Quershions with Kasi Daine

30 Mar

This series has been SO MUCH FUN, I almost can’t stand it. Seriously. I want to do cartwheels every time I receive an email with “Interview” in the subject line!! So far, we have gotten to see what’s going on behind the scenes in music with Matt Blake of WhiskeyBoy Radio, Jordan Buford, The Music Enthusiast, and Brian “Torch” Idell, of Torch Entertainment. (By the way, clicking on names leads back to the interview, and clicking on brands leads to their respective websites.)

Today’s behind-the-scenes look is with Casey Stuhlman of Dark Horse Images. She is a ROCK STAR with a camera, y’all. She does fantastical work and I always look forward to seeing her band promo shoots and her live images as well. I heart her hard core, and she is effing hilarious… So here goes. Read up and then go show her some love!!

This is Casey... And she says she has no super powers....

What first made you want to get involved with music and photography?

As cliche as it sounds, I think this is what I was born to do.  I’ve been a music lover my entire life.  I’ve been playing “Name the Artist” since I was 3 (not surprisingly, I was a lot better as a 3 year old).  I didn’t dig into photography until a few years ago, but I found that I loved it just as much as I did music… naturally, I wanted to marry the two… and make them have babies…and have those babies published for the world to see.  🙂

What was your first concert?

Weezer / No Doubt / Goldfinger – and you know how much I paid?!  $12!  Granted, that was 18 years ago… Holy crap!  That will make you feel old!

Best concert?

Dude, you would have to ask me this.  My mind is racing through the bands and I don’t even know where to start or stop.  Let’s go with Dillinger Escape Plan when they played at the Ridglea or at The Prophet Bar (isn’t that what it’s called now?)… but not when they played at Verizon.  They’re a band that needs to be taken in a small intimate room so you all can absorb every ounce of energy they put out… and trust me you will, and you will be blown away.

Worst concert?

Yeowzas…Hate to say this because they’re still one of my most favoritest bands in the whole wide world, but there was a really bad Deftones show somewhere there between 2004-2010 (I’ve been to their show 9+ times now and I never keep track).  I got to photograph them, though, last year when they came through on tour and they did NOT disappoint!!  Chino had his old school energy and he genuinely looked like he was having the best time of his life up there.  It kinda got me crushing on him again haha.

Who are some of your favorite mainstream bands?

Obviously Deftones, Dillinger Escape Plan… Mastodon, Misery Signals, Norma Jean, Turbid North, and Poison the Well (they were my #1 until they called it quit-skies)… honestly, those are just the ones I was running to this morning.  I love everything from old school lowrider oldies to american classics to funk to r&b to hip hop to electronic to doom to hardcore to metal… I could go on forever, and will, if you let me. (Katie Note: I LOVE that Turbid North is legitimately mainstream now!!!!)

Who are some of your favorite local DFW bands?

Black Dutch Sioux / Black On High / Pothead Goat / Burn Down / Oh, Sleeper / Magnum Octopus…. OH and I can’t wait to see what’s going to be coming from Cyanide Crisis (in Kasi Daine talk, Cyanide Crisis is the love child of The Destro & Within Chaos… bands I used to watch every chance I had at the Ridglea)!

Do you have any musical talents? Instruments? Singing? Do you play the spoons?

Used to sing until I dropped the F-Bomb during my duet at the Christmas choir concert in school… since then, my nerves are insta-shot the second I think of performing in front of others.  It’s something I’m working on currently (haha).  I was doing alright on the drums until the camera came along and I could really only conquer one.  Sadly, I never had the focus to bother learning the chords with the guitar, which is stupid.  I got the callouses for nothing.

How long have you been active in the local music scene?

I’ve been supporting local music since 2004.  Honestly, none of my friends listened to metal or punk or hardcore, so I didn’t want to go to shows by myself.  Finally, my husband’s best friend and his wife invited me to go to MetalFest at the Ridglea to go check out this band called Debri.  I fell in love with the scene instantly.

What prompted you to get involved in local music?

I really didn’t know how to help, other than by spreading the word, baking cookies for the bands (my cookies were the shizznit), buying merch, etc, until I found this photography skill.  When I found it, I wanted to put it to good use.  I started asking bands to let me take promo pics for cheap, or in some instances, for free.  I shot all shows for free.  I have so many friends that get up and rock out on that stage and they don’t pay their bills doing so… most of them have day jobs, or some have two jobs!  If I can use my skill and cut them a break, I want to do that.  It’s a thank you for being ballsy enough to put your music out there for the masses (including me) to enjoy.

What prompted you to start photographing bands?

