Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Industry Interview: Nic Adler of The Roxy Theatre

It's no secret that Hollywood serves as the world's musical and cultural touchstone when it comes to who's "hot" on the scene. The biggest names in entertainment, everyone from Bob Marley to T-Rex, have made their way through LA at one point or another, and chances are they have paid a visit to or played a set at The Roxy Theatre. This iconic live performance venue in the heart of Hollywood has seen its fair share of shenanigans in the 35 years it's been around, and continues to reinvent itself for each new generation of music lovers.

State your name and occupation for the beautiful people of Los Angeles please (here is your chance to shout out your biz, so do it. Do it.)

Nic Adler, Owner of The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood. More importantly, I’m a LA native, I love this city, and I’ve been fortunate enough to take over the family business. I’m a member of the Sunset Strip Business Association (SSBA), and also heavily involved with the Sunset Strip Music Festival which is in its second year now, and scheduled for September 10-12, 2009.

If you could resurrect any musical LA landmark(s) what you would it be? (i.e. Coconut Grove, Madame Wongs, Hong Kong CafĂ©, Aron’s Records)?

More than any landmark I’d like to see the (Sunset) Strip as a whole achieve the same relevance and importance it had back in the day, that is really the goal of the SSBA and events like the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Neighborhood events like these remind people that LA is the music capital of the world, promotes the legacy of the strip and the importance of the past.

In the 70s, bands like Bob Marley, and The Clash weren’t playing venues like the Staples Center they were playing either huge stadiums or smaller clubs like the Roxy, the Whisky a Go Go, the Troubadour, and maybe the Palace. Back then, clubs didn’t look at neighboring venues as “competition” instead they were thriving by working together. My goal today is for the Strip to be reinstated as the breeding ground for legends just like it was back then. It would be a coup for us who are a part of the Strip, and I think that we are starting to see that actually happen.

The Palladium has recently gone under the knife. The Tower Records on Sunset has closed their doors for good (1971-2009). In New York, CBGB’s lost its battle with the city. Both Kurt Cobain and Neil Young have been quoted as saying, ‘It’s better to burn out than fade away.’ Thoughts..?

I was turning on to Sunset from Doheny one morning when I saw a guy standing on the street corner holding a sign that read ‘TOWER RECORDS CLOSING *SALE* 40% OFF.’ Losing that landmark (Tower Records), we lost a "leg on the table," so to speak. I thought to myself, ‘How many other landmarks are going to disappear if we don’t do something about it?’ That was a huge wake up call for me, and that was when I got heavily involved with the Sunset Strip Business Association three years ago.

In recent years, home grown music communities have been sprouting up in neighborhoods like Silverlake, for example, and it has also helped that radio stations have gotten more involved. We are also starting to see music venues work together like they did back in the day, still highly competitive but in a good way. Our current relationships with neighborhood venues like the Viper room and the Key Club, are making the Strip so much stronger because we are all striving for the same thing. We are resurrecting a 3-4 block radius and with that re-introducing people to one of the most famous locations in the world, the Sunset Strip. I want multiple music communities in LA, because I think LA can handle it. We have to keep moving forward. When you start to lose that sense of community, you die a slow death.

The Lofts @ Cherokee Studios are hoping to keep the legacy alive for a whole new generation of music lovers. Where do you see your business 5/10/20 years down the road?

Cherokee Studios was an important part of LA's musical legacy, so I think that what the Lofts @ Cherokee Studios is trying to accomplish is important. It’s hard to care about something when it’s not relevant to today's audience and that is exactly why you have to come up with new ways to reinvent yourself. For us at the Roxy, our online presence is not only important but imperative and we view it as the future of things to come.

The Roxy has been around for 35 years which means generations of music goers have had an “experience” at our club. These days, parents come in with their children to see a new band and tell us about the wild times they had here back in the day. There is nothing better than feeling like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. Hearing these type of stories really inspires me and reminds me to never take for granted the legacy we have created here.

