Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Are you feelin it?


When I first met my buddy, Dave, we were at Happy Hour at Saint Rocke. I asked him what kind of music he was into.

"Beck".

"Really? That's all you listen to?"

"I like other stuff too. But I really love Beck."

"Have you ever seen him Live?"

"Nope".

"Well, me neither. But I'm sure it's amazing..."

We traded stories about some of the best festivals we'd been to, and it turns out we had similar tastes: iconic jam bands, old school punk, new school electronic...Since then, he's been my concert bro for some pretty epic bands. Every time I have an extra ticket, I call Dave. He's always down. And when word got out that Beck was playing a Hurricane Benefit nearby, Dave knew we had to be there. I didn't even have to ask.

Downtown Los Angeles was buzzing with the presence of some of Hollywood's most well known celebs. When heavy hitters like Will Ferrell and Aziz Ansari are involved, it's a circus. People were laughing, chatting, taking pics, and videotaping every detail with their I-phones.

But when Beck came onstage and played, Lost Cause, everyone just stopped.

I don't think I've ever been more moved by a performance.

And when his set was over, I looked over at Dave. He had the most peaceful smile on his face. I can't even explain it.

He said, "Welp, I can die happy now." I couldn't speak (for fear I'd burst out crying uncontrollably). I wiped the tears off my face, and just nodded. Unbelievable.

 That, my friends, is what live music is supposed to do. Stop whatever the hell you're doing or thinking about, and listen. Listen with your heart.

Whether it be joy, sadness, pain, anguish, fear, or freedom....feel something. Anything.

I mean, fucking feel it.


KT

Monday, December 3, 2012

What's In A Name?

"Who the hell is Fartbarf"

A text I received from my buddy, Robbie, in New Orleans.

My response: "They're fucking sick. 3 dudes in psych ward jumpsuits and gorilla masks...heavy bass, minimal vocals, and a cult-like following....aka the badass new band you'll hear more about soon."

"Shitty name."

"Not even the shittiest band name I've heard this week."

That last part is true. I've definitely heard worse band names than Fartbarf. (I used to manage the band, Stinky Pinky, for god's sake.) Yesterday at a tattoo shop in Maryland, I met a cute punk rocker who gave me some of his CDs. His band name: The Rapists. I cringed when he told me that.

"Actually, we are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Rapists."

OOOOh, that makes it soooo much less offensive!! (The only thing more offensive were his lyrics. I'll spare you the details. But picture GG Allen on meth. Wow.)

You know, I might not LOVE the name Fartbarf, but I respect it. Basically, because they don't give a fuck what I think about their band name. In fact, Fartbarf is unwilling to change, for anyone. They've had some big labels show interest in signing them, only on the condition they consider changing it. Nope. They just shake their head and stand firm. They found a formula that works.

And believe me, it works. They pack the house. I'm super stoked for their next show at SR (Dec 14). If you've never seen them live, you owe it to yourself to experience this phenomenon. It's fucking radical.

Love the name Fartbarf, or hate it...but you'll remember it. And talk about it the next day.

If you ask me, that's what every band name needs to accomplish. Be original. Be memorable. Make people talk.

And, hey, at least it's better then The Rapists.


KT

Monday, November 26, 2012

Good Deeds by Bad Seeds

This weekend I cruised down to the O.C. I had to take NYE flyers to the Tomorrows Bad Seeds crowd at the Observatory. TBS was headlining and I was stoked!

Every room was jam packed. The vibe was on point. I was super impressed with the performances by Simpkin Project, Fortunate Youth, and Seedless. They just keep getting better and better. So awesome. Love those guys! Jah!

But the true stars of the night were Tomorrows Bad Seeds. Not just for their high-energy/versatile set, wild light show, and dynamic stage presence....what set them apart, in my mind, was a tiny incident that happened pre-show....

I overheard a couple fans discussing the band lineup, and I couldn't help but listen. (I like to eavesdrop. People are interesting. Don't judge me.) But their conversation was pretty awesome:

One girl was telling the other of her epic struggle to get into the show that night. She had just enough money to buy a ticket, but forgot about the parking fee. She was stranded outside in the lot, in the boonies...by herself. After calling nearly everyone she could think of, she finally dialed the lead singer of TBS, Moi.

And he dropped everything to go find her, walk her inside, and buy her a ticket.

Dang. That's decent.

Of all the people at that show, he was probably the busiest: getting pulled in a million different directions. Taking pictures, signing autographs, planning the set...He was headlining a fucking theater for crying out loud! But he took the time to trek out in the parking lot and help.

