Could I Have That? Blogger Samantha Wennerstrom Shares How To Pack For a Summer Vacay Like a Fashion Pro

Samantha Wennerstrom produces the fashion and lifestyle blog Could I Have That? sharing everything she’s coveting and loving from wardrobe finds and style notes to travel destinations and home design. We asked the well-traveled, Santa Barbara-based mom and blogger to share her essentials for packing for summer trips. Check out her picks here.

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1. A simple, yet chic black dress will take you anywhere…
2. Sunnies to go along with a tan…
3. For salty days…
4. Wide leg jeans to pair with blousy tops and and a great pair of heels. 
5. My travel must, a comfortable tee. 
6. When you travel pick footwear that is versatile, like these slides. The less you pack the better. 
7. I’m always cold on the plane so packing a good knit is an essential.

Q&A: Miranda Bennett of Miranda Bennett Studio

By Julia Cardi

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Editorial photograph from Miranda’s website. Photo by Jackie Lee Young.

If Miranda Bennett could go back to when she was first designing clothes and tell herself one thing she wishes she’d known, she would remind herself that there’s no one right way of doing things.

Everything she learned in fashion school directed her toward working in the framework of the industry’s biggest names, with independent lines surviving on the edges of the industry. Miranda knew a highly corporate environment wasn’t for her, so her career as a designer has been defined by searching for what feels right for her, and through experience Miranda has gained confidence in the validity of her decisions.

For Miranda, finding her true north meant moving home to Austin after several years of having a clothing line in New York and checking off her career goals. She took time off and began experimenting with plant-based dyes without any pressure of what she might eventually turn the project into, and her desire to make clothing began to renew.

She’s grown the result, Miranda Bennett Studio, into a consciously produced women’s clothing line using plant dyes and all-natural fibers, produced by an all-woman team in Austin. In advance of Thursday’s trunk show at Goldyn, Miranda took time to chat about the versatility of her clothing, the importance of empowering women, and the perfect white T-shirt.

Describe the ideal person who wears the line.

I found that our customer ranges from teenagers to women in their 80s. And I think because it is a very versatile aesthetic, it really lends itself to all different kinds of people that want to style and wear these pieces in a way that makes them the focal point, or that allows them the versatility to, let’s say, wear it with a different type of accessory … in order to make it really suit who they are and what their aesthetic is.

With your current clothing line, what did you feel like was missing from lines already out there that you’re trying to fulfill with yours?

I would say it was having the versatility of a garment that could really journey with me from day to evening. For a long time when I first moved back to Austin I would ride my bike everywhere, or I did freelance work styling, which was very physical. And there was something I really was missing in the clothing that was available to me, in the sense that I couldn’t find things I could move freely in [and] do all of the different things I would do in a day, but then also feel confident to then transition into having dinner or drinks or going to an opening after work without always having the opportunity to go home and kind of hit reset.

And also just having something that I felt could be a go-to piece, no matter what my size [was] or where I was in the course of a month, or just as other parts of my life were sort of shifting around.

I had pieces that I loved from a more aspirational standpoint. But I was really hoping to see things that were super versatile without feeling too basic.

Tell me about the decision to use plant dyes and all-natural fibers.

I’ve always actually worked just with natural fibers, because for me, well, from both an aesthetic and personal preference, I like the feel, the breathability, and just the natural origin of natural fibers. I’d had a more traditional clothing line in New York, and when I moved back to Austin, which is where I’m originally from, I took time off of having my line and having any sort of commercial pressure from that project.

I got an artist studio in a place here in town, and I started to self-educate with plant-based dyes, more just from a “getting my hands back in the process” motivation.

And then as I started to work further with it, my desire to make clothing kind of re-emerged. And having the process and the ability to come up with colors that doing small-scale batch size was giving me, I found really inspiring and motivating. The idea of sort of bringing that to play in scale for a clothing collection was a very interesting and fun challenge for me to consider.

It’s definitely a challenge; it’s not the easiest thing that you can do – put dyeing to scale. It’s neither cheap nor simple, but I think the end result is really beautiful and special.

How do you resist the pressure within the fashion industry to come out with several collections per year (pre-fall, resort, pre-spring, etc.)?

My initial desire with the collection was actually not even to consider our releases in terms of the typical seasons. In a perfect world, I would just be releasing things as [the team] came up with formulas, or found a new fabric we loved, or a new style.

