It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To

¬†It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To
3 Short Stories Of Nightlife Nightmares (Hollywood Edition)

1. The Real Slim Shady : ¬†So a few years ago, my girlfriend at the time and I decided we wanted to throw an event in WeHo for our LGBT friends in a venue that was pretty much the perfect fit and vibe for what we were looking for in the party we wanted to produce. At this time pretty much all of the events we were attached to or producing were because of our networks, following and mailing list. You wouldn’t really catch us at something that was wack and didn’t have a diverse crowd of people dancing and having a good time. I can’t quite remember how we met with this guy who was advertising the space but we decided to roll the dice and check it out. Most new venues in LA don’t last long, I’d say a 3-5 year shelf life if they’re lucky, Hollywood/WeHo being even more difficult to maintain. So we go and meet up with this guy, he seems legit. Introduces us to the security, bar manager, bartenders, and proceeds to give us a complete walkthrough of every nook and cranny of the place. We were asking the right questions to¬†assess the situation while given the tour and he seemed to answer everything with the typical responses and expectations. Now at this time, we already had 1 or 2 other events going on in the following month or so, the majority of our funds were in the hands of others for deposits, almost like escrow on a house. So we were pretty tapped out, but we still wanted to do this party as the space was ideal and fit the criteria for our needs. Being that we were pretty much out of our own funds, it was a matter of getting sponsors who have been in bed with us for awhile with other functions, or asking one of our investors. We figured it was too short notice to hit up our typical partners and sponsors, so we got the money from 2 investors. She got 1 half of the bread together, while I obtained the other in lieu of them making a 10-15% on their investments. Having the money ready to go for the deposit on the space, we asked for a contract. The fact that we received the investment from 2 friends put more pressure and emphasis on us having a successful event. Saying as all of our other parties were very lucrative, we didn’t have any doubts about this one being anything but equal if not greater, and honestly we were really fucking excited to do something different. We get the contract for the space, negotiate the terms, kick it back and forth a bit until everything is correct and in order for us to feel comfortable with doing business with the space. After signing the contract, we send off the check as you typically would. At this point we’re ready to go, and start putting together the pieces of making the flyer, booking talent, setting up our marketing and promotional efforts, and generally getting all of our ducks in a row. About 3 weeks out from the event, we need some additional¬†amendments made and we spend about 2 days of not being able to get a hold of the guy. His social media is active, so I hit him up online to no response, a day after messaging him that we couldn’t get a hold of him. All of his social media accounts magically vanish, not responding to emails, phone is disconnected. Oh and keep in mind, we already gave him the $$$ to lock in the date. So at this point we start to sweat a little bit for obvious reasons, let’s not forget the fact that the $ came from (2) people who trusted us greatly adding more fuel to the fire of this whole scenario. I call the venue, apparently in the timeframe of our contract and now, the ownership of the club has changed hands, there’s completely new operators, and nobody seems to know the guy who wrote up a contract and put names of former owners ( who hadn’t been attached to the venue in months ). We look at their calendar, the night that we were looking at is booked with some other event. At this point, I kinda fall into private investigator mode. I type in his name to google, see some old flyers in google images that have his logo on them. I start to look up the other companies/logos I see on the flyers beside his and begin reaching out to all of these random strangers with this whole story. The calls and messages generally started like ” Hello, I know this is going to sound really weird, but do you happen to know of anyone by the name of xxxxxxxx? with a promotional company called xyz?” the first three people I contacted literally had responses like “Wow, that guy again? yeah I know of him, he owes my brother xyz amount of money, if you see him to fuck off ” another answer was like ” Yeah, I’ve got a restraining order against him, he owes my sister a ton of money ” the calls just kept getting more and more hostile as I dug deeper and deeper. At this point, the event is essentially paused til we get to the bottom of the situation, but more importantly was us retrieving this money, otherwise we’d be on the hook for it. I keep going through these old event flyers and looking at the talent, the logos, the hosts, the clubs, and keep contacting more and more people to hear more of the same stories of essentially this guy ripping off about a dozen people, not paying back a cent and getting away with it. Now, I didn’t grow up with money, I’ve worked hard my entire life for everything that I have and I’ve never been the type to just “charge it to the game” or “let someone off the hook” because “it’s Hollywood” or “I mean what do you expect with people in nightlife or promotion”. ¬†I have to admit, I was pretty intrigued to hear all of the different people and stories of how they all managed to get taken advantage of by the same guy, and how nobody really gave a damn about catching the guy. Meanwhile I was hot on the case and building a pretty hefty story, logging these conversations, saving everyone in my phone as (Scammed) – Which mindfully, they still are in my phone if you’d like to see next time you’re around ūüôā ¬†even some of these people I’ve since built friendships with! Anyways, back on track – so he still is off social media and hiding, we don’t really have to cancel the event with the venue because they don’t know who this guy is and there’s nothing on the calendar or contract anyways besides forged signatures and other phony information. After about a week his phone is back on, so my girl and I took it upon ourselves to call him every night between the hours of 10pm til 5am about 30x anyways because we were already up and it was no skin off our back. Eventually he said he’d meet up with us with the money after hearing countless voicemails and text. We literally filled his inbox to the point that it couldn’t take anymore messages. We agree to meet at The Falcon in Hollywood to get our money back. I end up waiting in the cold for this fool for almost 3 hours, eventually I see him show up in his pickup, drive by slowly, he sees me and bolts off. You could imagine how frustrating this is to be chasing your money like this. At this point, I start calling up the big homies infuriated explaining the situations, and seeing who’s interested in handling this shit in a not so polite manner. I look back at emails we exchanged, check the source and I’m able to find the IP address he was corresponding from. I plugged in that IP address and managed to find his place on Googlemaps! Low & behold, in the google street view screenshot, the same truck he rolled by The Falcon with and originally picked up the cash from and met us in was there, blocked in by 2 other vehicles in front of the garage on the driveway. At this point, we had already been more than patient. I did reverse phone lookups and more and managed to get a hold of his sister and mother. At this point, I sent over a cropped image of the google street view of his place, said we had already spoken to both his mother, sister and ex-girlfriend with the restraining order and he’ll either get us our money and some extra for the effort or we’ll be by his place to …take what we need to in order to make up for the wasted time, money and recover the balance. Surprise surprise, dude calls us back almost immediately and asks us to meet him in downtown Whittier at some sushi spot. I explain the severity of the issues at hand and state that if he’s not there this time and we don’t get our money returned in this attempt, we will be taking it into our own hands to solve the problem. Fast forward, we’re sitting at the sushi place eating, dude shows up in a brand new tux, gives us our money and then some… says maybe two words. neither of which were my bad or I’m sorry and then just disappears. Annnnnnnnd that’s all folks ūüôā so the bottom line, be very careful who you do business with, keep records, and cross-reference people. It never hurts to research the business and people you are intending on doing business with before actually doing business, that’s just being smart. plain and simple. Don’t Trust Anyone.

 

2. And For My Next Trick!¬†Ugh, so this was like 2011 or 12 I think? I launched a series called Westside Wednesdays at Dim Mak Studios in Hollywood with some kids I was helping with parties, we featured Warm Brew, Andre Nickatina, YG, Casey Veggies, and Pac Div alongside several other acts. Also had my homies from HamOnEverything on a bill or two – crazy to see how far we’ve all come. I’m only going to focus on one of those shows, because there was just all kinds of fuckery throughout this whole place. Let’s start at the beginning, so let’s imagine you just drove across town to catch YG who was a buzzing artist and blowing up right before your eyes. Now I can talk further about the bullshit I had to go through to even “make the show go on” … like calling my friend Nocando who had a connection to a guy named Brandon who was managing him at the time with Stampede, but we’re just gonna skip over that part and focus on the stupid club shit. Right, so imagine you drove across town to see this artist, you wait in line for 30-45mins while nobody is inside, you finally get to the front. They ask you for ID, then take it it from you, while simultaneously pushing you forward into the venue, so by the time you got upstairs and the bartender asks you for your ID – you realize that you somehow have managed to lose it between the doorman who asked for it prior, and the bar. Sounds like the start to a good night, right? So imagine getting back downstairs and the head / lead guard has your ID, and says they found it on the ground. Furthermore, they say you’re not allowed inside the venue (after paying) without an ID. Then they say if you want to get your ID back, you’ll have to pay them $40 and if you don’t have it, you’re going to have to leave because you cannot be inside the venue without a valid ID. ¬†Fun right? Well beyond that shady shit, so there was a moment where my homegirl Ashley who was working the door caught these guards running side deals all night, basically slip a guard anything from a 20 to a 100 under your ID in line, and he’ll have you step out, and enter through the alternative entry OR just walk you in past the door. Some people would pay in line, get the lineskip, then have to pay again at the door, but would be complaining at that point about having just paid someone (a guard) for entrance. This shit happened at least 5x in the night to the point that it was brought to my attention by Ashley who I then rounded up all the guards with and said stop fucking cutting side deals. We will take care of you guys at the end of the night, just please do your jobs right. Between holding the line in order to get impatient people buying into this garbage technique of a hustle. To the ID thing, to YG’s entourage of 40 bloods then all the people who went in behind them it was just a shit show from start to finish. His set was good, people who got in without the bullshit enjoyed themselves despite the discomfort of the room being packed with people who were there for more security/support than anything. The 30-50 people who got fucked with that night proceeded to write me and sound off. The owner said he’d talk to his crew the next day and take some action (yeah right) – long story short, nothing was done. Our series ended and we got the fuck out to never return. ¬†Again, just a moment of trust, and being on your p’s and q’s, this shit killed the customer experience and definitely ruined some peoples night, and it also cost us quite a bit of money at the door. Some people were leaving after seeing those in front of them just being whisked right in for an additional surcharge.

