Now You Need To Know….Reno Tahoe Tonight Celebrates Six Years

January 29, 2015
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If you haven’t ever picked up a Reno Tahoe Tonight, you need to get out more. Every month for the last six years Oliver X and company have covered so many different people, places and things in the Reno/Tahoe cultural landscape it’s almost amazing there is still things fill the vibrant zine. That is the beauty of this area though, so much change and growth happening in Reno/Tahoe that the content spring will never run dry. We’ve seen RTT start from their first episode and blossom into the impressive spread it is today. One of the things that we love about RTT is it features art as well as covers it. From the covers to the spreads in the pages, it’s always on point. This is just one reason they’ve had the continued success and lasted all these years.  On February 6th they are celebrating their sixth anniversary in the Terrace Lounge at the Peppermill and we thought, “there are probably a lot of people who don’t the man behind RTT or know it’s history, let’s reach out to Oliver and interview HIM for a change.”


FB: We met originally when you worked for Reno Passport, what you could almost call the predecessor to RTT.  Was their a reason you decided to branch off to do RTT?

OX: I remember meeting you at Se7en Teahouse on Arlington one early evening when I was just starting with Reno Passport. Steve White introduced us. Loved your energy and wit.

My experiences with Reno Passport were awesome in so many ways. I truly appreciate Reno Passport Editor-Publisher Steve White, who quite literally took me into his condo and into his life, while offering me a place in his publication as a feature writer. His generosity was unmatched, and through that publication, I got a look at Reno’s counter culture close up.

From Steve’s condo, all the social media, sales, content development and day-to-day workings of the publication happened. It was an electric and very creative time in my life. The energy being created by that original collaborative team was something I will always remember. I am extremely grateful to both Baldo Bobadilla and Steve White for recognizing that I had a “writerly” voice that could contribute to the success of their business.

I started working with them in March of ’08, but by November of that year, the zine’s culture had changed. I had conflict with one of their key employees and things went downhill from there. I tried to move up from being a content producer, to Art Director, Copy Editor or even Associate Editor, but there was no room to accommodate those ambitions and I was rebuffed.

Oliver X
Oliver X

The death bell for my involvement in Reno Passport finally sounded when this employee kicked me off the Reno Passport Report (a weekly Wednesday program on KRZQ that focused on local entertainment) which I helped pitch and co-produce. I made the difficult decision to move out of the “HQ” as we called it, and gave my letter of resignation in early December of that year. Steve and Baldo had been great people up to that point, and it was an unfortunate situation for all involved.

Since I had no non-compete agreement or radius clause in place with Reno Passport, I decided to pursue my own publication. 60 days after leaving, I launched Reno Tahoe Tonight as a 16-page, free independent monthly publication. We will soon celebrate our 6th year anniversary on February 6th at The Peppermill, and we couldn’t be happier with the way this community has embraced us.

FB: Besides your appearance on Reno Public Access’s top viewed show, Hotshot After Dusk, what would you say is the top achievement in your life? 

OX: Being my parent’s son. Being loved and raised so completely by two of the finest people this earth has ever seen. Nothing compares to the memories I have with them and I miss them both terribly. I live each day as a reminder of their teaching, parenting, love and standards of excellence. Any fortune, or success I have in this life, is a direct result of my parents.

FB: Your background is covered in Hotshot’s in-depth interview, so I won’t cover that again, but is there something in your background that truly inspired you to start your own monthly arts magazine? Or did this become an idea due to a series of events? 

OX: I was working on the structural remediation and upgrade of a large project with Schwager Davis Engineering here in Reno in 2006-7. I took an opportunity they offered me to work on a project they had on the Big Island of Hawai’i. While I was there, I reflected on the fact that Reno had very little journalistic coverage of the arts and entertainment sectors. I started ideating on a monthly publication that could encompass the richness that I saw emerging here–well before the recession hit.

When I returned from Hawai’i, I started writing movie reviews for Flixster for $25 an hour, which was a cushy gig and sharpened my snarky chops. Then I met Steve White at a tiny coffee house on Fourth Street that was near the row house I rented on Fifth and Nevada Street. Steve White often showed up there to work on Reno Passport and, long story short, all of those parties coalesced to drive me to start and grow RTT as a monthly publication.

Art by Lopan
Art by Lopan

FB: What have you seen as the greatest challenge in RTT?

OX: The recession was the chief hurdle. That gutted this economy quite thoroughly. The next challenge is simply being relevant. I saw several pretty good publications go down during the recession. They all had intelligent editors and content managers, yet they did not survive. The print industry is a tough game and it takes an immersion commitment to succeed.

FB: Any particular features you’ve been most proud of?