He didn't make a big deal out of it. I'm sure neither one of them knew it would end up in my stupid blog.

But it's the little things mean the most. And no matter what, you can never be too busy for a fan.

I am now even MORE proud that Saint Rocke chose TBS to headline our huge NYE show this year.

Not only are they amazing entertainers who know how to party, but they are down-to-earth and love their fans more than anything.

God bless em. Let's rage.

Love always,

KT

www.saintrocke.com. Grab your tix now or miss our biggest event of the year.

2 words: OPEN. BAR.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Selling Out, or Cashing In?


I've been a Green Day fan since I was 11 years old, and I first heard "Basket Case" on 98 Rock.

I felt instantly connected to the band. They were a welcome distraction during my parents' divorce. They taught me it's okay to be different. To challenge authority. To be a rebel. To be misunderstood.

I bought every album, poster, button, sticker, and t shirt they made. I watched every interview, video, TV special...I wore safety pins all over and I became a devoted member of their fan club. (I still swear by the fact that they named the album, "Insomniac"because of a song I sent them. I have witnesses to prove it.)

They were in my Top Five Favorite Bands Of All Time. Without question. Undisputed.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I saw a commercial for the new Twilight movie, with a Green Day ballad on the sound track. I threw up in my mouth.

How could they stoop so low? How could they throw away a lifetime of street cred to become part of such pop culture bullshit? What's next? The cover of Teen Vogue?

 I wanted to cry for them. For their image. For punkrock in general.

Through the years, I've witnessed Green Day's upward mobility and defended them to the bitter end. When critics would bash their blatant commercialism, I'd always say the same thing: "It's not selling out, it's cashing in." Green Day paid their dues a long time ago. They've panhandled and played for peanuts. They've been beaten up outside of punk bars and always had the same "never give a flying fuck" attitude. So if the corporate sponsorships finally start rolling in, let it happen. They deserve it. Their families need a little security, too.

But where do you draw the line? When is enough, enough?

I had to stop myself from lighting my autographed picture on fire. Where was the band I used to know?

I sat in my apartment and listened to the old albums. The lyrics brought back all my teen angst and apathy, and I found myself pretty pissed off.

But suddenly, I wasn't sure if I was mad at them for being associated with something so "lame", or mad at myself for turning my back on my childhood heroes.

Amidst all my self loathing and wonderment, I had what could only be described as a "Eureka" moment.

   Green Day is successful because their target demographic will always be: 11 year olds.

It's those 11 year olds that keep the band alive. They're the ones buying CDs and band merchandise at the mall. (Not 30 somethings with rent and bills and problems). Those kids join the fan club and wear the t shirts and buttons. The 11 year olds memorize every word to every song. They connect with the band and the music at their core. Because at that age: music is your identity. Sometimes, music is your only friend.

If Green Day found a way to reach out to the 11 year old girls of today, the same way they did with the 11 year old girls of 1993, they should be applauded for their timeless efforts. Not accused of going soft.

That soundtrack song can't be described as punkrock, in any way, shape, or form. But it's catchy as fuck, and climbing the charts. (Well played, Billie Joe.)

They totally redeemed themselves and are back in my Top 5.

So what 3 important lessons did I learn from all of this?

1. 90's music is the best  (If you agree, VITALOGY and NEARVANA are here SAT NIGHT!!! Use the promo code: FLANNEL to SAVE $$$)

2. Don't hate. Appreciate.

3. Never ever lose sight of your inner 11 year old. That kid is the coolest.


Love always,

KT

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My First Sexton Experience


I was timid. 

Sure, I'd heard a lot of great things, but never knew what to expect.

I've seen videos, but they didn't compare to the real thing.

I heard stories, but feeling it for yourself...well, it's almost indescribable.

It was a venture I won't soon forget.

If you've never heard Martin Sexton, let me tell you, he is an artist that lives up to his name. There is so much emotion in every song. It touches you. (Sometimes in the "no no places".)

It can be slow and moving, yet erratic and powerful. You never know what's next, and you're hanging on every word. Every note. 

Waiting, Anticipating. Totally feelin' it.

He was gentle at first. 

With lighthearted songs like "Happy" and "Grateful", I embraced my inner hippie and pictured myself on a VW bus selling dandelions and LSD at Burning Man. I was on an upward climb of positive energy.

