Posts tagged music

Project Ethos in San Francisco

Project Ethos Successfully Launched in San Francisco

Local Industry and Consumers experience Fashion, Music and Art under one roof

San Francisco, CA – Ruby Skye played host to over 600 bay-city attendees on hand to witness the largest display of local fashion, music and art on record Thursday night, April 14th.

Project Ethos filled the multi-story venue with a dynamic array of talent. Entering the venue revealed that this was no average night with a 50 foot long white runway and large projector screen displaying custom graphics, a live band set up, nine local artists on display, a brightly lit red carpet and press banner, Carlton Hair booth with free goodie bags, vitaminwater zero™ bar, photo station and a Meet and Greet with the participants sponsored by Absolut vodka with cupcakes by That Takes the Cake.

Carlton Hair Experience Winner Elena Dvorochkin hit the red carpet with three lucky friends looking glamorous from receiving VIP treatment at a local Carlton Hair Salon. After being escorted past the red carpet for photos, Elena, her newly made-over straightened locks and the whole group were treated to bottle service compliments of Absolut, a sponsor of Project Ethos. Prior to the event Elena exclaimed, “As a working artists myself, the juxtaposition of the influence between the genres is an interesting thing to witness. So, needless to say, I’m thrilled to get this awesome opportunity!” The melodic tones of the indie rock band Geographer swept through the venue before the fashion show as they played popular songs from their buzz worthy record “Animal Shapes.”

Geographer the band

Excitement grew as the fashion show commenced where garments presented as part of the “vitaminwater zero™ Flavor Fashionista Challenge” were presented as the last look by the five local emerging designers. The text-in votes resulted in the award going to custom swimsuit designer team Lucy Bea and Ashley Hayes (Lucy Bea Swimwear). Brand Manager Hayes stated, “Our flavor was vitaminwater zero™ Rhythm. We were inspired by the vibrant green color. We wanted to capture that summer color and incoroporate movement to translate the upbeat feel of our pieces which is why the ruffles on the bikini were the centerpiece.” When asked what it meant to Lucy Bea Swimwear to win a $3,000 prize of their choice she replied with great enthusiasm, “It’s so exciting! We’re still new and we were competing against designers who were more established so we weren’t expecting it but it inspires us to keep moving towards our goal.” After the fashion show the crowd was ready to party to a DJ set by the Limousines.

Many local members of the industry attended the lively event including buyers from stores such as Cranberry Boutique and Fiat Lux and curators from local Gallery Hijinks and Modern Eden.

Cardiwrap by Kevin Sam

Frederick's of Hollywood Swimwear by Kevin Sam

Zoe Hong by Kevin Sam

Project ETHOS produces red carpet events showcasing all emerging Millennial Generation forms of creativity in one house, on one night. By merging fashion, music, and art concurrently, Project Ethos brings into existence a unique avenue for artists. The goal is to give opportunity for featured participants, as well as arrange a truly invigorating experience for an attendee.

*Images by Kevin Sam. Story by Brianne Bear.



Social media is booming.  As I continue my search for full time positions in Chicago I have come across many job postings that are looking for social media “experts.”  I want to meet one of these experts myself.  All of these programs are so new, and different ones are popping up on a daily basis.  I think of myself as extremely technically savvy and can utilize social media for my marketing efforts, I wonder if I, myself, could be considered an expert.  At the same time it is so hard to keep up with it all.  Today I finally broke down and made myself a Ustream account and I want to share my experience with you.

