Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Perenial Debate

A super tough question: open on a holiday like christmas eve or christmas in order to help the business stay in business, and help everyone keep their jobs, or close on christmas and these holidays and let your employees enjoy the holiday with their families and loved ones? Thoughts?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


So, I know I like doing this more than people like reading it, but I hopefully some people do actually read this - and if you do, got some special news. We are going to be filming live, with the streaming platform I talked about earlier, on January 12 and closing to the public, and the band that we are streaming is XXXXXX. I cant tell anybody who the band is, and there are all sorts of people that would squash the little venue owner, but I do get a few names on the list to add (they get 90% of the list) - by the way, thats called having leverage in a situation. Anyway, if you'd like to come, email me at asanfy@aol.com and put the code BLOG in the message header, and I will give my tickets away until I dont have anymore. One thing though - and i wont be able to check so we're on honor system - forward my blog to your friends. See if they think its interesting. Alright then. Off to the Cirque show in Santa Monica.

New Years Eve

I know this might sound anti-business for me to say - but why is New Years eve always inevitably a letdown? I was talking with my friend today, and he said "NYE sucks unless you are with a girl that wants to kiss you." I paused, and thought, and then wholeheartedly agreed, but not for the reason you might think. I think everyone has a 10 second reflection on life when the ball drops, a promise for a better tomorrow, and chance at repentance, forgetting the bad that happened, and memorializing the good. And then after that quick reflection, you want to feel like you've got a partner in crime to start out the new year - a bud, a shoulder, a lover, someone thats focused on you right then and there. Then, its back to the partying. But no matter how good a party you're at, if you're the one running around at 11:50 trying to spot the only single guy or girl left in the place, pretty much you're f'ed. That being said, as I smile, what are some things I can do to make NEW YEARS more fun at both our places?? I personally think we have some kickass stuff going on (check out the websites), but Im always done for ideas. Anybody got any?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Life as a TightRope

When you own a venue, or a bar, or a restaurant, its pretty easy (actually really easy) to get caught up in the minutia. Our business is a cycle, a repetitive weekly cycle. On Mondays we start, on Sundays we finish, and on Monday we start all over again. We order our food, our liquor, our beer, our artists (booking), schedule our employees, review our performance, make goals for the next period, and then we start all over. Through this process, you can find yourself looking up, and the weeks simply become a number: 1-52. Then after week 52, comes week 1, new year. Besides making a living (which is essential but not primary - big difference), there are certain joys that come with our business. One of my mind is the people that work for Saint Rocke & UCC. 90% of my employees move on, are doing this in the short term, and I'd say 50% dont care at all about the business. But the other 50%, and the minority within that percentage, really do care, and they find themselves growing as people. When I see someone like that in our organization, I do my best to give them tools to grow, learn, and come away in a place they werent before. Ask a few of them - started as busboys, now they are in management. Its amazing (its actually how I started - Louises Trattoria, Riviera Bar & Grill, Molloys). But when the other thing happens, when you put effort and hope into an individual, and seriously take time and your emotion and pour it into someone turning the corner, it can be brutal when they turn their shoulder. Its happened to me, just happened, and will happen again. It brings up a good point in life: Most great occurrences in life, most meaning, is found in a place that can just as easily bring you negativity, as it can positivity. And I guess that's the tightrope of life.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Working with the City....MAN, Oh Man

So not sure if you've heard, but we partnered with the Mamma D's crew to open ROCKE SUSHI KITCHEN, down in Hermosa, at the old Club Sushi spot. I've been building and designing the restaurant, and tonight I have to go down to the City Council to plead with them to allow us to fix a mistake that was in our city documents when we bought it. I thought this would be an interesting topic, because when we opened Saint Rocke, we went through the gammet of the City, with the naysayers telling us that we were too loud, we couldn't operate, etc.etc. If you look at the door at the back of Saint Rocke, at the behest of one city council member, I had to put in a door that costs $9,000. FOR ONE DOOR!! It is made for an airplane, just so no sound could potentially leak out. Now Im not being politically charged here, but as this blog is about owning a venue, those potential venue owners beware....know the city, know the politicians, and konw what you're getting yourself into before you dive in. It's half the battle. And by the way, a bad economy doesn't do much on the scale of weighing into their decisions. So, check us out on cable tonight, and hopefully we'll make it through so we can serve you some sushi.

