Category Archives: Uncategorized

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5 YEARS. THANK-YOU GCGC!!

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Wow! I recently hit the five-year mark with The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, so I thought I’d better send out a huge thanks and list some of the reasons why. First, I need to thank Vibe Manager Johnny DeFazio for bringing me on board years ago (and putting up with me the longest, haha!). I’ve gone through quite a few changes, and for his straight-up conversations over the years, I’ve realized that he’s a fantastic listener and really cares about the clientele – that we are both in service for. I like that alignment. It’s great to have people on your side and both being open to discussing an outcome that serves all parties interested. I could guess that’s probably why he recently saw a promotion to watch over 3 Casinos (Hard Rock, River Rock, Elements) under the GCGC umbrella. I dig it, and I’m grateful to continue to work with this positive individual.

From an Artists’ standpoint, performing at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver‘s Unlisted Lounge is one of my favourite locations to entertain an audience! Why? The final renovations have arrived with a stage that can be seen and heard by all, with very comfortable seating. Now, I’m one of those crazy artists that only use my own gear, as I’m very familiar with it, and I like to be comfortable and know what to expect. I’m given the time to arrive early and set up (about an hour) so that the clientele receives an optimal sound experience. Johnny understood this from the beginning, and for this, I’m grateful. So much so that it lead to warming up for 54-40 in the Asylum Lounge and performing at the Grand re-opening, The Ultimate Car Show, and a few other special events! Thanks J!

Moving southbound to Elements Casino  in Cloverdale (formerly Fraser Downs), I need to thank Marty Morel for bringing me into both Elements and a few Chances Casinos. Elements is presently going through some physical changes, but this can only be a good thing if the other Casinos are setting the example at hand. Fingers crossed!

And lo and behold, westbound towards Richmond BC, there is a perfect sized stage for what I do, right on the gaming floor at The River Rock Casino Resort. Again, as an artist, I’ve found that one needs to really be aware of his/her surroundings, demographics, and sound levels to be successful here. That being said, I’m always creating an atmosphere that constantly changes from minute to minute depending on what shows are happening in the Theatre or elsewhere on the floor. It’s a little different than The Hard Rock or Elements Casinos, however, as I’ve found that if I do my homework I can align my material to just about any audience. Michael Kim and Brock Lazaruk have been the key players in my success there, and we are in the midst of creating some nifty things this year, and as I mentioned in my other blog, the year has only just begun!

Finally, I want to thank all the staff that I converse with on a daily basis. Security, Servers, Bartenders, Guest Services, the Valets, Dealers, and the Custodians/Cleaners! All sites have great staff, and everyone is usually smiling and welcoming (especially if I make one of my wierd faces when I arrive!). Every night, as I create songs with my Acoustic Live Looping Performance, it feels like I’m performing with a team, and that’s a good thing, because when it comes right down to it, we are all attempting to make YOUR night as fantastic as you want it to be, and doing that together makes it a heckovalot easier!! As an musician / artist, I’m grateful for all the performance dates the GCGC has provided for me to support my career over these last few years. Looking forward and excited to grow a little more with ya’ll!

As an Original Artist, it’s great  to be performing consistently, presenting live music that is enjoyed by all.

So, thank you!

Links to all Casino sites are in the blog, just click!


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YouTube and The Artist

Category : Uncategorized

So, the latest YouTube Rulemakers have decided that the very few fortunate ones that have a dedicated viewership or constant repeat shoppers, get to keep their monetization rights. In other words, if you are getting a certain number of subscribers and views, then you can make money. That being what it is, I am an artist that isn’t as popular or as funded as one of “the big ones”, so I automatically lose that right and priveledge.

And, so we are all clear, here is a wiki section that definines Video monetization:

“In some industry sectors such as high technology and marketing, monetization is a buzzword for adapting non-revenue-generating assets to generate revenue. Web sites and mobile apps that do generate revenue are often monetized via advertisements, subscription fees or (in the case of mobile) in-app purchases. In the music industry, monetization happens when a recording artist puts a video on the Internet and the platform where it appears shows advertisements before, during, or after the video. For each public viewing, the advertising revenue is shared with the artist or others who hold rights to the video content.[5] A previously free product may have premium options added thus becoming freemium.”

