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...

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.