Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A freaking Sap. Yup. Calling It. New Trend (maybe)...

Tonight I proved to bridge perhaps the biggest gap in music listening history within 2 hours: JayZ Blueprint 3 to Sara Bareilles Gravity. Don't know how it happened, don't know quite how it went down, but goddamn, I love both artists, and Im calling it in public.

You know how you feel when you get numb to the world? When works sucks, and you have all those little menial personal chores piling up (need a reminder? bills, dry cleaning, dog food, medicine, doctor, house, food), and you just want to give in? Well, I was feeling like that tonight after being at Saint Rocke all day dealing with New Years last minute details, and so when I got home I went running around my neighborhood, threw on a little JayZ, and got lost. The pulse of hiphop always helps when running --helps you keep your cadence, like little toy soldiers, and you get lost in the beat. And a by the way, his lyrics are genius. His mastery of the English language --analogies, metaphors, similes, puns -- is impeccable.

So then I get home, have some wine, and sit down to do some work, and I find myself moving around myspace listening, until I land on the Sara Bareilles square, thanks to my friend Jay Nash, another recording artist and friend of hers. And yes, just like that, I go from a gun-toting JayZ disicple to a Sap. She seems like a lovesong kind of gal, so imperfectly perfect in so many ways -- looks, piano-playing, voice, lyrics...like the difference between a digital and analog recording. And I've sat for a half hour listening to the archives, and although I know better, for a moment I am finding solace in somebody else fighting the fight.

This world is amazing. But this world can also suck sometimes. And when it sucks, it's always nice to hear some words that give you company...whether it be JayZ, or the lady Bareilles, it's soothing. it's comforting. it's the power of music. And it's hard for us guys to admit that we're Saps too. But fuck it. New trend.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top 5 Things I've learned this year

Christmas is always a time where I slow down, I think about my life, my business, and the people around me, and I try to excerpt some knowledge from the year and its months. Thought it would be cool to share a few things I've learned this year, and to see if you all had any knowledge eggs to crack over my head as well...

WHAT I'VE LEARNED IN 2010
 
1. When a politican says A, he means B. Against prop 8 = he is gay. Wants to tighten the rules of Wall Street = pockets being lined by Goldman Sachs. So, it's easy for me now. I vote for the person that has the opposite views of me, because I know he/she's lying.

2. Smart Phones (iphones imparticular) have made it to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. They are right up there with food & shelter according to most people in our society.

3. As you age into your thirties, you have to be supremely aware of more and more situations in which you have automatically become "that guy." For women, they have a particular word for it = cougar. For men, it's, "hey, look at 'that guy".

4. Whoever thought of Christmas for sure owned a mall.

5. Having a nice scotch and soda at the end of a stressful day still solves the problem. Having 10 makes you call & text people you wouldn't normally call = makes more problems. So although I haven't pinpointed it, the sweet spot seems to be 4 or 5. More on this next year.

To everyone out there in the music world, a part of Saint Rocke, or somehow reading this, have a very Happy Holiday & Merry Christmas, or whatever you celebrate, spread some love into the world, and we will see you on New Years. aJ.S

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best of 2010 at Rocke

I've always wanted to do one of these; best of this, best that, biggest this...you read the ones in magazines and you nod your head, knowing that half of the votes came through buying an ad in the mag. Well here, not going to happen. Got nothing to gain. Next week, Im going to put out a best of 2010 which all 10 of you that read this will enjoy - and I thought since we are a small, tight little crowd here that I would love to hear some categories that you'd like included. Here is my short list:

Best Face-Melting Performance:
Biggest "diva" artist to deal with:
Artist I'd most like to put in a box and take home:
Best surprise performance:
Coolest Employee at the Rocke:
Biggest Underplay:

What else? This is way harder than I thought... Help me figure out these different categories and come up with some "different" types of things, and whoever hooks up the most questions for me I'll give a NYE ticket to (open bar, full dinner, World Tribe performance, all included). Deal?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bathroom. Me. Staples. 10 cops....Holy Shit.

It's not very often that I actually get scared. The occasional adrenaline rush, sure, but actually frightened like a child? Not really. But this last weekend, I went to the Roger Waters show at Staples Center (he performed Pink Floyd's "Wall"), and I legitimately got frightened. Like going to Knotts Scary Farm when you're 12 years old frightened. Like the phone rings Freddy Krueger style frightened...

Night starts off good. My friend and I. Get to LA Live, settle on Flemings for dinner. Johnny Walker Black flowing freely, good food, time to have fun. Get into Staples, grab two big beers, and we're ready for a show. We see a few friends (remember that) walking to our seats, and I don't presuppose as to what they had to drink, but lets use the "three sheets to the wind" cliche. Quick hello. Onward.

Now, I'm going to understate this because certain people read this, but I was feeling pretty good, really good. The show was amazing, but alas, my first bathroom break calls. So I casually stroll into the huge bathroom and begin my urinal transaction, when all of a sudden everybody starts leaving the bathroom. Initially Im confused, but as I turn my head I notice the entrance of Venue Officials, and lots of them. I'm standing at the urinal, and immediately start thinking, "what the hell did I do?" and this nasty nervousness starts setting in. At this freeze-frame, the head count inside the Staples bathroom is : (1) Allen, (4) Red Coats, (2) Cops, (2) Security Guards (with badges), and there is only one exit. I skip level 1-4 scared, and go right to 5 because I can't figure out what I've done wrong, and Im assuming they're coming for me (remember, I've had a few and I'm not at my intellectual peak).

Did I say something bad? nope.
Did I sneak into somewhere? negative.
Do I have contraband? negatory ghost rider.
Then why the hell am I freaking out?
and how am I going to plan my getaway?

But just as I've concluded that Im guilty for a crime I didn't commit (Ateam), and just as my scare level is eclipsing 8, I see another figure through the mirror reflection by the sink...and low and behold, who is it? The friend we saw 20 minutes earlier that we knew, being questioned by these cops. Relief. Scare level drops 3 points.

But, even though Im not exactly sure what went down, what Im sure of is that I dont want to get in the middle of this. This guy is wasted, and if I walk by and try to leave, all I can think of is that he'll say he's with me, and I'm "guilty by association" somehow. There is no help to be given, no "saving your buddy", because these Officers are absolutely riddling this guy, and preparing for the inevitable tackle & cuffs. But they are blocking the exit, so I stand at the urinal for 5 minutes pretending, freaking out (remember, the room is 100% empty except for me). Then, like a tunnel to heaven, there is a quiet shuffle, and the whole Police parade moves from the door for a second, and I see my exit. Bam. Like a ghost. Gone.

There is more to the story, but for another time.  The most interesting part of this was that my  mind created the whole situation, and there was really no reason for me to be scared at all. But the kicker for me was that leaving that bathroom felt like Shawshank Redemption. Free at last. Free as last. Lets go home...

Oh wait, Im at a concert that just started.

(postscript): our buddy is fine. Lesson: Never drink 4Loco. That drink is like cocaine + acid put together.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rocke Society. Wanna be a part?


As is always the case when you own your own business, I have been thinking of ways to make Saint Rocke better...to make the Rocke product stand alone, and to entice people that I want coming to Saint Rocke on a regular basis to do so. I like to think (I know) that our regulars are not the typical Hermosa bar commoners. I like to think that they are more educated, more into quality over quantity, and that they love music and the vibe it brings along.

So for that reason I've been playing with a membership card to the Rocke Society. Something that if I was going to Saint Rocke, I'd wanna have. It will be a purchasable card, and will basically give the bearer a carte blance in at the Rocke. Free entrance, reservable tables, discounts, merchandise, meet the bands in the green room, etc.etc.

But who better than to ask then you what it should cost? what it should look like? what extra fun stuff it should have be a part of it. I mean, do you really care about meeting the band? Do you really care about being able to get a seat? Or is a food discount more important?

