With our fast pace of business, 2014 already feels like history. Here’s an impressive look back at our year.
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Review By Tyler Blue
One moment Lev Allanblitz was a fan in the audience freaking out to Michael Franti and Spearhead. The next he was commanding the Arlington Theater’s stage, belting out a verse of Sublime’s “What I Got.” This was just one of many spine-tingling highlights of the first Solutions for Dreamers Festival. Conceived as a benefit for Heal the Ocean, it was brought to life by a team of ambitious visionaries and eco-friendly sponsors. Graced with a talented lineup of compassionate musician and a promenade of environmentalist booths, the spirit could not have been more positive. Throw in a bevy of elaborate puppet, prop and costume designs, and Santa Barbara had itself a multimedia event for the ages.
Early in the morning of what would be a gorgeous, sunny Saturday, Jack Johnson landed on a red-eye from Hawaii. Practically the patron saint of Heal the Ocean, he helped make the night extra special by sitting in with three of the four bands. His bandmate, drummer Adam Topol, kicked things off with a short set from his side project, Culver City Dub Allstars. The sextet unfurled their thick, rhythmic force on the empty theater. Soaring tenor sax solos cascaded on top of the rich, textural base of dub, jazz and soul.
Some artists play music to wake people up while others intend to create an escape. Matthew McAvene accomplishes both simultaneously. Holding nothing back emotionally, his songs have that rare ability to linger on the mind while revealing deeper meanings. Playing only his third appearance with a complete band, this quartet is clearly onto something. Anders Bergstrom’s mandolin stamps the sound with honest Americana while Steve Campbell injects primal power from behind the drum kit.
Review by Tyler Blue
Admirably transitioning from coffeehouse to theater, McAvene’s salt-of-the-Earth voice understands the spectrum of pain and hope on gems like, “Thin Line.” He gave way to a sobering interlude when friend, Danny Riley, stopped the room in its tracks, performing one of his songs. Nice-guy McAvene is also a master puppeteer, committed to wowing people visually as well as aurally. The theme of the event was all-encompassing thanks to an array of ocean creatures dramatically presented throughout the night.. McAvene is pioneering an exciting, theatrical movement, adding new dimensions to a concert’s capacity for sensory stimulation.
If you were trying to dance in the seats during Animal Liberation Orchestra’s set, chances are you came away with a bruise or two. The hometown heroes kept the heat rising as they ripped through an 80-minute set of their typically-uplifting California soul. “Shapeshifter” spiraled listeners through a sonic whirlpool generated by keyboardist/singer, Zach Gill. Bassist Steve Adams used the group’s first appearance in its hometown’s biggest theater to stretch the depths of his low-end frequency.
College buddy Jack Johnson joined the fun at the end of the set, fittingly concluding with ALOs homage to Isla Vista, “Wasting Time.” Beastie Boys-cohort, Money Mark, livened the mix with melodica while guitarist, Dan Lebowitz, dished out a searing slide solo. In between sets, an underwater documentary offered a transcendental excursion to the deep. Dyson Sphere’s dissonant soundtrack evoked otherworldly beauty in the movements of stringrays and jellyfish.
The tone was set just by staring at the backdrop - a peace sign in a bullseye surrounded by bullet holes - and military camouflage nets draped over speakers. A war siren signaled the beginning of our evening’s final phase as the audience instantly surrendered themselves to the guidance of Michael Franti. In the vein of Bob Marley, the 6’6”, dreaded troubadour captivates his people like a true musical shaman. When he asks the crowd to jump up and down, that’s exactly what it wants to do.
Drawing awareness to the human toll of war is a responsibility Franti has taken on with piercing conviction. Like a hip hop Marley, his songs convey simple messages which resonate on a universal frequency. Along with his sonic assault squad, Spearhead, they unleashed an extended set of older favorites and all the best songs off last year’s release, “Yell Fire!” It was a night for deep bass as Carl Young repeatedly strutted center-stage, dropping bombs from behind wicked-cool sunglasses. Drummer Manas Itene from Nigeria gives Spearhead an authentic dancehall vibe with his tropical bounce and towering vocal octaves. Laying down a swinging groove, he turned “Hey Now Now” into a carnival ride.
In comparison to their set days before in L.A., the energy in Santa Barbara was on a whole other level. “East to the West” and “Sweet Little Lies” were both chilling and jubilant. “Hello Bonjour” lit the place up with hypnotic dance appeal while the irreverent spirit of the aforementioned “What I Got” elicited pandemonium. Keeping the pedal to the metal through a three song encore, we were sent off with the one-two punch of “Stay Human” and “Everybody Ona Move.” During the finale, 20 costumed dancers shared the stage as the excess of joy bubbled over the brim. In the midst of it all, the peaceful revolutionary just stood there grinning.
An interview with a Monster:
Luke Archer of the Cool Hand Look Agency.
by Jacob Tell, Editor, Solutions for Dreamers
October 9, 2014
Over the past several years, we have had the joy of working with our video partner Luke Archer. Luke is the Creative Director and founder of the Cool Hand Look Agency. There are some big changes going on at Cool Hand Look, so I decided to interview him about the reinvention of the Agency.
Here are some excerpts from that interview. Enjoy!
Q. So explain to me, what is the Cool Hand Look Agency?
CHL: We are a bad ass biker gang…except Dana has a scooter, and Gianny cruises his moped around town. Ok, so were not a biker gang, but what we are is a group of creative’s that have been collaborating on projects for years. Dana and Luke have been working together as the technical duo behind the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and Gianny has been their go to cinematographer since they first crossed paths in 2006.
