It’s all about who you know.

July 3, 2009

I’m a musician for people who hate music. I don’t say this because I’m particularly accessible to the musical layperson, but rather because I’m not really much of a music aficionado. I don’t like buying CDs (or downloading mp3s), listening to the radio, or physically getting off my lazy keister to go appreciate some good live music. I seem to only discover new artists when I’m in their immediate vicinity. I’ve found that this is often the best way to do it, since I then get the pleasure of getting to know the musicians that I so admire. There are many, but I’ll take a moment to selfishly acknowledge a few independent musicians that deserve to be A-listers that could make me feel more important by association.

Joel Smith
Joel Smith

Joel Smith is fresh on my mind since I am watching him perform with his band The Hands of Plenty at this very moment at a tragically under-attended show at The Mandolin Cafe in my hometown, Tac-town, Washington. Joel holds the distinction of being the first guy to recruit me to play a two-step bass line, which has since proven to be a valuable skill for me to have picked up. Anyways, I experienced my own personal folk revival as I re-listened to Joel’s debut album/senior project River Roads, and was so taken in by his songwriting that I woke up three days later at a cafe in Chattanooga, TN wearing only a pink Snuggie blanet and a pair of brand new Levi Strauss jeans with $230 stuffed in the pockets. The guy’s got so much talent it may very well be dangerous. I hear Spokane, WA may change it’s name to “Joel Smith.”

Endah and Rhesa

Endah and Rhesa

I first heard Endah N Rhesa while setting up for our show at the 2009 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival. While we bickered with the sound engineers and our mandolinist battled illness, I had a diva-esque hissy fit at our embassy attache demanding that he retrieve the CD of whoever it was performing at “that stage over there.” I had no idea who they were, but from my vantage point, it was a travel-sized guitarista with, like, three voices and a statuesque bassist who could lay down grooves like nobody’s business. While I was unable to go see them myself, they flattered us with their presence at our performance. Afterward, we gushed our admiration for each other (“If I were famous, I’d make you famous!” I believe is what I said) swapped CDs, and took a few pictures together. I’ve since made it a weekly ritual to check YouTube for more videos of them. These two epitomize the trifecta of  depth, taste, and chemistry, and their website is a thing of beauty. Love them. It’s the law.

Fruition String Band

Fruition String Band

I met the musical miscreants of Fruition String Band my very second day in Portland, as Chad and I were giving busking on Hawthorne Blvd. the ol’ college try. It was scorching hot and we made close to nothing, but we did run into some individuals making a more lucrative pull. The lady and gentlemen of Fruition String band sing it up with soul, walking a line between the purely traditional and a fresh, contemporary energy that’ll bite you in the ass if you take it too lightly. The Student Loan split a show with them at the Goodfoot Pub & Lounge a few weeks back and I’m still recovering from their rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” I done danced so hard I broke my femur, and that’s no joke. I mean, dude, the femur is a big bone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: