Monday, April 7, 2014

The WOD Broadcasting Indpendence Live from Geek Day at the Phoenix Film Festival

Patti Hulstrand talked about Comic Cons, and gaming. Song River talked about music, independent art and thinking.

Excitement is now brewing because of so many involved in the artistic roots movement, as the underground creatives bring independence forward! 

Listen in as we talk about the gaming industry,  the recent Phoenix Film Festival 2014;  the 40th celebration of LepreCon in May at the Marriott in Mesa ,Az ; Comic book illustrator Shelby Robertson and his project '94; one of Arizona's favorites...Amazing Arizona Comic Con and their comic con that took place in January 2014; the Phoenix group known as, The Arizona Avengers; and the group Umbrella Corporation Arizona Hive who help raise funds for the Arizona Animal Welfare League!  

Along with our new April issue featuring independent local musicians Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers, and the lovelost.

Great things are happening!  Stay tuned to KWOD...
 independent radio for independent people. 

The Hay Girls Radio Show will be kicking off this Wednesday at the Ice House Tavern 
Sponsored by KWOD, Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers, Vintage Note Records & CowGirlZen Photography 


Some photos from Geek Day and KWOD out at the Phoenix Film Festival

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To SEO or Not?

Great article on whether or not SEO helps photography business websites, blogs, etc.  Worth the read. SEO Photography Business Ideas 

Also, to help understand how SEO works to your advantage read this article: Optimizing Your Site

Monday, March 24, 2014

Interview with Gary Hector of the band- jointpop

Read and see the photos in L3 Magazine March Issue 2014

Interview with Gary Hector of the band- jointpop

by: Song River

It was an easy afternoon, nothing was a worry as the warm breeze blew and the sweet melodies of nature wrapped us in comfort. There is nothing pretentious to be found, life is about music, love, and family. Gary is every bit at ease with life, his surroundings and most importantly himself, all of which reflect in the music of his band- jointpop.

Let's connect our worlds Gary- as we both know, whether a beat is played in Trinidad/Tobago or stateside great rock is great rock.

Song River: Who is Gary Hector, What is jointpop?

Gary Hector:  I am the singer and guitar player of jointpop, a rock n roll band from Trinidad and Tobago, also a songwriter and a family man.

jointpop is a five member rock n roll band, and all five members are also from Trinidad and Tobago.

The other band members are Damon Homer (Guitar), Dion Camacho (Drums), Phil Hill (keyboards), Jerome Girdharrie (Bass).

Song: Gary... jointpop- Soca or not?  Describe why or why not.

Gary: Soca music is the most popular style of music in Trinidad and Tobago, and it was created here in the mid-seventies. The present day style and songs I am not really a fan of as I prefer the songs from the mid-seventies up to early nineties. I am a big fan of what is known as “Old Time Kaiso ( Calypso).”

I must admit over the last couple years, a few Soca singers seem to be returning to good strong melodies and grooves, and the lyrics and content are starting to come away for the repeated instruction style phrases.

jointpop just sticks to what we know best, which is rock n roll, and we leave the Soca to the “Soca Experts” or as they call them here “ Soca Stars”.

Song: Over the years you've spent writing, singing, performing how have you seen your part of the world in the eye of the music top 40 standards? Those in particular being set by the UK and the United States, and throw in the influences you've seen carry themselves over from Australia?

Gary: In my opinion, the majority of top 40 standards is downright terrible and just “throw away” stuff, and sadly most bands and singers here in the Caribbean use the top 40 standards as blueprints to follow.

Song: What is your struggle; in what way do you perceive this world both socially, culturally and politically?

Gary: My struggle is simple; I’m in a rock n roll band in Trinidad and Tobago, but sometimes it’s a beautiful struggle.  Social issues and Cultural knowledge do interest me and I can absorb some of that.

Politics I don’t deal with at all. No interest what so ever. I actually find it funny.

Song: Does this perception influence your music writing, does it at times interfere too much? Do you try to keep out of political and social influences when writing, or does each album created carry its own?

Gary: Yes, (pauses) it does to some extent, but I just let it be. Whenever I decide to write songs for a new album, I try to find the album name first, then the songs start coming and the album takes its own life.

