Tractor Tavern in Seattle, NWCZ Radio interview
I hope everyone had a great holiday here in the United States. From what I've gathered it's been a great one for our friends and fans. We had a good time of relaxation with rehearsals and jams, lots of new songs brewing and preparation for two big shows this month in Seattle and Portland.
I had an interview with NWCZ Radio in the Seattle area last night and you can listen to that here
Our next show is this Thursday evening in Seattle, December 5th at the Tractor Tavern with Eternal Fair, and Patrick Foster & the Locomotive. Tickets. We have been looking forward to this show ever since we became a band. People have always told us that the Tractor would be a perfect fit for us and we're happy to try it on for size. Both bands sharing the stage with us we have played with before, most recently at Chinook Fest a couple of months back. You may remember us heading to Eastern WA swimming in rivers, sleeping on the ground, and generally acting like hippies. Well, if you missed the sold out festival back in September, the fine Crooks of the WA band, Cody Bebee and the Crooks have put together a fine piece of our closing song- a brand new one (!)- "White Sugar". We hope you enjoy the video as much as we've enjoyed playing the song.
The next Portland show is December 20th at Mississippi Studios with Minden, and the Lower 48. Both bands we've played with before on a few occasions and we think the bill is stellar. No, radical. You'll want to get your tickets in advance because the quaint venue fills up quick. Tickets
More exciting stuff always brewing in the basement, so keep in touch on Twitter to find out the minute things are happening, and of course, when things aren't happening as well.
Ads, Secret Shows, etc.
Well, although we haven't been out on the road as much in October, we've been hard at work at home. The show on the 16th at the Doug Fir was quite bananas. Thank you all for showing up early for us and packing it out- and staying all night for Solwave, out of SF, and Rags & Ribbons from here in town. It has been quite the busy times since then... where to start?
You may have heard us coming through your television set in the past few months. Our song, "Aralia Spinosa", has been featured in a Kyocera commercial called, "Important Document". Check out the video of the commercial. Lots of new fans have been getting our records due to hearing Aralia on that ad! Pretty cool.
A little while before our last show we had the pleasure of seeing our friends Kris Orlowski open up for Little Green Cars at the Doug Fir. Kris and his band are from Seattle, and I highly recommend them, if you haven't seen them yet. I have to say, we were blown away by Little Green Cars set too. They were all the way from Ireland, and apparently a lot of people already know about them, but they are still growing. It's a six-member band, one girl, 5 guys, 5 people singing, with guitars, bass, keys, drums. I hate to compare them to Arcade Fire, because they sound nothing alike, but the emotion is the same. (Arcade Fire is the new Radiohead in that way. A few years ago every band that hoped they were experimental, or had a bleep or bloop in their music listed their key influence as Radiohead... now everyone is Arcade Fire, whether you have 16 members in your band, or you've heard '80's music.) The playing was fantastic, and the songs were great too. What else do you need to know? After the show we ended up hanging with both the bands, and eventually made our way to the hotel room that the bands were staying in, and had a good old fashioned party. To make room, we flipped up one of the twin beds, and used the chalk (normally used to make art on the hotel room door) to graffiti the bottom of the bed. We all took turns adding our artistic touch, and eventually parted ways but not after a proper dance party to the soothing sounds of Notorious B.I.G. Yes, B.I.G. is big in Ireland too. All of the members of Little Green Cars are just about the nicest folks too, so go check out their music and see them when they come back in the spring.
I won tickets from the Portland Mercury to see King Tuff and Wavves at the Wonder Ballroom. I really enjoyed King Tuff's set, it was fun, unpretentious, party rock & roll.
The day after that we had the privilege of seeing Tango Alpha Tango alumni, Beau Kuther play drums at the Roseland Theater with his new LA band, Small Pools, opening up for (and on tour with), The Mowgli's, and Walk the Moon. There was about 2,000 screaming kids, faces painted, ready to have the "best night of their lives" that gave Smallpools the welcome they deserved. After the show we headed with the bands over to Ground Kontrol for some adult arcading- no, not that kind, classic arcades, like Pacman, and NBA Jam- get your mind out of the gutter. Met some of the Mowgli's and caught up with Beau and the rest of Smallpools, who we had hung out with in LA before.
Mirabai had the pleasure of seeing Bonnie Raitt too, but you'll have to ask her more about that. I remember one line she mentioned, after telling me how great the show was, Bonnie told the audience as a roadie brought her a stool, "now I'm gonna sit down and play the blues", eventually leading into "Love Me Like a Man". Perfect.
