Tag Archives: Live

Stop & Listen LA is Back in the Game!

30 Nov

It’s been close to 4 months since the last blog post.  I apologize to our readers who have been kept in the dark.  Musicians have been off the streets for the better part of fall, but a few of us think it might be nice to do a bit of holiday caroling on the streets.  Maybe you’d like to join us?  🙂

I just came home from a wonderful solo adventure in Europe that I’m calling my  mini “Eat, Pray, Love”.  My main mission was to visit the roots of my favorite singer: Edith Piaf and to eat as many desserts as my body could handle.  I’m home, feeling heavier, fulfilled, and more empowered than ever!  Onto being “back in the game” …when this “project” began last March, I could only dream that I would be turning it into an arts non profit organization.  At the time ,I felt the only thing I was good at was singing a pretty song, but I’m happy to say that by going down the ‘hobby’ route, I’m continuously learning the many incredible possibilities that lie ahead instead of allowing forces within to limit that potential.

The excitement of the project had me working on overload.  Finding musicians, creating partnerships, managing social media & this website, being photographer, planning meetings & events, purchasing equipment on a meager budget, THEN focusing on the business side of creating an executive board, Strategic Plan, a Marketing plan, a Fundraising plan, a Business Plan, Grant Research, and what some like to call “THE BEAST” aka the 1023 forms.  I have attended mixers, business meetings, non profit coaching sessions and have sought advice from amazing human beings, all to be completely overwhelmed by what I had gotten myself into; teetering between dreams & practicality.  In all of that excitement, I began to lose sight of why Stop & Listen LA started in the first place, and it was not until today, while writing a letter, that I was reminded of my reasons for playing at Leo’s Taco truck that evening.

Stop & Listen LA is about the transformative powers of music.  It’s the truth in music that keeps me happy & honest.  And it’s that same truth, that which is so terribly difficult to vocalize in our daily lives, that can connect and unite people on a much more infinite and boundless level.  Far more than any drunken nights out or schmoozing with company you probably won’t keep.  It’s music for the people and of the people that make up our communities, sharing our stories, and understanding our differences and similarities.  Los Angeles is rich with beauty & cultural history that can be easily forgotten in the midst of fame, trends, & entertainment.  Admittedly, I too forget to appreciate that very beauty, especially when moving too quickly through this life.

So…yea, this is more than just music at your food trucks.  There’s a whole theme behind this madness! And I’m diligently working towards creating realities beyond it!  Stop & Listen LA plays only a small role in a practice that goes beyond “listening”.  It is merely the first step towards building stronger communities and whose mission is one I hope many will continue to support.

Stop & Listen Paris

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Melissa

Downtown LA Artwalk – Featured in ThePlaceLA

15 Jul

Check it! We got featured in ThePlaceLA!  Loved playing there! Awesome atmosphere & great food!

http://www.theplacela.com

http://www.twitter.com/theplacela

“Hey guys. Last Thursday, we participated in the Downtown LA Art Walk and it was a huge success! Our good friends Flavia and Matu from Stop & Listen LA gave the crowd an amazing performance. Please take the time to read what the project is all about and check out the wonderful performances they are doing in the Los Angeles area at www.stopandlistenla.org. We are very thankful for the turnout and all the good vibes we received. And now, we leave you with some photos from the event.”

The rest of our photos can be found on our Flickr page.


Video Series: Ampersand “Pacific Coast Highway”

