Friday, May 29, 2009

Punk Rock Prom - Aftermath

In spite of the -bullshit- we've been dealing with in this war on the arts...the Richmond Woman's Collective holds a benefit - Punk Rock Prom '09. Here's a collection of photos I snapped last night for your enjoyment...

(Warning, the images you are about to see contain people having fun, smiling, laughing, dancing, the whole sha-bang! Proceed with caution!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ACTUALLY fighting the good fight...

If you follow local news, if you're an avid reader of RVA blogs, if you have a single hip friend on any social network living in Richmond you should be aware of the issues involving CAPS and their unorthodox methods of 'purifying' our city.
Whether or not this issue directly effects you it has and will continue to indirectly influence your life in a number of ways. When you can't see live local or touring acts for under $20 at the local watering hole. Maybe when your favorite spot to catch dinner and a show closes it's doors. When First Friday ceases to exist artists will no longer have an outlet to display their wares, then off to Portland, NY, and Chicago they go. Slowly we may see the VCU arts department become even less relevant and the influx of bright, young, creative minds flooding in to bolster our local economy becomes a distant memory.
If none of those examples have any bearing on your life, why not take a stand against the city of Richmond getting too big for it's britches and taking away the civil liberties of your friends and neighbors?
Join us, we will fight, we will make you informed, and we will not bend over and take it in the ass any longer...

(yeah it's facebook but at least we're trying...)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New York - Philly - Richmond

So Community Chest takes a trip up to Brooklyn, New York to co-pro a show at the famed 'Southpaw' venue located in the heart of the South Slope community. Many people told us that Brooklyn was like a two million population Oregon Hill. Uh ...not really... First off there's a law and a fine for everything. $1,000 fine for not cleaning up your dogs 'business,' $200(or $500) fine for honking your horn - although EVERYONE was honking, fines for littering - Including cigarette butts, the list goes on and on...
Parking was literally a nightmare. I thought people parked bumper to bumper in Richmond! People had these goofy looking black rubber mats on their cars to avoid scratches and scrapes. At first I thought "that's what your bumpers for..." than I noticed people who weren't donning the rubber pad had the most crucial metal scoring I've ever seen. Picture someone painstakingly gouging their car with a paint scraper.
Very few people had tattoos, none of the girls wore makeup, no-one was dressed like you would picture a hip New Yorker to was pretty boring as far as eccentric people go. The only way it differed from a ho-hum hippie community was ALL THE FUCKING PEOPLE.
Then you enter Southpaw. Man, what a killer venue! Fliers and stickers replace wall paper - they've got an impressive stage and sound booth. There's a lounge area, video/gambling games, a decent sized dance area, lots of interesting old photos and knick-knacks floating around the VERY well stocked bar, a downstairs lounge and VIP-esque section, lots of bathrooms with no doors on the stalls - just curtains. The vibe is high energy come show time. There is a healthy mix of dolled up (obviously single) women, chic men, and of course the t-shirt and jean-clad population as well.
We put 'Holy Ghost Tent Revival' on a bill with: Skeletonbreath, Drink up Buttercup, and the Woohoo Skittle Crazies(not sure if that's right). It was an amazing line up! The show was $10 which the poor Richmond kid exchange rate would be equivelent to a $5 cover I'm assuming. We're fortunate enough to be working hand in hand with DuggyNYC (our hero and Danny's man-crush). He's given us the opportunity to start promoting up in Brooklyn which has thus far been awesome and un-expected. Doug lived in Richmond for a short time here recently but thanks to the restrictions on music, venues, and alcohol in RVA he moved back to NYC and we missed out on an amazing visionary on the rise. Come back Doug-we could use the support!
...oh well...
So metro, getting lost, time square, walking 30+ miles, pizza, thai food, volcano bowl drinks, a dog named Sirius, and plenty of throbbing hangovers later we head off to Philly...
More on this later. Back to work.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who's with me?