There’s a decent write-up in Futurism which continues explaining details.

OK, all the details were made clear in the small print when we signed up – the fact that changes could be made at anytime YouTube sees fit. Truth be told, I never made a penny from my (now over) 100,000 views. I guess my “long term client” context didn’t match up with theirs. And frankly, I’m not concerned about making a few dollars from YouTube, although it would have been nice to have them pay for 1/4 tank of gas, or a pack of guitar strings. What I am concerned about is their context. Some of the reasons, so I am told, for eliminating monetization from smaller channels is to weed out the spammers and such. Also, I believe it’s to bring a higher quality of viewship to the advertiser who is paying for the monetization. Imagine if their context was “Hey, there’s a group of 20 of us that really like this one video…”, but for making money and staying in business, that would take way too much effort and time. So, I get it. There’s just too much material, and they need to save time. Some artists will be left out in the cold.

Interesting. I’ve spent about $200 / year per video in advertising costs to spread the word. I consider this inexpensive and part of the territory I’m engaged in. Further to this, after recording and pressing CD’s (yes I still do that because people like hard copies to take home with them), I spend about $200 per song with various music platforms like iTunes, CDBaby, Spotify, Jango, etc. My return is obviously much larger with these…but as far as my specific vedios go, I  not the “monitization artist”, although some are, and they thrive on the monetized vids. I have two, and will release another two which will sit nicely along side my second album.

I could go on, but to cut through to the meat and potatoes of this conversation, I’d really like to thank all the viewers that sat by and watched some of the silly commercials before my videos started. And some of us know that you pressed the SKIP AD button to get to your source. This Artist appreciates your time….and my channel isn’t going anywhere…for now. Now that’s something I’ve never heard personally from YouTube. Hey VEVO! How are you?


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New Bose Speaker Demonstration at Long + McQuade

Category : Uncategorized

I’m excited to inform you all that the wonderful and amazing people at Long + McQuade Surrey  and Bose Canada have asked me to help them unleash and demo their latest P.A. Speaker System – specifically called the….. – guess what! The name will be unveiled on January 23rd!

This free in store interactive shindig and in-store performance will be happening Saturday January 28th. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions you might have about thier new system, I’ll be performing a collection of hits to put the new system to the test!!!

See you there!

TIME: 11am – 2pm: Saturday, January 27th, 2018

LOCATION: Long + McQuade 13785 104 Ave Surrey, British Columbia, V3T 1W6


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2018 Has Just Begun – Rossland! Hard Rock! River Rock!

Category : Uncategorized

There’s some pretty big stuff (relative to my world) already in the making for this coming year. This past holiday season, I was able to finish up and master three singles which will be on my next full length album “HANDS”. I’m very keen on the new direction I’ve taken, which focuses more on the song itself. The result is having no build/layering of individual parts. Instead, I’ve by-passed the “introduction” of each instrument, and cut to the chase. This gave freedom to create some magic within the song structure itself. Although I can’t perform these songs live the way they are presented online, I will be creating live versions of them when I perform…

Speaking of which, ive been invited out to Rossland BC for a performance in mid-February. I’m very excited about performing in this old wooden venue (The Old Fire Hall), and the community that is coming together for this presentation. Thanks a bunch for taking the time for making this happen Powderhound Sports, The Rotary Club – and a special thanks to the lead producer – GypsyRoseBud, and her whole team! Watch here or familiar social media sites for updates…

And then there’s May 2018: The River Rock Casino Resort seems to be keen on an idea that is currently being discussed. No specific details available yet, but it could be a fairly large event. Stay tuned!!!….

Thanks for checking out my new material, and for sticking with me on my journey. I’m a little over 6 years in, and many more years and albums to go!

Check out New Songs Here

Be good!

Spirit

 


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Fundraiser Saturday, Cavo Sunday, Sylvia Wednesday

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Performing at a private fundraiser this coming Saturday, February 25th.