OX: We are so proud of our creative team and photographic contributors. RTT looks and feels like no other print publication. We take risks each and every issue. That has earned us a very loyal, cult-like following.

FB: How do you deal with deadlines? Are you losing your mind every month or have you gotten it down pretty well at this point?

OX: Good question. We have a target date we shoot for final upload to our printer that is pretty consistent. But before we can make that final deadline, all the file and ad deadlines have to be met. Getting those elements in on time makes everything else happen.

After now doing so many issues, we do have it down.  Every month is different. We launch our new health and wellness zine in March (called Elated People). We’re gearing up for that deadline now.

 oliver loungin

FB: Obviously your work consumes you, what are your hobbies?

OX: I never have enough time to read, but that is a consuming passion of mine. I like short fiction, biographies, poetry and good investigative non-fiction. I enjoy reading print publications like Purple Magazine, VICE, Juxtapoz and Hi Fructose. I have been a music industry label consultant, promoter and band manager. I have a weekly television segment on Mornings on Fox 11 and produce a weekly talk radio show on 107.3FM KNEWS in Reno.

I have never been much of a hobbyist. I suppose cooking might be the closest thing I have to a hobby.

FB: Any recommendations or advice for people who want to start their own business?

OX: Make what you are passionate about your living.

FB: Is there anything you’d like to see happen with RTT that just isn’t possible, or something that you thought was an amazing idea that just didn’t work? Why do you think so?

OX: I would like our reach to be commensurate with our influence. Wider distribution is key. It takes about a decade to become an essential regional player in print. Even more time if you have national aspirations. For now, I simply want to get better at sales and promotion of the brand. “Impossible” has already been overcome by our very existence. Nobody stays in business thinking about what didn’t work. That refection happens after failure, and that is not an option for us.

FB: What’s your ideal vacation?

OX: Being on the Big Island in Kona and sleeping in for a week!

FB: Where would you like to see the RTT brand in the next few years?

OX: I see us really becoming a top-of-mind first option for information, art and ideas in northern Nevada and northern California. So many people are just now discovering us. There’s a rich pool or readers out there waiting to be won. And we will do that in the coming years, using a variety of media tools and outlets.


TIME: 7:00pm – 11:00pm

RTT 6th ann flyer

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January 15, 2015
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Pink, White, Green…..there are color parties abound in the Reno/Tahoe area. With No Town’s Pink Party being the longest running color-themed party in the area, Future Strange is teaming up with Cargo to saturate your ears in a sea of purple on January 24th with The Purple Party. What sets this party apart from other color-themed parties, is in this case some of the music is purple too. Purple is a lesser-known electronic music genre that evolved from dubstep and pioneered by small group of Bristol, UK producers and then spread across the world.

Returning to Reno with a history of capacity crowds dating back to the Bliss Nightclub days is bay area producer An-ten-nae with his newest and most successful project to date, Dimond Saints. Named for the Dimond District in Oakland from where he and collaborator ReLeece reside, this show marks the Dimond Saints debut in Reno/Tahoe. While this may be their first area show, Dimond Saints has extensively toured throughout the United States and internationally, hitting up every major festival in 2014. Dimond Saints, however, is a marked departure from An-ten-nae’s acid crunk and very heavy bass music we found in previously seen projects, lowRIDERz and An-ten-nae. It’s a breath of fresh air in an oversaturated world of stale trap beats and mainstream EDM. Dimond Saints original productions and remixes are intelligent and masterfully produced with an ethereal spatiality given to the sounds, yet the bass washes over the listener to create that feeling bassheads seek. An-ten-nae is well familiar with creating and curating this vibe, being a massively successful SF promoter with An-Ten-nae Presents and musical tastemaker on the west coast. His forethought brought the likes of Bassnectar, Amon Tobin, Modeselektor, Diplo, Flying Lotus and Santigold to large west coast venues long before they were the household names they are today.



Joining Dimond Saints is a serious up and comer in the bass music realm, Bleep Bloop. With diverse roots in everything from hip-hop to orchestral music, Bleep Bloop’s style can be described as mutated club music that must be heard live to experience fully. His most recent works were not only supported and played in sets by the infamous DJ Shadow, but Shadow released Bleep Bloop’s most recent EP on his label. With a constant release of new sounds dripping from Bleep Bloop’s brain, you can expect an entirely new experience every time he performs.


Rounding out the line-up is local tastemakers/producers/djs Boggan and Subdocta as well as Irieyes and Benjah Ninjah. Everyone is encouraged to dress in purple attire. Also, if you attend the String Cheese Incident at the Grand Sierra you can present your ticket at the door for $5 off.



