Monthly Archives: January 2011

Outcomes

Although I had a glorious weekend overall, I did spend half the time feeling seriously lacking in talent and ability when looking online all week, in the print version and in all of my tracking system emails for the coveted magazine review I worked so hard to get for my client – which to my disappointment, did not happen.

My first and only thought…”I failed them.”

All of the writing, the preparation, the excitement, intimate communications back and forth with everyone involved, having the journalist show up, the photographs and innumerous hits to the blogs and listings leading up to the event, follow-up thank you and emails – it was exactly how and what I had hoped for.  I felt like I had a great start to a future ongoing relationship and of course a hit for a story for an upcoming and amazingly talented group of artists.  And then nothing.  Just the vast empty desert of getting cut by a stream of celebs  with more bang and bigger audience.  It was, to say the least, depressing.  My artists have been trusting me with their future and their talent.  I felt I owed them more.

But I realized something this morning after my mini nervous breakdown which lasted until the wee hours of the morning.  It’s ok.  I didn’t get the story in print but I did achieve most of the things I set out to do.  What really bolstered me up was this little excerpt from the newsletter of eReleases head, Mickie Kennedy:

Question: I had my client booked to appear on a television
talk show, but his segment was cancelled due to a breaking
news event. The producer apologized and said they would
reschedule the segment, but it’s been a week and I have not
heard back. What should I do?

Answer: Segments get bumped, stories get killed, and quotes
get left on the cutting room floor. Unless you’ve got some
real star power with your client — i.e., a celebrity or
major CEO — you’re just out of luck for the time being. Send
the producer an email thanking her for help and letting her
know that your client is available in the future. Do not,
however, say that your client is upset, or complaining. The
producer’s job does not revolve around any one guest.

Most producers try their best to make up for bumped
segments, and most journalists do a good job of making up
for a killed story or quote. You just have to be patient.
Then you pounce and remind the producer or journalist of the
earlier snub.

In my lifetime, I have never been particularly tolerant of failure in myself.  Which is probably why I spend 50% of my time being depressed and anxiety ridden about one thing or another.  I keep thinking hard work, good work, work that has merit should be rewarded.  Shouldn’t it?  Sure it should I believe that.  But in the world of inter-connectivity, social media and everything ‘needed 10 days ago’, I suppose I have to face the fact that I just have to keep plugging away.  It’s not like I haven’t done it before.  Heck, I drummed up an international firestorm last summer for a client who got banned from an art biennial she was supposed to open as the important guest.  So it is possible and will continue to be possible to succeed even throughout the pitfalls.

I also armed myself this weekend with Kelly Cutrone’s hilariously funny and intensely powerful book, “If You Have To Cry GO OUTSIDE,”  and the quote from her book that actually got me to fire up my lap top to even read my emails this morning:

“The spirit of the warrior is not geared to indulging and complaining, nor is it geared to winning or losing.  The spirit of the warrior is only geared to struggle, and every struggle is a warrior’s last battle on earth.  Thus the outcome matters very little to him.  In his battle on earth a warrior lets his spirit flow free and clear.  And as he wages his battle, knowing that his intent is impeccable, a warrior laughs and laughs.  ~ Carlos Castaneda

Sad Robot Rocks the Boulevard!

“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale here infinite variety.” (Antony and Cleopatra)  …and if Shakespeare were alive today he would be writing about Katherine Pawlak of Sad Robot.

NOT ONE SINGLE MOMENT blank, boring or beleaguered.  The girl simply rocked the Roxy on Sunset last night.  A musical roller coaster ride!  Read the inside for the “funny” of the night.  Roxy Rejects Reporter.

And check out their new website.  http://www.MySadRobot.com

Live on the Coffee Bean newsfeed this morning!

Sad Robot in Stereo!

Countdown Clackity Clack Click Click

Not so hush hush is the live gig at the Roxy on Sunset (Friday, Jan 21st, 11 pm) coming up for local Los Angeles alternative Rock band, Sad Robot.  But the skinny is that Campus Circle Magazine will be there and so should you.  Come on down, see the show and yourself on camera, pics and video.  There will be lots of them around so there might be a shot at you getting onto Sad Robot’s new website launching officially this week.  How’s them drumsticks?

Read the latest press release here:

Sad Robot Invades ITunes With The Beginning Of The End

Sad Robot Invades The World Of ITunes And Angry Pop/punk Rock With Revelation, Revenge And Regret, with Their Debut EP, The Beginning Of The End.

