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Society for Long Beach Music #Collaboration

In 2014, WE Labs Founder Markus Manley and members Menchie Caliboso and Sarah Bennett conceptualized and co-founded the Society for Long Beach Music (SLBM), a collective that fosters the appreciation of music and culture in Long Beach. SLBM documents, investigates, and celebrates the music and culture of Long Beach, the most diverse city in the nation. Anyone who lives, loves and wants to learn more about Long Beach through its multi-genre aural output is a welcomed member.

The Society for Long Beach Music's mission is to provide a space in which artists, fans and community members can discover, re-learn, discuss and revel in the stories and unique culture of Long Beach through its diverse music scene. Devoted to creating a more innovative Long Beach, SLMB members are interested in sharing this city's music past and present while sparking conversations about its future.

Read more below from our own WE Labs member Menchie Caliboso in her piece on highlights from the scene in 2014 and visit their website at www.societyforlongbeachmusic.org to support and join the SLMB movement:

2014 Society for Long Beach Music Highlights

Written by: Menchie Caliboso

2014 was a year of both proud accomplishments and heart-wrenching tragedy. Markus, Sarah, and I (Menchie) met regularly from Spring 2013 to March 2014 to conceptualize Society for Long Beach Music. It was clear that we were on the same wavelength. We wanted people to see our local music not just as entertainment, but through a cultural perspective that has strengthened the dynamic spirit of Long Beach and its diversity. We wanted to strengthen our community, not by curating live shows and booking local talent, but by talking about how our local music scene, from its inception after World War II, has impacted people and music worldwide, as well as how our local music reflects the stories of our community members.


In March 2014, Long Beach lost Markus Manley — suddenly and without warning, our friend, innovator, collaborator and fellow local music lover was gone. We decided to launch Society for Long Beach into the public as soon as possible in his honor. If you lived in Long Beach during that time, you felt the weight of his passing, whether you knew Markus or not. From the arts and music to technology and from non-profits organizations to creative start-ups, Markus was a renaissance man who strived for a stronger, better, and more connected Long Beach. Naturally, he knew so many people and contributed his efforts to countless projects in Long Beach and beyond. We will always miss him and part of his legacy lives through Society for Long Beach Music.

We also dedicated our first zine to Markus Manley. You can still view the entire zine HERE where you find snippets from Sarah Bennett’s comprehensive thesis on Long Beach music (with particular regard to the diversity of Long Beach and the globalization of music), Top 5 Long Beach Songs chosen by Rudy De Anda (Wild Pack of Canaries) and Jesse Carzello (Bobby Blunders), and lyrics by local hip-hop duo Shining Sons, who often rap about their experience as community organizers in Long Beach.

We also successfully launched an Indie Week Campaign with Localism, Porch Party Records, Long Beach Independent, and Falling Mirrors Collective. Our goal was to connect local residents to local businesses using music, so we booked four different bands in four different stores on four different days during the week of Independence Day. Altogether, 16+ small businesses and 16 local acts  participated. 

indieweek_comp                                                                                    indieweek_crew

You can still DOWNLOAD a compilation of the participating Indie Week LB artists. Although we worked under a time budget, we were happy with the diverse lineup of artists we were able to book, as a diverse lineup would truly represent the rich cultural mosaic of Long Beach. Among many in this compilation, you will find hip hop and electronica producer NiceGuyxVinny, who has recently been signed onto Los Angeles record-label Soulection. You’ll also find Gnocchi, a low-key jazz outfit who spend most of their time touring for national acts, such as Nas and Kanye West, and playing local gigs during their time off.

In 2015, our main goal is to simply keep growing by spreading cultural education and appreciation of Long Beach music through more articles, a music anthology project, and maybe even a video series! Given our limited capacity, we are always on the look out for people who are interested in writing, producing video content, or contributing digital or physical copies of Long Beach music for Society for Long Beach Music. 

Most importantly, we thank you all so much for your support and we look forward to a good year! 



We Labs Visits Agenda Trade Show 2015

Agenda Trade Show’s impact on Long Beach, Los Angeles, and all of Southern California is a study of not only the effect of counterculture on society, but also of how over 750 lifestyle brands can change the economic landscape. Varying from Nike to Obey, Zero Skateboards to Lunar Socks, there truly is something for everyone - from industry insiders to impatient and dedicated fans.

