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Sun12082019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Los Angeles is the epicenter of the entertainment industry, a city where people come to follow their dreams of careers in film, TV, music and more.

With all of that comes plenty of parties and events—some of the best of which are put together by Tom Astley, of L’Affaire Musicale, and Matt Orlove, of Orlove Entertainment.

While they both have their own companies, they plan almost every event together. This kind of collaboration is something you don’t see too often—and it’s refreshing. What brought them together?

“In short, the love and passion we have for music and working with artists,” Astley said. “We met at a time when we had both just moved from New York City and had set up our respective companies. We were both in the process of getting our brands and philosophies out there. We had a similar vision, so it just made sense to partner up. Synchronicity and timing are everything!”

That comradery has helped them expand their reach not just across Southern California (including the Palm Springs area), but also to the East Coast. These aren’t two corporate groups throwing unlimited money behind soulless events; it’s two friends sharing their love for music with the rest of us. It’s rare to see that kind of passion on the business side of music.

Astley described how they choose the right artists for their events. (Full disclosure: They have hired me before.)

“While there is always a component of how a headliner will sell at our shows, we mostly book acts that we enjoy and believe in as artists,” Astley said. “As for openers, we love to dig deep into the local culture and scene of the genre we’re booking. The openers at our shows are usually the ones running the local scene.”

Astley and Orlove work with acts such as The Knocks, Moon Boots, Pete Tong and disco legend Giorgio Moroder. In fact, Astley and Orlove are hosting Giorgio’s second annual “live disco” experience on Saturday, April 27, at the Globe Theatre in Los Angeles. This show will include New York City’s Holy Ghost! (one of my personal favorites), French disco house icon Cerrone and a special performance from Dita Von Teese. It’s events like these that set them apart from other L.A. nightlife producers.

Astley and Orlove also know how to pick the perfect venue. We aren’t talking about run-down, tired nightclubs on the strip. From the Saguaro pool here in Palm Springs, to Skybar at the Mondrian in L.A. and the Delano Beach Club in Miami, the venues are almost as cool as the artists playing. This shows not only their passion for the music, but also for providing their guests with a quality experience all around.

“Sound, lighting and location all play a big part, but what really takes it over the edge is the staff—bartenders, security, door people, etc.,” Orlove said when asked what makes a venue great. “The customer experience starts here. At all of our events, we strive to create a friendly atmosphere, so when a venue is on the same page, it’s ideal.”

Orlove Entertainment and L’Affaire Musicale have big plans. “We’re really focusing on building the brands we have and expanding them into new markets nationwide,” Astley said, “and also working on launching a series of Wicked Paradise Beach Festivals in 2020.”

When asked what their favorite show to date was, Orlove said it had to be their first show with Giorgio. You can find tickets for the next one at bit.ly/Giorgios2019.

Published in Subatomic

It’s 2019, and the way we listen to music has changed. We moved from vinyl to cassette, then from CDs to MP3s and now streaming. How we enjoy music has evolved—and not only is it easier to find music to listen to than ever before; it’s easy to share it with others as well.

I recently spoke with streaming music consultant, strategist and curator Mike Warner about the ins and outs of the modern era of digital streaming via services like Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music. He’s had a front-row seat to watch this evolution over 15-plus years in the music business.

The main difference I’ve noticed with these newer services, especially Spotify, is the addition of playlists—specially curated lists that feature artists both popular and unknown. Warner curates playlists via Spotify, Apple Music and other services, and these playlists range from “Wine Bar Grooves” to “Funky and Nu Disco Jams.” He handpicks all of the tracks—which reach tens of thousands of his followers each week.

Beyond this curation, Warner works with artists and labels to find playlists for their music. Most of his work is done through personal networking—a breath of fresh air in this often-distant digital era.

“My primary function, really, in 2019, is education,” he said. “I just want to get out there and educate as many artists as I can.”

