Juneteenth WorldWide Concert Celebration at Terrace Theater

Sunday, June 19 MusicUNTOLD presents the JUNETEENTH WorldWide Concert featuring internationally known mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves

Posted in Community, Events, news, Non-Profit

Meet Francisco Araya and Cecille Simons-Araya

Just when “Momagers and “Dadagers” seem to be getting a bad rap in recent pop culture news, we’re highlighting two of the best in indie music.  Meet Francisco Araya and Cecille Simons-Araya, the proud, happy parents of teen indie rock duo The Potential Lunatics.  The hard-working couple made time in their busy schedule for an exclusive SolShock QA:

SolShock:  What inspired your latest project?

Cecille Simons-Araya:  As the parents of teens who feel serious about sharing the music that they create, we feel serious about supporting them.  Our family values are based around encouraging freedom of creativity. This was a conscious decision that we made as a couple before we started our family.  Cisco Araya and I have been married for 30 years this June. We have two adult daughters that are visual artists/painters, in addition to the two younger musician children. 

Cisco and I got married young and started a family right away.  We had the two older girls who have become more involved with art than music, but were always exposed to different kinds of music and their dad’s music. We had a ten-year gap between the two groups of kids. Emma and Isaac had the influence of our music and the teenage sisters’ music of the 90s.  Emma and Isaac were interested in creating/writing music from very young. Emma tried different instruments before she decided she wanted to play bass.  Cisco taught her bass and she played that for two years, until she was twelve. Then she asked Cisco to teach her guitar. Isaac played glockenspiel and our other percussion instruments from when he was just a toddler. He was 9 when he took a group drum class.  They formed their band because they wanted to perform in public.  They have been playing out now for two and a half years.

Music and art have always been important to both of us.  My dad was a Jazz/Big Band professional musician in the 40s to the 60s.  He also taught music in jr high schools and high schools until he retired in the late 80s. He was very involved with the Musician’s Union.  My mother was a jazz singer and played drums with one of my dad’s bands. All of my 4 siblings and I played instruments and/or sang in school. We even had a family band for a while. We were also encouraged to be creative artistically.

Cisco grew up listening to music and appreciating it too. They had lots of big family parties and there was always live music being played by his older cousins. His oldest sister played clarinet in jr high school and that inspired him to play music.  Cisco started playing clarinet in school when he was 13. He learned to read music. He took that skill and taught himself how to play guitar. Cisco loved the Beatles and decided that he needed a bass player to accompany him. He taught his younger brother Tom, scales, how to read bass music and some songs on a  modified acoustic guitar.  Then Tom bought a bass and a bass book. They started a band together  with a few friends and played at backyard parties all through high school.  Tom had a few bands and then joined Slayer.  Cisco also taught his youngest brother John how to play guitar.  He is in the band Thine Eyes Bleed and is a guitar tech. He’s toured with bands including; Lou Reed, System of a Down, Kittie, Daughtry and currently Slayer.

SolShock:  What makes you radiant?

Cecille Simons-Araya:  We feel fulfilled in helping our children accomplish their goals as well as doing the things we do for ourselves. All four children have  followed their own paths.  We have always tried to see who they are as individuals and help them accomplish what they need to do.  It makes us happy to work together on this project as a family, with everyone contributing their unique gifts.  For Emma and Isaac that means supporting them emotionally, financially and technically in becoming songwriters/performing artists.  I am the manager, wardrobe curator, director of merchandise and photographer. Cisco is the one who finances the whole shebang with his full-time day job. He is the guitar/bass/drum/P.A. technician, head roadie and sound engineer. Even the big sisters help. Jasmine has been the makeup designer, and personal chef. Aubrey has been the hair stylist.  Emma does all the graphic design,(including the logo that I silk screen on the t-shirts), edits and created the website and all the social network sites.