For Halloween Mirabai decided to be a ballerina, and even made her own Tutu. Is that how you spell that? It's been quite some time since I've written about Tutus (never... maybe once). The day of our Halloween party I finally decided what to be- Bob Dylan. Kind of a "Blonde-on-Blonde-era-fro-dylan" kind-of Dylan. We had a good time and there's a picture below. So, it seems like Halloween is over the way it laid out for us this year, but it really hasn't even happened yet. Maybe I'll think of a new costume for this weekend.
In the meantime, when we're not out at shows, we've been working on our new material. And just yesterday I woke up from a nap with a new song in my head from a dream I had. So, twenty minutes later... new song! They just keep coming out. Also, I'm going to start work on the solo album you all have been asking about. I've actually already started, but I intend to finish it. We are also in the works of releasing more live videos for your viewing pleasure. Too many things to keep going on and on about. This weekend we'll be in Seattle playing a super, top secret show. That's really all that I can say. But, if you're in Seattle drop me a line and I might be able to give you a hint. See you soon at our next show.
Also, go follow us on Twitter to hear about this stuff as it's happening- in REAL time. Or, head to Instagram and SEE it happening in real time.
Last Thursday we had the privilege of opening for two touring acts at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR, J Roddy Waltson & the Business, and Gringo Star. It was a beautiful day in North Portland, and we live just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Mississippi Studios. We loaded in around 7:00 for our soundcheck. Things were running behind, but it was relaxed as J Roddy and Gringo were finishing up their checks. We made all of the necessary introductions and most everyone became fast friends. We took the stage at 9:00 after meeting up with our friend, George, who had flown in from LA to catch our set for Lebanese food across the street (which I highly recommend). The crowd quickly piled in for our set and we had a blast rocking through the usual suspects from the new record, Black Cloud. "Brahma Bull" stands out in my memory from the first half of the set, as the harmonies in that room had a unique crispness to them, and it's just a fun song to play, and watch all of the heads nodding in unison as if compelled by a supernatural force. We featured two brand new tracks and we're really proud of their progress. They don't have official names, so I'm not going to call them anything yet. Just come out to a show and hear them soon. After our set the other bands took their turns making the crowd dance, hoot and holler. After the show we took the party to our house and showed some of the band guys a Portland good time in the Tango Cave. We ended up staying up until probably 5:00am sharing songs and stories, and as the sun came up it looked like it was to be another beautiful fall day that we thought we may have been robbed of with that bout of torrential downpours a few days earlier.
Friday, most of the band was to head up to Seattle for the Fiona Apple/Blake Mills show in Seattle. It was a perfect drive up the 5, and we hit virtually no traffic. We rolled in right at 7:45, parked, and then headed straight into the show. It was at a fancy theater, of which the name escapes me- you know, like a symphony hall of some sort. We took our seats as Fiona, Blake (guitar), a drummer, and upright bassist took to the stage. Now, I'm not a diehard Fiona Apple fan, but respect her music, and know more than your Mom and Dad probably do of her, but, that's not saying much. The first thought when you see her, if you're like me, and not keeping up with her, is that she doesn't look like she did in the "Criminal" video any more. Like all of us, some years have been added, and in her case, some pounds lost. After getting used to what she looks like these days it was time to listen. They got into a couple tunes from her back catalog, but mostly the recent album, and took turns from her songs to Blake's, both backing each other up in new ways. Some times he played her piano songs on guitar, or she leant a harmony on his song that wasn't on the recording, etc. It was done effortlessly, and beautifully. The two have been dating for a while now, and it seemed like some sort of intimate jam, where she would comfortably talk, or sort through her box of percussion, with a childlike improvisation. Blake Mills, is one of the best guitarists I've had the pleasure to watch live. His playing original, his tones classic, and his suspense, tension and resolve was heartbreaking and tearjerking. If you ever have the chance to see him live, I would take it. They featured what seemed to be a brand new song- from the applause of the crowd- with a darker, yet almost more pop appeal, in the NIN, "Animal" kind of way. After the last song, the band quietly turned off amps, and as the crowd, confused, patiently and silently waited for the next song- even after two straight hours of music. But Fiona, after a moment of realizing no one knew that was the end, said she didn't have one more and that she didn't believe in encores, that some times things have an end, and it's just the end. She took pictures of the audience with her camera and then was gone with a wave. It really was a great show, and even if you weren't her biggest fan. I am certainly now a huge Blake Mills fan.