But for me, it’s just aligning with those two seasons has kind of been the compromise on that because we have to meet our buyers where they are and play fair with the overall system that we exist within. But we actually offer our collection to buyers in a bit of an atypical format because we produce here with a local team and can do things year-round. We give deliveries that allow to basically meet all of those different market cycles, so people that meet us at market twice a year, we’re actually delivering to them throughout the season.

Describe the perfect white T-shirt.

I struggle with T-shirts. I often find that the neck is too high, so usually if it’s me wearing it, I would just immediately be stretching the neck out with my hands or cutting the ring off altogether.

Definitely something with a lower, kind of easier neck. A really light weight, feels like it’s been washed a million times. In general, I don’t wear a lot of jersey, because I don’t like things that are clingy. So something that has a little bit of a looser, easier drape. Definitely 100 percent cotton, or I love a linen knit, if I am going to wear a knit.

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Miranda Bennett (far left) and her team in Austin. Photo by Leah Muse.

What about having an all-woman team is important to you?

I was raised in the company of women – single mom, sisters. A lot of the mentors that I’ve had have been women. It wasn’t my conscious decision; it’s not that I wouldn’t hire a man.

I looked around one day, though, and I realized that just naturally that was the makeup of my team. I honestly am just blown away all the time by the strength and dynamic nature and the versatility of the women that I work with.

I think often in the workplace, women are underpaid, undervalued and are not brought up to ask for the things that men are brought up to ask for. So in another sense, this for me feels like a really exciting opportunity to empower and create positions for women.

Click here to shop Miranda Bennett Studio at Goldyn, and come by the store Thursday from 4-7 p.m. to check out even more styles and meet Miranda herself.

For Your Ears: Goldyn’s 10 YRZZZZZZ Playlist

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While we’re gearing up to celebrate Goldyn’s 10th birthday, we put together a quick little playlist highlighting the 2 amazing music acts who will be playing live at our event on June 2nd.  Denver’s OKO TYGRA and RUMTUM are both most definitely on the up-and-up, and most definitely worth checking out if they aren’t already on your radar.

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OKO TYGRA standing tall.  Photo by Luca Venter.

OKO TYGRA is a 3-piece dream pop group made up of Joshua Novak, Neil Robertson, and Jeremiah Mora.  The band was born after Novak was in an accident and suffered a life-threatening head injury, inspiring him to go after his true passion and create a “love letter” to bands Cocteau Twins and Slowdive.  OKO TYGRA has played SXSW, UMS in Denver and was accepted into CMJ in New York in 2014 & 2015, making them the only band to represent Denver in the 2014 showcase.  They most recently played at the Treefort Festival, and are currently working on releasing a full length album with producer Jorge Elbrecht.

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RUMTUM making magic.  Photo courtesy of the artist.

RUMTUM is the magical creative pseudonym for musician and artist John Hastings, who – among many other talents including visual arts and furniture making – produces incredible, atmospheric electronic music.  Hastings has a unique approach to crafting his melodies, oftentimes recording found objects and handmade instruments.  Inspired by themes like nature and architecture, RUMTUM‘s latest full length release from label Wax Thematique, “Mora Tuga,” is beautiful, lush and imaginative.

Give our Spotify playlist below a listen to hear more from these two inspiring acts (hey, we can’t stop listening…) and be sure to come by our Stay Gold(yn) 10th Anniversary Celebration on June 2nd from 6-9pm at the shop!

After the After Shock: Goldyn x Denver Art Museum Multi-Sensory Fashion Show Recapped

To say that we were honored when the Denver Art Museum approached us about putting together a fashion show to celebrate their Shockwave exhibit on groundbreaking 80s and 90s Japanese fashion is an understatement.  We still get goosebumps thinking about the shakeup created when designers like Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo came out with their collections 20-30+ years ago, which seem just as relevant today as they ever were.

With the help of dance ensemble Avatar Movement, some insane choreography and model-dancer interaction, and a wild installation by interactive artist Cacheflowe, our team (including producers extraordinaire Jenny Baker-Strasburg and Mary Spicer) presented quite possibly the most interesting, unusual fashion show we’ve done to date.  Thanks are also due to Matthew Morris Salon and Katelyn Simkins for hair and makeup, Sacred Thistle for floral arrangements, and Wilhelmina models for their contributions.

Check out a video recap of the event, taken by Avatar Movement, as well as pics from the event below courtesy of Sara Ford Photography.