The second I picked up the camera, I knew I wanted to do rock photography, moreso than any other subject… I mean I love the wedding photography (man, I LOOOOOVE weddings), as well as the families and pets (oh pets!) – but it’s a different feeling… and it’s not on the same connection as the rock photography.  I literally find myself lost in the moment when I’m editing a powerful shot… Like Turbid North for example… I’ve seen them so many times and photographed them so many times that when I am editing their stuff, I can hear “Stormblast” starting and I’ll start bobbing my head slowly and before you know it, I’ve got a little headbang action going.  It’s like that with every band I edit… it’s like re-living their set.

How many shows would you say you have seen?

Hundreds.

Who has been your favorite band to work with to date?

Gah, really?!  Don’t make me pick!!  Seriously, all the bands I’ve worked with, I’ve kinda formed a bond with, and they’re all welcome at my home anytime!  But if I had to pick one, I’d have to say Turbid North… they really took a risk on me when they were working on getting signed and because of their rise, my work’s been published on a couple dozen places online, in a few newspapers, and then in Metal Hammer magazine in the UK.  But then again, the drummer from Black Dutch Sioux did let me move his living room outside… 🙂

Where do you see Dark Horse Images going in the next year? Five years?

In the next year I’m going to be building the brand.  I’ve operated as Kasi Daine, but to separate the weddings and the music business, I spawned Dark Horse Images.  The new site is currently in development, and I’m working on a super big cool project for 2012 (to be formally announced Septemberish).  Five years: I want Dark Horse to be a common name in the community.  I see myself getting super creative and building sets and really pulling off some dope shit and help some of these bands get to the level, visually, that mainstream bands are at with their fancy shmancy industry photo shoots.  🙂  I’m also looking to build a service offering for sponsorship photos for the bands in the area… Some of these guys are sending in photos with their gear using their phone.. which don’t get me wrong the iPhone can take some decent pics.. But if you’re an industry exec and you’re looking to spend your cash on someone, you’re more apt to spend it on someone who put forth the effort and a little extra cash because that means you’re serious.

What is one thing you wish would change about the local scene here in DFW?

The Buddy System.  I used to be able to go out and see maybe two of the same bands and then a few new acts… but everyone got into this habit of having each other play together because, well, it’s hella fun to hang out and share the experience with your friends! However, so many bands should have been provided a chance to perform but weren’t even offered a spot on the bill because they’re not good enough friends with someone… and that’s pretty whack for the fans.  Why would I spend my hard-earned money paying to see the exact sets over and over again?  One of the best things about local music is finding these young kids who are fresh to the stage and helping them along and giving them the support.. but if they can’t get on the stage because your lame lesser talented friend is playing – well that kinda sucks!

What is one thing you hope NEVER changes?

The camaraderie.

Do you like sushi?

Fuck yea

What do you do with what little spare time you have outside of seeing shows, taking photos, and editing?

I’m a nerd with a bit of social anxiety, so when I’m not shooting a band or a wedding or editing, I’m trying to relax and just spend time with the husband..We spend a lot of time being dorks video gaming lol… I get down with my Xbox Kinect – that Michael Jackson game is off the hook!

Do you have any upcoming shows you want to, as we say at Sawed-Off Productions, WHORE out???

April 6th is a shitty day for me because two of my favoritest local bands are playing in different metroplex cities.  Black Dutch Sioux will be tearing it up at The Ranch, while Black on High is having their first show with new guitarist Spenser Freeman.  Both killer shows, but entirely different vibes yanno… Either way, I gotta figure out how to be 2 places at once.  Then there’s also a special announcement coming about an upcoming 2 day music fest happening soon, and I’m geeked about that.  I have the worst memory for dates, but if you connect with me on FB, I’m always whoring out someone’s swag or show.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

I wanna fly.  I’ve always wanted to.  And can you effin’ imagine if I could fly above the crowd to get shots?!  Possibilities are endless.   Links to your pages? My website is undergoing a facelift, but it’s kasidaine.com My new work is at facebook.com/DarkHorseImages My old stuff is at facebook.com/kasidaine

  Anything else you would like to tell us?

Hey bands – I like t-shirts!!  And I will pimp that shit for you!  Hook it up! 🙂

Check out Casey’s Work and Awesomeness Here:

WEBSITE

NEW WORK on Facebook

OLD WORK on Facebook

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Casey!!!!!

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Thank You, Jeff Rains

28 Mar

I already know that before anyone even reads this entire post, I am going to receive 9,487 messages and comments telling me to drop the RAINS thing.

Before I even start into what I actually have to say, let me get this out there. I challenge you to find anywhere that I have actually shared my side of the story, or even made anything but the most vague comments. I haven’t, so if you are going to be mad, then just stop reading now, because I am about to share my side of the story.

First of all, I have never even so much as spoken to Jeff Rains. In fact, the only interaction we have had was when I texted him the phone number for my attorney, who he rapidly found out was very, very real. The things that happened at the RAINS show at the Ranch were unfortunate, but at no point did I even come into contact with any of the actual band members. All of my interaction was with his management team. The entire situation was something that actually could have been worked out behind the scenes, but Mr. Rains opted to make personal attacks against me in comments he made on a website and also via twitter.