Our next show is at the Doug Fir in Portland, OR on October 16th with Rags & Ribbons and Solwave from San Francisco. We are up first at 9pm. Get tickets in advance and get there early so you don't miss our set. Thank you all who have been buying our album, online and at shows, it really helps us keep putting stuff out. Keep coming to shows and we'll keep putting them on. We're always working hard to bring you our best.
New York City
Well, it feels like we've been all over and back lately. We've settled back in to Portland and just as we did the weather changed, cooler mornings and evenings force us to shut in and tackle new tasks in the new season. But first, let's go back.
Chinook Fest was an absolute blast, and I would recommend anyone making the trip up to Naches, WA to camp with up-and-coming bands and fellow listeners nestled next to the wining Chinook River in this sometimes forgotten part of the country. Two stages were set up in a park that feels more like an abandoned summer camp than a park. We headed up Friday night, enjoyed the music and camping, and we had the privilege to play a headlining slot before the festival founders, Cody BeBee & the Crooks on Saturday night. It would be hard to have a bad set with the sold-out crowd that Chinook Fest boasted this year; they danced, sang along, and screamed for more. It was an easy day for us, seeing bands like Kris Orlowski, and Eternal Fair, and only taking breaks to swim, eat, and laze around. After a late night- or early morning- we hit the road and Mirabai and I got ready for our next adventure.
It would be a long post to describe to you every little thing about our trip to New York City. But I'll say that it was our first time, and it is nothing short of a magical city. Maybe it's all of the history that you're constantly engulfed by, or the greats who've been inspired by it's ambition, or even the diversity of it's residents, but it is definitely like no other place on earth before or since. Our home away from home was in Brooklyn/Queens on a main line of the train that spat us out in a new part of the crawling city every time we rode. It was quite an adventure just walking up the subway steps to see whatever it was we were going to see each time because every time it was so different; from Coney Island to the Lower East Side, Williamsburg to the Upper West Side, Brighton Beach to the Upper East Side, we saw a tiny piece of it all. It seems that if you lived there for a thousand years you couldn't take in every nuance, not just because of the sheer size, but the depth of details on every corner. We witnessed the pride of the Empire State building, and the wisdom of the Rockefeller plaza, we felt the ingenuity of the Brooklyn Bridge as we walked across it in the warm evening, and walked into the middle of the tourist epicenter of the world, Times Square, and strolled the historic Central Park. It was nice to see all of the sights for ourselves, and to experience them in our own way. It was especially nice to live like a resident and play a show there like a local too. The Delancey was great and we appreciate those who came to watch. Tom Schecter, and Katie Schecter did a spendid job with their music and we can't wait to go back and hang with all of our new friends soon. So, thank you to everyone out there who helped us out, watched us play, gave us directions, or told us where to eat what, and see what else.
With that trip already passed we're really itching to put all of that experience into our next show at Mississippi Studios. We play October third, next Thursday with J Roddy & the Business and Gringo Star. Get your tickets in advance and don't miss us, because we open up the show at 9. It's still a full set so don't let that fact deter you. Both other bands are worth the price alone, and they only come around once a year or so, and never together! Bonus, Bonus, Bonus!
If you aren't getting enough news from this blog, head to http://www.twitter.com/tangoalphtango for close to incessant adventures, thoughts, rants, and ramblings. We also have a new Instagram account under the same handle.
New York City, Chinook Fest sold-out, J Roddy & the Business...
Well, WA folk, it looks like the second annual Chinook Fest is sold out this year. We play Saturday night in a headlining spot right before the festival originators, Cody BeeBe & the Crooks, at 10pm. We'll be sure to upload pics of the festivities and camp vibes to our Instagram, which is, @tangoalphatango
After Chinook Mirabai and I are headed to New York City for our first time ever. I will playing a solo show at the Delancey with my friend Tom Schecter and his sister. If you're in NYC and can make it out, please do. It would be so great to see some familiar faces, or meet some of our east-coast fans.
For all of you Portland folk, we are getting very excited for our next show at Mississippi Studios. The bill is stacked with rock & roll goodness including, Gringo Star, and headliners, J Roddy & the Business. You'll have to go to some homework, but J Roddy has a new album streaming on Rolling Stone's website. The date is October 3rd, and we start out the night at 9:00pm. This is our only Portland show for a while, so get your tickets now. It's only $8!