What is UStream you ask?  Basically it’s a live, interactive broadcasting platform that can be used by anyone with an internet connection and webcam.  The person producing the stream uses their webcam and then there is a live chat feature.  So I mean every show is different but you can communicate with the streamer using the chat tool.  Today I “joined the crowd” and I sat in on a talk with one of my favorite bands, Everybody Else.   They are so major.  They produce some incredible pop songs, and not Justin Bieber bubblegum pop love stuff.  This is like electrifying pop, rock, funk music (think OK Go type of sound) that makes you just feel so darn good.  And they are one band that can pull their sound off live incredibly.  I would recommend them to just about anyone.  This was their first Ustream.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and there were certainly times that felt awkward but overall I was sucked in.  The hour was completely entertaining, for no real reason at all.  It was like sitting at a q&a panel with the band, with 40 other people.  You wrote questions or statements in the chat box and they responded.  It is the perfect way to interact with fans, even my mom who knows nothing about them found the hour to be intriguing.  We enjoyed developing questions, seeing what others had to say and hearing the bands replies.

I’ve always said the best thing about Twitter is a celebrity’s ability to interact with their fans.  It’s a short and easy way to show the fans that their voice is heard.  But Ustream took this a complete step further.  I haven’t seen Everybody Else in two years, they are still working on their new album and it’s like today I got to catch up on everything they’ve been doing for the past two years.  I got to reminisce and ask their lead singer Carrick if he remembered dancing in the streets with me and on top of my friends car in San Diego at the end of Hanson tour.  I also was able to ask them about their PR team and found out that they are still working on developing one.  Which lead me to the idea to start a new project and work on a proposal for Everybody Else.  Technology makes my job so exciting.  I took notes immediately after the Ustream to think of all the ways I could utilize this program with clients.  And of course I wanted to share my experience with my favorite StyleBust readers, in hopes that you might find the people that you like on there.  The nice thing about Ustream is you can sign in using your Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts.  In the future I will update on Facebook which Ustreams I’m tuning into.  In the mean time I think its’ absolutely necessary that you all check out Everybody Else and as always you can follow me on Twitter and now on Ustream @MusicITZLife.

Interview with Alisha Espey

image of Alisha Espey and Mike Leibovich of Sherwood

I met Alisha Espey back in July. She was very enthusiastic to write about music for Style Bust. She became a great addition to the team and has pumped out many compelling stories. She has introduced me to a handful of new bands, all within a couple of months.

During November, Alisha proved her writing and PR skills are worth noticing. She wrote the article Bieber Fever. This article received more attention in one day than most articles published on Style Bust receive in a week.

To thank her efforts, Style Bust gave her a $50 gift certificate to We assumed this achievement was also worthy of an interview with Alisha since we still don’t know that much about her. She’s a mystery!

Style Bust: What did your parents listen to while you were growing up?

My mom tells me stories about how she would put her belly up to large speakers in our house to Bob Dylan, so thanks to her I think I’ve been listening to him since before I was born. My dad’s roots are really based in blues and rock and roll. He would take me to blues fests during the summer and that’s where I first fell in love with live music.

Style Bust: Did they influence your taste in music at all?

Absolutely. However, it wasn’t cool when I was younger to like what my parents were listening to. I rebelled for awhile and found my own music taste, but my love for Bob Dylan and those classic songs, it’s almost hard to put into words. You just don’t hear that kind of music anymore.

Style Bust: Who was the first musician or band that you really got into?

My first couple albums were TLC and Alanis Morrisette. TLC – CrazySexyCool is such an all around great album. I love the soul in R&B and Hip Hop music. And Alannis Morrissette has so much attitude, like the end of punk era, total angst music, female domination.

Style Bust: How did music become such an important role in your life?

Music has always been my passion. The way a song or artist reaches all different people and touches them in a different way, from a theology perspective I find it so intriguing.

In middle school I was at an O-town concert and happened to meet one of their opening acts, Chicago based boyband, Vi3. I met their manager and started to become really involved with their fanbase. When I saw everything that went on behind the scenes was when I realized that I was already doing promotion for bands without even really knowing what public relations was. I couldn’t believe that I could do that for a career. The idea of helping an artist achieve their dream of performing music and on the flip side of that help people discover new music and artists, it’s certainly a way for me to give back. Knowing how music has changed my life, the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is share that feeling with other people.

image of Alisha Espey with friends

Style Bust: What is your most memorable concert experience?