Help me help you (had to do it).
The more you help, the more likely it is that you get a card fa fa fa fa fa free.
Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving.
aj.s

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Facebook Etiquette. Such a thing?

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with owning a venue, so it really has no place here. But, seeing how Facebook is a large part of our branding & promotion at Saint Rocke, and seeing how I actually "facebook" a lot more than (100%) than I used to, this blog shall be the home of this story. If you're not alright with that, stop reading.

Im 33. I had no cellphone until 26, and I had no email account until 20. I was raised with two brothers, and we were basically outside all the time. I played the occasional Super Mario or River Raid, but computers and TVscreens were not a big part of my adolescence. These days, my group of friends do very little social networking, so most of my time logged on Stalkerbook is business, and building the Rocke brand. Okay, enough background. Lets get to my little story...

Was on the other night, and on my wall read "Keep your soul, I don't want a soulmate", written by a girl that is my 'friend'. Now, of course we don't actually know eachother; she is building her brand as a TV personality, and I mine with the restaurants. But, I happened to be intrigued by that comment --which I won't digress on, but which actually doesn't make logical sense to me -- and so I wrote a quick note : "a second level comment, interesting." The point was, I like it. Right on. Somebody said something that had just a tad bit of thought behind it rather than quoting the Bible, their favorite Billboard hit song, or some over-quoted cliche writer. Right?

Wrong. Later that day, I log in, and I get this : "hey dude, scientology? it's a song. Chill Out." What? really? First of all, I was chilled out until you wrote a rude response. Secondly, what does scientology have to do with anything?  And thirdly, damn. I take back my comment above, where someone wrote something original & interesting. So of course, I wrote back, apologizing for butting in and basically saying sorry, to which I get another reply, this time pretty much scathing (without quoting, basically saying my comments were a cheap attempt at intelligence and I lost the game...game over). Whats the acronym Im looking for? WTF?

Is there no etiquette on this social behemoth? Can you not have some friendly lively debate on this? Did I miss something? Someone please clue me in. Or, is it: write comment = making a pass. The awesome part is that she expected an intelligent remark on Facebook which seems similar to telling someone you love them on facebook, or telling your wall to 'carpe diem'. Only in America do people eat cliches for breakfast.  The last part of the story is me getting riled up, and writing back, as I am an easy sucker to get pulled into matches of wit, or debate. It's like chess, the more the lose, the better you get. So I guess since I wrote last, I lost? That how it works? Or does anybody even care...

And then it happened. I was deleted. Just like that. Oh, the horror. No explanation, no letter, no phone call. Just a delete button, and poof, out in the cold. I wonder if kids have support networks for this these days.

Whats the moral of the story? Can't find one. I've failed the "cool" test on Facebook, and Im washed up.
Thank God.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NYC with a plan : Find a new Restaurant Name

Even the cab ride is exciting to me, my flip cam recording each swerve and swear word with high def accuracy. Walking the streets with thousands of people, seeing Al Pacino opening night on Broadway, walking through Soho and feeling the culture drip down off of the graffiti-laden buildings. I love this town. I love NYC. If I didn't surf, I'd be there...

No wonder the New Yorker is so adamant about the town. No wonder all the Yankees fans love their team even if the players are mercenaries. No wonder JayZ sings about the town (er, raps). I even caught myself blasting that tune as I rolled down 7th Ave & W 23rd. It's an energy, a brother and sisterhood of strangers. It's fuckin cool.

Don't get me wrong LA - you've got alot to offer. Beach, desert, mountains, city, entertainment...all a stones throw away. And the weather, always nice. But when you talk culture, art, food, spirit....NYC is so clearly above the grade that as I went to the 20 restaurants I went to in 4 days, and ate and drank like Bacchus (thats the Greek God of wine, no need for Wikipedia), I felt like a novice. Oxymoron? a 12-year experienced novice?

I went to NYC with a purpose: to find a new name for a restaurant I start building in January. I wanted to find some inspiration & creative outlet, or more precisely: see their food, see their plates, see their walls, how the light their room, how they layout their occupant loads, how they wire their speakers, and what they play. If you ever go to a restaurant with me, you'll notice that the first 10 minutes of our conversation, my head is swallowing as much information about the space as it can handle, down to doorknobs and floor tiles. But, above all, I wanted a name.

And when I got there, I got an idea. Why not let the people of NYC name it? After all, they are here all the time...so I got my video camera, told my friend (Im camera shy as you'll see), and we walked the city for four days asking people to name the restaurant. Im almost finished editing the video, and I'll post it for all to see, because it's actually pretty funny - security guards, landlords, actresses, bartenders - they all took a shot at the crown.

Did it work? Do I have a name? Lets just say that next week, my camera will be out in LA doing the same thing. But it was the creative process that was born out of that city - the ability to make someone creative in a non-creative endeavor. So thank you NYC. And by the way, if you've got a cool name for an American Gastropub serving breakfast lunch dinner, throw a comment here. Or better yet, throw a video here. You'll eat there for free if we pick your name....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life. Try it Out. Stop being a $&*($#...

13 months, 6 days, 2nd hour.

That's how long I've been writing this blog. I was going to count the number of words I've written, but that might be overcooking the meat. I'm a personal guy by nature, and for those that know me, it's almost laughable that I've started this blog. As it was conceived, I thought it'd be a great business marketing machine - give the venue a face, personalize it, and provide a glimpse into the other side of Oz, behind the lights and curtains. But as I've continued to illustrate my experiences in this digital journal, I've begun to move towards personal issues rather than venue issues, unknowingly and without motivation. I guess I'm a reader of my own blog, as well as the author.

The single most memorable life moments I've had is connecting real life with the words - meeting people that read this, hearing their feedback, hearing their comments, and knowing that we are pretty much all in this together.  I'm humble enough to know that my path has been walked on, but idealistic enough to realize that my footprints are unique. And I've grown to enjoy sharing my thoughts - partly because there are no faces to disapprove of them, and partly because I find it rare that honesty without filter finds it's way into the world.

So this post, I'm turning it around. I'd love for anyone who wants to try it out - to write me a post, and I'll put it up. Think about it - you can be anonymous if you'd like - and throw out an idea you have of the world, of music, of love - and see if people feel you. Whether you're a dentist in San Fran, a lawyer in Newport, or a bartender in Vegas, you all have those secret ideas that you keep within the vault. Here's your chance to let them out...without any social consequence. Trust me, it's a social experiment, and it's fun.

I had dinner a few weeks ago with someone, and I told her that I go out to dinner pretty often by myself, to restaurants, and bring the newspaper, and I love it. I love it. And for the first five minutes, she made fun of the fact that I did that, and that she would feel like a loser. But by the end, she was determined to try it (did you?). I have a tattoo. Only reason I got one is that I always told myself I would never get one. Make sense?

I challenge you to act outside of your confines today. or tomorrow. or the next day. And here is an easy opportunity. You can either post below this, or if you want to post officially, send to my email at asanfy@aol.com.

And I promise, I don't judge.
ajs.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hypothesis: The Point of Music is to Evoke Emotion. Agree?

Why do you listen to music & go to shows? Here's my motivation....

I hope Im not the only one, but Im so sick of hearing Eminem & Kanye trying to sing, of drummers being out of work because of producers using loops & ProTools to create repetitive drum lines, and seeings acts that have no business selling out doing so because of mass marketing appeal. The mass music does nothing for me, except keep my ears busy as Im driving around the South Bay. And to be honest, I never understood when I was a kid why my Dad drove with nothing on the radio - but I get it now. Noise. Marketing. Buy this. Be cool and wear this, or be there. Be an artist and buy Apple (yes, Im an Apple Hater).....I just hate it.