Some days you end up spending hundreds of hard-earned dollars on molded rubber. Yes, today we had to put a couple of new tires on the old band wagon- a necessary task for the amount of miles that we travel each year. I hope everyone had a good weekend of relaxing views and sunshine for Labor Day, and if you did have to work, hopefully your line of work happens to be: "a historian and amateur cryptologist searching for a lost treasure of precious metals, jewelry, artwork and other artifacts that was accumulated into a single massive stockpile by looters and warriors over many millennia starting in Ancient Egypt, later rediscovered by warriors who form themselves into the Knights Templar to protect the treasure, eventually hidden by American Freemasons during the American Revolutionary War."* Just kidding. I seriously hope you're back to real life and you're okay with that. If not, we may be able to brighten your mood with three shows this week. First we will be in Eugene supporting, Crushed Out, formerly, Boom Chick, on the start of their tour at Sam Bond's Garage. We're up first, and the show is at 9PM.
Sam Bond's Info
Friday, I'll be playing an solo show for one of the Banana Stand's week of free shows during MFNW. The show will be at Double Dragon with Ryan Stively. The show is of course free and is at 4pm. The Banana Stand is releasing their Volume II of "Live from the Banana Stand" compilation.
Banana Stand Media
Finally on Saturday, we'll be at the Deli Magazine's free day party at Kelly's Olympian with several other great bands including, Otis Heat, Mister Tang, the Quick and Easy Boys, and Jacob Miller & the Bridge City Crooners (who just reached most syllables in a band name in town). We are very excited to play with all of these folks, for all of you folks, and for free, nonetheless. Check the link below, we made the front page!
Deli Show Info
In other exciting news, our song, In My Time of Dying, will be featured on local label, Tender Loving Empire's new "Friends and Friends of Friends" compilation, volume six. This compilation features bands you've heard of: Typhoon, Radiation City, Phillip Glass, Wild Ones, and especially exciting artists like, Adam Brock. Here is a link to all the pre-order business and other tom foolery about this album.
Last but not least, we will be playing Saturday night, the fourteenth of September, at Chinook Fest up in Naches, WA. We played it last year, it was a blast, all of the bands camp-out, so do the fans, and it's a general party of sorts, festival-style. So, if you'd like to get tickets, do so now in this general direction. I have to say we're excited to be on the bill with Lee Oskar, and other up and comers like Seattle's songsmith, Kris Orlowski.
Chinook Fest Website
Be sure to tune in soon and find out about seeing some of us on the east coast! And check out the new photo gallery by the amazing and local, Todd Walberg here:
Todd Walberg Gallery
*Wikipedia, National Treaure Film
"All Mine Blues", Live at the Doug Fir
Thank you to everyone who made it out to the Doug Fir on Friday for our show with Blue Skies for Black Hearts and the Lower 48. Although our set felt short, we packed everything we had into it. We even ended with a brand new song that we're trying out live for you guys. It always helps us before we record, to play a song out live and get everything just right. It was really great talking to a lot of you who come out to every show. There is a growing number of you guys and we couldn't be happier. Keep spreading the word and don't be afraid to come out to every show. Who knows, we may hold a contest to see who can come to the most. More on that later.
The fine folks over at Collective-47 Productions, associated with the Banana Stand, have finished editing our latest video production, "All Mine Blues", live at the Doug Fir, June 29th, for our album release. This was the set closer, and you can tell what a good time everyone was having. Please watch it, share it, and send it to your friends who have been meaning to catch a show.
Tuesday we had the pleasure of seeing Steely Dan at Edgefield. We LOVE this band. I can remember going to Al's Records in Oak Grove to search for each album in junior high. They were second only to the Beatles/Led Zeppelin. They opened doors to sounds that I hadn't heard- especially the innovative guitar players they employed. Jon Herington is their lead guitarist/musical director, and blew my mind constantly during the show. The crowd was a little salty at first, and twice our age on average. But, once the white wine kicked in, and people forgot about their perfect comfort level, or their beach chair, or their self-proclaimed plot of grass legally protected by their Tex-Mex blankets, they really started to listen to the music. The afternoon turned into evening, and the focus went from everything around to only the sounds coming from the stage, and the people creating those sounds- familiar sounds: the hits. So many hits. If you get a chance to see them, I would do it while they've still got it, and they definitely do.
In other weekly news, we ate more mexican food than you. Por Que No, Javier's, and Mazatlan were visited, and Juanita even made a surprise visit to our house. Other than that we managed to make it to Willamette Week's Pop-Up Pool Party at Portland Meadows on Sunday. What's better than watching a horse-race while standing in a swimming pool/listening to a DJ, a huge slip-n-slide/a snowball fight in August? Not many things. I highly recommend it for next year. After that party, we ate (mexican food), and headed to Rontoms for some free music, not sure who played, but it is always a good time for sure.