I’ve seen so many amazing shows that I love for all different reasons. A couple years ago I was in New York visiting a friend and having lunch in Central Park when I saw a group of screaming girls across the street at Trump International. They were waiting for the Jonas Brothers to come out. At the time I certainly knew who they were but didn’t know much of their music. Out of curiosity and a free night to myself I decided to see what the excitement was all about. Talk about a production. I was third row among a sold out Madison Square Garden crowd. I bonded with a 7 year old, felt completely out of my element and thought I would regret forking out so much money for a ticket. Once they got on stage it was magical. I will never forget the energy in the city or in MSG that day.

Style Bust: What are you doing for work?

Right now I’m doing freelance writing. I thought it would be cool to do some weekly segments and interview the most influential people in the music industry in Chicago. Right now I’m in the midst of landing interviews and pitching it to different publications. I have developed a love for writing but I’m certainly looking for a more steady full-time position but haven’t found the right fit yet. I’m one of the few people that had a vision and a dream from an early age that I’ve been determined to follow. There are so many great places that I would love to work in Chicago; Radio Disney, House of Blues, Lincoln Hall, Jam Productions… now if any of them were just hiring.

Style Bust: How does your love for music help you be successful in your career?

It has taught me so many things, a lot of it has to do with being ambitious and having confidence, to stand up for the things I believe in. Music is so personal to me. Despite feeling so passionate about music I struggled for a long time with sharing my opinions. I am not afraid to express my musical taste now. But unfortunately there aren’t enough open minded people in this world and I lose credibility when I say Hanson is my favorite band, or I am up on all the news about Justin Bieber & the Jonas Brothers. In a perfect world, people would just get it. It’s like I don’t get the whole Taylor Swift craze. I give her props for her songwriting skills but when it comes to her live performances I don’t know how anyone can really love her sound. She’s such a sweet girl that people have a hard time criticizing her because they basically feel bad about putting her down. But I would never go to a huge Taylor Swift fan and tell them they are stupid for liking her, that she sucks or that I hope she dies. I’ve been through that junk as a Hanson fan. It’s just not fair and should not be happening. Music should be making people come together. I would love to start an anti-bullying campaign that revolves around music.

Style Bust: Name an artist or song from the 90’s you love.

I’m truly a pop princess so the 90’s were a dream for me. But there’s one band in particular that hit me and hasn’t left my life since and that’s Hanson. It was so cool to be listening to a band that was my age and singing songs that I could relate to. And I’ve gotten to grow up with them, they have changed, grown and evolved with me. Since 1997 I have been continually inspired by their music, creativity, marketing and philanthropic movement.

image of Alisha Espey and Taylor Hanson

Style Bust: What new group or artist are you recommending to you friends these days?

For the Rap/Hip-Hop scene, hands down Zack Crawford. I am obsessed with his 100 proof mixtape. For indie-rock folk lovers – Mumford and Sons. They have a great sound and are awesome live, if you can get a ticket. They have had to upgrade to bigger venues then they originally booked and selling out shows in the States. Indie-pop – I’m loving Sherwood. They are a super fun group, their music always puts me in a good mood. Oh and for people that like a more bluesy sound, Serena Ryder. She was the most amazing female singer that I’ve seen live. She is so incredible.

Style Bust: How do you discover new music?

It wasn’t so easy years ago to breakaway from top 40 radio. Outside of sticking by Hanson I was your average teenager brainwashed by consolidated radio and mainstream media. The story behind the music business, specifically the crash of the recording industry I find so compelling. The internet is a truly amazing thing and has allowed me to research and find new artists. I like using Pandora to give me suggestions of bands I would like. I also use Grooveshark, when a friend tells me to check out an artist, that’s a quick way to find and listen to music. Also I have discovered the joy of opening bands, I know most people hate sitting through opening bands but I’m always excited to see a new band. Openers are like a bonus for me. Hanson has introduced me to some truly incredible, little known indie bands. I have them to thank for a lot of the music I listen to.