Then a friend drove to LA just to go to a show...which I thought was a little strange, because she is what I consider a tastemaker, and she wouldn't do that unless it was worth it. So, even though I hate to be in the popular circle, I found myself perusing this band she was going to see, curious as to why she had to see them, and travel at that. Note: check Mumford & Sons on myspace. Results: (1) it wasn't hiphop; (2) it wasnt the same old 4 man lineup of drums, bass, guitar, vocals; (3) the songwriting, delivery, and emotion of the music was truly unique, which is the most important thing in music to me at some level. Remember, I walk into a venue daily, and probably see 1000 bands a year perform. Alot of them start sounding the same.

And I believe the most important thing in music, or listening, is this: It Evokes Emotion in  Me. My mind & intellect feeds off of it, and it evokes a feeling (doesn't matter what feeling) that I haven't had before. In certain cases, I listen to a song, and I feel like the world is brighter, or Im invincible, or that Love really does exist.....
and in this case, it really hit home on a relevant topic in my life, and gave me some insight....

"And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand, and we'll hold your hand, hold your hand.
I will tell the night, and whisper lose your sight. 
I can move the mountains for you."

So again, Do you agree? Why do you listen to music or go to shows? What is a lyric that evokes emotion in you?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Buddha Question: What side of the creaky fence do YOU sit on?

Just woke up. 9:43am. 2 ads, newsletter on graphic deadline before noon. Meetings with staff all day, national show tonight. Went to bed 4:46am. Massive day of techie geek upgrades to our computer network at Saint Rocke. Cursing myself for liking to learn, and then, when things are not gravy, not hiring professionals to do the work in half the time. Life of a business owner. Pretty romantic, eh?


The problem is more complicated, for reasons I can't discuss, but at the same time the problem is simple: when is too much work too much? In our culture, we see it all the time. In music, you can take your pick from a veritable ocean of songs that loathe the corporate fool, or wasting your life to work and forgetting about love. If you work alot, you are characterized immediately as lacking soul, lacking true direction in regards to Plato's objective nature of things. But where is the line?

Play for too long, too hard, and on the other side when you're older, you'll struggle. When you get sick, you won't have insurance or a roof over your head, and you'll have to rely on other people, which I think is part of what makes this country amazing and terrible at the same time.

Or work hard, really hard, and buy a nice home, and provide & be responsible for your family. When you get sick, you go to good doctors, and when a rainy day hits, you have an umbrella. But that takes toil, time, and when you'd rather be surfing....we'll, lets say you click on "surf report" , watch the cam, and daydream for 10.

I've been trying to ride that middle - and God knows (don't know if there is One, but read Pascals Wager and you'll understand) it's a thin fence. Right now, it's pretty clear what side I've been leaning towards, and I've got to say, it's sucking. So I begin the transition of my ass cheek to the other side of fence, lean a little too hard that way, and then write again in a few months about how there is more to life than being happy in the moment.

Or is there?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What is YOUR soundtrack? I'll tell you mine....

REWIND.
SUMMER 1994.
FRIDAY NIGHT.

Call John Welbourn, our big neighbor (who ultimately played in the NFL) to help us collect money for the keg we bought with my brothers fake ID. By the way, claim to fame, I once wrestled John to the ground...so by deduction, I am stronger than an NFL player (yes, I know, faulty logic.). Checklist: Miller Ice Keg, Jack Daniels Country Cocktails, Zima, about 200 people coming, $2 at the door, and the best band around playing at 9pm. Solid bar night, right? Wrong. Highschool. I'm 17. House party. All illegal, all risky, all shit that we had no idea about. All we knew is that (1) alcohol was a new found glory, (2) there was a slight chance I would get to kiss the Chadwick private school girl that I invited, and (3) there was going to be music played that would sink & dissolve itself into my mind like ice cubes in my scotch. That night World Tribe played until the cops came and broke the party up; I learned the lesson of not inviting 2 girls to the same party, and 200 people heard music that they would remember for 20 years.

Everybody has a song, or a band, that sends nostalgia running down their back, reminding them of their first beer, first trip to second base, or a time they promised someone friends forever. And although I hear hundreds if not thousands of songs a year, and look at countless artists, there is reserved space in my heart & brain for certain songs, that to this day still evoke certain endorphin triggers, the way a sunset or picture might.
For me, that band was World Tribe. And so coming full circle, I smile when I think that this New Years, that same band that played the highschool party I speak of above, will be playing Saint Rocke to a sold out crowd on a 2 night stand. FINALLY. For one night, I can be a fan again, and just enjoy some music. No management or artists, no difficult riders, just good vibes. And although I own the venue, and it's business and this & that, for one night I can be that 16 yr old kid again, close my eyes, and remember.

This blog is not for promotion, so Im not going to get into promoting the night, talking about the date, etc. If you like the band, you'll come, and if you grew up where I'm from, I know you'll be there. You can't not be there. People will be flying in from around the country to see this.  But for those of you that don't know, I want to remind you of the moment. Stop. Think. Think back to when life wasn't about responsibility, iphones, and schedules, but was more about figuring out what you were going to say the next time that person you liked walked by. Or what you were going to wear to Homecoming (I wore nothing. I streaked the football game with 3000 people watching, and asked my girlfriend to the prom). And then think of the soundtrack thats playing while you recount this memory. I want to know what songs they are...so hopefully you'll all share your nostalgia soundtrack, and maybe we'll even make a mixed cassette tape out of 'em.

Have a good week.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pockets of Contenment - Green Room with Amos Lee


Amos Lee played tonight. I couldn't stand to be in the room to watch the otherwise amazing show.....

I'm generally not content. It takes the perfect mix of life, thought, my mood, people around me, and sometimes whiskey, to create that perfect storm which brings on the feeling of contentment for me. The Rocke world is no different; I've been now first hand in charge of hundreds of shows - having booked them, or filmed them, or at them - and with every show there is something that prevents my feeble mind from being content. But tonight was different at Amos Lee...tonight, it wasn't the show that made me content. It was the periphery; and I'd love to share why...

First of all, it't not everyday that you get to see Amos Lee play in a venue our size, on a stage that you built with your own hands, sound coming through speakers that you lifted up yourself on a jack. That man is truly gifted, and the carry of his voice is tremendous. What sucked is the lame girl in the back that had too many cosmos, and kept whooping and yelling, her shameful boyfriend that didn't get his lady in line. C'mon dude. Figure it out - you looked retarded, and everyone would agree with me. So right there, although Im supremely sensitive, that blew my contentment out of the water. The Manager was right next to me, and we both didn't need to even communicate - it was that apparent.

But after the show, as I was gathering my stuff upstairs, I went to say goodbye to Amos and thank him, and we had a brief conversation about the live stream we did, and the ramifications thereof in the music world. And don't get me wrong, I am humble, but I very rarely hear philosophical thoughts that floor me. But, if you could have listened to the way he explained the life of a musician, and his job as a musician, how he viewed the digital world as it relates to artistry ("to keep moving forward, to never stay in the same place...") well, for a moment, my mind lost its place and I just listened. Peaceful, content, learning. Thank you Amos, you don't even know that you cracked a knowledge egg on my head, but that was a really special insight to hear as a sometimes jaded venue owner.

And as if that wasn't enough. I walked downstairs and saw a couple that I had met earlier that night, and they thanked me for the show, and thanked me for "keeping the dream alive." Wow. Not a whole lot of cooler shit in the area of job satisfaction/appreciation than that. And just like that, as quickly as I was browbeaten on the girl being loud during his performance, and actually not being able to even be in the room during the show because of it (yes, I'm extremely obssesive and impatient:), I was turned 180 degrees by two moments, which I aptly call "pockets of contentment." Because life can't be happy all the time, can't work perfectly all the time...but as long as we all still feel these pockets, we know that it's there, and one day, maybe one day, I'll stay in the pocket.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Do I write this Goddamn Blog anyway?


