Author: admin


Be Cool

I will never criticize you for being an atheist, or laugh at you for believing in God, nor will I call you stupid for being a democrat or a republican. You can be a muslim, a hippie, a witch, black, white, gay or straight and I will stand by you when other’s point fingers at you and call you violent names and tell you you are worthless. Honestly, there are few people like me and less whome I agree with on every topic, but I will respect you if you are gracious and know how to be polite. There is no place for assholes and nasty people and I am okay with that. If you are a jerk and can’t be gentleman or lady, F off and go your own way. It’s time we all start doing better and owning our shit. You have one life – live well and help others along the way. Work hard and contribute and don’t rely on the Government to take care of you. That’s #comingup


US Bank Tower, Los Angeles, Seismic Expansion Joint Restoration


Location:  Los Angeles
Size:   1.4 Million Sq. Ft
Cost: $50 Million Renovation
Completion Date:  June 2016

Building Owner: OUE

Architect/Parking Engineer: N/A

General Contractor/Builder: Dinwiddie

Installer: Century Building Solutions

Expansion Joint Manufacturer/Supplier: Encore Building Products


Originally called the Library Tower,  OUE purchased the iconic US Bank Tower in Downtown LA – in 2013, and since then has invested nearly $100 million in renovation and improvements.

When completed, U.S. Bank Tower was the first supertall building not just in Los Angeles, but also in the entire western United States to the west of Chicago and Houston. Originally known as Library Tower, it was constructed across the street from the historic Central Library of Los Angeles and was developed utilizing air rights purchased from the city, preserving the historic open setting of the low-rise building. U.S. Bank Tower pays homage to its adjacent neighbor by having a curving façade turning away from the library and allowing it to remain the primary feature of the view corridor along Hope Street.

When built, U.S. Bank Tower was the tallest structure to be located in a seismically active area. Designers based the layout of the tower plan on a concept of overlapping geometries, a circular form superimposed onto a rectilinear matrix, a shape that is translated to the outside of the building and extruded upward into a series of upper level setbacks and a textured façade made up of triangular window bays. The triangular bays are repeated in the crown with more pronounced angles providing greater visual distinction between it and the tower below.

At ground level, development of the tower incorporated the creation of the Bunker Hill steps, a pedestrian link ascending the topographical change between the modern downtown towers built in the Bunker Hill area primarily in the mid to late 20th century and the shorter early 20th century buildings of the historic downtown core.

U.S. Bank Tower has dominated the Los Angeles skyline as its tallest building for 27 years and has been seen in the backdrop of numerous films produced by Hollywood studios. Its presence will remain a key feature of the skyline even after its title of the city’s tallest has since passed on to Wilshire Grand Center and as other changes occur to downtown Los Angeles in the in the years to come.

Expansion Joint Systems: Custom Fabricated Stainless Steel Plates

As a part of the nearly $100 Million renovation of the building by OUE and the addition of a 78th floor observation deck, the US Bank Tower’s ground floor, 2nd level plaza mezzanine and the upper street level entrance along  Hope Street, went through major plaza deck and expansion joint restoration.

Built over and near several active earthquake faults, the original structure was designed with an 8″-24″ seismic moat that encircled the entire foundation and steel building structure. These original expansion joint covers were mounted to the structural concrete with non-galvanized miscellaneous iron channels and angles which had over the years corroded and became brittle. As a consequence the bladder system that was also attached to the structure had washed out and provide little to no water protection to the interior parking spaces below the expansion joint.

Century Building Solutions of Los Angeles, California was called in to restore and replace the old expansion joint covers and moisture barriers as well as provided waterproofing and caulking and sealant solutions on the project.

Working with Encore Building Products, Century extracted the old steel and brass expansion joint covers and replaced the covers with new custom fabricated stainless steel expansion joints and moisture barriers.

“I have to admit, when the original concrete topping slab and walls were pulled away and I saw a 24″ wide gaping hole where the old 8″ wide expansion joints were…, ” said Brian Carrillo, from Encore Building Products, “I was not sure how to approach this project. With very little guidance from the engineering and build team, the Century Building Solutions’ team and I had to improvise for most of the job.  We dealt with extremely wide joint openings, terrible concrete conditions, varying height topping slabs, concrete stairs and a joint layout that was cut in a hexagon shape on both the lower and upper levels. What’s more the client wanted brushed stainless steel plates which meant that most of the job had to be fabricated and finished off-site.”