Monday, November 9, 2009

HOLY F .......Tuesday in December

Man, I gotta say we got some cool shit that Im excited for. When you run/own restaurants (ask anybody), you dont tend to like to go to your own place, because you can't have fun there. You can't "let down your hair" or guard, you get annoyed by little things like trash on the floor, you have to talk to people that are pissed off for some reason or another, you can't flirt with the bartender (keyword: sexual harrassment), and the sound is never just right. a little too loud, a little too soft, etc.etc. BUT I have to say, there are a few shows coming up that override my nuerotic idiosyncracies that Im going to FOR SURE. Top five upcoming shows and why:

1. Unwritten Law Christmas Unplugged. I f'ing love unplugged shows. Great songwriting, and the genius bleeds through the distortion. This is going to be sick. 12/13

2. Ellis Hall in December on Tuesdays. The only thing I can attribute this to is good karma since someone stole my surfboard in manhattan off the beach. I knew I had something good coming. Tuesdays in December. He is a modern day Ray Charles.

3. Justin Nozuka. Cant get that friggin "golden train" song out of my head. 11.25.

4. Chris Pierce + Amber Rubarth. CP has more soul than my favorite Vans. Amazing.

5. Justin Hopkins w. Katie Costello. LOCAL. can you say SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC?????

Hope to see you all there. Introduce yourself - would love to meet anybody that reads this gibberish :)


Monday, November 2, 2009


This weekend, Jay Nash, will be our first artist to be a part of our live streaming show. Log on to www.saintrocke.com this Friday night at 7pm to check it out. Worldwide from the South Bay.

An Amazing Visit (Ellis Hall)

Last week I went down to have some wine at Soundbox on Wednesday, and our friend Bryon Holly was tasting (by the way, he works at CostPlus on Hawthorne - go buy some wine from him), and invited his friend ELLIS HALL down to play some piano and sing. Ellis is a blind, black man, and he is supremely talented as I found out throughout the night. He walked (yes, he's blind) around the stage, playing every instrument on the stage - bass-guitar-drums-piano-vocals- and killing it at every turn. He covered some Paul Simon, Otis Redding, played some of his own stuff, and just absolutely blew me away, so much so, that I had to write how much I respected his musical talent, and how much I enjoyed his music. These days, I listen to almost TOO MUCH music, and the one thing that's always missing for me is what I call MOVEMENT: the ability to take me somewhere else. Ellis, thank you for giving me movement last week, and hopefully, if I get my way, you'll be playing at Saint Rocke regularly and blessing the south bay with your music. check him out...and keep your ear out for when he's playing next.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If you were me....

What would you do?????? I honestly don't know, so help me out.

You book a show, 5 months out, agent telling you its gonna kill, and you pay a pretty penny for it. You then forget about the show, how much you've shelled out, and go about your merry way. Sure enough, 30 days out, you realize that this show has sold 3 tickets. Then 4 days out, 20 tickets. You are headed for a trainwreck (in the financial sense), so you.......

1. cancel the show for 50% loss

2. ask the agent if you can pay the band less (split the trainwreck)

3. take it in the pants. your fault for putting out that over.

4. Close your eyes, and wish it would all just go away.

Welcome to my world. What would you do?


So when is okay to toot your own horn, or pat yourself on the back. You dont want to be cocky, thats to be sure - cocky bastards are the worst (and yes, girls, you can be cocky bastards too). I'd say its a 50/50 split. But sometimes, you do some cool stuff, and you just feel like you need to relish a little bit. Well, our team at Saint Rocke over accomplished something that no other venue EVER EVER has done. We have developed the technology & system to LIVE STREAM our shows nightly in a 4 camera high-def stream, with super audio & video clarity. Dont believe us? check it. www.justin.tv/saintrocke Now it's in the tweak portion, and we haven't even started advertising it, but seriously, pretty f'ing rad. So, to the team that made this happen, nice job (i keep wanting to use the F word).

Monday, October 5, 2009

SAVE THE DATE - 12/19/09

We are doing our first show outside the 4 walls of Saint Rocke at the Hermosa Playhouse on Saturday December 19, 2009, where Saint Rocke presents: Lou Giovannetti and his big band, playing all the great holiday & classic big band hits in a 500 seat room. With special guests, and holiday cheer, going to be amazing. Great christmas present to take your folks or grandparents to as well. Old skool classy music, with cocktails at 630pm and show at 8pm. go to http://www.saintrocke.com/ to buy tickets.


