Occasional Journal correspondent Travis Turner offers this heads up in a guest post about a show coming to the Blue Lake Casino:
For most of us there is that one artist that easily slides out of the iTunes quiver, loads itself into the Bose and fires you straight into the night. Reaching for it is as thoughtless as picking out socks. You know the music; you hear it in your sleep and hum it while walking down the street.
For me that music comes from Derek Smith, better know as Pretty Lights. Smith brings elegance to his arrangements of electronic sounds and samples. From Filling Up the City Skies (2008) to Spilling Over the Side (2010) Smith makes music listening as easy as hitting shuffle.
Each track tells a specific story and instills a sense of wonder. Some are like wind blowing through an open window making curtains dance and sway. Others are like a walk down an alley in early morning fog with hushed sounds that cause you to stare into dark places. At times the music is so familiar that it feels like Smith reaches in and plucks the strings of your memory.
That sense of the familiar is not an accident. Smith mixes in everyone from Nirvana to Run DMC in what he calls his Electro Hip-Hop Soul style. He even remixed John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads in 2011.
In high school he wrote and produced hip-hop in Fort Collins, Colo., and soon started opening for STS9, The Disco Biscuits and Widespread Panic. In 2009 Smith and his musical partner at the time, Cory Eberhard, started playing on the festival circuit. Over the next year they played at Bonnaroo, Rothbury, Electric Daisy Carnival and Camp Bisco.
In 2010 Pretty Lights replaced Eberhard with drummer Adam Deitch and made their debut appearance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. In January 2011 Pretty Lights released two albums on the newly formed Pretty Lights music label. That label gives away all of its music for free, which makes it easy to get some new blood pumping through your mp3 player.
World Famous Productions will be presenting Pretty Lights at the Blue Lake Casino on Sept. 9, along with special guests Stephan Jacobs and Paul Basic. The show starts at 7 p.m. and will be outdoors, so bring a jacket or be prepared to dance like a crazy person. Tickets are available at Lotus Café or Peoples Records in Arcata, The Works in Eureka or online.