We three are draw together by a love for creative production, and a general outlook on life, that is; people are what matters, relationships are everything, and “you only live once so do your best while you are here” attitude.
We all have pretty amazing stories.
Dana Morrow is a rare pioneer that has kept up with an ever-changing industry. In the 1980’s he owned the top video agency in Seattle, dragging his knuckles on tape-to-tape editors. He then went on to own his first AVID, and the business blossomed. Like many a smart businessman, he sold the company at it’s heyday and promptly moved to Santa Barbara’s Riviera, and began to bless the local community with his production chops and his contagious smile. When he’s not combing over the details of our next production, Dana and his wife Sharon, enjoy spending time with clients, family, friends, and Santa Barbara. Wow. We live here!
Where to start with Gianny Trutmann? Gianny is a first rate director of photography trained at the Brooks Institute. When we say first rate we mean it - he will literally take a bullet to get the perfect shot. In fact, he has…just ask him to show you the wound. He grew up in Guatemala, where his family still resides. But like any smart cinematographer, Gianny moved to California and started making great television content, while launching the first RED Boot Camps in Los Angeles, Argentina, and Venezuela. For the past 14 years, has called Santa Barbara his home. When he’s not on a production, you might find him hanging out of a helicopter, experimenting with new cinematic technologies, or sniping new locations on his motorcycle.
And that brings us to me, Luke Archer. I was a bit of an academic rebel in school. I caused a ruckus, but somehow always ended up at the top of the Dean’s list. After graduated business school in Monterey, I dived head first into entrepreneurship; co-founding a product development company, a learning company, a television production company, and more recently, launched the Cool Hand Look Agency.
So what am I passionate about? God, my family, and content. Breathing content. Eating content. Dreaming content. Sleeping Content. Creating content. I can’t stop.
Q. What do we do?
CHL: We work with brands. Our clients come to us to help them create, communicate, and deliver their brand message to the Public. That is what we do. We develop creative campaigns, content, commercials, and designs to tell your brand story and cultivate sales.
Q. What is with the wacky Monster Suit?
CHL: That’s me, Luke, in the Sherbet the Monster Suit. Man is it hot in there! We had so much fun with this shoot! Sometimes you just got to let the inner beast out.
Sherbert was designed and built by local artisan, Matthew McAvene. Matthew cut his teeth at the Jim Henson Company makers of the Muppets! He is a hella-of-a-guy and was kind enough to let us borrow Sherbert for the photo shoot. Matthew is also a great commercial artist. You have probably seen his work scattered around Santa Barbara and wondered who created this fantastic art? Check out more from Matthew McAvene at mackyworld.com.
Q. Who took those great photos and where?
Local photographer and Brooks Institute graduate, Lexus Gallegos. She took these bad ass photos at the Historic Arlington Theatre. Check out her incredible photos at lexusgallegos.com. Special thanks to the Metropolitan Theatre Company for allowing us to shoot at the theatre and a very special thanks to Karen Killingsworth for making that happen!
Q. The shoot looks like a lot of fun! Do you have any video?
CHL: Of course we have the video that we asked you to ask us about! We didn’t bring any video lights but we couldn’t resist shooting a couple of seconds of slow motion at 4K.
Thanks for your time Jacob. Solutions for Dreamers and Oniracom, YOU ROCK!
Happy happy Friday! This month we’ve featured Calia, our new Executive Assistant for employee spotlight! She’s a great addition to our office and we love having her around. Find out more about her below.
Where’d you go to University and what did you study?
I went to UCSB and studied English and Communication.
Where is your hometown?
Santa Clarita, CA
How long have you worked at Oniracom?
Just 3 months! But I interned here for 6 months.
Just what is it you do here?
A lot of different things! As an Executive Assistant, I assist our executive, sales, accounting, and HR teams. I also manage all of Oniracom’s social media accounts and come up with creative copy for our blog, Solutions for Dreamers.Read More… Post Comment
On April 12, 2012 Radiohead rocked the Santa Barbara Bowl yet again (full setlist here). Mr. Yorke seems to love this place each time he plays, but who wouldn’t? This outdoor amphitheater is much more intimate than Red Rocks or the Gorge, as it is set in the picturesque hillside of the Santa Barbar Riviera. The often humorous banter between songs and loose energy connected audience & band in an unexpected manner. We couldn’t help but be mezmorized by the LED backdrop and rotating screens, and being only a few rows back were able to capture some beautiful moments:
Videos courtesy of @marlosmassage
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We will miss our rock star Client Liaison, Adam Cohen. Tracy knew how to throw the perfect Adam party: good people, nachos from his local spot, homemade margaritas and top it off with fresh baked muffins. We also had some Pacifico beers to go with the nachos as you can see Drew & Adam clinking bottles.
Be sure to scroll down for a couple funny videos as well.
For he’s a Jolly Good Fella!
Adam loves his Tad Wagner original poster!
We are sad to see our long time friend and Account Manager Jimmy Straayer leave the Oniracom family. We had a fun party where we presented Jimmy with some fun gifts thanks to our art director Tad Wagner. Then our own Drew Franklin performed some great cover tunes to cap off the fond farewell. The cold Pacifico brews definitely help ease the pain.
WE WILL MISS YOU JIMMY!
Everyone tries to find themselves!
Jimmy appreciating Tad’s awesome work.
Drew the troubadour entertains us.
Drew Franklin covers Simon & Garfunkel
Drew Franklin covers Mumford & SonsPermalink Post Comment
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.Permalink Post Comment