Friday, February 27, 2009

Two Year Reflections.....

It was two years ago that Crighton Johin first rezzed his noobie ass in SL.

Jenda and I joined about the same time, and as noobs, we wandered aimlessly, fascinated by SL and what we found. We were both looking for things that interested us, both together and on our own. I found the live music scene and AA and was hooked. This is particularly amusing considering when I joined it was only for Jen to get a referral fee reward. Honestly, I was getting bored, but after finding the music and AA, I realized that SL was much more than I bargained for.

After a long time as wandering around as a newbie, I eventually succumbed to the lure of a nice skin and my appearance evolved over the months to something a bit more handsome. I fell in love and was amazed at the bond that we could make in SL. I also found out first hand that the pains of relationships in SL are just as real as in RL. My love of music and my frustration at finding decent internet radio stations led me to the art of SL DJing, thanks to friends who pushed and mentored me. (hugs to Jocelyn) This led to a new level of socializing, that in RL was unheard of for me. I settled into my life as a SL DJ and loved it. Not only did I have the awesome privilege of playing music I actually liked (I was horrified at the thought of playing pop music,) but I actually made some decent money doing so. Getting paid for doing something I love? This was definitely better than RL!

Along the way, my life got busy and complicated and being a solitary person, I was having a hard time dealing with the rigors of being *gasps* somewhat popular, so I decided to create an alt. By this time, I had become quite curious about the female avatar and decided to create an alt that was female. Thus, Aeryn was born. Quite quickly, she became a relatively big part of my SL. She spent my money and eventually became my favorite avatar to use during free time. I'm sure much speculation ensued about me and my Aeryn *grins* but there was really nothing perverted or nefarious about her. She shopped and danced and eventually opened up her own shape shop. Yes, I found out that I had an eye for proportion that some don't have, and tried to capitalize on that. I ran out of gas on that venture, but still have the shop open and may do something with it in the future. Most of my friends now know about Aeryn and I think they humor me and my double life and I love them for it.

Last year, Bill Mondegreen and I talked about jazz and opening up a jazz club. Bill built and and was instrumental in it's opening. I merely showed up and spun jazz on a regular basis. I was amazed that we actually garnered a following that grew steadily. Bill eventually had some RL issues to deal with and the management of the club fell on me. We steadily added more gigs, blues and jazz. We added a couple fabulous female live vocalists to sing and our traffic grew. I can now say, without hesitation, that the Savoy is a success and is, in my opinion, the best jazz and blues club in SL. I am honored to be working with the DJs, hosts, and performers we have at the Savoy. And is it really working if I have a blast?

Next up on my thrilling ride through SL fun and insanity was Aeryn's turn to the dark side. Yes, she became a vampire. As if I needed something else to occupy my time, while looking innocently for a nice pair of fangs, Aeryn was seduced to the dark side by a handsome Frenchman with pointy teeth. No, there was no funny business, just some neck Immersing myself into Bloodlines with Aeryn pushed me to a whole new level of socializing and I found myself having fun helping.....newbies? Yes, that's right. A vampire with a heart of gold. :-) Don't get me wrong, she still wants your soul, but I found that through BL, I ran into more newbies than every before, and used the opportunity for good, rather than collecting souls. Don't forget though, Aeryn still wants your soul.

Next on the winding road that is SL, Marco Island was dropped in my lap. Yes, I now own a sim, which brings with it a whole new set of responsibilities and pressures, not the least of which is real life money. Things have been good so far and I think I've done well with it. I try to keep a healthy balance between being fair to my fellow Islanders and being smart with rent so I'm not left owing money. We haven't changed much, but we're looking at improvements and ways to help us all in our endeavors.

So last night, we had a two year rez day party for me. Kimala did such a good job setting it up and I had a blast. I let my ego run wild and played some of my favorite rock music, and I hope I didn't run anyone off. ;-) And through all this post, I have not even talked about the most important aspect of SL, at least for me. Friends. That will be my next blog entry, as I've already gone on and on here. But I've been so fortunate in my SL to have found the absolute best bunch of people that I call friends. Second Life has had a set of pitfalls that I've stepped in, including my obsessive/addictive nature. I've also been struggling with the whole concept of doing something I love in RL, rather than just in SL. It has shown me how dissatisfied I am in my RL career, or lack thereof. But that is something I will have to deal with.

In the mean time, I love Second Life and my friends there. Considering that I was there only temporarily, it's turned out to be quite some trip....dare I say a long strange trip?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Savoy Jazz Club Blog!!

After much thinking, I finally decided to do it! I have created a Savoy Jazz Club blog named.....get ready.... The Savoy Jazz Club. :-)

I've been wanting to do a Savoy blog entry for awhile, but just haven't got around to it. Finally, I decided that I should do a Savoy blog where we can post about events, and I could post about some of the jazz artists that I admire so much. The Savoy has rekindled a love for jazz that started in the eighties for me. When I was in college, I roomed with some guys, one of whom listened to a lot of electric jazz and fusion. I eventually came to love this music that was new to me, but it wasn't until I discovered album by Wynton Marsalis, who at that time was a teenager. At first, I thought I had gone too far. Acoustic straight ahead jazz is what it was, and the only person I had ever heard play it before was my dad. I played it for my friends and was met with what can only be described as complete indifference and almost horror.

I was intrigued and delighted, however, and I kept delving in to the genre, finding Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Billie Holiday, among others. I was in the midst of my addiction and something about jazz resonated with me, much as what happened with Blues music at the same time. I didn't know it at the time, but blues was deep inside jazz, and there is no separating the two. I eventually lost most of my records as casualties to my alcoholism and addiction, but when I got sober I started picking them up again in CD form. Eventually though, I lost interest in jazz for almost a decade.

Enter Bill Mondegreen and the Savoy, and what was a smoldering ember ignited. I found friends who shared my love. I found that there were a lot of people who loved the same music I did and were grateful for the Savoy and what we did there. I now am fortunate enough to almost break even, to have the best DJs in SL work with me, and to have two of the finest singers in SL grace our presence on a regular basis. You will read more about these wonderful spirits in the Savoy Blog, as well as hearing from them, I hope. And I would be remiss without mentioning our hosts and hostesses who humor our massive DJ egos and work with us, making the Savoy a home and sanctuary away from the rigors and dreariness of everyday life.

Finally, The Savoy Jazz Club is first and foremost about the music. We don't have sploders and contests, as fun as those can be. We have music. We have what I consider to be the best music in SL on a consistent basis. We have friendly and witty hosts who absolutely crack me up, and also have an understanding and appreciation of the music. While I manage the Savoy, I really don't do an awful lot. My only instruction to the DJs is play the music you love and have fun. If they, and I include myself, do this, we will find our audience and we will have fun doing so. While playing popular music is cool and fun, do we really need to hear Crazy Bitch again? I love going to Ogg's gig and hearing Derek Trucks or John Scofield. I love going to Cat's gig and hearing Rickie Lee Jones and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. I love going to Iso's gig and hearing Ronnie Earl. I love going to bigd's gig and hearing Jimi and Johnny Winter cuts I've never heard before. Music. Jazz. Blues. The Savoy Jazz & Blues Club.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What you're missing.....

...if you're watching the Sopranos on A&E. This is not safe for viewing at work or in the presence of children or any type of fundamentalist. Behold the beauty of my favorite word.....

the sopranos, uncensored. from victor solomon on Vimeo.