EVENT: The Purple Party

PERFORMERS: Dimond Saints, Bleep Bloop, Boggan, Irieyes, Benjah Ninjah, Subdocta

LOCATION: Cargo at Whitney Peak

DATE: January 24th, 2015

TIME: 9pm


TICKETS: $10 (Limited), $15 (Advance), $20 (door), $5 off with Stub or Wristband from String Cheese Incident at Grand Sierra. Available at The Melting Pot World Emporium, Whitney Peak front desk or at

purpleParty_WEB blog

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The Matinee Opens at Seven – (Jan 17th)

January 12, 2015
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With a plethora of options this weekend in Reno/Tahoe area, one show we are excited for (and will absolutely be at) is Moondog Matinee’s album release show at Cargo Saturday, January 17th with Rigorous Proof and Bryan Jones. I found their new record, “Carry Me, Rosie,” uploaded to their Soundcloud account and it’s been on non-stop rotation.  Soul, raw power, energy, blues…Moondog Matinee’s current line-up of Drea Ballard (guitar, vocals), Peter Barnato (vocals, keyboard, guitar), Adam Carpenter (bass, vocals), Ben Ingle (drums) and Steve Widmer (guitar, vocals) exudes a confidence I’ve never heard before in this band.

It’s amazing how far these guys have come since I first heard them a few years ago, and how tight they are together. Previously I was even lost as to who they wanted to be sonically. After listening to this album over and over again I feel they’ve found their sound, but have laid a foundation that we can literally expect anything from them. We caught up with vocalist Peter Bernato to answer some questions for us.

FB: How long has Moondog been together? What’s the history?
PB: Almost 8 years, we started as a college band jamming for fun and throughout the years have been interchanging personnel and honing our sound. It was always quite schizophrenic, but the moment we pulled Drea Ballard on board, our band had a cohesive, unique sound that we are all very proud of.

FB: You all have been out on the road quite a bit. How have your tours been going? Any standout shows or cities you really like playing?
PM: Great! We do well on the road. Nothing like a bunch of friendly drunkards, living in a school bus, that like to play live music in front of strangers. We work very hard, and believe that live music is the only way to have the current music listening climate respect what you are doing. The digital age has brought a lot of negative aspects to the music industry, but we believe it has created a healthy climate for live performance. We are so used to getting things immediately on the ‘interwebs’ that a heartfelt live performance is something that is in realtime. Something that is vulnerable and honest. That’s why live gigs are everything to Moondog, because we love everything that we are shoving down the audience’s throats, and we hope they enjoy what we are forcibly feeding them. Seattle and Bend are markets that understand what we are doing. Every time we play in those cities, we are greeted with fans that treat us with the respect that we crave as musicians.

moondog matinee LIVE

FB: Who would say are the band’s biggest influences?
PB: That’s a question that each member would answer differently, but I know our favorite decade is early to mid seventies rock and roll. I am a devout Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, David Bowie, Bob Seger, Gram Parsons, The Band, Warren Zevon, Iggy Pop, Neil Young, Steely Dan, Velvet Underground, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead fan….. You get the point

FB: What era of the Grateful Dead is your favorite?
PB: I’ll have to speak for myself, but Workingman’s dead and Wake of the Flood are my favorites…..

FB: Tell us about something completely disturbing you experienced on tour.
PB: We were playing in Eugene in front of a raging audience of two that consisted of our bartender and an old drunk, and Drea peed his pants during the first song. It was his first tour with us and he misunderstood his bladder. The most magical part of the night was his determination to finish the next 45 painful minutes with urine in his Levis.

FB: Tell us about your Rigorous Proof and Bryan Jones and why you selected them to be part of you album release show
PB: Bryan Jones is a musician that I have looked up to since the day I met him. He is a musician down to his marrow. Everything he does revolves around music. That’s a trait that I most admire and pretend to have, but very few people possess. Rigorous Proof has an understanding of music that is similar to ours. Not necessarily in the ways we sound similar, but in the era in which we dream to reside. They are a mixture of Preservation Green, Kinks, early Who and Supertramp. We chose them to play with us because we respect what they are doing. Plus Johnny and the boys are the nicest, most humbling group of cats we know.

FB: My friend told me she used to go to the mall in high school and stare at you while you worked at The Gap. How do you respond to that?
PB: I wish she would of talked to me, I felt as though I was invisible in those years of my life. Hahaha

THE RECIPE: SHOW: Moondog Matinee, Rigorous Proof and Bryan Jones
LOCATION: Cargo in Whitney Peak Hotel
DATE: January 17th. 2015
TIME: Doors open at 7pm, music begins at 8pm.
AGES RESTRICTIONS: All ages welcome
TICKETS: Tickets are $10 and are available at the Whitney Peak front desk or HERE