I had to drive to Chula Vista for the next CD release party. It was for Mario "MJ" Racadio. It was at the Yokozuna Sushi Bar & Islander Grill.
Racadio's first single, "Burning Memory," had 10,000 Web hits in a two-week period and was number 1 on Freeworldradio.com.
I drove fast to get to this event on time, and Mario was an hour late. They had karaoke going on. I heard some Elvis, Billy Joel, and Elton John songs. While a woman sang Patsy Cline's "Crazy," I thought I'd go crazy waiting. Racadio's guitarist, Foreign Exchange, an older Filipino, sang "What a Wonderful World." He sounded just like Louise Armstrong.
A kid that looked to be about eight years old sang "Jailhouse Rock." That was cute.
Mario finally took the stage to the sounds of the Rocky theme blaring at about 150 decibels. He was a short, good looking guy. I had seen him walking around, talking to friends and family.
He wore a hat and dark suit, with a chain dangling from his pocket. His dance moves reminded me of Michael Jackson, and his voice of Enrique Iglesias. His singing style reminded me of Marc Anthony. I mentioned this to someone nearby who responded, "To bad he doesn't have J. Lo on his arm."
I finished my dinner and ordered the green tea ice cream. It tasted like frozen dirt. I tried dessert number two, a banana cake that was delicious.
Mario sang a Marc Anthony tune, as well as a song by Josh Grobin.
I was eavesdropping on a couple that said Mario would be performing at the New York International Music Festival this June. "He's going to be called the Millennium Artist."
They said he has a huge following among the Filipino community, so I mention that there weren't many people here to see him. "He's going to headline the 8th Annual Filipino Family Day at Soak City in Chula Vista. There will be thousands of fans there for that."
Yeah, but will they be there for him or for the water rides?
That event is July 30th.
The last party of the day was at the Westin Hotel in Horton Plaza. It started at 9 p.m., but I arrived about 45 minutes later. They were still setting up, however, and there weren't many people there.
A guy named Jay Brown was throwing this party. He has a company called Prolifik Productions. It was also his 26th birthday. I asked him what his company did. "We are involved in music publishing and licensing. There are a lot of different areas of the media that we try to hit. There are commercials, websites, and video games. We just did the score for a film. It's a 20-minute short that's going to be in a few film festivals."
I asked how many artists he represents. "We have two at the moment. It's hard to devote enough time and energy if you have too many different acts."
During the party, I find out Boyd has been around a while. Someone tells me he was in a TV show called Fame, with Debbie Allen. He made it to the finals.
I ask Jay if reality shows like American Idol would help his client. I say, "You can either get exposure, or... have an affair with Paula Abdul." He laughs and says, "We're actually going to fly Jasmine up to San Francisco to audition for Making the Band on MTV [the Puff Daddy show]."
I went downstairs to smoke a cigar and walked toward Horton Plaza. A few nicely dressed people left the mall, heading for clubs and restaurants. A few homeless people walked around talking to themselves. I heard one pair of homeless guys discussing whether Wendy's was going to be giving out free shakes (because of all the bad press they got regarding the finger in the chili).
When I headed back up to the party, I noticed I could hear the music from the lobby and in the elevator. I assumed the hotel didn't have their ballrooms near an area where guests would be bothered, so I asked Jay if the hotel had any restrictions. "We actually looked around and called a lot of places before settling on the Westin. Most of the hotels told us we had to be done by midnight. We have the Plaza Ballroom until 1 a.m. I have 150 guests here, but it's a private party. Mostly family and friends."
It was set up nicely, with artwork on display in the lobby, which also had a bartender serving drinks. They had Play Stations set up, and a golf game, in which you could putt and win a prize. When one guy in his 50s wanted to try it, there was nobody around to give him his prize. We both laughed. I told him I wasn't going to attempt it. I can only golf if there are windmills and a mini Eiffel Tower.
There was a DJ named "B Wild." I thought he had the volume up too high, but it may have seemed that way because it wasn't my type of music. I asked Jay about the DJ and he said, "The DJ got here late, and he had a fever. He was throwing up. It was a bit of a disaster."
When I was walking down the hall to get away from the loud music, I heard one woman talking on her cell phone. She was saying the cops accused her of stealing her boyfriend's car.
As I drove home, I wondered how many of those musicians would be able to make a career in music. Some might become famous, but the odds are against them. Some might become music teachers.
My ears were still ringing, and I wondered about the damage they might be doing to their ears while playing loud music. It's strange that the one person I met with an ear problem didn't get it from music.
Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board.