I think I started writing this piece after missing The Wow’s (@PurplehausMusic) performance at South by Southwest (@sxsw). I had a meeting, I remember clinching the festival schedule…I had 17 minutes…I raced across town, and missed their set by…it didn’t matter, I missed it. Because…I am sure I didn’t start sketching out concepts for this article last year…..when I had a meeting in the Hollywood / Sunset area, only to find out the very next morning, that just blocks away from my engagement, The Wow performed at the Viper Room (@theVIPERroom) and I missed it. I take responsibility, I forgot to reload @Bandsintown – I paid the price.
It’s hard to accept that I could have been the first fan in there in for the LA Show if I would have been on my “A” game, but it’s not as hard to encounter as my 3rd strike. I missed the opportunity to see this raw and eclectic duo at 1015 Folsom (@1015sf ) – one of SF’s central venues for live music (housing some the world’s finest DJ/s Record Producers, Hip Hop Bands, and so forth). It’s blocks from Shadowbox SOMA Headquarters – circumstances again…..I didn’t make it to see an amazing bill, one which had The Wow staged with legendary artists Waka Flocka Flame (@WakaFlocka) and Dotcom (@iamDOTCOM)….a line up for the books in my agenda. I won’t miss the next show…land, air, sea,…I am there.
When I think about it all – I think I started writing this piece in the 7th Grade…that’s when I had the unique opportunity to meet The Wow’s producer and member Balthazar Getty, who orchestrates melodic genius alongside alternative Hip Hop sculptor Ko the Legend…. Yep, it was 7th grade….and from there….that’s where I began drafting a literary tale that would discuss the presence of influential music. Even though I didn’t know it back then when I was 12…an album by the name of Solardrive would drop in the year 2013. It would become an assortment of original music, boasting a statement of “artistic sway” that declared a push beyond the inventive measures and collaborative dynamite that continues to set off with every social, digital, classical, and musical motion in play around the clock 24/7.
It is evident that the internet has accommodated multiple generations of music fans, by providing them simple and speedy access to discover music. This music at one time was difficult to find and listen to on the regular. We live in a world where the rising mentality speaks a millennial chant: “we-get-what-we-want-when-we want.” Lifestyles are beating faster and faster to a rhythm that is “on-demand”…….
The internet has fostered millions upon millions of online cohorts for which similar minded fans and musicians could do their thing, on their own, and collaboratively. Coming together (in any fashion) fosters efforts to boost traction, audience, and artistic collision. We like when people come together.
The rise in cohesive brigades through the music game (Solardrive is a chief example), and also the immense increase in our abilities to self manage and promote, has affected the “traditional” route of an “artist’s navigation to success”. More so, today, the definition of success is at the discretion of each artist, vs. that of a Record Label, Manager, and so forth. These brigades have proven to foster connective strength that entails the ability to crowdsource, curate, and socialize through nontraditional formulas.
What happened as we moved towards 2012/2013, the “best and worst gift ever given to mankind” known as the internet, acted accordingly, allowing me to make a premature discovery (check out sections ‘6:24MIN’ and ‘SEVENTH”). What sparked my interest here, wasn’t just based off of the certainty that I was a fan of Mr. Getty’s musical endeavors since hearing the Ringside Band for the first time in 2005. My regard was ignited by the methods and modalities taken on by talented and diverse musicians, (like Balthazar Getty and his camp for the sake of this fan-based piece), to make a great record, and produce it in a disruptive fashion that is:
- Significant and influential per the state of the industry; As a solo album and/or mixtape/collaboration.
- Capable of paving the way for artists to rethink their positions; and act accordingly per their discretion.
- Active within the framework of cohorts, “collabs”, and campfires; sparking new sound and shared influence.