 

3.¬†Cruisin For A Bruising –¬† I feel like I’ll end this one on a high note as this story is kinda funny with some twists and turns. This happened on a Thursday night when LA has a residency called Respect, a dope gathering for people into Drum & Bass, Jungle and similar sounds. The regulars here are/were as consistency as Low End Theory’s crowd is for electronic instrumental production. Always a good time, community vibes featuring emcees, producers and dj’s alike. This event happened at The Dragonfly, a place I’ve blown the roof off of with a few events, and was happy to have a good relationship with. Bear their head guard was always there to greet people and his crew was solid and ethical. Anyways, so I was out doing my rounds, dropping on events that friends were producing and performing at, and was on santa monica blvd passing by and decided to drop in. I grab a drink at the bar, get on the dance floor a little, step outside for some air and to smoke some trees. This girl comes out of the hallway and walks up to me, asks for my name, introduces herself. She’s cute so I talk it up with her for a bit, meet her friend briefly who then disappears and leaves me to chat with this girl further. I ask if she wants to smoke, she says no, I go inside. At this point I felt like I had already been here too long, I normally don’t spend more than an hour or so in a spot unless it’s really jumping, I have friends with me or I just don’t have anymore stops for the night. So I end up going inside by the entry near the photobooth. She walks up and grabs me and begins to start kissing me. Now I’m not mad, again she was cute – I didn’t think she was drunk or on anything at the time so I was like, this is different, let’s see where this goes. back against the photobooth, we go inside of the booth and continue making out a bit. She starts taking off my belt, pants, etc, turns around and before you know it, we’re fucking in the photobooth. Irony here is this isn’t the first, or second time I’ve handled biz in a photobooth, but I had mixed feelings here because I literally just did an event a month or so prior and I genuinely respect the spaces that treat event coordinators/promoters and nightlife pros right. Plus I knew a handful of people there, and really just wasn’t completely sold. Too fast, too soon? Who knows. Anyways, a guard comes to the booth… he opens it up with me pants down. Of course it’s a guard I fucking know, and he’s like “awww it’s you bro? I don’t even know what to do at this point, do you wanna finish? want me to stand outside? I was like nah man, I’m good here it’s cool – I don’t wanna disrespect the spot. So I exchange info with the girl ( which I guess would’ve been smart to do beforehand ) – she says she’s gonna go outside and smoke, I say I’ve gotta bounce to Echo Park. She asks me to come back to her place, says she’s only in town for a few days from the bay. I say I live here, I’ll be around tomorrow if she wants to get together. I promptly go out front ready to leave and Bear calls me out saying “that was you? damn man, with xyz girl? yeah, she’s cute” so he convinces me that the girl is worth going after, verifies her ID wasn’t from LA, and was military. Said her friend was already in the car waiting for her…I tell him I’ve never in my life chased pussy and really just let things kinda take shape on their own. Somehow he convinces me to go with her. She comes out shortly after this convo and then asks me to follow her to her hotel in studio city. At this point, I figured you know, why not – I was already past the point of no return with her so I may as well just go further. I follow her up wilcox, she pulls into 7-11. I pull in behind her, grab some condoms, a gatorade and smartwater and ask if she wants anything. She already has her starburst and whatever the fuck else. I hop back into my car and lower the window, saying “so we’re good, I’ll meet you over there – it’s only about 13minutes away right” and she says yeah, closes the door. Friend is still asleep in the passenger seat. She moves her car into reverse and then slams into the front bumper of a BMW m6, smashing the front lights and grill. Then she immediately pulls into drive and jets out of the 7-11 parking lot and north into the freeway. The dude runs out of the store and chases her car on foot after cursing a bit then hops in his car and speeds out of the lot and up the freeway too. At this point her phones dead, I’m following him and I don’t see her car in front, but I’m assuming that he does with the way he’s driving. Eventually my GPS tells me to get off as the hotel is down the street, I take the exit, sit at the light and then just go to the hotel and wait… Her phones dead, my phones dying. So I wait in the parking garage of the hotel for 15minutes or so. At this point, I’m just like is it even worth it? This is such a crazy night, and now she’s committed a crime. I should just bounce. I express the story to my homie who was the guard by text and then head start heading to echo park keeping in mind that this is exactly why I don’t chase women haha. I get to the gas station before the freeway and think, maybe I should go back and just at the very least see if her and her friend are alright. I go back to the parking garage, the cars there – all fucked up, looking like she backed into the fist of the incredible hulk. I call her phone, dead. I ask the hotel manager/cashier person if he could tell me what room the two girls just went into, he said without a police escort he’s not permitted. I took that as a hint as I should definitely just leave and not come back. I go on with my night, drop by short stop, say hi to some friends, tell the story, shoot some pool, then head home. The next day she hits me up with paragraphs of apologies by text, tells me she’s got another day in town til she goes to Vegas. Adds me on social media, I see she’s got a kid… It was all too much for me. Haven’t seen or spoken to her since. Dragonfly is now closed, Respect DNB has moved. Haven’t seen Bear since (sadly), The End.

ūüôā So I hope you enjoyed these stories, with over 7 years of events I’ve got some pretty funny, sad, interesting, cool and exciting memories to tell. Since these are all Hollywood, I’ll probably jump to DTLA next then maybe Westside or EchoPark/Silverlake/EagleRock… Even got some crazy SXSW and 6th street stuff from when I lived in Austin, and a few from when I lived in New York.

5 Artists You Need To Know – Vol 11.

Artist – AISE BOURNE

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You can find more work by him at instagram.com/aiseborn/

DJ / Producer – SWISHA


You can catch him tearing up clubs from West to East Coast & beyond. Holla @djswishasweet

Vocalist/Singer-Songwriter – Joyce Wrice



You can reach out to her at: @joycewrice


Producer –¬†Swarvy


You can get a hold of him at @Swrvy

Emcee – Waju


 

Holla at Waju via @EyyWaju
Hopefully some if not all are artists that you can check out, follow and support in the future. If they are published here, it’s because I’ve caught their live shows, older projects and newer ones and feel they’ve put in the work to deserve some shine much like the prior 10 Artists You Should Know posts. Thanks for listening.

-Eric Spivak
holla@eric-spivak.com
FB
IG: @ericspivak
TWT: @ericspivak
Beat Junkies Record Pool: 

ARE YOU LISTENING? 10 MARKETING TRICKS FOR GETTING HEARD

So as I’m doing more artist consulting this month, I’ve noticed that a few of these guys and girls are really struggling on trying to get true feedback and readings on their music. Getting that response is extremely important in the direction you may take an incomplete project, or maybe start a new one. People’s first impressions are generally their rawest, then a second listen or look yields different results ( the “sleep on it” and revise the next day, approach ). Regardless of if you want either of these reactions, you first need to have places to get an unsuspecting listen. So below I’ve made a list of a few ways that have worked for me, and others I work with, hopefully they work for you!

Aux Cords – I know it may sound stupid, or maybe even like a no brainer, but if you think about coffee shops, cafes, diners, uber, lyft, house parties, and so many other places that an aux cord can come in handy, if you get creative with you can literally replace the world around you with your own soundtrack (tactfully) — Note: I say please use this one at your discretion, your music may suck and your taste in music could also suck. I wouldn’t want a room full of people to

CD-R’s turned Data Discs – So I go to anywhere from 3 – 8 events per week here in Los Angeles, it’s not as exhausting, expensive or time consuming as you may think. Infact most of it’s paid for but I will say one thing that really gets my friends is when I’ve got 2-3 in the car and I have my mixes on. I constantly get asked “What is this track, my shazam won’t work” and other similar questions as they look at my LED dash that says SPIV_Untitled28. So I started distributing my mixes and music I intended on mixing or playing out at gigs to the friends who’d roll with me. It’s also great economically because these data discs can hold upward to 80mb (which depending on the size of the songs, could be upward to 150 tracks). Also in 2016′ they play in most systems. So at the start and middle of each month I burn about a dozen new cd’s and when I interact with Bartenders, Security Guards, Event Coordinators, or just have friends in the car or make new ones at functions and I can give them my music. Note: I generally also include a prerolled joint and preface them listening to smoking and ask them to give me their thoughts on it after.