“This was one of those projects that you just could not plan for until the old systems were removed and you had a look at what was “under the hood”.

Encore Building Products is very proud to be part of this multi-million dollar project renovation and expansion joint restoration, and to have had the opportunity to work with the building owners and Century Building Solutions.

Let Encore Building Products be part of your next expansion joint project!

“Making America Great Again” One Structure at a Time!

To learn more about expansion joint systems, visit our expansion joint resource page.



Radiant Baby on the Come Up in Montreal’s Mile End District

The Mile End is a Montreal neighbourhood known for it’s blossoming artistic community. Even if you’ve never been to the Canadian city, you probably know it more than you think! Do you like Grimes, Mac Demarco or Majical Cloudz? They’re all musicians issued from that fertile scene.

Among the latest breakout acts of the Mile End is Radiant Baby, a franco-canadian making electro pop reminiscent of famous 80s acts like Depeche Mode, while having the modern bite of festival acts like Chvrches.

This week, Radiant Baby celebrates his recent signature to Lisbon Lux Records with the release of Gloss And Love, an euphoric single questioning gender binary

Following the success of his self-released single You Can Dance, Radiant Baby celebrates his recent signature to Lisbon Lux Records (Beat Market, Paupière, Le Couleur) with the release of his new single, Gloss And Love.

Inspired by the notion of duality and a questioning of gender binary, Gloss And Love is the perfect embodiment of the artist mind-boggling visuals. Somewhere between Grimes and Chvrches, the party anthem features Radiant Baby’s knack for glamorous vocals and flashy analog synths. A positively entrancing mix of 80s sensibility and modern aesthetics ready to set the dance floor ablaze!

Gloss And Love is the first single of an upcoming album slated for 2017

Radiant Baby online




Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump

Donald J. Trump Elected 45th President of the United States

What can be described as one of the biggest upsets in American Political History, Donald J. Trump, Businessman, Television Celebrity producer and political underdog, has been elected 45th President of the United States.

Winning 270  out of the 538 available Electoral Votes, Donald Trump soared past Hillary Clinton late Tuesday night, as final ballots were counted in the states of California, Washington and Nevada.

“We did not see this one coming” said long time Democrat, Maddy Stevens, resident of Oakland California. ” Our thought was that Hillary, despite her troubles these past few days, would ultimately win”.

With banks, entertainment, intelligence, media,  arms companies, foreign money, united behind Hillary Clinton, it was thought that Trump would have little or no chance of winning tonight’s election.

Flanked by son’s Eric and and Donald Jr., Donald Trump spoke to an elated crowd of supportors after hearing of his win.

“I would like to thank the People of the United States and all of the Trump supporters who have stood behind this campaign for the past 15 months”, exuded Trump as his wife Melanie and family looked on.

“The era of crooked politics is over. the swamp will be drained and we will return to the level of Greatness that has made America the nation that it is known to be.”

“Our Commitment  to the people of the United States, is to Make America safer again, stronger again and, yes, Great again”.

Minutes after hearing of her crushing defeat by Trump, Hillary Clinton was escorted out of the New York Wisteria Hotel where hundreds of disappointed supporters weeped, and  gasped over the news that Donald Trump secured the necessary number of electoral votes to win the 2016 election.

FBI agents encircled Hillary Clinton’s motorcade and extracted the humiliated candidate from her car. She was later booked for treason, racketeering, and espionage at the New York City Police Station.







More news to follow







Stephen Hawking

FAKE NEWS: Stephen Hawking Warns Against Voting for Hillary Clinton and Points to Ancient Mayan Prophesies

Famous Astrophysicist and  lecturer Steven Hawking recently came out of retirement to warn Americans about voting for Hillary Clinton for President.

Considered the smartest man alive, Steven Hawking warned that if Hillary Clinton becomes president, the universe and all that is in it would fall out of serious cosmic alignment.  He quoted ancient Mayan text which spoke of the end times when a great fire breathing dragon would emerge from the sea and consume all that was around it including other horrible creatures and creepy crawly things.

“and in these times, a dangerous beast with eyes like fire and teeth like knives would ascend on the land consuming all things seen and not seen.  The beast will first  inhabit the lands by taking things which was not his and giving up it’s very own offspring in order to conquer the supreme nations of the earth”.

The Mayan text continues, mumbles Hawking, “and once the nations of the Earth are consumed and the moon and the stars fall into the abyss, all matter dark and light will descend into the pit of the ancients where nothing can be seen or not seen”.

Hawking has always been neutral when it comes to politics so his opinions and theories have always been accepted as fact by both his supporters and antagonist.

Could Hillary Clinton be the beast spoken of in these ancient Mayan texts, no one can be sure. It is interesting however, how the Mayans have been correct in their prophesies time and time again.

The following is an abbreviated list of several Mayan prophesies which have come true:

“Time will eventually stand still” – ( London’s Big Ben stoped working in 1978 for two days).

“The Emperor will wear no clothes”.  (Rome fell in in 578 AD)

“The Sky will darken and turn to Night”  ( We have seen countless total eclipses since the prophecy).

“An Eagle will land” (Mankind made it to the moon).

“The End is Near but nay not in the year 2012”  (We almost saw the end of the World in 2012″

“A great king of the mighty earth will rise and screw harlots in his office” (Bill Clinton)

” A spring of knowledge will emerge from the deep and expose the wicked” (Wikileaks (maybe)

“In the final days of election karma, the Pigs will fly”  (FBI announces they will  reopen Hillary Clinton’s email case).


Is Hillary the cause of the growing discord happening in the cosmos? Will the planet Niburu finally reach the earth and destroy it as many on the internet are suggesting?  Are the Clinton’s part of the alien conspiracy and reptilian ran Illuminati?

We will all find out in just 11 days.




“The Fixer” – Jeff Rovin is Kicking Ass with the Truth

Jeff Rovin is an American magazine editor, freelance writer, columnist, and author, who has appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list.

The man who claims to have been responsible for making sure media outlets quashed stories detrimental to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s political ambitions was revealed this week and he is no knucklehead, in fact his resume and list of works is a mile long. He is also a martial arts instructor.

Of course the main stream media is currently trying to play him down like he is some alien chasing conspiracy nut.   Well, he might be an alien chaser, but I can tell you one thing is for sure – he is no nut.

Jeff Rovin has been editor-in-chief of Weekly World News, an assistant editor and writer for DC Comics,[1] and an editor for Warren Publishing and Seaboard Periodicals, as well as a science and media columnist in such magazines as Analog, Omni, and Famous Monsters of Filmland.

His How to Play video game books of the 1980s and 1990s detailed strategies for dozens of games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, and Game Boy. This series was preceded by his The Complete Guide to Conquering Video Games in 1982, and followed by his Gamemaster series that lasted until the late 1990s, which began containing a violence rating for the games included in these books. Rovin’s publisher at the time, St. Martin’s, later decided to continue the “How To Win At”, series, but this time written by Hank Schlesinger, to cover Nintendo 64, PlayStation games, and Pokemon.

Rovin has written encyclopedias about popular culture, including The Encyclopedia of Superheroes (Facts On File, 1985), The Encyclopedia of Super Villains (Facts On File, 1987) The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals(Prentice Hall, 1991), and The Encyclopedia of Monsters (Checkmark Books, 1990). He has worked on biographical and film books on such performers as Kelsey Grammer, Lana Turner, Adam West, Ellen DeGeneres, Jackie Chan, Charlton Heston, Elvis Presley, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Pryor, Luke Perry, Jason Priestley, and Julio Iglesias, and on the animated series The Simpsons. Additionally, he has written quiz and joke books.

Rovin’s novels are in the fields of thriller, horror, adventure, and mystery, in addition to the military field with books in the Force Five and Tom Clancy’s Op-Center series. His Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: War of Eagles became aNew York Times Best Seller.

His later Unit Omega books were written under the name pen name Jim Grand. He then began writing further military suspense novels under his own name, such as Tempest Down, Dead Rising, and Rogue Angel.