In late 2012 / early 2013, I was running my search for some new music composed under Mr. Getty’s vision, I stumbled upon a song and video on @Vimeo – for a track called “Be Alright”. It was a cool looking video – with a deep and raw-ass beat, offering harmonious hums, and…. Mr. Getty’s vocal’s (which I had never really heard) softly speaking simplistic reiterations that everything would “Be Alright”….and then he brings on a profound statement right up in your reason: “I’m from this place…right where I belong”….from that line he grabs us with lyrics that drop: “get it on – get it on – get it on – get it on.” At this point I’m juiced.
Fired up, I was also curious as to if I had stumbled upon music I wasn’t intended to stumble upon as of yet. It wasn’t anywhere else on the web, so I did what any respectful fan would do. I felt real bad for a minute – I kept it to myself – and bumped the shit out of it every day. This wasn’t Ringside, or any of the tracks I had heard in previous times, it was something new….was it a solo career? A new band? It was dope and I wanted to know more, and days later it all went down….
Eager to jump back online and listen to this new track, a few days later I was kindly greeted by a another new song/video that showcased one of the sickest alternative/indie electronic beats I had ever heard. The title read of the video read: ‘Solardrive (No Drama – Instrumental – 6:24min)’. Our Magazine doesn’t aim to violate and/or post someone’s non-commercial track. If you come across this song – please revisit the tune at 1:45 – at least twice. With this new track, a 6:24 minute instrumental that literally took me by a new storm, I did what any respectful fan would do, I felt real bad for a minute – I kept it to myself – and I bumped the shit out of it every day.. until I had to show somebody.
I took it to my eldest son Riley, who at the time was 5 years old – and always a resource who gave me an honest opinion on the music I was into. He gave it a thumbs up. Whether the “thumbs up” was for the kids happily dancing with the hula hoops in the video, or for the track itself (which I know was a combo of the two), He liked it.
After he took a listen to ‘Solardrive (No Drama – Instrumental – 6:24min)’, he kept asking if we could hear the “hula hoop” song, and for him and only him, I said yes – on repeat we went. This music was unreleased and we were gonna leave it as such. This material, not ours to share, we listened in silence…..that is until it all dropped….even deeper and now public. Dude….they put lyrics on “No Drama”…..
For reference, Solardrive evolved into a nine-track LP. For more details – check out the B//SIDE Article on MVMNT / Expose. Solardrive can be downloaded on iTunes and/or engaged via Soundcloud.
Shadowbox takes pride in doing what it can to support art on all levels, we’ll go the distance, we’ll “tat it” on our rib-cage – check out Shadowbox TV Musical Project: American Psycho Series: Haters – Dedication to Kid Mac (@kidmacmusic) if you would like proof of spirit. We’ll post up flyers all over concerts, slap up subways, bring the kids to U.C. Campuses campus to knock on Fraternity house to Sorority house, to promote an event (See our coverage on Shadowbox Presents: Social Sunrise – Headlining DJ/Producer Slaptop (@SlatopOfficial). Proof is stable..
So let’s talk about Solardrive – and this crew of amazing musicians…Most importantly, S.F. / Bay Area born and raised, as fans when we find great music we love, we’ll pound on our beloved Live 105.3 request line (@LIVE105) until we hopefully get our point across. Then we’ll social up a storm so the artist at hand feels supported, and we go from there. We like supporting , it makes us happy… plain and simple. The Shadowbox Street Team, by which I like to assemble with a quality crew of friends and family, or sometimes just rock solo on my own) was killing double days when Solardrive tracks started dropping. We got that bug to spread the word…
From there, we just do it. We find a social cause, read a book, admire a competitor, see a film, hear music, you name it – we connect. Then we proceed to picking up a shovel, giving it our best to dig up some positive space – and fill it with fans and support. That’s what gets us stoked, and we never compromise the emotions that drive our creative outlook. Pictures below display Solardrive flyers I made before hitting Live 105.3 Event (@LIVE105) at Shoreline Amphitheater in 2013. On the way I made a run with some friends through Haight Street. I posted up pics from upper to lower Haight, very fond of a record store window, and from there we were on to the show, where my beloved “created on the fly”ers were almost compromised with strict rules regarding promotion and solicitation on event grounds. But all turned cool in the world of fan support and collaborative unity….