It would appear that his little feelers got hurt because an Internet Entertainment Mogul opted to very publicly state his opinions about the actual performance that RAINS attempted to make that night. THEN, on top of that, a very well-respected local Music Blogger shared his opinion that the show was certainly sub-par.

Because he seems to be unable to accept any kind of criticism, constructive or otherwise, Jeff Rains opted to lash out at me.

Personally.

His management team and booking agent advised me that I would be blacklisted and would never be able to book another show.

He made a public statement that every local band on the show called me a “complete waste of human space.” That one might be my favorite, if for no other reason than every single one of those bands is working with me on future bookings.

Then he had the great idea to make angry statements about me in a public forum.

He referred to me as “tubby” via twitter, and at that point I knew he was out of things to say. Let me explain something to you, sweetheart, I have never been a small girl, and you aren’t breaking any news to anyone. In fact, all you are doing is announcing to the world that you hav e nothing else relevant to say.

Here’s the only relevant thing I have left to say:

THANK YOU, JEFF RAINS, RAINS BAND MEMBERS AND RAINS MANAGEMENT.

Thank you for all the free publicity.

Thank you for prompting people and bands to approach me and show incredible support in wanting to work on my projects.

Thank you for making the line between what to do and what not to do in any given situation very, very clear.

Thank you for the free web traffic from your tween fans in Fort Wayne, Indiana, who have provided us with even more free publicity, although I would suggest that they spend more time studying and less time listening to your music, as the spelling and grammar in the responses we received was atrocious.

Thank you for showing us that auto-tune does have its place in the studio. Had it not been for your well-produced album, Matt Blake and Jordan Buford would have had no interest in you, they would not have been present at that show, and I would not have the honor and privilege to be booking and promoting Sawed-Off Productions shows with WhiskeyBoy Radio and The Music Enthusiast. Thanks to you, I have been granted the opportunity to work with two incredibly talented individuals, both of whom I am proud and honored to call my friends.

P.s… I hear several people are still waiting on an email detailing exactly how horrible I was to you personally and why I am a terrible person.

Let Me Axe You A Quershion: Torchy Edition

26 Mar

This is Torch. You can find him all over DFW, but most often in Deep Ellum.

So this is the third installment of my “Let Me Axe You a Quershion” series, which has become a lot more involved than I had originally anticipated, but that’s an awesome thing. I am really looking forward to some of the interviews I will be posting.

Today’s interview would have been posted last night, but I got sidetracked listening to WhiskeyBoy Radio’s Double Shot Podcast. This may be a shameless plug, but there is a VERY important announcement at the beginning of the show about a drummer we don’t love. So go listen. HERE.

Now that I have that out of the way, today’s interview is with Brian “Torch” Idell, of Torch Entertainment, based out of Dallas.  Check out his links listed at the bottom of the page, and check out some of the shows he has coming up. We at Sawed-Off Productions are definitely stoked about the Clepto show on April 13, and I am pretty sure you can find some of Clepto’s music listed on The Music Enthusiast’s blog. If you clicky those pretty words, it will take you right back to his posts.

 

 

What first made you want to get involved in music?

I dont remember anymore, I had been doing street team work for a few labels and unsigned bands and it basically just evolved from there

 

 

What was your first concert?

my actual first concert, no clue? The first i remember was a battle of the bands at Dreamworld Music Complex in Arlington in 02 – it was Element Eighty and Stillborn Nursery doin some battle of the bands show. That was intense

 

Best concert?

uhm I would have to say Opeth and Katatonia at Granada Theater a few months ago while Opeth was touring in support of their newest Album “Heritage” i think it was October 2011

 

Worst concert?

Good question, Ive been to so many that I’m not sure if there has been a “worst” one but I’ve seen my fair share of shitty concerts

 

 

Who are some of your favorite mainstream bands?

define “Mainstream” I listen to very few bands that are on the radio so it’s hard to say… if I had to name a few it would be Megadeth, Metallica, and Trivium, they all put on great shows

 

 

Who are some of your favorite local DFW bands?

oh wow there are so many to name. here is 5 – Redefine, Moving Atlas, Cold Bloom, Embrace The Embers, and Krash Rover

 

 

Do you have any musical talents? Instruments? Singing? Do you play the spoons?

Does singing in the shower count??

 

 

How long have you been active in the local music scene?

I would say about 6 years

 

 

What prompted you to get involved in local music?

I wanted to make a difference in the local scene, I was going to multiple local shows and felt that i could bring something to the table

 

 

What prompted you to get involved with booking, promo and management?

I thought I could do this and make money, damn i was wrong, haha… but seriously i started doing shows to make extra cash and help the scene and slowly realized what the scene needs is someone to help other bands with marketing their shows as I’ve seen too many shows where promo did not exist

 

 

How many shows would you say you have seen?