Aftershock: Hosted by DAM Contemporaries

We are beyond excited to have teamed up with the Denver Art Museum for what will be one of the most unique fashion show experiences Goldyn has done to date – Aftershock. Join Goldyn and DAM Contemporaries for a multi-sensory fashion show and reception highlighting the new rotation of Shock Wave, an exhibition of revolutionary Japanese designers from the 1980s-1990s

Not to be missed, DAM’s Shock Wave exhibit opened in the Fall, highlighting Japanese Fashion Design from the 1980s–90s, whose work started a fashion revolution in Paris and continues to influence designers today. The exhibition features 70 looks by powerhouse designers Issey Miyake, Kenzo Takada, Kansai Yamamoto, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, and Junya Watanabe, whose impact on fashion still resonates today.

Enjoy a style presentation by Goldyn featuring clothing inspired by Shock Wave, including current Japanese and Japanese-inspired designers currently stocked at the boutique, from the Spring 2017 collections.

Experience 1980s Japanese couture fashion in a larger-than-life interactive installation. Your body will control enormous shape-shifting compositions using graphical elements from (and influenced by) the Shock Wave exhibit. Travel through time & space and become the fashion through this interactive art installation created just for this event by Justin Gitlin (a.k.a. Cacheflowe), an independent creative coder, musician and multimedia artist based in Denver, Colorado, USA. As a visual artist, Justin creates algorithmic designs for print, apparel, physical products, music videos and art installations. His visual collaborations have been shown at the Denver Art Museum, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Dateline and Monkeytown 4. Justin was a co-founding partner of Mode Set, Ello, OhHeckYeah and Plastic Sound Supply.

A special dance performance by Avatar Movement Dance company, a Denver-born contemporary dance company, will accompany the fashion show. Going into their 10th season, the dancers of AMDC strive to bring art alive in their annual spring series of storytelling performances, and promote individual artistic vision in their annual fall series of choreographic interpretations. Join them as choreographer Les Martin weaves together an ‘old meets new’ experience blending together 1980s Couture Japanese Fashion, the work of modern founder Merce Cunningham, and a new age contemporary twist. A truly unique happening bringing together art, dance and fashion.

Hair and makeup provided by the ever-talented Matthew Morris Salon & Skincare. Matthew Morris stylists provide a professional and luxurious experience with exceptional customer service and sought-after services and products, backed by constant education and innovation.

Floral arrangements will be from the amazing, Wabi-Sabi specialists Sacred Thistle. Sacred Thistle is the conception of mother + daughter duo Sydney and Cornelia Peterson based out of Denver, Colorado. Available for travel across the globe – for events micro to macro. “Surrounded by the great giants to the West and rolling plains in the East, we seek our inspiration from nature & the seasons. Admiring the expressive movement of each stem, we place each individual to create sculpture rather than merely provide a service. Our style has been influenced by the Japanese way of Wabi-Sabi; Embracing imperfection and appreciating every stage of a flowers being. We seek to escape the mindset floral culture has ingrained in us – flowers are living and flawed, and incredible. And, yes, they will die. And they will still be beautiful.”

VIP Tickets holders will receive a private tour of Shock Wave with Florence Müller, the Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Curator of Fashion, who joined the museum in 2015.

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

5:30PM VIP | 6:30PM GA | 7:30PM Fashion Presentation

Cocktails, drinks + passed hors d’oeuvres 6:30-9:30PM

VIP $150, includes: private tour of the Shock Wave exhibit with Florence Müller, complimentary signature cocktails, two signature cocktails, passed Japanese inspired bites, luxury gift bags.

GA $45, $35 for DAM Contemporaries Members includes: signature cocktails and passed Japanese inspired bites.

Link to purchase tickets: http://denverartmuseum.org/calendar/aftershock

Goldyn Girl Interview: Minka Sicklinger

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Minka wears jewelry by The Woods and her own vintage finds.  Photos by Kristen Hatgi Sink.

Every once in a while we like to feature women who are not only near and dear to the shop, but who have that je ne sais quois about them that just begs to be spotlighted… renowned NYC artist Minka Sicklinger is most definitely one of those women.  It took some noodling around between the two of us to remember just exactly how we met… somewhere between becoming acquainted via jeweler Pamela Love, who is one of Minka’s many well-known tattoo clients, getting tattooed, and bringing her by Goldyn, our paths crossed.  In any case, we became fast friends.  Her presence is eye catching, between her pixie-like body that’s covered in tattoos, her effusive energy and her insanely lust-worthy wardrobe.  Which leads me to one of the most interesting things about Minka… her background, and its relation to fashion.

On her recent visit to Denver, Minka and I spent some time playing around with clothing at the shop – showcasing her incredibly talented styling skills – and I got a chance to find out more about this beautiful creature….

