Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band and Fresh Espresso at the Vera Project

Marshall has been a member at the Vera Project for a few years, running lights at shows and hanging out with the rest of us volunteers and having fun. Marshal is in high school and enjoys socializing and pretty much always seems to be happy, great kid to hang out with at a show. After knowing him for a year and a half and working with him at any number of shows, he casually mentioned to me that he was in a band.

"Which band?" was the obvious question. "Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band" he replied.

Wow - that's the cool local band I've read about - hadn't managed to see them yet - and they have the complex back story involving Benjamin Verdoes and Marshal Verdoes, adoptive brothers...

I realized he was that Marshal - oh! I had no idea. I'd always wanted to see Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, now I wanted to see them more than ever.
Seeing Marshall pounding on the drums at a hip hop show whetted my appetite. Marshall joined the DJ and drummed live along with some pre-recorded bits, and the Dj's set got much better while he was playing.

Finally on a Saturday a while back I got a chance to catch the Mt. St Helens Vietnam Band with Fresh Espresso and guests at the Nova Benefit show at the Vera Project. I've seen Fresh Espresso a few times, at a Capitol Hill Block Party After-Party and so on, and P-Smoov is familiar to me for some other stuff as well.
Fresh Espresso does good, fast catchy hip hop music, in this case with a live drummer.
They have a good time rapping, trading leads back and forth, syncing up for some harmony work or at least a little emphasis. Nice sound, Bosanova is pretty cool.
I enjoy the music and the message, Fresh Espresso is a reliably upbeat fun party act.
I also got some footage that I think is "Can the Boy Tell Time" which features Marshall on drums too:
I think "Can the Boy Tell Time" was before Fresh Espresso, but the videos ended up in 1) Fresh Espresso then 2) Can the Boy Tell Time then 3) Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band order on YouTube for some reason. Most likely I was switching cameras and the order taken off the cameras differs from the order recorded onto the cameras, if that makes any sense.

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band came out for the headline set with a typical rock and roll lineup, 2 guitars, bass, keyboards and drums. DSC01228
Nice sound, I like the way they build this song up from a simple beginning to a nice full song with some complexity and tight control of dynamics and intensity.
They played a nice selection of good, catchy songs. I like the guitar riff that starts about :45 into this one, it's jangly and kinda pulls you along Then when they drop it the feel changes and moves away, circling back eventually, I love the sense of movement and progression. I also enjoy guitar oriented rock, so this is pretty much right up my alley, and parked in my driveway up on blocks, I suppose - almost too comfortable a fit.

The band put on a great show and kept a large benefit crowd happy and entertained, and I'm very happy I finally got to see Mt. St. Helens Vietnam band and found out what all the fuss was about.

It turns out they have an embeddable link for their CD, so here's some of their music if you're looking to pick up a CD.

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