Stand-alone novels
  • The Hindenburg Disaster (1975)
  • The Transgalactic Guide To Solar System M-17 (1981)
  • The Madjan (1984)
  • Dagger (1988)
  • Starik (1989) – with Sander Diamond
  • The Red Arrow (1990) – with Sander Diamond
  • Cat Angels (1995)
  • Vespers (1999)
  • Stealth War (2000)
  • Fatalis (2000)
  • Dead Rising (2005)
  • Tempest Down (2007)
  • Rogue Angel (2007)
  • The Devil’s Rangers (2007) – written under the pen name Jim Grand
  • Conversations with the Devil (2013)
  • Coldwater (2015)
  • Zero-G (2016) – with William Shatner

Hollywood Detective

  1. Garrison (1975)
  2. The Wolf (1975)

Novelizations and Tie-ins

Force Five

  1. Destination: Algiers (1989)
  2. Destination: Stalingrad (1989)
  3. Destination: Norway (1989)

Tom Clancy’s Op-Center

Series created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik

  1. Op-Center (1995)
  2. Mirror Image (1995)
  3. Games of State (1996)
  4. Acts of War (1997)
  5. Balance of Power (1998)
  6. State of Siege (1999)
  7. Divide and Conquer (2000)
  8. Line of Control (2001)
  9. Mission of Honor (2002)
  10. Sea of Fire (2003)
  11. Call to Treason (2004)
  12. War of Eagles (2005)

Unit Omega

written under the pen name Jim Grand

  1. Unit Omega (2003)
  2. Operation Medusa (2004)

The EarthEnd Saga

Co-written with actress Gillian Anderson

  1. A Vision of Fire (2014)
  2. A Dream of Ice (2015)
  3. The Sound of Seas (2016)


  • Of Mice and Mickey (1975)
  • A Pictorial History of Science Fiction Films (1976)
  • From Jules Verne to Star Trek (1977)
  • The Fabulous Fantasy Films (1977)
  • Mars! (1978)
  • The Fantasy Almanac (1979)
  • The Signet Book of Movie Lists (1979)
  • The Science Fiction Collector’s Catalog (1982)
  • TV Babylon (1984)
  • The Encyclopedia of Superheroes (1985)
  • The Encyclopedia of Super Villains (1987)
  • The Encyclopedia of Monsters (1990)
  • The Spirits of America (1990)
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals (1991)
  • Laws of Order: A Book of Hierarchies, Rankings, Infrastructures, Measurements, and Sizes (1992)
  • The Laserdisc Film Guide: Complete Ratings for the Best and Worst Movies Available on Disc (1993)
  • Adventure Heroes: Legendary Characters from Odysseus to James Bond (1995)
  • The Book of Dumb Movie Blurbs (1996)
  • Aliens, Robots, and Spaceships (1996)
  • The Book of Dinosaurs
  • The Book of TV Lists
  • Country Music Babylon
  • Did You Ever Wonder; Why Do Cowboys Wear High Heels?; Who Put Boys in Blue and Girls in Pink?; Are Bats Really Blind?
  • Fascinating Facts from the Bible
  • From the Land Beyond Beyond
  • The Great Television Series
  • Movie Special Effects
  • The Second Book of Movie Lists
  • Simpson Fever!
  • Sports Babylon, (With Steve Burkow)
  • TV Babylon 2
  • The Unbelievable Truth
  • What’s the Difference?; A Compendium of Commonly Confused and Misused Words


Humor and trivia

  • In Search of Trivia (1984)
  • 1,001 Great One-Liners (1989)
  • 500 Hilarious Jokes for Kids (1990)
  • The First Good News/Bad News Joke Book (1993)
  • 500 Great Doctor Jokes
  • 500 Great Lawyer Jokes
  • 500 More Hilarious Jokes for Kids
  • 1,001 Great Jokes
  • 1,001 More Great Jokes
  • 1,001 Great Pet Jokes
  • 1,001 Great Sports Jokes
  • Dinomite Dinousaur Jokes
  • Don’t Even Think About Telling this Joke at Work (writing as Harry Bergen)
  • Don’t Even Think About Telling this Joke to a Lawyer (writing as Harry Bergen)
  • Goldie’s Lox and the Three Bagels (writing as Jeffrey and Lila Dubinsky)
  • Mother Gooseberg’s Book of Jewish Nursery Rhymes (writing as Jeffrey and Lila Dubinsky)
  • The Second Good News/Bad News Joke Book
  • Winning at Trivial Pursuit
  • Count Dracula’s Vampire Quiz Book
  • The Supernatural Movie Quizbook
  • The Superhero Movie and TV Quiz Book
  • The UFO Movie Quizbook
  • The Unauthorized Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Quiz Book

Video game books

  • How to Win at Nintendo Games (1989)
  • How to Win at Nintendo Games 2 (1989)
  • How to Win at Nintendo Games 3 (1990)
  • How to Win at Sega & Genesis Games (1991)
  • How to Win at Game Boy Games (1991)
  • How to Win at Super Nintendo Games (1992)
  • The Best of How to Win at Nintendo Games (1993)
  • Gamemaster: Conquering Super Nintendo Games (1994)
  • Gamemaster: Conquering Sega Genesis Games (1994)
  • Gamemaster: The Complete Video Game Guide 1995 (1994)
  • The Complete Guide to Conquering Video Games: How to Win Every Game in the Galaxy
  • How to Win at Nintendo Games #4
  • How to Win at Nintendo Sports Games
  • How to Win at Super Mario Bros. Games


Band Paramore

Paramore As Nirvana’s Successor for Flagship Band of Disaffected Youth in the Modern World


Nobody may have suspected it, but the young (and not immensely sizable) lead singer and songstress, Hayley Williams, of “Paramore”, currently fills some very big shoes.

The originally Tennessee-based, now LA-based, band has an unparalleled range in repertoire, from elementary ballads, to immense rock-orchestral
compositions spanning the spectrum of all possible intricacy and genius – a band Kurt Cobain would have regarded as possessing that rarest but most sought-after of traits: raw girl power.

Though there is only one feminine element of which to speak, literally, in the group, the raw masculinity of the chord progressions are not encountered by Williams’s breadth and depth of vocal range, from lilting lullaby-esque dreaminess to hardcore, visceral, even Visigoth battle cries, harking back to Cobain’s signature roar which expressed the inexpressible sadness and repression of a youth culture barraged by the pseudo intellects and bureaucratic limitations of the Baby Boomer generation.  Though both Cobain and Williams missed out on speaking for or against any war efforts by a hair’s breadth of timing, their expression of eternal rebelliousness in the face of unjust restraints disguised as stream-of-consciousness poetic renditions remains unmistakable in the wake of such artists as Lennon and Dylan and their decoding reinterpretations for the masses.

Hayley Williams, of "Paramore"

Hayley Williams, of “Paramore”

Take the songs “Ignorance” andMonster”.  There are few pop songs in the modern catalogue which seem to eerily echo sentiments of fury, anguish, and the irrevocable as a battle cry in the face of corporate marketing polish as Cobain’s genius did in deconstructing the pop rock album with the most slithery of punk-anthemic compositions – on a record which sounded like the Beatles had reinvented themselves with a taste for distortion pedals and tympanic reverberation (“Lithium” could well be a latter-day McCartney song, if he were so inclined towards such metallic tastes).

People may quickly class Paramore away as a subcultural and/or “emo” penchant, but they remain ignorant of the relative lack of comparable talent in the deluge that is modern college rock radio.  Few songs can bring one to tears, but take a listen to “All I Wanted”, “Renegade”, or “(One of Those) Crazy Girls” to sense a Rachmaninoff counterpoint emotionally-influencing counterpart to Cobain’s religiosity of reverence for today’s shattered youth.

Not merely that, but it is highly recommended that you add to your CD or vinyl collection their latest self-titled epic, which I give five out of five stars (not merely for its motif of lilting reminiscence for Cobain’s personal fave composition, the watery “Drain You” if you want to hear one of the most mind-blowing anthemic conquests of the radio waves ever launched – and find yourself a new (if not already well-versed) Paramore fan; particularly for the starry ballad “Hate to See Your Heart Break”, among others, which show their evolution from film soundtracks to the soundtrack of our very lives – something that rarely to never happens, already signifying them as a gem among the vast and barren sands.

If you would ever suggest that someone could hold a candle to Lennon, Cobain, or Dylan in today’s age, be prepared to be honest with yourself and those to whom you are eternally obliged – your fellow man (and fan) – and shout that Williams lights an eternal torch in remembrance and steady continuation of the impassioned outcry that was the war song of those countless harnessing the raw untapped power of the genius within us all for recognizing the genius in others; after all, as the great Schopenhauer himself – an ardent music aficionado – once said: “Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.”

I’m glad we can see clearly now – that the rain is gone – here in sunny California.

Paramore on Facebook


About the Author: Nolan Aljaddou is an alumnus of the University of Nebraska Omaha, and has authored a book and several papers on physics.  He started playing guitar at the age of 12 and writes extensively on Psychology, Mathematics, Physics, Philosophy and of course, Music.



Dangerous Trump

Is this Political Ad from Trump too Dangerous for Prime Time?

Personally, I don’t feel it’s too dangerous, at least no more than any other commercial being aired this campaign cycle. I do think this election is dangerous in general, however. There is so much hostility from both sides that it makes following it tiresome and frustrating, and dangerous in the sense that you can’t walk outside wearing a pro-Hillary shirt or a pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” cap without fear of being punched.

The fighting  among   Facebook “friends”  on Social Media and family members seems downright hostile and brutal.  Hell, I have to admit, I am even guarded in my post for fear of being called a bigot or hater.  What kind of People have we become? I don’t think I am bigot and I have always tried to be fair and balanced in my opinions.

What will be tomorrow’s Politics be like? How can we go back to the way things use to be? Is this the new Politic?

I hope that this is not a sign of things will be be forever. The riots, the protests, the violence the mudslinging and nasty way the media is treating both Democrats and Republicans.

In any event, I have to say I learned a lot this election.  I have learned that anyone is capable of being nasty and hating and thinking their view is the only correct view.  I also learned that the status quo does not like change.

Enough said – what do you think of this ad?

Regardless of your opinion or party, a Democracy requires the voices and thoughts of all of us.

Now Push Play







Hillary horror! ‘Get those f-ing retards out of here’

Hillary Clinton “When are they going to get those f-ing ree-tards out of here?!” Those are said to be the infamous words of Hillary Clinton – also known as Arkansas’ “Mother of the Year” in 1984 – when Hillary reportedly grew frustrated that handicapped children weren’t collecting their Easter eggs quickly enough on the lawn of…

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(Ferrara Buskers Festival, August 2016)

Catching Dreams – Katie Ferrara is releasing a new album! Exclusive Coming Up Interview

Many of us, including myself, grew up with huge dreams and little or no musical talent.

We would soon discover a musician or band we liked and we would listen to and buy every one of their albums and songs maybe hoping someday we would be able to join a band  and perform for our friends and family or a stranger or two.  On some occasions we might  venture to a public space or venue and come across someone playing their guitar or keyboard to a group of onlookers who might be enjoying the street performances as much as we would.

For me, growing up in Southern California, my Father would take us to Olvera Street, the old Pike in Long Beach or to the Redondo Beach Pier where we would  listen to the folk singers strumming their guitars and singing beautiful melodies and songs as we slurped up ice cream cones or balanced our hot dogs and cotton candy trying not to drop them on the side walk.

Little did I know at the time that these street performers, then, as well as now, were known as “Buskers” – musicians and street performers who, since the beginning of recorded history, have been entertaining crowds with their amazing talents and musical abilities.

This week our featured up and coming artist, Katie Ferrara, is such a person and she is no stranger to street performing – in fact she has won some prestigious busking awards around the world and even has a small town in Italy with the same family name (Ferrara) which is home to the Buskers festival, a non-competitive parade of the best street musicians. In terms of tradition and dimension, The Buskers Festival held in Ferrara Italy is the most important festival of its kind in the world.

Katie will be releasing her 3rd album – Dream Catchers –  in a few days which we are very excited about and as with her previous work will deliver a soothing blend of authentic home-grown folk-pop. Her songs are genuine and emotional and perfect for the free-spirited, curious and open-minded individuals that might stumble upon her on a given night in Santa Monica or in Burbank.

We had a chance recently to run a few questions by her to help learn more about her music, her early path to becoming a busker and what we might expect from her off her Dream Catcher album.

So when did you first pick up a guitar?  Are you self-taught?

I started playing guitar when I was in high school. My mom taught me how to play when I was a teenager and when I got to college, I taught myself by learning all my favorite songs. I also learned a lot  from jamming with friends on campus and singing in different bands.

What other instruments do you play?

I can play ukulele and a bit of keyboard.

We heard you began your music career while working at Starbucks in London, England.  How did you go from barista to performer?

When I was in London I would frequently visit Wunjo guitars on Denmark Street because I needed to buy a new guitar. I came to the UK with a travel sized Martin with no pick-up and wanted something that I could perform with easily in venues. On one of my visits to the shop, I met my French friend Jonathan, who produced my first two EP’s “When Love’s Not Around” and “Naturally”.  We started recording when I had nights off from Starbucks.  When I wasn’t working, I went to different open mics in the city to play my songs and get feedback from an audience.  For me, going to open mics was the gateway to becoming a performer because I gained a lot of support from the musicians around me and found a safe place to practice new songs without having to do a full blown show.