Hundreds at this point

 

 

Boxers or briefs? Boxer briefs? Boy shorts?

Boxers

 

 

What is the worst thing you have ever done to someone you didn’t like?

Uhm I cant remember, I try to not be vindictive so it’s hard to say

 

 

What was the best show you ever put together?

uhm this year I would say it was March 11 at Renos, it was a sunday night metal show, i brought out a touring band from Sweden called Bult and they tore it up on stage. Small crowd but tons of fun

 

The worst?

It was a few years ago, at Maximedia Studios or “The Max” Zak Weeks band, Black Tie Vendetta, Opium Symphony and Goodnight Goddess, huge venue but the numbers werent there which means i lost out big on the show

 

 

Where do you see Torch Entertainment going in the next year? Five years?

next year will hopefully bring more bands to the table for promotions and management, in 5 years i want to be doin a ton of national shows

 

 

What is one thing you wish would change about the local scene here in DFW?

I want to see more bands helping each other out as far as paying to see them at shows… That and more venues being open to the idea of outside promoters booking shows in the venue

 

 

What is one thing you hope NEVER changes?

no change is boring, I hope the scene changes every so often, i want to see new bands come out and some older bands do some random reunion shows

 

Do you like sushi?

I LOVE sushi

 

 

What do you do with what little spare time you have outside of booking and promotions?

What spare time??? If I’m not booking or promoting chances are I’m sleepin, or answering random interview questions instead of sleeping. Or watching bad horror movies. I also enjoy watching people.

 

 

Do you have any upcoming shows you want to, as we say at Sawed-Off Productions, WHORE out???

YES!

April 6 at Renos Chop Shop Saloon Dallas, TX

With Swallow the Hook, Sincerely The Reaper, 1945, Devouring Plague, and Chemical Fingerprint,

Fri Apr 13 2012 8:00p Renos Chop Shop Saloon Dallas, TX

With DRY RUB, The Me-thinks, Clepto, China Kills Girls, and HORROR CULT Age Limit: 18+ Tickets: $10

Sat Apr 14 2012 8:00p  Renos Chop Shop Saloon Dallas, TX

With Red Shift, Triple SP, Like Bridges We Burn, and At Wars End Age Limit: 18+ Tickets: $10

 

 

Are you aware that sometimes you are absolutely hilarious?

Only when drunk

 

 

If you had a super power, what would it be?

To never run out of duct tape when promoting, that makes things so much easier

 

How did you first discover what a donkey show is?

through the power of television… that and Clerks 2 has one at the end of the movie

 

 

Links to all of your pages???

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

 

Axing Quershions: WhiskeyBoy Edition

20 Mar

As I mentioned in my last post, where I interviewed Jordan Buford, The Music Enthusiast himself, I am doing a series of interviews with people who are Behind The Scenes, so to say, in the music industry and specifically in the music scene local to DFW. I have interviews lined up with several people, and I am very excited about having the opportunity to give everyone a behind the scenes look at how things really happen.

Sunday afternoon, I received a phone call from Matt “WhiskeyBoy” Blake asking if I wanted to call in on his show that night and interview him live on his podcast. I have mentioned it before, but it bears repeating almost on a daily basis that Sawed-Off Productions has teamed up with WhiskeyBoy Radio AND The Music Enthusiast to put together a fantabulous series of showcases throughout the summer. Because of all these things, because WhiskeyBoy Radio puts a lot of time and energy into local music, and because I thought it might be fun to put Mr. Blake on the spot, I agreed.

Now doesn’t that look like a stellar example of what a professional introduction to a very business-like interview should be?

I hope so, because that is about as straight edge as it gets…..

So what happened was….

Actually, I am not sure what happened. Things could have started sliding in a downward spiral when I asked my early morning facebook fans for assistance with interview ideas, or when I asked my bestie to help… OR it could have been when I asked Tank Turner for assistance with interview questions.

Whatever the catalyst… It was most certainly a fun, insightful, and interesting interview. I listened to the show all the way through a couple of times with the intention of transcribing a couple of the questions and answers, but I found that the most interesting answers… AND questions were not suitable to print here without losing the spirit. . . . Or without having my blog censored.

I CAN, however, tell you that we discussed everything from his full history in DFW local rock to his true feelings about warm apple pie and where his soul seems to have gone.

The whole show was great, so go clicky-click and listen to me being all Barbara Walters-y. I couldn’t make this shit up, y’all.

I was going to link to a picture of the WhiskeyBoy Radio Logo right here so everyone could click on it and everyone could go hear the interview and the WhiskeyBoy Radio show in its entirety. Instead, you can click on all these pretty letters and go check it out.

Also, go click on all the links earlier in the post and go “LIKE” everyone on facebook.