Entering the show – when searched like everybody – security kindly asked what I would be doing with these flyers, I told them that as an avid concert goer, supporter of the event, and equally a “die hard” for the radio station for many years (since I was 5 to be exact), I just wanted to spread the word….and this is how entry looked with a conservative box of fan-made flyers.
With Solardive flyers under the jacket – Security wanted an explanation as to what my agenda was (FYI – I’m used to this – following an Australian Band on tour through Canada a few years back was the best – security across the board always wants a story on what it is I am trying to do, and yes I do cross major borders to sync with music I cannot get enough of). Here is how it looked:
Security: Are you a promoter?
Security: Are you the label rep or manager for the band?
Security: You’re posting these up on behalf of a 3rd Party or…? For a Marketing company or something?
Security: So you just want to share the music?……….silence
Security: “Ok….keep em on the wraps and don’t get caught…but cool to see fans just being fans..do your thing – you didn’t see me”.
”With that consent, I respectfully went on my way to jump in the pits and crowds bouncing to some of the best bands in the world at the time. I wanted to get some more Solardrive fans – so instead of trying to post up one flyer up at a time, I decided to go fan to fan. After jumping from the first Twenty-One Pilot’s (@twentyonepilots) performance hearing “Car Stereo” for the first time – I was called to another stage by a friend, and then found waiting in line to talk to one of the VJ’s….maybe slip over one of those flyers?
Out of nowhere – we saw a crowd moving towards the tents we were near……………………. screaming….commotion…..and WTF!?…30 Seconds to Mars (@30SECONDSTOMARS) comes up rolling right by in front of me and sits around for an interview on the platform next to the VJ Booth right at my feet. An iconic band (on a world-changing global level) before me – brilliant frontman Jared Leto (@JaredLeto) begins talking once the “newly arrived” crowd calms down. He opened up and spoke something of an extremely radical nature – to a large mass before him: “What’s up beautiful people…come on now…don’t be shy….everyone, scoot in, let’s hang out…………………we’re all one”. I love it when experience is on the level..the notion by which unified mentality (equal nature) is fostered. The interview began when the band settled in with the affiliate from Live 105.
I’m still in the zone wondering what is going on before my eyes. I got a Solardrive flyer in hand, gripping it. Looking around at this huge crowd tamed by this composed conversation that evolved – I decide to calmly and respectfully lift that propaganda in the air, and spread some Solardrive love…..and all of a sudden I hear it….
“Hey look its my buddy Balthazar!”…..I’m still looking the other direction..“Right there!”….I hear. I look up and to shock like nothing, Jared Leto is pointing right at the Purple Solardive flyer. Fuck. If I was handed a moment to shout it out and spread the fucking word it was there in that absolute state of silence that……..was….oh man….I’ll tell you how it ends.it’s on the B//SIDE ..just keep reading..
Like I mentioned in the first part of the A//Side, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Getty when I was in the 7th grade – one of my best friends by the name of Michael (and his older brother Daniel) had been close friends with him since they were young. Mike was one of those kids that was an old soul, he loved music, the outdoors, a great family…we bonded upon meeting in the 5th Grade because both of our mothers were from Italy… and that’s where it all started.
My photographic memory sees Mr. Getty getting dropped off by our school one day near the time of dismissal. It was a Friday to be exact, and he had come with Michael’s mom (such a sweet woman) to pick him up. Ironically timed with his visit to our school, the feature film Lord of the Flies (Columbia Pictures) starring Mr. Getty himself was premiering in town, and many of us were going to check it out. He came up to our class, Mike introduced him to everyone, I shook his hand……he was soft spoken, very chill, and I am sure pretty excited/anxious to be just hours away from a cinematic premiere by which he played (very well let’s add) the lead role of Ralph. Or maybe that’s my perception, “excited” could be translated various ways, but a milestone I’m sure.