Style Bust: How has your music taste evolved?

I was able to completely expand my collection more recently. In college I met some friends with a cool indie collection. In particular, Chicago based musician, Louis Holland influenced a lot of what I’m listening to now. I think he’s mostly doing film stuff now but his myspace is definitely worth checking out. He writes some incredible lyrics and you can just feel the emotion in his music. But he has been the first person that I met that has felt the same way about music as me. We had some philosophical discussions about music and its effect on people, emotions and how it means different things to different people. He always respected my musical taste and got me into the band Wilco. Which I wish I had discovered sooner and lived through the makings of each album. But the nice thing about music is it’s timeless, it’s like I may not have lived through the Bob Dylan era but his effect on me is just as strong as if I had.

Photographs: 1. Alisha with Mike Leibovich of Sherwood. 2. Alisha with her friends. 3. Alisha with Taylor Hanson in August, doing a charity walk for AIDS and poverty.

Bieber Fever

I admit, I am a pop princess.  I have loved every minute of living through the 90’s and the emergence of New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys (which, btw… I can hardly contain my excitement that they are touring together), Hanson, N’sync and then the rise of the Jonas Brothers and finally Justin Bieber.  Let’s be honest, any child starlet makes my heart explode with happiness for the sheer fact that someone their age is able to follow their dream.  If there is anyone who can relate to this phenomenon it has got to be me.  But my mission today is to help others understand it too, or at least appreciate it.

Justin Bieber with Alexa Chung

Justin Bieber caught my eye about a year ago when I saw him on MTV on the Alexa Chung show.  He had already had a number one hit, “One Time,” but at that point I wasn’t convinced of his selling power.  However seeing him interview and then play a song called, “One Less Lonely Girl,” made me feel like I was 14 again.  I find this feeling to be especially appealing, and freeing.  I wouldn’t say I officially caught Bieber Fever but I definitely realized what it was about.  But for those you that are sitting on the sidelines, just catching glimpses of his perfect hair in magazines and just hearing his songs on the radio might not see it the way others do.

From a PR standpoint, Justin has everything going for him.  He is the first artist that I have seen really utilize social media and use it to it’s full capacity.  Twitter is one of the best ways that artists can stay in contact with their fans.  It has replaced most fan-mail.  It’s a quick and an easy way to have that essential two-way communication.  I also think its incredibly manageable and easy for the artist to get their voice out.  I would love to know how many tweets Bieber gets a day.  Remember the kid that got 26,000 text messages after Bieber tweeted his phone number?  Bieber got some criticism for abusing his celebrity status for retaliation; personally I thought it was quite humorous.

The few Bieber fans that I follow tend to flood @JustinBieber multiple times a day with the simple hope that he will notice them.  He retweets and replies quite often to his fans, and while some people might think it’s a little cliché and impersonal, I believe it’s genius.  The guy is doing absolutely everything he can to try to make and maintain a connection with his fans.  It’s essential that he shows that he appreciates them, and that they simply, matter.  And that’s all a young girl or diehard fan could really ask for.  I do have a favorite Bieber fan, her name is Alia. I discovered some of her videos that were Bieberless and found her to be hilarious, and then I saw her eyes light up with the mere mention of the name Bieber… too cute.  Her YouTube account is definitely one everyone should check out, Aliatee.

I think Bieber has the most charming fans in the world, or as they probably prefer to be called, “Beliebers.”  I have a special place in my heart for these young girls that are continually inspired and following their dreams after being strongly influenced by an equally as charming young Canadian boy.  Here’s a video of Michaela Wallace, the latest fan making a name for herself through her love for Justin Bieber.  She’s gotten national attention through this video creation.  Check out this catchy tune that I’m on the verge of making my new ringtone.

The rest of the world doesn’t have to understand it, because his fanbase is so determined and dedicated to keep his dream alive.  One thing you should do before you write him off is check him out on one of his many television appearances, the boy has swagger but yet is so genuine and down to earth.  You have the right to not like his music, but after learning more about him, I dare you to try not to appreciate this movement.  What he has established for himself is phenomenal and other celebrities should take note.