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A Megan Huntz jumpsuit is made ever more playful with Helmut Lang shearling high tops and hooded scarf, and loads of jewelry from locals Never a Wallflower and Karli Alfson, shot by Kristen Hatgi Sink

Goldyn:  You’re best known for tattooing, but something not many people know about is your fashion background… can you tell me a little more about what you did in fashion and how you got into that?

Minka:  It originally started when I went to university for photography…. it was when photography was becoming increasingly more digital and, realizing I would have trouble making a solid career in fashion being an analogue photographer, I became interested in a different aspect of it…styling… I ended up working under a great stylist in Melbourne an eventually going out on my own before I left Australia [where Sicklinger was raised]… I lived in Mexico City for a year where I continued to work as a stylist before coming to New York.

Goldyn:  Do you find that your fashion experience influences your tattooing style at all, or more just your personal style?

Minka:  I always had a strong personal style so in that sense styling just became a new medium to work in for me…creating narrative and an aesthetic on the body in a specific staged context…clothing has always been like sculpture on the body  to me.  My fashion experience doesn’t influence my tattoo style but it definitely helps with understanding how designs work on the body…understanding how fabric drapes and alters body proportions is directly relatable to how a tattoo design fits on the body.
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Perusing.  Photo by Kristen Hatgi Sink.

Goldyn:  What drew you into tattooing after being in fashion?

Minka:  It was an accident really…I had already been getting tattooed for a number of years and I chose to move on from styling after a year of doing it in New York, and I started working at a tattoo shop as back-of-house help and it went from there…

Goldyn:  Style is still clearly an important part of your identity…. how would you describe your personal style?

Minka:  I just wear what I love…sometimes it’s crazy and extravagant, sometimes it’s very plain and boring…to me if you love everything you wear then it all goes together by default.  I don’t plan outfits, I just put on whatever I feel like on that day..but it is definitely getting more refined and conservative as I get older!

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Leather jacket by Veda, culottes by Shaina Mote, mesh top by Lauren Nevada, shearling high tops by Helmut Lang, and antler necklace by Native and Nomad, shot by Kristen Hatgi Sink

Goldyn:  Any favorite designers right now?

Minka:  Always Commes des Garçon and Yohji Yamamoto…Kenzo I love…I wear a lot of Acne Studios and Creatures of Comfort…I’ve always been more about individual pieces though than actual designers so it’s a hard question to answer!  I’m also a big fan of random cheap pieces that are fun to mix with designer clothing…and of course a bit of vintage that i still have floating around…

Goldyn:  What’s been your best clothing find as of late?

Minka:  A few months ago when I found an amazing Rick Owens leather and mohair full length coat in a consignment store in NYC at a fraction of its original price…I rarely wear it but it’s that one thing in your closet that when you put it on you feel like a million dollars!

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Shoes by Helmut Lang and Minka’s own assortment of glorious gems to adorn every finger, photo by Kristen Hatgi Sink

Goldyn:  If you could be anything in the world, and money was no object, what would you be doing?

Minka:  Designing extravagant interiors and doing custom tiled floors…and building a cabin in the woods from scratch.

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Vintage Kenzo suit, tee by Helmut Lang, brooch by Ora et Labora.  Pic by Kristen Hatgi Sink.

Goldyn:  You’ve been coming out to Denver for a little while now, where have been your favorite spots to hang at here? 

Minka:  Obviously Goldyn, Ritualcravt, Ironwood, Root Down, Black Eye Coffee, City o’ City…and THE MOUNTAINS!!!

xx

Introducing Lauren Manoogian’s Dreamy Knits at Goldyn

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Each season we hone in on the best, most beautiful, well-made, handcrafted, and thoughtfully-curated group of designers in apparel, accessories and jewelry to bring to our customers.  This Fall season we added one that we’re particularly excited about – Brooklyn-based knitwear designer Lauren Manoogian.  Lauren’s knits are handmade on traditional looms using all natural and oftentimes organic fibers, and the quality of the craftsmanship is apparent at first touch.  While the collection is not currently available in our online shop, you can find her dreamy designs of wool, alpaca and cashmere at our brick-and-mortar shop in the LoHi neighborhood of Denver, as well as photographed here below – simply call us at 1888.6GOLDYN or email info@shopgoldyn.com to place an order if you’re not a local.  Her timeless and simple-yet-elegant shapes will be key wardrobe pieces for years to come.

