Kaskade resonated in the heartbeat of our collective bliss.
Post Kaskade was a crazy ride. I found Chico. Chico stayed in Santa Cruz over the summer and we shared some good times. Chico and his crew swooped me only to bounce stranding me at the Mont Bleu casino miles away from the car. A true fear and loathing moment walking through the casino with snow bunnies and oversized kids in onesies gambling, sipping cocktails and chain smoking camel crushes.
I ran out of there like a bewildered sasquatch blinded by the lights ready to sleep in my rock star suite of a 91 hatchback. I caught the last bus back to the Denny’s on the corner which was a short jaunt to my sweet sanctuary.
New Years eve came so serene with no snow to be found in South Lake. I went to the beach on Dec 31st in Tahoe with no shirt or shoes.
This second day I met people from all over and I was very pleased to see the “We from Santa Cruz and we get weird” signage above the crowd.
Zion I’s management and Vokab Kompany showed love and hooked up interviews for this gonzo.
How’d Vokab Kompany start?
“Burke lived in a house that this producer lived in. I was there making beats, a good buddy introduced us and we’d just lay down vocals and there was this track called “moments like these”.
“We felt the connection. We had always known each other through Tahoe roots.”
“We want to show that it is still rad and sonically pleasing to create every aspect and and every stem live”.
“Our message is living in the moment, working hard and quitting sleep”.
“Small victories keep ya pushing. If it weren’t for those small glimpses of what might be some measure of what success could be you wouldn’t keep pushing”.
“If you do have passion hold on to it. That’s everything. Things may steer you away. You may have a 9-5 thing that seems important but if you really do have that passion hold on and keep pushing”.
With these MC’s I found amnesty in the artist realm backstage. A land of plenty with Sierra Nevada kegs flowing on the regular and nice snacks to stimulate to most strung out guest and I am not talking about the writers except those from LA and I am not talking about the cool young Sam from “Beyond the Spotlight” and his mom because y’all were very professional. Respect.
Being blessed with an angel that made magic happen for me I sat with the artists and did my job.
Badass beats, ingenious melodies and a truly modern day dancer.
She stands as the lioness amongst the babbling cubs bewitched by her fierce and subtle spell.
Their game show gimmick gave birth to their enormous inflatable band member that consumed so much of my attention I could not capture the moment. One lucky gal stood in front of thousands and pressed the mysterious button which released this fantastical beast. Epic tracks which included lyrics of Les Claypool and original incarnations of the Beats Antique imagination.
Tahoe went off once Snoop Dizzle took the stage.The place was jumping, smoking, drinking and generally doing the nasty just like Snoop would have wished. Full capacity. Other butts being thrusted into spoons. Everyone became someone else’s cereal. Even the most masculine of men cuddled up to share a joint and sing gin and juice.
Big ups to Snoop for blessing up the crowd in the name of the most high “Jah Rastafari” at the end of his set and the people blessed up to the new year with the words of Bob Marley “Yeah, right, we Jamming…I want to Jam it with you”.
Don’t forget to check out Mr. Carr’s own music