‘Beanalog’: a new collective music workshop in Central El Paso


Catherine Ramirez, Entertainment Editor

“Beanalog,” hosted by “Ask A Freak” and “Coffee Party,” is a new social gathering where members from the community gather to learn about instruments and jam out. Their meetings are held every third Wednesday of each month at from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Coffee Party, 3909 Montana Ave.

Local organizers of Beanalog created the musical hands-on workshop about three months ago to introduce new instruments and play collectively.

“We want to expose people to what’s out there,” said Ray Mendoza, organizer of Beanalog. “A lot of people that buy these instruments are hiding in their studio and don’t get a chance to come out too often and I think they would really appreciate it with something like this.”

Those who attend Beanalog workshops learn about a variety of instruments and end the night playing tunes with other Beanalog members, but the majority of those who attend the workshops go to interact with other musicians.

“It’s more for networking and a learning experience to be able to learn from each other, so everyone has a special learning experience,” said Organizer Luisa Navarro. “You never know what information you can get and a lot of the guys that attend are musicians and they always teach and even learn something.”

Although not required, organizers encourage those who own instruments and sound equipment to take and use them at Beanalog workshops.

“We have instruments available for the public,” Mendoza said. “We have a presentation for those who don’t have an instrument and they can always use what we have.”

A few pieces of equipment that can be taken to a Beanalog gathering include pedals, FX, synthesizer, drum machines and related instruments and equipment. Beanalog organizers provide a mixer to plug one-fourth instrument cables.

All Beanalog gatherings start at 6 p.m. where hosts, organizers and guests spend the first hour setting up instruments and connecting them to sound equipment.

“We settle in for the first hour, we formalize and discuss what instruments are hooked up and what instruments are coming in, for example, drums, a synthesizer,” Mendoza said.

After setting up equipment, guests can play instruments they are curious about and interact and learn from a variety of musicians.

“It becomes more of a workshop and a show-and-tell; everyone gets together to exchange knowledge on instruments how we use them and how we play them,” Navarro said. “Then there is a jam session at the end.”

All forms of instruments and music are encouraged and welcome at Beanalog workshops, although Mendoza said there is one common genre of music played at their gatherings.

“Electronic music in El Paso has been stigmatized to being played in nightclubs or something you do when your drinking and I think it’s a nice change of pace when its played earlier in the day and played in a family oriented atmosphere,” Mendoza said.

Although there is a handful of regulars who attend Beanalog workshops, organizers and the host of Coffee Party invites the El Paso community to attend and participate at all upcoming Beanalog workshops.

“We want to invite everyone out to come and learn,” Navarro said. “We are eager to teach.”

Coffee Party is a locally owned café that offers coffee, drinks and snacks that are made available for guests to purchase during Beanalog hours.

For information about Beanalog and upcoming events, visit Ask A Freak (@askafreak) and Coffee Party (@coffeeprty) on Facebook.