Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 Portland Drum Fair

Last Sunday, Diggable Monkey spent the afternoon among some of the best drum instrument makers in the city of Portland. Many vendors, collectors, players came out to congregate under one roof at the Wonder Ballroom. The collection of both new and classic instruments was incredible! This was the second year of the event, which is produced by Revival Drum Shop and Rhythm Traders, both local-owned and independent drum and instrument shops. DM shot some good looking video of the featured players, including a super presentation by Daniel Glass of Royal Crown Review. We like to put a shout out to the amazing drum community in Portland that is being developed and fostered. We're looking forward to future events!

Check out the video here:

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Here's the monster you've been waiting for...

Threshold: Enter the Dragon is the 3rd Chinese New Year celebration - and 6th - annual Portland Threshold event. Born in 2006 from the efforts of a small Burning Man camp collaborative known as Monkey Puzzle, the Threshold event series has evolved from a traditional New Year's Eve event into a one-of-a-kind, high production value event bringing top electronica and live musical acts together for one explosive night of media and music at the start of the Chinese New Year (Jan. 21 @ Refuge PDX).

Unlike conventional "low-frills" dance parties, Threshold offers attendees a full spectrum audio/visual experience produced by some of Portland's finest technical and artistic wizards. Threshold's 2012 "water dragon" theme will play out both through the music and the interior design of the venue, as well as through extensive use of high-tech lighting and projection. The Bruce Lee film title nods to a martial arts infused flavor on the thematic content of the show. Additionally, theatrical elements such as skits and acrobatics bring further dimension to what former Threshold attendees repeatedly regard as a uniquely participatory, communal and "an unforgettable experience".

Soon to be announced, this years stellar line up will feature both local acts from Oregon, as well as touring acts from Northern and Southern California. Former Threshold performers include Random Rab, Plastician, Haj Ji, Solovox, Eskmo, Chris Sia, Kraddy, Oscure, El Papachango, Saqi, Russ Liquid, Global Ruckus, Nicoluminous, DJ Anjali & the Incredible Kid, DJ Ravicher, BreakBeatBuddha, Music Poulation Orchestra, Manoj, DJ Laura, Behni Bubu, Plumblyne, Bass Science, Nalepa, Jacaranda, Phidelity, R-Kidz, Deru, Phutureprimitive, MattB, Barisone, Vokab Company, Trash Can Joe, Laura Ivancie, and HyDrive.

We can't wait for this one!

Purchase tickets for Threshold: Enter the Dragon here:

Check the link below to access our extensive Threshold video library of previous events:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

USA Today - Big Press Slowly Heating Up on March Fourth Marching Band

Here's a fun little write up that appeared in the Travel section of the online newspaper on Tuesday this week. Great timing as the band swings through the unconquered territories of the eastern seaboard.

Re-printed from USA Today:
by Tim

I’m not sure when the last time was that I enjoyed a band so much. When MarchFourth Marching Band comes to town, it’s not just a band on a stage playing some songs. It’s a SHOW!

I just reviewed the MarchFourth album Magnificent Beast in the new issue of Perceptive Travel because it’s not really “world music” in the traditional sense, but it’s novel, which is what really gets our interest. Besides, if there’s a point of reference in this material it’s New Orleans—itself a musical gumbo of styles from many lands.

When I heard these guys were coming to Skipper’s Smoke House in my new home of Tampa, I simply had to get there. From the first note to the last, the sound was pumping and the fun never stopped. I’m not exaggerating when I say everyone seemed to be smiling the entire time the band was on stage. A permagrin crowd, with no chemical enhancement required.

The video posted here doesn’t give the band justice as it was just a point-and-shoot camera with no external mic, but it’s a nice little taste of what to expect. This is a big band: lots of drummers, sax players, trombones, trumpets, a bass guitar, and occasional electric guitar. Then there are three stilt dancers moving through the crowd, doing acrobatics, and breathing fire. Plus some burlesque dancers at one point. Half the band member have on pieces of discarded marching band uniforms, adding to the visual flair.

It’s worth noting that there are serious musicians behind all the fun. I was a music major in college and it’s obvious these guys (and gals) have had lots of training and formal practice. Talented band geeks turned rebels. When one of the horn players steps up to improvise a solo, you know it’s going to be a treat.

They’re on their way up to the northeast now after Atlanta, Charlotte, and Roanoke the next three nights, so check the tour dates to see if they’re headed your way. The band is from Portland, so if you’re out that way, sign up for their newsletter and catch them on their home turf. As for me, I’m hoping they play Jazzfest in New Orleans next time I go as that seems like the ultimate match.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Story re-printed from Gigantic Records Website

Boiling up from the independent musical cauldron Hotlanta has become, here comes Gringo Star with its follow up to 2008′s critically acclaimed debut, “All Y’all. The band now comes into its own with “Count Yer Lucky Stars, ” a collection of catchy and instantly classic pop music. You won’t be able to stop humming this spate of new and bright tunes, music that lifts the spirit. In this Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Deerhunter) produced record, the surge of primordial forces that reveals itself through rock and roll only about every other generation has infected these multi-instrumentalists and the result is an upbeat album of raw energy and positivity. Live, if you can resist the urge to dance, you’ll find your limbs shaking and your toes tapping to a band which has been described as “explosive,” “electrifying,” and “exceptional.” No need for the devices of the main stream musical glitterati who hide lifeless melodies and meaningless lyrics in stage productions and synchronized dancing meant to distract their wide eyed fans; here it’s the music itself – honest and intense. The Gringos, brothers Nicholas and Pete Furgiuele, Pete DeLorenzo and Chris Kaufmann, play each show as if their lives depended on it, and it’s that urgency combined with great song writing, pop beats and skilled harmonies that raise Gringo Star above the cacophonus crowd. These four guys should be literally showered with the same kind of excited stammering and fawning heaped onto the stars of the early days of rock and roll, because they are the new versions of the musicians who were raging around the U.S. night after night, putting it all out there, playing their hearts out, singing until they were hoarse and soaked in sweat, letting the music do their talking. There were once musical movements in this country, but the fracturing and splintering of the music scene stopped new waves from forming and cresting. This is a band which is creating the new standards to usher in the next tsunami. If you have the chance to catch them in a small venue, you better do it while you still can.