With the dawn of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, we have been given a great opportunity to interact directly with our patrons every single day through one-on-one viral conversation. The reason we feel it so important for our venue to have such a solid presence online is so that we continue to stay relevant by fulfilling the specific requests of our current patrons. Because of our online efforts, we are currently ranked the number one music venue on Twitter and this sort of thing is what is going to keep us around for another 35 years.

For complete concert + event listings and more information about The Roxy Theatre, check out their website!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lofts @ Cherokee Studios Featured on Multifamily Housing News

Multifamily Housing News features the Lofts @ Cherokee Studios today.   In an interview with Erika Schnitzer, Steve Edwards plugs the project, its green features, and mentions the Platinum Showcase to come!

(Full article at Multifamily Housing News)

To celebrate the project’s completion, REthink Development will be hosting a rock-n-roll design showcase. Four designers will be tasked to create four lofts that pay homage to handpicked artists who once recorded at Cherokee Studios. “It’s the marriage of high, cool design with this historic rock star ethos,” notes Edwards.

Look for more big news about the showcase in the weeks to come!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Designer Spotlight: Siegal & Sharma Designing 30 Seconds to Mars

The brains behind the Office of Mobile Design & BLANKSPACE join forces to put their pre-FABulous touches on what is sure to be an interplanetary sensation; a penthouse suite in homage to alternative rock band 30 Seconds to Mars.

What was your first rock concert? (If it’s embarrassing, you can plead the 5th)?
Sharma: Rolling Stones: Voo Doo Lounge Tour.
Siegal: Jethro Tull at the Boston Garden. 1981 or 82.

What was the first record or CD that you ever bought?
Sharma: Thompson Twins: Into the Gap. I also won a record in a 6-hour roller-skate-a-thon.
I think it was Olivia Newton John. I remember my mother telling the people who sponsored me that I would skate for a half hour, an hour tops. I skated the entire time out of sheer determination. I was really little... maybe 6 or 7.
Siegal: Meat Loaf, Bat out of Hell.

What inspired you to get involved in this project?
Sharma: I was initially intrigued by the concept... designing a space inspired by music. I've
designed spaces influenced by a piece of jewlery, a chair or a piece of art but never a song or a band then Habitat for Humanity's involvement clinched it for me.
Siegal: The opportunity to work with my colleague Sandra Sharma.

Why 30 Seconds to Mars?
Sharma & Siegal: 30 Seconds to Mars was the only band whose music we liked and that shared our passion for the environment. Even their name "30 Seconds to Mars" evokes thought... We have a consumer based society and technology moves so quickly in order to attempt to keep up with our demand for instant gratification.

Designer Spotlight: Dennis Design Group Designing Alice Cooper

The creative force behind what may seem an odd juxtaposition at first - Shock Rock and 'Green' design - Dennis Design Group proves that modern glamour includes using a little eyeliner and massive amounts of design savvy.

What was your first rock concert? (If it’s embarrassing, you can plead the 5th)?
Dennis: Ratt opened for Motley Crue in an outdoor venue. It was raining all day and right before the show opened, lighting hit the tower in the audience that was suppose to shine light on the band. They couldn't have bought a better special effect!
Casey: Okay so the chronology is a little foggy in the haze, but I think my first Rock Concert was Korn. Sugar Ray was the opener, and this was before they turned all OC bar band, they were heavy Goth rock!! That's right, I think it was 1993.

What was the first record or CD that you ever bought?

Dennis: I bought a 45 of 'Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk'. I think I followed it up with 8675 309.
Casey: Well, it was tapes at the time and they were a gift, The Beatles Yellow Submarine and Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The first tape I bought was Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and first CD was Crash Test Dummies! Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmmm........