But Martin soon grew very passionate. With his intricate, technical musicianship, it was as if his hands were independent of his body. He kept such a sweet, innocent smile while his hands performed feats of amazement. 

Oh, those hands.

 It was a lot to handle, but never too harsh.

 Just enough. 

The rest of the crowd was as excited as I was. He was interactive and innovative. Captivating. 

We were all singing along, on cue..."Group Sexton?" 

With 200 of my closest music friends, it wasn't exactly intimate. But Martin made me feel like we were the only 2 people in that room.

I will never forget it, and I want more.


Thanks, Martin.


I wonder if he'll call......

Monday, November 5, 2012

That's just, like, your opinion, man


I usually don't ask for autographs or pictures from artists. I'm supposed to give the illusion of cool, at least. But when I love a band, I fucking love a band. So last weekend with Rome, I felt like a fanatic. Sublime is one of my favorite bands of all time, and I think Rome's great. It blows my mind that he started playing with his heroes at such a young age. What a trip, right? Talk about living the dream.

But everyone I meet has an opinion on Rome. Strong opinions on whether the vocalist should ever be replaced if he/she passes away. A friend of mine had the nerve to say that Rome's fame isn't going to last and he'll be "singing in Latin dive bars by the end of next year". (I had 300 screaming fans on Sat who would disagree with that statement, and I was pretty surprised that he had the balls to say it.) We argued for a bit, and he was like, "Brad's the only OG. No one can ever replace him." Yeah, but Brad was also a junkie who put his own needs before the good of the band. Brad was selfish in that respect, so the whole band should have to suffer? The band has to stop making a living because the main dude stopped living?

Should a band die if the singer does? 

I can list more than a few famous bands who replaced singers, and others that chose not to. Sometimes they start side projects with other players but never use the name. While other times, they just throw them right in and hope for the best. For example, I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd live back in 1998. Everyone said, "oh well it's not the REAL Skynyrd. So have a ball with that." Of course it wasn't the real fucking Skynyrd, but I still cried when I heard FREEBIRD Live. It was one of the most epic moments in my concert-going career, and if Skynyrd stopped playing when Ronnie died, I would have never gotten that song. They still tour. Their families are still supported by the music. And I'm 100% sure Ronnie would have wanted it that way.

In my humble opinion, if the band agrees to allow those big shoes to be filled, then the fans should respect their decision and let the music continue.

As one of my other favorite bands once said, "It doesn't really matter, as long as the music goes on."

Everyone has something to say. Post your opinion on our Facebook and I'll hook you up with some tix. We have a rad lineup this weekend with Stepping Feet (Dave Mathews tribute) and Saint Motel (some indie rockers on the rise.) Tell me your thoughts. Get free shit.

Whether or not I agree with you, is irrelevant. I'm still going to assume I'm always right.

Love,

KT

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Big Break?

Saturday I filmed my first commercial. It was a viral video for IROCKE (irocke.com), and believe me, it's going to be radical. It was my first experience with a green screen and we filmed for almost 7 hours. My character was a crazy raver girl with blue hair and a Hello Kitty beanie. I said a lot of brilliant things, but the best line: "put some bass in my face."

I was a natural.

I'm super stoked to see this final project. There's a celeb cameo and some sweet dance moves involved. What's not to love? But I'm more excited about what IROCKE is going to do for the music industry. If you haven't heard about it, you will. The concept is pretty fucking amazing. It's one website where you can see any live show in the entire world. You can search different genres of music and get alerts for when your favorite artists are about to go on stage. One click and then "Bam" you're right there. Watching. Lingering. Lurking. Raging. As if you were front row at the show.

It's probably going to change the world. Waaaaait for it.

Seriously though, If I were you, I'd get my autograph while you still can. Once this commercial thing goes big-time, I might be too "Hollywood" to hang at the Saint Rocke shows anymore. But for now, I'll be around. If you want to reach me this weekend, on Saturday, I'll be stalking ROME.

Party.

KT

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sexy Jesus

I f*cking love Halloween. I love everything about it. The parties, the costumes, the candy. The fact that you don't have to buy presents for anyone, and it's an excuse for people to get wasted and girls to dress extra slutty. (There's rumors of a "Sexy Jesus" coming out to Saint Rocke this year. Whoa. That's some next level shit.) 

I also love how everyone in Hermosa celebrates Halloween for the weekend before Halloween AND on actual Halloween. That's three times the craziness!

Friday, we have the best Johnny Cash tribute in town. They look the part, act the part, and they play forever. The opener for this act is "Clownvis Presley"...I can't explain how RAD this guy is. You have to see it to believe it.