We’ve driven them to the studio and sat countless hours during recording and mixing their music. We’ve taken them to shows and gotten to meet many lovely new people and hear amazing new music that we wouldn’t have heard otherwise. It has exceedingly enriched all of our lives.

SolShock:  What was your most recent happy discovery?

Cecille Simons-Araya:  It is a surprise to discover that in helping our children do what they love, I found something that I love to do too and that I’m good at it.  I had no idea that I could be a manager of a band.  I’ve been a preschool teacher, a childbirth educator and a teaching artist.  I have made and sold my art work.  I’ve been homeschool teaching my children for many years.  I realized that my psychology background and ability to do research has helped me find the information I needed to learn how to do this new task.  We’ve also made new friends and found a new community of people who have been making their independent  music careers, that have been so generous with their help and information. 

For Cisco, his experience as a musician/performer/songwriter/composer has been invaluable in helping The Potential Lunatics.  He is surprised and pleased by how people so young can be so motivated and accomplished with the right kind of support.  We support and encourage them, but the vision, the spirit and the drive for the music comes only from them. We’re honored to be part of it.

Posted in Indie Music, Q&A

The Potential Lunatics’ Full Length Album Coming Soon!

The teen Punk, Alt, Indie music duo, The Potential Lunatics, reached their goal of raising $4,000 to complete the mastering and reproduction of their  upcoming full-length album.   Over 40 backers helped the teens accomplish their goal on Kickstarter.com, an online funding platform for creative projects.  Pledges are still being accepted, with thank-you gifts for all amounts over $5.  Congratulations to the band and  we look forward to hearing the new album!

Posted in Indie Music, news | Leave a comment

Bringing Dance to the People April 9

In December 2010, Dancing With Long Beach (DWLB) set out for a yearlong series of semi-impromptu dance performances in public spaces throughout the city of Long Beach.   Since then, various contemporary dance companies and collectives have joined DWLB in “bringing dance to the people” with monthly dance demonstrations in places like Belmont Shore, Birdcage Coffehouse, The Pike and more.  

On Saturday, April 9, DWLB will present The Art and Diversity of Dance: an evening of dance performances, visual art and live music in collaboration with Lyons Art Supply and the 2nd Saturday Art Walk.  With this event, DWLB organizers hope to showcase the network of local dancers, generate more support for the art of dance in the community, and promote the 2012 Dancing With Long Beach Dance Festival.  A variety of dance styles will be featured including Salsa, Capoeira, Hmong cultural dance, and more.  For more details and information, visit www.dancingwithlongbeach.com

Posted in Art, Community, Dance, Events, Non-Profit

Catalyst Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser March 26

Catalyst Network of Communities presents a Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser to support the Catalyst Space March 26 from 6pm-10pm.  The deadline to enter meat or vegan recipes is March 20.  More details at www.gocatalyst.org/cookoff

About Catalyst Space: The Catalyst Space is a community center in the East Village Arts District, downtown Long Beach for residents and guests visiting our city. It serves as a community hub, resource, and learning center that offer a collaborative space for people and groups to work on projects that impact our neighborhoods, and provides a place for classes, workshops, art shows, and activities. It is a place that empowers catalysts, equips leaders, and resources neighbors and organizations with the means of becoming agents of social change. The Catalyst Space is a project of the Catalyst Network of Communities, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Posted in Community, Events, news, Non-Profit | Tagged , ,

SolShock Q&A with Dave Williams

He blows his Battlehorn weekly at various local clubs and events as Musical Director and Trumpeter for the funky jazz band MajicBulletTheory and the Dave Williams Group.  Producer/Trumpeter/Bandleader Dave Williams is first up for our exclusive SolShock Q&A:

Photo by Victoria Posthuma

SolShock:  What inspired your latest project?