What an interesting session last week - I wrote the blog about this girl I know, her texting, etc.etc. If you don't know, read the last post and then this begins to make sense. If you all are getting to know me on paper, you'll know that I fancy myself to be somewhat intuitive, and I have a great interest in social white elephants (def. something we all know to be true (ex. alterior motives), but that for some reason nobody either has the confident to, or cares to mention. And although I had my opinion already, I started thinking, well shit, Im 33, all my friends are married, I'm not, I'm terrible at relationships....maybe I'm wrong? And so I wrote last week's post, different from my usual humdrum-music-business-this-is-the-real-info-on-what-its-like-blog. Switch it up, right?

Now stop, and go read the comments to the post. Wow. Now I love comments, the more the merrier, so thank you for posting your opinion. But, I learned two things along the way through these comments: (1) I'm obstinate, and I haven't changed my view. Very simple: if I'm in love, have girlfriend or wife, I will never ever text or call an ex. Never. And I'll go a step further - when I'm married, I will not be friends with ex-girlfriends, because I don't see the need/reason. So all this about wanting to just play....eh, don't buy it. I just can't see that.I think you that say that are perpetuating the white elephant sickness. And thanks to my boy who stuck up for me as well - always nice to have some testosterone in the room, even though I don' think she had any desire to actually play the venue.  Rather, it served as a good departure point from which to start dialogue.

The second thing I learned is that writing this blog is actually pretty fun. I have always been extremely personal, and still am. But throughout my life, I've seen that people always get it wrong, make up stories, and fill in blanks where information is lacking. And with me, there is no information , so there is alot of mad-libbing going on. This has been a fun, business-friendly way to share my opinions, only to those who want to hear, and also inject some of that fun awkardness into my life knowing that Im sharing with strangers (that hair-on-back-standing-up-feeling). I know I'm not Hawthorne; hell not even Abby. But I'm me, and thats plenty.

So, next week, probably back to music as we have some unbelievably cool shit happening at Saint Rocke..most notable this week of which we were approved for a 5 year contract to produce the Summer Concerts in Hermosa Beach. Mark my words - don't miss the first show next year. It will be unannounced, and it will seem like a "nothing" show. It won't be. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Nonmusical, musical post about Sex & Music....

I know there are going to be some reprocussions from this post, but there isn't much you can scare an agnostic man with except for jail or more taxes. I got a text (which has replaced phone calls by the way, to the demise of human interaction) yesterday from a girl I used to date that I haven't talked to for quite some time. When we were dating, I was always trying to get her to further her love of piano and take lessons, because she had some talent. Not as a career move, not as really any motive-fueled reason, but because I find it a shame that most people haven't experienced how breathtaking it is to take part in the literal creation of a piece of music. She never did take lessons, and soon thereafter we stopped dating, although there was no connection between the two.

The text read: "I am taking lessons. If I get better, it'd be fun to play Saint Rocke, and you have to jam with me." Now, I am an over-analytical guy, so that text read something else to me. And side note - she has had a longstanding boyfriend.  So, although I was amused by the text, my immediate reaction was, uh, not happening. Because, I don't know if I'm along in this, but there is something incredibly sexual or romantic about playing music with someone, or even watching someone play music. In these cases, your ears transcend your eyes, and you're hearing beauty, not seeing it. I am a sucker for this - and I know it - and so I quietly declined the invitation, to which I received a text in the manner of "why not? thats rude".

And so i ask, was I rude by over-analyzing and thinking through the situation? Or does over-analyzing just make you look stupid? It's not my first circus in regards to this question....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Demand for Art, and why technology seems to made it a bargain offer...

It seems to me lately that there is disorder in the economics of art. Simple supply & demand. With the birth & growth of the internet, there has been a huge oversupply of in the art world: everyone is a musician, a producer, a writer, an everything (shit, look at me and this blog). But what I've seen now, is that the TRUE musicians & artists, the ones that have true talent, now have to dodge and weave through this digital world like asteroids in the old Nintendo game to get noticed. And what has also happened, is that it's become a buyers market. Free downloads, free this, free that. Well goddamnit, free sucks. Why do we want everything for free? Why do we want to take a song (a piece of someone's soul that they probably spent 20 hours on) and not even pay $1.00 for it?

Tonight at Saint Rocke is the impetus of what I wrote above. Norton Wisdom. Painter. If you cruise tonight, you'll see this guy paint things from NOTHING, in ten minutes, right IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES, based on what the music playing is telling him. It is absolutely unreal. I saw it for the first time two weeks ago, and trust, it will blow your mind. He should be in a museum, or on TV, and to be honest, Im humbled he agreed to do this for Saint Rocke (we're not real big potatoes if you add AEG & Live Nation to to the game)......

So yes, I'm self promoting. But no, you don't have to partake in the wine night. There is no cover. Im paying Norton. So technically, you could come in and watch this for $0.00. True. But my goal is that you'll see this and you'll want to contribute to him, you'll want to pay him. Because without Norton, and others like him, ART IS GONE.

Watch Norton at WORK

Monday, September 13, 2010

Something other than Music....

I dont have the Monday blues today at Saint Rocke. I've actually got some relief. You see, tonight we are not producing a show at Saint Rocke. We aren't booking a band, or talking to an agent, or hoping people come pay to see music, or dealing with sound & production logistics. Im not getting angry calls from managers or publicists on things that have nothing to do with us. Nope. Not today. Today we're watching some football.

 We're doing fun specials. Easy specials. $1 beer & $1 mini burgers (the gastropub term is slider). Super simple. And we bought a ping pong table and are putting it on the stage for after the game. Simple, fun, easy. What more can you ask for?

And I love music. Dont' get me wrong. I love it, I love being around it. But just not today. Feel me?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Years Artist Booked, but not Announced...

So we just booked New Years, and personally Im super excited. We cannot announce the band yet, but I can tell you that I also booked them on October 24 somewhere in the South Bay at a surprise performance, so when you hear about that after the fact, you'll know they are hitting Saint Rocke for a two-day performance (Dec 31, and Jan 1). I had a ski trip planned, but actually cancelled it because I wanted to see this band play. I think you are all going to be pretty stoked on the evening - I'll keep you posted on details, and I'll also be giving blog readers first chance at the good tickets. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

VINTAGE ROOM: Wine, Art & Culture

Remember the culture blog? Well, we decided to actually try and do something about it. We love wine, we love music, we love art. So we put all three together. September 14th. Im hoping I was wrong, and that the South Bay will be into this. We'll be having a live artist filmed as he paints his thoughts on what the wine we're tasting looks like on canvas. We'll also have live jazz going, and Bryon Holley will be hanging out, teaching us about the wines that are being tasted. For $30 you'll get three wine tastings, a glass of the one you like, dinner, good conversation, live art, and live music. From there, we'll take comments & feedback for the next one, which we'll have monthly. Want to be a part of this? let me know...anything artistic will be considered, as long as its outside the normal box of what's done all the time around here.  So what do you say...share a glass of wine with me?

He says it perfectly....

I read this article. this morning. this is a talent buyer at a large venue. He nailed it...