Let Me Axe You a Quershion…

18 Mar

Oh, yes… I have decided to do a series of interviews with other people involved with local music. I wanted my interviews to be a little bit different, though… I wanted to know what it is that drives the people who are “behind the scenes,” so to say. I have a list of various people involved with everything from venue management, sound engineering, promotions, band management, music reviewers, podcasters, radio personalities, and more.

The first interview is with Jordan Buford, The Music Enthusiast. I met Jordan when he came out to a Sawed-Off Productions show at The Ranch in Arlington on February 19, 2012 to review a show. Sawed-Off Productions is super excited to be working on a series of showcases this summer with Jordan and  WhiskeyBoy Radio that will be culminating with the Broadcasting For Boobies event in August.

This is Jordan. I totally stole this photo from his facebook page.

Jordan’s show reviews are fair, honest, and insanely accurate. He somehow manages to remember the entire set list, technical details about each song, and the length of songs and set times. HE DOESN’T WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. At all. The links to all of his pages and info are included at the bottom.

What first made you want to get involved in music?

Short answer; To try to spread my love of music to others and get them to check out the bands I love. Long answer; I didn’t always care for music. It wasn’t until 1999 when I happened to discover Aerosmith that I actually began listening to music on a regular basis. I soon “discovered” some more classic rock bands (Springsteen, U2, etc.), which served as the foundation of my passion for music, but it wasn’t until I saw my first local concert that I wanted to get more involved in some way. Like I said, I just want to expose these bands to as many people as possible, and I’m going to do my damnedest to do so.

What was your first concert?

The first show I ever saw was Aerosmith back in 2001. It was during the bands tour in support of “Just Push Play”. They were the first band I ever became a fan of, so getting to see them live was amazing… I just don’t think I fully appreciated it like I would if I saw them now.

Best concert?

I’ve seen several great ones, and I’m not sure if I can pick just one. Practically every show I saw of The FEDS (which was 25 in all) was amazing. The two that really stand out were their farewell show at The Marque in Tulsa, Oklahoma on January, 10th 2009, and then their reunion performance just a few months ago at the Curtain Club. Both of those will be almost impossible to top.

Worst concert?

Well, there’s this band by the name of Rains… Haha! Yeah, that is definitely THE worst, and I don’t foresee any concert ever being worse than that. With the terrible sounding voice of Jeff Rains aside, it was all in how the show was handled that made it suck. I don’t care what band you’re with, you don’t allow your tour manager to come up on stage and call off a show. In my opinion, when you’re on stage, you need to be as professional as possible, and that was FAR from professional.

Who are some of your favorite mainstream bands?

I’m pretty localized with what I listen to, actually. But some bands would be; The Airborne Toxic Event, Bowling for Soup (though in some ways they will always be a local band), Toadies (who will also always be a local band of sorts), Blue October, The Civil Wars, The Gaslight Anthem, Muse, MuteMath, Ludo, The Sounds, Circa Survive, Minus the Bear… I think that may be all of them. My main thing with mainstream music is that it tends to be so cookie-cutter, but I’m up for listening to anything that isn’t.

Who are some of your favorite local DFW bands?

There are oh so many. Trebuchet and Descender are my top favorite acts at the moment. The former is constantly changing up their set so it’s always fresh, while the latter plays some of the heaviest music around. Air Review is wonderful. Fantasma puts on a hell of a show. Night Gallery, Meridian, Secret of Boris, Nothing More… Jessie Frye might easily be the greatest female vocalist currently in the area. I absolutely love Paco Estradas’ music. That’s just a handful, ’cause there’s so much amazing talent around here. I just can’t remember everybody of the top of my head.

Do you have any musical talents? Instruments? Singing? Do you play the spoons?

Yes, I own at the spoons! Haha. No, I don’t. The guitar interests me, and even the drums do a little bit, but I don’t play anything. Maybe I’ll attempt to learn one, one day. Now I did sing in choir during all three years of middle school, so I can sing to some extent I guess, but only in a lower register. You don’t want to hear me singing along to songs, ’cause it sounds terrible (but still not as bad as Jeff Rains).

How long have you been active in the local music scene?

Well, the first time I went to Deep Ellum to see a show was in March of 2006, so I guess I’ve been really active for about six years now.

What prompted you to get involved in local music?

Well, going back further than six years ago, I had just gotten into Bowling for Soup and they were doing a show at the Plano Centre, not too far from my house. It was an all day event put on by Buzz-Oven (I miss Buzz-Oven) and featured all local bands. That was my introduction to the local scene, and it caused me to really get into music in general. Going back to the band I mentioned earlier, The FEDS, after the second time I saw them the bands singer, Matt Slider, talked to me in length. He thanked me for purchasing their stuff, telling me how much he appreciated it and that, whether they acted it or not, any band whose stuff I bought would be extremely grateful for my support. I was only 16 at the time, but those words stuck with me, and in that moment I thought maybe I could do something for the bands I liked to make a difference… Even if it was on a very small scale.

