Following in Elvis’ Steps—Spring Space Attack Tour, Part 1

We’ll get to that Elvis part in a bit...

LoveBomb Go-Go’s first full-length tour has not been dull... (spoiler alert: radical understatement). Adven-chaah is one of the band’s main credos and the Spring Space Attack Tour has been all that and more.

The music is the main thing, as always, and LBGG has been fortunate to participate in some totally awesome music events and perform in very cool (and very unique) venues.

Speaking of unique, the band’s first gig on the tour was at the CIA—the California Institute of Abnormalarts. This venue is like walking into a macabre fun house, or a museum to the freaky and unusual. One of the owners is a collector of said weird stuff, and the place is full of things he has found, including 3 preserved bodies of magicians, fortune tellers and the like!

Mixed into all of that are several looping video feeds of vintage bands from Bowie to The Sweet, set amid dark red velvet curtains. We loved it and felt right at home!

From LA, we headed to Tempe, which had an opposite bright and sunny feel. The city’s live music initiative via Downtown Tempe hired us to LoveBomb the local citizens on two different street corners and we did our duty forthwith!

We followed that up with a fun gig at Fat Tuesday’s, right on the main drag of Mill Avenue.

Next was Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza and a performance in the gazebo, preceded by a grocery replenishment at the local Trader Joe’s. We handed out some flyers for our upcoming performance at the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, which we hit on our return flight. Check out our interview in the Albuquerque Journal here.

And then the fun really began…

A couple of hours outside of Albuquerque we had a full-on collision with a stray cow on a dark two-lane highway. Sadly the cow did not survive the hit (a bus like ours weighs more than 14 tons when it's full of people), but we are certain the end was instant. The impact was big enough to send the cow flying about 220 feet off to the side of the road, and also big enough to completely destroy the bus’ radiator, which exploded in a loud hissing noise.

Nebuchadnezzar and its contents (us) were then stranded on the road—directly on the road-- for several hours while local officials lined up a tow truck large enough to pull it, and a garage able to do the repairs. We were in the middle of ranch land and the bus eventually got towed a full hour!

Officials also had to wake up the mayor of one of the nearby small towns so that he could approve the use of their Senior Center Van to pick up the 17 LoveBomb Go-Gotians stranded on the highway. We’re here to tell you that it gets cold at 3:00 AM in New Mexico!

We then spent almost 48 hours in the town of Santa Rosa, New Mexico while our spaceship got repaired. Santa Rosa has a total population of about 2700—if you include the 600 inmates in the local prison…

We spent the time swimming in the Blue Hole, a famously deep water hole where divers practice, and drinking margaritas. That latter activity took place in Joseph’s, a local restaurant and bar, owned by… you guessed it, Joseph—who also happens to be Santa Rosa’s mayor.

It was after our time in Joseph’s that some of our band members, Matt, Maya, Randy, Emily, Melody, and driver Kevin found themselves being followed by an adorable part-husky stray puppy. Nearby shopkeepers told them that the dog had been running around for several days and did not know who he belonged to.

The pup was promptly named Tecate With Lime, fed and given a bath. He spent the night in the America’s Best Value Inn, where some of the band were staying, with plans to find a home for him the next day.

Our Karmic duty was clear! Take a life (cow) and save one (puppy).

In the morning, while having breakfast at Joseph’s, band members Mars, Wendy, Matt, and Kevin found a new home for the pup, but just as we were about to complete the transaction, the sister of the dog's actual owner showed up for her server’s shift at the restaurant and recognized him. Raphael (the dog’s true name) was reunited with his family, to mixed feelings by some of us who thought the little guy might really belong in Portland…

The community’s newspaper editor, ME Sprengelmeyer, after interviewing us on our final day, informed us that we were actually not the first band whose bus broke down near Santa Rosa. The King suffered a similar bus break-down many years ago and shacked up in the same hotel we had (different name back then)!

Tenor sax player, Shampton, ordained this entire chain of events to be Bovine Intervention of the highest degree!

The bus was finally fixed and declared to be fit for travel after a test drive, with a brand new radiator and jury-rigged headlight. Unfortunately we did have to cancel our two gigs in New Orleans.

But we were grateful that we could make it to Honk!TX in Austin and even perform in the benefit, an event we previously could not schedule.

For those not familiar, the Honk! festivals are the place where Brass is king. This one had more than 25 bands attending, including the first-ever band from outside the country, our talented new friends, Perhaps Contraption, who hail from London.

