SUNSET JUNCTION STUMBLES/SMOG 4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY RUMBLES

Hey SUPERGOODMUSIC nation. Its Monday morning and we’re feeling fresh from an amazing night of hardcore dubstep on Saturday night at the SMOG 4 Year Anniversary Party and a dosage of LA scenesters at Drais Hollywood for Cannonball Sundays last night. Thankfully we were able to make it to those events because SUPERGOODMUSIC experienced a FAIL of epic proportions when we learned that our Sunset Junction press passes did not exist.

Those shenanigans first: SUNSET FLUNKTION

After repeated attempts to elicit a written response from the Sunset Junction team, they had informed one of our writers that our press passes were forthcoming and would be issued as they had been last year. However, come Friday there was no confirmation e-mail received so we wisely contacted the Sunset Junction offices. That led to us being referred to an outside third party press coordinator, Rogers and Cowan, to attempt to resolve the situation and a woman regretfully told us that they could not accommodate our request because they were “at capacity,” which took our breath away….

HOLD UP HOLD UP HOLD UP! An outdoor 4 block street festival that expects maybe 20,000 people is at capacity? We may not be Sunset Junction 30 year veterans, but we are not stupid. There is no way that Sunset Junction was “at capacity.”

And on top of that, the grassroots community related event that has been going on for 30 years suddenly stops supporting the grassroots community that represents the essence of the motivations behind the Sunset Junction Street Fair? It seems so inconsistent with the Fair’s character. But, when you look at the heightened ticket prices for this year’s event and the poor communication from both Junction and the outside company, Rogers and Cowan, engaged to do their press, perhaps it is not so surprising. Sunset Junction is not supposed to be a corporate event, but all signs point to it moving that direction now, including their election of Rogers and Cowan to do their press.

We reached out to Rogers and Cowan to attempt to resolve the situation on Friday and again Saturday.

A quote from Rogers and Cowan’s site says “[w]ith Rogers & Cowan’s global network and cross-promotional potential as our start-points, we work closely with tastemakers, music supervisors, national talent bookers, and a host of other trusted media connections to build customized and integrated campaigns for our entire client base.” We’re a local tastemaker and trusted media source in the LA music community and Rogers and Cowan gave SUPERGOODMUSIC the metaphorical press dick in the ass. So, Rogers and Cowan, you get a fail and Sunset Junction you get a fail for hiring them. If they pride themselves on working closely with tastemakers and trusted media connections – then what were they thinking? Perhaps they think we are not a trusted media connection, but not a tastemaker? Please. Tell us the last time SUPERGOODMUSIC picked or even suggested a loser.

Brandon took the liberty of writing to a contact at Rogers and Cowan to address the situation and try and dig to the root of the communication snafu and misrepresentation. It took to threatening to publish an article that would chastise and criticize Sunset Junction and its press organizers, Rogers and Cowan, to obtain a favorable response. And even that was a day late and a buck short; the favorable response was from a Karen Sundell (thank you Karen). Two press passes produced for us at the eleventh hour on Sunday – 1:36 p.m. to be exact. 6 minutes after one of the acts we had wrote about, The Janks, had finished their set.

Thanks Rogers and Cowan and Sunset Junction for that matter. We relied on you to attend the festival and then you dropped the ball. We changed all of our weekend plans after your failure and only when we threatened to expose your misdeeds did you offer us access to Sunset Junction. And you offered us access only on the second day, after we’d e-mailed you multiple times about the issue; after more than half of LA’s great up and comers, like Saint Motel, Orgone and Eastern Conference Champions, had already played.

Needless to see, we didn’t go. We’ve got principals here at SUPERGOODMUSIC. Rogers and Cowan, we said we’d publish your bullshit story if you didn’t correct the misrepresentation and you didn’t correct it in time. The street fair was over capacity? We’re surprised you couldn’t come up with a better excuse. But, in the famous words of Ocho Cinco, Child Please!

Just for giggles – here is a portion of Brandon’s last e-mail to Rogers and Cowan.

“We were kind enough to give publicity in anticipation of being granted the same access we received last year and our publication has grown since then. A contributing writer was told our access would be granted again. …

As you can see, junctions decision not only surprises us, but irritates us.

I am giving you and the organizers of Junction the chance to do the right thing and grant press access to an organization that has already given favorable coverage to your event. You can read our most recent Junction post at www.supergoodmusic.com/blast.html.

As indicated above, failure to be granted press access will result in us publishing a story about that failure as opposed to the street fair itself. I just cannot let being led to believe we had access only to be denied access slide. We relied on those representations and, at this point, it was to our detriment.

Let me know if you’ve had any openings or found us a press pass some other way.

Thanks.

Best,

Brandon”


SMOG ANNIVERSARY PARTY:

SMOG and Media Contender, in our opinion, are much more in tune with today’s music market than the Sunset Junction organizers or Rogers and Cowan for that matter. Both SMOG and Media Contender have done an excellent job of building a core nucleus of true dubstep fans to attend their events over the past several years, and Saturday night the performance to a capacity crowd that consisted of only adults was one of the better full on dubstep or electro events I’ve attended in the great city of LA. SMOG wisely crafted a night catered to the alcohol drinking crowd and avoided the multitude of problems and potential catastrophes that come from hosting an 18+ or all ages event.

SUPERGOODMUSIC arrived on the scene after the party was already jumping – sometime between 11 and midnight. Only guest listers were being let in at that point, so thankfully we were able to flex some clout and get through the door, but not after a serious security check. Not sure if the security had anything to do with complying with the new Raver Task Force rules because I’m not even sure that the SMOG event drew scrutiny from the city, but regardless, the security was serious.

From security, we were thrust into the main performance room where dubstep artists were rotating in and out. The crowd was infected with a wobble step – from front to back you could see flat brim donning patrons bobbing their heads to the 140 bpm rhythms. After experiencing a taste of the indoor dubstep room – we wandered outside to check out the Media Contender stage.

B-boys and b-girls were more prevalent outside, where the music was a lot less hardcore dubstep and much more of an eclectic mix. Frequenters of the entrenched SMOG and Media Contender scene clustered together, exhaling smooth smoke streams into the cool warehouse district atmosphere. The merch booth saw some heavy traffic where you could purchase your SMOG 4 Year anniversary gear as well as the limited edition 12th Planet is My Homeboy T-Shirts (cop them at www.12thplanet2012.com)

With bars both inside and out, and extremely good sound control (you couldn’t hear the dubstep outside except when you were very close to the entrance to inside), the environment was perfect to enjoy whatever mix of music you were seeking.

Thee Mike B closed things down outside as 12th Planet and Special Guest, Plastician, closed the night inside. Spending most of our time getting down to the dubstep, 12th played a set that experimented a lot with MCs – more so than some of the other performances of his recent past. The crowd was easily biggest during his set, which he closed with his remix of M.I.A.’s “Born Free.” Plastician, dressed in his special SMOG 4 LA Lakers Jersey surprised with some wicked shifts, although the crowd thinned some as the clock approached 2 a.m.

Exiting into the dark LA night around 1:45, we left the event wondering how much bigger next year’s party will be…and still pissed at the Sunset Junction people and Rogers and Cowan cause we missed Orgone, Saint Motel, Ghostland Observatory and more.

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