Monday, June 16, 2014

New Music Monday with Gonzo and Beyond I Sight

New Music Monday with Gonzo and Beyond I Sight

Photo by • Josue Rivas Fotographer •

Ryan Gonzales aka “Gonzo” was born and raised in LA’s South Bay.  Ryan’s love for music started with his dad, who introduced him to motown, classic rock, oldies, salsa, r&b, and soul, which creates a broad and eclectic musical base which he still draws from in his music today.  Ryan describes his music as “Roots Reggae Trance”, and he has been described by Tribal Seed’s EN Young as the ‘Sade of Reggae’ on his breakout solo album ‘Rocksteady’.

Gonzo’s professional music journey started as guitar and vocalist for Fortunate Youth and has taken him through two solo projects and to his current place with his studio backing band Beyond I Sight, as well as lead guitar and backup vocals for Tribal Seeds.  Currently, with 2 solo albums under his belt, Gonzo is poised to be one of the next big names in the CaliReggae scene.

Gonzo’s latest and 2nd solo album release ‘Red’ was released June 3rd and has quickly climbed the charts.  The release was timed with the start of this summers music festivals and tour season.  Red is an album all about love...the making of it, or the feeling of it. The song ‘Couldn't Take My Love’ featuring Pedro of True Press was filmed at none other than CaliRoots, right here in our own backyard.  

1.) Fallin’ (feat E.N Young of Tribal Seeds)
2.) Good Lovin’ (feat Beyond I Sight)
3.) Runnin’
4.) Couldn’t Take My love (feat Pedro of True Press)
5.) Miss Mary (feat Beyond I Sight)
6.) Give It Up
7.) Roots Woman (feat E.N Young of Tribal Seeds)
8.) Highway
9.) Roots it Up (feat Koa of Inna Vision)

Gonzo and Beyond I Sight are making a stop with us here in Monterey this Friday night (June 20th) at Cannery Row Brewing Co.  The show starts at 9pm and promises to be a raging good time at this intimate and historic venue on Monterey’s historic waterfront.  Show is FREE and 21+.

You can find Gonzo and Beyond I Sight in the following places:

Beyond I Sight:


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

California Roots Insider Tips for Saturday

California Roots Insider Tips for Saturday:

Saturday for me is mostly about the headliners...and thats no disrespect to the other bands.  Ive listened to a lot of them, and I am super intrigued to check them out.  However, there are 2 bands on Saturday that are absolute DONT MISS bands for they are.


With the burgeoning SoCal reggae scene blossoming, True Press is emerging from a plethora of talented bands.  With these new, hard working, regularly touring bands hitting the scene hard, standing out is a task in itself.  True Press makes me weak in the knees with their sounds. Full of talented creative musicians with conscious lyrics that focus on positive world change, love and self betterment.  Through songs such as  ‘Lovely Situation’, ‘Wake Up Cry’, ‘Anything is Possible’, ‘Soul Rebel’ and ‘Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies’ True Press gently reminds us that “Anything is Possible”, especially when its done with “love, sweet love”.

I love the horn section and the solid rhythm, backing Pedros soulful vocals.  My favorite song on the album is “Wake up Cry”, it has a great little guitar riff at the beginning and I love the melody.  It gets stuck in my head all day. “Consider this your wakeup call, to all, consider this your wake up cry, its time.”  ‘Lovely Situation’, ‘Anything is Possible’, ‘Soul Rebel’ and ‘Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies’ all are right behind in the favorites category.

Mellow and with just enough energy backing them up that you can't help but groove and want to get up and dance, True Press is music you can't get enough of.  True Press hits The Original Stage Saturday at 4:25.  Be there.  You can also find True Press in the following places:

DATP is not to be missed.  I mean it.  Put their set time in your phone and set an alarm...these guys kill it!!!!  Dewey and the Peoples takes a unique spin on reggae with heavy blues and rock influences in their music.  Front man Darren Robinson writes lyrics from the heart and shreds on the guitar with the chops of a pro blues musician.  All of this, wrapped up in sweet cali style reggae rythms.  

I was shocked when I found out this band is comprised of members in their very early 20’s….lead singer Darren is freshly 21.  They carry themselves with the air of confidence and focus rarely found anymore.  They have fun onstage, and are a tightly knit unit, and their playing reflects that.  