Is “busking” something in your blood or did you develop your love for playing in public over time?

Honestly, I feel like busking isn’t something that I was born to do. It took a lot of trial and error before I figured out a way to feel comfortable doing it. The most difficult thing about performing out on the street is simply logistics and not so much working up the courage to sing. You have to think on your feet, become a problem solver and be ready to improvise. The first time I ever busked on the Santa Monica Promenade, I had to move from my spot because I had set up too close to a fire-hydrant.  My amp died that day and I couldn’t hear myself amongst the other performers on the street. Carrying all my equipment was also really difficult because I got tired easily holding my guitar, amp and mic stand in just my two hands.

Over time, I figured out the best time of day to play, I bought a cart and a better amp, and picked the best songs in my repertoire to sing. What really made busking enjoyable for me was being able to play one of my songs and have someone stop whatever it was they were doing and just listen. Maybe the conditions weren’t perfect.  I’ve played while it’s raining, on 90 degree summer days, and to empty streets late at night.  To see someone make a choice to stop and to speak to them face to face made me feel confident. When you see that your music makes children dance and people laugh, you know you are doing your job as an artist. Its these kinds of experiences that really makes me love busking. Every time I go outside to play, I wind up with a cool story to tell, or I meet new people, or I discover a part of LA that I never would have gone to before!  I think I love busking because it’s a way for me to explore different aspects of performing, travel, and be inspired by my surroundings.

When did you decide to come back to the states and further your musical career?

I came back to the US in 2012 after finishing recording my 2nd EP. I felt like there was a lot of opportunity in LA that I hadn’t explored before I went abroad and I wanted to try giving it a shot here before making any big moves again.

Were you back in the U.S. when you won the Street Performing Contest “Feeling the Street”?


What was that like to win that among so many performers?

I felt like my music career had just gone to a whole new level.  I gained a lot of respect from friends and fellow musicians in LA because I wasn’t just getting known on a local level, but globally with the trip to New Zealand. When I found out that I had won the contest, it was one of the happiest days of my life! At the same time, I felt like there was a lot of pressure to impress people around me and produce music that was a different style than my own. It was an experience that challenged me to grow as an artist and see a new country!

When watching your music videos I can’t help but notice how natural and authentic you are when you sing.  Where does that passion and love for music come from?

I’m passionate about music because it’s been a great outlet for me to express my emotions and connect with others. I feel like when I am singing I can be my authentic self. In a way I don’t feel like I’m “performing” in the sense that I’m acting out a certain character to impress people. I feel like people are just seeing another side of my personality that isn’t normally seen if they meet me for the first time.

What is the biggest highlight in your music career to date?

I think the biggest highlight in my music career so far has been my recent busking tour to the UK and Italy.  This trip was something I wanted to do for a very long time. Last year, I did some research on my last name which is “Ferrara” and found out that it is a city in northern Italy that hosts an international busking festival every year in August. I’ve always been told that I should change my last name to a more English sounding one, because I would be able to brand myself better as an artist.  When I found out about this festival, l felt like I had been blessed with a sacred name and somehow it was my destiny to be a busker! I wanted to investigate this coincidence a bit more a learn about my family history, so I applied to the festival.

When I found out that accepted as a fringe accredited artist, I booked myself a ticket to London. For a week,  I went busking along the Southbank next to the Thames River.  I also booked a show at the Troubadour in Earls Court where I reconnected with old friends and family. Then I took a plane to Bologna and from there I took a bus to Ferrara and met up with Borja Catenesi, the guitarist from the Feeling the Street band along with his girlfriend Suzanne. We jammed at the festival and also took a day trip to Bologna where I learned how to get a permit from the police station in order to street perform in the city piazza.

The best part of the trip was the night I sold out of CD’s at the festival and played to a circle of about 50 people on a 900 year old street in the heart of the city. From that night I was able to pay for my travel all through busking. It’s been my dream to be able to travel through music and I hope that in the future I will book more tours across America and abroad through the release of my new EP.


Your new E.P. Dream Catcher is coming out next month in October – what is the theme of the album?

