Triumph Over Tragedy, Take One
For those of you familiar with the goincase blog’s music coverage, you’ll no doubt recognize the name Brother Reade, Los Angeles by way of North Carolina’s hardest working rapper/dj duo. While on tour this summer DJ Bobby Evans ran over his Incase backpack with the tour van. Prior to this the pack had looked rather nice, we’d just given it to him in Portland during MFNW. But more importantly, the pack had Evan’s MacBook Pro in it. You know— the computer with all the songs, beats, contacts, and contracts for their tour. Woof. Incredibly, Brother Reade’s Jams F. Kennedy claims this story has a happy ending. Read on:
On our recent tour with Girl Talk, we were lucky enough to have a short run of exhilarating shows that were all packed with wild and receptive crowds. We went through the Northwest, where each different city is beautiful and lush, and has its own distinct flavor. We felt on top of the world, able to treat ourselves to regional food and drink that we only hear about in legends down in Los Angeles, and we were extremely pumped for the crisp weather and copious amounts of roadside thrift shops teeming with secondhand wool. Our days were filled with excellent meals and good weather, and our nights were full of febrile dance parties. Everything was perfect. Except that time we ran over DJ Bobby Evans’ laptop with the tour vehicle.
A little back story: Bobby Evans is the DJ/Producer for Brother Reade. I should also mention that for one reason or another, he’d had the same record bag for far too long. So you can imagine, that when Incase contacted us and wanted to furnish us with some pieces of theirs he was elated and couldn’t wait to use their products to organize his road gear and dispense with the (let’s be honest, somewhat tattered) bags he had been using to date. We picked up the Incase shipment at our show at MusicFest Northwest (MFNW) and were truly psyched to get it (very infrequently do the right pairings happen in the world of artist gifting/sponsorship, but those guys over there seem to be on to something).
Now, after MFNW our next show was at the Showbox SoDo in Seattle, where Mr. Evans finally got around to switching out his gear into the new bags. We somewhat ceremoniously trashed the old bags, packed up the rest of our things, and pulled out of the parking lot. And we heard a dragging sound. Everyone’s first thought in the car was that we were dragging the old bags. The old bags had been left outside, not thrown in the dumpster, and were being dragged by the car. We all believed this. So we pulled further out of the parking lot, when it hit us. Oh snap. We’re driving with one of the NEW bags under the tire of the car. The one with the laptop in it. The laptop with all the songs for our set, that we can’t play without. In the middle, not the end of the tour. Uh oh.
So we did the obvious thing, stopping the car, retrieving the laptop, assessing the damage, and something like a small miracle happened. I can’t stretch the truth to say that the laptop or the bag weren’t at all damaged, but I can say that they weren’t damaged beyond repair, and we were able to link the laptop to another computer and retrieve all of the songs we needed to off of it. AND after minor repairs the computer is fine, still in working order, due in no small part to the design of the bookbag, which we can now firmly endorse and attest to, in a true and completely sincere way, devoid of any of the usual cheesiness/self interest that normally lurks behind such sentiments. Now if you come see Brother Reade play a show, it’s likely you’re watching Bobby Evans DJ off of a laptop that HAS BEEN RUN OVER BY A CAR AND STILL WORKS. You might also see him carrying it around in a bookbag with roadrash and the tags still on it. We got lucky, don’t try this at home.
Jimmy Jams of Brother Reade
MusicFest Northwest (a/k/a MFNW) is one of those regional music festivals that just sort of sneaks up and blows your mind. Sure, you could miss it and think to yourself, “No biggie.” But you’d be wrong. Yes, you could pass it by in favor of some mega-fest somewhere. But that’d just be unwise. While the faithful horde busily attended, recapped, lauded and/or guffawed their way through several of spring and summer 09’s biggest events, MFNW 2009 quietly shaped itself into one of the best booked independent music festivals of the season. For the third year in a row, (and for almost a week straight!), promoter Trevor Solomon and the Willamette Week newspaper hosted 25,000 attendees and more than 100 national and local performing artists around the greater Portland area. Logistically, my friends, this was no small fete.
On any given night at any one of the fest’s 18 participating venues, you could see artists like Om, Eluvium, Chairlift, Bad Brains, Avi Buffalo, Brother Reade, Modest Mouse, Dirty Three, Beach House, Explosions In The Sky, Love As Laughter, as well as the recently reunited Sunny Day Real Estate and the mighty Team Dresch… to name but a few…. As a principle sponsor of MFNW 2009, Incase hand-delivered product requests to participating festival artists and MFNW community participants (Hi Fasil!). As well, we sponsored the stage at The Holocene and community radio station KEXP’s remote broadcasts from the stage at The Doug Fir.
From the city’s coffee shops to its dedicated bike lanes to its positive neighborhood vibes to its great food and vital independent music scene, Portland always feels like a home away from home.Trevor, thanks again for putting on yet another great music festival. You and everyone involved with MusicFest NW should be proud. See you again next year. Enjoy the photos!
Fast on the heels of FYeahFest in Los Angeles, we spent Sept. 3-6th in beautiful Portland sharing Incase products and helping underwrite listener-powered, community radio station KEXP’s remote broadcast of the 5th annual MusicFestNW (MFNW).
By day, the Incase/KEXP Stage at the Doug Fir Lounge hosted live on-air sets by a vast array of independent artists from across the musical landscape, including Oxford Collapse, Centro-matic, Love As Laughter, Helio Sequence and Thrones among others.
And by night…well, we ran all over hell guzzling Stumptown Coffee, shooting photos of fixie bikes and catching sets by more than 200 MFNW artists playing in venues throughout the city. Highlights included TV On The Radio, Fucked Up, Past Lives, No Age, Les Savy Fav, Thrones, Triumph of Lethargy, Battles, Color Revolt, Monotonix, Akimbo, Polvo, Mogwai, The Muslims and Menomena. (Yes, it’s true—we saw every single one of those sets… plus about 40 more. Exhausting but well worth the hearing loss!)
Promoter Trevor Solomon and everyone at MFNW put on an incredible four-day festival in the heart of the city. Enjoy more photos on Flickr (shot by Arlie Carstens).