USB –¬†Similar to the above, except smaller and easier to get preloaded with music. You can get bulk orders of usbs pretty in expensively these days. They also have a larger capacity. Get innovative with customization aspects and you can really get your music far in these little babies. I give them out like candy on Halloween, and if I don’t get custom designs, I’ll put a small sticker that correlates back to my social media and just leave them at various unique spots around the city. Taped to bathroom stalls to sticky notes, I’ve put them in envelopes that say “Listen To Me!” and gone around parking lots and garages outside of events that have a demographic I’m trying to reach, and dropping them in any window that’s left cracked open or putting them on sideview mirrors. Get Creative. Your distribution techniques should be unorthodox and untraditional. Be unique in your approach and you’ll go far.

Shortcut Links –¬†Long web addresses are hard to type, and remember. Keep it short and simple, using a site like www.bit.ly or other ‘link shorteners’ help people reach your music more easily and faster. You can press these on yellow manila envelopes, but them on USPS stickers, even pull tab signs. The shorter the better. It should either go directly to a download/autoplay link or a place giving people very minimal options of what they can do, and if they like what they see or hear — they should have a way of reaching you.

Digital –¬†Distribution through digital channels is easier than ever with things like Tunecore, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc. Me doing¬†guerrilla and viral marketing alongside business development and growth hacking. I choose to again, go a think differently approach. If you have 5,000 friends on facebook, export your friends list, alphabetize it, organize it, and highlight people who’d likely be down to share your product. Whether it’s a campaign, a service, a product, whatever you have, you know who’s down to ride for you, and there may be some people you don’t know who are also down to ride for you. If the quality of what you have to offer is good, people will naturally share it. I’ve done the angle of having multiple people change their profile pictures across 3 networks all at the same time, as well as create a share/RT/RP campaign that was very effective. There’s also a few other tips and tricks to the digital marketing game to explore, but I had to work for this knowledge, and you shall have to as well ūüôā — Think about the avenues of video channels, live streaming, podcasts and more. You’re smart, I believe in you.

Crowdsource Campaigns –¬†Similar to my mentions above in the retweet/share/repost campaigns. Crowdsourcing is a great way to get yourself heard (and get paid). A very strategic and savvy campaign that showcases creativity, authenticity and ingenuity will definitely help get you heard by peers. Not to mention it allows you to generate revenue if the product is good or they believe in you. I think about having 5,000+ friends on facebook, and then my other social networks then my 25,000 person email list and I think. If each of these people were to share 1 hit song or 1 dope clothing article or just something that has the potential to spread — there’s just so many opportunities that can come from that. $5 x 5,000 people = $25,000 | Most people spend more than $5 daily on stupid shit they don’t need. They don’t need your music either. Make your music that stupid shit they spend their $5 on. Except, make it extraordinary and special, and actually worth much more than $5 so it doesn’t feel, look or sound like a stupid purchase.

Stickers – Not just “stickers” but window decals, murals, wheat paste, billboards, skywriting. whatever it takes. Take into consideration how long these things last, and how inexpensive they are. If they are designed well, they garner a lot of attention and can spread like wildfire in photos and videos. Much like several coveted locations in LA that people use for backdrops for their ” look at me, I’m basic” IG photos.: Much like stickers, stencils are also a valid route, but also more risky – Look into Post No Bills and other signage issues to make sure you don’t get in trouble placing stuff where it doesn’t belong or on other people’s property that it will have a negative result or impact on you. I have some stickers that are in nightclubs and bars that have hung on for 10 years and they STILL to this day get me new eyes/ears that occasionally reach out to me to compliment my music.

Business Cards –¬†The less permanent route. So business cards are inexpensive, they don’t have to be used as “business cards” they can be used as promotional cards. Due to the cost vs quantity situation with this, you can easily throw hashtags, websites, catchy quotes or art and literally give these out EVERYWHERE YOU GO. I used to drop them in checkbooks when I was bartending and waiting tables to every single guest of mine, I’d also leave them on the busses and subways, inside friends cars, bathroom mirrors, literally everywhere imaginable. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you the return on investment with these. I do a lot of things in this manner, what is the easiest or least expensive way to make the longest, biggest and best impact. — My only downside to these is environmentally, it’s waste. In general, I am¬†conscious of these things so I do actually use this approach a little less often these days. I suggest making it reusable or plastic like a membership card instead of temporary paper promo.

Brand Alignment –¬†What does your sound invoke? How do people feel when it’s on in the background, or if they’re working out? Is there any feeling in your music? I hope there is. Match the vibe of your style, content, and sound with like-minded people and businesses to get better results. If my music is very uptempo and fast paced like Styles Of Beyond, or maybe some Jungle/Drum&Bass/Breakbeat sounds. I’m probably better off trying to get it to people in the hands of people into active lifestyles, as opposed to couch potatoes or cubicle slaves, who probably prefer something more mellow and downbeat. If you’re loud and flashy, don’t pitch yourself to reserved, closed-minded suits. Find your niche and go for it. I look toward start-ups and publications to offer commissioned original music, production, writing, and songs to, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it definitely has benefits once placed to get you heard.

Collaborations – This is how you bridge an audience. Got a singer/songerwriter who’s really dope? get her acapellas remixed by a producer that’s equally matched and let them play with each others sounds to create something new and fresh. Collaboration over competition any day, every day. I’ve teamed up with Skating, Fixie/BMX brands, Shoe Companies, Clothing Lines, and much more in regards to creating collabs that extend beyond music. Once you get the hang of pitching yourself and your brand/product/service you really gain perspective on how businesses operate, who their markets are, and you can come up with ways of intertwining yourself with them in a mutually beneficial manner that allows you to reach their crowd and vice verse.
That’s it for today’s lessons, I hope you gained something from this and continue to create new and unique ways of getting yourself out there. Feel free to leave a comment below or drop me a line at any of the places below ūüôā If you need help with marketing, promotions, pr, design, etc. I can also help with that. ¬†Please repost this article as it doesn’t just pertain to music and have a wonderful day full of good music and vibes~

Eric Spivak
holla@eric-spivak.com
FB: ericspivak
IG: @ericspivak
TWT: @ericspivak
SC: @ericspivak
Beat Junkies Record Pool: 

5 Albums You Slept On And Shouldn’t Have

Now as usual, I know some of you have heard these ( it may have been awhile ) but I feel like the current and future generation of readers don’t get enough of this kinda content, so it’s a great opportunity to bridge the gap in this social media age. Share the wealth ūüôā

(can’t find the full album of this, but a very very solid project: Grey Matter: Grey Matter)

5 ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ‚ÄĒ VOL 9.

James Jirat Patradoon
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http://cargocollective.com/jirat_
www.jirat.jp 

Suzi Analogue

DJ Morse Code ( 1/2 of POOLS )




Kadhja Bonet


Faimkills


Since wordpress makes it difficult to create space in postings sometimes. The people featured above are pretty easy to find online and shouldn’t be slept on:

James Jirat Patradoon / Kadhja Bonet / Suzi Analogue / Faimkills / DJ Morse Code 

 

Can You Dig It?

While I feel like the argument will always exist of vinyl vs digital, and preference of which you’d like for varying reasons beyond sound quality, artwork, and more… The entire market has shifted, especially in the rate of which we consume and discard music. It’s changed so drastically that by the time I finish making a mix an hour long mix with all new music, there’s another 500 brand new tracks put out. It’s almost impossible these days to stay on top of it all. For someone like me who’s a bit of a digital hoarder/collector this is a problem. I also pride myself on being “that friend” who’s always putting people up on that new new ish. That part is what I want to really focus on here.

Now we all know how Music Discovery has drastically changed over the years, but now more than ever has it been in a weird place where the quantity trumps the quality per accessibility of equipment and self publishing. I don’t wanna necessarily call it over saturation, as I don’t believe in having too much of a good thing being a problem. Especially for music lovers, creators, and performers.

Beat Junkies Record Pool ūüėČ Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Spotify, GooglePlay, Pandora, Mixcloud, Beatport, 22tracks and a million others.

