By Chris Jay 04/04/2013
The idea that a promoter’s job consists mainly of finding a venue, booking the entertainment, handing out fliers to promote and paying the artists at the end of the night is almost a thing of the past. Now, promoters seem to exist only as names on glossy postcards who present theme nights, contests, drink specials, VIP entry and anything that could possibly entice someone to spend money at a particular venue. The catch is, when you do show up at these events, you feel cheated because, as bombastic as the flier made the event seem, it usually falls far short of what was promised by the absent promoter, unless it’s a CLW Entertainment event.
Three’s a charm
CLW, which stands for Carl, Lauren and Waldo, is a promotions and entertainment company started by three friends, all of whom have varied backgrounds in the local scene. Carl Grant is best-known as Carlism, a fiery rapper who is as comfortable playing on local rock shows as he is hip-hop shows; Lauren Hanson, a popular young waitress at Bombay and bartender at Billy O’s; and Waldo Spolitback, a well-traveled soundman and tour manager, who came to Ventura from the East Coast a just a few years ago with the band New Liberty.
Any given Tuesday
CLW’s accidental foray into the world of event promotion happened as follows: Spolitback and New Liberty singer Shane Mac took over the Good Bar two years ago on Tuesday nights, a usually dead night of the week for any local venue. The idea was an interactive, somewhat original open-mic called Twisted Tuesday. The night took off but after a year or so, as Waldo and New Liberty began to hit the road, the night was turned over to friend and frequent Twisted Tuesday guest Carl Grant. In short time, Grant was approached by his close friend Lauren Hanson, who offered her services in helping make the night bigger. He had been getting ready to ask her to do that, anyway. The final puzzle piece came into play a few months later when the two asked Spolitback to get involved in Twisted Tuesdays again, and CLW Entertainment was born. CLW continued to grow Twisted Tuesday with an emphasis on theme nights — the more random the better. In addition to themes like safari night and ’80s prom night, there are games, giveaways, karaoke, DJs, bands and a general sense of anything can happen at any time. The Good Bar’s Twisted Tuesday became so popular that it now has a following of its own, often made up of employees of other bars and venues who have Tuesdays off. Soon, other venues came calling, asking for the trio to create a specialized night for them and a “one night of the week good time” has morphed into a potentially lucrative side job.
Currently, along with Twisted Tuesday at the Good Bar, CLW Entertainment is hosting an increasingly popular Friday Night-themed dance party at Bombay as well as Bad Ass Bingo at Billy O’s on Sunday nights. With three nights locked in, CLW is looking to expand and start providing services for actual events, from weddings to birthdays to private parties to you name it. It currently can provide DJs, artists, hosts, sound systems and lighting, a soundman, props, sets and decorations and full-scale party planning, “with a twist” of course. As for what separates CLW from the average promoter and what makes its nights so much fun, Spolitback says the answer is simple. “We leave our humility at the door. We are completely involved in whatever the event or activity is. We’re dressed up, we’re dancing and we’re having just as much fun as the people that come out.”
To contact CLW Entertainment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 822-3285. Check out the fun on instagram @twisted_Tuesday.