Monthly Archives: September 2010

Restless Media Presents: A Study in Promotion

My partners and I host a regular Sunday event at Sullivan Hall in Manhattan called Restless Media Presents.

Last night was the third in a series of live musical events under our Restless Media Presents banner.

The first event, Restless Media Presents: A Musical Showcase, was the inaugural showcase, featuring Meta & The Cornerstones, Malik Work, Radical Revolution and Zing Experience.

Thanks to Raquel from Alphabet City Design for this hot flyer!

This was our most successful event, with loads of people. Each of the bands brought a nice crowd with them, and complimented our promotional efforts with their own.

The next event featured Boukman Eksperyans, along with Zing Experience and the Brown Rice Family. Dubbed, Restless Media Presents: A Dual Experience (due to the fact that Boukman and Zing are father and son), it was a night of Haitian reggae.

Flyer courtesy of Ellory King

Despite the huge popularity of the main act (at least among Haitians), the turnout was…how do you say…ABYSMAL! and the bands played to a really sparse crowd. Despite our promotional efforts, the bands themselves engaged in little (to no) promotion, and it showed.

Our most recent event, Restless Media Presents: Derrick Barnett & The Statement Band, with special guests, Marcia Davis & Outro, and featuring Stephen Souza, Devon Jorge, Ed Robinson, Scepta, Jr Dread and Alrica, was a veritable reggae concert, with artists doing collaborations all night long.

Shout out to Jeffrey Garibaldi for the artwork and flyer.

With the line-up, I just knew we’d pack the house. We set up a Facebook event page, and the artists generally promoted the night. But, once again, the crowd was particularly thin, considering the line-up and venue.

What I’ve learned is that you can’t take promotion for granted. Despite the appeal of the band or venue hosting the event, you’ve got to go hard or go home when it comes to making your event a success.

The difference in the three events we’ve hosted is that the bands on the first night were generally young cats. They were all trying to make a name for themselves, and bought into the whole concept of self-promotion.

Even though we were promoting the events, they knew that no one had more pull with their audiences, than they did. And they promoted the show accordingly.

Our second and third event featured older bands, who (I’m assuming) believed that their reputations alone would put bodies in the spot (NOT!)

Unlike the acts from our first show, their promotional efforts were tepid at best, and they simply didn’t seem to exude the same energy and excitement of the younger bands.

There were also other events going on both nights (Israel Vibration at BB Kings on the night of the Dual Experience and a slew of reggae events in Brooklyn on Derrick Barnett’s night). So it’s possible the small crowds were attributable to other sources – but not likely.

Anyway, we’re going back to the drawing board with our event. We’ve got a date on Halloween, Restless Media Presents: Halloween Havoc, featuring The Real Live Show.

We’re bringing on a proper promoter for the night, and starting our promotions dumb early (I’m tired of listening to bands play for crickets).

Stay tuned!

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Reggae comes of Age: Meta and The Cornerstones

A few weeks ago, my partners and I hosted a showcase at Sullivan Hall.

I wrote about it in one of my posts.

Anywho, it was a smashing success.

We had a large boisterous crowd who had come to see any one of the various acts that hit the stage, including the Haitian act Zing Experience, the international crew Radical Revolution, New York’s own Malik Work and The Real Live Show, or the headliner, Meta and The Cornerstones.

To be honest, with the exception of Meta, I had never heard any of the bands play live before.

So I wasn’t sure what the night had in store.

When the first act, Zing Experience, hit the stage, I knew we were on to something.

As this was my event, I played host, receiving guests as they arrived, and generally manning the entrance to the floor.

I hadn’t planned on watching the show (if you’ve seen one reggae act, you’ve seen them all).

As such, when Zing Experience started to play, I was completely overwhelmed by the banging set that they threw down.

Radical Revolution came behind them, and nearly had me abandoning my post (I’m lying. I left the door and had to get my groove on one time).

Malik Work changed up the flow and dropped some classic hip hop on the crowd and set the stage for Meta.

For those of you unfamiliar with Meta Dia, get familiar.

This young cat from Senegal is the absolute truth.

First of all, he’s one of the most humble cats you’re ever going to meet.

Next, he’s surrounded by some really exceptionally talented musicians, that gel together onstage.

And, he’s got competent management, who have taken their time to develop his brand (shout out to Kalab Berhane!)

But the coup de grace is his music.

This cat makes some really dope music.

But don’t take my word for it.

Check out video from the show, and judge for yourself. Click the image to watch the video.

Meta rocks onstage at Sullivan Hall.

Meta clearly has what it takes to be a superstar, and we’re betting that this kid goes far.

The goal of the Restless Media Presents series, is to showcase talent like Meta, but also to pay homage to the artists that paved the way.