On Saturday, we have our second annual Halloween Rager with Hoist The Colors. These loveable irish punkers will stop at nothing to keep you folks entertained. I won't give away their costume idea, but trust me: it's amazing.

On actual Halloween, we have some of the heaviest hard rockers in town from the band Eyelash Factory. They are teaming up with local metalheads and giving us: Hard Rocke Halloween: a show so bitchin: it's scary.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to rage my face off. 

Grab tix now while you still can...If you dare: www.saintrocke.com 

Muuuhahahahahahahahaha  maniacal laugh maniacal laugh


KT

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Loops


I'll never forget when I saw Mitch Hedberg's standup comedy LIVE at the Wiltern 7 years ago (R.I.P.) Everyone kept finishing his jokes out loud, and eventually, he got irritated and said, "Damn, I need some new material." So he walked over to a spiral notebook and started reading through it. Totally ignoring the audience. He smoked a pipe, drank a cocktail...after a few (long) minutes, he returned to the microphone.

"The Belt, or the Belt Loops....Who's the real hero? (we were silent) Take THAT motherf*ckers."

Whoa. Not only did I laugh, but my mind was blown. I did take that, Mitch. In fact, I take it everywhere I go.

In life, there are Belts and there are belt Loops.

The "belts" always make their appearance known. When you attend a big event, there's always a select few belts in the spotlight. The red carpet celebs. The high profile athletes. The f*cking Kardashians, everywhere you turn.

The belts are easy to identify in my line of work, too. They're on the stage, getting the screams and applause. They're in the greenroom, when everyone is trying to take pictures or grab an autograph. The belts are the ones people pay to see. The belts are the stars.

But where would they be without the "Loops"?

The Loops are the stage crew: showing up early, lugging equipment, setting up/breaking down, and dealing with bullshit of epic proportions.

The Loops are the sound engineers: making anyone sound better than they actually do.

The Loops are the lighting guy: forcing you dance more than you ever thought possible.

The Loops are the bartenders, servers, security, and hostesses who make sure everything is perfect for the belt and the belt fans.

The Loops are the bookers, the managers, the planners, the list-makers.

The Loops are the behind-the-scenes brains of the whole operation.

Without Loops, the belts would just hang around, without any attention, unable to perform. Without Loops, the belt would never get the credit it deserves.

So when you're at Saint Rocke this weekend, dancing your ass off to Mansions on the Moon, or seeing the legendary Leon Russell, please acknowledge The Loops.

Buy the sound men a shot. Shake the manager's hand. Tip your servers and bartenders well. Give the hostess a smile as you leave.

If you enjoy your time here: TELL A LOOP! The Loops don't do their looping to get rich and famous! They do it for the sole feeling of knowing fans appreciate it.

Your great time is the one thing that Loops care about most.

So the answer to you Mr. Hedberg, is: The Loops. They're the real hero.


KT

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Days of Our Lives

Last week at our booking meeting, as we were tossing around brilliant ideas about upcoming shows, I mentioned I wanted to throw an "End of The World Party" on December 21.  I have a few local bands that are interested, and it would be an all-out crazy rage fest.

"Do anything and everything you want to do. Go out with a bang."

This sparked some lengthy discussion. Some of my team members were enthusiastic. Others cringed, (with good reason, I guess). It's not an easy topic to wrap your brain around:

"We're celebrating the Apocalypse, now?" "How do you possibly decide what band you want to hear on the last day of your life?" "I bet a ton of people would leave their tabs open. hahaha."

A LOT of tough decisions go into planning the last show ever, and needless to say, we didn't come to any concrete conclusions that day.

But the topic stayed on my mind for a while, and it inspired me.

Why wait until Dec 21 to live like it's your last day alive? Why not go out with a bang EVERY chance you can! Do the things you always want to do. Travel to the cities that interest you the most. Spend time with the people you love. Find the job you are passionate about. Spend the money you are saving for the proverbial 'rainy day'.

And for crying out LOUD: have some FUN. When the weekend rolls around, you have a choice. You can stay home and watch reruns on cable TV...(How many episodes of Friends are there??) or you can go Rocke out to an epic show right here in Hermosa Beach.

Friday we are throwing a wild DISCO party, Saturday, we have an amazing JOURNEY tribute, and Sunday, we have ROBBY KREIGER of The Doors. (THE f*cking DOORS, dude!!)