Bieber is set to release an acoustic album on Black Friday, exclusively at Wal-Mart and through his website, yet again… brilliant PR move, what can I do to get on their team?  Of course, more importantly is the music and Bieber recently told MTV his reasons for doing an acoustic album, “I really think that I did an acoustic album because there’s a lot of haters out there that say, ‘Justin Bieber can’t sing. His voice is all Auto-Tuned,’ ” he said. “And there’s a lot with production, it kind of drowns out your voice, and it takes away from the singer, over the synths and everything.”  Amen to that.  I have nothing but love for the Bieber team and fans, I don’t think the Bieber fever is going to be getting cured anytime soon so you might as well jump in and catch the wave for yourself.

If Video Killed The Radio Star… What’s Killing Live Music?

Britney Spear live concert image

Recently I had lunch with one of my old colleagues from Live Nation. Her and I fell into a deep discussion about how the music business has always been evolving and changing, but currently there is a sudden widespread fear and uncertainty about what moves to make next. Live Nation is a powerhouse when it comes to live music; it’s one of the top 3 concert promotion companies in the world. Now after their merge with Ticketmaster they practically dominate (some might say monopolize) the industry. Live Nation however, doesn’t seem to be calling the shots. LN canceled 200+ shows this summer. Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, Irving Azoff’s plan is to pull the shows so demand can build up again.

Rihanna, one of the many popular artists this summer that has had to cancel tour dates due to poor ticket sales

Today, we have so much music at our fingertips. Hearing Katy Perry’s song, California Gurls for the first time a few months ago, I thought to myself, this is going to be the song of the summer. Radio has played the crap out of this song. It’s now the all-time Mediabase Top 40 Airplay Record holder with more than 13,000 spins in one week. Talk about killing demand. Why would I need to buy this song on iTunes if I can turn on the radio and hear it 9+ times a day? Or watch the video on Youtube? How about making myself a play list on Grooveshark?

CEO of Live Nation, Michael Rapino has said, the average concert-goer attends one show a year. It shouldn’t be this way. In a society where we expect instant gratification, something needs to be done so I can see every band that I want to see live, within the same year. Some blame it on the economy, with high priced tickets and extra fees no one has the money to spend on going to a live show. Hell, I don’t even like to spend 30 bucks to see my favorite band perform each year. So LN introduces deals like “no fee Wednesday” or half off tickets day of show. They want to fill the venue – LN collects some money through concessions and merch. But ultimately LN takes a hit for acts to not play to an empty room and then the artist collects their guarantee. But in order for ticket prices to truly lower the artist has to be the one to take a hit. Some of these high priced acts simply need a reality check.

I’m over the days where I want to give Britney Spears (pictured above) my hard earned money (no offense to my bff who was once on her payroll). My favorite concerts to go see are not in the large amphitheaters, I’m not interested in the overall production. I don’t want to see the same show by Phish or Journey anymore. I want to see the small independent artists. They are playing to a crowd of true music lovers, and the curious passerby that doesn’t mind paying 10 bucks to see some live music. I want to know that when I buy the ticket every dime spent is going towards the band in order for them to continue living out their dream.
image of Via Audio the band

To be truly successful a band needs to have longevity and it starts by establishing a dedicated fan base. In my opinion one of the best groups to target is the 16 – 25 year olds, the people that are searching for something to believe in and inspire them. This group can evolve and change over the years with their favorite band. But this group especially can’t afford 40-dollar tickets. I think the wake up call is finally here and change is about to come. In the meantime Via Audio (pictured left) is one of the amazing bands out of Brooklyn that you can see live for 10 dollars in August. They have dates in New York, Brooklyn & Boston. East-Coasters you MUST check them out and tell me what you think!