What are your thoughts about ticket prices?
I love an agent, when I say “How much?” and the agent says, “All-in, with fees, we want a top of $38.”
That’s an agent who’s looking out for the fan base of his artist and is therefore looking out for his artist.
To say, “I need a hundred grand” is the wrong way to approach “the triangle.”
I learned early in my career there is a triangle in the concert industry. There are three stakeholders that have to have a good financial and experiential success in order for the event to be successful.
The first is the artist, the second is the patron and the third is the infrastructure, which includes the venues, the promoters, agents and managers.
All three of those points on that triangle have to be successful to have a good experience financially and experientially. If any of the three points is slighted, it becomes a house of cards.
And the venues, agents, promoters and managers have all got to stay in business for the concert industry to stay successful. I think that’s part of the turmoil right now, that people have forgotten that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reality Show : Rocke Star

So, finally. Pre Production has commenced. We shopped our story to Sony a year ago, and they wanted Kid Rock to be our frontman. F that. Instead, we decided to do it ourselves, and so have just started pre production on our show - what it's like to work at a live music venue...the video incantation of this blog. So when you cruise in and see the cameras, thats whats going on. So much cool stuff is happening right now - especially on the Sundays for the next few weeks with the beach concerts, which if you didnt catch, this weekend is going to be all time. But I digress.

Part of our show is creating characters out of people that come to Saint Rocke. So should you think that you are one of them, and have something to say, do, or convey - hit us up! Coming soon...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

For the Love of....

I book a band. I negotiate with the agent on a price. Then I negotiate with their management on specifics on the contract. Then I spend money marketing them & pushing their product (band). Then, day of, I argue with the tour manager on things like dinner menus. Then, I pay them. If the night is a success, the venue makes some money. Then I pay licensing fees to big companies that never even pay the artist back. Throughout the whole process, the venue/promoter (me, and by the way, i hate the word, promoter) is looked upon as the opponent, not as part of the equation in making an artist successful. End of the day, question: what is the motivation for the venue?

MOTIVATION. MOTIVES. Always been an interesting word. Whats behind the action of an individual or group? What drives or motivates the words coming out of someone's mouth. You hear the "chess" analogy alot, especially in the business sphere, but also in relationships, group settings, even foreign relations. I've got to thinking: Do people even know they are playing?

Let me give you some examples. You dont want to date someone anymore, so you become distant. You are negotiating a contract, so you become quiet and let the other person talk first. You are worried about how you look in a dress so you call up your bigger friend to go out that night (girls only). Nuclear war tit-for-tat. Congressman hating on gay marriage & hookers and then getting caught, literally, with their pants down. Get it? My point is this - why has the world become so coy? what happened to just asking for what you want, or would like to get, being open to compromise, and cultivating a society where nobody had to question motives? Where everyone was themselves (be yourself, everyone else is taken (Oscar Wilde).  Is that too utopian?


Lately things have happened in my life where my motivations have changed. my motivation for waking up in the morning. I found myself wrapped up in progress, money, success. But in that equation, I thought that those equaled being content, and I've found that I had it completely backwards. Contentment first, the others after. Because as I was interacting with people, my motivations (PMS-progress,money,success) we're driving my actions - were my motivation - and I wasn't always being the type of person I wanted to be: someone that does things because they are fun, because they provide inherent value.

It's like drug addiction. Chess mentality addiction. You become good at it, and manipulation starts rearing its head as well. And then you're doing your thing, and you get an email about a possible Blues Traveler play. And you forget all the progress, money, etc. and you just say, holy shit, i drank my first beer to Blues Traveler music back in 91. And you do everything you can to get the show, just because its going to be awesome. no other reason.

And its like surfing. In a split second, you return to what you were meant to be. Human.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BEER PONG???? Management Meeting Vote

So how do we come up with what we do at Saint Rocke? How do we come up with a promotion, figure it all out, and finally, AGREE on it? Well instead of trying to explain it, I thought we'd show you the final vote process at our management meeting and introduce some of the team.  This is what happens every Wednesday in our office - and this week it was the discussion and vote on the BEER PONG promotion.
Check out the vote, and meet some characters!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Does the South Bay have a cultural side?

As I was at the 6man tournament in Manhattan last weekend, surrounded by volleyball, booze in gatorade bottles, cunning costumes, and an oversupply of teens trying to fit into an adult world, I asked myself if that event, being the most crowded, was really the apex of life in the South Bay. I mean, where are the art shows? the true wine tastings (not the fake restaurant ones)? the poetry or political banter, the film night, or even a Ginsburg coffeeshop reading of Howl?

Now, I know for a fact there are people in the South Bay that have culture. That's not the question. Those people know art, wine, poetry, history, and all the rest; but usually they go outside the bubble to find it. Why? Does beach life consume so much of the beach culture that there is no room past surfing, vball, or boozing on a saturday? And don't get me wrong, I'm not harping here - I'm just wondering. Where do you go for art? for a wine tasting, or listen to somebody rant over why the government is corrupt? I can't find anywhere.

Case in point : Saint Rocke. Monday night Kinky Friedman played. This dude ran for governor of Texas, rubs elbows with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, and a ton of other famous people, had a huge writeup in the LA Weekly, and yet the South Bay crowd didn't get it. Or did they? Next week we have a group of musicians from a refugee camp in Sierra Leone, a truly amazing story, and truly life-altering music & hope. I love it - I get to meet & talk to these guys, learn about their past, learn about how the world has brought them to where they are. If you are into these things, you HAVE to see this show. And well, if you're hungover from the rager on Sunday, I understand. Be well South Bay.

http://refugeeallstars-audience.fm/ to check out Sierra Leone Allstarts

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Own the Bar...Make the Decision

I am humbled.

Last post was rad. So many great ideas, so much good feedback. Some classic ones as well (Sophia). So much so, that I thought it'd be cool to do a contest...so here it is. Monday night football is rapidly approaching, and if you've rolled Saint Rocke on a MNF, you know that its full, its packed, and it's a cool place to watch the game with a chill vibe. Thing is, I cant figure out what to do after the game. Football + live music doesn't go to me, so SR is going to take the night off of music. But I wanna do something fun that night to end the game...and here are some ideas. So here is the contest; if you come up with an idea for MNF post game that we end up using, you get free entrance to Saint Rocke through the whole football season to any show you wanna see. If you're a music junkie, thats some serious dough. So step out of your office, your home office, or off your headset, and become a bar owner for a minute. Here are some ideas, some diving boards, with which to make your creative flow jump...

1. PingPong on the stage post game. weekly tournament
2. Beer Bingo
3. Music Trivia
4. Concert Night DVD - show a concert DVD of favorite artists based on votes

Alright. Get in our heads. Whadda we do???????

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A little help from my friends...

Different type of post today. Gonna share a business question with you all...

Im sure most of you have already been to Saint Rocke a few times, and from what I gather, most people like the vibe. Good shows, good room, etc. But one thing we have that alot of people dont go for is our kitchen. We really do have some good food, and the happy hour is pretty sick by any standard ($5 for anything until 730pm), but we should be busier. Have any of you been to happy hour? did you like? what can we do to make it more alluring for people? is the deal good?

Help a brother out. Need some good critical feedback. If you guys give me some good feedback I'll hook you up with some tickets for a show if you want. Thanks all. Have a good thursday....

Monday, June 28, 2010

EUROPE or bust...on a search for music. Not Russell Brand


So Im going to Europe this week. France to be exact, mix in a little Italy if I get bored. Im going to get some inspiration. For Saint Rocke, in the gastro world, the cocktail world, and also to just plain get out of the USA for awhile. I figure I either need to validate my concerns, or go there, and come home with my mouth shut, and thankful I live in the USA (which I am, but you know...)

So first, anybody got any good info for me? Paris, Bordeaux, Nice, San Tropez...any good music connects? I want to go to some little side street in Paris, drink red wine all night, and listen to some crazy insane music that resembles carla bruni (guilty pleasure). maybe fall in love, get my heart broken by some french intellectual ideologist who wants to change the world and end hunger. and likes wines (prerequisite). Isn't Paris the city of love? what the hell does that mean anyway?

Secondly, any restaurant ideas for me? places to eat? cant miss locations? would love to know.