So we're super excited here at Saint Rocke - big week for us. Our beta platform for live streaming is being tested this week. Dont want to spoil the big surprise, but for music lovers its going to be pretty kickass. If you happen to be on the internet this sunday night, shoot over to http://www.saintrocke.com/ for a minute and check out some venue history. We like to be humble, but there may be a new trend in live music a stirrin...


Monday, September 28, 2009

I finally figured out Monday Night Football

I finally figured this perplexing puzzle out. Monday night football. Its on about the football, or the game...its about the fact that its Monday, and monday kinda sucks (usually bad news at work is doled out on Monday), and so people want to hang out Monday night, but they feel bad, and this game gives them a defendable reason. By the way, I know football lovers just like the game so I'm not talking about them. Im talking about the groups of 30somethings (men and women) at Saint Rocke for the game last week, but nobody really caring/paying attention to the game. I loved it. Background white noise. And secondly, all the bars & restaurants are caught up competing for that Monday business that they offer ridiculous specials (exactly like $1 beers & sliders) to showcase their place. But the football? Nope. secondary. I'd even bet that most of the people out on Monday watching the football (Sharks cove exception) dont really even watch much football. Agree?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

November 3 Special Show

Cant tell you what I booked yet - until Monday. But going to be one of the coolest shows we've had since we opened. Check back for sure. This will sell out in 1 day. Gonna be amazing!!....................................SO ITS MONDAY. MATT COSTA is playing NOVEMBER 3. If you dont know this artist, you need get out from under your turtle shell. He usually sells out House of Blues, and the SOUTH BAY is on the run this time! Get tickets at the calendar page of http://www.saintrocke.com/

BUZZWORD in songwriting: Soul Mate

So, I listen to a fair amount of singer songwriter music, and they all do it. In one way or another, using an analogy here, a metaphor or simile hear, comparing it to the faded pair of jeans they had in the fifth grade, all these writers use the good ole subject of LOVE in, I'd say, 70% of their tunes. Some are angry, some are happy, some are longing, some are trying to just figure it out like the rest of us. But this one word I keep coming across, SOULMATE, is a pretty hefty philosophical endeavor...What does that mean? First it infers we have souls (what exactly are those? more than the nuerons firing in our brain? some kind of invisible cloud in our body?) and second it infers a predetermined connection to another human being. Makes my head hurt...but somehow after listening to some of these tunes, I start to believe. Maybe its just more romantic to believe it, or makes life seem a little better, dont know. Is this insane? Are there soulmates?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mike Tysons Punch Out

Just wanted to let any old schoolers know that I got a screaming deal on an old Nintendo, and I bought Mike Tysons, Kung Fu, and Super Tecmo. When I set it up at Saint Rocke, you can play anytime, and I buy the entire tab if anybody can put the beat down on Iron Mike. Im calling impossible.

Dealbreaker Number 42,358

For those of you that don't know what a Dealbreaker is, it's a term I use often in my dilapidated dating world that is defined as "an action, characteristic, stylism, or vibe that an individual exudes or displays that makes it completely impossible to further any type of dating, sexual, or romantic relationship." See below for other people's dealbreakers...but I just found another one...I was listening to some music the other night at the Rocke, and a certain person just kept asking me question after question while someone was playing. It's like interrupting during a movie. Unacceptable. Hate it. Dealbreaker. agree?

the infamous FREE show

Sometimes when I go see live music, and I walk up and its free, it does the opposite. It's like when people who dont know wine go to the Vons market and look on the top shelf, and pick the second most expensive pinot noir (only because they saw Sideways, which by the way, fuck that movie bc it busts on merlot, which is my favorite red wine) and buy because it has to be good if it costs more money. Well, hate to say it, but sometimes I fall into that with live music. The other day a friend and I were talking though, and he told me that Robert Cray played the Shed in Louisiana and the show was free, because he was intent on keeping the old feel of a southern blues show. I dont know about you, but that warms me up inside, that someone in this grey day and age still has the soul to do things like that. But in the end, and Im not just saying this, I feel guilty when I go to a show for free. We all make a living doing our shit, and then artists play their hearts out and we dont want to pay for it? hmm. dunno. thoughts?....by the way, shows this weekend are free for those of you that disagree. come check out the friggin rocke.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I just got back from Panama, and I got the opportunity to surf a break that hasn't been surfed before off a remote island in Panama through a dense jungle river and out into the open ocean. I attached a pic of the wave - what an experience. There are still spots left!

