Posts Tagged ‘money’

Ever heard of this song? “I Can’t Live Without You.” No? Let’s play the name game! Which one of these people have you not heard of: Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Calvin Harris, Al Walser. Wait? Did I hear your mind say Al Walser? I haven’t heard of him either and neither have a lot of people who are “in the know.”
Funny thing is Al Walser, who performed, produced and mixed the elusive “I Can’t Live Without You” is up for a Grammy nomination. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about supporting the indie/niche music market, but for an unknown artist to be a GRAMMY nominee is shocking. Something has gone awry. No one has ever been unknown when they’re up for the king of all music awards, and I’ve been an avid Grammy awards watcher since I was old enough to stay up that late. So, I did a little snooping. Why is Al in the running for Best Dance Music Recording? And secondly, would I dance to this song? To address question number one, I browsed the interwebs. MTV writes “Walser credited his nomination to “nourishing” his fellow Grammy voters. Indeed, he worked diligently over the years to make sure all the right people knew who he was. The flipside to Walser’s good fortune, however, is that all eyes are now on him — and the new attention isn’t all good.” You gotta hand it to him. He probably worked harder “nourishing” his voters than Skrillex. According to the Huffington Post, the Grammy board of voters are all over the age of 40. Judging from this vote, they must also all be in need of some extra cash $.

Now that I and other more notable music publications are writing about him, Andrew Spada, VP of Dancing Astronaut says “He’s getting exactly what he wanted: notoriety and his 15 minutes of fame.” His music isn’t worth much, so I’d say this is about the lowest form of a one-hit-wonder.

Let us reflect on Al Walser’s closing statement during an interview: “I’ve been a [Grammy] voter for years. And there were some relationships that were established. Especially me being in Los Angeles. They see me. I perform in Los Angeles, and I let them be a part of the process of the song growing. I’ll shoot an email to a few of the guys and say, ‘Look do you like this? This is how the hook sounds. What do you think?’ … There are thousands and thousands of [Grammy voters]. I’m not connected to all of them, but they can grasp me. They know Al Walser”

do they know Al Walser?

Watch below. I don’t blame you if you stop it before it ends. I guess that answers question number two.

This morning, I ventured to Silverlake to satisfy my belly growls. I stopped at a corner cafe to excite my breakfast taste buds. I ended up with an almond croissant and a mysterious fruit salad. I say mysterious because I had to ask if they had it whereas the croissant was right in front of my eyes. The cashier told me “that’ll be $12.” I didn’t want to make a scene or inquire. I just hoped everything would be delicious to the max as I settled into the Xavier Pauchard cafe chair. Expensive chair. Expensive breakfast? The fruit salad was presented to me with a sprig of mint on top…like that was supposed to help the sad salad. It was more like a small canned fruit soup drowning in it’s own liquid. To say the most, it was promptly returned and my $8.50 was given back. You just can’t mess with fruit salad when you’re in LA. This is where the fruit salad was born!

A few storefronts down lies a coffee mecca–home of the “didn’t make your espresso drink perfectly, so I’ll throw it out 4 times till I get it right.” Also, home of the young, hip and well-dressed crowd who knows their Stilton from their Taleggio. I sat down once again (surprisingly, in another Pauchard French model A chair). This time, I specifically told myself I was going to order the cheapest thing. In any coffee shop, what is the cheapest drink? A coffee. A regular, standard good ‘ol cup o’ joe. This time my father waits in the long line to rattle off my demand. I’m outside with the dog–meanwhile, I notice Alexa Chung (fashion icon…if you don’t follow fashion closely, you won’t know who this Brit is) in a purple lace dress and gold shoes is sitting next to me. I contain my excitement, which is hard when she’s only a couple feet away–even harder yet because I know that 99% of the cafe doesn’t realize she’s here. 

Papa comes out with my coffee–half of a cup is full of coffee, the rest is in a small glass pitcher next to it. Okay…strange. Then he starts clamoring “Guess how much this coffee was?!” “How much?,” I reply without interest (still thinking of Alexa Chung). “5 dollars! I asked them how much and they said ‘5 dollars. Do you want to know why?’ and I said ‘ no, I don’t. ‘” My focus finally turned away from Alexa and towards the pricey cup of coffee.

Don’t get me wrong. It was good. Not bitter at all. But I’ve been satisfied by coffee that’s a few bucks cheaper. I briefly looked up why the coffee was so expensive, and I saw such words as they use “fiji water,” it comes from some “far away rain forest,” “hand picked,” “hand poured.” But $5…dayum.

A week ago, I got tickets with my mom and pop to see Grizzly Bear at The Greek Theater. Amazing show. They’re truly great artists with great live vocal harmonizations. The show didn’t disappoint. The seats were so far away, though! We snagged closer seats that were empty and much easier to see the crazy glowing “jellyfish” that moved with the music on stage. I can’t imagine what the people in the very front were paying. Sometimes, I wonder if the artists “feel more” for the people in the back or if they are just focused on the people in the very front because they coughed up the most money. Are they “rooting for the underdogs” in the nose-bleed seats or are they just thankful for the people in the pit? It would be nice is some of the starving artists/musicians in the back could have a row in the front…after all, the people on stage were probably in our seats at one time or another.

Anyway, they played songs from their new album, Shields, and it gave me a much bigger appreciation for it.


**correct cafe names withheld**