And lastly, San Tropez. My friends pick. I would try to make that crazy house music bass sound right now, but im writing, not talking. i have a feeling i'll be able to take this for 1 night, till 4am, and then be done with it. But like an ambitious 33yr old feeling 20, i'm gonna give it my all. :) maybe thats why i got my cholesterol levels checked last friday. anyway, bon voyage, and enjoy some good shows while im gone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gavin Rossdale Show Just got another Fan


I have to admit. Not the biggest Bush fan initially. I tend to shy away from things that pop culture glamorizes. If you know me, you've heard of my intense ban on mac products (apple) because i dont want to fall victim to their decisive and hypnotical marketing efforts. Its not always smart, and doesn't always serve me well. But goddamnit, they won't get me!

And tonight, as I rolled down to check Gavin Rossdale of Bush's set, I was in the same mood. Uh, okay. Not a huge fan, big for Saint Rocke though. Go make an appearance, you know, talk to people get feedback etc.etc.

Holy shit. That guy is (1) super talented, (2) sounds as good live - his voice - as he does on record, and (3) is a genuinely cool guy. While I was there (not super long, as I get anxious and nervous in my venue - i start getting ocd about stupid things and cant relax) he not only played some sick tunes, but covered "landslide" acoustic, and told a story about his kid in which he alluded to Saint Rocke, and how his kid was baptized Saint Rok.

And that being said, I have to publicly display my musical affection and "cool guy" reverence for Gavin. Wow. what a show. You missed it again! He just played in front of 280 people, and in 5 months, you'll see him play in front of 50,000 people. If you haven't seen a show down here, you are missing out - the intimate vibe is the way to go.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ok then, here's a test...an OIL test


American culture dumb? lots of feedback, lots of weed proponents saying its not the herb. Let me be clear, Im not hypocritical. Was just saying - those who are smart know how to get it, and they do. But if the tards just need to walk in the store and get it - thats what im worried about. Is it really even illegal? doesnt seem like it.

I digress.

lets see how sensitive south bay is to the world. We were asked to be a part of a 60 venue fundraiser for the Oil Spill down in the Gulf - to help raise a music fund for it. Iglu and Hartly, a solid band, is playing for the cause. Lets see how many people actually care and would listen to some good music over a beer to contribute to the cause.

And then we could be on it....Any takers?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is American Culture Stupid?


Yes, I said it. Not the first, not the last.

Have you noticed? car commercials have a bikini on it...does that make you wanna buy a car? a television show is super famous because they follow around 21's in hollywood who argue, fight, and spend daddy's millions. Villain or no villain, Spencer is not that fun to watch, and Heidi is not that hot. Jersey Shore is perhaps the best example, and the most honest. Fuck it. Put 5 italian dudes that are steretypes, that love fucking, fighting, and working out, throw them in with 5 italian chicks that, to be honest, i can't figure out what they like, add nicknames like snooki, and "action." That little recipe made Snooki 10k per appearance in 2010. Appearance? What does she actually do?

I remember when my Dad explained famous people. They could do something no one else could, or they did it in a unique way. Sammy Davis, Jimmy Durante, Sting, MJ, etc.etc. I could go on and on. And now? what do they do? Fist Pumps.

Don't get me wrong. If I was Snookie, Id take that to the bank. the point is that there is a market for it, that WE provide. America. Gone is classic literature, original dramatic movies. Replace with books on tape and remakes of 70/80's tv shows like ATeam. Pity the fool.

What are we going to be like in 20 years? I think Im the only one around who is against legalizing weed only because it'll make our culture even more retarded than we already are.

Is anybody seeing this?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just a Great Moment....


Monday morning. Wake up. Have Coffee. Estimate damage control over the weekend - paperwork, what got broken, upcoming events. Have meetings (i hate meetings, useless most of the time). Robot work is what monday is all about. Getting caught up.

But this morn I got a treat. A friend of mine is doing some work for me, and this weekend his son played for the Hermosa Little League Championship, and he is the coach. Well, this morning, I got to hear a full-blown, play-by-play recital of the game from a father beaming with pride. He remembered every bunt, every pitch, every at bat. You could see the admiration for his son dancing in his eyes as he told me about the politics of LL baseball, the screaming parents, the haters. It was classic.

And on a certain Friday night, you would never know, but this proud Father would be jumping around on the Saint Rocke stage singing about love, drugs, peace, fighting, and everything under the sun.

And I thought to myself : what a lucky guy I am. I get to see inside the veil, the human side of these artists. The side we never usually see. It inspired me to start a series at Saint Rocke on exactly that. So Im going to delve into another new little project, and I'll let you know as it rolls.

Sound interesting?

Monday, June 7, 2010

THE #&*$(*$ SHOW WEDNESDAY - IMPORTANT!!!!

For some of you, we didnt have your email list....if you YELPED, please copy your review, and send to asanfy@aol.com AND INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL SO I CAN GET BACK TO YOU.

This is the list I have so far of the people that have tickets, and I want to keep my word...let me know.

Tyler Critelli + 1 no
Jason Weber + 1 no
Frank C + 1 x
Sean Maloney + 1 no
Rane + 1 x
Megan Williams + 1 no
Tanya Monaghan + 1 no
Judie + 1 x
Arian Barnett + 1 no
Peter + 1 x
Ashley B Lewis + 1 x
Jonathan Roberts + 1 x
Tami Ellett + 1 x
Lisa G. + 1 x
Michael Hillson + 1 x
Jim S + 1 x
Sherry + 1 x
Sheri + 1 t












Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An HONEST Thank You


Everybody knows what I did. It's no secret. Fight fire with fire (which if you think about doesnt make sense, you should fight fire with water). But anyway, I hate YELP, dislike the negativity of the YELP community, and so with this private show, thought hey, why not try something out. What I thought I'd get were some unthoughtful quick replies on Yelp about Saint Rocke being cool, yah, yah,yah. But really, some of the responses you posted honestly gave me chills, and reinforced the reason I do this - to have a place where people love seeing live music, free and clear. And so thank you for those of you that made an effort to let people know that we're trying hard, and that we're in some way helping music live down here. Really Really Appreciate it. And all you that did that, rest assured, Im emptying my inbox tomorrow and you got your tickets, and we're going to party on Wednesday for sure. I personally love this band/guy, as he just imbibes what Saint Rocke is about. For those of you that don't know the play, if you REALLY ACTUALLY LIKE what we're doing at Saint Rocke, I ask that you tell the world how you feel on YELP.com and I will reward your work with 2 free tix to the secret show next wednesday. And by the way, did anybody see the YELPER who freaked out at gave us 1 star because she read the blog? really? you actually missed out on a great show - but we'll all have fun for you. later.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tickets to the next SECRET SHOW : June 9


Quick one : We have another artist playing on JUNE 9 that we CANNOT ANNOUNCE, nor can you even purchase tickets. They gave me some tickets for my friends, and so IM GIVING THEM TO YOU GUYS, because you're what makes Saint Rocke run...music lovers. So..... here's what I ask...
1. Read my last blog.
2. Go to Yelp and either hook Saint Rocke or Union Cattle up. NOTE: do not lie. If you hate Saint Rocke, or UCC, don't do this.
3. Send me a reply on the blog saying you've done that, and I'll hook it up with 2 free tickets to the secret show.

So far secret shows : NOFX, Cypress Hill, and many others. I ain't lying. I love this artist. If you know my vibe, you'll know why, and he is probably going to be playing in the summer concert series that I'm booking in Hermosa. Rocke on peeps.

Monday, May 17, 2010

YELP this.


I've had enough. I've tried to play it cool, play the rules, listen to their ad calls about why I should pay Yelp to help me even though people take shots all day...well, you know what? Screw YELP. Screw you YELP, the creator of YELP, and all of you people that hammer down on small business owners everyday. You guys blow; you are what the world does NOT need more of - negative people that slam others, with no offers or suggestions on how to improve. Pretty rad. Go USA. And then you have the nuts to call me and ask me advertise on your site? As they say in Strange Brew, "take off eh".