I generally suggest using the Favorite, Like and Bookmarking features, or keeping an archive in shazam, then going to your main computer and individually purchasing each individual track that you ‘liked’ through these platforms. You automatically build a playlist with this route, as well as don’t have to waste money on the rest of the project that may not be as good as the track(s) you’re purchasing. All in all it’s just a very pragmatic and practical way of acquiring new music.

Markers and tracking is a great way to stay organized as well. I used the “like” buttons as checkpoints when digging digitally, so if I don’t go on soundcloud for a few days, I can scroll down until I see the last track I “liked” in order to see where I stopped listening, and where to pick up again.

With bandcamp, you’ve got the curated bandcamp weekly series that you can dig through – if you hear an individual song in that mix that you like, you simply click on the artist name to go to their full project the song is off of. From there you can also see if an album is released independently / self-published, or released on a label. Which gives you the option for digging deeper into their catalog or discog, alongside potentially discovering a whole world of music through a boutique label you didn’t know exists that puts out a lot of a similar sound.

You can subscribe as a fan to these acts in the same way as you can follow them. This puts you on their mailing lists so you can literally know if they do any kind of upload at any time.

All of these methods are valuable ways of keeping your finger on the pulse and your catalogs growing. I also suggest checking out 22tracks.com which is curated by 120 influential DJ’s, as well as strictlybeats.blogspot.com which has over 10,000 beat tapes dating back to posts in 2006′ when people like Ta-Ku, Kaytradamus(kaytranada), and many others were submitting music our way.

Hopefully this helps some of you discover some new music, and organize some old music, and re-evaluate how you acquire and maintain your collections. peace, til next time

-Spiv
(across all platforms) : @EricSpivak

5 ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ‚ÄĒ VOL 8.

Faith 47 –¬†is an internationally-acclaimed street and studio-based artist. Following an active street art career spanning more than 15 years, her work can now be found in major cities around the world. Using a wide range of media, her approach is explorative and substrate appropriate ‚Äď from found and rescued objects, to time-layered and history-textured city walls and their accretions, to studio-prepared canvas and wood. ¬†Through her work, Faith47 attempts to disarm the strategies of global realpolitik, in order to advance the expression of personal truth. In this way, her work is both an internal and spiritual release that speaks to the complexities of the human condition, its deviant histories and existential search.

Her¬†first solo exhibition, Fragments of a Burnt History (2012, David Krut Gallery, Johannesburg), considered the transformation of Johannesburg into a more representative African city, exposing the harsh realities of day-to-day life and capturing the remnants of South Africa‚Äôs complex history in a personal and symbolic manner. Through the creation of an immersive environment in the gallery space, this work challenged the viewer‚Äôs detachment.¬†Her solo exhibition, Aqua Regalia (2014, London & 2015, New York), further extends the possibilities of immersive spaces, enveloping the viewer into a sacred ‚Äėroom‚Äô filled with collected objects and other intricacies from everyday life that ‚Äď together with figurative paintings ‚Äď explore the notion of the mundane as sacred, celebrating the discarded and unwanted as holy.


faith1 faith2

Vince Staples¬†–¬†is an American rapper from Long Beach, California. He is one-third of the group Cutthroat Boyz, alongside fellow California rappers Joey Fatts and Aston Matthews. Staples was also known as a close associate of Odd Future, in particular Mike G and Earl Sweatshirt. Staples is currently signed to Blacksmith Records, ARTium Recordings and Def Jam Recordings. He came to prominence with his appearances on albums by¬†Odd Future members and his collaborative mixtape titled Stolen Youth, with¬†Mac Miller, who¬†produced the majority of the¬†project. In October 2014, he released his debut EP Hell Can Wait, which included the singles “Hands Up” and “Blue Suede”. His debut album, Summertime ’06, was released in June of last year (2015) and has gotten critical acclaim. *He was also chosen as part of the XXL Magazine 2015 Freshman Class. It’s crazy looking back to see how far he’s come, I think it was about 2010 when him, mikeg, syd, speak, nikko gray and a few others were rocking my showcase inside the Fox Hills (now westfield) mall in Culver City. Since then I’ve done plenty of other shows, even worked Camp Flognaw/OddFutureCarnival doing merchandising and pushing Vince’s goods. Bottom line, It’s great to see the climb/growth/progress of people who are dedicated convert to success in the eyes of many.

Astronautica – 23-year-old Los Angeles native Edrina K. Martinez is Astronautica, one of Alpha Pup Records’ newest artists. Bringing a unique style of lush electronica and a playful sense of exploration to the label, the young producer is a fresh face to the thriving local beat scene. Learning to play guitar by ear at an early age, Astronautica soon began mixing her own samples and beats. Quickly becoming addicted to the burgeoning beat sounds of the West Coast, Astronautica is now a full-fledged member of the movement. Been lucky enough to catch her more then a few times live, and recently had her play one of my showcases – definitely a sure bet for a solid set, every time.

 

IllFightYou – This is IllFightYou ( Glenn, Uglyfrank, and Khris P ) I Couldn’t find a real bio or much info on them, but I’ve been listening to these guys for quite some time now and putting up homies on them after playing out their music in the whip or at shows. They did a pretty thorough interview last time they were in LA with Intuition for his program Kinda Neat ( which can be heard here http://kindaneat.net/illfightyou/ ) they also rocked LowEndTheory and a few other shows. Music speaks for itself, check it out below and more on their soundcloud.

Bibi Bourelly –

Bibi Bourelly is a Berlin-born Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. She wrote the Rihanna song “Bitch Better Have My Money” and features on “Without You”, a track by Lil Wayne that features on his 2015 album Free Weezy Album. She also co-wrote and features on Nick Brewer’s Top-20 UK debut track “Talk to Me” and she’s featured on Usher’s single “Chains”. ¬†¬†Bourelly is of Moroccan and Haitian descent. She was born in Berlin, her father being the guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly and her mother, the head of the art department at Berlin‚Äôs House of the World‚Äôs Cultures. She moved to America in the tenth grade to pursue a music career, first ending up in the Washington, D.C. then moving to Los Angeles. Her break came after a producer she had been working with online, Paperboy Fabe, arranged a session with Kanye West, who isolated her in a booth. The result was Rihanna’s “Higher”. She also wrote the singer’s “Bitch Better Have My Money”, which caused some controversy after Houston rapper Just Brittany claimed that Rihanna had plagiarised the song.

In April 2015 Bourelly issued her own single, “Riot”, an effort to prove to people she was “authentic”, detailing how wanted to be heard and recognised as a legitimate musician.¬†Bourelly is also involved with quite a few other projects and artists which will soon come to light. Most recently being her features beside Usher & Nas…. I mean c’mon son haha. bright future ahead.

5 Artists You Should Know ‚ÄĒ Vol 7.

Sir Anderson – Just stumbled across this guy the other day per a friends mention on the internet and low and behold, I dug his stuff and like magic – he’s now featured here. Maybe next time I mention him I’ll have a lot more to say because I’ll actually have met him ūüôā check out David’s work below:

ART12 art1243

He’s on the right path with his mixed media work and I feel like it’ll only get better and better, so continue to check his page out and show some support (not to mention, his work at the moment is pretty reasonable) ¬†https://www.facebook.com/artofsiranderson


Doc Illingsworth –¬†
I’ve¬†listened to this guy for years and always really dug his versatile sounds and constant interest in kinda bringing something different to the table. I feel like Detroit takes hip-hop seriously and you can hear it infused into most of the creations from that city. Illingsworth I used to feature on StrictlyBeats and also pass his music along to friends who may have no heard of¬†detroit cydi, him and ErikL. I want to say since 2006′ I’ve seen him reach new heights and recently saw him kill it out here at Low End Theory, alongside several other platforms that have given him some positive light. Humble cat, deserves what he gets and I hope he continues to push the ante with a quality sound that’s undeniable. Hopefully someday he can find that “illonthehunt instrumental’ for me ūüôā

You can support his new project here: http://www.fatbeats.com/products/illingsworth-worth-the-wait-lp


Linafornia –¬†
I have a big heart when it comes to seeing people go from tragedy to triumph and Linafornia is definitely someone whom I feel can give you that story. In Los Angeles, she’s quietly made waves in the scene that she’s supported mutually for years on nights and weekends. I feel like I’ve physically been to the same events with her at least 100x now and she’s always shown love to anyone and everyone who reciprocates and deserves it. I don’t wanna get into her car accident and story or too deep into detail in regards to how amazing this girl is but I do want you to know she’s a real one and you can hear it in her music, which realistically only started surfacing in the past year or so. In a short period of time she’s garnered attention from our Bananas crew to Beat Cinema, Low End Theory, RUN and more. Great sample selections, unique change-ups, cut points, loops and mixture of lo-fi and high-end sounds to make you zone out, as I’ve done when having the pleasure of catching a set, or rapping on it. Her debut album “YUNG” comes out Jan 22nd, 2015, keep your eyes peeled and follow her through social media.