One of my favorite songs is “Put Me Down”, its a great anthem for standing up for who you are and what you believe in

“You wanna push me out, you wanna turn me down, you wanna stop my sound, and you wont stop me now, and you wont break me down. So just think next time before you turn me out.”

I have seen DATP on more than one occasion, and am still excited to see them as though it was the first time.  The energy they bring to the stage and the punch that they pack gets you every time.  You can catch DATP at noon sharp on The Original Stage...dont forget...set those alarms!

You can also find Dewey and the Peoples in the following places:


Monday, May 12, 2014

California Roots Insider Tips from 831 Promotions for Friday

California Roots Insider Tips from 831 Promotions

There's so many amazing bands at California Roots festival this year, and some big name acts I can't wait for. However it's finding those new up and coming bands that's always thrilling for let me tell you about the ones I am most excited to see.


Stick Figure
Stick Figure is one of my favorite bands, and their songs get kind of addictive….what I love most about them is that Scott takes you on a journey of what’s happening for him in that moment.  His lyrics follow him through an event, thought or feeling, and often all of the above combined into one experience.  Thats what each Stick Figure song really is for me, an experience.  They are unlike most other bands or lyricists in that way.  To a new listener the music can sometimes sound disjointed at first, but when you listen again, you realize that you are exactly where you are supposed to be on the journey.  Two of my favorite songs are “Livin’ it” and “Weight of Sound”. “ Livin’ it” always reminds me of my boyfriend, and a night similar to ones he often has which leaves me smiling to no end. “Weight of Sound:” which features TJ O’Neill, is just is good in so many ways. The lyrics for this song really get me.

“Tomorrow will come and the sun will shine
Well I'll be sitting here right by your side
So let the music soothe your soul
Let the music take control
Everything you do or say comes back to you
When things don't work out right, you got to push on through

So keep on running, keep on moving
Everything is gonna be alright
Keep on smiling, keep on laughing
Every little thing is gonna be alright”

My favorite thing about Stick Figure is that all of the music is written and played by Scott Woodruff.  This “one man band” is pretty extraordinary in my humble opinion.  Scott blends a nice mix of reggae and dub, and the songs get stuck in your head the way your favorite radio pop song does.  I even find my kids singing these songs.  Scott has put together a talented group of musicians to play with and hit the road with his unique blend of reggae.

Stick Figure currently has 5 full length albums under their belt is on their 4th tour.  Interested in learning more?  Well, first go see them Friday afternoon on The Bowl Stage at 1:45.  I will see you there!! Secondly,  you can also find them at the following places:

The Steppas
The Steppas out of Hilo Hawaii are a force to be reckoned with.  One of my favorite up and coming bands in today’s reggae world.  These guys deliver a powerful hit with their music that is full of positive lyrics of peace and love and solid rhythms.  A unique blend of surf rock, jam band, urban beat hip hop, jazz and ska background with a slight sublime influence. They come across with a new fusion sound that you don't want to miss.  You find yourself rocking out hard to this band.  Their band name The Steppas, is a reminder to step and move forward. 
The Steppas have self produced their first two EP’s and with the recent release of their First Full Length coming soon, they are currently on their Spring Rising Tour.  You can catch them at CaliRoots on Friday at 12:00 on The Original Stage. I will definitely see you at this show because I love these guys. You can find The Steppas at the following places:


Kimie Miner is a native of Hawaii and has an amazingly beautiful voice. Kimie’s music reflects aspects of reggae and acoustic soul with just a hint of R&B.  She writes about all the good that comes out of bad, and is always inspired by Love.

THis is a woman in worth keeping an eye on, and Im sure her performance at CaliRoots will not disappoint.  You can catch her on Friday at 4:15 on The Original Stage.  You can also find her in the following places:


Simpkin Project  
The Simpkin Project is a recent favorite here in the 831 Promotions Office.  One we have a hard time not listening to.  This is a group made of some powerful musicians, and you can hear it.  They have a heavy rock influence which is evident in their music and they play a very unique and quite frankly awesome blend of Reggae and Americana.  Ya, you read that right. Their music is multi-layered on top of a solid reggae foundation.  

