Visual Arts

So-Gnar and CoalaTree team up with Michal Menert for Shredded Beats: Japan

Pat Milbery wears many hats (and helmets), but professional musician is not one of them. That doesn't deter him from being curious about the art form, however, and pushing that interest into the unknown. Over the winter, Milbery teamed up with Pretty Lights Music artist Michal Menert and Colorado-local clothing company CoalaTree to explore the musical creation process. At the time he was in Japan -- a country so full of people and culture that it's almost impossible to not learn a thing or two.

So-Gnar is a snowboard company. It's also an art company. As owner, Milbery has pushed the So-Gnar name all over the world, and with it his enthusiasm for street art culture, snowboarding, and music. "I had this curiosity," Milbery explains. "What is the process for an artist creating a track? From sitting in coffee shops writing in a journal or notebook, to the hardships that come along with being a struggling musician." Milbery took this curiosity to the drawing board, and came up with Shredded Beats, a mixture of multiple styles of art, all designed to edify.

"I was curious to see the process of music-making," he adds. "And maybe musicians would be interested in what kind of art projects we do: film projects and street art." The first Shredded Beats, done in 2007 in Winter Park, was a collaborative project with rapper Pigeon John. Since Pigeon had never snowboarded prior to this visit, Milbery and crew decided it was time to get him out on the mountain. Other artists who have worked on Shredded Beats include Rob the Viking and Prevail of the Canadian group Swollen Members, as well as members of Heiroglyphics out of California.

"Japan was the release for us," explains Milbery, "and I got with [Michal Menert] and said 'Let's do this in a foreign land.'" Since both Milbery and Menert have hectic schedules -- Milbery runs So-Gnar snowboard camps all winter for kids in the U.S. and Japan, and Menert is constantly on tour -- it was difficult to find a time when the two could connect. It all came together in February, with Milbery flying out one week prior to Menert's arrival. The final product came as a three-part series showing culture, music, snowboarding and art in Japan. The premiere of the final installment of the series can be seen tonight at the Larimer Lounge with a set by Menert himself, as well as special gift packs for the first hundred people through the door.

Do you support art, snowboarding, culture or music -- or all of the above. Don't miss this very special night at the Larimer Lounge.

Follow us on Twitter!

Like us on Facebook!

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Britt Chester is a writer and video producer living in Denver, Colorado. He's covered breaking news, music, arts and cannabis for Westword since 2010. His work has appeared in GQ Magazine, Village Voice, YES! Weekly, Inman News and the Winston-Salem Journal. He likes running, cycling, and interviewing people.
Contact: Britt Chester