Sunday, July 27, 2008

Charlotte came through with the goods!

Friday night was a good one. I was at the House of OM Summer tour at HOM in Charlotte. I was excited and anxious on a few levels. I was arranging the road trip for a few friends, and myself and I always want the details to be perfect when that happens. I was going to be seeing some of my favorite DJ’s at a multipurpose venue that I heard was a wonderful place. I am also a label rep for OM records, so I wanted a good turnout, good energy, I wanted it to put forth a good image for the label, and I hoped that the touring DJ’s would be happy.
A friend of mine picked me up and we drove up together. The party started immediately. We stayed at the Westin Charlotte, which was very nice, well located, and had a fantastic staff – I recommend it. Kicked around downtown for the afternoon, and then came back to the room to re-energize for the night.

We started off to HOM to begin the night with dinner, and meet our third traveling companion for the weekend. Hom is actually 3 different businesses in one. A lounge/bar/intimate music area called LIV, a swanky see-and-be-seen restaurant called FEAST, and a large club called PLAY. There is also a beautiful outdoor patio area with views of the city that pulls everything together. We were pleased to be invited by one of the owners to come early for dinner – as he told us he was having the DJs in early for dinner as well.

FEAST had tasty food, good service, and a great vibe. I knew as soon as we walked in and Charlotte DJ “That Guy Smitty” put Sa-Ra, and Tiombe Lockhart records back to back, that we would have a good night. Smitty played a set that was a perfect sonic match for the beautiful surroundings of FEAST. We were also seated right by the window, and I gotta say……this city has MANY sexy, stylish, and CLASSY looking women – VERY impressed. (Take note ATL. . . especially in terms of sexy but still CLASSY.)

Spent most of the night in the downstairs “LIV” area to make sure we heard sets by Heather, and Fred Everything. If Fred isn’t my favorite house DJ right now, he’s right up there. Heather played the most diverse set a lot of us had heard her play in a while in terms of styles – and did it well. Went upstairs to check out Colette in the main room. That room was jumping and Colette was in voce dolce as usual.

Saw tons of people I didn’t expect to see, people from Winter Music Conference, people from ATL, people from Columbia. Also got a nice compliment on a set I played in ATL early in the summer. Spoke with Fred, and Colette – all the DJ’s seemed very at ease – and comfortable with their surroundings. I made MANY trips to the bar, met a few of the bartenders who were very cool people.

All in all, Charlotte represented. I had been hearing that they support house music better than ATL, and I can definitely believe that. I don’t know how the DJs who played think it measures up to the other cities they’ve played in on the tour, but I hope they were pleased. I know I was.

The Hustle

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I had a difficult time turning my head off so that I could sleep last night. That’s been happening more and more lately. I’ve been thinking about the hustle. Thinking that I am probably going to have to ‘play the game’ in order to get to any place of value in my personal development.

The say you can’t knock it….. The world is changing quickly, and the global community is coming to a difficult crossroads. As with most issues, the U.S. has a way of intensifying things.

Result? More and more people on the hustle.

Yeah, you can still be a success on the straight and narrow – use the traditional methods, but to do that now is a MUCH different ballgame then when my parents did it. If you are going the traditional route, you have to define your goals early, make a plan, be diligent, and stray from that plan VERY little. All of those elements have to be in place, and the way life deals the cards – that’s just not feasible for a lot of individuals. School, good career, family, one or two companies, retirement just doesn’t happen anymore.

Most people I know are hustlin’. There are all kinds of hustles, legitimate/selfish, legal/illegal (actually most people mix a little of both) productive/destructive. Business entrepreneurs are hustlers, drug dealers are hustlers, the music business is DEFINITELY a hustle, politicians may be the ultimate hustlers. Most hustlers don’t get to experience much stability in their lives, everything is read and react, stay on top of the curve. Hustlers often don’t get to experience ‘luxuries’ like – health insurance. There usually isn’t much in the savings account (unless your hustle pays off, then there can be a whole lotta bank in your life.)

What I can’t get my head around is what amount of risk is ideal to have the best chance to succeed. Some people seem to be able to make the huge risk/huge reward thing work out for them – but an even larger number put themselves in a world of pain with that route. You have to be inventive and take chances. If your back is against the wall, you’ve got no choice but to do what you have to do to make sure things turn out right, don’t you? Won’t that sink or swim instinct pull most relatively intelligent resourceful people through in the end? I don’t know.

Maybe that’s enough to get me through and maybe it isn’t. See, realization standing in the corner at the back of the room giving me the wink wink. Telling me that I’m probably going to have to jump in with the current and get my hustle on. It’s no secret that I’ve been a holding pattern for a lot of years now, and you can only watch so many friends, and opportunities pass you by before it gets a little tough to take. I don’t know if I’m cut out for this personality wise, and I’m not sure how many of my chips are the right amount to push into the middle of the table for this bluff – but I can’t help but feel like its going to take a little explosion to get things moving in SOME kind of direction.

Question is, how much dynamite do I use, and how will things fall in the end…..