OCML Artist Spotlight: Papermoon Gypsys

Lexi G has returned to the Papermoon Gypsys and they are back on and a rockin! In this episode, they talk about where their band name came from, finding a surprise in a rental car in Hawaii, Rocking rooms from 2 to 2000 people and the overall experience of love in their music.
You can find al the info and tour dates at www.papermoongypsy.com


OCML Top5 Episode 2

Check out the new episode of OCML Top5 with Blake Jones





“Ghost”- JAMZ INK

JAMZ INK is a new alternative rock band from Huntington Beach. They have been together since June 2016, and are only looking up! Experimenting with psychedelic tones and modern age themes, they have been able to create a new, fresh sound for 2017.

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“The Dream”- Porcelain Hill

You cannot stop a dreamer, especially when that dreamer has ambition and drive! Porcelain Hill uses classic rock roots to express timeless topics. Featuring hard guitar riffs, groovy bass lines, and a solid drum line; Porcelain Hill keeps not only the dream alive, but rock-n-roll, too! However, they are on the SEARCH for a NEW BASS PLAYER! If you want to live out the dream like a real rock star, message them on facebook.

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“Opus”- Hoity-Toity

Los Angeles look out! Hoity-Toity is a 4 piece all-girl rock band with power chords, drums, and vocals! They started back in 2014, and have now hit venues such as The Whiskey A go-go, and stages at Van’s Warped Tour!

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“Triumphant”- Clemmie Williams (Feat. Karlton Phresh)

Keep your head up and your chest out. Clemmie Williams and Karlton Phresh deliver an Anthem of Champions- an anthem for those of us who made it despite the world being against you. Coming from the streets to now touring those cities, Clemmie is a self-made man. The only way he see’s himself going now: is up!

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“Blank Canvas”- Chameleon Technology

At the end of the day, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Rather it be a good reason or not, the only one responsible for ourselves is, well, us. Chameleon Technology knows self-discipline very well, escpecially since they are actually only one person! Max Histrionic is from Costa Mesa, and he is the lead singer, songwriter, guitarist, bassist, and drummer for Chameleon Technology. A one man show who really stands out!

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OCML Top5 with Blake Jones Ep.1

“Everybody Calls You a Dreamer” by The Grinns

Mission Viejo based rock band from SoCal with a defined sound and strong riffs and lyrics. The Grinns always have shows around Orange County to keep a close residency, and a close connection with their fans! Great message and great sound!

Find The Grinns on Soundcloud! https://soundcloud.com/the-grinns/everybody-calls-you-a-dreamerFind The Grinns on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TheGrinns1/videos/591461807640275/

“Red Light Fever” by Motions

Determination. Only being together since May 2016, Motions is a perfect example of what time and hard work can do to a band in just a few months. Find them at the 4th Street Market in Santa Ana on January 29th doing a special acoustic set! Keep an eye out for their EP in 2017!

Find Motions on Soundcloud!


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“Exxxtra” by Eddy Rotten

For any hip hop artist it is hard to find a style that is as distinct as Eddy Rotten has made for himself. Sampling the guitar riff from Chinese Takeaway by the Addicts, and mixing it with hard hitting bass and synths, Eddy Rotten definitely has made a sound for himself. Him and the other artists from Konsept make sure all of their tracks are delivered perfectly before release

Find Konsept on Soundcloud!


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“Day or Life” by Nothingerz

The dynamic duo. Nothingerz are a two piece band from LA who revive grunge rock roots with a modern twist. Keep an eye for their new album to be released later 2017.

Find Nothingerz on Soundcloud!


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“Patchwork” by Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actress will be playing at their album release party at Chain Reaction on February 11th! These guys make sure they always have a show available for their fans, and keep consistent on social media and content.

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5 Ways to Build Your Scene While Playing a Show

5 Ways to Build Your Scene While Playing a Show

1. Get to the show before the first band goes, load in and support their set. You want them to stick around for yours, right?

2. Load out and get back inside the venue to support the other bands. The scene is only as strong as we make it. If you don’t support each other, why would anyone else?

3. Encourage your fans/friends to stay and watch the other bands with you after your set. The other bands brought people to watch you as well. After all, they paid to get in. Get their money’s worth!

4. Mingle with the other bands, become friends, buy merch from touring acts and help the promoter create the fun environment that people want to be a part of. Support starts from within.

5. Stay until the last band is done with their set. We all have day jobs and have to wake up early. This is Rock n Roll, you have to be able to stay up late.

In closing, if all the bands were at the show from beginning to end, it would keep the other people there to watch more of the bands. We are all working our ways up, and we will all get there faster if we work together. Shed the ego at the door and support the other bands in the scene.

-John Safari

Game Theory and Pay to Play

Game theory is a branch of mathematics concerned with testing behavioral systems in competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. A popular game that tests the efficiency and success rates of different behavioral algorithms is called the public goods game, the scenario is as follows:

“The public goods game is a standard of experimental economics. In the basic game, subjects secretly choose how many of their private tokens to put into a public pot. The tokens in this pot are multiplied by a factor (greater than one and less than the number of players, N) and this “public good” payoff is evenly divided among players. Each subject also keeps the tokens they do not contribute.”