Front man Phil Simpkins lyrics will stir you.  I feel the essence of Jerry Garcia in Phil’s words and music.  Their is a deepness of life experience that comes through.  You are taken to places in your soul that have evolved through sometime tough life experiences, but which are reflected with a positivity that is inspiring.  My two favorite songs are “Everything You Want” and “Wanderer” .  “Everything You Want” speaks of a deep longing …

“Your love is like an ocean deep and wide.
I want to jump inside.
Swim your every shore, explore your every tide.
Submerge myself within the comfort of your waters.
Sit back on some great vista content to only ponder.
You are the object of my love I must confess.
You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me yet.
You are the only one everything to me, I will make you see.
If I could be…
Everything you want, everything you need.”

Wanderer hits a special place inside of me that I relate to in a profound kind of way.

“Livin alone, a wonder with no home, continues down the road. Moving along he sings his song, then goes on, to where he never knows, leaving one day he made his way, come what may, from then was on his own.  Steadfast and true he walks a path tread by few, the only that he knows. Step into the light of the day, I've often heard the wanderer say. Walk into the rays of the sun. Embracing all that will come.
So much he learns, immersed he turns and holds on, to every brilliant dawn. Balanced and soothed, his spirit moved, its so strong, his journeys been so long. Walking the earth, he feels a change and rebirth, and thinks about his home. One day at last he makes the choice to go back, the path for him was shown.  Step into the light of the day, I've often heard the wanderer say. Walk into the rays of the sun. Embracing all that will come.
Makin his way, back to the place of his birth, so much he missed out on. He left to go be, among the things that he loved, so many wondered where hes gone. Coming across the life he knew but had lost, he’d take it back at any cost. Now in his place, he takes the reigns of his fate, regaining what he lost.  Step into the light of the day, I've often heard the wanderer say. Walk into the rays of the sun. Embracing all that will come.”

Having been a wandering, nomadic spirit most of my life, this song resonates very personally and deeply with me, and has been one I reflect on frequently when I feel the urge to jump ship and disappear into the universe.

The Simpkin Project is hands down one of the bands that I am most excited to see live, as I have not yet had the pleasure.  You can see The Simpkin Project live on Friday at 2:45 on The Original Stage.  You can also find them at the following places:


Bumpin Uglies
Bumpin’ Uglies are an Annapolis based band. with a heavy punk/reggae sound, Bumpin Uglies are a well oiled machine.  Lead man Brandon Hardesty writes lyrics that are honest and cut through his humor with a biting reality.  My favorite of their songs, “White Boy Reggae” is a humorous yet honest tribute to life as an artist.  He dismisses stereotypes by describing the one he falls into.  

“But I can't relate to a struggle that I've never seen.
I can't praise a god that I don't believe
You might think I be lying when it comes from the seems.
But I'm not a fucking lion I'm a drunk with a dream

And I'm a million miles away from everything,
I thought I'd become.
I've lost all my faith in the Lord above.
And if I work real long and keep my convictions.
I could still fill and satisfy everyone's predictions

So I drink to stay numb,
But I sing to stay alive.
There's no shot big enough to keep me satisfied
No rhymes smart enough for me to save my pride.
There's a fire burning in me that I cannot deny it!

This is a song has become an Anthem, and a great example of Brandons powerful yet humorously real delivery of lyrics and sound.  You can catch Bumpin’ Uglies at 9:45pm on The Original Stage as the Fan’s Choice Winners.  You can also find them in the following places:

YouTube:  /bumpinugliesmd

Instagram:  @bumpinuglies

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interview with First City Vape

831 Promotions Interview with First City Vape

In this Interview with Steb Montez, Owner/Operator of First City Vape, you will learn about Vaping.   What it is, what it isn't, and why its becoming popular and people are standing behind it.  This interview will address popular myths and misconceptions as well as stating facts regarding vaping in its entirety from health to function and the difference between the common misconception of narcotic use, drug use, or a smoke shop and a vaporizor, which needs to be made clear.  This interview contains relevant facts and helpful information for anyone curious or interested in learning more about the culture of vaping, which has become a strong topic in our current social climate.

We chose to interview First City Vape because after doing our own research, we found that Steb was a wealth of information in regards to vaping and its benefits.  The most important thing to Steb regarding his clients is that he  would like to see you off cigarettes, and that is first and foremost why he has set up shop.  Secondly, his passion for this is unmatched.  We have yet to find anyone as knowledgeable or passionate in the vaping community.  This genuine passion has translated into an amazing amount of product knowledge which is only equalled by his customer care and support.

We hope you will find this interview informative and able to answer your questions.  For more information, you can speak with Steb directly at the Shop or via Facebook at the links below.

Tell us what Vaping is and how it is different from everything else on the market?

Vaping is what vapers call the act of vaporizing e-liquid or e-juice. It is the result of an atomizer and battery combination. The liquid is fed into the atomizer, the battery heats the liquid turning it to vapor. The vapor is inhaled into your lungs much like smoking but without the dangerous side effects!

What is the difference between a Vape Shop and a Head Shop?

A Vape shop specializes in only vaping related supplies.  We don't carry bongs, rolling papers or enough incense to smoke out a small village. But we do carry mods, atomizers, wick, wire, batteries, e-liquid and a cheerful disposition.

Why can you smoke them indoors?

I first want to dispel the idea that it is smoke.  Smoke is the result of the combustion of a solid, such as tobacco leaves. Vapor is the result of high heat in contact with liquid. Hence smokers smoke cigarettes and vapers vape e-liquid.

As for why people feel free to vape indoors…well that's a bit more complicated and a matter of choice. Currently there is no law against vaping indoors. There is legislation being proposed that will treat vaping much like smoking; requiring users to abide by the same rules smokers do. I don't have a problem with that fundamentally.I do think that putting vapers outside with smokers, something we are trying to distance ourselves from, is a bad thing. I will usually ask if I can vape when at a bar,  but I generally don't vape in restaurants or enclosed areas. Nothing screams "asshole" like someone blowing a big ol cloud of bubble gum flavored vape in your face!  Don't do it vapers!

Is the vapor harmful?

Here's what we know. Vaping is without question safer than smoking a cigarette. 4000 times safer based on the chemicals, carcinogens  and compounds that aren't present in e-liquids. The liquids consist of fewer chemicals than both the patch and nicorette. E-liquids contain USP grade vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine and food grade flavoring...that's it. Those concerned about the use of propylene glycol should know it's in everything from soap to salad dressing. Here's what we don't know — the long term effects. The FDA last ran a study on electronic cigarettes in 2009. Anti-vaping groups still use these older studies. These studies are limited and are often not thorough.The liquids and delivery methods have changed considerably since that time. We also know nicotine itself does not cause cancer. It is the delivery system, the cigarette, that is known to do so. We want our nicotine! (For recent studies and information visit My favorite argument is "we don't know the long term effects." My response is simply; We do know the long term effects of cigarettes and chewing tobacco. They will without question kill you. We have empirical, definitive data that shows this..yet we still allow them to be sold 24 hours a day just about everywhere in the world.

How do you use a Vape to quit smoking cigarettes?

The great thing about e-liquids is two-fold. The liquid comes in so many flavors; users are sure to find something they enjoy.  Most importantly, they are available in different strengths. This gives the user the ability to "step down" the nicotine content and hopefully give them the advantage when trying to quit.  Personally, I vape 6 milligrams per milliliter and often 0 milligram or zero nic for short. I'm a bit of a hobbyist, but I really do love my nic. I see vaping as an alternative to smoking. A much healthier one.

Are there any harmful side effects to Vaping?

To date there is no scientific evidence which identifies harmful side effects.  My collection of mods, liquids and accessories have so far harmed only my wallet. Aside from that, I'm breathing better, my sense of smell has improved, and I find cardio easier. It's changed my life for the better,  and my kid doesn't have to grow up with a dad that smells like an ashtray. One could argue that the side effects of nicotine can be dangerous. But like caffeine; in moderation it's fine.

How old do you need to be to Vape?

There is currently no law in regard to age. I personally will not sell to anyone under the age of 18. Many anit-vaping groups claim that due to the lack of laws young children will begin the perilous descent into smoking cigarettes; stating the flavors attract young children. But as we know cigarettes and cigarillos are available in a variety of flavors as well. If people want something,  they will find a way to get it;  it just won't be coming from me kids! I started smoking cigarettes when I was 15!

What is the cost of vaping vs smoking?

That gets tricky. For a collector like myself, vaping is no question a more expensive venture. But it doesn't have to be. The average pack of cigarettes in California runs $6.45.   Suppose a person smokes a pack a day…that's $45 a week, $180 a month, and over $2,300 a year! An excellent vaping device costs around $100-$120 not including liquids. In the first month alone one is likely to save moneyversus "analog" cigarettes, and by month 3 one could be in the black, so to speak. Liquids run around $.30-$.75 per milliliter.   30 ml could last me a week often two to three!  As you vape less and less (if that's your goal) your usage will go down even further. Vapenomics!

Why do you Vape?

I really struggled with cigarettes. I had been smoking since I was around 15 years old - I'm 37 now. Over half my life I was destroying my lungs and leaving myself wide open to a bevy of awful diseases. In 2009 I started vaping to help me cut back. By the time I was 35 I had a baby on the way,  I couldn't imagine smoking anymore because I wanted to be around to see the little man grow up. I finally made the decision to stop cigarettes and start vaping. It's been almost a year and a half since I've had a cigarette,  I feel better than I have in years. Over the course of my journey I discovered I really enjoyed vaping and began seeing it as a hobby as well. The world of vaping is so immense and multi-faceted. We truly are a community. Seeing what it did for me I decided it was time to open a place where people could experience the same relief I have.  I can't wait to share all my experience and know how with people who are in the same situation I was in.   When I started I didn't have a lot of resources available because it was so new. Now you can look up youtube tutorials, search the web for helpful hints, and really accelerate the process, and the products have gotten so much better. Some people prefer to have someone show them everything they need to know. I'm happy to be that person!

What do you need to get started and how much does it cost?

Like I stated earlier. You need an atomizer, battery and liquid. This can all be procured for around $50.00. But it really depends on your needs.   I have devices that run as high as $400.00 but not everyone needs that to stop smoking. There's a middle ground that I find to be the sweet spot. I've had the best results with packages that run around the $100.00 mark. They are easy to use and last a long time as long as the unit is maintained.  I'm big on safety.   I won't push a product on you that I don't feel you're ready for just to make a buck. I started with cigalikes, devices that resemble a cigarette, and have since moved on to high quality machined devices often referred to as Mods or PV's (personal vaporizers).

Where can we find First CIty Vape?

We are located at 742 Neeson Rd Ste. A in Marina. Right near the airport. Open Tue-Fri 10-6 and Sat 11-7. Stop by for a chat, taste some of the liquids we offer, and let us help you stop smoking and start vaping!

Stop by and LIKE us on Facebook at and on Instagram at @firstcityvape  and leqrn more about the products we carry on our website at

First City Vape is also hosting the 'Vape Out Hunger Food Drive' on May 31st at 9pm at Cannery Row Brewing Company.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THRIVEing in the 831


Today were doing a very special writeup for the folks in Thrive.  Thrive is a quickly up and coming Reggae Band out of Santa Cruz. this last December they lost a member of their family, saxophonist Scott Schipper, to his 3 year battle with Cancer. Today their latest single ‘Broken’ which features the vocal stylings of the talented Hirie, is released on iTunes.  ‘Broken’ was the last song the band recorded with Scott at E.N. Youngs Imperial Sounds Studio.  Needless to say, this is a very special song release for the band.

Aaron Borowitz, guitarist for Thrive, says on their Blog This new song was inspired by a heartbreak I watched my close friend go through. I never knew how much it would resonate with me given the situation with Scott, but I know he would want us to continue this musical crusade of peace and love.”  Scott Schipper has left behind  legacy that his band mates and family carry on.  Not only did Scott love positive music, but he created Unify To Thrive (A Movement to Stop Cancer), a non profit which raises funds and awareness to help other young people with cancer.

Today we want to support this 831 band and the wonderful music and programs which they have created, and lend our support to them and ask the community to help them continue to Thrive!

You can find the new single ‘Broken’ on iTunes at:

You can learn more about Thrive at:

You can learn more about Unify to Thrive and how you can make a difference at:

Thrive is:

Aaron Borowitz- guitar and vocals
Kenneth Rogers- drums and vocals
Andrew Forgy - bass
Matt Masih - keyboards and vocals
Scott Schipper - Saxophone
Dan Herrera - Trumpet