The history of our singers here was always been based around strong social commentary, so I do inherit some of that. (laughs) Thankfully.

Song: Describe the arts in your area.  How have you seen the whole process of music and the arts change since your childhood days in the Caribbean?

Gary: Music and arts in the Caribbean is a constant struggle because it’s not very well supported by the various Governments and corporate entities. With the internet, more Caribbean music and arts would find new audiences, but I can imagine it’s all down to the individuals’ personal hard work.

Song: We here in the states, due to funding so it is said, have cut most of the arts out of our public school systems, are the arts and music still included in your school systems?  Are the children and youth in the Caribbean able to still enjoy the artistic expressions all through their growing years? 

Gary: I’m not sure what is the actual status of the arts and music programs in the local school systems, but from general reading and discussions, it seems to be very minimal outside of some traditional schools, which retained an arts and music program. From what I observe with present Caribbean artists, the artistic impression is being stifled because of the “quick fix’”attitude of over trying for the HIT song.

Song: As I understand your songwriting skills Gary, you seem to know how to project a thought on many levels without smacking the usual listener.  How do you walk that line in song writing?

Gary: Basically, 'I don’t stop to think,' when I’m in the actual writing process. Maybe, after I would have an overall look at it, but really it’s down to the feel. So, it’s always a case of saying, “ How do we feel about it boys ??”..Good ??..OK, next song.”

Then you get the view of someone outside the band asking “Well, if you listen to the radio now, that’s not what they are playing ,”  My response, “Sorry, but I don’t listen to the radio.”

Song: You as a songwriter, Gary, are a best kept secret.  Why has the Caribbean kept you a secret do you think?  Or is it you yourself... maybe you’re satisfied with enjoying what you do, and where you are?

Gary: Maybe I’m just whispering, (laughs)… Maybe, (pauses) The Caribbean has been “fed” to believe my stories are not worth listening to, I really don’t know.

(pauses) Yes, we have been accused a few times of not “pushing “ or “marketing” ourselves properly, but  it’s the same push we do to the outside world and that fan base is growing so it’s obviously a style thing. Or maybe not.

Song: How have you and your band mates managed to collectively create the sound of a live band in studio without the external 'fluff?'

Gary: That comes down to total belief in what we are doing. Also, a level of confidence and  contentment, but we also know we still have to improve on those aspects.

Song: What is it within jointpop that brings this easy sound of rock n roll that feels good, stays in your head, (made me hum Sweet Nothing all day), and tells a story?

Gary: Staying honest to the writing process and the fact that we don’t have any record label or management to answer to so it’s all very uncomplicated.

Song: How many recorded albums to date now?

Gary: Between 1999 to present , six albums recorded, Port of Spain Style (1999), Exile,Baby ( 2001) jointpop ( EP 2004),  The January Transfer Window ( 2007), The Longest Kiss Goodnight ( 2009) and The Pot Hounds ( 2013) and presently working on our 2014 album “ QUICKSAND “ ( May /June 2014 release) which we are very excited about.

Song: Of those recorded and released, which one has been... not your favorite, but the one that has stuck with you in a good or bad way?

Gary: Well they all have their own beauty and pain really.  If I have to mention, then the first, Port of Spain Style, for being the first to start the journey, and the last The Pot Hounds ,which continues the journey.

Song: Early influences to your songwriting style?  Who continues to influence you today?

Gary: Bob Dylan.  60’s British Invasion like The Beatles, The Stones, and The Kinks. Mid 70’s Punk like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Blondie. 70’s singer/songwriters Neil Young, the Carpenters. 70’s Reggae, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Culture. Calypso singers the Mighty Sparrow and David Rudder. 80’s and 90’s Sonic Youth, The Smiths, Grant Lee Phillips ,and modern day rock n rollers like Jack White . Today it remains the same.

Song: What misconceptions do you think people have of jointpop in the Caribbean area?  Do you believe there are any outside of your homeland?

Gary: The general misconception in The Caribbean seems to be that because jointpop is a rock n roll band, that we are “outsiders’ and play “foreign” music and not part of the “culture”. Which is a bit narrow minded as far as I’m concerned.

