Street Music

wrench-988762_1920Wrench Art..What?!

This is a really cool story. I love inspirational people that think out of the box. That is my Uncle Dar.  Tempe plumber by day, music creator by night.  He has his own plumbing company, which he’s had for years. His daughter, my cousin, is a teacher and wanted to create am art project for her kids to do as a team.  Good Old Uncle Dar. His idea…..I’ll get some tools together for you to use and have the kids make instruments.  Then get em’ all to participate in playing their instruments.

The AHA! That’s what Staci (teacher/cousin) did.  She kept it simple and had 2 instruments that the kids would make. She went beyond just the art project. Or the art project went beyond the original idea. Inspiration is powerful.

  1. Xylophone made out of wrenches and egg cartons! Seriously.

Instructions: Get a set of wrenches and an empty egg carton. Flip the carton upside down and insert the wrenches horizontally between the carton slots. Get a couple of spoons and play away!

2. Hanging Pipes Chimes. PVC Pipes with little holes drilled at the top (Uncle Dar helped a little). String fishing line into the holes and hang. Get a wooden stick and play away!

So the kids got together and made these instruments, which they get to take home at the end of the year. They created them with their hands as their art project and then created sound art when they played. She captured creation in multiple forms. She created the experience with her students. Each student was able to work with themselves and then with others for the full project to happen. So so cool. Continue reading “Street Music”

Strhess Festival


Familiar with the Strhess Festival?  Well if not let’s talk about it. It was a great point in time for Fight Paris.

Originating in July 2004, the Strhess Festival, sponsored by Derek Hess and his clothing line Strhess Clothing, became an annual event featuring punk and metal artists. The second annual Strhess Tour in the summer of 2005, featured headliner Bleeding Through with support from several punk bands and rock stars, including Fight Paris. It began in Philadelphia and ended in Tennessee.

It was a big year for Fight Paris. They had two new tracks posted by Trustskill Records that were released right before there big tour and performance with Bleeding Nose in the Strhess Festival.

There are the moments when the work you’ve put forward comes to fruition and you play on the connections and work you’ve done and made.  The Strhess Tour for Fight Pairs was one of those moments.

A little about the creator of the tour that helped to expose Fight Paris to more people that love punk, rock and metal.

Derek Hess, inspired by music and an innovator in the art world, he set out to create. ANd that he did. Derek soon became the poster child for many music icons. By poster child, I mean he created band posters, CD covers and more. He went on to create his own clothing line, and eventually the Strhess Tour, which we speak of today. The Festival became a gathering of art and music that set out to share and inspire many.

Although today, the tour no longer exists, Derek Hess does. The Strhess Tour was art created in motion by the very talented Hess himself.

I am inspired by music. Fight Paris was talented and an inspiration, as is Derek Hess himself.  Thanks to creators an doers. Many people enjoy the fruits of the efforts. Today is one to recognize and thank these artists.



MTV Music Awards 2016

This years MTVVideo Music Awards (VMA’s) took place on Sunday, September 4, 2016. This years viewers dropped again, from 10 million last year to 6.5 million this year. Although Facebook streaming (up over 900%) and day after streaming (up over 70%) were both up, the overall live view was down dramatically. This is why I write today…well and to talk about some of the performances from the known music stars. The change in the industry. Although it is just TV, it shows a major change in the way things happen today versus yesterday. This change has an overall impact on more than just the loss or gain of Video Music Award Viewers.

Topic One: The Changing Industry.

Knowing that the way the industry has done things for decades is no longer the same, sheds light on the fact that much is changing and we must change with it to stay in the game, or be part of the new one. Where people are watching, how they watch or listen, when they watch and listen, are all indicators of a new trend. Those that do watch, are they the audience that listens to the music? The sponsors that pay for commercials, are paying for less views. There is a major shift going on and to stay competitive and know it’s important to be aware of this shift.

Topic Two: Performances.

I know Beyonce is an artist, however I have never quite been a fan of the Diva. Her music usually doesn’t have a harmonious flow to it, again in my opinion. I would like to note that I was very impressed with her performance at the VMA’s. It was deep, energetic and engaging. She obviously had an immense amount of feelings involved. Her performance was one that touched home for her (must watch to know to see) and she portrayed it both beautifully and artistically through her sound, her lyrics, and her performance.

Brittney Spears. I commend Brittney and her fight for where she’s at. Without knowing her she seems to have been through a lot. And she was on the 2016 Music Awards. Girls kept her presence around. However her performance lacked. Whether nerves were part of it, or the lack of stage presence, she was a bit off. My motto is imperfect action, so she still gets the good to go from me.

Rhianna. Influential Artist. The girls got talent. Her movement skills and the variety of songs she moved through throughout her performance show her talent and her influence. She is a power to be reckoned with and an icon in the making.

Did you watch them on TV? Did you stream them? Check them out regardless, just curious if they were your Sunday night couch watch or what.



Arizona Hometown Bands


Local bands bred in the Arizona desert. In a past post we through out some recognition to Katastro, a band formed in Chandler, AZ. Today we want to name a few other talented musicians that were birthed in the Grand Canyon State.

More times than not, fans will know of a band but not where they originated from. I’m sure there are a few more great collaborators making killer music in a garage, that soon will come to light. I’d like to take a moment a recognize a few talented artists I know of, goin’ for gold.

My good buddy Kyle B., with Good Rust, straight out of the East Valley offers some great reggae lyrics and chill music. They’ve been going strong for a few years. They play at quite a few local valley venues and spots. If you ever see they are playing, go check them out.

My buddy Trav-T, from Mesa, AZ, id just starting a duo band with another friend, although he’s been jamming for years. It’s their own style, mixing electronic and soul. He doesn’t have a Facebook fan page or website…yet. He does own a carpet biz, His music is really unique and his voice is amazing. So keep an ear out from Trav-T, and check him out.

Now for a few pretty famous bands from Arizona. Continue reading “Arizona Hometown Bands”

Roots to Experience

Being my roots are back in Hawaii, where I was raised and reared, reggae music is sound to my ears and my soul. There are many great reggae bands and artists that currently jam their rhythm today. In August, Comerica Theatre presents an awesome collection of reggae artists.

If you reside in Phoenix, AZ, and love reggae, you probably already are aware of the upcoming show on August 11, 2016, at Comercia Theatre. If you don’t and your reading this, let me give you the low down. The line up for the evening is on point and I am shits and explosions revved up to see all who’s playing.

Reggae originally emerged in 1960’s in Jamaica. Most people think of Bob Marley when they think of Reggae. Bob was and is the King of Reggae. Since the 60’s many have been drawn to the beat and vibration reggae music has as a whole. Reggae has brought together musical creators and artists from all different backgrounds. Many Reggae inspired bands today are a cultivation of talents that come together to inspire others and express their roots.

Continue reading “Roots to Experience”

The Importance of Music

music-is-healingWhat is music? What is it’s importance?  I will describe the importance I find it to have on myself and others. Music can be shared and it can be personal. It has the power to transform dark into light.

Music is expression. Through sound tone, and vibration, it expresses emotions, feelings, and ideas. Music can be harmonious or disruptive. Music has the intense ability to strongly influence people, their emotions, their state of mind, and how they socially bond. Music is powerful. Musical is beautiful. What is music to you?

I strongly believe in and connect with sound. Sounds and vibrations lure out the deep, hidden emotions from within. Nature is music and one of the first forms of music I listened to and found soothing. Each tree, animal, insect play their own instrument. Nature was my connection to music. The vibratory sound it put out intrigued and excited me. I wanted to recreate what I heard with objects I found at our house.

Sound is healing. Being music is sound, music can be extremely healing. It is said that *”music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function”. Continue reading “The Importance of Music”

Arizona Summer Shows


I did not get an opportunity to check out a lot of shows last year so I have made it a point to check out at least 20 shows this year to make up for my lack of being a fan last year. I have not been as diligent in this effort as I need to be if I really want to hit my goal, but I did at least make it out to Phoenix lights this year to see one of my favorite DJs perform, Kaskade. Phoenix Lights 2016 was lit, and I totally recommend checking it out next year if you get the chance, or better yet if you decide to make the time. My friend who has been a promoter in Phoenix for over a decade now got three of our closes friends VIP tickets to the event and it was unbelievable. I’ve been to my fair share of shows and this one certainly lived up to the hype. Kaskade, DJ Snake, and Yellow Claw were all nuts and the energy of the crowd was crazy. It was constant good vibes and positive energy throughout the entire show and no performer missed a beat. My friend also had the hook up with a couple local clubs after the show and an Arizona limousine service ( that made the night that much better.  Definitely recommend spending the extra $50+ for VIP and all the extra amenities that make the night one to remember. We actually had the limo take us to a couple spots where some of the performers were having an after party so that definitely added to the night.

I don’t normally splurge on VIP tickets or party buses or anything like that, and have been known to be stingy in the past with my money, and sneak into a show or two. This type of show going is respected and fun, but when you level up and really experience all that the show has to offer you understand why people pay for it. VIP is certainly not overrated, take your game up guys, that next level beats the hell out of watching the show from outside the gate. Much respect to the die hard fans that make it out to shows like they have season tickets, but honestly you don’t understand how good a show can be it you treat yourself. I definitely recommend some sort of chauffeur service too, the limo was lit, and plus there was room for a couple new friends we met at the show. Having someone drive you around is boss and plus you don’t have to worry about drinking, and I’m not referring to an Uber here guys…step your game up!