Looking back to last January’s Agenda, covered in detail by WE Labs’ own Sarah Bennett, one can see how the city of Long Beach quickly became a leader in the buying and selling of surf, skate, sneaker and streetwear brands. “There have been brands that their whole career has been launched here,” says Agenda founder Aaron Levant, who personally chooses which brands get invited to buy booths each year. “The retailers and buyers they met with and the press they got from this event has literally changed and made their brand and that’s a really cool thing to be a part of—these entrepreneurs fulfilling their dreams and chasing their passions.” - Click for more of Sarah's article in the LB Post.

As a creative collaborative coworkspace dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses grow, all of us here at WE Labs know the feeling Mr. Levant describes above and couldn’t be more excited to see the evolution of Agenda in our own back yard. “[A]fter 11 years in business, Agenda has become much more than just a place where youth culture brands come to make sales in sunny SoCal. It has expanded to become an all-encompassing celebration of the California lifestyle with live art, daytime drinking, a food truck court and celebrity sightings from Famous Stars and Straps owner (and Blink 182 drummer) Travis Barker to Long Beach luminary Snoop Dogg, who this year had no less than three collaborations with different brands featured across Agenda.” - Click for more of Sarah's article in the LB Post.

As for this year? The 2015 Agenda Trade Show has worldwide appeal and showcases how to build brands from the ground up. The Long Beach convention center is the perfect forum; hosting Agenda positions our city at the crossroads of small business and entrepreneurial growth. An expanded women’s section highlights a growing sector within the lifestyle retail market. There was a notable uptick in designers focusing brands exclusively on women this year, a welcome sign in this traditionally male dominated industry.

The intensity was palpable, as Agenda benefited from not only being the first trade show of the 2015 season, but also from the cold weather preceding it: “A cold snap in December pushed a higher demand for apparel, retailers said. A few days after the New Year, Agenda booths were packed with buyers, according to vendors.” - Click for more from Andrew Asch on Agenda 2015.

On the trade show floor Long Beach small business owners could see firsthand how an original idea combined with the right niche market can create billion dollar trends that move markets. This intrepid WE Labs representative was reinvigorated after immersing myself in the action - coworking goes hand in hand with the independent and fresh minded thinking that leapt off the convention floor. I couldn’t help but picture how these businesses would flourish within WE Labs’ creative environment, and am even more excited as I look forward to seeing our members represent Long Beach and make the transition to exhibitors in coming years.

We told you there was something for everyone...

Why Coworking?

You need to invest in you first.

How do you create opportunities for your business to grow? Becoming part of the Work Evolution community will give you more opportunities to get perspective, word-of-mouth marketing, trade referrals, as well as find partners for new business ideas. Basically, we are where all the cool kids work and play.

Working at home alone can be a drag.

Working from home is isolating, unsettling, and filled with distractions. If it’s not a basket of laundry or having to clean the house for a meeting, it’s the dog nudging you or your unemployed gossiping neighbor at the door. Work Evolution is a place where creatives, thinkers, and visionaries come together.

Your local coffee shop office sucks!

You won’t feel the guilt of having to buy coffee every hour, there are plenty of outlets, and the wifi speed doesn’t get major lag after only 10 connections.

Only you think your cat has great ideas.

Generating new ideas and solving problems are at the top of the list of important things about running your own business. Our members geek on ideas with one another, give advice, and often collaborate to make epic things happen. How are your cat’s skills on infographic design?

You need to grow your professional wolfpack.

Being around the right people as a free-range human is important. Not only does working alongside like-minded people help innovate and grow business, it gives you lunch buddies and play partners. Free range humans are a unique breed. Making friends with other creative free rangers that understand your independence is important and can bring better balance to your work and social life.

Finding new clients can be as easy as saying hello.

Members openly exchange referrals to help each other generate more business. How, where, and when does this happen? Serendipitous hallway crossings, group lunch outings, post-it notes, and engaging community events.

Show your clients you mean business.

Meetings in living rooms and coffee shops typically equals discount service to clients. Having a client meet you at a legit business address in a legit conference room will leave a solid impression. Plus it makes it easier to ask for what you’re worth when they see you take your business seriously.

Who do you call when you need services?

We invite people with a variety of expertise to join our community. Graphic design, marketing, mobile app programming, web development, film direction, music production, fashion design and copywriting are just a few of the skills available. There’s no better way to find the right person for the job than experience them working in person.

You can work when, where and how ever you like to work.

You are the boss, so you can show up early, late, or not at all. We offer a variety of work areas within our nearly 8,000-square-foot facility, so changing it up daily is that easy. There is every workspace imaginable, from traditional workstations to comfy couches and beanbags.


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Long Beach, CA 90802

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