This situation plays itself out daily in myriad situations. In our case as event producers and artists, our dilemma involves cooperating with pay to play for a short term gain that damages the industry as a whole, which is equivalent to holding on to your tokens while others put money in the pot. When played out repeatedly initial cooperation eventually breaks down. As everyone begins to game the system, fewer and fewer tokens make it to the center of the pot and everybody suffers. When you introduce a new element that allows participants to see who is gaming the system and punish them, what tends to happen is a complete correction of the system.

We know which shows are pay to play and which bands are playing them. We know who is producing these shows and what venues are hosting them. We have the necessary information to address cooperation among our peers and pay to play. We have to hold each other accountable and refuse to support elements claiming an anti-corruption ethos while simultaneously cooperating with the very system they claim to be fighting.

The most successful algorithm is not the most severe nor the most forgiving but one that starts off by assuming cooperation with the public goods and punishes selfish behavior but also forgives in subsequent rounds. Since we are limited in our ability to “punish” offenders what we can do is support each other and retract that support when our peers stray from the movement. If we can effectively carry out that behavioral system, we will starve pay to play. Success then depends on participation by as much of the music community as possible.

The beauty of the age that we are living in is that we can test ethical situations and find a way to make cooperating with corruption an unprofitable enterprise. As a final word of warning it is important to note that without an element of punishment, the public goods game almost always unravels completely. If we don’t support each other and withdraw that support when the time comes, we can expect the downward spiral of our movement at worst and its total stagnation at best.

We can ignore whatever may be gained in the short term by keeping focused on a greater victory over a longer course of time. We can overcome the corruption of the industry. We can and we will.

Why You Should Stop Supporting Major Labels

The messages in media, specifically in music aimed at youth are either entirely devoid of meaning or actively destructive to the purpose of creating a better world. We are pumping up preteens with messages that glorify the extravagantly wealthy and reduce women to role of a sexual objects. Since time immemorial the spirit of revolution has been nurtured and cultivated through music. From the hymns of the American slaves to the sounds of bands like Rage Against the Machine. However content is becoming evermore watered down with superficial and empty lyrics. How can we expect music to say something important about the status quo if all popular music is produced by the establishment?

1.Universal, Motown, Interscope, Def Jam

These music labels and others are all assets of parent company Vivendi. They represent about 25% of the market share. Vivendi began a massive sale of its assets as it had overstretched its acquisitions during the CEO term of Jean Messier. In 2002 they were raided under suspicion that they had made misleading claims to sell assets (Enron style). The French monolith also deals in water privatization around the globe. Privatization of utilities began when the free market religion began spreading around the globe. Once the idea that private corporations could do everything better and for cheaper than government, privatization became rampant. However when Vivendi takes over water utilities the cost tends to rise while the quality of service suffers. A scathing report from Puerto Rico cited over 3000 deficiencies in administration, maintenance, and operation. Operating losses went from $241 million to $695 million in just two years. These inefficiencies were of course absorbed by the tax payers in the form of rising costs.

2.Sony Sony controls about 20% of the music market share, as well making electronics.

Sony is so greedy that it violates Chinese labor laws that are themselves insufficient. The working conditions at Sony’s sweatshops are so terrible that workers are often driven to suicide. Overtime is legally limited to 36 hours a month but is routinely in excess of 140 hours.

These workers are forced to work standing up for ten consecutive hours and must complete an action every 3 seconds. Often they get no more than 10 minutes in the middle to use the restroom but because there are many people and few bathrooms they are often forced to forgo basic bodily functions for the duration of their entire shift.


Owned by Leonard Blavatnik through the parent company access industries whose roots are somewhat seedy. Even his friends don’t know what he did to acquire his capital back in Russia. One acquaintance referenced a saying prominent among Russian business men “ Never ask about the first million”.

Currently embroiled in privatization problems, Leonard also made a lot of money moving around Russia’s natural resources, primarily aluminum. Organized crime groups fought with investors both at home and abroad, this period was known as the time of the “aluminum wars”.

A partner in one of Russia’s most environmentally destructive oil companies. He pours money into American political campaigns on behalf of the GOP . His own company has contributed over a million dollars to candidates and has spent over 700,000 lobbying.

The big three labels Universal, Warner, and Sony are collectively owned by companies that steal natural resources, destroy infrastructure in numerous nation-states, and openly uphold a tradition of violating labor laws. These companies don’t deserve our support, this is why local music is so important. We must encourage a culture of musicians who can make a vital and popular living without contracting with the dominant corporations who hold the deed to the musical and creative landscape. Everyone is raised by music. And what we’re raised on matters. Taking back music is taking back youth. We the consumers have the power to foster a music community that inspires people to be better, inspires them to love people instead of money, and speaks about important geopolitical themes. Every time you attend a local show instead of a big concert you are doing just that. Every time you buy merch from a local band you are supporting the spread of music untainted by corporate influence. It’s time that we had a choice to enjoy music and not have to support evil by proxy!

