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#850998 - 10/15/10 08:53 PM Los Angeles JPF Chapter Rides Again...  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 20
Randall Tobin Offline
Randall Tobin  Offline


Casual Observer

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 20
Burbank, California
Dear Music Maker,

Once upon a time, Just Plain Folks had an active chapter in Los Angeles. Some time back it ceased to exist. I found out about this several months ago and decided to pursue putting an L.A. chapter back in operation. I got in touch with Brian Austin Whitney and laid out my intentions. He thought it was a good idea and wanted to communicate further about it, but due to his health, that communication has been sparse. An L.A. member by the name of Patrick Bryant jumped into the forum conversation and helped move things along. That led to a meeting with Patrick and I and an introduction to Linda Kraemer, head of the Orange County JPF group who put me in touch with some of the L.A. members. I am posting this on the JPF forum to reach anyone in the Los Angeles area who is interested in participating in this group.

The purpose of this e-mail is to introduce myself, the proposed meeting space, and, most importantly, to find out what YOU need and want in a Los Angeles JPF chapter. In this way, we can create an inspiring group in this neck of the woods.

A little bit about me.... My name is Randall Michael Tobin (Randy). I own Theta Sound Studio located in Burbank (between Walt Disney Studios and the Los Angeles Equestrian Center). You can check out the studio at http://www.thetasound.com . I started Theta Sound in 1977 as a place where I could write and record my own songs and compositions. But word soon got around and independent artists starting asking if they could record, too. I then became engineer, producer and in some cases, collaborator for thousands of projects. Besides recording, mixing and mastering, Theta Sound has also featured numerous live in-studio performances (you can see photos of these at http://www.thetasound.com/events.htm ). Some of these have been "coffee house" style events while others have been live recordings with invited audiences. All of them have been special!

So, as far as having an ideal space in which to host JPF meetings where you can perform your stuff, our main room is a pretty good choice. It features a beautiful Yamaha C5 Conservatory grand piano, a stereo sound system, great mics, seating for 18 audience (plus several more in the control room if needed), and is acoustically tuned for recording. There is also a drum booth with a vintage Slingerland drum kit, fully mic'd, in case you need that for your performance. And, of course, we can record every performance and make CDs as needed.

I have successfully run groups in the past and have even taught music production workshops to classes and individuals. I have organized and led major conferences in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago, and have delivered graphic design seminars throughout the US and Canada. The last local group I chaired ran seamlessly for 15 years, so I think we should be able to create a successful JPF chapter in this part of town.

Now here are my questions for you:
1. Are you interested in participating in a Los Angeles JPF chapter?
2. Would you like to meet and play at our studio in Burbank?
3. How often would you prefer to meet (once a month? once every other month?)
4. What day/time would be best (Friday night 7-10?, Saturday night 7-10?, some other day/time?)
5. What week of the month (first week?, second week?, third week?)
6. How long should the meetings be (2 hours?, 3 hours?)
7. How often would you like to perform (at every meeting? some meetings?)
8. Would you want to hear featured artists/industry speakers for part of the meeting with live performances for the balance? or
9. Would you want to mainly do live performances for the attending members?
10. Would you like part of the meeting devoted to Q&A on music, songwriting, recording, arranging, etc.?

My purpose for taking on this endeavor is to keep the creative fires burning in all of us, to provide a supportive environment for performing without criticism, and to encourage everyone to create more music, which benefits the world at large. If that purpose aligns with yours, I invite you to be part of the new Los Angeles chapter of Just Plain Folks.

As a final note, Los Angeles is a very large geographical area and no single "L.A. Chapter" will be convenient for everyone. If you are within 15 miles of Burbank, it's certainly worth the drive to avail yourself of what we have to offer. Beyond that, it's your call. Perhaps you might want to set up an L.A. chapter on the West Side, South Bay, Long Beach, Covina, etc.

Please reply to this post with your answers and comments.

Thanks for your help...

Musically,
Randall Michael Tobin

Last edited by thetasound; 10/15/10 08:56 PM.
#851070 - 10/16/10 10:42 AM Re: Los Angeles JPF Chapter Rides Again... [Re: Randall Tobin]  
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 75
Matt Moran Offline
Serious Contributor
Matt Moran  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 75
Lancaster, CA
Randall,

Questions answered:

1) I have some, limited, interest - I'll explain more below but will answer your questions first.
2) I might. It depends on format and I suppose the goal.
3) I believe groups have to meet at least 1 time a month to maintain interest/buzz.
4) Friday/Saturday evenings are tough - I am either out playing or with my family. I would be inclined to say mid-day on a weekend or a Thursday evening. (why, Thursday?? I'm not sure)
5) ?? I don't think it matters.
6) 2-3 depending on what is covered.
7) I always want to perform but it depends on what the meeting is for.
8) I might - depending on topics and depending on quality.
9) I'm not sure a performance night is compelling enough but could be wrong.
10) Any discussions for me must have pragmatic impact.. I'm not sure how to define that exactly.

