Thu Aug 20 2015

9:00 PM (Doors 8:00 PM)

Tractor

5213 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107

Ages 21+

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[BLUES ROCK] Portland’s Tango Alpha Tango is best experienced amid a crowded room of sweaty guitar junkies. Logically, then, a well-mixed live album is the next greatest thing. Captured last year at local recording space Banana Stand, the performance delivered by the quartet tackles a sprawling beast in 12 songs. From the first bluesy electric-guitar riff in “Kill & Haight” to the gritty energy of “Black Cloud,” the record not only translates frontman Nathan Trueb’s ability to write a good tune and dominate a guitar neck, but also the band’s flawless fusion of blues and rock with funky bass lines and psychedelic keys. Trueb explores his folkier singer-songwriter side on “Desert Snow,” a song composed simply of his scratchy, worn-in voice and supplementary fingerpicking. But with nearly half the songs on the set list running eight minutes or longer, many of the album’s gems surface when Trueb cracks them open with his guitar. In lengthy tracks like the trippy “In My Time of Dying” and the driving rock jam “Mona Lisa’s Death,” the frontman disassembles ideas, draws out phrases and slowly builds them up again. Although the album doesn’t quite hit with the impact of experiencing the band in the flesh, it comes pretty damn close. EMILY BOOHER, WILLAMETTE WEEK

[SHOW PREVIEW] The 2012 EP from Tango Alpha Tango, Kill & Haight, is spiked with dirty, badass guitar riffs and twangy vocals by Nathan Trueb that punch with attitude. It would be too easy to compare this PDX trio to the Black Keys, but the two bands certainly draw inspiration from the same old-school, bluesy well. Tonight they celebrate the release of Live from the Banana Stand, recorded at the fabled Portland house venue. RACHEL MILBAUER, PORTLAND MERCURY

The new, self-titled release from Portland band Tango Alpha Tango sits in that uncomfortable place between EP and full-length—it runs seven songs, just under half an hour—but everything else about the record fits perfectly. Starting with the laidback country swoon of "Oh Mama," the quartet then launches into a slow-building motorik guitar riff in "Mona Lisa's Death." Elsewhere, the band continues that expert and surprising balance of folk noir and space rock, even finding room for a glossy pop chorus in "Give of the Summer." There isn't a single wrong move on Tango Alpha Tango; "This City" rears an angry, stoner blues riff in the middle of a tightly knotted funk strut, and as clunky as that sounds, it works brilliantly. On record, Tango Alpha Tango continues to make some confoundingly good work, following up 2008's Rebel Sons of Cowboys with a collection of adventurous and admirable rock and roll. NED LANNAMANN, PORTLAND MERCURY

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PDX Blues Rock-Tango Alpha Tango with Fauna Shade, Daniel Blue of Motopony!

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  • Tango Alpha Tango

    Tango Alpha Tango

    Alternative Rock

  • Fauna Shade

    Fauna Shade

    Alternative Rock

  • Motopony

    Motopony

    Alternative Rock

    While reading a book called "The Spell of the Sensuous" by David Abrams, Daniel Blue came across a shamanic tradition that suggested that animals, plants, tools, and even stones have a kind of perception and they echo what they are offered. It was suggested that a life lived in poor relationship with the world around oneself was perhaps the cause of all the sickness, war and suffering in the world. 

    Seeing the earth burning and taking this to heart, Blue decided to experiment with the theory and attempt to "have a relationship" with his (rather small) motorcycle. He called it "pony", spoke to it as if it were alive and tried his best to respect it as a living thing or at least as a part of life as a whole. Of that time he said, "It changed me forever riding my bike that way. It was undeniably more enjoyable to coax and caress the machine like a friend rather than take it for granted like a meaningless gathering of extruded metals, rubbers and gasses. For the first time, I began to see myself as part of the world and not just a user of it." The resulting joy and empowerment of that moment was infectious and thrilling to Blue, and he coined the term "Motopony" in celebration of the revelation. From then on he began to use the word Motopony to define any tool that he used respectfully with a relational intention of healing himself and the world.

    A dark night not long after, mourning an anniversary of the early death of his late mother Kathleen Antoinette, Daniel reached for a broken guitar he had purchased some years earlier and leaned into it with all of his soul. "I had a great need for that guitar to release me from the despair and doom that I was feeling. Somehow I believed that this guitar also needed me to strip it of its extra strings and tune it in triad to the timbre of my untrained voice. We had a conversation, and in my grief, we fell deeply into love." That night he sang a poem he had not yet written, "Hero's Lullaby" and came to call the guitar "Old Blue".

    From that moment on Daniel threw everything he had and everything he was into song and music. He closed his event space and warehouse, sold his burgeoning fashion design business, disavowed himself of nearly all possessions and began to couch surf so that all of his time could be devoted to learning the craft of music. Within a year Daniel had partnered with a local hip hop producer named Buddy Ross and an eponymous"glitch-folk" album was already finding itself on noncom airways all over the world. Motopony was born.

    The band immediately found home on the road with multiple US tours and dates all across the UK. An EP with a full-length followed owning its roots to the iconic Abbey Road studios. Jetting to Indian festivals and entertaining their international fan base, the band grew with their popularity.