https://www.facebook.com/1linafornia


Zack Sekoff –¬†
Started listening to this guy back when he lived in LA (he may be back now), next thing I knew he disappeared to go to school on the east coast, and I had a CD of his that I played until I couldn’t anymore… Heard about him through the grapevine of the beat scene, and our LA underground community, he was also close to peers like Speak, Westside Ty/Beeper King, and many others. This dudes musicianship is nuts and one can only assume he’s continued to progress and impress. He’s been quiet for quite some time now but steadily working under the radar to produce big sounds that boast his talents across many styles and formats. Zack’s won plenty of competitions, worked with the likes of Thundercat, Austin Peralta, KCRW’s Anthony Valadez, and a slew of others. His diversity is endless and I think without sounding like a total fanboy I should just let you decide for yourself.
He’s got a new album coming out soon, I highly suggest following him on Soundcloud & Twitter. Remnants of a Winter Sun” out 1/15

Bryson Tiller –¬†Bryson Djuan was born on January 2, 1993, in Louisville, Kentucky. His mother died when he was four years old. He has three siblings. Tiller started receiving massive internet attention from music industry insiders with his breakout single “Don’t”, which he originally released on his SoundCloud page. Early co-signs from record producer Timbaland and Canadian rapper/singer Drake led to major label attention for Tiller, with him eventually choosing to sign a creative partnership with RCA Records. Announced on August 25, 2015 : T R A P S O U L debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200. ¬†Talking about his musical style, Tiller said, “It’s just trap and hip hop-influenced R&B, the perfect marriage between hip hop and R&B.” Tiller has cited American singer Omarion as his biggest influence. Other influences include R. Kelly, The-Dream, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown and Drake. Critics have compared Tiller’s style to Jeremih, Drake, Ty Dolla Sign and Tory Lanez. Keep an eye on him, because his promise continues to show through his consistency. I mean fuck… he’s already reached over 30 million plays on more then 3 of his songs/videos, not bad at 22 years old. Here’s a few great joints:

That’s All ūüôā
-SPIV / Eric Spivak

Feel free to reach out and ask me any questions directly via:

fb: facebook.com/espivisdope
twitter: @ericspivak
instagram: @ericspivak
snapchat: @ericspivak

5 Artists You Should Know — Vol 5.

Kehinde Wiley РLos Angeles native and New York based visual artist, Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within art history’s portrait painting tradition. As a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists, including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, among others, Wiley, engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic and the sublime in his representation of urban, black and brown men found throughout the world.

By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, history, wealth and prestige to the subject matter drawn from the urban fabric, the subjects and stylistic references for his paintings are juxtaposed inversions of each other, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery.

Wiley’s larger than life figures disturb and interrupt tropes of portrait painting, often blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation and the critical portrayal of masculinity and physicality as it pertains to the view of black and brown young men.

Initially, Wiley‚Äôs portraits were based on photographs taken of young men found on the streets of Harlem. As his practice grew, his eye led him toward an international view, including models found in urban landscapes throughout the world ‚Äď such as Mumbai, Senegal, Dakar and Rio de Janeiro, among others ‚Äď accumulating to a vast body of work called, ‚ÄúThe World Stage.‚ÄĚ

The models, dressed in their everyday clothing most of which are based on the notion of far-reaching Western ideals of style, are asked to assume poses found in paintings or sculptures representative of the history of their surroundings. This juxtaposition of the ‚Äúold‚ÄĚ inherited by the ‚Äúnew‚ÄĚ ‚Äď who often have no visual inheritance of which to speak ‚Äď immediately provides a discourse that is at once visceral and cerebral in scope.

Without shying away from the complicated socio-political histories relevant to the world, Wiley‚Äôs figurative paintings and sculptures ‚Äúquote historical sources and position young black men within the field of power.‚ÄĚ His heroic paintings evoke a modern style instilling a unique and contemporary manner, awakening complex issues that many would prefer remain mute.

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Find out more of his work at: kehindewiley.com


Kelela
–¬†is an American singer and songwriter. Her 2013 debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me, earned praise from music critics and contemporaries such as Solange Knowles and Bj√∂rk, and was listed in various publication’s year-end lists. Seeking to make the mixtape sound like a remix album,¬†Kelela added her own vocals over instrumental tracks by DJs from Fade to Mind and Night Slugs.

A first-generation Ethiopian American, Kelela was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland and graduated from Magruder High School in 2001. She has been based in Los Angeles since 2010. After transferring from Montgomery College to American University, Kelela began singing jazz standards at cafés. In 2008, she joined an indie band called Dizzy Spells and tried to sing progressive metal after meeting Tosin Abasi, whom she later dated.

Having moved to Los Angeles, Kelela connected with Teengirl Fantasy and contributed to the group’s 2013 album Tracer on the song “EFX”, which led her to meet Prince William from the label Fade to Mind.¬†He introduced her to the sound of the record label and its sister imprint from London, Night Slugs, which Spin has described as “one of the most distinctive sounds in U.K. dance music, a mutable hybrid of grime, house, electro, R&B, techno, hip hop, and dubstep.”¬†In May 2013, she appeared on Kingdom’s “Bank Head”, and five months later released her mixtape Cut 4 Me for free.¬†Harriet Gisbone of The Guardian has described the album as “an experiment for the production team, the first time the production crew had used vocals on their club tracks.”¬†In March 2014, Kelela was featured in Bok Bok’s song “Melba’s Call” for his new EP.

On March 3, 2015, Kelela announced the forthcoming release of her Hallucinogen EP with a video for the project lead track “The Message”, produced by Arca (who’s also produced for FKA Twigs).

Catch more Kelela following her social media pages, or the Fade To Mind website: www.facebook.com/kelelamusic

 

Elaquent –¬†Canadian-based producer Elaquent is certainly no rookie in the thriving beat scene. Known for his smooth, soulful style; his off-kilter, neck-break beats; and his obsession with Batman and Sega Genesis, Elaquent is finally beginning to reach his full potential. Elaquent, or ‚ÄúeQ‚ÄĚ as he is also known by, has been making his mark on the independent beat scene in a big way over the last few years, with a large discography of well received instrumental albums. Since the ninth grade, eQ has been mastering his production techniques, creating a sound uncommon to the crop of other local producers. Citing J Dilla and DJ Premier as some of his earliest influences, eQ has become much of a fan favorite among beat afficionados in Toronto. After a string of successful releases, including¬†‚ÄúThe Scenic Route‚ÄĚ ,¬†‚ÄúGreen Apples and Oranges‚ÄĚ, and most recently, “Good Karma”, eQ has taken¬†his show on the road, armed with his trusty SP-404sx loaded full of beats. Having toured all around the United States and many parts of Europe, eQ shows no signs of slowing down. Signed to HW&W Recordings (based out of Los Angeles), the prolific¬†producer is already planning a number of albums, live shows and collaborations. Needless to say, Elaquent is on the come-up. Video Interview with the man himself:

For more on Elaquent, you can check out his Social Media pages, bandcamp/soundcloud or website: elaquent.com

 

Mick Jenkins Р On January 13, Mick released his first mixtape, The Mickstape. In August 2012, he Released his second mixtape entitled The Pursuit of HappyNess: The Story of Mickalascage. Listed producers include After The Smoke, Swisha House, Chris Calor, Quincy Banks, Chuck Inglish, Vanilla, and Dijon.

In the Fall of 2012, Mick returned to Chicago and began attending YCA (Young Chicago Authors) a youth center where his first a cappella verse caught the attention of local artist and leader of Chicago’s Pivot Gang collective, Saba. Shortly after, the two collaborated on Heaux for Saba’s 2012 mixtape GETCOMFORTable.  Jenkins is a member of a hip-hop group called Free Nation. Other members include Prop, J-Stock, Burman, and Maine The Saint. Free Nation promotes creative thought without accepting narrow views imposed by the powers that be. This group believes that when you find a way to combat the status quo, you are free.

In April 2013, Mick released a mixtape entitled Trees and Truths. It quickly became a local favorite, buoyed by acid jazz-influenced production, biblical allegory and lacerating lyricism. The project was by far his most lyrical body of work and caught the attention of Chicago’s incipient gatekeepers. A few months after its release, a collaboration with Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa came in the form of a single entitled Crossroads, which received attention and praise.