This education involves sharing tips with artists to help them better promote their releases. “The more people that become successful, the better,” Warner said.

Warner published an e-book last year called Work Hard Playlist Hard. It details some of the best practices people can use to distribute their own music.

“The stuff that I preach, I’ve done myself, and I continue to do,” he said.

I asked what inspired him to write the book. “It got to the point where I was writing so many emails and sharing the same information again and again that I went, ‘You know what? Maybe I should just write this down one time and put it in a book,’” he said.

Warner also works with commercial clients, including labels.

“Labels see importance in independent playlists and third-party curators just as much as the indie artists do,” he said. “… A lot of the labels are doing the same thing you’re doing now, (so) they’re actually reaching out to independent curators, too.”

Warner himself is an artist; he’s a third of the popular Australian trio Date Night. Warner and bandmates Sharif Darmansjah and Anders Magnusson produce fantastic music; while Warner is now based in the United States, and his bandmates remain in Australia, that hasn’t slowed them down. The year 2018 was big for them, especially regarding the streaming numbers, with a total stream count in the millions.

Work Hard Playlist Hard is available via on Amazon, Apple Books, Gumroad and other providers. If you purchase it via Gumroad or Apple, you will get automatic updates whenever Warner updates the e-book.

Visit www.workhardplaylisthard.com for links to purchase his book, submit music, listen to his podcast and more. If you’re looking to catch me live,  find me Thursday nights at Landmark Lounge, and Friday and Saturday nights at Big Rock Pub. Visit my website at www.alexharrington.co for more information.

Published in Subatomic

Hello, readers! My name is Alex Harrington, and I am a music producer and DJ based in the Coachella Valley. I have been playing music for more than 16 years, and I’ve been a DJ for the last six. I’ve been fortunate enough to play at venues across the valley, from downtown Palm Springs to Old Town La Quinta. This has helped me develop my sound—and inspired me to dive into the local scene to find the best spots to enjoy music.

I consider Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley to be an internationally influential location. What does that mean? It means people visit us from all over the world. There is no universal culture here; we’re truly a mixing pot. Still, while the valley has grown, it feels like the music scene has stagnated at times.

Is that because of a lack of talent in our scene? No, it’s not. I know many people out here, true artists, who offer something different—and I think that bodes well for the future of our scene. The valley is home to some artists who provide listeners with a truly unique experience—something people will fly home and talk about. The Flusters are a great example of a band who entertains and tells a story in an original way.

This stagnation has not just been limited to bands. The “producer” and “DJ” monikers have been thrown around a lot in recent years. It’s true that many people can get into DJing, but it’s not necessarily easy to translate this “passion” into something people can actually enjoy. It’s not just about playing the hits; that’s why some people choose to visit places off the beaten path. It’s about having options and variety. Look at Los Angeles, Miami, New York, London and Tokyo. What do all of these places have in common, music-wise? Nightlife and scenes with creative people bringing it to the masses.

I don’t see our valley—and Palm Springs specifically—as being too far removed from those locations. Why? Again, we have a valley full of people from all over the world, both visiting and living here. It’s also no secret that many people here enjoy nightlife, no matter their age or class. So shouldn’t there be more choices when it comes to hearing music? We have great places to hear reggae, hip hop, Top 40 and rock … but what about house, disco, funk, indie and dance? I’m not talking about a disco throwback playlist being played; I’m talking about DJs who dug for tracks and worked them into mixes everyone can enjoy.

Many other cities, and even towns, have numerous lounges and bars that provide DJ entertainment—and people love them. This inspires me to stay original and to strive to bring my listeners something fresh. It’s also why I wanted to start this column!

In this space every month, look forward to interviews, in-depth discussions, local artist features and more. In the meantime, you can hear me play at the Landmark Lounge in La Quinta every Friday and Sunday night, playing the best in funk, soul, house and more. Details can be found at alexharrington.co.

Published in Subatomic