    Wrapping up their third full-length release Daniel believes that he is perhaps just now hitting his stride as a musician, a businessman-by-proxy, and a leader of a band. "The system that surrounds music and the industry that we have created to sustain musicians and the people who work to support them; it is also a tool that can be used with intention. It's complicated, but I still believe that it's possible to be in a respectful, intentional healing relationship with the music industry. It is, after all, a thing we ourselves have created, and therefore a part of the whole that is life. It can be loved." Perhaps this is what he means when he sings "I still believe in the magic babe" in the upcoming song "a little death"

    "I will probably never stop looking for the magic that I found reaching into that broken guitar for help and for a friend. The effort, intention and desire were not wasted. Something...some third party came along and allowed it. To me this third party is Love and that is my God. This God and the recipient of my worship is that what allows relationships to produce this kind of fruitful beauty." What may seem foolish to some, that leap into “hope in love”, this is what Daniel sings of in the single off the upcoming record "when we were young" when he says, "we were dumb enough to try."

    Daniel took this idea of “playing dumb” and being willing to throw yourself in harms way for the sake of a dream to Timothy Graham. Together the two created the song, “When We Were Young,” which they felt was important both to them as career musicians and in regards to what they wanted to say to the world. “I remember texting my management team and saying something like "mark my words, game changer". Timothy gave me that awesome feeling that my strengths were matched well as a writer. It's a hard to thing to come by to be understood and joined by another musician, the result being greater than either of you could do alone.”

    On their third full-length "50 Katrinas" the new band echoes this seeker’s journey with long wistful interludes woven between sharp and neat trippyfolk inspired rock gems. Like living quartz crystals growing out of flowing canyon walls, catchy inspired and distinctively Pacific Northwest psyche-pop singles hide amidst the foliage of a free-spirited kaleidoscope of unhinged compositions. Biting lyrics mock the information age while admitting their home in it, and love and relationships are a carefully crafted theme.

    When asked about the environmentalist overtones and rather ominous title Blue says, "In a way this is my warning to the people of earth (or at least the people of USA) but many of these songs feel like I'm listening to them 150 years from now...like when people look back to this time and say, "what the fuck were they thinking letting everything go so long?" I want them to hear in this record that some of us weren't blindly following or distracted by what some idiot tweeted that morning. We called out. We resisted. We tried to turn things by loving the machine and not just using it. We raised our voices in dissent. I also see the sentiment behind “50 Katrinas” as adorably hopeful in two ways: my fantasy that people on the earth will be around in 150 years, and that our music will still be, you know....out there."

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PDX Blues Rock-Tango Alpha Tango with Fauna Shade, Daniel Blue of Motopony!

Thu Aug 20 2015 9:00 PM

(Doors 8:00 PM)

Tractor Seattle WA
PDX Blues Rock-Tango Alpha Tango with Fauna Shade, Daniel Blue of Motopony!
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

Ages 21+

[BLUES ROCK] Portland’s Tango Alpha Tango is best experienced amid a crowded room of sweaty guitar junkies. Logically, then, a well-mixed live album is the next greatest thing. Captured last year at local recording space Banana Stand, the performance delivered by the quartet tackles a sprawling beast in 12 songs. From the first bluesy electric-guitar riff in “Kill & Haight” to the gritty energy of “Black Cloud,” the record not only translates frontman Nathan Trueb’s ability to write a good tune and dominate a guitar neck, but also the band’s flawless fusion of blues and rock with funky bass lines and psychedelic keys. Trueb explores his folkier singer-songwriter side on “Desert Snow,” a song composed simply of his scratchy, worn-in voice and supplementary fingerpicking. But with nearly half the songs on the set list running eight minutes or longer, many of the album’s gems surface when Trueb cracks them open with his guitar. In lengthy tracks like the trippy “In My Time of Dying” and the driving rock jam “Mona Lisa’s Death,” the frontman disassembles ideas, draws out phrases and slowly builds them up again. Although the album doesn’t quite hit with the impact of experiencing the band in the flesh, it comes pretty damn close. EMILY BOOHER, WILLAMETTE WEEK

[SHOW PREVIEW] The 2012 EP from Tango Alpha Tango, Kill & Haight, is spiked with dirty, badass guitar riffs and twangy vocals by Nathan Trueb that punch with attitude. It would be too easy to compare this PDX trio to the Black Keys, but the two bands certainly draw inspiration from the same old-school, bluesy well. Tonight they celebrate the release of Live from the Banana Stand, recorded at the fabled Portland house venue. RACHEL MILBAUER, PORTLAND MERCURY

The new, self-titled release from Portland band Tango Alpha Tango sits in that uncomfortable place between EP and full-length—it runs seven songs, just under half an hour—but everything else about the record fits perfectly. Starting with the laidback country swoon of "Oh Mama," the quartet then launches into a slow-building motorik guitar riff in "Mona Lisa's Death." Elsewhere, the band continues that expert and surprising balance of folk noir and space rock, even finding room for a glossy pop chorus in "Give of the Summer." There isn't a single wrong move on Tango Alpha Tango; "This City" rears an angry, stoner blues riff in the middle of a tightly knotted funk strut, and as clunky as that sounds, it works brilliantly. On record, Tango Alpha Tango continues to make some confoundingly good work, following up 2008's Rebel Sons of Cowboys with a collection of adventurous and admirable rock and roll. NED LANNAMANN, PORTLAND MERCURY