The Magic of Music

The Magic of Music

Music is more than a background accessory to chores and more than an excuse to drink. Music is the symmetry between emotion and expression. Words often fail and fall short, imprecise and clumsy but you can use a song to convey a feeling so much more accurately. Don’t tell a girl you like her tell her she makes you feel like the first time you heard “Amber” by 311. A lot of great movies are often defined by their soundtracks and some of the worlds leading peace activists have been musical artists. Music is a refuge where we can all go and lose ourselves both in tough times and in celebration.

Recognizing the importance of music is vital to the continued existence of music that is intrinsically good and not just marketable. You can make a book a best seller, a movie a blockbuster hit, and a record go platinum by paying the right people. We’re being sold macaroni pictures as Picasso’s simply because money is the motive. Some bands are easier to market or fit into a more accessible economic niche. That’s what they say but in a world full pet psychologists, life coaches, and designer baby carriers how can there not be a market for good music?

So can we blame companies for not driving through neighborhoods listening for unique music hoping that they happen to drive by a garage that produces this generations Doors and Van Halen? Of course not music is a Democracy and if the only ones voting are going to be tweens then all that’s going to be remembered are the Biebers of the world. From the drummers in Napoleon’s armies to the soldiers to the hymns sung at churches music is an inextricable part of our oldest institutions. This isn’t a new music revolution, art is always in a state of perpetual transformation. Music is the forefront of the arts, the most relatable medium of abstract expression. So get out there and enjoy local music. Listen to the artists playing music while waiting tables. You’d be surprised how much soul music can have when it’s not generating millions of dollars for someone and is instead the only medium someone can express themselves in. It doesn’t have to be auto-tune, crappy lyrics written to stir up preteens, and studio magic. In the words of Winston Churchill:

“The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.”

Thanks for reading

-John Safari

10 Tips For Independent Touring Acts

10 Tips For Independent Touring Acts

With record companies becoming more and more obsolete, touring independently has become the norm for bands in their early years. The decline in music sales has restricted access to monetary tour support from labels. Here are some tips and tricks to successfully touring DIY style.

1. Choose cities that are less than five hours apart. This keeps you under a tank of gas per day, will allow you to get a full night’s sleep and allow you to arrive in early to hit local music stores and leaves stickers, CDs and posters around town. The show is not the only way to get your name out there while on the road.

2. Accept bar deals over small guarantees. You have to do a little more research on the venue this way to make sure they have organic pull and they don’t serve $2 drinks, but you will 9 times out of 10 make more with a bar split.

3. Network with the other bands on the bill as soon as you know who you are playing with. Building a friendship with the locals before you arrive will make them take you more seriously, and they will be more excited to play the show with you and thus promote the show better on their end. This is also a way to find floors and couches to crash on to save more money on lodging.

4. Have a wide variety of merchandise, and have something small to give away for free in exchange for fans signing up for your mailing list. This this is how leave your mark on a town and how you let your new fans the next time you are coming back through town. The more mercy to choose from, the better. Don’t give people multiple color options of the same design, carry more designs.

5. Document your journey, your fans back home want to keep up with you while you are on the road. Utilize all your social media. Instagram, Snapchat and InstaStory are a great way for you to do exclusive content to make sure your fans follow you on all platforms. Cross promote your media. Utilize Facebook live twice a day, on the road and at the show.

6. Have a back up stack of cash for your vehicle. Keep up on your maintenance. Check everything twice before you leave and keep up on your oil changes. Your van could be the end of your tour if you don’t take care of the little things.

7. Save your receipts from everything. Keep a balanced spreadsheet of what is coming in and going out. You are your own accountant on the road, and you are running a business. You have to have these things to write off expenses. Buy your food and alcohol separate every time. You cannot write off alcohol.

8. Check in with all your future tour dates weekly to make sure you still have a show and to confirm that nothing has changed. You don’t want to drive somewhere you don’t have a show at that night.

9. Be comfortable with sleeping in the van when you don’t find a couch or floor. You can stop at any rest top and take a nap before continuing on to your next show. Cutting expenses whenever possible will help your profit margin and allow you to tour for longer periods of time.

10. Be positive, work hard and talk to every fan and band at each show. Thank the other bands, the venues, the promoters and all of your new fans. Without them, your tour wouldn’t have been possible. Engaging with your fan base is the best way to keep them paying attention to what you are up too. Building personal relationships with these people will help make your future tours easier.

DIY touring is the new norm.

Touring successfully takes a well oiled machine, combing through the little details meticulously and the will to push hard and work through obstacles and remain a band afterwards. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. This may very well be the most difficult endeavor you have ever embarked on, but if done right it will also be the most rewarding.

– John Safari