I Picked the Wrong Night to Go to Rosie O’Grady’s

I’ve always admired Gary V for his brutal honesty when it comes to the dark side of entrepreneurship and depression. Everyone wants to be your friend when what you’re working on…is working, and they all ghost the moment things are not.

It’s been about two years since I have been single and as I work from home, there have been times when I literally haven’t uttered a single word out loud to another human being for days.

I was in what some call Monk Mode, focusing on reinventing and becoming the best version of myself, and do believe I succeeded at this agenda for a solid year, but something happened I wasn’t prepared for…I achieved the desired results, yet those results didn’t make me feel fulfilled.

I was expecting to feel happy, motivated, inspired, invigorated and ready to take on the next chapter, but I turned the page…the following page was blank. It’s been blank for half a year.

I consider myself an independent person and do identify as an introvert. I require my alone time to refuel, in order to play well with others…but this isolation was becoming unhealthy.

I consider myself a Foodie, in the sense that I like to cook, and enjoy eating healthy. I don’t like going out to eat because I’ve worked in enough restaurants over the years to realize the crap people are passing off as food these days, generally isn’t fit for human consumption…and you’re being ripped off in the process. 

The flip-side, cooking for one, for every meal of the day, every day, becomes  tiresome. I woke up the other day and realized I just have to get out and be more social…my sanity depends on it.

A long time ago, I bookmarked a spreadsheet someone made on Google Docs, that breaks down all the local restaurants by city, day of the week, and what food/drink specials they offer. I decided to put this to use.

Monday, I went to the WAB. I stopped going there after they changed the menu because they got rid of my favorite item, chicken tacos. But they recently brought back 1/2 off food Mondays, so I decided to give it another shot. Almost everything on their new menu is bread related, which I’m trying to avoid. I opted for the Antipasto salad with Dijon Vinaigrette, and decided this is going to be my new go-to menu item when I dine here. Only problem was no one was there. A few people, but I only spoke to the bartender to tell her my order and that I didn’t need anything else. The goal here is to be more social and interact with humans.

Tuesday, I went to The Emory, they have $6 burgers & fries. Not exactly what I’m trying to eat, but it does taste good. Sports was on, so a few people where out, but they were all watching & yelling at the TV, and I don’t know why they care. Again, I didn’t speak to anyone except the young lady who took my order. At least I got her name and we shook hands. I don’t really count interactions with hospitality as “being social” as it’s their sole purpose to be courteous to you, but at least I got out of the house.

Wednesday, I see that Rosie O’Grady’s has 1/2 off pizza. Great, more junk food, but oh well. I haven’t spent much time at this new location, but used to frequent before they moved. I grab a seat at the bar, people are singing karaoke (pretty well actually) and there are way too many TVs, but I just choose not to look at them. I grab a Metrotimes to see if there’s any interesting events to keep in mind, and order a pizza.

A young woman pulls up a stool next to me, and I make room for her to squeeze in. She asks what I’m drinking, I notice she has an accent, I tell her Labatt and recommend it because it’s not made with preservatives. I make this point specifically because my friends from overseas often complain about not being able to drink American Beer because of the preservatives…Indeed. She orders one.

Her name is Ronnie, she’s from Israel, and she’s here studying diseases at Beaumont Hospital on some international medical program. She leaves in two months. She’s petite, maybe five feet tall, and homely…natural, no makeup, obviously not much attention is being considered in the vanity department. Like, her eyebrows haven’t crossed paths with a pair of tweezers…ever. Not judging, just observing.

Karaoke stops and the room goes quiet for a while. I notice someone setting up turntables and a laptop. Ronnie orders some kind of gross looking pretzel things with a dipping sauce, and she asks me, “So…what are you doing here? I thought this was supposed to be Ladies-Only-Night.”

LOL.

Apparently, the first Wednesday of the month is Lesbian Night, and the LGBTQ community knows this, but it’s not advertised to the public on their website or print marketing.

