It all started in the Summer of 2012, Salem musicians Ben Thede and Ronan Baker had an adventurous and unconventional idea: to put together an album; bring in new musicians every Wednesday and write, arrange, record and mix every track in 24 hours. At first, Thede was writing and Baker was doing production, but by the third week, Baker had stepped up and was collaborating with Thede to finish 12 songs in 10 weeks to release the self-titled album. They took the album live by performing with a rotating cast of musicians. Pretty cool idea.
Their second album was a double album called The Royal and by that time they had added steady drummer, Efrain Romero, while still performing with guest musicians.
Then Thede had the good fortune of meeting Danielle Meyer – bassist extraordinaire – at their place of employment, Uptown Music. She joined the band and they all came together to be one of Salem’s most talented bands. I’ve seen them play many times and I feel totally comfortable making that claim. Thede and Baker write beautifully complicated but catchy, listenable songs. Everyone in the band has a mesmerizing stage presence. Add Meyer’s incredible bass expertise and Romero’s solid drum work and you’re about to see a great show.
Alas, you’ve only got one more chance to see them play live. Well, unless they do a Hell Freezes Over Tour in 20 years or so. But who wants to wait for that? They’ll be playing their farewell show this Friday, April 29th at The Triangle. They’re not leaving us empty handed, though. The show is also a CD release party. They’re releasing their last full-length CD “Enemies From Elsewhere” (see what they did there.) They’ll also be filming this, so they’re inviting everyone to come out and “get rowdy” by the stage.
You may be asking, why would they record and release an album right when they’re parting ways? Well, it’s just one of those “life happens” types of scenarios. No bad blood, no falling out. Romero is recently engaged and knew he wouldn’t be able to commit the time the band deserved, and made the tough decision to bow out. Meyer is answering a long heard call to dedicate herself to playing bass in a classical music setting. She’s played rock and roll for decades, and has her heart set on playing in chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras. She certainly has the talent. Good luck to you, Danielle.
And of course, Thede and Baker aren’t leaving the scene. Baker has started his own sound company, All That Sound and is also working on a David Bowie tribute project with Jarred Venti and David Fox, slated for July 4th at Shotskis. Thede has two other projects currently, the dreamy, melody driven rock band Summer Eyes and comedy Farmcore troupe Marc & The Horsejerks.
Friday night’s show is an all-star bill with Salem’s favorites City of Pieces and Orchards along with Portland’s Foxy Lemon. And of course the stars of the show, Allies From Nowhere. Pretty stellar lineup. This won’t suck.
Foxy Lemon, City of Pieces, Orchards, and Allies From Nowhere
Friday, April 29th @ 9pm – Free