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Capote Coat

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Arch Pants

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Patchwork Cable Coat

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Crewneck Pullover

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Oversize Rollneck

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Cashmere hat and scarf

Playlist: Oh Hey Denver

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Denver band DeCollage playing the Bluebird Theater, photo courtesy of Addison Herron-Wheeler from ireadculture.com

It’s safe to say that Denver’s music scene is on fire.  To be fair, it’s been smoldering for quite some time.  But lately it just seems that the city’s growth and creative energy have coalesced to create one beautiful, thriving, and collaborative local music industry, as evidenced by the profusion of new bands, collectives, electronic acts, production studios, and even a few new venues.  Feeling inspired, I gathered some of my personal favorites to compile our Oh Hey Denver playlist below, in hopes of sharing some of these newer local discoveries – some very under-the-radar and some more well-known – with y’all.  Click below to give it a listen and discover some local bands that we’ve been jamming out to at the store on the daily 😉

Are we nearing the age of enlightenment, has Kundalini taken over our lives, or is the all-white color palette a passing fancy?

I was recently chatting with a friend, when she mentioned that she noticed herself gravitating away from our usual all-black uniform, instead seeking a whiter, lighter color palette in her wardrobe.  The interesting thing is that the same could be said for myself, and I dare say a large portion of the fashion community in general.  “Winter white” has certainly become more and more ubiquitous over the last couple years, and I can’t even count the number of designers whose Fall 16 and Resort 17 lookbooks were shot in a mostly-white color palette.  But what does it mean?  Is there larger significance to the trend?

Art reflects life and life reflects art, as they say, and the same could be said for fashion.  Whatever seems to be going on in the general zeitgeist can undoubtedly be seen in the ways in which we choose to adorn ourselves.  With that in mind, what meaning can be gleaned from the recent shift in color palette to tonal whites and creams?  Are we reaching an age of enlightenment, have we all taken too many Kundalini yoga classes, or is it just happenstance?  I leave the answers to you…..

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Goldyn Travels: FORM Arcosanti

Two weeks ago I had an incredible experience.  So incredible that I felt compelled to share here through what little I was able to capture in memory and on camera.

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FORM.  Our dear friend Reed Fuchs from Denver band DeCollage worked this festival and put a lot of hours into making it amazing.

On a Thursday morning, feeling the need for a little respite and inspiration, I flew out to Phoenix with a girlfriend and then drove into the desert outside of the city for what can only be described as a music-festival-meets-art-and-community-experiment called FORM Arcosanti.  Set amidst the backdrop of the beautiful brutalist-style architecture of Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti desert community – a project started in the 1970s as an experiment in communal and ecological living (not unlike the ethos at the festival itself) – FORM was certainly like no other event I have seen.

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Arcosanti’s campus from the adjacent hillside

Firstly, the very limited number of festival-goers could only attend either by filling out a lengthy application and being invited, or by becoming one of a handful of ‘patrons.’  There were nearly no “VIP” areas – everyone commingled with the idea that we were all there to contribute and collaborate.  It was indeed a powerful collective experience.  Performance art was happening everywhere, both planned and impromptu, panel discussions held, and the music – curated by the band Hundred Waters, who created the festival – was nothing short of gorgeous.  Each show was intimate and felt interactive.  In one moment, a particular band would be playing, and then 30 minutes later the drummer might be sitting next to you watching the next band.  Attendees even helped pick up their own litter.  It was a beautiful, special thing.

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Mid-afternoon viewers in the main amphitheater

Inspired by the scenery and the sounds, I tried my best to capture what I was experiencing.  Read on below for highlights, as well as a little Spotify playlist I put together featuring the bands from the weekend (perfect for those of you interested especially in ambient electronic music, but dashed with a bit of rock and roll).

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Arcosanti’s infamous bells, cast by residents, which help fund the site and its programs

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Friends Anna and Symantha

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Panel discussion with WeTransfer on the music industry

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The gathering place – central arch of the Arcosanti campus

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Tent village for patrons

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View from the dining hall

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A powerful moment during Dan Deacon’s interactive performance, where he prompted attendees to form a tunnel by holding hands.  Which they did.  All the way around the amphitheater.

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Festival organizer Hundred Waters

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Surprise guests Local Natives jamming out on the stage set down in the valley below Arcosanti, late night

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The tents at night

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12 year old DJ prodigy (name unknown) who spun some heavy dub step that could give Skrillex (who played in the same spot earlier) a run for his money.  Also adorably slurping his Sprite as he played.

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Impromptu tuba and accordion session on the hillside

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Give a listen to what we heard at FORM Arcosanti here via our Spotify playlist: