Good Tidings, Bad Tidings--For some, this season marks a new beginning, and for others it seems the end.
Thursday, December 24, 1998
Sand City is perhaps best known for the big-box shopping centers and their enticing array of stores. But Sand City also has something most people are unaware of: Olivo Records. Founded in 1986 by Nick Olivo, the company started out as a recording studio. Last year, it became a recording label and it may not remain unknown much longer; it just signed a licensing contract with Aries Music Entertainment (AME) that translates into a minimum six-album, three-year deal, with distribution through BMG Entertainment.
BMG Entertainment is one of the world''s leading music and entertainment companies, reaching audiences in more than 50 countries across the globe. It owns prestigious record labels such as Arista, RCA Records, Jive and Silvertone, and is home to many well-known names in the entertainment business, including Whitney Houston, Kenny G, Dave Matthews Band, Annie Lennox, Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Imbruglia.
For Olivo, the journey thus far has been a bumpy one, but today it seems as if all his troubles are in the past. At age nine, he started to play the accordion, and as time passed, he found himself playing guitar in various groups.
Olivo says his recording studio and label are part of a natural progression. "When you play music, you need someone to record it for you. You have to be able to circulate your product in order to get anywhere. But recording can get expensive, and that is a problem for many artists, including myself. So, I started to buy my own equipment piece by piece, and today we have top-of-the-line recording equipment."
Olivo''s progress was slowed down by a busted business relationship. "Things were pretty depressing for about nine months after that," agrees Rence Perez, one of the label''s producers. "We were working and working with no break in sight."
But the big break did come. It came in the form of a Summer Bash concert in Texas, where one of Olivo Record''s groups, Wild Boys, performed. A promoter, Andy Herrera, caught the group''s act, and liked what he saw and heard. In fact, liked it so much that he introduced himself after the show and left his calling card. Herrera also brought Wild Boys and their music to the attention of Luis Pisterman, one-time vice president of Warner-Electra-Atlantic Records and now president of Aries Music Entertainment. He shared Herrera''s sentiments and drew up the contract that gave Olivo Records the break it deserved. In September, the contract was signed and the first release date is scheduled for February of 1999.
For the first time, things at Olivo records are looking up. The company does all the production work for its artists and outside clients, which includes art design and promotional materials. The studio also has the ability to create master recordings, cutting out the normal three-plus weeks waiting period that usually comes with using another studio. Its signed artists are versatile, ranging from dance, hip-hop and R&B to alternative rock. Olivo Records'' statement is simple: "We want people to know that we''re out here and ready to make some good music."
And here''s some unofficial food for thought.
It looks like After Dark, one of Monterey''s longest successfully run clubs, will close its doors for the final time in mid-January of 1999. Rumor has it that the bar is being sold, and that it is very unlikely to re-open under the new ownership. Now this raises some interesting questions. First and most importantly, where does this leave the gay/lesbian community? There is no other place like After Dark, unless you consider migrating to the Lighthouse Bar and Grill across the street.
On Thursday nights, the club has hosted the very popular "straight night." Should one of the straight clubs host a gay/lesbian night in the future, and would that be as popular?
As I said, this is all unofficial news, and unnecessary speculation will do no good. For now, just enjoy After Dark as long as you still can, and don''t let morbid thoughts ruin the party. I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year.