If the world ends suddenly, I want to be singing "Don't Stop Believing" at the top of my lungs, and throwing back shots of Fireball Whisky.

These are the Days of Our Lives. Go live a little.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The G Word

So I met a young gentleman the other night at a late-night dance party. (Fine...it was a rave. Sue me.) He seemed like a cool dude, and not terrible looking. So, of course, I started babbling. And when the conversation turned to music, I was all in. (Truth be told, I can talk about music for hours, to anyone. So I had a lot to say. And there's no "off switch.")

Anywho, I was chatting him up about the band playing at Saint Rocke this Friday: PARTICLE. "They are effing rad. Electronic, jammy, psychadelic light show, 3 hour set...They are the real deal, and I am ridiculously stoked!!"

The gentleman seemed somewhat interested, but then he laughed and asked, "Who are you, their GROUPIE?"

I stopped and stared blankly, like I was just punched in the face...."Huh?"

To add insult to injury, he went on a tangent to explain to me what a "Groupie" was. In detail. For about 20 minutes. As though I've never heard that term before. Wow.
I let him finish his rant about the Penny Lanes of the world who follow bands around like lost puppies....

And then I stepped on my soap box and really let him have it. Firing an arsenal of verbal bullets, left and right.

"For a female who has been in the music industry for 11 years, booking, marketing, and managing bands, and now a music venue, I take serious offense to that word. It sets women back decades. The fact I'm telling you about an awesome band, means simply: they're awesome. You should give them a listen. It does not imply that I follow them around and make out with them after the show. I make sure the show goes well because that's my job. I'm proud of what I do. And I'm proud to be a woman who rocks."

He was stunned silent. So, naturally, I kept going.

 I started listing famous women musicians of the world. One of whom is playing at Saint Rocke on WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Lita Ford. She's one baddass chica. (tix and info: saintrocke.com.) I was naming the women I idolize. The women who paved the way for all females struggling to make their way in a male dominated industry.

"You should probably just remove that from your vocabulary altogether. If not, I can personally guarantee that you will never get my phone number. And you'll never see me again. In short: I'd rather be called the C Word...than the G Word."

I was on a roll.

Once his tail was sufficiently between his legs, I shut up. He apologized. And he seemed sincere.

I gave him my number. And I might even let him take me out sometime...but not during Particle. There's no way in HELL I'm missing that show.

KT

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tour Bus Syndrome

No matter how long I work in the music business, I still get butterflies when a huge tour bus pulls up to the venue. The whole club is buzzing. Equipment is loading in from all doors. The phone's ringing off the hook. Tickets are flying off the website. Fans are lined up around the block.

Those butterflies can also be attributed to the stress and worry about a live performance. There's no "restart" button. No guarantees. It's thrilling, but it's nerve-wracking as hell. I'm old beyond my years, and I should have started a zanax regimen years ago...But when it all comes together, it's nothing short of amazing. 100% totally worth it.

Last weekend could be considered one of those amazing weekends, no doubt. We hosted Eric Lindell, Tab Benoit, and Poncho Sanchez. Thurs, Fri, and Sat. Hit, after hit, after hit! (You're welcome.) These dudes are some of the most talented artists in the world. Legendary musicians. Even a few Grammy's in the mix. (When we have to special order a bottle of courvoisier a week before, you know they are 'kind of a big deal'.) I couldn't wait to see what show they were bringing to the South Bay, and I was working my ass off, making sure every detail was under control.  But when those gentlemen took the stage, it was like they were home. You could hear a pin drop. The crowd was captivated, under their spell. Everyone was impressed. I was relieved. All in all, a solid weekend at The Rocke.

What do we have in store for you this time around? More of the same: great live tunes, and more butterflies for yours truly. Friday is a rage-your-face-off Spazmatics 80's party, and Saturday is the one and only: English Beat. (Or The Beat, as they're known in England. Duh.) Thanks for being a fan, and we'll see you at the show!

Love,
KT

Owning a venue isn't about me...

I built Saint Rocke in 2007.
I still remember the men I built it with, and I still have the graph drawing of the bar on my wall at work. I build it with my own two hands, and my own mind..every wall, every drawing, every inkling of what I thought it would be, and what I wanted it to be.  Saint Rocke still stands 5 years later, and not much about the historical building has changed - but I have.