At the bottom of the USA economy is the small business owner. We're the donkeys. We employ the people, get hammered by the state and Fed over taxes, have insanely unfair labor rules (did you know we can't even fire people that steal?), and pretty much get bent over by everybody (note: see new healthcare bill. who is carrying that load? small business). Still, that being said, we happily oblige because only here in our country can you start something from nothing and make a living doing what you love. So we say, cool, some for you, some for him, some for her, and the little snibbets that are left go in our pocket.

And we work tirelessly to make our businesses cool (at least I know I do, and my partners do). We work all night, we basically talk business all the time (wives and girlfriends can attest to that), and our work pretty much becomes a part of our identity. Take the ROCKE for example. If you know me, and you've been to Saint Rocke, you know my soul is on the wall. I had a tool belt on when we built that place, and I know where every plumbing, electrical, data, and sound line is in that building. I spent all night (2nd note: when i saw all night, i mean all night, like 11pm-8a because we're open the other hours) before NOFX rewiring our entire lighting rig just to be sure that it would look sick. And I do that because I love to. But occasionally we screw up - some food comes out wrong, servers screw up, we screw up. It happens. It happens to all of us. When is the last time you messed something up? thought so. we're human.

And then I go to YELP, and I see this goddamn people YELPING all day about this and that - too expensive, too salty, they didnt tell me happy hour lasted only till 7, free this, free that. And well, I've been YELPED out. We own Saint Rocke, the Union Cattle Co, and now Ocean Bar. And they aren't perfect, but I think they are pretty fucking cool, and if they are not, give us some suggestions to make them better, which I truly mean (my email is asanfy@aol.com). But imagine a stranger slamming your job, or your efforts, and giving no good feedback. It sucks, and so therefore, YELP sucks. YELP in a nutshell: an internet nerd got a community of people whose mantra screams "misery loves company" and is making a ton of money off people who actually think that YELP is unbiased. Right. Sit in on a sales call they make...you'll see.

So here is my plea.
If you YELP - take the Y out add an H. HELP. help businesses be better.
If you dont YELP - dont start. does this really make anybody, or the world better? nope.

and if you want to, join me in going onto yelp and fighting back. gloves off baby. you slam me, i slam you. im just one small business owner, but im over it.

You think Im off base?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TRIBUTE BANDS - super fun or bad taste?


So, I've been getting hit up by arch rival groups lately about the same thing...the same issue...and its got me puzzled. If you know me, I'm not very 50/50 on anything; I have an opinion (usually not right), but regardless, I have one, and I'm vocal about it. BUT, here, Im experiencing a real life, bonafide, cant-figure-it-out crux. a quagmire if you will.... SHOULD I HAVE TRIBUTE ACTS AT SAINT ROCKE?
One side : No way. To be a real music venue, you cannot have those bands, as they do not promote and culture the development of music. They capitalize on music already written, without paying royalties, and they don't add to the creative soup of the music world. (fans : bookers, agents, music aficionados).
Other side : Dude, relax. Stop taking yourself so seriously (since when did musicians become so serious anyway?). Music is music, and come Friday evening, after I've been slaving for the man all week long, I want to have a beer (or two) and listen to some good ass live music, and yes, I wanna hear some music I know and love, not some twenty something crying about the man & the state of the world in a song i've never heard, and wont remember for 20 seconds. I wanna hear some Sublime, some Cash, some Dave Matthews. and these guys are freaking good - so cut em some slack.

See what I mean? they both have a point. Thoughts? (and by the way, funny i bring this up now - Superdiamond playing this weekend, and they dominate).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who wins...the Turtle or the Hare?


A friend of mine was telling me about this girl he met, and he described her like a turtle (I actually just thought M&M as I was writing this) : she is very hard to get to know (shell) , but says she has a soft side (get it now?). He says he is just trying to get to know her, and that he thinks one day, like a turtle, she will reveal herself, or "come out of her shell". (I need to stop it with these cliches)...anyway, I asked, what if she never comes out? Then you spent a bunch of time waiting and coaxing for not...and to which he replied, ' I guess thats why they say the turtle always wins'.

Aftermath of the Shows


A week to remember. Fuuuuuuuuuuu$%k. I try not to use bad words on this, but there is no better descriptive expletive that can better illustrate how I feel. First, NOFX. It's funny, I get so excited to make things happen, to get the streaming going, to surround Saint Rocke with people that can get things done, to deliver a product, that by the time comes, uh, too tired to enjoy. So I sat through NOFX with my eyes half open, but all the while amazed at their show. I truly don't understand how guys that party that hard are able to play music for 20 years, and are able to sound musically tight. Thats why they are big...so then I go home to sleep for 3 hours, because Cypress Hill and KROQ are loading in at midnight right after the show. By the time I get back to the Rocke, there is, NO JOKE, a line from Saint Rocke to nearly the Land Rover dealership on 1st street; at 430am. What??? Could not believe my eyes. Just so you all know, it takes a good 30 people working super hard for 4-5 hours in the morning to put this show on. An army. Sound Army. Kevin & Bean were super entertaining - but Cypress BLEW DOORS. absolutely blew doors. Insane in the Membrane followed by Rockstar. Now I now why people stay up and wait in line. All done now, but still enjoying the aftermath...TMZ called wanting to know more, we got calls from some agents with some more huge acts (one of which if books, oh lord), and word is getting out that Saint Rocke is growing a music garden down in the South Bay. So word to all the people that go to the Rocke - and to keep the cliche fresh, Rocke ON. Lastly, nice to meet alot of you through these shows - great to put a face to a name/email. Keep checking in, many more secret shows to come.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Winna Winna Chicken Dinna


Okay, so winners round 1. These were the first to post on the blog....if they dont go, we pick more people. They have 48 hours to respond. also, we are giving away 2 tix per day on Twitter so check us out over there if you didn't win in this round....for those below, email me to confirm.

Jezin
Vanessa
Delight Sherry
Gregory Gerily
Holderman Evan
Lange Jani
Handzlik Craig
Sikola Jason
Carter Cedar
Weems Lindsey
Sikola Jason
Cressman Jordan
Fisher Erin
Lewis Ashley
Barnett Arian
Heath Jessica
ValCarcel Meredith
McCown Jackie
Grey Tim
Addante Brianna

Got a few more - will give out end of week.
Thanks for supporting music. Thanks for supporting the ROCKE.
and by the way, another tidbit. tuesday morning - BIG band following up NOFX. cant announce till 4/16.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NOFX Tickets & the definition of COOL


I know I know. All you all just care about the NOFX tickets. Cool. I have them. lots of them. and I'm going to give them away somewhere in this post. Read on...
But before I say that, wanted to thank a good friend of mine, a guy who played last night at the Rocke, Jay Nash. I met Jay through CP a few years ago, and one night we had walked through a torn-up beginning of what was to ultimately become the Rocke. I bullshitted my way through the layout, even though I winged it when I was building it, because I hadn't built a live venue per say. But last night, I was watching Jay, and he elegantly thanked me for putting live music back in the South Bay on stage (which is nice, but a bit overstating) - and I thought to myself. Damn. In two years we've done some really cool stuff in here, and music seems to be back in the South Bay, alive again. And as I was reflecting on that, he started playing one of his tunes (by the way, www.myspace.com/jaynash) and I realized something : I love listening to slow, mellow tunes about life, love lost, times gone, and letting my mind run with it. Some good solid emotional tunes, and no I dont cry when he's playing. So Yeah, not manly, not macho, I get it, chicks dig the asshole (yes girls, its true, stop lying) . Punk, reggae, rock, way "cooler." And 5 years ago I would've lied. But I guess that's what being in your 30's is all about - defining cool as whatever you like, regardless of what people think. So, f people who try to define cool, or put it in a box and wrap it up (case study: Apple). Let people decide whats cool for them. And gd (making my own acronyms) you'll find me at the next mellow, songwriter show, because I like it. That being said, the actual next show you'll find me at is the NOFX show - and so here's how to get tix:

Thank you for your reponses already, but you have to be A FOLLOWER of the blog to get tickets through me. sorry, ruthless self-promotion. :) BUT, if you're my friend on the digital, then you get hookups with free tix. so become a follower, and then email me. First 25 people to do that (i have timestamps) get free tix. GO. Also, if you are blogger illiterate, follow twitter cuz we're given some away there as well. And lastly, everyday we're giving away some tickets at Happy Hour AT SAINT ROCKE in drawings. Cool? See you all there.... Allen

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A week of Good Karma....f'ing finally


If I were religious, I would throw out an academy award "thank you jesus" while pointing towards the sky (and I would say it really fast). But alas..

