My list of failed bands….
And why you should come to the KBUT Kampout!
The 2017 KBUT Kampout is coming up in a month and will once again be right around my birthday! Last year I served as emcee and man-oh-man (and man-oh-woman, #equality) what a great day at Ibar Ranch. Don’t judge but: I’m generally not a fan of country, bluegrass, jam bands and folk and Americana. That being said the Wednesday before the 2016 Kampout featured Free the Honey at the Gunnison Arts Center and they were unreal. Their harmonies are incredible and regardless of their genre I was mesmerized. Unfortunately they are no more.
Going into the 2016 Kampout I was slightly skeptical that the “funk” focused lineup would feature more 8+ minute-long songs than my palate (is there a word for ear palate?) would appreciate. I was wrong, gratefully, and the music was outstanding – powerful funk mixed throughout the last 3 bands: Analog Son, New Orleans Suspect, and Monophponics.
The Monophonics from San Francisco were unreal and that they stood out as bad-ass headliners after following headliner-quality bands New Orleans Suspects, Analog Son, Crested Butte’s own – Kung Pao, and The Angle made their set even more impressive. Each band could have headlined and killed it. Monophonics had the honor of headlining and they stepped up bigggggg. Give them a listen on Spotify and you’ll be happy you did, I guarantee it. If I’m wrong I will give you back the birthday gift you (never) gave me, guaranteed.
Of course the whole day reminded my of my many past, failed exploits as a musician and I’ve applied to be a musician at the Kampout but I’ve been denied, with harsh regularity.
My Colorado-inspired band was comprised of raft guides – we were led by Cam Strap on vocals and called ourselves Cam Strap and The Flip Lines. The band was a flowing, occasionally rambling sound moving from rapid to still moments where you felt like you were paddling upstream against heavy winds. The band backing Cam was consistent with its namesake and offered flippant lines and commentary between songs. Oahr Fraim, from Norway, was our bassist would have given Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett a run for his money. We broke up largely because of our inability to keep the band out of troubled waters and though you would expect the lead guitarist Eddy Oute to be a source of calmness he was the catalyst for our demise.
One of my favorite bands was when I partnered with Al Coholic and the 12 Step Dropouts. We didn’t reach the top until we hit the bottom. We had a slurry sound that was often outside the lines with top hits “DU & I” “Drinkin’ Rubbin Alcohol” and “Whiskey’s for Drinkin, Waters for Fightin.” With the release of our third album and the addition of drummer Ben Der we were on our way and the lead track “I love you, Man” would certainly have helped the album go platinum. Instead while we were on tour our bus driver got us all arrested when he was transporting moonshine without our knowledge in the tour bus luggage compartment.
When I lived in Hawaii I was stoked to be part of Hal Lee and the Caucasian Invaders. Our sound was called invasive and undesirable. Our songs “The White Plague” and “Here comes the mosquitoes” were popular though our song “Go Home Hal Lee!” is the one that all the locals loved and at almost every concert the locals wrecked the place when we played that song. We received a lot of fame for our second album “Maui, West California” which was an album of all Beach Boys covers reworked to Hawaiian themes like “Surfer Girl (Punched Me),” Round Round Get Around (I’ll Never Get Around) which was an ode to Oahu traffic and our most popular song “California Girls (Have plastic lips) made all the Cali girls giggle and jiggle. Actually, they didn’t jiggle, good surgeons.
My last band was Plato Techtonix and the Continental Drifters. A philosophical and slow moving, crusty sound, hard on the surface yet hot and fluid, viscous even below the surface. Our music shifted rhythms and drifted across genres with the occasional volcanic outbursts and earthquakes of shattering drums. The continental sized track “Subduction” was our big hit and chronicled the Playte’s addiction to Firewater. As his life took a downward path he was eventually consumed by the eternal fire in his core. The song ends on a positive note as he was reborn and burst forth and is now solid as a rock. Our popular power ballad was based on the love for a woman, Andrea who betrayed her man….and the chorus “Ain’t nobody’s fault as big as Andrea’s fault” made us a smash hit. We were about to erupt onto the scene but most of the band tragically left music after Playte collapsed onstage and was permanently depressed while singing our new song Caldera.
I’ll keep trying to get into the Kampout as a musician but I’m guessing I’ll just buy a ticket this year. Mama’s Cookin will headline!
Anthony Poponi is a comic, improv artist, brain chemistry nerd and community-minded advocate and owner of Humore.us. He’s brings his love of connection and laughter to audiences as keynote, emcee, workshop host or moderator and his mission is to increase laughter and connectivity to combat the human health crises of isolation and disconnection.
Need a good laugh? Check out our blog – Musings and Amusings!