The album centers around the conflict between following your passions and having  security in a romantic relationship. I think it’s a theme that a lot of 20 somethings can relate to, especially because this is the time in our lives when we’re finding ourselves and figuring out what our purpose is in life.   I called the EP “Dream Catcher” because while I was writing the album last year, I felt like I was chasing after my music career while trying to hold onto so many relationships that weren’t exactly healthy to begin with. I wanted to write something upbeat to keep me going and inspire other people to just be themselves.  These songs are bursts in time where I got a chance to breathe and reflect on what was going on in my life.

How does the music and songs differ from your earlier albums?

I think the songwriting on this album displays a different level of musicianship  than my previous EP’s. With this album, I explored different song structures and lyrical hooks.  When I first started recording,  I didn’t have  a defined sound as an artist. Some of the songs were folky, some were jazzy and funky, and some had minimal production.

With this new EP, I feel comfortable calling myself a “Folk-Pop” artist. I’ve got instruments like cello, upright bass, ukulele, acoustic guitar, Ebo, and lap steel in the mix. The production is definitely  more collaborative than my previous releases. I can’t really say that this album is completely mine—it wouldn’t be possible without the help of my producer Patrick Joseph and the  talented musicians I met at shows at the Hotel Café last year. Everyone brought their own unique ideas which to me, created a unique sounding album.

Give us three words that best describes the album and what comes to mind when you think of it?

Relaxing, Hopeful, Charming . When I hear the title I think of sunset melting into the ocean for some reason.

Tell us a little about the writing process – did the songs on your Dream Catcher come to you in a dream or were they something you worked on for a while?

I wrote these songs slowly over the course of last year.   They started out as melodic and  lyrical ideas that came to me while I was driving to gigs in LA. When I had free time, I jammed with different people and they transformed into songs which I integrated into my set list when I busked. When I’m driving, it’s sometimes the only time when I can focus on one thing and reflect on what’s going on around me. Many of the lyrical ideas also came when I had a chance to relax at home.

Katie Ferrara - Santa Monica, CA

Katie Ferrara – Santa Monica, CA

On the album cover, there is a picture of you in a pretty blue dress with what looks like the ocean behind you – where was this photo taken and why did you select that place for your album?

This photo was taken on the Santa Monica Pier. I chose this location because I’ve spent many days and nights performing out on the boardwalk over looking the sea. I find the water to be inspiring. You can look out across the ocean and not know what’s on the other side. I love letting my imagination run wild when I’m playing out there. I also find the color blue to be calming and a good reflection of the music.

Is there any one song you would like to share with everyone prior to the big album release and if you can’t right now what would it be if you could and why?

I would share the song “Jackets” because I love the instrumental arrangement and I think it best reflects the central theme of the album: conflict between being in a relationship and pursuing a career. When I wrote the song, I was so happy to be with someone and have that security, but at the same time, I wasn’t satisfied with myself. I felt like I was putting my music aside or having to hide what I was truly meant to do—which is to sing! The imagery of the Jacket came to mind because I was thinking about what it means when a guy offers his jacket to a girl when she’s cold. Somehow that transferred into the lyrics of the song.

Lastly – you are still very active playing the streets, where are some of your favorite spots to play and when can we see you next?

I love playing in downtown Burbank because it’s close to where I live! I also love playing at the Santa Monica Pier, Melrose Trading Post and the Nickel Market in downtown LA. My next big gig is actually going to be at the new Hotel Café second stage with s full band on Oct 22nd for the CD release show.

I know we said the last question was the last one but we always like asking our guest for a shout out to someone we should keep an eye out for. Who are a few of your favorite up and coming “buskers” and where can we find them?

Tudor Williams-I met him in Burbank in front of the Gap on Palm avenue which is a popular place to perform. What I really love about his music is the songwriting. He’s got a variety of songs in his repertoire, some are serious and others are just plain funny. He reminds me of Blake Mills in this respect. Musically, his guitar and melodies sound really deep yet the lyrics to some of his songs contrast a charming, humorous side to his personality. Check out his song “Somethin bout a blond woman”.

Mimi Gilbert- She’s a master of looping and reminds me a bit of Joni Mitchell. You can catch her street performing in Portland and last time I talked to her she had gotten back from a busking tour in New Orleans. I found her music after looking at some of the artists on this years Feeling the Street website. Her album “Strangers Won’t Exist” will blow you away.

To Learn more about Katie Ferrara and her Dream Catcher EP Visit her website or Social Media Links