LoveBomb Go-Go performed 6 different times at this event, and marched in the festival’s final parade on Sunday. In the middle of all that, we also find time to busk in the cool downtown area and performed at a rad new bar, Dozen Street!

We’re grateful for the amazing organizational skills of the Honk! staff, in particular Jason Fialkoff, and for our brave hostess, Anita Prewett, who opened up her home to an insane number of musicians and band staff members, and even made us coffee (the good kind) and fed us breakfast tacos! Anita, you are the best!

From Austin we headed off to a show in Galveston, and the Adven-chaah continues! Stay tuned for more on that.

Oh, and say a prayer to the Bovine Gods and Goddesses in our names for clear highways ahead…


The Spring Space Attack Tour is Live!!

LoveBomb Go-Go Marching Band of Portland is about to head out on their first full-length tour! As of this post, weve already begun the big Adven-chaaah. Nebuchadnezzar is going south for two full days of driving to our first venue, The CIA (California Institute of Abnormarts), where we perform on Saturday night, March 21st.

For our show at the CIA, in North Hollywood, we are joined by local musicians, the raucous Funk Finkelstein, the one-man band of Princess Frank and Appolinaire, a la Brecht.

From there we head due west to Tempe, Arizona, where we’ll rock two street sets for that city’s Live Music initiative—one in the Mill Creek district and one at Arizona State University.

On Monday, the 23rd, we are performing in the heart of Albuquerque’s Old Town, in the historic Plaza beginning at 5:00 PM. That’s just a precursor to our other New Mexico gigs, which happen on the return trip!

Next we are NOLA-bound for two shows: on the 25th at the newly re-opened Mag’s 940 and  on the 26th at the Allways Lounge, along with local band, Panorama Jazz Band of New Orleans—both in the Merigny district.

And then it’s back east and through the grand state of Texas to Austin. Austin’s motto should sound familiar to our friends in our hometown of Portland. It’s “Keep Austin Weird!” Yeah, we think we’re gonna like it there.

And another reason to love Austin is Honk!TX! We’ll be surrounded by marching bands and community street bands from all over the country, and even as far away as England! This year marks the festivals first overseas performers, Perhaps Contraption, from London!

Next is Galveston, Texas, where we will play at Drunken Monkeyz for a fabulous Sunday Funday Bash on March 29th!

Then we're back in New Mexico on March 31st! We start out in Santa Fe at The Candyman, where we'll do a live outdoor show with Santa Fe band, Partizani. Then we head to Albuquerque for a big show, again with Partizani, at the historic El Rey Theater.

Gigs are still being added to our schedule, so stay posted for updates on our Shows page.

We are counting on all of you to tell your friends in our tour cities all about LoveBomb Go-Go so that they can come and watch us play!

Spring Space Attack: A Glam Extravaganza

LoveBomb Go-Go is throwing a party on March 14th, Outer Space style! That means that absolutely no glitter will be spared. This event will be glamtastic, glamerific-- not to mention glamazing!

The band is about to embark on their first full-length tour, with performance stops in Los Angeles; Austin, TX; New Orleans; Santa Fe & Albquerque, NM; Galveston, TX; Tempe, AZ and more.

In Outer Space, going on tour is a simple matter of programming the Mothership and heading off to galaxies unknown. But here on Planet Earth finances have to be taken into account. It’s hard for most bands to break even on tour, but traveling with a band and staff of 18 people blows the budget right out the space-fuel injectors.

LoveBomb Go-Go approaches this problem by doing what they do best—performing! Come to our Spring Space Attack party for the usual LBGG mind-blowing action and help us spread the LoveBombs across the nation all at the same time!

The doors open at 9:00 PM at Portland’s Bossanova Ballroom. We’ve got some performance buddies on hand to get the action started:

Tonality*Star's blend of laser and fog will completely captivate your senses.

Los Estupidos’ Latin/Afro mix will funk your feet into dancing action.

DJ Sesquis will pull the night together with his ingenious mix!

Tickets for this party are just $10 and you can buy them here. The dress code is glitter and shine!

Join the conversation at our Facebook event page!

Going to Burning Man 2014-- Interview with Mars and Bhajan!


LoveBomb Go-Go just returned from its first-ever trip to Burning Man as a band. We caught up with LBGG founders, Mars Ponte and Bhajan Kester, to see how this journey into the Playa at Black Rock City, Nevada compares with travel into the darkest regions of Outer Space! Could it possibly be as exciting?

LBGG:  This year there has been a lot of press about how “Burning Man is ruined” by all of those Billionaires and their private planes, and their luxury accommodations, catering, etc. What’s your take on this?