If you missed this years Phoenix Lights here are a couple other opportunities to catch some good shows this summer. You will be sure to catch me at a few, I still have a long way to go till I hit my goal.

2016 Shows

Continue reading “Arizona Summer Shows”

The Rise of Serato


We’ve said it before, there is simply no denying that the music industry is changing. Nothing is absent of change though, the world is constantly evolving, so this should not be a surprise. However like everything else in this technological age, things are changing quickly and dramatically. Advents in computer software has given rise to programs like Serato that have entirely unearthed the foundation of record labels. Adults and kids alike can change their music like they would in a studio from the comfort of their home. Not to mention the high quality recording equipment that has flooded the marketplace and allowed for people to record studio quality music, and then mix and enhance it all on their own. I think however the biggest change that has hit the industry is the rise in Electric music.

Generation DJ

The availability of these music producing technologies like Serado coupled with social media outlets has given young kids resources that was once only available to record label artist with managers and distribution agreements. Now someone can make a hit and overnight distribute it to millions of people and be famous within a few short weeks, just ask Justin Bieber. But the real interesting thing is not artist like Justin Bieber, but the DJ community that has taken rise from these technological advancements. These people’s craft is not to create original songs or tracks, but to curate music by using a compilation of other musicians songs and beats, effectively making their own song. This is not to say that they don’t create their own music, in fact they do, but they leverage a lot of what has already been created, and make it their own. Almost like a chef who reinvents a classic dish.

This curation of music has become extremely popular, and has taken over the music scene. Dubstep and other genres are a result of this dj phenomenon. Anyone with access to these relatively inexpensive technologies and capable of putting in time and effort can become a hit, considering they can make good music. There is no saying exactly what music will look like in the future, but it will certainly be in the hands of individuals, and not studios to determine what the music scene looks like.

If you have longed to be part of the music scene, now is your chance. Build up your social media following and drop some of your hard work onto this outlets and build a fan base. If you can’t afford some of the more expensive software utilize what’s free. There are tons of free options out there that can do more than recording studios could do 8 years ago. With that being said, there is a ton of competition out there so make sure that your stuff is one of a kind.

The Changing Industry

music industryOf how the music industry has changed throughout the years.  My last post on Auto Tune, is one way the industry has changed.  How music is distributed and how people find your music are probably the biggest has changes that have occurred.  Record labels are no longer what you have to do to be known.  CD’s and audio tapes are not what people put on during their cruise to work, to grab grub, or to hit the gym. It’s Streaming. Streaming music is huge and been a big player in the shift of the industry.  So big in fact that the business model in which you sell your music or get yourself found needs to change with it.  If you had a friend or relative in the industry 20 years ago versus today, efforts to be known or market yourself, your music as a business are undeniably, absolutely different.

How have these changes affected artists? How will they change the nature of the industry completely? Is this a bad thing?

So many questions, thoughts to turn over in your mind, and new ways to get yourself out there to share your music.

We say don’t get to hung up on no longer what is. Or if there is even money or an ability to make it.  Yes, you can make it. Yes you can be known for your art delivered to the ears on individuals across the world. How you get there, how you make it, and the efforts you put forth are what are different. Knowing this and understanding this is what will set you apart. Today’s musicians cannot just focus on their skill of sound, but must be savvy on the business side of things and the marketing side of things to truly be successful.

Continue reading “The Changing Industry”

Auto Tune: The Elephant in the Tune

I’m sure everyone has their own opinion about auto tune, because it has become such a big part of the music industry. You may agree or you many not agree, but here are my thoughts on the subject.

Ever since Cher’s 1998 hit, “Believe,” played through radios all over the world, auto tune has been written about as notoriously negative. Time magazine called it one of the 50 worst inventions ever created. Everyone from indie rockers to hip hop artists have blasted the software. Even the public has responded; a petition circulated the internet for a primetime television show, Glee, to stop relying on the software so much. A recent Progressive commercial shows a boy band singing poorly in a studio, then cuts to Flo, the Progressive mascot, asking a record producer if they have auto tune. After the record producer says they do have auto tune, Flo exclaims to the boy band, “It’s a hit,” suggesting that the use of auto tune equates to no creative talent. All of these examples portray auto tune as a bad thing, but, despite its sordid past, auto tune has a plethora creative and technical uses in the music industry that can change the effect of songs and help make better music.

Exxon engineer, Andy Hildebrad, invented auto tune in the 1990s. Hildebrad was jokingly challenged by a woman at a party who told him to create something that could make _her sing in tune (Crockett). Little did she know, Hildebrad would take her seriously and after auto tune had been created and gained some traction in recording studios the world over, it would become one of the most polarizing pieces of technology in the music industry. Continue reading “Auto Tune: The Elephant in the Tune”