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Greg Taylor is a digital marketing professional and a music photographer from Tempe, AZ -originally from Warren, NJ. Feel free to email me with any questions regarding my company GRT2 Studios, marketing, photography or music at

Friday, October 30, 2009

Life on the Move

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. — Ferris Bueller

I hate quoting 80's movies when it pertains to my life but in this case - I agree. My life has been on the go for some time now. I see things starting to slow down a little, but not all the way. It's not like it's bad at all though.

Tonight and tomorrow we'll be seeing one of our favorite bands (Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers) in our hometown of Tempe. Sunday (after a pool play soccer match) and depending on how RCPM wreaked havoc on me - I will be finishing my move. (Did I mention anything about being a huge Yankees fan and the World Series is also happening?)

Truth be told, this is an exciting and busy time for us (so please don't think I'm ignoring the blog due to my scattered posting dates) - we are going through a lot of change. Most of it on our time line and through our decisions and all for the good. So I'm not really complaining...

Life is what you make it (uh-oh I feel an 80's quote coming on) - and I'm trying to make the most of everyday by celebrating relationships, enjoyinh my music and photography, grateful for my health and our new home.

I'm on College Ave in Tempe  - we installed a new hammock in the backyard - so if you're ever in need of a place to crash - make yourself at home...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

RCPM Back Home For Halloween in Tempe

From the RCPM website (
[The biggest rock-n-roll fiesta in Arizona this Halloween will be at the Marquee Theatre.Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers return for two highly anticipated performances Oct. 30 and Oct. 31! To help everyone get into the Halloween spirit, each night there will be a different theme.Friday - "When in Rome" Toga Party. Saturday ? 70's Night.A $500 Marquee gift certificate will be handed out to the best]

I am excited for these shows for many reasons. Besides the shows (which will rock) being home - I am moving back to my adopted hometown of Tempe, AZ that week. After moving out of Tempe - just South to Chandler, a couple of years ago - I've been planning my move back. Chandler is good, just not for me and Tempe is home.

RCPM playing once again (almost) on Mill Ave. in Tempe at one of those cruxes in my life. Coincidental - maybe, but probably not.

So on 10/30 & 10/31 - friends will be toasting one another, singing and laughing. "Here's to Life!" (Photos and show reviews to come.)

Monday, October 19, 2009


It's amazing how often my interests in photography change. Initially I started taking skateboard photos.  Documenting friends and what not until I had the opportunity to shoot pros on a regular basis.  Then I went to landscape and Americana photography  - which I still enjoy. And eventually started shooting 35mm at concerts I would attend.

One thing I never shot was portraits. I'm not sure why. A good portrait penetrates a person down to their soul - capturing their true essence at that exact  moment in time. Something happened somewhere along the line and I got brave and started taking portraits of people.

I enjoy all types of portraits. People I know, people I love, pets, strangers etc. I enjoy it all.  Asking someone, "Can I take your photo?" Is really putting yourself out on a ledge.  Sometimes, I compare it to asking someone out.

It's a moment that you share with another person. A moment captured. A moment preserved forever.

I leave all the technical stuff behind. I like candid portraits. No studio lighting - no effects. Just capturing someone at that moment.

My favorite weapon of choice is my Canon 50mm f1.8 a/k/a "The Nifty Fifty".

Portraits can be seen at:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fundraising through Social Networks (Twitter)

This is not the normal topic of post found here. Typically, I write about photo journeys and music with a couple of random thoughts here and there. Today, the topic may be a little off the mark but still important.

There are two really interesting fund raising things in front of me happening through Twitter.

@tweetsforboobs : pretty much exactly as it says.  ReTweet that their message ( Tweet for boobs and pledge $1 for breast cancer research! I just did. #tweetsforboobs Please RT) and exactly that happens.  They keep track of who Tweeted that message and they will get back to you with how much you pledged and where to send the money.

Tweetsforboobs came out of an incubator think tank here in Phoenix (Gangplank) - here is their quick bio: An ambitious attempt by a couple nobodies to harness twitter for a good cause: raising $ for Breast Cancer Research. SAVE THE BOOBIES.

For more on the analytics on this campaign go to:

Simple... Harnessing Twitter for a good cause - food for thought. 

Here's another one.  Does everyone know @Drew? Drew Olanoff - the guy who blames everything on his cancer. (excerpt copied from his website:)

On May 20th, 2009, Drew Olanoff was diagnosed with cancer.
Ever since that day, Drew has blamed everything on his cancer. Losing his keys, misplacing his wallet, Twitter being slow, the Phillies losing, etc.Why? Because you have to beat up on Cancer to win… and you can help out.Blame Drew's Cancer for anything you want by tweeting with the hashtag #BlameDrewsCancer and it'll come here. When Drew beats Cancer we hope to have sponsors that will donate a dollar for every participant to our partner, LIVESTRONG.

Awesome and cool but how can this raise even more money? By getting other people involved. My guess is that Drew was an early adopter of Twitter. He signed up and got @ his first name.  What's that worth?

It could potentially be worth $1,000,000 - Drew Carey (@drewfromtv) thinks so.  If he can obtain 1,000,000 followers on Twitter by the end of the year - he will pledge a cool mil to Livestrong in exchange for the @drew username.

(Here's a link to @drew & @drewfromtv on CNN)

These are two creative ways the power of social networks are being used for good causes.  My next fundraising post through social media will talk about how my company leveraged SM platform by spreading the word and tying it together with ROI

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Local Music (Part II) : What's Right on Mill

The last post discussed what bands I like from Tempe and what happened with Mill Ave.  Let's talk about the winds of change.