Giving back to the community is an important part of my music because I’m able to participate by sharing art on another level. It’s personal. This event is to show appreciation to those who have raised funds to keep the Semiahmoo House Society take care of those less fortunate. That’s huge. It takes a lot of effort and organizing to become a successful and sustainable endeavor/business. I’m grateful and honoured to play a small part with this positive community organization.

Sunday I’ll be returning to Cavo Bar at 7pm.

And Wednesday March 1st, I’m happy to announce a new client: Sylvia Hotel Lounge, in Vancouver. 8pm – 10pm.

Add in an awards ceremony at Elements Casino on Thursday, followed by a busy weekend of performances and it’s looking like a fantastic start to March!

Did I mention I met with a videographer this week, and started preproduction on the new video for the  song “HANDS”?…..

 


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Effects / Samples? Just say “No”, if you like.

 

With the direction of popular music on the radio, it’s a challenge (for some) to not be using the latest new “sample” or “sound gimmick”. Just listening to (repetitive) new music on any pop radio station allows me to roll my eyes frequently. I won’t name names, but I’m sure we all have our favorites. For example, a song that uses that repetitive drum sample over and over. This recorded journey is then carried over to “live shows”, where any given sample or pre-recorded gimmick is set up to be released at a certain moment. Several times. Repeatedly. This might be attractive to some, but it sure gets boring for me and people I’ve chatted to about this. For other concert goers, they’re content with a laptop and a singer for the night. Add some expensive lighting and a big sound system, and you have yourself a concert that sounds exactly like the song you heard on the popular radio station your were listening to. That’s because it is – only louder.

Even smaller/unknown acts are using samples and prerecordings in their shows, so that they sound as close to the original as possible. It’s a challenge for me to listen (and watch) a multi-member dance band that has a drummer wearing headphones to a click track because the song has certain recordings that must be used. IE; A sampled prerecorded 3-part horn section, but there are no horns to be seen for miles around. That being said, people have their reasons for going to those shows (like dancing), and I’m fine with that. The “live performance” isn’t really 100% “live” though is it? My interpretation is like real people with some fake news thrown in. A little deceptive maybe? It’s mostly a risk-free safe bet though for a fun night of dancing – unless the computer with the prerecorded tracks stops working. If that happens, it probably becomes an entirely different night. Does one member quietly and nervously utter, “What are we going to play now?”. Maybe some bands have a contingency planned set list? Hmmm. Maybe. So what? Overall, I guess it would become boring when most of the songs contain prerecorded sections in some form or another. Might as well hire a DJ at that point, and guess what: Many venues are doing just that.

For most (let’s call them “sample bands”), I’ve seen a rise in the lack-luster of so called “live” performances. For some members in a sample band, it looks like they are on a job that they don’t want to be at. People are going through the motions so they can collect their dough and split. Routine. How does one build a relationship with their audience? Related to the above in attitude, I recently heard tale of a local single guitarist that actually posted on social media that he was going to a certain venue to perform, but it was his least favourite place to go, and he was only doing it for the money. True story. As it happened, prior to his arrival, the word got out to the venue, and they contacted the “musician”. He was told to not bother coming, and was asked to remove the post from his social media page. Done.

So to cross-reference my bio page and identify the truth and organic nature of my profession on a personal level, I don’t use samples. Nothing is pre-recorded. The fact is, everything I perform is live and recorded as I perform it: Percussion. Bass. Vocals. Guitar. I rely on the moment, and the unique organic quality of sound from my custom acoustic guitar – which is amplified only. I use no prerecorded gimmicks, and attempt to create a reasonable facsimile of any song I create. I believe that the music I create is original at the time you hear it. This means that no two performances are alike, although my interpretation of any song will produce my take of remnants from the original artists’ performance, like a guitar lick or bass part. Have no fear though, I’m playing it live – it’s not an unperformed sample.

