Las Cruces is not a place that comes to mind when you consider the great music centers of the universe, but every now and then the cosmos are kind and the stars line up favorably for this often-forgotten southern New Mexico town.
Like when Chris Mason, of Cruces-based Dirt Cult Records, realized a number of bands would be heading his way after playing The Fest in Gainesville, Fla. He rounded them up with several other acts and put together Dirt Cult Fest.
“Dirt Cult Fest just kinda happened because a lot of bands who are either my friends or who I really respect are coming through those two days. It seemed like a good idea to do something more special than just a couple of regular old shows. So I asked some other friends to come down from El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix and beyond, and we're gonna throw a big, awesome show.”
Chris has fostered a do-it-yourself attitude toward music from a young age, evident in his independent promotions/record label owner/musician résumé. “I've been booking DIY-punk shows in Las Cruces for years and touring the country with my band, and I’ve met a lot of people who have inspired me to take on projects like this one.”
The lineup for the two-day show features several Las Cruces acts such as Shang-A-Lang and one-man-band Sean Bond Goon along with bands from as far away as the U.K., like The Dauntless Elite and Off Shore Radio. Nearly every genre that falls under the rock category is represented, including folk-punk duo Ghost Mice, and indie darlings like Shark Pants and The Underground Railroad to Candyland.
Many of the bands are bypassing Albuquerque on their way to Tucson and other stops along I-10, though a couple do have bookings lined up in Burque. But the opportunity to see them all in one place makes the three-hour drive worthwhile.
Things kick off at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and continue through Saturday night (doors open at 4 p.m.). Dirt Cult Fest takes place at The Farm in Las Cruces. All-ages, $8 per night or $14 for both nights. Advance tickets and information at www.myspace.com/