Now we’re both laughing at how clearly out of place I am in this environment as the clientele fills the venue becoming more butch as the evening progresses. We bond over our mutual loneliness. Ronnie tells me that it’s too bad she’s not straight. I tell her I’ll be her wingman. Eventually this girl wreaking of Old Spice, and a boy’s haircut from any random emo band from 2000-and-whatever tried hitting on her, but Ronnie said she had too many tattoos. Ronnie kept standing on the bar stool to peek over the bar at the dance floor to see if it was filling up. All she wanted to do was dance, and meet another girl. It was so cute. Eventually, the floor filled, Ronnie got her groove on and I felt like I made a real connection with an actual breathing human being IRL for the first time in forever.

After a good hour on the dance floor, Ronnie left alone. Finishing my beer, two beautiful women practically sat on top of me at the bar. My arrogance naturally assumed they were sending choosing signals my way. Nope. Next thing I know, they start making out, and I really wanted to watch because their passion was real….then I realized they weren’t doing this for my attention…I didn’t exist.

It’s bizarro when you go out to eat for dinner with the intention of being social & meet new people and a gay bar systematically pops up around you in real time. It almost felt like I was being Punk’d, except it’s really not that big of a deal…perhaps it would have been to my grandmother.

It’s now Thursday and after going out three nights in a row, I’ve decided to be introverted this evening. I don’t think I accomplished whatever it is I’m trying to achieve. I ate mediocre food and spent money I didn’t need to spend, and briefly interacted with one human I’ll never see again. I don’t even know what I’m trying to accomplish with posting this publicly. I suppose I wish I had someone to share this story with because I think it’s funny…yet I can’t bring myself to participate in the only setting people I know and care about interact with these days = social networks. I understand the utility, but you fuckers eat, shit & breathe there & it’s all so uninteresting. 

I’ll just wait here for you all to stop triggering dopamine-driven feedback loops and maybe we’ll interact IRL again soon…

Jerry Abstract

Jerry Abstract's Satiated Elation EP

Jerry Abstract’s Satiated Elation EP

Today is my buddy Gerald Larsh’s birthday. Most people don’t know who Gerald Larsh is. They know him as the DJ/Producer/Graphic Designer Jerry Abstract. He also records and releases music under a number of other monikers such as Ian Ginsing, Former Selv, and is one-half of the IDM duo Avee Libretto.

Today, also celebrates the three year anniversary of the release of Jerry Abstract’s six song EP, Satiated Elation. This EP dealt with similar issues I laid out in my previous posts regarding the Curtis Paul and Charles Pearson albums, the difference is this time I wised up a bit and recruited the expertise of the one-and-only Andy Toth (Detroit Grand Pubahs, Abbe & Toth) to take care of the mastering process. We also decided to do something a little different by recruiting Dan Grafton & David Chakur of Service Tech to manufacture tangible audio cassettes of the release, as well as distributing it digitally via everyone’s favorite media channels, and it is finally available on Beatport, Juno Download, Traxsource, where it belongs.

Today, Jerry needs your help. With the majority of the population streaming content via services like Spotify, which literally pay artists fractions of a penny per listen, royalties these days literally amount to nothing, and creatives like Jerry are suffering. Mr. Abstract has found himself in a difficult situation facing a number of medical and dental bills and has started a GoFundMe page where for a limited time, he is offering his entire discography (spanning 15 years, 103 songs, 10 hours 23 minutes) of original productions, remixes & live-sets in high quality .mp3 for your generous donation. The link can be found ~> HERE

JERRY ABSTRACT IS YOUR FRIEND.

Charles Pearson’s Fine Tales from a Frontier LP

Charles Pearson's Fine Tales from a Frontier

Charles Pearson’s Fine Tales from a Frontier

Charles Pearson’s Fine Tales from a Frontier album faced the same challenges I described in my post about Curtis Paul’s Southern Brick Face. It too has been remastered and re-released, can be found now on Beatport, JunoDownload, TraxSource, Bandcamp & everywhere else fine music is streamed and sold…and it sounds better than ever.