6 Jun

Blog Post from Vibra Optic ’73

2 Jun

Brain Jail

First of all I hope everyone had a great memorial day weekend, that it was relaxing and safe for everyone who owns a grill and an ice chest. And while we didn’t exactly get the chance to put either of these utensils to use, rest assured that our weekend was interesting and productive.
Lets start off with saturday, performing on the street in front of SLOW clothing store and the Vizzi Truck on Melrose Avenue. A special thanks to Melissa of Stop & Listen LA for setting everything up. We did run into couple of slight snags in the form of noise complaints during soundcheck. Nothing too major, though. And definately nothing that can’t be fixed, apparently by moving the piano about 4 feet in one direction. But seriously, who moves to Hollywood expecting peace and quiet? I know just the place for these people. Its got great scenery, a similarly moderate climate, more parking, and ofcourse, less noise. Its called Outside of LA. We were, however, fortunate enough to have a surprise cameo performance (that we didnt even know about) by a sweet old lady blowing bubbles onto our instruments as we attempted to play through our confusion. Overall we had a lot of fun and made a few new friends there and just may possibly play around those parts again, hopefully in the near future.
No sooner than we were off the street had we temporarily retired to watch Kobe rain on the parade that is the Steve Nash foundation with an onslaught of three’s, facing a vast variety of defensive challenges on the part of the Phoenix Suns. What a performance! Another special thanks to Melissa’s Dad for the San Miguel and the wonderful hospitality.
To read more check out: http://vibraoptic73.blogspot.com/

Stop & Listen LA Video Series: Ray Argyle in Silverlake

24 May

Ray Argyle performed at Tacos Arizas!

7 May

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Stop & Listen LA @ Leo’s Taco Truck

28 Apr

Flavia @ Taco Tuesdays 🙂    I ❤ Leo!

Stop & Listen LA @ The NELA Art Gallery Night

27 Apr

So…this was the first show that I had booked for Stop & Listen LA at The Cactus Gallery in Eagle Rock.  It was a lot of fun.  This video was created by Alter Eddie and featured Ken Christianson!  Check it out!

Today

8 Apr

It was my first time hooking up my equipment to The Sweets Truck.  Molly – owner & dessert connoisseur has been so kind to let me have practice runs this past month at her truck.  I haven’t exactly been promoting Stop&ListenLA like crazy – just been getting my toes wet as I build the collective, “learn” to network,  and map out what’s to become of this little idea.

I was scrambling to find a a really long extension cord to hook up to the power strip.  I really should simplify my set up.  Since I don’t have a condenser mic, I had to purchase a DI box to provide phantom power to the mic that I do own – that along with my loop station and a 40 pound amp, mic/mic stand –  along with my suitcase filled with flyers, CDs, business cards, guestbook, waterbottle, and other miscellaneous equipment requires quite a bit more effort than just lugging around a guitar on my back.  Oh, and note to self: Always carry around quarters for the meters.

I finally got my equipment up and running.  It’s hard to hear myself because there is a generator on the truck that has for the past few weeks subdued any sound I may have produced.  I had honestly felt like people dropped dollars out of pity for the poor girl they couldn’t even hear.  But TODAY – wasn’t short of amazing.

As a musician – it’s always a good sign when people are quiet and attentive to your work.  But when people continue to talk over you, even worse, fail to acknowledge your mere existence as you stand crooning beside them- you begin to question – what the hell am I doing here?  Why am I doing this?!! Do they think I really suck?  Do I really suck?!! Do I? Do I!??!?!

BUT, I digress, I am only a reminder.  A local musician, nameless to the world.  While most purchased their grub and went on their way – I noticed a man walking along with his headphones on.  I thought he would keep them on while standing beside me waiting for his order but instead he took them off, knelt down beside me and closed his eyes to simply listen.   I was surprised by his reaction and grateful that he could appreciate what I was doing.

I continued to sing and saw an older woman laying on the grass, perch up and watch me.  She was a good 25 feet away – across the street but watched for about 10 minutes before heading towards me.   Honestly….I really thought she was going to in some way tell me to stop.  Since 5 minutes beforehand a lady walked passed crying out “I can’t hear you! There’s really no point in doing what you’re doing!”

BUT instead!  She asked me for a CD – went to her car to grab her checkbook to purchase two and added more to the check to support the organization.  She said she loved my voice and my song selection.  She also said that everyday she prays to God to bless her with something beautiful and unexpected and that today – I had blessed her.  She put a smile on my heart as she walked away.  She and the gentlemen, in their wiser years reminded me why I am doing this.  Because there is beauty in this world, that so many of us fail to recognize. And I think if we did, we would all be in a much happier place.

Most times I find myself Singing to myself….

7 Apr