2014 ‚Äď July 2015: The Water[s] & Tours

In July 2014, Mick received significant attention after the release of his single/visual Martyrs, which juxtaposed harsh societal truths with a catchy hook. The thought-provoking single held various underlying messages and subtle notions.¬†Martyrs has led people such as Timbaland, among others, to reach out and praise Jenkins for his musical talent and intricate lyricism. Mick continues to find creative ways to convey his message¬†and on August 12 released his project The Water[s] which has garnered national attention. Centered on the idea of comparing water to life’s truths, The Water[s] serves as Jenkins’ breakout project and has received much critical acclaim.¬†Shortly after releasing the project, Jenkins announced he would be touring during the fall on the 2014 Smoker’s Club World Wide Roller’s Tour along with Method Man, Redman, B-Real, Trademark da Skydiver, and Berner.¬†He had his first official tour in February 2015 with Kirk Knight,Noname Gypsy and Saba Pivot. He was on tour with Joey Bada$$ and Denzel Curry for Phase 1 of their World Domination Tour.

On July 20, 2015, Mick Jenkins announced an EP titled Waves, which was released on August 21, 2015. Mick Jenkins began streaming his new project in full via NPR’s First Listen on August 13, 2015. Wave[s] is the follow up to Jenkins’ critically acclaimed 2014 mixtape, The Water[s]. For Wave[s], Mick continues to keep the collaborators confined to those within his inner circle. The project features the likes of Sean Deaux, Saba, and TheMind. Mick will also be North American tour with French producer STWO from the end of August through the beginning of October.

Catch more of Mick here: mickjenkins.com/

 

 

 

Teeko – While Teeko‚Äôs notoriety over the last decade may come from his superhuman Turntablist repertoire — DMC, ITF and Guitar Center champion, co- creator of the Vestax Controller One, recording for Mark Ronson, D‚ÄôAngelo and others, his creative prowess naturally extends to his work as a keyboardist, writer and producer. He has also received accolades by the world-renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston, receiving the Milestones Innovative Producer’s Award. Teeko has also been recognized by the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival, being the first DJ/Turntablist invited to perform. In recent years, he has teamed up with acclaimed fellow bay area producer B.Bravo to form the modern bass/funk outfit, Starship Connection. Hitting festivals across the country bringing new elements of live performance in the electronic music scene. His recent culmination of skills on synths, turntables and production have taken his live sets to new hights including several exciting collaborations with Dj Craze, Salva, Dj A-trak, Ruckazoid and more. All in all, the man is at one with his art, no matter what his device his sound continues to take exciting new shapes while effortlessly blowing minds and breaking necks.

“Teeko is a constant innovator, one of the rare DJs who pushes boundaries of what turntables can do musically.”
– DJ A-trak
(Fools Gold / Duck Sauce)

The¬†pre-order link for that includes gratis track “Bruh Bruh Do Him Thing” when you order. This is his latest project for Dj Craze’s Slow Roast Records.
PRE-ORDER – TEEKO – BLAST THAT EP (SLOW ROAST RECORDS)

You can also get more of Teeko @ https://www.explore.fm/teeko and teekomusic.com

*All tracks are free download and listeners can donate to him by pressing the heart (“Send Love”) button that appears after they create an account.¬†

“Teeko is a constant innovator, one of¬†the rare DJs who pushes boundaries of¬†what turntables can do musically.”¬†– DJ A-trak¬†(Fools Gold / Duck Sauce)

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet? shortcuts for success in the internet era

These days the internet has definitely thrown a monkey wrench into the way artists rise, fall and survive. You can have a great video or song and dance go viral at any time and in less then 24hrs garner millions of views. You could get remixed by a well known and established artist athen get picked up to their label/signed overnight. You could even have music placed in a 30second commercial or picked up for the theme song of a online tv show and get offers from licensing companies and residuals for the life of the show.

It’s really crazy to see the wave of advancement, adapation and transformation the entire music industry has gone through over just the past decade, it’s pretty incredible to say the least. The rise & fall of tidal, applemusic, soundcloud, bandcamp, tunecore, and the hundreds of other sites out there are really reshaping the music world.

The Basics:
In business and people, this idea goes hand in hand, you need to have the basics in order to proceed to the intermediate and advanced areas of whatever you’re aiming to do. Walking before you run, not putting the cart infront of the horse or biting off more then you can chew. In music, I’d say the basics are having your Name and the meaning behind it, secondly your logo and branding, third would be your bio/story fourth would be your online presence and last would be an overall branded package.

Having these things will give you a solid foundation, and from it will innately bring structure, which would be followed by your own leadership ( unless of course, you’re at the point where you need management, representation, an agent, etc ) | which by no means, am I suggesting those last things (mgmt/agent etc being a requirement)

So that was:

1. NAME / reason for it

2. LOGO / colors/theme (there’s a reason corporate standards come in with big companies using the same colors on everything they do)

3. BIO / background – we’ve all got stories, highs and lows, and this is a brief look at you.

4. Social Media / this is just getting your accounts in order and making sure they have matching names, so you are found the same way across any network, much like a website that is ‘responsive’ and visible in the same manner, across any device (phone, desktop, laptop, tablet, etc)

5. #EXCLUSIVE HASHTAG / this will help you archive as you go, and it will let people also take a peek into how far you’ve come, where you’re going, and how relevant or recent certain posts or articles are. This is your online signature if you will.

6. WEBSITE / websites are very important because they are like a brick & mortar store, except visible from anywhere in the world, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 a days a year. This is the sign outside of your store, this is the wallpaper inside your store, this is the music in your store, this is the merch in your store. This is literally a store hahah. It should have all the things listed prior to this point, some content of your best video/photo representation, and then a contact page.

7. Electronic Press Kit – This is everything on your website, wrapped into one comprehensive package, while an EPK is great for sending out to blogs, PR people, magazines, talent bookers and more. The point would be to get it down to “onesheet’ therefore it can also be printed on a nice cardstock and physically mailed to more valuable potential clients and partners. It should be easily downloadable on the website into a PDF file type. This is an easy way to get looked at as being a serious artist / professional because you’ve got all of your other ducks in a row. It’s much more appealing to a label, manager, agent, or booker to scoop someone who has it all together with the stuff mentioned above, as opposed to having to do a ‘development’ situation which requires someone else to produce all of these things for you.

8. BUSINESS CARDS – I’m pretty good with organizing business cards based on what field of work they are in, and transfering the information to my phone and spreadsheets to make sure I can keep in contact. While some people think cards are dated, I probably get asked for 5 per week in my outings here in Los Angeles. This is just another opportunity for you to extend yourself to others. Less expensive and faster then printing the epk to hand out to everyone like a resume, and cheap enough that you can leave them with check presenters when you pay bills, drop them into tip jars, let a few go at once, etc etc.

That’s all the “busy work” that are prerequsites in my opinion for you to become successful in the music world. Now sure not everyone needed or had these things to make it, but it definitely separates who’s ready to get to the next level and who isn’t, alongside who has their shit together, to put it bluntly. The DIY route is also not the best suggestion for this, get all of this stuff professionally done in collaboration with someone you trust who does high quality work, otherwise you’ll end up redoing everything in 6 months and wasting time/money. Buy once, buy right.

Finally,¬†so like it, love it or hate it – those are the breaks and above are some of the best ways I can suggest for you to streamline your own success. The music is equally important, to the image you portray. This isn’t difficult stuff to do, and not too expensive, so why not?

As the saying goes “Remember that it takes 13 hours to build a Toyota and 6 months to build a Rolls-Royce.‚ÄĚ The idea being that if you want to achieve big goals and accomplish your dreams, you’ve gotta significantly invest in yourself.

That said, I’m now offering web & graphic design services and branding packages to all of you… ( kidding, kind of ūüôā

Enjoy your week! Til We meet again.

-Spiv
ig: @ericspivak
twit: @gorillamicspiv
fB: espivisdope

5 Albums You Slept On (and shouldn’t have) pt. 3

All of these albums bring me to a special place and time, and definitely got fair play and several spin cycles til they were rinsed. If you’re familiar and have listened to these before, I’m sure you’ll feel some kind of way, and if you haven’t, I hope you thoroughly enjoy some of these great projects.

Rawkus – VA – Soundbombing II

Factor Chandelier – 13 Stories

Apathy – Eastern Philosophy

Psalm One – Death Of The Frequent Flyer

Hieroglyphics – 3rd Eye Vision

Lock Yourself In A Room Doing 5 Beats A Day For 3 Summers

This past weekend, was the second annual Low End Theory Festival and it was phenomenal. To catch you up to speed, I’ll start with what LET is.

Low End Theory is a magical place where deejays, producers, emcees, vocalists, musicians and beat junkies of all walks unite on a weekly basis. It’s an institution in Los Angeles, and some follow it religiously enough to call it their church.