Another big chancy thing is relating to the audience to see what they are liking (or disliking). When “live”, it’s a musical relationship that lasts from the time I step on stage, to the last song I perform. No premeditated set list. Just a guitar, 400 songs, and a plethora of lyrics. Any relationship takes work and practice, yes? This isn’t to say that mistakes aren’t made during a performance (from time to time, lol), but it’s more about dealing with any so called mistake, in real time, and the perception moving forward. Afterwards, music appreciators and musicians will usually ask questions about the gear I use and that’s fine, but truth be told, it’s about practice, technique, and the live performance that assists to create a unique sound, which in turn, should provide ample opportunity for relationship.

 


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Elements Casino – 8pm, February 10th/11th

I’m looking forward to returning to Elements Casino this weekend. Their hospitality is great, and I always enjoy a conversation with the engaged staff. 😀

I’ve got a few new songs in the music mix, and can’t wait to break open the guitar and gear to let them out!…and don’t forget to check out my new song HANDS at ReverbNation.

Thanks for your support!

See you this weekend!


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Tap House. Nice Lookin Venue!

Category : Uncategorized

7pm Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Well, I guess the secret is out; I’ve performed a few times at the Tap House in Guilford, and I’m always looking forward to returning. There aren’t a lot of venues for live music in this area, and since they’ve remodeled, The Tap House has got to be one of the most visually attractive places to view live entertainment. The stage is presented as “cabaret style”, so that there is a fantastic view of the performer from most areas.

Personally, as an Acoustic Live-Looping Artist, the stage layout meets perfection. There’s space to set up my gear, and to comfortably perform within my element.

The staff are awesome every time I’m there, and the food is great. Call ahead to see if they have specials.

See you tonight!


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Soul For Sale Video

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I’m getting around to producing two more videos for my upcoming sophomore album “Hands”. I’d like to work with the right people – but the art comes first. Always, art first. Creating a video is important, and deserves the same respect as the music/song itself. It’s a visual represention to align with sound. The two senses go hand-in-hand, and when both are prepared with due care and attention, something special happens.

When I wrote Soul For Sale, I was contemplating a number of aspects:

Since it was my first lone-wolf adventure in both mediums, I had to visually include the way I create sound, and also represent that on screen (Live-Looping). Truth be told, although every song from my first album had a “build up” introduction into each musical piece, making sure that the music videos told the story of their creation, along with the context of each song itself, was equally important. If you open up the video and look below the lyrics at the bottom of the page (click Soul For Sale), there is a paragraph regarding the context of the song. Although it revolves around the issues of “depression”, I kept in mind the positive context of “moving foreword” and “looking beyond”.

It was definitely a juggle to marry “sound”, “visual” and “context”, but I’m happy with the organic results.

Please have a listen to the song. Within the video page, please take the time to comment, and share the video. Creating awareness is a good thing.

Stay positive and keep rollin’!


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Hard Rock Casino – February 3rd/4th

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with lots of new material in the bank!

I’m really looking forward to performing at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver again. They’ve just completed a huge renovation in the Unlisted Lounge, so now it’s a combination buffet before 9pm, then it turns into an awesome wide-open seating area for your listening pleasure. With the expanded area, and new stage location, it’s a treat to not only preform, but 100 times more visually acceptable for the audience as well! It’s rolling with an open concept, new comfortable furniture, and the staff are always exceeding with service. And as always, there’s no charge.

Looking ahead, I’ve booked two weddings, a couple of private parties, and have nailed down the next six months on the calendar – with a few surprises in the works! It’s great to know that 2017 is off to a solid musical start!

The second album is still on course too, and well into production. I’m very excited about the new sound and direction I’m taking. It’s bigger and bolder, and still based on my acoustic live-looping technique, while remaining organic, and completely live. In other words, no drum machines, synthetic sounds, or music misrepresentation facsimile, which is heard a lot on today’s airwaves. The only difference is I’ve cut out the “build up” to each song. One track from my next release “Hands” can be heard at REVERBNATION .

Oh, and the first album can be previewed and purchased at iTunes and CD Baby (android).

Thanks for keeping in touch, and please join me at any of your favourite social media sites:

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Be good!