What inspired you to get involved in this project?
Dennis: It only made sense to match the leaders in green building with the leaders in green interior design!
Casey: With a theatrical and musical background, this project combines my worlds! With this design I get to fuse my passions, and create an iconic Rock Star interior! It is equally an opportunity to showcase the fact that Green Design can be glamorous. Responsibility does not have to minimize luxury and style.

Why Alice Cooper?
Dennis: Alice Cooper is a ROCK GOD and it didn't hurt that Brook Casey is very good friends with him. In addition to being able to dress our space with his personal effects, we might be able to get him to show up at the opening!!
Casey: Alice Cooper is a legend. He is the pioneer of Shock Rock, and continues to give his audiences a memorable theatrical experience. His music and shows have inspired many generations of artists, including myself! With having the pleasure of knowing, and working with
Alice Cooper, I am taking this opportunity to celebrate his career and showcase his theatricality in a sophisticated Shock Rock interior!

Designer Spotlight: K. Casey & Rifle Designing Sinatra

The dynamic duo of Kristin Casey and Rick Rifle, both familiar faces from their work with HGTV, TLC, and the Style Network, are thrilled to take on Old Blue Eyes himself.

What was your first rock concert? (If it’s embarrassing, you can plead the 5th)
Rifle: Billy Joel, the "Bridge" was also the first time I got drunk! To this day I can't stand white wine!
Casey: Van Halen, the 1986 tour. Because we Texas girls love to rock!

What was the first record or CD that you ever bought?
Casey: "Oh No It's Devo"...proudly purchased with money earned from babysitting.
Rifle: Either Cyndi Lauper's "She's so Unusual" or the cast recording of "Phantom of the Opera"......I know, you don't have to say anything........

What inspired you to get involved in this project?
Rifle: I came from theatre and opera design where music and libretto are a big factor in design inspiration. This was a great opportunity for me to go back to my roots in a singularly unique way.
Casey: Design in this town is too often about "flash," "new money," and "impression." This project presents a completely unique change. How often are you going to be asked choose a recording legend and draw inspiration from their work? I agree with my partner Rick; it's pure theater and totally exhilarating!

Why Frank Sinatra?
Rifle:If I wasn't a designer, I wanted to be a crooner. Since I can't carry a tune in a bucket, designing a loft inspired by Frank Sinatra is as close to crooning as I'm ever going to get! Seriously though, Sinatra style is how I want to live my life! It's classic and never goes out of style.
Casey: It was a "no-brainer." Sinatra style is elegant, swank, confident, and NEVER apologizes!

Designer Spotlight: Rogerio Carvalheiro Designing Bowie

We don't want to give it all away before our September launch, but here's a quick peek at the 'who and why' behind one of our amazing design savants.

What was your first rock concert? (You can plead the fifth if you don't want to cop to it!)
Nina Hagen (the Mother of Punk) / Nun, Sex, Monk, Rock Tour / 1983

What was the first record you ever bought?
B-52, first album with Rock Lobster

What inspired you to get involved in this project?
Initially, the possibility of developing a scheme based on a music artist. The correlations between music and architecture have been topics of disertations and books and one that is clear to me. I love exploring the commonalities of the two and the idea that one can inspire the other and that music can be as 3 dimensional as architecture. Also, I believe that incorporating the music history of this site through design metaphor preserves Los Angeles history. History is something that everyone always says is missing in this incredible city but most often it is right underneath their noses.

Why David Bowie?
I chose Bowie because he is a true artist in the classic sense of the word. He developed his own musical language and hasn't been afraid to let it evolve while simulatneously never compromising his art. As Ziggy Stardust, he stepped into the world of performance art and allowed his music to take on a visual aspect that had not been fully explored by any artist before but which became the standard for most rock stars to come (Kiss, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, etc., etc). More importantly his lyrics are insightful, poetic, and transformative. He worked with what he had been given (not typical) and changed how the world perceives a rock star/artist including young and old. Who can forget that duet with Bing Crosby?