Live Venue VS Sports Bar

I use this blog to show you into what it's like owning a venue, the good and the bad. In our endeavor to spread live music in the South Bay, and in life's endeavors, we inevitably hit tired spots in the road, and today is one of them. Working with artists, agents, managers, road managers, etc. can be convincingly defeating at times, and I've even talked with other venue owners that feel the same in certain ways. Sometimes I wonder - would the South Bay rather a sports bar be at 142 pch than a live venue? For the labour of love, is music strong enough in the south bay that it's worth doing? Then, the paradox arrives. We have Guitar Shorty in last night, and it isn't sold out or even super packed, but he plays his heart out and everyone in their feels it. And my question is answered. Nothing, no other hobby or game, imbibes the soul and the energy that music does.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


As the tech world gets greater and greater, and home technology stronger, and the economy and people's spending power weaker, will people ultimately not go to see live music anymore? Do you think that live music plays a large part of people's lives? My opinion is 50/50. I'd like to hear someone elses...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

If ANYBODY reads this...

Im having dinner with a close friend, Chris Pierce, next wednesday at my other restaurant UNION CATTLE CO (greatest place ever, besides Saint Rocke) to taste his signature wines, and then he's playing Saint Rocke after in SOUNDBOX. If you dont know CP, you have GOT to see this guy's voice. Truly phenomenal. There will be no cover, and it wont be crazy crowded. If you read this, and you come next week, come introduce yourself, say "the eagle has landed" and I'll buy you a drink. How cool is that using James Bond codename shit.

Why is EVERYONE on BLAST lately?

Have you noticed lately that everyone is super on edge? every message I get, every negotiation I enter into, every agent I talk to, every band member....everybody is so intent on not getting F#*$d, or taken advantage of, that everyone is constantly ON BLAST, and to be honest, its annoying. I know the economy sucks, I know the world is jacked right now, but really does it all matter anyway? Life would be so much easier if everyone moved a little slower, spoke with a little less volume and venom, and just let the good in people show. As a venue owner, Im trying super hard to do something that has not been done in the South Bay in a long time - and everyday we try to perfect more and more. Shit - today I was up in the rafters re-hanging LED stage lights MYSELF because I want the stage to be perfect. Then I open my email and get ripped by a bunch of people over tiny details, so unimportant to the greater scheme of things... to the point where I throw my hands up. So, Im taking a break this weekend, and if you know me and/or see me, dont come at my ON BLAST. I'll have to either buy you five shots, or give you a smackdown (if you know me, you know the latter is an empty threat).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


So, for my first time ever, I decided on Sunday to go to the Concert Series in Hermosa Beach. Rebelution, solid up and coming band, whose management company I know pretty well, was playing, and I thought, hmm, mellow day, listen to some tunes at Sunset, cool. So we got there early, got a good spot, and aside from sound sound snafus, it started pretty good. But somewhere along the line I didnt get the memo that the highschools sent out inviting every kid in town down there. And Im even cool with that. But parents, please teach your kids 3 things...
1. clean up after yourselves. the beach was a friggin mess at the end of the concert. unacceptable, especially if youve grown up here, and have any pride in keeping it nice.
2. when people set up their blankets and shit, that sand is tapped. it doesnt mean that you walk all over it, push your crews inside of it, and ruin the older folks good times down there.
3. leave your dogs at home. no place for little dogs - its not even cool for the dogs sake.

I guess its true. Im getting older.
Band was solid though. they should play Saint Rocke.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How long should a band really play for?

Lets face it..I couldnt listen to Bob Marley, well actually, I could, so lets say Dave Matthews, inside of Saint Rocke for more than 2 hours. But I'd also feel jipped if I got only 30 minutes in. So that begs the question - what is the perfect amount of time for a band to play? For the band, they want you to want more after they are off stage. Its good old econ 101. Give them more than they want and they won't want anymore. Give them too little and they won't fall in love with it. So I ask, how long is the PERFECT SET? Im apt to say 60 minutes, with an encore only if the fans want it....nothing worse than encores with nobody clapping. It makes me nervous, like movies where they get laughs out of making fun of people. Agh. Hate that nervousness.

Whats your call?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Words that Suck : ROUTINE

How bad does that word suck? the same way, the same time, the same thing. hmm, same kinda sucks too. the same music, the same vibe. Thats what sets music apart, NOT the same. Got stuck in a routine today, and had to share.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Three Albums on a Desert Island

Bob Marley - Uprising (for the daytime to keep it mellow). definitely not legend though.
Frank Sinatra - Greatest (for cocktail hour, i would find some kind of alcoholic berry to ferment)
hhhhhmmmmmmm. cant decide on a third right now.
i want to hear what other people say.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Dealbreaker

Freaking out when ABBA Dancing Queen comes on.