* back to my initial comment.
I have limited interest in most groups (Chamber of Commerce, business associations, writers groups, songwriters/musicians groups, etc.) due to limited time and very precise goals.

A for instance: Most/many business organizations - chambers - are meetings of those who are struggling with bad business models trying to get business from others with bad business models. It is a feeding frenzy of activity - handing out cards and self-promotion - that is usually pointless.

Or
Writer's groups. (I am multi-published/traditional publisher with 2 book contracts on my plate). Most writing groups are people who are complaining about how hard the writer's life is (writers block, loneliness) or about how publishers just aren't recognizing their talent.

Additionally, many groups are often too vague in what they provide (what their goals are) and in trying to be all things become nothing...

I realize this sounds negative.. so let me counter-balance this.

I provide my time to a couple different organizations - happily... I love giving back to communities, mentoring where I am able, and being mentored where needed. It is critical in business, professional development, and in art.

So... the charter must be pretty clearly defined. In doing so, some people won't take part because the charter will not interest them. ie: Is it primarily education and support to help the aspiring and actual professional songwriter/artist? Is it a more or less social group with some guidance? Is it a showcase for all members - an open mic of sorts?

For me, I provide workshops and coaching for artist on online presence and some business strategy. I do this for free (mostly because musicians are often light on money and my income comes from business clients, articles, and book royalties).

In kind, the information I am interested in revolves around booking, touring, and recording more than songwriting per se. And I have no real interest in a performance showcase/open mics - 2-3 songs and out.

I am also interested in networking opportunities - with other performers I might perform, gig, tour with - trading/helping with their recording & vice-versa, and even a semi-social/professional networking style meeting.

So... yes.. interested. Happy to help where I am able but with the caveat that definition of the group and its goals is very important to me.

#851190 - 10/17/10 01:18 AM Re: Los Angeles JPF Chapter Rides Again... [Re: Matt Moran]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 941
Patrick Bryant Offline
Patrick Bryant  Offline

Top 500 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 941
Glendale, CA, USA
I see it as a chance for some very cool and talented music makers to get together with like-minded people and network.
At least that's the way most of the L.A. chapter meetings were for me. Which is why I'm so hot to see the chapter going again.

#862128 - 12/03/10 11:20 PM Re: Los Angeles JPF Chapter Rides Again... [Re: Patrick Bryant]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,822
Larry Williams Offline
Larry Williams  Offline

Serious Contributor

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,822
Santa Clarita, CA USA
Hey Randy...if you can kickstart this chapter back to life, you would be a hero.

Here are my answers:

Now here are my questions for you:
1. Are you interested in participating in a Los Angeles JPF chapter? I could get interested again...

2. Would you like to meet and play at our studio in Burbank? You have a great place there. That would be fine.

3. How often would you prefer to meet (once a month? once every other month?) Once a month would be optimal.

4. What day/time would be best (Friday night 7-10?, Saturday night 7-10?, some other day/time?) It would have to be a weeknight - too many of us gig on the weekends.


5. What week of the month (first week?, second week?, third week?) Doesn't matter. I think consistency is more important.

6. How long should the meetings be (2 hours?, 3 hours?) Depends on the agenda for each meeting.


7. How often would you like to perform (at every meeting? some meetings?) Once in a while.

8. Would you want to hear featured artists/industry speakers for part of the meeting with live performances for the balance? or
Featured speakers were very popular when this was happening before.

9. Would you want to mainly do live performances for the attending members? I think live, or some people sang to tracks. Me, I played recent demos.


10. Would you like part of the meeting devoted to Q&A on music, songwriting, recording, arranging, etc.? I should vary to keep the interest level up.


#869655 - 01/06/11 10:05 PM Re: Los Angeles JPF Chapter Rides Again... [Re: Randall Tobin]  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 21
guitaryoda Offline
Casual Observer
guitaryoda  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 21
la, ca, usa
Hi Randy!
Is the meeting still happening tomorrow?
Your website has no email addy & I don't have time to call...
& navigating this BBS is a pain...
Thanks!
Jimi@jimiyamagishi.com
BTW, your personal link on the studio website just goes to a blank page...

#869661 - 01/06/11 10:24 PM Re: Los Angeles JPF Chapter Rides Again... [Re: guitaryoda]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 20
Randall Tobin Offline
Randall Tobin  Offline


Casual Observer

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 20
Burbank, California
Jimi,

Yes. We are happening!
I sent you an e-mail...
I checked my home page link and it's working (rmtobin.com)

Besdt,
RMT


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