A recap of a kick ass week:

1. Close friend got married. I was in wedding. Saw my old friends, and got super nostalgic. My most sarcastic friend (whats up Peter) found about this blog. I took alot of shit for it. I did the old "good for business" response to deflect. nice speech by the way.

2. I finished building a new bar at Union Cattle Co. 2 nights of no sleep, 4 days of construction, 15 subs helping, and a ton of coffee. check it out. its sick - and we're doing the whole restaurant in 20 days. by the way, building a venue/restaurant is like building a house on crack. we can't close for very long, so we work all night long. just so all you all can drink in a disneyland looking adult place.

3. TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS confirmed at Saint Rocke 5/15. Holy shit. 5546, pressure drop, and the list goes on. if you have ever listened to reggae music, this guy is up there with bob marley. seriously. this show at saint rocke will be RETARDED.

4. NOFX confirmed 4/19. Scared for my venue. Take it easy on us Fat Mike. But so excited. Another band I grew up, skating & surfing pre-music. This show is PRIVATE. I have tickets though for my online crew - so hit me up. respond to the blog and we'll hook it up. This is with HavocTV, some guys from Manhattan that grew up local and went to Costa. They are doing some really cool stuff over at www.havoc.tv

5. SHOW ON 4/20. Can't tell. But late on 4/19 after the NOFX show, we start loading in at 2am, for our next show which will be at 7am. more to follow. definitely follow this.

6. HAD A GREAT DINNER & TALK. Sounds basic right? But think about it. when is the last time you had dinner (grilled salmon i made, bomb), a glass of wine, a good 75F sunset, with a lovely lady, and had a GREAT CONVERSATION. I tend to talk too much as it is, but I don't think she minded. She's a friend of mine, and it's plutonic, but damn, these days those day are rare.

7. DOGS GOT WASHED. The stinkin dogs. Finally got them washed. thats why this is #7. You're thinking who cares.

8. Figured out concept for upstairs UCC. I am separating union cattle into two places. the upstairs is going to be called OCEAN BAR. YOU LIKE?

And that my friends, is a kickass week. Finally. Was wondering when karma would hook a brother up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pondering a classic question on the way home from Mammoth...


Last Weekend..Mammoth....1.5 days....epic. Solid snow, solid friends, blue skies, and aside from my tired quads, just a great trip. Good to get away from the bar business for a weekend. That being said, went to some restaurants up there - and I'd have to say - pretty average. But like crooked police, I never name bad restaurants. Its the brotherhood. But I digress.
So I'm driving the drive home from Mammoth, with a friend I've know for 25 years, and we're talking...what else...women. And we get into the "age" conversation. And we start talking about honesty, and how (now dont get all pissed off - read through it) women almost force men to play games in a way. Let me explain. Most men are super straight-forward with what they want - but if they are too straightforward, women (especially younger) don't like it. They like the bad boy, the non-communicator, the guy that doesn't call 'em back, or that waits 6 hours before a text back. But see, guys know this. So instead of do what they are feeling, they instead are forced to play the manipulative role in order to keep it going - to keep her interested and on the edge of her seat. Now I call bullshit on this, because I try to be as honest as possible, even if it hurts. Doesnt mean I succeed all the time, but I try. So my friend, who is back in the fishpond after a 10 year hiatus asks me....

"Well what the F do I do then? Be honest and lose, or play the game and win?"

GD, thats a hard question.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

SUBLIME w. ROME : Yeah or Nay


Now we all know Sublime, and if you didn't like them, you suck. They created a genre in my eyes, that people have been trying to copy/edit/make their own for the last 15 years. I saw Sublime in 95 and it was one of the worst live shows ever, as Bradley could barely play the guitar. I was going to school at Santa Clara, and it was in the student auditorium. Look back at it now and laugh....BUT, they put out some amazing, ground-breaking tunes, and the tunes are still going strong today.

So the question is - ROME WITH SUBLIME. Good idea or bad? On one hand, you say, look at Van Halen. David Lee Roth, then Sammy Hagar. Still Van Halen, both good, both different. But Sublime seems different. Sublime IS/WAS Bradley Nowell. At least thats how it feels to me. And Sublime with Rome seems more like marketing than the same band. What do you guys think of this latest incantation?

Temporary Personal Ban on Reflective Music


I realized something today. Its pretty basic. I tend to listen to slow, mellow vibe music, and although Im not a huge lyric guy (more focus on the instruments), the lyrics tend to be about life and everything being alright, and valleys, and peaks, and etc.etc. And you know what, whether you realize it or not, it sets your mood during the day. And lately i've been a little flat, so I've installed a temporary ban on this music in my life for a few weeks as a test. Like today. I went to update the website and I usually throw on Jay Nash, Josh Radin, Tyrone, Chris Pierce - some mellow cool shit like that - but I type slower, create slower, start thinking. So today I put on Dirty Heads (although wish they would play Saint Rocke over Brixton but oh well) and I was rocking it. Just getting it done. (didnt mean to plug, but did). So lesson for today to myself. You make your mood, you dont let the world make it. Its better that way. Turn it up!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Dating Service


Anybody need a business idea? Someone should start a LIVE MUSIC DATING SERVICE. Check it.
Music connects alot of people - its pretty hard to drive in the car with someone thats playing sucky music; if you love Dylan, and she's playing Young Jeezy, no go. If he's playing Death Cab, and you hate emo, goose egg. So, this service lines up music styles, and single people into go with some sort of tricky signal that they are part of the this thing. See, a few things: 1. you already like the same music. 2. It's loud, so the initial talking is minimum (good thing, not bad thing). 3. easy escape routes. 4. depending on your mood of what type of girl (or guy) you like, you go to either a Sade love show, or a Courtney Love show where the guys liked to get walked on. genius i say. genius. and by the way, there is a revolution called SPEEDY starting. you'll see. And lastly, if you're not following the blog, start following because only blog readers getting tickets to our iROCKe shows in April (holy crap, the lineup is getting retarded).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Girl Surfers


Quick aside. Growing up in the South Bay, and growing up in the surf, I've always been a little wary of girl surfers. If you ask Speedy, he will give you 20 minutes & 2 pocketfuls of reasons why girls shouldn't be surfing - and he's one of the best surfers around this beach town. But I have to admit, I stumbled upon the girl character they call Holly Beck, whom I've know through name but never placed a face, and she actually has a pretty cool vibe, surfs pretty well (I think she attends her classes at Haggerdes, ah poor Hags), and is pretty freakin hot. Now, I will 100% approve when she outsurfs Troy at Hags, but until then, half nod. So, Im actually changing up my vibe a little. And, yes, for all the women shaking their head in disapproval, I know my approval means nothing, but its my blog and my bar, so I get to say whats on mind. And for what its worth, at least this male is telling the truth.