Whether it’s the fact that the place is 18 and up, or maybe the booming¬†Pure Filth Soundsystem being tuned to make your bones rattle and ovaries twerk, perhaps it’s the countless who’s who that randomly show up (such as Thom Yorke, Prince, and Erykah Badu to name a few).

October marks 9 Years of Low End Theory which is brought to you by Daddy Kev ( founder of Alpha Pup Records ) DJ D-Styles, DJ Nobody, Gaslamp Killer, and Hosted by Nocando. All adding their own special sauce to the mix, you can catch a wide-variety of performers on 1 of 2 stages any given Wednesday in Boyle Heights at The Airliner.

The reason I titled this entry “Lock Yourself In A Room Doing 5 Beats A Day For 3 Summers” wasn’t because I think that this such sound advice from Mr. West, but rather just a reminder of someone being dedicated to a craft, regardless of how many shapes it takes. The majority of this lineup I’ve been following for years and have really witnessed the growth in their sound through various releases and I as well as many others have been lucky enough to interact with many of them through Low End Theory, Beat Cinema, and other platforms that focus on this genre of music. It’s really cool to see guys who started in their basement play center stage in front of thousands before the likes of people like Flying Lotus & Thundercat. A lot of these guys used to actually go to events with boxes of cd’s and just hand them out freely with hand-drawn/cut/photographed packaging, just cd-r’s and cassettes hoping they’d somehow reach someone who somewhat cared enough to follow up and actually purchase or support them further in their journey… It used to be a very DIY effort, coming from a genuine and pure place that was much deeper than youtube views and soundcloud plays. I think the process really created some very humble and modest artists because of the patience involved in really getting heard by “the right people”. That same mentality was getting people shine on stages like Low End Theory along with many others, and in-turn picked up for mini tours and festival opening slots, as well as traveling opportunities.

To me, this festival was like a holiday for all the people who’ve waited in line week after week only to hit the door and the place being at capacity while their favorite artist performed inside. It was a special treat that was mutually beneficial for the performing acts, the attendees and supporters, as well as the format/genre/sound as a whole. It brought together a ton of amazing people, visuals and sounds that I don’t think you’d catch anywhere else in the city, and best of all is it was an organic showcase. All of these acts have performed prior on the weekly Low End stage and never for a moment did it feel like some corporate backed function where they slap stickers all over the Lamborghini, thus maintaining the integrity of the event. ¬† From¬†Jhen√© Aiko, Dom Kennedy, Earl Sweatshirt, Childish Gambino, and even Shia Labeouf there was no lack of star power in the house and I feel like people left satisfied with a longing for more… That being said, check out¬†http://www.alphapuprecords.com/¬†explore some of the acts that were on the lineup further through Soundcloud & Bandcamp. Support what you love and drop by Low End on a Wednesday to see what it’s all about. ¬†Shout out to Kev and everyone who made the event happen, ¬†all the performers who got to express themselves – I truly can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year. Below is a full recap, end of the show clip with FlyLo and a photo from Nocando from the indoor stage.

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Low End Theory 9 Year Anniversary


The 2nd annual Low End Theory Festival, occurred August 8, 2015 at the Shrine Expo Hall and Grounds, Los Angeles, CA. Performers included Flying Lotus, Earl Sweatshirt, Thundercat, Nosaj Thing, Daedelus, Teebs, Jonwayne, Ras G, Mono/Poly, Samiyam, Dibiase, Alix Perez & EPROM, Milo, Open Mike Eagle, Mndsgn, Free the Robots, Great Dane, House Shoes, Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, Astronautica, Sister Crayon, Cazal Organism and Elusive. LET residents Daddy Kev, Nobody, the Gaslamp Killer, D-Styles and Nocando also performed. Low End Theory Festival 2015 was presented by Goldenvoice, and sponsored by Roland in conjunction with 808 Day.

5 Albums You Slept On (and why you shouldn’t have)

From years of running Strictly Beats¬†( a benchmark in Instrumental Hip-Hip / Beat Tape sites )¬†and also trying to merge another popular blog that I was a part of HHB ( hip-hop bootleggers ) I’ve been digging music for years online and off. Some of my favorite artists have faded away, while others have stood the test of time and found ways of navigating through the changing music environment. I feel like these 5 albums were really amazing pieces of work that would’ve gone a lot further had the internet been more like it is now. From content to production, delivery and cadence, and the emcees/producers/dj’s involved. These projects definitely had a fair share of quality control and all deserve a second life / resurface. Check them out in their entirety, and tell a friend…


1. Stories About Nothing : Intuition – Los Angeles, CA

2. Stick Figures : Prolyphic & Robust – Chicago & Rhode Island
( Unfortunately I can’t find a full album link but you can purchase it at the link below )

Click Here For Full Album

3. Rhyme Asylum – State Of Lunacy – London, United Kingdom

4. Symbionese Liberation : Third Sight РLos Angeles, CA

5. Force Fed : IDE РNew York, NY

You may also like these posts:
www.beatjunkies.com/how-to-book-better-gigs-more-often/
www.beatjunkies.com/5-artists-you-should-know-july-2015/

-Spiv

Wanna reach out? 
_________________
Eric Spivak
espiv15@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/espivisdope
ig: ericspivak
twt: gorillamicspiv
Beat Junkies Record Pool: 

How To Book Better Gigs More Often

How To Book Better Gigs More Often

In my 10 years of working at various capacities in and around this industry, I never once took into consideration how difficult, complicated and overwhelming things must be for aspiring talent¬†that lacks proper guidance to “make it” as they say… We all know the internet has provided several articles, tutorials and resources for people to independently help themselves become as aware and knowledgeable as possible. With the addition of social media and platforms like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, it’s become even easier for you to project yourself to the masses and correspond with potential investors to your brand (fans). ¬†My question is, what happens when you get offline? Like, ok great! You’ve been featured all over the world and your mixes, songs and videos have thousands of plays, you’ve got a little blog traction¬†and managed to open¬†for a few established acts that you can namedrop into your bio, but what’s next? ¬†¬†I feel like several talented people hit this peak and then¬†unfortunately start questioning what they are doing or drag their feet. This is when we start to look at other options like Agents, Managers, PR/Publicists and Peers for help.

*Now I must really like you guys,¬†because I’ve decided to put together this basic visual aid to illustrate what happens at this moment.

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Alright, so that was quick and painless right? Now I’m not saying all artists follow this pattern, but through the ones I’ve mentored, managed, and coached from the sidelines and on the field. I’d be lying if I didn’t say this was a very real and common thing,

so congrats, you’re not alone.

Here’s my tips on how to land more bookings, more often (and¬†help improve your overall self)