Kids in our neighborhood and at our school were heading to see this flick, and my recollection from here details running into Michael, Daniel, and a group out in front of the theater as we arrived. Mr. Getty was with them, they too were heading into watch William Golding’s classic hit the big screen. After pre-show conversation, everyone went their separate ways into the theater and on to watch the movie.
That night I witnessed a great film. From start to finish I was entertained, my now 8 year old son loves it, it was well done. That evening – for some reason – I also remember witnessing something else…That something else was a stylish persona and humbled confidence that roamed with Mr. Getty. Through an assortment of young kids (all but 12, 13, 14 years of age) heading off into an assortment of directions. Thinking back, loosely conversing at school, and before and after the film – to me he carried a profound volume of impact that was routinely unwitnessed amongst the large crew of kids we hung out with from neighborhood to neighborhood at that age. Maybe it was the entry into a theater housing his own movie, his ability to act the lead role, that impacted me. Because my memory really does perform, maybe it was the gorgeous blonde under his arm that he entered his own film with.
At the start of that day – and in those moments before we stepped into the theater, I had yet to see him act or make music…and as everyone split their separate directions, through that film and via the life that continued after, the lights dimmed after showtime and I remember feeling positively excited…
…By what I didn’t really know. Like I said, “excited” can be translated various ways I guess. The film was fantastic, yet comprehending what it was that I was “excited” about would arrive in time, from here it was the persona of an emerging young artist that got me psyched up. Fast forward to present day, as I don’t know him personally, and only met him that one time, I must say that, since that Friday in the 7th grade, as a an avid fan of so many artists in this world, I have always been real stoked and extremely fond of the expressive initiatives developed by Balthazar Getty and his camp of unique originators, simply because they speak to multi-talented endeavor that continues to impress, and drop bombs that equivocate radical movements through artistic expression and originality.
Through the years, I was stoked to see the craft of acting (at any size role) continue through his film and TV career….Natural Born Killers (Warner Bros), Lost Highway (October Films), to name a few early on and all the way to 2008 and beyond, where watching Sunday night’s Brothers and Sisters on ABC (by which he played character Tommy) became a ritual for my wife and I, as we were gratefully homebound with a newborn at the time. And what about news of his role in the upcoming Twin Peaks (TV Series-2017)? It’s gonna be radical hands down. But beyond the unique and explosive roles that Mr. Getty has engaged through screen, it was the sound that began taking over my attention where this artist was concerned over the past many years. What was I excited about…that night in the 7th Grade? What happened when I had the golden opportunity to shout “Solardrive – Download it today!” all over the crowd at that concert?…THE B//SIDE HAS ANSWERS – So much irony in the air…Purplehaus keeps dropping more music, Lord of Flies recently celebrated its 20 year anniversary, and after 15 years I connected with Micheal in LA. Sitting by the pool at the Roosevelt (@hwood_roosevelt) – it was like time hadn’t passed….I jumped on a flight home that night and got cranking on this piece that had been manifesting in my mind all too long…THE B//SIDE SHOWS MORE – STAY TUNED, COLLABORATIVE, & CONNECTED…
SOLARDRIVE: ARTIST FOCUS – PURPLEHAUS MUSIC BY EXPOSE / MVMNT (A//SIDE)
ARTICLE / FAN BASED PIECE BY JOHN WHITMAN – FOUNDER & CEO – SHADOWBOX
CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF – RYAN KITTLEMAN
ARTWORK – FUSED AND RE-CREATED BY SHADOWBOX STUDIOS / ORIGINAL RESOURCE PURPLEHAUSE MUSIC.
FANBASED FLYERS & PHOTOGRAPHY – SHADOWBOX MVMNT / SHADOWBOX STUDIOS
UPDATED CREDITS COMING SHORTLY
CHECK OUT THE B//SIDE ON SHADOWBOX MVMNT / BOXER EXPOSE (2016-17).
Also published on Medium.