If you were at a rave on a Saturday night during the mid ’90s, you would be hearing tracks from this album being played on the dance-floor, as well as in the chill-out room. I personally have a huge fondness for Charlie’s subtle use of vocals throughout the listening experience, taking the edge off the electronics by injecting that human element. It features a beautifully designed cover by his wife and baby momma Jessica Jozwick, and Charlie added a 15th bonus track, Frontier Girl, to celebrate this edition of the album.

Give it a second listen if you slept on it the first time around, and stay tuned as he has another collection of new music in the works…we should be making an announcement soon.

Curtis Paul’s Southern Brick Face LP

Southern Brick Face by Curtis Paul

Southern Brick Face by Curtis Paul

Approaching the four year anniversary of its initial release, Curtis Paul’s Southern Brick Face has been remastered and re-released finally, righteously, on Beatport, JunoDownload, Traxsource, Bandcamp & everywhere else fine music is streamed & available for digital download.

I say the word “righteously” because a handful of our first electronic albums were originally released on these platforms (Beatport, Juno, Trax, etc…) but I ignorantly signed up with a digital distribution service to get the albums delivered to those channels, not knowing that this service essentially setup its clients to fail (in my opinion). I will refrain from using their name because I don’t want to give their brand attention, feel free to contact me directly if you’d like to know…

One issue, they distributed our albums under their umbrella giving the public the impression that our albums where released by them acting as the label, not our brand. =QUAL wasn’t mentioned anywhere. This caused confusion for all parties involved. The only way to lift their umbrella and give the label proper credit was to apply and show that you had enough social proof to justify the placement. I did apply, they said we didn’t have enough fans, we weren’t “big enough” to make it worth their time. The second problem, even though I properly categorized the songs in the appropriate genres (ambient, experimental, downtempo, etc…) they decided to ignore my recommendations and put the album/tracks in categories such as Dubstep and Trap, which this album certainly is not, this decision did no favors for anybody. My only guess is they thought incorrectly releasing albums in categories that were trending at the time might eventually lead to more sales by unsophisticated consumers?! More complications included them claiming rights to the content on Youtube so that they would acquire royalties should anything be used in videos, which was fine while we were a client, but they never terminated their agreement with Youtube once I terminated our agreement with them as a client, leading to many nights of arguing and filling out forms one by one against copyright infringement complaints for each song that were not valid…they collected royalties for content they no longer had rights. At some point, I noticed I was locked out of the account, their website kept telling me my password was incorrect, but the form would never send a password reset once I requested it. I let the label account expire, took it as a loss and learning experience…it was time to move on.

Another issue with the album is that I originally released it without it properly being mastered, blame this again on my ignorance. I’ve been playing other people’s music for many years, but haven’t spent that much time in a proper studio. I had heard a number of artists over the years about the subject such as, “I master my tracks myself..” and “I’d never let anyone else touch my shit…” At the time, I didn’t understand the difference from a track being the master, and a track being mastered…sonically. So, I received the masters from Curtis, the track order, album description and original artwork by my BFF, Dan McDonald, and I think I was just excited to get the ball rolling, put the package together & released it unknowingly.

Much has changed/lived/learned over the course of the last four years…and I am still very proud of this. Not meant for those with short attention spans, it is a listening experience intended to be heard from beginning to end, track three is 14+ minutes long. Give it a chance if you missed or slept on it the first time around, this is the way it was meant to be heard. And keep an eye on Curtis Paul, this motherfucker’s just getting started.

=QUAL Recordings – The Birth of a Record Label

I had always planned on taking a more behind the scenes role, inevitably making room for young generations to propagate the music industry of Detroit. What I didn’t plan was the way in which this would manifest itself. Here’s what happened…

Not sure if it’s insomnia, or the fact that I’ve been working in bars, nightclubs & concert venues most of my adult life, but I have a difficult time sleeping normal hours of the evening. I feel like I’m on top of my game during the middle of the night. I’d rather go to work at 9 PM versus ending my work day at 5 PM. Waking up at five feels natural to me, actually. What really did it IMO was those black & white Kung Fu movies they used to show on Channel 20 during the middle of the night (way-way) back when I was a child, keeping me up all night.