*images from,,, and*

Chicago, Home to the Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party

image of old st pats worlds largest block party logo

On July 9th and 10th, Chicago’s West Loop was jam-packed. Old St. Pats hosted the 26th annual World’s Largest Block Party. It was 40 bucks for admission, a little high for my budget. I was fortunate enough to get to watch it from my apartment window.

image of 2010 old st pats worlds largest block party crowd

Friday night featured Kris Allen and the Barenaked Ladies, apparently a sold out show. I couldn’t believe that people were paying 40 dollars and packed in this empty parking lot like sardines to see a band that legitimately hasn’t had a hit since the 90’s. But it’s a band that’s name is recognizable. The show was rather average, extremely predictable. They played One Week, and If I had a Million Dollars. But the crowd showed up so it was a successful night for the festival.

Saturday night was the White Rabbits and Spoon. There seemed to be significantly less people present. And it was interesting to see the array of people in attendance. There were men in skinny jeans, girls that weren’t afraid to wear colored patterns, truly overall a younger crowd with a lot of style. It was an amazing show. And what frustrated me to no end was… all those people from the night before had NO idea what they were missing out on.

They picked a line up that was familiar when they should have taken a chance. I may be biased because I was a fan of Spoon prior to the show. But here’s the point that I want to get across. I have always been a big music fan, but I have not always been knowledgeable about the industry. I memorized the songs on the radio and took in all the mainstream information possible. But once I was introduced to a few independent bands, this was when my passion truly emerged. It was like a whole other world that to this day I still can’t get enough of. Since then I have made it my mission to spread the word for the bands that have a smaller voice. I have great artists to offer, starting with Spoon, pictured below…

image of Spoon the band

Diesel Black Gold Video Featuring Menswear Collection

Diesel Black Gold released this video of their menswear collection which features the music of UK electro-indie rock band These New Puritans. Diesel Black Gold’s video features male models exuding that detached coolness they’re probably born with while lazing in a white room where the ghost of a woman wanders around as well in like a parallel white room universe. Original, yes; over the top, come on – it’s Diesel.

I’m anxious to see how much publicity this little video gives the Italian brand.

Theophilus London- I Want You

For the past year, I’ve questioned the originality of recent statements made in fashion, music, and art. Moreover, it’s time for an artistic renaissance. As the first decade of the new millennium is ending, technology has been rendered as the vanguard of decade statements. Technological trends have occurred while creative movements are recycled and branded as new for today’s youth.

In recent years, the green movement has not only become a lifestyle, but a trend; which has crossed over from environmental advantages to musical apathy.

Theophilus London, “center of the new urban pop movement”, is a direct example of musical and fashion apathy. His declaration of individuality is derailed through his recent efforts, “I want you,” a song claimed to have been sampled by a vintage Marvin Gaye record. However, evidence from YouTube clearly overrides Londons declaration as he simply raps over the song. No effort (not even a loop) was made to establish his identity and/or aesthetic. And naturally, his classic 80s/90s urban mix apparel: double breast blazers, canvass sneakers, and let’s not forget the wayfarers provide the lookbook for fashion apathy. Need I present more evidence?

However, director, Va$htie, saves London by visually presenting “I want you.” A black and white film shot in intimate locations where acts of intimacy occur- the bedroom, the bathroom, hmm…the hallway.

Va$htie catches the observers eye through the film style, cinema verite, as we watch London revel in the awkwardly portrayed beauty of the actress over candid shots of sensuality.

Yes, we can say Va$htie drew much inspiration from Madonna’s “Justify My Love”, well excluding the elements of bondage, S&M- overall, behavior deemed by society as sexually deviant.

And yes, there is a lack of cohesive structure within the music video given each shot doesn’t blend with the precedent shot or correlate with the climax and unruffled voice of Marvin. But within that, Va$htie beautifully presents images of candidacy with the idea of inhibited sexual desire, which is commonly not represented in urban/rap videos.

While my interests in Theophilus London as an artist are questionable, I’m excited to see more from Va$htie as an upcoming female urban artist. Click the link for Theo London- I want You video

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