5 years x 365 days x average 2 bands a day = 3,650 bands that have played on Saint Rocke's stage, and if they all played a 60 minute set, that would be 219,000 minutes of music, or if we played it straigh, 152 days of music that has graced our venue.  I've met everyone from John Popper to Gavin Rossdale to Amos Lee to Toots, but those aren't the people that have made an impression on me. Really. It's the people that work at Saint Rocke -- it's those that bleed music, spit lyrics, and sleep in melody to make Saint Rocke's heart beat. If you haven't met them yet, you should. Everyone in the South Bay probably takes it for granted, but we have music again. Live Music. And I like to think we are authentic, for whatever that means.

So as the Saint Rocke brand grows, so too does our staff, and so too does the reminder that owning this venue isn't about me, or the partners, but its about those that have made it their life and identity to build & maintain a community of music & culture within the South Bay. And I've decided that it's time that the voice of Saint Rocke be not a singular perspective, but a unified wider look at what it's like behind the scenes of owning a live venue. On that note, one of our most epic family members, Katie, will be taking authorship of this blog, as she is closer to the source than I can be.  We'll be including more frequent updates, and more informative information of whats going on at the venue, including show reviews, and weekly summaries of bands coming through.

Because it's not about me. It's about us. And it's about Music.
Click the video and you'll see a past vid of Katie and how she rolls....

video

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Energy of a Crowd is Breathtaking...

Another year of the Summer Concert Series, and another summer creeping to an end. Hard to believe we're in the second half of 2012, and even harder to believe that the hard work & creativity that has gone into the Hermosa Beach Summer Concerts has come to an end. On Sunday, we will be hosting the Aggrolites & Common Sense on the closing date of the series, behind last week's Spazmatics show that boasted record attendance of over 8,000 people. We have developed a very scientific method (sarcastic) of counting crowds, and the pinnacle achievement is when the swing set on 9th street is engulfed in families and friends having a good time. Last week around 7:15pm I walked down that way, and there was no swingset to be seen. Mission accomplished.

It's one thing to put on a successful concert, and another thing to bring 8,000 people onto the beach to share in communal event. But the part that brings a smile to my otherwise level face is when I feel the energy that the crowd has.  Children. Grandparents. Thirty somethings. There isn't a demographic that isn't represented in this crowd, and there isn't a time that I don't see people hugging, dancing, and getting along.  No need for fences, security, wristbands, and crowd control. The reason why? Respect.  We all respect our beach, our town, and our community. 

Well done Hermosa Beach. You should be proud of yourselves.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Slow down my Friend.

When I was 20, with a somewhat useless Philosophy degree in my pocket, my Dad used to always tell me that to be successful, the logical step was to work for an established company, that will never go away. My brothers studied accounting, and they had gotten jobs at the all powerful Coopers&Lybrand, and Arthur Anderson, and I should do the same -- "get a job at Roberston Stevens," he said. Two years later, Arthur was gone, and Robertson sank. Lesson learned, and I decided from then on that I would be a creator. Of what I had no idea, but I would always create. I fell into the restaurant business for a brief 14 years (note sarcasm), started or built 7 restaurants, and just a year or two ago, I finally took a breathe. A real breathe.  Some negativity hit my life, and it was time to stop, and regroup. And although I am used to driving 90mph, I slowed down. Seriously slowed down.  Finally, I made a good decision.

For those of you going 90, who think that having a full schedule means success, I would humbly challenge your assumption.  I have never been more creatively productive as I have in the last year, and I attribute it to slowing down. Focusing on what's important, including non-business things.  This didn't come without having to give up things, financially and emotionally, and I still calm myself down daily as I get into my zones.  But the brainchild born of the focus is one of the most exciting things I've ever worked on, something I've noted to all of you before, called IROCKE. And although we've been in programming mode for over 5 months now, today the gravity set in when I read an article written on us in the Easy Reader, told from the view of an intelligent, unbiased writer named Mark, who knows the music business as well as anyone.  It was surreal to read our ideas put into an article, and after reading, I realized that whether IROCKE changes the workd or not, my decision to slow down and focus was right. (by the way, if you want to be a beta test user, go to irocke.com and sign up). www.irocke.com

They did a test a little while ago at Grand Central Station. Some people brought in one of the most famous violin players in the world, who was playing a 3.5 million dollar violin, and they had him play one of the most difficult and demanding concertos out there for over 2 hours, dressed as a street player, during rush hour. The question was this: when human beings are in the mode of work and survival, can they recognize and appreciate true beauty? In 2 hours, only 6 people stopped to listen.

Would artistic beauty have found its way into your mind if you had walked by?
Slow down my friend.