Steamboat Today: Schmiggity’s in Steamboat Springs hosts snowboard film, band

Thursday, November 24, 2016

If you go:

What: Salem and ‘After Forever’

When: 9:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.

 — It will be many a Steamboater’s ideal night during the mountain’s opening weekend — a snowboard film rolling, a rock-jazz-hip-hop-world/reggae-neo-soul-electronic band jamming and themes of environmental activism, backcountry avalanche awareness and cannabis education unifying the evening’s events.

‘After Forever’

“After Forever” screens at 9:30 p.m. Friday at Schmiggity’s. The movie is presented by Switzerland-based Absinthe Films and features snowboarders Mark Sollors, Kimmy Fasani, Ethan Deiss, Austen Sweetin and others. It was filmed across Alaska and British Columbia, as well as several urban settings.

“I really love the new film,” said Todd Anders Johnson, who founded Salem, the band playing after the film screening, and was involved with coordinating the Colorado chapter of “/fter Forever”’s tour, which traveled throughout North America and Europe.

The Absinthe team — those on the production side as well as featured athletes — made appearances at several premiers earlier this fall. Now, as the Absinthe people go back to work, Salem continues with this leg of the tour, mostly in smaller towns such as Steamboat.

‘AfterForever’ movie trailer

Johnson also procured the involvement of several cannabis industry partners for the tour.

“Having a cannabis moment (in “After Forever”) is pretty unique,” Johnson said.

The night’s line-up also includes a short video by the Marijuana Policy Project aiming to raise awareness and normalization, and a short educational film about staying safe while skiing and snowboarding in the backcountry.

Salem

After the film, Salem takes the stage.

Salem was formed in 2005 by Johnson, a singer, drummer and sponsored-but-non-professional snowboarder. The band also features snowboarder and mountaineer Thomas Haupt on guitar; backcountry skier Mike Facey on bass and guitar; and Tony Dickenson on bass.

Their sound is a jazzy, groovy, electronic combination, and their lyrics are socially conscious, often reflecting the outdoors.

The group played its first shows at ski resorts and snow sports events across Utah, Alaska and Colorado. Avid athletes, the band members get out in the backcountry, on the slopes of the ski resorts and snowcat and heliski areas they tour through.

The setting and nature of the band’s shows soon led to its partnering with environmental advocacy organizations including the Canadian Climate Project, the Nantucket Land Council and Protect Our Winters, as well as companies in the cannabis industry.

Salem has played at the Winter X 12 Games, the U.S. Freeskiing Open, the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, the U.S. Snowboarding VISA Cup and the Dixie Elixers Secret Society of Budtenders Party. The group’s music can be heard in Warren Miller’s “Off the Grid,” Hiroyuki Yamada’s “End of the Line,” “Tailgate Alaska: The Movie” and others.

The band practices the activism it preaches. They’ve played several solar-powered concerts and once traveled to a gig — mainstage at Hempfest Seattle — in a tour bus powered by vegetable oil.

Johnson also works as a videographer and producer of environmental content. He travels to Alaska each spring and has interviewed the president of Iceland about geothermal energy. He continues to bolster his music and activism with coursework and research trips through universities in Colorado and Alaska, about climate change, glaciology and wilderness safety.

“It’s nice to be able to merge all of that together,” Johnson said.

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