What prompted you to start blogging/writing reviews?

Again, I go back to The FEDS. When I turned 17 and could actually get into some of the venues, I went to see them and another favorite group of mine, Space Cadet, who were playing at Club Clearview. I loved both bands with every fiber of my being, and I wanted to do what I could to help possible get them some fans. Myspace was THE social networking site at that time, and I wrote a blog on there about the show. They [my blogs] were total shit then. I mean, they’re still only mediocre now, but they were bad then. I basically just went over the bands set list and that was all. For example, “They opened with… and then they did… and then they did…” just one long run on sentence plagued with errors. I just kept doing it for the fun of it, thinking if I could turn one person on to a band, than I had done something good. Eventually it caught on with a few of the musicians I knew, whom I couldn’t believe wasted their time by reading them, and I got good feedback, and since a few people began to expect it and looked forward to reading them, I continued doing it.

How many shows would you say you have seen?

As of answering this question, the count stands at 389. I keep a running log of every show I attend, as well as the number of times I’ve seen an individual band… I guess that makes me a music nerd.

Boxers or briefs? Boxer briefs? Boy shorts?

I’m really liking thongs right now. The way they ride up in the crack is comforting in a weird way… HAHA! Kidding, kidding. Really, boxer briefs is my preference.

What is the worst thing you have ever done to someone you didn’t like?

Ummm… I don’t think anything, mainly because I don’t think there’s anyone I really dislike or hate.

Who was your favorite interviewee?

I haven’t done too many… Matt Slider was great, because he is one of the few musicians whom I actually idolize. Wild Child was really great to, though. Seeing as I had never even met them before doing the interview, they proved to be real easy to talk to and were very friendly.

Where do you see The Music Enthusiast going in the next year? Five years?

I’d like to think a year from now The Music Enthusiast will be a bigger local brand. Some people consider me a celebrity, which I think is crazy. I mean, I’m just a guy who loves music and goes out to concerts. That’s all. Still, I’d like the blog to get a little more attention than it does, but that will happen in due time, especially since its taken six years to get to the point it’s at now. Five years? Well, in five years I will have been blogging about concerts for over a decade. That’s insane to think about. I don’t know. I’m not looking for fame, but if it happens to find me… I have a good friend I’ve met through the scene, Brendan Williams, who has told me for a couple years now he wants to see me writing for Rolling Stone one day. It’d be cool to think that maybe that could happen, you know? Like, having national level bands saying “I want The Music Enthusiast to come out to our show and review it.” Who knows, maybe I’ll be a radio personality since I’ve started doing this podcast and have gotten great feedback from Matt (WhiskeyBoy). I do know one thing for sure, though, life is a journey, and I’m going to savor every step of this, no matter where it takes me.

What is one thing you wish would change about the local scene here in DFW?

I wish that people would realize how many great bands are actually out here. When I first started going to Dallas, the parking lots would be fairly full but then soon tapered off and were nearly empty as Deep Ellum sit on the brink of collapse. People are definitely getting back down there now, but I don’t think many people really realize the full extent of the talent that resides in Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, or any of the suburbs. It’s out there, they just need to support it.

What is one thing you hope NEVER changes?

The neighborhoods, specifically in Deep Ellum. Every few years it seems like there’s talk about renovating the area and giving it a complete facelift or something. If you did that, you do away with the character of the area, which is exactly what makes it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for change if it is beneficial to the area, but not demolition to build condos and such. As long as the area has been a staple of Dallas it should be considered a historical landmark and preserved, but to tell the truth, I’m skeptical of if it will survive for another 100+ years.

Do you like sushi?

I’ve never had it, and I don’t expect I’ll try it either. (My taste-buds are quite picky.)

What do you do with what little spare time you have outside of seeing shows, writing, and podcasting?

I do like exercising and fit it in just about every day. I’m also a big fan of TV and usually watch a good bit of it. Sadly I think that’s about it, I don’t have many hobbies or anything.

Do you have any upcoming shows you want to, as we say at Sawed-Off Productions, WHORE out???

Ha. Whore out is the exact word I use when wearing my The Music Enthusiast shirt. Of course our shows. April 6th at the Ranch with Black Dutch Sioux and the benefit show on August 3rd and 4th (also at the Ranch). I can’t wait to see Air Review on March 24th. They’ll be at Club Dada and the show is being presented by the Homegrown Festival (which by the way is something else I’m looking forward to. It’s the festivals third year and is shaping up to be its best yet.) The Texas Music Unites launch party on March 31st will be great, what with Moving Atlas, Dawn Over Zero and so many other killer acts performing. I can’t wait to see Quiet Company and Smile Smile at Club Dada on April 6th. The Deep Ellum Arts Festival is also going on that weekend and Jessie Frye will be playing it April 7th. The amount of talent she has is mind blowing. Ishi and The Soldier Thread will also be at Trees that night, and Ishi’s new music is astounding! I could go on and on, but I’ll stop myself there.