The Caribbean rejoice when ‘foreign’ acts put out songs with reggae or calypso influences. I mean after all, we love Cricket and Football here, both “English” Sports. Strange, (pauses) but none of my business. Outside our homeland the people just check us as a band, that’s all.

Song: The Pot Hounds- is your latest release- describe its style. 

Gary: With The Pot Hounds album, we touched on the notion of a fictional band called “The Pot Hounds.”

A “Pot Hound” in Trinidad and Tobago is a stray dog or street dog, no owners, no love, no food and neglected. So I guess it’s not fictional at all, sounds just like jointpop. So it’s really just more brutal and honest rock n roll stories.

Song: Each track if you would touch upon them, as to where you were thinking when you wrote them?

Gary: Mostly I think “after” I write, but with that album in general, the theme of the stray dogs was kept at the forefront.

Song: Are you comfortable placing the sound of The Pot Hounds into a genre or style?

Gary: I am very comfortable with placing the sound of The Pot Hounds as Rock n Roll.

Song: Your fans span outside the Caribbean area... does jointpop want top 40 radio air play in America, UK, Europe?

Gary: (grinning) That would be nice, but we don’t live our life everyday thinking about it, I would rather write songs, or play football, cricket or golf.

Song: When you listen to music, who do you pull out at plug into your player?

Gary: My I pod rarely lets me down, as I built the play-list from song one to the last. So it’s all my influences that I mentioned and songs I like.

Song: Time to unwind Gary- what do you do to unwind, and where is one place you would love to visit?

Gary: I am a big sports fan, so I play or watch mostly Football (Soccer), Cricket and Golf.
Spending time with my wife and two children and enjoying a drink and laugh with my good friends.

Visiting... well jointpop played a gig at CBGB’s, New York City and also at The 100 Club in London, UK, both hotbeds and birth places of Punk rock, so I guess I’m fine as far as visiting places, (laughs). Actually, believe it or not, I do enjoy the history of Trinidad and Tobago so there are lots of places I would love to visit right here at home.

Gary is right, his home is an extraordinary mixture of people, cultures, food, exquisite surroundings, and a place one can hold dearly close in their hearts.  There's always room for more music... and jointpop belongs anywhere at any time, telling their stories, through their eyes, ears, emotions of its not just rock n roll... it's jointpop.

jointpop songs and albums can be purchased on the 2 links below ( plus other popular download sites)

jointpop band links below
band contact

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I think when all is said and done we can claim extraordinary to describe ourselves in this life we've lived. 

After all when you look at our process as a whole... Conception of two sets of DNA patterns, then attachment and baking for 9 months, then passing thru a canal the size comparison to... The Suez Canal, then enduring two inept adults raising us through toddlerhood, teen angst, adulthood, environmental/cultural/societal flare ups, then marriage, then the creating of more beings, till our last breath... 

Yes I'd say we all earned the badge of extraordinary. Smile- you're part of that- and that's a grand adventure to claim and a worthy one at that.- Peace, Song River

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Mother at Sixteen

As an author looks at herself... from her child's perspective.  This is one view.

Song River

I laughed to myself, never at her, no never. Every time it happens you see, well... its just such an incredible site to watch. How is it that something so small can seemingly transform her into an earlier period of time?

Taking great delight, I always follow a few feet from her, just some steps behind her mind you, as the years have gone by she is the one now that needs my watchful eye, God bless her. Lightly upon her feet, to tell you the truth I'm not sure she's even touching the ground... she dances lightly down the new grassy hill towards the water banks.

I stop, I listen, I hear her breathing.

“Come on! What are you waiting for?” she turns looking at me with this huge grin.

Ghads, her smile could quell a bull's rage, the years of enjoyment when she is with the things she loves, can be seen in those lines of a story. Oh, and her eyes! Her eye are bluer than any September sky, and her hair, sprinkled now with time, deepens into a rich russet amber, as her curls fall loosely around her slightly rounded shoulders.

She turns around, and clasps her hands together. Off to our right she points. A large eagle is heading for the river in our view. Reaching for the black rectangular shaped object, which dangles in a hug around her neck, her breath goes silent, her body so still, her measurements so quick.
The eagle swoops,
the fish is caught,
the talons embed,
the prey splashes and wriggles,
the eagle and dinner take flight,

She lets out a soft sigh, the warmth of the sun touches her cheek, and the perspiration of her passion is gone from her age.