Community Chest booking and promotion is my business. Currently we're two twenty-something-ers and a few select friends who tend to want to help whenever we really need it. Often times I spend my days and nights mulling over interesting ideas that if ever put in motion could possibly change a lot of peoples lives, for the better.
I'm starting to attend regular meetings with SCORE Richmond - which is a program set up for small business owners to go and talk to retired CPA's, business owners, lawyers, etc. My first meeting is tomorrow and I feel like I could spend all day, week, month, or year with this guy asking him a million different questions. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure the secretary said that I've only got an hour. So apart from going back to school I've got to do all the footwork myself. tends to help but usually the answers to my questions are asked from someone on the other end of the issue. For example the other day I asked how to sell stocks, I got, how to buy stocks. So I sat down and reversed the directions, pulled out a dictionary, and cried.
I guess it's true nothing in life is easy.
Basically I need capital to expand my business. As previously stated I've got a crucial list of ideas and an even bigger list of friends that need jobs. Come to think of it I've probably got more unemployed friends than ideas. It's almost impossible to explain to someone with little to no ambition that taking action and doing something they enjoy will pay off (and I'll help in any way I can!!). They'd prefer to be put in debt by VCU, get a job at a hip deli, or complain about being unemployed. If I could expand I would gladly create work for anyone that wants to do something awesome for themselves. It's hard to take on a mentor role when I'm at SCORE seeking a mentor...
Looks like for now I'll keep learning and fighting the good fight in hopes of realizing yet another goal of mine.

...jesus christ why couldn't I have been blessed with rich parents...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Who's Running This CITY!?

On a scale of 1 to poor we're poor. Ramen is not only a staple in our diet it's a necessity. We have to save up to buy household items such as a vacuum cleaner, microwave, and used couches. We have little more than a roof over our heads, our car(that we can hardly afford), and our wardrobe comprised of Plato's Closet, Goodwill, and Rumors Boutique clothing. We're not complaining, hell, we actually love our life. We're small business owners in Richmond which is something to be proud of. It's not that we're bad at what we do...we're definitely some of the most ambitious and passionate about our why are we doomed for nothing more than retiring at poverty level?

Recently Style Weekly published this article written by Don Harrison, which I think sums it up:

If you don't have time to read the whole article I'll try and sum it up in 200 words or less -
If you are in any way shape or form affiliated with the local music scene in Richmond, whether you're a booking agent, venue owner, coffee shop with acoustic acts, gallery owner with live music, or an A-room (like the National) that provides live music to the people of this city you're fucked. These places not only pay taxes to, The Federal Government, The State(VA), the ABC, and the city of Richmond...but currently the city proposes a "Night Club" tax be imposed on anyone who hosts live music!! The tax basically equates to MORE than what a business owner pays to insure their building a year!! Here's the kicker, the Virginia ABC does not allow any business to operate as a Night Club or Bar. YOU MUST BE A RESTAURANT and adhere to almost impossible ratio's of food to booze sales. Not to mention that if your insurance company catches wind of the fact that you are now being taxed as a "Night Club" and guess what!? Your premiums almost triple! Now fellow Richmonders we are not anti-tax, We're anti REPRESSION!!
I must ask you, how will small business's ever thrive in this climate??? How will new business's ever get their feet off the ground? Plenty of business's are already going under - so long Bagel Czar, adios Artist Underground, later Toad's Place, Alley Katz-the 'katz' outta the bag (your FOR SALE)...

Hmmm, what will we do bands, musicians, booking agents?? House shows perhaps? NOPE, you will be ticketed by this city for not possessing a BUSINESS LICENSE!! Maybe we can hang out and enjoy music at a small locally owned clothing store and offer donations to bands as thanks for playing for us? NOPE, this city will ticket the business owners and shut the place down!!
Looks like we're shit outta luck Richmond, I think we're going to 'Anne Frank it' and wait for the tyranny to subside...