Bhajan: Oh, they’ve been saying something like that since Year 2.  There’s always some thing—or some new regulation that has “ruined” everything! But the first year I went to Burning Man, Mars and I met a guy who was in the middle of setting up a camp comprised of 30-odd teepees. We asked him how this huge camp was financed and his response was, “Well, everyone pitched in a little bit, but honestly, I’ve done pretty well, and mostly this is my gift. I could be out there on a white yacht, but this is how I’ve chosen to spend my vacation.”

LBGG: And your first year was...?

Bhajan: Mine was 2006 and Mars’ first time was 2004. The billionaires have been coming to Burning man for a long time, and I've not noticed any big difference this year. From our standpoint it's better that affluent people do participate in Burning Man where they can be exposed to a diverse array of art and culture, where they can have some kind of real learning and perhaps make a contribution- and in the process help to decrease the cost of tickets for others.

LBGG: What happens at Burning Man that is of benefit to those billionaires—or anyone else?

Bhajan: There are some really powerful lessons to be learned in the desert. First of all, it is a complete “gift economy” for the whole week. That means that you can’t buy your way into anything. You have to learn how to survive and thrive in the heat and with the bare necessities that you've brought with you for yourself.

LBGG: And what does that do for a person?

Bhajan: It comes down to feeling empowered to take control of myself in any given moment and take responsibility for my experience and basic needs like food, water and shelter. We don’t normally have to deal with this as Westerners.

LBGG: Why is that important?

Bhajan: Somehow this empowerment makes me dream big! The very existence of LoveBomb Go-Go, and many other parts of our lives as well, is directly informed by our experiences at Burning Man. We don’t live traditionally—we’ve chosen to devote our time and energy to create things, rather than filling someone else’s pocketbooks and I think that is directly as a result of coming to Burning Man!

LBGG: Speaking of dreaming big--one of the most compelling things that outsiders see about Burning Man are the amazing sculptures and the travelling Art Cars. It seems that you became a part of that this year. How did that come about?

Mars: Well, it became apparent right away that our drum sculpture, Major Tom, was going to have some troubles keeping up with the hardened mud on the Playa after the major rains that occurred in the beginning of the week. Jeremy Barron was staying in our camp, The Dump, and he has a 50's era fire truck with him. I don’t know if it was his idea or Richard Cawley’s, one of our percussionists, to put Major Tom on top of the fire truck along with the whole marching band. However, the next thing I knew we were pushing the sculpture through the sand to the DPW (Department of Public Work’s) camp and welding it on top of the truck. In Portland earlier this summer we had joked back and forth about motorizing Major Tom so it could be self-powered for parades.

LBGG: But don’t you have to have permission to drive a vehicle through the Playa at Burning Man?

Mars: Yes! There is a big line-up of art cars on Sunday, before Burning Man is even officially open. Art cars have to get approved by the division of mutant vehicles, presided over by Lady B., before they can be allowed to travel around the Playa. Otherwise, no one is permitted to drive in Burning Man-- other than to get to your camp when you first arrive. When we got in line to get Major Tom approved as an Art Car, it was so spontaneous that we did not actually get there in time.

LBGG: So, what happened?

Mars: Well, apparently Lady B. caught sight of our rig and said, “That’s the best thing I’ve seen in 20 years!” We were told that if we came back the next day, she would approve it. And she did!

LBGG: So, as a result you were able to actually perform with the notorious DPW?

Mars: Yes! The DPW (Department of Public Works) is the group that really makes Burning Man happen. They are responsible for the mechanics of the Burn. They are known for their heavy-metal, black-booted appearance, rough guys and gals tooling around in bombed out mat black, Mad-Max cars that are missing their doors. They invited us to perform with them in a Burning Man-wide parade, which ended at the DPW depot near the BM airport; we did a private performance for them and they were super cool.

LBGG: DPW is pretty scary!

Mars: Yes, they are the evil twins to LBGG! Kind of like our Mirror-Mirror—we are the Supernova to their Black Hole!

LBGG: All in all, it sounds like this trip to Burning Man was an Interstellar Success!

Bhajan: Yes! This was really the other side of the coin for us! When I go to Burning Man on my own, my one goal is to have my mind blown. This time we were one of the factors in blowing the minds of others. It was something more than what I imagined!

LBGG: Did you think you would win the annual Burning Man March-Off?

Mars: It’s a lot of work and planning to get so many Spacemen and Space Kittens ready for a trip like this! It’s almost as hard as deep-space travel! We didn’t really think about it—but we are deeply grateful to have been recognized!

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