We had a shopping center in Tempe called Centerpoint and the anchor was a movie theater.  In a matter of a couple of years the economy tanks and the byproduct is distressed real estate - hence an empty theater.

I don't remember how long it sat empty - just as I don't really remember when it died.  People who cared about the city and recognized what happened, how it went awry and how to start change.  MADCAP Theaters is born in the old movie multiplex.  I wasn't sure how this all happened so I e-mail Casaunda from Downtown Tempe to explain.  Here is her email in it's entirety:

I asked her three questions: 1) What/Who made MADCAP happen? 2) Why? 3) If you wanted people to know something about MADCAP what would it be?

Her answers: Thanks for inquiring about MADCAP!  We are very excited about where we
are heading with Thursdays on Mill and MADCAP.

My organization, Downtown Tempe Community, Inc., is a non-profit that
works with the landowners, developers, businesses, and the City of Tempe
to make Downtown Tempe a unique and vibrant destination.  After the
economy crashed and we saw that we had this extremely viable empty
building on our hands, we decided we should do something about it.
Luckily, the owners of the building, Centerpoint on Mill, were just as
excited about the idea of creating an independent performance space as
we were and gave us a lease for a mere $10 a year!  We wanted to have a
place where local musicians, filmmakers, poets, comedians, and so on
could afford to perform in front of an audience, bringing much needed
vitality back to Mill Avenue.  After brainstorming, we came up with the
Mill Avenue District Community Arts Project or otherwise known as MADCAP
Theaters.  And thanks to support from sponsors and community members we
were able to make the necessary renovations to open in June 2009.

Since then, we have gotten a great response from local artists that have
chosen to perform there, such as Dry River Yacht Club, The Dorsets,
Captain Squeegee, Isle of Essence, Azul, and so on.  We have also
acquired the Midnite Movie Mamacita, Andrea Beesley-Brown, who has been
programming MADCAP with the best B movies and film festival fare in the
Valley!  She also helped bring Rocky Horror Picture Show back to Mill

MADCAP is extremely important to bringing back the local music and
cult-classic movie scene to Mill Avenue.  Historically, Mill Avenue has
been the entertainment hub of the Valley and we want to continue that
reputation by bringing together music, art, unique businesses, and
colorful people.

# # #

This is what's going right!  I walked around Mill last night and listened to four musical acts playing on the street.  Photos are available HERE Aftwards I went to the theater and listed to a jazz quartet.  It was a feel of old time Mill Ave.  Something I haven't experienced in years.

(MADCAP also had a poetry slam and a horror film showing in different theaters at the same time.)  I was disappointed that I was the only one in the theater listening to Jazz that was not associated with the music.  We all need to step up - show our support or this will go away.

If you ignore the local arts - they will go away.  In a town where we struggle to be noticed we have a good thing happening.  MADCAP is not the only outlet either.  We have the largest First Fridays Art Walk in the country, Venues like The Sail Inn, Yucca Tap Room, Modified, Rhythm Room , The Ruby Room and The Clubhouse all with good stuff happening plus local painter DumperFoo runs the best hip-hop night (Blunt Club) at the Red Owl on Thursdays.  There is something for everything : get out and enjoy something.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Local Music (Part I)

Listening to: John Butler Trio LIVE 7/2/09 (Quincy, CA)

I'm a fiend for music.  I like all genres and I've been known to switch it up from The Clash to John Coletrane to Public Enemy all within 30 minutes My passion since I've been in AZ (almost 13 years) has been the local music scene.

Most of time here in AZ has been in Tempe.  I have seen Tempe go through some changes - some good some not so good.  The days of Nita's Hideaway, Gibson's, Chuy's and Sun Club (both a little before my time in AZ) and my favorite spot Long Wong's are gone. 

[Mill Ave. has gone through a transformation from a hip artsy almost boehemian spot to an uptight corporate anchored part of town (well documented by the movie Mill Ave Inc. by Nico Holthaus) and now a movement of change is starting again.  Movement may be too strong of a word but maybe we can call it a shift.  (I got a little ahead of myself here - for more about the "shift" and what's starting to look right in Tempe will be discussed in Local Music post two.)]

The Gin Blossoms and The Refreshments aren't playing 3 nights a week somewhere in town.  But there are so many other good bands from our city that are worth investing time in.  Here are some of my favorites:

Kinch: (I used a photo I shot of them at First Friday's for the blog's banner)

Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers: Our biggest national act that tours relentlessly- w/ no signs of slowing down.  My favorite band to shoot photos of - (LIVE MUSIC PHOTOS)

What Laura Says: Energetic and creative energy at it's best!

Dry River Yacht Club:  DRYC is an ecceltic bunch of musicians that make great music and has a lot of fun.  Their shows are something to witness...

Black Carl: One of my favorite bands here in town but one that I've never had a chance to shoot photos of.  One night our schedules will align and it will happen.  BlackCarl has soul and a unique sound.  Another band that is a lot of fun to see.

Shelby James:  Sraight up Rock-n-Roll with a Honky Tonk flavor.  My favorite track is "Talkin' Words the Rhyme With Alicia's Blues" : Classic relationship gone wrong song with a stalker point of view.

Also we have an amazing Internet Radio Station here Radio Phoenix : These guys are tuned in to what's going on and who you need to check out.  Probably the best source of information regarding shows, bands and local music news.  Check them out.

How to support local music: Go to a show - support the musicians by paying the cover charge - it usually isn't that much.  If you like what you hear buy a CD or download the tracks from iTunes or another digital fee source.  Talk to band - tell them what you thought of their music.  Get involved...

Part II : What's going right on Mill Ave.- how to keep it going...