Harvester Climbs Portland

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It’s been a long time since Harvester played a proper Portland show.  Safe harbor has passed however, and we’re back to jangle the shit out of you.  It is an early show on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Landmark Saloon.  More details on Mr. Facebook. Last year, we released our first album in a decade, Mt. Tallac.  We’ll be playing some of that, along with the usual assortment of golden oldies.  Opening the show will be our buddy, and one-time drummer, Kelly Bauman.  Our current drummer, Ario Lynch, will be sneaking in a few jokes between music sets.  He’s been doing stand up comedy the last four years.  I know almost nothing about this scene, so I asked him a few questions.

1. What about drumming also applies to stand up comedy?
A -Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I mean timing is supes important, obviously. There’s a dynamic to a joke or a story, tension building. Comics develop their own rhythmic style. It’s basically the same thing. Except drummers aren’t desperate for the focused attention of everyone in the room. They understand the innate value of what they’re doing, and experience joy just in doing it. A drummer doesn’t look out, see one person not engaged and think “fuck, I have to throw my whole act away and start over”. 
Also, you do have to own that you’re basically in charge of the room when you’re on stage.
2. How come bassists aren’t that funny?
A – I don’t know, have you heard Geddy Lee’s onstage banter? Guy’s a cut up. But seriously, being funny requires quick thinking and intelligence, and that’s what hangs up most bass players. It’s not their fault. They’re lucky someone decided to take two strings off a guitar and invite them to “play” in the band. You can’t just let your friend sit around drooling in the corner all day. 
3. I’ve always thought of drummers as the baseball catchers of bands.  That is, the team/band’s success depends on them, but catchers/drummers are always… nuts.  Why is this? 
A – Hmm, I hear that about drummers. I’m not sure I conform to the type. Certainly there is a deeply primitive aspect to it. So are drummers just more connected to that part of being human? Is that crazy? Are you calling me crazy?? Oh I’m sorry, is my ratamacue bothering you? Or is it my double ratamacue? Well, here’s a triple and a flam. I’m outta here. 
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Ario

4. Sometimes I fall under the spell of delusion where I think, “I should be an actor.  I could probably do that.” I never think that with stand up comedy.  It seems like it would be really hard to be funny enough to make people laugh.  Thoughts?
A – To me acting seems hard. Like, there’s a lot of prep work and rehearsal, on top of the talent. But I’m glad that you correctly perceive that comedy is difficult. Many don’t. It’s been said that when standup is done well it looks like anyone can do it, unlike ballet or sculpting or tossing pizza dough. So a lot of people who make their friends or coworkers laugh will try it at a local open mic. And often do “well” that first time. It’s all the crickets that you hear over the next few months/years that separates the regular people from the dedicated masochists.
The hard part isn’t being funny, either. It’s making your ideas presentable in a performance. Stepping up to a mic and being funny, on purpose.
5. Is there a typical shitty thing that some people say when they find out you are a budding comic?  Like the next time you hear it you’re going to punch them in the throat. 
A – Whoa! That’s a bit extreme. Is there something you need to get off your chest?
Not shitty. Mostly people are in awe that you can even get up there.  Most people would rather rescue there iPhone from a pit of vipers than get on stage in front of an audience, let alone try to be funny. It’s annoying is when someone wants to know what kind of comedy you do. It’s the same with musicians. I don’t think we like having to describe our sound or humor to people. I usually just ask if they’ve heard of Louis CK.
Order Harvester’s Mt Tallac here.  Read a feature about the album here.  All of the old albums can be had at Lather Records.
Listen to a Kelly Bauman song!

 

 

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Swimming in Bengal – Garden of Idle Hands

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Swimming in Bengal’s new album, Garden of Idle Hands, is finally out!  In July 2015 we spent a couple nights recording open ended pieces while the Berryessa fire turned the sky orange.  It took us awhile to settle on the parts we liked and trim off the fatty bits.  This is also when Rusi Gustafson joined Bengal as the regular percussionist.  One of the songs, “Locusts”, features drummer Dax Compise.

The album requires patience.  It’s a slow-burner that starts out lean and narrow and eventually gets thick and juicy in the middle.  Garden of Idle Hands is not on Lather Records.  The vinyl LP is being released on Mike Trouchon’s new label, Baggage Claim.  Please “claim your baggage” by emailing here: baggageclaimrecords@gmail.com   There is also a short-run of cassettes of the album being released by UK label Lugubious Audio.  Order your tape here.  Both versions are beautifully packaged, with letter press assistance on the LP from Michael Geminder at Delta Press.