SR Live Recordings

We've just started posting a bit of our archive of music we've recorded at Saint Rocke and want to get your guys feedback on it. There are two different playlists...one is of our wednesday sessions with steve aguilar http://www.saintrocke.com/soundbox.html and the other is of the national touring artists coming through http://www.saintrocke.com/media.html . Let me know what you think. If you do some judging, I might throw out some free tickets to the show of your choice. aj.s

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th Highlights

Highlight on the 4th - seeing a punk band on a moving stage rolling up and down the strand. I wish I had thought of that - guerilla marketing style. anybody know what band that was? that was sick.

Is it just me or does anybody feel like the 4th is super tame compared to five years ago? We rolled out at noon, and it felt like a normal busy day. I remember the days where it was chaos.

good weekend for Dealbreakers too - saw a ton of dealbreakers on the strand - all forgivable on 4th of july though.

good weekend of music. highlight for me the ITALS saturday night. sick band. never get tired of the roots.

And lastly, congrats to my buddy Brad Bohl and his wife Leah, and their new son Logan. welcome to the world kid.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Is amazing. Saw her at Hollywood Bowl last night. unreal. She should play Saint Rocke...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Surprise Show

If you happen to read this, Jim from Pennywise, Matt from Musket and some of their crew are playing a Socially Distorted set tomorrow night (SAT) at around 7pm - should be sick! Im there for sure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What A Cool Agent...

I just booked Zee Avi (with Brushfire Records) for August 30, and her agent, Robin was one of the coolest agents I've ever dealt with - and that was over email. Not that there aren't cool agents, but in this world, I often times get looked at like a dousch bag venue owner or promoter, which I'm not. I do this for the love of music, and for the love of creating something really cool and unique in the town I grew up in. But to deal with agents like her, finally, a refreshing dive in clean water. check out Zee on Aug 30, she is the next artist to follow Jack, Costa, and the rest of the Brushfire crew. amazing voice.

Monday, June 22, 2009


So we were hanging out talking about the last post with some friends, and we realized everyone has DEALBREAKERS...things about the dating game that make a potential mate a not-potential mate immediately. Would love to hear if we're crazy, but some of my examples are : driving a yellow bug with a sunflower sticker on the back, painting portraits on long acrylic finger nails, etc. A friend of mine (lady) said...dealbreakers for guys....asking for money on first date, honking to pick you up instead of walking to the front door...and well, i'll let you guys fill some in...what are your dealbreakers? do you have certain dealbreakers inside of bars?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Girls at Bars

Are girls competitive at bars when it comes to guys? Are girls who are friends competitive with eachother? I saw some amazing back-and-forth this weekend at the Nikka Costa show, who by the way, killed it, with two girls fighting over one dude (and the guy wasnt even that cool of a guy). It was some ausumn people-watching. Another day in the bar life.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Would you watch our shows online?

Im thinking about posting our shows in high-def online for our Saint Rocke community to see. Do you think that they would be interesting, ie. should we develop this or do you think its not worth it?

By the way, thanks to Scott, PK and then boys for the show last night (UL). They f'ing rocked it; I have to say, thats the best show I've seen at Saint Rocke in awhile. Super cool dudes too. Which brings me to my other question...

on shows, are people interested in hanging out in the green room with bands? is that something that would interest a showgoer?

Hope everyone is well and rocking.
Ran the mudrun in camp pendleton today. pretty fun.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Filming for a Pilot for Reality this weekend

This weekend we're filming both Friday and Saturday at Saint Rocke and around Hermosa for a pilot reality series. Im a little hesitant to do a reality series on Saint Rocke, but the fact that we can spread what we're doing nationally, along with the fact that TV up until now has put the southern california beach lifestyle in a terrible light (who really lives like OC or Baywatch?) makes me want to show what beach living in the south bay is really about.

South Bay Live Music Forum

So since I started Saint Rocke a year ago, I've noticed that the live music scene has somewhat burgeoned, and that there actually is a scene. Not that there wasn't before, but I guess I'm just part of it now. But in this whole scene, there's no where to discuss bands, who is rocking, who is NOT rocking, and cool shit. So I created this blog. If you want to see a certain band, think a band that played sucked, think I should do something different on a certain night, or just want to tell me that you like Saint Rocke (or not), here it is. Open forum. Lets do this...