Are you aware that sometimes you are absolutely hilarious?

Hilarious? No. I know I have my moments (which are generally few and far between) but I didn’t think they were that good, so thanks! I tend to have more of a dry sense of humor, which some people just don’t seem to get.

How the hell did you get hooked up with WhiskeyBoy Radio?

I ask myself that same question every now and then… Just joking. I’d seen Matt at shows for a long while, and he had noticed me, too. I saw his shirt with the website WhiskeyBoy.US, but never visited it. He evidently noticed my blog from other bands posting when I did show reviews about them and began to check it out occasionally. At the end of June this past year he messaged me on Facebook introducing himself and saying I could meet him at a show that night if possible. I did and at first got on as the guy who updated their concert calendar. He told me he’d find something else for me to do with the station, and after a few months he asked me about hosting my own The Music Enthusiast Podcast on the WhiskeyBoy Radio Network he was about to start up. We just seemed to hit it off, I guess partly since we both love local music and aren’t doing what we do for personal gain.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Ha! It’s funny that I think this is the hardest question of them all. It’s cliché, but flying would be pretty cool. That way you could take off and go wherever anytime you wanted to.

How did you first discover what a donkey show is?

I’m not really sure how I first found out what one was… But I’m somewhat interested in seeing one take place.

Links to all of your pages???

Tumblr Page

Facebook Page

Twitter

Okay, now everyone go stalk Jordan and like him and read his posts and listen to his podcasts. Seriously. It will lead you on a path to better music choices.

I promise.

A Crap-Ton of Unsolicited Advice…

17 Mar

Once upon a time, in a land far, far, far away…

Okay, this is already a lie.

A few years ago, right flippin’ here, there lived a princess who didn’t know when to keep her mouth shut.

There we go.

Not too terribly long ago, I had a bad problem with knowing what to say publicly and what not to say.  I was prone to taking one side of whatever story I was being TOLD and running with it, running my mouth and attacking people without even double checking the veracity of anything.

Then I got a boss who managed to muzzle my loud self and I started engaging that brain-to-mouth filter.

I’m still an insanely opinionated person, which is something to which anyone who knows me can attest. I have learned to pick my battles and to do my research before I open my mouth about things. It helps.

Lately, I have noticed an insane number of people who THINK they know what is going on in a given situation and they acquire verbal diarrhea, saying things that are going to come back and not only bite them in the ass, but will likely chew the whole thing off.

Shut up, y’all.

Now, all that being said, I need to run my mouth a bit.

Of course.

First of all, an opinion is just that, an opinion. We all have them, so people need to stop getting all booty-hurt when someone says something they don’t like.

Second, and this is what actually prompted this post, and it is something I firmly believe in. . . . It’s my OPINION. So there.

I encourage, and always have encouraged musicians, bands, artists, etc, to diversify.

Promoters, venues, “radio” people, this one is for you.

STOP TRYING TO CORNER THE MARKET. 

I have always encouraged any and all bands who have played any of my shows, be it under Sawed-Off Productions, or even back in the Hot Licks / Rock Dogs days, to play anywhere they can and want to play. I’m not advising anyone to play too often, as that hurts your draw, but playing varied venues with a variety of bands on shows that are well-spaced is the BEST way to build your draw. Other bands’ fans will see you and like your show, and you are far more likely to build a new fan base.

I’ve also recently noticed lately that there are a lot of people with local music radio shows or podcasts. These, too, are an awesome tool for bands to build their names. However, there is NO REASON for any of these “show hosts” to think that they have exclusive rights to any one band. There is no reason for anyone on the promotional side of local music to think that they have any kind of rights to ANY band, actually, unless they are label/management and there are contracts in place.

All of us who are claiming to support local music need to drop some egos and do just that. Some of you are clearly new to all this, so here’s my piece of unsolicited advice, which will probably be accepted as such and completely ignored. Whatevs, here you go…

If all of us loud-mouthed idiots would work together, then the promo efforts we are all doing separately would have a lot more reach. I like to be everyone’s best friend. Although I recently began collaborating with WhiskeyBoy Radio and The Music Enthusiast on booking shows all over DFW, their podcasts, live broadcasts and blogs are NOT the only ones I visit (even if I am a little partial to them). Just in the past week, I have done call-ins on 4 different shows to promote things that are coming up, and not all of them are even Sawed-Off Productions shows.  

I will be the first to admit that I did not figure out very much of this mess on my own and that I have learned a ridiculous amount just from sitting back, watching, listening, and asking questions from my peers, and sometimes even my “competition.”

So there. Stop carrying around pockets full of tiny back stabby knives and let’s all work together, shall we?

Now that I feel better, go to the bottom of this page and clicky-click on the “stalk me” button so you can follow my posts. It will be worth it. I will be posting some HILARIOUS exclusive interviews with both Matt “WhiskeyBoy” Blake and Jordan Buford, The Music Enthusiast.