For example, on Sunday, September 26, Restless Media Presents: Derrick Barnett and The Statement Band, with special guests, Marcia Davis and Outro, featuring Ed Robinson, Stephen Souza, Devon Jorge, Scepta, Jr Drean & Alrica.

Derrick Barnett is a remarkable reggae bassist that has thrilled audiences all over the world. We were able to pull some strings and get him to perform for our series, so it’s a night not to be missed.

AND he’s coming with a busload of his friends, to make the night extra special.

Restless Media Presents: Derrick Barnett & The Statement Band

So don’t miss it!

Note: The Restless Media Presents series, is my return to working with musicians. The series represents an opportunity for up-and-coming artists to play in a major NYC venue, and make a name for themselves. Artists with promise will receive residencies and fixed dates to play at Sullivan Hall through 2011.

If you’re an artist with a following and you think you’ve got what it takes to pack and rock the house, please send an email with your contact details to info@restlessmedia.net. We’re booking dates for 2011. All genres considered. Serious artists only.

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My Wife is Dope: Redux

Man Pouring Tea

So earlier this year, I posted up about how fly my wife is.

She had just completed this piece for Nneka, and I was totally blown away by the piece.

Well, my praise is obviously self-serving (I’ve got to live with the wench).

But she was recently selected to be a part of a group show that opens in Harlem next month.

Two of her pieces, Man Pouring Tea and Sudan, were selected to be a part of the Sauti Yetu Art exhibition, which opens October 23rd at the Casa Frela Gallery.

Sudan

What’s also kinda cool, is that they asked if she would allow them to use Man Pouring Tea on the promotional materials for the show.

We were so excited that we were jumping up and down like little kids when she got the news.

And by ‘we’ I literally mean the entire family – even little Fuji who can’t stand, much less jump, was rocking his lil’ booty up in the air.

The show is actually a traveling exhibition, which will be housed at Case Frela for a month, before traveling to the other scheduled galleries.

I’m asking folks to mark their calendars now, so that you can see Chanel’s work up close and personal.

The pictures don’t do them justice.

Don’t take my word for it (because I’m obviously biased).

Come through Casa Frela on October 23rd (or before the pieces move to their next destination on November 30th) and see for yourself.

Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

And if (for some ungodly reason) you can’t make it, worry not.

We’re planning on running a promotion with We Harlem (shout out to Sergio and Lorraine), where you can get an exclusive ChanelArt wallpaper to your mobile phone or PC.

So stay tuned for more details!

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I am a Dandy.

I'm so happy to be a dandy!

I’ve noticed that I’ve got a thing for how I look.

My wife frequently refers to me as a ‘girl’s blouse’ (thanks to my British neighbor).

I, however, like to think of myself as a ‘dandy‘ (also a term I’ve got the Brit to thank).

Wikipedia defines a dandy as man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of Self.

Now I’m not all about the ‘cult of Self,’ but I admit that I like a well made suit.

I’ve had a few bespoke suits made.

Tom James and Omar Jermaine.

I also fancy a waistcoat (a dandy’s way of saying vest – not to be confused with a petticoat – which is an underskirt – but sounds like it could be a vest).

My shoe game is not too shabby either.

A few I-t-alian joints round out my collection.

I’m fond of doing my hair too.

I regularly harass my wife to cornrow or braid my hair.

And I’ve got to smell good.

I’m an Apparition, from Emanuel Ungaro, man.

So, let’s recap:

I’m a guy that likes to get dressed, have his hair done, appreciates a fine shoe and smelling good.

Yup. I’m a girl’s blouse.

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When Losing Is Winning.

Just got in from a celebration at Bier International on Frederick Douglas Blvd. in Harlem.

I was partying with Vincent Morgan and the M4C team, as we celebrated a well-executed dry run.

When I first spoke to Vince, he said, “even if I lose, I win.”

From the start of the race, he was aware that he faced an uphill battle running against Charlie.

Rangel was a 40 year incumbent.

Vince, a political upstart.

Rangel had a war chest.

Vince couldn’t rub two pennies together.

Rangel was the insider.

Vince was on the outside.

But he had to run.

Something inside him compelled him to throw his hat in the ring, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

If you’ve ever met Vince, you realize early on, that the guy is serious.

He’s as passionate about his desire to improve Harlem, as he is his commitment to family, and his belief in community.

Shoot, he converted me, and I don’t even live in the damn District!

But I digress.

He ran because he understood that sometimes you’ve got to go for it.

Tonight (or last night, rather) we toasted a battle well fought.

We also toasted to the implicit knowledge that in 2012, Vince would be Harlem’s next Congressman.

We were all smiles as we collectively pondered “Who the heck is Ruben Vargas?”

Vincent Morgan for Congress!

M4C 2012 Holla!

Note: I had pictures to show you, but my camera is wigging out (I’ve been having real techology issues recently ya’ll) – I’ll post as soon as I work it out.

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