My mother at sixteen.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Princess Warriors

Princess Warriors
Originally uploaded by Song River- CowGirlZen Photography

Teaser from today: Princess Warriors.
Prints Available
© CowGirlZen Photography

© CLAD (CosPlay Lovers and Dorks)
Available for events please contact us via facebook.
Costumes: JD, Iz, and Khurt
CosPlayers: JD, Iz and Khurt

Princess Warriors

Princess Warriors
Originally uploaded by Song River- CowGirlZen Photography

Teaser from today: Princess Warriors.
Prints Available
© CowGirlZen Photography

© CLAD (CosPlay Lovers and Dorks)
Available for events please contact us via facebook.
Costumes: JD, Iz, and Khurt
CosPlayers: JD, Iz and Khurt

Princess Warriors

Princess Warriors
Originally uploaded by Song River- CowGirlZen Photography

Teaser from today: Princess Warriors.
Prints Available
© CowGirlZen Photography

© CLAD (CosPlay Lovers and Dorks)
Available for events please contact us via facebook.
Costumes: JD, Iz, and Khurt
CosPlayers: JD, Iz and Khurt

Princess Warriors

Princess Warriors
Originally uploaded by Song River- CowGirlZen Photography

Teaser from today: Princess Warriors.
Prints Available
© CowGirlZen Photography

© CLAD (CosPlay Lovers and Dorks)
Available for events please contact us via facebook.
Costumes: JD, Iz, and Khurt
CosPlayers: JD, Iz and Khurt

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Americana Fest Tempe, Az. Yucca Tap Room

The Americana Fest
Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers w/guests 

Song River Owner of CowGirlZen Photography
Writer/Photographer/Social Media Guru
Website: CowGirlZen Photography

Urbonic White-Lighting settled in fine tun-age last night as the #YuccaTapRoom spread its divine spark of dark dives and gave way to The Americana Fest! Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers shared the creaky wooden floors of bore holed splinters and flipped a deluge of the finest Americana Artists in my opinion out of Arizona. The success not only lined itself up to a complete fest of sumptuous music, but Carol's godchild, gave birth to a line up that brought together all variants of Americana music- Yes, Carol Pacey is a pro... and a saint in the industry of what tenacity, a wicked smile, talent, beauty and personality mesh to make a fine labeled drink. With the line up consisting of oppindan-punkish, rakish, skaish, folkish, tunes and lush melodies the coast was cleared for a run under the Arizona moon. 

Kudos, largely are in line to be bowed down to the, "im not worthy," queen of The Americana Fest, Carol Pacey. A smile that could save thousands, eyes that could light up the New York City horizon and a voice that carries her band members into a star-filled night of feeling that all is right here in America. 

Rarely in the urban woods has such a delightful evening been experienced in a standing room only fest that felt better than anything else possible... it was a cool swig back against a Arizona parched throat. 

If you didn't attend, you missed out on one of the primo shindigs of the century, but no worries mates... knowing this clan bunch of well dressed revelers of music... this will happen again!

Last nights lined up consisted of: (If you haven't checked out their FB pages, or web-pages to find out how to buy their music and where they will be playing next- DO IT) Band merchandise flew out the door... yes, not only can I take killer photos, write words that I've invented, but I can sell merchandise. :) 

The Frogstranglers
Truckers on Speed
The Torn Speakers
Mr. Eastwood
The Minor Injuries
Mill's End
Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers
Tramps and Thieves
Black Mountain Moonshine 

Photos from the show will be available soon. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile- Check in with Carol Pacey and Song River as The Hay Girls Radio Show is in the process of being scheduled to begin sometime in the summer/or fall 2014. You can either message us to get your Americana style music to us, or email: 

#TheFrogStranglers #TruckersonSpeed #TheTornSpeakers #Squiddog #MrEastwood #TheMinorInjuries #MillsEnd #CarolPaceyandtheHoneyShakers #TrampsandThieves #BlackMountainMoonshine #CowGirlZenPhotography

Thank you's to Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers!
Website: — with Carol Pacey & the Honey Shakers and 9 others.