Now, I usually have some form of static or ambient tone (like a fan) in the background to help me sleep. I started noticing a pattern after visiting a few beaches, whenever I would lay down, the heat of the sun and the hypnotic sound of the waves crashing into the shore would knock me out as though I didn’t have a say in the matter.

I used to travel to the Upper Peninsula once or twice a year and stay at cabins in Paradise, Michigan. They are located on the coast of Lake Superior, and the property had stairs you could walk down to a dock, if the sky was clear enough, you could see across the great lake to Canada, where a string of windmills stretched, blinking red lights randomly across the Canadian coast for miles. It was the spot to sit and chill in the middle of the night while everyone else was sleeping.

One evening was super clear and peaceful, I got the big idea to put my Mini DV camera on a tripod and simply record a tape’s worth of blinking lights and waves crashing into the shore. I figured I could use the footage somehow to help me sleep when I needed something to drown out my thoughts. The video quality is horrible, but you can see the blinking lights if you want to put up with it..doesn’t do the setting and scenery justice, but here is the original video file on youtube:

Something ignited a spark in my stupid brains and I got the big idea to release the recording to the public as an experiment. Would people buy this if I created a product and targeted it towards those needing something to listen to while meditating, daydreaming & trying to sleep? There was only one way to find out…

I exported the audio from the video to a .wav file & did a Google query for something along the lines of “blinking lights Canada windmill farm”, which conveniently lead me to the website of a super talented photographer, Mark Cassino, who coincidentally went on a camping trip in the same area, saw what was so intriguing to me and captured exactly what I was fascinated by so creatively. I immediately contacted him via email explaining what I was trying to do, and asked what was required to have permission to acquire rights to use his work for the cover of the project. He quickly responded.

CreateSpace by Amazon was something I was always interested in exploring, and I now felt like I had a reason to test it out. I figured, if I could sell this simple product on Amazon, it would be worthwhile to put effort into more recordings in other categories with larger audiences. I had no idea Field Recordings was a thing.

I no longer visit Paradise like I used to and the stairs leading down to the dock have all been destroyed, but surely the windmills are generating electricity as intended. If you have an opportunity to visit the area…do it.

Within a matter of weeks after designing the product & uploading the files, the first copy sold. A record label was born…visit =QUAL for more…

Terry Mullan, Reggie Hotmix & Eric Hinchman

Terry Mullan, Reggie "Hotmix" Harrell & Eric Hinchman

Terry Mullan, Reggie “Hotmix” Harrell & Eric Hinchman

EqualRecordings.com & Detroit Bachelor DJS present the OPENING NIGHT of Ferndale’s hottest new weekly Friday night dance party: district.RED! And, to kick it off properly, we’re featuring:

DJ Terry Mullan (Chicago/Denver)
https://soundcloud.com/tmcatalyst
(Catalyst, Coin Slot, Definitive Recordings)

Reggie Hotmix Harrell (Detroit)
https://soundcloud.com/reggiehotmixharrell
(Club Insomnia WJLB, WJZD, WROU, WHYT, WGPR)

DJ Eric Hinchman (Detroit)
https://soundcloud.com/erichinchman
(=QUAL, DBDJS)

21 & over w/ ID. Doors 9PM. $5 pre-sale, $10 at the door.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1842056412744385/

DJ Eric Hinchman [5 Hour Set] FREE!

DJ Eric Hinchman [5 Hour Set] FREE!

DJ Eric Hinchman [5 Hour Set] FREE!

Join us for the 11th edition of #JUSTtheTIP brought to you by EqualRecordings.com & Detroit Bachelor DJS featuring DJ Eric Hinchmanspinning a 5 hour set of new & unreleased music from =QUAL and other upcoming artists from the City of #Detroit.

Turntables & dancing will be outside on the patio! (Weather permitting.)

21+ with ID, Doors @ 9:00 PM, FREE!!! NO COVER ALL NIGHT!

http://erichinchman.com/
https://soundcloud.com/erichinchman
http://equalrecordings.com/