 

 

You can also pick up a copy of the new album in person at our show on Nov. 14 at Luna’s Cafe.  Joining Bengal on the bill is Ross Hammond.  More details at ze Facebook.

Previous recordings, Vol. 1 and Ashes For Gwynn, can still be had at Lather Records.  Copies of Insomnia Village are all gone, but you can download it at J&C Tapes’ site.

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Swimming Bengal/Smoke on the River

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Swimming in Bengal is playing the Smoke on the River fundraiser for the Sacramento Arts Council this Saturday, October 15 at 1pm at Miller Park.  Please check out the link for information on tickets.  Local breweries, food, and a corn-holing tournament!    Bengal’s new album, Garden of Idle Hands, will be released very soon – the vinyl LP on Baggage Claim and the cassette on UK label, Lugubrious Audio.  Until then, check out this free download of a non-album piece called “The Twisted Manzanita.”

 

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Selector Dub Narcotic – Pets – San Kazakgascar

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San Kazakgascar is playing an early show (6:30pm) with iconic K Records founder Calvin Johnson at Third Space Art Collective in Davis on Sunday, September 18.  He brings his Selector Dub Narcotic project this time around.  Pets are also on the bill and the show is all ages.  More details at Facebook.

You probably already know that Calvin founded the seminal K Records label in Olympia, WA in 1982, and has helped with the early releases of folks like Beck and Modest Mouse, as well as his own bands such as Beat Happening and the Halo Benders.  It’s safe to say he’s a lifer.  His new music with Selector Dub Narcotic is party-forward fun. Check out the video down below.  When he’s not touring old school sans cell phone on Amtrak, he’s answering these questions:

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You’ve done a number of different kinds of music projects.  What is the concept and inspiration for Selector Dub Narcotic?

It’s an old industry chestnut, but “it’s got a good beat, you can dance to it”; that is a standard to which I aspire.

Do you have any favorite dancers that inform your own moves?

Debbie Watson doing “The Tantrum” on The Cool Ones (1967).

Has touring on Amtrak been your MO for awhile, or is that a new thing?

Since 2007. It’s dreamy.

 

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Selector Dub Narcotic or Eric Janssen?

What’s the most awkward encounter you’ve had on a recent tour?

Trying to board the Mega Bus from Atlanta to Nashville but forgot to print out my confirmation.  Attempting to milk the on-board wi-fi while standing on the sidewalk while everyone else is loading up.  It was 98 degrees.  It all worked out in the end.

Do people ever call out for “Redhead Walking” at Selector Dub Narcotic shows?

No

I love the Internet, but I miss some of the mystery of pre-Internet music.  Any grizzled musings on this?

Oh well, that’s show biz.

 

While down in the YouTube rabbit hole (you should probably be pruning vines or mulching right now), check out the brand new San Kazakgascar video by Aaron Zeff and a glimpse into Pets’ party lifestyle:

 

 

 

 

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San Kazakgascar – Chalk it Up

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San Kazakgascar is playing one for the kids on Sat, Sept. 3, at Fremont Park in Sacramento.  It’s the annual Chalk it Up festival that runs through Labor Day weekend.  Kazakgascar plays at 1pm.  You still might be able to rent a piece of sidewalk for your own chalk art.  Proceeds go to help fund art programs for kiddos.  Information on the festival can be found at Chalk It Up.

We’ll have copies of our Twice-Baked Coma EP.  It received some nice reviews from Decoder, TUBE, SNR, and Raised by Gypsies.

 

 

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Bafus vs. Brewer

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Jon Bafus and myself have been talking about doing an improv. duo set for a couple of years.  We finally booked something.  It’s July 11 at Luna’s @7pm.  I’ve been acquainted with Jon for awhile. I first saw him in bands like Sholi and  Afternoon Brother. More recently, I’ve seen him play with Gentleman Surfer and Invasive Species, as well as in several improv. combos.  His playing is equal parts jazz, punk, and prog.  He loves Magma.  I hope I can keep up!

Also on this Nebraska Mondays Presents bill is the Joshua Marshall Trio, featuring Andrew Jamieson and my buddy Tony Passarell.  Food, spirits, all ages, and more info. at Facebook.

 

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San Kazakgascar – Davis Music Festival

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San Kazakgascar returns to the Davis Music Festival on Saturday, June 18.  We’re playing the KDVS stage at G St. Wunderbar at 6:00pm between Ghostplay and Contra.  Proceeds from the festival go to help fund local school music programs.  You can find out more about the festival’s schedule, tickets, etc. at their site.

 

 

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