Sad Robot the Los Angeles, modern alternative rock band, has just released to iTunes, their debut EP, The Beginning of the End. With razor-sharp lyrics of revelation, revenge and regret, listeners with an axe to grind will relate to every melodic word belted out by the fun, quirky, and touch of weird, style of former Lonely Girl 15 star, Katherine Pawlak, a girl-with-a-piano that just invaded the world of angry pop/punk rock. And for less than the price of a ticket to a live show ($5.94), their growing numbers of followers and fans everywhere will be rewarded by this band on the rise.

Sad Robot was nominated in 2010 by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards as one of the de facto music groups celebrated for the “future of music,” as presented today and choice of the industry and Hollywood taste makers, making the Sad Robot band’s debut album the beginning of the beginning for these edgy, local LA, rockers. Along with the new release, the band makes their first headline appearance of 2011 at the Roxy on Sunset, in Los Angeles, CA taking place on January 21st.

The six songs for download sung by feisty lead singer, songwriter, Katherine Pawlak with drummer, Chris Razze, bassist, Mike Marigliano and guitarist Nick Perez include the nominated single, “Little Miss Bi-Polar,” “You’ll See In Time” (explicit version), the title track, “The Beginning of the End,” “The Movie” composed for the upcoming film, “Look at Me” specifically written for and starring James Duval (Donnie Darko, Gone in 60 Seconds, Go), I’m Digging You (This Grave)” and the bonus track, “With Fear.” “Clackity clack click click.”
itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-beginning-of-the-end-ep/id40230344 ..

       

Sad Robot – news, rumors and upcoming gig at the Roxy Theater LA

Batteries included with this robot. 

Sad Robot

2011 seems to be the beginning of the beginning for Katherine Pawlak and the Sad Robot band local alternative, angry, pop/punk rockers on the rise in Los Angeles.

Nominated in 2010 by the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, Sad Robot makes their first appearance of 2011 as headliners at the Roxy Theater on Friday, January 21, 2011.  11:00 pm.  You don’t want to miss this especially that their live shows this year might be far and few between, already back in the studio recording their second EP and planning the heck on some serious video visuals to allure their fans while on hiatus.

And did we mention drummer Chris Razze becoming…well…hmm…a real robot?  Yeah really!   Sad Robot made a shocking but quiet announcement over the holidays that in February, drummer Chris Razze would be having necessary brain surgery for an accident that apparently damaged his neck.  What really rocks this news in a weird way, how conveniently keeping in the style of the band, is that, he will be receiving artificial parts in his neck and chest which will make him the official robot of the group.  Clackity clack click click.

Find their new music via the iTunes link on their spash page:  http://www.mysadrobot.com/

The Wicked Shorts of Shel Silverstein

Shel's Shorts by Shel Silversteing

You’re so wicked Shel Silverstein!

And The Little Theater LA is about to show you why.

Opening on Friday, January 14, 2011 will be 8 actors presenting 10 of the wickedest plays written by the playwright who also coincidentally penned many children’s favorites such as classic tales, Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree and not very well-known, The Missing Piece.  This of course after getting his start writing for playboy.

Many of the sketches deal with signs.  What they are.  What they mean. This decidedly adult collection of Silverstein’s short comedies display the delightfully twisted sense of humor that he was famous for.

Opening on Friday, January 14th, 2011 and closing on February 5th, 2011, the window of opportunity to experience the insanity is also short.  Not to be missed.

The plays directed by Kimberly Jurgen

Hard Hat Area

Have a Nice Day

Gone to Take a…

No Dogs Allowed

Duck

No Skronking

Click

Abandon All Hope

No Soliciting

Garbage Bags

The Ensemble:    
       
Brent Anderson                  
Jimmy Bowman    
Rachel Amanda Bryant  
Jeff Elam      
Kimberly Jurgen    
Marilyn Porayko    
Tiffany Sutton    
Jerry Wimble    
       
Producing Director: Ross Canton
Co-Producer: Tracey Paleo  
                     

Saying Goodbye to an Old Brand

Image courtesy of WSJ

I admit it.  I haven’t read my W in a couple of months.  Yikes.  Who has the time, sometimes.  But this past week, with finally a full seven days of rest and review, I’ve been going through some of my old stuff and came across one of my favorite writers – W Magazine’s former favorite countess, Louise J. Esterhazy.  Now the funny thing about The Countess is not only was she not a countess, she wasn’t even a woman.  Her insights however, have been strongly (and unusually) female and her taste throughout the years, undeniably superior.  Today, I am re-printing one of my favorite articles  about marketing and branding, that by necessity, in its paper form, will be making its way to the shredder as a celebration of quite a few bold changes in 2011.  The article quite honestly is a bit dated as I am pretty sure Madonna has a clothing line, the Beckhams are currently keeping a low profile after David’s public infidelity rather than conquering America, and Angelina Jolie is now more known for stealing Brad Pitt from Jennifer Anniston than anything else these days.  … and Jen still can’t seem to let it go.  The ideas however are still “stylish,” funny and “on the money,” and the sentiment, shall happily remain with me and recorded on my blog for as long as it continues.

Taking Care of Business

The Countess puts on her thinking cap and ponders marketing strategy and the making of a brand.

Oh, how I love old Westerns – the stampeding cattle, the endless vistas, the rough-hewn men of action, all that gingham!  So when I stumbled across Red River with John Wayne on TV, I couldn’t help curling up on the sofa in my pied-a-terre to watch Montgomery Clift yell, “Brand all of them!”

As the credits rolled, I didn’t imagine myself lassoing a steer, but my mind instead took me back to when I was young in Paris, Oh, those were the days!  It was then that I became aware of brands:  Christian Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Charvet, Fouquet for chocolates and of course, most of the great châteaux of Burgundy and Bordeaux.  These were, and still are , names that had been around for decades, if not centuries.

But many great names have gotten lost in today’s shuffle.  Why?  Because now the world is all about brands.  Everything is branded:  hedge funds, TV companies, drug companies, mattress retailers, nails, water, even  chefs.  Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a brand as his restaurants pop up all over the world, while La Grenouille isn’t.  As Charles Masson says, There is only one, and we live in the moment and create in the moment.  We aren’t expected to do the same thing over and over again throughout the world.”

Move and music stars are brands bigger than in the days of the Duke.  Bono is branded as the Activist Rocker for his work with AIDS; Angelina Jolie is becoming known as the Adoptive Actress: Madonna is, simply, Madonna (she hasn’t even designed a line of clothes with H&M); and Victoria and David Beckham are Posh and Becks trying to conquer America.

Socialites, too, are dying to be branded, although all the free dresses they can get can’t guarantee their place in brand heaven.  As these women preen. pose and prance for the paparazzi, they gorget that elite names like Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness and C.Z. Guest haven’t faded, because they had true style.

It’s not just the socialites who are desperate to be branded, though.  Their rich husbands are, in many cases, eager to do the same.  The Kravises, the Schwarzmans, the Gateses, the Buffetts (and not just because he owns the Geico lizard) are marked with a big S for “success” and want the world to know it.  It all has to do with labeling.

Everyone wants to be labeled, which means being recognized.  Would tycoons, movie stars, artists, conductors and designers walk into a crowded room if no one knew their brand?  They want everyone to whisper “Do you know who that is?” and not “Why in God’s name is that?”

It all boils down to the fact that a brand – be it a person or a product – has to do something for us, the way a Coca-Cola with a squeeze of Sunkist lemon cools you off after a hot day on the tennis court.  A brand is really branded when there is quality, uniqueness and style.

That idea is old-fashioned, of course, but so am I.  Today many of the products are almost all the same – mouthwash is mouthwash, and one detergent is just as good as another.  But it’s the brand that sticks in our imaginations.

And we love names that stick.  Everyone knows Viagra, where or not they’ve needed it (although now it’s easier to get since it is being sold over the counter in the UK)>  Or things that really can’t be called a brand, like HeadOn.  We can hate the commercial, but everyone has a headache now and then, and it works (or so we are led to believe).

Getting back to my original though about Dior, Chanel and even Nike:  When one enters their stores, you are walking into their worlds, their clothes, their style.  and it’s still something special, created through uncanny foresight.  These companies have carried on their brands for decades (in the case of the House of Dior, 60 years this year [2007]) and still don’t tumble.  They say fashion is fleeting but is seems to last, brandwise, when designers understand that looking better and feeling better are what really count.

Of course, we all can take this branding thing way too seriously, especially in fashion.  What many designers forget is that the best brands always offer a soupcon of fun.  As Carolina Herrera said when asked what makes a brand:  “I don’t know.  but if you add a y, it’s brandy to drink.”

Cheers to that. ~ Louise J. Esterhazy