Dave Williams:   Form wise, MajicBulletTheory is  inspired by Miles Davis (his musical directions and method), groups like Kool and The Gang, Mandrill, Sly and The Family Stone, and War.  But, with a MUCH heavier Jazz component.  We’ll play stuff with a backbeat, but we want to blow over the stuff like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever or Weather Report . . . . There’s no such thing as a ‘latest’ project–I think of everything as one ongoing work.  As for the band, generally, I got tired of backing up marginally talented singers, who thought they were God’s Gift to live performance, fake Bob Marley reggae singers, and ‘Golden God’ rock singers.  I also didn’t want to disappear as an ‘instrumentalist’.  I wanted to play what I wanted, when I wanted for who I wanted. Ultimately, we’re inspired by the concepts of Creativity and Autonomy. Plus, most of us are Jazz musicians. I felt displaced (and disrespected) in reggae bands.

SolShock:  What makes you radiant?

Dave Williams:  What makes us radiant is that the show we put on isn’t smoke and mirrors, isn’t dumbed down for dumb people with short attention spans, and I think we’re amazingly innovative. We look great on stage, many of our members are virtuosic on their instruments. Hell, even our DJ is a better musician than many of the cats floating around here. And, I mean fools who play guitar.  I have probably the ONLY band around here, where our BACKUP Guitarist, is also our Full Time Drummer!  To me, that’s having Chops. If you like cats who play real music, than MBT is for you.

SolShock:  What was your most recent happy discovery?

Dave Williams:  Wow, lemme think . . . Bixby Knolls.  I used to roll through it on the bus, on the way to North Long Beach.  I’m very surprised at how hip it’s become, with First Fridays and such.  Nino’s also rocks–love the food, and it’s becoming a venue we can play around here, and not get jerked.  Long Beach club owners aren’t the fairest people around here, sometimes.  562 City Life–those guys are helping do big things, connecting folks behind the scenes.

Hear MBT’s new studio album “Paradigm Shift” here

Join Dave Williams and MBT on Facebook

Posted in Indie Music, Jazz, Q&A | Tagged

Coming Soon: Interviews on SolShock.com

March is here so what better time to spring up a new feature on SolShock.com? We have just three questions for some of the most blazing hot artists, business owners and more.  Stay tuned for a short and sunny Q & A.


Photo credit

Posted in news

Agents of Social Change Report to The Expo April 2

On Saturday, April 2, where will five collaborative communities, over 40 partner organizations, eight fiscally sponsored groups and dozens of their friends, family, neighbors, and networks be? — at The Expo for the first-ever Assembly of the Catalyst Network of Communities.  You’re invited too! 

Posted in Community, Events, news, Non-Profit, PR Clients

Celebrating Creative ReUse Day

We’re proud to support the first ever Creative ReUse Day Sunday, February 27 hosted by The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse.  This block party event, sponsored by Pepsi Refresh, celebrates community and the creative use of recycled and used materials.  Lisa Hernandez, store owner and visionary in the East Village Arts District, hopes to inspire everyone to hold a greater appreciation for material items and value the many uses.  

Lisa aims to unify the community through green and creative endeavors and shares more about her values and organization’s goals in this insightful interview with GreenLB.  The Creative ReUse Day celebration will be held from 12-5pm at 320 Elm Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802.  Learn more about the crafts, activities, sponsors and goodies featured at this event on  Facebook

 Photos by Cory Lundquist.

Posted in Art, Community, Green, news, Non-Profit | Tagged , , , , ,

Meet Barrie, Ontario’s Darlington Studios

Three years ago,  Paul and Melanie Darlington stepped off a Princess cruise ship as employees and right into owning and operating the top rated Photography business in Barrie, Ontario Canada:  DarlingtonStudios . 

Darlington Studios specializes in portrait, commercial and wedding photography and videography for Barrie, Muskoka, and surrounding areas.  Couples, families and small-businesses alike give  glowing testimonials about their amazing photos, personal touch, and breathtaking video production.  You won’t need your passport to meet the couple and book an appointment; They’ll be attending this month’s WPPI Convention in Las Vegas and they’re on Facebook Eh!

Posted in Art, news, Photography | Tagged | 1 Comment