We’re #2! We’re #2!

Voting for MTV’s Artist of the Week is finished (it ended Friday at 9AM not 9PM  as I had mistakenly been posting/saying all along…woops!) and after a lot of back and forth toggling between 1st and 2nd place, our boys Dorados Rockabilly Triofinally finished a strong 2nd pulling in just under 40% of the vote. Congratulations to Kenya’s Xtatic who won with a little over 50% of the vote and to all the artists who were nominated.

And of course a big thank you to our friends who voted for us and have supported Los Dorados. If you don’t know the guys personally, let me tell you this, they are really good guys and are as appreciative as any artists I’ve worked with, which is why I personally work so hard for them.

Have you ever given money to a homeless person or someone in need and they sort of sneered at you and said something like “is that all?”. I have too and it has been my experience with a surprising number of artists in the past. But not the Dorados Rockabilly Trio. These guys are humble, thankful and appreciative, and perhaps like their music, are a bit of a throwback to a simpler time when people were less privileged and didn’t expect fame and fortune to fall into their laps just because they played music they enjoyed.

I’m glad the whole thing is over. I hate campaigning and I hate begging people for their vote. These voting contests are rarely fair and typically only benefit the website hosting the voting (through increased traffic). That’s why they do them.

I should know. Waayyy back in the day in 2004, we created an online voting awards campaign for what would become the “American Latino Awards” where musicians, actors, artists, activist etc. that had been featured on the show that season were up for a cheap trophy and bragging rights.  The contest created hundreds of thousands of hits for our website, usually thanks to the efforts of the nominees who campaigned on their behalf.

I don’t think I realized back then how pioneering it was to have this type of online voting awards show for TV. Now I get hit up daily to vote for people that I’ve never heard of for pin-up contests, artist of the week contest like this one, etc. and it’s exhausting.

Lack of creativity and repetition in the media industry is endemic and it depresses me. It’s hard to stay fresh in a world so fickle and that changes it’s notion of what’s good or not so frequently but at the same time, has nothing new to offer.

Back in the day, when I Executive Produced the show “American Latino TV”, a very talented artists whom I respect, once said in an interview, “I hate repetition”. His name was Robi “Draco” Rosa and he has brought the world lots of good and diverse music, but unfairly he is perhaps best known for penning the song “Living La Vida Loca” for his ex-Menudo band mate Ricky Martin.

Now you may snicker at the song now, but that song helped light the fuse of what was to become the “Latin Explosion’ in the music industry near the close of the last century. When Ricky Martin performed that song on the Grammys that year to a wild, stomping and hooting crowd of mostly music executives (who are notoriously unenthusiastic at these type of events) chills ran down my arm.

No, I’m not gay and neither was Ricky back then (at least publicly). No, I never thought the song was a great work of art (but damn, it was catchy, you must admit), but I recognized at that moment something big was coming. People were finally going to see what I’d known for a few years by then which was that Latin music and culture was going to FINALLY become mainstream in the U.S. It felt good to be in on something that was finally starting to get recognition.

I’ve almost always worked on the fringe of the media business, sometimes on the leading edge of something that would later get big. Other than bragging rights, there is not much good in being a pioneer in anything. You can always spot the pioneers in anything, the saying goes, because they will be the ones with the arrows sticking out of their back. And more often than not (though not always), I might add, the ones with the empty bank accounts. Being first at something is greatly overrated and does not guarantee success (just ask the inventor of the light bulb, it wasn’t Thomas Edison). Sometimes it pays off, often it doesn’t.

Yet it’s the only thing I really enjoy, well that and travel, and helping old ladies across the street and puppies and little kids and good punk music and my family and eating good Mexican food and sushi, learning new cultures, NYC…. OK, it’s one of the many things I enjoy.

Being on the fringe of something, sometimes on the leading edge heading the charge and sometimes just on the edge, on the side, about to fall off is a wild ride. The amazing thing is the feeling is the same in both instances, like “what the hell am I doing here?”

For Punk Outlaw Records, what edge are we on? The front or side? Right now I might even say the back.

Nothing really cutting edge about what we are doing other than giving some exposure to some cool artists like my buddies Los Dorados or Normandie Blue or Los Suziox or putting together some themed compilations or what not. Hardly anything cutting edge about that. Yet it feels good to connect more people who might like this music with the music and musicians who otherwise would be limited in their audience.

Maybe we’ll do something really fresh and cutting edge that will set the music world on fire soon. Or maybe we’ll just work when we feel like it and see where this ride takes us, if anywhere (maybe to bankruptcy court?! ha, ha).

Well, thanks again for your support for Los Doraodos and all our artist on Punk Outlaw Records. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an arrow I need to remove from my back. It’s been killing me.

PS Robi Rosa is ill. We wish him a speedy recovery. He’s a great musician and a good family man who gives back to his native Puerto Rico and others in need. We need him in the music world and in the world period. Get better soon Robi.


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