Also, as a bonus because it’s been in my head ever since I typed the words “booty hurt,” here. YOU ARE WELCOME.

It’s Business…

11 Mar

It’s not personal.

Anyone who has known me for very long at all knows that this is one of my mantras…

It’s business, baby, it ain’t personal!!

The following post started out as a comment response to a thread on facebook. Of course.

I know better than to get all up in the middle of all this, but I can’t resist. I know that you guys are probably making generalized statements in order to keep from calling anyone out, and my publicist is probably going to get onto me for this, but….

I have been on all sides of the local music scene, I managed a venue, I promote, I book, I am moving into band management, I live with a gigging musician, and I spend the vast majority of my waking hours listening to local music, talking about local music, booking local shows, reading about local shows, writing about local shows,  promoting local shows, and going to local shows. It’s pretty safe to say that my life revolves around the local scene.

First of all, the music industry is a business. Clubs and bars are businesses. Bands can fall into one of two categories, hobbies or businesses.

Let’s start with the clubs.

From the venue side, in order to host bands, there in an increase in operating cost. The company has to pay security, a door person, a sound engineer, and sometimes has to rent the PA. I’ve heard complaints in the past about how a band will bring in people who spend, say, $100 at the bar… Out of that $100, $14 will go to the TABC for taxes. Assuming that the bartenders are completely honest and that every drink is poured exactly as it should be, $25 of that $100 will go back to replace the alcohol, and this is assuming, also, that there are no drink specials. In that case, since there usually are, that can be $50 out of the $100 people spent at the bar, which leaves $36 out of that money. That 36% goes to pay rent, electric, water, toilet paper, bartenders (at a whole $2.13 an hour in some cases), cups, ice, straws, limes, lemons….. I could go on and on.

Because I know all of this, and because I know firsthand what it is like to be on the venue side, as a promoter, I have no issue whatsoever with room fees. It can cost a promoter anywhere from $200 to upwards of $500 to “rent” a smallish local club for one weekend night. Because I am not a graphic artist, if I want to promote the show I am booking, I have to pay someone to create the artwork for me, which can be up to $50. (Click here for info on having flyers done for $25 per show, and he does discounts on multiples!)  Even if the promoter IS a graphic artist and does his/her own artwork, that is something that people get paid to do. Then there is the cost of printing fliers, driving all over the metroplex to promote, etc. It adds up. I know that people tend to see things only from an outside view, but we are ALL investing money into making these shows happen, from the bands all the way out to their fans.

I will be the first one to tell you that I support the bands I like, the bands that are good business, the bands that draw, and those that don’t. I will also be the first to tell you that I have booked bands on shows who didn’t draw as well as they could have… And that I have had to pay money because the draw just wasn’t there for a certain show.

As small children, we all think on and dream about what we want to be when we “grow up.” I always wanted to be a famous piano player. Oh, yeah, I left that out above, I am ALSO a MUSICIAN. Once I got older, and after having been in a couple of bands, I happened into booking and promoting my first show, which also happened to be my birthday party, and I said to my best friend at the time… “I wish there was a way to make money at this…”

And there is.

It’s called a Promotions or Production Company.

Sawed-Off Productions  is absolutely set up as a small business. Do I think we are going to get rich? Absolutely not. I do, however, make it a point to partner up with people I think are capable of making good business decisions, so that our shows are beneficial to everyone.   I won’t pretend for one second that I am not trying to build a name, or actually a brand. Everyone in this “scene” is trying to do the exact same thing, whether they want to admit it or not. The past two years, and especially the last six months have been nothing if not a learning experience. I have learned from my peers and associates, and I am getting better every day. We are all working toward the same, if not similar goals, and attacking others for what it perceived to be selfish or business-like behavior is silly.

When it comes down to the bare bones, any show that any of us are involved or affiliated with becomes a give and take business transaction. I’ve taken on shows that I knew would not be profitable, just to have my name affiliated with it, or because I loved the band and their music that much. I know local bands who play shows with national acts because there is a bit of prestige that goes along with that. Several times a month, I will have a venue call me to ask if I have bands that can be added to a certain day, or I will have bands contact me to be added to a show. I do this for free. That is part of my little bit of giving back. I work with people who have a need for something I can provide and who can also provide something that would help me in my endeavors. We all do.

Bands want to play good shows. Promoters want to put together good shows. Venues want to make money so they can keep their doors open. Bands AND promoters want to put shows in good venues. In order to play good venues, bands have to be able to draw people and promoters have to be affiliated with good bands. Does anyone else see where this is going???

At the end of the day, we all have to make decisions that are best for us, be it as a band, a promotions company, a venue, or talent management. YOU as a band member or business person have to make the decision that is best for your situation.

It’s business, baby, it ain’t personal.

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