Speaking of good times... We play tomorrow night, Tuesday, the 20th of August, at Bunk Bar. We'll be on at 11pm to headline this night of PALS Fest. Also joining us on the bill are Sama Dams, and Eidolons. If you don't know about PALS, they are a PDX House Venue/state of mind.
The Bite of OR, Rontoms
After a late night I'm still reeling from the musical high of yesterday's two shows. We started out early on the Waterfront at the Bite of Oregon Garden Stage. We took the stage around 3:15 to a mostly seated crowd, with an exception of a few "brave" dancers. "Brave" dancers near the beer garden are usually one of two types of people: one, a baby boomer who is stuck IN an acid trip, and two, (usually) an older male who misses the stadium lights of his high-school field and settles on getting day-drunk and making his friends laugh with Jack Black-esque rock moves. Of course there are, and should be, normal dancers, but more often than not, there are one to two that fall into this category. Having not played since earlier in the week, our set felt fresh and excited- we even threw in a new song to the set that we wrote a couple of weeks ago. After selling CDs to folks, we headed to Rontoms to get our soundcheck going for the evening.
After a flawless soundcheck by Boone, of the We Shared Milk, we decided it was time to get some food. We decided on Por Que No? - which is always an easy choice being that it is 2 blocks from Tango Alpha Tango headquarters. I think it's safe to say that we have a mexican food problem. Or maybe a solution? Eat it whenever possible. Although there was no time for a nap, we had a quick backyard session and headed back to Rontoms with Tom Petty's, "You Don't Know How it Feels" blasting on the stereo with four windows down. Showed up to a sparsely populated patio as the Soft Bombs, a band from Nevada City, CA, were about to take the stage. They wooed the crowd with a shoegaze/psych/dance-pop brand of their own replete with electronics-induced keys and drums and morose melodies carried by thick, chimey guitars.
As we took the stage, it was a little later than planned, but just enough people had rolled in to fill out the patio and were eager to have some fun. Very eager. We opened up both sets of the day with, "Boom Boom", just how the album starts. That song just gets us going, and although we were already warmed up, it's a good song to get us there either way. After that we started "Kill & Haight" and I usually start with an improvised slide solo, it got pretty rhythmic and the excited crowd started giving me a beat of claps to play along to- that made it get even crazier. Then, rattling through more of our album, we hit the new song, which is already becoming a crowd favorite, and back to the album catalog. I found myself on top of the sub that sits in front of the stage as we wailed through, "I Want You", and, "Understand" had to be one of my favorites of the night. We encored with an old one for us, the first song I ever wrote for Tango, "the Devil's Mark", which always gets crazy. I really can't explain every detail of how fun this was- but the crowd was really the MVP of the night, so involved, and cheering us along the whole way.
After mingling with the new fans and friends, some of whom insisted that we head to Sinferno at Dante's with them, we respectfully declined, we decided it was time to fill up our bellies again, and where else but N. Portland's only 24-hour burrito shop, Javier's. Yes, we did. We ate even more than the first time; tostadas, veggie burritos, Oregon burritos, enchiladas, chips, chorizo scrambled eggs, taquitos, and quesadillas. Actually, looking back at this list, we may have nearly had all combinations possible of corn, beans, meat, cheese, flour. Also, there house salsa is spicy- and we love spicy. If you don't know Javier's and think that Muchas Gracias is the only place to be- think again.
With full bellies and fully satisfied musical appetites, we finally hit the hay. It dawned on me while closing my eyes, seconds away from slumber, that sleep is probably our only admission that we are men, that, not by our own design, we must stop consciously thinking, trying, acting on anything for an extended period of time to an end that we don't fully understand, which we easily ignore or forget with the light of each new day as we bargain with our borrowed time.
Check out the new video of us in Seattle at a podcast called, Fresh from the Farm, filmed live at the Funk Farm. Here were are performing, "Kill & Haight".
Doug Fir 8/16/2013
The Lower 48 (album release)
Tango Alpha Tango
Blue Skies for Black Hearts
Black Cloud Album Release
As many of you know, we have officially released our new album, Black Cloud. It is out nationally in select stores, and everywhere digitally, as of July 16th. We toured promoting the album to Moscow, Boise, Bend, Sebastopol, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle earlier in June, and had an absolute blast. We'll be back around hopefully later in the fall, so look out for those dates.
For now check out the new video for, "Ain't Gonna Be Your Dog", off of the new album. This was filmed by Hymn & Hearse in one shot, and this is the actual take that we used on the record.
We are also thrilled to be celebrating the launch of our brand new website. Also, sign up for our mailing list, and check back here for frequent updates.