  1. Be Transparent. In all interactions. any communication.¬†I know I don’t have to tell you how far integrity, modesty and honesty go but I’m going to anyways. You don’t know how many times people have asked me to manage them bragging about working with this person, or that label, or performing on xyz stage while I smile and nod. Then get home, reach for my phone, shoot a text out and see if what you said is true. – Technology is a blessing and a curse, it’s your choice on whether you want it to work with you or against you. One of the easiest ways to avoid it malfunctioning or not working out in your favor is keeping it 100.
  2. Friendliness –¬†I understand you may not like Joe Blow’s music, or think Kristi Kokane and The Kirkland Krew¬†¬†are trash, but that doesn’t mean you have to be rude or disrespectful. In an industry where all you have is your word, use yours wisely and for good. It costs nothing to be nice, and there isn’t a gun to your head to support said act, but you could have one at your head if you decide to speak up and degrade someone else’s efforts. Social Media may sometimes encourage bad behavior, but you can use it to showcase your personality and really leverage friendships and new connections, just by being positive.
  3. Organization –¬†Having your EPK (electronic press kit) in order will surely help you get more placement and¬†better gigs. Business Cards & Websites are synonymous with this as well. ¬†For me to take someone seriously, I need to know they’ve invested in themselves before they are trying to ask for money from me. No Joke, I spend a quarter of the year re-producing these for people who went on craigslist or through a friend and got a price hookup, but an abomination of work. Make sure you put your best foot forward on all fronts. ¬†Collecting Emails and¬†Numbers then¬†dissecting them when you get home, into an excel spreadsheet is a great way to work on your organization and launch concentrated marketing efforts. This also goes for making a list of Radio Stations, Blogs, Magazines, and other areas that you want to reach utilizing their submission addresses & emails.
  4. Put some Bass in your voice –¬†Confidence, not cockiness, when introducing yourself to others at events will¬†¬†go a long way, throw in some humor and you’re in! If you are at an event, whether performing or not, chances are the people who produced it are also in attendance. Now keeping in mind there is a time and place for everything. I don’t necessarily suggest going out of your way to bother these people ( I am one of these people ) but if you do happen to cross paths with them. Say a quick hello, introduce yourself quickly, and depending on the vibe, either keep it moving or pay them a compliment. First impressions go along way, and set the tone for any future correspondence. Small talk isn’t required, and what you say “can” hurt you, so use some tact. Depending on your approach, you should’ve opened the door for yourself to at least see each other again, briefly and have a slightly longer conversation, until eventually your rapport is at a point that you can share your music. Who knows, you may even get requested for your EPK. You can be proud and accomplished without being arrogant or conceited, much like a vegan or crossfitter can be a vegan or crossfitter, without telling anyone they’re vegan or do crossfit.
  5. Support by attending! –¬†Another great way to get the attention of the players in the scene is being active. Seven¬†years ago when I moved to Los Angeles, I didn’t know much of anyone or anything with an exception to people I’ve met in the past when they were on the east coast (NY) or the south (ATX) for specific events (Jumpoff/SXSW/etc). Now I’m happy and lucky enough to say that I’m known throughout several scenes and circles and get warm greetings, because of my consistent support and interactions. By frequenting events that fit a demographic you’re interested in, you’ll open several doors because generally the attendees are interested in the same things as you. The best part is, not all of them are there promoting themselves, and several potential fans¬†are listening and watching you move.¬†This is where that whole first impressions are lasting thing comes into play. If you connect with others in social environments and keep it cordial, you’d be surprised how far that goes and where it translates into your income. If you do the opposite keep in mind that those who you talk to, can talk too. If you go to an event consistently enough, you get to meet the residents and coordinators casually, which opens the doors of opportunity if you get along. Two things I¬†DO NOT¬†suggest is, attempting to get booked for events you haven’t attended more than a few times, and DO NOT¬†become a pushy overbearing salesperson. Nothing is worse then the guy who interrupts the conversation or cipher to push his latest frisbee. Again, use tact (and common sense) because you never know who is watching.
  6. Think Outside Of The Box –¬†I¬†dropped a mix on 200 cd’s a few months back and gave them to L.A. Uber & Lyft Drivers. This mix + my cards got my website traffic boosted by 1200 people, I made 17 new connections on social media, and my soundcloud had a few addtl thousand plays on the week. When I worked for Viacom/MTV Networks in NY at 1515 Broadway – I used to sneak into the library and mail room and stick my event flyers & cd’s into everyone’s cubby. When I was in high school I dropped my poetry and a mixtape into the women’s locker room 3 vent slots on valentine’s day and made a lot of people happy ūüôā – These are just examples of the lengths in which I’ve personally gone to reach a broader demographic. Sure the internet is great between Reddit, Buzzfeed, Social Media, and all the other outlets. Although if you want to make a real splash where you’re the small fish in a big pond, you’ve gotta be creative. Find unique methods of packaging and delivering your content to people. Think about who you want to reach, and where they will be. I used to always be amazed by all the luxury vehicles Los Angeles had floating in the streets daily, to the point that I started asking anyone in a 80k+ vehicle what they did for a living? The result? some blew me off, some told me, and some followed up with “Why do you ask” and took what I had to offer ( a business card, resume, and cd ) and managed to connect me with some top industry professionals. I urge people to never be afraid of the unknown, and just weight “what’s the worst that can happen” before acting to yield best results. As long as your promotion and marketing attempts are not disruptive or destructive, I definitely co-sign pushing the ante on distribution tactics. ¬†*Note: This does not include tagging the side of the 10 freeway with your soundcloud link.
  7. Professionalism – I can’t count on all my fingers and toes how many times people have shown up late, complained about irrelevant bullshit, gotten too tipsy/turnt before their set, or too faded on the patio when they should’ve been setting up.¬†¬†If you want to be treated like a professional, act like one. Show up early, make yourself useful, show that you’re invested in the show and it’s not just a quick snatch & grab of some promoters cash by promoting the event to the best of your abilities. ( Trust me, social media has definitely made this task a no-brainer for you ) –¬†If you are granted a few guestlist slots, don’t abuse them by showing up at the door every 5 minutes giving my doorgirl lip about letting a broke homie in. If they spent the time/money to get to your event, they’ve got the financial means to support you. Not to mention, let’s be honest – the doorgirl may throw you the fuck out. Please bring all required music on a USB/Phone/CD and have a backup, unless you like performing acapella or over other people’s instrumentals. Do not hastle promoters or coordinators for drink tickets, we understand you can’t survive on water all night, and need to get your booze¬†to boost your buzz and confidence levels. Be supportive. I can’t stress this enough, I’m not talking emotional support, or child support. Applaud other acts, watch your time, don’t infringe on others by going over your designated slot, and don’t be a dick. ¬†Make it easy for us to pay you and book you again. I’ve noticed the talent that gets booked the most, tend to have their shit together (being organized) and arrive on time, perform on time, say thank you, abide by the house rules, are responsive by text/email, and can send me an invoice via venmo, square, paypal, etc. if they aren’t paid the night of. As in any career, being a professional will take you far and doesn’t go unnoticed. Act like you know.
  8. DIY – Do it yourself, alright so you are determined to get on. You don’t do “Pay To Play” showcases (never do p2p showcases), you’ve hit the Open Mics on a weekly basis for a few months now. You’ve gone to nearby cities to try to get a feel for a different crowd. You’ve done everything I’ve said above before, and then some… At this point, I’d suggest trying to throw your own event. Now event production and coordinating is *NOT* for everybody, and *NOT* to be taken lightly. I cannot emphasize enough how much we don’t need more poorly put together functions that hang on by a thread and waste people’s time and money. I’m also not saying that if nobody will book you, then you book yourself. What I am saying is, if you have established a bit of a name for yourself, you can draw a decent 15-50 person paying crowd, and you’ve made a few connections through the events you’ve supported. Maybe it’s in your best interest to produce your own function. Find a venue, work out a deal, run it by a few friends to make sure it’s a solid one, book yourself to perform and a few supplemental acts that make sense for your sound or theme of the night. I know when doing talent booking and artist management/development with people who have no names. I was able to build names for them by producing a series that featured them as residents or near-headliners. You can do this for yourself without too much difficulty, but I really only suggest taking this route once you’ve reached the minimum requirements mentioned above, and already do everything else listed within this post. I’d hate to hear you followed a beat junkies blog posting from some guy named spiv and got evicted because you put your rent on the line and had a poorly designed flyer and a weak lineup with no gas.
  9. Be Yourself.¬†– Most of this stuff above is self-explanatory, or one would think. Unfortunately, I see these tools of the trade get tangled up and forgotten very rapidly, especially when one gets a little shine. At the end of the day, people will book you based on who you are. If they aren’t booking you, it doesn’t mean nobody likes you, it means you’ve got room for improvement. Never stop practicing and progressing to be the best you, that you can be. If you’re not seeing the results in what you’re doing, change what you’re doing, or how you’re doing it, until you see the response you want to receive. The Los Angeles and New York markets for music are savage, and the fakes, jakes, and snakes get weeded out quickly. You have to learn before you earn, and always keep a guard up. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. No party or event is worth losing sleep over. Overcompensating for accomplishments you don’t have yet, is unnecessary and you are only as good as your word, so keep that shit golden. None of the things mentioned in this article prevent you from being yourself, and at the end of the day, the real ones get the work.

Maybe in the next Artist Essential piece on The Beat Junkies site, I’ll we can break down the differences between expectations and duties of Agents, Managers and Publicists.

I hope you enjoyed the first Artist Essentials posting on The Beat Junkies blog. 

I’ll leave you with this last nugget of advice. At the end of the day,¬†It’s all about how you serve it up.

If you have the worst food in the world and it looks amazing — People will give it a shot.

If you have the best food in the world, and it looks like shit — People won’t touch it.

Swap out food with Events, Music, Art, Film, Photos, etc¬†and the lesson is the same. Presentation, Connection, and Communication are Keys To Success. Don’t do anything rushed or forced, don’t put out half-assed looking event flyers or album artwork. Spend a little extra time and money on things you value most, so others can recognize that when they feel, see, and hear the¬†product you are delivering, especially when that product is yourself.

Hope this helps you land more bookings, ¬†as it has for a handful of others whom I see living off of their craft. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

For anyone with a problem with this article, they can check out my friends video¬† – Otherwise, we’re back in a week, next Wednesday with another post. If you missed my last one, you can check it out 5 Artists You Should Know¬†

-Spiv

Wanna reach out? 
_________________
Eric Spivak
espiv15@gmail.com
http://www.facebook.com/espivisdope
ig: ericspivak
twt: gorillamicspiv
Beat Junkies Record Pool: